This is my first post. I have been trying to learn and gather information reading the forum...lot's of information and lot's of learning to do.
I have been in the process of getting my first custom rifle together. What prompted me doing this was wanting to learn and get a rifle that I would feel confident to shoot 500 yards, working up too 600 yards possibly in the future.
Some things that have me stumped is that I want a rifle that I can carry up and over hills while travelling a few miles of steep country, so I want to keep weight down. I want to have a rifle outfitted with the approiate scope for accurately dispatching Coyote's to Elk.
Getting to my post topic I think I am making a compromise with a light rifle to carry vs. a heavier one to shoot. It maybe individual preference, but is there a happy medium that most all would agree works well? Some recipes so to speak.
A major component to my new toy is optics. I have never looked through anything other than a fixed or variable power plex reticle scope. With my reading I am getting information on ballistic reticles, mil-dots, and ballistic correcting turrets such as a Leupold M3. I am confused, I will admit, I don't know what direction to go because not many of my shots are over 250 yards, but sometime there are opportunities in the 400-450 range. What is practical? I am not seeing many light carry rifles with "big optics", most are 3.5-10 or 4.5-14x40 Leupolds. When the rifle's bump up in weight with thicker barrels, and the accompanying stocks then I start seeing Turrets, Adjustable Objective, Bipods, and higher magnification.
What this leads me too is what I call the "crossover", from Ultralight, light to the more tactical type rifles. Can there be an in between or does it just go against the objectives of the other type of shooting/hunting?
What's your feeling in keeping a rifle light, and being reliable to 500-600 yards?
a remington stainless fluted sendero. 25-05; or if you want bigger a .264 or 7mm rem with a vais brake. a leup 6.5-20 or 8-25 ( mil dots help but only come in the more expensive mark 4 right now i believe). burris zee ring with a 10moa insert. adjust the trigger and you are ready. caliber depends on what you are going to shoot more of elk or coyotes.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: LR hunting Rifle standards and practices
What helped me crossover from "light" rifles to heavy ones was the results I saw from the heavier ones. Once I saw this I didnt even feel the extra weight in the "hills". All of my rifles are 12-13#, including my sheep rifle. I have killed one sheep with a 8# rig and 5 with a 12+# rig. The heaviest was 16# and that really did wear me out. I will never do that again.
As far as calibers, there is a big difference betwen coyotes and elk. Get one suited for elk and at worst it will be overkill for coyotes. My recomendation to have good punch to 500-600 yards and keep the weight down a bit is the 300 WSM. This is much less finicky than calibers like the 300 RUM ect.....You can use a 180 for elk and a 155 for yotes. The 155 Lapua SCENAR bullet doesnt expand much and wouldnt tear up your yotes and would be very fast and flat for such a small kill zone. Also, as a beginner in the long range field, a 300 WSM wouldnt frustrate you nearly as much as a bigger rifle (that is if you are handloading.) The 308 is even better to learn on and get your confidence. The draw back here is having enough punch to cleanly harvest and elk at 600+.
As far as lighter scopes that will serve you well at 600-, some of the mid range lupies will do well. Get either a reticle you can hold over such as a TMR or Mil-Dot (for 308 type calibers I recomend the Mil-Dot, and for magnums I recomend the TMR) or adjustable turrets or both.
I prefer standard mil-dots for sub magnums because the trajectories match the dots well. For magnums I like the TMR because it is still the same system as the Mil-Dot, but has marks 1/2 way between holdovers. Since mags shoot flatter, you need these tighter holdovers. There isnt anything wrong with using the TMR on a 308 either, there is just more lines to miss-count.
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.
The only thing you would need to change would be the caliber (.280 isn't quite enough for elk at long range) and you would probably want a different scope (as I will probably soon upgrade).
That's what I'm talking about. Great to see what a light rifle can do. I have no idea of what to expect because I don't see many people posting or boasting about the accuracy of there lighter rifles. That's great...and with a regular 3-9!!!
My caliber selection is going to be a 270WSM, I don't plan on shooting beyond 500 yards at Elk and that's only if I get a good shot. I do own a 300WSM, but it is a Browning Abolt with a GS 3-10x40. I want to outfit the custom 270WSM to more of a longranger. It would be my dedicated longrange Antelope and Blacktail gun, but since it is setup for longer shots I would use it practicing on Coyotes, and it would go on the Elk hunts because it would be the most accurate of my guns. I hope this makes sense? If my 300WSM was setup to be 9-10lb long range gun...it would be awesome. I love the caliber, but the gun should be sold along the way to finance a heavier long range rifle.