What Calibre Do You Use For Long Range

What calibre is your long range precision rifle chambered in? The author uses several and I expect that you do to. So, which one do you use most often while engaged in precision long range or extreme long range shooting? For the author it would end up being .223 Remington by round count but that’s followed pretty closely by .308 Winchester. I like my 7mm Remington Magnum but shoot it about 5% as much by round count and about 50% by whether or not I bring it on the average excursion.

You might think of .223 as not suited to long range work but that depends really on what you’re trying to do with it. If all you want to do is ring a gong then it works just fine. If you need to defeat a target then it’s best to limit ranges to those where energy is sufficient and where the bullet will act on the target as designed.

Modern .223 bullets in moderate weights are able to be pushed extremely fast with modest powder charges. There are also a number of high BC (well, relatively high) bullets available. Berger, Hornady, Nosler, Sierra and others all make respectable long range suitable .223 calibre target bullets. I’ve had fantastic results with Hornady 75gn HPBT. With an impressive .395 G1 B.C. and long boat tail they have a modest size bearing surface and seem to love being pushed really hard but don’t generate the high pressures you might expect. I find that they perform really well with a slight jump to the lands rather than being jammed in. Berger 70gn VLD’s have a similarly high BC (a little lower but not a lot) and with their slightly lighter weight and preference for long loading so that they are jammed into the lands a bit they can be pushed a bit faster. Both have 1000yrd capability when pushed with near max powder charges from 1:9 twist barrels. Since a near max load for a .223 is a tiny bit more than half the necessary load for a .308 size case you end up with a very efficient long range training round without the cost, blast or recoil of larger rounds.

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