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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

Im new to the forum (yes i went through the introduction section already). Im looking to get into shooting long range 500 yards average but would travel to ranges with 1000+ yard ranges. I don't plan on ever making it beyond 1000 with my beginner setup. Im looking into the classic 700 SPS varmint in 308. But when price checking rifles I saw for a little more money I can purchase 6.5s and even 300 win mags. So my question is, should I stick with the 308 for starters? I do not reload but down the line it is something I would be interested in learning. Money isn't abundant-I am a college student! I have looked for some comparisons on the forum but can't seem to find anything fitting my position.

Background:
Shooting a few years
Couple hunting rifles-30-06 & 243
No problem with recoil
I own multiple 22s and shoot them often ~ 100 rounds a week.

Thanks for any help in the future. I look forward to hearing from those with more experience than myself.
 

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Learn it on .308...

With 6.5mm or .300 Win Mag, you have expensive ammo. Also, barrels last a lot less than .308. Why waste barrel life learning fundamentals and wind?

Get the Long Range Shooting Handbook by Ryan Cleckner. Very good book to read before you start buying stuff.
 

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I would go with a 308 the round is ballistically inferior, but while your learning it will help amplifi your mistakes.
 

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I went with 308 and it is a good round and excellent shooter, but I have wished several times over that I had bought a 6.5 barrel instead.

Forget barrel life. It likely will never be an issue for you and by the time it is an issue you will be ready to upgrade anyway. How many shot out barrels have you heard of aside from guys shootings competition? And you won't likely be shooting competition with that rifle anyway.
 

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Never said it wasn't... but when you can easily get under $1 per round .308, you can do a lot more trigger time. Kind of how a new shooter learns.

6.5mm is a great round, but I suggest learning on .308.
How does a person get more trigger time with more expensive ammo? I guess I don't understand what you are trying to say.
 

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This is exactly what I tell my buddies when one of us worry about the barrel life. If one is a guy who would shot out the barrel, chances are he is one who enjoys it so much, probably would not even care about cost of barrel swap. What good would a longer life 308 barrel be if it is just collecting dust.
 

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How does a person get more trigger time with more expensive ammo? I guess I don't understand what you are trying to say.
He stated he is just getting into this type of shooting... so he doesn't likely have wind adjustments down. Might not be able to estimate range. Might need to work on fundamentals.

All of that, learn on a .308. When you are comfortable figuring wind, and have other things down (MIL/MOA, etc), then move up to 6.5mm. Especially when he stated he is a college student... I'd even suggest .223, but he said he wants to go 1,000 yard.
 

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He stated he is just getting into this type of shooting... so he doesn't likely have wind adjustments down. Might not be able to estimate range. Might need to work on fundamentals.

All of that, learn on a .308. When you are comfortable figuring wind, and have other things down (MIL/MOA, etc), then move up to 6.5mm. Especially when he stated he is a college student... I'd even suggest .223, but he said he wants to go 1,000 yard.
All of the fundamentals can be learned on a 6.5 cm. It is not like the 6.5 is a laser like some think it is. It is pushed by wind and gravity as well. Also...have you considered that recoil is less with the 6.5 cm allowing for an easier time in building the fundamentals of precision shooting. While the 308 is not a hard hitter...the 6.5 has substantially less recoil therefore making it easier to learn fundamentals. It will also make 1000 yards more probable. While 1000 is well within reason for a 308, any wind at all will give you fits. The 6.5 still has to deal with wind, but is much more proficient at 1000. The ONLY up side I see to 308 is that it is a more common round. Otherwise it is in no practical way superior whether one is brand new to precision shooting or a legend.

By the way...what experience do you have with these calibers?
 

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He stated he is just getting into this type of shooting... so he doesn't likely have wind adjustments down. Might not be able to estimate range. Might need to work on fundamentals.

All of that, learn on a .308. When you are comfortable figuring wind, and have other things down (MIL/MOA, etc), then move up to 6.5mm. Especially when he stated he is a college student... I'd even suggest .223, but he said he wants to go 1,000 yard.
Hey screwball, I'd like to know more about you. Can you share you shooting resume please?

There are some instances when a 308 makes perfect sense. The OP hasn't said anything to indicate that is the case here. The questions haven't even been asked of him... yet you plant your flag on 308 as being the right move for this shooter.

Do you have professional experience instructing shooters?
 

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He stated he is just getting into this type of shooting... so he doesn't likely have wind adjustments down. Might not be able to estimate range. Might need to work on fundamentals.

All of that, learn on a .308. When you are comfortable figuring wind, and have other things down (MIL/MOA, etc), then move up to 6.5mm. Especially when he stated he is a college student... I'd even suggest .223, but he said he wants to go 1,000 yard.
Why? So he can buy 2 rifles?

The 6.5 CM is the one of the most capable short actions cartridges available,it cost less than than .308 (for match ammo), has less recoil, significantly better range and the entry level rifles in those calibers are the same price. It makes absolutely no sense to buy a .308 over a 6.5 cm.
 

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To be honest, I was going to actually start answering things in order of the posts... but something became very clear; you guys want him to go 6.5mm. So be it... OP, do the new cool thing. Just don't do it too late when the next new cartridge comes out.

I don't need to sit here an spout out about myself. Personally, I'm not that type of person. I don't need to talk about 18 years of my shooting life, nor which instructors I've learned from. Instructor wise, wouldn't have much in this discussion, either... as I never paid anyone for long range rifle training (it's on my list, when I can put time/money aside for it). Definitely not an ex-military sniper or SEAL, as I had Type 1 diabetes... thus unable to enlist. However, that doesn't make me an internet commando, either.

In regards to calibers, I have experience with quite a few. .308/.30-06 up until recent years was predominantly irons and fixed 8x scopes. Personally, have not owned a 6.5mm Creedmoor, but have tried my cousin's out in PA. It is a nice rifle combination (I will likely pick one up when I can put money towards one... have things higher on the list), but still stand by my original post. I've read a lot into Cleckner's views on the subject, and agree with him on this very suggestion.

I am very familiar with 6.5mm as a bullet size (in a sense, slightly different diameter), as I'm into 6.5mm Carcano (and getting out of 6.5mm Japanese). I also like the historical value of certain cartridges.

I also don't need to say a few years ago that I was in a similar position as the OP... and put my money into .300 Win Mag. Was a great time... lost a lot on the gun when I actually moved over to .308. Why I recommended the book I did, as I wish it was out back when I started.

Great, you are making suggestions based on how many years in this style of shooting? Reloading? I'm making a suggestion knowing money is difficult to put up at certain times in life, and that shouldn't stop someone from shooting. Classes end early, and you want to run to the range... more likely to find some sort of .308 on a shelf than 6.5mm. Plus, don't have to look for a brand new rifle... find a used .308 that someone made the move over to 6.5mm. There are plenty of good deals to be found in .308, as people always tend to want the latest/greatest. Personally, I won't be selling my Remington .308 when I do acquire a 6.5mm.

OP... enjoy your new 6.5mm, since that is the decision the group made for you. Sorry I gave a view to a question you asked that didn't go with the "right." Hope you get plenty of range time. Best of luck in college.
 

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So...we disagree with your suggestion and ask you to explain your answer and give your experience and you feel offended? No offence man, but you have a total of four posts and are giving people advice as if you are a seasoned shooter. You very well may be a highly capable precision shooter, but no one here knows you or whether or not you are...which is why the question was asked. Advice is easy to come by. GOOD advice from experienced people is difficult to find...especially on the internet. So pardon me if I ask what experience you have that warrants your recommendation.

"some sort of ammo" is not going to help when you are striving for precision. If one is shooting factory loads then they will find what shoots best and only shoot that from there on out. Therefore if you can't find it local you can order the ammo and have it in a couple days.

Why did you go from 300wm to 308? It is likely some of the same reasons I am recommending the 6.5 over the 308. lower recoil and cheaper to shoot...however the 6.5 doesn't give up much if any to the 300wm ballistically. I'm glad you like your 308. I like my 308. However I also realize that there are better 1000 yard rounds out there for the same money.

Newest and best...far from it. There are new rounds always coming out...many of which are newer than the 6.5 creed. 6.5 creed has been around quite a while and is here to stay.

Now...I could care less what the OP buys. I'm not going to have to live with that decision...he is. I chose the 308...and I am living with that decision. I simply gave my advice based on my first hand experience.
 

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Personally, I chose the 308. First, it is a great caliber, proven on the battlefield, ammo is readily available, it is easy to load for and components are many and the price point is cheaper than most. Second, the 308 when compared to a 6.5 requires you to be a better shot (not intending to put anyone down or anyone's caliber). It does not perform as well in the wind and so you have to learn to read the wind better. If you learn to shoot with a caliber that is not as streamlined as the newer when you shoot the newer offerings you will be that much better. Also, I like the heavier weight bullets 308 offers. That makes my gun not only a tack driver for long range but also a weapon I feel comfortable with taking larger animals at greater distance than say the 6.5. Whatever you choose, enjoy it and learn to be the best with it that you can be.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Wow, didn't mean to start any sort of arguments. But I am very appreciative of the advice-good advice is hard to come by.

1. I have looked at 223 but my concern was it wouldn't reach out as far as I would like.
2. I am looking for something to learn on.As everyone stated Im after a rifle to learn elevation and windage as well as the other tricks of the trade before moving up to longer ranges and bigger calibers. With that being said, I am fairly certain I won't sell the rifle-hence the research before buying.
3. Could anyone recommend a 6.5 rifle similar to the 700 SPS varmint? I have not been able to find one within the same price range with similar features-heavy barrel and free floated. EDIT: I have just found a Bergara B-14 Hunter within my range in 6.5. Anyone have experience with it?
4. While I am not looking for a hunting rifle, I would like a practical rifle. Something ammo isn't $40 a box and as rare as a boar hog with tits. I will begin looking around at ammo suppliers and see whats available around me.

Would I be wrong to assume that whichever caliber I choose wouldn't be a bad decision? I was dead set on 308 but now I'm on the fence.
 

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So...we disagree with your suggestion and ask you to explain your answer and give your experience and you feel offended? No offence man, but you have a total of four posts and are giving people advice as if you are a seasoned shooter. You very well may be a highly capable precision shooter, but no one here knows you or whether or not you are...which is why the question was asked. Advice is easy to come by. GOOD advice from experienced people is difficult to find...especially on the internet. So pardon me if I ask what experience you have that warrants your recommendation.
That is sort of the reason why I don't post on many different forums... because somehow, post count always means something.

To be honest, I really couldn't care less about what anyone feels/thinks/cares about me. The OP asked a question, and gave specifications on what he is facing. I gave my opinion as someone who was in a similar boat, and say to learn shooting over getting a gun to do something you aren't ready to do. Sorry that goes against anyone else's opinion...

I didn't say I am the best or a great precision rifle shooter... but I gave a recommendation of writings of someone with a lot of experience. If you read the book, he makes the same suggestion as I did in regards to the rifle. I also follow his podcasts, and he is becoming more favorable to 6.5mm, which is why I do want to get his next book when he releases it.

None of my suggestions were based on shooting experience, but financial and time considerations (I'll touch on shooting later in this post). So, when three people are going to ask me my resume over something like that... yea, that does offend me. Kind of pushing people with a different opinion away from the "boy's club."

"some sort of ammo" is not going to help when you are striving for precision. If one is shooting factory loads then they will find what shoots best and only shoot that from there on out. Therefore if you can't find it local you can order the ammo and have it in a couple days.
Again, difference of opinion...

Nobody just gets good shooting. It takes a lot of practice. Having cheap ammo to fall back on is very good when you want to see where issues arise... especially if you are trying to get the basics. When you start seeing 6.5mm for $0.80 a round, then I'll take back my position on .308 being cheaper.

Just to be clear, never did I say going .308 will yield better long range results. I said it is a better platform to get into it on. I also say that shooting a round such as 6.5mm will not show deficiencies as a round like .308 would (Tim37 also touched on). It is easier to show how you messed up on judging wind by a cartridge that is more affected by it. Same goes with a round that isn't as flat shooting.

Why did you go from 300wm to 308? It is likely some of the same reasons I am recommending the 6.5 over the 308. lower recoil and cheaper to shoot...however the 6.5 doesn't give up much if any to the 300wm ballistically. I'm glad you like your 308. I like my 308. However I also realize that there are better 1000 yard rounds out there for the same money.
Kind of...

Cheap ammo for it did work for training, but at the time, I was paying about the same for match .308 for training .300. Match .300 was way above.

At the time I switched, 6.5mm wasn't as big as it is. There wasn't a Ruger Precision Rifle. Even still, just being a little cheaper range ammo in 6.5mm isn't the same as .308 range ammo.

Newest and best...far from it. There are new rounds always coming out...many of which are newer than the 6.5 creed. 6.5 creed has been around quite a while and is here to stay.
.308 has been around since the 1950s. Hell, some common pistol calibers been around since the turn of the century (the one before last).

I didn't make the comment to say that 6.5mm is going anywhere. But it isn't as flooded in the US market as .308. A round developed 10 years ago isn't going to play catch-up that quickly.

Now...I could care less what the OP buys. I'm not going to have to live with that decision...he is. I chose the 308...and I am living with that decision. I simply gave my advice based on my first hand experience.
If you or I didn't care on what he chooses, neither of us would have posted in this thread. You have your experience, as I have mine. I gave my suggestion (not strictly as a shooter, but as someone who was shooting regularly while in college and working full time), but backed it up with a very well written book on the subject. As I said, I wish I had that book when I first went to purchase a bolt action rifle for this type of shooting.
 

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I thought about a year ago, someone (maybe Orkan) was having an issue with 6.5CM and either burning out barrels under 1000 rnds, or experienced excessive fouling? Anyone recall what was the issue there? Looks like it got sorted out either way if it is still being recommended. Just curious if there were any notable traits to this round.
 

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To be honest, I was going to actually start answering things in order of the posts... but something became very clear; you guys want him to go 6.5mm. So be it... OP, do the new cool thing. Just don't do it too late when the next new cartridge comes out.
Nothing to do with what we want him to do, it's about what is right for him. You didn't even ask any questions before you started handing out advice. The op didn't provide the information needed for ANYONE to give an honest answer based on the facts, yet there you were handing out advice on what to do without knowing the guy's specifics. Giving wrong information as well... with your very first post. So why shouldn't people question you and your experience? Then when questioned about it, you spit venom at everyone. That isn't what someone with any real experience does. They simply list their accolades and proceed forward.

We just got rid of one overly-emotional individual with a less than firm grasp of the facts yesterday here. Either you demonstrate WHY anyone should listen to your advice by providing evidence of your experience... or you'll be marginalized. Not out of spite, but because that's what SHOULD happen to anyone that refuses to show their homework. If you can't or won't provide proof of your position, then your position is weak.

In short: Don't show up to a falice measuring contest and start bragging about your gear unless you're ready to drop trou. The internet has no shortage of people looking to spend someone else's money yet accept no responsibility for when it doesn't work out. You're new, and no one knows you. It's not irrational for people to ask to see your homework. You want to spit at everyone and say your dog ate it. That's on you. No one else. You maintain this attitude and you won't last long.

When you start seeing 6.5mm for $0.80 a round, then I'll take back my position on .308 being cheaper.
https://www.ammograb.com/65-creedmoor/

There you go. ... and cheaper deals are EASY to come by. So, take it back. You AND your crappy attitude. You clearly don't know half of what you think you do.

I thought about a year ago, someone (maybe Orkan) was having an issue with 6.5CM and either burning out barrels under 1000 rnds, or experienced excessive fouling? Anyone recall what was the issue there? Looks like it got sorted out either way if it is still being recommended. Just curious if there were any notable traits to this round.
Don't think this was me. I had a 6.5CM that needed load dev revisited... but that's about it. It was subsequently revisited and is presently shooting 1/4-1/2moa with 3000+ rounds on it.

Proof: (and this isn't me shooting it... it's one of my pupils) The barrel's probably capable of a little more.


There's a lot of value in a 308 as a training round... but arguing going that direction for cost reasons is completely foolish because you will be money ahead going with the versatility of a 6.5CM which will save you tons of money by not requiring a different rifle to replace the 308. The only people that don't know this are people that do not have experience with both cartridges. And no... "shooting your buddies 6.5CM one time" doesn't count as "experience."
 
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