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long range caliber question

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Unread 03-23-2005, 05:54 PM
Official LRH Sponsor
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,848
Re: long range caliber question


The single easiest way to get into long range shooting would be to get one of the factory offerings in either 308 or 300 Win Mag.

These two may not be the ultimate in long range shooting but they are extremely capable of making extreme range hits regularly. Also, quality brass is everywhere and cheap and they are easy to shoot as well.

Also there are more 30 cal bullets on the market then any other caliber on the market. There are also dozens of VLD and ULD bullets available in 30 cal.

The key here is to simply start learning at longer range. This is only done by actually pulling the trigger on the range.

The 308 will allow the most practice for the money spent.

I would not recommend a 338 for a "first" long range rifle. They are big, expensive to buy bullets for and generally have a big appetite for powder. They generate more recoil and muzzle blast as well.

The big 338 rounds are extremely impressive at long range but you would be better served to start your long range career with a smaller caliber.

There are no flies on the 6.5-284 either. Great round with top quality componants available.

Remember that as long as you can get close to the 3000 fps mark with a VLD or ULD bullet design you will have +1000 yard potential for sure.

Now there is a big difference between a 107 gr 6mm Sierra Mk loaded to 3000 fps and a 300 gr .338 Wildcat ULD loaded to 3000 fps. In both performance, recoil and blast.

Start out with something you can afford and comfortably shoot alot. Starting out you will learn more with high volume practice with a 308 or 6.5-284 then you will with a big 338 magnum even though the 338 will have some degree of a ballistic edge.

Remember that your skills are far more critical to shot placement at extreme range then what round you decide to choose.

For this reason I would select something in the 6.5mm to 308 cal range and look for a velocity output around 2800 to 3000 fps with the heavy VLD or ULD type bullets.

When you master that level of performance then you should invest in a larger extreme range rifle if you feel you need one.

If your going with a custom rifle I would lean toward a 6.5-284. If you are looking at a factory rifle, a 308, 300 WSM or a 300 Win would be hard to beat.

GOod Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 03-23-2005, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,891
Re: long range caliber question

I would have to agree with Kirby and the other forum posters. The single biggest component for successful LRH is the shooters ability to judge conditions and apply the proper dope. The 6.5 cal stuff is great very hight bc for size but you will learn more with a 308 Win not to mention that it is easy on the pocket book. the 308 drifts about twice as much as a 6.5-284 in the wind. You can learn a ton with a 308 and only 600 yards distance. It takes a serious condition to bother my 338 Edge at that distance. To really work out my Edge I have to seek out some long distances, to practice with my 308 I can have a pretty good workout with only 500 or 600 yards. Good luck and let us know how LR is treating you.
Shawn Carlock

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Unread 03-24-2005, 09:34 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,086
Re: long range caliber question


Here is what the widowmakers use:


Go to the bottom of the page. You do not need the first gun, the second gun is illegal but what Ric, Kirby and Shawn are advising is some version of the last gun in 308.
A M24 is just a M-14 semi-auto with lots of mods but still 308 ( you do not need a semi auto because no one is shooting back at you).

The 308 has a huge fan club for very good reasons. No need to feel like you are getting a gun with training wheels on it.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 03-24-2005, 03:55 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 1
Re: long range caliber question


I agree with the suggestions about a 6.5 cartridge. I have used 6.5x55 for long range (out to 1000 yds) with
great success. I am now adding a 6.5-06 Ackley Improved to the group. I have had very good accuracy with the Sierra 142 grn Match King. Am now going to try Lapua 139 grn Scenar.

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Unread 03-26-2005, 01:05 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 109
Re: long range caliber question

I am going with the 6.5X284. I have shot more then a dozen P dogs at 1000 yds with mine it is a custom job weighing in at 23 pounds. I also use a 7STW in a custom sako action that I use for Elk and it is extremely accurate and deadly to 800yds on coyote and ruck chuck.
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Unread 03-26-2005, 08:34 PM
Writers Guild
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: long range caliber question

If LR means out to 1000yds, then the choices are many. If you intend to go to say 1mile, the choices limit and the costs go up...way up.

From the 3 cartridges you suggested, the 7RM gets my nod. Simply because the RM case will launch very high BC bullets at 3000fps and not remove your molars in the process.

The 308 is fun but ballistically very challenged. The WM superbly accurate but limited in case capacity for 200 to 240gr bullets. Simply will not reach 3000fps at sane pressures.

For target shooting as the main use, the 6.5 is tops due mainly to reduced recoil, followed closely by the 7mm, then the 6mm. This ranking based on moderate case capacity (say up to 75gr of powder), portable barrel length, non hernia inducing rifle weights.

If more bullets came out in say 25cal, the tables would change.

For target shooting, recoil and barrel heat will not increase your accuracy. The smaller the case the better. That is why the 6.5-284 is so popular. However, there is already smaller cases being campaigned.

The 6mm is really coming on strong due to better bullets. Cheap to shoot and easy on the shoulder and barrel. The 6BR and better choices based on the Savage case are really making inroads into F class and LR BR.

If you feel that the challenge of the 308 appeals, why not shoot the 223 and 80gr bullets. Ballistically identical and you want to talk cheap shooting, low recoil. This may just be the best entry level cartridge combo out there now.

Best part you can pick up a Savage heavy barrel with Accutrigger and get shooting for well under $1000. Now that is a great place to start and competitive in many new NRA classes.

If you want to use the rifle for hunting, then the bigger cals and heavier bullets start making more sense. Here I would lean towards the 7mm and 30cal. The 338 will come but you need to start somewhere.

There really is no right answer as so much depends on your intended uses. Do a search as this topic has been discussed many times and will be discussed many more times.

Bullets are really driving the direction of this sport. Every year we get new and better choices. This changes what works..

Welcome and enjoy the reading..

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Unread 03-26-2005, 09:11 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 398
Re: long range caliber question

That 6mmBr really shines, untill the wind blows! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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