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Old February 26, 2013, 11:09 PM   #1
bcarver
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AR caliber suggestions

I am gonna build an upper but don't know what caliber.
I have a couple in .223 and a 6.8spc so not that.
I only hunt deer,hogs and vermin(yotes and bobcats).
I reload or handload so no limits except I don't want to fire form brass.
It must fit the .223 length magazine.
Question: What would you reccomend and why?
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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I like the sounds of the 6x45. Basically take a 5.56x45 brass, run it through a .243 neck sizing die and load it with a 6mm/.243 bullet. It uses the same mag same bolt, same everything as a 5.56x45 except the barrel.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:18 AM   #3
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I know several shooters that have gone to a .22LR AR15. While they might shoot small furry critters with them on occasion they primarily want to shoot cheaper ammo. Personally I think you're in pretty good shape with your 5.56 and 6.8SPC. I have the same calibers as you and had thought at one time about getting into a 458 SOCOM. The problem is that I don't reload and 458 ammo costs an arm and a leg. I already have a wallet killer in my .338 WinMag BAR. I think instead of another caliber I'm going to buy a can for my 5.56.
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Old February 27, 2013, 06:57 AM   #4
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I have both 300AAC and 7.62x39 as a bigger bore addition. The 7.62x39 came first as an optional use for the ammo stock for the SKS(s). By handloading, I've been able to move that upper into suitable deer taker class.
The 300AAC was just a wild hair. I had an upper and the barrel was the only one Brownells had on hand the day I ordered. It seems to have some potential as a deer gun for Grandsons and has shown much better accuracy than the best I've been able to achieve with the x39 besides it doesn't require additional mags.
Brass can be reformed from .223 if you don't mind the extra effort.
While it's likely a good idea for familiarity training, I refuse to pay twice as much for a 22lr upper vs a simple effective 10/22.
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:55 PM   #5
TimW77
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AR cartridge suggestions

"Question: What would you reccomend and why?"

What I always suggest is that you start with an AR-15 in .223R/5.56, preferably with the .223 WYLDE chamber.

Since you have that covered, next suggestion would be a .22LR CONVERSION UNIT instead of a .22LR upper.

After that would be the 6.5X38mm Grendel.

Finally I'd go with a "large bore" AR-15. These are the .450 Bushmaster, .458 Socom and .50 Beowulf.

Any of the 3 are good choices depending on your needs.

Both the Bushmaster Beowulf use HANDGUN bullets.

Since I was looking for a "rifle" I went with the .458 Socom. It uses .458" RIFLE bullets from 250g up to 600g. Since I already have a .45-70 and .458 and plan on adding a .45-110 this simplifies bullet selection. And, if needed it could use the smaller .451/.452" handgun bullets.

T.
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:50 AM   #6
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I have a 762X39 upper that I use for hogs. I really like this caliber for hunting. Just the right amount of power for my needs.

Reliable mags are available from ASC, AR Stoner, or C Products. I think they are all made by the same company.

You can reload custom ammo, or do as I do and just replace the fmj bullets with Hornady or Winchester sp hunting bullets if you want to use steel case stuff for hunting.
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Old February 28, 2013, 03:00 PM   #7
KMyerK98
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458SOCOM

The 458 uses standard 223 mags. I am itching to hunt hogs with it, I think it would be perfect for that!!

It booms and kicks like a crazy thang - just a hoot to shoot. Recoil is about the same as a 20 gauge, gotta really lean into it. Makes big holes in anything you shoot. Sends 300 grains downrange at around 2000fps!

Can be a little pricey to reload. Likes the spire pointed bullets the best for feeding. I've also loaded 350 grain round nose soft points and those work pretty good too.
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Old February 28, 2013, 03:04 PM   #8
AGENT TIKKI
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6.5 grendel is great for medium range hunting.

The 6.5 projectiles are awesome and very slippery. (high ballistic coefficients)

You can also go long range with it, easily 800 yards, some people even push 1200.
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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OP already has the 6.8, and bullet selection is getting better to where it can get closer to Grendel ballistics than before.

I'm a huge fan of the Grendel though- and now that Hornady has introduced the 123 V-Max in addition to the AMax, it should make an awesome hunting round as well.

But I'm not sure what the OP is looking for...
Range?
The .223 fits the varmint/dog bill.
The 6.8, deer and hog- though "bigger" would be better for big boars.

The .30 cal selections are only "good" to about 100 yards- then they drop like a rock and lose substantial energy. If your shooting is inside that range, worth considering.
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
6.5 grendel is great for medium range hunting.

The 6.5 projectiles are awesome and very slippery. (high ballistic coefficients)

You can also go long range with it, easily 800 yards, some people even push 1200.
Honestly I don't think the 6.5 grendel is worth the extra money for target shooting. With the right ammo you can push a .223 out to 1000 to 1200 yards. Further than that just get a bigger gun. And the grendel needs special mags.
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Old March 2, 2013, 05:03 PM   #11
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thanks

I will look at the socom and bushmaster. Do both of these use the .223 mags?
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:06 PM   #12
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Many of the Grendel questions can be answered by reading the Grendelmania series.

The Grendel with the Hornady 123 gr SST factory load has less wind drift that the .243 Winchester at 500 yards. At that range, one will be lasing the target to get the right holdover. Hence the better wind-bucking nature of the Grendel easier to connect. The 123 gr SST anchors game better than the .243 bullets given the same impact point. You can read an overview of a Grendel-dedicated reloading manual at 6.5 Grendel Reloading Handbook.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:53 PM   #13
KMyerK98
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458 Socom vs 450 Bushy

They both use standard 223 or 5.56 AR mags. But the 458 is a 45 RIFLE caliber and the 450 is a 45 PISTOL caliber. Rifle in 45 caliber is .458" and pistol is .452" - don't ask me why!!

So one advantage of the 458 is that you can find more spire pointed bullets for it in higher weights, whereas the 450 is limited to blunt nosed pistol bullets usually 300 grains or less. Pointy bullets buck the wind better for more retained velocity at the far end of the effective range (150 yards?). But for brush the blunt bullets crash through twigs better on the way to the target with less deflection. With 458 you can load for either situation.

For the 458 you can hand load bullets designed for 458 Socom, 45/70 Govt, 458 Win, 458 anything. Weights range from 250grains up to 500gr, with a few 600's out there. I've never loaded anything bigger than a 350 round nose in mine. With a 500 your usually subsonic (under 1100fps?) but max loads push 1350fps, still a mass of energy, similar to a shotgun slug at around 2000 ft lbs.

But I suppose if I took it elk hunting someday I might pack one magazine full of 500 grain solids just in case I ran into Mr Grizz in a bad mood. My elk round would be a 300 grain barnes triple x.

Last edited by KMyerK98; March 7, 2013 at 05:16 PM. Reason: More info
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Old March 9, 2013, 09:42 PM   #14
MoBart
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5.45x39mm maybe. I have a lower on the way now, gonna buy a kit and saw a listing in last weeks sgn for 5.45 kits. My questions are this, do you need a seperate magazine from 5.56? I have an ak74 varient so knkw ammo issues but its more available and mkstly cheaper still then 5.56mm.
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Old March 15, 2013, 06:49 AM   #15
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I'm actually doing the same debate you are in the middle of. My choices though would be between the 6.5 grendel and the 6.8spc. I'm actually thinking about the 6.8 since I already reload for .270 with 110gr Sierra ProHunters and can use them in the 6.8spc. Unlike target shooters, I'm actually planning on taking this thing with me for bambi. Granted the 6.5 is a great long range round. I'm just thinking about how to keep overall reloading costs down but be effective.
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Old March 15, 2013, 07:38 PM   #16
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I don't reload for the 6.8, but do for the 6.5 Grendel...
I don't see how there could be any significant difference in reloading costs. Similar size cases...bullets...
Even with boolits, 6.5's cost $25/box, and .30 cals in the low $30's, so how much are we really talking?
The big differences in reloading come in powder burned...my .223's burn half of the larger .30's.

I haven't revisited this debate since two years ago when the 6.5 G walked on the 6.8...
But I do believe there have been improved bullet offerings for the 6.8, and Hornady has introduced their infamous 123 grain Amax in the form of the SST for hunting combining the incredible BC of the Amax with the SST hunting bullet.
Used to be that no decent hunting bullets were the downside of the Grendel- no more...
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:06 AM   #17
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I can relate to the comment by mxsailor803 -- keeping reloading costs down.

But, the difference in cost is the up-front cost of dies. This is small compared to other issues.

The notion of having common bullets for two different rifles is also seductive but flawed since you will likely want to use heavier bullets for the .270 Win. You will also use it less frequently since the 6.8 or 6.5 will cover most of your hunting needs.

In that regard, I would look very closely at the Grendel. It will cover your needs from the muzzle out to past ranges where one should responsibly consider taking game. The .270 then can be used with 150 gr or, if you can find them, 160 gr Partitions for the hunts where the Grendel might be a tad on the shy side.

Here is a repeat of an earlier-posted link to an overview of a reloading handbook for the the Grendel: 6.5 Grendel Reloading Handbook. The handbook offers good advice for managing the gas system of any AR in addition to having an interesting comparison between the Grendel and the .243 Winchester. Oh, and there is load data from several commercial sources too.

The handbook might help you decide. You should have a lot of fun whichever path you choose so it will become more a question what you like.
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:30 AM   #18
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I would love a 6.5 grendel. But the idea of a caliber that uses 556 mags is very appealing. the 458 socom and 300aac are both in my future plans.
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:37 AM   #19
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300 blackout/AAC/Whisper is a good add to what you have. Just a barrel difference from your .223/5.56s. Has advantages over the 7.62x39 in magazines and bolts. It is an accurate round and you can go from 100 grain to 240 grain in the .30 caliber. The 125 grain BTs are darn accurate.

.22LR is a good suggestion as well, but DON'T get a conversion, go with the dedicated upper or full rifle. The cleaning sucks as does the accuracy with the conversions. If you want to build one, components are failry available too. There are 2 classes...M&Ps and everytihng else which use Black Dog mags primairly. There are a LOT of options so know what you are looking for before you start down the path.

.450BM/.458 SOCOM. I prefer the .450 for a variety of reasons, but both are capable and fill the big bore desire.

One of these three would be what i would suggest.
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