.308 AR-10 vs bolt action
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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Default .308 AR-10 vs bolt action

I want a rifle that can reach out and touch something..... out to long distance. I would love to be consistent at 1000yds....1200yds and I often wish I could join a long range shooting club and shoot competitions with them. I understand this means a bolt action rifle and also a starting point of about $1200 to have something decent....out to about $4000 for sub MOA. Other folks highly tout the entry level Savages and the Remy 700, Howa etc as great starter weapons. I do like the idea of $500-$700 or so.

The thing is........a 5.56 AR-15 is limited in range....and I already have one of those. 7.62X51/.308 AR-10 fills that void, between what a 5.56 will do well.... and the need for something that can hit hard out to greater range. ( I want to avoid hard to find and expensive calibers like 6.5 Grendel, .300 Blackout etc) Also, the AR-10 and AR-15 are the same weapon really, so it's a familiar gun that won't take re-learning and range-wise will do fine out to 800yds or so.... quite nicely from what I read. But it's an auto loader so the velocity and range is not as great as a bolt action, which takes you out even further. But a bolt is a one trick pony in a sense. With a capacity of 4-5 rounds or so in most cases and a relatively slow follow up capability, slow reload......it is not the best general purpose weapon.

Here the AR-10 shines I would say. Okay CA has a 10 round magazine limit and bullet buttons, but still. You are going to be able to reload faster and fire multiple shots as follow up, plus use it as a battle rifle. Great as a designated marksman rifle.

If you could only afford one more rifle and accessories, 'scope, bipod etc....... would you go bolt action in .308 or AR-10?

Does anyone here shoot long range competition with an AR style .308?

What AR-15/AR-10 multi caliber lower, is great value for the money while being a rock solid build?

Lastly, what barrel length would you go in a .308 AR or a bolt action rifle for tactical/long range use?

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Old 10-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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There’s a short timed 1k yard competition somewhere?

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Old 10-25-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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You will have to decide in the primary role of the rifle. If you are really thinking about dedicated long range competition then you need a dedicated competition rifle if you really want to have a chance at placing well. If you want to do competitions just to get better with what you have that's ok too but not the same thing. If you want to be truly consistent at 1000 yards you would probably want a bolt gun and a round made to stay super sonic at that range.

If you want a general purpose gun that could reach that far occasionally then a .308 AR may be a more appropriate tool.

Not saying the platform and round can't do the job, but neither excel at long range precision work when they are on a firing line full of competition built bolt guns in hot rod chamberings.

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:15 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincine View Post
There’s a short timed 1k yard competition somewhere?
I'm not getting you friend. Did I say something extremely dumb?


SSGN_Doc ..... yeah that makes sense huh? Guys with totally tricked out guns in .338 Lapua etc. I was hoping to find a level .....beginner or such, that I would not be horribly outclassed in.

I also never factored in the price of ammunition. Unless I am reloading, and even then, this will be expensive.......especially if I am sending round after round out of a semi. Maybe the slower rate of the bolt will be a good thing.

This is turning out to be a tough choice for me. One might argue that for general defense and sheer plinking fun, a 5.56/.223 AR-15 get's the job done. And how likely is it a really bad SHTF type conflict is going to occur in the USA, where a civilian needs a harder hitting and greater effective range out of a self loader? Or a very expensive tactical/sniper rifle for that matter?

So in the end maybe the reduced price of an entry level bolt gun, that perhaps can be upgraded later with a better stock, barrel job, action work etc.....and used for plinking and competition...is the way to go.

That settles it then. I NEED both!!!!!

LOL!! What about barrel length in either platform......mainly for use as a long range shooter? Is there a point at which a couple inches is not all that important in .308....where maybe increased maneuverability instead, might be more desirable? I see a few tactical offerings in 20". Often this is a heavy or bull barrel.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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1,000 yards? 1,200 yards? And competition?

The .308 is NOT FOR YOU!!

At those ranges the .308 is going to be a MOON SHOT to get there, and you are going to have to add a special 20MOA, or more, rail below your scope mounts to be able to crank in enough elevation to get the arc on the round to hit the target.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can see all the posts now about Camp Perry and how everyone there shoots the .308 out to 1,000. It can be done. But the facts are still the facts.

The .308 is NOT a good 1,000 yard round. It never has been.

If you want to be in a competition, and shoot 1,000 yards plus, you are probably going to need to SERIOUSLY consider a quality built, custom action, custom barreled rig in a wildcat caliber like 6.5 x 284 or one of those benchrest darlings.

JD

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #6
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I agree with Dillinger on this one depending on the cartridge your looking at around 31ft of drop at 1000 yards , roughly 1150 fps when it hits the target , Can it be done with a .308 ? yes and it has been but there are much better choices for that distance . >308 really starts falling off hard after 500 yards , roughly 40" of drop between 500-600 yards and it just keeps getting worse after that. A better choice would be .300 win mag and its still not the greatest but 300 win mag cartridges are easier to find around here than a .338 lapua . .300 win mag would have about 24ft of drop at 1000 yards and the .338 Lapua would have about 22.5 ft of drop @ 1000 yards .

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fumbles View Post
. . . . . I'm not getting you friend. Did I say something extremely dumb? . . . .
Not you I don't think. Maybe me.

I only know what I’ve read about Long Range. Which is; The automatic 308s were adopted because of a ‘target rich environment’ the military snipers found in Afghanistan. Basically, some bad guys were getting away because they had to cycle the weapon and couldn't get them all. So I was wondering if that has translated to competition with targets at different long range distances and short time limits. From what long range competition stuff I’ve seen, it looks like they’re prone, shooting at one target, at a known distance, with plenty of time for a bolt action.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincine View Post
Not you I don't think. Maybe me.

I only know what I’ve read about Long Range. Which is; The automatic 308s were adopted because of a ‘target rich environment’ the military snipers found in Afghanistan. Basically, some bad guys were getting away because they had to cycle the weapon and couldn't get them all. So I was wondering if that has translated to competition with targets at different long range distances and short time limits. From what long range competition stuff I’ve seen, it looks like they’re prone, shooting at one target, at a known distance, with plenty of time for a bolt action.
your right .308 and 30.06 were the choices back in the day , now there are much more efficient / effective cartridges for those distances. A person has to know about wind drift and drop. A 3 mph cross wind will move that .308 bullet just shy of 40" of drift a .300 win mag will only drift 27" with the same 3 mph cross wind . That makes alot less error on the shooters part when u can cut the equation in half
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purehavoc View Post
your right .308 and 30.06 were the choices back in the day , now there are much more efficient / effective cartridges for those distances. A person has to know about wind drift and drop. A 3 mph cross wind will move that .308 bullet just shy of 40" of drift a .300 win mag will only drift 27" with the same 3 mph cross wind . That makes alot less error on the shooters part when u can cut the equation in half
You are right on. A ballistic calculator will give you the drop with the proper input but no one has made one that can read the wind. That one is in your head. Is it blowing 7 or 8 mph? Is there a cross wind or thermal at 700 yards. How about mirage? That is why the snipers have to be trained and better be good at doing math in their heads.
In an urban setting, you will be more likely to be seeing shots out to 300 yards.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTJ View Post
You are right on. A ballistic calculator will give you the drop with the proper input but no one has made one that can read the wind. That one is in your head. Is it blowing 7 or 8 mph? Is there a cross wind or thermal at 700 yards. How about mirage? That is why the snipers have to be trained and better be good at doing math in their heads.
In an urban setting, you will be more likely to be seeing shots out to 300 yards.
JTJ , I have a good phone app that will give you close to real time wind speeds, temp, barometric pressure, relative humidity and altitude it helps calculate some of that but it could be within several minutes of your actual readings . one good reason to have a good wind speed indicator . My apps get me close based off current weather but then again anything can happen in 2 minutes time
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