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I was looking at a lot of data regarding MSR calibers and their effectiveness on medium game like Blacktail Deer and Coyotes. Looks like I've been out of the gun magazines to long and there seems to be quite a few chamberings that do really well in the MSR15 platform (AR15 is so 2008). These would be for supersonic hunting, and lower recoil for female/youth hunting where the total range will be less than 250yds.

If you were going to start new today it's 2018, what cartridge would you pick and why? I am only including cartridges that only require a new barrel and use the same BCG. Some of the cartridges are relatively new, but have had some soaking time.

300 HAM'R
300 Blackout
277 Wolverine
25-45 Sharps
7.62x40WT (I know, 300HAM'R V1)
6x45

Did I miss any that use the .378 case head diameter and only require a barrel swap (slightly modified mags are ok)??
 
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6.8 spc. I took this one last year at about 230 yards.
IMG_1959.JPG
Double lung and he went about 10 yards.
it's overall easy to find ammo on the shelves if you don't reload also. Something to consider also.
 
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I have taken two blackies with my Colt AR15A2 (I bought it in ‘87 so it’s not a MSR.... LOL) shooting standard fare .223 PSP. Each kill was one shot to the pumper, and both times they jumped straight up about 6’ and hit the ground dead.

My other choice for a hunting MSR would be 6.8SPC (which I have, but haven’t taken hunting yet).
 
I’m assuming you roll your own since some of those choices are kind if odd-ball. Because of that, I would choose 6x45 because it would be easy. There is commercial brass, but there is more 223/5.56 brass out there than anything and its nothing to neck that up to .243. Many .243 bullets over 70gr are pretty tough, especially from Nosler.
 

Twodogs

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Been using the 6.8 spc since it first came out, I have a 16" and an 11.3" barreled ar-15. killed a lot of coyotes and a few deer.
 
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You guys crack me up.

I am fully aware that the 6.8SPC is out there, I just don't want to buy a new bolt, or make sure I get the bolt and barrel from the same mfg, to make sure everything is SPC-II vs SPC-I, different mags, etc. The 6.5G does have good ballistics but it's in the same ares as the 6.8SPCII. The 7.62x39 doesn't have a very reliable feeding %, new mags, though lower capacity mags tend to fare better. Also, all the ammo out there uses a .310-.311 bullet so there's not a lot of bullet selection there either, and it requires a new bolt anyway.

All the options I listed use 223/5.56 brass and are just necked up.

7.62x40wt - Wilson Combat - Barrels & Ammo available
300HAM'R - Wilson Combat - (basically V2 of the x40wt) - Barrels and Ammo Available
277 WLV - Barrels and custom ammo available, but more expensive than Wilson, uses the 6.8 bullets
6x45 - Been around for a long time in the BR world - custom ammo only or reloading, lots of bullet options
25-45 Sharps - Factory ammo available, but really limited bullet selection....like 2. It's fast though, like .223.

300 BLK - just under 7.62x39 performance at supersonic, but poops out before the others.

I've been looking really hard at the 6x45, found a barrel for less than $100, and I like the selection of .243/6mm bullets. I do like bigger holes in deer sized game though...thank you for that recommendation.

Just wondered if anyone hunted with wildcat cartridges. Doesn't sound like it. :) Appreciate the feedback though, and love the hunting pic!
 

osprey

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I am not sure why you have an aversion to buying a different bolt but feeding some of those wildcats will be a more expensive proposition than say a 6.8spc. They are also a reloading only proposition in most cases. For the needs you listed the 6.8spc II would fit the bill nicely. Factory loads and brass are readily available, straightfoward to load with a good amount of published data, proven accuracy in a compact, light, low recoiling package. Wildcats can be fun but are more of a pita to own and feed. I also put together a very reliable and accurate 7.62x 39 upper for a relatively low cost. I will hunt with it at some point as well. Many say .308 bullets work fine in a .310-.311 bore but I have not tried it yet. Hornady makes a 123gr .310 sst bullet that is perfect for my needs. Good luck on whatever you choose. If you need a recommend for a cheap sub moa 7.62x39 barrel that feeds great, drop me a pm.
 
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223 will do what you are asking. 6x45 works fine but seems to have quite a bit less velocity (at least in the gun I had). Never tried the 25-45 but it seems the same as the 6x45 for the most part...

Keep it simple, stick with the 223. Barnes tsx, Nosler partitions, or a good 64 grain fusion etc. lots of good choices off the shelf.
 

Koda

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for an MSR I would got with either a 6.5 Grendel or a 6.5 Creedmore. At this time those are the only 2 MSR calibers that pique my interest for hunting...
 
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The 6.5Creedmore is out since it doesn't fit in the MSR15 platform.

I'll do more looking at the 6.8 SPC II. I have hunted with a .22 caliber bullet, I just like bigger holes when hunting. Never know when you come across a cougar, bear, or trophy blacktail.
 

osprey

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Speer just started selling their gold dot bonded rifle bullets in component form. I picked up several boxes of the 115 gr .277 and am working up a load right now for my 6.8spc II. I think that bullet is a perfect match for the 6.8 and is supposed to reliably expand down to lower velocities as well. They are very reasonably priced as well. Looking forward to some live fire deer testing soon.
 
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223 will do what you are asking. 6x45 works fine but seems to have quite a bit less velocity (at least in the gun I had). Never tried the 25-45 but it seems the same as the 6x45 for the most part...

Keep it simple, stick with the 223. Barnes tsx, Nosler partitions, or a good 64 grain fusion etc. lots of good choices off the shelf.
This is a good informative post, for me anyway. I've wanted to try the 6x45 and also thought the 25-45 sharps was intriguing, but I've found that keeping it simple is sometimes the better way to go.
 
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BSA, I agree with you. Sometimes it’s fun to play, and been really looking at the 6x45 a lot. The Sharps is mildly interesting, but like others have mentioned you can do a lot with the 223 also.

That’s why I was looking at the 277 WLV, and the 300 HAM’R/7.62x40
 
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don't know a ton about the other rounds, but the 300 blk would be a horrible choice unless you sit in a tree stand and wait for the deer to come within 30 yards. It's a close quarters knock down/ stopping round. Horrible ballistics for distance applications. That would be why it's extremely hard to find 300 blk uppers longer than 11"....
 

osprey

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don't know a ton about the other rounds, but the 300 blk would be a horrible choice unless you sit in a tree stand and wait for the deer to come within 30 yards. It's a close quarters knock down/ stopping round. Horrible ballistics for distance applications. That would be why it's extremely hard to find 300 blk uppers longer than 11"....

I am not really sure where you are coming from with this info. There are oodles of 300 blk uppers and barrels available in the 16” configuration. Also a tactx 110gr bullet launched at 2350fps certainly has enough energy to kill deer effectively out to 250 yds. While it wouldn’t be my first choice in for wide open coulee country, it certainly is at home in many other hunting settings where shots are generally 250 yds or less. In 40 years of hunting I have probably only taken 6 animals past 250yds.
 
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I am not really sure where you are coming from with this info. There are oodles of 300 blk uppers and barrels available in the 16” configuration. Also a tactx 110gr bullet launched at 2350fps certainly has enough energy to kill deer effectively out to 250 yds. While it wouldn’t be my first choice in for wide open coulee country, it certainly is at home in many other hunting settings where shots are generally 250 yds or less. In 40 years of hunting I have probably only taken 6 animals past 250yds.

I make a lot of charts on ShootersCalculator.com
 

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