Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Long Range Hunting & Shooting

Long Range Hunting & Shooting Nightforce Optics


Reply

Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-28-2011, 06:41 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 41
Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

Discussions on the merits of one caliber versus another are throughout this forum and I've learned a lot reading other member's input, but I'm trying to boil it down to the factors folks typically consider when selecting a caliber.

Based on my reading so far, here is the list I've come up with:

Purpose - hunting or paper punching
Target - paper or animal
BC - bigger is better?
Velocity - faster is better?
ME/KE at the target
Reloader or not
Recoil sensitivity

I realize there are trade offs but want to understand the why behind caliber selection to help me decide on my next LRH build
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:03 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 2,417
Re: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

You have most of it...A couple more come to my mind is it a specialty or general use rifle. Is it one of several you own or is it this one does it all. Barrel life vs useage will you burn it up in one match or hunt with it for years. Experience. Local conditions, or will it have to travel from the Black Rock Desert to the tundra and back. Social to a degree what's usual in the group you hang with (smith included).
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-28-2011, 10:30 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Halfway between Lubbock and Dallas
Posts: 4,776
Re: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine24 View Post
Discussions on the merits of one caliber versus another are throughout this forum and I've learned a lot reading other member's input, but I'm trying to boil it down to the factors folks typically consider when selecting a caliber.

Based on my reading so far, here is the list I've come up with:

Purpose - hunting or paper punching
Target - paper or animal
BC - bigger is better?
Velocity - faster is better?
ME/KE at the target
Reloader or not
Recoil sensitivity

I realize there are trade offs but want to understand the why behind caliber selection to help me decide on my next LRH build
Good list so far but I'd modify it a bit.

Start off with Toughest Game + Maximim Range, then work backwards through all other considerations.

You can get to one mile with a .300 Rum but it won't have enough energy left to reliably kill Elk.

You can kill a priarie dog at 400 yds with a .338 Lapua but it's a hell of a lot more gun than necessary.
__________________
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-28-2011, 11:09 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 41
Re: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

Good point on toughest game since most of have rifles pulling double and triple duty.

Purposely left out range and figured to back in to that based on desired ME/KE desired but how much is enough is another debate so range makes sense.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-28-2011, 11:18 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Halfway between Lubbock and Dallas
Posts: 4,776
Re: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine24 View Post
Good point on toughest game since most of have rifles pulling double and triple duty.

Purposely left out range and figured to back in to that based on desired ME/KE desired but how much is enough is another debate so range makes sense.
It just makes the most sense to me to start with the major limiting factors and work backwards.
__________________
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-29-2011, 06:54 AM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 420
Re: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
It just makes the most sense to me to start with the major limiting factors and work backwards.
That makes a lot of sense to me too!

When I started on my quest I wanted a purpose built rifle for pronghorns that wouldn't be too heavy to pack and still have a lot of reach. I just tried to keep this goal in mind as I went, I'm still going at this point.

Bob
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:33 AM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider

Wildrose makes a great point about toughest game and longest range, then working backwards from there.

Many shooters only have one or two centerfire rifles for various reasons from personal preference to finances. If you have several it is easy to fine tune the caliber to the game or activity, if you have only one it is all about trade offs.

I must admit I like big caliber rifles for long range hunting, 338 cal and up. Here is why.....

Lets pick a 6.5/284 and a 338 Lapua for example:

Will the 6.5 kill an antelope at 500 yards, yep. Will the 338 kill an antelope at 500 yards, yep.

Will the 6.5 kill an elk at 1000 yards, maybe, but very marginal. Will the 338 kill an elk at 1000 yards, yep, with authority.

Obviously two simple examples, but you get the point. The arguments against the larger calibers go like this. They are overkill for smaller game at short ranges. So what? Dead is dead. Unless you are talking about .50 BMGs the meat damage from the larger calibers is comparable to the smaller calibers.

Weight. Big caliber rifles weigh too much. You can build a 338 at the same weight or very close to the same as a 6.5, and you can build both so light that most people cannot shoot them accurately in the field.

Recoil. You got me there. The big boys kick more unless you use a good brake (I always do) then recoil is quite mild even with the big 300 grainers.

Reloading expense. Yep, the big boys cost more to reload but unless you are using some kind of premium bullet, not much more than the smaller calibers. Unless you are burning thousands of rounds a year, the extra loading cost is minimal compared to everything else you spend on hunting. You will probably spend more on gas driving out west for an elk than you will spend on reloading supplies for the year.

All that to say this: If you are going to go long, go big.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: Caliber Selection - Factors you consider
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Caliber Selection...Help! DFW15TX Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 6 02-18-2011 05:34 PM
Please help with caliber selection JayR Long Range Hunting & Shooting 10 12-30-2010 10:07 PM
Please help with caliber selection cookjp Long Range Hunting & Shooting 8 08-17-2010 08:17 AM
Caliber Selection Help trailside22 Long Range Hunting & Shooting 10 10-01-2008 11:03 PM
Caliber selection kimber222 The Basics, Starting Out 3 03-13-2005 09:32 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC