Please help with caliber selection

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by cookjp, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. cookjp

    cookjp Well-Known Member

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    I am starting a build on a Long Action Savage and have done so much research that I have confused myself. The rifle is a 338 win mag and was looking to swap to a more deer sized caliber since that will be the primary fare. The original plan was to rechamber to a 300 win mag but after much concideration that seemed a pointless swap from the 338 win mag. What I am looking for is some suggestions on a caliber that would be good out to 8ooyds
    that is easy and cheap to reload for and long barrel life I want something that I can shoot alot and often to hone my skills which are basic.Thanks for any help that you can give on this
     
  2. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    a 300 win mag is good out to or past 1000 yards. The 300 is a good caliber. I shoot a 300. wsm
     

  3. cookjp

    cookjp Well-Known Member

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    I too am a huge fan of the 300 win mag but it is not cheap to shoot and since the rifle is already a 338 win mag I didnt see the point in dropping the money on another barrel chambered in something very similar in price of ammo and ballistics. Although 300 win mag is my all time favorite caliber.
     
  4. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    300 win mag or WSM. maybe a 6.5x284 or 7mm RM
     
  5. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    6.5x.284
     
  6. cookjp

    cookjp Well-Known Member

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    I dont doubt that it is a good round but the 6.5x284 brass cost nearly as much as the 300 win mag complete ammo. I was wanting something around sub
    dollar per round reloaded
     
  7. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    280 ai
     
  8. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    With a LA Savage, pretty much any round you wanna make is doable. If you go from the .532 to the .473 boltface this opens a whole slew of effective deer calibers. It comes down to what do you want out of this round, how much time, effort and money you want to put in to it.
    Since your shooting skills are "basic" and a round that is easy to shoot and great to learn off of is the .308Win. Great round and plenty of data and components for reloading. Plenty of factory fodder and with basic skills the only 308 family round I would remotely suggest out to 800yds and even it's "iffy". Yes the .243, .260 and 7mm08 will kill deer that far but it takes precise shot placement for effective, humane kills. All of these rounds are "running outta gas" at this distance.
    Any of the .30-06 family of cartridges would also be good choices based on the above criteria. Again, I feel the .25-06 would be marginal, and only the 115gn bullets should be used. I've never slung a 115gn Berger that far so I can't steer you either way. At closer distances, 100/200yds, that are the Hammer of Thor! Very impressive on whitetails.
    There are wildcats and AI versions of almost everyone of these two family of cartridges. Powder cosumption (i.e. barrel life) is 50gns or less and pretty ecomical. Recoil tolerable for most folks and accuracy is great, most of the time.
    With the bolt head that you have you can easily stay with the WSM's or original 1960's "short magnums". Any of these would and could easily take deer out to 800yds and in some cases, beyond. A little more powder and a little heavier bullets come in to play here and thus your recoil and powder consumption goes up.
    The 6.5WSM (wildcat) is a great round, so I've heard. Brass would be available, but I'm not sure about barrel life. The other three or four WSM's (.270, 7mm, .300 & 325) would make good deer rounds also. I have owned the .270WSM and it is a superb round. The other three I can't speak for on taking game. Others on here swear by them.
    The family of belted magnums are an effective group of cartridges. These require a little more powder, recoil can be stiff, but the accuracy is there. They carry the payload the distance but you pay.
    From there on up you have the RUM's, proprietary lines (i.e., Weatherby, Lazzeroni, Dakota and Allen Magnums, etc.), the para-military (.338Lapua, 408CheyTac and 50BMG). There are not efficient to shoot but are effective when they hit, if you can bear the recoil. LOL. With muzzle breaks and ear protection these are manageable.
    You have numerous choices. It really comes down to personal taste. Good Luck. JohnnyK.
     
  9. RMulhern

    RMulhern Well-Known Member

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    Go with the 6.5x47Lapua! This is with 38 grs. Varget, Lapua brass and a BR4 primer! No neck turning or other BS! Just load and shoot! The 3 rounds toward the left side are when the wind picked up a little but I just kept holding center to see what the drift would be in the slight wind from 3 o/clock! There are 15 rounds that would have made Xs on this full-size Palma target. This shot from 1000 yds.

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