best .35 caliber long range rifle?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by bmcnabb02, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. bmcnabb02

    bmcnabb02 Active Member

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    I'll be hunting whitetails in coastal Louisiana marshes. 400-500 yard shots are not uncommon, with 600 yards being max visibility. This rifle will be used for 2 weeks out of the season, once rifle season kicks in I'll be back on the .280 AI.

    Our primitive weapon regulations have just been busted wide open this year and I'm planning a build for next year to upgrade from my .35 Whelen. Here are the 3 requirements...

    1. must be breech loaded
    2. must have an exposed hammer
    3. must be .35 caliber or larger.

    With that said, I'm leaning towards a TC Encore Pro Hunter platform and having a custom barrel built for it. Right now I'm liking the .358 Norma, but am also intrigued by the .358 UMT.

    What are your thoughts? What would you build given the 3 requirements stated?
     
  2. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    The UMT would be ferocious (hope I spelled that right). I have a 358STA which would also be a whitetail stomper. The Norma is a cool idea.... Will the Thompson support the UMT?


    t
     

  3. bmcnabb02

    bmcnabb02 Active Member

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    SSK Industries is who TC recommended for building a custom barrel. They worked with TC in developing the Encore. I'm awaiting a response from them on that very question. This quote is straight from their website....

    "In SSK Encore barrels, any cartridge with the case head size and pressure level of the 300 Win mag can be safely chambered. The 300 and 338 Win mag are reasonably popular, as is the 375 H & H. Increasing the case head size beyond this means you must reduce pressure. Cartridges such as the 470 nitro in factory pressure levels are acceptable to the Encore. The 375 H & H , 416 Taylor (416/458) and 416/348 JDJ are worth consideration for really big game, and the 500 Alaskan is popular as are several other 50s. The 458 Win. is OK but only acceptable to hardened shooters."
     
  4. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    It really comes down to how fast you want to go and how much recoil you want to take. I'd think about the 358 sta or 375h@H personally in the encore; as that seems a good way to go.
     
  5. bmcnabb02

    bmcnabb02 Active Member

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    I am considering 375 H&H, widely available factory & custom ammo to play with are a plus. Part of me wants to just keep it .35 caliber though. Recoil is not a major factor to me, I can handle it well. Naturally, would not like to deal with any more than I have to though.

    Bottom line is, I want the farthest PBR center hold I can get with a 4" vital radius. A lot of shots are presented without time to make corrections. I have to act fast at times or eat tag soup. I need to go fast and keep it as flat as possible.
     
  6. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    The 358 Norma is a good choice. However as you don't have magazine length limitations I would go with the full length STA. Depending on barrel length etc. 3200 fps is achievable with the 225 Accubond. If you're in an experimental frame of mind the Nosler 250 9.3
    bullet has a decent BC, and 3000fps in either the RUM case, or the full length magnum case should be achievable.
     
  7. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

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    Heck why fight the fight, just chamber a .378 Weatherby Magnum 300gr BT at near 3000 fps. or better.
    436
     
  8. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    oh well in that case I recommend the 375 AM

    Allen Magnum Wildcats
     
  9. bmcnabb02

    bmcnabb02 Active Member

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    OK... so after much debate, deliberation, and running a bunch of numbers through my ballistic program I've decided to go with a .375 H&H Magnum.

    Besides the fact that it simple and outperforms the .35 wildcats... It should hurl a 235 gr. Barnes TTSX at a trajectory that nearly mirrors my .280AI with 140 gr. Berger VLD's out to 600 yards with the same zero. I like that, given the intended purpose of this rifle.

    Having never shot a .375 H&H, how would y'all compare the recoil to a .45-70 or .35 Whelen? I'm trying to decide if I'm going to put a break on it or not to help manage recoil.

    Now I have to find someone to customize the barrel for the TC platform... I have an inquiry in to Bellm's TC. He has a lot of good info on his site. Anyone else have any suggestions?
     
  10. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    The 375 h@h is on par recoil wise with the 340 wby, the 300 rum, etc in a lighter rifle. My 375h@h is a rem lightweight (8# scoped) and it is very shootable if you can handle recoil. My brother was going on an elk hunt requiring lead free bullets last year and I put him on my 375 to see if he could handle it before he went to the trouble of messing with the 300 win's. Long story short, it literally skidded him back as he fired it out of prone, and he shot it poorly. He ended up doing well with the 300 win's. I tried the 375 prone and did pretty well. I use a 300 tsx at 2550 fps with I4320 under it. Moa or better in good hands.
    As far as brakes and recoil pads, a pad will knock the sting out of it better than a break will. The gas pressure at the muzzle isn't that high on this round and you need that pressure if the brake will work well. It would help, but don't think you'll get the recoil down to '06 levels.
     
  11. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    if you hunt "fast", meaning you dont have a ton of time for set up, do NOT put a break on it. it only takes a few quick ones down the tube with a break to make you wish you didnt have one.

    Lefty7STW hits the nail on the head with the muzzle pressure of the H+H not being high enough for a break to work well. If your a big bore guy the .375 H+H wont be bad for you at all.
     
  12. bmcnabb02

    bmcnabb02 Active Member

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    Thanks, I do hunt "fast" and I would rather not break it. I've owned one rifle with a break and it was miserable when I didn't have time to get the ear protection in... and a lot of times I don't. If the break won't work well than that's all I need to hear (pun intended.) No break it is.

    We'll see if TC's "Flextech" synthetic stock is all that or just a bunch of hype... it does come equipped with a Simms recoil pad.
     
  13. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    It's all been said but, my experience is similar a 375 won't benefit as much from a muzzle break as the other calibers. I'm considering one though as I'm at a point every little bit counts when your neck has metal in it and needs more. My 358 ai long version was more recoil with the break, than my 375 H&H without one with the exception of 350 grain loads. Should be a good choice for you never had a finicky 375.
     
  14. bmcnabb02

    bmcnabb02 Active Member

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    Just wanted to drop an update on this old thread since this ball is rolling pretty good now.... and I'm all giddy & can't wait to start shootin! :D

    After much deliberation & conversation with Mike Bellm, who seems to be the TC/CVA authority, I let him talk me into a .35 Brown Whelen. Mike did all my barrel work and also provided some custom dies & some fire formed brass. I just picked up a new frame, disassembled it, and sent it off to Jim "Shots" Hendershot Sr. to have the trigger work done. When it returns next week I'll be putting it all back together with some more goodies from Mike Bellm to tighten things up, and mounting a Vortex Viper HS 4-16x44 LR on it that I just purchased online. Then it's time for load development!! gun)