Looking for a new caliber

Discussion in 'Bolt-Action Rifles' started by Ghost Spear, Dec 1, 2016.

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  1. PaulB47

    PaulB47
    Hillsboro
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    .243 is fine except that it burns barrels if you shoot a lot. Use premium bullets. 6mm BR is another 6mm option that is fairly popular (with handloaders). BTW http://www.6mmbr.com/ is a fun site for cartridge info.
    .308 is a do-it-all cartridge, can hardly go wrong with it except possibly for boredom.
    .30-06 and .270 Win are both good too, if a bit old-timey (not a bad thing).
    6.5 Creedmoor is up-and coming, shoots flatter than .300 WM but won't kill you with blast and recoil. .260 is roughly equivalent.
    I have a soft spot for .358 Win but it is on the way out if not already there.
    Stay away from magnums unless you are a masochist. Most of the bolt guns you see for sale on armslist are magnums. There is a reason for that.

    There are too many tiny variations of cartridges; it is getting ridiculous these days. I have settled on 3 main bullet diameters: .308, .264 and .224. I am trying to purge the others from my collection. This simplifies life when buying bullets. If you are starting off, you might want to give a thought to where you want to end up in 20 years. I got into too many obscure calibers when I was younger.

    If I were looking I'd get a 6.5 CM.
     
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  2. B3dlam

    B3dlam
    Astoria, OR
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    6.5 Creedmoor
    I have two one gas gun and one bolt gun its a great caliber. Solid ballistic performance, lower recoil than a .308, readily available components, plenty of factory offerings, and decent barrel life.
     
  3. Otter

    Otter
    Oregon
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    You have to keep in mind your .308 bolt face. That eliminates the magnum discussions unless you want to pay for a new bolt or have your current bolt opened up.

    After I started shooting a 6mmBR, I would never consider any other target caliber other than a 6BR or a variation on the 6BR like the Dasher. Easy recoil, long barrel life and fun to shoot. Many 600 yard records have been set with these calibers and they will shoot out to 1000 yards if pushed. Loaded 6mmBR ammo is available, but to really enjoy the caliber you need to reload.

    7mm08 is another fine cartridge I don't think anyone has mentioned. And really nothing wrong with the .308...it is a top 4 selling cartridge for a good reason. A little heavy on the recoil for my taste though for target shooting.
     
  4. erslll

    erslll
    Hermiston OR
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    Another vote for 6.5 Creedmoor. Brass is pretty available and affordable since you get Hornady brass as compared to Lapua ( although Lapua 6.5 CM brass does appear to be coming soon). I can get loaded ammo pretty easily in the wilds of Eastern Oregon so it can't be that hard to find (I would add that this isn't much of an argument when you can order anything online and have it in a few days on your door step) . Low recoil and excellent ballistics.
     
  5. PaulB47

    PaulB47
    Hillsboro
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    One extra thing about the 6.5 Creedmoor is that (I heard) Hornady prints the exact load recipe on the box so you can reload and get the same as a factory load. Nice way to cut down on load development.
     
  6. erslll

    erslll
    Hermiston OR
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    I don't think Hornady does that anymore but it is pretty easy to find. Pretty sure it was H4350 powder some where around 42 grains for the 140 gr ELD-M. I know I chrono'd my load recently and it came very close to the factory listed velocities. It is very similar to what I mentioned above.
     
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  7. scrub buck

    scrub buck
    pa
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    Sounds like your wanting MORE gun. Look into the 300 WSM . You mentioned new tech, and the steep shoulder angle on the short fat case is that... It's only 100fps slower than a 300 win mag and uses 10-15 grs less powder to get there. Buy a used Rem 700 7 mag or 300 mag and rebarrel it to the 300 WSM . This will let you seat the bullets out where they belong and take advantage of the whole case.
     
  8. mhinagoya

    mhinagoya
    Sedro Woolley, WA
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    How about a 22-6mm? I have one and while a barrel burner, with the 75 grain Hornady Amax or the 80 grain Berger VLD, long range performance is amazing (.243 Win on the right for comparison).

    22.6mmA_zpsqv3hka2z.jpg

    I also have a 6.5-284 which is also an excellent long range cartridge, delivering good downrange power without magnum recoil. Sorry, no picture of that cartridge, but it fits a standard (non magnum) bolt face.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

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