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Best versatile rifle round?


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Old 03-30-2013, 02:02 AM   #11
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The 243 is pushing it's limits out at 300 yards for deer even with streamlined poly tips, the .264 cals are easily a better choice for that. Run the numbers through a ballistic calculator and you will see what I am talking about. I grew up hunting with a 243 but my 6.5x55 walks all over it at range simply because of the much higher BC bullets, a 95gr .243 SST has a BC of .355 while a 123gr 6.5mm SST has a BC of .510 and they can be driven to about the same speed using about the same amount of powder, same story with the 80gr 243 vs the 100gr 6.5mm for varmint, the 6.5mm enjoys a HUGE advantage at range. While I can understand a non-handloader enjoying the availability of common 243 but for the handloader the mid ranged 6.5s are very popular because they are simply remarkable in terms of external ballistics. 260 Rem, 6.5x55, and 6.5 Creedmore are all good choices and are so accurate they are common chamberings for 1,000yd F-Class shooting, plus since they are using a similar powder charge through a larger bore barrel life is much longer then a 243 if you are going to be doing alot of shooting, I shoot ALOT and my 6.5x55 is still on it's original barrel and shoots great despite years of regular use (it is my most accurate and favorite rifle)
Edit: There is one area where the 243 outshines the 6.5mms and that is with their ultra light 55gr bullets at 4000fps speeds simply because they don't make 6.5mm bullet in weights that low, the value of such light bullets is questionable since they have poor ballistics and are highly sensitive to crosswinds at range.

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Old 03-30-2013, 02:39 AM   #12
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A couple of other things you need to think about . P=dogs can be hard to pick up at greater distances. (even more so if they are gun smart) So the better optic you can afford the better things will be for you. When you increase magnification above 10x, and as the sun continues to rise you will have a torrent of movement going on with heat waves, wind and grass movement.

Take more than one rifle, if your in a target rich town, you do need to let your rifle cool a bit. Depending on caliber you choose. Heavier = more recoil which will wear on you also. I myself wouldn't be using a 7mag I'm a dyed in the wool 22-250 man, but its not for deer as a general rule...

Good-luck
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:51 AM   #13
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I always like taking a couple 223's as well as a 25/06-260-6.5 Creedmoor or other heavier caliber rifle for longer shots on p-dogs.
Depending on the wind,the 223 is very good on them to 350-400 yards,going farther I use a bigger caliber.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:15 AM   #14
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6mm/ .243 are a decent compromises, but IMHO, you are asking for a rather wide spread of use in one rifle. Sort of like looking for a 0-60 in 4.0 seconds car that can also pull your 5th wheel camper.

P-dogs are usually hunted with a small caliber very fast/ very flat shooting light bullet. I use a .220 Swift. And yeah, 500 yards on a target about the size of a Budweiser Tall Boy is a challenge. A day of running a LOT of 30-06 or 7mm Magnum downrange from the prone is going to leave you looking like an ad for a personal injury lawyer. And the calibers most commonly used for P-dogs are just too light to (ethically) use for deer.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:46 AM   #15
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^ That is why I recommended the .264 calibers, perfectly suitable for deer out beyond reasonable ranges (400-700yards effective range depending on the bullet), accurate enough for small furrys as far as you want to shoot and light kicking enough to shoot as much as you like, I am no big guy and I can handle full bore 6.5x55 all day long without a sissy pad even in my little featherweight rifle, put a decent recoil pad on it and any child could shoot it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:54 AM   #16
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A .204 ruger is very flat shooting I shot prairie dogs in Nebraska with a ruger model 77 mark II with it and they did backflips at 400 yards it was awesome
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:21 AM   #17
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Shooting Prairie dogs at 500 yards with any sporter weight rifle is a challenge. The White Tail Prairie dog provides some 4 Sq. inches of target at 500 yards that is less than 1 inch of target.
Anyone who can set and take the pounding and expense of any "Dog" rifle above a .25 caliber is, Well!! A typical day here on the High Plains we run 100 or more rounds per man per trip.
A Prairie dog and deer rifle is a poor compromise at best. I think Locutus also an old High Plains Drifter gave you the best advise. The 6MM Remington with a good quality scope. My choice is the .220 Swift and any .284 or larger deer rifle.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex-Predator View Post
^ That is why I recommended the .264 calibers, perfectly suitable for deer out beyond reasonable ranges (400-700yards effective range depending on the bullet), accurate enough for small furrys as far as you want to shoot and light kicking enough to shoot as much as you like, I am no big guy and I can handle full bore 6.5x55 all day long without a sissy pad even in my little featherweight rifle, put a decent recoil pad on it and any child could shoot it.
Unless you have a diploma from a military sniper school, and a couple of years using that training in the sandbox, I would question the 400-700 yard deer shooting regardless of caliber.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:40 PM   #19
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I am no sniper just an experienced shooter and 400yds is a chip shot off the bipod. I have never personally taken anything near a 700 yard shot on game, nor do I ever intend to but the range is there if I ever need it. My point was that if he were looking for 300 yard effective range the 243 would be pushing it's limits and a good 260, 6.5x55 or 6.5 Creedmore would just be getting warmed up, and all that extra range/performance for a hardly noticeable increase in recoil, and considerably improved barrel life......sounds like a good trade off to me.

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Old 03-30-2013, 09:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbadger View Post
A .204 ruger is very flat shooting I shot prairie dogs in Nebraska with a ruger model 77 mark II with it and they did backflips at 400 yards it was awesome
he is looking for a caliber versatile enough to hunt deer with as well. a 204 Ruger would be a poor choice for deer sized game.
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