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Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

 
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  #1  
Old 02-10-2011, 12:39 PM
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Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

I have a friend who is interested in building a super accurate rifle for deer hunting out to 500 or so yards. He is not a handloader, nor is he likely to be. I can get the rifle built, but I am trying to figure out a caliber to suggest. He will be hunting whitetail deer over agricultural fields. The parameters are good available factory ammunition and a flat enough trajectory to minimize holdover with about a 200 or 250 yd zero. He also doesn't want excessive recoil or a muzzle brake. I think he would stay away from a .300 magnum, but a smaller magnum would work. He is currently shooting a .30-06 so it has to be something flatter than that. I have a few thoughts on calibers to suggest, but I would like to hear from you guys.

Last edited by DZelenka; 02-10-2011 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:52 PM
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Re: Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

How about 257 Weatherby mag. Ammo is a little pricy but its a flat shooter and should work well on white tail. There is a lot of good cartridges out there. 243 wssm, 270 wsm, heck you could even get 280 ackley improved in factory ammo from Nosler
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:04 PM
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Re: Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

280 AI, 280, 260 Rem, 7mm-08 with a 140grn bullet, 6.5x284, 243Win, 270Win, 25-06, 25WSSM, 243WSSM, 7WSM, 270WSM, and 6.5 Creedmore.

Tank
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:34 PM
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Re: Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

Since factory ammo is the biggest limitation, I would first pick the factory ammo that I think will best meet expectations and then build from there.

Next, you can't be certain that you're rifle will get along with your first choice ammo. So, I would want to have a couple of good alternative ammo choices to fall back on.

I would steer clear of cartridges that aren't available off the shelf at major retailers.

I would be leary of expensive ammo choices since you may have to shoot a lot of factory ammo to find the right one.

You might consider 264 win mag, 270 wsm, or 30-06 for starters. But, there are many choices as other posters have suggested.

Quote:
He is currently shooting a .30-06 so it has to be something flatter than that.
"Flat" has nothing to do with it. At 500 yards, you will have to dial turrets or hold-over. With a good range finder, that's easy to control provided the ammo is of sufficient quality. You need a good BC bullet to give you more room for error in reading the wind. The challenge will be to get accurate and repeatable results at long range.

Best of luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes.
Richard
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:47 PM
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Re: Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

Quote:
Originally Posted by rscott5028 View Post

"Flat" has nothing to do with it. At 500 yards, you will have to dial turrets or hold-over. With a good range finder, that's easy to control provided the ammo is of sufficient quality. You need a good BC bullet to give you more room for error in reading the wind. The challenge will be to get accurate and repeatable results at long range.

Best of luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes.
Richard
Poor choice of words on my part. I understand the wind issue very well.

As you pointed out, the main issue is factory ammo. That really knocks out things like the 6.5-284 since the ammo sources are limited. I am leaning toward the .270 WSM with the 140 Accubond. That probably gives as good a combination of velocity and BC as any cartridge with reasonably available ammunition.

I am getting ready to build a 7WSM on a 700 LA. He decided he wants a new rifle too. Problem is he doesn't handload otherwise I would just have the gunsmith build 2 of the 7WSMs. Maybe he will go that route with a shorter throat designed to shoot factory ammo. When I look at the factory fodder, I keep coming back to the .270 WSM. .257 and .270 Weatherbys have ammo availability issues. 7mm STW maybe? 7Rem? I am looking for ideas.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:57 PM
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Re: Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

Quote:
I am leaning toward the .270 WSM with the 140 Accubond.
I don't have one.
But on paper, it looks like an excellent choice.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:07 PM
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Re: Custom Long Range Deer Rifle for a Non-Handloader

When looking at all the choices, and factoring in factory ammo, I would take a good, hard look at the 7 Rem Mag. The rounds can be had at Wal Mart or anywhere else, if you hand load (I know, he doesn't) you can take advantage of newer powders and the 180g bullets, and if you purchase a premium form of ammo it generally isn't as expensive as the STW or RUMs or chamberings of that nature. You can get the 168 bergers in factory ammo though. Saying that, the barrel will also last longer than those others I mentioned.

With a decent weight, it will not need a brake either.

All that said, a buddy shoots a .308 that is very accurate. My 308 isn't bad either and ammo is readily available and very inexpensive, relatively.

Ballistically though, for the listed criteria, I'm looking at the 7 Rem Mag.
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