best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by matt_3479, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    I hunt moose, black bear, caribou, elk and whitetail. This rifle will be used for big game at extended ranges. i figured i should do research before i really get into it. Someone told me to get a 300 RUM and get it fully customed and that way i would have a light carry around 300 wsm for 500 yards and closer and the 300 rum for extended ranges out too 1000 yards. another person told me to go all the way and get a 338 caliber. The one i seem to read most about is the 338. edge. what is everyones opinion on a caliber? i spoke with the guy in Montana who says shots can be from 50 yards all the way too 1200 yards. Where i hunt in northern Ontario, for moose and black bear on the 5 occasions where we saw animals last year, we had a good black bear at 568 yards. a moose at 802 yards, a large bull moose at 550 yards and the other ones were 280 yards and 65 yards. so i would really like to get into long range hunting. I have been practicing at ranges up too 600 yards.

    So i have never had a custom rifle, i just started practicing long range last spring as for i took my first shot ever past 150 yards. I went to a range with a bunch of buddies and none of us have ever shot long range. We fired the first 3 at 100 yards even to make sure we were good to get going. My 3 shot group was right where i left it. I set up for the 203 yard shot. fired a 3 shot group that was absolutely perfect, better then i was expecting. Acting confident we all backed it up too 301 yards. I fired a 7 shot group (i know random number it was just the amount of bullets i had left in my pocket before going back to the truck) all 7 shots made it in a 2.5" group. i was very pleased to say the least. We had to run but there was a small rock at 423 yards and we all set up for 1 shot each. My neighbor connected off the top right hand corner of the rock with his 308. win. I set up and hit the rock center mass with my 300. wsm! was i stoked!! never shot pasted 150 yards and in the same day i beat my own distance record 3 times!

    i recently picked up a 243. win remington model 700 sps varmint topped off with a vortex viper 6.5-20x44mm. This was my first real semi long range rifle. we got it to group around .75" at 100 yards. So i backed up too 300 yards to see how the rifle was grouping. My first group was just smaller then 2.5". The second group was just around 2.25" and the 3 group was just a little smaller then 3". I let the barrel cool down and backed up to 600 yards. The wind really picked up so i fired 1 shot and packed it up. it was actually 589 yards but it was close enough. I entered the data in my phone, dialed in for the first time on my scope and i nailed center mass for elevation, but i didn't know how to take in to consideration for windage so i hit 4" off to the right. I was so excited. i will be practicing and practicing untill i get really good but eventually i would like to custom a rifle. I have done a lot more practicing since then these were just the beginning steps into my interest into long range hunting and shooting and wanted to share it with you boys!
     
  2. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at the 7mm and 7stw I really like them flat shooting hard hitters. GOOD LUCK It is a hard decision . but you don't need custom riffle to shoot to 1000 yards . I just piked up Browning a-bolt 7mm rm for 300.00 and if all works out that will be my long range riffle . I also looked at the browning x-bolt wight gold 7mm and looked alot into Savage take a look at the Model: 116 Bear Hunter buy something like one of these now put the money into a scope . hope this helps
     

  3. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    My 300. wsm is a browning a-bolt FLD and im about to top it off with a Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm. i so far really like vortex, and for the price and the amount they offer its hard to beat. My rifle is holding sub moa out too 300 yards so far so i will see what i can do. i probably wont get the scope till at least mid summer or later :( but i will hopefully get it before my October trip to Montana and if all works out that will be my 500-600 yard rifle :)
     
  4. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Look into a 308 Baer aka 300 Ackley mag aka 300wby imp, you can use quality norma 300wby or 300 H&H brass. Have brux, krieger, broughton, ect do you a custom 1:9.7 twist and use 240grn SMKs. No disadvantages to this except brass forming, but will do anything a 300 RUM will, still fit a standard .532" mag boltface, and your brass won't be crap. With that twist a 28-30" pipe should get you close to 3000fps with the 240s at a .706 bc, effective past 1500yrds!
     
  5. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    I use a 338 RUM, shooting a 250SMK and it works great for LRH on really big game, as well as shots as close as 100 yards. I also have a 7STW and 300 and 7WSM. They also get out there as well, but I have never killed any really large game at extended distances with them. If I am going after Elk and above, I take the biggest rifle that I shoot well with, just for the added insurance.
     
  6. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Most folks shoot a .308 Win. more accurate at long range than 30 caliber magnums. Those big guns recoil too much while the bullet's goin' down the barrel. Such thinking's good to do when wanting to hit something way out there with your first shot. That's after perfectly doping range, wind and atmospheric conditions that easily can cause a 4 MOA miss distance.

    And if you get a super accurate barrel, a .308 Win. will last 2000 rounds for best long range accuracy, about 1000 rounds for a .300 Win. Mag. and about 600 rounds for a 7mm STW. Way overbore cartridges (those burning more powder than 1 grain for each square millimeter of the bore's cross sectional area) burn out the most accurate barrels very fast. If you want more barrel life, start out with a less accurate barrel or burn less powder.
     
  7. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I got a buddy that's still winning 1k IBS matches in heavy gun, in 300wm that has almost 3000 rounds through it, and is still doing well in light gun 1k with a 300wby at 1700+ rounds. A 308 win makes a real accurate, cheap shooting plinker and should be kept inside of 600 yrds on game to be reliable.
     
  8. ewallace

    ewallace Well-Known Member

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    I just built a rifle that would meet your needs it is a 338 Nawakwa (338 Lapua imp)
    Nesika action
    Krieger barrel
    Manners stock
    Jewell trigger
    Night force scope
    [​IMG]
     
  9. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    That's a bad ass rig! A 338 lapua imp is a monster as well as a 338-378 Wby imp. A mile away reapers!
     
  10. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    My bench buddy has a 338 LAI, krieger, he cracks rock with it out 1600 to just under 2000. His is 22# That rifles got me drool.slather:D like the atlas also.
     
  11. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    Now that is a slick looking gun. Too pretty to take into the woods and get all scuffed up though.:D
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Here's what I did. Not typical but it got me there.

    I hunted for decades with the same 270 Win. Shot everything from rockchucks to moose.

    Got the long range bug. Upgraded to a 12#, all up, 270 Allen Magnum. Was a great choice. But. . . It seemed a little weak in the poop to be effective as I thought is needed for a 1200 yard shot on a bull elk. Deer? No problem.

    Carry gun started out as a 338 WinMag. great shooting rig. Too much of a rainbow trajectory for really long range. Swapped barrels. It is now a breaked 338 RUM. Plenty of umph out to 1200. Its a 10# sporter. A great carry rig and good to 1200 yards with proper solid/steady shooting position.

    I then dreamt about an long range cartridge that would do it all.

    My first inclination was one of the extreme 338s. Its pretty tough to do better than one of the larger 338s. For example a 338 Allen Magnum or equilivent cartrige will out do about anything out there. A big factor is the avalibility of great 338 caliber bullets.

    After much though I went big. Heck the price was the same. So why not and my over riding urge for "big" would be satisfied.

    I now have a 375 Allen Mag. With currently available bullets the 338 Am will out do it. This thing weights 16# and kicks less than the 270 AM. And its good for everything, accuracy wize from chucks to mamoths.......

    I'd think hard about one of the "bigger" than Lapua offerings in 338.
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The variety of game your looking at is larger than most, I really like the KISS method combined with a lot of shooting. A 338 RUM would serve the purpose very well also a 338 Lapua if you can build on an action for it. The 338 RUM is a simple solution, easily loaded with a variety of bullets and easily built on a cost effective platform.
    Check out this thread, very good info and a lot of LR wisdom in it!! http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/medium-338s-vs-big-338s-71733/
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    With the quality muzzle brakes we have today, recoil is not even a consideration. I have had 13 year old girls shooting my 338 and 375 Allen Magnums and slapping my 20" diameter gong at 1000 yards and beyond so as far as recoil, not an issue.

    For those that say if you have to have a muzzle brake, your shooting to much gun, will, lets just leave that one alone for now, simply put, silly opinion to have pure and simple.

    For what you list, moose, black bear and whitetails, you really do not need a 338 magnum chambering. Nothing at all wrong with them but moose hurt very easily. In all honesty, moose are generally shot at pretty close range and they are no where near as tough as elk are.

    If your looking to hunt elk past 1000 yards, certainly get a 338 magnum chambering as a first choice option but for all else, its not needed unless you want one. I do not believe you can be overgunned but you do not ALWAYS need alot of horse power.

    That said, I DO believe you can be UNDERGUNNED. The 243 is a great chambering but in my opinion, for deer hunting, you would be best to keep shots under 400 yards. I will take some heat for this comment from some but it just does not have the bullet weight or retained velocity or energy in my opinion for hunting much past this range on deer size game. Will it kill deer at longer ranges, certainly, MUCH longer ranges but I would not do this on a regular basis.

    IF a customers came to me with the requirements for a custom rifle that you want. Probably my first choice would be the 300 RUM loaded with the 200 gr Accubond at 3200 fps in a medium weight rifle, 9-10 lb sporter with 26-27" barrel length. More then enough power for anything you list, very accurate, easy to load for, no fireforming so you can just get started focusing on making good ammo and then shoot.

    Recoil, a 300 RUM sporter rifle with my PK muzzle brake will recoil less then a 243 sporter weight rifle, more muzzle blast for sure but a good set of electronic hearing protection will solve that problem and they work great for hunting situations, especially long range.

    The 300 RUM offers a huge option list for bullet choices, relatively good on barrel life for a big game rifle, huge selection of powders to use, decent brass at decent prices, very accurate, very powerful and great terminal performance on the game you list.

    That would likely be my first recommendation.