Hey guys! This is my first post on any forum so be easy. I have been a hunter for many years but have recently been interested in long range shooting. So I need help in narrowing down on a "all in one" perfect caliber rifle for both whitetail, aoudad, hogs, & long range target shooting amongst our competitive group of hunters. I would like to round to be capable to take down a whitetail at 500yds if I can ever get that good. I have been on this darn computer long enough looking for information to help me with my selection my girlfriends about to kill, or hopefully find a friend. I have narrowed it down to these selections: 6.5x284 Norma, .257 Weatherby Mag., .270 Weatherby Mag., .30-378 Weatherby Mag., & 7mm Rem Mag. I have yet to shoot any of these calibers so not sure on the recoil but would like something smooth, and any caliber I get will have a muzzle break. Look forward to hearing what you guys have to say. I appreciate it!
Wow! That is quite a selection! The 6.5 x 284 would work well with little recoil but it has a reputation as a barrel burner. The 257 and 270 Weatherbys are sort of flat shooting barrel burners that have somewhat of a limited bullet selection. The 30-378 is a behemoth of a monster powder burner monster recoil and monster noise that won't even fit in most magnum length actions. The 7mm Remington Magnum is more in line with your needs but is still somewhat excessive.
Because you want to shoot competition as well as hunt, I would look at something that would be lower in recoil, provide a longer barrel life and still provide plenty of power of whitetails @ 500 yards. My choices would be something based on a 308 case. Either a 308, or a 7mm-08, or a 260. All will do what you want and with less cost, less recoil and longer barrel life than other choices.
I know this really wasn't what you were asking for but after several decades of hunting, reloading, and shooting I have some established opinions and while I recognize that others on this site know more, I know what I know works.
there is only one round that burns barrels as fast as the 6.5/.284, and that's the .264 Win. Mag! Even a .257 Weatherby mag is better. Cases for the .284 are more often than not a hit or just missed them equation. I'd go with a 7mm remington mag and forget those guys along the way. I shoot a .270 mag, and see no real problems with barrel life so far, but the bullet selection could be better (we need some 165 grain bullets). But with the 7mm you got more bullets to choose from than you got time to shoot! I was also surprised that you left out the .300 WSM round. This is another one worth the look see. Another you kinda left out was the 6.5x57AI or the 6.5x55AI, and both are well worth the look see.
All of your choices will work fine, except the big .30-378 Wby which is too much everything for your stated purposes. The 6.5x284 and .257 Wby will serve you well, with low recoil. The 6.5, while a barrel burner, has a great reputation for accuracy, and you can get Lapua brass. I shoot both, and they do what they were designed to do very well.
Also give the 270wsm, 7mm wsm and 300wsm a look. Have fun picking one out!
Hey guys, thank you for the warm welcome and all advice. I think I'm now stuck on the .257 wby accumark loaded with the thompsonlongrange bullets they hand load for this particular rifle, since I do not hand load myself. But you guys have me still considering the 7mm.
Of course any good rifle would not be complete w/o a great optic so I'm thinking of either the cds 4.5 14x50 leupold or the greybull percision custom leupold with custom Reticals and bullet comp. turret. Anyone ever use these?
Again I appreciate the replys.
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Re: Rifle Selection...Help!
I see you have listed all magnum chamberings and you intend to shoot no further than 500 yards. I might suggest you start with a non magnum say a 30-06 for instance. It has more than enough punch for everything you listed at 500 yards and when your ready you can rebarrel to something more potent.
Magnums are nice but not realy needed at that range in my opnion
If I were going to be getting ammo from Mark Thompson then I would probably go ahead and get his rifle and scope set up also. It would cost a little more coin upfront but if your not doing your own ammo loading then buying the package has more value. If you piece together your own setup and pay someone to do load development that cost will add up also.
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