I am putting together my budget build, shooting for somewhere near $1000 for the rifle. Going to put a Mcgowen barrel on a savage action, bed it in a B&C or Choate stock, and then put a vortex viper on top of it.
But I am posing a couple questions, and this is where I am stuck.
I want a gun that I can shoot out to about 700 yards effectively on game. I dont really see myself shooting much farther than that at live animals...just yet. But I also want to be able to capatilize on a 100 yard shot if it surpisingly presents itsself.
So far, here are the calibers that I am contemplating...and why.
Also, I will be hunting for mostly deer sized game, but also may use the rifle to hunt elk.
300 win mag: Tried and true, packs a punch, readily available supplies
338 win mag: Ballistically very close to the 300wm, heavier bullet, little bigger hole, and I have seen the effects and anchoring abilities.
300 wsm: I like the idea of a short action, and wouldnt mind trying this caliber!
6.5x284: The new hype, seems very promising, very accurate. Cons are that its a little harder to find stuff for, and short(ish) barrel life.
I also really considered going with a 308 because I thought it would be good to get started with, but I dont really want to discover that it would be underpowered for game once they are out there a ways.
What do you think I should do?
Any suggestions, ideas and comments are very welcome!
i personally like the 300 wsm because i have had several very accurate rifles chambered in that caliber.i have used it from groundhogs to whitetail with much success.it to me is a nice all around cartridge.i have also had a 338 win mag that i used for whitetail but it flat out kicked to the point where it wasn't enjoable to shoot but will knock anything on your list down.i still can't get on the 6.5 wagon yet so i can't comment on that.that being said i believe the 300 win mag is the going to suit you best with the 300 wsm right behind it.it will push a heavy 30 cal bullet fast and flat without the recoil of the 338 win mag and there is alot of premium hunting ammo choices if you don't reload.
I shoot a 6.5-284 and it is great. Its very accurate, low recoil, components are easy to get and cheaper to shoot than the big powder burners. That said, its a little light on big critters past 600 yds or so. In long range hunting you will want to spot your hits (or misses) and that will be hard to do on the 300s without a break (about $150-$200 extra and a lot-a-extra noise). I built a .284(McGowen barrel A+) for a friend that duplicates a 7mm mag and has noticably more thump than my 6.5 on game and is still user friendly. Depending on the size of game you plan on hunting a 6.5 will be enough usually but a 7mag or 7wsm with vld bullets may be a better chioce without the recoil and powder and lead consumption of the big magnums.