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Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

 
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:34 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 58
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

No Durak you haven't missed much, and you are certainly right. The one minor point for Dakota over RUM is that it appears that with 200gr and below you can get near the same velocities with 10+ less grains of powder - an efficiency of the case type of thing. Nice not to have all that muzzle blast, and you can go with a shorter action if you want. However, you start going to heavier bullets and trying to reach out 700 yards and farther the RUM would be a much better choice. You are also much less limited by brass. It was just for 180-200 gr stuff in a carry rifle, the Dakota gives pretty darn good performance without blowing 100 gr of powder out the tube. This was my first "longer range" rifle, and I thought I just needed something up to about 600 or 700 yards and 180-200gr - and the Dakota is great for that with only about 80 gr of powder. Darn it if I didn't start hunting a new ridge where they are often at 800-1000yd. Now, I'd be better off with a RUM and some heavier bullets. My solution....he he...new gun. I'm having a new .338-.408 built for that.

jrsolocam - I think we are on the same page. I don't know what I'd chose for barrel if doing it again. I'd be tempted to at least go down to a #5 with an edge stock. I used to hike for miles for elk, now I tend to walk less and sit more ridges for longer - although many of them still require some good hikes. I'd also like to have a lighter second gun, maybe in 338 or so, for those days I knew I was mostly going walkabout or pushing timber for others for elk. Have a shorter barrel, smaller good quality scope. You are right, it is a compromise. I do tend to carry two different bullets (maybe not needed with the accubond, but...) I typically load partitions or a-frames in for the walk to/from my ridge and keep my accubonds/bergers or whatever warm in my pocket until I've ranged my elk and am ready to shoot. They shoot close enough POI to be fine for the tougher bullets on the closer shots.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

Thanks guys, these are very good thoughts and contributions.

Durak to answer your very valid question first, the main reason is case design. I want to be able to seat the BT of the bullet above the neck shoulder junction and fit it in the magazine. The cases I mentioned are shorter than the RUM, and make this easier. The Norma was specifically designed to meet this criteria and thus the best. DK is tight, but not bad. The Dakota is a great case design though and QL shows it to be very efficient in comparison to the cartridges using 10 more grains of powder. I have a thing for 30 degree shoulders too.

I stick to Hodgdon powders in all my rifles. Retumbo seemed to show the most velocity. According to QL, 94 grains of Retumbo gives 3065 fps with a 200 AB seated at 3.58 in a 24" barrel.

I'm going to use a Bighorn action and found that AJ lists weights on his site that are lighter than expected. The sporter is 28oz, and the tactical is 33oz (long actions). I have a precision counting scale so I've been weighing everything that I have in my possession so I can get pretty close at estimating weight. If I run an A3 edge with a 24" barrel, I think I can come right at 11lbs with my 3-15 Premier mounted. I got to play with one of the bighorn actions at the Steel Safari match in June and it's a beautiful thing.

As far as offhand shooting and the like goes. I dabble in the local across the course matches with my AR, but admittedly haven't had time to shoot them much in the last year and a half. I have gotten to shoot a few more popular practical/tactical type matches, and those really open your eyes to different things to practice. I recently procured a 16.5+ lb tubb rifle in January, and I shot steel safari with it. I carried it via the Kifaru gunbearer system so the weight is placed on your hip. I like carrying a rifle this way, but I can tell you that the first couple times your hip flexor gets a bit sore having that much weight pinpointed in a small area.

It is definitely tough to find that right balance. I find that a heavier rifle actually settles better offhand, especially when the wind is blowing. However, you don't want it to heavy if you're having to hold it up a long time. Have you tried holding your rifle more like a high power shooter? Feet square, lean back a little and kick your opposite hip forward so that you can run you upper arm down your side and try to put your elbow into your upper pelvis. Very supportive, but I'd say grab a tree if it's there. My first instinct when I see an animal up close is typically to drop to the ground. Again I'd say get on a tree if available or if the animal didn't see you grab your sticks.

I worry that the gun might be a bit front heavy with an Edge fill, but I figure most are with a stock that light. Maybe I will search around for a different contour .30 cal barrel. I've seen 1/2 values and maybe 4.5 or just a straight 5 is more ideal, or a light palma. Like I said I grabbed the RV contour simply because it was close and had 5R rifling.....going to think on it some more, but slowly starting to narrow it down. Again, I think .300 NM is the front runner as far as the cartridges go, as it would also let me shoot 240's if I got curious.

Thanks for all the help.
Conrad
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:54 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

Any reason to rum DBM on a hunting rifle? Great for competition, but for this build starting to see it as a place to cut weight. They are convenient, but can get in the way too. Will these fatter rounds feet out of a Wyatt's extended mag without mods to the actions rails or are there mods necessary to get them to feed. I don't have any experience in this area of mods.

Thanks,
Conrad
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2012, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 2,587
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

My Norma holds 2 rounds,I ordered stock adl for less weight,but mistake.I have bottom metal easier to clean mag out.I get a lot of pine needles and stuff.My 26'' get a 300 otm to 2725 w/87.5 Retumbo. I have shot this in 6'' at 1000,and crack rocks too 1500 off my bipod.JBM says it has 1535 E at 1450 yrds.I love this set up,and am mainly a elk hunter, first.
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 58
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

I have the HS precision DBM - I like it. I can barely shoe-horn 3 in - it likes 2 better. It is great for just dropping in and out and seems light weight. I know they also have some aluminum/alloy floor plates that save weight (got that for the daughter's . It's not as pretty or nice, but saves weight.

Yes, I'm sure I could practice and improve the off-hand. Yes, using more of a high-power shooter position does help - you are right. Again, a wrap of the sling on the forearm helps settle it down a lot too. Is it achievable? Sure. Could I do better? Sure. Is it harder than maybe it should be or with a barrel 1# lighter? Sure. Pick your poison I guess. I must not hate it that bad or I would have switched barrels years ago. She shoots like a dream and I'm kinda emotionally attached I guess. I just know that is the weak-spot in our repertoire - but seems manageable and worth it. Trees and ground are great ideas and I totally agree. I try to when I can. Unfortunately, dropping to the ground the deer or elk usually disappearum behindum bushum or tall grass - seriously, too much stuff tends to be in the way. I've used a tree before, but again, usually they aren't close enough when you need 'em. That can even be tricky on the long shots you can set up for - where is a tree, or clearing that gets me a clear shot without limbs, etc.. My experience with the close-up shots is that elk and I often see each other about the same time - if I'm lucky and don't move a lot I have 3-5 seconds to send lead before the elk's internal timer tells it to run like heck. If I move much, for a tree or to the ground, the elk's timer shortens. If I get the drop on em, I can hopefully get to a knee or tree, but again much movement and the gig is up. Sounds like you are more practiced than I, and can probably make it work. Again, I get by - it just isn't easy or ideal, and most buddies that try my gun think it's horrible off-hand. Sure, heavy gets it to drop down good, it's the tracing loops around the elks vitals caused by the heavy muzzle that makes you work at it. I was just leary of going even heavier for off-hand, but I'm sure practice and technigue can over come a lot.

I guess the good thing in the end is a chambered barrel isn't near as much as the whole gun. If you try it and hate it - you can spend $600+ and start over with another barrel/contour/cartridge...not cheap, but not $2-3K either. Have fun!
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2012, 05:08 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

Well I agree that it is much easier said than done and if the animals sees you at the same time your time is extremely limited. I'm no expert, and I appreciate all the tips, tricks, and experiences we all bring to the table. The more I shoot, the more I learn to try and have an objective when practicing. If it's a windy day, go shoot prone and practice reading the wind. If it's calm (sometimes happens here, not often), well the shooting is not too hard, so make it harder and practice sitting off the sticks, throw in some standing shots, etc. Standing is the hardest, and most of the time we are thinking about practicing other stuff, but I think even if I throw in 5 to 10 shots per session I can improve. That and grab the .22 or .223 for a lot of standing practice.

I agree with the point on the barrel. Get the action and stock all set up, and if the barrel isn't my favorite, get a different one. I do look at them as expendable, but I also try and get things done pretty good the first time around.

Thanks and good shooting,
Conrad
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  #21  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:02 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Re: Elk Build--.300 Dakota, Norma, or .338 Norma?

This is my first post here and also excited. Run the 300norm 8 twist barrel 177grain gscustom with a bc of .638 at 3300fps. You could maybe even run this up to 3500 .What a choice and i know everyone says its expensive to run but you all prob drive a big v8 pickup and have a rifle that cost a bunch. Punch this into ql with its low engrave and find your new elk slayer
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