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Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

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Unread 12-19-2009, 11:14 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 124
Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards


As much as I'd like to get a 338 Edge/RUM/Lapua, I think what I need right now is something that can anchor elk, moose, and black bear at ~600 yards. I currently own a heavy 243 (for varmints & targets) and a 35 Remington (just for fun and pigs if I get a chance to go south), but nothing for large game at 'medium' ranges. I had a 300 WSM that was boringly accurate, but sold it for another project.

A few weeks ago I asked about the 300 Win Mag vs. RUM for 1000 to 1200 yards and I got some great advice. A big 338 seems like the way to go for a dedicated longrange rig, and the 300 Win Mag seems like a great all-around rifle as well. In my mind, these would need to have long, heavy barrels and would not be ideal for hiking or when jumping animals.

Instead of those longrange rigs, I think I need something more versatile. Right now, I think I will have more opportunities at 400 to 600 yards than at 1200 yards and want something that won't be burden to carry.

I'm thinking either a 300 Win Mag or 338 Win Mag that weighs 6.5 to 7.5 lbs without scope. A Kimber 84M Montana would be great at 5lbs, but I don't think I'd feel confident in shooting an elk much past 300 yards with the cartridges its chambered for (260, 7mm-08, 308, 338Fed).

So what do you guys think? 300WM with 200gr Accubond or 338WM with 225gr Accubond? I have to admit that for 600 yards I am leaning towards the 338. Even though the 225gr is only 15% heavier than the 200gr, it seems like the extra bullet weight could come in handy. Plus, if I ever go to Alaska (some friends go every year) I think the 338 would give me extra confidence (maybe just my imagination) for big black bears and moose. Would either the 300 or 338 be suitable for shoulder shots on big black bears, moose, or bull elk at 600 yards, or is that placement not advisable?

I previously owned a T3 in 300 WSM (8 lbs total weight) and recoil was not an issue (shot 40 rounds in one session). I had great luck shooting at 400+ yards with this rifle. I have not shot a 338 however, and I do not want a muzzle brake on this new rifle. Also, I have shot with good success at 600 yards with a 308, have reloading equipment, LRF, spotting scope, etc.

Thanks in advance,


Last edited by 4th_point; 12-20-2009 at 12:18 AM.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 09:59 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,132
Re: Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

338 win mag or a 338-300 wsm, both should be managable in a gun of the weight you mentioned, without a brake, but recoil will be stiff.

I would personally go with a 300 wsm, plenty of power for 600 yard elk. And thats as much recoil as I care to handle without a brake.

Last edited by Coyboy; 12-20-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 10:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,193
Re: Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

I like Jim's suggestion and would also consider the 325 WSM for the same benefits .Short action,
Will work with a 22 to24'' barrel and could be used without a break if you don't like them.

If you found a rifle less than 6# you might consider a break.

Just my opinion

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Unread 12-20-2009, 11:34 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 827
Re: Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

4th Point. You've been given some good advice so far and I think that the 300 WM, 300 WSM, 338 WM, or even the 325 WSM would all be good choices. Try running some ballistics on a program and see what you think will do the job. All are good choices. I also think you are looking at this gun as a very practical set up for the type of hunting you do. I have a Rem 700 in 300 WM that is bedded in a McMillan Edge stock and weighs 6.75 lbs w/o scope. It has the Talley lightweight rings holding a VX-3 4.5x14x40 LR. I've got to say, I love this set up and feel very confident with it to 800 yds. It makes a long day in the hills that much easier too.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 07:53 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 3,042
Re: Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

Ihave a 325 wsm, Browning w/4-14x40, 7-6oz. loaded w/sling.Taken 8 animals since 06 out to 550, I would shoot it to 800. 338 better bullet choices
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Unread 12-22-2009, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: IOWA
Posts: 2,123
Re: Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

My vote is for the 300WM, as that is what I had build. Custom build by Kevin Cram this past summer. It has a #4 Hart flute and a 2.5x10-32mm NXS in Talley one piece rings.
All up weighs in at 10#. My brother has been shooting it out to 650yards with great sucess. Pleanty of power for elk out to 800yards.
Now if bear is a concern, go with the 338cal.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 08:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,101
Re: Walking or light rifle... elk at 600 yards

I've got a pretty nice 300WSM has a Broughton 5c barrel #4 contour @ 24" long. I hunt some country that 400/600 be max range for bull elk it weights just alittle over 9lbs. I've got another one in the works using Kreiger 5r barrel.

I've never had the need beyond 30 cal for my elk hunting rifles but I've have looked at the 325WSM. Well good luck
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