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Old November 7, 2018, 09:38 PM   #1
SerenityNetworks
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Browning BAR Caliber Dilemma - Input Requested

I've decided to purchase a BAR to round out my center-fire rifle holdings. I'm struggling to decide on the caliber. I suspect some here can provide me with some points for consideration that haven't even crossed my mind. Here's my foundation and thinking so far.
  • I've never needed more than one shot, so I've been perfectly happy with bolt actions. But now I'm hunting 'yotes and hogs in Texas, and finding a semi-auto would be quite handy.
  • I have a 30-06 and .204 Ruger (bolt action), so I'm looking for an in-between caliber.
  • With my bolt actions I can shoot MOA or a bit less, with factory ammo, from a bench with bags or prone with a bi-pod. I'm usually closer to 2 or 3 MOA using sticks, depending on my position. So I'm not a great shot, but I'm not bad either. I want a rifle that will out shoot me.
  • So I was wanting the Safari model with BOSS.
  • My first choice for caliber was the 25-06. But dang-it, you can't get it with BOSS.
  • My thought on getting the 25-06 was it would be great for 'yotes and hogs, plus the lighter recoil gives me a better opportunity for multiple kills. I know the BOSS reduces recoil, but I don't know that it gets a .270 down to the same level as a 25-06 and the .270 will still have a sharper recoil.
  • Also, the .270 gets me close to the capability of the 30-06, which I already have.
  • I'll likely be putting a digital scope on it. (Right now I have an ATN X-Sight 4k.) That impacts the accuracy issue a bit too.
  • So now I'm in a pickle. Do I get the 25-06 (the caliber I'd prefer) without BOSS or the .270 with BOSS (giving me more inherent accuracy)?

Thoughts? What have I failed to consider, or what would you do and why?

Thanks in advance,
Andrew
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Old November 7, 2018, 10:36 PM   #2
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I'd get the .270---.25-06 ammo seems to be scarce around here.
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Old November 8, 2018, 09:37 AM   #3
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I'd just get the 25-06 and be done with it... the BAR is a fine rifle, I don't see why it wouldn't give acceptable accuracy without the BOSS.
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Old November 8, 2018, 10:12 AM   #4
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I'm not a hog hunter, but I've ruined the day for Wily Coyote a few times.

If mostly coyotes, I'd go with a .243; a 100-grain bullet would work on hogs. I'd use a 55-grain load on coyotes.

If mostly hogs, I think I'd go with a 7mm08 and use light-weight bullets on coyotes.
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Old November 8, 2018, 11:23 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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There’s nothing special about the “BOSS”... after all, the rifles you already have shoot fine without it, right?

Reduced recoil is nice.... but why get a bigger gun with a recoil reducer just to get it down the recoil of the gun you wanted in the first place?

If my targets were deer, hogs and coyotes, I’d rather have the .243 that .25-06 or .270.... but that’s me. Any of them would work just fine. .270 is pretty stout for coyotes though.

Ammo availability would not enter the equation for me... every caliber in discussion is readily available almost everywhere and circumstances requiring an “emergency” supply are so improbable, and the consequences so minimal, as to be of no concern at all.

A 7-08 BAR with the BOSS would be frickin’ awesome though.
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Old November 8, 2018, 11:42 AM   #6
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My Browning BAR is in the 308 caliber. Works great on hogs here in Texas.
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Old November 8, 2018, 02:06 PM   #7
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"...multiple kills..." Won't happen. Ain't no flock of varmints that won't disappear completely with the sound of one shot.
"...gets me close to the capability..." So does a .25-06. Only difference is with like bullet weights, the .25-06 has more remaining energy at long range. With a 100 grain bullet, at 500 yards(way too far anyway) it has 689 ft-lbs of energy vs the 594 ft-lbs of a 100 grain .270. Bullet drop is within inches of each other.
"...reduces recoil..." A BAR is gas operated. There is no recoil. I wouldn't get fixated on the BOSS either. It's really just another muzzle brake with the same increase in muzzle blast that has to be fiddled with according to the ammo used.
"...is readily available almost everywhere..." Not the .25-06 it isn't.
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Old November 8, 2018, 04:17 PM   #8
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For hunting big boars, the .338 Magnum cartridge would be my choice-though I'm sure the .25-06 or .270 or .30-06 would work just fine.
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Old November 8, 2018, 04:29 PM   #9
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Hmmm. Thanks for all the input. Now my head is whirling.
  • I do shoot more 'yotes than hogs, but that may change.
  • If I go after the big boars then I'll be taking my 30-06.
  • Good points about not worrying about the BOSS. If needed, I can always put on a rubber de-resonator or similar. (I fiddled with one on my 30-06 and gained at around a 1/4 MOA when I stick with the same ammo. It probably wasn't worth the effort it took, but it does work.)
  • Also, thanks for bringing up the muzzle break point. I'm generally not a fan. I'd rather the sound go down range.
  • I've pretty much ruled out the .270 and the remaining options don't have that much recoil.
  • Multiple shots: Doubles are not uncommon on 'yotes, even with a bolt action. But I could have had a few triples if I'd had a semi-auto. Not so much on hogs. They scatter in a blink and where I hunt it's not wide open where I have any chance for a second shot.
  • I don't know why I didn't consider the .243. I shot my dad's a bunch years ago and loved the caliber. It's versatile and there's a great variety of ammo.
  • I'm not familiar with the 7mm-08 at all. It seems it has a little more oomph and a better BC at the top end. But it also seems there is a great deal of overlap with the .243.
The more I think about it, the .243 seems an attractive option. I'm not likely to be shooting 'yotes or hogs beyond 300 yards. So .243 or 25-06 or tell me more about the 7mm-08? And now that I'm not considering needing a rifle with BOSS, which BAR model to choose? I kind of like the idea of the composites that provide shims for drop and cast (especially cast).

Thanks again. This all has me considering things I otherwise wouldn't have thought about, which is the point of the thread.

Andrew
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Old November 8, 2018, 06:45 PM   #10
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Basically, in the common 139-grain (or 140-grain) deer loading, I see the 7mm08 as a .308 with ten grains less bullet weight. Performance is pretty much the same. Mine is a 700 Ti; recoil at the bench is not onerous.

Many hog hunters post regularly of success with heavy bullets in the .223, which is why I figure that a 100-grain bullet from a 243 would work. I got lazy and only use the 85-grain Sierra HPBT for deer and coyotes in my .243, but have mostly done neck shots. It's a blow-up bullet, so no angling shots.
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Old November 8, 2018, 07:37 PM   #11
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Thanks Art. Yes, I too know a bunch of guys that use the .223/5.56 on hogs. I'm just not enamored with the round for use on game. I've tried it and the AR platform just isn't my style either. I'm an old fart and I simply prefer a traditional rifle stock. If I go with a composite BAR, it will be my first composite rifle outside of my trusty Marlin 795.

The 25-06 only comes in the Safari model. The .243 comes in several models, as does the 7mm-08. But right now I'm leaning towards either the .243 or the 25-06.

But I'm still very open to thoughts and suggestions.
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Old November 9, 2018, 12:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SerenityNetworks
I'm not likely to be shooting 'yotes or hogs beyond 300 yards. So .243 or 25-06 or tell me more about the 7mm-08?
You know what I wish they'd make? A .25-08. Somebody did once but for whatever reason it never took off.... probably the stupid name (.25 Souper).

Any way, my love of the 7-08 is certainly no secret around these parts. I think it's the best North American big game cartridge in existence. I use light-weight, fast bullets (110 or 120gr TTSX). It has never failed to impress me immensely. I've killed numerous deer (15" Encore Pro Hunter) and one elk (Tikka T3x) with 7-08 at ranges from feet to 250 yards and can't imagine any reason I'd switch.

If you step up to low-end .308 bullet weights (around 160gr) the 7-08 actually has (slightly) better ballistics and (barely) better energy. Barely, but better. Most shooters don't do that though, and you won't often find factory ammo in those weights. In fact, in factory, you'll almost never find anything but 120 and 139/140gr... but that's all you need.

If you roll your own, varmint bullets are available down to 100gr and target bullets up to 175gr, although I'd guess a BAR won't stabilize those.

If you do some comparisons, you'll see that the 7-08 has roughly 15% less recoil than a .308. That doesn't seem like a lot and if you're not bothered by recoil, it won't be. Personally, I had all the recoil I needed when I grew up hunting deer with 12ga slugs. .308 is over my recoil fun factor... 7-08 is below it.

I'm also a big fan of the .243... my semi-dedicated deer gun (a customized Savage 11 with a McGowen barrel is .243AI, just to be different). I shoot light and fast there too, with 80gr TTSX @ 3,500fps. It's hell on deer. Regular .243 would be ~100fps slower. (Irrelevant difference).

.25-06 is a fine round... I don't like it because it seems antiquated.... I don't know what that matters, I still like Art. I could argue long vs short action, efficiency, aesthetics, whatever. I don't know, it just never struck my fancy. If you like it, have at it, it'll work just fine.

Now, a .25-08? That I'd buy.
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Old November 9, 2018, 04:40 AM   #13
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I have 2 BARs, one in .30 06, the other in 7mm Mag. I love the design. For the use you described I would consider .308. The availability of ammo being a big consideration. Also, .243 is a great intermediary round.
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Old November 9, 2018, 07:58 AM   #14
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Thanks folks.

I'm hearing a lot about the 7mm-08 and .308. Those seem like overkill for coyotes and typical Texas hog (not the big boars). I'm not recoil sensitive, but the recoil from the larger loads won't make it any easier to take doubles or triples on coyotes, which is the main point of this rifle. Right now, I shoot more coyotes than hogs. Is there something I'm missing as to why these stronger loads are being suggested?

If not, right now I'm torn between the 25-06 and the .243. I'm leaning towards the .243, but having no experience with the 25-06 I don't want to make an uninformed decision.

Thanks again,
Andrew
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Old November 9, 2018, 10:46 AM   #15
Art Eatman
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93 pages about hog hunting:

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...-texas.449721/
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Old November 9, 2018, 10:50 AM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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I don’t see any reason to choose .25-06 over .243, except personal presence. The -06 has advantages on paper, but they don’t amount to much in real life.

The .243 is one of the most popular cartridges ever invented and can be reasonably used on everything from ground hogs to elk. Ammo will probably be 10-20% cheaper than the -06 too.
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Old November 9, 2018, 12:18 PM   #17
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Brian, thanks for the clarification.

Art, that's quite a thread. I'll have to spend some time looking through it.

Thanks.
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Old November 15, 2018, 01:18 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the input. I decided on a Stalker in .243. I believe it will work fine for where I want it to fit.
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Old November 15, 2018, 04:33 PM   #19
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We’ll be expecting pics and a range report!
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Old November 15, 2018, 05:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger View Post
We’ll be expecting pics and a range report!
Absolutely!

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