How far are you shooting? How many rounds are you shoting? Factory, custom or customized factory?
You might ask this question 6mmBR also.
I have a Sendero 25-06 that is a real tack driver and would make a great target rifle. Barrel life would be a little low for target shooting, but I think you could get 2500 ounds or so from it if you didn't shoot max loads, let the barrel cool and took care of it.
Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 11-12-2009 at 09:47 AM.
We need to define long distance target shooting just a bit here to give a proper response. If you're talking about 1,000 yard prone shooting, the 6.5/284 rules the roost in that game, hands down. the 1,000 yard bench shooters may go with something bigger, such as one of the various 300 Mags, while more recoil sensitive shooters will go with smaller, high velocity rounds like the 6mm BR, 6mm XC, or similar rounds. If you go with a 6mm, 6.5mm or .30 cal, you'll have a wider variety of true Match bullets available to choose from. A somewhat smaller selection in the 7mm bore, and downright slim pickings in .257", 270" and others which don't see much match use.
To learn and gain experience, you can't go wrong with the .308 Winchester. It has been a time tested, mother approved (or fathers mostly) caliber that has proved its abilities from theaters of war to the benches of 1000yrd competitions. This caliber will teach you all you need to know about how to read wind, loading techniques and choosing the correct bullet. With that said, let's go this direction also.
For convenience of brass, you can use .308 Winny brass for several calibers. Lapua makes top of the line stuff and so does Norma. If a guy wanted to, you could go the direction of these 3 calibers: 7mm-08, 260 Remington, or 243 Winchester. These are all based off the .308 casing. These 3 calibers will also be more forgiving in recoil and offer very good bullets to poke paper with. With target shooting accuracy is the name of the game.
These 3 calibers all offer very High BC (ballistic coefficient) bullets that will help buck the wind. Of the 3 I would go with the 243 (6mm) and the 260(6.5mm). Again these offer some outstanding bullets that are sure to help you achieve your goal with minimal loss of barrel life compared to the 6.5x284. The .308 can offer barrel life up to and beyond 5000+ rnds. Some .308's have been known to shoot accurately out of a well maintained barrel to 10,000rnds. The 243 will be around 3500rnds (faster means more wear) and the 260 I believe falls around that number as well.
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I'm with Liltank on this one. There are a lot of great calibers and some of these have been mentioned but if you are just starting out, I don't think you could beat the 308 Win. It is an inherently accurate round, lots of good factory ammo for it, easy to reload for, pleasure to shoot, the list goes on. If you want something to get you started, it would be a great choice. I started with a 300 WM and burned the throat out since I was having so much fun with it. Now I am in the process of spending quite a few bucks on a new barrel. Oh yeah, I finally bought a 308 after reading a post like this one and am having a blast shooting it 1,000 +.
Hey thanks for the suggestions everyone! i would be shooting 1000 yards + off bench I was thinking either a 6.5-284 0r a 300 Remington ultra or a weatherby 30-378. what are your thoughts on these guns? and what would be around the top muzzle velocity of theses three guns?