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Old January 5, 2024, 10:32 AM   #1
kymasabe
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What AR round should I try next? Bigger than 5.56.

Hey all. I'm bored with 5.56, tired of building the same old AR's, thinking of building something bigger. .300 Blackout might be an option but...was thinking maybe .350 Legend? 6.8SPC (if anyone shoots that anymore?) Maybe .450 Bushmaster?
I'm looking for ammo that's not going to be TOO expensive or hard to find, need something reliable, parts availability that's not too exotic, something that might be used on occasional pig hunt.
Your thoughts ?
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Old January 5, 2024, 12:23 PM   #2
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I really like my 6.8 SPC and 450 Bushmaster. I also have 458 SoCom, but the Bushmaster is easier and more economical to build and shoots 1 to 1.5 inches at 100 yards. Easy to reload for too, since I already reload 45 Colt and 454 Casull.
I have 300 Blackout AR pistol, sort of a home/ urban defense gun, with a red dot/ laser combo sight. I only shoot 110 - 125 grain, high velocity loads, no subsonic, heavy bullets. It is a fun gun but looking back on all my AR builds, I wouldn’t have done 300 Blackout, 22 Nosler or 22 Valkyrie.
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Old January 5, 2024, 12:26 PM   #3
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6mm arc next for me. What for? I will figure it out.

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Old January 5, 2024, 01:10 PM   #4
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Old January 5, 2024, 01:58 PM   #5
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If you want cheap ammo I'd build a 7.62X39 AR.

Wrong forum for this question, but I won't hold it against you.
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Old January 5, 2024, 03:28 PM   #6
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Skip all the crap in the middle and go for the 50 Beowulf!
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Old January 5, 2024, 05:17 PM   #7
Koda94
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Quote:
I'm looking for ammo that's not going to be TOO expensive or hard to find, need something reliable, parts availability that's not too exotic, something that might be used on occasional pig hunt.
Your thoughts ?
6.5 Grendel is an awesome hunting caliber in the AR platform and well established availability in parts and ammo.
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Old January 5, 2024, 06:44 PM   #8
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I would think the approach is "what do I want to do" which would lead towards likely caliber choices.

Hard to go wrong with .22 LR as an option.
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Old January 5, 2024, 10:08 PM   #9
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I went for the 6.5 Grendel. The grandson shot up a big hog with the 223, but the hog went another 300 yards. It was the last straw on pig hunting with the 223. Too many ran off. They don’t go far when you hit them well with the Grendel.

I’d have probably been just as pleased with the 6.8 SPC, but I already had reloading bits and pieces for the Grendel.
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Old January 5, 2024, 10:45 PM   #10
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I've used both the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel on deer and antelope. I've had no problem with either of them but if I were to settle on one, it would be the 6.5. For factory ammo you will probably have better choices there. You might even be able to pick up some cheap steel cased Wolf ammo for the 6.5. Not sure if it is still available but I did lay some in a few years ago when it was about $6 per box.
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Old January 5, 2024, 10:50 PM   #11
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Between the two I think the 6.5Grendel has better ballistics downrange than the 6.8 SPC.
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Old January 5, 2024, 11:16 PM   #12
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For a combination of "just shooting" and pig hunting using factory ammo, the 350L sounds pretty good.

For more general purpose hunting, a 6.5 Grendel would be my choice.
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Old January 6, 2024, 08:48 AM   #13
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Based on what I see available in my local stores, .300 Blackout, .350 Legend, and .450 Bushmaster seem to be the most popular non-5.56 AR calibers. Of the three, .300 Blackout has the most widely available ammo and lowest cost. However, the main advantages of .300 BO are running in very short barrels and/or with a suppressor neither of which you mentioned in your OP.

You did mention Hog hunting and when I hear that I immediately think "brush gun" and when I think "brush gun" I immediately think of big bore lever guns. Since .450 Bushmaster gives roughly the same Ballistics as .444 Marlin, a purpose built "brush gun" cartridge, it only makes sense to me that .450 Bushmaster would be a superb pig hunting cartridge.
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Old January 6, 2024, 09:28 AM   #14
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kymasabe
I'm looking for ammo that's not going to be TOO expensive or hard to find, need something reliable, parts availability that's not too exotic, something that might be used on occasional pig hunt.
OP isn't reloading, so he's looking at cost for the most basic round available. The cheapest ammunition online at ammoseek.com with conditional free/ free shipping requiring quantity or total amount spent. This is just most of the cartridges mentioned so far with a couple extra thrown in.

.223/5.56: .45 a round brass case ($200 purchase)
7.62X39: .50 a round brass case (1000 rounds)
.300 BLK: .60 a round (300 rounds)
.224 Valkyrie: .68 a round ($125 purchase)
6.8 SPC: .86 a round (1000 round case)
6.5 Gren: .95 a round (500 round case)
.350 Leg: $1 a round ($200 purchase)
.300 HAM'R: $1.20 a round ($50 purchase)
6mm ARC $1.42 a round ($250 purchase)
.50 Beowulf: $1.70 a round ($250 purchase)
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Old January 6, 2024, 08:35 PM   #15
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I have been leaning toward the 6.5 Grendel, but I'll probably try some IMI 77 grain Razorcore before I order a 6.5 upper.
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Old January 6, 2024, 08:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
I'll probably try some IMI 77 grain Razorcore before I order a 6.5 upper.
Good idea. I think most people would be surprised at what a 223 with heavier bullets does. It makes most of the "other" cartridges that can be shot through an AR 15 platform look much less appealing.

It is my opinion that you really have to move up to the AR10 rifle to get it in a cartridge that is really a significant jump up over 223.

But if I were going to go bigger the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 cartridges make the most sense to me.
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Old January 6, 2024, 08:54 PM   #17
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I tried heavy bullets. Accuracy is not good for some reason. Anything heavier than 68gr is struggling. I have some light varmint bullets. They will go real fast. Not sure whether they will disintegrate with 1:7 twist.

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Old January 7, 2024, 12:05 AM   #18
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I’ve got complete rifles in 5.56, 5.56, and .338 Federal.

I think my next uppers will be .300 BLK, and 6.8.

I’ve also been eyeballing 9mm and .46 Auto carbines.

Occasionally, I get the bug for a .375 SOCOM, but I expect ammo is a bit more than the OP is looking for.
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Old January 7, 2024, 02:59 AM   #19
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A Fedex pilot neighbor also has just the AR in .223.

Now he’s interested in building,
or buying, an AR-10.

I have Zero rifle building experience or advice for him.
My main rifles are .308 (no ARs), and just one is 7,62x39.

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Old January 7, 2024, 02:22 PM   #20
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What velocity are you getting with those 77gr slugs?? from what barrel length??
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Old January 7, 2024, 05:31 PM   #21
rickyrick
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I’m trying out 450BM, I know there are better long range options out there but since I now live in the dense forest my tastes for ARs have changed. I won’t be shooting anything beyond 50-100 range. I’ve been tossing around a few ideas and came up with 450BM.

Really you’re gonna get answers that are other people’s favorites or pet calibers. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s good to see what others are doing.

I have .223/5.56, 300AAC and 6.8SPC. I like those so far and leaning towards 6.8 as being my favorite.
300AAC is pretty quiet unsuppressed, especially with subs but even with supers.

If I were still living in west Texas I may shoot for longer range options, but I’m not, so my next trial is the 450BM. I haven’t bought a complete upper in a very long time but I opted for one this time.
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Old January 7, 2024, 06:22 PM   #22
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I’m a 6.8 spc fan.Ten years ago that’s what I would have recommended.But some bullets have been discontinued the cheap gold dot bullets are gone and the relatively cheap ammo is gone.Today I would go with the 6.5 Grendel
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Old January 7, 2024, 06:32 PM   #23
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6.5 grendel
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Old January 8, 2024, 03:52 PM   #24
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""something that might be used on occasional pig hunt."" - 2 people said AR-10 / .308 and I entirely agree. For knock down with outstanding ballistics and wide availability, the .308 is one of the best out there especially for taking down a sow at distance. A quality muzzle brake and the recoil isn't any worse than a barbie gun with nothing. I had a chance to fire my friend's AR-10 and, if I had a boar problem, it's what I'd reach for.
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Old January 12, 2024, 05:29 PM   #25
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300 blackout is VASTLY superior to 223 when hunting. I know a lot is written that it's not all that much of an upgrade but having hunted boar and other game for many years with both, the difference is night and day. It's effectively the perfect AR round when your goal is not to carry a war full of ammo with you.
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