Help! Urgently Need Caliber Advice!

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by TORCHRIDER, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    I need your help in choosing a caliber. Please read:

    I am about to embark on my first budget rifle build. I am starting with a Stevens 200 long action. I immediately thought I would build a .338 Edge, but then said "Whoa Big Fella, come back down to earth". For my first rifle, I think maybe something a little less complicated might be in order.

    Here is what I want the rifle to achieve:

    1. Shoot paper and hunt (when I am capable) to 1000 yards.
    2. Game size will be up to Elk.
    3. Flatter shooting than a .308 Win, I already have one.
    4. Not a real barrel burner. I would like to get north of 1k rounds down the barrel.
    5. A caliber with available dies, barrels, brass, etc.
    6. Not so heavy that I can't carry it some. Maybe ~10-12 lbs. ?
    7. Something that I can shoot enough ammo through to get proficient at long ranges. Can I do this with a .338 without physical problems? :rolleyes:
    8. Must work in a long action (Stevens 200 / Savage 110)

    Let me know what your caliber recommendation is and why. Thanks for helping this new guy out! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  2. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, you have many choices to choose from but for me the first 3 choices would be 300RUM, 338RUM or your first choice of 338 Edge.

    Again, IMHO, the first thing you should consider is if you want to retain the option of shooting factory ammo. If you do, that rules the 338Edge out.

    The 300RUM is going to give you better, all around, bullet selection and would be more versatile on less than elk size game. But, for obvious reasons, the .338cal stuff is going to give you more stopping energy for anchoring a elk at 1000yds.

    Reloading for a 338 Edge will be NO different than reloading for anything else. The only difference will be the dies could cost you a little bit more but I personally like to use premium dies anyway so when you take that into consideration the price difference isn't that much, if at all.

    The best advice I ever got when considering a build of any kind was do your research, research, research!!!

    Good luck to you on a new build
     

  3. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    Thanks B23. The ability to shoot factory ammo is not a requirement. It is a nice to have just to verify accuracy potential, but I will be handloading. What kind of barrel life can I expect out of one of the big magnums like .300 RUM or .338 Edge?
     
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    The 338 ultramag with a brake and you can shoot all you want. It will get well over 1000 rounds if you take care of it. Over the counter components. The 300 ultramag is really good but not quite as much barrel life.

    In my opinion for what you are wanting to do. Which is learn long range which means shooting quite a bit. I would go down to a smaller cartridge that is less expensive to shoot and doesn't require a brake. In 338 I can't see why the 338 win mag gets so little attention. Barrels last forever. It is easily available components and cheaper to shoot. Shoots like a dream. I have taken numerous animals at long range with one up to 1100 yards. Great for anything in north america.

    Along those same thoughts the 300 wsm is cheaper to shoot still. Over the counter components. Light recoil and fun to shoot. Capable of long range and barrels last forever when compared to big magnums.

    I am staying with the big calibers 30 and above since you said elk. lots of good choices. Look at all the choices in the best long range setup thread.
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I would seriously look at making a 300WSM on a long action, it would do exactly what you want if set up right. You can make it fairly light and very economical to shoot with good barrel life with a fair bit of snort. There are a bunch of good bullets and very easy shooting and when your ready to step up to the EDGE all you have to do is roll a pre-chambered barrel on, head space and load up!!
     
  6. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    bigngreen, the .300WSM is an interesting choice. I just so happen to have a bunch of once fired WW factory brass and dies. Would be nice to take advantage of that. Plus in a long action, I am guessing I could have a big enough magazine to accept bullets seated out.

    Will a .300WSM fit in a Savage 110/Stevens 200 long action without additional work?

    What would I have to know from a magazine, barrel,etc. perspective when putting a short action cartridge in a long action?
     
  7. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    I have a savage 116 in 7RM and have thought about going to 300 WSM. I tried the wsm rounds in the magazine...they fit, but were a little tight on the lips of the centerfeed mag. I have heard from others that you can bend them out slightly and it will work fine. My rifle has a hinged floorplate, did you start out with a standard or magnum stevens?
     
  8. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    It is a standard Stevens long action. I was looking for a magnum action, but found the .270 rifle at Cabelas for $200 after some dickering. It looks like it has never been shot. Hard to pass up. They have another one identical sitting there I thought I might buy. :)

    I dont know if the standard long action will support the .300WSM? I may have to get a magnum action and turn this one into a .260 Rem.
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I haven't got all the parts figured out but I think you tweek the magnum feed lips or get a RUM box. I believe the bolt face for the magnum will take a RUM/WSM case. I'm gathering parts for a 338RUM and a 338Norma mag build on Savage long actions right now so I'm kinda working on all the parts now for myself also. So far all my Savage builds have been similar chamberings so not much to the swap other than a new barrel.

    Geargrinder has done a few 338Edge's on a Stevens 200 action, I would PM him and run it by him. RUM stuff and WSM stuff are extremely interchangeable which gives you the option to step up when your GTG and have things figured out.

    The only thing you would need swapping a 270 to a WSM would be a bolt head and a mag box, real simple, it's the beauty of the Savage, you just swap a few things around and you up and running. All the long actions are basically the same one with different bolt heads and box's with the exception of the 110BA.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  10. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of great cartridges that fit on your bolt face. I thought you had a magnum. But no matter, several cartridges off the '06 case and 280 case get magnum velocities. The 280 AI is hard to beat and do about anything the 7mm rem mag will at about 100 fps less. The 7mm Gibbs and JRS will virtually match the 7mm rem mag. 6.5-06 imp is a good long range rifle along with the 6.5 gibbs.

    The 280 AI will do about anything the 300 wsm will ballistically with no modifications. It is a very popular chambering.
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    LTLR is on the right track in my opinion. 280 AI or the 6.5-06. Both are very much capable out past 1000 yards and would be economical to shoot. The barrel life will be good and you will not have to do any mods to your action feed rails or bolt face. For me it would be a no brainer.
     
  12. rifleman0714

    rifleman0714 Member

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    gotta agree with lrtr, the 280 AI, not as many mods, more money for brass and bullets. My nephew has a stevens 200 in 308, its his first rifle and it really is a smooth well made rifle. The man and not the rifle is the more important part of the equation. you can spend thousands on the weapon, but the experience of the shooter is what makes it work.
     
  13. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    What do you guys make of this:

    280 Ackley Improved Alert « GunsmithTalk

    Are you proposing the Ackley or the SAAMI version? I guess barrels are available either way?
    OOPS. Am I allowed to place links in this forum?
     
  14. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    The standard Ackley. Not the lawyers saami one.