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Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

 
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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010, 11:18 AM
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Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

I need your help in choosing a caliber. Please read:

I am about to embark on my first budget rifle build. I am starting with a Stevens 200 long action. I immediately thought I would build a .338 Edge, but then said "Whoa Big Fella, come back down to earth". For my first rifle, I think maybe something a little less complicated might be in order.

Here is what I want the rifle to achieve:

1. Shoot paper and hunt (when I am capable) to 1000 yards.
2. Game size will be up to Elk.
3. Flatter shooting than a .308 Win, I already have one.
4. Not a real barrel burner. I would like to get north of 1k rounds down the barrel.
5. A caliber with available dies, barrels, brass, etc.
6. Not so heavy that I can't carry it some. Maybe ~10-12 lbs. ?
7. Something that I can shoot enough ammo through to get proficient at long ranges. Can I do this with a .338 without physical problems?
8. Must work in a long action (Stevens 200 / Savage 110)

Let me know what your caliber recommendation is and why. Thanks for helping this new guy out!

Last edited by TORCHRIDER; 10-21-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:45 AM
B23 B23 is offline
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Re: Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

IMHO, you have many choices to choose from but for me the first 3 choices would be 300RUM, 338RUM or your first choice of 338 Edge.

Again, IMHO, the first thing you should consider is if you want to retain the option of shooting factory ammo. If you do, that rules the 338Edge out.

The 300RUM is going to give you better, all around, bullet selection and would be more versatile on less than elk size game. But, for obvious reasons, the .338cal stuff is going to give you more stopping energy for anchoring a elk at 1000yds.

Reloading for a 338 Edge will be NO different than reloading for anything else. The only difference will be the dies could cost you a little bit more but I personally like to use premium dies anyway so when you take that into consideration the price difference isn't that much, if at all.

The best advice I ever got when considering a build of any kind was do your research, research, research!!!

Good luck to you on a new build
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:54 AM
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Re: Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

Thanks B23. The ability to shoot factory ammo is not a requirement. It is a nice to have just to verify accuracy potential, but I will be handloading. What kind of barrel life can I expect out of one of the big magnums like .300 RUM or .338 Edge?
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:07 PM
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Re: Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

The 338 ultramag with a brake and you can shoot all you want. It will get well over 1000 rounds if you take care of it. Over the counter components. The 300 ultramag is really good but not quite as much barrel life.

In my opinion for what you are wanting to do. Which is learn long range which means shooting quite a bit. I would go down to a smaller cartridge that is less expensive to shoot and doesn't require a brake. In 338 I can't see why the 338 win mag gets so little attention. Barrels last forever. It is easily available components and cheaper to shoot. Shoots like a dream. I have taken numerous animals at long range with one up to 1100 yards. Great for anything in north america.

Along those same thoughts the 300 wsm is cheaper to shoot still. Over the counter components. Light recoil and fun to shoot. Capable of long range and barrels last forever when compared to big magnums.

I am staying with the big calibers 30 and above since you said elk. lots of good choices. Look at all the choices in the best long range setup thread.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:07 PM
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Re: Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

I would seriously look at making a 300WSM on a long action, it would do exactly what you want if set up right. You can make it fairly light and very economical to shoot with good barrel life with a fair bit of snort. There are a bunch of good bullets and very easy shooting and when your ready to step up to the EDGE all you have to do is roll a pre-chambered barrel on, head space and load up!!
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:28 PM
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Re: Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
I would seriously look at making a 300WSM on a long action, it would do exactly what you want if set up right. You can make it fairly light and very economical to shoot with good barrel life with a fair bit of snort. There are a bunch of good bullets and very easy shooting and when your ready to step up to the EDGE all you have to do is roll a pre-chambered barrel on, head space and load up!!
bigngreen, the .300WSM is an interesting choice. I just so happen to have a bunch of once fired WW factory brass and dies. Would be nice to take advantage of that. Plus in a long action, I am guessing I could have a big enough magazine to accept bullets seated out.

Will a .300WSM fit in a Savage 110/Stevens 200 long action without additional work?

What would I have to know from a magazine, barrel,etc. perspective when putting a short action cartridge in a long action?
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2010, 12:43 PM
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Re: Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

I have a savage 116 in 7RM and have thought about going to 300 WSM. I tried the wsm rounds in the magazine...they fit, but were a little tight on the lips of the centerfeed mag. I have heard from others that you can bend them out slightly and it will work fine. My rifle has a hinged floorplate, did you start out with a standard or magnum stevens?
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