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Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Optics

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Unread 01-12-2011, 02:56 PM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

A lightweight easy handling 338 win mag like my Tikka T-3 light carry gun. No brake, much power. No problem killing stuff to 800 yards. Quick handling for quick shots on bad bears. I like my 375 H&H AI but it kicks hard in a light rifle so back to the all around all purpose 338 win mag.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
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Unread 01-13-2011, 04:43 AM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

+1 to Shawn Carlock,

If you do not mind I would like to elucidate just a little however.

-- 1: 6.5mm = Lapua recently started making 260 brass! Nice vote of confidence, and peace of mind for people who reload, and like to keep their reloading relatively simple. (no brass forming, limited brass prep, long brass life) The Hornady 123gr Amax bullet is just about the highest BC bullet you can find in the lower cal. lighter weight type bullets. 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, cal. bullets-to-bore ratios Vs. BC/SD can get complicated. I have been a reloading nut case as well as intermediate to longish range shooter for about the last 20 years. I am not a rabid fanboi of any particular cal. They all have their uses, claims to fame, ect... That 123gr Amax in a 260 Rem, or a 6.5 Creedmoor is dang tough to beat! And, the bore life of it will tend to be better than the .243 or 6mm Rem/AI series. Although some of the 6mm AI can straight up lay the Smack Down for ballistics, as long as you do not care too much about round count for barrel longevity (read below notes on barrels).

- 1a: Personally I would be tempted to use a 5 or 6 groove type barrel @ 8.5 rate of twist, if you decide on a 6.5mm. The reasons being: BSC (bearing surface compression) will be a little lower on say a 5r/5c type, or 6 groove, this will tend to help the smaller bullets in not coming apart when driven real hard. The 8.5 twist reflects a decision for a 2 gun scenario: The 123gr Amax is a *VERY* good bullet! I would just almost be willing to say good for most things a 260 is really thought of as "Good For". Okay, not quite that good, but they are nice bullets with a high BC and good SD. The 140gr bullets will also stabilize *Well* all the way down to about -15F at sea level, without drastically over stabilizing the 123's (too many RPM's and high velocity contributes to mid air bullet explosions).

- 1b: 30 cal.: Another vote would be the 30 cal. 135gr SMK, this little bullet is Very Nice! I hardly ever see it mentioned, but man it deserves an honorable mention for a 308win build! You could build a 12 twist 5r/5c 308win. The other side of the coin for this build bullet wise is the excellent performing 130gr Barnes TTSX! This is another one you hardly ever see mentioned, but I am here to tell you now, It is *Truly Excelent* !!! Out to about 400 yards it is absolute DRT poison for Deer, Pigs, and Antelope. If you count 1800 fps. and 800 ft/lbs as minimum for this kind of game taking this little TTSX in a 20" barreled Handi-308 (in fact even an 18" barrel would be great as velocity loss is not as bad as you might expect it to be) is good for right about 500 yards! The SMK extends that a little for the varmint shooting and such. Another good thing is, IMR8208XBR powder is just almost a perfect match for these 2 bullets in the 308, making for an extremely reliable hunting setup, that is also a dream to reload for (powder dispenser wise it measures great in a Uniflow). Another plus to the 308 is barrel life!

-- 2: 30cal = I am torn here, the OCD side of me does not like even a mildly rebated rim! That being said, I know a couple of people who have WSM's and they do not seem to have any feed problems. I prefer a good old 300WM personally, but recently I have lusted hard for a 30-375 Ruger. Reason for the non belted is again purely my OCD kicking in! While it has more capacity, the 30-375 Ruger, for me, is more about loosing the belt.

- 2a: I can not honorably knock a 300wsm. The short actions do have some basic advantages. When you go to do a very fast follow up shot, the SA's tend to make life a bit easier. Some of the LA bolts can come back far enough to be a bit of a problem to some folks, depending on setup ect... I believe norma still makes their very good brass for the WSM as well. I would however consider lengthening the magazine via Wyatt Box or some such on an WSM though. You are likely to want Long Heavy bullets for your bigger game, the extra length in the mag well will help you A LOT if you reload! I would definitely ask the local LRH smiths about WSM and a longer mag box and potential for feed issues. I am reasonably sure they will tell you it is NP, but still it is worth doing the extra research.

Ok, so lets jump over to the rifle setup:

- Scope = 2.5x10 is a great setup for hunting in my opinion! IOR makes one in a FFP scope that has the MP8 Reticle and can be had Illuminated as well. Good scope mechanically, fantastic glass and coatings, and not break the bank expensive. Failing that, I would probably go with either the Nightforce Shawn mentioned, or maybe even a Premier Heritage 3-15, I believe as of this year they will even be coming out with a Hunting specific model of it. It is good to have GREAT glass and rock solid mechanicals in a scope you intend to Seriously Use! The latter 2 have proven track records for mechanical durability, and even the IOR has proven itself to me to be more than reasonably tough. (I own the 3x18-42 personally) Some folks say Mil Dot optics and FFP both are absolutely only good for killing humans! I disagree! Mil Dot does not mean Military Dot, it means Milliradian, which is a unit of measure. Once a person learns to use a Mil Dot scope for Ranging life suddenly begins to get a fair bit easier/quicker! They are also great for kentucky windage. I prefer the Front Focal Plane because I can range on any power setting. On a SFP scope it is most usually 10x only for ranging using the reticle. So, FFP for overall quick ease of use for any scenario where you may want to get a fast shot off.

- Scope Base / mounts: I am torn here. Glen Seekins makes a Picatinny rail in either aluminium or steel and rings that truly are world class quality. I would probably opt for the 8-40 milled threads for extra strength, especially if you end up with that nighforce scope! Just a detail really, but one worth considering for a new build. Some folks do not like Picatinny for hunting, but it does allow you to get your Eye Box set-up a bit easier. The knock is, some folks do not like how it tends to make quick loading into an internal mag a little more fussy.

- Lets talk barrels: Some one here on LRH posted about Ferritic Nitride I believe it was, man that stuff looks real nice to help in barrel life. Gunwerks I believe uses ABS Carbon Wrapped Barrels for their lightweight hunters. The carbon wrap also is reputed to help in keeping chamber / throat temperatures down, which should help extend useful barrel life. Good way to drop some weight, and gain in long term durability.

- Actions: I would never order a custom rifle that has a standard-soldered on bolt handle! The new stillers, and I think Lawton actions as well use 1 piece bolts. I also kind of like the idea of the M16 type extractor. Lots of great actions out there!

- Stocks: I agree about nice wood and getting beat up. Have you considered a Manners Stock? The Manners MCS-TA and T stock is listed as a Hunter / Tactical stock. If you look at it, it does not look Tak-Tic-Kool, it is a very well designed stock that is also extremely well made. Prices are fairly reasonable as well. Lots and Lots of great stocks to choose from!

Have a good one,
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Unread 01-20-2011, 07:56 PM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

Originally Posted by angus-5024 View Post
i wouldnt say that a .340 is light for Grizz. in fact Im pretty sure that the .340 has more energy at any range that the 375 HH simply due to greater velocity (dependant on bullet wight of course). But that being said, I think I would rather shoot a 375 for Grizz anyway simply because greater frontal area. The old "ouch and ouch" is one heck of a game getter.
DITTO, shot a 340WM FOR 20 + yrs all you have to do is shoot 250 gr.and basically you out pace the ouch and ouch, just run the bal. for E
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Unread 01-29-2011, 01:21 AM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

If you can spend 10K, I wouldn't just buy one rifle. You could build 3 elite rifles to fit different needs for that. The whole 'one rifle for all' idea isn't really that great of an option.

That being said, i think the 7mm Mag or possibly a 7mm STW would be best.

If you have 10K, build a 7mm STW or 7mm Rem Mag, and one of the 7mm 08/243/308 type rifle

or substitute in a 300 WM or WSM in place of the 7mm.

Those would all be better options than one overbuilt 30.06 (which would be overkill to build with the components you are listing). And you could put great glass on both and still be under budget. No matter how well you build the 06, it is a 400 yard firearm. The 300 WM or 7mm Mags will get you to a 1000 with some decent glass and a lot of practice.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 09:45 PM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

I am a newbie but couldn't help myself. Had to have an opinion... I want to do the same but with two rifles. I picked 338-06 and 308. The 338-06 is a short action cartridge that can shoot heavy enough bullets to kill anything in North America including bear. Bullet rnge from around 160 to 300 depending on chambering. It can shoot lighter bullets on thin skinned game. All in a short action with less recoil than the 338 magnum. You lose only about 100 fps with the necked up 338 vs the magnum whihk, incidentally, has more recoil. Mine is a custom built Mauser with a twenty two inch barrel with a removable muzzle break in case an outfitter has a break phobia. In general though, I would pick a Remington action just because of the ease of finding gunsmiths and I am an accuracy fiend.

My second gun which in this case is not really necessary for hunting would be and is a Remington 308 LTR. I like the moderate, contrallable recoil, the short 20 inch bull which is easier to use around tree stands and the inherent accuracy of off the shelf Remngtons. Mine shoots several commercial brands of ammo around 1/2 moa. For short range, the 308 will take most any game excluding bear. It is more fun and accurate to shoot at targets. Most anything bigger will have more recoil than I enjoy and feel I can shoot well. 306 and up starts to get a little vigorous in the recoil department for me.

As far as optics, there are too many choices. I always look for bang for the buck but you look like price is no object. You could easily build two great rifles with optics at your budget. I am looking hard at the March 2.5-25 right now. Historically, I have been a big Meopta fan because to me that is the entry level scope with glass good enough to hunt in low light. I am looking at upgrading to what you probably already have by now like a Schmidt and Bender or Ziess with target turrets. I did not read the whole thread but hope you enjoy or are enjoying whatever you picked.
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Unread 02-08-2011, 10:26 AM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

338-06 is kinda cool, but not a long range round or short action. Kinda cool though.
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Unread 02-08-2011, 05:42 PM
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Re: Input Wanted for Ultimate "One Rifle" for North American Game - $10k Including Op

338-06 is by no means a short action round.
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