Once I get out of college and get settled in I plan to build a long range hunting rifle off of a Savage action. For what I want the 284 win is the cartridge base that I want to work off of. This is because of it's efficiency, accuracy record and with both still showing enough energy to take a whitetail at half a mile. Either one I go will be put in 30-32" tube and twisted to handle the heavies. For me the debate comes down to the 284 win with its better barrel life and larger pill for more consistent down range on game performance. Or the 6.5-284 for better flatness and quicker flight times. If the numbers I entered into the ballistic program are correct then it seems that at 1000 yards in a 10 mph wind there is only about .2 moa windage difference, so small enough I'm not concerned with it.
For a background in my shooting. I typically shoot about 3-500 rounds in a year while in school, so all during the summer months, so when I get out of school I will probably shoot more often. My shooting pace normally takes about an hour or more to shoot 20 rounds. My typical shooting distances are from 700-1000 yards, and will try playing further if I can find ranges long enough. When loading I will try finding the upper velocity node with slow burning powders. If it matters at all in the decision, the cartridges that the guys I am shooting with are shooting a 7mm rem mag, 300 win mag, and a 338 edge. I am currently shooting a factory Savage 243 win using 58 gr bullets and am not happy when I can't hit 1/2 gallon milk jugs at my 725 yard berm with most shots.
So knowing all that which do you all suggest I go with? I have a little while to make my decision since I won't graduate till the fall, but would like to start working on gathering components. If there is anything else you would like to know just let me know. Sorry if this was a long read, I just wanted to give all the info I could to help with the decision. Oh and I'm not very recoil sensitive for being a small framed guy and I will be building off a long action, so any other good cartridges you can think of in the 6.5 or 7mm range would be appreciated. Thanks.
did you try anything heavier in that 243 like 80gr. To 100 gr. It might be more consistent at longer range I would Ackley improve that 243 before I would go to a 6.5 the 284 is a good choice in the 7mm I would go with the 280 Ai if I wanted a 7 without the belt and good barrel life
I'm going to try some 90 gr precision ballistic bullets this summer to help me reach 1000 yards. My initial plan was to rebarrel to a faster twist 6 mm to handle higher bc bullets but since I'm going to rebarrel anyway I figured I would get a chambering for a larger caliber and chambering while I'm at it. I looked into 6mm wildcats based off the 243 win, like the ackley and the 6mm slr but decided that in the end I needed a little more bullet weight since for a few years it will be my only long range target and hunting rifle. If it was only going to be target I would def. get one of the fast twist 6m.
Although I disagree on the 243 even 243 AI vs the 6.5 I do believe the 280AI is a nice set up for 7mm. Don't misunderstand, the 243 is awesome especially in AI.
However, I have put 1500 rounds through my 6.5-284 and it is great cartridge with a high BC bullet. I am not sure what the 30-32 barrel is going to do for you but I would guess 3050-3100 with a 140 Berger. The 6.5 can use a 160 Matrix bullet with .680 BC for larger game and if you can get 2900 with the long tube that would very good.
Whether you go 6, 6.5, or 7 is all up to you and the platform you choose to shoot from. Each has its limitations.
I like my 284 Win very much, but the 6.5-284 is a great cartridge on it's own. Both are somewhat of a specialty round, you better plan ahead or be a reloader for ammo.
The talk of super long barrels and 500+ yrd shots on game looses me though. I wouldn't want to lug around that long of a barrel & I like shots with a very high likelihood of the outcome. I'm not saying it can't be done with preparation and practice.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: 6.5-284 vs 284win
IMHO, the only advantage the 6.5-284 has over the 284 is it has less recoil. Factor in barrel life, more energy and I think the 284 more than makes up for it.
168 VLDs can be fired at the same velocity as 140s in the 6.5-284. They have nearly equal BCs (slightly higher for the 168). Same trajectory, same wind but more energy and a bigger hole in the critter. Comparing the 160 6.5 versus the 180 7mm the 160 wins in the wind by 2" at 1k/10MPH, 4" of drop but the 180 delivers more energy.
For me the choice is simple. 284.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
I have been reloading for a few years now, so as long as I can get components the ammo issue isn't really a big deal for me. And if need be I'm getting into paper patch bullet casting to get by with if I can't find any jacketed bullets. The heavies in each caliber are what I plan to play with. The 140-160s in the 6.5mm and the 180-190s in the 7mm if that makes a difference. I'm hoping that Berger will come out with the 195s soon if I go the 7mm so it would be twisted for them. I actually want the gun to be long barreled and heavy since it will be a specialty long range rifle since I have a win model 94 in 30-30 for my close range hunting gun, which really is 99% of my hunting. I'm after something that I can play with around and past 1000 yards without the expense of the larger magnums and the energy to effectively take game out there a ways too. I know the velocity will be getting on the low side with the higher weights but the higher BC should make up for that and is why I want a 30 some inch barrel to try bringing the velocity back up a little.
I've just been jumping back and forth on caliber and chambering since I got the idea to rebarrel into something larger. I'll think I want something for a while, then switch to something else.
From how it seems though, the 284 win is sounding like the better choice.