Does anyone shoot ELR with a 284?

Discussion in 'Big Stuff--7mm, 30 Cal, .338+' started by Dud, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Dud

    Dud

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    Hi, I have a couple 6.5 Creedmoor rifles which have been great out to 1,000 yards but my ballistics charts are telling me that trying for 1,500 is a stretch and hitting at a mile is probably more luck than accuracy.

    The thing I love about them is I can shoot all day with pretty much zero fatigue.

    Shooting bigger stuff like .338 LM or .50 BMG is a lot harder on the ears, the shoulder and the wallet.

    I want to find something I can shoot without a brake that won't beat me up too bad and won't be ridiculously expensive to build or shoot.

    It seems like 284 Winchester is the efficient cartridge that will stay supersonic out past 1,600 yards with just slightly more expensive brass (about 15%), about 20% more powder and 180-ish grain bullets that seem to cost about the same as 140-ish grain 6.5mm bullets. Barrel life should be a little less but negligible with the infrequent times I can actually shoot more than 200 yards. I think reloads work out about $0.05 more expensive per round than 6.5 Creedmoor or .308.

    I'm planning to build two rifles over time.

    The first is based on a Savage Axis long action in an MDT LSS chassis using a 3.560" magazine, and an Indian Creek Design P-Body 2 stock with an STFU folder.

    What I learn from that rifle I'm going to apply to an ARC Archimedes long action in an ARC Xylo chassis.

    Both actions use a Savage small shank barrel thread and will take a Savage Pre-fit barrel.

    Getting down to the big question, I'm looking at buying an X-Caliber .284 Savage Pre-fit barrel that I can try out in both. It will be 31", the longest offered, in a "light varmint" contour, 416 Stainless and cut with a PTG reamer.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what the chamber specs are supposed to be but I'm also wondering if PTG can actually grind a reamer right. I had a bad experience the last time I dealt with PTG.

    Should I trust X-Caliber to make a barrel that will push good velocity without excessive pressure?

    If it was a common chambering and I could get a review of a barrel cut with the same reamer, I wouldn't be worried but I can't find a matching review.

    I have a few rifling options. There is a 5R option but 1 in 8" twist. There is a 1 in 8.5" twist 3 groove option and a 6 groove 1 in 9" twist. The two I think I can rule out are 6 groove 1 in 8" and 1 in 10" twist.

    I think I should probably go for the 3 groove 1 in 8.5" even though I would like the 5R.

    The good part about this barrel is that X-Caliber has a 30% off in August promotion which will bring the price down to $343 with 5/8-24 threads, a thread protector and the contour should allow it to be set back at least once.

    I'll eventually get a shouldered barrel for the Archimedes but am I making the right choice to start with the X-Caliber barrel?

    I'm going to order 6.5-284 Lapua brass, a couple boxes of Hornady 180 grain ELD-M bullets and some Berger 184 grain bullets tonight.

    It sounds like H4831sc is the powder of choice for decent MV without a ton of wear.

    I will be throwing my charges with an Auto-trickler, resizing with a Hornady Match bushing style full length sizing die and seating bullets with a Hornady micrometer seater.

    I may upgrade my dies later if necessary.

    Small questions: what is the best die to use for necking up to .284 and what primers should I try for this combo?
     
  2. ben_g

    ben_g

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    Give the ELD’s a miss, the Berger 180’s (both VLD or Hybrids) are great.

    Try AR2209 (H3350) with BR2 primers.

    Still it’s not going to hang in there with the likes of 7mm SAUM or 300WSM which both have tolerable recoil.
     
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  3. Dud

    Dud

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    Well, I have brass and bullets ordered.

    My first Lapua.

    Definitely the pointiest bullets I've ordered too.

    I also ordered my stock and folder to finish off the chassis, I just need a roll of Moleskin for the comb, a $13 butt pad and a grip.

    I'm looking at 3-4 different vertical grips.

    I'll figure out optics later but I think I want to get a nice sloped rail. The Leupold Backcountry has caught my eye, it's under $40, made from 7075 instead of 6061 and has a 20 MOA slope. That's $25 more than a Weaver but I've got some mounting stuff from Leupold that was really nice and reasonably priced and some Weaver stuff that is on par with cheap China parts.

    If anyone has tried the Backcountry line, let me know what you think about the finish and quality/value.
     
  4. Dud

    Dud

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    It looks like my local Bass Pro has the mount I'm looking for and they should have an Axis I can line it up against so I don't have to take mine in.
     
  5. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    On a windless day, you'll do ok at a mile. Slightest wind and a miss will go undetected. I mean you won't see your misses. Most bullets under 30 caliber and even 30 caliber bullets will not be detected when a miss occurs. 338 IMO is the smallest bullet that you will see a miss with and not always. Unless your shooting rocks at a mile, hits in sand or dirt will not be easily detected. I think with the 284, you can make good solid hits when conditions are good. 175-180s is a good place to begin. If it's not for serious competition shooting, it'd be a fun cartridge to play with at those long stretches. Just don't count on seeing your misses.
     
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  6. Dud

    Dud

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    That sounds like I need a really long range target camera setup.

    Point taken.

    Adding up my budget, it looks like my Axis is going to be about a $1,200 rifle minus scope and rings.

    If it will group at 1,500 yards in still conditions, I will call that a big win.

    If I need to kick up more dust, I'll probably look at what I can fit in the Archimedes with a longer magazine and a magnum bolt face but hopefully I won't have to go there.
     
  7. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Usually they only show hits on the target as the camera only has a limited cone angle. If you back the camera up, maybe but that's assuming your impacts would be close enought to see. One mile isn't 1000 yards where your shots will necessarily in a group with the small .28 caliber fairly lightweight bullet. On a very good shooting day, my opinion is you MAY find yourself shooting a group in the 24-30" range at one mile. Not knowing your level of ability at ELR. In less than ideal conditions, you may not hit a firetruck at that range. At the very least, it will take a little time to get familiar with the mile shot. On a different subject. Try McGowen barrels. For around 330.00 shipped, they'll send you out a custom 284 win barrel. Your contour choice, length, chamber and any other options. Your gunsmith will need to take a little off the shoulder behind the lug to assure proper fit. They make very good barrels and in your price range. X Caliber has had very good barrels also but my choice in your price bracket would be McGowen. I use Redding dies for most of my work. They seem to be some of the best out there for over the counter dies. For specialty Chambers, I prefer to have size dies made. Good luck
     
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  8. boltfluter

    boltfluter Gold $$ Contributor

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    Personally, if you want the reamer ground correctly go with JGS or Manson. You might also consider a Criterion barrel as I have read some very good reviews about them. Have fun and keep us posted. :D:D

    Paul
     
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  9. Longrange57

    Longrange57

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    Agree, 7 RSAUM, 180 vld @ 3005...no problem
     
  10. 6MMsteve

    6MMsteve Gold $$ Contributor

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    I would buy a criterion before the xcal...every Cri I have shot has been good for what I do...I have never had a Xcal shoot small like in the .1s...Cri I have had several that produced good groups...I would buy a Brux and spend a little more for the chamber job...not a comp shooter these days...just a keyboard shooter..keyboard warrior..
     
  11. Dud

    Dud

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    Yes, if I got a target camera, I would try for high resolution and a wide angle so I can back it up, just to see misses kick up dust.

    I've had to walk bullets on to the target at 1,000 so I expect to do more of that at 1,500+.

    Unless I can find an established range to shoot at, I'll need a 36" gong too. I should probably go bigger but I'm hoping for some amount of portability.

    I will probably shoot it mostly at 1,000 with the standard large paper targets. Stretching it out will only happen after I've got it pretty much figured out at 1,000.
     
  12. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    What I started out with was a 4-foot by 8-foot piece of drywall. Impacts can be seen on that board with a Target camera. You can fine-tune from there. If you can frame in two 4 x 8 sheets of drywall so the target is eight by eight and put your steel plate in front of that you should catch all your shots provided environmental conditions are a good
     
  13. Jarhead6870

    Jarhead6870 Silver $$ Contributor

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    In my experience, with the typical 140 grain bullets by Berger or Hornady from a 6.5 Creedmoor and depending on environmentals, your assumption that 1500 yards is doable and a mile is more of a "hope and a prayer" is correct; I've seen 6.5 guys I shoot with go 4 for 5 at 1500 and then go 1 for 20 at a mile. I shoot a standard .284 using 180 Berger Hybrids and can usually go 10-12 for 20 at 1850 yards with steady moderate winds of 10-20 mph. Of course if they get too gusty, all bets are off.

    The ground around your target has a lot to do with seeing impacts. Our ground is relatively soft so we can see impacts fairly easily even with the 140 grain bullets. We don't use a camera but do have a hit indicators (Magneto Speed) on all targets past 1200 yards to know when we have impact.

    As for targets, I use a 24" plate at 1500, a 30" at 1760-1850 and a 36" 200 and out. These are all 1/4" AR500 and basically around 1-1/2 MOA, which is on the small side, but targets can/do get expensive; the 36" plate ran $400. Target "hit" indicators run about $150 and are available from several sellers; I got mine from Brownells when they had a 10% off w/free shipping sale.

    Enjoy your journey out to the longer distances, it's a different type of shooting and mindset...
     
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  14. Longrange57

    Longrange57

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    1400 yards, 6.5 x 47....147 ELDM...first 2 shots high/....bottom 5 sh gr after adjustment....center 4 shots in 10 mph crosswind 165.JPG
     
  15. Longrange57

    Longrange57

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    What you see here is just an example....I'm not advocating small caliber at distance. I currently shoot 6.5 x 284 and 7mm saum 1400 and greater. Beyond 1400 as others have indicated....bigger is better! At a mile its hard to beat the 338 and esp. the 338 Imp.
     
  16. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    We had a .284 F-open rifle at the last 2000 yard match. We just could not spot the shots and I think he only go a couple on paper. At least in my experience a 338 is really minimum if your looking for consistency. I have shot .30s out there as well, and on calmer days they are ok, but the 338s and up will get there and actually put down a group.
     
  17. Dud

    Dud

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    To me, 7mm is small caliber at distance. I'm just trying to do it in a way that won't need an obnoxious brake or burn out a barrel before it even gets close to 2,000 shots. I want 6.5 Creedmoor's slightly bigger brother.

    Also, at long range there is so much running around to get to targets that when I shoot, I don't want it to punish me, I want to have fun.

    If I shot ELR often enough that I could read wind and get more hits than misses at a mile+, I wouldn't mind a 338 or 375 but my wallet might...

    I got my scope rail, moleskin roll, steel epoxy and release agent ordered up.

    I have a spare recoil lug from my ARC Nucleus and I want to use that on the Axis. It has a locating tab at the top which essentially does the same thing as a pinned lug when it is located in a slot cut in the scope mount rail. It also functions as a recoil lug for the rail.

    After I face off the receiver, I'm going to bed the rail to it, then I'm going to bed the lug to the rail. That should eliminate deflection between the scope and the barrel and with the recoil lug located like that, make a super consistent receiver to chassis alignment.

    I think that is pretty much all I'm going to have to do for mechanical accuracy. The rest is in the barrel optics and ammo.
     
  18. rogina

    rogina

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    Alex, did you have the two two thousand yard matches at Townsend this year?
     
  19. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    ELRC had the match, I was there. I brought a 6mm and never saw an impact. .338 is done now and tuned for next year though. I strongly recommend nothing smaller than a 338 for this match.
     
  20. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Alex,
    When and where will next year's ELR match be ? Planned on making it this year but just finished my latest 338 imp build.
     

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