I need help...I don't know what I want.

RFutch

Sergeant
Sep 28, 2010
674
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Chattanooga, TN
#1
Or maybe I know what I want, I just don't know what caliber it would be.

Here's what I want:

Bolt Action (SA)
Mag Fed (AICS)
Good barrel life ie: 5000+
Capable of consistent hits at 1000.
Low recoil without a brake. Here's the kicker. I already have two 223's so I don't want another one. But I want to be able to spot misses easily without a brake in a 10-11 lb rifle.

The only thing I can think of is a 6.5 Grendel. I know it's an AR caliber and there are better calibers for bolt guns. I do have a 6.5x47L so that niche is filled too.

Any suggestions?
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
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Central TX
#3
Doesnt exist with all of those factors.

308 would be one of the few contenders but without a brake it will not be "low" recoil. Maybe 30br with a 155 palma bullet?

6br wont make the barrel life of 5k+ as much as I would like it to.
 
Apr 5, 2017
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#5
If you built a Grendel in a bolt could you run bigger bullets than what will fit in ar mags? Get a little more BC and it would be slightly better downrange. Seems like your looking for something between a 6.5 Grendel and Creedmoor. Haha
 

Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
1,560
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Black Hills
#6
I'm pretty sure a 6-221 fireball would make it. 105 hybrid or 110 SMK @ 2100-2200 fps should make it to 1000. Would fit/work in .223 AICS mags. Real minimal recoil, enough mass to spot misses (mostly).

Since you'd be ordering a special reamer anyway, I'd keep the same neck/shoulder junction location but improve it a little, 30 degree shoulder, get you a little more oompf.

I don't know if it would make 5,000 rounds but it'd be close.
 
Jan 15, 2005
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VA
#7
Consistent hits at 1K and 5000+ rounds of usable barrel life? Let us know when you find it.

308 is as close as you're going to come. 308 with 185gr Juggernauts is a very capable combo but you're still going to give up some hits to the faster and higher BC stuff.
 

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
3,074
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#9
You mention you already have a 6.5x47 What is wrong with that apart from a barrel life in the 2k to 3k range depending on how you run it?

You need to lower your barrel life requirements to be realistic with just about anything else.
The only close match is a .308 which will get you to 1000 yards and will have a life of over 5k rounds if you don't run the barrel hard and hot.
The problem is you will have a much higher recoil than you want in a 10 pound rifle without a brake, so watching your hits may be difficult.
Move up to a 20 pound chassis style rifle and you can sit there all day watching your hits just fine.

You could look at the 6.5x55 as that run softly has a pretty good barrel life, but I'm not sure it will make it to the 5k mark & it's kind of pointless if you already have a 6.5x47 which is very similar for ballistics and recoil (just has a bit of a better barrel life).

I think perhaps what you really want is something that can get to 1k and not have too much recoil in a light rifle.
Perhaps you might consider something in the 6mm range, like 6mm Creedmoor or 6mm BR 6x47 etc and be happy with a barrel life in the low 2k range and call it a day.
 

Iamero

Full Member With Way Too Many Posts
Feb 14, 2017
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#10
I'm going to agree with what most everyone else is saying: 308 win is a good candidate, but otherwise do a 223 AI with 77s (although it sounds like you don't want another 223 type cartridge).

If saving money is a concern as to why you want such a long barrel life, just build a remage style setup, get two barrels for about $300 each, and shoot each one 2500 rounds. Once your barrel life expectency goes form 5,000 to 2,500, you open up a whole other world of cartridges capable of doing what you want.
 
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steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
7,643
416
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Flagstaff, AZ
#11
6.5 BR, I was going to build one for similar purposes. 123's at 2700 fps. You could use low flame temp powders and go minimum loads, as well as keeping with 6 shot strings vs 10.

I'm going to go with a 22BR, or 22 Dasher, and stay with the same theme for practice on steel. Might get 3000 -3500 rounds, which would be fine, but who knows???

Man, if someone would machine up some aluminum 10 round AICS style mags for 223AI, heavy's only in mind, at 2.65 OACL, that would be the ticket. I'm getting 2813 fps in the low node with 88 grain eldm.

Anything is better than the 1600 rounds average I've been getting out of my 6x47L, lol, and that's stretching it.
 

RFutch

Sergeant
Sep 28, 2010
674
42
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37
Chattanooga, TN
#14
Thanks for all the suggestions. As for the cost of this I realize I could buy more 6.5x47 barrels but I also have a Rem 700 in .308 just sitting in the safe cause I just don't enjoy shooting it.

I sort of tried to go down this road with my x47. Obviously barrel life was not a consideration, but having not ever shot one, it recoils more than I expected. Not bad but just more than I was thinking and its heavy.

The 6.5 BR looks interesting. I'll have to research it. I would think it would feed easier from AI mags with mag kits, than a Grendel.
 

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
3,074
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#15
Thanks for all the suggestions. As for the cost of this I realize I could buy more 6.5x47 barrels but I also have a Rem 700 in .308 just sitting in the safe cause I just don't enjoy shooting it.
I sort of tried to go down this road with my x47. Obviously barrel life was not a consideration, but having not ever shot one, it recoils more than I expected. Not bad but just more than I was thinking and its heavy.
The 6.5 BR looks interesting. I'll have to research it. I would think it would feed easier from AI mags with mag kits, than a Grendel.
If the 6.5x47 was more recoil than you wanted, then you might want to step down into the 6mm range of bullets
Those are becoming very popular in competitions these days specifically because of the light recoil allowing you to see your impacts.
 
Jan 15, 2005
6,469
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VA
#17
I was leaning towards a fast twist .243 barrel for my .308 but barrel life has me scared lol.
Run a 26-28” tube with H1000 and you’ll see a solid 3000 rounds or more as long as you’re not constantly burning it down. Without at least 26” you’re not going to get the velocity out of it though and if you run pretty much anyother powder figure 1200-2000 rounds depending on how hot your load is and how you run it. Pretty much all the fast 6mm’s are this way but 243 has the case capacity to let you capitalize on the very cool burning H1000.
 
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Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
2,830
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Pacific Northwest
#18
Thinking out loud here...

1) To get lower recoil, generally you'll want to go towards lighter bullets, and slower velocities.

2) To get to 1k reliably you'll need to have the bullet still traveling mach 1.2 at 1k yards.

3) To get more barrel life you want larger bore diameter, less powder, lower pressure, a longer case neck and cooler burning powder.

So to accomplish both #1 and #2 together you would want to use heavy for caliber bullets, in a smaller caliber, going slow as possible, with a longer barrel. You'd be after something with the best BC/weight ratio. That would have me looking at the 6mm 110 SMK or the 22 cal 90-95gr bullets. Unfortunately I think once you step down to 22 cal you lose too much on barrel life. For example A 22 Dasher is going to have less barrel life than a 6 Dasher, simply on the principal of similar amount of powder at similar pressures being forced through a smaller diameter bore. So if you pick the 110SMK, you need to be able to get it going about 2650fps to make it to 1k yards.

Moving on to #3, I poked around in Quickload looking at the cooler burning powders like H1000 and some of the Vihtavuori slower burning powders. H1000 is a bit slow and bulky to make the necessary velocity until you get up to a pretty large case. N165 is even cooler burning, but again too bulky. The best choice I could find was N160, which is about the same burn temp as H1000. It needs a case that's bigger than the 6BR but smaller than the 6x47 to hit around 2650 fps at between 45-50k PSI. Something like the 6BRA or Dasher gets you closest, with the BRA probably being better due to smaller capacity and longer neck.

If you picked a 6BRA or Dasher 110SMK N160 combo you'd be at around 33-35gr pretty compressed load 48k PSI at 2650 fps from a 26-28" barrel. I plugged that data into the "barrel life calculator" spreadsheet that someone made a while back (based on pressure, temp, amount of powder) and it predicted a barrel life of ~4200 rounds. Not quite your goal of 5k barrel life but getting close.

Only problem is that you're looking at needing to buy hydro brass (can't fireform if you want to avoid barrel wear) plus custom dies and a semi-wildcat cartrige. And there'd be no guarantee that it would be accurate or make the necessary speed or not give you issues due to loading compressed powder charges. And N160 can be harder to find and is more expensive.

IMO what I would do instead is build a straight 6BR and shoot 105's at a conservative 2800 fps from a 26-27" barrel using Varget. It will get you probably around 3k barrel life, be relatively low recoil, and is a well established easy to load for cartridge that is a proven accurate performer.
 
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Feb 27, 2014
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#20
Going a different route and spending your money >> Since you mentioned "no brakes" and wanting lighter recoil, you ought to seriously consider buying a precision can. Since your familiar with that cartridge, A longer 6.5x47 bbl with a lighter load might get you good velocity and decent bbl life.
 

RFutch

Sergeant
Sep 28, 2010
674
42
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37
Chattanooga, TN
#23
Thinking out loud here...

1) To get lower recoil, generally you'll want to go towards lighter bullets, and slower velocities.

2) To get to 1k reliably you'll need to have the bullet still traveling mach 1.2 at 1k yards.

3) To get more barrel life you want larger bore diameter, less powder, lower pressure, a longer case neck and cooler burning powder.

So to accomplish both #1 and #2 together you would want to use heavy for caliber bullets, in a smaller caliber, going slow as possible, with a longer barrel. You'd be after something with the best BC/weight ratio. That would have me looking at the 6mm 110 SMK or the 22 cal 90-95gr bullets. Unfortunately I think once you step down to 22 cal you lose too much on barrel life. For example A 22 Dasher is going to have less barrel life than a 6 Dasher, simply on the principal of similar amount of powder at similar pressures being forced through a smaller diameter bore. So if you pick the 110SMK, you need to be able to get it going about 2650fps to make it to 1k yards.

Moving on to #3, I poked around in Quickload looking at the cooler burning powders like H1000 and some of the Vihtavuori slower burning powders. H1000 is a bit slow and bulky to make the necessary velocity until you get up to a pretty large case. N165 is even cooler burning, but again too bulky. The best choice I could find was N160, which is about the same burn temp as H1000. It needs a case that's bigger than the 6BR but smaller than the 6x47 to hit around 2650 fps at between 45-50k PSI. Something like the 6BRA or Dasher gets you closest, with the BRA probably being better due to smaller capacity and longer neck.

If you picked a 6BRA or Dasher 110SMK N160 combo you'd be at around 33-35gr pretty compressed load 48k PSI at 2650 fps from a 26-28" barrel. I plugged that data into the "barrel life calculator" spreadsheet that someone made a while back (based on pressure, temp, amount of powder) and it predicted a barrel life of ~4200 rounds. Not quite your goal of 5k barrel life but getting close.

Only problem is that you're looking at needing to buy hydro brass (can't fireform if you want to avoid barrel wear) plus custom dies and a semi-wildcat cartrige. And there'd be no guarantee that it would be accurate or make the necessary speed or not give you issues due to loading compressed powder charges. And N160 can be harder to find and is more expensive.

IMO what I would do instead is build a straight 6BR and shoot 105's at a conservative 2800 fps from a 26-27" barrel using Varget. It will get you probably around 3k barrel life, be relatively low recoil, and is a well established easy to load for cartridge that is a proven accurate performer.
Lots of info and I appreciate you taking the time to do that. I will look into the 6BR as well.

More thinking out loud what about 6.5BR? It looks like dies are available and not too terribly expensive. My only question is brass. Can it just be resized easily from 6BR?
 
Sep 6, 2006
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Southern California
#24
Lots of info and I appreciate you taking the time to do that. I will look into the 6BR as well.

More thinking out loud what about 6.5BR? It looks like dies are available and not too terribly expensive. My only question is brass. Can it just be resized easily from 6BR?

Yes, that would be an easy neck up using a mandrel. I would not neck up with just an expander ball in a sizing die.


On another note, I think you should lower your round count expectation or omit it altogether, and just go 6br. Simple, accurate, and very low recoil. If you use normal loads, it will probably surprise you with it’s barrel life.
 
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Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
2,830
733
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Pacific Northwest
#26
More thinking out loud what about 6.5BR? It looks like dies are available and not too terribly expensive. My only question is brass. Can it just be resized easily from 6BR?
Only thought about the 6.5BR would be that you could just as easily run your 6.5x47 at a slower velocity and accomplish the same thing. That, and running something like a 140gr bullet at 2600 fps is going to have more recoil than a 105 at 2800fps.
 
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Mar 9, 2017
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#29
7mm SAW with the long throated reamer. Good performance and barrel life with the 162s/168s and 180s
Does anyone really know the barrel life on those? Also I thought the long throat reamer will not work for mags which was one of his requirements.

The short throat SAW looks pretty good, I’m considering going that route when I burn out my 308 barrel (I’ve got tons of LC brass I can convert).
 
Feb 11, 2017
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#30
I have the short throat reamer and am currently having 2x 7mm SAW rifles built. I will be running AW and CTR mags on these rifles. According to the WTO website, the 0.150" freebore reamer should fit into the AW mags with 162/8 weight projectiles. I'm keen to see what barrel life is, I read somewhere that its similar to the 7-08. Clayton has an update for the rig he built here:

https://westtexordnance.com/category/news/
 
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Feb 16, 2017
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#31
What's the barrel life on a .224 Valkyrie? Is that out of contention? Sorry. I'm dumb and unimaginative when it comes to calibers outside of .308 and 6.5CM :/
 

RFutch

Sergeant
Sep 28, 2010
674
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Chattanooga, TN
#33
I want to keep my 47L as it is, besides it’s a heavy pig. I need to do something with this other action.

I’m considering 6BR now. The more I read the more I like. There are prefits available which is also a plus.
 

RFutch

Sergeant
Sep 28, 2010
674
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37
Chattanooga, TN
#36
Ok I've decided against the short BR type calibers mainly to keep costs down. I don't want to deal with possible feeding/ ejection issues and have to get my bolt bushed becasue it's a large (and sloppy) Rem 700 firing pin.

I think I am going to go with a fast twist .243 and use H1000 with the 105 Berger Hybrids. Does anyone know what freebore I need to go with? I've been researching it but what I'm finding is all over the place.
 
Jul 7, 2005
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#37
I'm thinking Howa Mini with a good custom bbl in 6RAT. I did one for myself this past year, using a Bartlein light Palma contour 6mm/5R w/1-8tw, finished at 24". Don't think there's much velocity to be gained by going longer with a cartridge of this case capacity - tried a 28" Bartlein 1-7.8tw on a spacegun/match rifle upper in NRA XC high power matches several years ago, and haven't seen any significant drop in the velocity I'm getting out of the 24" bbl on the Mini relative to that 28" AR bbl. I'm using charge weights of around 28grs with most of the powders & bullets I've tried; you can get 2750fps, maybe 2800fps with 105s, which will get you to 1000yds easily enough. Good friend who built a 6RAT AR Match rifle very similar to mine is still shooting his occasionally, and has over 3k rounds through it - accuracy at 600yds is still very good.

My Howa Mini 6RAT is in a McM Game Scout stock with DIP aluminum DBM (using OEM plastic 5rd mags), with an EGW 20 MOA scope rail, and an Athlon Ares BTR 30mm 4.5-27x50 scope. It weighs a couple of ounces under 10lbs, and recoil is very mild. I put a TBAC flash suppressor/mount on it so it could be shot without the Ultra 7 suppressor and still not blast my eardrums to pieces as would be the case if shooting with a compact brake/mount w/o can.

Someone else mentioned a 7-08 - I built a 7-08 Improved 30* on a trued M700 w/PTG bolt, 26" Krieger 1-9tw in sendero contour, skim bedded in a B&C #2015 stock with PTG Stealth DBM, TriggerTech Primary, B-O 20 MOA steel scope base, Athlon Ares 34mm ETR 4.5-30x56 scope in TPS TSR rings, that weighs 13.75lbs. It's really pleasant to shoot with either an Ultra 7 or Ultra 9 TBAC can, running S168MKs at just under 2700fps with Hodgdon H100V, which has a flame temp just a bit cooler than N165. I know the old Sierra 168s aren't nearly as sexy as a Berger or JLK 168VLD, but they shoot great loaded to mag length, and I had a bunch of them, so... One of these days, I'll load some of the 168 VLDs to single load for shooting 1000yds, just out of curiosity. But this rifle probably weighs about as much as the OP's 6.5x47, which is one of the reasons it's so pleasant to shoot.
 

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