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My Story & Several Questions

 
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:21 AM
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Location: Corvallis, Montana
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My Story & Several Questions

First, I apologize for the long post. I am just getting started with rifle hunting. Let me start out by saying many years ago I took up bowhunting and that essentially ended my gun hunting for many years. As a youngster I was an avid bird hunter and hunted deer with a rifle and slug shotgun in Michigan.

I started out bowhunting with a recurve and never did get into compound bows. I made some of my own longbows and have harvested countless animals, including elk with them. I made my own wood arrows and some of my own stone and metal broadheads.

A couple of years ago I was chasing a huge bull elk during the early archery season. I never did get him within bow range and a friend said I should go out during the general season with him. I didn't even own a rifle but he let me borrow one of his. He reloaded his ammo. We went to the range and did some sighting and practicing. We both ended up harvesting an elk that season but not the bull I saw several times during the archery season. I had a great time, though. The next season I borrowed a rifle from another friend and harvested another elk.

Now, I have purchased a rifle and plan on purchasing another as well. I want to reload my own ammo. It reminds me of making my wooden arrows. To me both are great hobbies.

I have the ability to practice at very long ranges at a friends ranch and up to 400 yards at the local gun range.

The easy way to start reloading appears to be purchasing a kit but I don't think I want to go that direction. I have pretty much decided to go with either the Redding Big Boss press or the Forster Co-Ax (I am leaning toward the Forster). For case trimming I have read good stuff about the Wilson and Forster. The Wilson has a micrometer option from Sinclair that lets you dial overall length. How do you figure out the trim length with the Forster? I like the idea that the Forster has the 3 in 1 cutter that trims, deburs and chamfers in one step. Has anyone used this and does it do the job? And about deburing and chamfering, I have read the Wilson attachment doesn't work so well because their case holders are not all the same diameter. I am interested in how everyone completes these processes.

Then comes scales. I've seen an article and video about the Sartorius GD503. Quite a scale but no way am I spending $1325.00 to measure powder. How accurate are the beam scales and is there a good, accurate, repeatable digital scale that is reasonably priced? My plan is to get a cheap powder measure and set it to throw light and then trickle each charge on a scale.

What else do I need to get started reloading? I know I need dies and lube etc.

The rifle I have is a Remington 700 CDL SF. I am either going to have it pillar and glass bedded or have a Whidden V-Block installed. Any advise on which direction to go here? I also need to add a scope and mounts. I have allowed up to $700 for a scope and would like suggestions on make and model people are happy with. For the base and rings I have been thinking about the Murphy Precision. They support this website and appear to be well thought of.

Any additional tips would be appreciated. Again, sorry for such a long post. Thanks in advance for the feed back.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: WA STATE
Posts: 95
Re: My Story & Several Questions

Sorry if i missed it but what caliber are u shooting?

As far as scopes I only ever owned leupolds once i could afford to buy my own and have been getting into alot of others. I know NF is out of budget but I have been reading good things about Vortex I actually just ordered one for a coyote gun. I have friends who praise Burris and Nikon I personally have no expeirence with either other then a Burris 1.75-5 on a marlin guide gun i have and it seem fine on there.

As far as reloading like u have found out the sky or better yet budget is the limit I personally use a scale I bought at a government auction that came from a post office. It is accurate as can be but a little tedious i become good friends with the powder thrower.

Good luck with reloading i have been doing it for 20+ years and still learn things all the time
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:48 AM
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Re: My Story & Several Questions

My first advice would be to have a good smith do a complete bed and float job on your rifle including installing steel or aluminum pillar blocks. There are also some nylon pillars available but I'm not convinced they are as effective.

Secondly I would advise saving another couple of hundred bucks and that will enable you to broaden your scope choices considerably.

Look at the 4.5-14 x 44 zeiss conquests at the lower end and the Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x50 at the high end. The vortex Viper PST in the 4-16x60 is decent glass as well. I just bought one of the latter in fact.

Don't be afraid of buying used scopes of these three brands either. They have good reliability anyway along with lifetime warranties.

I'll let others advise you on reloading but I especially am fond of the Swift SiroccoII, Hornady Interbond, and Nosler Accubond for great High BC hunting bullets you can rely on with every shot.

Welcome.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:01 PM
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Location: Corvallis, Montana
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Re: My Story & Several Questions

I guess I did forget to mention the caliber. I currently have a 260 Remington with 24" barrel.

I was thinking about picking up something in 338 but am not completely sure yet. I was specifically looking at a 338 RCM.

I am going to have the action bedded. And I have thought about the Whidden V-Block. Not sure which way to go. This is the next step, though. Then I'll need to look at scope, base and rings. I appreciate the thought on scopes WildRose. The choices are so numerous and confusing. I'm not sure what retical to go with or anything. I was also looking at the Leupold CDS system.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2012, 04:39 PM
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Re: My Story & Several Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BitterrootBob View Post
I guess I did forget to mention the caliber. I currently have a 260 Remington with 24" barrel.

I was thinking about picking up something in 338 but am not completely sure yet. I was specifically looking at a 338 RCM.

I am going to have the action bedded. And I have thought about the Whidden V-Block. Not sure which way to go. This is the next step, though. Then I'll need to look at scope, base and rings. I appreciate the thought on scopes WildRose. The choices are so numerous and confusing. I'm not sure what retical to go with or anything. I was also looking at the Leupold CDS system.
Bob before buying a .338 ask yourself one important question. Why?

The most popular caliber for Elk and Moose sized game in europe is the 6.5x55. The 6.5's also pretty much rule the plains game hunting in Africa, particularly SA where some of the largest species of antelope in the world are found and are considerably larger than the average Elk killed in the US.

Now I'm not saying I believe the 6.5's are the best, in fact I specifically own 7mm STW's, 300wm's and a 300 Rum Specifically for LR shooting (beyond 600yds) on Large wild boar (over 500lbs) as well as for my eventual Elk, Moose, and Grizzly hunts.

I just see no need to spend the extra money on gear, ammo, reloading components etc and put up with the extra muzzle blast and recoil

There's a reason you can pick up so many fantastic deals on used .338's and that's because for many they come to the same realization after shooting just a few boxes of shells through them.

The are amazing weapons and beyond 1,200yds they will do things even the big 300's cannot do but only a tiny handful of even us dedicated LR hunters will actually have such a need.

As for scopes. If your limit for shooting is going to be 800yds or less then the CDS and similar type systems will work very well for you but they do limit you essentially to one load and if you change altitudes by more than 4000' you really do need to get multiple dials for the different elevations or they will not be particularly accurate.

For myself I prefer to just use a standard Leupold TMR or Mil dot, or my IOR's with the MP8 which I dearly love.

All the best.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:09 PM
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Posts: 529
Re: My Story & Several Questions

for a scale/ powder thrower, I use the chargemaster combo and would never go back. I have a rcbs beam scale as well and it works great. I used it now to check my thrown loads periodically and have found the chargemaster to be very accurate for precision reloading
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2012, 08:28 PM
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Location: Corvallis, Montana
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Re: My Story & Several Questions

WildRose,

The extra recoil and muzzle blast etc. is why I haven't done anything on a 2nd rifle. The two I borrowed were a 280 Remington and a 7mm08 Remington. I harvested an elk with each and neither took a single step.

I shot a 338 Win Mag and the recoil was not what I would call comfortable. I also shot a 300 Win Mag and that wasn't too bad but probably the upper end of what I would want to shoot very often.

I have made up my mind, at this point, to finish the 260 Remington and get a season or two under my belt before I worry about adding a second rifle. I started looking at some of the higher end scopes, as you suggested, and by the time I get a scope mounted and this rifle bedded and get some reloading equipment, I am going to have a significant investment.
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