Help a beginner

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by olson, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. olson

    olson Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    I am new to the sport of long range shooting and would like some advice on the most suitable choice of long range calibers. I am thinking about building a 6.5-06 or a 6.5-284. Though i have little experience i do not know which one would be the optimum rifle for long range, or if i should look at another caliber.
     
  2. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    991
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Do you have another rifle? You need to practice and gain real world expeience. The short barrel life on either of those calibers won't let you practice much before needing a new barrel. But for long range capabilities, awsome ballistics and low recoil, the 6.5x284 is hard to beat.

    For a first rifle, get a fast twist .223 to shoot 70gr+ VLDs or a .308 Winchester. Then get a 6.5-284, will make a good combo

    I rate the 6.5x284 over the 6.5-06 because of awsome lapua brass, more info and load data and it's a proven 1000yrd round.
     

  3. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Hello Olson,
    Welcome to LRH.com and the addiction!:cool: There are many things to consider when trying to build a long range rig. From you caliber choices a custom or semi custom rifle is your best bet. You can buy the 6.5x284 from Savage as a factory rifle.

    However I have to agree with Oliveralan. He speaks the truth that both are barrel burners. With either cartridge you are looking at a life expectancy of 800 to 1000rnds. of accurate firing. Maybe less depending on barrel care and potency of your loads. I also agree with his caliber selections for learning on as well. Both calibers will force you to learn how to read the wind and learn elevation dope.

    Some other calibers to consider would be the 6mmbr, 22-250 (fast twist), 243/243AI, 260/260AI, 6/6.5x47 Lapua, 7mm-08, and 6.5x55 Swede. These are all great starter calibers to get you to 1K for target. These will all provide better barrel life than the two you originally chose. Those calibers would be great for later when you are capable of shooting very well and consistently to long distances. Another thing to consider is application... target or hunting? If hunting how far do plan of shooting and what size animal. If you want to go to Elk at 1K then none of the above will work. If you want to shoot paper to 1K then all the calibers above will work. Just some other things to consider.

    Welcome,
    Tank
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,033
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Hi Olson,

    You'll probably get opinions from everyone on their favorite caliber. What I don't see mentioned is whether you want to use the rifle just to bang a gong at 1000 yards, break a rock at 1200, or take down a deer or elk. The caliber you pick will be based on your objective. Popular ones for hunting are the 7mm/300/338 families.

    I agree with the "start small" idea, and then working up. In fact, I recently went so small that I picked up a(nother) .22 LR rifle built specifically for learning long range techniques. It costs pennies to shoot, and the local 100 yard indoor range can teach me a lot about long range before I move to a 200 yard outdoor range when the weather improves. To hit at 100 yards I have to adjust the elevation of the scope just like on a long range gun, and it's interesting to play with.

    Sure, I've got larger caliber rifles too, but before I start spending $1-2 per round on an education I'm spending $0.01-0.02 per round.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    I've never shot either cartridge but I don't think they would be to awful hard on barrels. I do have 25-06 which is more over bore than a 6.5-06 and from what I've read, I can expect 1000-2000 rounds of life from it depending on how hot I shoot it and how well I take care fo it. The 6.5-284 will be a little hotter that the 6.5-06.

    Either one would work well for deer size game. The idea of getting a more barrel friendly cartridge for more trigger time is a good one also. You might consider a switch barrel which is what I'm planning for a couple of my platforms.

    Good Shooting,

    Mark
     
  6. olson

    olson Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Thank you all that have responded. I have just returned from talking to a gun smith and he said that i could expect about 1000 rounds through the barrel before i notice a difference in accuracy. I do have several different rifles including 223, 243,25,7mm,and some 30 calibers. The advice on shooting a smaller gun to learn on is a wonderful idea, and that is what i have been doing sence that is all i enjoy shooting. The idea of shooting a 22 rimfire is a wonderful idea also and i belive i will try that on the next trip to the range. Thanks again and good shootinggun)
     
  7. 6.5 Bandit

    6.5 Bandit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Olson if i were u i would go with the 6.5x284. imho there isnt much need to go much bigger unless your looking for more speed and shorter bbl life. I currently own 2 6.5x300 weahtherby's while i will never be without one they do go through bbls. generally i get about 1200 rounds through one before it goes south on me.. but thats with 140gr amax at around 3500fps... I would get it in a 8 twist to shoot the 140 amax's rthe 142smk's you will get around 3000fps with that set up. i do agree to start smaller like the others have said but it looks like you have dipped into it a bit allready. just my 2cents.