Looking for the best Long Action ELR cartridge for use with std .473 bolt face. Thoughts?

SuperBoot

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 17, 2017
87
38
Denver, CO
Hey fellas,

I kind of fell into a long action build, based off a Surgeon 1581XL today. Super cool, but the rub is it has a standard .473 bolt face. The gun is currently chambered in 6.5/284, but I wanted to see what your thoughts were on a long action caliber that would be runnable without bolt modification.

I'm looking for performance at/past transonic, so probably a mile to 2500'ish. Have already been recommended .280AI, 25-06AI, and 6.5-06AI. Has anyone had experience with any of those or am I just square pegging a round hole without a mag bolt face?

Has anyone had experience with the 6.5/284 at a mile plus?

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

SuperBoot

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 17, 2017
87
38
Denver, CO
Can you get a magnum bolt face for that action? That would really open up caliber selection.
Called up Surgeon today and they said they'd ship me a new complete bolt assy. for $420'ish. It would be in the raw, so with cerakote/DLC probably tack on 200 bucks or so. That would be either a .550 or .590 bolt face.

I can go that route if I don't like my other options, but I wanted to check and see if anyone had any experience with the standard bolt face stuff beforehand. It would be nice to just have to deal with spinning a new barrel than both that and a new bolt.
 

wildcats

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 26, 2005
1,321
725
59
Honolulu,HI
Go .590 bolt face and call it a day. many caliber options to choose from in that bf. 338 lapua/imp,300 Lapua,300 norma mag,7mm/300 norma mag, or go .532 bolt face and stick with standard magnums. a lot to choose there as well.here is a few .300 Rum,300 prc, 300 sherman,300 wea,300 win,7mm-300 win,28 nosler,
 

wildcats

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 26, 2005
1,321
725
59
Honolulu,HI
Called up Surgeon today and they said they'd ship me a new complete bolt assy. for $420'ish. It would be in the raw, so with cerakote/DLC probably tack on 200 bucks or so. That would be either a .550 or .590 bolt face.

I can go that route if I don't like my other options, but I wanted to check and see if anyone had any experience with the standard bolt face stuff beforehand. It would be nice to just have to deal with spinning a new barrel than both that and a new bolt.
6.5-06 ACK imp. hard to beat in a .473 bolt face
 
  • Like
Reactions: OlsenG_360

Steel head

Feral kitten-Black cat’s matter!
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 3, 2014
10,289
23,453
Washington
280AI can do everything my 7 saum can do and my 7 saum has gotten me hits at two miles so far.
It’s a great ballistic compromise of Bc and speed with minimal cost and recoil.


I really don’t think anything else with a .473 boltface can complete with a 280AI for ELR.
 

SuperBoot

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 17, 2017
87
38
Denver, CO
Go .590 bolt face and call it a day. many caliber options to choose from in that bf. 338 lapua/imp,300 Lapua,300 norma mag,7mm/300 norma mag, or go .532 bolt face and stick with standard magnums. a lot to choose there as well.here is a few .300 Rum,300 prc, 300 sherman,300 wea,300 win,7mm-300 win,28 nosler,
If I was going to go with another caliber from the list I'd probably go with 300 Norma. Trying to stick with .30 cal or smaller as I've got an ultra 7 on the way and I'd like to have the most commonality between guns as I can with that suppressor.

One of the reasons 280AI was high on the list for me was the possibility of there being a little more help from a 7mm with spotting impacts at 2k+.

.284 variant. Can you get your existing bolt face opened up?
I called around today and it's looking like a no go. The claw extractor on the bolt face from the factory is set for .473 case rims, so even if the bolt was machined out it would probably be cost prohibitive to mess with trying to get the extractor out far enough on the new bolt face to actually let cartridges onto the bolt face.



280AI can do everything my 7 saum can do and my 7 saum has gotten me hits at two miles so far.
It’s a great ballistic compromise of Bc and speed with minimal cost and recoil.


I really don’t think anything else with a .473 boltface can complete with a 280AI for ELR.
Thanks for the input. I heard similar things from a couple buddies that did the ELR match at Q creek the last couple years. What's your setup that you're using now, and what velocities are you getting? How long did you end up pushing the throat? Seems like a crime to have a gun that uses CIP mags and not at least try to get as long of an OAL as I can if I go that route.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eostech

Steel head

Feral kitten-Black cat’s matter!
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 3, 2014
10,289
23,453
Washington
If I was going to go with another caliber from the list I'd probably go with 300 Norma. Trying to stick with .30 cal or smaller as I've got an ultra 7 on the way and I'd like to have the most commonality between guns as I can with that suppressor.

One of the reasons 280AI was high on the list for me was the possibility of there being a little more help from a 7mm with spotting impacts at 2k+.

Thanks for the input. I heard similar things from a couple buddies that did the ELR match at Q creek the last couple years. What's your setup that you're using now, and what velocities are you getting? How long did you end up pushing the throat? Seems like a crime to have a gun that uses CIP mags and not at least try to get as long of an OAL as I can if I go that route.
28” barrel 7 saum with regular chamber pushing 190 Berger’s at 2880.
I actually single feed them in a short action.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wildcats and jasent

SuperBoot

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 17, 2017
87
38
Denver, CO
28” barrel 7 saum with regular chamber pushing 190 Berger’s at 2880.
I actually single feed them in a short action.
Ah, gotcha. I read your post too fast, haha. Thought you had a 280 and were comparing it to a SAUM.
I'm guessing case capacity is about the same between the two. Have you smoked a barrel yet?
 

Steel head

Feral kitten-Black cat’s matter!
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 3, 2014
10,289
23,453
Washington
Ah, gotcha. I read your post too fast, haha. Thought you had a 280 and were comparing it to a SAUM.
I'm guessing case capacity is about the same between the two. Have you smoked a barrel yet?
Yes.
I’m on my second now.
 

SuperBoot

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 17, 2017
87
38
Denver, CO
Thanks for the help fellas, I decided to just bite the bullet (heh) and buy a .590 bolt body from Surgeon.

The .280AI looked tempting but plugging rough numbers into AB sold me on a .300 Norma for performance past a mile, specifically bucking wind with the high BC 30 cal projectiles that are on the market today.

I figured an extra 300 bucks on a bolt body was worth it if I was going to go through the motions of getting a new barrel spun anyway.
 

badassgunworks

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 25, 2018
323
244
Elr isn’t defined by the cartridge you shoot or the bolt face it requires.
No its defined as starting at 1500 yards and going to 3500 plus yards. so like i said there is no .473 boltface cartridge that will go the distance for a elr match with any chance of being consistant.
 

Tokay444

Black Rifles Matter.
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jun 24, 2019
1,136
1,266
No its defined as starting at 1500 yards and going to 3500 plus yards. so like i said there is no .473 boltface cartridge that will go the distance for a elr match with any chance of being consistant.
That absolutely is not the definition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gnochi

Steel head

Feral kitten-Black cat’s matter!
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 3, 2014
10,289
23,453
Washington
No its defined as starting at 1500 yards and going to 3500 plus yards. so like i said there is no .473 boltface cartridge that will go the distance for a elr match with any chance of being consistant.
There’s being competitive in a match and there’s having fun in a beautiful spot smokin cigars and talking shit.
280AI will absolutely do the latter.
 
Last edited:

high right

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 24, 2013
363
84
Colorado
As the O.P. states, 2500 are his goal posts. I went through the same process 3 years ago. Some one ask me, What do you have access to within a 2 hour drive.
2500 is the range I have close. I wanted a cartridge with at least a 70% hit ratio.
Building a Bad ass gun for 3000 plus yards is cool but if all your going to be able to shoot it at is 2500? Your better served by something else. I shoot ELR with my Vudoo at 400 to 500. THAT'S ELR! There is a line in the sand with every cartridge, you just have to realize what beach your going to play at.
 

badassgunworks

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 25, 2018
323
244
As the O.P. states, 2500 are his goal posts. I went through the same process 3 years ago. Some one ask me, What do you have access to within a 2 hour drive.
2500 is the range I have close. I wanted a cartridge with at least a 70% hit ratio.
Building a Bad ass gun for 3000 plus yards is cool but if all your going to be able to shoot it at is 2500? Your better served by something else. I shoot ELR with my Vudoo at 400 to 500. THAT'S ELR! There is a line in the sand with every cartridge, you just have to realize what beach your going to play at.
What will give you a 70 % hit ratio at 2500 yards if s most likly a 3000 yard rifle. 70% hit at moa at 2500 yards is a high rate.
 

TRPrecision

Private
Minuteman
May 7, 2018
21
8
GA
My 280AI will do a mile and is simply amazing at 1400. I have not built a 6.5-06AI, but am positive it would do a mile as well no problem. I have pretty nasty back problems so I don't tolerate recoil well. I can shoot my 280AI all day long comfortably and fairly inexpensive compared to my 338LM that spends most of it's life hanging on the wall looking pretty. To get past the mile mark, you will pretty much need to go to the big magnums, the standard bolt face stuff just wont get it done.
 

high right

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 24, 2013
363
84
Colorado
Looks like the O.P. is from Co. 5000+ ft elevation and summer heat will put the D.A. over 8000. He can get by with a lot less than you sea water drinkers
 

Steel head

Feral kitten-Black cat’s matter!
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 3, 2014
10,289
23,453
Washington
How far are you able to push the 7 saum? What projectile and velocity? If you are getting significant more distance than my 280ai with similar ballistics I may need to rethink my loading.
I’ve gotten hits on a 24”x 24” plate at two miles now.
Certainly wasn’t optimal but not insanely difficult either.

Lots of 2000-2900 hits as well.
190 Berger’s at 2880.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Adam B

TRPrecision

Private
Minuteman
May 7, 2018
21
8
GA
I’ve gotten hits on a 24”x 24” plate at two miles now.
Certainly wasn’t optimal but not insanely difficult either.

Lots of 2000-2900 hits as well.
190 Berger’s at 2880.
I am throwing 180 ELDM's at the same velocity. My load goes transonic at 1800y @ sea level. Looks like I could get 2500y @5000ft. Pretty significant difference with the altitude.
 

Steel head

Feral kitten-Black cat’s matter!
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 3, 2014
10,289
23,453
Washington
I am throwing 180 ELDM's at the same velocity. My load goes transonic at 1800y @ sea level. Looks like I could get 2500y @5000ft. Pretty significant difference with the altitude.
Yea, I had serious issues with the 180 eldm.
I typically see 1500-3800 DA depending on location and season.
Subsonic performance of the 190 Berger has been nothing short of excellent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jasent

TRPrecision

Private
Minuteman
May 7, 2018
21
8
GA
Yea, I had serious issues with the 180 eldm.
I typically see 1500-3800 DA depending on location and season.
Subsonic performance of the 190 Berger has been nothing short of excellent.
Just looked up the Berger 190's, they look impressive. May need to give them a try next time I go down to the long range.
 

SuperBoot

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 17, 2017
87
38
Denver, CO
Looks like the O.P. is from Co. 5000+ ft elevation and summer heat will put the D.A. over 8000. He can get by with a lot less than you sea water drinkers
2 1/2 miles isn't quite as bad when you're pulling DA at 10-11k ;)

Do you usually hit up Pawnee? Most of the ELR stuff I've done here has been in the southwest part of the state, but that ends up being a multi-day trip. Not to mention I'm driving other guys blasters while I'm down there. It would be convenient to find something longer than a mile within a couple hours of driving distance once this thing is built.
 

ubettcha

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 23, 2017
876
4,545
The 6.5RPM case has within 1 grain of capacity of the 264 win mag. Neck it to the 7mm and you will have 6 or 7 grains more than a 280AI. I shot a 30 Gibbs for a year I ran the 178amax and the 208. Rich Sherman has his line of blown out 280 cases. Peterson makes 270,280 and 280AI brass for a quality option. That is the most you are going to get out of standard rim case. The RPM case has a 3-5 more grains if you were to neck it to a 7 ot .30 cal. if you are into a wildcat.
You can have GTR or LRI open the boltface and bush the pin at the same time and then it's a non issue. It would be cheaper than the new bolt option by alot