I'm indecisive. Help me choose a caliber.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by junkpile, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. junkpile

    junkpile Active Member

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    I'm looking for some input on caliber selection for my first long range setup. I currently shoot a 308 win at distances of less than 500 yards. The rifle is way too light for me to get anything at extended ranges done with it, and it's a Ruger, so I'm really not expecting phenomenal accuracy out of it.

    I'm thinking that I want to use a Savage as a donor. I prefer short actions, but may be willing to work with a long action. I will be using this for fun and for deer hunting, and I'm planning to build something in the style of the Noreen ULR or the CheyTac Intervention. Sure, they're ugly. But I just like them. Anyway, I want a vertical grip, and will be making the stock. Planning for something around 12 or 15 lbs because I don't handle recoil well anymore, and I'm planning on it to enhance my stability. Have a Vari-X 4 tactical 4.5-14x to mount on it until I select something better.

    So, on to my actual question...

    I want to be able to shoot out to about 1000 yards or more for fun. I won't be shooting anything bigger than a whitetail with it, and that will likely be at no more than 800 yards. I was orignally thinking of going with a 243 or 308, but I'm not sure I trust the downrange energy on them. Any other 6mm suggestions that would be effective and not too problematic? It gets windy around here sometimes. I was also considering 300wm. I was considering 338 Lapua at one point, but I'm not sure I want to mess with it right now. Was also considering 270, but not sure that it will do what I want.

    Also, what are your barrel length and twist recommendations for the recommended calibers. I'm open to ideas for other calibers as well. But the caliber needs to be flexible and easy to find components for.

    Yes, I reload. Yes, this is my first post, and I've been reading as much as I can, but wants some help tayloring this weapon to me. And yes, this is a great site.
     
  2. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    Go for one of the 7mm, 30 cal., or 338 mags. I'd go with the 300win, 300 rum, or 7mmstw myself; favoring the last two for true long range.
    A 140 at 3400+ or 175 at 3000+ out of a 7stw is really flat shooting while still entertaining barrel life, and the 300 rum will do 180's to 3300 and 225's to 3000 fps. Of course there are other weights but I thought I'd toss middle and heavy weights for both to represent what they can do real world. I like the 338win, but it's case capacity does hurt it for getting enough speed out of the big 338 pills you need for good energy at range. I'd go 338rum or 338edge if I got another 338.
     

  3. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Go 284 win, use necked up lapua brass, and throat it for 195 bergers for LR practice, shoot 168 grain Barnes LRX for hunting out to 800 yards. That is the route im going and i cant wait!!
     
  4. submoa

    submoa Well-Known Member

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    i am very impressed with the 6.5 bullets so i would have to say go with a long action in 6.5-284 ;-}
     
  5. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    The .270 with 150 grain bullets will definitely do what you want...

    We're living in troubled times, and they're about to get worse, by most reports. Components could end up getting harder to get than ever... and you don't want to be saddled with some esoteric chambering that really won't work any better than something more common...

    I've run the .270 win out to 1040 yards, with very good accuracy and the ballistic tables show that the 150 grain Gameking arrives with plenty of authority at that range... good sectional density will give deep penetration also.

    True, the .270 won't get many oggles from the glitterati, but it hasn't been around for near 100 years because of its faults. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. junkpile

    junkpile Active Member

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    The 270 was actually on my short list (along with a number of other calibers). I just wasn't sure what the downrange energy would look like. I'm pretty much set on going for a classic caliber, and was planning for something 30 cal, just want to be able get the components I need, and I know the 270 would be in that as well.

    Exactly how much energy does that 270 have? Capable of taking deer at 1000 yards?

    I appreciate the other posts, but I'm only going for something I can easily get components for. I guess a 7mm-08 might be wise, but I have no experience with it.
     
  7. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with the 308 for what you want to do. 1k paper is a breeze with some of the high BC bullets available. Deer to 800 is a breeze as well. Running 208 amax's you have identical windage as the highly esteemed 260 rem which is known to have excellent wind fighting capabilities but the 208 offers 30% more energy at 1k. When the new Nosler bullets come out the 190 and 210 will redefine the 308's capabilities.

    That said, the 260 is a good choice, 243 ok, 708, 284 etc...all will get it done. Don't need 70 grains of powder nor 30 pounds of recoil to do what you want.

    I recommend 24-26" for the 308 and 11 or 10 twist. 12 is ok but you will be limited. It will handle the 208s but may not handle the 210 Nosler as will will be quite a bit longer. The 10 twist is for if you ever decide to run some of the heavier mono metal bullets.
     
  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Just for a generic rifle to shoot 750 yards out of the box, your asking a lot. Yes some will, but most won't. A custom built barrel in .280 Remington should be just fine (as would a .270 Winchester). I think I'd look seriously at the .300WSM or the .338 RCM
    gary
     
  9. tfccox

    tfccox New Member

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    I like the savage 270 wsm my self. useing the silver tip ballistc very good long range .
     
  10. junkpile

    junkpile Active Member

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    Michael, you have just reminded me how much I don't know. I may go back to looking at the 308. I was just thinking today about what I would do with my current deer rifle, and I've also got a 9.3x62 that has seen no use since I left Alaska. Might be able to trade some of these out and be able to actually use everything I own.

    Trickymissfit, I don't think I'm after a generic rifle. I wanted to use the Savage action due to the fact that I can change calibers as I desire, and as funds show themselves. I was actually toying with the idea of getting a long action, even though I might be running something like a 243, or 308 or 7-08, just so I could switch over to something else if I wanted to. I'm planning for a heavy barrel, but have no intention of making this thing look pretty. I'm just not into pretty guns for some reason. To me, they are still just tools. Anyway, I was going to build an action support that extends back to the grip, and then runs forward beneath the barrel, but with plenty of space. I will be able to swap the barrel out without removing the "stock" provided I don't need to lock the action into a vise, which I know is a distinct possibility... And I'm rambling.

    Michael, what are your thoughts on moose and brown bear with the 308?
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Moose? Cake. Killed 3 big bulls no sweat.

    Brown bears? I wouldn't be afraid so long as it was not face to face. Unfortunately, many bears are killed up close.
     
  12. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    My "short list" for 1,000 yard deer rifles would start with the .300 RUM, Win & Weatherby. For a lighter round, the .270 WSM is fast enough to be forgiving. Then I would get realistic & say for retained energy at 900-1,000 yards you should be considering a .338, rum or Lapua, or the .338/.378 Weatherby.

    I recently picked up a used Weatherby Accumark in 338/378 and was pleasantly surprised to find the recoil negligible with the standard muzzle brake, that the rifle isn't too heavy to cary on most hunts, and that mandatory ear protection was the only negative for a true long-range outfit. If you don't like recoil, you would love this rifle. The felt recoil is similar to a mid-weight 20 gauge shotgun with a light target load.

    The most uncomfortable recoil rifle I own is a .270 WSM, so don't assume the light rounds always feel better to shoot. That .270 WSM is hard to shoot, and harder to shoot well.
     
  13. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I know this was already brought up, but I am in agreeement that 300WSM might be worth a look. I shoot and reload for one, and have found it to be pretty forgiving with different bullet weights for different applications. I've never hunted with it over 400 yds (I know, sacrilidge) but the ballistics are on par with a 300Mag and it keeps you in a short-action.
     
  14. Royal Knight

    Royal Knight Member

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    My 2 cents would be and its a wildcat. 260 ackley improved.