Re: Need help deciding on a cal or rifle for first build
If you are just hunting deer/antelope, you don't need to go bigger than 7mm. At sea level, a 168 Berger VLD @ 2900 fps doesn't go transonic until after 1200 yards and maintains >1000 ft/lbs of energy (the accepted minimum for deer sized animals) past 1500 yards. I can't remember for sure what Berger's stated minimum velocity for reliable expansion is. I am thinking somewhere around 1600 fps. If I am right about that figure, you are good to about 1000 yards at sea level.
The 6.5's are great. I own several and they are my favorite under .30 rifles. They are an excellent balance of bc, recoil, velocity, striking power, and penetration.
However, the 7mm has better bc's. The tradeoff is a bit more recoil. To outperform the 7's, you have to go really heavy in a .30 or step up to the .338's. Neither of those options are necessary for deer sized game. If you want to step up to elk/moose/bear at long range, that is a different story.