Top Five Long Range Cartridges – The Best of the Best

Long-range shooting expert, he literally wrote the book, L.P. Brezny, makes his case for what he thinks are the best Long Range Cartridges.

The Long Range Cartridge Line up
The Long Range Cartridge Line Up:

 

United States -(AmmoLand.com)- First off, a number of you won’t like what I have to say on the subject of long-range cartridges.

Prior to starting this material I interviewed several hard-nosed long-range shooters and asked each of them the same question. “Name five of the very best long-range cartridges please”.

In each case, I got a totally different answer, except for one single round of ammunition, and that was the tried and true 300 Win Mag, of which I own several rifles and totally agree. You see this is the problem here. Everyone out there in AmmoLand has their idea of the best of the best, and in most cases, it starts with what they own in a rifle, and shoot themselves. With that in mind, I turned to an old saying that I have hung my hat on for many years. The saying goes like this.

There are the three “P’s” when it comes to the best of the best long range rifle rounds, and as you already know, I am about to tell you about each of them : Performance, Practicality and Price.

When evaluating a cartridge that adapts well for a very long shooting down range I like to look at the rounds performance ability, practicality in the field, and finally the price per round.

Somehow the idea has been floating around that shooters are made of money nowadays. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth. Making a more modest round have some staying power is the key to success, but my task is to select each round based on a number of factors that center around the best of the best long range cartridges, so here is the whole deal in an ammo can.

50 BMG Long Range Cartridges

M-2 Ball 750 gr 50 BMG in links. These make great rat lodge destroyers in a prairie dog town at long range.
M-2 Ball 750 gr 50 BMG in links

Say what you like, but nothing fired from a human shoulder can touch the big bad 50 cal cartridge. The fuel cell is so outstanding that the benchmark 30-06 cartridge was the basis for it by the developer John Browning in his search for an anti-aircraft round. The big 50 will send a 750-grain bullet downrange at 2700 f.p.s., then destroy almost anything in its path that ranges from barricades to warm targets. In terms of ranging ability, the massive bullet will stay awake (above the speed of sound ) and clear out to 2,500 yards before someone puts a pillow under its head. Shooting the 50 cal requires a whole lot of rifle, and in this case, I have owned several, but today shoot a very straight forward Steyr H.S. 50 with cut rifling, and it is so accurate that it has held long range world titles for back to back years across the board.

Practical? No, but a great deal of fun when shooting off the tops of bad lands mud butts at a mile away.

Price per round? Very high but through outfits like Century Arms, and Federal Cartridge ( American Eagle ) case lots are half that of much smaller long range rounds. In terms of performance. Well, nothing was feared more than an American sniper and his 50 Barrett in the sandbox.

On that note I rest my case.

408 Chey-Tac Long Range Cartridges

408 CheyTac Long Range Cartridges
408 CheyTac Long-Range Cartridge

The 408 CheyTac has a mixed history of both success and failure, but in the area of pure ballistics, it is a very deadly gunning system. As a total long range wildcat round with no parent case at all, the round is unique, and the time I have spent behind a custom McMillan turn bolt shooting this cartridge can be considered memorable at the least. Some will say the 416 Barrett commands more respect than the 408, but being a bit old school, and liking the added velocity of the big “8” over the 416, it still takes top billing in my book.

The 408 Chey-Tac sends a 419-grain solid copper ultra-high BC bullet downrange at 2900 f.p.s., or a somewhat lightweight pill being 305 grains at a blistering big bore 3450 f.p.s. That’s hot in terms of a big round, and I have a close neighbor in the mountains that shoots over a mile off his back deck at a limestone bolder on the next mountain over for kicks on any given Saturday afternoon when the wind is right.

338 Lapua Long-Range Cartridges

338 Lapua Ammunition
338 Lapua Ammunition

Viewing the whole best long range cartridges subject as you care to, in most cases the real heavyweights in cartridge selection will boil down currently to the 338 Lapua. From grain weight options, price point per round, practical applications, and performance at long range, this cartridge is just about the best of the very best as a long distance shooting choice. Like the previous offerings just covered, the 338 Lapua is a military generated round that has been developed by the Fins to replace the 50 BMG, 416 Barrett, and the 408 Chey Tac as a long range snipers tool.

As 338 Lapua ammunition has built an outstanding track record among military snipers and sportsmen alike this option is here to stay.

300 Winchester Magnum or just Win-Mag

300 Winchester Magnum
300 Winchester Magnum

The short form here is this 300 Winchester Magnum cartridge is a massively popular go-to round due to cost per round downrange, options in rifle available as chambered in the 300 Win, and its performance even at ranges well beyond 1000 yards.

Currently the US Army has gone to this cartridge when chambering their turn bolt Remington 700 action sniper rifle, ( M-24’s, ) and when applying a new round to chassis rifles like the Remington 2010 sniper platform, among others.

Snipers needed to get past 1000 yards, and that meant turning to more cartridge and more bullet to do the deal.

Now the 300 Winchester Magnum can hold off mortar crews and small unit snipers to ranges beyond 1500 yards all day long in the mountain of Afghanistan. As a long range big game round or hard steel target cartridge this is a top contender, to say the least.

Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor
Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor

Hornady’s Dave Emery ballistic expert broke the mold on this one, and now after almost two full years of testing by way of four different rifles at, and beyond 1000 yards here in western South Dakota, I can say for a fact that we are seeing the next rising star in long range shooting.

Why the best of the very best?

Because the 6.5 Creedmoor will stay with and exceed a pile of cartridges, not break the household bank account, and is quickly growing in terms of cartridge brand options and bullet types. Sierra has just released the 130-grain TMK in 6.5 caliber, and Hornady offers the brand new cold tip ELD-X in a 140-grain Match bullet this summer. With the new Federal American Eagle offering in a 140 grain “hollow tip” pill, and Winchester’s 140-grain Match ammunition, factory loads are everywhere. Black Hills ammunition is considering very seriously offering the new round because I believe due to the Sierra bullet options now available to this high-quality cartridge company.

In just handloaded bullets, Berger has now built a new 130 grain VLD that will drill prairie rats to 800 yards all day long. By the time this copy goes to press I would not be surprised to see still additional bullets and loads coming to volition.

I believe that the 6.5 Creedmoor could be the 21st century 30-30 in terms of general popularity down the line.

Brezny with Browning X Bolt 6.5 Creedmoor, Cartridge 120 grain A-Max Hornady

About the Author L.P. Brezny:

With more than 50 years of experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual.


AmmoLand Editor Comments:  This article was updated to reflect changes in product improvements/availability on 08/29/2018.

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Georgiaoutlaw

Let me put my .2 into the discussion just speaking for myself I’ve hunted my entire life only shooting Winchester and from shotguns to 22 rim fire becuz of obamas economy I tried a little cheaper bullet in my deer rifles 308 & 3006 went to the blue box federal power shok wow what a bullet and affordable also everything I’ve shot in last 7 r 8 yrs fell in ther tracks my bad I should’ve tried the rifle cartridges out yrs ago the perform great a friend reloads and he can buy these just as cheap and get the… Read more »

Jimmy A Vickers

I saw a shooting survey probably 30 years ago, that rated the Federal Power shok first in accuracy out of all the big name brands. I had used Remington Core Locks until I read the stats of this test. I tried the Federals at the shooting range and the rest is history. I still shoot the Federals to this day. They are still rated up top in most tests these days. My shooting improved so much and the knock down power is all you could ask for. Just shows that a great product doesn’t have to cost $60.00 a box

Jamie clemons

How about the 7.62x54R

Charles

Out of everything I ever owned, and there were a lot, probably a pair of Ruger M 77’s, one in 6 mm Remington and one in 7 Remington mag, made the most sense of all the other toys I have had.

Wild Bill

Good morning America! There is so much to be happy about this morning. Hillary Clinton is still not president and God still expresses his love for you through your pet dog!

tomcat

W. Bill, I’ll second that! Both make it worthwhile to get up and get going.

Georgiaoutlaw

Wild bill u said it better than anyone cud say ur rite I hope we have seen the last of Hillary she very bad for guns and america

ED Robinson

what can you tell me about my 280 browing ihunt deer w/myne &love it but don’t know anything about it?

D. Kayser

Good discussion all, but I’m in outback Colorado or Wyo or N Idaho, and I need some Ammo – Don’t ask why! I walk into the local hardware store and I’m limited to what’s on the shelf. Luckily I brought along the old ’06 or .308 and for darn sure there’ll be some .30-.30. I’ll have to stalk a little better, but I’ll be shooting on this trip.

Bob

Along with some boxes of 7mm Mag, or 270 probably on the shelf. You might be surprised what you find in the small town store – depends on his regular customers. And years ago, someone might have found a deal on a 338 win mag.

Alan

Are people forgetting the old but proven 30-06 with Match Grade Bullets, say 180 Grain Sierra Matchkings, or, if you can find them these days, the 172 Grain FA Match Bullets, which shot quite well if your rifle “liked” them. I’ve been out of this game for some years now, however it seems to me that the cost of bullets has gotten plain ridiculous..

DON

I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY WHBY MAG ARE NOT MENTIONED

roy patton

Remington 300. ultra mag. a Remington 700 is my choice.

R. Downing

If you like a round that burns a lot of powder and does nothing buy a 300 ultra mag that’s why it’s hard to find ammo for it anymore. It’s one of the fastest dying rounds on the market next to the 25 WSM ect.

Bob

Roy – If you like the the 300RUM, go for it – They said the same about the 264 win mag after the 7mm Mag almost put it out of business, then the 6.5 popularity hit again. The “RUM’s will be cheaper than the Lapua per round, even if buying the brass and rolling your own. – Enjoy !
Apples to Apples, should be comparing the same caliber in RUM & Lapua.
And like Don says – what about Weatherby’s mags ?

Martin

Weatherby treated their cartridges as almost proprietary for years. The long throat to keep pressure down etc made it difficult/dangerous to build your own, and proper Weatherby rifles weren’t cheap. The only factory loads or brass you could get were from Weatherby/Norma which has very high quality – and cost. That killed the market, I suppose. Also, the 300Wby doesn’t do that much more than a winmag which is dirt cheap in comparison, 340, which is probably the most sensible of them all has died a slow death since 338 Lapua came to market, 375 wby doesn’t have that much… Read more »

Bob

Martin – True, but we forget the article touted the 408 Chey-Tac. Didn’t see those last trip to Cabela’s, I did see some Weatherby calibers offered. + most of us would roll our own favorite rounds, especially those expensive ones. As long as you have a good selection of lead in your caliber and stock up on brass.
Some say the same about the 338 lapua. That it isn’t enough gain over the Win Mag to justify the cost.

Martin

You’re right, Bob, maybe I was a bit harsh. My point is that although the Weatherby cartridges are great as such that is not always enough.
I think the 338 Lapua is popular because it is a military cartridge; that makes components more accessible and tickles some guys. It is also fairly forgiving to load compared to the more overbore cartridges.

Georgiaoutlaw

For my ruger 308 & browning safari 3006 after shooting Winchester supremes for yrs price got to stupid fast I went to federal power shok in all our rifles for price & knock dwn power this little bullet can’t be beat accurate and dependable yr after yr I’ll never go back to Winchester cuz I don’t reload

Wa;yne Roberts

I gain so much knowledge on this site. So many smart people with smart replies. They just got to show how damn smart and experienced they are.

Bob

So a forum is not a place for an exchange of Idea’s and knowledge?

Georgiaoutlaw

Say what we want wen we want and not to offend anyone but sometimes that happens apologies offered I’ll keep doing wut I do reading the posts comment wen I feel it deserves a comment

Indy Jones

Thanks for the article. I’m just getting into the world of long range shooting. I don’t own any rifle and am currently in the research stage. I enjoyed the read but one thing I’ll say as probably the least qualified person in this comment section. I’m planning on buying a rifle and platform that I will actually shoot. A lot. As such, barrel life and cost per round make every one of the rounds mentioned non-starters for me. I know from the shortcomings, but it really looks like from a practical standpoint, for your humble non-military civilian shooter on a… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Indy, Brother, welcome to the site and the world of long range shooting. How far do you want to shoot? And how much do you want to spend? Just my opinion, but .308 is easy to beat. Do yourself a favor and research the 6.5mm and 6mm before you buy. Go to some matches and see what other people are shooting. I really like the 6.5 Lapua best. Hornaday is pushing their 6.5 Creedmore and 6mm Creedmore really hard, and so rifles and ammunition are really easy to get. What about a scope? And don’t scrimp on the rings, bases,… Read more »

Indy Jones

Thanks for this. Budget hasn’t been decided but when I do it I want to do it right. I know from my AR life that skimping on rings / bases only leads to issues. Most of my rifles have either nightforce or spuhr mounts. I subscribe to the idea that the scope should be 1 to 2x the cost of the rifle, so that will definitely impact the rifle budget. 2k for rifle + 2k for scope sounds about right atm. Not a reloader yet but it’s another thing I’m very interested in

Wes

Please leave the 308 to the boys that think they are getting a snipper toy! The 243 has always outdone 308 for accuracy, large range of bullets ,and excellent for most north american critters including black bear! I love it for coyotes and whitetails! I also shoot 22-250 and 270. But I am old school wood stalk .don’t like the plastic stuff! Good luck and be safe out there!

Indy Jones

I will say that if I had unlimited budget where cost per round is not an issue and I could change barrels every 2k rounds or so, it looks like the 338 lapua is hard to beat. 6.5 creedmore great as well. But when the rounds are minimally 2x those of the 308 and the 308 barrels last 5 times as long, it becomes a pretty simple numbers game

Bob

Indy – if truly getting into the Long Range Game, you are probably going to end up reloading as well, and in that case, you are not going to use cheap brass or bullets in 308 either. As a long range shooter told me – Lapua, Nosler and Norma brass, in that order. (Nosler is prepped and pre-sorted, makes a big difference) So unless you are buying match rounds, (and there are good ones) – the ammo cost is a mute point except the size of the powder charge, and heavier, pointy “Match” bullets are gonna cost more. (Berger 180… Read more »

Scott Fetter

I would first find a gun you like, I shoot the Ruger Mark 2 in the 300 Win Mag with a SS barrel synthetic stock with a Nikon scope pacmeyer butt pad with an additional 3/4 slip on so I can shoot all day. I load with my rcbs, when I reload, I measure each load to make sure every load will shoot as close to each other. Which ever options you due, make sure you have fun and don’t take short cuts because it will come back to bite you.

Stephen Culbertson

You got quite aways away from practicality and price – 50BMG borderline affordable but ammo is scarce – 338 Lapua is great but ammo is very expensive and relatively scarce – 300 WinMag a great choice and practical – 408 Cheytac? give me a break – unless you handload it you won’t find loaded ammo for it as well as the 416 which is difficult to find ammo for. – 6.5 Creedmoor looks to be growing in popularity but ammo is probably not easy to find at an affordable price – So, your article doesn’t seem to live up to… Read more »

cj pickup

Yep, what he said.
No 30 06 or 308 mentioned?

canonmanmart

6.5 creedmoor ammo has come down in price to the same level as name brand .308 match ammo. Plus reloading brass has also become commonly available

Smedley54

Several sources (perhaps just echoing each other?) have DOD looking at some variant of 6.5mm for a more potent infantry round in personal weapons and light machine guns. Terminal ballistics of rounds like the 6.5cm and 260 Remington are, as most on this forum already know, comparable to .30 caliber rounds out to 1,200 yards, the cartridges are lighter than the 7.62mm NATO, recoil is manageable, and the round is more lethal than the 5.56mm. To keep combat loads comparable to the 5.56mm NATO, they’re looking at polymer cases. Probably THE hurdle to this actually happening are the ginormous existing… Read more »

Smedley54

The good news might be lower cost ammunition, but your point is good. Plastic cases are probably single use, but they’re probably less expensive, too, so there is some hope that our addiction could still improve.

Passer-by

I’m sorry but this is impossible to read. This guy is trying WAY too hard to seem in-the-know. Instead of the veteran pro he sounds like a twangy hick. And does he say anything new? Not really. Same old .50, 308 Lapua and 300 win mag. The only thing he added to stick out from the huge crowd of “experts” all over the web is an unusual caliber that very few people know, the 408 Chey-Tac. Good luck buying those anywhere but the mfg’s website!

John

Not surprising that there are a lot of responses and opinions voiced. Unfortunately, I think the article missed the point, which was stated in the very beginning: What cartridges meet the three “P”, Performance, Practicality and Price? Did any of the cartridges mentioned met this criteria? I have been a round a bit and this is the first time I have heard of the 408 Chey-Tac? 50 BMG? Can you even shoot these at your local range. As for the 300 Win Mag…I will put that in the maybe column, same for the 338, but do we really need another… Read more »

Bob

John, there is a whole new sport of Extreme Long Range shooting, and in some cases, Long range hunting. And the “308” ain’t gonna cut it. We are talking 800 to 1400yds, and to a 1mile and further. I’ve seen 6.5 Creedmore repeatedly ring steel @ 1400, and the 308 struggle to make 1000. A 25-06 didn’t make it to 1000. (maybe next hand-load) Now to me, punching paper or ringing steel at that range is one thing (and it is addictive) But dropping an animal at that range is another (other than p-dogs & woodchucks). But there are those… Read more »

Wild Bill

, If you like the 6.5 Creedmore, the 6.5 Lapua is a smidge, but a noticeable and measurable smidge better. Hornaday just pushes the Creedmore because they developed it and have a financial interest in it.

Bob

I agree, several good 6.5 rounds – but alas – I own the 264 win mag the 6.5 creed shooter use to own LOL. Now he will be saving on Powder & Brass ! 😉 & I readily admit he is much better trigger and spotter !

Gregory Romeu

use Google Earth or Google Maps and zoom in on the long range rifle range at Camp Perry Ohio and look at the three reefs of copper east of the endzone of the thousand yard targets.

I still don’t know strangers Behind The Rifleman competing and I also did time in the butts marking those targets watching those little pieces of copper plinking into the lake yet another 300-400 yards further when they were shooting at 1,000 yard line.

Probably all those 177 grain rounds they were using, so don’t kid yourself.

Bob

greg – been to Camp Perry – long time ago. Rifle – Barrel length and Rifle shooter will make a difference – but plinking down in a lake at 1000 + another 300, and hitting a target is a different item Greg. We picked up several Whole 308 rounds that were just laying on the dirt @ 1000 & 1100 yds from previous matches. Most were the 168grain BTHP variety. I was spotting for the 308 shooter after he had used his 6.5 Creedmore. Big difference! And he used 168 match and 175 LR ammo. Maybe if he had a… Read more »

Bob

@ Greg -seems I touched a nerve seeing your “yadda, yadda,Goodnight” reply to my 1st answer to the post above – BUT – #1 -the shooter I was spotting for – “Former Marine L.R. shooting team member, with awards – So if you want to take up HIS purchase of a 6.5 Creedmore – be my guest. If you don’t like the way he shot his remmy 308, vrs the 6.5 – i’ll get you in touch. #2 – Do you really think the Marines, or Army only use 308/7.62 for long range ? How long have you been out?… Read more »

Passer-by

Bob, running a hunting TV show is one thing. Hunting a large animal FOR REAL at a mile distance is another. A VERY another. Just think about it as someone who would do it. You get to a shooting position which is usually away from paths you can drive on. You shoot, say, a bear from a mile away. You have to walk a mile to the animal, then load it onto something and then walk back with half a ton of load behind you. And all that with 30 lbs of the .50 BMG gun in your… hand? Are… Read more »

Bob

Passerby – NO – you miss read- The “Show” were hunters out West, shooting custom 7mm mag, with custom turrets and dropping Antelope at 1000 and more. The trip for the “Customers included a 3 day L.R. school and the hunt. I didn’t say I agree with it. A major gripe of mine is the hunting shows where they shoot in extreme conditions but they rarely show the meat being packed out. OR worse, it’s packed out by quads or a helicopter. I’ve been there & Done That – much younger then – and it was packing out moose quarters… Read more »

Ralph

I can’t and won’t argue with anything you wrote because they’re all good choices, but for myself I prefer my tried and true .270.
I enjoy your articles, keep them coming!

Dr. Jim Clary, PhD

To Matt, whoever or wherever you are: If you do not like the articles on AmmoLand, leave the site and go elsewhere. Men like L.P. Brezny and myself didn’t get old by being dumb and stupid, or by luck, it was because we were a bit smarter than the average “bear”. Mr. Brezny can wear whatever he wants in the field, and if you don’t approve, I am sure that it bothers him about as much as if he missed a proctology appointment. You have no idea as to why he is wearing the sneakers, possibly because they are just… Read more »

Alex

I agree. I like the article,I just took ownership of the RPR
In 6.5 creedmore. I am anxious to try it out.

Georgiaoutlaw

Given hell phd don’t take none & hope it won’t be none

James

For hunting, I like the .338 lapua. But for steel, the 6mm Dasher, and 6mm Creedmore seem to be game changers. A 130 grain round at 3200fps is hard to top. Less that 20moa drop at 1k yards, and consistent. Ive got a Krieger barrel on the way, going into an AR that I plan to chamber 6mm Creedmore. In eastern North Carolina, I lay on the firing line every month with the best in the world. Check out what their playing with, and you’ll find accuracy.

Matt

What’s with L.P. Brezny wearing a neck wrap honoring/glorifying the terrorist whom are committing heinous acts through out the world?!
All decked out in camo but wearing white sneakers!!!

Frank G

Matt,
I was thinking the very same thing! Ha ha good catch.

F Riehl, Editor in Chief

Matt;

Since you insisted on emailing us to answer this here is our reply.

Your question is so stupid, I am now dumber for having read it. It is called a Shemagh , pronounced ‘sheh-mag’, look it up : https://goo.gl/ydpGrn and he is wearing white sneakers because he is old and does whatever the F**K he wants.

Drain with your own swamp of stupidity first.

Matt

I’m only too happy to have gotten under Ammoland’s skin to show their true colors by having them start calling me names. Shows how unprofessional, childish they are.
I could do the same but why stoop to their level.
Ammoland will be hearing from somebody to address their uncalled profanity anyway.

Wild Bill

, these two guy provide us with a free forum to exchange views and you want to get under their skin? False accusations of profanity, really.? Do you work for CNN? Or are you, just, one of those guys that just wants to drag others down into the conceptual gutter?

Bob

Matt – Uh – you assume much ? Where did they call “YOU” a profanity ? ? ? ? ?
They said the ol geezer where’s what the F**## he wants.
and BTW – many of our own operators wear a Shemagh over in the sandbox.

GTL4Hire

I don’t see that he was cursing anyone, but a better way of wording it could have been used.

Eagle eye

So after all that i still am not sure witch is the best gun for long range target shooting there is no consistencies in all the literature and comments so something is wrong is it down to personal option and/or is there not a over all best gun for the job of long range shooting

DrSique

Well, a Canadian Sniper supposedly made a two mile kill recently, with a McMillan Tac-50. I am more than fairly confident that he wasn’t using de-linked M2 ammo. This author’s assertion that practicality and price have anything to do with which rounds are the best is a false argument. The best should be based solely on performance and the rest is about which rounds can be acquired by a particular shooter.

Wild Bill

@graham eye, First, what is your definition of “best”? Before you answer, I note that you ask. “… witch is the best gun for long range target shooting…” (sic) I already have that gun, it is breathtakingly expensive, and it is not for sale. Then I note that your question gets run on into a statement and another question. This tells me that you have not thought the many factors through, yet. For example: Do you mean the best gun or best brand of gun or best cartridge? You simply can not take any shortcuts when deciding on the “best”… Read more »

Vinootz

I do not doubt the author’s findings. These are not practical in terms of commonality henceforth price. 6.5 and 300 not too bad a cost. This long range hype is a joke. It is done to sell expensive scopes and rifles. All these Stevie Sniper wannabes Are enriching gun,ammo and scope manufacturers. I would like to see all these guys when an adversary is shooting back at them. If that were the case all this fancy equipment and gadgetry won’t mean squat except for the people who can think and perform under deadly pressure. Chris Kyle bought a 308 when… Read more »

GUNRUNNER

Amen brother. They watch American Sniper and go drop 4000 bucks on a gun that you can’t shoot anywhere. I’m in texas and most ranges only go to 200 yards . Which is like shooting a 22lr at 15 yards.

Maxcontax

Bought a Tikka T 3 rifle in 260 Remongton, loaded it with 140 SST’s , 129 H- inter bonds, and Berger 140 VLD bullets using various loads od 4350 or 4831 powders. After two years of fiddlefarting around, still have not got this gun to outshot my Remington 700 BDL in 270 Winchester. In conclusion, long range accuracy seems to border on some sort of personal Black Magic. As far as going hunting, if it’s a serious trip I grab the 270. If it’s. doddle I take the 260 because it weighs less. If there are big bears around then… Read more »

Smedley54

Try a 123 or 120 grain in your 260 – Sierra Matchking or Lapua Scenar – or even a Nosler 130. Those have been lasers for me.

Ol' Roy

The 7mm mag shoots a little flatter, the 300 hits a little harder. My elk dropped in his tracks from a shoulder shot from a factory 180 fusion from my 300 em Hawkeye. Range was a little over 300 yds (not truly long range but hit exactly where I aimed, as the gun was sighted in at that range. Seeing him hit the deck so fast made me a believer. I am sure that a 7mm mag would have worked about as well in this instance but I just cant help having a soft spot for that round.

Albert Smith

Which would be a better caliber for long range couse deer?
7mm mag or 300 win mag?

RUNRON

It’s a question that depend on personal use. However, generally speaking (not necessarily 100% truthfully right): 7mm as long as it’s not exceeding 500 yds. Also 7mm would cause less damage to the meat around 300-500yds. .308 would do the job and perhaps less damaging that .300 win. If Moose or Big Bear, stick to .300 or .338 for long range (200yds +). If Moose or Big Bear, stick to 45-70 for short range (less than 200 yds). For medium to small game, .308 will never fail you at almost all distances. Then 7mm would be the next optimal These… Read more »

Gregory Romeu

The one that will let you bag that deer when it prances across your path at 200 – 300 yards away.

Gregory Romeu

In closing my comments on this thread all I can say to all you people talking all this yada, yada, yada about long range this, bullets dropping on pillows and all this bench test theory and other garbage, I will always stand firm in suggesting to people that whatever the US Marine Corps uses, THAT is the go to round and the go-to weapons because we have trained for decades at 500 yards with iron sights and the 5.56 round to qualify expert. That and the fact to have not lost one battle yet, bundled with a group of hard-chargers… Read more »

SeniorAmbassador

Great Comment!

robert russell

I grew up on a street next to Camp Stoneman, an army base about 50miles from San Francisco Ca. Every Wednesday all the neighbor kids would go there and line-up behind the Cooks who would give us the left over rations. The best of the best in the green cans – was the chipped beef and potatoes, along with the can of apple pie… Wow what a treat we would get from those great soldiers! By the way we never asked the cooks if they were the soldiers that killed the Japs and Germans because none of them talked about… Read more »

Jake

What makes the 6.5 creedmore better than the 243 win? From what I have read, they are about the same as far as long range bullet drop and wind drift. If anything the 243 might be a little better at maintaining trajectory.

BobD

You ask a great question, Jake. All I’ve seen lately in the gun mags and blogs is writers wetting themselves describing this cartridge, which is really nothing more than yet another cartridge in the ever-growing list to choose from. Give it a year and another super cartridge will replace the cridmoore; it’s a never-ending evolution. Pick your cartridge and rifle, practice with it a lot to get to know what works and it will be as good as that other cartridge if you do your part. I mean, how many of us are REALLY GOOD at throwing lead down range… Read more »

SlickDriver

Good info. Thanks. I hear a lot about the 6.5 mm, but I’ll put my 25-06 hand loads up against any of them.

Robert Johnston

Yeah. But I really lke my .257 weatherby.

SlickDriver

Another great round. The .257 lacks the bullet variety of the 6.5, but the case capacity of the -06 is 25% greater than that of the 6.5 (not to mention the .257 Weatherby Magnum, which adds 60% more of the 6.5 Creedmoor). I really think [for a while there] the 6.5 was the “new thing,” with complete disregard for ballistics. I’d like to see a few more bullets for the .257 with some high BC’s.

Bob

Slickdriver -how far have you reached with that 25o6? Recently shot with 2 others at a long range course – the 25-06 could not reach near as far as the 6.5 Creedmore or the 64 win mag. – (speaking of case capacity!) Wasn’t the shooter, he did fine with the 6.5.
Wondering what your formula is if you’re reaching a 1000.
The 6.5’s were hitting 1400

SlickDriver

Bob, what kind of loads were you using for both (Creedmoor and 25-06)? I’d be interested in bullets and powder. I’d be especially interested in your experience if the bullets were the same weight… but I doubt they were.

Bob

@ Slick Driver – wish i could help – he had 2 different loads that were hand loaded for him by a friend of his. He is a predator hunter and most shots where he hunts are @ 600 or less. He was very happy with consistent hits @ 700 with his hunting round. Pretty sure they were Vmax, but light weight (75’s?), the others were 100 grain. Wish I could help with the powder. I don’t think his set-up – scope & loads – were for the 1000-1400 range- but he sure had fun with the 6.5 he got… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Slick, I’ve been shooting the .257 Weatherby for about 20 years now. I can “keep up” till about the 600 yard mark. I also notice that the steel rings sooner and a lot louder.

SlickDriver

@Bob, 75 gr? A varmint load?? I’m guessing you didn’t put a 75 gr round in the Creedmoor and try to shoot it long range. Problem with this comparison is not the caliber but the weight and BC of the bullet. Let me know when you can compare apples to apples. My guess is that an -06 can push a bullet of the same weight and BC faster and further than a Creedmoor due to its increased case capacity and smaller diameter. But… it will have to remain a guess until they start producing match-grade bullets in .257of a similar… Read more »

Bob

Like I said -Yes he brought his varmint loads, it was a last minute thing that he ended up coming. He switched to 100gr later. I don’t remember how far he got with those, but not much more. The 6.5 Creed was owned by someone else. For the case capacity – it was impressive, and Store bought Ammo no less! I agree – If he could find a high BC .25 round, should be awesome! This Article is a little old, Hornady and Berger have upped the anti on 6.5 numbers with 143gr & higher bullet weight. I guess the… Read more »

SeniorAmbassador

Amen on the Venerated 6.5 x 55 mm Swede! I LOVE it as much as my 300 WinMag!

Bob

@ Old vet – speaking of case capacity – I came across 2 articles a while back on the 264 win mag and working up loads for long range hunting. (Took me the longest time to get a answer from Hodgdon on their published loads vrs the huge difference these authors were loading up, they stand by their published 140gr partition load) 1. – One was emphasizing measured case capacity vrs industry spec capacity. 2. near the end of the other article, he mentioned if it had not been for a generous “Jump” to relieve pressure, (instead of the often… Read more »

Scott

I’d like to hear opinions (or facts) on the difference between the 300 Weatherby Mag and the 300 Winchester Magnum. How well do they compare? How much do they differ?

Also I’m about to buy a Browning X-Bolt Long Range Hunter Stainless 6.5 Creedmore for my first long range shooting gun. Any alternatives, suggestions for a newbie investing in the right gun.

Jim

Are you going to hunt or shoot paper. Thin profile barrels heat up faster but are lighter for hunting. Heavier (thicker profile) barrel will be better for 5 shot groups at the shooting range. Browning makes a rifle for target shooting.

Scott

The gun will be used for both. I want a gun I can shoot targets 500 yds or more and I want a gun for my girls to hunt with. I have a 30-06 but I’m looking for something with less kick.

Gregory Romeu

500 yards? Remmington 700 SPS with the bull barrel. I have one in .308 with a great scope and can take down paper or prey all day long.

Marion

Just order a 6.5 300 Weatherby mag rife. I own many Weatherby rifles and like the flat, hard hit and not much recoil. I have read reviews about wearing out the barrels. I’m sure they sell more barrels. I’ve owned and used a 300 Weatherby since 1967 and that same gun goes with me every time I need the power and dead on hit. Now neck it down, can’t wait to get it. If I need more power I also own a 460 mag Weatherby for those special times. Yes there are times, I had a 1400# steer that went… Read more »

Tim

Out of all my hunting with all the above
Calibers .. My favorite of all times is the 257
Weatherby Mag…hard to beat ..

Bruce

OK. I get that you like killing prairie dogs, but I like technical information. I’m not a fan of chatty authoritative articles that make flowery prose assertions without data to support them. What do I mean by “flowery prose”? I refer to the type of folksy too-clever-by-half jargon commonly found in gun magazines. Example: “In terms of ranging ability the massive bullet will stay awake (above the speed of sound) and clear out to 2,500 yards before someone puts a pillow under its head.” Sadly, the few bits of useful info must be teased out of this cringe inducing gun… Read more »

GP Carlin

DITTO+++

GP Carlin, Jr

Can some of you astute practitioners of the Ballistic Black Arts please explain where the Grendel fits in relative to its 6.5 brethren?
It seems like the Creedmore has seen a surge in popularity and some hard data as to why this may be would be most helpful.
I think the 6.5 family dart like BCs and decent bullet masses will eventually make one of them THE “go to” all around round round with the only with the only potential caveat being FTFs during intense ignition sequences….?

Martin

I’ve burned out a few barrels in 6.5×55 for both match and field/long range shooting, so I think I can speak for that cartridge. With slow powders and in low temperatures, typically below 25 F, magnum primers are a plus. I use Federal 215 when I can get my hands on them, and I know for a fact that Norma uses RWS magnum primers in their factory loads. It may sound excessive to ignite 50 grains of powder, but it does give more consistent velocity and better precision beyond 400 yards.

Wild Bill

Can I get the same performance (velocity and accuracy) out of my 6.5 x 55 Swedish cartridge as I can get from my 6.5 x 47 Lapua, if I use the same powder charge (probably 40-41 gr H4350), same primer, and same exact bullet (Burger 140 gr VLD)? Anyone (but not gil)! If not why not.

Smedley54

First, the 6.5×47 Lapua uses a small rifle primer while the Swede uses a large rifle primer, so you can’t use the same the primer. Second, since the Swede has more case capacity than the 6.5×47, for the same volume of powder the Swede will have excess capacity that lets the powder move some, and that will result in variable ignition. By contrast, when loading 6.5×47 I was often compressing the powder slightly (and gently) so those rounds would have performed very similarly. In reality, how much difference this makes will depend on the variable trigger nut; bench rest shooters… Read more »

Bruce

Even if you were able to use brass of identical quality, the 6.5X47 Lapua will be more inherently accurate. Why? Because of internal ballistics. The ratio of the case diameter, case length, neck diameter, etc. is important. That’s why the most precise calibers used in competition look squatty compared to the more mainstream cartridges, with relatively short powder chambers with relatively larger diameter cases relative to the bullet diameter. 6mm BR is probably the best example.

6.5 X 55 Swedish – Acurate
6.5 Creedmoor – Accurater
6.5 X 47 Lapua – Acuratest

Wild Bill

@Smedley, Bruce, and Martin, Each good analysis and advice. Many thanks.

Martin

As Smedley said, the Swede has more volume so you can use more and slower powder. This winter I am shooting long range matches with 50.8 grains of Vithavouri N560 and 130 grs Norma Diamond Line VLD bullets with a b.c. of .548, which gives about 2850 ft/s from a 29 in barrel. This is not a hot load in my rifle, but I’d rather save brass, barrel and powder than to squeeze out the last 80-110 ft/s. I don’t know how that compares to a 6.5×47, but loaded to the same pressure there’s no replacement for displacement.

Bob

So the 264 win mag ? I’m pushing a 140gr HPBT around 3000 FPS w/ 66gr of H1000. 26″ barrel, Remington Sendero. Was hitting 1 moa or less 1000yds. I too can go higher by seating depth or more powder, but I’m not looking to burn the barrel either. By shortening the COL I lowered the FPS a tad and lowered the pressure, judging by the primers.

Charles Buchanan

Where would you put the 300 WSM? I know it seems to be loosing popularity of any kind, but it is my favorite for elk.

Also, I have been a little confused about the 6.5 Creedmore. Seems like a good long range round but a bit short on weight. The largest I have seen is 143 gr. I do not think it would be very effective on an animal with heavy bones and hide like an elk at anything past 300 yds. I will admit to ballistic ignorance here. Can you get me straight.

Smedley54

There are 6.5×55 (Swede) loads up to 156 grains, but for rounds like the .260, 6.5 Creedmoor, and the 6.5×47 Lapua, 140 grains is about the heaviest you’ll find. The Swede is throated for longer, heavier bullets the other 6.5’s can’t handle.

Martin

156 grain bullets are common in 6.5, Norma make Oryx which is a lot like Nosler Accubond, only with a RN. For 300 yds, I would choose a ~140 grain VLD like Lapua Scenar og Accubond over a RN any day of the week. That said, at that range, I think the man behind the rifle is more of a limitation than the bullet weight 🙂

Mike Plunkett

Roadrunner says; 338 would be my next rifle if I get one in browning x or savage , Remington action all top weapons. 308 is very good universal weapon for average person hunting long range game.prairre (military proven sniper weapon) 280 or 7mm mag is great weapon for next size game such as elk or white tail hills open,mountain range pastures But as author pointed out importance of affordability to Ammo makers and Gun makers save solid low cost guns and Ammo is key to keeping a strong plublic supporting gun rights, hobby, ranges, and home owner and hunters in… Read more »

Loyal : L.P.Brezny

Sir;s If a belt is needed there is one on my photo of the ” silver ” 300 Win pictured. Also ” short form is just that” A less then long answer.
Also Belted Seven Mag? read both book number one of Gun digest and second edition. The big seven is all over that work. Have one and love it in a Ruger #1.

Cheers
The Mgm’t.

L.P.

BYRON CRAWFORD

GREETINGS!!! YOUR CONSIDERED SELECTION FOR 20 GAUGE HOME DEFENCE SHOTGUN&AMMO,LONG RANGE RIFLES AND OBLIGE. BEST REGARDS,B.C..

TEX

If this article don’t include .308 I’m not interested.

Frederick Jones

I’m with Tex on this. I found my .308 Savage rifle to be very dependably accurate and amply powerful.

hijinx60

Didn’t the military use the .308 as a sniper weapon for many years? I really like it, as well as the 7 mag, and 30-06.

Paladin

The .308 served me well in Vietnam, and has served me well since. I own several, and nothing has ever walked away after being shot. YMMV

Paladin

I suppose I should correct myself, before the trolls do. 7.62 in Vietnam, .308 since. Semper Fi

Smedly54

M14 or M40? Or both? And what do you think of the stories about US military possibly reverting to the 7.62? Everything old is new again?

James

Army is playing with 6.5 Grendel, and 6mm Creedmore right now.

Gregory Romeu

M-14, M40 and M-60… All wpro great but you still have to clean them when you’re done!

Paladin

I carried the M-14, loved it…..wouldn’t have a Mattel Toy at the time. Personally, I think going back to the 7.62 would be a good idea, and if the p**sies can’t deal with the weight, too bad. However, YMMV. Opinions are my own, and I will NOT respond to trolls
Zippo

JOHN FAITZ

No respect for .338 win mag?

Lee

Ammoland says the 300 Win Mag photo is correct???, but NO explanation on the absence of the missing STD. 300 Mag Case Rim Belt.?? We call BS and call for correction on that photo, otherwise your credibility is in question. No one should shoot that ammo in a real 300 Min Mag!!!

John Myers

what about 7mm mag?

Hornady 7mm Remington Mag

Rob

It’s funny you bring this up. Many of the long-range target shooters want great BC with low recoil. I like both but the 7mm you can really hunt and shoot for targets. I’m a bigger guy so I like a round with more oomph down range. According to the Berger reloading manual the largest round the offer currently is a 140 grain. It looks like the best one for ballistics is the 140gr. match hybrid target G1 BC .618, G7 .317 excellent! I know Berger has a new 195 gr bullet, but I don’t have the data in this manual.… Read more »

Tionico

This is all fine and dandy, and some god information. What would be very practical and useful would be some hard comparisons with some of the other slightly less popular rounds that have been mainstays in our collections and have been around for years. .300 Weatherby, .338 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, the already mentioned twice 6.5 Swede, even some handloaded hot .30/06. Sure the $/rnd might be “reasonable” on some of these big boys, but particularly those of recent development, for many of us using them would also involve getting some new iron. Not an option. A new article… Read more »

Wild Bill

, good point. Let our side by side comparison start with recoil. I’d like to see a side by side comparison of the 6.5s first (Creedmore, Grendel, Lapua, Swede, Carcano),

7wsmag

I own a Browning x-bolt shot show exclusive and a Ruger $1 in 6.5 Creedmore, both with 26″ barrels. The Browning recoil, with muzzle break, is a dream and recoil is about like a 243 while the #1 pops like a 270. My 6.5 Swede is less than 243 and my Carcano was light but couldn’t ever find a consistent round therefore, it was sold/traded for a 260. The 260 has very little recoil.

Perry

Nope, not correct, not even close.

Tionico

“What is this Google you speak of?”

Do you mean “What is this Google of which you speak?”?

Dontchya know a preposition is an improper word to end a sentence with? This is grammar up with which we shall not put. (quote from a very well respected military man of yore)

Sorry guys, could not resist.

BobD

Perhaps you should have……

Smedley54

For the budget conscious (mama keeps the checkbook), just about anything 6.5mm does nicely. 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, 260 Remington, 6.5×47 Lapua, or that young punk, the 6.5 Creedmoor. The Swede and the 260 run at more forgiving chamber pressures, and (along with the 6.5×47) are good for reloading. I’m particularly fond of the 260 because it’s based on the 308 case so I can always make brass if needed. A Swede has slightly more case capacity, some really attractive mil-surp rifles, and room for unusually heavy bullets. Shooting the 6.5×47 requires dedication, since there are still no factory rifles that… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Smedley54, I just love my 6.5×47 Lapua cheap easy reload, long barrel life, very little recoil and every bit as accurate at any distance as the Creedmoor. I just think that the 6.5 Lapua doesn’t get as much advertising as the Creedmore as a function of business and sales. I love my 6.5 Swede, too, kind of a heritage thing!

Smedley54

Yah – In general, I found the 6.5mm family and never went back. They’re a sweet spot with great ballistics and enough bullet weight variety to satisfy most target shooting or hunting needs, especially as an intermediate cartridge for a rifle safe with a 5.56/.223 and a .308 or 30-06. I might wish the 260 had caught on instead of the 6.5 Creedmoor, but I am glad that something 6.5 has achieved some popularity.

Paladin

Is that Smedley, as in Butler?

Smedley54

Yup. Famous author and Presidential Candidate. 😉

Paladin

Smedley Darlington Butler was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.
Paladin AKA Zippo
3dForReconCo
USMC66-70

Smedley54

Your Marine credentials are far better than mine (Marine yes, but a techie, 72-76), and yes, General Butler. Semper fi.

Perry

What is correct? People, use your words to make clear that of which you are writing.
If you are referring to the “.300 Win Mag” picture, I just did a Google search for HSM Trophy Gold .300 Win Mag, which took me to Midway, and the picture they have shown is a cartridge WITH A BELT!
OK, someone at Ammoland is just jerking everyone’s chain for the fun of it, or, they have some serious “lack of ability to use Google” issues!

F Riehl, Editor in Chief

What is this Google you speak of? … Image corrected.

john

cheap shooter ,right on ,the 6.5×55 very accurate at long range and very cheap

Jim

For prairie dog hunting the .50 Browning round fired just under their noses causes enough vacuum to suck their lungs empty for a few seconds so they collapse from lack of oxygen. Then we take them prisoner and interrogate them to locate their main town and their leaders.

Archer435

You work for the Govt. dont you! lol

Tony

The bullet will not do any damage near the target. It has to hit the target. You can shoot right next to a lightly stacked playing cards and they won’t move, unless you are so close for muzzle blast

Steve

You forgot to point out prairie dogs do not speak any of the languages of men , so how can the prairie dog be interrogated.
Sorry folks I just couldn’t help myself.

Mark T Clement

What?! You never heard of the Vulcan mind meld?

Wild Bill

, It is amazing how fast them rodents can learn English, if you slap ’em up a little. I know a good joke line when I see it.

GTL4Hire

Nevertheless, I thought it was a good saying or joke.

Drake 23

Good man I hope you find their leaders and their major cities we need more people like you. Intelligent interrogating Intimately satisfies me.

Gregory Romeu

Ahhh!?!? Where’s your spirit! Suck the 0 2 out of em, then waterboard the little rodents! They’ll talk!

M. Willis

You may want to recheck the image you have for the .300 Win Mag. It looks like someone used an image of a .308 cartridge.

F Riehl, Editor in Chief

300 Winchester Magnum image corrected, thanks for having our backs.

Perry

Check the fifth picture down of the “.300 Win Mag”.
Where’s the belt?
What exactly does “short form” mean?

The Hangman

In a nutshell, summary, bullet points (lol), making sense?

Cheap shooter

300 win mag, 308, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×55,

Martin

Norma and Lapua make inexpensive match cartridges for 6.5×55 with high quality bullets with b.c.. 540 @130 grs. May reach 200 yds shorter than a 300 winmag but it sure is more fun to shoot 100 rds in a day with a 6.5. Both for wallet and shoulder.

joe

6.5×55 makes me smile,a oldy but goody

Bob Cloninger

6.5mm anything makes me smile, and the .260 Remington makes me happy because it’s part of the .308 family. But if I ever come into money, a Grendel and a Swede will come to live in my gun safe.

Robert

I have a Remington 700 Win Mag I’m willing to sell. It’s new, never been fired.

Tyler

Id be interested in your 700

jean-jacques engler

i like informations about long range shooting

Clark Kent

How about a list of PRACTICAL long range rounds?

Wild Bill

@CK, Well what do you mean by practical” As for me, 6.5 X 47 Lapua (hereinafter 6.5 Lapua) is a terrific long range cartridge because I can reload it, and I have already had a custom rifle made for the 6.5 Lapua cartridge. For someone else that can not reload,and does not want to mess with a custom made rifle (or rifle makers), the 6.5 Creedmore is almost as efficient, you can buy a really accurate Savage and decent scope combination very reasonably, and get the ammunition anywhere.

R.English

You are forgetting to mention the
.30-.378 WHBY Mag

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