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Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX #7492526 04/20/19 07:02 PM
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I would like to spend some time practicing shots beyond 200yds. I would like to buy a light recoiling caliber for practice. Certainly not that I have money to burn, but my primary concern is not cheap ammo. 200-400yd practice....considering 204 Ruger, 223 Rem, 22-250 (I already have several heavier calibers). I understand that everyone has their favorites, opinions and biases - so please share yours - which would you choose?

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492527 04/20/19 07:09 PM
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.223


I only shoot my creedmoor rested across the back of a unicorn.
Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492531 04/20/19 07:11 PM
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1:8 twist .223, 75 or 80 gr bullets.

100% sure, no question about it.

I have a .223 A.I. and when I was forming brass, I had the 80 gr bullets coming out at 2850 fps. They ran down to 800 yards with zero trouble. Since you wouldn't be fire forming, a 75 or 80 gr would be 2900 fps, possibly. It is my "trainer rifle" and what I've been shooting the most lately. It is too much fun! It would be just as pleasing as a straight .223 I have learned. An absolute precise shooting rifle, that will get down range, with almost no recoil. There are some fine factory rifles available in .223 with a 1:8 twist now. I lean toward Tikka more than any other. If you don't load your own ammo, have Chad make you a bunch. With great ammo, and a great scope it would probably be the rifle you have the most fun shooting.


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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492575 04/20/19 08:29 PM
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1:8 or 1:9 223. I just picked one up for basically the same reason. I was looking for a 1:8, but this 1:9 was too cheap to pass up. I know Savages can develop ejection issues, but this is a fun only gun, so...

Savage has a rebate going, so it ended up being $373.

https://www.gunsmidwest.com/10-precision-carb-223-20.html

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492584 04/20/19 08:53 PM
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308 for me. (Thanks for the delete!)



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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492660 04/20/19 11:15 PM
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Low recoil and cheap = .223


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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492695 04/21/19 12:09 AM
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223 is a good choice with the faster twist barrels than what was standard for years but 1:9 or 1:8 will get you there better because of higher BC bullets that will not drift as much when talking 400 yards, inside 300 not that much difference in wind drift beyond that it gets more pronounced.

Mostly what I shoot these days is a 6.5 Grendel, a little more recoil but not nearly as much as the 308 and has trajectory that very closely matches 308 with 18 gr bullets. Most people report good accuracy from Grendels in the Ruger Precision rifle, Howa Mini and CZ 527s. I do not hesitate to hunt with the Grendel for deer and hogs out to 400 yards either so can hunt with the same gun I shoot practicing the most


Last edited by kmon1; 04/21/19 12:10 AM.
Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7492698 04/21/19 12:12 AM
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Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 223. It has a 1:8 twist, is fine for the heavier bullets. Uses Magpul magazines already. great truck gun and mine is accurate as can be on game or targets out to 400 yds.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493059 04/21/19 02:51 PM
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.243 and don't look back!

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493068 04/21/19 03:00 PM
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I'm at a loss as to why you would want to practice shooting a different caliber then what you are actually hunting with? Back in the 80's and 90's, before the internet and when we relied on hunting magazines for information, I got caught up in the newest calibers, newest rifles, newest-bestest things out there that the writer would talk about, and bought stuff that I didn't need, and eventually learned, I didn't even want. An old timer that I first learned from said to buy a quality rifle in a popular caliber that you can find ammo for anywhere you go, and learn to shoot it. It took me decades to actually believe this, but now that I do, I don't have any need or desire to have any other caliber or rifle. Remingtion 700 BDL in 30-06 is 36 years old and still shooting less then one inch groups with factory 165 Federal Premium ammo that I buy off the shelf. I'm on my 3rd scope, but, but that's more from going cheap with the first one, and then finding a fantastic deal on the Zeiss that it has on it now.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: EddieWalker] #7493076 04/21/19 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
I'm at a loss as to why you would want to practice shooting a different caliber then what you are actually hunting with? Back in the 80's and 90's, before the internet and when we relied on hunting magazines for information, I got caught up in the newest calibers, newest rifles, newest-bestest things out there that the writer would talk about, and bought stuff that I didn't need, and eventually learned, I didn't even want. An old timer that I first learned from said to buy a quality rifle in a popular caliber that you can find ammo for anywhere you go, and learn to shoot it. It took me decades to actually believe this, but now that I do, I don't have any need or desire to have any other caliber or rifle. Remingtion 700 BDL in 30-06 is 36 years old and still shooting less then one inch groups with factory 165 Federal Premium ammo that I buy off the shelf. I'm on my 3rd scope, but, but that's more from going cheap with the first one, and then finding a fantastic deal on the Zeiss that it has on it now.



The firearm industry would go broke if they depended on people like myself, but I'm old school like you!
I've got a handful of rifles that I acquired during a long lifetime, but I think it's good in a way to have rifles for practice and others for hunting, just to keep interest up, and prevent the loss of our right to keep and bare arms.
I learned from my dad years ago that you didn't waste ammo shooting at cans or targets, and a box of ammo would last you several seasons.
That's extreme, but really the way it was back in the day.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Jimbo] #7493099 04/21/19 03:55 PM
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Practice and shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor.

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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: EddieWalker] #7493104 04/21/19 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
I'm at a loss as to why you would want to practice shooting a different caliber then what you are actually hunting with? Back in the 80's and 90's, before the internet and when we relied on hunting magazines for information, I got caught up in the newest calibers, newest rifles, newest-bestest things out there that the writer would talk about, and bought stuff that I didn't need, and eventually learned, I didn't even want. An old timer that I first learned from said to buy a quality rifle in a popular caliber that you can find ammo for anywhere you go, and learn to shoot it. It took me decades to actually believe this, but now that I do, I don't have any need or desire to have any other caliber or rifle. Remingtion 700 BDL in 30-06 is 36 years old and still shooting less then one inch groups with factory 165 Federal Premium ammo that I buy off the shelf. I'm on my 3rd scope, but, but that's more from going cheap with the first one, and then finding a fantastic deal on the Zeiss that it has on it now.



To practice field shooting positions. To get better at breathing and trigger control. So save a ton of money in components. Much less powder, much cheaper bullets than ANYTHING larger than a .223. Brass is so inexpensive, shooters leave it on the ground at my range. So I have a steady stream of range pick-up .223 brass that I just have to clean and process. The "trainer rifle" also saves barrel life on your main rifle. My .223 A.I. has fired so many shots in the last year, I would have already worn out the rifle that it matches, a 6.5 Creedmoor. And every shot fired is probably half the cost of the 6.5 Creedmoor.


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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493342 04/21/19 09:03 PM
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Just shoot the .223 AI all the time.

With good shot placement and stout expanding bullets it will work on anything up to 300 pounds or so. For target use will go 400 yards or farther with the right load.

Inexpensive to load and shoot, will feed through an AR if you like that platform, what else do you need?

Just my .02,
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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: FiremanJG] #7493357 04/21/19 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG
Originally Posted by EddieWalker
I'm at a loss as to why you would want to practice shooting a different caliber then what you are actually hunting with? Back in the 80's and 90's, before the internet and when we relied on hunting magazines for information, I got caught up in the newest calibers, newest rifles, newest-bestest things out there that the writer would talk about, and bought stuff that I didn't need, and eventually learned, I didn't even want. An old timer that I first learned from said to buy a quality rifle in a popular caliber that you can find ammo for anywhere you go, and learn to shoot it. It took me decades to actually believe this, but now that I do, I don't have any need or desire to have any other caliber or rifle. Remingtion 700 BDL in 30-06 is 36 years old and still shooting less then one inch groups with factory 165 Federal Premium ammo that I buy off the shelf. I'm on my 3rd scope, but, but that's more from going cheap with the first one, and then finding a fantastic deal on the Zeiss that it has on it now.



To practice field shooting positions. To get better at breathing and trigger control. So save a ton of money in components. Much less powder, much cheaper bullets than ANYTHING larger than a .223. Brass is so inexpensive, shooters leave it on the ground at my range. So I have a steady stream of range pick-up .223 brass that I just have to clean and process. The "trainer rifle" also saves barrel life on your main rifle. My .223 A.I. has fired so many shots in the last year, I would have already worn out the rifle that it matches, a 6.5 Creedmoor. And every shot fired is probably half the cost of the 6.5 Creedmoor.


You bring up another thing that I don't understand. If you are at the range to improve your skills for hunting, should't you use the same equipment and conditions that you will encounter while out in the field? Long range practice is good because it trains you to identify distances, and to become competent at shooting an animal at those distances. It also lets you know what your limits are.

But its probably impossible to fire enough ammo through a rifle to wear out the barrel if you are shooting a cold barrel every time you shoot your rifle. When you see a buck or a bull, your rifle barrel is cold. That first shot is all that matters, so your rifle and your skill needs to be based on that cold barrel.

I met a guy that said he needed to shoot a box of ammo through his rifle before it would zero in on the target. We where at the rifle range and he shot 20 rounds almost as fast as he could load them. I shot my rifle once, and that was timed while he was reloading his rifle. Those 20 rounds where all over the target. He didn't know where the first shot hit and he didn't care. Sure enough, after replacing his target, during the next shooting period, he shot a lot fewer rounds and most of them where in the bullseye. Probably a 2 inch group. The difference was significant. I shot my second round during that same shooting period and it touched the first one. He put another target up and did just about the exact same thing. My third shot was off a bit, but not enough to make me adjust my scope or change anything. I was done shooting, but he had another box or two of ammo. I left, he kept shooting.

I've always wondered if he ever hit an animal where he wanted to when he went hunting?

To teach others to shoot, I rely on the .22 to get them into position, work on trigger control, and breathing. Once they have the basics down, I don't know how shooting a small caliber like a .223 will have anything to do with my ability to shoot my .30-06 at a buck 200 yards away. Different stock, different trigger and different scope.

In boot camp, they spent a week teaching us the different shooting positions, and dry firing over and over again, several hours every day. That sucked, but the reason they did it proved to be effective the next week. Those that struggled with the proper shooting positions also did the worse when given live ammo to shoot.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493366 04/21/19 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Klinker
I would like to spend some time practicing shots beyond 200yds. I would like to buy a light recoiling caliber for practice. Certainly not that I have money to burn, but my primary concern is not cheap ammo. 200-400yd practice....considering 204 Ruger, 223 Rem, 22-250 (I already have several heavier calibers). I understand that everyone has their favorites, opinions and biases - so please share yours - which would you choose?



About %99 sure 223, but what is the rifle you are practicing for?

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: EddieWalker] #7493553 04/22/19 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
Originally Posted by FiremanJG
Originally Posted by EddieWalker
I'm at a loss as to why you would want to practice shooting a different caliber then what you are actually hunting with? Back in the 80's and 90's, before the internet and when we relied on hunting magazines for information, I got caught up in the newest calibers, newest rifles, newest-bestest things out there that the writer would talk about, and bought stuff that I didn't need, and eventually learned, I didn't even want. An old timer that I first learned from said to buy a quality rifle in a popular caliber that you can find ammo for anywhere you go, and learn to shoot it. It took me decades to actually believe this, but now that I do, I don't have any need or desire to have any other caliber or rifle. Remingtion 700 BDL in 30-06 is 36 years old and still shooting less then one inch groups with factory 165 Federal Premium ammo that I buy off the shelf. I'm on my 3rd scope, but, but that's more from going cheap with the first one, and then finding a fantastic deal on the Zeiss that it has on it now.



To practice field shooting positions. To get better at breathing and trigger control. So save a ton of money in components. Much less powder, much cheaper bullets than ANYTHING larger than a .223. Brass is so inexpensive, shooters leave it on the ground at my range. So I have a steady stream of range pick-up .223 brass that I just have to clean and process. The "trainer rifle" also saves barrel life on your main rifle. My .223 A.I. has fired so many shots in the last year, I would have already worn out the rifle that it matches, a 6.5 Creedmoor. And every shot fired is probably half the cost of the 6.5 Creedmoor.


You bring up another thing that I don't understand. If you are at the range to improve your skills for hunting, should't you use the same equipment and conditions that you will encounter while out in the field? Like shooting off the bed of the Mule, or the truck. Like kneeling, or using a barbwire fence for support, or a t-post? OR using your pack for support? Those are the shots made with the trainer. Long range practice is good because it trains you to identify distances, and to become competent at shooting an animal at those distances. It also lets you know what your limits are.

But its probably impossible to fire enough ammo through a rifle to wear out the barrel if you are shooting a cold barrel every time you shoot your rifle. What about a cold bore shot from the positions previously mentioned? What about a cold bore shot from 500 to 800 yards? What about no matter if the wind is blowing 20 to 30 mph, go shoot anyway? Shoot 4 more rounds after that CBS, increasing the difficulty. 5, or even 50 rounds in 20 minutes, will wear out a barrel, I assure you. And every shot fired was a lesson
A lesson on what you did right as well as what you did wrong. Victory or defeat, learn from it.
When you see a buck or a bull, your rifle barrel is cold. That first shot is all that matters, so your rifle and your skill needs to be based on that cold barrel.

I met a guy that said he needed to shoot a box of ammo through his rifle before it would zero in on the target. We where at the rifle range and he shot 20 rounds almost as fast as he could load them. I shot my rifle once, and that was timed while he was reloading his rifle. Those 20 rounds where all over the target. He didn't know where the first shot hit and he didn't care. Sure enough, after replacing his target, during the next shooting period, he shot a lot fewer rounds and most of them where in the bullseye. Probably a 2 inch group. The difference was significant. I shot my second round during that same shooting period and it touched the first one. He put another target up and did just about the exact same thing. My third shot was off a bit, but not enough to make me adjust my scope or change anything. I was done shooting, but he had another box or two of ammo. I left, he kept shooting. He was wasting ammo, did not care, or was fouling in a recently cleaned barrel. The last scenario, I completely agree with. I NEVER trust a freshly cleaned barrel. After 10 rounds, of fouling, I might trust it.

I've always wondered if he ever hit an animal where he wanted to when he went hunting?

To teach others to shoot, I rely on the .22 to get them into position, work on trigger control, and breathing.Excellent tool 50 to 100 yards, but is an extreme range tool for 400 yards. You had better be a highly advanced rifle shooter to connect at 400 yards, with a .22 lr. And you had better have put in the research and testing to figure out the most consistent ammo to do it. Because we cannot handload .22 lr. Once they have the basics down, I don't know how shooting a small caliber like a .223 will have anything to do with my ability to shoot my .30-06 at a buck 200 yards away. Once again, my Trainer, and many others exactly matches my primary rifles. Same weight, length, and barrel contour. It feels, and balances the same. Different stock, different trigger and different scope.Then it is not a properly set-up trainer.

In boot camp, they spent a week teaching us the different shooting positions, and dry firing over and over again, several hours every day. That sucked, but the reason they did it proved to be effective the next week. Those that struggled with the proper shooting positions also did the worse when given live ammo to shoot.Completely agree, dry firing is invaluable, it reinforces breathing control, trigger control, and follow-through. But it does nothing for recoil management, and quickly getting back on target. That is where live ammo comes in




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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493574 04/22/19 01:37 AM
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I'm learning. This is very interesting.
Fireman JG, your comment "5, or even 50 rounds in 20 minutes, will wear out a barrel, I assure you." At 5 shots in 20 minutes, that's 4 minutes between shots. Is this an accurate statement?
As stated, I'm learning.
Thank you

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: llbts1] #7493584 04/22/19 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by llbts1
I'm learning. This is very interesting.
Fireman JG, your comment "5, or even 50 rounds in 20 minutes, will wear out a barrel, I assure you." At 5 shots in 20 minutes, that's 4 minutes between shots. Is this an accurate statement?
As stated, I'm learning.
Thank you


They are like tires on a pickup. They wear out. Which one wears out tires quicker, the 3/4 ton pulling a 15,000 pound every day of its' life, or a Ford Ranger, with no trailer, and an empty bed, only commuting on pavement every day? You know.

Small caliber, higher speed, faster it wears. I'm wondering if this one is done in 2000 rounds, or 3000 rounds. I will wait and see.

But, I am 100% sure, a .260 Rem, with 140's at 2800 fps, a 6.5 Creedmoor with 140's at 2800 fps will completely wear out at barrel at 2500 rounds. I've done it twice, and at the end of the barrel life, the points of impact are quite erratic. I'm on my third 6.5mm barrel, and now more times goes between barrel replacements, since I have a matching chamber.


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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: llbts1] #7493587 04/22/19 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by llbts1
I'm learning. This is very interesting.
Fireman JG, your comment "5, or even 50 rounds in 20 minutes, will wear out a barrel, I assure you." At 5 shots in 20 minutes, that's 4 minutes between shots. Is this an accurate statement?
As stated, I'm learning.
Thank you


You can wear out a barrel with slow fire is what I think Jason is referring to, it will take longer to wear the barrel out and I believe take more shots than longer fast shot strings in less time. You can easily burn out a barrel in a day on a hot prairie dog shoot in a day if you do not let the barrel cool.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: kmon1] #7493594 04/22/19 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kmon1
Originally Posted by llbts1
I'm learning. This is very interesting.
Fireman JG, your comment "5, or even 50 rounds in 20 minutes, will wear out a barrel, I assure you." At 5 shots in 20 minutes, that's 4 minutes between shots. Is this an accurate statement?
As stated, I'm learning.
Thank you


You can wear out a barrel with slow fire is what I think Jason is referring to, it will take longer to wear the barrel out and I believe take more shots than longer fast shot strings in less time. You can easily burn out a barrel in a day on a hot prairie dog shoot in a day if you do not let the barrel cool.


Yessir.

Sure lots of rapid fire shooting will cook one, in less days. But, to me, they have an expected round count. There is no cheating that round count. I recently posted this photo, in the rifles section, but it pertains here. Each talley mark is 100 rounds on that barrel. When I see 20, I am going to be paying close attention to fliers, for no explained reason. The ammo it gets is phenomenal. It is wearing a top of the line scope, so there would be only one explanation, I've hit the wear bars on the tread. wink

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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493665 04/22/19 03:05 AM
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Thank you guys, Good stuff as always.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7493813 04/22/19 01:06 PM
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Another thing to consider is if you are wanting to practice long range shooting to become a better hunter and increase your odds of success, or if you are somebody that likes to shoot a lot of ammo all the time and this is a good reason to buy another rifle so you can shoot more often and afford the ammo. I believe there is a huge difference. Shooters focus on shooting. The ones that I know also liked to compete in shooting competitions. They had the latest, greatest stuff for reloading and cleaning that cost a fortune, but always got the results there where after. That's not me, and not my point. If this thread is about shooting, and not hunting, then some of the previous comments make sense. If it's about hunting, then the focus needs to be on the rifle used during the hunt. While there are no absolutes, and whatever you want to do is up to you, it is important to remember that if you shoot a lot of ammo, your rifle will shoot differently when the barrel is hot compared to when it is cold. Getting great at shooting a .223 at 200 yards will not help you with your deer rifle out in the woods and you see a buck at 200 yards.

Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: EddieWalker] #7493893 04/22/19 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
Getting great at shooting a .223 at 200 yards will not help you with your deer rifle out in the woods and you see a buck at 200 yards.



I completely disagree. Repetition shooting the .223 will help with a larger rifle, on a hunt. The goal is to shoot enough, not to get it right, but to not have the ability to get it wrong. You're eliminating a factor, the shooter. No one ever said to not verify screws, mounts, zero, eye relief, trigger poundage, and trajectory of the larger rifle. My largest is a 7 Rem Mag, loaded with 180's. It has filled the freezer with elk and mule deer many times, one elk at 250 yards, a 465 yard, and a 510 yard. It comes out of the safe in the fall, but from February to November, I have the .223 with me. Why burn up 70 grains of H-Retumbo, and a 70 cent bullet, when i can burn up 26 grains of IMR-8208, and a 25 cent bullet, and still get good practice in.


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Re: Practice Caliber - 200 to 400 yds MAX [Re: Klinker] #7494017 04/22/19 04:59 PM
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T
Texan Til I Die Online Content
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T
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,453
I average somewhere around 150 rounds per month of centerfire shooting. Certainly not as much as some, but probably more than most. And I've definitely found that the more I shoot the better I shoot. What I'm shooting doesn't matter nearly as much as the volume. And yes, I shoot .223 from a bolt gun more than anything else.


Silver spurs and gold tequila
keep me hanging on.
Pretty girls and old cantinas
give me shelter from the storm.
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