Re: Which 7mm for a long range rifle?
Since you did not specify what size bolt face and action length you are considering, I'll add my two-cents worth.
Given that in my 50's I've become a little sensitive to recoil, (don't get me wrong, I love shooting my .338 Win. and .375 H & H Mags) I decided to add a .284 Winchester barrel, 26" long and 0.700" muzzle diameter to my Winchester Model 70, which has a stainless, standard length action and .473 (30-06/.308) bolt face. This same rifle uses varmint countour (.750 muzzle dia.) .30-06 and light varmint contour (.700 muzzle dia.) interchangeable barrels.
My reasoning was, that if the .284 Win. is winning 1000 yard matches, its accuracy potential with 168 Berger bullets at hunting distances under 800 yards, coupled with their excellent terminal ballistics, would give me these performance to down anything short of a grizzly at any reasonable hunting distances. Thus, I ordered a .284 Winchester Match reamer from PT & G to use on a Shillen Match Grade barrel I had on hand. The barrel has a 1 in 9" rate of twist, and 4-groove rifling. The rifle's standard length action makes it possible to seat heavier bullets out further, without clearance problems.
The rifle is fitted in a McMillan M40 general purpose hunting stock, sports a Leupold 20 MOA Picatinny rail, a Zeiss 6.5-20 X50 mm scope in Leupold QRW rings and weighs weighs 10.5 lbs. I have no problem carrying the rifle all day long, using either of the other 2 barrrels, since I switch shoulders and also carry it in my hands while out hunting.
I should be finishing load development in another month. I am developing a load that will give me approximately 2950 fps, with either H4350 or H4831, since I have plenty of both poders available. Primers are Wolf Std. LR and brass is Winchester, sorted by weight to +/- 1 grain and neck-turned.
Best of luck!
Joaquin B. in AZ