Magic Chicken

Caliber, age old question

11 posts in this topic

Well, because I'm never happy with what I have, I'm looking for a new caliber. I currently have a .204 (bolt gun), .22LR (semi), .223 (crappy semi), 7.62x39 (sks x2), .308 (M1A and bolt gun).My interests are long range target and varmint shooting. I believe once I get my .308 bolt gun fixed up, it will serve the long range target role. Now I'm looking for a good long range varmint gun. My .204 definitely kicks butt, but I want the ultimate long range varmint caliber. I'm not quite sure what that would be as I'm new to the game, so I'm looking for suggestions. From what I've read, the .204 dominates the 22-250 ballistically, but I shot a 22-250 and shot the best group of my life @ 100 yards (which doesn't necessarily mean much long range varmint wise). I've heard good things about the .243, and have even heard that it's starting to gain momentum in some sniper competitions.So what would you all say the most effective, hardest hitting, flattest shooting, longest range varmint cartridge is?Or should the newbie (me) just shut up and be happy with what he's got? :)

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Well Magic, first I can totally relate with never being completely satisfied & always wanting to build a better mouse trap. Unfortunately I was born with the same birth defect. LOL Anyway, the 204 does not dominate the 22-250. It might barely edge it out in trajectory & wind deflection, but the differences would be so small, that there wouldn't be a (practical) difference. And it definitely will not beat the 22-250 in terms of energy. It just all depends on velocity within any given bullet weight & caliber as to its performance... Something a fair # of folks miss the boat on. I do not know what kind of (long range) distances you are trying to shoot at. But for extreme ranges such as 500 yards & beyond, you need a bullet of HIGH "COEFFICIENT" and at the highest velocity it can be driven at. Which would leave the 204, 22-250 & 243 out of the running. There isn't a dime's worth of difference amongst these 3 btw. In other words, if I were really intent on hitting a target at the furthest distance with any of the rifles in my gun safe, it would have to be with my 300 win mag & the 180 gr bullet. But it would not be much fun to shoot, nor for many rounds. At least for me anyhow. Plus my fillings would need replaced every 200 rnds.So, the Bottom Line? Stay with the 204, as you will do no better for normal varmint / target work. Also, for the 204 you will want to be shooting either the 40 or 45 grain bullets for the very reasons I mention above. At least beyond 300 yards anyway. Good Luck in Your SearchFrank

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What do you consider "long range"? That typically means 600-800+ yards. There aren't any "varmint calibers" that fill that roll... Seems like your 308 should pick up where your 204 leaves off, and you've got everything covered. How about building up your current rifles instead of buying a new one? New stocks, bi-pods, bedding, trigger job, better optics, etc.

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What do you consider "long range"? That typically means 600-800+ yards. There aren't any "varmint calibers" that fill that roll... Seems like your 308 should pick up where your 204 leaves off, and you've got everything covered. How about building up your current rifles instead of buying a new one? New stocks, bi-pods, bedding, trigger job, better optics, etc.
I'd consider long range anything past 500-600 yards. I've hit squirrels at close to 500 with my .204, probably 99.9% luck though.My .308 is currently being built up (new stock, barrel, true the action, etc...), and my .204 is Remington's XR-100 Rangemaster. Not sure what else I can do to it, but I'm open to suggestions. And the scope I'm currently using is a Leupold VX-III 6.5-20x40 Long Range with Varmint Reticle, so the scope is good to go.

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My long range gun is a 6.5x284. I'm shooting the 142 grain Sierra Matchking at 3,000 fps but brass life is short so I'm working on another load at 2800 fps. I'll be shooting it this September for prairie dogs in Wyoming, my goal is to roll one at 1,000 yards

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Frank, what glass are you using on your 6.5x284 to hit at 1000 yards? A telescope?? :)
That 8-32X56 Nightforce I have would be good on that rifle. :)

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I've seen a 6 X 284 take prairie dogs at 1500 yds. The 6 mm Sierra 107 MK at 3300 fps shoots flatter than a 50 BMG to 1000 yds. For a pure long range gun get a 30 inch barrel to take advantage of the slower powders like 7828, H1000, RL 25 & RVO-62. That extra four inches of barrel will give you about 100 fps for free. Well, it's really not free since you have to pay extra for that length barrel. Put a brake on it, as it will make it easier to spot your hits. Don't skimp on the glass and don't get a fixed 36 X target scope. (personal experience) Practice, and learn to read the wind, mirage & light.6x284_2.jpgA17Shooter

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Frank, what glass are you using on your 6.5x284 to hit at 1000 yards? A telescope?? :)
Right now it's got a 6x24 on top and ground squirrels at 600 yards are easy to see. Since the prairie dogs are at least twice as big as the squirrels I don't think that it will be a problem. I shot some prairie dogs at 800 yards last year with a FCH 16 power scope also.

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Ya for long range I have to agree with the guys .308 or a 6mm for long range is going to be your best bet the coefficiency on your 22-250,.204,.243 just aren't there. Plus pretty hot rounds for shooting ground squirrels well mainley the 22-250 but they would all be great for yotes.

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