Quantcast

Help choosing long range rifle...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by David4516, Apr 28, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    12,446
    Location:
    Georgia
    The 308 is offered because it will sell and make the manufacturer money. The 6.5 Creedmoor in modern loadings beats the 308 handily as a target round. It simply does everything better.

    It isn't that the 308 sucks, it is just that something better has come along. I own 3 different 308 hunting rifles and like them a lot. But if I were serious about getting into long range target shooting I would not be buying another 308 for that purpose. Not in 2016 anyway, 10 years ago probably.
     
  2. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Wyoming
    If the OP wanted an LRP to use for his stated purposes, I think he'd want to stick with the 6.5 CM or .260. Savage used a 9.25 twist on their .243's, which by a lot of accounts is not fast enough to keep the heavy 107's and 115's stable at long range. That is why the RPR .243 is offered with a 7.7 twist, to cater to the folks that want to use the really heavy 6mm bullets popular for long range.
     
  3. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,245
    Well, why would it sell if the 6.5 beats it handily? Not tying to be argumentative. It's a serious question.

    I have two .308 rifles......and want a 6.5 CM.....bad....but my range had 100/200/500 yard lanes.

    My thinking is that I'll be a better shooting at those ranges if I stick to developing loads and practicing my shooting skills with the .308, considering the wealth of knowledge, data and components available. I still have a lot to learn and the .308 has a lot more it can deliver.
     
  4. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Wyoming
    There's nothing wrong with .308, especially if you are already heavily invested in the cartridge like yourself. I think the point folks are making is that if you are starting anew like the OP, it makes the most sense to go directly to a cartridge that is better fit to the long range shooting games. Out of the cartridges that meet that criteria, the Creedmoor makes the most sense to me given the availability of affordable, top notch factory match ammo. If you reload, your options open up, but there is still a lot of good load data for the CM out there.
     
  5. Browning

    Browning Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,682
    Location:
    DFW - TX
    That's a completely reasonable solution and assumption if he's going to be using it almost exclusively for competitive shoots.

    From what he was saying though it's mainly going to be for fun, shooting at paper or steel targets with the possibility of a match here and there. Mostly the farthest he'll be shooting is 550 yards although it should be capable of shooting further.

    The .243 completely does that. Right down the line.

    Easy to find ammo for too.

    I'm using mine for varmints and hunting, so for that the .243 completely makes sense although it's totally capable of being used in matches.

    From what I understand some shooters are using theirs in .243 for competition (accurate enough for it), but I don't know what they're using for loads. Not my thing.

    Heaviest I've used are 95's. Yotes are getting splattered with 75's.

    I was more talking about the rifle though.
     
  6. David4516

    David4516 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    WA State
    No. I do like Ruger rifles (I have a M77 MKII in .280 Remington that I really like) but I am not dead set on getting a Ruger, am open to any/all suggestions.

    I have very little experience with .243 (only shot them a few times, never owned one). What I am told is that you want a 1:8 or faster twist for heavy bullets, that 1:9 is better for the light weight .243 bullets? Sounds like this is true. I am seriously considering .243, it looks almost as good as the 6.5 Creedmore (on paper anyway) and I imagine that it would have less recoil and the bullets would be cheaper.

    I do reload and so factory ammo availability (or lack there of) isn't really a factor in my decision.

    Nature Boy, I don't think the 6.5 is going to kill off the .308, .308 has been around for decades and the military uses it too. It's a good round and I have nothing against it. I'm just thinking that for my purposes .30 cal bullets are bigger and heavier than what I need. If I was shooting bad guys or going hunting I'd not hesitate to go with .308, but I'm just shooting paper so I think I'd prefer a smaller bullet (again, less recoil being main reason, but I think the bullets might be cheaper as well, another plus)

    Another thought, what about 6x45 in a nice AR-15? No idea what the ballistics are like on this round, what's it max range?
     
  7. David4516

    David4516 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    WA State
    Exactly. I am not a serious competitor but I would like to go to a few local matches and not embarrass myself. If I were to get more serious about matches at some point down the road I'd probably want a different rifle anyway, one that would cost alot more than my current budget.

    If I were to shoot .243 it would probably be with the 105gr bullets
     
  8. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,956
    Well, first off it doesn't sell nearly as well. The 6.5 CM RPR is the one that's nearly sold out (at least a typical gunstore prices) across the US right now. That's because it has the best combination of suitability to the task (both .243 and 6.5 Creedmoor are suitable) and factory ammo support.

    Second, they offer .308 because there are people who are very traditional or who have a fascination with military calibers. They know some large portion of their market is not PRS competitors, but rather people interested in (or possibly fanboys of) military type sniping who will likely be shooting one of the M118LR clones. The "black gun" appearance of the RPR feeds into this, albeit somewhat absurdly since most military snipers in the current wars are shooting M700 actions in more conventional rifle stocks painted tan.

    From a ballistics perspective, there really is no competition between .308 and .243 or 6.5CM. But from a cultural perspective, .308 has a lot of mindshare. Which I'll say I'm part of - one of my four long range capable non-hunting rifles is chambered in .308. But I don't have any illusions it can keep up with my 6.5CM at 800 yards. I know better than that.
     
  9. js2013

    js2013 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Messages:
    174
    Of the options you listed its a no brainier, RPR in 6.5.
    Tubb won a national title with a 243 but there's better 6mm cartridges with longer barrel life. If you prefer 6mm (like lots of 6mm bullets on hand or prefer less recoil) then go 243 until its shot out and re barrel to a better 6mm. Or sell the 243 barrel.
     
  10. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,168
    Location:
    NW Montana
    As someone who owns and shoots both .308 Win (3 rifles) and 6.5 Creedmoor (1 rifle) I think I'm fairly objective and unlike many here actually have first hand experience with both. I reload for all but also shoot factory ammunition through all and hunt with one of the .308 Win rifles. There's no question that the 6.5 CM has less wind drift than the .308 Win which can be the difference between a hit or a miss at long range. However, the .308 Win is the better all around cartridge for paper punching and hunting. If I could only have one it would be the .308 Win since it's an excellent target round, excellent hunting round, offers much better barrel life, enjoys a much wider selection of top tier factory ammunition and for the reloader has a much larger selection of suitable powders and bullets.
     
  11. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,245
    Thanks MCMXI. That was the point I was trying to make

    I still want a 6.5 CM.
     
  12. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,168
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Unless you know how many Ruger has made of each you can't know which is more popular simply based on availability.
     
  13. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Wyoming
    I've been shooting both as well, it's important to note that the OP said that he was looking for a rifle purely for long range target shooting, not hunting, not even all around shooting. For that express purpose, I believe that the 6.5 CM is clearly superior to the .308. I would take the .308 over any 6mm or 6.5mm for hunting larger game such as elk, but that wasn't the question. Also, the OP reloads, I doubt this will be the only rifle in his his stable. There is not exactly a shortage of suitable powders or bullets for loading the 6.5 CM.

    Technically true, but if you watched RPR auctions on GB for the last several months as I have, you've regularly seen the 6.5's being bid up to the $1300 - $1400 range, while .308's are easy to pick up in the $1000 - $1100 range. I guess it's possible that Ruger put out a well researched/designed/spec'd hit for the lower end PRS market, and then decided not to produce as many in the most popular PRS caliber... but I think it's much more likely that supply of each of the calibers is similar, and the demand for 6.5's is just much higher.

    Here's an interesting article on what the top PRS shooters are using. It's a year and a half old, and obviously the OP doesn't have to pick a caliber just because others are using it, but it might help inform his decision.

    http://precisionrifleblog.com/2014/10/14/rifle-calibers-what-the-pros-use/
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  14. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,168
    Location:
    NW Montana
    List suitable 6.5 CM powders and then list suitable .308 Win powders. Basically every one is looking for 4350 for the 6.5 CM. Now consider that the 6.5 CM is limited to 120gr to 140gr bullets with most choosing 130gr or 140gr. Then consider that 6.5 CM brass is virtually crap.


    Pure conjecture.
     
  15. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,168
    Location:
    NW Montana
    And I suppose we should all strap huge foam blocks to our arms to improve our hit percentages too. :rolleyes: Sadly PRS, like many shooting sports, has been taken over by gamers.
     
  16. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,956
    This argument is missing the blatantly obvious, which OP clearly stated if you were paying attention: he wants to shoot matches. These matches frequently have shots out to 1200 - 1300 yards, at least the ones around here. There is no way on earth you will keep a .308 supersonic to that distance. It is simply not a suitable round for the task at hand. It's suitable for many other tasks, including hunting and slightly shorter range target shooting. I LOVE the .308. But specifically for what OP wants to do it's a non-starter. He's going to end up in 6.5mm, 6mm, or a magnum no matter what. Of those choices, 6.5 Creedmoor is the simple easy turnkey solution.
     
  17. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Wyoming
    From Hodgdon

    6.5 Creedmoor 120gr to 140gr (omitting the lighter stuff):
    H4350
    IMR4451
    H414
    Win 760
    IMR4007SSC
    Varget
    IMR4064
    IMR4166
    Win 748
    BL-C(2)
    IMR4895
    H4895
    IMR8208XBR
    Hybrid100V
    IMR4350
    H380

    .308 155gr - 180gr (most common weights used)
    CFE223
    Varget
    IMR4320
    IMR4064
    IMR4166
    Win 748
    BL-C(2)
    IMR4895
    H335
    H4895
    IMR8208XBR
    IMR3031
    Benchmark
    H414
    Win760
    IMR4007SSC


    From the Hornady Manual, add to the above list

    6.5 Creedmoor:
    RL-15
    RL-17
    RL-16 (data not out yet, but should fit in nicely)
    Norma 203B
    Big Game
    Norma URP
    Accurate 4350
    Superformance

    .308:
    Accurate2495
    Accurate2460
    RL-15
    Viht N-140
    Viht N-150
    PP 2000 MR

    Do you think there are enough choices for each to successfully reload? If you need more than that you'll have to do your own research.

    My brass only has 4 loads, but it's going strong... I actually use the same brand of .308 brass.

    Don't give up, read the rest of that paragraph, I said I was speculating, although logically I would posit.

    What does this have to do with the discussion at hand? Is your argument that the top PRS shooters are actually all just sweaty nerds choosing their calibers in conformance to the latest Call of Duty game? Is that what you really think?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  18. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,956
    There is some desire to use powders with low temperature sensitivity and have a full case. H4350 really is the *RIGHT* powder, but Varget or H4895 will get the job done. Just maybe a little less consistent with a less full case and 10-20 ft/s slower.
     
  19. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,079
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Roger that, I am waiting on H4350 for my 6.5... I'm also waiting on Varget for my .308's. I could easily find a good substitute for either, but I have sufficient back-stock, I like temperature insensitivity, and I've already put in the work to develop excellent loads with these powders.
     
  20. David4516

    David4516 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    WA State
    Holy cow it wasn't my intention to start a caliber war. :eek:

    Anyway I've made my choice... I went with 6.5 Grendel. I found a good deal on an upper that I didn't want to pass up.

    It's not going to have the range of the 6.5 Creedmoor or .243 win or .308 so maybe this wasn't the smartest choice. On the other hand I think it will still be a substantial step up from what I've got now. The trajectory isn't much (if any) flatter compared to my .223 but it will go much further before it goes sub-sonic. And semi-auto will be a big step up from my current single-shot...

    The upper I bought is a 20 inch heavy barrel, fluted, free float, 1:8.5 twist rate. I'd have preferred a 22 or 24 inch barrel but I think 20 will be OK. I also bought that SWFA scope. Still have several hundred dollars left over for the rest of the build. Will take me a while to get it all put together but I'll do a range report when it is done.

    I really liked the look of the RPR and I think I would have been happy with either the 6.5 or the .243, but I would have spent my entire budget on the rifle and had nothing left over for the scope. I guess I'm just being impatient and may end up regretting this in the long run LOL. Probably in a couple years I'll just buy an RPR anyway and then I'll have both...
     
  21. David4516

    David4516 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    WA State
  22. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    You may have missed a golden opportunity if you really wanted to experiment with long range shooting. Cabela's had their Savage 10T on sale for $529.99 and just added 6.5 Creedmore to the .308 Win as a chambering. The 10T is a Cabela's exclusive model that offers a 4 round detachable magazine, (and yes the factory 10 rounders also fit), the accustock with full length aluminum bedding block, a 24" heavy barrel with 5R rifling, tactical bolt handle and accutrigger. I have one in .308 Win, and I don't think anything else comes close, accuracy wise at that price point. And the 6.5 Creedmore offering is icing on the cake. Even at the regular price of $599.99, it is still a bargain. If I hadn't just had some serious cash demands, (tax bill, final quarter college tuition for youngest son, and car insurance due on 3 vehicles along with homeowners premium), I would have added a 10T in 6.5 Creedmore to go with my .308 Win 10T.
     
  23. conrad427

    conrad427 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    chinook montana
    Have fun with your new upper!

    Learning to shoot at long range is quite an endeavor. It will probably lead to more purchases!

    Good luck.
     
  24. Trent

    Trent Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    22,325
    Location:
    Illinois
    It is inevitable around here. If you get two gun people together you'll eventually have a discussion on calibers. If you get three gun people together two will argue to convince the third. If you get four together you have a feud brewing. :)

    Yeaaaah... you didn't say that you didn't OWN a semi auto before. Or at least, if you did, I didn't read it.

    Read the following in Bones voice from Star Trek: "My god man, what is wrong with you?"

    Well, at least that shortcoming has been addressed, and you've gone with something that's got a little punch to it, at that. :evil:

    Haha.hah.ha...HAHAHAH!

    "I might buy a gun in a couple of years..."

    I predict you'll be posting a range report next tax refund season on the RPR, no doubt. :neener:

    Have fun, shoot straight.
     
  25. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,168
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Gtscotty, your posts remind me of the phrase "in theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is". I said list SUITABLE 6.5 Creedmoor powders, not list every powder in a reloading manual capable of sending a piece of lead downrange. There are few ideal 6.5 Creedmoor powders ... just ask Hornady about that. Do you really want to burn up a 6.5 CM barrel with a load that shoots 3/4 moa or worse? There are numerous ideal .308 Win powders capable of producing 0.5 moa accuracy over a wide range of bullet weights. The same simply isn't true for the 6.5 Creedmoor. This won't be a deal breaker for some, but maybe for others it's worth considering and that's why I made the point.

    As I said earlier, I have a number of .308 Win rifles and an AI with a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel, but unlike many here am not so enamored with the 6.5 CM. Inside of 500 yards I don't see the 6.5 CM offering any real advantage at all. Sure it's an accurate cartridge that is easy to load for with the right powder, but recoil is on par with the .308 Win, there aren't dedicated suppressors for 6.5 mm calibers (makes a difference re noise), and I consider a 140gr 6.5 CM bullet to be marginal for hunting anything but deer inside 300 yards in Montana. The .308 Win is an amazing all-around cartridge whereas the 6.5 CM is a purpose built paper puncher. That's my opinion and nothing more.

    As for the PRS, if you have to strap large blocks of foam to your arms to help you shoot in awkward field positions then you are far more concerned with winning a game than developing your skills for practical shooting. To their credit, the PRS does have a Tactical class for .223 Rem and .308 Win, but I would find it more appealing if equipment was limited to "practical" equipment that you would want to carry in a pack while hunting or on a mission in the military. Again, just my opinion. For the record, I've signed up for the PRS Sniper's Hide Cup in June.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice