I just came back from Craig, Colorado on an Elk hunting trip. I hunt in Georgia with a 30-06 and a BAR 270. I took my 30-06 and the second day I was out there in CO, I took a 395 yard shot at my trophy Elk.
My question is, I am going back out west here in a few weeks and want to get some advice from the experts here on this board.
I am going to buy a new gun dedicated to "out west hunting" and wanted to know should I go with the 300wsm, 7mm or 300 win?
I am going to go with the Browning A-Bolt Stalker - what caliber would everybody suggest? 500 - 750 yards top!
Also, some good scope suggestions. I am using a Nikon 3x9x40 here in Georgia, but need more out west.
Thanks for the suggestions. I just want to buy the right gun in the first place and not have second thoughts with people telling me "you should have bought this..."
If you're going to be hunting out to 700 yards I would suggest sticking with the .300's, shooting 200 gr bullets, and maybe consider a Weatherby (cartridge, not rifle) or the RUM. 700 yds is a looong way out there. I'm really fond of the 7 rem mag, but not for elk beyond the area of 500 yds. As for scopes for that kind of shooting, I use a 2.5-10x42 IOR on my .300 Jarrett. I also like a 4.5-14. Any larger magnification range and there is too little field of view for the majority of shots that are probably going to be somewhere closer to 100 yards.
For a factory rifle I would get a Rem 700 in the 300 RUM shooting the 200 gr Accubond.
Personally as a custom rifle maker, I would not be real confident in your chances of getting a factory rifle to be accurate enough for engaging big game at 700 yards. 500 possibly with top loads.
I guess I am a sceptic from all the factory rifles I have torn apart and witnessed how they were put together.
If it were me, I would get a Rem 700 action. Fully and properly blue-print it and fit it with a 28 to 30" #6 Lilja stainless barrel if you are hunting in open country.
If you are hunting in cover I would go with the standard 27" or possibly better yet 26" with the same Lilja barrel.
The #6 contour offers plenty of stiffness for great accuracy and still is light enough to carry in the hills. It will not make an ultra light rifle by any means, probably in the 9.5 lb range but 700 yard shooting is not for light weight rifles.
Optics wise, I would select the 4.5-14 Weaver Tactical. This scope has the Mil-dot reticle that is on the first focal plain. This allow the power to be adjusted and the spacing onthe mils stays consistant and accurate though out the power range. This is a feature more US optics makers need to follow up on.
This scope is also extremely clear and reliable for the money. I have tested then side by side with $800 and $900 Leupolds and the Weaver is noticably clearer to my eyes and at least as accuracy, rugged and consistant.
I have one of these on my wifes 257 STW. Loded with the 130 gr Wildcat Bonded Core FBHP at 3500 fps and sighted in +2.4" at 100 yards, there is no need to adjust your hold out to 400 yards.
At 450 and 500 yards you just hold on the first dot below the main cross hair.
At 600 yards, bullet impact is within 1" of your poitn of aim.
For 550 yards you have to hold half way between the dots which may sound like guessing but bracketing an animal between two mil dots makes for precise hold.
Again, if its dark youcan turn the power down to 4.5 power and the mil dot system is the same.
For long range shooting, turn it up to 14x and still your set up to use the reticle to its full potential.
This is perhaps the best scope I have found for big game hunting out to 800 yards.
For longer shots it lacks a little optical power but for anything inside the half mile mark, it is a top notch system
Being able to engage any target from the muzzle out to 800 yards without ever having to dial in the clicks is perfect for big game hunting.
Its fast, accurate and very consistant and you never have to worry about loosing your click postion inthe field in the excitement of the hunt.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
I don't know enough about the Brownings to comment on their accuracy, but I think you would do well with a 300 Win Mag using a 200 gr Accubond. This should be plenty for an elk at 500 yards, and if it is accurate enough, for deer out at 500+ yards. One suggestion though, get the BOSS system on the Browning. My Winchester M70 has one and it is great for accuracy and recoil. I have adjusted it so my groups are .5 - .75 inches at 2900 fps with a 200 gr Accubond. Just had a complete passthrough on a mulie doe at 430 yards. Hit dead center just behind the shoulder.
If you want to shoot elk at 700 yards, then a Rem. Sendero in 300RUM would be better.
I keep nature balanced - I hunt everything!
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: Help out on a question please
For elk out to 700-750 yards I would use the 300 RUM w/200 ACCUBOND.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.