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selecting caliber for my ar-15 hunting rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by BangoSkank46290, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. BangoSkank46290

    BangoSkank46290 PDX Member

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    so i am an oregon resident and i hunt coast range for deer and elk. i am building an AR15 primarily to carry through the thick brush and steep hills. i dont have much expendable capital and can only afford one upper. restrictions in this state set minimum caliber for elk at .24 eliminating the 5.56 option. the 6.8 spc seemed like a great option untill i started reading about the magazine issues. im considering 300 BO but it seems like i would be severely restricted on a shot past 200 yards. any advice or links to other threads would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Tough call.

    I know you can get many loads in the .300 BLK but if serious about Elk would not be my choice.

    Have you considered getting a big brother in say, .308?
     
  3. 3MTA3

    3MTA3 DMZ between Liberty and Tyranny Behind Enemy Lines Bronze Supporter

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    Second vote for .308, that's the minimum I would use for elk that works in an AR platform. DPMS has one that shoots within 1 MOA.
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good luck I don't know of any round that has the energy out of an AR-15 that has the power to take an Elk cleanly at over 100 yards.

    You might as well be hunting with an M1 carbine.

    Why not spend $350.00 and buy a used -06 and actually have a Deer Elk rifle?
     
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  5. BangoSkank46290

    BangoSkank46290 PDX Member

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    1. i have a .338 rem ultra mag i use when looking the canyons or on long shots, the AR is more to carry when hiking.

    2. can you get .308 in the AR15 platform or would i have to get AR10? i already have the 15 lower...

    3. to make this much more tricky im left handed. stag is only southpaw manufacturer i have found. since a lefty upper needs a lefty bolt i cant go for a snoflake like the 6.5 grendel ect. stag makes a 6.8 upper or i could rebarrel a 5.56 upper but round would have to use 5.56 bolt (why the blackout is a main consideration). im hoping for 300yard performance but will use my .338 for shots over that.
     
  6. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    6.8spc or 6x45 or 6.5 Grendel would work for deer.
    Elk is another story altogether.

    Keep your expectations realistic. Elk are tough animals to put down, and put down for good.
    Many consider the .270 Win marginal for elk, and don't recommend it beyond about 250yds, if that's any indication of the kind of cartridge needed to be effective on them critters.
     
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  7. metrotps

    metrotps Mountlake Terrace Member

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    I have not read about "magazine issues" with the 6.8 SPC but a friend has one and he had trouble finding mags until I found this:
    Firearm Accessories - Magazines & Loaders - AR - ManVentureOutpost.com
    Scroll down the page until you come to the 6.8 section.
    He might want to sell his upper as he went to a suppressed .300... I would have to ask him and he had lots of Remington ammo in 6.8
     
  8. Will_Power

    Will_Power OR via OK Active Member

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    Which is it? The thick stuff or long shots down power line cuts or across clear cuts?

    If we're talking about a standard AR-15 base (and not AR-10 sized) for use in the thick stuff for elk with magazines that aren't a problem, I'd go .458 SOCOM every single time. It's a reloader's proposition for the most part, but you can use your standard .223 mags just fine.

    If you're shooting 200 yards+, I'd go with a 6.5 Grendel. The mag issues seem to have been sorted out and it'll do way more than 200yards. I'm not sure if I'd feel comfortable about long shots on elk, though.
     
  9. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    Check out the 30 Remington AR cartridge. Works on a normal AR-15 lower and is close to the power of a 300 savage.
     
  10. BangoSkank46290

    BangoSkank46290 PDX Member

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    so i have a .338 ultra mag, long shots are handled by that and it is my primary elk rifle, but is HUGE for shooting a deer.

    this is going to be my primary deer rifle and used for elk on hikes. lots of my walks go through thick brush to a clear cut where theres a 300 yard shot. theres lots of clear cuts where they close the logging road but u can hike in, and i hate hiking with my 26" barrel .338, its a really big stick. but im worried that a 300 BO will leave me stranded with the bull 300 yards broadside across the cut

    mostly im looking for something that can go to 300 yards and have some power behind it but wont destroy a deer.

    and thanks for all the input so far, more research starts now...
     
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Buy a $350.00 used 30-06 or .308 and cut the barrel down to 20" put a decent 3-9X scope on it and be done with your search. You can only use a 5rd mag anyway when hunting so you could buy a Rem 740 7400 and have a semi auto in a caliber suited to Elk hunting and be into it for less then $400.00
     
  12. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Colt LE901

    Switch between 7.62x51 and 5.56x45
     
  13. BangoSkank46290

    BangoSkank46290 PDX Member

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    i know theres lots of great rifles out there, i can borrow most any caliber from my family at any time. im asking about building an all around mid range hunting AR15 great for deer and good for elk mid range, can we please stay on topic.

    topic is: is the 300 BO a good medium range round or should i stick with my primary desire of the 6.8 spc, OR are there good alternative suggestions to these two like the 6.5 grendel or the .458 socom as already suggested.

    and again thanks for all the good input so far, researching theses options now.
     
  14. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    The BLK as it is generally referred to with full power loads is usually equated to roughly that of a .30-30, maybe a little less. There are tons of different charts and comparisons out there for it. If you are comfortable shooting the intend game with that then by all means do so.

    If you goal was in the 100-200 yard range I would have no problem recommending the BLK. I know a guy that uses his for Elk with good success but ONLY under 150 yard is his rule. When you start talking ~300 yards I feel that is pushing it and I personally would not. Again if you feel differently by all means go for it. This is also a conversion about humane kills under normal hunting conditions. If it was survival and needed to put food on the table to live I would shoot whatever game I could with the cal bier I had.
     
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  15. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I really have to agree with Mark W here. I don't think you're going to get what your looking for out of an AR. The common consensus is to take an Elk you're looking at 1500 ft/lbs of energy and the 6.5 Grendal doesn't even have that at 200 yards. Now shot placements means quite a bit and I am not saying it can't be done, but I'd be hesitant to call it an elk round. You'd really have to know what you're doing, use good quality ammunition and be able to get within 200 yards for the shot. The .458 Socom has the trajectory of a mortar and most people assume it has the useful yardage of 100-150 yards. Again, if you can get up to the Elk it's a big thumper and in my mind is a better choice the then Grendal. However you're going to have to budget in enough money to get out there a shoot it and learn what the cartridge does. In the end you're limited too much by the magazine dimensions.

    Again, Like I said initially I agree with Mark W. If you want a short brush gun, look at the Ruger American Compact. it's an inexpensive, effective and accurate alternative. Or if you want the usefulness of AR-10 magazines, go with the Mossberg MVP Patrol in 308. Magazine fed, and since it's bolt action your not tied down by the 5 round restriction in Oregon.
     
  16. BangoSkank46290

    BangoSkank46290 PDX Member

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    thank you.

    Im currently carrying a 1894 in .32 special (bssically a .30-.30 mag) as my brush gun. i love this rifle but i really do feel it lacks capacity in the 150+ category. thats the measure i was really unsure about and where the 6.8 seems to do better. i know a 270 can be small for elk and the 6.8 is basically a short jacket 270; but under 300 i know a 270 is fine against the shoulder of a skilled shooter, which i am becoming. alright i put over 1.5k downrange annually for past 6yrs, im no sniper, but i dont lack confidence...

    also this is going to be primarily a deer gun and a secondary/short range elk gun, not the other way around.

    i know 6.8 is a great deer round and my preference, i just want to make sure it will do well on mid range elk provided i can shoot well enough which isnt a huge concern.
     
  17. BangoSkank46290

    BangoSkank46290 PDX Member

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    great input!

    its starting to sound like a 15 cant hit elk at that mid range im looking for and i will have to keep carrying my .338 on those long walks.

    i was hoping the 6.8 spc would fill that void but it may just be my deer rifle and ill keep the big stick around for elk season.

    greatly helpful guys! its nice to have people answer questions VS fishing on google.
     
  18. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    Just get a 6.5 Grendel (with smart bullet choice) and be done with it.

    I hope the handgun, bow and black powder hunters hunters see this so they know they don't have enough energy with there chosen tool to kill a elk.:rolleyes:

    Other words, Yes you will have to make better decisions with ethical distance, shot choice and placement with something like a Grendel but I have a hunch you kinda knew that.
     
  19. lazerblazer

    lazerblazer Portland Active Member

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    I say just use some 160 grain bullets for deer in your 338 and larger grain for anything bigger and call it day. Spend your money on a nicer scope and ammo!

    sent from Lazernote
     
  20. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    So, excuse me for piping in with what may be a silly question but I haven't heard anybody weigh in on the 7.62x39 upper for the AR15 lower.

    Is that not a feasible cartridge for deer/elk at mid range?

    I use a 30-06 myself, but one of my aspirations is to pick up a 7.62x39 upper and test it out.