For hunting I'm looking for a little more distance punch and accuracy than my 30-06. Game in mind would be long distance Antelope, Aoudad, and Elk. I like to hunt and shoot, but I have had little interest in all details ballistics and reloading. I do want to make a good choice for a new gun though.
7mm Mag - seems like a flatter better round than 30-06, but too similar and at this point I'm committed to the 30-06 for typical Deer hunting.
338 Laupa - the first round I was looking at because of the long distance popularity and big punch. with minimal research this may not be the best rifle carrying round. heavy, recoil, & even ballistics don't compare to some lighter rounds.
I have been working with Lloyd from Long Range Shooting Shop and he suggested the 7mm STW. I love what I see so far with ballistics, but it seems this round is on the outs. early 2000's there were several factory gun & ammo options. now there are great deals for used guns and any new ones would have to be custom. all seems the factory ammo options have gone down to just a couple. I don't know if true, but someone said a few years back that even Layne Simpson has said the 7mm RUM has made the 7mm STW obsolete. I know you can buy 7mm RUM off almost any ammo shelf and most of the major gun manufacturers are making a 7mm RUM.
Just looking for some direction for those that know more than I do. Thanks.
For what its worth my gunsmith told me that the 7RUM burns barrels up faster then the 300RUM??? If I had a choice it would be a 7stw hands down. But I think if your not a reloader and you might run out of ammo your going to still find more 7MM ammo then either of the other two STW or RUM. This is just my opinion, am sure others will chime in that may know a whole lot more then me. Good luck. By the way another caliber to consider is the 6.5 X 284, I was hoping to get one of those but ended up getting a 280 Ackley Improved.
I shoot a 7mm rem mag, and 300RUM myself, and reload. There are others who can comment better then I can on the Lapua, but a 338RUM nearly duplicates the Lapua ballistics, in a regular long action rifle, like the model 700 or model 70. Brass and ammo would be easier to find or load for, I'm sure. The STW was a cool round IMO, until the RUM came out. The STW leads in efficiency, and the ability to make brass for it in a pinch, as its based off the H&H case, though blown out, etc. If you can find full length belted magnum brass, I would think one could make more STW cases. The RUM brass can be a little pricey, and sometimes you have to look a little to find it in stock. The 7mm RUM, being even more overbore then the 300, should be a bigger barrel burner. I would at least consider the 300RUM in the end. If you arent looking for that much more punch, look at the 300win as well.
For longer range shooting, it is important, no matter how little interest it may be, to know ballistics. I recomment reloading as well, but you can get by without, and miss alot of the fun. But ballistics, you either learn it, or stick with short range.
I have an stw in a ruger no.1 right now and I really like the round except for a couple things. One thing that made the stw stand out when I bought it was availability of brass. The RUM brass was remington only and stw was winchester, rem, and you could neck down 8mm brass from other manufactures. Now that being said I am finding the belt to cause problems with separation. There is plenty of info on this so do some research and there are special dies to help with this.
I found myself wanting to build a custom rifle and started kicking the idea of a 7rum around until I looked at the ballistics of the 300rum with 200gr+ bullets. I can get almost the same velocity out of a 200gr accubond with a higher BC. This meant that out to 1000yrds I would have way more energy and the same drop as the 7rum with the 160gr accubond. I would add the 300rum to your list of choices
side note if you aren't reloading there are far more choices of factory ammo with the RUM family
First I think you have to make a decision to reload or not. if you don't intend to reload that
changes the playing field considerably.
Buying factory ammo limits you, as others have said to one or two manufactures. Factory ammo
goes with the latest cartriges and when a new "Designer" cartrige comes out they stop making
the tried and true ammo causing some to say that a cartrige is on it's way out.
The 7 STW is one of these cartriges, but believe me it is not on it's way out, In fact it has had a
resurgence in popularity the last couple of years.
I have never met a 7 mm that I didn't like. and all have performed very well in there specific roll
for there intended use.
At the moment However I see the 300 RUM as the most user friendly with different levels of energy,
recoil and cost. Low energy ammo can be at 30/06 levels and price. as you up the power level,
energy, trajectory,velocity and recoil go up along with price.
Some of the owners of the 300 RUM buy the power level 1 or even the managed recoil for bench
shooting and break in at $34.00 dollars a box. then step up to the level 2 for normal deer hunting
and the level 3 stuff for Elk and Distance for $50.00+ dollars a box.
The range of this factory ammo is from 308 to one of the most powerful .30 cals on the planet.
If you decide to reload you can change all of this and end up with a caliber that suits your