Here are some rules of thumb that I use for my LR deer hunting. I shoot Hornady 165gr SST and find them to offer the best compromise of accuracy, ballistics, and ongame performance. Cost and availability is also an issue in Canada.
For poly tipped softpoints and bullets like MK, I would want an impact vel of at least 1500fps, with a max of 2800fps. This ensures very good bullet performance. Bullet weight can range from 140 to 180gr for the ranges you mention. 6.5mm to 30 cal would work too. The cartridge you use to get this performance is really not that important. Most anything can be made to shoot today due to better bullets, dies, brass and reamers.
For accuracy, I want to hit a milk jug (for deer size game) 90%+ of the time at my max distance under field conditions and weather. How I do this is I shoot rocks in the back 40. I set up, range, dial elevation and windage, take a windage shot or two, engage target and hit. If I cannot hit consistently, then the load/gun/distance is not up to the task.
For the amount of money you are probably going to throw at a new factory rifle, I would suggest getting a used beater and spinning on a good barrel with a proper chamber. You are taking a big gamble that the new fancy shiny rifle will shoot with the accuracy that you want. You are assuming that the throat/barrel on a factory rifle was cut well enough that you can get sub MOA accuracy.
I would rather take my chances with a Lilja, Hart, PacNor, Douglas, or Shilen pipe on a Mauser action, timney/optima trigger, and Boyd stock for under $800. I could even go to someone like ER Shaw and have them install one of their barrels on an action for a total cost of around $600 ready for a scope.
I remember seeing the name over on shooters. I dont really like that place anymore, I very rarely post over there anymore. They just aren't that friendly.
Thank you for providing that web-site with the information. The reason I used the 1000 lbs for deer and 1500 lbs for elk, and 2000fps velocity is because if I remember correctly, thats what Col. Townsend Whelan I believe came up with. However, I have seen more than one muley doe fall to 1 shot out of .222 and .223 at 300 yards and they drop instantly. They didn't always die, but they dropped in there tracks. I later found out they only have about 350lbs of energy. So much for the 1000 lb rule huh? I have always went by that when trying to come up with a new gun for the intended purpose. Like my 25/06 for example, I did tons of homework on that and the .270, but I found the 25/06 would get me out to 600 yards for deer with a 115g B-tip with less kick and more availability of use for coyotes which I also shoot a lot of at long range. Anyways back to original post. I have right now $400 saved up and at a local sport store they have the older Rem Sendero, non fluted, blued on sale for $600. They also have one in a 7 Rem Mag. I have looked at all the possibilities of the 7 Mag but they dont come close to a .300 for LR elk or bears from what I can see. I am going to put the .300 Win Sendaro on lay away tonight probly to make sure it is still halfway mine before someone else snatches it up. They only have 1 left. If I decided to change my mind, I can simply take it off layway and get my $400 back. I have a harris bi-pod waiting. Also I bought a brand new Leupold VX 2 about 2 months ago. It is the 6-18 Target, matte, fine duplex. I also have a Nikon 800 Laser Rangefinder which I soon am going to upgrade to the Leica 1200. I am pretty set for shots out to 600 already. Just need to work on the load. I would be interested in staying in contact with you about your 7 Ultra and also sharing with you probly the .300 Win out of the sendaro. This will be the first .300 I have tested with a 26" barrel. It should add anywhere from 50-100fps. I am hoping to shoot a 200g at a max velocity of 3050fps. Should be hell on whatever I hit with it at my range.
Thanks for that awesome .308" 240g SMK. I received it on last Thursday. Sorry for the late Thank you. I dont think I would use a 165g SST for elk. Remember, this is strictly elk/bear. I already have my trusty 25/06 for any deer I will encounter. I am looking for no smaller bullet than 180g because I want high BC for added accuracy at long range, and barrel life is a little concern with me also. I want to be able to practice about every other day with this rifle on milk jugs at 500 and 600 yards. Doing that my barrel will probly be out in 2 years anyways.
I like your idea of impact velocity at 1500fps. That should put the .300 a decent legimate 1000 yard cartridge. NOt that I will shoot that far, but its nice to know. My funds are kinda limited for the time I have to get prepared. I drew a big bull tag for where I hunt and Season starts mid-late october. I want to have my gun/load/practice all in before then to reliably hit at 600 yards. Maybe in a couple years I will get out to 700 yards. Right now I have $400. I want to get a rifle before this month is over. That would give me about 2 months to play with my new gun. Thanks for all the information guys. You really help out a lot over here for LR hunting. As of right now, im 95% on my Sendero in .300 Win and shooting the 200g SMK. I will definately let you all know how it performs.
On a side note, I havne't bought a new gun in over 2 years when I started getting into LR hunting and ballistics. I never did break in my 25/06 barrel and it has never ever given me accuracy or cleaning problems. But, I want to do this .300 right and do a proper break in. Can a few of you experts please share a couple ways you know how to break in a barrel? It would be most appreciative to hear from the LR hunters as thats what I am buying this gun for. Thanks a lot in advance.
We covered barrel break-in a few times here already, just do a seach and you should find lots of info. I believe a check on some of the custom barrel makers' websites will also give you some detailed info. Fairly controvercial subject, seems to make a barrel easier to maintain
Suggest you look at the Nosler 200 grain Accubond for your new .300 Win. rifle, it is a very tough bullet and is proving to be extremely accurate in my rifles. Should be a super LR elk bullet, combines accuracy and good retained weight.
Last night I went and put the last .300 Win Sendero on layway. Will get it out probly in 1 1/2 months. Now that im 17, I got a job and have some bills to pay. I already hate bills and I only been paying them for about 6 months. Does anyone have a sendero in .300 Win and would like to share any comments or good LR loads? I am very interested and am starting to get all my accessories for it. I can work on the rem triggers myself as I have worked on my .222 Rem a couple months ago, got it down to a good 2 lbs. (I double checked it with the local gunsmith however.) That will save me about $30. I already have a set of RCBS FL dies because I reload the cartridge for my dad and uncle, however I am going to neck size only for mine so I will be acquiring a neck die as well. Also was thinking of a competition seater. I am still debating on whether or not to get 100 Norma brass for probly about $110, or get 200 Winchester and sort them out and still have a little money left over. I have already bought a box of 200g SMK's and H-1000 powder. I also bought a Leupold vx2 6-18 Target. I have a couple harris bipods. I will be pretty much set. With practice I should be making consistent hits at 600 yards.
One last thing, is the stock on the sendero a HS precision or what?
So you went with the 300 Win Mag eh? For your intended purpose of LR elk and bear I don't think you can go wrong. I'd pick that caliber over my 7mm RUM for elk and bear if I had the exact same setup for the 300 Win. Mag. You're sure to get brass cheaper and as I mentioned before, the 300 Win Mag has a relatively long history with tons of followers willing to provide lots of reloading info.
I'm glad you realize that the ft-lb rule is only an approximation - but better than no guide at all!
$600 for an old Sendero isn't bad. I'm not positive about the stock manufacturer for the older Senderos but I know for certain that my Rem Sendero 7 Ultra is an HS Composite. You could probably call Remington's customer service #, provide them with the serial # for the rifle and ask them. Otherwise you might have to search some history.
One thing that you didn't mention were the type of scope mounts you were planning on using. I don't know your budget or experience, but many have suggested quality mounts like the Leupold Mark 4 2 piece mounts with Mark 4 rings ($200 - $300 total). I'm a little dubious of putting such money on mounts I've never tried but some of the LR guys really stress good mounts such as these and some of the tapered Burris mounts to give you more adjustment if you need it. My plan? Go with the cheaper $50 Leupold mounts, see how it goes and if need be, get the expensive ones. Just something else to consider!
Finally, in regards to barrel break in, I'd suggest not to fret. Case in point, I know two LR shooters in my local area. One hand laps his barrels at $200.00 per rifle. The other has simply shot and shot simply cleaning between outings. Both consistently hit 6 inch silhouettes at 500 yards. In fact a lot of bench rest shooters say that their custom rigs don't really start shooting well enough for competition until about 1000 - 1500 rounds have been fired through the barrel (see the book "The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy"). The majority of guys I know who shoot LR simply fire 1 round, clean, fire another, clean, and continue until about 20 rounds have been fired and get good results. Better than doing nothing? I don't think so but if you're dead set on doing something for break-in I'd be cautious of having someone do a hand-lap for you. I believe it takes a custom gunsmith with just the right feel for the barrel in order to do it right because the process is simply the same for all hand-lappers (shoving a gritty projectile down the barrel hoping to remove burrs).
Don't get hung up on details for a hunting rig. Rather worry about hunting accuracy than benchrest accuracy because you're working with a factory set-up. Most super accurate rigs are custom.
Good luck and I'll keep you posted on my 7 Ultra findings and look forward to hearing from you and your 300 Win. Mag findings.
I'll have to correct myself in regards to Bounty Hunter's # firings comment. While it has been said that BR rigs do shoot better at around 1000 rounds, it probably doesn't hold true for a magnum. Good point Bounty Hunter [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Most of the pressures/bullet styles/ etc. set up for BR aren't set up for hunting but rather smaller calibers like the 6mm BR and such.
Again, as one LR shooter told me when I started looking into how to prepare a rifle for LR shooting said "just shoot the damn thing!" [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Yah I decided to go with the .300 Win. I have experience with the caliber, and it has good ballistics for a factory magnum that wont cost an arm and a leg. The reason it cost $600 is because its the older Sendero, non fluted, and like a teflon finish blueing, but its on sale. I woulda rather get the Sendero SF, but it was $825. The scope bases and mounts I use are always Leupold. Was maybe thinking of the Burris Signature because they will give you a little added MOA. I'm not sure how rings or bases give you more MOA though. I dont fully understand that. But I'm only going to be shooting at a max of 800 yards on targets, and I might try that 1000 yard tv shoot this year as well. So I hope I will have enough MOA to at least the 800 mark. I'm not really sure if barrel break in is really needed. But a lot of people do it. My 25/06 was never broken in, I just got the gun and shot it and cleaned it every 30-40 rounds. I consistently hit milk jugs at 500 yards along with coyotes. Cleaning never seemed to be any problem but I think I will try the barrel break in just to see if really is worth it.
I was thinking about buying the RCBS competition seater. I think its something like $65. My accuracy goals for factory rifles are 3/4 at 100 yards. If I cant get it to group 3/4" at 100 yards, then I'll probly sell it. But I have had little trouble attaining 3/4" with any of my factory guns. It just takes a little time at the bench and range. Which I dont mind one bit. My 800 yard range is all of 5 minutes from my house. My accuracy goal for long range is just going to be 3 shot groups of 5 inches at 500 yards, 6 inches at 600 yards. So pretty much just 1 MOA at longer range and I will be a happy camper for sure. My 25/06 would do 4-5 inches average for 3 shots at 500 yards. I just hope I can shoot the .300 Win as good at LR with all that kick. I am not use to kick, I have been shooting my 25/06 which has a muzzle brake for 2 1/2 years so any recoil is going to get some use to. I am not afraid of recoil and I dont flinch either, I just always read you shoot lighter kicking guns better, and you can spot your hits and misses with a muzzle brake. But I think I ahve done a little damage to my ears from it, so I dont want to muzzle brake my .300. The .300 I had before was a Ruger and did not have a muzzle brake, and I shot a spike at a little over 500 yards on the 1st shot and he dropped dead. The .300 does slap me around a bit at teh bench though because im 6"2 and 145 lbs. Just a skinny guy. The bullet of choice is the 200g SMK. I thought about the 220g, but it is to slow and the trajectory is not great. I think the 200g will be a good compromise because usually we shoot 165g or 180g in our .300 Wins. I dont want anyone to lap the barrel or anything, I am not going to worry about that. I just want to be able to hit elk and bears out to the maximum of 700 yards. They are a big target with a lot bigger vitals than a deer, so I think I am setting my goals pretty good.
Thanks a lot guys for all the comments and help. Its greatly appreciated. I will keep you all posted on how it does. But, I wont have the gun for at least a month. I cant wait.