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Old October 27, 2013, 04:15 PM   #1
mnoirot64
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Long range target shooting caliber

Good Sunday afternoon, friends. I primarily shoot .308 for target out to 300-400 yards. I reload all of my cartridges. I am fortunate to have some very good rifle ranges nearby, including one which pushes out to 800 yards. The .308 just doesn't perform consistently for me past 500 yards. That said, I am considering buying a 30 caliber magnum. Besides target shooting, I also plan to use the gun for hunting elk, bighorn sheep, moose and bear. I was originally considering a .300 RUM or .300 Weatherby Magnum - leaning towards the RUM. Now I am also considering the .338 RUM. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Old October 27, 2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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I would first be asking the obvious question: what sort of events might I hope to enter, and do any of these (or the ranges on which they are shot) impose calibre or power restrictions?

That may shape your choices far more than the performance question. I know of a 600yd range I used to shoot on that won't accept anything larger than 8mm/0.323", which means the .30 RUM (for instance) is welcome but a blackpowder .38-55 is banned (stupid but not the range's problem, bureaucracy forced that on them); another is only 100yd yet sets a power limit of "nothing more powerful than .338 Lapua Magnum" but AFAIK no bore limit. And so on. It would suck to bring your new baby along and find you couldn't use it.
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Old October 27, 2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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I think besides what the previous poster just put up i would ask what range are you considering long range? The rounds you list are great rounds for long range shooting but they punish the shooter beyond what is needed for say a 1k yard gun. Hunting is also the same IMO. Are you after dangerous game or just Deer, Elk, and maybe Moose. And whatever else falls in those body sizes of animals? I know I LOVE my .300 win mag which i would recommend to anyone as far a hunting round / target round to 1k. You can load heavy bullets for long range or load lighter rounds for Antelope. Plus the felt recoil is far less then say a .338 RUM. Just depends on personal preferences. And as already stated I have never had a range i couldnt shoot my .300 win mag. However my .338 LM was too large and powerful.
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Old October 27, 2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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As belted cases have started losing popularity in long range matches due to all the issues they have, I suggest one of the larger rimless ones such as the 7mm SAUM or 30 caliber ones from Remington or Winchester. Much easier to reload for best accuracy. You can use them in most long range matches but not Palma which is mostly .308 Win.

There's no accuracy difference between these and the .308. One who dopes the wind best shooting a .308 will out perform those shooting bigger cartridges for score on paper targets. The bigger ones are better for big game.

Any caliber over 30 has too much recoil to shoot accurately held against their shoulder. And the 30 caliber magnums have been disappearing from NRA high power long range matches as the 26 and 28 caliber ones shoot better scores.
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Old October 27, 2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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A good match rifle and a good hunting rifle are usually quite mutually exclusive.
Right now, the .284 Winchester seems to be the rifle to beat in 1000 Yard. Due to some new bullet development, I look for the big 6mm's to knock it off real soon. My 1k build in progress is a wildcat 6mm.
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Old October 27, 2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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Long range target shooting caliber

I was under the impression .308WIN was shot in competition to 1k yards regularly. Is that not correct?

If I was building with a purpose it would be 6MM BR.
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Old October 27, 2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Long range target shooting caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by reynolds357 View Post
A good match rifle and a good hunting rifle are usually quite mutually exclusive.
Right now, the .284 Winchester seems to be the rifle to beat in 1000 Yard. Due to some new bullet development, I look for the big 6mm's to knock it off real soon. My 1k build in progress is a wildcat 6mm.
I'm not going to participate in any competitive shooting, per se. The long range target shooting is for pleasure and practicing for hunts. Thus, the reason I'm looking at 30 caliber magnums.
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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In that casse, 300 WSM or 300 Win would be my choice of .30 Cals.
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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I would be asking WHY?. The 308 should perform very very well out past 800 yards. 500 yards is a walk in the park so to say for a 308. FTR will push them to 1200 yards .
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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Why? Punching a piece of paper and killing big game require different levels of Kinetic energy.
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:30 PM   #11
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Yes reynolds- But the 308 will work for all game he has mentioned too. I don't care what caliber you have shooting a animal at 800 yards is not ethical by no means with out knowing your good enough to do it. The 308 has been killing every animal in North America for 40 plus years with no problem. Please don't turn this into a caliber war.
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:44 PM   #12
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1,000 yards

I have been using a 6mm built around a 1940 98k Mauser action with a 26 inch heavy barrel by Federal.
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:53 PM   #13
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might want to read this

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/tag/shiraz-balolia/

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...ome-built-gun/

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/tag/1000-yards/

you may not be building a rifle but you do have to look at some of the cases and I don't own a 308. I belong to two gun clubs out here (Co) and the 300Wby and 300Mag are the most popular for hunting. Last few years seeing more 7mag and we have few that use the 375 H&H for elk along with the 300RM.
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Old October 27, 2013, 08:55 PM   #14
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4runnerman, you are turning it into a "caliber war." You seem offended that I am not bowing at the altar of the .308 Win. For me, its under powered. To me, its not un ethical to shoot game at 800+. I want more power and a flatter trajectory than the .308 Winchester can deliver. I gave you my reasons why. Not trying to convince you they should be your reasons as well.
I dont knock anyone who shoots a .308 Win. I have a couple myself. The .308 Win. is not the perfect round. The attitude among its fans seems to be that on the day it was built, perfection was reached and all ballistic research should have ended.
Why has it all but disappeared as a long range sniper round?
Its a great round, but its not the ONLY round. All rounds have their limitations. It reaches its limitations too early for my liking.

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Old October 27, 2013, 09:25 PM   #15
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Yes, .308's used in competition but mostly in Palma matches using metallic sights at 800 to 1000 yards. But the 6.5x.284's shooting better scores when any cartridge is allowed. The 7mm SAUM is also better than .308's when allowed.

And the .308's a bit weak on bigger game animals past 400 yards, in my opinion. Moose, elk . . . .
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Old October 27, 2013, 09:27 PM   #16
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I do not put the the 308 in the symbolism you are thinking. As for the perfect round - It is the 308 sorry to say. It is a all around caliber that has done it all and continues to do it all. Magnum calibers are more than what 90% of people need to hunt. As for you shooting a animal at 800 yards,,I sure hope you are one heck of a good shot.

As for disappearing as a sniper round???? Not aware of that, As far as I read it is still the number one swat caliber used today. I have a 308, but prefer my 6br for long range shooting. I do not think the 308 is not capable of doing it,I just like the BR much more

I have also shot the Magnum calibers to. 7mm Dakota,338,300 rum. While nice shooting rifles ,as I stated more than what 90% of people need.

Also as I stated --Everything he mentioned for hunting is in the ball park for a 308,243,30-06, 25-06, ect ect, Get my point?. No 50 cal needed here and no Magnum caliber needed either. Also as Bart somewhat lead to. If he is still shooting Target. There are certain calibers not allowed. FTR is 223 and 308 only.
F-Class is open to all,but shooting a magnum caliber in that situation,,You are out gunned from the get go. Hunting only--Go ahead and get a Magnum if you feel you need it. I never have in 35 plus years


I guess my main thought was,He mentioned it did not shoot good at over 400 yards. that is what puzzled me. I t should shoot great well past 600 to 800 yards. Even more so with hand loads.
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Old October 27, 2013, 10:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
The .308 just doesn't perform consistently for me past 500 yards
Who told you that, I've been shooting 308s in competition for over 35 years. 200, 300, 600 and 1000 yards, and it DOES WORK.

I do have a 300 Win 1000 yard rifle, it works but fatigue will get you after a while. Actually the best 1000 yard scores I've show were with my M1Z and 308s.

Quote:
Besides target shooting, I also plan to use the gun for hunting elk, bighorn sheep, moose and bear.
The 308 is more then adequate for those animals. People go to magnums thinking its about power, NOPE, its about marksmanship.

If you just want another rifle, then "want" is reason enough. But for what you've listed, the 308 is great.

The 6/6.5 MMs are great also, but for the larger animals you talk about a heavier 308 would work better in my opinion.

The thing is if you shoot any of the animals you mentioned in the heart/lung area, more then likely the bullet will exit the other side. So will the magnums, but how far past the animal do you want the bullet to go after shooting it.

The magnums are ok, but for hunting they require a heavier gun then I like to carry while hunting. As for target shooting, again, they will work, but recoil and fatigue will take its toll and effect your shooting.

Again, I'm not against buying another rifle, heaven knows I have my share, everywhere from 25-20 to 416 Rigby, but the target rifles I use now are either 223 or 308 ('06 in Vintage Military Rifle matches) and my main hunting rifles are a 257 Roberts and 270 Win.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old October 28, 2013, 05:22 AM   #18
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kraigwy, Don't get me wrong but you had a reason to take that bull with 375 H&H.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...38#post5260638
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Old October 28, 2013, 10:40 AM   #19
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kraigwy, Don't get me wrong but you had a reason to take that bull with 375 H&H
.

I don't know that I "needed" the 375, but yes I did take it. It was late, it was in the truck when I saw that elk, I figured there would be less of a chance to have to follow blood trails with the 375, so I shot it.

But again, I was in the truck, not packing a rifle. I shot one (a cow this year at 340 yards with my 270 (150 Hornady IB) It was DRT, and rolled down hill to landing in a creek. It actually was quicker kill then the 375 did on that link you posted.

NO I'm not saying the 270 will always kill quicker. But it works. If I'm packing a rifle at my old age, (not in the truck) you can bet I'm carrying my Model 70 Featherweight.

Something else that link doesn't talk about is when I got home I put a muzzle brake on the 375 H&H.

My point is, that do to recoil, I can shoot the 270 Win better then I can the 375 H&H. I don't care how big a gun is, if you can't shoot it, it isn't going to work.

Here is this year's elk compared to last years. Notice the shot location, both the 270 and 375 will work with proper shot placement. Both will exit the other side. Difference is, the 375 will probably go farther then the 270 after it exits the animal. But the animal wont know that. Your shoulder will. Maybe not while you're shooting at game, but in practicing with the rifles so you can make the proper shot, recoil matters.

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Old October 28, 2013, 11:11 AM   #20
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kraigwy, We have choices on what we use. I know what I use to take elk and I'm sure not going to recommend something I haven't used.

If I got a cow tag and I'm looking for meat I'm sure not going to use what I would on a bull tag.

If the 308 was as accurate as some claim why don't the F-Class open guy's shot that?

Here is results from 1000yd group matches

http://www.pa1000yard.com/results/to...=100&year=2012

The 308 Baer is IMP 300wby case.
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Old October 28, 2013, 11:24 AM   #21
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If I was going to setup a long range target rifle that would also be used for game, I would start with the .265/6.5 mm family. The 6.5-284, 6.5 Creedmoor, or .260 Remington would all make excellent cartridges to base this endevor on.

For the .308 people;

Bryan Litz Article (click on whats wrong with the .30 caliber?)

German Salazar's article on the .30 caliber

Another German Salazar article on a 1,000 yard .308 round

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Old October 28, 2013, 12:50 PM   #22
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OldRoper- There are a lot of guys using the 308 in F Class open, Not sure where you are going with that one. I just had my last match of the year here ( NRA Sanctioned ) about 3 weeks ago. 38 people from Montana,Canada,Minn,Wisconsin and ND, I believe there was somewhere in the area of a dozen using 308's. Other calibers are far more used,but still lots of 308s out there. On a windy day at 1000 yards I am going to be taking my 308 over my 6BR for sure. Heavier bullet and still very accurate at 1000 yards.
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Old October 28, 2013, 01:44 PM   #23
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4runnerman, Since F-class open doesn't list rifles used and looking at rifles used at Raton this past Aug and what's winning and the F-Class open team sure didn't use the 308. You would thing the team would use the 308?

I'm not the one making the claims that the 308 is the most accurate etc. Seems like every time F-Class open record is set it's with something other than a 308 and why is that?

I think the F-Class is a good match as you have choices and if I was going to get back into match shooting I would consider that but I sure won't shoot the 308.

kraigwy, was pretty honest when he said, "I shot my best score with 308" and my combat rifle is Vietnam M-14.
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Old October 28, 2013, 02:05 PM   #24
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4runnerman, I'm extremely fond of the .308 Win's accuracy at the longer ranges. Folks have shot test groups at 600 yards with .308's equalling what current F class wins and records are since the 1960's.

But given a choice of what to shoot in an F class match, the 6.5 calibers are easier to shoot accurate off ones shoulder due to their lighter recoil. Same reason they've taken over what 30 caliber magnums used to do in prone long range matches. Those 26 caliber 140 grain bullets buck the wind better than the same weight bullets shot from .308's. So their shootability is equal, but the .308's down range accuracy suffers from those subtle cross winds constantly changing speeds and directions. The 24 and 26 caliber rounds started out scoring the .308's back in the late 90's at high power matches through 600 yards when very accurate bullets were available for them.

While the 30 caliber big cartridges are popular in long range benchrest matches in free-recoiling rigs virtually untouched by humans, they've been out-scored by 26 caliber ones when fired off the shoulder.
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Old October 28, 2013, 03:10 PM   #25
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4 Runnerman, I said "long range sniper round." L.E. snipers very rarely shoot long range. Most dont even train long range. I used to be a L.E. sniper. I technically still am because I am still certified, but I have not actually gone on any call outs since I got hurt a couple years ago. You would be amazed how poorly the vast majority of L.E."marksman observers" shoot at short range. Lord help them at long range.
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