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What other calibers for the AR platform?


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#1 OFFLINE   Killer308

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Posted Oct. 07 2010 - 08:19 PM

I would like a longe range AR. I know .308 is good for 1000+yds. The .308s are a beast unto it self and I will definitely have one eventually. My question would be is there any other caliber that would be similar that could be built on the AR 15 platform? 6.5, 6.8, 7.62x39 or something else? How do the ballistics, accuracy and price of ammo compare to .308? The cost of ammo is not as important as accuracy at distance but is still a factor. I want to build a 24" bull barrel rifle. What do you think? What are some good options or should I just bite the bullet and go with the .308?

Edited by Don29palms, Oct. 07 2010 - 09:40 PM.



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#2 OFFLINE   GLShooter

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Posted Oct. 08 2010 - 10:34 AM

I would like a longe range AR. I know .308 is good for 1000+yds. The .308s are a beast unto it self and I will definitely have one eventually. My question would be is there any other caliber that would be similar that could be built on the AR 15 platform? 6.5, 6.8, 7.62x39 or something else? How do the ballistics, accuracy and price of ammo compare to .308? The cost of ammo is not as important as accuracy at distance but is still a factor. I want to build a 24" bull barrel rifle. What do you think? What are some good options or should I just bite the bullet and go with the .308?


I guess it comes down to the simple fact that X bullet/cartridge has to have X amount of size/case capacity to do X job. The 308 has the case capacity and the ability to launch a relatively big bullet down range with a relatively good BC at a $$ level that is not too high and at a recoil level that is tolerable to 90% of the shooting world.

Rounds that can equal the 308 in a STANDARD AR platform are limited to the 30 Cal version of the WSSM case the 30 OSSM from Olympic that Dtech has done all the development work on and I hear rumors of a 6.5 version that ought to get it done way out there also.

For a non-reloader the 308 AR10 Platform or the 260 on the same set up would be the way to go.

If you are a handloader and like a bit of a challenge then the 30 OSSM would be great. I have a 25 WSSM that is pretty cool but had the 30 OSSM been out I would have gone with it since I am very familiar with 30 caliber performance at 600 +

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#3 OFFLINE   Killer308

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Posted Oct. 08 2010 - 01:38 PM

After looking at ammo prices it has confirmed that .308 is the way to go. I was just thinking if there was another caliber that was close that could use a standard AR 15 platform I would go that way. I like having more options and less initial expense but I think the .308 is a better way to go.

Edited by Don29palms, Oct. 16 2010 - 01:08 PM.



#4 OFFLINE   captainbarred

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Posted Oct. 08 2010 - 04:42 PM

the accuracy desired is also a major factor.

for example, certain surplus is capable of around 2 moa. if that is all your looking for, you can get said surplus for around $400 per 1K which is around quality .223 prices right now.

if you want one hole, your looking at an easy $1 a round or reloading.

6.8 will get you further out than 5.56 and still has power and size behind it. accuracy is good as well, but its pricey, I don't know prices off hand but it runs in a standard AR lower unlike .308...

I think the Remington R15 is offered in .270 now, also a good LR round.


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#5 OFFLINE   Pat_H

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Posted Oct. 15 2010 - 01:29 PM

After looking at ammo prices it has confirmed that .308 is the way to go. I was just thinking if there was another caliber that was close that could use a standard AR 15 platform I would go that way. I like having more options and less initial expensebut I think the .308 is a better way to go.

I don't think the larger AR-10 sized rifles are what one would call the low cost option. Yes, ammo is cheaper than the high performance calibers for the AR-15 based rifles, but that's about it.

The two standouts for the AR-15 are the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 SPC, both are excellent cartridges, both will kill a deer at 200+ yards, both are accurate.

I did quite a bit of research on what was out there about 2 years ago, I chose and built my 6.5 Grendel last winter. I'm happy with it. The interesting thing is that many of the optical sights that have integral BC reticles for the 7.62x51 (aka .308), such as Trijicon ACOG, can be used on a 6.5 Grendel rifle at the tactical accuracy level.


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#6 OFFLINE   BattleAxe

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Posted Oct. 16 2010 - 05:12 AM

I'd have to agree with going .308 from purely a logistics standpoint. Not only is the ammo cheap but there's lots of variations available (incendiary, tracer, AP, etc) that just doesn't exist in the other calibers. Prices for the weapons/parts are coming down too as more folks are buying AR-10's. The intermediate cartridges will never have the supply/demand of .308 and that will always drive prices AND available options. Weight as a factor is also turning into a myth with guns like the LMT weighing in at little more than a M4. Factor in barrier penetration and the ability to hunt large game and its a no-brainer. 6.5 and 6.8 were hoped (likely by manufacturers) to bridge the gap between .223 and .308 and I'm not yet convinced it was a gap that needed bridging. Good cartridges? Sure. A necessary and effective bridge? That's arguable.

Edited by BattleAxe, Oct. 16 2010 - 05:16 AM.



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#7 OFFLINE   Killer308

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Posted Oct. 16 2010 - 01:22 PM

Thanks for all the help. I've decided to go with a .308. i've got plans and figured out a parts list. Unfortunately :broke: right now. It looks like tax time will be when I'll be able to really start on it. I have an AR 15 I'm working on right now that will be finished first.

For the .308 I'm going to use a JD Machine billet matched upper/lower and a Black Hole Weaponry barrel.

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#8 OFFLINE   BattleAxe

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Posted Oct. 21 2010 - 09:33 AM

For the .308 I'm going to use a JD Machine billet matched upper/lower and a Black Hole Weaponry barrel.

That's a good looking set-up.

Edited by BattleAxe, Oct. 21 2010 - 09:34 AM.



#9 OFFLINE   Danny45

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Posted Oct. 21 2010 - 10:33 AM

IMHO, people have a mistaken idea of an AR in .308. They want the long range capability of the .308 cartridge, in the convenience of an AR package. The only problem with this is the .308 cartridge isn't really that great of a long range cartridge until it's shot from a 22"-26" barrel. And most want ARs with less than 20" barrels. If you do so, you're defeating the reason you wanted the .308 to begin with.


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#10 OFFLINE   BattleAxe

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Posted Oct. 21 2010 - 10:50 AM

IMHO, people have a mistaken idea of an AR in .308. They want the long range capability of the .308 cartridge, in the convenience of an AR package. The only problem with this is the .308 cartridge isn't really that great of a long range cartridge until it's shot from a 22"-26" barrel. And most want ARs with less than 20" barrels. If you do so, you're defeating the reason you wanted the .308 to begin with.

Some good points. Technically .308 is a medium-to-long range cartridge and it really only skirts the lower edge of what's considered long range. The barrel length thing...eh...true but one would think anyone buying an AR platform understands that a tactical platform does give up a little to a dedicated long range stick where size/weight and the ability for quick follow-up isn't a factor.

Things are slowly changing though as technology advances. Sub 1/2-MOA from an auto was unheard of 15 years ago and it's slowly beginning to become the norm from 18-20 inch barrels. The real question given that they're tactical platforms is...what effect does the shorter barrel have on terminal ballistics.

Edited by BattleAxe, Oct. 21 2010 - 11:01 AM.



#11 OFFLINE   Danny45

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Posted Oct. 21 2010 - 01:51 PM

I think it can have a dramatic effect, if the wrong bullet is chosen simply because of the velocity drop. Bullets are designed to do a specific thing, at a specific velocity, when hitting a specific target. Take a bullet designed for maximum expansion at 3000 fps, it may not open at all below that, and may explode with very little penetration above that. So if you take away 5" of barrel, (can't remember, but I think you lose an average of 15fps per every inch of barrel reduction when using cartridges that use slower burning powders), you can dramatically impact how a chosen bullet will perform upon impact.


#12 OFFLINE   Killer308

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Posted Oct. 21 2010 - 02:06 PM

Well that being said I should plan on using a 24" barrel then. I want it to be a long range rifle. Black Hole Weaponry makes a 24" bull barrel and a 24" standard barrel. I have an AR 15 and handguns for close stuff.

Edited by Don29palms, Oct. 21 2010 - 04:53 PM.



#13 OFFLINE   Redpitbull44

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Posted Nov. 02 2010 - 12:16 AM

There are several calibers you haven't thought of here, so I'll do that now. For .308 builds, you could also shoot.These are the .243 Winchester, the .25-08, the .260 Remington (aka 6.5-08 A-Square), the 7 mm-08 Remington, the .338 Federal, and the .358 Winchester (aka 8.8x51mm). These the AR-10 platform can readily handle with a barrel change.


#14 OFFLINE   pzkwV424

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Posted Nov. 02 2010 - 01:18 AM

For the 308 platform I'm either building a 6.5 Creedmoor or a 260 Rem. Now seeing that Blackhole already builds a 260 Rem barrel poly rifled.

Now we look at the 308 platforms using any and about every cartridge based on the 308 Winchester. Also some builders are chambering the Remington and Winchester short Magnums as well.

For the Ar15 17 Reminton to 50 Beowulf with one builder chambering the 243 Winchester Short Mag. Plus an assortment of Pistol and Ar platform designed rounds.

Ask and you shall receive.

My round of Choice is the 6.8x43 Rem SPC or what ever you call it. I'm slowly being drawn to the 6.5 Grendle because is is just simply a brute.


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