Heavy hitting/light recoil elk/moose/griz rifle for the misses

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by metau, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. metau

    metau Well-Known Member

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    Well, it has been a while since I've spent much time on here:(, but thats the joy of a new job:). Thanks to this new job and all the overtime, I will have a new rifle in my hands as soon as the scope gets in(back ordered). During a recent conversation with Jen about this rifle, she hinted at wanting a new rifle herself within the next year or two. Specifically, she wanted something that would be able to take care of any North American big game that her current rifle(25-06) couldn't quite cover. However there are two things that make this choice a bit of a challenge to me. In addition to her small frame, she also has issues with her firing shoulder, and both of us fear that anything with too much recoil could do more harm than good while in the back country(my 870 12-gage will dislocate her shoulder with any heavy hunting load). I know that having a heavier rifle will help, as will a brake(will have to hunt with it on though), but what calibers provide a viable option for her while still being able to be a rifle that she could carry all day long. She refuses to hunt big game past 300 yards, so long range terminal performance is not a requirement here. First thing that comes to my mind would be the 338 Federal or the 350 Remington mag, but as I have experience with neither of these I cannot say for sure. The other thing to consider would be weather to go with a factory chambering or a custom chambering, as I doubt(though I hope) that she will be active in reloading herself, and I am not sure I want her to rely on me as her only source of ammo. But she is open to wildcats, and has already given the green light to this being a custom build:D:D:D, so that is not a worry on that end.

    I appreciate your time and thoughts on this, and once again I do apologize for not being able to spend as much time as I know I enjoyed on this great site(BTW, I like the new layout). And as soon as my scope gets here and she gets put together, I'll find a digital camera to borrow and get some pics posted up. Thanks again everyone.

    Jerry


    Edit-I guess since we are on the subject, would any of these rounds get the job done in Africa as well? If I could get one rifle for her that could cover it all, the happier I am sure she would be and the quicker(I feel) that she would jump on the chance to hunt with me if we ever went to Africa. Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2007
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I'm up a a bit late and was about to head for the sack and you post popped in and got me to thinkin'.

    If 300 yds is the max distance a bunch of cartridges can be eliminated. Any north american game and maybe africa eliminates a bunch more.

    I'd say that the 338 cal would be the caliber of choice.

    The 350 Rem has a belt and clunky bullets. (Girl talk for not pretty and no BC:rolleyes:) The 35 Whelen is a dud in my opinion.

    My original thought was the 280 or 280 AI but that kind of fell shot on the bigger game like brown bear and such.

    I'd also say that the 338 Federal is a bit small as far as case size goes which would limit upper end loads a little more than necessary.

    I'd suggest something like the 338-06 or 338 A-Square (same thing I think, or close). With a decent brake (I'd consider checking with a qualified smith on the number of ports for this special condition) you would have plenty of flexibility for velocities in any of the many good bullets available for this caliber.

    The barrel doesn't need any excessive length to get that caliber of bullet going so the gun could be light and easy to handle.

    Keep in mind that the lighter the gun the more effective the brake.

    Good luck on you quest.
     

  3. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    338 Federal or 325 WSM

    BH
     
  4. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

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    +1 for roy.

    I'm sure there are some folks here who may have better ideas but I would have to take a good hard look at the 338-06 also. I have a few friends who have shot it and ALL of them love it.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Heavy Hitter

    Bounty Hunter had a good idea in the 325 WSM

    You can use a short action and a 22'' to 24'' barrel
    in about a #5 taper with a good muzzle brake,
    this would keep the balance point well back.

    I blue printed a 325 WSM in a Winchester with a #3 taper
    and no muzzle brake and recoil was not bad, but the heaver
    barrel and a brake should tame it way down.

    And with a choice of 180,200 and 220grain bullets you cant
    go wrong and you could reload lighter loads .

    With 180gr factory loads and no break the recoil will be about
    25.9 ft/lbs (about the same as a 3006 ) with the rifle weight
    around 8.0 lbs .

    Adding a muzzle break should reduce recoil to around 14 or 15 ft/lbs

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. metau

    metau Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies all. I decided to browse the web and my reloading manual after I posted and have to admit that neither the 325wsm or the 338-06 had entered my mind prior to me posting, but see like obvious shoe-ins once I glanced at their balistics. As for your comments on the 350 not being a pretty round, she don't care much for how a cartridge looks, as long as the rifle is visually appealing and even more so if it has a bit of character(read: lots of scratches). In fact, her biggest concern would be the quick, efficient and humane dispatching of game, wrapped up in a package that would allow her to do so while still keeping the spirit of the hunt alive and well inside. Her current rifle is right about 8.5 lbs unloaded, so I'd like to think that a total weight of 10 lbs would be more than resonable for her, and could maybe even approach the 12lb range if need be. I will have to take some more time and actually sit down and compare as best as I can all these rounds and then likely have a talk with some of the smiths on here about brakes v. weight v. chambering and try to figure out a happy medium. Thanks again for all your suggestions.

    Jerry
     
  7. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    338WSM. you stated wildcats were a possibility. better bullet selection, more versatile than the 325.
     
  8. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

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    If weight is important, go with a carbon fiber rapped barrel (like Christianson Arms) or a custom build in 300 WSM and muzzle brake. I have one and it is easy carry and easy on the shoulder, plus plenty accurate for 300 yards. If carrying weight is not so important and you handload, get a Remington 300 SAUM and install a Badger brake. If you do not handload, get a 300 win mag.
     
  9. metau

    metau Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've managed to do some figuring out of all this and have narrowed it down to three rounds: 338-06, 325wsm, and 338wsm. The ballistics(from what I can find) seem to be able to fit the role that this rifle would play for all three rounds. I like the current bullet selection available with the .338's, but at the same time the short action and the efficiency of the wsm's do appeal to me. I see that there are a few people on here who have tinkered around with a 338wsm, but dont recall running across any comparable data. If anyone has any data on this round, I sure would appreciate to know what it is. And feel free to send a pm or an e-mail. Thanks again all.


    Jerry
     
  10. CapDog

    CapDog Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the 325WSM. I have one and have found it to be a great cartridge. 150gr plinking loads are nothing to shoot and while full power 220gr loads have noticable recoil it is not obnoxious. I would imagine that with a brake it would be relatively mild. Loaded up with quality 200gr bullets or the 220gr Sierra I wouldn't hesitate to chase grizzly with it. It has worked excellent on the deer and moose I've shot with it so far.
     
  11. Bigcat_hunter

    Bigcat_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Or maybe that new 375 ruger?
     
  12. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    None of the rounds being take into account are not exactly low recoiling rounds for a women...How much shooting experience does she have???
    For a newby a 7X57 ot 7-08 would be a more senseable chioce as tyh limit recoila and still be capable of taking the game in question......
     
  13. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    475, i guess a 7-08 would help keep her shoulder intact when shooting the gun, but when she hits a grizzly with it he'll probably give her a complete shoulder separation amongst other free surgery procedures. i couldn't recommend a 7-08 for Alaska.

    we're back to the original question of a low recoil, light weight, smack anything in Alaska gun. pretty tall order to cover all those bases!
     
  14. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    I lived in Alaska for 7 years and have a first cousin that still lives there. Most locals don't shoot the big boomers...A co workers son killed an 8 1/2 foot Kodiac Brown with one shot from a 7-08 and 140 grain X.. The key is shot placement..I took one out with a handgun that came in on me while I was ckeaning a Moose...They are not bullet proof for sure....

    Check out this thread a woman took her Grizzly at 50 yards with a lowly 308 and a 165 grain bullet//This is in the Alaska section see what the Locals think in terms of caliber

    24hourcampfire: AK Lady shoots AK Griz with .308