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.223 rem or .308 win for target shooting up to 600-800 yards?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by RifleEnthusiast, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    I'd like to know your opinion on whether a .223 rem or .308 win is more suitable for target shooting up to 600 or 800 yards.
    Also, I've seen there are $ differences for the ammo, but I've also seen it vary greatly, typically what kind of price difference am I looking at for 'fun' ammo as well as for 'accurate' ammo between the two calibers?
     
  2. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    i would say the .308 would be better for those ranges, less wind drift etc. not that the .223 wont shoot that far i just think the .308 would give a more consistant performance. the .223 would win if price was the only consideration. my:twocents:
     
  3. sadiesassy

    sadiesassy Prescott Active Member

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    I vote for 308. for the same reason as Sheepdip said.
    I am not the expert - but might check with the folks that are always shooting 600 + yards.

    I mean I can shoot my 22LR at 200 yds all the time. I think it is more lobbing. Not a lot of impact energy

    Ever think of one of those Moissant Nagant? Forget the Spelling. The Russian 7.62 mm long gun.
    I hear ammo is cheap and with the right gun- pretty good at distance. I believe 7.62 is essentially .308. There was a posting a while back about the gun
    MAybe someone could comment or correct the name
     
  4. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    I am really looking a bit forward here, I am hoping to get into long range shooting by fall or so (may have some money by then to buy a new "toy" :) ) and just trying to plan a little bit ahead here.
    Any suggestions on an accurate 308 AR? I am looking at the SASS ones and the DPMS LRT 308 seems to have good reviews about its accuracy.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  5. mortre

    mortre Yelm, WA Active Member

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    I plugged some numbers in a balistics program and here is what it spit out.
    These velocities are about what I get with my rifles.

    308 w/ 26" barrel 175smk@2550fps
    61ish inches of drift 10mph@800 yds and comfortably supersonic

    223 w/ 20" barrel 69smk@3000
    81ish inches of drift 10mph@800 yds and goes transonic and is transonic by 825 yds.

    I would recommend shooting the a .223 @ 300+ yds before jumping to shooting anything at 600-800. Cheaper and will probably save you a ton of frustration. But I am not an accomplished long range shooter, i've just been dabbling a little.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk
     
  6. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    I am hoping that this next rifle will be my "last rifle" for a while before I can save up and buy another one in a couple of years, and so If I need the .308 I'd rather bite the bullet and jump to it in one step rather than going to the .223 and then having to wait for a while before being able to get the .308.
     
  7. sadiesassy

    sadiesassy Prescott Active Member

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    I was looking at 308 vs 223 in an AR until I ahd to hold one. They are not light like the 223. Cost for a good one will be up there.

    There are several .308's that are designed for more long distance - they are bolt action. There are several threads about them. MIght check them out
    If I rememebr right - I could get a good bolt rifle and scope for about the price of a good AR308
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I agree for those distance you should get a bolt action rifle. AR style rifles can be quite accurate, but that level of accuracy is expensive. Plus you can spend the money and the accuracy will be less than you want....some guns/barrels sometimes miss the mark. No gunsmith is going to promise outstanding accuracy in any rifle, but your odds of getting one that does shoot great are better with a bolt action.

    I also think you should start at shorter yardages with the .223. Precision long distance shooting is HARD to master. The optics required for that kind of shooting is going to cost big bucks - $700 on up to several grand if you have deep pockets. By the time you master 300 yards you should be able to save up for your .308.

    Also consider the recoil. You are going to have to shoot a lot and a light weight .308 is going to beat you up. Recoil can cause a flinch you don't even know you have. You will never shoot accurately at the distances you are talking about if you have even the slightest flinch.

    Expect to spend lots of money on high quality factory ammo. Remington Coreloks are not going to cut it. If you don't reload, now is the time to start. You will save money in the long run (not really...you will just end up shooting more with the same money) and you will be able to tune loads for your barrel and for changing conditions.
     
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  9. ronin223

    ronin223 Portland Active Member

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    I have a 223 and 308 AR set up for shooting steel plates at 600 yards. When you hit a steel plate at 600 yards with a 308, it really rings and you can see the plate swing and the lead cloud. With 223 you can barely hear it, it barely moves the plate. If you are shooting paper, good luck with a 223, I had a bubblegum of a time seeing the holes even with shoot n-c had to get a better spotting scope.

    don't listen to these guys about wind, it is really not that much harder with a 223.

    Also don't listen to the guy telling you to shoot at 300. If your fundamentals are sound at 300 going to 600 is the same thing.

    I went from standing 200 yards to prone 600 yards, transition was very very easy.
     
  10. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    The estimates I have seen (not that I intend or can even afford) are about the following, a 308 in an AR is ~2K, and am figuring another ~$500 for optics? or am I just disillusioned here? :)
     
  11. mm509

    mm509 Naches, Wa New Member

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    If it will be the last rifle you can purchase for awhile, definetly go with the .308. If long range is what you are looking at, and you are fairly novice......go with the bolt gun. The ability to accurately drive the AR (and variant) platforms, requires the mastering of core fundamentals. When I say fundamentals, I mean, natural point of aim, follow through, recoil management (which in the AR's you get more than 1), body position behind the rifle, breathing, breaking the shot, etc.

    I have taken my .223 bolt action to approx. 900y.....it was not easy!! We lost trace around 825y, which made the last 75y, a pain in the a$$. Now I have taken a 20" .308 to 1200y consistently. Hopefully in less than a month, I will be trying this with a 16" .308. My .223 was slinging 50gr Vmax's at 3450fps. If I could have slung heavies, the 900y target would have been alot easier.

    Now to talk about cost to shoot, of course the .308 will be more expensive to shoot. With that being said, if total cost of shooting is a factor....go with the .223. But if you are planning on shooting quality match ammo (a requirement for LR consistency), the cost difference really is quite minimal. Hopefully you reload, and get the intimacy with your platform of knowing every nook and cranny about it. You can buy preloaded M118LR (clone)for $1/rd , if you look at Black Hills 77gr SMK you are roughly .90/rd.

    Quality match ammo is not cheap, but it is worth it. When you know a shot missed because of something you did and not question your ammo......that is priceless.
     
  12. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Ok, it seems that reloading is a big factor, as of this moment, I do not and do not intend to reload (I am an "appreciate the convenience" kind of guy even if I have to pay save and pay a little more).
    But yes, be it a 223 or a 308, it will be the "last one" for a while (am thinking 2 and possibly even more years), what I do not want, is to go the 223 route then regret not waiting and going all the way to the 308 in one step. Also, I have never shot the 308 so do not know what kind of recoil to expect.
    Typically how many rounds do you guys shoot of 223 or 308 'precision' shots at the range in a session? 20-30? more? less? am trying to do some calculations here.. :)
     
  13. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Good advice from mm509. Mastering the fundamentals at the bench are critical and not easy.

    A fast twist benchrest quality Savage .223 can be had for around $1,000, which will shoot very heavy .224 ammo out to long distances, provided you know what you are doing and know how to read the wind. They offer the same guns in .308. $500 will get you a decent scope but expect to spend more for a scope that will take you out to 800 yards. I'm curious what mm509 uses.

    I have only dabbled with long distance shooting....got discouraged quickly. I shoot 100, 200 and 300 yards with a 6PPC, 6mmBR and several bolt action .223s. Lowest power scope I use is 5-20x and the highest power is 8-32x. Wish I had 8-32x on all of them, and for the 6mmBR wish I had a 12-42x. I feel I've mastered the100 and 200 yard range but still working on the 300 yard range. Not sure when I will get moved out to 600 yards.
     
  14. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    i dont really see a dpms lr308 hitting 800 yards.a good shooter can do it but this is a 2moa gun at 100 yards so at 800 yards your gonna have to have a big target.(i know somebodys gonna have to argue that but they argue that the sky is blue on here)
    dont get me wrong i like and have a dpms but it's not a sniper rifle by any stretch.
    if your talking about spending $2000 on just the rifle then buy/build a good one like noveske,lmt,armalite,pof.
    then you can go 800+yards accurately.
     
  15. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Ok, let me ask the question from a different angle, isn't it wiser to start with a 308 even to learn and shoot 100/200/300 yards and then take it all the way to 600/800, rather than to go with 223 for 100/200/300 and then have issues (or have to get a 308 later) for the 600/800 mark?
     
  16. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    You posted right when I did.....

    First off, shoot a .308 and see what you think of the recoil. In a heavy rifle, like 13-14 lbs it isn't bad. In a sporter weight rifle of about 9 lbs, it is okay at first but after 10 rounds or so it starts to take a toll. In an AR the recoil won't be as bad cause an auto lightens the recoil by 30-50%.

    I'm probably an exception, but I take 3 or 4 guns to the range and shoot 25 rounds out of each one. I like to shoot five, five shot groups. I take this many guns to the range cause I don't have the patience to let my barrels cool. I'm shooting them in rotation, so by the time I'm done with the 4th gun the barrel is cool on the 1st one in the rotation. I will also take a 22LR to the range just to practice my bench technique. 22 ammo is dirt cheap. I reload and I figure each range session if I take 4 guns cost me about $35 to $40.

    I would argue it is wiser to start with a .223 because it is cheaper and you won't develop a flinch.
     
  17. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Advice on models I should be looking at would be greatly appreciated :) the one I was talking about is the DPMS SASS (the claim is that it's sub moa) and many review websites seem to agree with that. The cheapest Noveske I came across was $2500 I think.
     
  18. mortre

    mortre Yelm, WA Active Member

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    I just noticed you are at 28 posts and joined this month. Would you mind letting us know how long you have been shooting? And what kind of budget do you have?

    Both of those might go a long way to helping everyone answer your question.
     
  19. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Used to shoot indoor air pistol for competitions many years ago, about a month or so ago picked up a .22 that I've been playing with and having a lot of fun.
    As for the budget that's the variable, I don't really know, there seems to be a big gap in bolt action vs AR, and the scopes that some people have suggested seem to be a biggie too, what would be a reasonable budge in each case? I want to do precision shooting but don't want it to lose the 'fun' factor and become a stress and chore, if you know what I mean.
     
  20. mm509

    mm509 Naches, Wa New Member

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    Gentleman,

    I currently shoot a .260 rem built on an FN SPR action. It sports a 22" Obermeyer barrel with his recommended twist of 8.75tw. It resides in a McMillan A3 stcok, with CDI detachable bottom metal (to accept AI and Alpha mags). I have befriended my local gunsmith and I utilize one of his custom muzzlebrakes. As far as optics my current scope is a Leupold Mk4 34mm tube with locking turrets and a Horus H27 reticle, in an ADM QD mount (soon to be GDI). My mount maintains an on/off zero of less than .25". I have tested this extensively.

    Okay now to the OP..........I began this game with a Remington Model 700 PSS in 223, with the cheapest scope I could put on it. The scope was soo bad that if I made an adjustment, I didnt have a clue where my POI was gonna go. With the cheapest ammo I could get. THIS SUCKED!!!! I moved to a FN PBR in 20" .308 but this time I put a Barska 3.5-10x40mm scope on it (a little better, but not alot). The platform stayed that way with the factory OD Hogue stock for a number of years. Then I decided to try the mil/mil thing with my scope, I loved it. See a miss, mark the spot in the reticle, adjust accordingly on dials, and POA was POI. Loved this!! Now I decided to try a McMillan stock, as the Hogue never really felt comfortable. Picked up an A5 at a local gun store....couldn't believe how FAT the forearm is!! Could bore ordered a McM A4, this was a great stock. Well now comes the Scope A.D.D. (no offense to anyone). Upgraded from the Millet TRS to an IOR 3-18x42. The IOR has the best glass I have ever been behind hands down, but the bubblegumtiest eye box and main tube layout. This was my first experience with FFP also (IOR MP8 reticle subtension can be summed up in 1 word.......FAT). Met a guy who wanted FFP and had a Nightforce NXS 3.5-15 he was willing to trade. I figured what the hell, I am gonna see what all this Nightforce hype is about. I drank the cool aid, and I wasn't impressed. Mainly the glass, since I came off the incredible IOR. Then Bushnell introduced the HDMR. I drank that cool aid, and went back for seconds (I had to get 2). The HDMR is incredible and I am almost kicking myself in the butt for getting rid of them. In the HDMR, I was introduced to Horus reticles. I am now hooked. Yes, they are busy, but calm down, and use them for what they are. Got pissed at Bushnell, said F-it, sold all Bushnell products I had, with the exception of a few items, and bought the Leupy 34mm with the Horus. Don't really have alot of time on it....but initial impression is......Tight eye box at max power, especially for the price.

    See, scope A.D.D.!!

    Now, I have the .260 dialed in. It has been a one hole gun from the get go. JD from HSSS here in Yakima, knows how to build a rifle......Fast forward to my first match. .260, HDMR, McM A4. I did pretty well, but the butt hook on the A4 sucks!!! Time to sell it, and get the A3. I love the pistol grip on the McMillans.

    Present day, JD calls me and says...."I got the baddest *** bottom metal for a Rem M700.....wanna try it?"

    Me,"Absolutely, if we can put it in a .308 with a 16" barrel>"

    JD,"C'mon mm509, are serious.....(pause).....Okay lets do it."

    Me,"Okay, call PTG and order a bolt for my .223."

    Well the bolt showed up Monday, JD has a barrel, I ordered a McM A3, and he began wittling away at a block of Aluminum for the bottom metal. Shouldn't be but about a week, and I should have .308 with a 16" barrel. I cant wait.

    To the OP, sorry to rob your thread like this. But the good news is..........(if you read this far)...........I found some M118LR (clone) 175SMK, for $160.99/200 rounds. I am gonna order some for my .308, and try to make it down to some of the Tri-County shoots, and I am more than willing to let you play with it, if you would like. With max engagements to 600y, the 16" .308 should be incredible, especially if there are any type of run'n'gun (for lack of better terms), or quick transitional stages.

    Sorry for the long post.