Three hunting trips with LR-308T...


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marksman13
December 21, 2011, 01:08 AM
And I've decided it is not much of a hunting rifle. It would be great if I were sitting in a shooting house, but I do a lot of walking and stalking. A 12-13 pound scoped rifle is just a little too heavy to lug around the woods.
I've got a Browning A-Bolt in 308, so I'm not really interested in another bolt gun. I want a dedicated hunting AR. What I can't decide is what brand/barrel length/caliber.
I own a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 and I like it, but it's not something I want to shoot a deer with. I've killed deer with a 223, but it's not my first choice for deer.
The 243, 260, 308 and other cartridges are out because they will all be based on the same action as my LR-308T and if I'm going to have a heavy, bulky rifle I will just keep what I have. I think a 6.8 is going to be my only real choice if I want to avoid reloading (and I do). I looked at the 458 SOCOM and that is really what I want, but I can not justify $3.00 bullets.
I've had an offer on my DPMS of $1400.00 including the Burris Fullfield II that is on top of it, so $1400 is my budget.

Thanks in advance,

Steven

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JohnnyCal55
December 21, 2011, 01:11 AM
I would keep an eye on the .300 Blackout, seems to be similar ballistics to the .30-30. All u need is a new upper for .300 BLK for your Smith and Wesson M&P 15 and you are good to go!

marksman13
December 21, 2011, 01:26 AM
The 300 Blackout isn't a bad choice. Problem is ammo isn't easy to find and I'm not sure it is a cartridge that will stand the test of time. I really want a complete rifle instead of just an upper.

snakeman
December 21, 2011, 01:35 AM
I like the 6.8. It exceeds the blackout as a hunting rifle and is effective on deer and hogs. I have one I "built" myself that shoots .5 moa. It weighs about 8 lbs scoped and is very easy to hit with out to 300. Sighted 2" high at 100 I can shoot a 3" group at 300 from prone by aiming 10" high. I took it on an antelope hunt but didn't use it as my 257 weatherby got the 516 measured yard kill on my goat (in a 40mph crosswind)! I will post a pic tomorrow. Oh and I shoot hornady 120 sst.

AK_Maine_iac
December 21, 2011, 02:01 AM
Yes I agree my AR10a4 is very heavy, But i got it mainly for Caribou hunting. 99 percent of the time i am either hunting from a canoe or an argo. It is a gun that is made to use not for show. The more beat up the better she looks. IMHO

jmstevens2
December 21, 2011, 02:18 AM
If you are interested in the .300 AAC, there is a guy in these threads, rsilvers. He is the leader of the development team for this round. He contributes a lot of info about this round.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=628779&highlight=new+round
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=631456
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=547002

madcratebuilder
December 21, 2011, 07:32 AM
I want a dedicated hunting AR.

The 6.5 Grendel. Affordable ammo is now available, Hornady 123gr A-Max @ about a $1 a round. Wolf Gold is even cheaper at .75 cents.

A friend has taken two deer, one blackie, one mullie, and a Elk this season, all three DRT.

Z-Michigan
December 21, 2011, 11:14 AM
300BLK for deer out to roughly 150-200 yards. 6.8 SPC for deer out to 200-250 yards. My opinions.

The 300 Blackout isn't a bad choice. Problem is ammo isn't easy to find and I'm not sure it is a cartridge that will stand the test of time. I really want a complete rifle instead of just an upper.

Ammo is already easy to find if you know where to look - several smaller companies are loading for it. Midway and some others are stocking 300BLK ammo now. The inexpensive UMC ammo is in production and should be at many places within 1-2 weeks.

Because 300BLK rifles use all common parts except the barrel (and it's not hard for someone to get a .30 cal barrel and chamber it in whatever you want), and because you can make the cases from .223 cases quite easily, I am 100% confident it will stand the test of time.

Abel
December 21, 2011, 11:29 AM
I want a dedicated hunting AR

Get a flat top carbine with a collapsible buttstock in 6.8SPC. The ideal whitetail AR would be this exact setup in 6.8SPC:

http://www.remington.com/~/media/Images/Firearms/Centerfire/Model-R15/Model-R-15-Predator-Carbine-CS/r-15vtrpredatorcarbine-cs-prod.ashx?w=570&bc=ffffff

68wj
December 22, 2011, 12:14 AM
No matter the chamber, the AR-15 pattern rifles are have much more potential for being light and handy on your stalks.

I finally got around to weighing my 18" barreled 6.8 SPC. Unloaded with optics comes in right at 8.5#. Could be lighter but it feels good and I am confident it with it for hunting.

marksman13
December 25, 2011, 12:12 AM
I am opening my eyes to the 300 BLK. I think this will be my next AR. Seems like the ballistics are actually better for deer sized game then the 6.8SPC. Much cheaper than 458 SOCOM. I think this will be the direction I go. A light rifle with a Nikon BDC scope of some kind and I should be good to go out to 300 yards.

68wj
December 25, 2011, 12:16 AM
Seems like the ballistics are actually better for deer sized game then the 6.8SPC.Out of an 8" barrel. :scrutiny:

click clack
December 25, 2011, 12:17 AM
+1 for the 300BLK.. I think that cartridge is and will continue to gain in popularity for a while

Casefull
December 26, 2011, 11:57 PM
I own and shoot a lot of ar rifles but I think for most hunting situations they are not the best choice. I have a kimber 308 bolt gun that weighs 5.5 lbs with scope. Very quick, accurate 1st shots.

wally
December 27, 2011, 11:27 AM
For walk around in the woods hunting, IMHO its hard to beat 30-30 lever gun.

Or do you want an evil looking, military style semi-auto hunting rifle to make a political statement? Also a perfectly fine reason IMHO!

Z-Michigan
December 27, 2011, 01:17 PM
I am opening my eyes to the 300 BLK. I think this will be my next AR. Seems like the ballistics are actually better for deer sized game then the 6.8SPC.

Not sure about better - the 115-120gr 6.8 loads are pretty good with more energy and a flatter trajectory than any 300BLK loads. But you need to find the 6.8 SPC ammo, you need special mags and bolt, etc... I think the 300BLK is a better choice for someone who has existing 5.56 AR stuff and wants to shoot moderate to high volumes, and isn't planning on hunting deer sized game at more than about 200 yards.

Float Pilot
December 27, 2011, 06:30 PM
I had something of the same problem. The 308 sized ARs were too heavy for packing across the Alaskan outback. Particularly if they were full sized.

I had a 6.8mm carbine but it lacked enough velocity due to the 16 inch barrel.

So I built a full size AR rifle around the 6.8mm. (270 Kurtz) I used a Black Hole Weaponry, poly rifled barrel. I went with a 24 inch and then used a 15 inch Midwest Industries free float hand-guard.
I a still working up loads and I have yet to find some AA-2200 powder which is the best stuff for most 6.8mm SPC loads.
Right now on average I am obtaining the following velocities with the following bullet weights. (with good accuracy)
90 gr HPs= 3,170 fps.
95gr TTSX= 3,090 fps
100 grain = 2,940 fps
110 grain = 2,820 fps
120 grain SST= 2,709 fps
130 grain = 2,640 fps

The rifle with scope, sling, loaded and cleaning gear weighs @ 8 pounds.

That is a group of 130 grain Sierra Game Kings at 100 yards.

marksman13
December 27, 2011, 07:28 PM
I don't like lever guns. I never have. I hate the feel of the lever between my hand and the grip.

I am, however, very fond of the AR platform. I've spent my adult life training with and shooting AR pattern rifles. It's not a political statement, though if I know Wally that comment was riddled with sarcasm, it's a matter of using a rifle in my comfort zone.

I've got plenty of bolt guns. I don't need or want another one. Bottom line is I want another AR and I want to use it to hunt. The 300 BLK intrigues me because it has the same ballistics as a 30-30 in an AR. I also like the fact that when I get ready to get into suppressed rifles, I will own a rifle in a cartridge that is easy to suppress.

Casefull
December 28, 2011, 10:25 AM
That is a nice rifle Float Pilot.

Float Pilot
December 28, 2011, 04:05 PM
Oddly enough is actually balances very well. I now use the PRI magazines. The seams are butt welded and not folded over like over mags. So you can load to a longer COAL and thus add a touch more powder.
The Midwest Industries free float hand-guard is light but solid. I used the 15 inch extended model to cover the gas port and not make the 24 inch barrel seem so long. I coated the stainless barrel with gray bake-on engine block paint. It looks lighter in these photos for some reason. My personal minimum for hunting in at least 2,000 fps impact velocity and / or 1,000 ft pounds of energy upon impact. Both at the same time is good.

One big reason I went with a 24 inch Black Hole barrel was to give the 6.5 Grendel guys a run for their money.

So from my 24 inch BHW barreled AR I can push....

90 grain bullets to 3,120 fps (for accuracy, I have gone to 3,200 fps)
95 grain Barnes TTSX to 3,090 fps (very accurate)
100s to 2,910 fps
110s to 2,820 fps
120 SSTs to 2,700 fps
130 grain bullets to 2,600 fps.

My personal max hunting range for the above using my 24in barreled AR in 6.8mm SPC.

90gr HP with BC of .195 = 250 yard max at 2,000 fps impact. less than 1K FTLBS
95gr TTSX w/ BC of .296 = 370 yards at 2,000 fps impact less than 1k FTLBS

100gr Acubnd. BC .323 = 330 yards at 2,000 fps impact under 1K FTLBS

110gr Acubnd BC .370 = 350 yards both 2,000 fps + and 1,000ftlb + ****
110 grain Barnes TSX, Same as above ****
120 SST BC .400 = 340 yards both 2,000fps and over 1,000 ft lbs ***
130gr Sierra SP, BC .436 = 295 yards over 2,000 fps and 1,100 ft lbs ***
130gr SST BC . 460= 340 yards over 2,000 fps and 1162 ft lbs ***

With my 16 inch barrel I loose 200-250 fps compared to the 24 inch BHW barrel.

Yes I could use some higher BC target type bullets, HOWEVER, those bullets are a waste of time for hunting. Thus negating the advantage. And also undermining any advantage that a 6.5 Grendel might have.
Also I find that 300 yards, maybe 350 yards for mountain goat, is the absolute maximum ethical hunting range.
After that point you cannot see where the wounded animal may have gone and you cannot even make a good follow up shot at 300 yards in the first place. Many super long range hunting shots are greatly over exaggerated, or the work of game killers and not game harvesters. 100- to maybe 250yrds is much more realistic.

marksman13
December 28, 2011, 04:18 PM
I think a lot of people are missing the point that this is a niche rifle for me. If it were going to be my ONLY deer hunting rifle I would almost certainly go a different route. The fact is that I have a very capable Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 308, a 308 AR, a Remington 742 in 30-06 and an A-Bolt in 7mm-08. This is a gun I want for a very specific hunting situation. I won't be using it in areas that have more than a 250 yard shot possibility. I have a couple of 5.56 ARs. I don't want to have to modify mags to shoot a 6.8 SPC, and thus not be able to use them with my 5.56 ARs. The fact that it offers almost complete interchangability with my 5.56 ARs is the ultimate bonus. That is the reason that I have basically narrowed my search down to the 300 BLK and the 458 SOCOM. The fact that 458 ammo is running north of $50.00 per box of twenty knocks it out of the race.

Float Pilot
December 28, 2011, 04:35 PM
Modified 5.56mm mags really do not work for the 6.8mm SPC anyway. Real 6.8mm Mags have thicker metal and stronger springs besides the different feed lips. I have big 6.89mm labels on mine so my wife does not accidentally try to use them in her little 5.56mm Israeli style AR carbine.

Whatever you do,, it will no doubt involve a new upper, new bolt, and new mags. And more than likely some new loading dies for your hand-loading bench. This will not be cheap.

rc109a
December 28, 2011, 04:39 PM
I have had the 6.8 and loved it, but I did not like having different mags for similar guns. I wanted to keep them the same. The blackout looks like a good possibility. I am currently using a 6x45 and absolutely love it (uses everything the same as a AR15 except barrel). The only problem is you have to reload for the round. I think you have some deciding to do. I just hope the 300BLK becomes more abundant and the price falls. Good luck!

marksman13
December 28, 2011, 05:28 PM
Floatpilot, with 300 BLK everything is completely interchangeable except the barrel (mags and bolt included). My intentions are to buy another complete rifle, but it's nice to know that if ime and the 300 BLK don't get along, I can simply buy a 5.56 barrel and swap it.

Float Pilot
December 28, 2011, 06:13 PM
Is it basically the same as the 300 Whisper?

When the 30AR first came out, I jumped on the bandwagon and after a few hundred dollars I promply fell off again.

marksman13
December 28, 2011, 06:28 PM
Basically, yes. The exception being that the 300 BLK is a SAMMI round and the Whisper is not. Factory ammo for the 300 BLK is relatively available and inexpensive. I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon of new cartridges, but I am excited about this round. The fact that it has parts interchangeability with 5.56 ARs makes it especially attractive to me. If I don't like it I am only out the cost of a barrel and some ammo.

30-30 ballistics out of a 16 inch AR is pretty appealing too.

It's amazing how much my opinion of the 300 BLK has changed since this thread started. A little research goes a long way.

marksman13
December 28, 2011, 08:12 PM
double tap....

Aaron Baker
December 28, 2011, 10:04 PM
I'll go ahead and throw in a vote for the .458 SOCOM. I know that ammo price is one of your issues, but reloading isn't as bad as it sounds.

Using Midway, these are the prices:
100 pieces of brass, $78.99
100 Remington 300 grain JHP bullets, $32.99
1lb IMR 4198 powder, $23.49
1000 Winchester large pistol primers, $30.51
.458 SOCOM Lee 3-die set, $30.99
Lee Breech Lock Hand Press Kit, $39.99

The only things I would recommend beyond that list for basic reloading is a small powder scoop (but a spoon with also work), a decent electronic caliper (which any well-equipped shop may already have), and an electronic powder scale (also not too pricey). But setting those things aside, let's run the numbers on the stuff above.

Your first 100 rounds costs you $236.96, or $2.37 per round. That's only a little cheaper than your $3 a round estimate. It's comparable to a $50 box of 20 rounds.

But then you've got the equipment. .458 SOCOM brass will last at least 4-5 reloadings without needing to be trimmed, usually. You've got 1000 primers and enough powder to last you about 200 rounds. And the dies and hand press are already paid for. So buy another 100 Remington bullets and your next 100 rounds cost you $32.99 or $0.33 per round.

Even assuming you had to buy a new primer, new piece of brass, more powder and a new bullet for each round, you're looking at about $1.27 per round.

That's not too expensive in my book, and I'm a fan of the .458 SOCOM. Loading a hundred rounds using the Lee Hand Press isn't too taxing, because you're unlikely to blaze through that many rounds. It's a hard hitter.

Weight can be an issue, though. My bush rifle (although I've moved out of southeast Alaska where big brownies were an issue and back to Kentucky where nothing is big enough to warrant a .458) is a 10.5" barreled SBR AR15 in .458 SOCOM. It's a lot of fun, handy in the woods, and puts deer down hard. I took a four-point buck this year, and I hit him much lower and further back than I'd have preferred. (Not exactly gut-shot, but disappointingly close.) Without hitting his heart or a solid lung shot, he still only ran about 25 yards before he dropped from blood loss.

Even with a 16" barrel, I don't think you're talking that much more weight. My rifle is configured with a 10.5" barrel, Magpul MOE stock and grip, A2 carry handle upper, and with a 5-round magazine (unmodified 20 round magazine, with the cartridges single-stacked), it weighs 6 lbs, 12 ounces. I think that you could probably get a 16" barreled rifle at around the 8 lb mark. That's without optics, but with a 5-round load.

Hope that information helps. You may still go with the Blackout, but the SOCOM ain't a bad cartridge!

Aaron

marksman13
December 29, 2011, 11:32 AM
Aaron, I would say the 458 SOCOM is in my future at some point. I just don't think it's the most logical choice right now. I don't reload at all right now and don't really have a place to set up a basic reloading set-up.

SpeedAKL
December 29, 2011, 05:40 PM
If you like the AR platform, are open to sticking with .308, and want to stay in budget, then DPMS does make some lighter-weight versions of the LR308. A key to saving weight is avoiding any models with a heavy "bull' barrel (one of which is the LR308T IIRC).

For a stiffer price, LarRue just came out with a gorgeous new rifle called the PredatAR built specifically for hunting. Weight minus optics is 7.5 lbs.

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