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#7086088 - 02/20/18 11:28 AM Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12677
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The for the last week, I had been at Rifles Only in Kingsville, TX doing a bunch of shooting and training for the Bushnell Brawl. I shot the Train Up Mon-Wed, then was a range officer Fri-Sat for the Bushnell Brawl shooting match. Shooting USA was there filming, and the match will be televised in a few months.

During this time as a range officer, I observed over 100 shooters and spoke to many of them about caliber, bullets, and cartridge of choices (you know, cause that's what I do!). Many shooters are running the 6.5 Creedmoor, which is a great round. Other shooters were running 223's, 6 BR, 6 Dasher, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5x47 (my personal choice) and several 308's. What I found interesting was, the 4th place shooter shot a simple 308 (LEO Duty issued ammo, 175 SMK) and the 3rd place shooters in the match shot a simple 223 Rem (85 grain Nosler RDF at 2900+ fps, 26" barrel). Speaking to both of these shooters, they had practiced with many rounds and felt very comfortable with their rifle, ammo, and scope combo. They both had practiced heavily with their set-ups and knew their full "system". I call it a system, because it takes all 4 items- rifle, scope, ammo and shooter, to be working together. Both shooters mentioned that they felt a slight disadvantage out past 700-800 yards out to 1K. But both set-ups were certainly capable to shoot that far. Where they had the advantage was the 600 yards and in. They knew their "system" very well and could apply themselves and had the shooting ability to do so. In other words, they could drive the rifle very well. And I see this all the time. Many shooters chase the "best" caliber and bullet choices available, but do not spend the time to learn your rifle "system" intimately, inside and out.

When watching a lot of these shooters as a range officer, they do not have good form, are in a bad shooting position, have bad breathing, or poor follow through. To some shooters, caliber choice does not matter to them. They have selected an "adequate" round, and learned how to shoot it properly. These days, I think a lot of effort has been utilized to find "the best" caliber, and actual shooting skill has suffered. We also talked about how some calibers can make up for poor shooting technique because they are a laser beam to the target.

In deep thought, I think the caliber choice is much less important than having a true working "system". I think many shooters try to acquire the best caliber and bullet combo available, while not paying attention to the most important aspect- the shooter!

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#7086100 - 02/20/18 11:33 AM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
syncerus Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 2665
Loc: Dallas, TX
The hunting corollary to this is that most hunters are far better off getting in shape than buying a new rifle or wiz bang scope. Its easier to just go shopping, though.
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#7086114 - 02/20/18 11:45 AM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
Buzzsaw Offline
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Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 12644
Loc: Frisco, Texas
Very good observations Chad. It's neat to have a bad azz set up, looking good when you come to the line. But from then on,

"If it is to be, It's up to me"


IMPACT !!!!!
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#7086115 - 02/20/18 11:45 AM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
Eyesofahunter Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/11/15
Posts: 629
Loc: Hill Country of Texas
Weakest link in the system is the loose nut behind the rifle and getting that nut torqued to spec takes a lot of time behind the rifle, not the latest and greatest shinny new stuff.

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#7086156 - 02/20/18 12:07 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
okstatefan Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/26/13
Posts: 1014
Loc: Forney, TX
Good write-up Chad. The only rifle caliber I have ever had in a bolt gun is 308. I don't see me ever adding anything else. However the farthest I have ever had the chance to shoot is 400 yards. I know the game changes significantly beyond that.

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#7086157 - 02/20/18 12:07 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
patriot07 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 2367
Loc: Royse City, TX
85 grainers at 2900+ out of a 223? That's sick. My Tikka Varmint with a 23" barrel had trouble pushing 75 grainers past 2700 fps and went unstable before 700 yards.

I agree that knowing your system is super important, but it's also what separates the best from the rest because it's hard to ever have enough time (or money) to get that knowledge. Especially for the majority of the world who spend their day at a desk 40-50 hours a week.

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#7086265 - 02/20/18 01:29 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
Tff caribou Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 4023
Loc: Watauga, TX
I just pick a good flat shooting tack driver, and if I do my part, itíll put rounds into the same hole.
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The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. -George Washington

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#7086300 - 02/20/18 01:54 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 27755
Loc: Texas
While I see what you saying, that you need to be proficient as a shooter with good fundamentals, I just don't understand why a seasoned person with these skills would hamstring themselves by shooting an inferior cartridge.
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#7086320 - 02/20/18 02:07 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: redchevy]
Dien Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/16/12
Posts: 599
Loc: Grand Prairie
Originally Posted By: redchevy
While I see what you saying, that you need to be proficient as a shooter with good fundamentals, I just don't understand why a seasoned person with these skills would hamstring themselves by shooting an inferior cartridge.


Man if number 3 or 4 upped their game and trained with a 6 or 6.5 they would have had a better shot at #1.

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#7086324 - 02/20/18 02:11 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: redchevy]
patriot07 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 2367
Loc: Royse City, TX
Originally Posted By: redchevy
While I see what you saying, that you need to be proficient as a shooter with good fundamentals, I just don't understand why a seasoned person with these skills would hamstring themselves by shooting an inferior cartridge.
I agree.

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#7086335 - 02/20/18 02:21 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12677
Loc: Lewisville, TX
That's kind of my point. To some shooters, it doesn't matter. The 223 shooter liked that caliber mainly because he could see his impacts or misses with no recoil. The rifle stayed in place during recoil when shooting off of strings, barricades, and other objects. Inside of 600 yards, he's not giving up much.
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#7086343 - 02/20/18 02:26 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
RiverRider Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 7963
Loc: Wise Co.
When it comes to hardware, you reach a point where getting substantial improvement becomes very, very expensive. When choosing a "better" cartridge from amongst a class of cartridges, the one that's "best" is only going to be marginally better. In optics, it's the same story---a very small margin of improvement can be very pricey. I think what Chad is saying here is that there's just too much focus on the hardware, and not enough on the software (the shooter). It's easy to buy better hardware, just whip out the plastic. Better software cannot be bought, it has to be earned, and earned through hard work.

He could just as easily said "it's the Indian, not the arrow."
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I'm here to give and receive knowledge, not affirmation or adoration. If you don't like it, mierda dura. Intellectual honesty is not for fragile egos.

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#7086348 - 02/20/18 02:28 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12677
Loc: Lewisville, TX
If you run the numbers, the 223 is flatter than a 6.5 CM all the way out to 1K. And the 223 is only giving up about .1 of wind from 400-500, and about .2 of wind out to 600 yards. That's not a lot at all.

223 with 85 grain RDF at 2920 fps
Range Elev Wind
(yards) (mil) (mil)
0 --- ---
100 0 0.18
200 -0.38 0.36
300 -1.01 0.57
400 -1.77 0.78
500 -2.63 1.01
600 -3.6 1.26
700 -4.69 1.53
800 -5.91 1.83
900 -7.31 2.15
1000 -8.89 2.51

6.5 CM 140 ELDM at 2740 fps
Range Elev Wind
(yards) (mil) (mil)
0 --- ---
100 0 0.16
200 -0.45 0.32
300 -1.15 0.49
400 -1.96 0.67
500 -2.86 0.87
600 -3.86 1.07
700 -4.95 1.29
800 -6.15 1.52
900 -7.48 1.77
1000 -8.94 2.04
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Custom and Precision Ammunition!!
www.DallasReloads.com
Type 01 and Type 06 FFL

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#7086411 - 02/20/18 03:25 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
patriot07 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 2367
Loc: Royse City, TX
Interesting calculations. Chad - do you know what powder he was running to get those speeds?

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#7086417 - 02/20/18 03:30 PM Re: Deep thoughts- on caliber choices and shootability [Re: ChadTRG42]
jeffbird Offline


Registered: 03/09/09
Posts: 2911

Excellent post Chad. up

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