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Newbie looking for help

 
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  #1  
Old 01-04-2011, 08:35 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chandler, AZ
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Newbie looking for help

I am new to long range shooting/hunting and am looking for some advice as to how to get started. I live out west and rarely do I have a situation where I take a shot less than 150-200 yds. In fact, I have not fired my rifle at an animal in 5 yrs because I am not comfortable taking a shot beyond 250 with my current setup.

Here is what I am thinking;

Savage 11 FCNS 300WSM- A couple of reasons, seems like Savage has the quality as a factory rifle, the 300WSM should give me plenty of knock down power out to 500 yrds and beyond when I am ready and the recoil of the 300WSM seems tolerable.

Scope- I am looking at the SWFA SS 10x42 Tactical. This seems like a good starting out scope on a budget.

Factory Loads-Any advice on factory loads? I currently shoot Nosler and like them a lot. I know hand loading is the way to go but I at the moment I just don't have the time to invest. I am very excited to learn this aspect of long range shooting.

My plan is to start shooting at a max range of 500 yds and go from there. Based on what I have mentioned above, do you think this allow me to get started? I'd like to have a rifle I can continue to improve with and still give me knock down power for deer and elk beyond 500 yds when I am ready. Seems like the 300WSM will allow for this.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this newbie.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2011, 08:46 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for help

i prefer remington. i prefer a variable power scope.
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:31 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for help

If money is a concern, which it is for most of us. I would look along the lines of a readily available ammo like 308 or 30-06 because they tend to be less expensive in a factory load. This is by no means a fact just my opinion, others may have a different point of view.
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2011, 10:04 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for help

The .30 calibers are great, but if you look at Berger's website note the ballistic coefficient for their bullets. The highest B.C. is for the 7mm bullets. Shooting Times did an article a few years ago on B.C. and concluded that the energy difference at 300 yards for a b.c. difference of .1 was like going up a 100 fps in velocity. The other big factor is the wind drift. In mountain canyons, the wind can be very swirly and hard to dope. A high b.c. means less wind drift at long range.

I never used to think I was recoil adverse, but I know better now. Everyone is to some extent. That's why the military uses the runt cartridge they do. The lighter the bullet the better, as long as it is effective on game.

Penetration is based on Sectional Density, and and s.d. above .280 seems to be the ticket. You get that in 7mm at about 160 gr. and at 180 gr. in .30 caliber.

You can shoot the 168 (b.c. .617) or 180 grain (b.c. .659) in 7mm or get close to the same B.C. in .30 caliber by going to the 210 gr bullet (b.c. 631). I guarantee that a 168 gr bullet will kill an elk at 500 yards. Even at the mild 2700 fps I shoot in my WSM, it has 1713 ft.lbs of energy at 500 yards. I dropped an elk almost in its tracks at 350 yds. with the 168 gr. Check out Berger's website video on long range hunts.

Do reload. I do it with a Lee hand press while I'm watching T.V. I shot factory load in my Browning and got 3 shot groups of 3", and hand load and get 1/2" groups. You can easily load 20 rounds in an hour. If you're not going to reload, the 270 WSM has a much better choice of loads, but lower b.c.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2011, 07:31 PM
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Re: Newbie looking for help

The only advantage a Variable power scope has is if you plan on shooting from in close to way out far. That fixed power SWFA 10x will do real good out to about 700 to 800. In fact, it will really do ok to about 1k if you are not necessarily trying to shoot tiny little groups, but instead are shooting at actual Targets (steel, deer, ect). For out at 1k I might prefer a 16x, IF I were trying for small groups.

My IOR 3x18x42 first gen scope @ 12x in the last 5 minutes of light or so will allow me to spot and engage a 1 gallon jug filled with red-dye water. Much beyond 14x in the same conditions and the scope starts to "Go Dark" on me. I mention this so you can scratch your head and go....OH I SEE... For many of us, hunting seems to really be about what, 30 minutes in the early morning, and 30 minutes in the late evening if you are lucky right?

Of course, for you it may be different. My IOR @ 18x on a average Day Time shot has plenty and then some for clarity. So, you kind of need to think what time of day / how much light will you have when you think of what power and what size objective you need. Exit pupil should generally be at least 3.5 for good clarity. You can calculate exit pupil by taking Objective Size (mine is 42) and dividing it by power setting (in my case 12 for late evening) which for me equals 3.5 Now this is something that any Really Knowledgeable Scope sales person can tell you. Call Nightforce and ask them, I am pretty sure they will tell you 3 to 3.5 If you called Scott @ Liberty Optics he will Definitely tell you the same. Again, just food for thought.

Now, the caveat here is QUALITY OPTICS...you can have a 24x scope with a 72mm objective and if the glass and coating are crap, then the clarity (Not Brightness!!!!!!) will be crap. You will see fuzzy navel crap, but really enlarged ...24x ;)

BTW, SWFA super sniper is considered to be good optics, and really solid hardware. Not high end, but Good! I would buy one if I were on a budget and needed a Good Scope I could count on.

Now as for 300wsm, yup it will work quite well for you! I have to say, the no reloading this hurts a lot...at $40+++++++ per box of 20...omg if you practice at all (going to have to to meet your goal) that thing will break you if you buy your ammo! Reloading CAN be both economical and easy, it is just that many of us get hooked after the fact and start to screw around endlessly.

Ok, so here is a suggestion for you. Buy yourself a Savage Precision Carbine in .223 and buy a **** Load of good ammo for that and practice, practice, practice, and Practice with it. Once you get GOOD with that, then move up to your 300wsm. Trust me, it will take a Few Thousand Rounds Down Range before your Real Deal Skill Levels come up to par where taking a 500 yard shot will be a "Good Idea". Especially if you do not reload, the purchase of that .223 will save you plenty of money. Another thing to consider is if you insist on just the 300wsm, you may very well burn the barrel out on it before you really get your skill up to snuff. Good luck burning out a .223 barrel... Of course you could do the 308, but even that is beginning to get kind of expensive to shoot these days on store bought ammo. I love the 308 personally, and plan on buying at least one, maybe two before the end of the year. Then again, I reload, so ammo is NOT an issue for me.

Good shooting,
Gary

Last edited by diriel; 01-04-2011 at 07:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2011, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chandler, AZ
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Re: Newbie looking for help

I appreciate all the advice. Looks like I cannot get buy with factory so I'll look into reloading. I am definitely on a budget and only looking to spend 400-500. Gary, I definitely need to practice so I may have to start this way. If I choose to go with more what are your thoughts about a 7mm. My head is spinning after reading some past posts and articles on the 7mm. There is the SAUM, WSM and 7mm-08 (I've probably missed a few). What, in your opinions, would be the easiest for a newbie reloader and still give me the power at 500+ yrds for Elk?

All this new info is a bit overwhelming but I am lov'in every bit of it.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to read, respond and most of all educate me.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2011, 02:44 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: So. California
Posts: 409
Re: Newbie looking for help

Any of the 7mm mags including the WSM / RSAUM will do the job pretty well.

Here is a link to some really good reading:
7mm Cartridge Guide
They tell it like it is for long range shooting, which for our purposes here and now is what we need to figure out cartridge wise. To boil it down, the 7mm/300wsm is preferred to the standard wsm, and the RSAUM (possibly other than brass, you should research brass) seems to slightly edge both of the above out. It is a good read, I highly suggest you peruse it.

Gary
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