which caliber?


May 10, 2003, 02:08 AM
greetings all,

I've decided that the next rifle i buy for myself will be a scoped Bolt-gun and i intend to at least occasionally use it in the 600yard prone match that is held at my local club, and in which scoped guns are allowed and seemignly common.

i have decided which rifle i plan to get (Savage 10FP) but not which caliber to get it in. I HAVE narrowed it down to .223 or .308. but do not know which is a better round for use at 600. the rifles in question have 1in9 (223) and 1in10 (308) twists respectively. and i know that twist rate comes into play at least with the .223 (i want to have at least a decent chance of not key holing half my shots)

any and all info/advice on this choice is welcome.

thank you for your time. :)

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May 10, 2003, 11:43 PM
Run with the .308 if this match is the only purpose that this rifle is going to serve. Unless you reload then run Federal Gold 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 175 / 11.34 Sierra MatchKing BTHP. And if you want to stand a chance get some really good glass (min half the cost of the rifle imho) and a set of rock solid mount and rings.
I feel the 308. is the most effective out to 800 meters (880 yds) but takes a nosedive after that’s far as ballistics is concerned so 600 yrds is a snap.

IMHO the .223 gets pushed around alittle too much in the wind past 300 meters (330 yds).

(I know that either caliber and rifle can be tuned to do more than what's stated above)

May 11, 2003, 07:12 AM
The .308 Quantrill

May 17, 2003, 02:10 AM
For what you list I would have to say 308 (God's caliber)

Steve Smith
May 18, 2003, 05:02 PM
But the .223 isn't you caliber, either...not for 600 yard any/any matches. 6.5x284, 6.5x08 or 6X would be much better choices. Why be a wind pig when you don't have to? Besides, why limit that gun to 600 yard shooting? Shoot it in F-Class at 1K.

One more thing. .223 with a 1:9 is a bad choice for 600 yard shooting. Some 1:9's will do ok with Hornady 75s, but some won't. Even fewer will shoot Sierra 80's. You need a 1:7 or 1:8 for that distance with those bullets. REALLY wanna drop some jaws at 1K? Go with a 1:6.5 .223 barrel and shoot 90s. Might not beat the wildcats I listed, but the .308 shooters will cry foul.

May 18, 2003, 06:53 PM
why limit that gun to 600 yard shooting

that limit is imposed by local facilities. teh club i am a member of has the longest locally available rifle area, and is a 600 yard HP range. everyone else shoots reduced course, so range ability of the round used is not a factor beyound 600 yards.

to tell the truth i wil eventually have BOTH the .223 and .308 in the safe. the question is more of "which one first". Right now i am leaning toward the .223 for the factor of reduced recoil for getting re-acclimated to high power rifles (spent the past few years shooting only .22 and pistol caliber rifles). and also it's more likely that i'll be able to get my wife shooting, using the .223 than the .308, though by the time she's ready to try it again (shoulder surgery) i may have both.

i thank you all for your imput but right now other concerns and information about other aspects of my shooting interests, have made me lean more toward the lighter caliber to start with.

and to answer an implied question from before, No this is NOT the only use to which the gun will be put. it's main use will be as a general "100yrd+ fun gun" and a few other tasks. the 600yrd Prone matches come up less than 10 times a year, as the rifle matches are shut down oct-Dec for the "hunters" (a group that is 70% of paid membership but is responsible for less than 10% of the actualy USE of the facilites, that also tends to think that the dues are too high [$52/yr for a range that is larger and better maintained than any other within a 90min drive] yet THEY get to dictate the conditions by which the rest of us get to operate if i'm not careful, i'll rant :cuss: ), so the gun will see MUCH more use at distances under 600.

May 19, 2003, 02:42 AM
.308 and hand load with match grade bullets. And 600 yards is a bloody long way if you've never shot at that distance. You get to worry about wind, mirage, bullet drop and all the other physical things. It's fun though. And you'll meet a bunch of excellent people. And don't worry about placing when you're new. Remember it's a hobby and the point is to have a good day's shooting, not to win matches.

Steve Smith
May 19, 2003, 09:24 AM
Detritus, mind if I make a suggestion?

Have your bolt gun built in .223 with both a scope rail and front and rear removable apertures. Then you can cover a lot of bases with that one gun. Make sure you get a really good stock with a hand stop rail, adjustable cheekrest, and buttplate. If the above combination has a 1:7 or 1:8" twist, you will not be at a disadvantage at 600 yards.

What is your total budget? I see good guns pop up often.

May 29, 2003, 01:24 AM
Do the faster twist rates have any disadvantages? I am considering a CZ-527 and the model with the laminate stock has a 1:12 and the Kevlar stocked model now comes in 1:9. Trouble is it is hard to find and is more expensive. I don't care about the Kevlar stock though. I will just be paperpunching as well, so I could use bullets appropriate for the barrel. Are heavier bullets primarlily an advantage at really long distance? I will probably be shooting 100-600 yards max. Most likely 2-300.

Steve Smith
May 29, 2003, 09:21 AM
A faster twist could theoretically have a shorter barrel life, but it wil not be significant enough to notice, I don't think.

June 2, 2003, 03:13 PM
detritus, if you have settled on the savage action, give Larry Racine a call:

He knows savage's extremely well and can probably save you a lot of money in the long run.


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