I will be upfront and state that I have not spent much time on this forum thread, and know very little about LR handguns. I have a Russo stock on order, and have contacted Jim See for a build, but would like forum members input as well, on caliber choice and components choice for this build.
First, alittle background. I am dealing with a cronic shoulder injury, rotator cuff, due to work. Heavy construction worker for 35 years has taken a tole on my body, and don't know how long I will be shooting rifles. Hopefully for a long time. However, I need to look at the option of hunting elk with a handgun, and take the pressure off my shoulder.
I would like imput on calilber choice and components with this goal in mind, to take down an elk at 7-800 yards if that is possible with a handgun, and I am able to get good with it. Also, would like feedback on optics. I know this is a tall request, but maybe just tell alittle bit about what you are using for elk at longrange, and include barrel contour, twist, weight of your rig, optics,ect.
Thank you in advice for your responses.
A lot of information to respond to here in your query.
SInce you indicate never having done anything like this before I would be at a disadvantage not knowing what you are use to shooting in a handgun. Nothing I currently shoot has the recoil of a 6" 44 mag using full house 240 grain loads.
Punching a hole and getting your animal vs hitting with authority at the ranges you indicate will limit caliber choices. Personally I will never shoot past 600 yards at a game animal. Reloading vs buying factory also limits your choices Action used/ apparently since you ordered a stock you know the action already.
My personal caliber choices start with the 300WSM, 300Win Mag, 338 Gibbs,338WSM and Imp, 338 Win Mag,340 Weatherby, 338 Edge (current build) 338 X378 Weatherby. The new 338 Norma should be great in a handgun length barrel. An awesome hitter that isn't mentioned much any more is the 358STA!
Do you want a 14 pound none comfortable pack around beast that shoots and carry's from some type of motorized carrier or do you want an ultra-light that anyones kid can carry? Many here shoot 338's using 300gr SierraSMK's for the delivery energy along with accuracy at 800 plus yards. My 225's and 250 grains for my ranges do just fine.
I have an order in for a stock based on the Savage target action. As far as weight, I don't want something heavier than 10-12# scoped. To answer your question concerning experience,I have shot alot of 45ACP out of my 1911, and some 44mag out of my 3" snub nose S&W revolver. I don't like the 44mag with the 3" barrel for alot of shooting, but it is tolerable. Maybe 800yards is unrealistic with a handgun, don't know. I have never shot a LR handgun, so don't know what I am capable of with one.
I have not ordered any components, other than the stock, so there is some flexibilty still at this point.
If I were to put together a 338 EDGE in a handgun, what barrel length , and what velocities to expect from it.
338 Edge is one that Jim See chambers for. I have a 19" barrel sitting at Jim's waiting for him to return from his elk hunt. I am getting 2860fps with a 200gr Accubond and 2770 with the 225 Accubond in the 338WSM. Faster burning powders in the short fat WSM case allow these velocities.
I see no reason the Edge won't exceed 3000fps with the 200 grain and 2900fps with the 225 grain. Probably 2800 and change with the 245 gr Lehigh borerider bullet at .965BC or the .9?? BC 265gr GS bullet.
These velocities are attainable with standard 1 in 10 twist barrels. I have been getting noticably higher velocities with the 3 groove Benchmark barrels.
In my 17" 338X378 Weatherby Imp, I am getting right at 3000fps with the 225 Accubond. I am hoping to achieve the same velocity with the Edge with a 19" barrel. Ten pounds is Very Doable with the stocks I am using!
With practice doping wind and higher BC bullets, I see no reason why you can't achieve proficiency at most any range with a good scope.
That distance for ELlk with a handgun is a stretch in my IMHO. It will need to be a magnum with a long, for handgun, barrel and at least 30 caliber. Don't sound like it will be any easier to carry or shoot than a rifle.
You better be a good tracker and don't hunt and shoot long if the snow is falling.
I agree that 800yards is a stretch , and realistically my limits would end up at 600yds, but it would be nice to have the capability if a person can get good with the handgun. I am not sure if they are easier to carry than a rifle, but they are easier on the shoulder, which is the reason I am investigating the possibilty of having one built.
I to was thinking of a 7mm, and will check into the 7 Dakota as you suggested.
But I am also interested in a 338. I don't think a 30cal can do anything a 7mm can do in a handgun, so if I go above a 7, it will be to a 338cal.
It is my understanding that you use rifle scopes on your setup, and have know trouble with eye relief ?
Please give me a discription of your 7 Dakota components as far as barrel contour, length, scope, break, weight, stock. Or give me a link if this imfo is already on the site.