Custom Rifle - 500 yards max - what cartridge

Jerry D

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Dec 28, 2008
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Guys I'm thinking about which cartridge I want to chamber my rifle in.

I know many many many cartridges are capable of 500 yard hunting - deer or sheep sized animals.

I want a very efficient cartridge and I don't need a magnum. Long barrel life is a plus as I'll be wanting to shoot this rifle often. Lower recoil is a positive feature.

500 yards is all I need.

I was thinking a 6.5mm or 7mm over the .30 calibers but the .308 seems to be an ideal candidate for what I'm wanting.

I was also looking at the .284 winchester as well but I do not know what barrel life to expect. On 6mmbr they say to expect 5000 rounds of accurate life for a .308. What can I expect with the .284? I've read a 6.5x284 lasts only 1200 rounds. Does that mean a 7mm .284 will last 1500? 2000? More? Less

What about a 7mm08? or 6.5-06 or others? Every time you neck down a cartridge barrel life would decrease from the original correct?

Short action or long action - it doesn't matter to me - what would you choose and why?
 

MontanaRifleman

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If you want an efficient, long life, 500 yd rilfe rifle with low recoil, the .308 Win is by far your best option. Nothing really to think about. Next would come the 7-08. And as you said, the more you neck down the shorter your barrel life becomes on average. That was easy.

Good shooting,

Mark
 

JD338

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Consider the 280 AI.
You can load it up to almost 7mm Rem Mag levels or load it down around 280 Remington, maybe even less. Case life is excellent and low levels loads will ensure long case life.

JD338
 

Michael Eichele

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If you want an efficient, long life, 500 yd rilfe rifle with low recoil, the .308 Win is by far your best option. Nothing really to think about. Next would come the 7-08. And as you said, the more you neck down the shorter your barrel life becomes on average. That was easy.

Good shooting,

Mark
+1. Mark said it very well.

If you like to shoot alot and 500 yards is your limit you will be VERY hard pressed to beat the 308 for barrel life, cost of loads, low recoil and it is VERY effective to 500-600 yards. It can be effective further with the right bullet in good shooting conditions.

Many will argure that the wind drift is too much. At 500 yards, the difference between the 308, 708, 260, 280AI etc.... is very minimal. With an average 308 bullet used in a 308 versus the very best 7mm bullets used in a 708 the difference at 500 yards in a 10 MPH wind is less than 4" With the best of 308 bullets it is 2" of difference.

The key to maximizing a 308 is A: a 26" barrel and B: a wyatts box magazine and C: use the slowest twist needed for the bullets you intend to use. For 155's a 14x, 168's 13x, 180-190 12x, 200-210 11x. Stick to those principals and you will get much better than average velocities for the 308.
 
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Jerry D

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What fps advantage would I be looking at in choosing a 13 twist for 165 grain bullets over a 12 twist for all around use?
 

sierra22

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Try a 6,5 mm with 120-140gr bullets. Softer shooter than 308, bucks the wind better and kills any deer at 500 yds.

6.5x55 is my favorite.
Have a look at 6.5x47 if you are using short action.
Both are very accurate cartridges easy to reload.

Expect 4-5000rds a barrels with match accuracy. It has a lot to do with cleaning, a friend had 3000rds through his 6.5x284 now. With 2 recrownings it still shoots 3/4 MOA and better.
 

Michael Eichele

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What fps advantage would I be looking at in choosing a 13 twist for 165 grain bullets over a 12 twist for all around use?
Not much between the two but always a slight advantage. The slower twist will offer a wee bit less pressure and more velocity potential but the big difference will be when you get a 10x and use 155-190's. ALWAYS get the twist for the heaviest bullets you want to shoot. Even if you want to shoot 155's most of the time but occasionally shoot 190's. You would want the 12.
 

Chas1

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+1 with others on 308. If you want a little more you could go with 30-06. Economical, available, long barrel life and so on.
 

etisll40

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All good replies here. The 308 with a 12 twist is almost a no brainer. My second preference and equally as good if not more accurate is the 6.5x55 swede. It's still the number 1 deer and moose caliber in Europe. The round has stood the test of time as it is 100 years old and still popular. A, deadly array of bullets with high BC available and incredibly accurate and easier to shoot all day. You only need a 24" barrel too. A little less weight to hall around all day.
 

Top Cat

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For 500 yards max, a 308 is a great choice. With a good bullet, it has enough power on just about anything to 600 at least. It's low cost, low recoil and ammo is available anywhere... For versatility with heavier bullets, faster is better. 12 twist or 11 twist , but no slower than that... but I'd happily run a 10 twist on any 30 caliber.

But I really don't see the need to dump a lot of money on a custom rifle for this intended use. Some factory rifles are semi-custom out of the box and offer a lot of value these days. Just about any factory rifle bedded into a decent stock will be up to the task.

I guess adding a stock and bedding it qualifies as a "custom"; but any performance differences between the two will be extremely small at 500 yds, or even a lot farther out there.

Weatherby Vanguard, Howa, Ruger, Remington, Winchester take your pick. The Winchester M70 Extreme Weather is a little more money up front, but it already comes with a better stock than the others do.

What can't be skimped on is good quality optics and that costs some dough...no way around that. I'd reassign the money saved and invest in good optics and reloading equipment...those are absolute essentials in my mind, and still be money ahead.

TC
 
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Coyboy

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Run the balistics on a 160 gr barnes 3xshock in a 338 federal at say 2900-2950 fps.

Barrel life should be indefinate:)
 

CPGfan

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6.5x47L is my vote all day long. Very low recoil and will kill anything you want in the lower 48 out to 500 yards. Small primer, good shoulder angle for minimal trimming, and **** do they shoot!!!
 

Sully2

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6.5x47L is my vote all day long. Very low recoil and will kill anything you want in the lower 48 out to 500 yards. Small primer, good shoulder angle for minimal trimming, and **** do they shoot!!!
I agree completely. I went with the .260 Rem caliber (6.5mm-08) but any of the 6.5's because of the BC of their bullets shine head and sholders above the rest for..
1) LOW recoil
2) Tremendous BC with their 140 grain slugs
3) More down stream velocity because of bullet BC

6.5's rule...
 

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