Since last year I have been thinking about a new rifle for use at 300m, and up until now I have been looking primarily at something chambered in 6mmBR. However after discussions with a few people I have decided to consider the possibilities of other calibers. I am still keen on owning a rifle chambered in 6mmBR, but for now, since I am a student and have limited finances, I have decided to consider other calibers that can offer decent performance at a much lower price tag.
One suggestion I have had is .223 Rem in an AR15 platform. I have never thought of a semi-auto rifle as an accurate platform, and in the UK they are not legal for civilian ownership so they didn’t really enter my consciousness when I thought about target shooting. Here in the US however they are ubiquitous and due to their popularity there are many manufacturers building rifles and components that are highly modified from the original military spec.
One such manufacturer is White Oak Armament who produce a “complete upper” that is purpose built for match shooting. It is really ideal for a discipline called “across the course” which is a military style competition that includes timed details that favour a semi-auto. However I am assured it’s accuracy is such that it is perfectly suitable for regular matches, if you don’t mind picking your brass off the floor at the end of the detail.
The .223 Rem is a much more affordable alternative to 6mmBR, and the components and reloading tools are more widely available. At 300m it is pretty close to 6mmBR in performance, but at 600yds and beyond it compares much less favourably. However, since I will be shooting primarily at 300m and I have a very good .308 rifle that I can use at longer ranges, this is not a particular concern. Having a semi-auto would also open up the possibility of competing in “across the course” in the future if I desired.
I have not made up my mind, and I have a way to go before I can afford anything, so I will continue to consider my options until I do.