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Totally Over My Head

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  #64  
Unread 07-21-2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: Totally Over My Head

MR,

I certainly think you make some great points about there being rifles that can do some things better than the .308. I think the 7mm WSM is a better option than the .300 WSM because it shoots flatter, has bullets with better BC's, has bullets with better sectional densities, etc. BUT...

Neither one has the variety of loadings available to the .308. Both are much more expensive to shoot, (c'mon, its not just the powder, the brass is easily twice as expensive, and in real life, you can usually find great, once fired .308 brass at any range! I have a several hundred pieces I found like that! I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they'll probably make great trade bait!)

And the available knowledge base for .308 loading is infinitely larger than those for other calibers.

Another advantage is that I've never seen a .308 that couldn't shoot at least one factory load well, (meaning sub-MOA). On the other hand, magnum loads seldom come into their own until you start handloading. My 7mm WSM won't shoot sub MOA with any factory load I've tried, though I'll admit there aren't that many of them! However, I have at least 3 handloads that it will do that with. In fact, with handloads, it is easily a 1/2 MOA rifle at 400 yards. Most Magnum owners tell me the same thing.

Go point by point in my post above, and it's difficult to tout one of the other calibers for a beginning long range shooter.

Bill
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  #65  
Unread 07-21-2009, 12:36 PM
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Re: Totally Over My Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
...

I sure dont mean any offense but in my book, not only does the 308 not win hands down, it comes in close to last for distance shooting. I say that because I look at the question from a purely ballistic point of view. Once you get past 500 yds there are numerous cartrides from the 264 WM up to the big 338's that leave it well behind. There is no real debate about that. The math and the physics speaks for itself. It's hard to argue with velocity and BC.

Now if you say that the 308 wins because there is lots of data, or that it has better barrel life, or there is more factory ammo for it, or it has relatively mild recoil then that is a strong case. But if you look at it purely from ballistics, it comes up short.

Can it do what the OP wants? Yep. Can it do it best? IME... no....

-MR
OK, the original poster asked the following.

"...looking for something that can kill a deer at a decent distance, say 300 - 400 yards, but mainly just want to shoot for fun..."

Looking at the ballistics of the 308win vs 300wsm out to 400yds, it is surprisingly close.

If you take a .308 and load 210 bergers to around 2500fps, sight it in at 325yds, even in a full value 10mph wind, you will always be within 10" of your aimpoint at 5000ft elevation out to 400yds.

Looking at a 300wsm loaded to around 2850fps with the same 210berger. Sighted in at 350yds, you will always hit within 7" of your aimpoint. So the 300wsm beats the 308win by 3" out to 400yds (not as much as you would think!). Is it worth rebarrelling 3 times as often? More expensive ammo? More recoil etc.???

For hunting deer to a maximum of 400yds and "mainly want to shoot for fun", a heavy barreled .308win is tough to beat. It has great barrel life, great availability of ammo, reasonable recoil etc etc etc

I love the magnums, but when you look at what the OP asked, it's tough to recommend a magnum of any type.

If we ignore what the OP asked, and extend the range to Elk hunting at 1500yds, I'd never recommend a 308win.


AJ
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  #66  
Unread 07-21-2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: Totally Over My Head

Montana,

I agree with you that there are too many calibers ballistically superior to the 308, in fact, I don't even own a 308 and often times find myself making fun of my buddy that shoots one in F-Class FT/R telling him that he is ballistically challenged, eventhough he can really shoot it like a pro.

But for this thread alone, I think the 308 is the best possible candidate due to the fact that Slafav does not handload, if he did I would recommend a 260 which is ballistically superior to the 308. Also like I said before, he can get any rifle he likes in 308, can't say the same for any other calibers.

Also, Slafav is only looking to hunt deer at 400 yards, and you said it yourself that most of the "better" cartridges beat the 308 after 500 yards, so for that reason I think the 308 is a better cartridge for HIS needs.

My long range rifles are a 300 Win. Mag. and a 280 Ackley Improved, both of which are way better cartridges than the 308. But the reason I use these is because my expected shots could be up to 700 yards and beyond, if I knew they would be 500 and closer, my choice of calibers would be different.

Also I don't practice with them as much because of the greater cost, recoil, and barrel burning abilities. I use a 6BRX for practicing because it is cheaper, less recoil and can shoot it forever without worrying about my barrel or throat.

Anyways, I think if we were just discussing best long range cartridges you and I would be in complete agreement, but again, I don't think that's what this thread is about.

X3M

Last edited by X3MHunter; 07-21-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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  #67  
Unread 07-21-2009, 11:32 PM
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Re: Totally Over My Head

Are there really 67 posts in this thread???

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaites View Post
MR,

I certainly think you make some great points about there being rifles that can do some things better than the .308. I think the 7mm WSM is a better option than the .300 WSM because it shoots flatter, has bullets with better BC's, has bullets with better sectional densities, etc. BUT...

Neither one has the variety of loadings available to the .308. Both are much more expensive to shoot, (c'mon, its not just the powder, the brass is easily twice as expensive, and in real life, you can usually find great, once fired .308 brass at any range! I have a several hundred pieces I found like that! I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they'll probably make great trade bait!)

And the available knowledge base for .308 loading is infinitely larger than those for other calibers.

Another advantage is that I've never seen a .308 that couldn't shoot at least one factory load well, (meaning sub-MOA). On the other hand, magnum loads seldom come into their own until you start handloading. My 7mm WSM won't shoot sub MOA with any factory load I've tried, though I'll admit there aren't that many of them! However, I have at least 3 handloads that it will do that with. In fact, with handloads, it is easily a 1/2 MOA rifle at 400 yards. Most Magnum owners tell me the same thing.

Go point by point in my post above, and it's difficult to tout one of the other calibers for a beginning long range shooter.

Bill
Yup, the 7WSM does shoot flatter, and it burns barrels quicker too. Tradeoff.... wich is more desirable for what reasons....

OK, point by point, and I might sound sarcastic but not really trying to be so dont git yer feathers ruffled.

Quote:
Can it do what the OP WANTS best is the question!
Wha the OP wants....

Quote:
-I am looking for something that can kill a deer at a decent distance, say 300 - 400 yards,

-but mainly just want to shoot for fun.
What is just shooting for fun?

Quote:
-I am looking to stay under $1000 - $1500 if possible and want something that will perform reliably for a while
OK, that includes a lot of posibiliteis.

Quote:
-I have heard good things about .300, .308, and 7mm mag, but don't really know the difference in ballistics, cost, availability, etc.
Actual rifle costs dont depend on caliber, they depend on rifle make and model. Factory ammo costs will vary about 10% between these mentioned cartridges. Handloading will var much less.

Quote:
-I don't want to get in to reloading or anything of that nature, so I'd like to avoid calibers that require something like that.
OK, so I have to throw the flag here... forget about LR shooting if you dont want to reload. You all know durn well that Slafav is on his way to reloading so let's not even talk about factrory ammo as being a criteria for picking a rifle.

Quote:
-What if I wanted to push the max distance out a bit? Say, 800 -900 yards, but not need it to be necessarily lethal? Would that be possible?
You need to reload, and once you start shooting at these distances consistantly you'll almost certainly look for oportunities to start taking game as well.

Quote:
-Another question. Is it better to lay down the money in the beginning while learning the basics of drop, wind, etc or should I stay cheap in the beginning and swap out parts as I go along?
You dont have to get top end, but you do need to get quality.

Quote:
-Rifle weight isn't an issue
Senderos are a player.

Quote:
-what's the difference in cost between calibers
Already went over that...

Ok, so I am convinced the OP really doesn't know what he wants yet, and there's nothing wrong with that. Better for him to read through these forums for a while really think about it and THEN start making some decisions, when he KNOWS what he wants and he is SMARTER about the LR scene.
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  #68  
Unread 07-21-2009, 11:44 PM
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Re: Totally Over My Head

You can get good quality, fun to shoot ammo for the .308 at about 20-30% of the cost of any mag ammo. There is lots of .308 surplus ammo available that will teach you to shoot pretty doggone well out to 3-400 yards.

You can also get quality factory match ammo for the .308, if you spend a little time figuring out what your gun likes, and are willing to spend a little time doing it.

Yep, the 7mm WSM might burn barrels out faster than the .300 WSM, but its a trade I was willing to make. I haven't proved it yet, though, only have about 300-400 rounds down this one, and 100 were at an F class match.

Bill
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  #69  
Unread 07-21-2009, 11:56 PM
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Re: Totally Over My Head

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaites View Post
Yep, the 7mm WSM might burn barrels out faster than the .300 WSM, but its a trade I was willing to make....
Bill
Exactley.... because of your priorities. Slafav doesn't know his priorities yet.....
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  #70  
Unread 07-22-2009, 09:02 AM
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Posts: 211
Re: Totally Over My Head

Well, since you guys are talking about barrel life, tell me which one of the two: 7 WSM or 300 WSM has better barrel life than the 308. Heck, I'll make it easy on you guys, tell me ANY caliber that has better barrel life than the 308 that can be accurate out to 1000 yards, that is fun and cheap to shoot, that ammo is available anywhere ammo is sold, and that factory match ammo is available for.

Well, looks like we've been going on for a while arguing about what caliber would work the best for Slafav. I think it's time for Slafav to tell us what ge has gathered from all of this and what he thinks about calibers and rifles at this point.

X3M
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