I am needing to build a rifle with a 18.5-19 inch barrel, but at the same time would like to maintain some of the long range rifle characteristics I've become accostomed to. I figured the SP section would have a little more guidance on cartridges that work in a short barrel. My target game will be between 50 and 200 lbs, rangeing from coyotes in OR to Peninsula wolves and the small deer on kodiak. I have already purchased a short actoin savage for the project which limits me to short action cartridges. It will most likely be set up with medium to lower power scope and an hs stock.
My goal is a rifle thats packable in heavy brush and easlity carried on small planes, cars, boats etc. Yet still good to 500-ish yards with modest velocity and med-high b.c. bullets.
I don't mind a barrel burner, or even a severe barrel burner.
(have other rifles for volume shooting, and target practice this would be hunting only)
Compared to most I am fairly recoil insensitive.
(Currently building a stubby 375 for a summer bear spray substitute, doubt I can cram more recoil in a short action)
I have a fairly large stockpile of 6mm and 30 cal projectiles, but am not stuck on those calibers. I had been dead set on a 6-284 but its hard to find good data on what velocities are actually attainable in a short barrel. My natural attraction is to the 300 wsm since it was my first go to caliber, but I would like to at least save pelts on the wolves. A short shot with a 300 might be counter intuitive to pelt recovery.
Some of the 7's seem nice but I have very little exposure to them, and the 6.5wsm seems like a fun one but might be a bit of a flame thrower in a stubby barrel. I have considered the 243win, but I really do love the thump and crack of the overbore wildcat or magnum.... starting to ramble.
Any input on what has worked well, and in what length barrel would be greatly appreciated
You have a number of choices with a 500 yardish max and a max 200 pound critter.
Any of the WSM's or SAUM's will do great.
With a short action the SAUM may be a little more advantageous since is it shorter and you can seat your bullets out further.
You will not see a significant amount of velocity difference between the two IMO.
I have a just under 18" 6.5 Leopard (WSM) that pushes 130 Berger almost to 3100 fps. Krieger 1-8 twist.
Popped a muley at 496 this year with and have taken several pd's out to 440 mile with several first shot connections from 400 to just over 440 yards.
My 6-284 is a Broughton 5C 1-8 twist, and I use the 115 DTAC's @ 2775 fps.
Killed whitetail and antelope out to 350 yards or so with it and one prairie dog at over 1500 yards.
Yes, it will do the job for you as well, as would the 6.5-284 (17-18" barrels) running 140's from 2700-2775 fps.
The Long Dasher/6x47 Lapua improved or just the 6x47 Lapua.
And of course the 6.5x47 Lapua or the improved version of it would do the job as well.
For deer sized game I would prefer the 6.5x47 Lapua or the improved 6.5 myself at 500 yards. The 123 A-Max will be a good performer as would the 130 Berger.
With a Short actions (if it is a single-shot) you can move the bolt stop/release further back and unload a long throated round say in a 6-284 without having to remove the bolt.
I have a 6.5 SAUM reamer, but just haven't had the time for it to be used yet.
I also have a 7SAUM 18" 162 A-max at 2759 fps.
Hope this gives you a starting point.
Ernie (xphunter) "The Un-Tactical"
Starting to sound like a broken record-.260 AI and I'd opt for the faster powders to work up loads for your short barrel. A 1:8 or 1:8.5 twist for the 130-160grn bullets and a heavy contoured barrel should prove a handy accurate carbine.
+1 On the 6.5 wam or probe the saum but I only have experience with the former, for a long range hammer short bbl or handgun it doesn't get much better and for an overbore cartridge to begin with you will not burn valuable barrel life fireforminig
I really like the numbers on the 6.5wsm, im osciliating between that and the 7wsm for simplicity. Both offer great bullet selection and bc. Leaning a bit towards the 7, in a rifle it sould be fine, were i to build an actual sp I think for recoils sake the 6.5 would win out