long range caliber question

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by widowmaker, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. widowmaker

    widowmaker Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    I realize that everything in long range shooting is important.The set up, shooter,conditions,and equipment modifications.But all extra long range knowledge aside. I would like to know what the most accurate long range calliber is(in popular calibers)like .308,300 win mag,7mm mag?whith what caliber will I most accurately hold the tightest groups at the longest ranges?I know military guys all say the .308 but it drops quite a bit,and the 300.shoots flatter but is it as accurate between 500-1000 yards,and the 7 mag is favored by alot of hunters but the wind drift is supposedly greater.(and I would rather adjust up and down than left & right) Though I ralize adjustments will have to be made no matter what! I would like a flatter trajectory but the main question is what is going to be the most accurate caliber at the longest range?Like I said providing that the set up's(custom) and the shooter(professional) are the same.The 308,300 win mag,7mm mag,or is there a more accurate one that is a popular round,(without getting into ackly's and wildcats and other custom cartridges)Anyway someone please help me out here
    thank's
    Widowmaker
     
  2. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    948
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Ask Shawn or Kirby about the .338's.There are so many calibers that will shoot long range really well check the benchrest winners and ask around. I don't think is is so much the caliber as how well the rifle is assembled, quality craftsmanship will make most calibers work!
     

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Widowmaker,

    First off welcome to LRH!!

    Judging true extreme range accuracy is a very difficult thing to do in actual field shooting tests. The killer for anyone is wind drift. In my opinion, a high B.C. bullet that will cut down wind drift or should I say reduce the error in our prediction of wind drift that are the most valuable aspect to the extreme range shooter, paper puncher or hunter.

    While we all want the flattest trajectory possible, there is not a cartridge on the planet that can be classified as "flat shooting" past the 1/8 mile mark. They all drop. Some of the larger magnums drop alot and the standard rounds drop alot more!

    The good news is that bullet drop is relatively easy to predict and much more consistant compared to wind drift.

    Personally, I like to drive as high a B.C. as I can as fast as I accurately can. Hence the invention of my Allen Magnums. Only a crazy man would put a 100 gr capacity under a 156 gr ULD 257 bullet!!!

    So to pick one round as being "more accurate" then another at long range would be difficult to declare. In perfect conditions in quality rifles, all will shoot very well. It is in poor shooting conditions where certain bullets prove their worth over others.

    It is my opinion that we as extreme range shooters pick a bullet that we shoot at these ranges. The bullet itself if far more critical to extreme range accuracy then the actual case is as long as all things in rifle quality are equal.

    Now that I have said alot and probably not answered your question at all, Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    can o worms anyone.....LOL.. welcome....

    most accurate is not easily defined by caliber.. more often than not it is defined by the rifle or theone who built it and the materials used to build it....

    you can have a 30 cal that out shoots a 338 cal.... or a .284 cal that can't hit an automobile a 50 yards...

    that being said... if you are new to this... I feel the .30 cal is the "easiest" way into the LR thing.. numerous bullet options avail...

    to satrt out the 300WSM or the 300WM are very versitle and can reach a long way....
    start with the 180 class bullets up to 220...
     
  5. widowmaker

    widowmaker Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Thank's for responding!I plan on having a custom gun built or a stock gun modified soon! so I can start shooting this spring!What caliber do you suggest starting out!(don't own anything larger than 223)A guy said maybe 338 , another said maybe 300 win mag or wsm,and I hear alot of 308 talk wich is a good caliber to find info such as wind drift and ballistics for! So witch do you most strongly reccomend as a starter gun into big calibers!
     
  6. 3sixbits

    3sixbits Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    398
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    I think you might want to look at the 6.5/.284 also. This ctg. has proven itself well, great bullets are available for this caliber, great brass also. A lot of knowledge is out there about this ctg. and loading. Not to hard to find a buy on a good used rifle either. A used rifle is a good way to go for a first time at a new game. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    if you are new at this.. the 308 is great learning tool... easy on the walet and really really great to learn wind and dope on....
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Widowmaker,

    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)
     
  9. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

    Messages:
    1,895
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Widowmaker,
    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.
     
  10. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,083
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Widowmaker

    Here is what the widowmakers use:

    http://www.sfahq.org/sf_activities.htm

    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.
     
  11. MatoTanika

    MatoTanika New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Widowmaker

    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.

    Lee.........
     
  12. longtooth

    longtooth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    109
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    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.
     
  13. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    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..

    Jerry
     
  14. 3sixbits

    3sixbits Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    398
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    That 6mmBr really shines, untill the wind blows! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif