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Posted: 5/9/2002 6:07:09 PM EDT
Ok, so I have no 308 bolt guns in the safe, and I want to build up a precision rifle. Everybody wants a PSS in 308, and that's great if you are in the military...however....I've got 3 25-06 Remingtons, and a couple of 270's. Anyone have a good reason not to go either of these routes? I would think that even with a 120 grain bullet, the 25 would be fairly decent "out there" plus it's a flat shooter. 270 you can get heavier bullets for longer range wind bucking, still shoot lighter stuff for general use, and it's a flat shooter too. So, is there anyone who is going to punch holes in my argument, or should I pick out the rifle to restock and rebarrel with a heavy profile? Maybe this has been discussd before...if so sorry.
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 6:34:13 PM EDT
A shorter powder column such as a .308, or perhaps smaller is inherently more accurate. Also, the shorter action will generally be stiffer. These don't add up to a lot in a factory gun, but in a custom rifle it can matter. Also, you'll have less recoil with a smaller cartridge, even if it gives roughly the same performance. That can add up after a few dozen rounds, no matter how tough you are.

Economy could be a large concern for you, so going with the same caliber as your other rifles may be a better option.
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 6:57:14 PM EDT

Anyone have a good reason not to go either of these routes?

Hard to find .25-06 or .270 ammo for $125 per thousand.....

Good, consistent, military surplus 7.62x51 can be had for that.

I currently hunt with .243's - my next bolt guns will be .308 for sure....
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 8:15:17 PM EDT
I just posted earlier about this very caliber and use! I see absolutely nothing wrong with using a a 25-06 or a .270 as a precision rifle. In fact the rifle that I have equipped for such duty is a Winchester Model 70 chambered in .270.

This rifle is nothing fancy and I built it up using my own requirements. The .270 is a flatter shooting cartridge than the .308 and that's one good thing. To get the most from a .308 round, you need to either use a rangefinding or mil-dot scope. This will cost as much as the rifle itself. Besides, the area I live in is mountainous for the most part with dense forests.....leaving little in the way for long distance shots. My max range requirement is 400 yards. With a .270 and 130 gr. bullets, I zeroed the rifle at 3 inches high at 100 yards. With a little practice you can effectively hit targets anywhere from 0-400 yards out this way, pretty much by holding dead on. Only the .270, 7mm Magnum and some of the newer super magnums have the flat shooting capability to do this. That eliminates the need for a fancy scope.

My rifle doesn't even have a heavy bull barrel. I did get a Bell and Carlson kevlar stock for it which allows free-floating of the barrel. The action is also bedded. The trigger has been tuned a bit by a gunsmith and it has a Simmons 3.5-10x44mm scope sitting on top of it. I also added a Harris bipod for when I wanted to take nice prone shots that needed stability. My round of choice is the Federal Premium 130 gr. BTSP which I find to be very accurate from my gun.

Again, this rifle isn't as good as what a police or military sniper rifle would be at the longer ranges. But IMO, if you aren't going to be shooting at 500+ yards, then you don't have to have such a rifle. Mine does about as well from 0-400 yards as the costly rifles and I probably paid the same amount for my entire system as some guys pay for their scopes. While there is nothing wrong with having such an expensive rifle, if you don't need a 1,000 yard gun, then why pay for one? If you need this range, take the extra step I didn't and buy a heavy bull barrel. You will need it at those ranges.

I have heard some say that the .308 offers an advantage over the .270 in regards to cheap ammo. My attitude is why have a $2000 precision rifle if you plan to shoot cheap surplus ammo through it? That defeats the purpose. To get the best accuracy you need a match, handload or factory load with such accuracy in mind. Most military ammo is good, but it isn't precision material. So don't let the caliber scare you away. There is good loads available for it.

And finally the most important part of a long range rifle is practice, practice and you guessed it....more practice. Because the most accurate rifle in the world is useless without a skilled marksman behind the trigger. In the world of fancy gadgets these days, sometimes we forget that marksmanship training is still the most important component in the inventory.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 9:04:28 AM EDT
Charging Handle hit a pretty important nail on the head.

If you are buying a rifle for precision shooting, the availability of cheap, low-precision ammunition isn't an issue. A precision rifle gets fed precision ammo, and darned little else.

If you are looking for a combat rifle, then surplus availability makes sense.

However.... A GOOD argument for the .308 precision rifle is the vast availability of precision factory loads and bullet designs for it. Every major bullet manufacturer and many of the cottage makers manufacture at least 20-30 bullets for the .308 Winchester, ranging from light and fast to heavy brush busters and wind buckers. There is also a ton of energy put into developing precision loads for the .308. Black Hills sells several loadings including Sierra Match King and Hornady A-Max based loads in moly and non-moly dress.

If you are into reloading, you can likely find a load as accurate for a .270, but you will not find the breadth of offerings as you can find for the .308.

Aside from that, so much of long range rifle enthusiasm is based on the Gee Whizz factor. Most of us never use the darned things at over a couple hundred yards on a known range, from the bench. Sure we drill nice small groups in the paper, but frankly, we could do the same with lesser rifles at that range. I'd go so far as to estimate that the VAST majority of so-called "sniper rifles" will never see a day of use off the measured range. With that in mind, build the rifle you want around the caliber you want and have fun with it.

Since you already own a couple .270s, I'd go with that. Take one of your .270 bolt guns and get it tuned up. You'll be plenty happy.

Link Posted: 5/10/2002 10:30:21 AM EDT
I believe the .270 will probably suit your purposes well. On the other hand, your first statement was

Ok, so I have no 308 bolt guns in the safe, and I want to build up a precision rifle.
This lends me to beleive that you think along the lines of me, as in "well, I have three of those and none of those and it would be neat to have another caliber." I am thinking that while a .270 would suit the bill, you probably really want a .308 bolt gun and are looking for a reason to justify it. If not, go with the .270, if so, build the .308 just because you want it. I know I would.
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 1:46:04 PM EDT
Garhead, you are obviously a man after my own heart...lol. Yeah, I really do want a .308....you got me. All you guys post good points, thanks. Actually, I imagine that the 300WSM will be turned into quite a few good precision rifles over the next couple of years, when I saw it I immediately thought it would make a good tactical caliber. Obviously no surplus ammo for it, but being 30 cal I imagine most of the 308 bullet designs would work like a charm. Ah, one of these days, to have one of EVERYTHING!!!
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 2:27:33 PM EDT
If you are planning to rebarrel anyway, why not screw a .308 chambered barrel on one of those 25-06 Remingtons? the army M40s are built on long actions in .308
Link Posted: 5/10/2002 2:37:55 PM EDT
There's nothing special about the PSS, there are plenty of rifles that can outshoot it, all it takes is money. For the money, the PSS is one of the best. The 308 round, on the other hand, is by far the best all around choice for a target rifle. There are many reasons for this.

First is, the .308 bullet has more industry match-grade support than any other bullet, by far. So if you reload, it's way easier to get the exact type of bullet you're looking for in a match configuration. If you don't believe me, just go look at all the different type of .308 match bullets available vs. other calibers. This is not to say that there is anything inherently more accurate about a 308 bullet, it's just that the industry has evolved around it due to the military's long history with the good ol 30 cal.

As far as .270 vs .308, the .308 has better long range capabilities because the heaviest .308 bullets have a better ballistic coefficient than the heaviest .270 bullets. Of course, by this logic, 50 cal would be the best of the "super long range" rounds, and it is. The problem is, you need to balance your range needs with your rifle.

Lastly, the shorter, stocky build of the 7.62x54 case makes for a good target round. Look at the purpose build target rounds, 22 PPC, 6mm PPC, they all use short cases and they provide the best accuracy around.
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