Im looking for some insight .....

Oct 29, 2002
Im a regular reader and know you guys (and gals) will be able to help me out. Im looking for another rifle for target out to 750 yards, and for possible white tail out to 350 yards. Right now im considering either a 30-06 or a 300 or 338 RUM(I would add a brake of some sort on this one). I guess my big question is would I be out of my mind to get anything other than the 30-06? What other options can you reccomend?
...I think you'll find the .308 is much more popular than the 30-06, not to take anything away from the 06... just preferable for your criteria...also a multitude of other cartridges will do what you're asking, becomes a matter of personal choice...hope this helps... Larry
The question that has to be asked is do you reload ? if not I would recomend the 308 as their are a ton of factory "match" ammo out their. And if you do reload it is still a great choice , the 30-06 is capible of just as fine of accuracy as the 308 but their are few factory loads for it accuracy wise.

For the shorter ranges that your gonna be hunting the 308 will do that easly as it will the 750yd target shooting.

My main question though is where are you planning to shoot 750yds at , let me in on the secret.
Of course I will reload, I forgot that some people dont. My next question is, would there be other calibers that would do the same thing with lower recoil perhaps? Maybe a 243AI, 25-06, 7mm-08?
I have been shoting a 257 WBY but in the wind i found that the boys with bigger toys (30 and 338's) were having a lot more fun. This is something you may want to remember if you go to the 25-06. The bigger bullets handle the wind better at long range. The 7mm and 30 cal definately have an advantage in the wind.
With bullets, size doesn't matter. It's the BC. To be sure, it's easier to get a higher BC as the caliber goes up but a 6mm bullet with a BC of 5 has the same wind deflection as a 338 bullet with a BC of 5. You can't fool mother nature.
Well if reloading is a sure thing and you have opened your scope of calibers then I change my vote to the 243 Ackley improved , shooting the 105gr A-max you'll have a deer rifle that will work to well out past 400yds and a target gun that could contend ballisticaly at 1000yds.
Their is Lapua brass for it , you can still shoot factory ammo if you get in a situation and the recoil is mild.

Some other great choices would be the 6.5-284
and the 7mm WSM , both have great brass available and are proven long range calibers and the recoil is tolerable

Again I ask , where do you plan to shoot at long range in you area , the best I can do around here is up in Lumberton (down for you)
and that is only if the club doesen't have anybody riding around which is hardley ever
I think MSU is referring to MIchigan not MiSsissippi state.

We have a few fields around that you can stretch out in. Unfortunately the population is too dense (as are most of the people) to allow deer hunting in the lower half of our lower peninsula. To deer hunt we would need to go about 90 miles north to get from the shotgun zone to the rifle zone.
Sorry I didnt respond to the question earlier. Yes I am from Michigan and for the most part you can find farmers fields to shoot ground hogs at that range all over the state. We can use centerfire rifles when Rifle deer season is not open, but when deer season is open we can only use centerfire rifles in the northern parts of the state.

Are you thinking of only factory loaded cartridges or are you open to wildcats?

If your not against wildcats, perhaps the easiest one I have used for hunting to the ranges you list and target shooting out to your listed ranges would be either the 6.5-06 AI or the 280 Rem AI.

My customers have reported these rounds are producing ballistic performance far out of porportion to the size of their case.

The 6.5-06 AI is running close to the 264 Win Mag and will beat all of the factory loaded ammo I have seen in velocity.

The 280 AI has been running within 100 fps of most 7mm Rem Mag loads and again more then some factory loads.

For deer hunting and target work, I would recommend the 6.5-06 AI with its great selection of bullets for all around shooting.

Not that the 280 is not about the same but for a target rifle built on a hunting rifle frame, the 6.5-06 AI will generate less recoil with nearly identical ballistic.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)

Glad to, do not mind explaining my rational about my opinions. First to admit they are what they are, opinions and there is more then one way to skin a cat if you will.

First off the criteria was for a part time deer rifle for hunting out to 350 yards and to also be used as a target rifle out to 750 yards.

Well be both agree that the 6.5 mm family of bullets certainly covers these two types of shooting nearly perfectly.

With the release of the 6.5-284 factory brass, I guess this round is a bit easier to load for then the 6.5-06 AI but not much.

All that is needed is to take a factory 25-06 case, seat any boattailed bullet of at least 100 gr over a near top level powder charge and touch it off.

No need to even neck up the brass as the 6.5 is only 0.007" larger then the 25-06 and you will not even be able to tell a difference seating the Boattailed bullet in the case. Must use Boat tails though!!

Other areas that lead me to the 6.5-06 AI are my preferred action, the Rem 700, to build on.

True the 6.5-284 can be chambered in the short action version of the 700 but if you seat the long VLD bullets out where they should be, you will be shooting the rifle in single shot mode.

Certainly not a huge disadvantage but as a big game rifle somewhat of a pain.

TO get a repeater with the 700 using the 6.5-284 with long seated bullets you will need the long action, here is where the 6.5-06 AI has some advantages over the shorter round.

First off, the Rem 700 long action will handle all rounds up to 3.700" long in most cases. This allows those long 140, 142, 155 gr class VLD bullets to be seated just to the base of the neck and still have plenty of room in the Rem 700 LA box.

With bullets seated in this position, the 6.5-06 AI will produce 100-200 fps more velocity then the 6.5-284 with all other vaiables being equal. The velocity range will depend on barrel quality and barrel length.

Again as for a target or match rifle, this is meaningless in every way but in a big game rifle, the added performance will provide slightly better on game bullet performance, not much but some.

Now lets get into feeding, the 6.5mm-284 can be a little ****y as far as feeding goes because of the rebated rim and short fat body with relatively sharp shoulder angle.

The 6.5-06 AI is much longer and skinnier then the 284 and while it has a slightly sharper shoulder, it is a much smoother and reliable feeder, especially when the rifle is worked rapidly such as in a hunting situation.

So I guess my opinion is that if we were dealing with a strictly target/match rifle, I would go with a SA M700 converted to single shot and use a long seated 6.5-284.


For big game hunting, I see the higher performance and feeding advantages of the 6.5-06 AI being a benefit to the deer hunter.

I am first to admit that I am splitting hairs here but there are a few to be split. I just like the 6.5-06 AI as a big game rifle over its shorter competitor.

Of course, I have been playing with my 6.5 WSM in my XP-100 handgun that I just got finished. I will be using this handgun for my big game hunting this season.

I have been pretty rushed without alot of time to develope a lot of loads but with the 120 gr Ballistic Tip, I am getting 3100 fps out of the 15" Lilja barrel and with near 50 three shot groups down range so far, the largest to date is .881" ctc and it has printed 28 groups in the 3's with the smallest being a .197" three shot group ctc.

This little number could be the next great 1000 yard round. Will have to see how the throat stands up but in a rifle, 3200 fps with a 142 gr Sierra MK should be quite comfortable out of at least a 26" barrel.

Good Shooting, hope I answered your question alright without rambling to much.

Good Shooting!!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Super fine job on the pistol! Would love to see a picture of it sometime. Good luck with the hunting, and very good shootin'
I am such a fan of the 280 Ackley! Divine inspiration, or whatever? Hard to beat it, on paper, or in the field.

My question right now is for Kirby Allen.

Could you explain your choice of the 6.5/06AI over a 6.5/284? I like the fact that the shorter case allows seating the longer, heavier bullets way out there, and yet the cartridge still fits in the magazine.

I'm not taking issue with your choice, just wondering about the various pros and cons, as you see it.

Good hunting. LB
Can anyone tell me how the 243 WSSM compares to the 243AI and how they add up in this equation? Right now I am really considering either a fast 243 cal or a slower 30 cal. The reason I like the 243 is for the recoil. And Ive always wanted a heavy barreled 30-06 on a Mod 70 for nastalgic reasons. I should mention I also aready have a Rem VLS 260 which is sweet, but almost too pretty to take off the bench. If the 243 WSSM is faster, or extremely close to the 243AI I wouldnt mind going that route to stay away from all the additional costs of reloading dies and gunsmithing, but thats never stopped me before now that I think about it.
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