coues deer gun

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by racin7783, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. racin7783

    racin7783 Member

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    hi to all,

    i was lookin around on the web today and found this site. i am looking for a gun to shoot coues deer with. i have 2 christensen arms gun rite now. one is a 25-06 and the other is a 300 rum. after reading some posts about them, i dont want to buy another one. i would like to know, what would be the best caliber to shot long distance at coues deer. i have killed one at 600 and one at 650. i would like to shoot to about a thousand. the weight of the gun is very important, i dont want it to be heavy. so, what would be the best rig to get started with.

    thanks alot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    This may sound strange but the actual chambering is not overly important in a project like yours, there are literally dozens of different chamberings that will work perfectly well for your needs.

    The real issue will be rifle design. I always get nervous when I read someone wants legit 1000 yard reach but in a lightweight rifle. These are generally two things that do not play well with each other. A light rifle is just extremely difficult to shoot accurately out to 1000 yards. Not saying they are not accurate enough to do it, just saying that in field conditions, a lightweight rifle is much harder for us humans to shoot accurately at these ranges.

    Light rifles generally mean lighter contour barrels, slimmer stock designs and lighter receivers. None of these add up to 1000 yard consistancy for the most part.

    It all comes down to what your idea of light rifle is. Personally, I recommend to my customers that they should have at least 10 lbs in rifle weight if they want a legit, consistant 1000 yard rifle. 800 yards, you can get down to 8 lbs or so and yes, it does make a difference from 800 to 1000 yards making that first shot kill, its dramatically more difficult to make that one shot kill at 1000 yards compared to 800 yards.

    Everything just has to be perfect for consistant 1000 yard consistancy.

    Its hard to build a rifle for 1000 yard shooting that is not built specifically for 1000 yard shooting. Does that make any sense.......

    If it were me, putting the bullet on the mark is much more important then anything else. I do not believe in overkill, I believe in putting that bullet into and through the vitals on the first shot.

    My recommendation, 7mm RUM, 7mm AM, 300 RUM or 300 AX. If you went with the RUM chamberings, I would go with a Borden Timberline Magnum receiver, wyatts extended mag box, McMillan A-5 stock, at least a #7 contour, heavy fluted barrel, APS Painkiller muzzle brake.

    For the 7mm AM or 300 AX, I would go with a BAT model HRPIC receiver, the rest the same except for using an HS Precision DM system.

    In the 7mms, I would use the 180 gr Berger Hunting VLD loaded to 3100-3200 fps in the RUM depending on barrel length and between 3300-3400 fps in the AM depending on barrel length.

    For the 30 cals, I would go with a 208 gr A-Max, 210 gr berger or SMK. Loaded to around 3200 fps in the RUM or 3350 fps in the AX.

    These would offer great results ballistically but they are alot of gun, some do not like that. With a proper muzzle brake, recoil will be of no concern.

    If this is just to much for what you want, one of the 6.5mm magnums would be a great choice as well. The 6.5mm STW loaded with a 142 gr SMK or 140 gr SMK would be a great choice when loaded to 3300-3350 fps. Less recoil but roughly the same barrel life as the larger rounds and not quite as potent as some of them ballistically.

    Simply put, all of these rifles would be around 10 lbs in rifle weight. May be more then you want to pack around.

    To be honest, if it is, you may have to adjust your goals to a more realistic level. Say 800 yards or so with a 7-8 lb rifle.

    Hope this helps some.
     

  3. racin7783

    racin7783 Member

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    thanks for the answer. i probably wouldnt be shooting to a 1000 at a deer, but i would at paper or p dogs. how much would a gun like this cost? i have read up on the gunwerks people, but that price seems to be high!
     
  4. Coues Sniper

    Coues Sniper Well-Known Member

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    racin,

    Kirby gave you excellent advice. I have a lightweight 300 RUM that i currently use for Coues that I really like and shoots well, but loses some consistency after about 800 yards or so. I believe it to be because of the reasons Kirby explained. The 180 grain pills I have been using are probably part of the reason as well. I'm currently playing with the 210 Bergers and 208 A-Max's to see if that can extend my range some. I wanted a 1000 yard+ gun, and Kirby is currently getting parts together for a 7mm AM for me. This is a 338 Lapua necked to a 7mm and is very impressive ballistically. Mine will be about 12-13 lbs hunting weight though. That is the price you have to pay however for long range performance.
    And as far as the Gunwerks guns are concerned, I've never shot one, but from what I hear they shoot very well. However, you can have a good smith build you a rig that shoots at least as good for probably around 1500 to 2000 less.
    Good luck with your build.
     
  5. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Heavy rifle is subjective. I know guys that think 12-13# is heavy. I know guys that think 10# is heavy. I also know guys myself included that think 16# is heavy. What in your opinion is heavy?

    Personaly my LR sheep rifle and coues rifle is 12 pounds scoped. To me this is a mid weight rifle. This mid weight is also good weight and constency for 1K shooting. It is a 700 long action, ABS barrel chambered in 300 RUM with a McMillan stock. My back up LR and my standard "carry" rifle for sheep/coues is a 24" 11.25 twist M40A1 clone. Chambered in 308. Same stock. It is EXTREEMLY accurate to 1K. It is by far the easiest rifle I have ever been able to hit concistently to 1K. Very, very accurate.

    If I personaly were going to build a new coues rifle specifecly for coues deer, I would use a 700 short action, 24" 11 or 11.25 twist barrel in a moderate weight such as the sendero contour chambered in either 308 or 300 WSM with a McMillan HTG stock. Coues bucks are smallish and require more accuracy than energy. This is why I personaly would choose the 308 or 300 WSM. Neither are finiky or hard to load for and both are inherently accurate. The 308 for me has always been my goto rifle for when accuracy matters most. With the right bullet you can cleanly kill a coues buck to 1K with it but the 300 WSM would be better. Now if you wanted a 700-800 yard coues rifle and a 1K pdog and paper rifle the 308 would get my vote hands down. If you want to consitently harvest coues bucks to 1K I would go with the WSM. Remeber, with small critters, accuracy first, then energy. Yes you need energy to open a bullet at 1K. At coues altitudes and temps (even in dec.) the amax's will open just fine but you need to get it in the right spot in the first place. I would use the 178 in the 308 and the 178 or 208 depending on which one my rifle liked best. There are other very accurate cartridges that would make a good coues rifle such as the 280 AI, or 6.5x284. I personaly dont like the 6.5x284 due to its very short barrel life. About 1000 rounds or so. Now I shoot a 300 RUM with the same barrel life expectancy but with the added cost of cases that dont last long and mass quantities of powder I simply cannot afford to shoot it enough to burn my barrel out in a short amount of time. The 6.5 costs much less to operate but cooks just as quick. The cost per shot barrel life ratio just doesnt work for me nor does the lack of energy it delivers. I tolerate the short life of my fire breathing dragon due to the massive energy it delivers. For 1000 accurate rounds I expect something in return. The 6.5 just doesnt offer enough in return to justify the short life.

    The 280 AI however is about the sweetest long action caliber there is. 308 accuracy with near 7mm mag performance with less kick and better barrel life than the hotter 7mm mags. If you want a long action for bigger bang, I would look long and hard at the 280 improved. If you would like to double up for a coues/elk rig I would look to the 300 RUM, which you already have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  6. racin7783

    racin7783 Member

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    thanks for the reply's. i dont know anything about the 280. actually i shoot archery more than anything, but this long range shooting is interesting. there is something cool about shooting 800 yards and knowing your going to hit. this would be considered unethical to alot of people, but i know it can be done with alot of practice. anyways, back to the gun thing. like i said earlier, i dont know anything about the 280. it sounds like something i would be interested looking into. after going through this forum, im starting to realize all the stuff ive heard over the years dosent really apply to what you people are saying. i like the christensen arms guns alot. i havent had any issues with them. but im not out trying to make 800 yard shots with them either. i had a buddy that was working there and he quit, he never said why, but now i think i know. so, is it impossible to turn one of the guns i have into a lr rifle, or is that dumb. sorry i have so many questions, and i keep blabing on, but im really thinking hard about putting something together. one more thing, i have never reloaded, is this something im gonna have to learn to do, or can i buy ammo ready to go. thanks for listening to my on-going paragraph
     
  7. racin7783

    racin7783 Member

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    oh yeah, heavy to me would be 12 pounds. i would like something around 8, but if it couldnt be done then oh well!
     
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Oh it can be done. Just not as easily or with as much forgivness.

    I would start with a short action for two reasons. 1: it is easier to make a lighter rifle and 2: smaller cartridges work better for lighter rifles than big cartridges.

    Look hard at the 308 or 708 with no more than 24" barrels for a lighter rifle. Longer really needs to be heavier for ridgidity. A good barrel at 24" in a modest weight on a short action with an HTG stock would get you around 8# with a light weight scope. I have shot the old remmy 788's in 308 out to 800 yards with excellent accuracy. Even 22" would get the job done. The lighter the rifle the more ridged you need the barrel to be. You will accomplish this with a shorter barrel. Problem is that in 308 type calibers, you loose too much precious velocity for 800-1000 yard shooting. It will limit you in your bullet selection as only a handfull of bullets will make it to 1000 yards supersonic at the lower speeds. The 155 PALMA or 175 SMK will handle this task with ease. So will the 190's. These wont expand at long range at these velocities though. For p/dogs and paper it is of no concern. For coues deer, you will need a different bullet for those ranges.
     
  9. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Something you may want to consider is a Hornady bullet when building a lighter rifle. The A-Max is an excellent bullet, for accuracy and expansion. The 7mm-08 would be a good caliber, but another to consider would be the Rem. 260 (6.5mm-08). Great bullet selection and velocity that you need. Another would be looking into the Winchester Short Magnums or the Remingtion Short Action Ultra Magnums. Ruger has a new short mag that is showing promise. These will get you the velocities you are looking to get for long range and keep the action light. The 6.5mm-284 would be a good caliber for this application also. Just my .02!

    Tank
     
  10. sxwatson

    sxwatson Well-Known Member

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    Your 25-06 you have now would be good on coues out to 800 (maybe a little more or less depending on how hard you push them), with 115 gr. bullets. Nosler ballistic tips or Berger VLDs are a few good .257 bullets that I have used and would recommend.


    Concerning rifle weight, you can always pick up an Eberlestock pack or any other pack that has a built in gun scabbard. This makes a heavy rifle 12 - 16 lb easier to haul around.
     
  11. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    600 and 650 yards is already a long ways for a target as small as a coues. shoot the ones you have at the distance you want and see. a krieger barrel on a 6.5 ,7mm , or 300 would be my choice.
     
  12. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I have been hunting Coues in Az since '83. I used to be a walk around hunter hoping to kick out a buck to be shot. Now days I find a good vantage point and sit for the entire morning or evening and glass with 15 x 60s on a tripod.

    If you are a glassing type hunter why sweat the weight of the rifle? A moderate hike to the sitting area is all that is needed.

    I have been on a quest for THE coues rifle too. I used the 284 win and the 7 Rem mag with a 120 nos bt in the early days. Then I learned about higher BC bullets and turrets. It changed everything.

    As time went on my shooting partner and I have evolved. Hyper velocity is not needed, a steady consistent shot to shot outcome is the way to go. I agree with much of what was said pertaining to the 308 or 300 WSM. BUT I'd be inclined to go with a 7 WSM or similar.
    Great link on 7 mms for long range here: 7mm Cartridge Guide

    I am in the process of building, of all things, a 30" 7 rem mag twisted and throated for the 180 Berger VLD. It is not going to be a barn burner and recoil should be relatively light in a 12 lb
    rifle.

    After all the above ranting....I also like what Kirby said. I do have a 300 RUM and 7 STW and have had a 7 RUM. All are VERY impressive in their performances. I am certain I'll again build a 7 RUM in a heavy package but with a custom chamber and a much longer barrel than the 26" sendaro I had. FYI my shooting friend is building a 7 STW with same configuration as my 7 rem mag....30" barrel twisted for the 180 VLD etc. We will learn plenty when we compare these two rifles.

    This is THE site to glean all sorts of knowledge. Best search feature I have used. I did some research on which picatinny rail and rings. Man that was great! So do some searching here and read threads going back several years. Many questions will be answered and undoubtedly it will foster new ones.

    Are you an Az resident? Where are you?
     
  13. racin7783

    racin7783 Member

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    az

    i live in prescott. you are rite about all the information on this site. im just trying to get a feel for what i want to do. like i said before, i mostly hunt archery, but i am interested in long range rifles. i went out pig hunting a couple of weeks ago with a guy from this site. funny thing was, i didnt know he was into this. i didnt even know of this site untill after we went. so i called him up and talked with him about lr rifles. i think hes gonna help me come up with something.

    anyways, this year i killed a 106, and a few years back i shot a cool 104 inch buck with a double main beam. i love these deer, and it seems like everyone that hunts them get atachted to them fast. they are alot of fun
     
  14. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    Racin,

    Those sure sound like some nice deer!

    I forgot to mention I have a SS 28" 3 groove fluted #5 lilja chambered to 257 weatherby. Has a McMillan stock in an old M77 and sports a 4.5-14 x 40 AO with M1 turret. It shoots the moly'ed 115 berger very accurately at 3600 fps .

    This year I passed up on all bucks this season after seeing a monster, the second morning, which was unshootable when sighted. I stayed in the vicinity but never saw him again. Last year this 257 was used to hit a nice buck at 525 yds. The VLD worked excellently going in behind the shoulder with an exit through the elbow of the offside shoulder.

    Why make a 7 mm to shoot 180 VLDs? Looking for even higher BC than that 115. What can I say? I guess I should fess up, I am addicted to this rifle stuff. Always looking forward at the next package.