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Old March 5th, 2017, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Bolt action and Long range. Whats the best caliber?

Looking at a bolt action and I am for something to reach out past 500 yards and try to hit 800 yards if my eye sight will allow it.
But I am also wondering what caliber I should go with.
I am looking at cost and easy ability of getting my hands on ammo and then getting into reloading eventually.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 07:24 PM   #2
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You're going to get a thousand answers but look into 6.5 Creedmoor in the Ruger Precision Rifle. Add a decent scope and you'll be banging steel. Very fun rifle.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 07:26 PM   #3
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7 mil mag. It has slightly less drop when you get out to 500+ yards, with plenty of energy to drop big game. .300 win mag has a lot more energy, being a bigger bullet, but it is going slightly slower (about 200 f/s less) and with the more mass of the bullet has a bit more drop than the 7 mil mag.

For me, I would choose the .300 win mag, because that's what I shoot right now, so I wouldn't need to buy a new gun and I like it. But if I was looking for a new purchase for long range shooting, it would be the 7 mil mag. Plus, it has a lot less recoil than the .300 win mag. So, if you're sensitive to recoil then I definitely wouldn't go with the .300.

You can find the 7 mil mag just about anywhere that sells ammo, meijer-wally world included. It's not a specialty round, and it's very popular
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Old March 5th, 2017, 08:41 PM   #4
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30-06, 308 Winchester, 300 Winchester Magnum can all use the same projectile. 308 and 300WM both send the 168 Sierra MatchKing and 165 Sierra GameKing down range quite nicely but not technically the best for what you're trying to do. You will end up handloading at that distance so just plan on it.

A bolt 308 makes me flinch sometimes if I'm not in the mood, 300 WM is just plain abusive.

I'd start with the 308.

Or start with a 243 since it's a weenie version of the 308.

I like 308. I like the Sierra 165 Spitzer Boat Tail (#2145).
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Old March 5th, 2017, 09:40 PM   #5
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Personally shoot a 6.5 creedmoor and love it. Has all the potential for the distance you want. Hardly kicks you'll love shooting for extended periods of time. Has enough energy for any midwest whitetail. Will do anything a 308 will. Plenty of ammo on the shelves nowadays.
I picked up a Savage 10T (cabelas exclusive) for $600 and threw in a $600 bargain cave Vortex and have had it out to 400-650 yards no problem.

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Old March 5th, 2017, 10:57 PM   #6
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30.06 is quite possible the most versatile cartridge available.
I've hand loaded down to 110 gr bullets and used accellerator rounds for coyote.
It is capable of taking all North American big game.
Surplus ammo can still be found, and shared with a Garand in case you like shooting long range with open sights.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 07:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, what you all have said is pretty much what I have narrowed it down to.

I am a toss up right now between 243, 300 win, 7 mil and 308.
Now I can get get into the reloading the 243 and 308 for almost nothing as my friend has all the equipment to do the reloading. But this is NOT stopping me from looking into the others as a choice.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #8
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If you're looking for something different but don't mind the cost of boutique ammo then a Savage 110 or AR30A1 in 338 Lapua. I have no use for anything like that. It shoots 5 dollar bills. But it's a good time.

While I have 1320' of property I only have about 900' line of sight and pointing down. Pretty much sufficient for 308. At 900' keeping it in the size of a tennis ball is good enough for me.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #9
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Whether or not you are planning to hunt with the gun and whether or not you plan to relaod makes a pretty big difference. If you are interested in competitive shooting, 6x47 or 6.5x47 Lapua. 6.5 Creedmoor is a really good suggestion and would pretty much cover all your bases. A 300WM or 7mm RM is going to get old shooting all day unless you have a really heavy gun.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 09:01 AM   #10
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I like my 270wsm. but that isn't exactly cost productive.

I agree with the 7 mag or the 6.5 creedmor above.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 10:50 AM   #11
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308, good muzzle break and a limb saver pad - it will kick less than a .22LR and can shoot over 1600 yards with practice and skill (yes I have seen it done in 30+ mph wind by alpena). .260 is another good one, but less common ammo.

Remington 700 SPS, if you shop hard - can be had for around 469$ out the door, and most will shoot a dime @ 100yds. Great entry level barbie style distance gun capable of 1000 yards all day.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 03:27 PM   #12
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What are you shooting, anyway? Varmant/small game? Or big game?

That would make a big difference in what caliber i'd go with. Anything bigger than a coyote and I wouldn't choose a .243. Not saying it wont do the job, but it's a little small to hit Whitetail at 500+ yards, plus you're gonna have a good tracking job with it. The drop isn't that bad, pretty close to the 7mil, but the energy behind it is very lacking.

With regards to the .30-06. It's nearly the same compared to a 7 mil mag at shorter distances, but the extreme distances is where the odd 6 drops off immensly. It have almost 6-7" more drop (with similar ammunition) at 500 yards that the 7 mil mag, and almost 1,000 fps slower. Closer range, .30-06 could beat the 7 mil with energy, longer distance is where the 7 mil shines.

So, for long distances, like you said, at 500 yards the 7 mil mag.
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Old March 9th, 2017, 08:06 PM   #13
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me personally, short-mid range-- .35 mid-long range--- 30-06 and just flat out long i like my 7 mil. but the 30-06 will easily cover the whole spectrum from short to long. my preferred gun is my remington woods master 30-06 with my red field 3x9 scope with over under sights
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Old March 10th, 2017, 08:12 PM   #14
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I am not doing any real game shooting other than a Coyote or two when need be. I am more going out right now for Target practice. As of now it is to get myself into long range shooting.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 08:41 PM   #15
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if your just whackin yotes than its pretty much whatever you want. my uncle gave me an old ass german mauser when i was younger. shot accurate, shot far. you can learn a lot from old guns. do a little research and hit a few swap meets. some of the old mausers are great guns. check out armslist.com
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Old March 13th, 2017, 12:09 PM   #16
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Like rono said, if you're just shooting at whatever, odd off coyote or something, or targets; whatever you want. .243 would be pretty fun to play with long distance. .30-06 and 7 mil will get pretty expensive to shoot just to shoot.

Also like rono said, some of the older guns are really good long distance shooters. Go online, pretty much anywhere that sells guns, and spend $125 on a Nagant.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 03:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannaert View Post
I am not doing any real game shooting other than a Coyote or two when need be. I am more going out right now for Target practice. As of now it is to get myself into long range shooting.
The 243 is what your after by this reply . Last month I was hitting 1000 yard steel with a 243 and 75 grain Vmax. The bullet choices are everything from 58 to 115 grain if you twist is fast enough .
The 6.5 calibers would work better longer distance but ammo companies need to catch up on loaded ammo choices. Lots of good bullets if you reload .
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Old May 28th, 2017, 05:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The 243 is what your after by this reply . Last month I was hitting 1000 yard steel...

Can you share any secrets where to find a place to shoot that far? I'd be pumped to send some bullets even half that distance.
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Old May 28th, 2017, 05:07 PM   #19
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MTC up in Lakecity is where we shoot mostly . We have a spot up by Mio but the vacationers take over this time a year.
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Old Yesterday, 09:47 PM   #20
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Thanks for the info @Easy_E
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