Help choosing caliber

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by CPerkins, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. CPerkins

    CPerkins Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I might have the funds together soon to get a rifle built and I'm looking for caliber suggestions and their pros/ cons. I like the 340 weatherby and the 338 Lapua because I can buy brass and not get into fire forming or necking down another caliber. I'm in west TN and long range on my properties is only around 600 yards. Still want one for 1000+ if that ever changes.H
     
  2. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    338-378 or its improved version. 300gr. match king and walla. I heard rumors of a 300gr. berger vld
     

  3. D.P.

    D.P. Well-Known Member

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    A lot goes into building a custom. $ and what it will be used for. If you think 600 will be the limit for a while there are many good calibers. 1st to come to mind would be the 300WSM. It wont beat you up in recoil, powder, and barrel life. And it will get you out well past 600. If you think this will be your only build and need more, a 338 Lapua or a 300 Rum. would be my choice, but thats a lot of gun for 600yarsd and more $ just to go shooting.
     
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Prescibing a long range rifle is much like making a diagnosis of a disease. First you have to know the symptoms.

    Do you think you will be using this rifle to shoot some of those big Kentucky elk at 1000yds? Or is this just for Kentucky whitetail deer.

    Are you going to just tote this rifle up into the hayloft of the barn and shoot out to the far end of the north 40 or are you going to have to pack this rifle on your back for four or five miles.

    Do you want a brake?

    Are you willing to develop loads for bullets that are not in any loading manual? i.e. are you willing to shoot match bullets at game animals?

    Do you like excessive killing power, or is there no such thing as an animal being too dead? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    EDIT

    My mistake, I have been thinking about doing some hunting in Kentucky and you are in Tennessee.
     
  5. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    If you are in TN, stay with the WSM and do not look back. Much easier to build a good WSM that is more suited to eastern hunting than 338s.

    I just took a 700 SPS in WSM and restocked it. tried to get the factory barrel to shoot good, but as it was not stress relieved it started throwing at shot 3. Just put a #4 Lilja on it at 26". Gun, scope, sling weighs 9.2 lbs.

    If I lived out west and constantly shot 1000 plus and with the wind, elk etc, I would go with a 338, but not east of the Mississipi for my first custom gun.

    BH
     
  6. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    The only way I would go with the 338-378 or its improved version is if you are going to be moving out west and doing long range elk. if not then i would probably look at the 300wsm, win mag, ultra mag, 7 ultra mag, 280 improved, the list is saddly almost endless. But for an overall good rifle up to 600yrds on deer I would look at a 300rum or the 300wsm or regular winchester magnum.
     
  7. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

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    for an easy choice for long range the 300 Ultra Mag is awsome but if you want to reach out further on a Magnum action the 338 Edge (338-300 Ultra) is the way to go in my opinion you get 300 or 375 ultra mag cases neck them to 338 and shoot them it is that easy and it will give you better performance to the 300 but better barrel life aswell. If you step up to the 378 WBY case you realy need a specialty action if you want a realy flat shooter in a smaler calibre the 270 or 7mm Allen Mags are also great but require fire forming the beauty of the Edge is it is as easy to load as a new case for the standard chambering and their is a wealth of knowlidge in these calibres here and other forums. With any of these rounds use a good tacticle fish gill type muzzle break and start streaching the distances you shoot.

    Cheers Bill
    Australia
     
  8. CPerkins

    CPerkins Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the advise. I do see that some have been asking for some more info to help me more so lets see if I can add alittle more detail. I currently have 2 rifles (custom 7 mag. and a 300 win mag. that has alot of work done:floated barrel, pillar bedded, trigger job ~ 2.5 LBS, and had the barrel recrowned) Both will shoot less than a half inch group at 100 yards. I don't look to have the opprotunity anytime soon to hunt anything but whitetail, but I want to have something that I could use on elk if I get a chance. I definitly want something that will be 1000+ yard gun and I don't think that you can have too much overkill. I am undecided about a muzzlebreak. I love handloading and from what I have read on this site, I don't think that I would have any problem with shooting a SMK at game animals. I would like to be able to buy brass for the rifle without getting into necking it down or fireforming. I have fireformed before with a 25-06 ackley improved, but didn't care much for it. I have no experiece necking down brass and dont even know what would be involved. I think it would be easier to just buy it.
    Again thanks for the help
     
  9. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    You have just defined the 338 Lapua IMO. No necking down/up fireforming and you can buy a Lawton 8500 action that is 1.650 in Diameter with .750 bolt that can shoot the 338 Lapua. Cost is $795 and it is ready to put a barrel on and takes rem trigger.

    Forester Bonanza BR dies for under $100, brass will cost $1.25 each but 100 pieces will wear out 3 barrels.

    Several new 338 bullets coming out. I saw the new 300 gr Hornadys shot at the Nationals and with an Armalite AR-30 they shot a 10 shot group under 9" at 1000.

    BH
     
  10. D.P.

    D.P. Well-Known Member

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    Since you have a 7mm and 300 sounds like you need a Lapua and some 300 grain SMK's
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    CODY

    The 338 RUM will best the 340 and can be bough over
    the counter for less than the 340 ammo.

    And would be a nice addition to your collection.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. CPerkins

    CPerkins Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    CODY

    The 338 RUM will best the 340 and can be bough over
    the counter for less than the 340 ammo.

    And would be a nice addition to your collection.

    J E CUSTOM

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I like what I hear on the 338 RUM, but what kind of velocity van I expect with handloads. I know that factory loads are not the best indicators, but from looking at those the 340 looks to be much faster. The only bullet that I can find loaded in both is the 210 gr. nosler partition. The 338 RUM is a federal loading listed at 3025 fps at the muzzle. The 340 is a Weatherby load listed at 3211 fps. I know that it is hard to compare the loads of two manufactures even with the same bullet, but 200 fps is quite a difference.
    Thanks
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    CODY

    WEATHERBY gets its velocity with lots of freebore.
    factory loads cannot be shot in a rifle with standard
    freebore (excessive pressure will occur)

    Usable powder capacity for the 340 is around 90 grs

    The 338 RUM is 103grs not a lot of difference but with
    standard freebore.

    If you used WEATHERBYs freebore it would certainly beat
    the 340 in velocity.

    Dont get me wrong I think the 340 is a tremendous cartrige
    But at twice the price for weatherby ammo and rifle the
    338 RUM is the best deal all around.

    Just an opinion but everone has one.

    J E CUSTOM