Down to choosing a caliber...

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by sdkidaho, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Well-Known Member

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    I had been looking at quite a few new rifles for hunting: Browning, Marlin, Remington, Ruger, Sako, Thompson/Center, Tikka, Weatherby, and Winchester, and possibly a couple others I am failing to recall at present.

    It came down to finally going and shouldering them all and seeing which ones just felt right. I had narrowed it down to the Browning X-Bolt, Remington 700 SPS and the Weatherby Vanguard. I went back today to check those three out again and I've had it stuck in my head that the Weatherby or the Remington were going to be the one and it pretty much came down to that order: Weatherby, Remington, then Browning.

    The Weatherby just felt the best and seemed to shoulder the most naturally for me. I have or had pretty much convinced myself that I was going to get it in 30-06 and now I'm second guessing that. I'm not sure that I'll ever be a hunter that takes the shot that's out there at 1000 yards - that's cool and everything and not that I don't think I couldn't do it (with lots of practice of course), but part of hunting for me is getting closer than that. Granted I would also want to be able to shoot long distances if that was my only choice at that time.

    Anyway, after reading here what was said about some of the less expensive rifles, I was pleased to see that the Weatherby I believe I have chosen was spoken rather well of:

    So, now I am second guessing myself and wondering 30-06, or 300WSM?

    Can one of you fellows in the-know as it were, maybe tell me the major differences between the two? I'm not even sure what to ask exactly or for what differences to look for and or expect, so any help is appreciated.

    I know the 30-06 will kill anything I'm going to hunt, from Moose to Coyotes, so I'm wondering what advantage would I gain with the 300WSM, and or what disadvantages would there be?

    Thanks for your time.

    Darby
     
  2. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    What are you planning to hunt with it? Did you consider TC Venture? It guaranteed to shoot MOA or less.
     

  3. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    some advantages of the 30-06 will be the ready availability of ammo when you are on a trip; much less expensive ammo, wide variety of factory ammo, a little less recoil.

    Advantages of the WSM over the 30-06 is that it shoots a little faster/ flatter with the same weight bullet, has more cool factor. it is a short action as well.

    I upgraded from the 06 to the wsm just because I wanted a little more power in case I have the opportunity for a little longer shot. White tail the 06 has plenty of power for 600+, and the WSM has plenty for 800+ IMHO.

    good luck with your decision,
    Mark.
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Advantages are the ability to push heavier bullets at much better speeds. For instance, looking at a reloading manual we see the following:

    300 WSM Reloader 19 68.2grns. 180 grain pointed boat tail bullet= 2952fps

    30-06 Reloader 19 58.3 (Compressed Charge) 180 grain Boat tail bullet=2698fps

    Now you can see the difference with identical bullets and the same powder. If you shoot factory ammo you are still going to get an increased performance from the 300WSM.

    These numbers are grossly under par with which they are able to achieve. They have to load light because of lawyers, but there is still a significance in velocity between the two calibers comparing powder and bullet weight.


    Tank
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I have always like how the Weatherby shoulders also, the 300WSM would give you more to work with. It looks like the short action has more aftermarket stuff for it if you want to reconfigure it.
    Right now there is more 300WSM than 30-06 factory stuff on the shelves here locally, significant coin difference in favor to the 30-06 though.
    Going from moose to coyote, the 300WSM will give you an advantage on both ends, faster light coyote loads and it will handle the 180gr+ bullets better.
    If your reloading, no doubt, go with WSM.
     
  6. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    One thing about the WSM, if you are a reloader you can load down for lighter loads for less recoil and maintain the 30-06 velocities. You start loading down a 30-06 you will drastically loose velocity and hitting energy.

    Tank
     
  7. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    Upps, :D didn't read the part about coyotes vs. moose, yes go for it, both will do just fine, 30-06 ammo much cheaper, choose your twist rate wisely, so you can shoot light bullets and heavy enough for moose, let see coyotes 1:12 hmm moose 1:10 so go for 11 with this twist rate you can shoot heavy bullets like 180 + and light in 150 – 140 grains. :rolleyes:, I know the riffle for it, TIKKA T3 Varmint they got both 30-06, 300 WM, and 300 WSM, also they got 7 mm RM
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  8. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Well-Known Member

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    Differences:

    In the Weatherby Vanguard:

    30-06


    • Ready availability of ammo.
    • Less expensive ammo.
    • Wide variety of factory ammo.
    • A little less recoil.
    • Holds 5+1.

    300 WSM

    • Shoots a little faster/flatter with the same weight bullet.
    • Ability to push heavier bullets at much better speeds.
    • Short action has more aftermarket stuff for it if you want to reconfigure it.
    • Can load down for lighter loads for less recoil and maintain the 30-06 velocities.
    • Holds 3+1.
    ____________________________________________________________

    Some more questions:

    -Ok, so how much more recoil are we talking here? I don't want to develop the dreaded flinch. The last time I shot a 30-06 I was probably 12 (pushing 40 now), and granted that was probably one with no sort of recoil pad and I'm not exactly 12 any more.

    -Ammo is less expensive for the 30-06. How much difference are we talking? I don't reload, but that also is something I might consider at some point, but for now it will be off-the-shelf ammo that I would be buying to hunt with.

    -Is a short action preferred to a long action, and if so, why?


    A couple pictures for comparison that I found. Not sure if any of you use ammoguide.com or not but it was nice to be able to look at the cases and visually see the difference.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for your input guys. Again, I'm not a novice where hunting is concerned - I've been hunting critters great and small my entire life, but it's been a few years since I've been doing any big game hunting and I never was extremely knowledgeable about bullet weights, how fast a load was with which combination of bullet and powder, etc, so I appreciate your willingness to reply.

    Darby
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    The recoild of my 300 WSM is very similar to my 7mm RM, maybe a little more. On the bench, I use a slip-on recoil pad whch greatly reduces the felt recoil. I can fire it all day with no issues. Without the slip-on recoil pad,it starts getting my attention after about 15-20 shots. In the feild, the recoil is a non-issue. The recoil of the .06 wont be as bad, but it may get to you as well with a few more shots shooting from a bench or prone position.

    The only 30-06 I ever fired was an M1 Garrand so I cant really give a comparison.

    I'm not you, but there's no question for me, the 300 WSM is the way to go. It's a great cartridge. And although there's more ammo selection for the .06, the WSM has a very good selection. If you handload, ammo cost and selection are about the same, although you can get Lapua brass for the .06 The Norma brass for the WSM works well for me.

    The short action is not a selling point for me. If I were to do a WSM build it would be on a standard action to seat my bullets longer. Right now, to seat 210 Bergers to the lands of mt Finnlight, the bulet's bearing surfaces only catches about 2/3rds of the case neck. I dont even think I couild seat 190's to the lands and have a good seat in the neck because the throat is so long. So obviously they dont fit the mag. However I can seat one in the top of the mag where the bullt tip is above the mag wall. This gives me a 1+1 configuration which hopefully is one shot more than I need. For most LR stuff, all you need is a single shot capability. Seating depth and mag space could be an issue with the .06 as well, depending on the rifle/action/freebore.

    Go with the WSM and deal with the recoil, you wont regret it.

    -MR
     
  10. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    if you are not getting a sendero ; get a tikka t3 varmint. next would be a weatherby accumark or a vanguard one moa. if the first two ( sendero or t3 varmint) are too heavy then one of the last two. caliber is not as important as getting an accuarate rifle
     
  11. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    Great choices Sakko, then Tikka, but I think TC deserves a chance, I'm very impressed with the performance of my TC Icon, and now TC created Venture a low line in their riffles but it still shooting SUB MOA, I would put Wetherby at the end its just HOWA with Wetherby stamp on it o yeah TC is running $150 off rebates :D

    Myself I was looking for something accurate just month ago, my choices were Tikka T3 Varmint or Tikka T3 tactical, then TC Warlord, TC ICON precision hunter, then SUB MOA Weatehrbys Vanguard, since I had bad experience with HOWA, Wetherby was not an option, TC Warlord with SUB 0.5” MOA was a bit out of my price range, so I was looking at TIKKA T3 TACTICAL and 20” barrel was not part of my choice, then TIKKA T3 Varmint and TC ICON, well I just liked the looks of TC so I got one, its factory tested to deliver 0.56” MOA, for some reason I can’t get it bellow 0.3” MOA with 1:12 twist rate shooting 168 grain SMK, I think if I switch to 155 Palma it would make to 0 .25 MOA
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  12. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Savage Arms Model 12 Varminter Low Profile, This is the best long range rifle in my opinion. I have one and can hit targets at 1100yrds. We have two witnessed shots with this same rifle at that distance. It has a detachable magazine and 26" heavy barrel. This thing shoots lights out for the money and it is not a custom rifle.

    Savage Centerfire Hunting Rifle 16FHSS This will shoot the same, but the stocks are a little cheesy. It will perform quite well now that it comes with the accu-stock and accu-trigger.

    Savage Centerfire Hunting Rifle 16FCSAK, This rifle provides a muzzle break that you can open to bench and close to hunt with for noise control.

    These would be my choices but I am bias to the Savage. I own two and love'em!:D

    As far as cost let me do the following comparison:

    Federal Premium Vital-Shok Ammunition 30-06 Springfield 180 Grain Nosler AccuBond Box of 20 $38.99
    Velocity: 2700fps Energy: 2913 ft. lbs.

    Federal Premium Vital-Shok Ammunition 300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) 180 Grain Nosler AccuBond Box of 20 $48.99
    Velocity: 2960fps Energy: 3502 ft. lbs.

    The thing we don't know about the velocity is what barrel length was used along with twist rate. Regardless it still shows that the 300 WSM is going to get your bullet there with higher velocity and hit with more authority.

    These are Midway prices, so you will find prices very from store to store. There is obviously cheaper ammo as well, this would be my prefered off the shelf if I were to choose one. The accubond is a preferred hunting bullet for heavy game.

    Recoil is subjective. I think my cousins 19lbs. .338 Lapua is just comfortable to shoot with out a muzzle break. But I do have a muzzle break on my 300WSM so that I can bench it with out fear of recoil.

    My dad has one of the new Mossberg 4x4 in 30-06. I think it kicked like a mule. I have also shot a Winchester Feather weight in 243 that kicked like mad. I hated shooting that rifle. My model 7 remington in 243 shoots quite nicely. So I guess it is what you are use too. If you can still shoot a 30-06 without a recoil pad, then the 300WSM will be like butter for you.

    Tank
     
  13. AKBman

    AKBman Well-Known Member

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    I made the switch 10 years ago from the '06 to a 300 Win Mag. The '06 is a great round, the 300 just offered more of it. I like the fact that I am down to pretty much one bullet weight from coyotes to grizzly. I love my 300 and wouldn't trade it, good luck with your decision.
     
  14. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    sdkidaho,

    40 yr old, idaho fella with way too much time on your hands, from looking at your detailed graphic post. Bite the bullet and give it a go. I'm a 66 yr old Idaho fella and been there, done that and got no tee shirt.:D Except I started with a 270 WIN for all the reasons you're considering the '06. However, being an old fart I was heavily influenced by Jack O'Connor when I made that purchase.:)

    If I were you I'd jump on the 300 WSM or Win Mag in a heart beat, though I am a bit anti belted case. I'm betting you'll get a good dose of fiddleitus and begin pushing for accuracy, then distance or maybe the other way around. You'll be able to get more of both from the 300 class for a bunch of reasons.

    For most of the stuff you wish to harvest a mid class bullet will do the job (150-165gr). For bigger stuff the 180 will be sufficient and distance can be much greater.

    Recoil ain't all that big of a deal. Some where along the line you'll discover the brake. Great new territory to play in.

    Then the Limbsaver recoil pad, the grind to fit one leaving the rear of it as it comes from the box makes quite a difference.

    The only significance you'll notice between the '06 class and 300 class is the barrier you'll reach when you get growing pains.:) The 270 Win served me well for 30 years then I got the LRH itch.

    Plus LRH is a much more enjoyable outdoor experience. The sweat doesn't start until after the shot, then it comes all at once.:D

    Just my 2 cents times 3 or 4:)