Need two elk rifle/caliber recommendations.... Have money to spend but not throw away.
I am recoil averse, want to range out to 400 yards and prefer a std "ammo available everywhere" set-up. No muzzle brakes allowed. Need to be able to carry it over hill and dale. Been thinking 7-08, 280 Rem...30.06..7 RM or 300 WM....prefer less recoil so ????
Sitting in a stand with a solid rest.... muzzle brake OK..... want to go out to 600 yards. Need a scope recommendation here as well.
Save your money and build one really good rifle. Get it with a brake and a cap. The rifle may print a little different with the brake off and the cap on but that is just the same as two rifles.
So here is my advice.
Buy a good custom action
Buy a good barrel
Buy a really excellent scope and I mean first class glass and a good pair of binoculars and once again I mean first class glass.
Pay an excellent smith (surprisingly enough the really good ones don't cost anymore than the mediocre ones)
Calibers are what strikes your fancy and I have my preferences that have very little to do with killing animals. Anything from a 257 Wby, 264 Win Mag, the 7's you have listed to the 300 Win Mag would be good. The one I would like but have never used is the 7STW. I think it would be just perfect for a 600 yard elk that suddenly shows up at 800 yards. Put a 160 Accubond in it and recoil will be manageable although not enjoyable (I'm so wimpy). If later on you want to shoot further than 600 yards then the Berger 180 is available but the recoil will be more with the heavier bullet but you won't notice it with a brake.
For a scope, the Nightforce is hard to beat. A 3.5-15 X 50mm or 56mm depending on your age and eyesight. This would give you all of the close up shooting advantage plus 15 power is plenty for 600 yards as darkness falls.
Ok, I think you are making a good point. I have a 30.06 that I shoot well enough that can be re-scoped to handle the closer shots and lugging over hill and dale.
So, then.... the custom would be ...say 9-11 pounds with scope, have a brake....If it has a brake and I want no more than say...308 recoil... what does that indicate as far as a cartridge? What in the 7mm or 30 cal range should I be looking at?
Also, would one review the forums and "discover" who the good smiths are? I guess so.
I have a 270 WSM, I am using the 140 NAB....a littlt light for LR Elk but I am self-imposing a 500 yard max untill the 150gr Berger comes out. I would say that being able to place a well constructed bullet accuratly would be the greatest asset, not always the biggest. A 270 Win works very well for Elk and has for a long time. If I was going to build a light recoiling backpack rifle I would use a 7-08 without a brake, I don't mind recoil so I went with my WSM.
Best glass you can buy and best barrel you can buy.....if you can't afford either of those just make sure that you have an excellent bullet going exactly where you point it.
My $.02. Sell the 06 and go with one custom to do it all.
Test, shoot, reload, etc... and you have a great all round gun.
Kirby Allen is my recommendation for a smith, he does all my smith work. Email him (Fiftydriver) and he'll get you one rifle that will do it all. Muzzelbrake you can screw break on for sight in, take it off while hunting.
28 in Lilja barrel, Lone Wolf stock, Rem 700 action should get you an amazing light gun. 270 AM if you reload, 7STW if not. Hope I didn't make it harder now to chose.
If your not going to shoot past 400 then just get a 30-06. I have shot a $300.00 winchester model 70 (walmart special) for the last 12 years for close range stuff. (165 partitions) Hell, the scope is worth three times what the gun is worth. But it will shoot moa and thats good enough for close stuff.
I would personally step up to a 300 shortmag for 600+ yards. A trigger and bedding job etc. Get a limbsaver pad and you should not need a break. Plus a good scope with turrets and some knowledge.
I agree, one good custom and excellent glass. I like the .270 class rifles, I have 4 of them, or for a little more hp, 270 mag, 284 or step up to the 7 class guns. Not bad recoil and they will reach out where you want to be. Most important, make sure the gun fits YOU and is what YOU want, not what your neighbor or the guy at the local Wally world says is "the best rifle for you".