Good Caliber's in Factory Ammo?

FourT6and2

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I've been shooting 6.5 CM since day one of my bolt-gun journey and only with factory Hornady 140gr ELD-M. I have no complaints. My rifle shoots great and I have enough ammo to last a while.

Are there any other calibers these days available in good factory match ammo? Either short or long-action. I don't hand load, so just wondering if the market has expanded in the last few years? I've been using the 6.5 creed and haven't even bothered to look at anything else.
 
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FuhQ

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    Oh, I'm not asking about rifles. Just ammo...
    Before you edited your post, you mentioned getting another rifle.

    That aside, you're not really going to get any better factory ammo for a cartridge than the .308 Win and 6.5 CM. For some reason, those 2 cartridges have the best factory ammo performance I've seen.
     
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    FourT6and2

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    Before you edited your post, you mentioned getting another rifle.

    That aside, you're not really going to get any better factory ammo for a cartridge than the .308 Win and 6.5 CM. For some reason, those 2 cartridges have the best factory ammo performance I've seen.

    Yeah, I'd build another rifle if there's a caliber worth getting that outperforms the 6.5 Creedmoor.
    If 308 is the only other option, I'll stick with the 6.5.
     

    Supersubes

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    Yeah, I'd build another rifle if there's a caliber worth getting that outperforms the 6.5 Creedmoor.
    If 308 is the only other option, I'll stick with the 6.5.
    Without hand loading, you’re not going to beat the cm. The 6.5 is definitely the sweet spot for BC. You could go down a parallel path and try a .260? You could also try the gay tiger?
     

    Basher

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    Yeah, if it’s a mix of long range accuracy and precision that you seek in a factory loading, your best bets are 6CM, 6.5CM, and .308. There are others (some from “factory” brands and some from small, boutique loading companies), but they’re generally a good bit more expensive.
     

    Basher

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    ,223 with heavy bullets.

    Yeah, I suppose that’s another option. Several guys, such as Tim Milkovich, successfully use a .223 to win matches using heavier bullets, so that’s a definite option. I’ve always wanted a .223 bolt rifle because they’re so fun and easy to shoot (basically zero recoil), but when .308 is about the same cost, hits harder at distance, and is better for a trainer because the increased recoils reveals more of the deficiencies in my fundamentals, I’ve always just stuck with the .308.
     

    kthomas

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    Yeah, I suppose that’s another option. Several guys, such as Tim Milkovich, successfully use a .223 to win matches using heavier bullets, so that’s a definite option. I’ve always wanted a .223 bolt rifle because they’re so fun and easy to shoot (basically zero recoil), but when .308 is about the same cost, hits harder at distance, and is better for a trainer because the increased recoils reveals more of the deficiencies in my fundamentals, I’ve always just stuck with the .308.

    I doubt Tim is using factory ammo though.

    For someone who doesn't reload, a .224 Valkyrie may be a better option if they wanted to do something similar to a .223.

    A 6GT is another option. I don't have one, so I'm not sure how much availability for factory ammo there is. But factory ammo does exist for this cartridge. If I was looking at getting into a new cartridge without reloading, that would be the cartridge I would be looking strongly at.
     

    Basher

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    I doubt Tim is using factory ammo though.

    For someone who doesn't reload, a .224 Valkyrie may be a better option if they wanted to do something similar to a .223.

    A 6GT is another option. I don't have one, so I'm not sure how much availability for factory ammo there is. But factory ammo does exist for this cartridge. If I was looking at getting into a new cartridge without reloading, that would be the cartridge I would be looking strongly at.

    Oh, he’s for sure rolling his own. Or Gina is for him (kinda doubt that, though :LOL:). I just meant the cartridge is fully capable of it if the shooter was as well. I would think a quality .223 load or MK262 clone could get you to the grand mark out of a decent rifle.
     
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    dms416

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    Before covid the 308 was a great option for factory ammo at affordable price.

    Ummm....no.

    In the time before covid and the civil unrest, factory match 308 was trending higher per round that 6.5CM and a lot of people were salty about that.
    Now its bass-ackwards to where match 308 is now cheaper than its respective 6.5CM counterpart (if we're doing same brand comparison)
     

    Baron85

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    223 is a great option. I reload but just looked up Hornady match ammo on ammo seek and 75gn Hornady black was a hair under $1, 308 was $1.50-1.70 and 6.5 cm around $1.70.

    223 has long barrel life, cheaper to shoot, great for getting new people into the hobby/sport, and the ballistics are actually pretty dang good.

    I think everyone should own a 223 quality bolt rifle
     

    mosin46

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    i actually went all 223/5.56-bolt/AR. my max range available is 600 so really don't need 6.5 or 308. hunting? small deer & hogs and keep shots at 100m or less with high quality ammo. trying to buy a barrel on here to get redone to wylde. i'm factory guns and barrels only til that happens. i have been a bit bummed as quality match 223 is not really a lot less than 308 from what i have seen.
     

    reubenski

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    .223 is the most rewarding factory ammo rifle. Very affordable, very common, and shooting a full size comp rifle in a suppressed .223 is giggle-fun. Many options for match 75/77gr ammo.
     

    FourT6and2

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    .223 ain't gonna cut it. I shoot out to 1,000 - 1,200 yards. I know some people can make it work but they are the minority. If I try a new caliber it needs to perform as good as, if not better than, 6.5 Creedmoor at 1,000 yards.
     

    b6graham

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    .223 ain't gonna cut it. I shoot out to 1,000 - 1,200 yards. I know some people can make it work but they are the minority. If I try a new caliber it needs to perform as good as, if not better than, 6.5 Creedmoor at 1,000 yards.
    better is relative

    dropping to a 6 trades recoil for splash
    going up to a magnum adds recoil and splash but will have better ballistics
     

    FourT6and2

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    better is relative

    dropping to a 6 trades recoil for splash
    going up to a magnum adds recoil and splash but will have better ballistics

    Seems like the 6.5PRC might do the trick then since I'm used to the creed. But I've never owned a magnum and maybe it would be cool to have something a little different like the 300.

    How's barrel life with either of those compared to the creedmoor?
     

    FourT6and2

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    Ok so if I hunted, I'd go with the 300PRC. If I wanted a do-it-all rifle for hunting and target/match, I'd go with the 6.5PRC. But since I just shoot targets and matches, I'll stick with the Creedmoor. It's cheaper by a lot. Has good ballistics. Less recoil. And it's not like it struggles at all at 1,000. I also already have tons of ammo.

    Maybe just to have something different, I'd go with a magnum cartridge at some point. But that would just be for the cool factor and if I'm doing that, might as well go right to 338 Lapua lol.
     

    b6graham

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    Ok so if I hunted, I'd go with the 300PRC. If I wanted a do-it-all rifle for hunting and target/match, I'd go with the 6.5PRC. But since I just shoot targets and matches, I'll stick with the Creedmoor. It's cheaper by a lot. Has good ballistics. Less recoil. And it's not like it struggles at all at 1,000. I also already have tons of ammo.

    Maybe just to have something different, I'd go with a magnum cartridge at some point. But that would just be for the cool factor and if I'm doing that, might as well go right to 300NM/338NM lol.
    fify
     
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    spife7980

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    How much is 6GT compared to 6CM, or 6.5CM?
    1660165419631.png
     

    woodnut

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    If only target shooting or deer size game hunting, you can't go wrong with the 6 Creedmoor. Armageddon has had 3 big money matches in 3 years and ALL the top ten(?) shooters have been shooting 6s. No other caliber! And they shoot to1200 or 1400 yds. Its flatter than the 6.5 and way flatter than 308 and bucks the wind better,too. Factory ammo from Hornady shoots great; either the match or black. Need a 7.50 or 8 twist barrel.
    If you want to reload, the 6 CM has been the easiest round I have ever done! No matter what powder you use, get to 3000ish fps and its game on!
     

    TCreedmoor

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    The price and availability of Hornady 140 gr ELD-Match factory ammo is what drove me to reloading. If I could find that ammo in the stores, it was costing me around $2.75/round after tax. I'm really enjoying the journey and the reloads only cost me $0.80 each for powder, primer and bullet. (I'm ignoring the capital costs of the actual reloading hardware.) I've continued with the 140 gr ELD-Match bullets, but played with various loads of three different powders. Once I find a powder and load combination that my rifle likes, I make rounds at various seating depths to find the bullet jump that provide the tightest 5-shot groups at 100 yards.

    This weekend with be 40.5 grains of H4350 at 200 yards with a COAL of 2.821".
     

    FourT6and2

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    Interesting. I just checked the 6GT load data against my current 6.5 140gr data in 4DOF and they are literally a few tenths off out to 1,000. So not sure what the benefit would be? Only one place to get that ammo too, which is GA Precision?

    6mm Creedmoor looks to be no different. A few tenths flatter at 1,000. What's the benefit?
     

    Supersubes

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    Interesting. I just checked the 6GT load data against my current 6.5 140gr data in 4DOF and they are literally a few tenths off out to 1,000. So not sure what the benefit would be? Only one place to get that ammo too, which is GA Precision?

    6mm Creedmoor looks to be no different. A few tenths flatter at 1,000. What's the benefit?
    The GT was designed for the match shooters wanting a light recoiling 6mm, while doing away with the finicky feeding of the 6br.
     

    FourT6and2

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    The GT was designed for the match shooters wanting a light recoiling 6mm, while doing away with the finicky feeding of the 6br.

    What about compared to the 108gr 6mm Creedmoor, though? I ran them through 4DOF and ballistics seems similar.
     

    FourT6and2

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    Burning a bunch more powder, thus more recoil. Also has a much shorter barrel life.

    They dont want more juice, they want precision with low recoil.

    Got it, thanks.

    Yeah these all seem like good options, but ultimately they don't seem to do much for me that the 6.5 CM doesn't. The difference in felt recoil isn't going to benefit me much. Maybe if I was a serious PRS competitor.
     

    Supersubes

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    Got it, thanks.

    Yeah these all seem like good options, but ultimately they don't seem to do much for me that the 6.5 CM doesn't. The difference in felt recoil isn't going to benefit me much. Maybe if I was a serious PRS competitor.
    I agree.
     

    DedicatedShooter

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I've been getting single digit SDs from these and for under $30 a box for quite some time now....pretty hard to beat IMO. Certainly more economical than factory 6.5CM right now and pretty much everything else in 6CM.

    Hornady Black 6CM (Midway)
     

    FatCow

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    sub 1k, I use .308 for general purpose shooting out to 600 yd. I always had a great experience with factory match, especially with my GAP when I had it.
     

    FourT6and2

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I've been getting single digit SDs from these and for under $30 a box for quite some time now....pretty hard to beat IMO. Certainly more economical than factory 6.5CM right now and pretty much everything else in 6CM.

    Hornady Black 6CM (Midway)

    I've got enough 140gr ELD-M to last a few years. Might be a good option for someone looking for more ammo though. But I know my rifle already shoots the stuff I have.
     

    FourT6and2

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    What is your group size at 100 yards? 200 yards? 300 yards? ???

    I'm interested to know as well. When my barrel was fresh, it shot Hornady's factory ELD-M in the teens at 100. Best group was 0.12 MOA (cherry picked). But routine was 0.20. It's got about 3,500 rounds through it now and it's still sub 1/4 MOA for 3-shot groups. I did a 10-shot the other day that was all one hole, which really surprised me. It's hard to imagine any ammo (including hand loads) shooting better than this stuff. I wish I hand loaded, to find out.
     

    DedicatedShooter

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    I'm interested to know as well. When my barrel was fresh, it shot Hornady's factory ELD-M in the teens at 100. Best group was 0.12 MOA (cherry picked). But routine was 0.20. It's got about 3,500 rounds through it now and it's still sub 1/4 MOA for 3-shot groups. I did a 10-shot the other day that was all one hole, which really surprised me. It's hard to imagine any ammo (including hand loads) shooting better than this stuff. I wish I hand loaded, to find out.

    So, going back and looking, I owe a correction. Data is below and a 100yd group pic. However, I need to go back and look at data from my old 6CM because I swear I got single digit SDs with the blacks and that rifle. Either way, it’s very consistent and predictable especially at that price point.

    A little stringy on the vertical but it stacked a nice group on steel at 524yds. No pic of that unfortunately but it’s been very consistent ammo so far at three separate ranges on targets out to 1200yds.

    72D12CD6-35EE-4C4D-A9A5-8F03F802C4C9.jpeg
    54C6C419-171D-4BC3-BAEB-89EFEBA86BAD.jpeg
    0F5D7B66-43B1-4A72-9DD5-B754033A2F29.jpeg
     

    W54/XM-388

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    Maybe just to have something different, I'd go with a magnum cartridge at some point. But that would just be for the cool factor and if I'm doing that, might as well go right to 338 Lapua lol.

    .300 Norma would be a worthwhile stop along the way instead of .338LM
    Match factory ammunition is available
    BUT for a 1000 to 1200 yard range it's a total waste, unless you really want something that can get there fast to beat the wind or deliver serious energy at the impact point.
     

    Turkeytider

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    223 is a great option. I reload but just looked up Hornady match ammo on ammo seek and 75gn Hornady black was a hair under $1, 308 was $1.50-1.70 and 6.5 cm around $1.70.

    223 has long barrel life, cheaper to shoot, great for getting new people into the hobby/sport, and the ballistics are actually pretty dang good.

    I think everyone should own a 223 quality bolt rifle
    My very first rifle, relatively late in life ( 72 ) , was and is a Savage 110 in .223. Have thoroughly enjoyed shooting it with its sub-MOA groupings at 100 yards with OTM and good hunting rounds. Having said that, if I had it to do all over, I`d have gone .308. Covers everything well from varmints/predators to whitetails.
     

    Shoots 700's

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    6 creed has great factory ammo choices. Again none really are better than another they shoot the same bullets, just pick one or many if you get the urge to build a new rifle.