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Help choosing long range rifle...

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

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  1. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    There are.

    https://thunderbeastarms.com/products/6.5-ultra-9

    The various bolt action 6mm and 6.5mm long range options are a hair more accurate, have a much longer effective range, are substantially quieter suppressed, and recoil less. That's why they've completely replaced .308 for long range shooting. It's not 1973 any more.
     
  2. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    Llama Bob,
    That's good to see ... thanks for the link.

    And a hair is about 100 microns in diameter ... big deal.


    Effective for what? Certainly not for hunting or combat (see Japanese Army)


    Quiter than what? A .308 Win ... not necessarily. The powder charge is virtually the same, the primer is the same.


    Not really. The felt recoil of the 6.5 CM is very similar to a .308 Win, particularly with many long range rifles that tend to be heavier.

    The Japanese were using 6.5mm ammunition back in 1897 but they dropped it in favor of a more powerful 7.7mm cartridge. Heck, the .260 Remington was introduced in 1997, the 6.5x47 Lapua in 2005 but it wasn't until 2007 that Hornady "invented" the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    Clearly you're in the enamoured camp. I invite any of you to come over to my place and hit steel gongs at 400, 700, 1050 and 1,300 yards with your 6.5 Creedmoors. PRS shooters are winning matches with 60% hit rates so plan on missing many, many times.
     
  3. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    You're making some rather strange assertions here.

    The range difference between .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor is not small. You're talking about bullet with G1 BCs in the mid .4s for .308, and above .6 for the 6.5CM. It's not really even vaguely close. It works out to about an extra 300 yards of supersonic flight for my rifles. Obviously that varies a bit by elevation, bullet, barrel length, etc. but the point is that it's a big difference.

    Similarly, the volume difference suppressed is notable - roughly a 3 dB difference for the TBAC Ultra-9/.308 vs the TBAC 6.5 Ultra-9/6.5CM. That's a pretty noticeable difference - more than the difference between a 7" vs. 9" can, for example.

    The recoil difference is not small either - for example, the 140 ELD load has about 20% less recoil than M188LR.

    Now you may not want a rifle that shoots accurately hundreds of yards farther, is quieter, and recoils less. That's fine. But other people do, and that's why they shoot 6.5CM (or .260 or 6CM or .243 or 6.5x47 or 6x47 or 6XC or...)
     
  4. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    I have a suppressed Accuracy International with a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel and a .308 Win barrel. I still prefer the .308 Win for all around use, find the 6.5 CM to be louder than the .308 Win (using a .308 Win suppressor) and don't notice any significant difference in felt recoil. Truth be told, I should have ordered a .260 Rem barrel for ringing steel at 1,300 yards given the superior brass available, tighter primer pockets and resulting lower ES numbers. The 6.5x47 Lapua is a primer nightmare in AIs so that was always out of the question.

    It makes no difference to me what others choose to buy. The company I work for offers a number of rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor and I've shot many of them but wanted to see what all the long-range 6.5 mm fuss is all about. From where I stand the 6.5 CM is a good long-range paper puncher but not a particularly good all round cartridge. We get the "I'm thinking of getting into long range shooting" questions all the time, but so few actually do.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  5. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    maybe we should change the discussion to "which is a better long range cartridge, the .308 or the 6.5 grendal since that's what the OP ended up getting, to your point MCMXI....

     
  6. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    Done.

    Uh oh, the goal post moved! Hornady listed many of those powders in their manual as suitable powders for the 6.5 CM, that's what you originally demanded. Do you think you know better than Hornady what powders will work well with different bullet weights in the cartridge they designed, or do you think they just put a bunch of un-suitable powders in their manual for kicks? The fact remains inescapable though, there are many, many powders that the folks who would know, say work well in the 6.5 CM, including all of the ever-popular 4350 iterations. This issue is a non-issue.

    No, Which of the above powders have you found that would not deliver sub 3/4" groups with appropriate bullets in your Creedmoor? Are you sure that powder won't work in any other rifle as well?

    I think some of your confusion could be cleared up by rereading the OP, here is a pertinent excerpt:

    So while you keep bringing up how the .308 is a great all around round, and a great hunting round, that is, in fact, not what the OP asked for. The OP specifically asked for suggestions for long range PRS style shooting, most often to 550 yds, but also capable out to 1,200 yds. From a standpoint of not being emotionally tied to .308, it's pretty obvious to me that a 6mm or 6.5mm of some kind would have served his desires better than a .308. Could the .308 be stretched to that task? Sure, but from a dispassionate perspective, why start off on a .308 when the various 6mm's, and 6.5mm's are better suited to the particular task he asked about? It's not like match .308 is cheaper to load than 6.5 CM, or many of the other 6mm - 6.5mm options.

    As to the recoil issue, as Lama Bob said earlier, 6.5CM has substantially less recoil in the same weight rifle than a .308 with long range loads. Even if you don't feel the difference, I do, and from an objective viewpoint, it definitely exists.

    The few PRS type matches that I've shot did require you to carry all of your gear with you. Also, it's important to note that PRS style matches often have pressing time requirements, hence the tendency of shooters to clip bags and other small time saving bits to their rifles. I don't know what to tell you about the large blocks of foam on peoples arms... if it really bothers you you probably shouldn't strap any blocks to your own arms.

    That should be a blast, I assume you are going to use your .308 so you can show up all those clueless 6mm and 6.5mm shooters right?

    Sounds fun, maybe next time I'm up there for work, what's your address?

    Regardless, I would say its a better forum policy to answer peoples actual questions than to take off on a tangent addressing the questions you think they should have asked.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  7. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Dang guys, I understand what it's like to be monetarily invested in a cartridge, but do we have to be so personally invested in it too?

    The OP bought a 6.5 Grendal, not a Creedmore
     
  8. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    Personally invested? Nah, I think .308 and 6.5CM are neat, but .30-06.... Well that's God's cartridge. ;)
     
  9. ifit

    ifit Member

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    Mark n Sam, shooting a Howa 1500 .243 @ 1400 yards hitting a 2 litre bottle using 95gr bullets. Winds were about 13-15 mph, took them only 4 shots. One of the reasons why I purchased a Howa 1500 in .243 which is now mounted in my new GRS Stock. Howa even offers them in barreled actions only. Not bad for an affordable not so popular brand.
     
  10. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    I don't know if I envision myself becoming a hard-core competitor but I do plan to participate in my local matches. I have already done one match, there is another this weekend I plan to attend (provided I can make time to reload some more ammo between now and then, I've only got about 30 loaded rounds right now :( )

    I haven't got a shipping notice yet for the 6.5 Gren upper, but the scope should arrive on Friday. I'm wondering if I should get a 20 MOA scope base? I don't know how much elevation adjustment I can expect out of the scope. Also not sure which trigger I should go with. I've only ever shot ARs with the mil-spec trigger. I know there are a bunch of after-market options but I'm not sure which would be the best for my application...

    I'm also wondering if I should buy new brass for this caliber, or buy loaded ammo and obtain brass that way. Looking at the prices on midway, buying 123gr Hornady ammo is only a little more expensive than buying Hornady brass. I wonder how difficult it would be to duplicate the factory ammo load with my reloads...

    .308 is a good all-around cartridge that can do multiple things. If I thought I'd be hunting with this rifle I'd have been much more likely to go the .308 route. But I already have a good hunting rifle in .280 Remington (which by the way I think is superior to .308 in most situations). So I don't need another hunting rifle.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    you should sign up for Tactical Supply too. Were you at the Rock Lake match near Spokane this weekend? if you were, would have been nice to put a face to the name...
     
  12. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    Yay just got the shipping notification for the upper, it's supposed to be here on Monday :)

    Now I really need to get working on the lower...
     
  13. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    No, I wasn't at the Rock Lake match.
     
  14. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    Decided to do side-by-side comparison of my current .223 rifle vs what I think the 6.5 will do (see attached).

    This is for 55gr .223 (I'm limited to light bullets due to my rifle's twist rate) vs 123gr 6.5 bullets

    Looks like out to about 600 yards the .223 actually shoots flatter. Beyond that the higher B.C. of the 6.5 bullets kick in and the Grendel starts to look better. The 6.5 does substantially beat the .223 for wind drift at all distances (put in 5mph wind at 90 degree angle). The Grendel also beats the .223 in terms of energy at all distances, but this doesn't really make a difference for my purposes. It might matter for somebody else?
     

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  15. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    Suitable to me means a powder capable of producing accuracy and precision commensurate with the capability of the cartridge. There are so many powders that will do this for the .308 Win but if you poll 6.5 Creedmoor owners/reloaders you'll find the vast majority use 4350 of some form or another. I'm using Reloder 17 and getting good results at close range but that's because I have a lot of it left over from a .260 Rem project. If I didn't have that powder I'd be looking for 4350 like everyone else. Filling up a manual with lots of alternative (but inferior) powders isn't particularly helpful, and somewhat disingenuous when you consider that Hornady basically uses one powder for their factory match loads. Additionally, Hornady isn't particularly objective since it's in their best interest for the 6.5 Creedmoor to become popular and part of that is making it more appealing to reloaders by giving the impression that it's a versatile cartridge.

    David4516, my apologies for taking this thread off topic, I agree that the .280 Rem is a great hunting cartridge and I hope your 6.5 Grendel is everything you want it to be. I get a little jaded since I work in the firearms industry and see the "someday is code for never" syndrome all too often.
     
  16. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    6.5 Grendel has a very loopy trajectory, but higher BCs than light .223. It is about a wash with heavy .223 but if you can't use that you've gained some ground. Have fun with the new gun :)
     
  17. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    There's plenty of powders that are accurate in 6.5 Creedmoor. The advantage of H4350 is that it's temp insensitive, and thus very suitable for non-bench uses. It serves the same role in 6.5CM that Varget or H4895 do in .308.

    If you're willing to shoot RL17 in, well, anything then I'm not going to take anything you say on powder pickiness too seriously. It'll vertically string just from the action getting warm.
     
  18. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    Something else you've read in a book I suppose, along with those G1 BCs. I haven't seen any vertical stringing despite shooting in temperatures ranging from 20°F to 70°F and everything from a stone cold barrel to a barrel you can barely touch.
     
  19. js2013

    js2013 Member

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    [QUOTESomething else you've read in a book I suppose, along with those G1 BCs. I haven't seen any vertical stringing despite shooting in temperatures ranging from 20°F to 70°F and everything from a stone cold barrel to a barrel you can barely touch.][/QUOTE]

    What's your FPS spread with RL17? I tried some in a 6xc and my SD wasn't as good as I would like. Some guys seem to like it but like you said, most folks are using h4350 but its hard for me to find locally.
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i shot r17 for years in 260AI and could consistently get SDs in the low single digits and often ES in the low single digits. It is a lot more temp sensitive than h4350, but i can't say i ever noticed it changing from the action getting warm.

    and to be honest, i didn't really get my action warm very often that i can recall. in my experience using a FLIR heat gun to measure 10 round strings of fire, the barrel changes only a few degrees per shot and the action much less.
     
  21. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    So RL17 is ridiculously temp sensitive everywhere BUT your barrel? Sorry, I don't believe you.
     
  22. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    temp sensitivity does seem to vary by cartridge
     
  23. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    Wow, belligerent much?

    Looking at my data, in 6.5 Creedmoor I show a temp sensitivity of .24 FPS per degree for H4350 and 1.55 FPS per degree for RL17. That's with a cold chamber in both cases. Warm chamber is equivalent to about 50 degrees of outside temp on my gun, give or take. So my 6.5CM load with H4350 moves up just shy of .1 mil at 1000y due to a warm chamber - almost unoticable. With RL17 it's just shy of .6 mills, over 20 inches and the difference between a miss and a hit. That is why no one who wants to hit things at distance uses RL17 and the PRS series is completely dominated by Hodgdon extreme powders.

    I've tested this. I know the answer. Suffice to say I believe nothing you have to say about powder and accuracy right about now.
     
  24. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    Upper arrived last night, scope arrived last Friday. Now I just need a scope mount, a lower, and some mags...
     
  25. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake Member

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    If you are seriously looking for distance and accuracy, the 7mm Magnum is you ticket. Many can be hand in the $1000/1200 range.
     
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