Best diameter bullet for long range?


December 31, 2002, 06:50 PM
What caliber bullet, is the absolute best, for ultra-long range shooting? I see alot about 6.5mm and 7mm. (Ive had no experience with 6.5)

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December 31, 2002, 07:05 PM
to be honest, .50 has the best performance but its a VERY un-economical round, an barrel life fades FAST, worse than a .243 Ackly.

My opinion is to go for .308 magnum.

hope this helps.

happy new year!


December 31, 2002, 07:19 PM
Thanks Sasno, I meant outside of the .50 BMG.

December 31, 2002, 07:19 PM
Ultra long range shooting of what?

December 31, 2002, 08:06 PM
thats why i said go for .308 mag.

December 31, 2002, 08:35 PM
Barrel life on the 50's isn't too bad, most go over 2K rounds, as long as you don't get them too hot for too long. I'm betting my money on the 280 Ackley Improved, and a lot of guys are going 6.5-284 also. The 6.5-08 is a good one too. There are also a lot of guys who are going with real puss rounds like the 6mm BR, 6mm X, 6x250, etc etc because they make the points up in rapids and the LR performance isn't a huge loss to the 6.5's and 7's. The 6's tend to be slightly more accurate, or perhaps easier to make accurate, because they don't recoil as much and the BR case designs are somewhat more inherantly accurate. S/F...Ken M

Art Eatman
December 31, 2002, 09:26 PM
One of the reasons I like Mr. Sierra's Reloading Handbook is the wealth of info about external ballistics. They give the coefficients for all their bullets, among other things.

Long range, one of the more important criteria is the Ballistic Coefficient of the bullet. The higher the BC, the better the velocity is retained, downrange. It's desireable that the bullet's velocity remain supersonic as long as possible.

After that, it's your own choice for caliber; the last is building the package and developing a load...

:), Art

December 31, 2002, 09:28 PM
6 and 6.5 mm.

The 6mm-284 and 6.5mm-284 are probably the most ideal for sensible and among the most award winning cartridges right now.

For factory loaded cartridges, the 300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua, 264 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 7mm Ultra Mag, 300 Ulra Mag, 257 Weatherby, 270 Weatherby and 30-378 Weatherby Magnums come to mind as exceptional long range contenders.

Of course, the Old, 30-06, 270 Win, 25-06 and 308 seem to do just fine in properly trained hands.

December 31, 2002, 09:39 PM
.338 Lapua has advantages as a long range tactical round under .50bmg. Those 300grain untra low drag bullets can still be going near Mach 2 at 1000 yds. A .30-378 weatherby with a 250 boattail is right up there too. Just a little smaller and lighter. Big cased 6.5s were all the rage in 70s and 80 for 1000yd shots. Just smaller and lighter. A 100 grain .223 can be driven to 3400 or so by lotsa cases it will still buck the wind and rise no more than 6 feet at 1000yds just smaller and lighter.:cool: Happy New Year!

December 31, 2002, 10:44 PM
Since the old standbys 30.06, .308 etc were mentioned, I'll add the 6.5 Swede and the .264 WinMag to the list.
If you are talking about more the 1,000 yards the .50BMG pretty much IS the list.

January 1, 2003, 01:02 AM
I would go with a 6.5-284 for long range work. But I would only use that for targets. Otherwise I would want a .338 Lapua.

January 1, 2003, 01:12 AM
I think the .308 Winchester will work just fine. Know your gun, load and range and you will be just fine. With rangefinders being so easy to obtain, accurate and inexpensive we shouldn't have to guess too much at longer shots these days.

I believe it was proven not that long ago that the .223 is also perfectly suitable under optimum conditions at extended ranges for punching holes.

But then with the .223 you are just hitting the target. Whether or not you would have enough retained energy to incapacitate at 1000 meters is anyones guess.

Anyone here know of how many ft/lbs of energy a .223 has at 1000 meters?

Good Shooting

January 1, 2003, 12:07 PM
Anyone here know of how many ft/lbs of energy a .223 has at 1000 meters?

A 60 Gr Partition bullet awith a BC of .228 fired at about 3100 fps would only have about 100 ft/lbs at 1000 yards.

Compare this to a 100 gr BT .243 with a BC of .430 at 2900 fps having 320 ft/lbs remaining at 1000 yards.

January 1, 2003, 04:26 PM
Depending on how far you want to go with "Ultra Long Range" and dollars here's something for if nothing else a "Whoa!" factor.



PNW50BMG Shooters Association
Member FCSA

January 1, 2003, 04:32 PM
The heaviest and the most streamlined (boat tail) bullet you can stand (or afford) to shoot.

January 1, 2003, 05:26 PM
Consider barrel life, downrange energy, commercial availability, RECOIL, weight, accuracy, commercial vailability of ammunition/components etc.

With these factors in mind, for shooting over 1,000 yards, especially if the target is shooting back, the .338 Lapua is about the only game in town. Just MNSHO!

January 1, 2003, 05:37 PM
In .243 diameter bullets, 107 grain HPBT [match] Sierra or 105 Berger VLD [moly coated] are excellent fare. Starke also makes some excellent F.B. bullets [95 grainers] that shoot very well at longer ranges.

I've seen loadings posted using slow burning powders like Reloader #22 - V.V. 160 -165 - IMR -7828 pushing these bullets up too 3200 FPS@.

The B.C. of these slugs are .540 or greater.


January 1, 2003, 11:09 PM
There's been some stuff up on EDM Arms ( about the .408 Cheyenne Tactical round, a wild cat with a necked down .505 Gibbs case structure (at least initially), using Lost River Ballistics custom rounds with insanely high BCs.

Sub MOA to 2000 yds, MOA to 2500......THAT I'ld like to see (if I could see 2500 yards)....


Edited to add...Yeah...what KenM said...:banghead:

January 2, 2003, 07:31 PM
Actually, if you want true long range performance, i.e., one hole groups at 15,000 yards, it's hard to beat the 155MM. Somewhat of a big bore, of course, but frighteningly accurate at long range.

January 2, 2003, 09:06 PM
Yeah... and with 155mm's, you don't have to go lugging around ammo and gun. You get to ride. :D

Steve Smith
January 3, 2003, 12:25 PM
Echo3mike beat me to it, .408 CheyTac.

The 6mills are ruling the roost in long range right now...and since physics don't change, it'll probably remain that way for a long time, until someone has a breakthrough.

.223 has almost no energy at 1000 yards. .308 doesn't have a whole lot itself, actually.

What do you want to do?

January 3, 2003, 05:17 PM
Im looking to put together a rifle that will do varmints at extreme ranges, sheep, occational boar, and target shooting at >300 yds., without beating me up too much. 300 magnums` recoil is a bit much for me, for extended target shooting.

January 3, 2003, 06:49 PM
.408 Chey-Tac read about it at

Edit: A couple guys beat me to it, but at only 300 yards, it's way overkill.

January 4, 2003, 06:23 AM
go with a 7 mag. The 162 gr A-Max is supposed to be a great commercially available bullet for LR. Sierra makes a heavy (168gr IIRC) Matchking. Both have REAL high B.C.

I detest muzzle brakes, but will probably get one for extended bench sessions. 100 rounds straight from a 8# mag will probably get real old, real quick. Now, if there was just some way to get the weight up to 15#...

I just talked to Charlie Sisk last night. His recommendation was a heavier caliber just so you don't have to dope the wind so much.

The other option is the 260 Reminton (6.5-08) for a factory caliber. Watch the twist for heavy slugs.

Steven Mace
January 4, 2003, 06:30 AM
Has anyone considered something like a 6.5x300 WSM?

Steve Mace

Steve Smith
January 4, 2003, 01:38 PM
Ok, since those are your interests, I'd suggest .308 or 6.5X55 They'll make the reloading easy.

I'd suggest you have the rifle built with a clip guide and place for sights, for later. ;)

Zak Smith
November 7, 2003, 06:40 PM
The 162 gr A-Max is supposed to be a great commercially available bullet for LR

A friend of mine has had the 162gr AMAX's blow-up - that is, spin apart into dust - between 10 and 100 yards downrange when launching them somewhere around 3100-3200fps from his long range precision rifle. Hornady said, "Don't shoot them so fast." Strangely enough, when he called Berger they said they'd had several people call in with the same story, looking for a better bullet. The Berger 168gr is supposedly good to at least 3600fps, if I remember correctly.


November 7, 2003, 07:10 PM
There are a couple of forums who continually beat up on the "dean" person who generally is out and about promoting the 408Cheyenne Tactical round.

Evidently there hasn't been a whole lot of outside testing done of the round by interested parties who want to try the thing first before they invest in the thing. It seems like it always winds up coming down to somebody linked with the round saying "buy my rifle, my balistics software, and blah blah blah" then go do your testing otherwise believe what we are telling you. Atleast that's where I left off in all of this, if somebody can point me to 3rd party evaluations of the 408CheyTac round I'd be much appreciative.

Some have suggested a bit of misrepresentation regarding the 408CheyTac round.

Hell if I know the real scoop, it's just interesting to see it come and go from time to time. I'm sure that the round has some real benefits and probably performs very well, but then who's to say that a 338Lapua with precision turned VLD copper solids wouldn't perform similarly?

Some of those Lost River Balistics copper solids are crazy on balistic coeffecient numbers, put those into just about any cartridge that can drive them fast enough and some rediculous retained velocity at range should be the result. Not neccesarily a new idea isolated to Lost River Balistics though, nor the 408CheyTac.

I don't know, for a non-50 long range rifle. For a big boomer 30cal. I'd go with something like a 30-378 or a 300RUM, can always do fun stuff like loading old M2 30-06 AP pulls into them :) For larger more authoratative "thump" I would say the 338Lapua. For long range killin of little furry vermin type critters, something like a 22-250 using HEAVY bullets or maybe even a 22/243 Cheetah using 80-90grn bullets in an appropriate twist rate.

November 9, 2003, 03:52 PM
I would say .338 .308 or 7 mag. If your looking to shoot from a rest and not do a lot of carrying I would highly recommend having a bull barrell on it also they improve accuracy a lot. I love my .308 with the bull barrell it has knockdown power and holds awesome groups. The 7 mag I have just kicks too much! But i'm sure if i had the heavy barrell and a heavier stock it wouldn't be nearly as bad.

November 9, 2003, 06:00 PM
Now that is what you call thread resurection!

November 9, 2003, 06:07 PM
A man I respected very much- also a common name in the shooting community for his performance with and manufacture of long range rifles- liked the .300 Winchester Magnum. I have a .300 WM.

If I were to pick my one long-range round without the benefit of Mr. MacMillan's advice, I might go with 7mm Mag.

It is a physical impossibility for a traditional shoulder-fired rifle to have knockdown power. I am certain recoilless rifles may, but then, I doubt most of us anticipate using missiles often.


November 9, 2003, 06:07 PM
aha yea no doubt, didn't see the date ;)

November 10, 2003, 09:16 AM
I've seen the .300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag work extremely well at 1,000 and 1,100 yd targets (farthest we have on our range). My dad, who is 72 and still loves shooting, owns the range and uses it frequently. He has used the new Rem Ultra Mags (300 and 7mm) but has since sold them and now uses a Remington in 260. Apparently the BC on these bullets is very good and he has had great results at the long ranges. The rifle is a stock M700 synthetic with only a trigger job done and he consistently shoots sub 1MOA at these ranges with it.

November 11, 2003, 03:32 PM
These fellows know what they're talking about.

Look at, and click on the magazine covers. One of them (as of now) is about 1,500 yard prairie dog shooting.

April 24, 2008, 03:31 PM
going back to the title of this thread, there is no BEST caliber. all have pros and cons. the 7mm with a 162 a-max, 175 SMK, or a 180 berger vld is a great caliber if your case is up to it. good cases are 7mm BOO BOO, 7mm wsm, 7mm-08 (not as powerful as the others but less recoil) and the standard 7mm mag. in 6.5 there are the big choices of the 6.5/284, .260 rem(6.5-08) and 6.5/300 wsm. :confused: another great caliber is the .243 wssm. with a bullet in the 105-115gr vld class, it outperforms the big 300's (mabye not the 30/378wby) with less reciol. there wont be so much energy, but that is the con. there are other 6mm cartdriges that will preform nearly sa well too. the .338 lapua is a great caliber but it has eccesive recoil for a normal person. what range do you consider long-range shooting? under 1,000-1,200yd the 6.5's, 7's and 30's rule. past that you need a larger, longer bullet and more case capacity.
some people said that the .50bmg has the best performance. That is no longer true. it was only better at ranges that normal match calibers couldnt reach. now there is the .408 cheytac, and even better(in my opinion) the .416 barret. these are both much more accurate than the 50 at super long range. at all other ranges too. if memory serves, the 50 record for 1,000yd is 5" (if this isn't correct please tell me). the 6.5/284 has the world record at 1.67" or so. (if it hasn't changed) one con of the 6.5/284 is short barrel life. i have heard of barrels only lasting 1,500 rounds or so. to me that is unacceptable, as i don't have money to blow on new barrels every other month or so.


April 24, 2008, 03:44 PM
You had to dig deep to find this one. :)

April 24, 2008, 03:58 PM
From what I've heard/seen/read .338 is one of the best.

April 24, 2008, 04:11 PM
the .50

April 24, 2008, 04:37 PM
6.5-.284 and 6mmBR are great rounds for your purpose. The 6.5 would do better on putting down a sheep at extended distances and they certainly won't wreak the shoulder.

April 24, 2008, 04:45 PM
Before posting more in this thread, please note that it was started on
December 31st, 2002

Master of Arms
April 24, 2008, 04:52 PM
The .338 Lapua with a 250 grain HP has a muzzle velocity of about 2700 fps and drops to about 1800 fps at 500 yards. trajectory.-50 " @ 500 .

The .300 mag. with a 200 grain BTSP has a muzzle velocity of 2830 fps and at 500 yards it`s at 2110 fps. trajectory.-40 @ 500 yards

The .308 with a 180 grain BTSP carries about 2620 fps at the muzzle and holds to 1815 at 500 yards. trajectory.-51" @ 500

This should give you an idea. These are probably not exact but I`m sure that they`re close. Handloading should improve some of the figures.

Zak Smith
April 24, 2008, 05:00 PM
The .338 Lapua with a 250 grain HP has a muzzle velocity of about 2700 fps
Not exactly.

April 24, 2008, 05:00 PM
interesting thing about that, jesse, is that in 6 years, not much has changed

of course, it wasn't MUCH different 60 years ago

Master of Arms
April 24, 2008, 05:08 PM
Hey Zak, I just tried to find a few ballistics on a few calibers for him. I got that info from a ballistic chart at Guns and Ammo websight. Sorry if they`re wrong but I hope that G@A aren`t posting innaccurate info. That would be a little scary.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 24, 2008, 05:39 PM
It depends upon (a) how much energy do you need retained when the bullet gets to the target, to accomplish your intended task, and (b) what you mean by "ultra long range".

But without clarification it is VERY difficult (impossible) to beat 750 grain .510 Hornady A-Max .50 BMG bullet, with a BC over 1.0, from a shoulder fired long gun.

Short of a .50, the .338, 6.5mm, and 7mm cartridges have good BC bullets. The .30 cal is not too far behind. If your only purpose is to have enough energy to put down a lightly armored human (.mil application), not anti-materiel, and your range is less than 1,250 yards, then the sweet spot for that use is the 6.5mm family, with 7mm family nearly neck in neck.

April 24, 2008, 06:52 PM
This is the second thread this week that was resurrected from years ago.

April 24, 2008, 06:56 PM
So the thread itself is a zombie? What caliber for zombie threads? :D

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