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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so I've wanted to get a Ruger precision rifle for some time, mainly for the purpose of competition as well as hunting. I originally wanted the 338 Lapua Magnum, watched videos all about it, read the ballistic charts, and fell in love. But then this whole pandemic thing happened...

The 338 Ruger Precision Rifle went out of stock for months on end. But the 6.5 Creedmoor model was readily available. I discovered that it too, had impressive long range performance and could be used for hunting too. So I kind of accepted that I'd have to settle and decided that the 6.5 was a good compromise. The 338 model was several hundred dollars more expensive, heavier, and of course, the ammo is much pricier and harder to come by.

But then yesterday, like magic, the unexpected happened. The nearly $2000 338 model came back in stock. I was stunned for a bit. And now I'm not sure what to do. I want to really think about this before I click "BUY!"

I already know of the price and availability differences in the ammo. Obviously the 338 is a caliber I'd definitely want to reload every single casing of. The cost is just astronomical compared to other calibers but I really want that one super high performance rifle I could use to knock down an elk from a kilometer away. Okay maybe that's far-fetched... Or is it? And besides the cost of the rifle itself and the ammo, I'll end up spending just as much on a scope.

Essentially, cost wise if I went with the 6.5 instead I'd spend about $700 less on the rifle and about 1/3 on the cost of ammo. But is that difference in performance worth the reduced cost? If I really want what will probably be the nicest precision rifle I'll own for a very long time should I spring for the 338? And yes, I do know there are cheaper rifles in both calibers but I'm pretty dead set on the RPR.

I already have my 30-06 for general hunting and plinking. Now I want something on a whole other level. I don't know. Just wondering what you guys think. Maybe someone with experience with one or both calibers has some insight.

I know I sound like an excited child right now just humor me lol.
 

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reluctant sinner
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The kill zone on an elk at 1000 yards is what 1 MOA and you need to hit them hard enough to get the job done. The terrain around here could easily give a person that shot but you need to be really good at doping the wind and range estimation if you don't have a device.

As a kid I got to shoot my dad's 256 Newton (6.5-06). A 6.5-308 might be ok.

I haven't fooled with a 338 much in any form.
 

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Swirl Herder
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Alright, so I've wanted to get a Ruger precision rifle for some time, mainly for the purpose of competition as well as hunting. I originally wanted the 338 Lapua Magnum, watched videos all about it, read the ballistic charts, and fell in love. But then this whole pandemic thing happened...

The 338 Ruger Precision Rifle went out of stock for months on end. But the 6.5 Creedmoor model was readily available. I discovered that it too, had impressive long range performance and could be used for hunting too. So I kind of accepted that I'd have to settle and decided that the 6.5 was a good compromise. The 338 model was several hundred dollars more expensive, heavier, and of course, the ammo is much pricier and harder to come by.

But then yesterday, like magic, the unexpected happened. The nearly $2000 338 model came back in stock. I was stunned for a bit. And now I'm not sure what to do. I want to really think about this before I click "BUY!"

I already know of the price and availability differences in the ammo. Obviously the 338 is a caliber I'd definitely want to reload every single casing of. The cost is just astronomical compared to other calibers but I really want that one super high performance rifle I could use to knock down an elk from a kilometer away. Okay maybe that's far-fetched... Or is it? And besides the cost of the rifle itself and the ammo, I'll end up spending just as much on a scope.

Essentially, cost wise if I went with the 6.5 instead I'd spend about $700 less on the rifle and about 1/3 on the cost of ammo. But is that difference in performance worth the reduced cost? If I really want what will probably be the nicest precision rifle I'll own for a very long time should I spring for the 338? And yes, I do know there are cheaper rifles in both calibers but I'm pretty dead set on the RPR.

I already have my 30-06 for general hunting and plinking. Now I want something on a whole other level. I don't know. Just wondering what you guys think. Maybe someone with experience with one or both calibers has some insight.

I know I sound like an excited child right now just humor me lol.
Both cartridges are good long range performers.

I have shot both quite a bit.

Which suits you best depends upon what you want/need.

6.5CM has a transonic distance of about 1300 yards - and that would be a 140gn bullet at that range doing about 1050fps. I would not expect that to produce a quick kill on any medium, let alone large game.

338 Lap has a transonic distance of about 1550 yards - that would be a 250-300gn bullet at that range going 1050fps. That is still like hitting at 100-200 yards with a 45/70 - so maybe that would still be enough for killing game.....

With either at long range, most projectiles will be going too slow to mushroom like they do when they hit closer and going faster.

If you just want to punch paper or ring steel at long range, then a 6.5CM will do that a lot cheaper and with a lot less recoil and muzzle blast. 338 Lap rifles really need a muzzle brake or suppressor. A suppressor would add a lot of cost, but the brake makes a noisy gun a lot noisier.

If you do get a 338 Lap with a brake, make sure you wear ear plugs and ear muffs - especially if you shoot it under a range shelter.
 

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Will hunt for food!
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Or split the difference and go with the 300 PRC.

What will the primary use be? The 6.5 you could use in PRS, NRL events and hunting. The 338 you can't use for those competions.
 

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Swift Justice = 2950fps
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I have a Ruger Precision in 300 win mag and a Mossberg Patriot in 6.5 cm. Both shoot EXTREMELY well at 1k yards and the Patriot cost substncially less than a Ruger precision.

Ammo is hard to find right now, but Walmart has 300 win mag and 6.5 cm. 338 may be very difficult / impossibility to find.
 

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The 338 is like owning a Ferrari in Japan, where the speed limit is 62 or 37 mph. Two roads let you get up to 75. And gas is over $4 per gallon.

The potential is there. It’s sexy. It would be fun in the curves. But....will you ever “use” it?

The 6.5 is like the 350Z. It has the ability to go MUCH faster than the law allows, you can handle curves well, but it costs a LOT less to put in your garage, burns less gas, and is a different kind of sexy. And it has the all important cup holders.
 

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I think the worry here is entirely too much on external ballistics and not terminal ballistics.

6.5CM was designed to not tumble while going supersonic to subsonic and ultimately make it easier to place on paper at very long ranges. 1k yard and further. Now, carrying that sort of stability and energy has definitely made it a more popular hunting cartridge. But there are better.

338 Lapua is verging on antimaterial territories of energy. I suppose you'd be interested in any elk you shoot still having good meat on it after you hit it?

If you want something a bit flatter shooting but could still take most any game in North America, you may have already got a solid one. Why not just accurize and get good with your 30-06?

Otherwise, 7mm Rem Mag was designed with the expressed purpose of maintaining at least 500 ft/lbs @500 yards. 7mm-08 and 7x57mm are likewise cartridges that have hit competition paper well past 1,200 yards and can get you trophy game.

That said, 6.5CM does keep up to 1500fps up at like 600 yards, which is phenomenal for longer range hunting like sheep and such. Also, the recoil differences in 6.5CM vs something like 7mm RM can be a decision maker. I have a 7mm rifle and I take breaks every few shots to not shoot my shoulder into ground beef. If you're looking at shooting all day, the softer nature of 6.5CM can be great.

Depends on your values. If you're looking much more at a hobby gun, get the 6.5CM. If you're a lot more interested in hunting, there are a plethora of likely better choices depending on what you want to hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'd be lying if I said I didn't want something that was capable of delivering a devastating blow to whatever it hit. Heck, if I could afford it I'd go buy a Barrett M82A1 50BMG. I realize the Ruger Precision rifle is a big gun, and not really designed with hunting in mind. I suppose I just wanted to have a practical use for the gun to justify going and spending several thousand on purchasing it and optics and all that. But I suppose I don't need it to be practical for hunting if I already have hunting rifles. My main rifle is a Remington 700 BDL chambered in 30-06. It's an old gun, made in the 60s or 70s, not sure which. But it was my father's and so I do not want to modify it in any way cause it's kind of got sentimental value too as an heirloom. But that rifle is the most reliable gun I have. I love it. Also have another 700 in 7mm Mag but I hardly ever use that thing.

I suppose I've got to think about it a bit. The thought of competition shooting intrigues me, but so does decimating material from a distance. Either way it's all for the fun and sport of it if I'm honest with myself. It'd be a fancy toy. I guess I'd only try to use it for hunting in a very specialized situation.
 

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6.5 is a great choice. I went 6.5 Grendel a couple years back. Great, efficient cartridge that uses the AR-15 platform and punches way above it’s weight class. Just got a 6.5 CM recently and it’s great. More recoil than the Grendel, but not by much. I think it is a very efficient round that can really go the distance because it brings a great b.c.
.338 LM is a great round, but at that price and weight, you should just go .50BMG. Ammo can be found less expensively (surprisingly) and you can reach even further out. At least that’s the reasoning I come to when I mull over larger calibers in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would go with 50 BMG if I could afford the initial cost of the rifle. Every one I've seen has cost around 10K or more. I'm sure there are much cheaper ones but I really, really would love an M82A1. Too bad they cost 9-10K. I've seen some other models up to 15K. Huge freaking guns. But oh how much fun.....
 

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Swirl Herder
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I would go with 50 BMG if I could afford the initial cost of the rifle. Every one I've seen has cost around 10K or more. I'm sure there are much cheaper ones but I really, really would love an M82A1. Too bad they cost 9-10K. I've seen some other models up to 15K. Huge freaking guns. But oh how much fun.....
I have shot a lot of 50BMG and am a qualified Barrett armorer.

The 82 and the M107 are both about 2-2.5MOA guns. That level of accuracy becomes a bit disappointing when you are shooting way out far at people sized targets.

When I shot an M107 on the Barrett course, the best 5 shot group anyone got at 1000 yards with the M33 Ball ammo that Barrett provided was about 16 inches across. There are plenty of cheaper long range rifles that do much better than that.....and a smaller caliber hit will also beat a 50BMG miss.

Both the 82 and 107 rifles (and even the 95 and 99 bolt 50s) are really antimaterial rifles that are accurate enough to shoot at parked aircraft, vehicles, big transformers, fuel tanks and other medium to big sized gear at longer range.

From about 2001 onwards, they also found an application for hard target interdiction - stopping vehicles charging road blocks. They have also been used for EOD.

They will get a much bigger proportion of rounds onto a target at long range than a M2HB, but they are not really a sniper/target gun.
 

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Also have another 700 in 7mm Mag but I hardly ever use that thing.
7mm Rem Mag hunts pretty much anything in NA with good placement. It'll drop a moose if you're accurate. It's also a VERY capable long distance round. Youtube is full of people slapping 1500 yard targets with it.

The R700 action is among the most customizable ones out there. I don't think you need a new gun at all. Buy yourself a McMillian fiberglass stock and you'll have the M40A1 sniper system. The M24 is likewise an R700 action. If it's good enough for military snipers it'll be good enough for you.

If you want a new gun get one, seems like you have the itch. But there is certainly no NEED for a new gun. That 7mm Rem Mag has taken Elk past 500y and sheep past 800y numerous, numerous times before.
 

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I rarely see a 6.5 CM vs 338 Lapua discussion. It’s like asking if I should get a compact truck vs a 3500. They are really far apart of what they are designed for.

I can’t think of a defendable non military argument for the 338 Lapua other than ‘because’. Not that this reason is wrong. There are many other rounds that are not saddled by the negatives the 338 Lapua brings to the table. First and foremost ammo cost and availability. Recoil, gun weight and OVERKILL follow closely behind.

The 6.5 Creedmoor’s limitations when compared to the 338 Lapua is that it’s not a magnum round. This isn’t a negative unless you need the heavier bullets and extra downrange energy. North American hunting doesn’t require more than the 6.5 Creedmoor at ethical hunting ranges. It’s limitation start to come into play on large bear, elk and moose at distance. If you don’t hunt these or honesty are never going to hunt these the the 6.5 CM is a great round for hunting and longer distance shooting.

IMHO the 300 PRC or 300 Win Mag is what you seek. These rounds covers big and small game alike. They will accurately shoots past your range’s limits. They can also be chambered in rifles less than 10 lbs with optics.
 

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Forget the hype. Compare 260 Remington to 6.5 Creedmoor. Same, same. Ditto 338 RUM, 340 Weatherby and 338 Lapua. Then consider what Paul does. He takes, sorry, cheap rifles
and makes them work.
 
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