long range elk gun?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by shooter7, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. shooter7

    shooter7 Well-Known Member

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    Currently I have a savage 110 in a stockade prairie dog special chambered in 6.5 284 and I'm thinking I want something a little bigger for long range elk hunting. I would like a prefit barrel and I'm open to suggestions on caliber length or anything else you guys might think of. Right now I'm considering a mcgowen pre fit 300 win mag 28 inch varmint contour. Any suggestions from anyone with expirience would be appreciated.
     
  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Realistically how far will you be comfortable and capable of shooting?

    Personally I'd say the 6.5 is more than adequate to at least 600yds IF you can put it where you want it consistently.

    The .300wm, more than capable to 800yds with the right bullet IF you can put it where it needs to be.
     

  3. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    300WM, 300 RUM, with the 210 or bigger Berger bullet. I like Lothar Walther barrels. Very rigid and very accurate. They use a German made 550 Stainless which is stronger and wears better than the 416 Stainless used in the U.S. However, Criterion, and McGowen are some great barrel options too. From my understanding, Criterion is the supplier of barrels for U.S. Sniper rifles. Hope this helps in your decision.

    Tank
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    I would not recommend anything larger then the belted magnum case if your going with a Savage receiver. The 300 win is a great chambering but I would recommend you keep ranges under 1/2 mile on elk. If you want to push out to 1K, I would recommend stepping out to a belted magnum in 338 cal. The 338 Win Mag or 340 Wby would be better for longer ranges simply because of their larger frontal area bullets and heavier weights.

    Now I know some will say you do not NEED this large of chamberings if all goes right, thats true but if things do not go perfectly, a small round will not get the work done whereas the larger chamberings will likely get you out of a tight spot better. Now if you make a bad shot nothing will help you other then pure luck but with shot placement on the fringes which often happens at long range, there is no disputing that a larger caliber bullet will help get the job done better then a smaller, lighter bullet.
     
  5. shooter7

    shooter7 Well-Known Member

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    Realistically a half mile would be about as far as I feel I could make an ethical shot on a game animal. I do shoot steel with my 6.5 284 and my 308 out to 1k but I don't quite have the confidence to start shooting animals out there yet. Thanks for the input guys.
     
  6. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    300wm or 300Rum will get you there with power to spare and if the rig is put together right with a decent muzzle brake recoil is no problem whatsoever.

    Even with my M70 classic (not featherweight) the 300wm is a pleasure to shoot. I'm adding a MB solely because I like to see my impacts at any range, but it's extremely tolerable to shoot even without it using the 165's and 180's and it's only about a 7lbs rig fully loaded and scoped.

    I have the 300 Rum in an Sendero II model with the Gentry QB on it and even my 87lbs niece shoots it without complaint.
     
  7. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Heck, if your only going to go half mile, then you could get away with a short magnum of your choice. The 7WSM, 7SAUM, 300 RCM, and 300WSM with any of the Berger hunting bullets will fit the bill. The 7WSM and SAUM will sling the 168 and 180 with authority. The 300WSM and RCM will shoot the 185-215 very well also. One I haven't mentioned which will do very well is the 270WSM. Berger and Matrix bullets make a high BC .277 caliber bullet now. One guy on here dropped an Elk at 850+ with his WSM (bigngreen I believe who it was). So there are some smaller option w/o having to use a big magnum.
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    If you get a quality rifle made and you practice, 1/2 mile shooting will become EASY down the road. I like the 300 RUM because it is hard to outgrow for a big game hunting rifle yet its perfectly at home at any realistic ranges.

    If you get a new custom rifle made and you get practiced at longer ranges then its best to have the rifle chambered in something that you will not outgrow.

    As far as using lesser calibers on elk, obviously they work but keep in mind that elk are very big, heavy boned, heavy muscled animals with an incredible will to live. Moose are much larger then elk but I would say an elk is easily twice as hard to put on the ground. Let me rephrase that, an elk can take twice the pounding of a moose before he gives up!!!

    I have seen mortally wounded elk RUN for over a mile and never show any sign that they were even wounded in any way and that was after being hit with 300 Wby. That elk was lost for a time. The only reason I know it was mortally wounded is it was found by another group of hunters the following week.

    With the short mags work, CERTAINLY.

    Can elk be wounded with larger calibers, CERTAINLY.

    Is there ever a bad side to using a larger then needed cartridge, NEVER, as long as the rifle is designed properly for the use at hand and with shooting comfort in mind.

    We need to remember that the larger expansion ratio of a given chambering, the more efficently a good muzzle brake will reduce felt recoil. A 300 RUM in an 8 lb rifle with a good muzzle brake such as a Holland QD or my APS Painkiller will have felt recoil about like a 243 Win in same weight rifle. In comparision, a 7mm or 300 WSM in the same exact speced rifle will often have MORE felt recoil then the much larger 300 RUM.

    Why, simple fact that the big 300 has much more muzzle gas volume and pressure which dramatically increases the efficency of the muzzle brake to reduce recoil.

    The lighter the rifle the more dramatically a good muzzle brake can reduce felt recoil simply because a lighter rifle is easier for the muzzle brake to slow down from recoil and a lighter rifle has less momentum once its started in motion.

    A heavier rifle will often times MOVE the shooter more. REcoil velocity will be slower then a lighter rifle but the muzzle brake will also have a harder time slowing the rearward movement of the rifle so while the felt recoil of a heavier rifle will not be severe, the rifle WILL move you more then a lighter rifle with a good muzzle brake and same load. It takes much more rifle weight to tame recoil to the same level as a good muzzle brake.

    It is a fine line however, go to light and you loose shootability, if you go to heavy and its to heavy to pack in the hills.

    In my opinion, its far better to have more chambering then NEEDED to get the job done then use a chambering that SHOULD be adequate........ There is only dead, there is no DEADER or DEADEST.

    As humans we are the weak link in long range shooting, we are not perfect, in fact rarely perfect, get the largest, most impressive ballistically performing chambering you can handle accurately and you will never be sorry. Other then some extra powder, a 300 RUM is nearly exactly the same price to load for as a 7mm or 300 WSM, dies are the same, rifle cost will be extremely similiar.

    Just my opinion concerning lesser round on elk size game at long range. THey can be easily killed by lesser rounds but I have seen alot of them get lost using lesser rounds as well. Also seen them lost with larger rifles when hit wrong so it all comes down to shot placement in the end but no body should be scared away from a large rifle because of recoil any more, we have very good ways to eliminate recoil.
     
  9. COBrad

    COBrad Well-Known Member

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    My latest elk rifle is one Fiftydriver built, and it's a shooter! It is also a light weight 270 WSM. I have shot enough different magnums to have a good feel for them. The most effective elk rifle I've used was a fast .300 magnum. That rifle was an elk killing machine, but over the past 38 years I have become weary of thunderous magnums and brakes. I favor the 7 mm rem mag any more. This round hangs right in with the .300's, and does not produce enough recoil to require a brake. Now I don't intend this light weight 270 to be a half mile rifle, more like a 6 or 700 yard rifle. When I build another 1K elk rifle it will be another 7 rem mag shooting 180 gr VLD's through a Sendero contour barrel, and a finished, scoped weight of about 10 lbs.
    The 270 weighs about 8 lbs scoped, and my long range rifle weighs about 13.5 scoped, just a bit heavier than I want to carry in the high country all day, day after day.
     
  10. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    You're in about the same shape I'm in with my 300wm and 7mm STW.

    My M-70 300wm fully outfitted is under 8lbs and just a real pleasure to carry or for a truck gun to grab quick and get out the window. The STW is 1.5lbs heavier and is a real monster killer out to a thousand yards with no problem.

    My dedicated LR rig though is the Sendero 300 Rum with the Gentry Quiet brake on it, and for anyone who wants to reduce the blast/noise of their magnum who isn't planning on prone shooting I'd always recommend it. There are more effective brakes at reducing recoil but for the reduction in blast/noise and the headaches they produce man it's a wonder.

    As it sets now my elk trip for next year will have me packing the 300wm as a saddle gun or if I need to get off and hoof it, but if we set up specifically for Long Range I'll have the Rum. The nice thing is I'll also have the 7mm STW along as a backup rig for myself or any of my hunting partners.

    I'm with you though the 7mm and 30 cal's really put you in a position where it's next to impossible to find yourself under gunned in the vast majority of hunting scenarios.
     
  11. shooter7

    shooter7 Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to run an ultramag cartridge in a small shank savage action and if so do I risk blowing up the action? I've been looking at the 338 edge but I don't really feel like blowing my face off...... just something that never really appealed to me. But like a previous member mentioned, I would like something that I wouldn't "outgrow". Also I do believe that overkill is underrated and the idea of launching a 300gr projectile at 2800fps is quite appealing.
     
  12. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    If you don't want a brake, hard to beat a 300WM or WSM to ~800 yds. If you're going to brake it anyways, hard not to justify going to the RUM.

    Any further, I'd go 338.
     
  13. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I've shot a couple thousand rounds out of a small shank Savage in 300WSM. I never once had a concern about the gun coming apart. My Cousin has a 338 Lapua built on the large shank in a target action Savage. It's not coming apart either. I personally would not be afraid of building an Edge on the small shank. If you want added security, then you may want to look into the new machined bolt head made by Pacific Tool and Gauge. They are milled bolt heads made out of a stronger material than factory. They hold a little tight dimensions also. It's up to you, but I wouldn't be afraid to do it. The WSM and Edge load close to the same pressure ranges too.

    Tank
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    More then likely it would work but I would not do it personally. In fact any Savage I build for customers has the barrel lock nut removed and the barrel is installed just as a Rem 700 barrel would be. Does three things for the rifle

    1. Makes for a much stronger, stiffer barreled receiver system with the use of the larger diameter shanks.

    2. Greatly improves the bedding surfaces.

    3. Just makes it look 10 times better as it really cleans up the lines of the rifle.

    There is a reason Savage dropped the ultramag options from their rifles, I would recommend that if your using any savage barrel design, I would go no larger then the belted magnum. Even the 338 Lapua Savages have been having some issues from what I hear.