Long Range Hunting Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by magnum, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. magnum

    magnum Well-Known Member

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    I have recently been thinking of a light weight long range big game hunting rifle. Fired my imagination to build such a rifle. I think the cartridge would be .300 Win Mag as this can drive the 190-200 gr bullets (with BC of around 0.5) at around 3,000 fps. Rifle will be on a Remington 700 or Winchester M70 action, barrel 26" probably No.3 countor fluted (to keep the weight down), with a HS Precision or McMillan synthetic stock.

    Scope will be a Leupold Mark 4 LR/T scope in either 4-14X or 6.5-20X. In light weight tactical type mounts and rings.

    I want to try to keep the weight down as much as possible, around 8.5 lbs.

    Any comments.

    Magnum
     
  2. Kiwi Nate

    Kiwi Nate Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit, I am a bit timid of the .300's on a light platform as I don't use brakes (hunt with pointer dogs).

    I would opt for either the .280 or .30-06, choice between the two would depend on game weights. If 90% of your target animals are under 180lb, then I would suggest the .280, if heavy animals are the go, then the .30-06. The trajectories would not be as good as the magnums but it would fit the lightweight rifle build and the whole project would come together nicely, filling a niche that you would never regret.

    Other guys would opt for a short magnum. Ah, so many choices. We have a smith here in NZ (Dan Hardy) who uses a .300WSM, light contour, 22" barrel suppressed. He won't be getting top velocities from a 22" barrel but that is not the design premise. His rifle fills a niche, lightweight, accurate and most likely produces the same trajectory as the .30-06 I proposed.
     

  3. magnum

    magnum Well-Known Member

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    Kiwi,

    I should have mentioned, I already have a 270 Win and 308 Win in Winchester pre 64 M70 featherweights.

    I also have a .308 Norma Mag so recoil shouldn't be an issue for a .300 WM in 8.5 lb rifle with a good recoil pad (e.g. Pachmyr Decelerator) and good stock design.

    Cheers,
    Magnum
     
  4. Kiwi Nate

    Kiwi Nate Well-Known Member

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    I must be getting soft in my old age. Even my .375 feels like I am being mugged and kicked to to death these days LOL
     
  5. Kiwi Nate

    Kiwi Nate Well-Known Member

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    I did for a while own a factory Winchester in .300 WIN MAG. Weight was right around 8.5lb. After being tricked up, it was very accurate, shot less than .3".

    I used it for a couple of years but re-barreled it 7mm Rem Mag as I couldn't always duplicate the exact hand holds and positions in the field that I needed to ensure the same level of accuracy and POI that I was obtaining at the range. Nevertheless, that was relevent to me only. My shooting buddy at the time was built like a tank, such factors didn't come into play for him.
     
  6. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    If you dont want alot of weight, and dont need a magnum, the 6.5x284 is a good choice comes close to a 264 win mag. Depending on distance and game size 257 wby, 270 wby, 7mm stw, lastly 300 win mag, they are all good choices but with the 300wm in a 26" barrel you will be over pressuring your brass and working the hell out of it to get the 210s you should use to 2950 and the 200s to 3000, you really need 2 more inches of barrel.
     
  7. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I think you will be hard pressed to make weight. Tactical rings, and large scope will put you over the top. Get an edge stock, go with some good lightweight rings like the Talley aluminum lightweights and consider a slightly smaller scope.

    As for chambering I'd go all out and use the 375 Ruger case necked down to 308. It will hold more powder than the 300 win mag so you can get those bullets to 3000 fps AND its shorter length will allow you to have some leeway in bullet seating depth. I'd also consider adding another inch to the barrel.

    I currently run a 300 RUM in a 9 lb package with a 27" #5 profile. When it wears out I will be moving to the 338/375 Ruger and a #3 profile barrel at 26" and will use the upcoming Berger 250 gr VLD. With a projected BC of .762 it would be an even better direction than going with a 30 cal rifle. I'd suggest it now but bullet production is a ways down the road.
     
  8. magnum

    magnum Well-Known Member

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    Blackwoods, Kiwi,

    Thanks for your input.

    The idea of the 300WM came out of reading a news release about the new US sniper rifle XM2010 being deployed as we speak. The other influence was the NZ Hunter magazine series of articles on a light weight ultra long range hunting rilfe, in 7mm RUM, which weighed under the 8lbs, 7.6 lbs actually.

    The author goes thorugh all the weight reducing steps and lays them out for all to see. I think a 26" match barrel will get 200 Gr Sierra Game Kings out at 3,000 fps. The usually conservative ADI powders loading data gets 2,960 fps out of a 24" barrel. This gives the 300WM a slight edge on the 7mm RUM at all ranges up to 1,000 yards.

    As are as mounts are concerned i was going to go for a Picatinny rail so that I coulld niterchange scopes (and rings) with a 700 LTR .308 Win if necessary. But the ring spacing will be different for a long action anyway and to save weight I'll go for the talley or better still the Conetrol two piece projectionsless mounts. Would appreciate any thoughts on this. I have a preference for the Leupold Mk 4 ER/T which is a bit heavier thant he scope use in the NZ Hunter article, hence me allowing 8.5 lbs.

    I might also investigate some sort of non- brake recoil reducing device. I understand there are a couple of devices on the market.

    Cheers,
    magnum
     
  9. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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  10. Kiwi Nate

    Kiwi Nate Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be helpful to back work the project. This will help give clearer perspective.

    Start with the game body weights you intend to hunt. If 90% of your game will be around or over 90kg / 200lb, then a .30 cal would be the go.

    If 90% of the game you intend to hunt will be under 90kg / 200lb, then a 7mm will get the job done with less recoil to the bedding platform, to the shooter, etc, etc.

    Next is intended ranges of the game.

    If you will be shooting out to 700 yards as a typical max range, you don't need a great deal of power. Retained velocities are the what you need to study, as a means of gaining an insight as to how much expansion or fragmentation you can expect. Its nice to have 1800fps at the target however projectiles like the Amax work well down to 1400fps.

    If you are going to be doing a lot of work at the 1000 yard mark or there abouts, its best to have a potent magnum for sure- bullet expansion and wind drift are my concerns out long, not bullet drop.

    Back working a project can make things a lot easier and in some instances, allows for the consideration of cartridges that might otherwise have been overlooked. As body weights get lighter, the 6.5's come into their own and they are very much high recoilers combined with high BC's. The 140 grain Amax is a spectacular killer of light bodied animals. When clients come to me, wishing to a commence a build or buy, this is how I usually go about helping them.
     
  11. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    If you use berger vlds the 180grn in 7mm, stw or rum will have way more retained velocity and therefor energy as well. That bullet has a .659bc compared to the .631bc of the 210grn 30 cal and can be pushed over 3100fps by the stw or rum as where the 210 from a 28" barreled 300wm is gonna be maxed out between 2950 and 3000, so look at some ballistics software and you determan, the 300wm has indeed won 2/3s of the 1k matches and are very accurate but that's paper punching not hunting. They have been using the 300wm for quite some time now in some military branches, but some have stepped up to a 338 lapua because of its 600 yard farther effective range!
     
  12. magnum

    magnum Well-Known Member

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    Blackwoods,

    Thanks they look intersting. I must look at them.

    The numbers I've crunched (using pointblank) were based on the Sierra BCs for 200 gr .300 WM (@ 3,000 fps) and 175 gr 7mm RUM (@ 3,200 fps). On these the .300 WM has a very slight edge in velocity and energy to 1,000 yards. These are all paper ballistics by the way.

    Cheers
    Magnum
     
  13. strombeckj

    strombeckj Well-Known Member

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    I am having a 6-06 built right now that should come in around 9–10 w/ optics. I am using a model 70 LA, Manner MCS-T3 with 90% carbon fiber option, Krieger Remy varmint contour @ 26” fluted w/brake. Brakes down like this. Barrel 4.0 lbs, Stock 2.2lbs, action/bed 2lb. I will use 1 piece alum. 3 oz Rings and probably go with the Leopold VX3 4.5-14X50 @ 16.5 oz. this is per my smith.
    IMHO, I would think you could build what you are wanting within your weight specs. :D
     
  14. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    If you are looking for 3000 FPS out of a 300Win with a 200grainer you will be pushing it hard and hoping accuracy comes in at a MAX load.

    To give yourself a little room to meet your goal I would go with a 300 Norma Mag OAL will be shorter than the 300Win and you can push a 200 grainer to 3100+ out of a 26" tube

    No need to play with the ruger cartridge necking it down when you have Norma brass and the 300 Norma Mag.