Newb Question, Right Direction?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Fitz, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    Hey All!

    First off, I have been looking for a website like this forever. It is the first one where I have found that newbies are not flamed for their questions.

    I've been doing a lot of searching on a good hunting rifle that is good to reach out and 'touch' and elk/moose at about 800 yards. From what I have been able to read, 300 is the most recommended. But I read an thread that talked about 338-300. Is this another way of just saying .338?

    I've been bouncing back and forth between a 300 WM, 338 WM and 338 RUM for my Alaska rifle. I'm not going to be putting 1000s of rounds a year and shot groups of 1 inch is not too important to me, right now at least. But I would like to be able to take down a moose from 800-1000 yards away.

    I've been leaning toward the lighter weight rifles. This is just because I will be in the Alaskan back country. What is the opinion on the Savage Weather Warrior 116FHSAK or Rem 700 XCR? I'm a Leupy junky. I was planning on getting the Mark 4 8.5-25x500mm LR/T w/illum mil dot reticles.

    Later down the road I would like to get a nice LR heavy rifle, maybe Savage model 12 varmint low-profile in a 300 WSM.

    Am I on the right track? Any suggestions and/or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, anyone in the MD area that would like to become a 'mentor'?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Fitz. Welcome, glad to have you here. Headsup you may want to edit your second sentence which reads as follows: It is the first one where I have found that newbies are flamed for their questions.

    The 338-300 is a 300 RUM case necked up to 338 which gives a little more case capacity as the 300 RUM case is actually a little longer than the 338 RUM. It's commonly reffered to as the EDGE on LRH.

    I'm sure others will offer opinions on caliber for moose at 800-1000 yards but IMHO a 300WM wouldn't be my choice...I'd prefer something with a little more HP and in a heavier rig.

    Again, welcome aboard.:)
     

  3. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    For starters, welcome to LRH. This is a sport where you should be dedicated to your gun and make it the best shooter possible. With that said, you mentioned wanting to shoot to 800 to 1000 yards on moose and elk.

    You said a 1 inch group or less is not that important. For these distances group size is very important. 2 inches at 100yrds is 20 inches at 1000. Because you are shooting 2" at 100yrds means there is something wrong with the rifle, the load, or shooting technique. This will result in groups that may vary from 20" to 48" at 100yrds. You will find that most on this sight including myself try to keep our group sizes at 1" or less for long range hunting. Your ability to maintain consistency in your shooting is vital to making that one shot hit at 1000 yards.

    Most here strive for a 1/2 inch group to better your chances at hitting the vitals. Another factor is practicing at the ranges you would like to hunt. You need to shoot and shoot some more to make sure that you are very capable of repeating your accuracy.

    Of the three you listed the 338 RUM would be my choice. It will out perform the other two, to 1000yrds. Now if you are wanting to keep it with in 800yrds then any of the three would work. Another caliber to consider would be the 300 RUM. Using a 208 A-Max or 210 SMK, Berger, or JLK at 3200fps will get you to 1000 and beyond. If you were to hand load the 300 WM you would be able to take an elk at about 4000 plus elevation with a 200grn bullet and heavier at 1000yrds.

    As far as your choice in the Savage? I support it 100%. I own 2 Savages and I plan on purchasing more in the future. I currently own a 300WSM in the Low Profile Mod 12. It is a solid rifle and a very good shooter. This rifle is very capable of taking deer size game out to 1000yrds with my current loads. However for elk and moose I would limit myself to around 800yrds. This rifle is very capable of taking any game in North America.

    You are on the right track, but make sure your groupings are at 1" or less for those long shots. The Leupy sounds like a winner.

    Tank
     
  4. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    Sweet, thanks for the advice!

    Is it likely to get 1 MOA off say a Rem 700 338 WM? I know it has a lot smaller barrel diameter and I'm not too sure how that effects the shot placement at long range.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Fritz and welcome to LRH,

    I assume what you meant to say is..."not flamed..." and that's why you're here :)

    I agree with everything that's already been said. To sum it up, you wnat to get the most out of your rilfe you can in both accuracy and velocity but accuracy is most important. IMO, If you want to shoot to 1000 yds you should strive for .5 MOA or better out to 300-400 yds, i.e. 2" groups @ 400 yds. Once you start getting past 600 yds a lot of things start to affect your POI in a big way.

    On cartridges, IMO, the 300 WM, 300 WSM, 338 WM are all 800-900 yds hunting cartridges with most buulets and loads. A 1000 yds would be stretching the limits of bullets performance, especially on a lrge bodied animal like a moose. So for no kidding 1K shooting and beyond I think you should be looking at larger cartridges in the RUMs, etc. A 300 WSM is a great cartridge and will give you lots of shooting before burning up a barrel. It would probably be a very good starter cartridge because you will probably do a lot of shooting in load development and learning LR. But you will be on the edge of bullet performance for 800 yd moose. Under the right conditions I would use it to 800-900 yds on elk which are usually found at higher elevations and higher elevation will extend a bullets range.

    The choice of rifles is yours. Some are better out of the box than others. I dont have any experience with the Savages but have read a lot of good things about them. I like Senderos and I have two of them, and any builds I might do would probably duplicate them. Vanguard Sub MOA rifles are also another good choice for an out of the box shooter. Light rifles can shoot well but are more susceptible to whip and and temp conditions. Heavier barrels will on average shoot more consistantly. A custum buillt rifle would b e the way to go for a lighter weight rifle. I'm sure there are probably a few factory rifles that can shoot out to 1K with a light barrel, but IMO, it would be a roll of the dice to get one.

    One rule to remember in LR is.... BC and velocity are your friend, and in that order.

    Cheers and good shooting,

    Mark
     
  6. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    The quality of your rifle is more important than the cal or cartridge for accuracy, althought there are a few cartridges that seem to shoot better than others. An out of the box Rem is likely to get you about .75-1.5 MOA. The Senderos will do much better. A 338 WM will give you a long barrel life too, as long as you dont shoot it hot, meaning dont make your loads hot and let your barrel cool between shots. The 338 WM will last a long time.
     
  7. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at the Sendero SF II, but they didn't make it in the 338WM. I was also looking at Vanguard Sub-MOA 338. Have you had a chance to shoot one of them?

    Is a hot load one that uses the max powder?
     
  8. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    If you go to gunbroker, you can sometimes find a Sendero chambered in 338 WM or 338 RUM. sometimes NIB and sometimes used. If you buy a used rifle, you're taking a chance. Both of my Seneders were used. The 25-06 turned out to be severly firecracked, but it still shoots well, however, I expect it will need a new barrel before long. The guy I bough it off of never shot it and got it off someone else. I did get a good deal on it so I really didn't loose anything. The 300 RUM I got face to face from the original owner and it only had 20 rounds through it. It shoots very well but fouls a good bit and I suspect it may be a little pitted. It was taken out hunting a few times and about 3-4 years old. So bottom line, I wouldn't buy a used rifle for top dollar and I wont buy anything off gunbroker from a dealer unless I can get it dirt cheap, expecting a rebarrel.

    I have never shot a Vanguard Sub MOA, but have not read one negative post about them. They come with a factory shot target and that's good enough for me, although it's only good for a particular load. If I was getting a 338 WM, I would get in a 26" barrel, but that might be hard to find from the factory other than a Sendero.
     
  9. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    What do you think about this one:

    Custom 338 Lapua Winchester 70 Stainless, 1/4 MOA! : Bolt Action at GunBroker.com
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    That looks like a fine rifle if it shoots that well. Sounds like it has had some good work done to it, but hte bottom line is how well it shoots. The 338 Lapua is a fine cartridge and will easily put down a moose @ 1K. Hopefully the seller is giving you accurate info. It looks like his feedback is excellent. You might have a real winner there.

    Just dont forget to put your ear plugs in before you shoot it - if you do forget, you wont forget twice :)
     
  11. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    I think most on here would agree that the barrel is a little short but still ok. Winchester actions don't seem to be a platform that too many people build upon. That muzzle brake is going to throw debris and snow all over the place if you are shooting prone because it has ports all around it, it will also be loud. Then you've got to take into consideration the cost of either 1. buying factory .338LM ammo 2. Making it. It is more expensive than some other "similar" calibers either way and it's not like you can go to any old gun shop and pick up a dusty box of .338LM. I'm giving you the negatives here.

    On the plus side it's a great cartridge that can knock the crap out of something from a long ways off. You can shoot a massive projectile with a ton of energy. It also appears to be very accurate assuming the seller isn't blowing smoke. You've got to weigh your options.

    If that rifle is as accurate as claimed it will only be your skills between you and an animal at 1000 yards. You're going to have to put in some trigger time to be able to shoot that kind of distance.
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Agree with everyhting except barrel life. Barrel life is a tough thing to predict, but I think reasonable estimates can be made based on historical performances, and the 338's seem to have a good rep for barrel life. I haven't seen any evidence the Lapua, EDGE or RUM are barrel burners. All the threads I've read on them suggest it's hard to burn them out.

    Good point on the muzzle brake style. That could probably be swapped out if proves to be very troublesome.
     
  13. shimoda

    shimoda Well-Known Member

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    Hi Fitz.
    Where in Md are are you? I moved to Maryland from Idaho [stupid, I know] several years ago and although I am far from expert at the long range game I would be willing to help you out.

    Since joining this sight a couple years ago I have managed to take a few critters past 600 yds and I regularly shoot targets beyond that.

    I built a carry weight 7mm STW for my first custom and would be very comfortable shooting an elk to 800 yds in calm conditions. My cartridge and load are capable further especially at high elevations but my practice has been at 800 and less.

    My goal when I started was to have the ability to shoot to 600-700 if that was the only shot that presented itself. I love the stalk and am just as happy killing my bull at 6 yards as 600. I have reached my goal but unfortunately [for my wallet] I have contracted the long range disease and my original goal now seems uninspiring.

    I spend most of my trigger time behind a 260 Remington, a .223, and rimfires and I believe that precision practice with any cartridge at any distance is invaluable.

    When I build a dedicated long range hunting rifle it will be a .338 on a large capacity case [RUM minimum] for all the reasons you have already heard from others.
     
  14. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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