Caliber Choices - Comparison and Applications

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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So.....lets just say you take a family member or a friend. You are essentially an unpaid guide. Your family member or friend flinches when squeezing off his 30-06 or .300 WM? Too much rifle for the shooter. Whatya gonna do then? There is a reason people stepped down from too much power. Is a 30-06 going to give you a faster follow up shot? Once again, there are a lot of studies it doesn't. That's why it may be the standard, but it went away almost entirely in the military. Hit's are more important than high energy misses.

I know you're gonna hate this but I have a friend who's shot twelve elk with a .243. I have no problem with it. My friend who hunted elk in CO, killed a big 6. pt. bull with one shot out of .220 Swift in NV, when he got a tag. You seem obsessed with power. I'm not. I'm pretty damn adamant about good shooting and picking a shot, though. Year after year, I've watched 'tough guys' with a rifle that's too big for them (because they don't practice with it) get knocked around bad enough they've embedded a flinch that ain't gonna help anything once they get out in the woods. No folow up shot there if the chance to make a clean hit was missed in the first place.

What if the elk is quartering to you? You gonna hit him in the shoulder and ruin all that meat? Why? If he's quartering away, you have an open shot at the bread basket. Use a good bullet and he's done. A 100 gr. Partition out of a 6.5mm makes it easy...if you hit it right, and don't take shots that are out of your league. Arguing calibers/cartridges is arguing semantics once you get above "big enough".
 
Feb 24, 2017
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I hesitate to stick my head above the parapet in this debate, but the two main calibres I've used for hunting deer and antelope of all sizes, over the last 42 years, have been 6.5mm and .308, and I think there is one angle that hasn't really been mentioned - which is penetration.
Most African Professional Hunters will tell you that what kills game is 'bullet placement' and 'penetration', and it's that combination of low recoil (making accurate shooting easy) alongside very high sectional density, that makes the 6.5mm bullets (of whatever cartridge) not just adequate - but deadly.

6.5mm bullets have 36% higher sectional density than .308s. That means for a given weight of bullet or energy, they will penetrate deeper.

For example, I think most people would accept that a 180gr 30-06 would be effective on an Elk at 400 yards, and at that range Hornady's classic 180gr SP Interlock retains around 1475 ft lbs.
But, Hornady's 6.5 Creedmoor 143gr ELDX has exactly the same energy at 400 yards (1475 ft lbs), along with a sectional density equivalent to a 195gr .308 bullet - and with 20% less recoil.

In practice, I hardly ever find my 6.5mm bullets in the animals I shoot, because they exit.
It isn't about bullet weight, or momentum, or frontal area. It's about penetration.

 
Mar 17, 2017
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So.....lets just say you take a family member or a friend. You are essentially an unpaid guide. Your family member or friend flinches when squeezing off his 30-06 or .300 WM? Too much rifle for the shooter. Whatya gonna do then? There is a reason people stepped down from too much power. Is a 30-06 going to give you a faster follow up shot? Once again, there are a lot of studies it doesn't. That's why it may be the standard, but it went away almost entirely in the military. Hit's are more important than high energy misses.
I'm not going to get into a debate on which cartridges are best suited for new hunters other than to say I do believe in a gradual progression rather than immediately jumping into the biggest, most powerful cartridge you can find.

As for recoil, I hate to break it to you but that's part of the big game experience. If you want a cartridge that can reliably take the full spectrum of North American big game (or big game on other continents), then you should expect a bit more recoil than what you get out of your average deer rifle. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want to go with a smaller, lower recoil cartridge (like 6.5 cm) for tackling bigger game, that's your choice, but you are making some sacrifices when you switch to that cartridge.

I know you're gonna hate this but I have a friend who's shot twelve elk with a .243.
I don't hate that, rather I think it's funny that you started off this conversation by declaring that you don't care what the guiding community thinks in terms of cartridge selection; you even went so far as to imply that most of the hunting community is somehow out of the loop when it comes to newer cartridges, like 6.5 cm. Yet now you've come full circle and you're relying on other hunters' anecdotal big buck stories to prove your point. Kudos to your friend, if he exists and has in fact taken that many elk; most in the hunting community do not use .243 for such purposes.


I hesitate to stick my head above the parapet in this debate, but the two main calibres I've used for hunting deer and antelope of all sizes, over the last 42 years, have been 6.5mm and .308, and I think there is one angle that hasn't really been mentioned - which is penetration.
Most African Professional Hunters will tell you that what kills game is 'bullet placement' and 'penetration', and it's that combination of low recoil (making accurate shooting easy) alongside very high sectional density, that makes the 6.5mm bullets (of whatever cartridge) not just adequate - but deadly.

6.5mm bullets have 36% higher sectional density than .308s. That means for a given weight of bullet or energy, they will penetrate deeper.

For example, I think most people would accept that a 180gr 30-06 would be effective on an Elk at 400 yards, and at that range Hornady's classic 180gr SP Interlock retains around 1475 ft lbs.
But, Hornady's 6.5 Creedmoor 143gr ELDX has exactly the same energy at 400 yards (1475 ft lbs), along with a sectional density equivalent to a 195gr .308 bullet - and with 20% less recoil.

In practice, I hardly ever find my 6.5mm bullets in the animals I shoot, because they exit.
It isn't about bullet weight, or momentum, or frontal area. It's about penetration.
1) Have you actually done field tests comparing the penetrating capabilities of the two (6.5 and .308)? There is a fellow over at Terminal Ballistics Research who has done tests and his conclusion was the 6.5x55 (which some here claim is comparable to the 6.5 cm) has mediocre penetration and wounding characteristics on large-bodied animals at longer distances.

2) Sectional density is but one of several factors in a bullet's overall lethality. 6.5 cm is noticeably down on energy and momentum (the latter especially dictates how well a bullet pushes through resisting mass) compared to more traditional .30 caliber cartridges (.308 and .30-06).

3) You bring up African Professional hunters to reinforce your points on shot placement and penetration. I don't doubt the relevance of those two topics. I do doubt that you'd find many, if any, guides over there recommending 6.5 cm as a suitable, all-around cartridge for the various big game found on that continent.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,418
270
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in yooperland
Here we are, talking in circles, again. For which I have no need to waste my time. You wanna whip this dead horse until someone says, "You're right." Well, in your mind, you're right. The proof was right there in front of your face and you can't see it, because you won't see it. It conflicts with your thinking, therefore other possibilities don't exist.
 
Feb 24, 2017
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Upstate, I have field experience with both calibres amounting to several hundred Red Deer/Fallow Deer/Roe Deer/Boar & medium-sized Antelope (up to Kudu/Sable) - so 50lb up to 300lb+.

The guy on Terminal Ballistics has done a huge amount of his work on small feral Goats, which are often 25-50lbs, very narrow and in my experience, very tough. You need to really blow a hole in them to put them down fast. I don't see his analysis as representative of my experience with Deer. I have found that the larger the animal the more the penetration of the 6.5s work in their favour.

Terminal energy on the 6.5s tend to exceed the .308s between 300 & 400 yards, given like-for-like cartridge sizes. Muzzle energy is just recoil.
The 6.5s are not as common is Africa as they once were, but you will find real reverence for the old 7x57, for all the reasons I have given. The new generation of 6.5s may reverse the trend.

As a Scot, I can add one other 'fact' to the well-known popularity of the 6.5x55 in Scandinavia. From the 1920s to the 1970s, when Telescopic sights became the norm, more Red Deer were killed in Scotland by the 6.5x54 Mannlicher than any other rifle (i.e. many 100,000s). The next most popular was the 7x57 (often called 275 Rigby), and our standard military .303 came a poor third.
Like the Swede, the most popular bullet was the 159gr round nose.

I am not a ballistician, but I suspect momentum alone is not the killer - it's firing a given momentum through a relatively small surface area, which "pushes through resisting mass" as you described.
That is why hunters switched from balls to slimmer lead slugs in the 19th C, and then to even slimmer rifled bullets in the early 20th C. They killed better.

Provided bullets have the appropriate expansion properties for the animal being shot, what is good for Ballistic efficiency through the air, is good for terminal ballistic - namely high Sectional Density.
Low SD is really only good for Varmints!
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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Gotta love that 6.5x54! What a sweet li'l catridge.

FWIW, W.D. "Karamojo" Bell killed some 300 plus elephants with it. He didn't give up on the cartridge, he gave up on the people who made it. Especially when the rifle went "click" at a critical moment.

How's that for penetration?
 

hlee

Sergeant
Jul 14, 2012
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I’m not afraid to wade into this debate. From my perspective, caliber choice is a mix of voodoo “science,” bandage for poor marksmanship, crutch for poor field craft, and salve for the ego; all mixed with a liberal dose of penis measurement.

A 400 grain arrow traveling at 250 FPS will blow through both sides of the biggest bull elk. Animals die from two things, traumatic injury to the central nervous system and rapid loss of blood pressure (exsanguination- blood loss).

Power factor, knock down power, hydrostatic shock, and all of the various measurements meant to compare the lethality of various cartridges are mostly bullshit. The differences in actual lethality between a 25-06, 270 win, 30-06, and 35 whelen are- at best- so far within the weeds of actual hunter performance that any is equally good. But you will find heated debates if you look, with proponents on all sides.

Every year, youth hunters sneak up to within a few yards of big bull elk and put arrows into them- harvesting them successfully. If your rifle cartridge outperforms an arrow (and you are using this as a reason for your choice) it is a crutch you are leaning on to mask your inability to get closer to game. Shooting a elk from 500 yards is not terribly impressive. They present a huge target.

”My bullet must not have expanded, the rifle recoils too much, a bigger bullet makes up for poor shot placement, etc” all bullshit excuses for poor shooting. Put the bullet where it will cause max blood loss- that’s the name of the game. If you can’t do that, get closer, practice until you can, or take up a different hobby.

But, this is the internet, and it is not much different than the shooting line at a public range, or deer camp. Everyone is looking at everyone else, comparing and judging. How much recoil can he handle? How tight are his groups? Etcetra. So much bullshit.

What rifle cartridge can you take out and- literally- shoot all day? That is a good start for your hunting cartridge. What rifle can you take out and, cold bore, make a hit every time, regardless of conditions? That’s your rifle.

There was an informal “challenge” on the hide several years ago. It was- essentially- what is the furthest range from which you can make a cold bore shot on a 6” circle? If you can’t make that shot, you don’t have any business attempting it on live game.

Obviously, in the battle between Jack O’Connor and Elmer Keith I come down in O’Connor’s camp. He did concede, and I will as well, that bigger heavier stronger game calls for bigger heavier bullets with stiffer power charges. But, if the decision is between marginally more ft*lbs and marginally better shooting, I will take better shooting every day of the week “and twice on Sunday...”

For some reason, apostrophes and quotation marks were deleted from this post...
 
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Likes: Rover31
Mar 17, 2017
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Here we are, talking in circles, again. For which I have no need to waste my time. You wanna whip this dead horse until someone says, "You're right." Well, in your mind, you're right. The proof was right there in front of your face and you can't see it, because you won't see it. It conflicts with your thinking, therefore other possibilities don't exist.
What proof? You act as if this is an objective math equation that can be decisively proven true or false with the appropriate work. This is a matter of opinion.

I'm not saying anything that's inconsistent with the collective knowledge of the hunting community. You're the delusional fanboy who is arguing that 6.5 creedmoor is the next all-around big game cartridge that can effectively take everything up to and including Moose. I point out to you that very few big game guides are recommending that cartridge for such uses, and you claim that's because they don't know any better. Your comments seem inherently myopic. If you want to continue to have those opinions from the comfort of your computer chair, fine. I don't think you've spent enough time hunting to actually put them to the test.

Moreover, any prospective hunters coming to this site for hunting advice should take what's being said here with an over-sized grain of salt. There are a lot of shooters here who like to sing their favorite cartridge's praises without really understanding how it performs in real world applications.


Upstate, I have field experience with both calibres amounting to several hundred Red Deer/Fallow Deer/Roe Deer/Boar & medium-sized Antelope (up to Kudu/Sable) - so 50lb up to 300lb+.


The game you mention are medium-sized game. I don't see how your experiences hunting them give you any credibility to opine on 6.5's versatility as a true big game cartridge.

The guy on Terminal Ballistics has done a huge amount of his work on small feral Goats, which are often 25-50lbs, very narrow and in my experience, very tough. You need to really blow a hole in them to put them down fast. I don't see his analysis as representative of my experience with Deer. I have found that the larger the animal the more the penetration of the 6.5s work in their favour.
You should take the time to read through his articles. His observations on the 6.5's performance were drawing results from shooting larger-bodied animals, where he specifically noted that the cartridge's penetration was not ideal in certain circumstances.

Terminal energy on the 6.5s tend to exceed the .308s between 300 & 400 yards, given like-for-like cartridge sizes.
The problem with that comment is that .308, and other .30 caliber cartridges, can throw much bigger projectiles than what 6.5 has to offer, often times at velocities that are either comparable or only slightly lower.

I am not a ballistician, but I suspect momentum alone is not the killer -
No one is arguing that it is. The issue we're butting heads on is that some self-proclaimed hunters here are focusing purely on BC's, muzzle velocity and SD's when they emphasize 6.5's big game capabilities; they're doing so to the exclusion of momentum (which plays a large role in how well a bullet penetrates) and overall bullet mass and size (which plays a role in the type of wound channels created).
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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What proof? You act as if this is an objective math equation that can be decisively proven true or false with the appropriate work. This is a matter of opinion.

I'm not saying anything that's inconsistent with the collective knowledge of the hunting community. You're the delusional fanboy who is arguing that 6.5 creedmoor is the next all-around big game cartridge that can effectively take everything up to and including Moose. I point out to you that very few big game guides are recommending that cartridge for such uses, and you claim that's because they don't know any better. Your comments seem inherently myopic. If you want to continue to have those opinions from the comfort of your computer chair, fine. I don't think you've spent enough time hunting to actually put them to the test.

Moreover, any prospective hunters coming to this site for hunting advice should take what's being said here with an over-sized grain of salt. There are a lot of shooters here who like to sing their favorite cartridge's praises without really understanding how it performs in real world applications.

The proof was Wayne Van Zwoll, taking an elk at 605 yds. with a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you don't know who he is in the hunting world, you need to "un-myopic" your thinking.
 
Feb 24, 2017
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Ever since I stopped using the old 6.5x54 back in the 1980s, I've been waiting for a modern, flat-shooting 6.5mm that was supported with accurate, premium, factory hunting ammunition.

As soon as the Creedmoor came along it replaced a 308 as my standard 'big game' rifle for all non-dangerous game. I have used it for Elk (which I have taken at over 500 yards) and like my Scandinavian neighbours, I would have no hesitation using it on Moose, with the right bullet.

Why?
Because in practice, it is easier to shoot accurately, flatter shooting and holds onto its energy further, so I can convert more chances. It penetrates like hell, so I wound less often and kill cleaner. In other words, it helps me be a better hunter.

My bet is that over the next few years it will be become the single most popular calibre for people that want to use a regular, non-magnum cartridge for deer hunting.
If people want more power or range, they can use a 6.5x284, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 GAP, or step up to one of the many excellent 7mms and enjoy similar ballistic efficiency.
Either way, people are beginning to realise that you don't have to chuck a 200 grain bullet and endure 3,500-4,000 ftlb of recoil, just to kill a deer!
 
Mar 17, 2017
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The proof was Wayne Van Zwoll, taking an elk at 605 yds. with a 6.5 Creedmoor.
So that one example proves that 6.5 cm is in fact just as effective as the more common big game cartridges? Have you asked him if he thinks 6.5 cm would be suitable or ethical for North American moose or bear (black or brown)?

And again, I find it interesting that you're relying on a respected hunter's personal experiences despite being so dismissive of the guiding community's preferences earlier in this conversation. And to be honest, I'm less interested in seeing what Wayne can accomplish with a 6.5 cm rifle and I'm much more interested in seeing what you can accomplish.


My bet is that over the next few years it will be become the single most popular calibre for people that want to use a regular, non-magnum cartridge for deer hunting.
You might be right, but a good deer hunting cartridge doesn't necessarily make for a good all-around big game cartridge, and vice versa.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,418
270
83
in yooperland
So that one example proves that 6.5 cm is in fact just as effective as the more common big game cartridges? Have you asked him if he thinks 6.5 cm would be suitable or ethical for North American moose or bear (black or brown)?

And again, I find it interesting that you're relying on a respected hunter's personal experiences despite being so dismissive of the guiding community's preferences earlier in this conversation. And to be honest, I'm less interested in seeing what Wayne can accomplish with a 6.5 cm rifle and I'm much more interested in seeing what you can accomplish.




You might be right, but a good deer hunting cartridge doesn't necessarily make for a good all-around big game cartridge, and vice versa.
How long you gonna keep beating this dead horse?? Wayne Van Zwoll, is not just one example. He probably represents the biggest cross section of examples out there. If you'd have read any of his books you might know that. But, It's clear you haven't, 'cause you didn't even know who he was. Which,BTW, kinda nips your credentials in the bud. Yet, you know what works and what doesn't.

I used him as a CLEAR example that the 6.5 Creed is gaining ground in the hunting community. If he says it and does it, people are gonna listen. and, more than likely, start using it. You won't though, you already know the answer.

You do know who W.D. Bell is right?
 
Mar 17, 2017
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How long you gonna keep beating this dead horse??
Don't forget that you're the one who instigated this whole conversation when you responded angrily to a comment I made suggesting that 6.5 cm has its limitations for hunting applications.

Wayne Van Zwoll, is not just one example. He probably represents the biggest cross section of examples out there. If you'd have read any of his books you might know that. But, It's clear you haven't, 'cause you didn't even know who he was. Which,BTW, kinda nips your credentials in the bud. Yet, you know what works and what doesn't.

I used him as a CLEAR example that the 6.5 Creed is gaining ground in the hunting community. If he says it and does it, people are gonna listen. and, more than likely, start using it. You won't though, you already know the answer.

You do know who W.D. Bell is right?
Firstly, name-dropping does absolutely nothing to prove your own hunting credibility.
Secondly, when and if you actually start taking elk, caribou, moose and bear with your beloved 6.5 cm, post the video to youtube, send me the link, and maybe I'll start to take you more seriously. You're really going above and beyond to champion this cartridge's virtues as an all-around big game cartridge, and yet I have a strong suspicion that you haven't yet put these claims of yours to the test.

6.5 cm has gained ground, as a medium game cartridge; I'm sure some expert shots can use it for elk under the right circumstances. Claiming that it can replace existing big game cartridges for taking moose and bear, among others, is horrible advice, and I don't hear anyone, besides you, making that suggestion.

I'm going to get ready for harvesting some black bear with an outdated cartridge that isn't worth naming. I'll leave you to monitoring this thread and ensuring that the 6.5 cm's solid "big game reputation" doesn't get further sullied by slander and misinformation.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,418
270
83
in yooperland
Don't forget that you're the one who instigated this whole conversation when you responded angrily to a comment I made suggesting that 6.5 cm has its limitations for hunting applications.



Firstly, name-dropping does absolutely nothing to prove your own hunting credibility.
Secondly, when and if you actually start taking elk, caribou, moose and bear with your beloved 6.5 cm, post the video to youtube, send me the link, and maybe I'll start to take you more seriously. You're really going above and beyond to champion this cartridge's virtues as an all-around big game cartridge, and yet I have a strong suspicion that you haven't yet put these claims of yours to the test.

6.5 cm has gained ground, as a medium game cartridge; I'm sure some expert shots can use it for elk under the right circumstances. Claiming that it can replace existing big game cartridges for taking moose and bear, among others, is horrible advice, and I don't hear anyone, besides you, making that suggestion.

I'm going to get ready for harvesting some black bear with an outdated cartridge that isn't worth naming. I'll leave you to monitoring this thread and ensuring that the 6.5 cm's solid "big game reputation" doesn't get further sullied by slander and misinformation.
So, this is all about you getting your feelings hurt? I don't care what you think about my hunting ability. It's the fact that the 6.5 cartridges are plenty adequate for the job. You're the one with feelings of inadequacy.

The "name dropping" you mention is an "old time hunter" who did this a hundred years ago. And, a guy who probably has shot a ton more elk than you ever dreamed of, both using 6.5 cartridges, Bell mostly used the 7x57 but liked the 6.5x54 Mannlicher more. To be exact, it was because of less recoil and having all the power he needed. People are finding out they don't need to go bigger, they can go with what worked 100 years ago. And, kill what they want. The limitation is people like you, not the cartridge. FWIW, the 30-06 came along after both the 6.5x54 and the 6.5x55, which are both quite capable of taking anything on this planet. because they have done it.

Added: Bell also tried the .300 and .375 H&H as well as the .416 Rigby. He didn't like them as they cost too much and kicked too hard. He did say before he died, that if the .308 had come along earlier, he would probably have liked it. The .300 Savage (.308 Win parent case) did not have solid bullets commercially loaded for use, so he didn't use it.

Don't worry, I won't be bothering to take pics/videos so I can get your approval when I do get back into hunting. The 30-06 isn't allowed in Africa for dangerous game anymore either. Mostly because one arrogant man spewed bad information about a "big" gun he used to hit animals anywhere and could kill them. Nothing, not even cubic displacement, beats shot placement. the lightest kicking rifle with enough power is the best way to that ticket.
 
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CRT2

Oberstleutnant
Jul 7, 2013
484
41
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Central Ohio
I’m not afraid to wade into this debate. From my perspective, caliber choice is a mix of voodoo “science,” bandage for poor marksmanship, crutch for poor field craft, and salve for the ego; all mixed with a liberal dose of penis measurement.

A 400 grain arrow traveling at 250 FPS will blow through both sides of the biggest bull elk. Animals die from two things, traumatic injury to the central nervous system and rapid loss of blood pressure (exsanguination- blood loss).

Power factor, knock down power, hydrostatic shock, and all of the various measurements meant to compare the lethality of various cartridges are mostly bullshit. The differences in actual lethality between a 25-06, 270 win, 30-06, and 35 whelen are- at best- so far within the weeds of actual hunter performance that any is equally good. But you will find heated debates if you look, with proponents on all sides.

Every year, youth hunters sneak up to within a few yards of big bull elk and put arrows into them- harvesting them successfully. If your rifle cartridge outperforms an arrow (and you are using this as a reason for your choice) it is a crutch you are leaning on to mask your inability to get closer to game. Shooting a elk from 500 yards is not terribly impressive. They present a huge target.

”My bullet must not have expanded, the rifle recoils too much, a bigger bullet makes up for poor shot placement, etc” all bullshit excuses for poor shooting. Put the bullet where it will cause max blood loss- that’s the name of the game. If you can’t do that, get closer, practice until you can, or take up a different hobby.

But, this is the internet, and it is not much different than the shooting line at a public range, or deer camp. Everyone is looking at everyone else, comparing and judging. How much recoil can he handle? How tight are his groups? Etcetra. So much bullshit.

What rifle cartridge can you take out and- literally- shoot all day? That is a good start for your hunting cartridge. What rifle can you take out and, cold bore, make a hit every time, regardless of conditions? That’s your rifle.

There was an informal “challenge” on the hide several years ago. It was- essentially- what is the furthest range from which you can make a cold bore shot on a 6” circle? If you can’t make that shot, you don’t have any business attempting it on live game.

Obviously, in the battle between Jack O’Connor and Elmer Keith I come down in O’Connor’s camp. He did concede, and I will as well, that bigger heavier stronger game calls for bigger heavier bullets with stiffer power charges. But, if the decision is between marginally more ft*lbs and marginally better shooting, I will take better shooting every day of the week “and twice on Sunday...”

For some reason, apostrophes and quotation marks were deleted from this post...
Well said. Know your weapon, know your game, and recognize your limitations.
 
Dec 28, 2017
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I'm new to all of this long range shooting, so forgive me if this question is dumb. If a rifle is chambered in .308, is it possible to shoot 6br,and 6.5-284 in the same rifle if you change the barrel to match cartridge being fired?
 
Sep 6, 2006
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I'm new to all of this long range shooting, so forgive me if this question is dumb. If a rifle is chambered in .308, is it possible to shoot 6br,and 6.5-284 in the same rifle if you change the barrel to match cartridge being fired?
Those all share the same case head size, but are different in almost every other way with regards to working inside the action suited for a .308. With certain compromises, they could all be fired in that action though. 6.5x47 and 6.5 creedmoor are right at home in that size action, with a serious performance boost too.
 
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Sep 20, 2013
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Wyoming elk hunter here.

The Barnes website is a useful read if you are interested in external ballistics (velocity and ballistic coefficient) and terminal performance (velocity and sectional density).

If the goal is enough gun that you can shoot accurately, there are lots of good choices.

Some time ago an Indian woman killed a record grizzly with six shots below the ear. In this case, accuracy was final. Caliber was .22 LR. Ideal? No. Did it kill the bear? Yes.

My son and I kill two bull elk each Fall, spikes to record bulls. I shoot a .300 WM with Barnes 200 grain LRX bullets. My son shot a .308 with Barnes 175 grain LRX and for the last two years a .300 Win Mag with the 200 grain LRX bullets. These combinations were lethal to over 10 elk, none outside 200 yards. A few required a second round. Those few were dead but still standing.

Back to the Barnes website. 300 Win Mag, .308, 7mm Rem Mag all kill elk. No experience with the 6.5 CM, but the Barnes website tells me available hunting bullets don't equal the .300, .308 or 7mm. Good enough? Maybe. If that's all you can shoot accurately, maybe that's your best choice. But I'm not convinced it's the best choice for elk.

My conclusion: Horses for courses.
 

fx77

Sergeant
Nov 29, 2005
982
64
28
ny state
Placement is good
Penetration is good
But you want all of the energy of the penetrated and placed shot to be expended on the target, not waste energy with thru and thru shots
For the logical extreme I could shoot a needle at the speed of light and it could pass thru my target and deliver little or no destructive energy to said target. that then gets down to bullet selection...another topic entirely.
 

Raufoss

Sergeant
Nov 23, 2010
197
3
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Missouri
Placement is good
Penetration is good
But you want all of the energy of the penetrated and placed shot to be expended on the target, not waste energy with thru and thru shots
For the logical extreme I could shoot a needle at the speed of light and it could pass thru my target and deliver little or no destructive energy to said target. that then gets down to bullet selection...another topic entirely.
In fact the needle at the speed of light would carry more energy and will encounter more restitance than anything else...think you found the solution.

Fk the 6/6.5/7/30 war we need to shoot needles!
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,418
270
83
in yooperland
It’s really interesting to read through this post from 2010. SO much has changed but other things have remained constant.
True. The 6.5 Creed wasn't even mentioned in the initial group of cartridges noted. We not only now have the 6.5 Creedmoor, we have the 6mm Creedmoor. Another brand new addition hardly addressed on this thread is the .224 Valkyrie
 

224VALMAN

New Hide Member
Jun 24, 2018
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I have shot the 308 WIN The 260 REM and Now I shoot the 22-250 REM in bolt rifles. Notice the trend here? Decreasing in caliber as I age. Just now getting into the 224 VAL in AR-15 Platform. I do reloading.
The hard truth is that most shooters including myself do not ever shoot over 500 yards so why bother with a 1000 yard rifle ? Most shooters do not even have access to a 1000 yard range. The centerfire 22's are a blast and LOW RECOIL.
Distance cost money especially in the OPTICS needed to effectively shoot 1000 yards. Obviously if I'm a hunter and hunting big animals then that has a direct effect on the caliber I would choose.
 

1clicktrick

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Feb 7, 2018
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skiatook
Re: Caliber Choices - Comparison and Applications

Does someone want to add the Pros and Cons for 338 Lapua? Seems to be quite a popular long-distance round, but very expensive.
I know this post is old I'm quoting but I started at the beginning. 338 lapua is expensive. I built a target rifle using a 338 win mag. Out of 26 in shilen and throated about .170" I am getting mid lapua charges. With nosler and hornady brass I'm pushing 300gr matchkings to 2690fps and hornady 285 Eld match to 2772fps. Coal is 3.588 with 0.020 off lands. This was a cheaper alternative to bypass the $3 brass each. Just an idea for others to try. Accuracy has been .310 moa so far.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,418
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in yooperland
I have shot the 308 WIN The 260 REM and Now I shoot the 22-250 REM in bolt rifles. Notice the trend here? Decreasing in caliber as I age. Just now getting into the 224 VAL in AR-15 Platform. I do reloading.
The hard truth is that most shooters including myself do not ever shoot over 500 yards so why bother with a 1000 yard rifle ? Most shooters do not even have access to a 1000 yard range. The centerfire 22's are a blast and LOW RECOIL.
Distance cost money especially in the OPTICS needed to effectively shoot 1000 yards. Obviously if I'm a hunter and hunting big animals then that has a direct effect on the caliber I would choose.
I can understand the not spending cash where it's not going to be used philosophy. But, choosing a cartridge, because it's only good out to a certain range doesn't follow the point of the post.

I love the .22-250. But, most of the shooting I've done with one hasn't been as far as I've shot with my .223. Not because the .223 is better, but because it has a tight enough twist to stabilize bullets that can reliably get out to 1k+. With a close twist in .22-250, (at least 1-8") you can stabilize heavier bullets with better BC that can get to 1k.

So, to say it's okay to not range out, isn't okay in this instance. Were we talking about bad-ass varmint rounds. the .22-250 would be at the top.
 
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