Buidling a rifle....Opinions & Suggestions Appreciated!
I am relatively new to the idea of tactically taking an animal at ranges beyond 400 yards...with all honesty, I am extremely appreciative at the level of skill, knowledge as well as the equipment that is needed for this type of hunting. Last summer I bought a weatherby ultra-lightweight in .300 weatherby, had the trigger done, an accubrake installed and invested in talley one piece mounts as well as a zeiss conquest 4.5-14x44mm scope. I bought the rifle mainly for my dreams of backpack hunting out west as well as my aspirations to one day go sheep hunting. Anyways, the reason for this post is to inquire as to your opinions on having a semi-custom rifle built. Some day I plan to hunt some of the larger species located in North America like elk, moose, brown/grizzly bear and caribou as well as african game. I know that my .300 weatherby will adequately take any of the above, but I like guns and the idea of having a part of what it becomes. I have heard a lot abuot the 338 edge that Shawn Carlock has introduced based on the 300 RUM cartridge necked up to accept .338 diameter bullets. I have two main questions that I would appreciate input on. These are:
1. If what I assume to be true concernign the 338 RUM compared to the 338 edge, the 338 RUM is a .300 RUM case that has been cut down in shoulder length so 300 RUM will not fit into a 338 RUM....(which is probobly the result of human error that I have came in personal contact with...a guy was shooting at my range and was shooting 7mm RUM cartridges through a 300 RUM gun...and asked my father and I if we had any idea why the bullets were going in legth wise making inch tears instead of bullet holes....Anyways, back to my assumpions. The 338 edge is indeed a full size 300 RUM that has been necked out to 338 caliber which allows it to have on average 6-8% more capacity than the 338 RUM.
To the average weekend shooter, would it be worth having a rifle chabered for 338 edge rather than the 338 RUM?
2. I am thinking of purchasing an remington 700 long action and sending it to a gunsmith to have it trued and chambered to one of these calibers. I also like the looks and recoil depressing capability offered by Brown Precisions thumbhole compostie stocks or McMillans lazzeroni thumbhole. With a caliber like these two what contour barrel do you suggest to get a complete gun weight around 9.5-10 pounds or so (to be able to carry on hunts while still being able to be efficient at long ranges)..I was thinking 26-26.5" stainless steel barrel by a premium barrel manufacturer with the addition of a muzzle brake since I do mind the muzzle blast and added noise (to be honest I do not notice much of a difference on both of my rifles that have muzzle brakes on them). That is one thought. Here is my other thought. Would you advise just having a custom gun-maker build a rifle to my needs? What are the costs of each rifle option...if at all possible I would like to save in all areas. Also how practical in a hunting situation are target nobs, mil dots and range reticles such as the NightForce 3.5-15X50mm NXS with the NP-1RR....what reticle would you guys reccomend for long range shooting as well as hunting purposes that I listed earlier.
I know there is a lot of info and questions here, but I greatly respect all of your opinions and value any suggestions/opinions that you can offer!