When planning on long-range shooting, you need special cartridges designs for long-range shooting. Long-range shooting is quite relative. The long-range varies greatly from 200 yards to as far as 2000 yards. These cartridges have a reasonably flat trajectory and downrange energy. They can travel far on a straight trajectory. They usually have enough power to gun down big game animals.
Choosing the best 5 long-range cartridges can be a challenging task as different disciplines have different demands. However, we can attempt and rank the top 5 cartridges for long-range shooting.
.300 Win Mag
The .300 Win Mag is considered by many the optimum long-range cartridge and rightfully so. This is a large-game cartridge that has proven itself worldwide. This cartridge with the right long range 300 Win Mag scope is also a top choice for long-range snipers with the capability to launch heavy bullets at high precision and speeds. However, it features a pretty stiff recoil that some find hard to master. Expert shooters can shoot beyond 1650 yards at supersonic speeds.
The .300 Win Mag comes with a ballistic coefficient of 0.615 500-yard velocities, 2346 fps 500-yard energy, and 2200ft/lbs 500-yard drop. It is a useful cartridge for cross-country long-range and 100 yards for slow fire matches. This cartridge is pretty versatile and a good choice for shooters that engage in different disciplines.
The 6.5 Creedmoor long-range cartridge combine with the top rated 6.5 Creedmoor scopes is by far one of the best choices in the market over the years. The cartridge has had a huge effect on American long-range precision shooting since its introduction in 2007. Since the 30-06 cartridge which is another excellent long-range cartridge, no other cartridge has had such a huge impact on long-range shooters as the 6.5 Creedmoor.
The 6.5 Creedmoor has opened a new realm of possibilities for shooters. The cartridge features the highest ballistic-coefficient projectiles at high velocities. It also features a case and a chamber designed for inherent accuracy. The 6.5 Creedmoor provides a consistent connection to 1000 yard targets and beyond. It can reach a maximum range of 1400 yards.
This cartridge features an excellent barrel and a polite recoil making it easy to focus without worries of a recoil. It also comes with an aggressive muzzle brake allowing users to spot impacts downrange on still targets. Overall, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a direct ancestor of the 30TC and trounces the .308 Win.
The .308 is another capable long-range cartridge introduced in 1952. It is a pretty reliable cartridge that finesses the load and holds the tongue just right. With the best scope for 308, the cartridge can shoot to maximum ranges out of 1000 yards. This cartridge can achieve high precision with an arched trajectory that can make a rainbow appear flat. It features a .300 parent case and is a suitable choice for matches regulated to .308.
However, the .308 comes with a major weakness due to its lack of propellant capacity for pushing heavy-for caliber bullets at useful velocities. It compensates for its lack of propellant force by being heavy and streamlined with a stretched-out profile. There is a lot of good and bad when it comes to choosing the .308. It features an outstanding barrel life but a very annoying recoil.
This is by far one of the oldest long-range cartridges. It was developed as a military cartridge in 1906 during the buggy and horse era. For most people, the cartridge should be outdated, worn out, and even retired. However, this cartridge is still widely used and competes effectively with recent long-range cartridges like the .308 Winchester and .300 Ruger Compact Magnum. So, how does the 30/06 hold up against today’s prospects?
This cartridge has greatly changed since its inception as a military cartridge. It is now considered the best long-range hunting cartridge. The cartridge is long and tapered for smooth flow and extraction from and out of chambers. The bullet features a long robust neck to help resist case distortion. Over the years, the cartridge has changed with necks becoming shorter, shoulders steeper, and case walls more parallel. Nowadays, modern powders and bullets make the .30-06 a more effective cartridge making it an effective choice for long-range hunting.
This is another versatile long-range cartridge favored by snipers and military across the world. The cartridge is considered the “death ray” of the Global War on Terror. It features the flattest trajectory with most observers calling it laser-like. This is a precise cartridge that was specifically developed for sniping. The development originated from the US Marine Corps for long-range sniping to penetrate bodies at 1000 yards.
The cartridge features a case that can handle high pressure and a 350-grain bullet which still remains the standard choice. Overall, this is a popular cartridge and one that has proved vital with special operation units. One of the biggest advantages of the .338 Lapua is its accuracy at long ranges. It comprises some of the best optics in the industry.