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

SuperBoot

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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.
 
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SuperBoot

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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

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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

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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
 
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Steel head

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    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

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    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.
     
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    Steel head

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    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.
     
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    SuperBoot

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    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?
     

    Madarcher419

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    Question about the 6.5-06 and 280 AI Does anyone make brass for AI 6.5-06 or the 280? What is the FPS out of a 26-06 AI?
     

    Seymour Fish

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    Question about the 6.5-06 and 280 AI Does anyone make brass for AI 6.5-06 or the 280? What is the FPS out of a 26-06 AI?
    Mad, a 27” 6.5-06 AI will give you an upper node in the 3150-3175 range with a 140 JLK or Berger.
     

    SuperBoot

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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
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    Steel head

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    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.
     
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    high right

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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
     
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    Steel head

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    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.
     
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    TRPrecision

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    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

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    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.
     
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    TRPrecision

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    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

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    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

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    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
     
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    dragman

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    If your keeping that bolt face a straight .284 is my pick. with proper freebore and decent barrel length no reason you can't be shooting a 180ELDM at 2950-3000fps. Barrel life wont be the best but it will hang with even some big boys out to a mile.
     

    BCX

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    Don't forget the Sherman 7 Max....
     

    Orphanedcowboy

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    6.5 Ackley Improved or a 6.5 Sherman

    My McWhorter 6.5 Ackley Improved launches 140gr Berger VLDs at approximately 3100fps

    6.5×280 Ackley Improved
    This cartridge is the king of non-magnum 6.5’s. We designed our reamer for this cartridge around the 140 grain Berger VLD Hunting bullet, and we have also seen excellent results with the tradition 140 grain Nosler Accubond. With the 140 VLD, overall length is approximately 3.520” to touch the lands, so it can be used in a standard Remington style long action magazine box, as well as feed from currently available detachable mag systems from Accuracy International, HS Precision, and Wyatt’s Outdoor. In a 26” barrel the 140 grain Berger can be driven to 3200FPS without excess pressure, equaling the ballistic ability of the .264 Win mag while using 7-10 grains less powder to do so. With the introduction of the Hornady 143gr ELD-X and the forthcoming 147 ELD-match, this chambering just keeps getting more fun. Customers have also reported excellent results using the Matrix 160gr VLD’s out of Canada. If you plan to shoot the 160, please let us know prior to chambering as we can lengthen the throat for more optimal bullet position.
    Full custom dies are not required for the 6.5x280AI.We recommend using a Redding Type S .280 Ackley Improved bushing sizer die, with a .292” Neck bushing and 6.5mm expander/decapper assembly. One pass through the sizing die forms the neck to the proper diameter, no fireforming required. We use Nosler Custom .280AI brass, but if you don’t mind fireforming you can make brass from Norma .280 Remington or Lapua .30-06 brass(neck will be slightly shorter when using the .30-06 case).
    6.5 Sherman pushes the same 140gr Berger from 3120ish fps to over 3240ish fps


    Both are .473 bolt face and use the 280 Ackley Improved brass as their parent case. I haven't had a 6.5 Sherman built, but it is on the agenda in the near future.
     
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    Steel head

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    6.5 Ackley Improved or a 6.5 Sherman

    My McWhorter 6.5 Ackley Improved launches 140gr Berger VLDs at approximately 3100fps

    6.5 Sherman pushes the same 140gr Berger from 3120ish fps to over 3240ish fps


    Both are .473 bolt face and use the 280 Ackley Improved brass as their parent case. I haven't had a 6.5 Sherman built, but it is on the agenda in the near future.
    Yeah,,, I’m pretty sure all the 6.5 Shermans are on a magnum boltface.
     
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    Orphanedcowboy

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    Yeah,,, I’m pretty sure all the 6.5 Shermans are on a magnum boltface.
    I am almost positive that the 6.5 Sherman is based on the 280 Ackley Improved, I have been reading up on it, there are a few versions, 6.5 Sherman Short, Sherman Max and several other variations. If you go over to LRH forum, I posted a thread comparing the two, there are a few improvements in the Sherman over the 6.5 Ackley Improved, but from all the replies, they are very very close.
     

    jasent

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    The Sherman’s are based off the saum case
    Reply #13
     

    BCX

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    Standard BF on a Surgeon XL action is kinda a waste but would make a cool switch barrel setup.

    My 7 MAX w extra FB and Hornady 190 A-Tips is on the heals of my 338 AI w Berger 300. Less recoil and muzzle blast w the 7 MAX.