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Alternative to the Big 50 BMG

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Harve Curry, Dec 28, 2006.

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  1. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    I was in Sportsmans Warehouse yesterday and noted some of the component prices of a 50 BMG. Just the primers are .25 cent each.
    What would be a good substitute cartridge for a long range rifle?
    A poor mans loooong range gun.
    It would have to still be able to use LR primers and a conventional reloading press. Compromise I know, but how close could you get maybe 1/2 the bullet weight (250gr to 300gr) at 2900fps. A 8mm STW?

    I have shot a single shot 50bmg before and I could handle the recoil, but I do have to set myself up for the recoil and noted it lasts longer then say a 7mm mag.
     
  2. MikeWSC

    MikeWSC Member

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    How long ya lookin' to shoot? I shoot a Remington PSS .308 Win out to 600 yards.
    Have a Leupold 8.5 x 25 scope and 175g. Sierra Match Kings/ 46.0 g. of Varget.
    Shoots pretty good.

    A PSS in .300 Win Mag would be another good choice.

    Best ............ Mike
     
  3. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

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    .300 win mag or .338 lapua
     
  4. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    1000 yards and beyond:)
     
  5. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    7RM is better than 300WM. Higher BC bullets.

    I like 338LM for an easily portable rifle -- same as any other long-action -- that reaches to a mile. But ammo is expensive ($3/ea). Reloading is a must.
     
  6. Gifted

    Gifted Member

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    I was looking at a .45-70 or -100. They did impressive stuff back in the day, and with modern powder and bullet construction, a rolling block built to smokeless standards would be impressive. Big issues is getting the right bullet(I don't think the 305gr lead bullets they usually load would work well), and the fact that most stuff I've read says that factory loads are designed to try not to blow up older guns, which means you'd have to hand-load to get a good long distance cartridge.

    Something I was interested in was playing with sabot loads when I get everything together. Don't know how well they'd work for long distance work though.
     
  7. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    With .50 BMG remanufactured ammo is about $1.50 a round, new stuff $3-4 per round, $5 for for match, is the 338LM really an alternative for a person on a budget? How much less expensive to reload 338LM is it?
     
  9. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    IMO, the .50 BMG round is cool but has very limited uses. I have a friend that had two. We live in a relatively flat area, and it's hard to find a place we felt comfortable shooting. Any miss or richocet would carry a LONG way. Just lugging around that cannon, and the cost of each shot made shooting lose it's luster. He ended up selling them.

    My 1,000 yard is a Remington 700 Sendero, 7mm mag. 8x32x44 Burris on .020 mounts. 162 gr A-Max stay supersonic to about 1,300 yards. It's pretty heavy so recoil is nominal. B.C. is about as high as it gets. Mild recoil, low cost per shot, and flat shooting as you can get. Brass and primers are common.

    I have friends that have taken prarie dogs at 1,000+. Two used 6.5-06's and one used a .308. Once you step up to the .338 Lapua, etc. I'd think the cost per shot and the physical pounding per shot start to add up unless you used a brake. I know a guy that got a .30-378 Weatherby when they first came out. He shot it once without the brake. IIRC, they pretty much use up barrel life by about 1k rounds.

    You mentioned a .45-70. I have a Browning BPCR in .45-90. I have some 4'x4' steel plates to set up at 800-1,000 yards. IIRC, the bullet goes something like 13 feet over the line of sight. Takes between 5 and 6 seconds to hear the steel ring.
     
  10. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    A 7mm Remington Magnum or .300 Winchester Magnum in a heavy barreled Remington 700 PSS or Sendero. Much more economical than the .338 Lapua or the .50 BMG, and the .7RM or .300WM are good to about 1400 yards, depending on the nut behind the butt :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  11. NORTEXED

    NORTEXED Member

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    Check out the true story here

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_6_51/ai_n13781619 .

    This was with a Sharps, at the battle of Adobe Walls near Canadian in the Texas Panhandle, but even Billy Dixon admitted it was an extreme lucky shot and an act of desparatiion.

    "The primary reason such a small band of defenders could overcome a large party of experienced warriors is attributed to the fact the 28 men were buffalo hunters. That meant they were expert marksmen equipped with the finest long-range rifles of the day. Consequently they were able to keep the warriors at bay, inflicting numerous casualties on them in doing so. At the end of the battle the famous buffalo hunter/marksman Billy Dixon shot an Indian off his horse at the amazing distance of 1,538 yards."

    I would hate to have to count on this kind of luck, however the shot has been reenacted and after several sighters (which a a man whose life and livelyhood depended on the same weapon day after day might not need), the shot is possible (and the 405 gr. projectile used still had enough oomph to kill by the way), but trajectory and windage would make this a 1 in 100 thing not to be counted on.
     
  12. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

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  13. MBane666

    MBane666 Member

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    I love .50s. but yeah, you gotta be well off to play that game.

    My current long range rifle, which I hope to spend a buch of time this summer — oh please, God, let summer come...another foot and a half of snow last night! — hammering out is a Remington Sendero in .300 Ultra Mag with a Springfield 6X20 X 56. Not a cheap cartridge, either, but one recommended by Dave Lauck at D&L Sports, one of the finest long-distance shooters in the world.

    Michael B
     
  14. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    338 Lapua or 300 RUM

    Check out DL Sports. He makes a wicked 300 RUM set up for 1 mile shooting. The Sako TRG is an awesome platform for the long distance in 338 Lapua.
     
  15. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

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    SORRY,

    If you want to shoot long range and I don't mean 5.56 long range of 600 meters, I mean over twice that distance I would recommend you look into a cartridge by the name of the 6.5 WWH (Weatherby Wright Hoyer). This little beauty is a 300 Weatherby mag necked to .264 (6.5mm) Hornady makes a 140 grain bullet for this that leaves a 26" bbl at over 3300fps and has a BC of 755 which means it sails like an arrow. I had one over forty years ago when I was "in country" so to speak and used it. Rifle was on a Sako long action with a 26" Ackley or Hart barrel I don't recall which. In those days PO Ackley was a premier barrel maker. Scope was a fixed twenty power unertel.
     
  16. 230RN
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    That brings back memories, redneck2. When I was shooting 1000 yard matches, my favorite wisecrack was that you had time to unsling, get a cup of coffee, take a whiz, and get back to the firing point just in time to watch the scoring disc come up. Or Margaret's Panties, as the case might have been.

    Actual time of flight was about 1.2 seconds, as I recall. This was with a Armory-Accurized M1. NM air gauged bbl, glassed, zero-lash rear peep, blah blah blah. And yeah, I guess it would take about 3 seconds for the sound of the bullet strike to get back to you at 1000 yds.

    Actually, I know I'm not really contributing anything here, it's just that I'm trying to get up to 100 posts and it's snowing like heck out here near Golden CO and it's just a goal for a snowbound day. Just pointing out that in terms of military cartridges suitable for the ordinary mortal's ordinary shoulder and ordinary ears, the .30-06 isn't too bad.

    Hey, wait a minute! Would 100 posts make me a "senior" member? Nuts.

    I'm already a senior! Phooey!
     
  17. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Double Naught Spy
    The reman $1.50 50BMG ammo is going to be plinking ammo, without the consistency you want for precise long-range shooting. Heck, even the 750gr AMAX is now over $1.50 per bullet! When you factor in the increased cost of all 50BMG components across the board, it gets expensive.

    If you buy Lapua brass and reload each case 5 times, a round of reloaded .338 Lapua will cost about 85 cents-- not even double what reloaded .308 costs using the same quality components.

    mpmarty,
    The highest BC 6.5mm bullet Hornady offers is the 140gr A-MAX with a published BC of 0.550. If there IS a 140gr 6.5mm bullet with a .775 BC, we all want to know about it because it blows what we're currently shooting in 260, 6.5-284, 264WM, 6.5-06, etc, out of the water.
     
  18. JonnyB

    JonnyB Member

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    Wouldn't the .45-70 bullet be about 60-80 feet (instead of 13 feet) above the line of sight at 1000 yards? The table in an earlier post showed a 25 foot drop (300 inches) at 500 yards.

    I seem to recall that with that caliber, you could sight a target at 1000 yards through the front & back doors of an old church building at the 500 yard mark. The bullet would pass well over the steeple on its way to the target.

    The military tested the .45-70 way back when at over 2000 yards. The targets were angled way back from vertical to correct for the parabolic trajectory. Even at that distance, the bullets (405 grain) penetrated the 6-inch pine boards and were buried in the sand beneath the target. Or so i've read. I just can't recall where I read it.

    jb
     
  19. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    On a budget, .30-06 or 7.62x54R would be the long range calibers of choice. A hand-picked sniper Mosin Nagant rifle will easily reach past 1000yds as will a .30-06 Remington 700.
     
  20. 230RN
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    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    JonnyB said


    But redneck2 had actually said,

     
  21. Gifted

    Gifted Member

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    I was looking at getting a bullet with better ballistics, and with modern smokeless, I'm thinking I could beat the velocities they got in the 1800s. I'd want to port it or something to help with the recoil. Sharps aren't very heavy.

    Besides, from what I've read, any shot at 1000 yards needs a lot of luck.
     
  22. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    Um, define "very heavy." A Sharps won't weigh anywhere near as much as my AR-50, perhaps, but they're typically not lightweights. A .45 Sharps with a 32" or 34" octagon barrel can easily weigh 13 or 14 pounds. To me, that's a heavy rifle. In fact, you have to be careful when ordering a Sharps if you want to use it in certain types of competitions because they have weight limits (12 pounds 2 ounces, I think), and a 32" octagon barrel Sharps will exceed the weight limit.
     
  23. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    With a dialed in system, even 308 can make hits reasonably easily at 1000 yards. I've taken people who have never shot a bolt rifle before and had them hitting an IPSC plate @ 1000 in a few shots. A solid setup and data are key.

    An uber caliber like 50BMG or .338 Lapua is not needed for 1000-yard shooting, and most people just don't have access to even a 1000-yard range to make the investment in something designed for 1300-yard engagements really worthwhile. My favorite caliber right now for 1000-yard practical shooting is the .260 Remington with 139-140gr VLD-style bullets.
     
  24. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    don't forget people still shoot AR15s with irons at 1000 yrds.
     
  25. 230RN
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    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    Pardon my wrinkled old cortex...

    Somebody help me out here...

    I seem to recall that there was the .45-70 Sharps, the .45-70 Government, the .45-90, which was basically a tapered case a little longer than the .45-70 Government, and the .45-90 Winchester, which was actually a bottlenecked cartridge much bigger than the .45-70 Sharps.

    Is this right? And if so, which .45-90 were you talking about, redneck2?
     
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