Here me out.
People often ask me about getting into long range shooting, and what kind of equipment they should buy.
My standard response is to buy a factory rifle in 6.5 creedmoor, 1000 rounds of ammo, a decent quality scope, training, and lots of range time.
I have learned over time that most people like the idea of long range shooting, but when it comes time to put in the range time, they are absent.
However, if a guy is willing to reload, and committed to learning. I recommend the 223 ackley with a 7 twist barrel. Here's why.
The 223 ackley only consumes around 27ish grains of powder compared to around 42ish for the creedmoor.
75-82 grain bullets have adequate bc, and can be pushed between 2900-3000 fps.
224 bullets are between 18-28 dollars per 100. 6.5 bullets are between 23-42 dollars per 100.
Brass is dirt cheap compared to other calibers.
Excellent factory 10 round aics mags that will accept a 2.5 coal.
Lets look at the numbers compared to the 6.5 creedmoor and a typical 308 winchester at 1000 yards.
6.5 creedmoor with a 140 hybrid: 8 mils of drop, 1.7 mils of wind at 10 mph.
223 ackley with a 82 berger. 8.4 mils of drop, 2.5 mils of wind
308 with a 178 bthp hornady. 10.7 mils of drop, 2.5 mils of wind.
You can see that the ackley splits the difference between a 308 and creedmoor.
It's not a perfect cartridge, however. Spotting trace, misses, and hits will not be as easy with a 224 bullet compared to either 308 or 264 bullets. 224 bullets also won't carry energy like the larger calibers.
The beauty of this cartridge is how cheap you can build ammo. This equates to more range time for less money. And believe me, range time is paramount when it comes to hits at long range. The guy who puts 2-4k rounds down range of 223 ackley will be well ahead of the game. No amount of wind cheating wonder cartridges will make up for actual rounds down range.http://www.6mmbr.com/223rem.HTML
An old article, but still has some decent info.