When PRS (or the equivalent) first began

C.R. Adams

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What were the most common rifle/cartridge combos during the early years of PRS/Rifle Only days?
 

superde

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I remember Terry ran this new fangled cartridge called the 260AI, and I think that started in 2006 maybe. Rob, who is on here, and George Gardner started shooting .243's in the mid 2000's.

But .308, .308, and .308 with a little .300WM and one .338 Lapua thrown in was 99% of it.
 
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orkan

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Might be fun to watch them all go back to 308 with a reasonable weight limit.
The heavy-for-cal bullets showing up on the scene changed everything. Once those BC's got pumped up on smaller cals, the whole thing changed. 6mm bullets with BC's higher than the 175SMK, which can be launched 200fps faster with ease, from cartridges running 10gr less powder. Less heat, less recoil, flatter trajectory. Once that paradigm shifted... the 308 got put in the back seat and just keeps getting shoved further back every year.

Some guys shoot 308's each year... just to prove something. Mostly to themselves. I transitioned pretty late. I was still shooting 308's when the 6.5 creedmoor craze was in full swing. ... and I was still beating guys running hot rod 6mm's while using my 18" 308's with 175smk's.

You can still be pretty competitive with a 308... but you better be running a long barrel and 155's. Even then, you sure don't see many 308 shooters with top-5 or even top-10 finishes these days. So many good shooters out there, and they are using cartridges that give them every advantage. So many positional stages, and the extra recoil a 308 brings is just very demanding.
 

FUNCTIONAL

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The issue there is recoil. When shooting for fun... 308's are still fun. Competition is different. Getting in a compromised position with as much recoil as 185's hand out is very noticeable compared to a 105 hybrid. ;)
I like to make sure i rattle any small blood clots loose before they get bigger and become a problem. I've been shooting 308 for health you see....
 

NoLegs24

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Shitttttt I was sitting in 2nd after day 1 at the Rifles Only Brawl a few weeks back with my 30gay pushing 175's at 2750.

I then proceeded to f* that up on day 2 and ended up in 12th out of 89 dudes/ chicks.

Still only 4pts behind 2nd place. It was a 5-way tie for 2nd. Talk about a gangbang...
 

steve123

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I think it was 2007 or 8 when I joined SH and I was surprised back then that people were so attached to 308?! Before then I had two 308's which I sold and have two now so I don't hate em, don't love em either though.

Back then I was a early adopter of 6x47L shortly after the 6.5x47L came about. Man I caught some sh!t around here for singing it's virtues, lol.

Around 2010 a guy started a long range steel match that was pretty tough, starting at 300Y and going out to 1080Y. It was often windy and the steel was in a 110 degree arc. Man those 308 shooters, which were most of the guys in the beginning, suffered badly, lol. Even some world class instructors struggled.
Some new guys shooting 308 didn't even hit one steel out of 40 shots.

Anyway, once people started to see how well my 6 did, and a few others with 6.5's, there became mostly 6's and 6.5's used in this match. And it seemed this took place within a few months!

It's been fun to watch all the "tactical drama" throughout the years, lol. A lot of which we long standing SH members had front row seats to view from, LOL!
 

Whiskey 2-1

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Sounded like 308 was the predominant caliber until shooters like Terry Cross started crushing the competition with the 260.
Terry was crushing us all no matter the caliber. We even did a few factory 308 only matches (The CoreBon , etc).....leaderboard didn’t change much. You’d hate him, but he’s such a nice guy. He did love that 260. Of course there was Stan the Man with is AWM 300WM who was tough to beat too.

When I started competing at RO in 06, I was shooting a top loading 308 with factory Black Hills 175s. That was pretty much the standard. I think the badger DBMs showed up maybe a year or 2 later. The mover was fun in the top loading days. “Remington moment” anyone? I transitioned away from 308 pretty late as well- think I went 7WSM in 2010, then 6.5CM two years later. The Blaster guys really did the leg work getting the 6.5CM off the ground. I got tired of being top 308 shooter and still not being top 10, so I went to the dark side. Did make those top 10 finishes easier.
Ah, the good old days.....

Doc
 

C.R. Adams

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Might be fun to watch them all go back to 308 with a reasonable weight limit.
This is somewhat where I was headed with this thread. In the latest podcast where Frank states, "finding a balance" (which i think much of this podcast was tongue in cheek about where the equipment race is currently and headed).

If a "formula" is going to be developed to find the "balance", i was thinking the ration could begin with the original rifles used.
 

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I had a subscription to Precision Shooting and Tactical Shooter (before they folded) and have a bunch of back issues. Went to the archive stack and pulled a Jan 2000 issue. Page 55 is a write up of TMM '99 held at a range in Gillette, Wyoming. Excerpts from the story,
"Remington 700-based bolt guns in .308 outnumbered any other..."
"Calibers again spanned a wide spectrum. Aside from .308's and .223's, we had 3 each in .300 WM and .260 Remington with others in 6.5/284, .30-06, 6mm Remington, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, and .22-243.
 
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The serie(s)

will never initiate a balance in gear, it's against their self-interest to bring in sponsors. Hell the Series don't really enforce anything to begin with so asking to look at the gear race aspect is funny.

The balance is better of class of requirements, like fixing the production class. but that is on them, you'll never fix it. and neither will they.

308 ruled the roost, Terry shot a 260 and then a260AI

Fun fact, and "why" behind it, we used to have Larue targets at 800, 900, 1000, and you had to knock them down to score, a hit alone did not count. We used to set them forward on an angle and most of the time the smaller calibers would not knock it down unless you hit it very high on the plate.

Remember we worked 3 weeks on, 1 week off back then and 2 of the 3 weeks were military classes, so everything we did revolved around the military training. The stages mimic'd a lot of their after actions so a 308 would solve the problems very well.

I remember when a mid-pack shooter first showed up with a better twisted, and racey 243 and he immediately landed at the top of the leader board. When 308s were in the minority a Corpus LE Shooter came in 2nd with an issued 308 because it's what he worked with every day. But nothing is like it used to be

The gear racing when into overdrive when sponsorships came into the mix. That it became an officially sanctioned race.
 

sandwarrior

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The serie(s)

will never initiate a balance in gear, it's against their self-interest to bring in sponsors. Hell the Series don't really enforce anything to begin with so asking to look at the gear race aspect is funny.

The balance is better of class of requirements, like fixing the production class. but that is on them, you'll never fix it. and neither will they.

308 ruled the roost, Terry shot a 260 and then a260AI

Fun fact, and "why" behind it, we used to have Larue targets at 800, 900, 1000, and you had to knock them down to score, a hit alone did not count. We used to set them forward on an angle and most of the time the smaller calibers would not knock it down unless you hit it very high on the plate.

Remember we worked 3 weeks on, 1 week off back then and 2 of the 3 weeks were military classes, so everything we did revolved around the military training. The stages mimic'd a lot of their after actions so a 308 would solve the problems very well.

I remember when a mid-pack shooter first showed up with a better twisted, and racey 243 and he immediately landed at the top of the leader board. When 308s were in the minority a Corpus LE Shooter came in 2nd with an issued 308 because it's what he worked with every day. But nothing is like it used to be

The gear racing when into overdrive when sponsorships came into the mix. That it became an officially sanctioned race.
The fact you had to knock a target down makes me wonder why the 7mm never got as "integrated" to the competition as did the 6.5. You don't get a lot of recoil break, but you sure get way helluva lot better ballistics!
 
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Steel head

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The fact you had to knock a target down makes me wonder why the 7mm never got as "integrated" to the competition as did the 6.5. You don't get a lot of recoil break, but you sure get way helluva lot better ballistics!
A 7-08 with 160 somethings is a nice combination, I also always wondered why it was never more popular.
 

b6graham

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A 7mm-08 set up right shooting 168's will beat the living shit out of FGMM

Added: With the same recoil...
i shoot a 7SAW im aware

but when FGMM 308 shot as good as it did for the price, it was an easy button. especially with limited match bullets 10 years ago in 7mm
 
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sandwarrior

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i shoot a 7SAW im aware

but when FGMM 308 shot as good as it did for the price, it was an easy button. especially with limited match bullets 10 years ago in 7mm
Ten years ago, I was loading Berger and JLK 168’s and 180’s. Been doing that for a few years by then. High BC 7mm’s.

But, I DID have to reload them. I couldn't go to a store or online and get them as loaded ammo.
 

sandwarrior

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Yep but there was no 7-08, readily available, "match" ammo, at least I don't think there was.
No, not ammo. Bullets, yes, but no ammo.

Added: FWIW, to this day there never really has been good “match” ammo for 7mm-08. 7mm anything really. And while made, really good 7mm bullets aren’t at your average sporting goods store either. Still just the few go-to places to get bullets, mostly on line.
 
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Cascade Hemi

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The fact you had to knock a target down makes me wonder why the 7mm never got as "integrated" to the competition as did the 6.5. You don't get a lot of recoil break, but you sure get way helluva lot better ballistics!
George Gardner made quite a few 7WSMs and IIRC he competed with one for a short time too. I think that was the end of 07 or beginning of 08.
 
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chevy_man

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308 isn’t dead for a good reason.
Because military.

I get the guys that use them every day are going to keep using them.

It's the mindset that "I need what the military uses" that drives the 308 to keep being successful long after it's been passed over as the "best in class".

The people that want to just stock up on factory ammo will always drive some of the market. The reloaders don't necessarily make up the majority of match shooters.
 

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George Gardner made quite a few 7WSMs and IIRC he competed with one for a short time too. I think that was the end of 07 or beginning of 08.
The 7WSM was coming into the match scene 09ish where I was. Got big for awhile with the 180 Berger- it was the S#*t. I got in a year later and George built it. Great cartridge but barrel life and recoil weren’t ideal once round count/speed started picking up. I recall almost watching my throat erode after a high round count mover stage at RO when shooting my 7 short. That and limited brass made it less than ideal. $3.50 a round retail vs $1.10 for 6.5CM with very similar wind calls within 1k. I still have mine, love it, but for the average match, the non magnum chamberings are better.

Doc
 

Cascade Hemi

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The 7WSM was coming into the match scene 09ish where I was. Got big for awhile with the 180 Berger- it was the S#*t. I got in a year later and George built it. Great cartridge but barrel life and recoil weren’t ideal once round count/speed started picking up. I recall almost watching my throat erode after a high round count mover stage at RO when shooting my 7 short. That and limited brass made it less than ideal. $3.50 a round retail vs $1.10 for 6.5CM with very similar wind calls within 1k. I still have mine, love it, but for the average match, the non magnum chamberings are better.

Doc
George built mine in 08.
 
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Rob01

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What were the most common rifle/cartridge combos during the early years of PRS/Rifle Only days?
.308 for sure. Pretty much what everyone ran. Then Terry and Jim with their .260s and then George brought the .243 in the mix around 2004 and the race began.
 
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MarinePMI

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.308 for sure. Pretty much what everyone ran. Then Terry and Jim with their .260s and then George brought the .243 in the mix around 2004 and the race began.
Don't be bashful Rob, you were in the mix as well in the early days. I remember when 6.5CM was first starting out, and brass was made of unobtainium. Unless I'm mistaken, you were the only one who was posting detailed threads on forming 6.5CM from 308 (a cut down 7-08 die IIRC), and helping ensure it's use (and thereby acceptance) within the LR community. I remember because I was one of those early adopters that only had a hundred pieces of brass before it suddenly dried up. It was a lot of work, but it helped many of us continue to use "that new fangled 6.5" in the local comps....
 
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sandwarrior

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Don't be bashful Rob, you were in the mix as well in the early days. I remember when 6.5CM was first starting out, and brass was made of unobtainium. Unless I'm mistaken, you were the only one who was posting detailed threads on forming 6.5CM from 308 (a cut down 7-08 die IIRC), and helping ensure it's use (and thereby acceptance) within the LR community. I remember because I was one of those early adopters that only had a hundred pieces of brass before it suddenly dried up. It was a lot of work, but it helped many of us continue to use "that new fangled 6.5" in the local comps....
So, my question is why no one ever stopped at the 7mm-08, or anything non magnum 7mm, to compete with the .308. Seems like everybody bypassed the high BC's and went straight to "speed, with good BC's", i.e. 6mm and 6.5mm.
 
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MarinePMI

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I think it may have been the prevalence of twist rates in the 6.5 and 6mm barrels, and the velocities seen with the CM. It was near 6.5x55mm performance, but in a short action. Then you had the failed support of Remington for the .260, which had already gained a reputation for stellar long range performance.

I recall when the 6.5CM was first gaining popularity, it was largely called "What the .260 should have been" or "Splitting the difference between the 6.5x47mm and the .260". I think the industry and community were already going down the 6.5/6mm path, and so the 7mm was just bypassed in the process.
 

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So, my question is why no one ever stopped at the 7mm-08, or anything non magnum 7mm, to compete with the .308. Seems like everybody bypassed the high BC's and went straight to "speed, with good BC's", i.e. 6mm and 6.5mm.
Because the 7 non magnum gave you nothing over a 6 or 6.5. No rifles or ammo and slow speeds. You have to remeber back then you weren't always given ranges so lobbing bullets in wasn't the best way. Different game back then.

Sorry Marine that wasn't me with the forming. Not that I can remember as I have always hated forming anything. Lol
 

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I think it may have been the prevalence of twist rates in the 6.5 and 6mm barrels, and the velocities seen with the CM. It was near 6.5x55mm performance, but in a short action. Then you had the failed support of Remington for the .260, which had already gained a reputation for stellar long range performance.

I recall when the 6.5CM was first gaining popularity, it was largely called "What the .260 should have been" or "Splitting the difference between the 6.5x47mm and the .260". I think the industry and community were already going down the 6.5/6mm path, and so the 7mm was just bypassed in the process.
Standard twist in a European, and South/Central American was 1-8.44" or 1-215mm. We had to fuck it up when it got over here, I guess.

Added:
Rob01,
A .280/7mm express would launch a Berger 168 (mf'd in late '90's) at better speeds than a .260 pushing a 140. The .280AI was a touch better. I cringed a lot at paying $.30 a bullet, but they did well. You always got less wind drift. Finding a tight twisted barrel here in the U.S. was pretty difficult.

All this was at a pretty good cost of recoil.
 
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Cascade Hemi

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So, my question is why no one ever stopped at the 7mm-08, or anything non magnum 7mm, to compete with the .308. Seems like everybody bypassed the high BC's and went straight to "speed, with good BC's", i.e. 6mm and 6.5mm.
There were no high BC 7mm bullets besides the 180gr VLD back then and that bullet was too heavy for 7-08. 7-08, like the 243 Win, was viewed in the market as a hunting cartridge and there was basically no LR OEM or aftermarket support. Nearly every caliber has a high BC bullet today but that wasn't the case 15 years ago.
 
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Steel head

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So, my question is why no one ever stopped at the 7mm-08, or anything non magnum 7mm, to compete with the .308. Seems like everybody bypassed the high BC's and went straight to "speed, with good BC's", i.e. 6mm and 6.5mm.
Recoil is definitely less and less recoil lets you get away with more.
Regardless It’s an ideal caliber for a do it all rifle in my opinion.

I remember when 6.5 CM first came out as that’s about when I bought my 260 and brass options were vastly better for the 260 at first.
 
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sandwarrior

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There were no high BC 7mm bullets besides the 180gr VLD back then and that bullet was too heavy for 7-08. 7-08, like the 243 Win, was viewed in the market as a hunting cartridge and there was basically no LR OEM or aftermarket support. Nearly every caliber has a high BC bullet today but that wasn't the case 15 years ago.
168's came out before the 180's. Those would stabilize from a 1-9" twist barrel.

Added: Come to think of it, I can't say for PRS, but for square range shooting the darling was the 6.5-284. But, as always everybody loaded them hot and they ate barrels profusely.
 
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Steel head

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168's came out before the 180's. Those would stabilize from a 1-9" twist barrel.

Added: Come to think of it, I can't say for PRS, but for square range shooting the darling was the 6.5-284. But, as always everybody loaded them hot and they ate barrels profusely.
Didn’t David Tubb use a 7mm 168 smk to win in the late 80’s early 90’s?
 
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steve123

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The 7-08 was passed over because of the recoil/rifle upset compared to 6.5 and 6. Not that it has less recoil than 308 but 308 ammo was the most common ammo, and well not everybody knew about how much more a 308 with 175's blew in the wind back then.
7 Saum is a beast but, taxing to shoot in match.
6.5 4-s was gaining traction but it's still a beast as well.
6.5 Creed got decent barrel life and noticeably less recoil, good BC and speed, match factory ammo.
Big 6's were popular and still are. 6 Creed match ammo.
More and more obstacles being shot off of, and smaller targets as well, greater need for less rifle upset for self spotting, professional level shooters, enter in the 6mmBR, 6mm Dasher, 6BRX, 6BRA. Now even some 22BR and variants.
 
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lowlight

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I have a GAP 7WSM game gun

We used them ASC, not Rifles Only

The recoil was a big part of it, but we didn't need it at Rifles Only because it was so positional Based,

ASC was, find it, range it, engage it, so we used the WSM because everything was UKD

Caliber wise, for 308 most used a 175, you had a few guys with 168s, especially the LE shooters, but then 155s were very popular.

The problem with the 260 was you had to reload and until Rob, Tony, and Kevin showed up with the 6.5CM it didn't exist. Rob was the first group of guys with Team Blaster to shoot a 6.5CM in competition.

But Rifles Only only dabbled at 1000 yards, the average range with any match is 600 yards, in terms of sheer numbers 400 was more common. So the 308 was great,

But we had tons of military guys that trained at Rifles Only who would stay for matches. We would usually roll them in. So we kept it as level as possible.

David Tubb shot our match, Jerry Miceluk, the list of who's who's was pretty impressive back in the old days.
 

Dthomas3523

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Might be fun to watch them all go back to 308 with a reasonable weight limit.
Take @lowlight idea of “production class.” I’d call it tactical class

18lb limit
Only factory ammo (like mass produced. No copper creek or clay’s “factory” ammo). Name the companies allowed: hornady, federal, prime, lapua, Norma, Winchester, etc etc etc
26” barrel limit.

Add a few things like:

1 bag and bipod
Tripod when specified

Honor system 1.5lb trigger. Random spot check authorized.

Any caliber. As long as it fits within the specs.
 

Guns&WhiteWater

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What were the most common rifle/cartridge combos during the early years of PRS/Rifle Only days?
Great thread, very interesting to hear how it all evolved. I guess specialization is the natural result of evolution.

I will always own a few 308's. Out of my 30 or so powders I have on hand, probably half of them could work in a 308 in a pinch. And I don't know of a better balanced cartridge for a 16" utility rifle.
 
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FUNCTIONAL

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Take @lowlight idea of “production class.” I’d call it tactical class

18lb limit
Only factory ammo (like mass produced. No copper creek or clay’s “factory” ammo). Name the companies allowed: hornady, federal, prime, lapua, Norma, Winchester, etc etc etc
26” barrel limit.

Add a few things like:

1 bag and bipod
Tripod when specified

Honor system 1.5lb trigger. Random spot check authorized.

Any caliber. As long as it fits within the specs.
I'd be on this like white on rice. Pretty much do everything already minus the factory ammo. We need a revamp of tac class. I'd call it 18.5lb limit...simply because some mil rifle clones are that suppressed.
 
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