i was lookin around on the web today and found this site. i am looking for a gun to shoot coues deer with. i have 2 christensen arms gun rite now. one is a 25-06 and the other is a 300 rum. after reading some posts about them, i dont want to buy another one. i would like to know, what would be the best caliber to shot long distance at coues deer. i have killed one at 600 and one at 650. i would like to shoot to about a thousand. the weight of the gun is very important, i dont want it to be heavy. so, what would be the best rig to get started with.
This may sound strange but the actual chambering is not overly important in a project like yours, there are literally dozens of different chamberings that will work perfectly well for your needs.
The real issue will be rifle design. I always get nervous when I read someone wants legit 1000 yard reach but in a lightweight rifle. These are generally two things that do not play well with each other. A light rifle is just extremely difficult to shoot accurately out to 1000 yards. Not saying they are not accurate enough to do it, just saying that in field conditions, a lightweight rifle is much harder for us humans to shoot accurately at these ranges.
Light rifles generally mean lighter contour barrels, slimmer stock designs and lighter receivers. None of these add up to 1000 yard consistancy for the most part.
It all comes down to what your idea of light rifle is. Personally, I recommend to my customers that they should have at least 10 lbs in rifle weight if they want a legit, consistant 1000 yard rifle. 800 yards, you can get down to 8 lbs or so and yes, it does make a difference from 800 to 1000 yards making that first shot kill, its dramatically more difficult to make that one shot kill at 1000 yards compared to 800 yards.
Everything just has to be perfect for consistant 1000 yard consistancy.
Its hard to build a rifle for 1000 yard shooting that is not built specifically for 1000 yard shooting. Does that make any sense.......
If it were me, putting the bullet on the mark is much more important then anything else. I do not believe in overkill, I believe in putting that bullet into and through the vitals on the first shot.
My recommendation, 7mm RUM, 7mm AM, 300 RUM or 300 AX. If you went with the RUM chamberings, I would go with a Borden Timberline Magnum receiver, wyatts extended mag box, McMillan A-5 stock, at least a #7 contour, heavy fluted barrel, APS Painkiller muzzle brake.
For the 7mm AM or 300 AX, I would go with a BAT model HRPIC receiver, the rest the same except for using an HS Precision DM system.
In the 7mms, I would use the 180 gr Berger Hunting VLD loaded to 3100-3200 fps in the RUM depending on barrel length and between 3300-3400 fps in the AM depending on barrel length.
For the 30 cals, I would go with a 208 gr A-Max, 210 gr berger or SMK. Loaded to around 3200 fps in the RUM or 3350 fps in the AX.
These would offer great results ballistically but they are alot of gun, some do not like that. With a proper muzzle brake, recoil will be of no concern.
If this is just to much for what you want, one of the 6.5mm magnums would be a great choice as well. The 6.5mm STW loaded with a 142 gr SMK or 140 gr SMK would be a great choice when loaded to 3300-3350 fps. Less recoil but roughly the same barrel life as the larger rounds and not quite as potent as some of them ballistically.
Simply put, all of these rifles would be around 10 lbs in rifle weight. May be more then you want to pack around.
To be honest, if it is, you may have to adjust your goals to a more realistic level. Say 800 yards or so with a 7-8 lb rifle.
Hope this helps some.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
thanks for the answer. i probably wouldnt be shooting to a 1000 at a deer, but i would at paper or p dogs. how much would a gun like this cost? i have read up on the gunwerks people, but that price seems to be high!
Kirby gave you excellent advice. I have a lightweight 300 RUM that i currently use for Coues that I really like and shoots well, but loses some consistency after about 800 yards or so. I believe it to be because of the reasons Kirby explained. The 180 grain pills I have been using are probably part of the reason as well. I'm currently playing with the 210 Bergers and 208 A-Max's to see if that can extend my range some. I wanted a 1000 yard+ gun, and Kirby is currently getting parts together for a 7mm AM for me. This is a 338 Lapua necked to a 7mm and is very impressive ballistically. Mine will be about 12-13 lbs hunting weight though. That is the price you have to pay however for long range performance.
And as far as the Gunwerks guns are concerned, I've never shot one, but from what I hear they shoot very well. However, you can have a good smith build you a rig that shoots at least as good for probably around 1500 to 2000 less.
Good luck with your build.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: coues deer gun
Heavy rifle is subjective. I know guys that think 12-13# is heavy. I know guys that think 10# is heavy. I also know guys myself included that think 16# is heavy. What in your opinion is heavy?
Personaly my LR sheep rifle and coues rifle is 12 pounds scoped. To me this is a mid weight rifle. This mid weight is also good weight and constency for 1K shooting. It is a 700 long action, ABS barrel chambered in 300 RUM with a McMillan stock. My back up LR and my standard "carry" rifle for sheep/coues is a 24" 11.25 twist M40A1 clone. Chambered in 308. Same stock. It is EXTREEMLY accurate to 1K. It is by far the easiest rifle I have ever been able to hit concistently to 1K. Very, very accurate.
If I personaly were going to build a new coues rifle specifecly for coues deer, I would use a 700 short action, 24" 11 or 11.25 twist barrel in a moderate weight such as the sendero contour chambered in either 308 or 300 WSM with a McMillan HTG stock. Coues bucks are smallish and require more accuracy than energy. This is why I personaly would choose the 308 or 300 WSM. Neither are finiky or hard to load for and both are inherently accurate. The 308 for me has always been my goto rifle for when accuracy matters most. With the right bullet you can cleanly kill a coues buck to 1K with it but the 300 WSM would be better. Now if you wanted a 700-800 yard coues rifle and a 1K pdog and paper rifle the 308 would get my vote hands down. If you want to consitently harvest coues bucks to 1K I would go with the WSM. Remeber, with small critters, accuracy first, then energy. Yes you need energy to open a bullet at 1K. At coues altitudes and temps (even in dec.) the amax's will open just fine but you need to get it in the right spot in the first place. I would use the 178 in the 308 and the 178 or 208 depending on which one my rifle liked best. There are other very accurate cartridges that would make a good coues rifle such as the 280 AI, or 6.5x284. I personaly dont like the 6.5x284 due to its very short barrel life. About 1000 rounds or so. Now I shoot a 300 RUM with the same barrel life expectancy but with the added cost of cases that dont last long and mass quantities of powder I simply cannot afford to shoot it enough to burn my barrel out in a short amount of time. The 6.5 costs much less to operate but cooks just as quick. The cost per shot barrel life ratio just doesnt work for me nor does the lack of energy it delivers. I tolerate the short life of my fire breathing dragon due to the massive energy it delivers. For 1000 accurate rounds I expect something in return. The 6.5 just doesnt offer enough in return to justify the short life.
The 280 AI however is about the sweetest long action caliber there is. 308 accuracy with near 7mm mag performance with less kick and better barrel life than the hotter 7mm mags. If you want a long action for bigger bang, I would look long and hard at the 280 improved. If you would like to double up for a coues/elk rig I would look to the 300 RUM, which you already have.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
Last edited by Michael Eichele; 01-29-2009 at 09:01 PM.
thanks for the reply's. i dont know anything about the 280. actually i shoot archery more than anything, but this long range shooting is interesting. there is something cool about shooting 800 yards and knowing your going to hit. this would be considered unethical to alot of people, but i know it can be done with alot of practice. anyways, back to the gun thing. like i said earlier, i dont know anything about the 280. it sounds like something i would be interested looking into. after going through this forum, im starting to realize all the stuff ive heard over the years dosent really apply to what you people are saying. i like the christensen arms guns alot. i havent had any issues with them. but im not out trying to make 800 yard shots with them either. i had a buddy that was working there and he quit, he never said why, but now i think i know. so, is it impossible to turn one of the guns i have into a lr rifle, or is that dumb. sorry i have so many questions, and i keep blabing on, but im really thinking hard about putting something together. one more thing, i have never reloaded, is this something im gonna have to learn to do, or can i buy ammo ready to go. thanks for listening to my on-going paragraph