Caliber suggestion


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gotboostvr
March 7, 2012, 03:40 AM
Here's the skinny, I'm looking to pick up a new rifle. I'm looking for a bolt action primarily for target shooting to mostly 500 yards (there is a 1k range that I'd like to try once in a while). I also might use it on some varmint hunts as well.

I would like to keep recoil, and rifle weight to a minimum while maximizing accuracy and economy.

I was kinda leaning towards a 6.5x55 as I've heard good things, but was looking for other options. I do reload, and kinda wanted just for the sake of it, a oddball not-your-everyday-caliber.

I'm kinda leaning towards a Savage rifle with Vortex glass, but I'm also not sold on it completely.

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Beak50
March 7, 2012, 06:16 AM
If it's just targets and varmints .I would give the .17 Remington out to 500 yards.But my next cal is gonna be 6.5x55,It has a magnetic pull on my mind somehow, it will be a small ring Swede 96.

gotboostvr
March 7, 2012, 07:00 AM
Thank you but the .17 Rem seems to be a bit too small and light for what I want.

Looking at the limited availability of 6.5x55 rifles, I'm thinking maybe a .257 Roberts, or a .243 Winchester might do the job.

Skyshot
March 7, 2012, 08:36 AM
6.5 is a sweet catridge. but the .243 stuff is easier to get and will make you a better target/varmit combo IMO.

35 Whelen
March 7, 2012, 08:47 AM
At 500 yds. good aerodynamic target bullets are going to be important. .243 would be OK as would a 6.5x55 or possibly even better a 260 Remington.

35W

Finprof
March 7, 2012, 08:54 AM
The ram is at 500 yards in high power silhouette.
Most popular calibers are .260, 6.5x55, and 7-08.
Not a lot of recoil and good ballistic coefficient.
If you stretch to 1000 yards 6.5x284 or .300 mag.

The 6.5x55 is good if you reload because Lapua brass is very high quality and is not expensive in that caliber.

Offfhand
March 7, 2012, 08:57 AM
.260 Remington

Redlg155
March 7, 2012, 09:47 AM
I know this sounds really generic, but the. 223 remington may fit your bill. Reloading will defintely decrease the cost of the heavier weight bullets.

303tom
March 7, 2012, 09:48 AM
Thirty Caliber.....................

PapaG
March 7, 2012, 09:58 AM
308 Win. Nuff said.

mdauben
March 7, 2012, 01:55 PM
Looking at the limited availability of 6.5x55 rifles, I'm thinking maybe a .257 Roberts, or a .243 Winchester might do the job.
You might want to consider the .22-250 or .220 Swift, too. While not as common as the .243WIN, they are still fairly common long range varmint rounds and its not too hard to find either guns or ammo in a well stocked shop.

Bubba613
March 7, 2012, 02:01 PM
7x57 Mauser. Just because you're looking for an odd ball.
Otherwise I'd say 30-06 will do everything anyone could pretty much want.

Kachok
March 7, 2012, 02:22 PM
Heck no, avoid the 22 cals if you are shooting long range, how many 22-250s do you see at 1,000yd events? I have yet to see one, the only reason that is the case is the very poor BC of 22 cals give them stupid high wind drift. 6.5s are the smallest caliber capable of ultra high BC with factory twist rates. Hence the lightest kicking long range rifle. I LOVE my T3 Stainless 6.5x55, very very nice rifle and everyone who has shot it agrees. The 6.5x55s are a touch hard to find though, you would have to order one for sure unless you have some rifle mega store nearby. The 260Rem, 6.5 Creedmore, and 6.5x47 are all capable of similar performance and are more trendy at the moment, thus easier to find, but I am not sure they have the staying power of the 121 year old 6.5x55. You can bet that brass and ammo will be available for the Sweed as long as we use powder to push bullets, not sure the same can be said for the others. One more note about the 6.5mm calibers, while nearly all 6.5x55s are super tight twist that will stabilize the LONG 140 VLDs and 160gr hunting bullets, the others have different twist rates so research your rifle before you buy. Myself and many of the hardcore 6.5 cult prefer the 1:8s while others can come with twist rates as low as 1:10 which are only suitable with 120gr class bullets. CZ, Howa, Tikka, and Sako all chamber the 6.5x55 and I have seen a couple recent Savages and Winchesters though they do not list them. Probably a limited run kind of thing.
Of all the calibers I have owned the 6.5x55 hold a special place in my heart, it can effectively be used for anything and everything you would ever want to hunt and it's high level of inherent accuracy makes it a dream at the range.
BTW 243 and 257 cal projectiles lack the remarkable BC/SD of the 6.5s, they are perfectly adequate for hunting within realistic ranges, but not something that I would want at 1,000yds. There are relatively high BC bullets available for the 243 cal, but they will not stabilize in factory barrels. The only calibers that rival the 6.5 in BC are the 7mm, .30, 338, 408, and 50 cals. The 6.5 is easily the lightest kicking of the bunch.

Captains1911
March 7, 2012, 02:30 PM
Why would you want an "oddball" caliber over a proven, easier to find common caliber?

My choice for your needs would be either .223 or .243 in a quality bolt gun. A Savage should fit the bill.

JimStC
March 7, 2012, 02:40 PM
.204 Ruger with a 26" barrel. I have one and it is fun to shoot and deadly accurate. Obviously intended for small varmints although with good shot placement I'd take a yote.
Hornady makes 35gr, 40gr and 45gr bullets.
Not a 1,000 yard caliber though, but definitely 500+ yards

BoilerUP
March 7, 2012, 02:50 PM
Why would you want an "oddball" caliber over a proven, easier to find common caliber?

Why not? Not everybody wants or needs every.single.weapon they own to be something Wal-Mart stocks ammo for.

I'm a 260 Rem guy but the Swede is a great choice for the OP's purposes, having been around for over a century and responsible for millions of European game animals up to and including moose.

Get a quality Savage prefit barrel, buy Lapua brass (some if not the cheapest Lapua makes), Forster BR dies, and shoot 130gr Norma Golden Targets in the 3000fps ballpark all day long, spanking the "gold standard" <puke> 308 Winchester in every way but close-range energy and bullet diameter.

You might also consider the 284 Winchester, or if you're so inclined, the 7mm Creedmoor.

Kachok
March 7, 2012, 02:50 PM
Out to about 400 yards it is all about speed, past that it is all about very good ballistics. 204s and 22-250s will shoot as flat as a guitar string on medium range because of their crazy high speeds, but at 1,000 even a slight wind will throw them every which away. A heavy high BC bullet will drop a lot more at 400, but drop is a known variable, much easier to predict then drift, and out to 1,000 it is still very easy to keep on the paper in all but the strongest of crosswinds.

killzone
March 7, 2012, 03:43 PM
260 remmy will make you very happy out to 600-750 yards. I have never had any problem finding good ammo for my 700.

PS dont run out of ammo at the range beacuse it sucks when you try the 260. So much fun to shoot.

Captains1911
March 7, 2012, 04:22 PM
Why not? Not everybody wants or needs every.single.weapon they own to be something Wal-Mart stocks ammo for.

I thought I already explained it. But to reiterate, common calibers are common for a reason, they work well. Also, because they are common, ammo and reloading components will be easier and cheaper to find.

If a certain "oddball" caliber fit a specific need or niche, then I could understand, but there are many common calibers that will do what he describes very well. In this case it makes no sense to me to have an "oddball" caliber just for the sake of having it.

35 Whelen
March 7, 2012, 09:57 PM
I'd avoid .20 and .22 calibers. My buddies shoot .223's at 600 yds. in competition, but the bullets that do well at that range are heavy and must be loaded over magazine length. I mentioned the 243 because Hornady makes a very aerodynamic A-Max bullet. The 6.5's have available LOTS of good long range bullets.

35W

gotboostvr
March 8, 2012, 02:04 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I really like the look of a Howa rifle in 6.5x55 or maybe a Savage in .260 Rem. The 7mm-08 sounds pretty tempting as well though.

To anyone wondering why an oddball caliber, why not? Variety is the spice of life.

EchoM70
March 8, 2012, 02:49 AM
The 7mm-08 sounds pretty tempting as well though.

I would definitely check into the 7mm-08, pretty accurate little round I'm sure it would get you out to 1k no problem.

The 7mm-08 really starts to shine when you reload, more so than most rounds IMO

As far as a rifle have you considered a Weatherby Vanguard S2? Built of a Howa action and guaranteed MOA accuracy and still under 500 ( http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_136/products_id/73938) And for the money Vortex glass is hard to beat.

gotboostvr
March 8, 2012, 04:11 AM
Man, those Weatherby's look like some nice rifles!

bracer
March 8, 2012, 07:04 AM
Hornadys 6.5 Creedmore round was developed for longer range target shooting. The .264 diameter bullets for target shooting has a high B.C. so the 260 Rem and 6.5 Sweed could also do ok. The recoil from shooting a 264 dia bullet would be a bit to much for shooting prairie dogs but could be used for coyotes and woodchucks where the number of shoots are limited. The .264 Win Mag is a fine pronghorn and mule deer hunting round but my be a bit much for target shooting.

gotboostvr
March 8, 2012, 08:21 AM
I live in Ohio where using rifles on deer is a no-no. Shotguns/pistols/muzzleloaders only during gun season, but for coyotes they're fine. Weidner's seems to have better selection in 7mm bullets which is handy in saving a bit of money and .308 brass I can get for free from some shooting buddies.

The 7mm-08 seems to be the economical choice and is plenty flat shooting for 500 yard ranges and should provide enough "oomph" for that once in awhile chance I have at 1k yards and will obviously provide more than enough punch for 'yote bustin'

Thanks for all your suggestions and feel free to keep offering more as this rifle purchase is still in it's planning stage.

303tom
March 8, 2012, 10:12 AM
.300 Winchester Magnum, its what our long range shooters use, ie; U.S. Military Snipers.

Before the introduction of the standard 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) cartridge in the 1950s, standard military cartridges were the .30-06 Springfield or 7.62x63mm (United States), .303 British (7.7x56mmR) (United Kingdom) and 7.92x57mm (8mm Mauser) (Germany). The .30-06 Springfield continued in service with U.S. Marine Corps snipers during the Vietnam War in the 1970s, well after general adoption of the 7.62x51mm. At the present time, in both the Western world and within NATO, 7.62x51mm is currently the primary cartridge of choice for military and police sniper rifles.

Worldwide, the trend is similar. The preferred sniper cartridge in Russia is another .30 caliber military cartridge, the 7.62 x 54 mm R, which has similar performance to the 7.62x51mm. This cartridge was introduced in 1891, and both Russian sniper rifles of the modern era, the Mosin-Nagant and the Dragunov sniper rifle, are chambered for it.

Certain commercial cartridges designed with only performance in mind, without the logistical constraints of most armies, have also gained popularity in the 1990s. These include the 7 mm Remington Magnum (7.2x64mm), .300 Winchester Magnum (7.8/7.62x67mm), and the .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70mm). These cartridges offer better ballistic performance and greater effective range than the 7.62x51mm. Though they are not as powerful as .50 caliber cartridges, rifles chambered for these cartridges are not as heavy as rifles chambered for .50 caliber ammunition, and are significantly more powerful than rifles chambered for 7.62x51mm.

BoilerUP
March 8, 2012, 10:32 AM
.300 Winchester Magnum, its what our long range shooters use, ie; U.S. Military Snipers.

To say the needs of a military sharpshooter differ from those of a target shooter and varmint hunter would be an understatement.

The downrange energy of a belted mag isn't necessary at 500-1000yards unless you are engaging targets (paper and steel don't count), and I certainly wouldn't want to spend a day on a dog town shooting a belted mag.

As for ballistics...300WM Mk248Mod1 ammo specs the 220SMK @ 2850fps. At sea level/standard atmosphere, that's 8.1mil drop and 1.9mil drift @ 1000yd with 10mph full value wind.

A Swede pushing a 142SMK @ 2900fps is 7.9mil and 1.9mil drift @ 1000yd under the same conditions.

Kachok
March 8, 2012, 01:12 PM
Forget the 142gr SMK, 140 VLDs have a noticably better BC .612! Gatta love the old Sweed, as cutting edge today as it was 121 years ago :D Long neck, sharp shoulder, short powder charge, and crazy high BC, it is everything our "modern" calibers are evolving into.

AABEN
March 8, 2012, 01:40 PM
The 22.250 is not a gun to hunt deer with. The 243 has a good range of bullets From 60GR up to 100GR. I thank you would be happy with the 243. The 243 is known to be very accurate.

Captains1911
March 8, 2012, 02:08 PM
The 22.250 is not a gun to hunt deer with. The 243 has a good range of bullets From 60GR up to 100GR. I thank you would be happy with the 243. The 243 is known to be very accurate.
Problem is, the OP has already indicated that he is not interested in a proven caliber with a large range of options :confused:

Kachok
March 8, 2012, 03:02 PM
Problem is, the OP has already indicated that he is not interested in a proven caliber with a large range of options :confused:
I think he is intrested in less COMMON calibers, which are not always less proven, a 7x57 is much less common then a 30-06 but it is every bit as proven around the world on EVERY species of game for a solid century.

infmp32
March 8, 2012, 04:56 PM
The OP has also said he's not interested in a suitable deer cartridge, because he lives in a no rifle hunting state.

bangaway
March 8, 2012, 05:23 PM
6mm rem. is less common than .243 and shoots same bullets at 250 fps for the 100 gr. and 300 fps for the 80 gr. Good cal. for target, distance or varmit shooting. The .260 is good to use and is .308 win. cased. Lots of brass. Rem. made a classic in the sweede cal. and this can be loaded hotter than the 96's. Good choice here if you can find it. Almost any 6.5 bullet has better B.C. than the .243. I use a long barreled .25-06 for hunting, varmits and target to 700 yds. Have fun and bangaway.

Old Time Hunter
March 8, 2012, 07:30 PM
6.5 X 55 Swede...more common globally than all the rest and only one that has proven itself time and time again. How many of the other ones mentioned have ever won a gold medal at the Olympics?

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