I hunt exclusively in Alaska, at least for the past 40+ years, and I have the ability to take more than one fire arm with me when I go to my usual hunting camp. This year, between my youngest son and I we took 5 long guns and 3 pistols. I've carried 2 Remington 700 Classics to my camp for several years now, one is a 300 Weatherby and the other is a 375 H&H. My son took a 50 BMG and a pair of 45-70s.
Taking the 50 in with us piqued my interest in using long range shooters for hunting and eventually led me to this site. My primary hunting is for meat and moose fits the bill quite well but bears show up and we take bears whenever the opportunity presents itself. Our hunting camp is near tree line and most of our spotting is done at or above tree line and the open country above tree line lends itself to long range shooting, hence the 300 wtby. I've always liked to shoot grizzlies at less than 100 yds. with something big enough to do some damage if things get ugly, the reason for the 375.
The 50 BMG opened my eyes to the possibility of shooting with enough authority to take a bear at much greater distances than I had ever considered before but it certainly isn't what I would consider a packable rifle. After looking through some of the firearms on this site there are definitely some that would work for my hunting and I would consider packable in the 12-15 lb. range.
I have had to go into the alders after a wounded griz on more than one occasion (not ones that I shot) so firing at a bear at long range isn't something that I would think of doing unless I was thoroughly prepared to do so but it looks like I've got some research to do. I find threads like this one a good way to learn.
Last edited by Speedo; 10-21-2010 at 04:14 AM.
Reason: late night sentence structure
I have always been an avid reader of your posts and you ve answered PM questions for me so its a challenge to offer any comments of value to you. What I would say is, just like golf, you choose the club / driver according to the distance and in addition what size hole you need to make. For elk I ve used a 30-378 for morning hikes at 10,000 feet since it is typically a longer hike and with more pursuit / stalk involved. In the evenings, a 375 snipetac for more long distance sit and wait ambushes. Both group at 6" at 1000 yds but the 375 single shot is heavier and either is carried in back pack or hip holster. My 375 AM with magazine is even heavier and is more suited to short hike to an ambush site but is very accurate to 1 mile. If I were to do it again (for elk) I would go with your suggestion of the 338-378 but customized as my 30-378 is, as my carry rifle for longer hikes. Also a 338-378works great for large African game including elands (300 a little small for them). Obviously in Africa, its not only the animal that you hunt but the one that hunts you and that s where a 375, whether H&H or bigger case, counts, in case you get charged. This year 3 PH s have been killed by elephants they were not hunting.
Just my 2 c worth. I always enjoy your valuable insight so I look forward to your summary of this discussion.
LTLR, very interesting thread. I've always been into the light fast shooters but I'm moving more to the 338 size range stuff based a lot on your writing, I know you get tired of repeating your self every other day but it's sinking in
While not having the big ballistic numbers that many have I really like my 270 WSM, it has been just a wonderful rifle the kind that you do your part things just happen. For a LR carry type gun I would like to not have something chambered in anything that would require a brake because I hate wearing ear muffs 24/7 and you need your ears on when hunting. I'm a wuss and a 300WSM is about as much as I can take for recoil in a 8-9lbs rifle, the 338-300WSM really interests me for a timber rifle build though.
I'm putting together a 338 Norma and a 338 RUM for me and my friend for a LR heavy carry elk rifles, we can handle carrying 13-14lbs rifles for quite a ways with not much problems with our backpacks set up. Really looking forward to these rifles. I shoot quite a bit and love to shoot, not much into the comp scene but when I have a rifle that I love to shoot and shoot good I tend to shoot it till it's worn out so I really want to make a move to longer life chamberings and the 338 RUM, 338 Norma, 338 Lapua and 338 Edge type chambering seems to get that done but you still have the horsepower.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
LTLR, this is a great thread. I always leave the house with 2 rifles. I take my favorite 338 Edge for long range applications, it weighs in at 14.7 with a NF 5.5-22x56 and I take my 7 WSM, BAT action LH, McMillan "edge" fill stock (classic), our scope mounts and a NF 2.5-10 NXS w zero stops. THe 7 WSM weighs 7.9 lbs, mild recoil, very accurate, and while I don't consider this a long range rifle compared to my Edge it still has some legs. I hunt mostly long range, however ther is always the following up of the shot and days where fog or other weather conditions limit long range activity so I take to close rangfe hunting. I am also planning a high country pack trip where packing the edge is just not an option.
Thanks very much to everyone for all the great information. As you read through there it is full of tidbits that can help anyone. This is beginning to show what I hoped it would. Long range can be accomplished with many different calibers and chamberings. A guy can shoot what fits his style best. Whether it be light, heavy, standard case, magnum case with the important thing being he is good with his rifle. Naturally as the range gets extreme some start dropping off. But say out to 800 yards which is about it for many members just getting started and interested in long range there just isn't a whole lot of difference among the top chamberings in all the calibers.
I was glad to see the 375's brought in the discussion. With the new high BC bullets they are exceptional at extreme long range. My standard 378 wby I have had for years is now a legitimate long range rifle with bullets up to .9 bc at near 3000 fps.
Shawn Carlock and a couple others through there showed excellent lightweight rigs that work extremely well at long range which helps many people looking for long range backpack rifles. By the way, Thanks Shawn for bringing in your level of expertise here. We would like to hear more if you have time. Listing your two rifles is an excellent point. You just need two rifles. Shawn has a long range rig that will basically kill anything you see. I like those, if you can see it you can kill it. Then a light rig for carrying where the big one can't go or many times if weather is in and you just can't see forever. The light one is still a very long range capable round.
Again thanks to all and we would like to hear more.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
I am mostly a varmint hunter and shoot quite a few small calibers. I have four rigs I use for long range hunting/shooting.
If much hiking or a lot of walking is involved:
Interarms Mark X 25.06 AI. Really nice maple stock that has been bedded. Home trigger job on factory trigger. Douglas barrel 1-9 twist. Sightron 4.5-14 scope. This is my latest rifle so load work is still underway. I have been very happy with the accuracy of the 115 grain ballistic tip but have not clocked any loads yet. Should be a good deer/antelope rifle out to 700 yards and weighs 10.25lbs.
Colt Light Rifle in 7mm Remington Magnum. Stock is bedded, plastic trigger guard, firing pin and firing pin spring all replaced with Ultra Light Arms parts. Lapped Talley LW rings and Nikon Monarch scope. Rifle is very accurate with several handloads and I am comfortable with shots out to 700 yards. Rifle weighs just 7.25lbs with sling and ammo.
Moderate walks on smaller game:
Ruger VT 243. Stock is bedded and barrel has new crown. Two stage trigger adjusted very light. Shoots the 105 Amax into tiny groups at 3200 FPS with a heavy dose of RL22. Good to 1000 yards on varmints and smaller deer to perhaps 800. Rifle weighs 11.5lbs.
Moderate walks for any creature in the lower 50:
Trued Remington 700 with saco extractor and single shot glued in. Heavy fluted SS K&P barrel at 26" plus brake. H&S stock pillar/alum/glass bedded. Badger 20MOA base and bolt knob. Nikon 6.5-20 Scope. Caliber is 6.5 ICBM (6.5 STW Improved 35 degree shoulder). Rifle weighs 12.5lbs.
Velocities (not pushing all that hard)
100's 3900 FPS 77 grains of RL22
120's 3650 FPS 75 grains of RL22
140's 3450 FPS 88 grains of 869.
The ballistics on a 142 grain matchking at 3450 is really impressive. I have not tried any custom bullets or Bergers in this rifle.
Last edited by Stormbringer; 10-22-2010 at 03:22 PM.