Do you plan on replacing the stock? What contour of barrel are you looking at? muzzle brake? single shot or repeater? If you get a barrel job and plan on opening up the bolt face to mag then you also have 338 win, 338 Ultra, 338/300 RUM all as options with no real change in price. If your using it as a repeater and go with the 338/300 you will certianly be looking at a custom mag box. It's really just a matter of what parts you want to replace, if you willing to do the stock work yourself and how much powder you really want to burn. Personally I would stick with a 30 cal(just me) unless your going with at least a 338 RUM and then you have to seriously consider a muzzle brake. More specifics on what sort of hunting(rifle weight/size) and what exactly you want to replace as well as accuracy goals will get you more info. 3/4" rifle will work out to 400 but if you decide to go 600+ then you start spending money exponentially. In the end it's all personal. Can you kill an elk at 400 with a 25 cal, sure can, would I take that shot... nope.
I'm trying to locate a McMillan HTG stock. It looks like I will need to custom order one and it will take 4 1/2 months so, I have time to send final specs in on the barrel contour.
I want to use my current Remington 700 25-05 action and retain the existing "repeater" components in the stock and action. 2 rounds in the magazine or more is all I need. I want to minimize magazine work but, some tweaking of the factory components is expected.
My target rifle weight without optics is 8 1/2 pounds. Barrel length is 26 inches. A barrel contour along the lines of a factory Sendero or #5 appers to be the optimal choice. The factory wood stock can be opened up until the new stock comes in. I might get a Bell & Carlson in the near term which supports upto a #7 contour based on what I read.
I'm looking to minimize recoil without a muzzle brake while retaining enough oomph to be reasonable for Elk at 250 yards with 400 yards being a maximum range. Anything further will just need to take paper humanely ....
If I remember correctly, the Brown-Whelen has the shoulder blown forward to create a larger capacity case. Other versions of this theme are SSKs 338-06 JDJ, Z-Hats 338, & there's one other whos designation escapes me. It seems to me to be a waste to do the rifle in .338 WSM, since you are starting with a long action anyway. A short action cartridge could cause some feeding issues that you would need to deal with, since you'll also need to open up the magazine feedlips to feer the tubby little WSM. It sounds as if you want to continue using 30-06 brass (smart choice, WSM brass is pricey), I'd suggest the 338-06 Ackley, since it's much simpler to form brass for it than the Brown-Whelen types. All you would really need to do for the Brown-Whelen types is start out with 35 Whelen brass & neck it down until your action would barely close, then load your fire-forming cartridge, and go shooting. Another option would be the .338 Win Mag, but you could just go buy another rifle for that caliber, so where's the fun in that?
It sounds as if you want to continue using 30-06 brass (smart choice, WSM brass is pricey), I'd suggest the 338-06 Ackley, since it's much simpler to form brass for it than the Brown-Whelen types. All you would really need to do for the Brown-Whelen types is start out with 35 Whelen brass & neck it down until your action would barely close, then load your fire-forming cartridge, and go shooting. Another option would be the .338 Win Mag, but you could just go buy another rifle for that caliber, so where's the fun in that?
Thanks anachronism! You hit the nail on the head. For the number of rounds I will shoot out of this rifle, WSM brass cost isn't really a factor but it adds up and availability might become an issue. A 338 Win Mag is a cheaper option that would be on off the shelf purchase but, like you said where's the fun in that?
It sounds like the Brown Whelen is the one I'm looking for. Pac-Nor lists it in their reamer list so, it should be an easy one for them. I can deal with fireforming brass from 35 Whelen (or 30-06 if I must ;)).
I think a blown out 30-06 case 338 option will give me what I'm looking for so, I'm pretty much looking at those options. I'll have enough rifle for anything I'll hunt in North America. I'll also have less recoil then I would get with a Magnum of some sort. I'm also willing to live with the range constraints it will have.