Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by jeffbird, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    Good afternoon all.

    Instead of picking a gun and then asking what you think, I would appreciate the benefit of your expertise, advice and experience in advance of the pick.

    First, my question and then my background to consider in answering.

    Question

    - What would you recommend for deer and feral pig hunting?

    Background

    This question is for next years' gun, so there is time to build and for some serious practice. After this season, I am going to retire my primary hunting rifle, a 1955 .270 Win M70 supergrade for a variety of reasons. I've used it for 30 years after it was given to my by a relative who bought it new, but on its 50th anniversary, it is time to go on the wall of honor and now it is time for a serious update.

    I hunt primarily for control reasons on friends' ranches and wildlife sanctuaries, so I am shooting does almost exclusively with an occasional sub-optimal buck and just watching the better racks walk by (which is actually very enjoyable, but very rare in comparison). I anticipate this will continue to be my hunting pattern for a long time as the areas where I hunt have seriously out of whack doe to buck ratios. Also, feral pigs numbers are increasing rapidly in the central Texas Hill Country and along the coastal areas. Here in the Hill Country, there is not that much soil to start with and one pig can set off a serious erosion problem, so this is the reason I am focusing ever more on shooting feral pigs and am becoming more interested in longer range shooting to increase the number of available shots. I hunt by walking, stalking, sitting and waiting. I do no shooting from elevated stands as is otherwise common here. Up to now, I have self-imposed a limit of about 225 yards which I have seen as the functional limit of this gun with factory ammo to assure first shot kills, but know that with better equipment and practice I can extend this substantially and wish to do so.

    I never shoot offhand, but on the other hand this hunting will be walking in the field without a table or benchrest. I like the looks of the bipods I am seeing, are there any which are practical for sitting or kneeling positions or is it always prone shooting? I am comfortable backpacking good loads long ways and would be fine carrying a rifle that is in the 15 - 25# range, but would not want to go much above that.

    I consider myself an ok rifle shot, but certainly nothing special and nowhere near the level I see on this board, so I see lots of practice time in the future. I used to shoot skeet competitively 20+ years ago and in my best years brought home a few medals in class from national level tournaments and was very competitive on the local level. I reloaded extensively for shotgun, averaging 2,500 rounds a month, between my dad and myself. I did some rifle and pistol reloading in very small amounts just for the easy improvements in accuracy for my .270, but it was very, very small amounts. In fairness, comparing reloading shotgun rounds with rifle rounds is the difference between using a chainsaw and a scapel, so I would appreciate advice and references on that front as well. As my career took over and spare time became scarce, my shooting sports time fell away and I sold off all of the reloading equipment and stopped shooting altogether other than just the deer hunting as mentioned. Just recently I started shooting again for the sake of it and am enjoying it and so ready to get more serious again. While the rifle recommendation is primarily for hunting, I am interested in practicing on the longer ranges up to 1,000 yards/meters and would like to consider some local level competition if I can get back up to that level if it is feasible with the same gun (or hunting with a lighter competition gun if you want to look at from that angle).


    Biases

    I would like it to be a commercially available round, so even though I am willing to handload, if I am without handloads I still can find ammo at a decent quality gun store without them giving me a blank stare. Another bias is in favor of safety against bad pressure events and accidental discharges. On my skeet guns stock fitting is everything, so I can say I definitely prefer straighter i.e. less drop with higher combs which aids aiming and reduces recoil for me. The A-5 has caught my eye with its adjustable features, but I am really open minded on the issue. My one big bias is not to shoot more gun than is necessary. I will shoot what it takes, but have no desire just to have a big gun for the sake of it. I learned long ago that practice usually is far more valuable than firepower all other things being equal and recoil never helped me shoot any better so I want to do what is reasonable to keep down. Given my targets of deer and pigs, I am assuming the power issue should focus on the pigs, which routinely exceed 200# and occasionally go 250 or 300#. I've heard of a few near 400 but have not actually ever seen one on a scale so am still a bit unconvinced, but who knows.

    Budget

    Finally, from having been down this route on the shotgun end and going through three guns before paying what it took to get it right which was a far more expensive round-about way to get to the same endpoint, I am willing to pay to get it right on the first try which appears to be in the mid 1,000's with the optics from what I am seeing here.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    Jeff
     
  2. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    My Dad just faced the same thing this year, and since I was a young boy, all he talked about was some men in Mason, TX shooting a 270 Weatherby Mag. They were routinely taking cull bucks and javelinas out to 600 yards. My Dad has since always wanted one. For his retirement, my older brother and I found him a 270 Weatherby Mark V at a Cabela's used gun rack. The rifle was not even broke-in yet. We picked it up for $600, and he topped it with a 4.5-14x-50mm VXIII. Shooting 72 gr RL 22 and 130 gr Barnes X at 3350 fps, the first two shots go into the same hole, and the third 1/4" higher. With 73.5 gr RL 22 and 130 gr TSX at 3416 fps, it shoots the same group. That equates to 7.6 MOA drop at 600 yards with 3.6 MOA of drift @10MPH. The rifle is sighted in at 220 yards. My Dad's eyes aren't what they used to be, but he can still put 3 rounds into 1" at 200m bench. That was without his glasses, and the groups were 5 inches right because of that.

    He is using the rifle for the same reason as you stated, deer and pigs. He has developed a great dislike for the rooters at our stands. You will never be undergunned, and the recoil is comparable to a 25-06 or 243. It is definately less than my 30-06. When shooting off a bipod, it doesn't even bounce with the recoil.

    jm2c

    Stephen
     

  3. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. That is not a round I had considered, don't really know why not. That is the benefit of others' input. Will put it on the list. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. 1doug

    1doug Well-Known Member

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    Search for [Ric Horst 7mm wsm] it will do what you are looking for then some with factory ammo.
     
  5. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Jeffbird,

    Welcome and congradulations for hunting with the same rifle for 50 years!
    I didn't put a world of thought into this but here goes.
    You don't mind a little weight.
    Will kill a BIG HOG.
    Not too much recoil.
    Shoots good at 1000 yd/mtr..
    Can buy ammo over the counter.
    >>SAVAGE-112 BVSS=300 WSM<<<--+top notch scope Zeiss Conquest 6.5 x 20 =50mm <The optic zone-theopticzone.com -owner -john is onboard here ,reloading equipment,ect,etc.
    OR >> A full custom would be a dream gun in several of today's top calibers>>Gunsmiths -Fiftydriver - Chris Mathews..onboard here .Best of luck to you /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif ..Mike
     
  6. KRob

    KRob Well-Known Member

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    Savages are dam accurate. Ive got two and they both shoot fantastically.

    When you look at a savage though check the recoil pad. The Hunters and Weatherworriers recoil pad on the synth are pretty cheap. But they are a great action, barrel and trigger, if you dont get the 112 serious which is heavier and i think has a better recoil pad, it does not cost much to buy a pretty good stock with a good recoil pad. Savage synth stocks and recoil pads are the only week link in one of these rifles.

    I have no experiance with savages that dont have synth stocks on them so i dont know about the wood and laminate rifles. The info i have has just come from when ive been in shops and bs with guys.

    Savages are the most affordable rifles around too. I picked up a 116 in 300wm for 350 if memory suits me right i will be putting a new stock on it (150) (you can go much cheaper too) and its got a vxII 3-9 on it (300). So when its all said and done ill be looking at a 800 dollar rifle that shoots i would argue as well as just about any other factor rifle and maybe some costem ones.

    Just my two cents
     
  7. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

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    I´d go with a 7 rm, perfect for the hogs. Got fine bullets weights from under 140 to 175.......

    If you want to go bigger, get a 300 wm.

    And if you like to go with the new ones, 7 wsm or 300 wsm. Just think about factory ammo availability.
     
  8. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the excellent advice. My inclination starting on this question was one of the 7mm's, but was considering the .300 WM or WSM given the distance issue and the larger hogs being a tougher target than deer.

    If I go with a gun in .300 mag that ends up in the 12 - 15# range with a muzzle brake, how will that compare in recoil to regular field weight 7mm RM? Am I correct in thinking that a 12 - 15# total weight gun in one of the 7mm's with a muzzlebrake will not be dramatically different from what I am currently shooting (which I find to be very comfortable to shoot and practice with)?

    Mike, thanks also for the advice on the scope as I definitely needed that advice too.
     
  9. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    With a good muzzlebreak and 12-15# 300WM will probobly rock your world the same as a 243.

    I have been shooting my Sako 300 WM since I was 12 if that tells you anything about its recoil. It weighs about 11#, no muzzlebreak, and an old school Pachmeyer Pre-Decelerator pad. Only with heavy doses of powder AND bullet does the recoil get exciting.

    As far as loads for pigs and deer, my new personal favorite is 78 gr IMR 4831 under a 165 gr Hornady IB at a smidge over 3200 fps. I have not taken game with it yet, but it sure does shoot like a dream. My old loads were 77 gr of IMR 4831 with a 150 gr NP. The book said its MV was 3400 fps . . . its not even close to that in my rifle (3175 fps) but it will cut the same hole with 5 shot groups at 100 yards. That particular load actually kicks less than my 270. The 165s are on par with 180 gr 30-06 factory loads imo. Shooting 180-190 SMK with my 300WM, recoil exceeds any 30-06 load, but is still quite manageable due to the bulk of the rifle. It is not uncomfortable to sit a the bench and shoot it 20 to 30 times in a single setting. This is the heaviest bullets I have shot. RL 22 78.2 gr and 76.5 gr were the two nodes I found in my rifle with the 180 SMK I tried. Both shot into about 1/2" at 100 yards with 3 shot groups.

    Hope this helps! Its a great caliber to shoot!

    btw the 7RM will recoil less than a 300WM with loads of the same bullet weight.
     
  10. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Also Jeffbird,
    You can look at some of the shooting supplier's--cabelas--midsouth--natchez--for the bipods-shooting sticks<sitting/standing.
    I personally use a harris bipod and shooting sticks,the bipod is more of a gun stand than anything else.Shooting from a laying position is of coarse the steadiest,but you know that isn't always possible in the field.
    i don't see much of a selection in a heavy type gun to choose from.A custom or semi-custom would surely get you off on the right foot.As you stated about the shotguns -it took a couple of times to get it right-my new vote >>custom 300 wsm /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif.Best of luck-- Mike
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have a 7mmWSM that out performs danr near any 300WM...even the one i own!

    given your self imposed limit.. the 7wsm and the 140,150,160 class bullets will do the job quite well.

    At the ranges you indicate.. the 7mmWSM is like a lazer and really no need for clicks.

    the 160 gr accubond will devistate the hogs and the 162 a-max .. well lets just say nighty-night for the deer.
     
  12. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    Hello Ric,
    Nice to have your thoughts as I read some of your recent posts and results after d-a pointed them out, and gave the suggestion of the 7mm WSM. Very impressive. My goal is to extend my range out significantly beyond my current self-imposed limit. I would like to be able to go out comfortably to the 500 - 600 yard range. (After some serious practice of course.) You think the 7mm WSM can handle the larger feral pigs out to say 500 - 600 with the 160 gr? It definitely looks like a custom is the route I am going, particularly if I go with the 7mm WSM. Sounds like you are a very satisfied customer. Anything you would suggest changing on your 7mm if I ordered a copy? Also, are you using factory rounds and/or handloads? Would be interested in what you've worked out for drop and windage as the info seems sparse for this round at this point.
    Thanks to all, for the many helpful comments. It has been very helpful.
    Jeff
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Satisfied .. yeah you could say that! I am a 30 cal fan but I have to tell ya this 7mmWSM is the cats ass!!!

    I would suggest the 160 AB or the 175 smk for the big hogs and you can use the 175 SMK's on deer... so in short the 175SMK is the ticket.
    I use all handloads and have .5 MOA accuracy to 1100 yards with this 7wsm.

    the 175 SMK and a healthy load od 4831SC gets me 2830 fps. With no pressure signs.

    it roughly works out to this in the drop chart.
    FPS energy drop MOA
    200 2591 2608 -2.8 [ 1.25]
    300 2476 2383 -10.8 [ 3.50]
    400 2365 2172 -24.5 [ 5.75]
    500 2256 1977 -44.4 [ 8.50]
    600 2150 1796 -71.1 [ 11.25]

    give or take a few inches... and there is only 16 inches of drift in a 10 mph wind at 600.

    as you can see there is almost 1800 ft lbs of energy at 600 way more than enough for any hog you could encounter.

    this round is very over looked but you cannot ignore it. It flat out perfroms the 300WM with the right bullets.

    the only thing I would change .. and I still may, is I would have Chris put in an HS detachable mag.

    the rifle in the pics weight about 14 lbs but once you are used to it you are glad you have the extra weight if ya need to take a long poke.. which Chris and his building ability make that easy...

    the good news is that if he builds an identicle rifle ( except for the HS detach ) I have 2 loads I know will shoot sub .5 MOA alrady worked up for you!

    feel free to ask any questions ya want. If I have the $$ I build another one just as a back up .. hehehehe
     
  14. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    Ok, that put me over the top. The jury is in and I'm sold. Which stock are you using? Also, do you have a photo you could post or is there one somewhere on another thread?