338 Lapua vs 6.5x55 Swedish

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Faina338, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Faina338

    Faina338 Member

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    Dear guys,
    In the last days I read in an Italian magazine that they are organizing some competitions at 600ys and 1000 meters. This is a nice news for Italy. You have much more experience in the USA...
    So, now I have a custom rifle Tactical style, chambered in 338 Lapua Mag... I can shoot with this gun 0.5 Moa at 330ys (I never shoot more that 330ys!!) a Lapua Lock Base 250g bullet at 3150fps. I think this is a good result, but at 600-1100 yards accuracy is more important then speed.
    The second choise I have is a "normal" hunting rifle chambered in the old Swedish 6.5x55 that shoot veeery well. I can shoot 0.2-0.3 Moa groups at 330ys with a Lapua 139g Scenar bullet at 2600 fps...
    Now, shooting a 6.5 is sure easier then a 338, but at long distance 250g bullet will give more stability??
    What do you think about?? What wuold be your choise??
    Thank you all
    Faina
     
  2. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little surprised that you're only getting 2600 fps from the 6.5x55 with a 139 Scenar. I'd expect closer to 2800 fps at safe pressures. You didn't say what action (age, model, and manufacturer) your rifle has. What weight and barrel length are each rifle? Does the 338 Lapua have a brake? Will it be allowed in the competition?

    You didn't say what the matches consist of. Number of shots in a match? Shot offhand, prone, or bench? Offhand and prone more test the shooter's aim, hold, and trigger release. Bench shooting more tests the rifle ad the shooters ability to dope wind.

    My choice would be to shoot some matches with each rifle. Obviously the 6.5x55 will be a lot gentler and cheaper to shoot. It should be easier for learning to shoot well at long range. The 338 Lapua should be more accurate on windy days when wind deflection uncertainty is dominant. Shooting it will certainly help you learn to shoot that rifle well. If you just stay home on windy days you'll won't learn to shoot in wind.

    Why are you attending the matches at all? You should consider that before you start.
    I attend matches (and practice by myself -
    first to learn to be a better shooter.
    second to learn the characteristics of various firearms.
    third to improve the loads and ammo for each firearm.
    and a distant fourth to try to shoot more accurately than others at the match.
    The latter can drive you insane or broke buying equipment which may be useless for anything other than winning that kind of match. For some people though that's the only objective.

    Shooting in a controlled environment with scores is a better indicator of progress than just shooting by ones self. It's hard to judge how much of your group size is from tricky winds and how much is just poor marksmanship. Shooting against a group of people at the same time will help sort that out. On the other hand fixed distance fixed target competition teaches nothing about range estimation, wind estimation (not just correction from the last shot) and how to lead moving targets at varying distance, angles, and speeds.

    I
     

  3. Faina338

    Faina338 Member

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    Hi Lou,
    you're right, I forgot to write some details...
    My 6.5 rifle is a customized Sabatti Rover 870 (an Italian brand), with 22" Shilen barrel. I test many load for this caliber and find the best accuracy with Lapua Scenar 139g bullets pushed by Norma 204 powder.
    The 338 Lapua is a custom made Farè T1000 with Farè action and 27 1/2" Shilen barrel with brake... Recoil is not far from a normal 308.
    In this competions are accepted all caliber and rifle, the only limitation is the weight: 30lbs.
    Each round I need to shoot 10 shots, prone position.
    You talk from testing, that's right!! The only big problem is that in Italy there is only one shooting range at 600y and this is at 10 hours drive away!!!
    This is the reason why 600-1000y shooting is here a news.
    My 338 is ready to use why it have a Leupold Mark 4 M1 16x scope, on my 6.5 now I have a 6x42 hunting scope and if I decide to use this rifle I need to change the scope.
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Check out this link; www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8hCdgeFsCc most of the shooters are shooting a 6.5mm of some sort, .260 Rem., 6.5X47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmore. As for your choice between the .338 Edge and the 6.5X55, I guess it depends on how much recoil you are willing to tolerate.
     
  5. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    That explains the 2600 fps. I'd be concerned that the 139 Scenar will be going transonic at 1000 meters if fired at 2600 FPS. It should be fine at 600 yards. You'll just have to try it. You can increase the velocity if you need to. Norma MRP powder should take it safely to 2700 fps or more though I don't know how that would affect accuracy in your rifle. Accuracy at 100 meters does not guarantee accuracy at 1000 meters.

    If you can only take one rifle Id expect i the 6.5x55 to be most competitive, But I would want to shoot both in different matches if they were mine. To me winning matches isn't as important as becoming skillful with my rifles. I wouldn't even change the scope on the 6.5x55. I'd expect the 16x40 Leupold would be better for the matches but not necessarily for helping your hunting skills.
     
  6. Faina338

    Faina338 Member

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    I'll start with training at 330y with both rifles, then I'll see how give me more confidence and feeling...
    Thank you for your reply

    Fainagun)
     
  7. aldensmith1979

    aldensmith1979 New Member

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    Hi Faina
    I have also read the same in an Italian magazine. I will advice you take just focus on your practice and as the time coming closer observer yourself in which you are more better choice that for yourself. Other thing is that you should also know Italian Language which will be an advantage for you.
     
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Here in the U.S alot of the 'long range' competitions are as much about optics and using them to their fullest. And, of course, you need an accurate rifle, a quality scope, and lots of practice. It is less and less about caliber and more and more about 'counting clicks'. I'm hearing lots of 'talk' about the 6MM's becoming viable 1000yd. shooters, time will tell. Besides the obvious (shooting ability, quality rifle) caliber is becoming not as important as it used to be, as long as the shooter is comfortable with the caliber rifle he is using.