Originally Posted by AJ Peacock
Actually I'm a big 7mm fan. But just want you to take barrel life into consideration. I have 7mm, 30cal and 338cal and they are all very capable out to 1000yds and beyond. But powder volume to bore diameter will favor the larger calibers for barrel life.
As far as recoil is concerned, a 7mm RUM is at the top of the factory heap for 7mm velocity and can also have substantial recoil. On the other end, a little 338 WSM will still get you to 1000yds, but with exceptional barrel life (not as flat trajectory though).
There are tons of chamberings that will meet your requirements. How many rounds/year are you planning to shoot with this rifle? If you plan on 1000/year, you should plan on a barrel every year or so with some of the chamberings and only 1 or 2 / decade with others.
7mm STW is a terrific round (as is the 7mm RM) I'd guess that gilt edge accuracy will typically drop off for both chamberings somewhere between 1000 and 2000 rounds.
In my opinion, a 7mm STW built to around 12-14#'s would be a great long range rifle for your needs. 7mm RM would be one step down and a 7mm RUM would be a big step up from there.
I would have to agree with all of this. Having built my share of big 7s have found barrel life especially in the STW and RUMs to be far shorter than a comparable 30 or bigger.
At real long range you will find bigger, longer bullets are easier to get predictable trajectories with, which is why the big 30s and 338s at so much more popular for extreme long range work.
For sake of argument a 7mm 175 gr SMK will bemuch more affected by wind drift and will loose velocity faster than a 338 cal 300 gr SMK will. The 7 will likely have a faster muzzle velocity than the 338, but any ballistics calculator will show you what I mean when you stretch way out there.
I love the 7s but have found real long range to be easier with the bigger calibers, and if you shoot alot you will find the "hot" 7s are hard on barrels.