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Long range AR caliber


Akkid17

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I am wanting to start a long range AR project and I am wondering what calibers are contenders for purely 500+ shooting aside from 308.

I'm guessing 6.5 Grendel or CM are in the mix but what else?

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Now that my shotgun's (nearly) complete, I'm looking to do a long range AR-15. Looking around for many hours online has led me to a 6mm variant. Either 6mmAR(turbo/turbo40) or .243wssm. I'm leaning toward 6mm turbo40 because of quality/availability of brass and delivery time of an upper. The .243wssm seems like an awesome round, but just not enough support to fully open up its potential.

Plus, I want to start playing around with more challenge in hand loading.

Edited by hpnewby
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If you are staying in the AR 15, the 6.5 Grendel is amazing. If you are willing to go to the AR 10, the 260 & the 6.5 Creedmoor do a great job. At a match we held last year, a team I was r.o.ing got up on a shaky platform, Long range guy with 6.5 Creedmoor in AR 10 sets up on the thousand yard target, cold bore, Bang ---- Ding then again, bang -- ding. 1k yards off a shaky platform, cold bore, two shots, two hits. Was very impressive!

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I am not stuck on the small chassis, a guy up here has a Grendel that's pretty badass, but I like what can be done in the AR-10's and the 260 rem and 6.5 creedmoor are wicked rounds. I'd just like to have a rifle that will be able to reach out to 1000 and can bang at 500 easy, I'd also like it if the barrel didn't get burned out really fast and from the little I've read the 308 case 6.5 variants are getting a little better barrel life. Speaking of barrel what would be a good company to get the blank from, I want to have it finished myself.

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In an AR-15 I would go with a 6 Grendel aka 6 LBC. You can push a 105 Berger at 2800 from a 22 inch barrel no problem.

In an AR-10 I would go with a 6.5 Creed or a 260. If you go with the 260, keep in mind heavy bullets eat up a lot of powder space. I shoot a 260 and use 123 Sierras. And I am just necking down 308 brass instead of spending the big bucks on brass.

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Would it be better to buy a built gun (minus barrel work) or just piece it together myself. I know with my AR's in the past it was cheaper to just buy the parts I wanted to begin with rather than buying complete builds and swapping parts afterward. Or would the barrel and that work defeat the potential cost difference. Not going to be a budget build, but no sense in paying more than I need to or buying parts twice.

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In an AR-15 I would go with a 6 Grendel aka 6 LBC. You can push a 105 Berger at 2800 from a 22 inch barrel no problem.

In an AR-10 I would go with a 6.5 Creed or a 260. If you go with the 260, keep in mind heavy bullets eat up a lot of powder space. I shoot a 260 and use 123 Sierras. And I am just necking down 308 brass instead of spending the big bucks on brass.

Is anyone making a 6 Grendel upper ?

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Would it be better to buy a built gun (minus barrel work) or just piece it together myself. I know with my AR's in the past it was cheaper to just buy the parts I wanted to begin with rather than buying complete builds and swapping parts afterward. Or would the barrel and that work defeat the potential cost difference. Not going to be a budget build, but no sense in paying more than I need to or buying parts twice.

Unless you do a 6.5G, you probably won't be able to obtain the proprietary reamers. The 6mmAR guy and the .243wssm guys all sell uppers only.

If you want to do the AR-15 platform, the 6.5 is great, but 6mm is greater. You can push super high BC VLDs (single load) around 3000fps. You can also load 90+gr to fit mags with only 0.010" jump.

Or you can do what everyone does and do an AR-10. I prefer to work for it a little.

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I've pretty much settled on the ar-10 style rifles, a little easier to obtain parts and I can get most, if not all, the parts myself to get it done. Then just have the barrel reamed and profiled and get it headspaced by whomever is doing the barrel work. Unless I can just get this all done by a smith and have a completed rifle right from the get go. While the 6mmar looks cool, the lack of support from the industry at large currently is a little bit of a turn off.

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Really, it all depends on what kind of distance and what kind of shooting you want to do. You can shoot a .223 to 1000yds if you want. Almost any wind at all will be an issue but it's still possible.

In AR15, there's the 6.5 Grendel but that's really only a mid-range. If you want to reach out much past 600yds then you are looking for something for an AR10 pattern rifle.

In an AR10, the two "best" choices are probably the .260 and 6.5 Creedmoor.

The one big caveat I will give you is that you need to be prepared to spend more for a semi-auto than you would for a comparable bolt action.

Edited by Graham Smith
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It's a bit of a toss up between the 260 and creedmoore. And it's going to be a semi, bolts are cool but I want it for practical competition, and stuff like the mgm ironman precision rifle portion. Plus there's just something awesome about an ar in something s little more exotic for the platform.

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If you are going for long range, then the 6.5 will edge out the .260 on ballistics. But as a practical matter, the .260 is more common so there's more box ammo and reloading supplies. Unless you are shooting past 1000yds, the ballistic difference is minimal.

But if you are taking under 800yd then the 7.62 is probably an even better choice. Much better ammo selection and cheaper to reload and higher barrel life. I was shooting 1000yd with my .308 bolt rifle last week and with the right bullets, it can match the .260 at those ranges unless the wind really picks up.

The application makes a REALLY big difference in these calibers. You posted in Precision Rifle, so my assumption was that you wanted something for long range (800-1200yd) but it would seem that you are mainly talking mid-range.

Edited by Graham Smith
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The desire it to have something that can do it all well out to 1000, no place to go further. 308's cool and all but not quite as sexy as the newer 6.5 cartridges. That's pretty much the driving factor for the build. Plus there's just something fun about getting into something kinda new and 308 has pretty much been done. If I were going for heavy metal and long range that'd be a different story. This is a fun build. Unfortunately, with the current climate components are considerably more difficult to get or are much more costly to get now. This will probably be a year or more of a build. And who knows I may wind up with another cartridge by the end of it since the barrel will be the last piece I get since it will be the most 'specific to rifle' part that I get. Other components will be fairly common for platform parts since the ar-10 style rifle has been around awhile and has a lot of interchangeable parts like its little brother.

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The 6.5 Creed and .260 are nearly identical ballistically, but the .260 can be hot-rodded to beat it. Not sure if you can hot rod it much and seat the 140's to AR10 mag length though, which is where the Creed come's in. I own 2 6.5's. Brass is reasonable and factory ammo rocks when I don't have time to load for it.

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Here is a good comparison of some 6.5mm calibers: http://demigodllc.com/articles/6.5-shootout-260-6.5x47-6.5-creedmoor/

It is slightly out of date but it points out well how similar some of these are. Note that the .260 and 6.5x47 were used in bolt guns and the 6.5 Creedmoor was a semi-auto. The author points out that the Creedmoor was developed specifically for semi-auto rifles. It doesn't mean that it can't be used in a bolt gun or a .260 can't be used in a semi-auto. But it does mean that in a semi-auto, the Creedmoor may have the edge.

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