Choosing a long range caliber

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by mleeber, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. mleeber

    mleeber Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Gents,
    Time for a long range gun. I am a very capable hunter, marksman and reloader but have no experience at 1000+ yards. I just sold a TC 300 Win Mag, it is clearly not the platform for a long range gun. I have a 7mm Rem Mag that is awesome but it is a WWII Mauser action with a custom barrel from Adobe Gun Shop in Silver City NM (not there anymore I don't think) and I got it used. Shoots great, 1 hole at 100 and touching at 200 but I have no idea how much life is left in the barrel and this guns shoots so well as is I am not going to mess with it.

    I have about decided on a Remington R5 or Sendero in 300 Win Mag as the base gun but now 7mm and 6.5-284 have creeped into the back of my head. The R5 and Sendero seem to be a good balance between price and out of the box accuracy to 1000+ yards.

    Barrel life is a real concern for me. If you figure it usually takes 200-250 rounds to decide on the best powder, bullet and OAL your barrel is a quarter spent by the time you figure the optimal load; common wisdom also says that the belted mags tend to eat barrels. The 6.5 seems impressive on paper but I am concerned that the max bullet weight is a bit on the light side if I hunt with the gun (which I do hope to do but much of my shooting will be at paper or steel).

    My goal is to get into a solid gun in a caliber that will allow really long shots. Ranges out to a mile or more have me very interested. Will a 6.5 barrel last that much longer than a 7 or 300? Will a nitride bath help with barrel life or is this the latest voodoo? Is the 6.5 neutered with the lighter bullets? Thoughts??? Oh...and a 50 cal is not in the cards; when I think about reloading for that beast I can see my powder and bullet costs getting out of hand quickly.

    Thanks!
     
  2. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    If you want buy the r5 in 300 win and see how it shoots. If it doesn't then you have the cost of getting it trued bedded a barrel and chamber job. If it shoots good from factory then you'll be in it cheaper if not your looking at about the same price as having a custom made off a custom reciever. If you time crunching I'm try the r5 if your not I'd get a custom. Hate to say it but in this world barrels are cheap after you account for everything else. Scopes, spotting scopes, rangefinders etc. Personally I always prefer to have one built buy 2 barrels if your worried about burning them up havethem cchambered at same time and head spaced the same and use the first one on learning and playing with powders and bullets etc and by the time that one is burnt out you'll have a pretty good idea what works what doesn't for second one and it should only take 50-100 rounds to have it set up
     

  3. dkhunt14

    dkhunt14 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    6.5 caliber gets real hard to see vapor trail and hits at long range. The 6.5-284 eats barrels up pretty fast. At least for the 1000 yard bench rest game. They all but disappeared from the firing line at Williamsport 1000 yard club. The 300 WSM and 6 Dasher now dominate. The WSM is very easy on barrels but i feel it is a bit light for hunting much past 1000 or a little farther. Once you get to a mile it is hard to beat a .338. A 300 Win mag would also be a good choice. Matt
     
  4. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    If you are serious about a mile then I would recommend a 338 Lapua. If just a 1000 yards then the 300 Win over a 300RUM for barrel wear.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Generally speaking, the smaller the cal, the shorter the barrel life per distance shooting. I.e, shooting a 7 RUM VS a 300 RUM is going to give you similar balisitcs to a mile but the 7 RUM is more over bore than the 300 and will burn up a barrel faster. If you want range and descent barrel life you should look at the big 338's.

    My 300 RUM shooting 230 hybrids will pretty much stay with the big 338's shooting the 300 OTM, but the 338's will have a good bit more barrel life.
     
  6. mleeber

    mleeber Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    I figured the 338 was going to jump in there at some point and while I like the idea the cost is quite a bit higher across the board (gun and reloading components). I have 300WM brass bullets and powder from my TC so that is part of the fiscal equation. I really like the 210gr SMK, good BC and performance in my limited testing thus far, and I have 1000 of them. I am using them in my 308 but they are much more appropriate for a 300WM.

    I did not realize that the smaller bullets were as hard on the barrels. Since I have all the reloading supplies and equipment for 7mm and 300WM I am thinking the R5 is the ticket.

    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Mark
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Yup, smaller bullets are harder on barrels because you are sending the same amount of powder through a smaller hole to get the same result.
     
  8. fourmacs2002

    fourmacs2002 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    I recently purchased a 7MM mag from Shawn Carlock of Defensive Edge to shoot out to 1,500 yards. Anything beyond that I would consider the DE 338 Edge. Shawn builds a great rifle that will definitely reach out and touch 'em.gun)
     
  9. 80Rooster

    80Rooster Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    IMO there is a big difference between shooting paper at a 1000 yds and ethically taking big game if you want something that fits both look at the 6.5. If your hunting elk look at the .30 cal platform and up I like the ballistics on the 300wm up to 1000 but I think that is the limit. I would put the 6.5 at a limit of 700 yds on elk not saying you can't shoot farther it's just that ballisticly your margin of error is very small. The .30 performs better in hunting situations. I shot a .300um for years and have recently went to a .300 Dakota similar ballistics with a 180 gr bullet shooting 15 grains less powder. Downfall is these guns kick.
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Always keep in mind that the bigger the hole, the more it costs.:D
     
  11. sewoodruff

    sewoodruff New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Remember that a paper target doesn't care if the arriving bullet has 5 ft-lbs of remaining energy or 5000 ft-lbs, but it does make a difference to a game animal. The same is true for velocity. For game the bullet must arrive at the animal with sufficient energy and velocity to work as intended and result in a quick and merciful kill.

    Steve Woodruff
     
  12. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Mleeber I want to first off apologize for my previous post. I had bad day and kinda took it out on you and had no right to do so. With that being said as far as caliber goes one of my favorites for an easy to get factory chambering is a 7 REM mag you will get decent barrel life they have good bullet options and are generally easy to tune. For a learner gunthis would be what I would suggest. The 300win is good too. It was actually what I learned a lot off of. The 338s will have a better life. As someone posted earlier the more powder you try to push through a smaller hole the faster it will burn out. If it was me i suggest a 7rem but you can't go wrong with the 300win prolly last longer and has more bullet weight to it. Once again sorry for previous post
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,841
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    If your conditions are not great you'll really struggle with the 6.5 at a mile plus to even see hits and if you add wind you could end up hating life, it's fun for me to shoot them a mile plus but then I can also sling some 300gr Berger down range and get more forgiveness in the wind and get solid feed back which makes me happy, happy, happy!!

    The 300 Win with a 215 Berger or even something like the 300 Norma mag with a 230 Berger would be a solid compromise to the big 338 but for serious fun and getting feed back you can learn from I would not go smaller for my primary ELR rifle. If your trying to hunt ELR go with something that will hump the 300 gr Bergers!
     
  14. mleeber

    mleeber Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    No need to apologize, I was not offended. Thanks though! This long range game is a whole new world and I appreciate all the feedback from everyone who has offered information and recommendations. To make things worse I just watched a 13 part series on u tube from a guy names Suarez and with all the "truing up" he had to do to a factory 700 I am now concerned that even the R5 or Sendero may need significant work. Got to pay to play I guess....