Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics


Reply

best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #29  
Old 05-15-2011, 02:46 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 13
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

I agree that the .308 is a great cartridge and has killed a lot of game animals. I simply believe in simply physics above all else. I think that the .30-06 cartridge has killed more elk than any other cartridge in the world, however I would not take a shot on big game out past 6-7 hundred yards with it. Without the necessary energy on target bullet performance is simply negated. I would never encourage a shooter to be punished uneccessarily from recoil. If a "flinch" is developed it can ruin any fun from shooting. If you plan to shoot an animal pretty close to the truck then the weight of the rifle is pretty much not an issue. But if you are going to pack it in a few miles then a 10-12 lb rifle will be quite a burden compared to a 5-7 lb setup. Again simple physics, the heavier the rifle the less felt recoil you have to deal with. I guess it just depends on what you plan to do with the rifle. I like to be able to take any of my rifles either out to the range, or hiking through the mountains so I am willing to deal with some added recoil from shooting a lighter, "convensional" rifle.

What are some of your favorite hunting rig setups? Everyone seems to have at least a couple favorite hunting rifles. Personally I love my .340 wthby mag. which is a Mark V Fibermark with a Weaver Grand Slam 3.5-10x50mm scope. It is easy to pack on my shoulder, recoil is not as bad as everyone thinks, and it hits HARD. If I do my part to make a good shot the rifle will perform well out past 3/4 of a mile.

Travis Kamps
(406) 580-9700
travis.kamps@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-15-2011, 03:08 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: In a Free State
Posts: 187
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Quote:
Originally Posted by longrangeschool View Post
In my opinion the .308 win/7.62x51 mm is extremely undersized for big game hunting out past 350-400 yards. Don't get me wrong it is a great paper puncher out in the half mile distance, however it simply doesn't have the downrange energy to put a whollup on an elk, mule deer or even a whitetail. I truly believe that if the military had not committed so heavily to the .308 as a "sniper" round, due in large part to the mild recoil generated that it would not even be considered a long range round today. The military has been so concerned about recoil that people now are beginning to believe that even a .223/5.56x45mm is an excellent choice for self defense rifles. I think that a .223 is small for shooting at a little 145 lb whitetail doe, let alone a 220 lb person...
I may be in the minority here but I think that recoil is secondary to downrange terminal ballistics. I don't know any person who was actually injured from the recoil of even heavy magnum rifles. Yes there may be some discomfort for a moment, but the truth is if you simply shoot the rifle a lot, you will get over that little shoulder thump. People seem to be very worried about the ability to get a second shot of as soon as possible. How about making the first one count, and react accordingly to the developing situation?
I think that an appropriate first hunting rifle would be a .300 SAUM, .300 WSM, even the new ruger compact magnums are great for shooting a large mule deer or an elk out near 500 yards. These cartridges do not generate much more recoil than the .308 but the downrange energies are considerably larger.
I've seen a lot of big game animals killed with small caliber varmint rifles and they died just the same as ones shot with a .340 Weatherby. But if you have a choice I would go for a larger cartridge with more punch. Chances are you will be able to see a lot more game fall in their tracks, rather than having to try to follow a minimal blood trail for half a mile.
Please take any "advice" from me with a grain of salt. I realize that the .308 is a very established cartridge and I'm sure that I will always own a rifle chambered in this round. I just feel that a better platform is the AR-10, M-14 types of actual "combat" small arms. All of this is simply in my own humble opinion.

I hope this sparks some good conversation, and no matter what rifle you settle on, just try and get out shooting it as much as possible!

Travis Kamps
(406) 580-9700
travis.kamps@gmail.com
Thanks.
Your very first sentance is why I asked about a bullet that will perform at said "down range velocity" to compensate for it.
308 isn't the "best" for longer ranges I understand and agree.
I am using it for my primary hunting rifle for deer at the moment and I am very confident with the rifle.

So the question stands........what bullet for 308 Win. between 300+ yds for deer sized game (mule deer of the west )

The reason Im asking is..........some of the deer i've shot with the hornady SST at 315 and 387 yds had exit wounds were very small, almost entry wound size. My handloads are loaded to the RED portion of my loading manual to indicate maximum pressure and powder charge...................................although the deer went down and died which is my objective the bullet performance isn't what I think would be optimal for longer ranges.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 05-16-2011, 01:41 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 13
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

I would reccommend using a polymer tipped bullet. I love the nosler ballistic tips and have killed more game with these bullets than any other out there. The polymer tip will initiate expansion even out past 350 yards. Sierra blitzkings are pretty much the same thing if you don't like nosler. Another bullet I would consider is the scirroco made by Swift. The bullets are proven to be very accurate when fired out of a variety of cartridges, and they will not fragment when hitting bone.
The .308 is simply not going to cause devastating exit holes at the longer ranges. My advice is to simply use a reliable controlled expansion and let the bullet do the work. Just don't expect to find a softball size hole on either side.

Travis Kamps
(406) 580-9700
travis.kamps@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 05-16-2011, 01:59 PM
Official LRH Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,807
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Longrangeschool,

Just curious when Sierra started making the 30 cal Blitzking bullet that your recommending for use in the 308 Win???

I have not seen them anywhere.

I do agree with your recommendation of the Ballistic Tip an the Hornady SST would also be a great choice.

The Swift bullet, even though it has a polymer tip is still pretty stout for the 308. Add to that its a pure copper jacketed bullet which pulls top velocity potential down compared to a guilding metal jacket and you take the already limited velocity of the 308 Win and drop it down even further.

Anyway, get us a line on those Sierra 30 cal blitzkings, would be very interested to learn more about those bullets!!
__________________
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 05-16-2011, 04:51 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,615
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Travis, I like your rifle. Been shooting the 340 wby long range since 1977 when the 250 SGK came out with the highest bc available at the time in a hunting bullet. Killed a lot of stuff with that combo.
__________________
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 05-16-2011, 05:15 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,844
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Been shooting the 338 Lapua or a variant of it competing, hunting, and plinking long range for over 20 years now. There are a lot of well meaning posts here but I think you can sort through the chaff… You will never feel under gunned or over gunned with the 338 Lapua and as Kirby said with the breaks that exist now recoil is manageable. There is no substitute for horse power and I will tell you that the moose story above would be different if it were a 250 or 300gr pill.

If you want to know about shooting the big boys ASK the people that shoot them (like Kirby hint) and you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Tooooo many people just regurgitate what they read in the rags and what others have posted on chat boards.

Bottom line is you have to feel comfortable with what you are shooting, why???? Simple answer---you do not want to be thinking about “This Thing Is Going To Kick The Snot Out Of Me” you HAVE to be thing about the shot which means condition and your set up!!!!! If you are thinking about anything else then you need to either get another rifle or get closer bottom line…
__________________
The Truth Is Not Always Good For Business!!
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 05-16-2011, 06:24 PM
Official LRH Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,807
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Here is a quick little story, nothing to do with caliber choice but everything to show how modern rifle systems allow extreme performance to be used by someone that has never experienced heavy recoiling rifles.

My taxidermists girlfriend started showing interest in shooting with him this spring. Problem was, when she was a little girl, around 12 years old, her older brothers and his friends had her shoot a single shot 12 guage shotgun with heavy loads. Literally put her on the ground and the shotgun flew out of her hands.

Up to that incedent, she had loved to hunt gophers with her Dad but she was so scared by the stupid stunt that her brother pulled that she never touched a firearm from that time until last weekend. They both asked me if I would help her get over her fears of shooting so that she could shoot a rifle large enough to go deer hunting.

I could tell she was excited but extremely scared at the same time. I looked her in the eye, told her that her brother broke her trust all those years ago but that if she trusted in me, within an hour I would have her shooting a rifle that had the potential to reach out to 1000 yards with no fear at all.

She did not believe me and said as much. THen I said, if you listen to my instructions carefully and do what I say, not only will NOTHING hurt you in any way, but you WILL be hitting well enough to take big game out to 800 yards with the rifles we will be using.

She agreed and we set up a time to go up to the range.

I loaded up a variaty of rifles starting with a old little Win bolt action in 218 Mashburn Bee, my wifes 22-250 sporter rifle, my wifes 6.5mm Allen Magnum bench rifle, my lightweight 7mm Allen Magnum and an XHS in 338 Allen Magnum. I stopped short of throwing in my 510 Allen Magnum.

THey arrived at my place and we jumped in the Duramax and headed up to the range. She was very chatty until we pulled off the highway and headed down the two track to my shooting area. They she was very quiet. I asked her if she was alright and she just nodded yes. I asked her if she was scared and she again said yes. My simple reply was "Trust me, in an hour you will never be afraid of shooting again!"

We set up the shooting bench and I got the 218 Mashburn out and set it up. This was to be a very informal shooting session, just plinking targets of opportunity and in this shooting area, the valley walls are covered with small white target rocks perfect for the new shooter to practice on. I told her to pick out a target rock she wanted to shoot. She picked one out about 500 yards away on the wall of the valley. I told her I liked her style but we needed one closer to start with for the Bee!!!

She picked one out much closer this time. About 150 yards away. I lined the rifle up on the rock and told her to watch as I shot the rifle for the first time. She did and as expected the little rifle barely moved when I shot it. She settled down a bit and got behind the rifle, still visually nervous.

I walked and talked her through a couple dry firings as she targeted the rock and then we loaded the rifle. First shot landed just low, I am sure from a mental flinch. After she realized there was no recoil at all, she hit the rock 5 out of 5 times. I said she was ready to step up.

Next up was my wifes 22-250 which is a Ruger stainless steel sporter M77 MkII with laminated stock. She got intimidated when she saw the size of the ammo for the 22-250 if you can believe that but that is how strong a mental issue can be to get over. Again, I talked her through it, let her see me shoot the rifle and again, lined up on another target rock. This one around 300 yards away. I always believe that if you have a target other then paper to focus on and concentrate on, recoil always FEELS less to the shooter. She slapped the rock three times in a row. This was a larger rock, about 8" diameter but still, she was extremely excited with her shooting as were we all.

She then asked what was next. We were only 20 minutes into the shooting session and I could already see the confidence building. I asked her if she wanted to try a big game rifle that had legit 1000 yard reach for big game hunting. She said yes quicker then I expected her to so I unpacked old "Green". My lightweight 7mm Allen Magnum. This is a 10 lb rifle including the Leupold 3.5-10x 40mm FFP Mark 4 scope and Harris 9-13" Swivel base bipod. Not an overly heavy rifle, especially when driving a 160 gr Accubond to 3500 fps.

Of course I did not tell her any of this because it would not mean anything to her anyway and would just make her nervous. This is a rifle my wife has shot alot so I knew she could easily handle its level of recoil with the quaity parition style muzzle brake fitted the the light #3 Lilja barrel.

She got behind the rifle and we set up on a target rock that was 480 yards away. This was a much smaller rock, about 4" diameter to I told her the goal was to hit the rock but even getting a close miss was a plenty good shot at this range for big game hunting accuracy standards. She dry fired the rifle a couple practice rounds and then said she was ready. I slipped in a 7mm AM round and closed the bolt and put the safety on making sure she never did see the size of the 7mm AM round as it would have likely REALLY intimidated her.

She lined up and let the big 7mm bark and the first shot landed on the very bottom edge of the rock. 2" from dead center. She came off the rifle and said, well that kicks more but not much more, but I could feel it on my face much more then the 22-250. I explained to her the muzzle brake and that she was feeling the redirected muzzle blast. Then I had her clear the fired case and for the first time she saw what she had just fired. She was gitty as hell that she had been able to shoot a rifle that large.

I said, hell, you just shot the most powerful 7mm magnum around. She was all smiles.

She ran the next two rounds through the 7mm AM to clear the HS Precision magazine box at the same target rock. Never hit it but never missed it by more then 3" either.

Then I pulled out the big Xtreme Heavy Sporter in 338 AM. She wanted nothing to do with shooting this rifle! The shear size and length of the rifle made her make a quick decision that it was more then she wanted to try.

This is where its critical that you do not push new shooters to hard and I said if you do not want to shoot it, you do not have to, simple as that. They watched me shoot it and she did comment on the extreme increase in muzzle blast and how it was "cool" to be able to feel the muzzle blast hit her chest as she stood 10 feet or so behind me but never wanted to shoot the rifle.

he boy-friend had brought up a sporter weight custom 300 RUM that I had built for him several years ago. This rifle is similiar in weight to my 7mm AM. He wanted to see if she could shoot his rifle. She agreed after I told her it would not kick any more then the 7mm AM she had shot so well just minutes before so she agreed to try it.

We found another target rock at 425 yards and dialed the scope for that hold. Piece of cake, she reduced a 6" diameter rock to gravel. Now I said its time to prove a point. I lined the rifle up on one of my favorite target rocks in that area. She got on the rifle and I asked her if she could see the rock in the scope. She replied she could and I dialed the scope up for the range. I told her to repeat the shooting steps as we had done before, hold the rifle snuggly into her shoulder, squeeze the trigger slowly back in a straight line with the rifle into her shoulder and concentrate on the crosshairs on the target rock.

The shot broke and the 200 gr Accubond ripped away at a bit over 3200 fps. It landed exactly on the right edge of the target rock which I know for a fact is 8" long by 4" tall. height wise she was perfect and only 4" to the left which was from a multi directional wind that was not really enough to worry about so we did not correct for it.

She came off the rifle and tried to see the rock with her naked eye and asked where the heck was the rock. I gave her a set of binos and said look on the hill just under that clump of brush. She found it. Then I said, see the dark brown hole on the right edge of the rock, thats your impact!!! Then I told her it was 825 yards AWAY!!! She was amazed and very excited. No fear at all in her after that shooting session, in fact, now whenever I see them, she wants to know when we are going shooting again and is starting to talk about getting a rifle of her own.

My point for this rather lengthy story is this. Her you have a lady that was literally SHAKING scared of any firearm and within 40 minutes she was shooting the most powerful 7mm magnum around and a VERY top end 30 caliber magnum rifle and putting first shot placement within 1/2 moa of point of aim out to past 800 yards!!!

Without a muzzle brake, she would have first and formost likely been hurt by both of these two rifles and if not hurt, she would have never overcome the mental hurdle she did so quickly.

She went from not being able to shoot any rifle at all because of fear to being able to shoot two rifles EASILY capable of harvesting any big game animal in North America out to 1000 yards and beyond and doing so with no fear, no discomfort and no flinching in any way.

Point being, there is no excuse to put up with any recoil with the technology we use today. She was wearing a set of my electronic hearing protectors and I was able to give her quiet, calm instructions the whole time. She was also able to ask me any question she had without yelling and there was no problem at all with any muzzle blast hurting her ears.

This post was not to say any chambering is better or not as good as any other, only to say that with todays technology, even young shooters or those that are sensitive to recoil can shoot very large, high intensity magnum chamberings just as easily as small conventional low recoiling rifles. For those that want to get into big game hunting at extended ranges, this is a HUGE bonus.

I do not recommend large magnums for all situations, most of you that have talked to me personally about selecting a specific chambering know this but I do know that when the target is at extended range, the most power you can employ accurately and precisely is the best tool for the job and the use of muzzle brakes GREATLY extend most of our effective ranges.

As far as rifle weight. The lighter the rifle, the better the muzzle brakes work at reducing recoil velocity of the rifle. The heavier the rifle, the harder it is for a muzzle brake to slow down the rifles rearward velocity because of the heavier rifles momentum.

When you talk about big game cartridges for lighter packing rifles, do not limit your selection and avoid the big magnums just because you feel recoil would prevent you from shooting them well, that is certainly NOT the case. If ego prevents us from using a muzzle brake, well, thats just old school and silly to be honest.
__________________
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what caliber for long range (700) yards on deer size game zach5187 Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 11 12-04-2010 07:55 PM
getting into the long range game. tracker12ga Long Range Hunting & Shooting 2 06-25-2009 10:16 AM
long range big game wthwind Long Range Hunting & Shooting 2 01-11-2009 02:30 AM
Long Range Dangerous Game? ceg1963 Long Range Hunting & Shooting 48 06-06-2005 12:19 PM
New to the long range game Ryan B The Basics, Starting Out 7 09-30-2004 08:58 AM

Current Poll
Do you archery hunt for elk?
YES - 30.46%
53 Votes
NO - 54.60%
95 Votes
Not yet, but I plan to. - 14.94%
26 Votes
Total Votes: 174
You may not vote on this poll.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC