What caliber for flat long-distance shooting?


April 4, 2004, 08:56 PM
What caliber will give the best long-distance accuracy with a flat trajectory, out to 300 yards or more? I'm thinking varmint caliber, not looking for a monster magnum .30 caliber, just something to whack mid-sized critters at a fair distance. Is .223 or .243 the ticket, or is there something better? Thanks for any input.

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Arc Angel
April 4, 2004, 09:13 PM
:rolleyes: Hi, Last weekend I attended the Glock Shoot at the Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club. Were you there? I hadn't been in Pittsburgh in 30+ years; and, quite frankly, I had forgotten what an attractive city Pittsburgh is! GPGC has to be one of the best gun clubs in the state, too!

To answer your question (You knew I'd get around to it, right?) I'd suggest that you take a look at the Remington 22-250 cartridge. It's famous for accurate long range shooting with very flat trajectory. I, personally, don't own one; but several of my acquaintances do; and not one of them would give this straight-shooting round up.

Try this link for more information: http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.22-250remington.html ;)

Chuck Dye
April 4, 2004, 09:38 PM
More than a bit depends on what you mean by "mid-sized critters." Clean, reliable, one-shot kills at 300 yards on what I think of as "mid-sized" suggests one of the hotter, heavier, .24 or .25 rounds. Then, too, what do you consider a flat enough trajectory?

April 4, 2004, 09:56 PM
Hey Arc Angel - yeah, Pittsburgh is a nice town. I've lived here all my life. I was not at the Glock shoot but I know that GPGC is a nice club. I belong to the Clairton Sportsman's Club a little south of the city. I'll check into the 22-250. Thanks for the tip.

Huck - Not sure of the numbers I'm looking for. Just accurate 300 yard shooting is my main desire. Probably punching holes in paper more than anything, but might go after some 'yotes that are springing up in force in this area.

April 4, 2004, 10:00 PM
I use a .308. I hear a .243 is really food but I do not know what its trajectory is.

April 4, 2004, 10:02 PM
I would have a good look at the .243

You can load light bullets and drive them very flat to 300 yards.

One thing that is really interesting is going to some of the free ballistics trajectory sights and seeing how the round you are thinking of would behave.

Try this one:


April 4, 2004, 10:05 PM
7.62x39 :p


April 4, 2004, 10:54 PM
Yes, the 22-250 will be very flat and so would the .220 Swift. If you'd like something bigger, the .243 may work but the .240 Weatherby is a really souped up .243 and, with .85 grain bullets, will shoot very flat at those ranges.

April 4, 2004, 11:43 PM
yes .85 grain bullets should be very flat indeed, but isn't wind a problem :D

(I was in a gun shop/shooting range this weekend and they had a whole bunch of pistols with tags that read .9mm, maybe they use those .85 grain bullets)

BTW this is not a jab at you so much as an opportunity to tell the .9mm story.

April 4, 2004, 11:56 PM
A good .243 is awful hard to beat. They whack stuff harder than do the .22's out at 300 yards and therefore are much better suited to taking out coyotes. Coyotes can be tough to kill. A .243 is a little more forgiving IMHO if the shot isn't exactly "on." As they say in the motor world, there is no substitute for displacement. :)

Light recoil, good inherent accuracy and plenty flat shooting. Those are just some of the reasons the .243 is still going strong after nearly 50 years.


Chuck Dye
April 5, 2004, 12:00 AM
One option, if you reload, is running subcalibre bullets in something you already own. Both of my .30-06s did very well with the Remington Accelerators™ I tried. According to my ballistics program, the Accelerator™ trajectory is ± 3" out to 338 yards. While I will not spend the loot on Accelerator™ loads any time soon, I wouldn’t mind playing with loading my own sabot loads. See E. Arthur Brown Co. Inc. (http://www.eabco.com/reload02.html) and others for supplies. Many years ago, so many I don’t recall which one, one of the gun rags ran an extensive article on paper patching in modern ammo. As I recall, they used high rag bond paper wet molded to bullets that had been scored by rolling them between two files. From very dim memory, stepping down from .308 to .284 worked great, .308 to .257 was decent. Just a thought.

edited for spelling

April 5, 2004, 01:40 AM
Hey HIPOWER. Out past 300 you really start to need some juice to shoot flat. Unfortunately, the little guns tend to drop off hard after that point and the bullets are either lacking energy or susceptable to wind drift. Any of the smaller deer rifles will take a yote, but you will need to know your range and bullet drop intimately. Out to 450 and some of the smaller calibers may need the scope shimmed or special bases.

Many of the short magnums don't kick hard and will take you deeper than the .243. Even my 7 STW kicks like a .270 and throws a 140gr ball at 3400fps (it's braked). That means that zeroing it at 400 yards only makes you 4 inches high at 100. Target knobs make it easy to shoot out to 500+.
I shoot USPSA at Clairton pretty regularly if you'd like to try it out.

April 5, 2004, 03:36 AM
You could also consider the .25-'06. It's basically the .30-'06 necked down to .25 caliber. Very high velocity, very flat-shooting, but enough power to take whitetail-size game as well as the smaller stuff. It's a very impressive performer indeed.

April 5, 2004, 01:02 PM
.243!!! I have one and love it. use lighter projectiles (55-90 gr) for small stuff and larger bullits for bigger stuff. I have used it on groundhogs, crows (75 grain balistic tips do neat things at 120 yards :), skunks, deer, and whatever else comes out to play. get one, you won't regret it at all.

ps. I have shot mine out to 600 yards so 300 shouldn't be a problem with a good scope etc.

April 5, 2004, 05:34 PM
243 over 22-250 for a better selection of bullet weights.

April 6, 2004, 01:22 PM
Another vote for the .25-06. It's probably my favorite caliber. I've seen great results on game from turkeys to coyotes to deer.

April 6, 2004, 03:29 PM
.243 or .260.

April 6, 2004, 03:55 PM
Yep, the .260 is awfully nice. Almost as flat as a .25-06, but not so much recoil. .25 WSSM should be something to try, once it's really here.

April 6, 2004, 04:07 PM
how would the 6mm rem compare to a .243?

longer case, more powder. would the trajectory still be as flat?

April 6, 2004, 04:26 PM
I love the .22-250, but it is sort of a pet round with me.

.243, .25-06 are also very good.

Kinda depends on what you consider "mid-sized critters at a fair distance."


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