what's the go to caliber for PRS

lycokayaker

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So Im coming off of shooting a 6.5 for PRS. Distances are 600- 1300 yds. I choose that as I could buy ammo and didn't know how to reload. I have learned to reload and have someone willing to help me continue to learn load development etc. Whats the next best option? Was going to order a new barrel/caliber over the winter and start working up something. Was considering a 6 creedmoor or a 6GT. Whats everyones opinion. I prefer not to have to tinker with mag kits and or having feeding issues. Currently H4350 is plentiful where I am which also plays a factor.

Bill
 

Mordamer

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    6 Dasher. It is by far the most popular among the top 100 shooters. Alpha OCD brass is excellent. H4350 works exceptionally well with 109 or 110 grain bullets. I haven't tried H4350 with 105's but I bet it would work well for those too.

    This is the easy button:
    Berger 105 or 109 Hybrids jumped about .060"
    Alpha OCD Dasher brass
    Enough H4350 to get them between 2,800 and 2,900 FPS.
    CCI 450 primers
     

    DownhillFromHere

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    OP, I don't know how much competition experience you have. I have a few decades' worth in multiple disciplines. If you're new to it, here's the thing, in any of them: the perennial champions, using entry-level gear, are going to beat 99+ percent of other competitors running whatever the kool-kid flavor du jour might be.

    If you have the funding to jump into 6 Dasher or whatever, go for it, and enjoy the journey - but don't expect it to replace practice or magically overcome poor fundamentals. I've been shooting 6.5CM in a few PRS matches annually for a few years, and am in the process of breaking in a 6BR barrel and a few hundred new Alpha cases. I don't think it will make me score any higher - I just want to try it, and saving 10+ grains of powder each shot is nice too.

    What helps me the most is hanging out with shooters who are much better from me, and having conversations with them on the range. I'm older (late 60s), ate up with arthritis, and have very limited range of motion in my right knee. So some of the things the "good shooters" do as a matter of course are physically difficult and sometimes literally painful. But we try things, and once in awhile I'll come across something that does make a difference. A good day for me is getting all the shots off on all the stages and maybe finishing around the 50th percentile. Every new clue helps.
     

    iceng

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    ^ this guy doesnt poor.

    Another way to look at it is this. Just cos you drive a car, have loads of experience, and know how to drive really well, it DOESNT make you a nascar or F1 drive. Not even remotely. Id be amazed if you even qualified.

    Same with any rifle competiton. You need to learn how to shoot it properly and "unlearn" some of your previous training.

    I keep saying if you get a factory savage / howa, and put it some poors chassis, the top 10 guys will still be top 10. Skill, not gear makes you top 10.
     
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    lte82

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    Any of the 6s or 6.5s will be competitive. 6 is going to be more forgiving from a recoil perspective, and 6.5 will show up noticeably better on a plate or in the dirt beyond 800 yards. Wind difference is going to be negligible. I lean towards a 109-115gr 6mm @ 2900-3000 as being a do-all for PRS, but for 600-1300 yd specifically I could argue for a heavy 6.5 (140gr+) being a better choice, especially if doing a lot of prone. If your local matches were all 300-800 then something like a 6 dasher or BR (or even 22 BR) would be pretty sweet since recoil reduction would give you more of an advantage than extra energy would.
     
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    OREGUN

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    Just keep going with 6.5CM. If you must, 6 dasher or GT or CM or BRA. In no particular order.
     

    todd

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    If my only two options (based on your original post) were 6CM and 6GT, I would choose the GT. First, I'm a Cheap Bastard. 6GT has better barrel life than 6CM. Second, 6GT uses less powder than 6CM, which also falls into the Cheap Bastard category.
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    In all fairness, 6GT does not have better barrel life than 6 CM. It all depends how you run them. Run a creed at 3100, yea you are going to have a short barrel life, same as you run a GT at 3K.

    Run both at 2800-2850, you will get the same/similar barrel life.

    The GT has all the benefits of being easy to load for like the 6BR/A/Dasher and doesn't have the feeding issues AND it runs H4350 or Varget well. 6 creed can be a pain in the ass to load for, especially when you download it.

    With the dasher/bra/GT, just pick a velocity you want and play with seating depth to fine tune. Assuming you are using good equipment, 3/8 or less is the expectation.

    If you are going for something new, its hard to argue against the GT.
     

    Engine 22

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    Any 6BR based cartridge will serve you incredibly well. This would also include the 6GT.
     
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    Jefe's Dope

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    JustSendit

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    308, it’s a built in excuse for finishing bottom
    1/3 and a subtle insult when you’re top 1/3. Or I guess you could be less frustrated and use dasher but then you have to blame your bad hand loads when you’re bad.

    At least this how my PRS progression went.
     

    kthomas

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    In all fairness, 6GT does not have better barrel life than 6 CM. It all depends how you run them. Run a creed at 3100, yea you are going to have a short barrel life, same as you run a GT at 3K.

    Run both at 2800-2850, you will get the same/similar barrel life.

    The GT has all the benefits of being easy to load for like the 6BR/A/Dasher and doesn't have the feeding issues AND it runs H4350 or Varget well. 6 creed can be a pain in the ass to load for, especially when you download it.

    With the dasher/bra/GT, just pick a velocity you want and play with seating depth to fine tune. Assuming you are using good equipment, 3/8 or less is the expectation.

    If you are going for something new, its hard to argue against the GT.

    You can also run 6BRA/dasher on H4350 and varget as well, FYI.

    I've heard of people having feeding issues with 6GT, but personally not a cartridge I've had experience with so unsure how widespread those issues are.

    6BRA/dasher, etc is easy to get running well with the proper mags.
     

    Baron85

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    I started with a 308, then went to 6.5x47, then to 6br, and as of last night just finished my new 6 dasher. I noticed an immediate improvement in my scores when I switched from 6:5x47 to 6br. At the same time I switched to the br I also added a lot of weight to my rifle. My 6.5 was around 15#s I think and my br is around 20. The ease of spotting impact and corrections is what helped me improve.

    My transition to dasher was strictly due to cost. Proof doesn’t make $550 prefit barrels in 6br so I chose the next best option being dasher. To get good at this you need to shoot, and shoot ALOT. Pick something you can afford to shoot the most. All the popular calibers are capable of winning.
     

    RobertB

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    I'd say a 6 GT. It has the most flexibility in my opinion. You can run factory or handload. If you handload and want great brass you have Alpha but the Hornady GT brass is actually VERY high quality. You'll get great barrel life running it at competitive speeds (2850 or so). You have a good neck length for running most any bullet. You can use a wide range of powders with great results.

    That being said, I still run a 6CM, 6.5CM, and 308 in PRS and can still do well with them.

    If you want to run a BR case then they can be made to work well but MAY require a little tuning to get them there and you will only have the option to reload or pay alot of money for custom loaded ammo. At that point I don't see any reason to go with that over the GT.

    Also, the GT is a more standardized round that will have better consistency between dies and your reamer which is a big deal to me. The short time I shot a Dasher I had to fight the 20 different prints available to find what worked.

    PS: GAP will have GT ammo at a great price that lets you go either way at the drop of a hat!

    Best of luck!
     

    Niles Coyote

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    Based on the top 20 season finishers you would have a list that looked like this... In order of most to least used: Dasher 9, BRA 4, 6mm Creedmoor 3, 6.5 Creedmoor 1.

    Three did not fill out their profile.

    I run a 6GT in the low 2800fps range. If I where to start completely over, I'd probably end up with a BRA only because I don't care for short necks. But that doesn't seem to be holding anyone back using a dasher.
     
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    CK1.0

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    I have a 6CM that I don't find particularly hard to load for and have had great barrel life with (staying ~2900fps and jumping a bunch).

    I'm not selling my 6CM shit just yet, but I'm going to 6GT for the next barrel or two simply because: Varget*

    *(or in my case: Shooter's World Precisicion Rifle - Varget-clone that used to be cheaper but somehow now is more expensive)

    A lot of these "easy to load for" cartridges like Dasher/BR/BRA, etc seem to have something in common: Varget* makes shit easy.

    I will still suck at shooting most days.

    Edit: If I were you, I'd take a hard look at staying with 6.5CM before you do anything. Listening to Morgun King's podcast, he makes a great case for shooting a 6.5CM (heavies too: 153.5's and 156's), says it's not about the wind, says he sees more shots, impacts, and especially splash/misses... something to think about.
     
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    iceng

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    Edit: If I were you, I'd take a hard look at staying with 6.5CM before you do anything. Listening to Morgun King's podcast, he makes a great case for shooting a 6.5CM (heavies too: 153.5's and 156's), says it's not about the wind, says he sees more shots, impacts, and especially splash/misses... something to think about.
    https://www.podbean.com/ea/dir-vguhd-1433a404
     

    beetroot

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    I have a 6CM that I don't find particularly hard to load for and have had great barrel life with (staying ~2900fps and jumping a bunch).

    I'm not selling my 6CM shit just yet, but I'm going to 6GT for the next barrel or two simply because: Varget*

    *(or in my case: Shooter's World Precisicion Rifle - Varget-clone that used to be cheaper but somehow now is more expensive)

    A lot of these "easy to load for" cartridges like Dasher/BR/BRA, etc seem to have something in common: Varget* makes shit easy.

    I will still suck at shooting most days.

    Edit: If I were you, I'd take a hard look at staying with 6.5CM before you do anything. Listening to Morgun King's podcast, he makes a great case for shooting a 6.5CM (heavies too: 153.5's and 156's), says it's not about the wind, says he sees more shots, impacts, and especially splash/misses... something to think about.
    How do you find the downloaded 6CM? Do you still get decent accuracy and low ES/SD?
    I’d have thought that downloading 6CM would be more common in this game rather than going for a GT or BR.

    Another option for keeping 6.5CM is to load some lighter projectiles, I found 130s have notably less recoil than 147s in my rifle.
     

    CK1.0

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    How do you find the downloaded 6CM? Do you still get decent accuracy and low ES/SD?
    I’d have thought that downloading 6CM would be more common in this game rather than going for a GT or BR.

    Another option for keeping 6.5CM is to load some lighter projectiles, I found 130s have notably less recoil than 147s in my rifle.

    IDK if it'd work out as well with one of the more usual suspects (4350, RL16, etc) maybe that's why we don't hear about guys downloading it so much..? With stick stuff, I'd probably try H1000 or something slower that'd still yield good case-fill..? (YMMV)

    I've had great luck with downloading it, but that's using Sta-Ball exclusively. One neat thing about ball powder is that case-fill doesn't matter nearly as much as with stick stuff... this is partly why running 20+ range-pickup, hastily loaded, run o' the mill USPSA 130pf 9mm bunny-fart loads will get a low SD of ~5 when run over a chrono (even though the cases are only half full).

    It's still ball powder though, which sometimes makes it a pain in the ass in other ways, especially numbers-wise: mainly it doesn't do one any favors like H4350 and/or Varget seems to, the combustion just isn't as even/consistent (that's even if you're weighing every charge to +/- 0.02 gn) so it's harder to live with in that respect. I've had to become a better (more OCD?) reloader to get to where now I constantly/regularly see good ES/SD numbers with it (usually an SD 7-9). That, and in my experience, it's only really temp-stable if it's nice out, it can get wonky once the temps are lower towards ~40degF. I've had a couple of matches where my dope seemed to fall apart and be all over the place in the morning, only to then fix itself and get back on track as the day went on and the temps warmed up.

    I figured this out by accident of course, previously I'd tried loading the 6CM slower with H4350 and it didn't work out too well, but later, when Sta-Ball was the only thing available and all I had, I tried it again and it's been great since (I've shot a bunch of it like this too - 2 barrels, ~2300rds of life each).

    Accuracy is better than decent too, here are 5 shots off a tank trap/Shmedium, 41gn StaBall jumping 0.100":

    tempImagei9b9gf.pngtempImagez2hQN8.png
     
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    Cjwise5

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    I'd say a 6 GT. It has the most flexibility in my opinion. You can run factory or handload. If you handload and want great brass you have Alpha but the Hornady GT brass is actually VERY high quality. You'll get great barrel life running it at competitive speeds (2850 or so). You have a good neck length for running most any bullet. You can use a wide range of powders with great results.

    That being said, I still run a 6CM, 6.5CM, and 308 in PRS and can still do well with them.

    If you want to run a BR case then they can be made to work well but MAY require a little tuning to get them there and you will only have the option to reload or pay alot of money for custom loaded ammo. At that point I don't see any reason to go with that over the GT.

    Also, the GT is a more standardized round that will have better consistency between dies and your reamer which is a big deal to me. The short time I shot a Dasher I had to fight the 20 different prints available to find what worked.

    PS: GAP will have GT ammo at a great price that lets you go either way at the drop of a hat!

    Best of luck!
    Plus one for what Robert is saying here. I shoot the Hornady factory 6GT ammo. I buy it from GAP. It’s very consistent. Better than 1/2moa and 2875fps. Honestly have zero complaints. As soon as I go through all the cases I have, I’ll start reloading off all this once fired.
    (Nice profile pic Robert - I remember taking that photo. Same day I crashed my drone into George’s barn, if you remember.)
     
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    beetroot

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    IDK if it'd work out as well with one of the more usual suspects (4350, RL16, etc) maybe that's why we don't hear about guys downloading it so much..? With stick stuff, I'd probably try H1000 or something slower that'd still yield good case-fill..? (YMMV)

    I've had great luck with downloading it, but that's using Sta-Ball exclusively. One neat thing about ball powder is that case-fill doesn't matter nearly as much as with stick stuff... this is partly why running 20+ range-pickup, hastily loaded, run o' the mill USPSA 130pf 9mm bunny-fart loads will get a low SD of ~5 when run over a chrono (even though the cases are only half full).

    It's still ball powder though, which sometimes makes it a pain in the ass in other ways, especially numbers-wise: mainly it doesn't do one any favors like H4350 and/or Varget seems to, the combustion just isn't as even/consistent (that's even if you're weighing every charge to +/- 0.02 gn) so it's harder to live with in that respect. I've had to become a better (more OCD?) reloader to get to where now I constantly/regularly see good ES/SD numbers with it (usually an SD 7-9). That, and in my experience, it's only really temp-stable if it's nice out, it can get wonky once the temps are lower towards ~40degF. I've had a couple of matches where my dope seemed to fall apart and be all over the place in the morning, only to then fix itself and get back on track as the day went on and the temps warmed up.

    I figured this out by accident of course, previously I'd tried loading the 6CM slower with H4350 and it didn't work out too well, but later, when Sta-Ball was the only thing available and all I had, I tried it again and it's been great since (I've shot a bunch of it like this too - 2 barrels, ~2300rds of life each).

    Accuracy is better than decent too, here are 5 shots off a tank trap/Shmedium, 41gn StaBall jumping 0.100":

    View attachment 8010016View attachment 8010017
    I really like the idea of a 22br as a match cartridge but 6BR brass availability is a big issue for me.
    A 22creed downloaded to 22br speeds would be fantastic (on paper atleast) but researching reduced cartridges brings up very very little other than for hunting purposes.

    Interesting what you've said about the ball powders being better suited, I tend to want to stick to H4350/Varget for the temp sensitivity.
    With Winchester bringing out new temp stable Sta-Ball powder it could be worth me exploring.
     
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    RobertB

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    Plus one for what Robert is saying here. I shoot the Hornady factory 6GT ammo. I buy it from GAP. It’s very consistent. Better than 1/2moa and 2875fps. Honestly have zero complaints. As soon as I go through all the cases I have, I’ll start reloading off all this once fired.
    (Nice profile pic Robert - I remember taking that photo. Same day I crashed my drone into George’s barn, if you remember.)
    I sure do! I hate that happened!

    We should link up on some future stuff!
     
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    Geocodyrgia

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    I downloaded my 6mm Creedmoor with 7828 and find it works outstanding (10 shot group @ 400 yards of 2.5" with the best 5 being about 1/2"). Never chronographed it but the targets don't know that. Strelok says its 3150. I know 7828 is temp sensitive, but we'll see how much it matters.
     

    Rob01

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    I downloaded my 6mm Creedmoor with 7828 and find it works outstanding (10 shot group @ 400 yards of 2.5" with the best 5 being about 1/2"). Never chronographed it but the targets don't know that. Strelok says its 3150. I know 7828 is temp sensitive, but we'll see how much it matters.

    3150fps is downloaded?
     
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    Rob01

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    I was thinking the same thing! I try not to run my creed much above 3000 if I can. They will run faster I know but I sometimes ran into issues when I tried.

    Same here. Even when back running the .243 I was at about 2995fps. No real reason in todays matches to run faster.
     
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    Geocodyrgia

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    3150fps is downloaded?
    Hah, I really need to start re-reading what I THOUGHT I wrote when autocorrect might get involved. Meant to just say "loaded" not "downloaded".

    I actually found a pretty decent lower node but had a bit of stringing. Pushed up to a higher node and found a sweet spot that just sang before hitting 3200 fps. Went with the 6mm Creedmoor to use more, slower powder in the first place with 108 ELDs. I saw everyone else's success with 4350 but came across 20 lbs of 7828 for $10/lb so figured I'd see if it would work.

    Coming up on 1k rounds on the barrel so we'll see how much longer it goes. Have a new one on standby (Lothar Walther 26") as soon as the factory tube is toast.
     
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    RobertB

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    Hah, I really need to start re-reading what I THOUGHT I wrote when autocorrect might get involved. Meant to just say "loaded" not "downloaded".

    I actually found a pretty decent lower node but had a bit of stringing. Pushed up to a higher node and found a sweet spot that just sang before hitting 3200 fps. Went with the 6mm Creedmoor to use more, slower powder in the first place with 108 ELDs. I saw everyone else's success with 4350 but came across 20 lbs of 7828 for $10/lb so figured I'd see if it would work.

    Coming up on 1k rounds on the barrel so we'll see how much longer it goes. Have a new one on standby (Lothar Walther 26") as soon as the factory tube is toast.
    I'm always temped to run em fast when I see the numbers, but my memory haunts me from issues on hot/wet/dirty trips
     
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    Stugots

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    I would not consider anything other than a Dasher, but that's just me.
     

    kthomas

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    Inherently very accurate, relatively easy to load for, brass is a little more mainstream. The Dasher has been used to set records in the 600 and 1,000-yard benchrest community, and has become a favorite among competitors in the Precision Rifle Series as well. What's not to like?

    Short necks :p
     
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    iceng

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    Magazines... Yes br and its variants work, are accurate, blah blah.

    I dont like having to own special custom magazines for them. The mags are WAY better than they used to be, and kits are also better. Like others, i have seen too many BRs fail to feed when they really need it to work.
     

    Mormegil87

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    Magazines... Yes br and its variants work, are accurate, blah blah.

    I dont like having to own special custom magazines for them. The mags are WAY better than they used to be, and kits are also better. Like others, i have seen too many BRs fail to feed when they really need it to work.
    Feeding issues blah blah

    With the widespread availability of MDT BR mags, feeding is a non issue.
     

    BurtG

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    Prime loads 6cm pretty hot I guess. I’m about to run out and start shooting berger I hear that’s slower. Going to have to work on wind calls

    54DDF1B0-C14F-403E-8DEC-0684594ADE78.jpeg
     

    iceng

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    So true. See the part where i said mags are way better ? BRs work fine now. Its more of a foot note for people wanting to run them. Need to factor in the cost of brass, dies and magazines.
     

    upjeeper

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    Older data, but suspect it’s still somewhat accurate. https://precisionrifleblog.com/2018/12/14/rifle-caliber/
    great suggestion
    a lot of times this site has statistics like what calibers, what scopes, etc, etc. are used buy people in competitions.

    to answer the OP's question, a lot can be said for whatever caliber you are familiar with. a guy / girl shooting a .308 with lots of range time will do better than someone who just picked up a 6 dasher and doesn't know it.

    i took at class in utah a few years ago, one of the guys had a .300WM with a $4k nightforce, carbon barrel, +$500 bipod, and etc but couldn't hit any targets. when i got chatting with him about his rig, he had no idea what the action was, he just saw it at the gun shop and decided it looked like a sweet rig
    i had a tikka 6.5 that was dropped into a krg and i was able to drill everything out to 1k meters.