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Calibers for long distance paper or steel

This is a discussion on Calibers for long distance paper or steel within the Range Reports forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I have 2 rifles one in .223 and another in 7mm-08. I plan on shooting around 300 yards or so more or less. Is the ...


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Old June 28th, 2019, 08:54 PM   #1
 
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Calibers for long distance paper or steel

I have 2 rifles one in .223 and another in 7mm-08. I plan on shooting around 300 yards or so more or less. Is the bullet drop the most important factor? Both will reach 300 yds with 12" or 13" bullet drop. I imagine that the .223 would be good enough for paper. If so then I can use the 7mm-08 for steel. Any other facts please point me on the way.

John



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Old June 28th, 2019, 11:27 PM   #2
 
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Your rifles be fine. Both calibers will punch paper or ring steel well to 300yds. You give no details about the rifles however. There's a world of difference in .223 performance between a 16" M4 clone and a 26" varmint rifle. My 20" and 26" barrelled .223 rifles zeroed at 200yds only exhibit about 7" drop at 300yds. That's with pointed 55gr bullets at 3150 to 3300fps.
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Old June 29th, 2019, 05:20 AM   #3
 
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I shoot a 22 LR out to 250 yards without a problem. Your two calibers can easily do that out to 600 yards.




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Old June 29th, 2019, 04:50 PM   #4
 
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John, if you access to a chrono pull the muzzle velocities, BC and bullet weight and plug them into a ballistics calculator. If you're using factory loads and no chrono go with what's listed on the box, they're generally inflated, but close.

Doing this will allow you to make the elevation adjustment to your scope to extend your range accurately and then return it back to your established zero when you're finished. I run my pistol chambered in 7-08 out to 500yds, it's not an easy shot with a 2x6-32mm scope, but without a firing solution I'd never make it, (its about a 33" drop with a 200yd zero).
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Old June 29th, 2019, 06:12 PM   #5
 
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At the distances you mention any good load will do. Personally I would use heavy for caliber bullets assuming the rate of twist in you barrel wil stabilize heavy forcaliber bullets. By this I mean the heavier a bullet is for caliber the faster the rifleing turn will be. For example in 223 a 1 in 10 twist is fine for 55 grain maybe 62 grain. But if you waant to shoot 70
grains or heavier you need a faster rifling twist. If you do not have the papers that came with your rifes look on the manufacturers website and check it.
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Old July 3rd, 2019, 08:11 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by ngashooter View Post
Your rifles be fine. Both calibers will punch paper or ring steel well to 300yds. You give no details about the rifles however. There's a world of difference in .223 performance between a 16" M4 clone and a 26" varmint rifle. My 20" and 26" barrelled .223 rifles zeroed at 200yds only exhibit about 7" drop at 300yds. That's with pointed 55gr bullets at 3150 to 3300fps.
A quick question about terms. When you say 'ring steel' that's not the same as knocking down animals in cowboy silhouette shooting, right?

John
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Old July 3rd, 2019, 08:28 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngashooter View Post
Your rifles be fine. Both calibers will punch paper or ring steel well to 300yds. You give no details about the rifles however. There's a world of difference in .223 performance between a 16" M4 clone and a 26" varmint rifle. My 20" and 26" barrelled .223 rifles zeroed at 200yds only exhibit about 7" drop at 300yds. That's with pointed 55gr bullets at 3150 to 3300fps.
A quick question about terms. When you say 'ring steel' that's not the same as knocking down animals in cowboy silhouette shooting, right?

John
Not at all. I just meant that you can hear the impact. I usually have background noise like wind in the trees, crop dusters, or farm equipment. I have rimfire rifles that can hit my steel gong out farther than I can hear the ping.
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Old July 4th, 2019, 07:44 AM   #8
 
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I chose 243 over 223 for better ballistics for long range prairie dog shoots.

Mine is a Savage 12 LRPV, 26" bull barrel.
Savage also makes a very nice single shot 223, 26" bull barrel.

Both can be real barrel-burners when running at maximum velocity.
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Old July 9th, 2019, 10:29 AM   #9
 
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Not at all. I just meant that you can hear the impact. I usually have background noise like wind in the trees, crop dusters, or farm equipment. I have rimfire rifles that can hit my steel gong out farther than I can hear the ping.
Sorry I'm not explaining things right. Do you think that a .223 cartridge can knock over a ram in cowboy silhouette?
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Old July 9th, 2019, 10:34 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
At the distances you mention any good load will do. Personally I would use heavy for caliber bullets assuming the rate of twist in you barrel wil stabilize heavy forcaliber bullets. By this I mean the heavier a bullet is for caliber the faster the rifleing turn will be. For example in 223 a 1 in 10 twist is fine for 55 grain maybe 62 grain. But if you waant to shoot 70
grains or heavier you need a faster rifling twist. If you do not have the papers that came with your rifes look on the manufacturers website and check it.
What he said....my 1:7 shoots much heavier bullets than my 1:9. I also run 5.56 NATO loads for the most part and have found them to be very consistent. Just got MagTech 77gr OTM to try!
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Old July 9th, 2019, 12:30 PM   #11
 
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At 300 yards, most 55 grain FMJ .223 Rem or 5.56x45 ammunition is going to have considerably more kinetic energy than 9 mm Luger pistol cartridges have at the muzzle. But the rifle round will have a bit less (15-20% less) momentum than the 9x19 pistol cartridge does (at the muzzle).

I think that if you can knock down the steel silhouettes at short range with a 9 mm Luger pistol, you should not have any trouble knocking them down at 300 yards with a .223 Rem rifle. And heavier projectiles will hold onto their momentum better at longer ranges, if your barrel can stabilize them, as has been mentioned.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 06:52 AM   #12
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Any centerfire caliber rifle can consistently hit a reasonable size target at 300 yards and all calibers will have an arc. None of them shoot flat. It's just physics. Pick the caliber you like, pick a load your rifle likes, sight it in and enjoy. It doesn't matter whether the arc is big or small. The bullet will arc the same every time all else being equal. At the end of the day it doesn't matter whether you're using a 'flat' shooting 3000fps hot rod or a sedate 2000fps 'rainbow' caliber. It also doesn't matter if it's a .22 caliber or a .30 caliber or anything in between. If the goal is to punch holes in paper or ring steel any rig will work once you get it dialed in.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 09:42 AM   #13
 
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Thank you for everybody's help.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 04:43 PM   #14
 
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Thank you for everybody's help.
As a born and bred North East (Bergen Co.) "Jersey Boy" I want to know where ya all are going to shoot that far in Jersey..... LOL
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Old July 11th, 2019, 12:58 PM   #15
 
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As a born and bred North East (Bergen Co.) "Jersey Boy" I want to know where ya all are going to shoot that far in Jersey..... LOL
Bruce,

It is so good to hear from you , pal. Actually my home facility has a 300 yd. range as well as other great features.
CJRPC - Home Page

I had big changes from last we spoke. Last year in June cellulitis/sepsis sent me to the hospital unconscious for a day. In coherent the following day and I stayed there a week. While there they found a large node on my Thyroid. By December I was getting surgery to remove it because it was malignant!

I purchased a Vortex Viper in 4x12x44. I decided to switch the Nikon scope on my T/C arms Encore Pro Hunter rifle in .223 to the Ruger No. 3 and put the Vortex on the T/C in .223.

Take care and good shooting.
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