New and confused (so many choices)

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by GCarlton53, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. GCarlton53

    GCarlton53 Active Member

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    I am looking to build an all around bad ass hunting rifle. capable of long range shooting as well as every day hunting. Hogs to elk. What i have come up with so far is 30-378 weatherby, 30 Cody express. Do you guys know off something else that could do what i want? I have a gunsmith down the road so i am good there. I really want to shoot a wildcat round.

    thanks
     
  2. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

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    I hunt long range with everything from a 6-284 win to a 338 lapua improved.
    It all depends how bad ass you want to be.
    The big 30's do very well. I'm not familiar with the 30 Cody, though.

    The big 7's have always interested me as well. I've shot them all from 7wsm to 7 RUM and have had great results.

    The probelm I have is that once I build one, I want a different one.

    If I build something big like the 338 that hits hard and get it working well, then I want something fast and flat with less recoil, like the 6-284. Then I want something fast that hits a little harder so I try the 7rum.
    I am the ultimate tinkerer.

    Now I'm building something more practical - a 7-300win AI.

    If you don't care about barrel life, weight , recoil, blast etc. Just build a rifle that will get the ballistics you want with the bullet you want and have fun with it! Then make sure it is very well put together for ultimate accuracy.
    I really like the 338 for elk though, and that's why I built it.
    Sometimes you will built a hotrod powerhouse and it will only shoot accurately at more mundane velocities.
    I always hate to see guys with 300RUM's only shooting at 300wsm velocities because that is the only accurate load they found. It is smart of them but what a waste of powder and barrel life and recoil and rifle weight.
    After all, you are not getting married to it and can divorce it without getting taken to the cleaners.
    What I have found is that all of these cartridges will work great-it all depends what gets you
    psyched!
     

  3. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with RockZ, build whatever trips your trigger. However, if you are planning on carrying the rifle any distance or up any mountains just remember: Ounces = Pounds, Pounds = Pain.
     
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I agree with both so far. The 338-378 wby is a better choice than the 30-378 wby because of much longer barrel life. I haven't built a 30-378 in ten years because the barrels shoot out quick. That is why I quit doing big 30's and went with the big 338's. Plus the big 338's just deliver much more noticable crushing to the ground effect than the smaller calibers. I have all kinds and shoot all of them regularly. With all the new specialty long range custom bullets coming out in 375 caliber the 378 wby now may be the best of the lot for extreme long range. Check out the A-Square 338 Excalibur for a big 338 without a belt that has more case capacity than the 338-378 wby or imp Kahn. Brass is now easily available. That is about as bad as you can get over the counter and I don't know of a wildcat that can beat it in a hunting weight rifle.

    The 338 Norma is doing well at long range with a 24-26 inch barrel. This would make you a lighter weight hunting rifle. Lots of choices, all are accurate.
     
  5. Ski

    Ski Active Member

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    So if one doesn't have the funds to have a custom rifle built, what in your opinions would be the best factory rifle in the 338?
     
  6. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    338 RUM. I have one in a 700 remington stainless and it shoots plenty accurate enough to take elk at 1000 yards. I took my elk last year at well over 700 yards with it. At Cabelas you can get a virtually like new 338-378 wby accumark for 1200-1300 dollars and it is the best you can do for the price. Most are extremely accurate and easily able to take animals at long range. Over the counter it is probably the fastest you can get and as accurate as any. I have quite a few wby mk 5's that are incredibly accurate.
     
  7. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    You really need to tell us how much you can spend. There are "factory" rifles costing more than most custom-builds & Customs that are reasonably priced.

    A .338 can mean a lot of things, from .338 Win (that was designed to be the optimum Alaska chambering) to the Lapua. Rifles in .338 Win are reasonably priced & available used. Sendero rifles in .338 Rum are available if you look around & they are a good factory rifle once you replace the trigger. Rifles in .338 Lapua are long range shooters but they are also heavy, expensive, and ammunition is VERY expensive.

    If you are talking about a .338 for a carry rifle, I recommend the .338 Win mag. Virtually every gun company has chambered a rifle in .338 Win.
     
  8. Ski

    Ski Active Member

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    I want to stay below $2k and really am not concerned about the weight of the rifle. Where I hunt elk, I'm able to ride my utv pretty much to where I sit and glass. Hence the quest for a good shooting 338. It's kind of difficult to explain the area, but from 11,500 ft, well above the tree line, I can glass elk moving below and set up above them as they move into various clearings.

    I have a mountain rifle in the light class that I switch to when I move to the trees, but it is chambered in 260 rem, which I do not want to shoot at longer ranges. It's a great shooter, but not enough energy for my taste past 350-400 yards on elk.

    I'm looking for best performance in the field from those experienced with 338s. In my limited exposure to customs, they seem to start at $3k and go up. If the 338 win mag does the trick out to 1000 yards, then obviously, it is the most economical. Reloading makes it easier to go all the way to the Lapua, if that is what it takes.

    I was hoping to keep from going through several trades before arriving at the best end result. I don't know if I've given you enough information to help me with my scenario, but I hope so.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ski

    338 Norma - saw an older thread with impressive numbers. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  9. GCarlton53

    GCarlton53 Active Member

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    what kind of barrel life are you talking about when you say short? i am looking to spend as little as possible with out sacraficning quality. If it makes it better i will spend it. i would like to keep it under 4000 bucks. without a scope. i dont think it will be too difficult. I have a 338 BAR and love it but 3/4 to 1 inch groups at 100 is about all i can get. I want it fast, flat, and to arrive like a freight train, up to 800 or 1000 yds. I am just sick of spending money on factory loads, if i am gonna spend alot, i want it to be on handmade ammo. It might sound dumb.
     
  10. gunman123

    gunman123 Well-Known Member

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    SKI,

    I think your best bet for your budget is to look for a used custom 338 Edge or 338L.The Snipershide forums have them come up for sale often.Sometimes people take other things as partial trade.

    Remington has a 338L tactical rifle that can be had for around $1200 or so new.

    Steve
     
  11. 338 bruce

    338 bruce Well-Known Member

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    I bought a remington sendaro in 338 rum and would do so again. It will get you out to 1200 yards. For every extra 100 fps above the rum you will get about an extra 100 yards of range.
     
  12. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I have got less than 500 rounds super accurate barrel life out of the 30-378 wby. Sometimes a bit more but they are rough on barrels. By the time you get a good load worked up and all your long range testing your barrel is on the downhill. I have 338-378's with well over 1000 rounds that still shoot great with the barrels in excellent shape. That is why I quit working with the big 30's. I still have some that work very well and just took a mulie at 1033 yards and an antelope at 904 yards with my 300 ultramag. The big 30's are fun to shoot but just do not last as long.

    The big 338's have much better barrel life and much more stopping power at extreme long range than smaller calibers.

    You need to decide what weight rifle and what range you plan on shooting most. Around 800 yards seems to be about the breakover point for easy hits with extremely fast cartridges. You can do 800 yards fairly inexpensively and with over the counter rifles, cheaper scopes and a rangefinder. Beyond 800 yards the difficulty is exponential and not on a gradual curve. This means spending quite a lot of money on a custom or semi-custom rig and much more money on support equipment. The rig will be heavy. The best are the cartridges based off the Cheyenne Tactical case and the 50 BMG Improved case. Check with Kirby Allen on here because I think he has a chey-tac based wildcat down to 16-17 pounds or lighter now. That would be your biggest baddest SOB out there in a rifle anywhere near light enough to hunt with. These can be pushed between 3300-3400 fps with a 300 matchking.

    The next is going to be the Excalibur, improved 338-378 wby, 338-416 imp., etc. which can be done in a 10-12 pound rifle. They can push the 300 matchking to 3100+ fps. Next step down at the bottom of the big 338's are the 338 RUM, 338 Lapua and 338-300 RUM which also is called edge and several other names. These three all will average around 2800 fps with the 300 matchking. The improved lapua can get you 100+ fps over these three. All velocities are considering 30" barrels. If you want to save some money the ultramag based ones are cheaper to build with a donor action and cheaper to reload, thus their popularity. Any of these cartridges will kill animals further than anyone can hit one with 100% repeatability. Just depends on how much money you want to spend or how many clicks you want to turn. Loosely speaking 100 fps equals about 100 yards more downrange you can go with the same reliability.

    With good new high BC custom bullets being developed in 375 caliber these are worth considering. The standard 378 wby is now one of the best long range rifles out there pushing BC's over .9 at near 3000 fps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010