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The Ultimate calibre for LR Varmints?

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Unread 11-19-2007, 12:51 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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I personally don't have the money to build these kind of rigs. I shoot a factory stock howa 22-250 and have had great results. I did spend the extra money on a shepard scope. Best money spent. I did read a while back about a wildcat cartirage in a 22-240 weatherby mag. Claimed it was the fastest cartirage bar none, pushing 5200fps plus muzzle velocity. I will have to dig the article out of my my stoage shed [full of boxes of old mags.]and post some specifics.
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Unread 11-19-2007, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by shootr68 View Post
"... I did read a while back about a wildcat cartirage in a 22-240 weatherby mag. Claimed it was the fastest cartirage bar none, pushing 5200fps plus muzzle velocity. I will have to dig the article out of my my stoage shed [full of boxes of old mags.]and post some specifics.
Not the fastest. The .22-284 has reached ~6400 fps.

Barrel life left something to be desired.

And there are probably bigger ones around. They are the toys of people with more money than brains.

And the Navy's "Crane Naval Warfare Center", has reached 25,000 fps with helium driven guns.
(They have the brains, and lots of OUR money ;) )

Here, kitty kitty kitty.

LRH member #23

Last edited by CatShooter; 11-19-2007 at 05:54 AM.
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Unread 11-22-2007, 09:31 PM
bd8 bd8 is offline
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Last edited by bd8; 11-22-2007 at 09:34 PM. Reason: boo-boo
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Unread 11-22-2007, 09:33 PM
bd8 bd8 is offline
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I don't think there is such a thing as an "ultimate" in anything. Your final selection will be a compromise based upon your priorities and resources.

Having said that I just resist the urge to share my 2 cents.

Long range shooting with a .224 caliber is problematic unless you are an expert at reading wind sign. .224 bullets will always suffer in wind due to their sectional density. Why build a custom weapon that is fundamentally flawed when you could select a 6-6.5mm bullet and greatly minimize your drift.

Overbore cartridges are not nearly as flexible as smaller cartridges when you are trying to work up a load. Your gonna find fewer good powder alternatives and you will spend more time tweaking the load for best accuracy. And overbore cartridges erode barrels quicker. For example, a barrel for a 6/284 may only last 1000 rounds. And it could take you 200 rounds to get your load right. Leaving you with 800 rounds of accurate shooting through your barrel.

Cartridges with low pressure limits also make it more difficult to work up that magic load. A lot of the Ackley Improved cartridges have lower pressure limits than the standard cartridges they derive from. This makes it more difficult to realize the benefits of the increased powder capacity if you are going to stay within the limits.

Long range shooting takes practice so choose a firearm that you can afford to practice with.

I wouldn't get too enamored with a high muzzle velocity. For long range shooting the speed retained down range is where you start seeing the benefits of a flat trajectory and less wind drift. To do this you will need to select a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient. The 6.5mm and 7mm bullets tend to have the highest ballistic coefficents.

So weighed against some of the things I've pointed out here. I would select a cartridge of at least 6mm with excellent bullet selection. A cartridge that was not overbore. Preferrably a cartridge that was on the efficient side. A cartridge that had demonstrable accuracy. A cartridge that had a large amount of info available for accurate loads. A cartridge that wouldn't burn out barrels too quickly. I would want at least 2-3 thousand accurate rounds out of a barrel. I would want a cartridge with higher pressure limits. Not that I would actually push it that hard but I want more flexibility in load selection.

Here are the cartridges that meet the criteria.

6mm BRX

- IMR 4895 34.8gr 3288fps 56875psi, 87gr Hornady V-MAX .4 bc

6mm Dasher

- IMR 4895 34.1gr 3267fps 56875psi, 87gr Hornady V-MAX .4 bc

6mm XC Tubbs

- H4350 44.2gr 3395fps 56875psi, 87gr Hornady V-MAX .4 bc

6-6.5x47 Lapua

- H4350 41.4gr 3272fps 53820psi, 87gr Hornady V-MAX .4 bc

6.5x47 Lapua

- IMR 4895 37.9gr 3078fps 55205psi, 108gr Lapua Scenar .478 bc

This info came from quickload.

All of these are used in bench rest competition. The 1000yd Camp Perry competition has been won with the 6xc Tubbs. All the cartridges listed are rated between 63000 and 65000 psi so the sample loads I've shown are not overly agressive. The 6.5x47 Lapua is a commercial cartridge. Factory ammo is available as is factory brass.
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Unread 11-23-2007, 01:59 AM
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22 Caliber

Ha BD8, have you checked out the BC of the 75 grain Hornady A-Max bullet in 22 caliber. I agreed with your 6mm ideas until I saw the Hornady BC. I realize the 6.5 are better, but then recoil becomes an issue. I really like to see impacts, and IMO The 22-250 with the 75's are the upper end of seeing impact. Tom.
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Unread 11-23-2007, 08:18 PM
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Hey, I'll throw my penny's worth in the ring.

How about a .277 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet @ 3500 fps. BC=.496 or so and should out do any .224 cal and most of the 6/6.5s

The only downers are the 100+ grains of powder and barrel life but bbl life is at least as good as a hot shootin 22-250 or 6-284 I'd think.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 11-27-2007, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by HOGGHEAD View Post
I have spent the last six months asking myself the same question. Here is what I came up with. Or should I say this is what I am in the middle of putting together right now.

I purchased a LH Remington 700VSF in 22-250. I then purchased a 28" Krieger barrel. I am having the action blue-printed. I am also having a Vias port put on the barrel. The twist is 1 in 8 to shoot the 75 grain A-Max.

The scope will be an IOR straight 16X scope. From what I have been able to find out this scope is the best tracking scope you can buy for under $900. If you come across a better one let me know!! Tom.
This makes sense to me. I think the first question should be what you want to do with the animal once you've shot it. If you're shooting coyotes and trying to sell the fur, then there aren't any great options if you're trying to get out to 750yd. A 22-250 with a 75gr A-MAX I think is about as good as you will get for this.

If you don't want to save the fur, then why not keep it simple: Tactical .308 Win with 168 or 175 gr SMK built on a Rem 700 action? Ammo is cheap, and accurate, and brass is plentiful. Barrel life is excellent. You could also load up 110 gr V-MAX, but I don't have any experience with these at those distances. Performance should be good on the animal, but accuracy and range I don't know.
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