Hunting caliber for girlfriend

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by jbeckstrand, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. jbeckstrand

    jbeckstrand Active Member

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    Hi all, I'm new to the forum and looking for some opinions on what caliber to have my girlfriends rifle built. She is a small person, about 5' 2" and 115 pounds, so weight and recoil are a big issue. At the moment I'm thinking of having it built in a 6.5 x 55 Swede. Any Suggestions?

    J
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Justin,

    For my customers that come in with similiar projects they want to do I recommend several different choices in caliber.

    Of course we need to know what type of game you will be hunting but for now I will assume deer mainly.

    For this type of game anything in the 6mm range and up will work. For the 6mm rounds I would recommend a 243 or larger for use on deer size game as your deer as with the deer in Montana can get quite large so I consider this a good minimum caliber and cartridge size.

    From there you get into the 25 and 6.5 calibers which I feel are about perfect choices for deer size game. The cartridge really depends on personal preference.

    In the 25 cals, the standard 25-06 is very hard to beat but it is offered mainly in full size rifles.

    Rounds such as the 260 and 7mm-08 can be found in very light rifles but remember the lighter you go, even with these smaller rounds, the more they will kick. I built an Ultralight in 260 Rem for a customer last spring which was one of the liveliest rifles I have shot off a bench, not severe recoil but just alot of rifle jump when she went off.

    Do not get caught up in the ultralight craze, get a little rifle weight as that will make the rifle easier to keep steady and shoot accurately.

    The Swede is a great chambering for sure but the 260 Rem will basically match it ballistically. Both are great rounds.

    You said you were going to build the rifle, are you open to wildcats? If so you open yourself up to a much wider selection of rounds in this range. All the wildcats based on the 284 win case make impressive deer rifles with low recoil. The 25-284 may be my personal favorite but the 6mm-284 and 6.5-284 are also very good rounds that can be built into lighter weight rifles.

    It really depends on what she will be hunting, how she will be hunting and if you want a standard chambering or a wildcat offering.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. jbeckstrand

    jbeckstrand Active Member

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    Ah yes, i'm sorry that i forgot to mention that. Being the average North Dakota hunter, deer are at the top of the list, but we are definately looking for something diverse. She has expressed interest in wanting to go on an elk hunt in the not too distant future. The other parameters are a wood stock, stainless action and barrel, and a 3-point safety. The reason I said build is that 1.) we haven't been able to find anything to fit her. The ruger compact has been the closest, but still a hair too long, and definately too heavy according to her. And 2.) I haven't been happy with the accuracy out of any of our factory rifles.
    To answer your other question, I myself am not opposed to a wildcat caliber, as I will be more than likely reloading for whatever her rifle gets chamber in anyway.
    Thanks

    Justin
     
  4. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

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    Ask kirby about his Allen magnums!
     
  5. sierra22

    sierra22 Well-Known Member

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    I cannot but agree with Fiftydriver.

    I'm partial to the 6,5x55 as local supply is very good and quality compononts are cheap and plentiful. Put a 6,5mm out at 2700fps and more and it's a good killer. Have shot some 50+ deer with my rifle now, no complaints. Do a search on my nick, I'll prolly have posted more on this caliber.
     
  6. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    There are a million choices available.

    My first thought is either a 250 Ackley or a 257 Roberts, but the requirements are not that exclusive, so anything from 243 to 308 comes into play.

    The real stumbling point is that elk hunt in the future. I'd look at the 7X57 class of chamberings, maybe a 284Winchester, if you are wanting to keep her in a short action? That's where you can get selective in a 308 with 125 grain bullets for her deer hunting and come up with a 165 grain load for that elk hunt.

    Yes, a million possibilities, but some are better than others.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Justin,

    The problem going very small and light in a rifle is not nessesarily that the rifle will not be accurate but instead, the lighter and shorter the rifles get, generally the more difficult they are to shoot accurately.

    Think of it as a comparision between driving a Lincoln Town care on the freeway and a 600 HP Camero SS on the quartermile drag strip.

    The big car is easy to drive, practically drives itself. The smaller Camero is a handful to drive and best suited for experts to get the most out of the car.

    Same with a rifle. Its better to add a bit of rifle weight and increase the ease in shooting for your girlfriend then get her something that feels like its made of light weight plastic.

    Obviously we need to be sensible here. I have yet to find a lady that could not handle an appropriately dimensioned rifle in the 7 3/4 to 8 1/4 lb range.

    The key is stock fit and selecting a barrel that will not make the rifle exceptionally long. What makes a rifle feel much heavier then it is is when it has an OAL that is longer then the shooter is tall!!

    I would personally do this, if your serious about including elk in your future plans, I would lean toward the 7mm-08 or similiar rounds. The 120-140 gr tipped bullets on the market today in the 7mm-08 are GREAT deer loads. You can then switch up to a bonded core 140-160 gr bullet for the heavier elk. You will not be able to reach out 500 yards and flatten a bull elk but for shots under 400 yards(I would prefer under 300 yards on bulls) with a well placed bullet the little 7mm-08 will easily kill any elk on the planet.

    Also it is able to be housed in short action rifles which I would recommend the Rem 700 SA if you are going to build. They are as strong as they come. Most accurate factory receiver to build on and also very light weight. Combine that with a stock with a 12.5" Length of pull and a 22-24" barrel in the #3 to #5 contour and you would be ready to roll with a very quality, compact and relatively light rifle.

    Top it off with a light weight scope and your ready for anything you could ever want to hunt.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  8. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

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    Since elk are a possibilty I vote for the .308 also.
     
  9. 308 nate

    308 nate Well-Known Member

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    Justin,
    Cool to see another North Dakotan on the forum.
    Anyway,I thought I would pitch in with a little advice.
    My feeling is that the .260 or the .260AI would be the way to go.
    I probably wouldn't recommend the AI unless you used the Rem.788 action because the AI can be hard to get to feed smoothly,but in the 308 clips in the 788 they feed very well.
    Also Timmney is making a trigger for the 788's now which are adjustable 1.5 - 4lbs.
    The 788 also has one of the fastest lock times, the only set back to the 788 is a weak bolt handle,which I have a remedy for.
    As far as the 308,I would recommend the .260 or the .260 AI over the .308 for ND hunting.
    The 6.5 handles the wind a lot better than the .308, and I would not hesitate to shoot an elk out to 2-300yds. with the 260 AI.
    I built myself a .260 AI and it is an awesome cartridge,in fact I shot three,20 shot F class matches with it last Sunday at the Moffit range near Bismarck, at 1,000 yds and placed 1st in all three. Shooting a 199-15,200-13&amp; a 199-13.
    Anyway I am a part time gunsmith and my passion is long rang accuracy.I am currently working on a customers .788 which I am chambering into a .260 AI for F class shooting.

    If you have any questions or need a gunsmith I'd be happy to help. You can drop me a personal e-mail and I will get you my Ph#
    To get my e-mail address just click on my user name and it will give you my info.
    Good luck on your project,
    308nate
     
  10. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    I think that Kirby's 7/08 recommendation is perfect. Less recoil and better down range than a 308. If you do go wood, use a laminated stock for its added stability. Put on a good LimbSaver recoil pad and load for the type of game. The SA Rem 700 would also be my choice, but add a Gentry Model 70 safety for its better function. I personally have built several in the 7 lb weight class that my kids handled when they were younger with no problems. Stock fit is critical for your lady. Most stocks (even youth models) are not correct for a small lady. Good luck. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  11. Boman

    Boman Well-Known Member

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    I'd also second Kirby's reccomendation of the 7mm-08. If she wants wood I'd highly reccomend Seregheti Stockworks, they use real wood and laminate it. You can't tell its a laminate though. Check out their website. Goodluck and let us know what she chooses.
     
  12. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    I will agree with Kirby as well on a 7mm-08 and if feel you need a little more horse power a 280 Rem would be a good one also. But that would be a long action rifle.
     
  13. jbeckstrand

    jbeckstrand Active Member

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    Thanks for all of your help. how does a 280 rem compare to a 270 or -06?

    J
     
  14. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

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    What about a model7 Youth they are built for smaller shooters in mind and the calibr's are also matched. I would look at the 260 and 7mm08 if she could shoot the 7mm08 without a recoil problem go with it but if not the 260 would be ample. With the 260 load it with 160gr Norma bullets and you will duplicats the 6.5x55 that is a standard Moose calibre in europe. I know it does not have a fancy wood stock but the synthetic stocks tend to absorb recoil better and are more durable. you could also have a wood stock made down the track if required. The 260 has a hardwood stock and the 7mm08 a synthetic. I think the 7mm08 could be the best option because if you are handloading you can use slow powders and light bullets to reduce the recoil and just have some heavy loads for the large animals in the field im geusing shee will not even feel the recoil in the middle of a hunt. Also the 3 position safety if you must have one there are aftermarket designs you can fit to a remington but i dont see the need. If recoil is a problem dont even consider a 280, 284, 270 or 3006 as all will create more recoil the 7mm08 is what i would think max i would not even consider a 308 as in a light rifle they realy go off i had a 308 brno and it had mort recoil than my Model 7SS in 7mm SAUM.

    Cheers Bill
    Australia