Need Advice on Caliber

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by beezaur, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. beezaur

    beezaur Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    I am taking the plunge and having a rifle built. I have to decide on a caliber, and could really use some advice.

    Here is the job that needs filled:
    - 26" bbl bolt gun, tactical type
    - might want to shoot from magazine, haven't decided
    - 100% recreational shooting, no matches or hunting
    - small stationary targets at 500-1000 yds
    - a lot of shots will be first shots from cold bbl
    - all weather: heat, cold, rain, wind
    - not a lot of recoil
    - relatively long barrel life
    - NOT finicky to handload

    I am open to anything between 6mm BR and .308 Win. I ran a few Sierra bullets through my ballistics program and was surprized that the 6mm BR outdid the 308 by a good bit. I would guess that there is no way to feed one of those short guys from a magazine though. I am also looking at a few sub-243 Win 6mms like the 6mm XC (?) that Tubb shoots, 260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

    What would you guys choose if you were me?

    Scott
     
  2. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    The good ol' .308 should fit the bill. Maybe a .243 Ackley improved would be fun to play with. You could have the chamber reamed so you can load from a mag and still touch the lands if you want.

    Just a thought.
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Well-Known Member

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    I think you should give the 7mm-08 some serious consideration. Have it throated right for the bigger bullets so you don't loose case capacity. If you run the ballistics a 162gr a-max at a little over 2700fps is a pretty good combination. Or many other good 7mm bullets like berger 168VLD or the wildcat bullets.

    Kicks slightly less than 308
    Impacts at 1000yards are more noticable than 6br
    Wind plays less of a factor than it does with 6br or 308

    hope this helps
     
  4. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    I would only seriously consider 3 calibers.
    .260 RP
    7-08
    284

    There are advantages and drawbacks to each of them, but all three do exactly what you have asked.
     
  5. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Stay away from the calculator!! You cannot compare ballistics on paper, you must perform real world tests.

    That said, there are several calibers that will out perform the 308 win. Out perform is also a subjective term. What you have described I would say none other that the 308 win.
     
  6. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Yep I'm with Meichele on this one. Your list says "I want to use a .308 and I don't believe me yet."

    I only mentioned the .243 AI because it is a bit more rare for the guy that wants something different than his buddies. It is easy to form. It loads in the same mags, uses the same bolt and action as a .308 and with the right bullets and powder you can get a MV over 4k (what is more recreational than that?) It is capable of pushing the 105s at a healthy speed for the targets past 700.

    (but the .308 is calling your name) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  7. beezaur

    beezaur Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Stay away from the calculator!! You cannot compare ballistics on paper . . .

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hey, check this: After a decade of no guns at all, I get back to one of my old pursuits. I set a target at some arbitrary range, do the ballistic calculations for range and atmospheric conditions, and take one shot. Now with my new Nikon laser rangefinder (!) and ballistics software on my PDA (!!) I set my water jugs out in the field at 500+ yards, make my measurements, calculations, click-click-click -- BAM----splash. That blows me away, never was able to do that before. So don't be disparagin' the ol' calculator to me /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    But yes, I have heard the siren song of the 308.

    The 260 Rem never existed when I last checked, so that has me intrigued. Back then I was wishing someone would make good bullets for the 6.5x55, as it looked really good ballistically. Now in '05 I find the well-established 260. Go figure.

    Here is an interesting thing I found in my travels, a sreadsheet that estimated barrel life, assuming 30 to 60 seconds cooling between shots:

    http://www.angelfire.com/id/psycho/images/Barrel_life.xls

    You will probably have to copy and paste the URL in a browser window, since the site does not allow direct links.

    It is just a "rule of thumb" kind of thing for competition shooting, but shooters' reports of barrel life over at www.long-range.com (that's where I found it) seem to agree pretty well. I just had that darned 308 out of my head and then found that info. It argues pretty strongly against the 6mms larger than BR.

    Now I'm thinking 260, 7-08, or 308. DOn't know what I'd do for 30-cal bullets. Maybe 168-gr Berger VLDs, if the BC is actually that good.

    Thanks for all the help, it's great to have all the input.

    Scott
     
  8. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    The 284 Win set-up for those heavier bullets would make a great cartridge IMO. Also like the 260 & 7-08
     
  9. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    beezaur,
    I think the 6mm Ackley is the best of the 6mm varmint cartridges,more barrel life then a 243AI, a nice long neck and excellent accuracy out a thousand yards /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Ian.

    "I meant to shoot the pike but the duck got in the way"
     
  10. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

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    Several cartridges will fill the bill very nicely. My choice is the 6XC now that brass and dies are available.
     
  11. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you just described a 6br fast twist to a tee! It gets my vote. I wish I had 10 6br's instead of two!
     
  12. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    GG,
    what is the maximum distance you think you could accuratly push a 1-8 twist 6BR (not the Tejas) with a 105 Amax.

    I think BJ is ordering a barrel for his 243win and that is what he ordered.

    thanks
    steve
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    100% recreational shooting, no matches or hunting
    - small stationary targets at 500-1000 yds
    - a lot of shots will be first shots from cold bbl
    - all weather: heat, cold, rain, wind
    - not a lot of recoil
    - relatively long barrel life
    - NOT finicky to handload


    If you are serious about those requirments, a standard .243 on Lapua brass would be the simplest and one of the most accurate.
     
  14. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Hey, check this: After a decade of no guns at all, I get back to one of my old pursuits. I set a target at some arbitrary range, do the ballistic calculations for range and atmospheric conditions, and take one shot. Now with my new Nikon laser rangefinder (!) and ballistics software on my PDA (!!) I set my water jugs out in the field at 500+ yards, make my measurements, calculations, click-click-click -- BAM----splash. That blows me away, never was able to do that before. So don't be disparagin' the ol' calculator to me

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If you feed a calculator accurate data it will do amazing things. In that sense you are correct. If you hadnt previously tested your load and figured out the actual BC and not the published BC then you were none other than lucky. Take for instance the 178 AMAX fired at 2550 FPS and the same bullet fired at 3100+ the BC for both senarieos is WAY off the published BC. If you plugged in the published BC and took those numbers to the range you would miss a 4' target. That said you cannot base a caliber choice on calculations. Imagine plugging in the published BC for the 178 AMAX and comparing it to a poular 7mm rem mag load, the calculator would tell you the 7mm would blow the doors off the 300 RUM when in reality, in the "real world" the 300 RUM would leave the 7mm rem mag in the dust with the 178 AMAX. The 308 is the same way there are bullets available that will give a 7-08 a SERIOUS run for its money, despite the fact that "on paper" the 7-08 blows the 308's doors off. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif