800m. What rifle and cartridge?

Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#1
So I'm thinking about a new rifle. What do you guys think would meet the following criteria?

Price: under 1000 (that can be complete rifle or something like a 700 with a stock, etc)
Cartridge: this is where I want some input. Capable but challenging out to 800m, factory ammo is a must. I typically shoot out to 800m with wind around 20mph with a 6.5creedmoor, I want something that can do it but thatll be more of a challenge. Preferably something cheaper than $1 a round too.

whatever rifle it is I would like it to either be pretty good as is or at least have some aftermarket support for stocks, triggers etc.

My thoughts are maybe a rem700 in .223? What do you guys think? Glass will be the sfwa 10x, because i have one sitting here that needs a home
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#4
I haven't checked out the tikka offerings yet, but have seen alot of good said about them. Maybe it's time to give them a look. The RPR is a great rifle, I just sold one I had in 6.5, I would rather no go this direction again. Nothing against the rifles at all, I just think I want to go with a stock instead of a chassis style gun this time around.

Realistically if it cant push all the way to 800 comfortably that's ok. I'm looking for something thatll be more of a challenge out around 6-800 and more of a wind challenge. Typically it's either calm here or up to about 20mph. Those conditions are starting to get "boring" with the 6.5. I shoot often, pretty much once or twice a week and about 100 rounds per range day. The 6.5 definitely isnt going anywhere, I just want something to bridge the gap between it and my 22lr thatll be more of a challenge
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#5
You sound a lot like me. I shoot just about every week and MOST of my shooting is 400 yards and in.

Only time I get behind that is when I shoot matches.

I bought a Vudoo V22 to take up most of my shooting now as shooting 6.5 at those distances is a joke.

I would get a .223 ruger Predator maybe?
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#6
Yup. The only difference is most of my shooting is 500-800 and I'm still looking for any matches semi close to go to.

I think .223 is definitely the answer, the next trick is seeing what I can do to avoid this becoming a full blown build. If I can find something with a decent stock and trigger I'll be in a good place
 
Sep 16, 2017
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El Campo, TX
#7
You could always shoot your 6.5 creedmoor from more challenging positions. This makes more sense to me and will make you a better rifleman. Shoot sitting on your ass unsupported. Shoot free handed. Shoot standing only resting the rifle against a pole. The guys that can make hits from these positions are the real deal.

Resting a rifle on a solid base doesn’t make a better shot and means nothing as it’s easy. I have taken people who hardly ever shoot and has never shot anything past a hundred yards and I get them hitting at 750 plus yards within a handful of trigger pulls. I dial the scope and have the rifle on a bipod and rear bag. They squeeze the trigger and DING the 12”plate swings. It’s easy. Little kids can do it that have never shot a rifle before. With that being said making FIRST round hits at longer distances does take skill as it’s more about making the wind call. Pulling the trigger on a well supported rifle takes little skill. Almost none.

Shooting from limited or no support does take skill that most shooters will never learn because most guys bag up their AR15.
 
Feb 20, 2017
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#8
I may have missed it but...
Are you shooting deer, steel, paper?

Seems like steel. If that's the case, the .223 should be good. 30-06 for deer!
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#9
Steel is correct. For what it's worth I regularly shoot unsupported and such at work. I regularly shoot the 6.5 prone, seated (tripod) and standing (tripod). I know the range has some nine hole barricades. I'll see how they feel about letting me pull one over to the long range side.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#11
I dont disagree. I'm going to look into the barricade idea tomorrow when i go. As for PRS, I'm definitely not claiming to be some amazing shot, but I do need to find a match with in driving distance to get to.

.223 is definitely looking like a good answer though. That's the direction I was leaning, just wanted to common sense check my idea 1st
 
Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#14
Fair warning - 223 isn't guaranteed to reach 800m by any stretch. 500 - easy, 600 - probably fine, 700 - maybe, 800 - iffy, 800+ - difficult

I got a Tikka Varmint 223 and it happened to have a really slow node. My 75 gr ELD loads were going unstable at 650 yards.

I do not believe you're likely to find any factory 223 ammo that will reliably reach 800. If you're reloading, I'd try some H-4895 (IIRC) and a 75-80 grain pill with the highest BC you can find. Get it to 2,800 fps and you've got a shot.

In reality, I'd get a 243, 6 CM, or something along those lines. But your $1 per shot is gone. Even match 223 ammo is higher than that. You're just not going to find accurate factory ammo on the cheap if you're shooting half a mile.
 

bfglowkey

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 14, 2018
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#16
308 is what comes to mind. FGMM 168s and click bang...800m with you reading wind etc. Want to go further...175s. closer...150s. Tons of hunting, low recoil, varmint loads. Inexpensive....jack of all trades and it will get your wind reading skills polished imo
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
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#17
Please read carefully the last three posts above mine. They are full of truth.

To re-state
  1. 223 Remington, unless you handload 80+ grainers hot and over mag length, will have a very hard time getting to 800 reliably. 600, no problem.
  2. Downloading your 6.5 C is a good, easy, cheap strategy if you handload.
  3. If you don't handload......308 Win and done
 
Likes: supercorndogs
Sep 14, 2011
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#21
Fair warning - 223 isn't guaranteed to reach 800m by any stretch. 500 - easy, 600 - probably fine, 700 - maybe, 800 - iffy, 800+ - difficult

I got a Tikka Varmint 223 and it happened to have a really slow node. My 75 gr ELD loads were going unstable at 650 yards.

I do not believe you're likely to find any factory 223 ammo that will reliably reach 800. If you're reloading, I'd try some H-4895 (IIRC) and a 75-80 grain pill with the highest BC you can find. Get it to 2,800 fps and you've got a shot.

In reality, I'd get a 243, 6 CM, or something along those lines. But your $1 per shot is gone. Even match 223 ammo is higher than that. You're just not going to find accurate factory ammo on the cheap if you're shooting half a mile.
.223 gets to 800 just fine, black hills 77smk's are right behind my 6.5 CM to 600. After that it starts dropping off a bit and the wind calls get harder. The dope was about the same for elevation as my 308 at 1K the FGGM 175's, actually just a bit less. Reloads with 80 gran eld's are 9.4 mils at 1k
 
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GrandpaDeadLegs

Sergeant of the Hide
May 7, 2018
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#24
I think the challenge will have to come from within... Any cartridge should be predictable enough to spoil any challenge when fully bagged and prone.
 
Likes: DJL2

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
#25
Savage 10/11 heavy barrel, Choate tactical stock. A pair in 223 and 308, with chambering appropriate Bushnell AR Drop Zone BDC 223 or 308 scopes. The 223 is for practice, the 308 for full on 800-1000yd using IMI 168 Semi-Auto Match, the catch here is that I'm at 4000+ ft altitude. The BDC is new and tested so far to 300yd, will test further when that distance is available.

Greg
 
Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#28
.223 gets to 800 just fine, black hills 77smk's are right behind my 6.5 CM to 600. After that it starts dropping off a bit and the wind calls get harder. The dope was about the same for elevation as my 308 at 1K the FGGM 175's, actually just a bit less. Reloads with 80 gran eld's are 9.4 mils at 1k
I read many posts like this before buying my Tikka Varmint 223. It never even reached 700. Once again - I didn’t say it was impossible - I said it’s not guaranteed. What if your gun doesn’t shoot the black hills well? And most factory ammo doesn’t have consistent enough velocity to shoot well at distance. 308 FGMM and Hornady 6.5 140 ELD are some exceptions, but even those have too much velocity inconsistency for consistent hits on small targets. To each their own - planning to shoot at the limits of a cartridge with factory ammo is a bad plan IMHO.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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The West
#29
By the way I’ve done what you’re trying to do many times over the years.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to fiddle with the loads in one of my existing Percision rifles, Or build another very expensive rifle. Hell, look at the Vudoo thread many of us when out and built 6k 22s if you count the glass. That’s because a training rifle should shoot and offer similar ergonomics..

The idea that you’re going to build a cheap ass trainer and gain something from it isn’t super solid if the gun shoots about an inch under ideal conditions and if the economics are not similar.

You’re forever ask yourself is it me, did I read the wind wrong, is it the gun or the ammo and end back up shooting the precision rifle that works. Every time I’ve attempted to do something on the cheap it’s been a fail. Maybe I’m too spoiled by my other Percision rifles I don’t know.

Again that’s why I say download the speed and get some cheap low BC bullets for what you have, spin on a new shorter 308 barrel (and switch between them) or spend more $$.
 
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Feb 13, 2017
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#30
People y’all are crazy to think a .223 loaded with 75 eld’s won’t reach 800 yards reliably.

For matches 1000 and in is where the .223 works well.

Then again most people say you can’t anything at 300-400 yards with a .22. Then my Vudoo shows up.

Even if you don’t load the 69 eldM ammo shoots great. I would have no problem taking it to a 800 yard match.
 
Likes: 260284
Jan 1, 2014
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NoVa
#31
308 def ups the challenge from 6.5cm. 223 may up it a little too much, though some guys rocking them at some dmr /gas gun matches i did out to 800 did pretty good. and yeah from what i've seen, 308 match ammo (fed gold medal 175smk) can be found cheaper than the comparable .223. (check on ammoseek.com though i don' think they pull from palmettostatearmory).
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#32
Everyone here brings up some great points. All of which are being considered. The idea to come up with a cheap "shitty" load for the 6.5 is one im interested in and going to look into. As for the guy commenting saying either do a full on build or dont. I definitely get where your head is at, and truth be told, if I do get another rifle aftermarket support is part of the criteria, because I'm sure I'll end up throwing it in a chassis at the very least. If I do pick up another rifle either 223 or 308 seem like some good options. 308 is seeming like a good choice, I'm already regretting selling mine.

Again, Tons of things to think about now so I appreciate all of the input.
 
Likes: patriot07

Codiekfx400

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 29, 2018
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#33
People y’all are crazy to think a .223 loaded with 75 eld’s won’t reach 800 yards reliably.

For matches 1000 and in is where the .223 works well.

Then again most people say you can’t anything at 300-400 yards with a .22. Then my Vudoo shows up.

Even if you don’t load the 69 eldM ammo shoots great. I would have no problem taking it to a 800 yard match.
I was in agreement right up until you mentioned the 69 eldm ammo.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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The West
#34
Just a point of clarification on the handloads with lower the speed and lower BC. These still need to be premium loads, ie low SD and in node that groups great at 100.

Also I’ll give three thumbs up, if what you’re really after is building a trainer it is going to “eventually” be on par with your match gun. It’s just the things end up being a lot more money than your budget mentioned.

And at the end of the day we’re just trying to give our opinions. In my case doing it wrong lots of times and trying to keep others from making decisions that end up costing way more than planned or averting an unhappy outcome :)
 
Likes: brianf
Feb 13, 2017
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#35
For factory the 69 eldM ammo shoots great from what I recall. I’ll ask my buddy to check and make sure that’s what he was shooting.

He was shooting factory white box Hornady ammo and having no problems hitting steel at 600. It also shot well under .5 groups.
 

Sticks

New Hide Member
Oct 5, 2018
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Pondwater Colorado
#36
6.5 grendel in a Howa mini 1500. Boyd's At-one stock. Borrow the glass from your Creed, or drop a 2-10x // 4-16x on there.

Enough horsepower to get to 800 at sea level, slow enough (2475 - 2525) you gotta be up on your wind and drop. Hornady 123 ELD Black $.83 per round delivered, or pick up some American Gunner 123 HPBT for a little less BC and a chunk less expensive-still accurate ammo.
 
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260284

Sergeant
Feb 15, 2017
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#37
Fair warning - 223 isn't guaranteed to reach 800m by any stretch. 500 - easy, 600 - probably fine, 700 - maybe, 800 - iffy, 800+ - difficult

I got a Tikka Varmint 223 and it happened to have a really slow node. My 75 gr ELD loads were going unstable at 650 yards.

I do not believe you're likely to find any factory 223 ammo that will reliably reach 800. If you're reloading, I'd try some H-4895 (IIRC) and a 75-80 grain pill with the highest BC you can find. Get it to 2,800 fps and you've got a shot.

In reality, I'd get a 243, 6 CM, or something along those lines. But your $1 per shot is gone. Even match 223 ammo is higher than that. You're just not going to find accurate factory ammo on the cheap if you're shooting half a mile.

I am getting the 75 ELDM to 3045 fps out of my Varmint with H4895, Nammo brass, and CCI450 primers. It is a lazer to 800 and I have made hits past 1000 but only made 3 attempts. I am using CDI bottom metal and loading to 2.49" COAL.
 

260284

Sergeant
Feb 15, 2017
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#38
People y’all are crazy to think a .223 loaded with 75 eld’s won’t reach 800 yards reliably.

For matches 1000 and in is where the .223 works well.

Then again most people say you can’t anything at 300-400 yards with a .22. Then my Vudoo shows up.

Even if you don’t load the 69 eldM ammo shoots great. I would have no problem taking it to a 800 yard match.
My next barrel on my Varmint will be a 1-7" twist so I can play with the 80 and 88 ELDMs. $.18-.19 a bullet and less than 25 grains of powder, you can shoot a lot for the $$$.

Edit: My next barrel will also be a 223 AI.
 
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Nov 10, 2009
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Mississippi
#39
I vote 308 and shoot lighter bullets, 147-168 gr to add to the challenge. If you're getting to 800 yards with a 223, the energy on steel will be so low its going to be very difficult to spot hits.
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
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Flagstaff, AZ
#40
It's funny we go through this all the time.

Of course a 223 will make it to a target 800M away, that's not the point. My point, it's totally frustrating shooting my 223 with 70gr Berger vld, at 812Y, on a 12" steel, in higher winds like 12-17 mph. I rarely hit it, the just to the left, then just right of it, thing was happening and the only thing I learned was it was a waist of time and ammo. Been there, done that, and never again. In field conditions without flags it's just folly.
In calm conditions I'll rarely miss that same plate. It's the wind causing the problems, in medium winds that plate is still too much of a challenge. Come in 200-300 hundred yards and it's a different story.

On the other hand my 223AI with (88's/.545BC at 2813 fps) does way better than my 223 - (70's/38BC at 2650 fps) at that 812Y plate. It's the BC and the velocity combined that is the main consideration when it comes to how much you have to compensate for wind.

Just recently I was shooting my 6mmBR (90 TGK .49BC going 3045 fps) at 780Y and it wasn't hard to hit a smallish plate in medium winds, by 933Y, it was much harder hitting a 12" plate. It's because those bullets shed velocity quick and by 2600 fps the BC is already near .4, thus lots of wind drift happening. By 1200Y it became about the same as shooting a 223 at 1000Y with the 70's, IMO, a waist of ammo.

It's interesting what a couple hundred yards in or out does when it comes to a 223 on 1.2 moa sized steel, in 5-10 mph full value winds. At 600Y, not very hard, a good challenge, 800Y, why is this so hard???, 1000Y, is it time to go home yet, lol.

OP is saying 800M so closer to 900Y. Personally there's no way in the world I'm taking a 77 grain factory load to 800M in 20 mph winds, heck in 10 mph winds I won't.

Going to JBM to compare drift in a 10 mph full value wind at 900Y, my 223AI is 67", 6.5G is 87" and my 223 is 119".

Using bigger steel, shooting closer, or shooting in suitable conditions, helps balance the 223 equation.
 
Jan 16, 2018
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Midwest, SD
#41
It's funny we go through this all the time.

Of course a 223 will make it to a target 800M away, that's not the point. My point, it's totally frustrating shooting my 223 with 70gr Berger vld, at 812Y, on a 12" steel, in higher winds like 12-17 mph. I rarely hit it, the just to the left, then just right of it, thing was happening and the only thing I learned was it was a waist of time and ammo. Been there, done that, and never again. In field conditions without flags it's just folly.
In calm conditions I'll rarely miss that same plate. It's the wind causing the problems, in medium winds that plate is still too much of a challenge. Come in 200-300 hundred yards and it's a different story.

On the other hand my 223AI with (88's/.545BC at 2813 fps) does way better than my 223 - (70's/38BC at 2650 fps) at that 812Y plate. It's the BC and the velocity combined that is the main consideration when it comes to how much you have to compensate for wind.

Just recently I was shooting my 6mmBR (90 TGK .49BC going 3045 fps) at 780Y and it wasn't hard to hit a smallish plate in medium winds, by 933Y, it was much harder hitting a 12" plate. It's because those bullets shed velocity quick and by 2600 fps the BC is already near .4, thus lots of wind drift happening. By 1200Y it became about the same as shooting a 223 at 1000Y with the 70's, IMO, a waist of ammo.

It's interesting what a couple hundred yards in or out does when it comes to a 223 on 1.2 moa sized steel, in 5-10 mph full value winds. At 600Y, not very hard, a good challenge, 800Y, why is this so hard???, 1000Y, is it time to go home yet, lol.

OP is saying 800M so closer to 900Y. Personally there's no way in the world I'm taking a 77 grain factory load to 800M in 20 mph winds, heck in 10 mph winds I won't.

Going to JBM to compare drift in a 10 mph full value wind at 900Y, my 223AI is 67", 6.5G is 87" and my 223 is 119".

Using bigger steel, shooting closer, or shooting in suitable conditions, helps balance the 223 equation.
What barrel length on your 223AI? Feed fine out of aics mags?
 
Nov 30, 2011
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Kirksville MO
#42
I shoot a 223 trainer 26” Bartlein m24 barrel 75 grain hornady with 24 grain varget. 600 yards easy. 800 with anything over an 8-10 mph wind good luck. If you step up to 90 grain you might have a better chance but your getting into the same cost of shooting a 308. Your also going to have to have at least a 7.5 twist.
 
Feb 11, 2017
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#43
instead of buying a new rifle to make it more of a challenge, why not get off the bench? Stop shooting on your belly and shoot off props or obstacles. That will save you tons of money and make you a better shooter at the same time. You said you already have a 6.5 creed... It's humbling to miss over and over from a barricade knowing your rifle can make that shot all day from a bench.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Fort Campbell, KY
#44
Yea, I mentioned earlier in this thread I'm going to talk to my range and see about moving one of the barricades over to the long range side of things. They let me shoot off of a tripod so I dont see why they wouldnt
 
Apr 8, 2010
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NY
#45
the bench is for:
lazy hot days (i hate getting baked)
just rained like hell and the cleanup of gear is just not worth it when finished on the ground
load development
limiting outside influences when learning to read the wind
after that the bench is a crutch
from teaching it actually erodes proper muscle memory because you will never be in that position again, if your a field shooter.
P-dogs from a collapsible bench is a different topic

figure really good guys hold 1-2moa from unorthodox positions, printing 1/4moa groups from a bench isnt helping that skill set
 
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
#47
I have reservations about using a lighter load in the same rifle for training. While it's true that bore/throat wear with the lighter load will be less than with the premium load, it's still above and beyond that needed for the primary usage, and adds its overhead to the degradation of bore life. It takes a lot of shooting to attain and maintain competitive skills. I reserve my main competitive rifles for actual competition, and what load development is strictly necessary.

This is a primary reason why I chose to go with two as nearly as possible identical rifles, the .223 and .308. I made the component selections from less expensive Savage rifles so the total cost would not break the bank. What I've subsequently found is that the cheaper Savage factory rifles still perform well enough to be better shooters than I am. When the rifle shoots where I aim, I take that as a success.

I base costs on after rebate $500-$550 rifles, $259 optics, and $229 Choate Tactical stocks. Many (most?) often base their judgement of components largely on price; my choices are based on a minimum of five years, sometimes over ten years, experience with two and three examples of those components). I would (and have) done some of that testing in National level F T/R competition. If they had let me down at all, I would not be mentioning them here.

Greg
 
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