LR hunting Rifle standards and practices

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by kallen, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. kallen

    kallen Member

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    This is my first post. I have been trying to learn and gather information reading the forum...lot's of information and lot's of learning to do.

    I have been in the process of getting my first custom rifle together. What prompted me doing this was wanting to learn and get a rifle that I would feel confident to shoot 500 yards, working up too 600 yards possibly in the future.

    Some things that have me stumped is that I want a rifle that I can carry up and over hills while travelling a few miles of steep country, so I want to keep weight down. I want to have a rifle outfitted with the approiate scope for accurately dispatching Coyote's to Elk.

    Getting to my post topic I think I am making a compromise with a light rifle to carry vs. a heavier one to shoot. It maybe individual preference, but is there a happy medium that most all would agree works well? Some recipes so to speak.

    A major component to my new toy is optics. I have never looked through anything other than a fixed or variable power plex reticle scope. With my reading I am getting information on ballistic reticles, mil-dots, and ballistic correcting turrets such as a Leupold M3. I am confused, I will admit, I don't know what direction to go because not many of my shots are over 250 yards, but sometime there are opportunities in the 400-450 range. What is practical? I am not seeing many light carry rifles with "big optics", most are 3.5-10 or 4.5-14x40 Leupolds. When the rifle's bump up in weight with thicker barrels, and the accompanying stocks then I start seeing Turrets, Adjustable Objective, Bipods, and higher magnification.

    What this leads me too is what I call the "crossover", from Ultralight, light to the more tactical type rifles. Can there be an in between or does it just go against the objectives of the other type of shooting/hunting?

    What's your feeling in keeping a rifle light, and being reliable to 500-600 yards?
     
  2. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    a remington stainless fluted sendero. 25-05; or if you want bigger a .264 or 7mm rem with a vais brake. a leup 6.5-20 or 8-25 ( mil dots help but only come in the more expensive mark 4 right now i believe). burris zee ring with a 10moa insert. adjust the trigger and you are ready. caliber depends on what you are going to shoot more of elk or coyotes.
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    What helped me crossover from "light" rifles to heavy ones was the results I saw from the heavier ones. Once I saw this I didnt even feel the extra weight in the "hills". All of my rifles are 12-13#, including my sheep rifle. I have killed one sheep with a 8# rig and 5 with a 12+# rig. The heaviest was 16# and that really did wear me out. I will never do that again.

    As far as calibers, there is a big difference betwen coyotes and elk. Get one suited for elk and at worst it will be overkill for coyotes. My recomendation to have good punch to 500-600 yards and keep the weight down a bit is the 300 WSM. This is much less finicky than calibers like the 300 RUM ect.....You can use a 180 for elk and a 155 for yotes. The 155 Lapua SCENAR bullet doesnt expand much and wouldnt tear up your yotes and would be very fast and flat for such a small kill zone. Also, as a beginner in the long range field, a 300 WSM wouldnt frustrate you nearly as much as a bigger rifle (that is if you are handloading.) The 308 is even better to learn on and get your confidence. The draw back here is having enough punch to cleanly harvest and elk at 600+.

    As far as lighter scopes that will serve you well at 600-, some of the mid range lupies will do well. Get either a reticle you can hold over such as a TMR or Mil-Dot (for 308 type calibers I recomend the Mil-Dot, and for magnums I recomend the TMR) or adjustable turrets or both.

    I prefer standard mil-dots for sub magnums because the trajectories match the dots well. For magnums I like the TMR because it is still the same system as the Mil-Dot, but has marks 1/2 way between holdovers. Since mags shoot flatter, you need these tighter holdovers. There isnt anything wrong with using the TMR on a 308 either, there is just more lines to miss-count.
     
  4. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    kallen:
    You can definitely build a rifle in the 9lbs range that will be accurate to 1k. I've done it....http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f53/my-280-a-32771/

    The only thing you would need to change would be the caliber (.280 isn't quite enough for elk at long range) and you would probably want a different scope (as I will probably soon upgrade).
     
  5. kallen

    kallen Member

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    That's what I'm talking about. Great to see what a light rifle can do. I have no idea of what to expect because I don't see many people posting or boasting about the accuracy of there lighter rifles. That's great...and with a regular 3-9!!!

    My caliber selection is going to be a 270WSM, I don't plan on shooting beyond 500 yards at Elk and that's only if I get a good shot. I do own a 300WSM, but it is a Browning Abolt with a GS 3-10x40. I want to outfit the custom 270WSM to more of a longranger. It would be my dedicated longrange Antelope and Blacktail gun, but since it is setup for longer shots I would use it practicing on Coyotes, and it would go on the Elk hunts because it would be the most accurate of my guns. I hope this makes sense? If my 300WSM was setup to be 9-10lb long range gun...it would be awesome. I love the caliber, but the gun should be sold along the way to finance a heavier long range rifle.
     
  6. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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  7. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    I know that yu might have your heart set on a .270, but I would consider a 7mm (just because of the low bc bullet availability vs. what's available in .270) or Shawn's .280.

    Kirby is making a 7mm AM for me that will be right around your weight limit. Now, I'm not suggesting the 7mm AM because it's designed for distances a bit further than what your looking at.:cool:
     
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Well-Known Member

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    A rifle similar to Shawn's is pretty much what you are looking for. There are many cartridges that would work well, that really just comes down to personal preference. I would trust anything above a 7mm-08 out to a range of 600 yards you mentioned. You really don't need a scope over 10 or 12 power, but it can be nice, and I would suggest a mil scaled reticle and target turrets, not the fudged in ballistic reticles. I do like big heavy barrels, but for lightweight hunting a #4 or 5 will work well.
     
  9. kallen

    kallen Member

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    I know what your saying on the 7mm...great BC, I would go with a 7mmWSM because I love short actions if that were the case. Thanks for the suggestion. My selection on the 270 is because for my true hunting situations I would be using a 130 grain or 150 grain bullet, mostly the 150 Hornady. The reasoning is to keep the recoil down for the weight of rifle. I could shoot a 140gr 7mm but I don't see the point over a 150 gr .270. I limit my 300WSM to 168gr triple shock because of recoil, and I don't think much of muzzle breaks. I'm trying to stay in the same recoil league, and I believe a 175 grain 7mm is going to go over the edge. The 270 is available 100 gr to 16o grain bullets, and that's good for my intentions.

    Now if I were building a heavier rifle I would be all for the next bump. I know the .270 is on the edge, but I love the short action, and I am trying to keep the recoil managable. I have been thinking about the 7mm WSM, but I am worried about if it is discontinued and then having to work brass all the time to 7mm.

    Thanks for the input
     
  10. kallen

    kallen Member

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    Kevin--
    In scopes do you have some suggestions on reticles that will work in timber, shadows, and lower light situations? I've never had anything besides a duplex, and I am looking at mil-dot, TMR, or just sticking with a regular duplex setup on a Leupold 3.5-10x40 LR/T with M3 turrets. I like the idea of having a 2.5-3.5 on the lower power so my scope options are limited. I was thinking of holding out on the 2009 Bushnell 6500 with Target knobs, or the Leupold LR/T. I am wanting to have a scope that has low profile knobs not to interfere with a scabbard, it almost seems the LR/T is a no brainer for me.
     
  11. Kevin

    Kevin Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you will feel like you are at a disadvantage with either the Mil-dot or TMR in the timber, especially if you get one with illumination. One scope that you may want to look at is the Night Force 2.5-10x32 with mil-dot or NP-R1. Otherwise I would get the Leupold you mentioned but with the TMR reticle.

    The 270 WSM will work fine for you, but if it were me I would go with a .284 win or 7mmWSM. The bigger diameter bullets will give you better efficiency out of a shorter barrel. Plus a 7mm barrel of the same mass will be stiffer than the 270. But of course, we are talking about a very small amount.
     
  12. kallen

    kallen Member

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    It doesn't appear that the NP-R1 is available in the compact, just NP-1, NP-R2, FC-2, Mil-Dot
     
  13. Kevin

    Kevin Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I guess I meant NP-R2.
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Kevin

    I have a 7mm WSM with a 4.5 x 14 x 50 VX3 leupold that has a # 6 Lilja contour
    barrel that I use for a carry rifle in colorado for Elk, It weighs 10.5 lbs and has no
    muzzel break.

    I load a 160 gr accubond @ just over 3000ft/sec and that gives me right at 1500
    ft/lbs of energy at 600 yrds.enough to dispatch an Elk at that distance.

    For the longer shots I rely on the 338 RUM in a 13 lb rifle good to 1100 yrds with
    suggested 1500 ft/lbs of energy.

    The point is for the range you want to shoot the 7mmWSM would be a good choice
    with minimum recoil and a great bullet selection .

    And if you want to go Yote hunting then you can load the 120gr to 3400+ and waste
    any varment.

    The short action makes the rifle a little more manageable with a 26" barrel.

    And as far as brass , with the 300 WSM and the 270 WSM avilable If it did become
    hard to get those can be sized for the 7WSM.


    Just a thought
    J E CUSTOM