Best overall caliber for long range shooting

Schw15

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I have a 6.5x55 and a 300 win mag. We shoot from 200 to 1 mile. The 6.5x55 i use til about 1200 and then 300 win 1200 on out. We shoot for fun but take it serious with a few buddies. That said what would be the best overall cal so i just have 1 rifle to do it all instead of 2. Thinking 7 saum 7mm rem mag ect???
 

nn8734

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what about a multi caliber set up like the MRAD, Desert Tech or AXMC and run 6.5 creedmoor and 300 Norma or PRC kits?

If there could be only one, and you shoot most of the time 1000+, I’d pick the 300 PRC or Win Mag. Win mag has several factory match loadings; if you reload brass is ubiquitous. PRC gives you a little more horsepower without the belt but factory match ammo choices are still limited.
 

nn8734

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Do you reload? If so, win mag is cheap to load for...bullets would be the most expensive item. 7mm rem mag would cost about the same; barrel life between the two are similar; 7mm has slightly less recoil all things equal. I’m heavily invested in the 300 win mag, which is my primary bolt gun but if I was just getting into the 1000+ regime, I’d go with a 300 PRC.

You are asking a lot of one chambering, so there’s bound to be trade offs.

That said, I think your current set up of two chamberings is fine and may end up being the best value option, esp if you shoot 1000+ only 25-30% of the time or less.

You haven’t specified a budget so I’m assuming you are just preliminarily exploring feasibility and options?
 

Steel head

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With some of the new powders and bullets 300WM is no slouch.
I do love my 7 saum though.
Quite capable at 1000+ and recoil is very mild.
 
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Schw15

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Yes i reload. Yeah just seeing one one caliber do it all. Plan would be sell 6.5 shoot barrel out of 300 win mag abd rebarrel to a middle ground caliber. We shoot all over 1 day 100 to 900 we play like pig with shooting then shoot 1000 yard gong then 1 mile. Just depends on day. My 300 was chambered specifically for 1 mile 225 eldm there so long that no mag fits them use it as a single shot
 
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nn8734

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Nice velocity with the win mag. What reamer did you use?

I have the mk248 mod 1 chamber in mine and it’s running 80.1 grains H1000 with a 190 match king at 3200. it’s def a pressure load but pressure signs are very minimal.

For your do-it-all: 6.5 PRC or 6.5-284 Norma?
Either can do 100-1750 yards and is a nice all around compromise given what your asking.
 

Schw15

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I use h1000 76 grains. Honestly my smith has a throat reamer he measures where the bullet will be seated in the neck shoulder junction and sets it up that way. Thats what he tells me lol
 

7mmFanBoy

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use cheap bullets and slower velocity 300 win volume shooting @ shorter ranges. Then expensive powder and bullets for ELR
 

Schw15

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Hi,

IMO there is no "Best" anything when you add the word "Overall".

It would be like asking which hammer should I get...the roofing hammer or the 25lb sledge hammer because I am tired of having both of them and I just want 1 that I can do everything with.

Sincerely,
Theis
Yeah i see your point which is true
 

Kickin45

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338L would do all of it plus some.
For practicality, I agree with the others here, there is no 1 cartridge to rule them all.
Having said that and reading your wants, I’d go with 300PRC
 

Steel head

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The 2 guns work good just thought be nice to have 1 for everything
I also have a 260.
it’s pretty hard to not shoot that more right now.
powder is easy to find (magnum powder is scarce as of late)everything else is cheaper as well.
 
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camotoe

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A big 30 will do what you want.

One rifle and and shooting alot will heat up the barrel. Might be better having 2or 3 rifles
 
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Schw15

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Yeah after everyones input i will prolly keep my two rifles and keep my set up as is. Yeah i use rl26 and h1000
 

Schw15

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Yeah theres usually 3 of us and we take 5 shot rounds and then switch and 1 shot for the pig. But if it lasts long we can shoot alot
 

secondofangle2

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338 LM is the practical choice hands down. Avoids the Cheytac and BMG based rigs and is a contender to 2 miles at local shoots here in Utah. Tons of high quality brass and components manageable weight and recoil.
 
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TRG65

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What are the other considerations? Do you also shoot PRS? Do you want something that is reasonable to carry around the mountains elk hunting?

If you are only looking for distance, then go big. But if you want to hike the mountains something comfortable to shoot in a 10-12# rifle might be more limiting. If you want to do all that and something to also shoot PRS/NRL, then why not stick with the 6.5x55 or an ackleyized version, or a 260AI
 

oneshot.onehit

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For an all around rifle? The short and sweet of it.

From an average joe that has had plenty of trigger time behind the following, 223, 260, 338LM, 375, 416 and the 50 BMG. In which I hunt some but hammered a lot of steel from 300 yards all the way out to 3500 yards +

The 223 a fun gun but not a 1000+ gun
The 260 about 5000 rounds from steel at 150 out to 1760 yards - one of my favorite mid range rifles
The 338LM at 4000+ rounds a great rifle and round but wanted more consistency past 2000 yards.
The 375VM2 challenging issues
The 375 Snipetac - very nice round a 375 Cheytac improved.
The 375 Warner an ultimate laser for folks wanting to plink here and there at extreme distance. A Hot Rod that will need tires [barrel] changed if pushed hard with a lot of rounds shot during a short time restraint event.
The 416 Warner - my ELR rig with everything I would ever need and plenty of power to push the 500s or 550s at excellent speeds yet easy on the brass and barrel.

What would I recommend for a great all around rifle combo, it would be the 300 Norma Mag.

Easy to get the components needed, excellent choice of bullets and it will do everything you ask of it to get you on target from a 100 to 2000+ yards. Ask yourself how often you will be shooting past 1000 or 2000 or how many times in your life will you be plinking some at 3000+ ? If the majority of your shooting opportunities are in the 800 to 2500 yard range you will be humbled with what it can do.

Another cool thing is every year now the opportunity to hook up and really get a chance to stretch things out some with distance is getting better and better. Folks are setting up ranges and ELR shooting events everywhere as this sport is growing at a fast pace.

Good Luck on your next build.
Cheers

Oneshot.onehit
JH
 
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Schw15

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Most shooting we do is 100 to 2200 yards is max at our range. But great options and i see hard to get 1 for everything. Need a good high round count rifle and a bigger for longer. I have 3 rifles 2 target and 1 hunting. I cut out my hunting rifles to just 1 300 wing mag thats why i was thinking 1 target
 
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Nik H

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I struggled with this for a while. I am glad I purchased an AXMC...I honestly don't think there is an optimal cartridge for all distances. If there is such a cartridge, I would have to agree with @oneshot.onehit and say it is a 300 NM. However, using this caliber inside of 600 yards regularly would make little sense either economically or practically.

Many of you have the good fortune to live in areas where ELR is possible on a regular basis. I, for one, do not. It takes a long trip although it is getting better. NH and VT are opening up longer ranges. Hopefully, that continues so I don't have to get on a plane or drive a LONG way.

Situations like mine make a "one size fits all" philosophy impractical. Hence the purchase of the AXMC
 
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Matthew488

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I agree that it really comes down to what distances you will be shooting most and other factors that relate to you. A larger cartridge and/or rifle can do the shorter ranges but at a cost of ammo prices and wait.
For me, I don't hunt so I'm not concerned with rifle weight. Recoil doesn't bother me other than having a bad neck. Smaller calibers can be shot much more unless you have finances to feed the magnums.
I personally like to have a wide variety of rifles. And can see that there are many reasons why you would want/need to minimize the number you have.

P.S. +1 for the 300 Norma Mag as a very capable choise.
 
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There was a lot of good opinions given here, I'll just throw out a couple more---last year at the Nightforce ELR match, it was won by a buddy of mine shooting a 6.5-06....there was a HUGE variance in calibers, I shot my 6x47 Lapua good enough for 15th out of 190 shooters. Surprisingly, a lot of the 6.5 variants did extremely well. Average target distance was 1100 yards, farthest was 2097. 2 days of shooting, about 140 rounds, if I remember correctly.
So, for target shooting, don't discount the 6.5, personally, I'm building a 6.5 PRC, but am very intrigued by the 7 SAUM.....
 
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tlsmith22

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Build a 300 wm with the Rhian Mantha or Chris Kyle reamer and you can shoot 215 Bergers out of a 26” barrel at over 3100 Fps. You can buy ammo for it almost anywhere, has decent barrel life and competes extremely close with anything in the 30 cal class. For fun shooting, the 6.5 stuff is hard to beat.
 
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BJames

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My scores would probably be lower if I did. :)
I’d probably shoot better too!

In all seriousness, it looks like you have your bases covered OP. I’d run what ya brung and call it a day. I like to tinker with different rifles, calibers, and load combos. My match and hunting rifles stay as they are, but the rest of it; gets swapped around after I get bored. Maybe I have precision rifle ADHD? 🤔

After reading your thoughts, rebarrel the win mag, back to win mag with multiple load combos, or one of the magnum 7’s would work for your purpose. Pretty well, in my experience. Bullet splash/impact with a 7 at 2000 is pretty lacking, very similar to a 6mm at 1k-1200. It also would do it with lower ammo costs vs a 338, but don’t get me wrong, 338’s rock.
 
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Schw15

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I’d probably shoot better too!

In all seriousness, it looks like you have your bases covered OP. I’d run what ya brung and call it a day. I like to tinker with different rifles, calibers, and load combos. My match and hunting rifles stay as they are, but the rest of it; gets swapped around after I get bored. Maybe I have precision rifle ADHD? 🤔

After reading your thoughts, rebarrel the win mag, back to win mag with multiple load combos, or one of the magnum 7’s would work for your purpose. Pretty well, in my experience. Bullet splash/impact with a 7 at 2000 is pretty lacking, very similar to a 6mm at 1k-1200. It also would do it with lower ammo costs vs a 338, but don’t get me wrong, 338’s rock.
Great input thank you. Yeah i guess theres alway something we wanna try out. Middle ground 7 seemed like the ticket but after all input i think gonna stay with the 2 rifles have them shoot amazing
 
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707FreedomFan

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I'm trying to whittle down to a 6mm CM and a 7WSM.. I have a slightly different goal in ranges, but I have the same concept of "what'll do me" ha
yet, I think it will still be 4 rifles, and 2 are switch barrels, so why not just grab the 6.5CM and a 22CM barrels?
And damn.. The ARs.. 4-5 more cartridges on accident.. fml
 

BJames

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Great input thank you. Yeah i guess theres alway something we wanna try out. Middle ground 7 seemed like the ticket but after all input i think gonna stay with the 2 rifles have them shoot amazing
If it helps, I just sold a TRG 42 in 338 Lap to build a 7 saum. I sold the TRG more because of the platform rather than the caliber. I’ll come back to it at some point, but for the shooting I’m going to do with that type of system, the saum makes a little more sense at the moment.

One of my shooting buddies is a 7 wsm fan boy, has been for a few years. It works out to 2k pretty well, it works better at 1500-1 mile. My hunting rig is a 7 rem mag, hits hard as far as I’ve ever had an inkling to shoot a pencil barrel hunting rig (1174). I don’t think you’re wrong in sticking with what you’ve got but if you do want to change things up when the win mag barrel is toast, the mid 7’s are fun.
 

Schw15

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I was honestly thinking about a 7mm weatherby. I read a article where a guy said they are very accurate he loved the design and great for long range
 

Steel head

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I'm trying to whittle down to a 6mm CM and a 7WSM.. I have a slightly different goal in ranges, but I have the same concept of "what'll do me" ha
yet, I think it will still be 4 rifles, and 2 are switch barrels, so why not just grab the 6.5CM and a 22CM barrels?
And damn.. The ARs.. 4-5 more cartridges on accident.. fml
I only shot 260 for years.
now I have a 7 saum and am thinking 6BR or a long throated 223 or 223ai.

Honestly it’s gonna be hard for me to not also have a 260 as well.
 

Birddog6424

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Trying to find a great all around hunting rig and a fun shooter out to a mile, I landed on the 300 Norma mag.

I shoot a 230gr Berger Hybrid at 3050fps. Its the easiest one mile gun I've played with. Recoil allows me to shoot it all day. It's a stone cold killer on elk. I can ease it down to a 190gr for mulies and closer steel.

It's a pretty good choice.
 
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Schw15

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Trying to find a great all around hunting rig and a fun shooter out to a mile, I landed on the 300 Norma mag.

I shoot a 230gr Berger Hybrid at 3050fps. Its the easiest one mile gun I've played with. Recoil allows me to shoot it all day. It's a stone cold killer on elk. I can ease it down to a 190gr for mulies and closer steel.

It's a pretty good choice.
My 300 win mag pushes 225 eldm 2929 but there so long no mag will fit it. 3.787
 
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Birddog6424

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My 300 win mag pushes 225 eldm 2929 but there so long no mag will fit it. 3.787
Thats crazy long. The Norma mag can use the .338 CIP length mag, as it's essentially a .338 Norma mag necked down to 30 caliber. But even that magazine length is 3.680.

But I can fit all my rounds into a 5 round box mag without issue for the above mentioned load.

My Norma didnt like the 225gr ELD-M in my 9" twist CF Proof barrel. I tried a box. They just didn't shoot as well as the Berger.
 

Schw15

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Thats crazy long. The Norma mag can use the .338 CIP length mag, as it's essentially a .338 Norma mag necked down to 30 caliber. But even that magazine length is 3.680.

But I can fit all my rounds into a 5 round box mag without issue for the above mentioned load.

My Norma didnt like the 225gr ELD-M in my 9" twist CF Proof barrel. I tried a box. They just didn't shoot as well as the Berger.
I have a 1-8 twist 28 inch long works good for single shot and 1 mile. I hunt too but cant use it since single shot
 

BCX

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Where is 6.5 CM guy that made first round hits at 4K yards??? :p
 
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BCX

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Used one 30 years ago for hunting. Hammered deer. I think if you set the FB to the bullet you want to run, should work..
 

BCX

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Only downside is short barrel like and expensive Norma brass. You have to pay to play tho.
 

BCX

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I always base my cartridges off Lapua brass. Last couple years some new companies have produced good quality brass. RCC in my 338 LM AI will be my next venture.