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Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by fish850, Mar 25, 2012.
K.... I'll play along, 50BMG???
Thanks Liltank, apparently I updated the thread after I made the initial post and I deleted what I had written....and I thought that I had 80 views and not one reply...thought I said something that pissed some folks off or something!!
Anyhow, I'll keep it short as possible as this is a sizeable can of worms and I am just getting started. I have been reading off this website for almost a year now here and there, when considering the purchase of a long range device for target as well as LRH. I was very interested in attending one of the 3 day long range classes after purchasing. However after being hit with some unexpected expenditures the whole LRH dream sort of went bye bye.
However, I recently received a Montana invite this year with some family locals to go for Elk for the first time. So LRH dream is on again because the whole LRH purpose as I see it is to modify your hunting style a bit when hunting open country, mostly to have some incredible options. I black tail/pig, etc. hunt on the West Coast and already own a -06 and 270Win....I am use to 300yd and under shots and I am very, very picky about when and what I shoot. I have wounded an animal before and I had to finish the job mono e mono, did not bother me but I felt bad for the animal.
So here goes....I am not a gun expert. I have shot guns and hunted since I could hold a weapon, and I own a civilized arsenal that I would feel is almost (almost) complete with a large caliber, longe range device. I see folks making all sorts of very interesting and cool sounding modifications to the large calibers to get the awesome results that LRH requires. I do not have this expertise however, maybe someday. For now I am looking for something that will do the job everytime as long as I put the time in to learn. I am looking for something that I can grow into and take as far as I am able.
Last year I shot a 338LM at 500 yards and affter consulting some ballistic charts it seems that the only things I will have to worry about with the 338LM is initial cost, carrying, and of course my LR experience. Seems like the caliber is pretty capable off the shelf.
So, I would love to hear the CONS of this caliber, and feel free to poke holes in my logic or statements. Also, I have really only looked at the Savage and Rem 700 models, and although they seem to be solid I would like to know at least what else is out there before I made a purchase. I also need a scope, however it seems some of the LR turret models I have seen may get bashed in the backcounty....what are some typical LRH scopes? Are their some that can handle a beating, and have turrets, oh yeah and light as possible?
Okay, so I was long winded...I appreciate any and all feedback and thanks again for catching my "ghost" post!
Well, the 338 Lapua will do all you need and more. It is a very capable caliber to 1K+ with 300grn bullets and farther. 1500yds would be about max in my opinion for elk. That would be the pros. The cons, they are expensive to feed, and they are generally a heavy rifle. It does have a lot of recoil unless you have a good muzzle break. You can make a lighter version, but you will have to buy some very specific things to do that. The actions for a 338 Lapua are heavier and longer than a normal action.
So with that said, here's a couple of ideas. My cousin currently owns a Lapua. It is build off of the Savage Target action. You will only be able to single feed the rounds. It will eject a fired case, but you will have to pull the bolt to eject a loaded round. IMO, this isn't much of a concern when long range hunting. You would be able to put this on a lighter stock. He currently is using a 32" Douglas heavy barrel, but you could probably go down to around a 26-28" with a varmint contour. I would suggest buying a Muscle Break, APS Painkiller, or a Fat Bastard. These all seem to be really good breaks for heavy calibers. You will need to make sure the stock you get if you should choose the target action has the 3 holes for the action screws. This is if you want to build your own.
So far the feedback on the Savage 111LRH Lapua, and 110FCP-k with the H-S stock are getting some really good reviews. As for other models, if you can come up with the cash you have the Sako TRG42, and Accuracy International AWS. These latter rifles are really pricey, but worth it if you can afford them.
For scopes, you should consider the Vortex Viper PST, Viper HS, Razor HD, SWFA 5-20 HD, Bushnell Elite 4200 Tactical, Leupy MK4, Night Force 5.5-22 or some variant there in, or the Sightron SIII series power of your choice. Heck, I'm going to throw in the Weaver Tactical 5-15, and 4-20. They look to be very solidly built.
Sooooo with all of that said, how about a 338 RUM? It is cheaper to load for, and really won't lose out to the Lapua that much. 300 RUM with a the Berger 210-230, 240SMK will also do it. I hope you are going to be reloading because that is the only way you will be able to get either of these calibers to work reliably for you to 1K. What's your budget? How ofter are you going to use this rifle? Is it a one time deal? Just some things to think about.
Tank hit it pretty well. Is this a one time Elk hunt? or? At what range & what game do you intend to practice & hunt "normally"?
The 338 is a beast, it is very capable of cleanly harvesting animals WAY out there. In honesty, you don't need a 338 mag (any variant) to cleanly harvest an elk at a lot of different ranges, even extended.
The big 338's will offer better BBL life than the big 30's, which is a plus. They offer more knock down power as well (on both ends ).
You have gotten some good feedback, so far.
The rifle you take will depend on if you need to carry it all day long, or if you are going to setup and glass from a vantage point.
If having to carry all day, I would set my rifle weight limit at about 10 1/2#.
If you only need to carry your rifle for a mile or 2, a 13-14# rifle is not a deal breaker.
First decide what type of hunting you will be doing, there narrow down your rifle choices.
The replies are good. My main hunting bud is a avid recurve and long bow shooter. He has never been into LR, but has taken 30+ elk, few years back, we had 2 bulls in a park at 550 yrds inID. He backed out on shot. Later I explained that that shoot was very do able. This year he shot a nice muley buck at 500+ WITH A 300 wsm. He is getting a Sako Finnlight, 300 win. Which will fit his needs. It is suppose to be accurate and he is looking at 1000 and elk. If rifle doesnt shoot, he is going to build off it,new barrel first. He has been shooting at distance a few years now and has the bug.
I love the wsm and I have one....................but specifically for 1000 Elk..........I want my 338..............wsm ,7mm they can all do it but the extra thump of the 300 grain bullets is very apparent at 1000. I would do the lapua if it was someone else's money but for my money the 338 edge on standard $335 savage long action and a good barrel, decent glass and a solid stock is more than enough for anything.............. Yes, I am cheap. But I am determined to convince the world this game can be played without a trust fund.
Wow, very much appreczite the feedback and enthusiasum. I do hope to make an annual "bigger" game trip out of state to hunt mulies or elk, and God willling someday moose, carribou, or any other great eating game. I am welcoming this opportunity to get some valued training from a former Montana elk guide and hope to grow from there.
I do pretty insane hikes out here on the West Coast when hunting. All day hikes typically, usually for a couple consecutive days throughout the season. I like to move fast, even on VERY steep terrain when required. I can see the value in going into the backcountry for extended periods with a pack and say horses, but have not yet at least while hunting. As far as what it will be like this year, I just dont know...how much hiking vs. setting up and glassing. It seems to me that getting to remote spots, then glassing ideal spots would be ideal in many areas. Again I can only imagine the abilities unlocked with a skill like the ones you all describe.
I'd like to practice as frequently as possible, however out here that may be once or twice a month and more around hunting season. Certainly initially I would have t o put more time in consistently. I would like at least the ability to shoot 1K in a decent group under great target situations...having confident kill shots at that range at least now seems like a pipedream but I would like to have the device that can take me there if I can.
Having a couple "larger" caibers already, amongst other smaller calibers, I am ultimately looking for my beast, with the understanding that I may not be buying another platform for years, maybe lots. The 338LM for me seems like part cop out, and part confidence. I like the idea of working with the one rifle over time to make it work for me and always be more than capable for what I ask. Also, if I were to build something else up to acheive similar capabilities, it seems like I have to have more experience? It seems my sacrifice with the 338LM will be its size and capabiltiies intially.
Another question, I have heard of removable muzzle brakes...what is that all about? On for target off for hunting? Why have it off hunting? Reloading....not into it yet but understand that it seems like a manadatory thing in this world. And like fishing, you'd better enjoy the prep time as much as the "action" time. I'll keep reading on the site and will ask questions as long as folks want to comment. Again, totally appreciate the your time, thanks for the ideas and feedback.
If it were me, I would Forget the on and off brake and instead get a good baffle style brake and a game ear devise to protect you wile hunting. They work good.
The problem with removable brakes is that they change your point of impact usually. That means that you need to check your zero if you pull it off or put it back on. Im not a fan of that.
Since your backpacking, I would look at the .338-.378 in a weatherby accumark as well. Pretty much ready to go for 1000 yards out of the box (after bedding).
The other route that I have gone is to buy a Rem XCR in .338 RUM and put in some real elbow grease getting it to shoot. Im comfortable to 1k with mine, but I need alot of time for set up... its a pretty light gun.
Alot of manufacturers are starting to make Lapua's now, which is great. The Lapua is a great cartridge and if you choose that route you wont be sorry. When I bought my .338 RUM they only had the Sako's offering the Lapua and that was out of my price range.
Whatever you do dont skimp on optics! Like liltank says nightforce, leupold or vortex. turrts are a must IMO, just make sure they have a zero-stop. I have a Mark 4's and a Vortex PST and I have only ever bumped the turrett on the M4 once, and only 1/4 MOA... and that was because it was in and out of my eberlestock scabbard.
OP, I can see you have given considerable thought to the subject which is great (it's not always the case). Savage is making some Lapuas right now that are shooting Very well with included acceptable trigger, muzzle break & workable stock. As far as a factory option goes, these will be among the most economical & at or close to the top of the list in accuracy potential.
As Angus stated DO NOT scrimp on optics, if it seems to good to be true, you can bet it is. The Leupy VX-III line has target turrest & threaded caps to protect them. The MK4's don't, but I never had any trouble with mine, I also have a MK4 M5-A which has an auto locking elevation turret but you are north of 2k with that particular optic. NightForce has exposed turrest but they are designed to be pretty darn resistent to unwanted adjustments. I can't tell you anything about Vortex, don't have any. My next will probably be a USO, but then again they can be anywhere from 2K-almost 4k
Your rifle is only as accurate as your Optics, we can't stress that enough. keep us posted on what you decide.gun)
Like it was suggested, just get a muzzle break and leave it on. Trust, you don't want to fire a Lapua w/o a break. I fired one w/o a break and the rifle even weighed 22 pounds. It was okay for a few shots, but you had to hold on to that sucker or it would mess you up. He put a break on it, and you can sit on the bench all day w/o as much as a red mark on your shoulder.
As far as a custom rifle is concerned, sounds like a good option for you. You have some specific requirements that would need to be filled due to your desire to hike. You need a light gun and you won't find that in a factory rifle. The 338-378 is a great suggestion, but the Lapua is just as good. Your looking at $90 a box of ammo and up for these calibers. Might as well make the best of it with a rifle tailored to you and your needs. Sounds like you have a pretty good gun collection and the ability to use them. Don't let the distance scare you. Just practice is required, that's all. You could build a very effective Lapua or Weatherby in a 9-10lb rifle that is controllable with a good muzzle break. Carry a set of ear muffs, plugs, or game ears to shoot. You will have time to use them when long range hunting.
Here's rifle that will fill your needs. You could probably find someone here that will reload for you for the cost of components and their time. If you should order this from Len (owner of this sight), he could probably find a load for the rifle he sells you, and give you the information to pass on to someone who can load it for you.
This caliber will work for you all the way out to around 1200 yards. I would specify that you want to use the Berger 300 grain bullet. It will be all the rifle you need for years.