Looking at building an intermediate range rifle for target and hunting. This will not be a bench gun, nor a walking rifle but a field gun for shooting out to 1k as a stepping stone to longer ranges. At the moment we have been shooting regularly to 600, can hold 1/2-1 MOA confidently and are ready to move a bit further out. Won't be shooting game at these ranges any time soon, still looking at ballistics etc.
Some interesting numbers- impressions welcome:
Shooting a 180gr bullet, with a 300 yard zero and a 10 mph crosswind , the 30-06, 300 WSM
and 300 Win Mag come in accordingly:
Drop @ 600 -59", drop @ 1k -295"
Wind @ 600 27", @ 1k 88"
Ft/lbs @ 600 1350, @ 1k 710
Powder used 57gr of H4350
Drop @600 -53.5", drop @ 1k -267"
Wind @600 26", @ 1k 84"
Ft/lbs @600 1485, @ 1k 780
Powder used 64gr of IMR4350
300 Win Mag:
Drop @ 600 -51, @ 1k -256
Wind @ 600 25", @ 1k 81"
Ft/lbs @600 1545, @ 1k 814
Powder used 80gr of H1000
So for this application there doesn't seem to be a clear winner. All rounds have their merit. As this is a field gun I will use a brake if necessary but would prefer to avoid one. The 30-06 obviously uses the least amount of powder, least amount of recoil and the best barrel life. On the other hand the 300 Win Mag shoots the flattest and hits the hardest.
There are other rounds to consider of course, the 7mm mag, the 280AI, the 264 Win Mag etc etc etc.
The ultimate question is still which round will give the best results, use the least amount of powder, have the longest barrel life etc.
Not asking much right? Everything is a compromise.
For those who have done it before, if you had to start all over again, which would you choose, and why?