2 guns 2 calibers. Need some advice


Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
Ok wanting to purchase 2 LR rifles in the near future. Im wanting 1 to shoot targets, coyotes, prairie dogs, and maybe deer and antelope. I'm leaning towards a 308 yet ive never owned one or shot one. Im also leaning towards a savage in this caliber. SO is this a good caliber choice or is there a better one out there. Also never owned a savage so what model would be a good choice to look into.

Second LR rifle will be strictly for long range hunting. Moose, elk, maybe deer depending on the above rifle. This one is killing me. I can't decide on a caliber or make of the rifle. Was looking at the 338RUM and 300RUM and maybe 338Edge. It will mostly be used for elk and at long range only. I have a 7mmWSM that is used for closer ranges. Im wanting a rifle that i can buy that will shoot decent but overtime can do some upgrades to. I can't afford to just buy a $4000 gun atm. Any help would be great. I just don't want to buy a rifle now and then a year down the road wish i would have bought a different one. So doing my research now as best as i can. I have about $1000 per gun to spend this does not include the scope. Thats a whole nother decision.

Thanks in advance. Phil
Rifle number 1, I would go with a Savage Model 10fcp, very nice rifle with the accutrigger and stock in a 308. I handle one at a store and was around $650.
Second rifle, I would hook up on a Sendero in the 338 RUM, I think it is hard to find one much under 1200 dollar unless it is used, if you go EDGE you have gunsmithing going on and would bust the budget.
Both good guns and the coin you save on the Savage you push to the Sendero. On budget.:D
any of the savage heavy barrels would be good or you could get a stevens put on a shilen or pac-nor or whoever elses pre made barrels in a boyds stock with a timmey sss or rifle basix trigger would be even better. and just my 2 cents but i find the 700 short action a little short for the 308 and i like the savage short action much better on your 308 ide go savage on your bigger rifle what ever caliber you end up chooseing go for a remington for sure but thats just my limited opinion
Considering that you already have a 7mmWSM and the smaller gun is going to be for deer on the upper end, and more coyotes/dogs, I would actually challenge the 308Win decision. Personally I'd go for a little more "spread" in your armament. By this, I mean choose a smaller caliber that performs well at longer ranges and differentiates your options more than the 308Win/7mmWSM are.

Since your price range pretty much limits you to factory chamberings, I recommend 243Win. You can get better ballistics than the 308Win and recoil is even lighter. You pay for that a little in barrel life, but it's still decent; and since you mentioned upgrading eventually, when you fry the barrel it's just an opportunity to rebarrel to something really nice like 243AI or 6mmRem.

Going with a Savage also gives you the option of making it a switch-barrel rifle for only a few hundred bucks additional investment.

For the larger gun I'd recommend either 300WM or 300RUM. I'm not a big RUM shooter but given that you are limited to $1000 on the gun you are unlikely to have a brake and from my experience the 300 magnums are the high end of what most people can accurately shoot. Personally I wouldn't even get a 300RUM without a brake.

Once you decide to invest in a brake, you might as well get a 338 Lapua or Edge but then you're into the custom world and far beyond your current budget.

So the 243Win would be a flat shooter out to 400-500 yds on deer (further on vermin) and has a nice bullet selection for everything from prairie dogs to deer; the 7mmWSM will fill the gap on deer to 800-900 yds; the 300WM/RUM will give you the bore for elk out to 900-1000yds. As long as the nut behind the butt is up to it.
Get a Sendero for your long range work and get a Remington of your choice in a caliber like a 260, 7mm-08, or 308. I would get both in a Remington so that you don't have to get used to both rifles... safety position, trigger pull, etc.


This what I have. One Sendero in 25-06 and another in 300 RUM. This combo will fit the requirement well.

Sendero's aren't made in 25-06 anymore but they are made in 264 WM. If you check gunbroker regularly you might find a 25-05 Sendero. They show up now and then. Otherwise, for varmints, antelope and deer I would pick a potent 6.5 cartridge. It will get you farther and flatter and less wind drift than the 308.

You got my vote on a Savage. I really like them and they shoot very well. I own two Savages with great results on both. The Varmint/Target series rifles shoot very well, and the law enforcement rifles are also a good choice. I think a .308 is a great choice for caliber, but I did like the suggestion of the .243. I also saw that you can buy Shilen barrels through midway.

The suggestion to buy a Stevens has some merit. You could buy the .260 Rem barrel that is offered. It is a heavy contour 26" and rebarrel your Stevens action. You could sell the barrel off of that rifle and put it toward the new barrel or a new trigger group. For around $1000 dollars you could retrigger, rebarrel, and restock with basically a custom set up. The 260 is a formidable caliber that will allow you to really stretch your legs and use for long range paper/varmint and take deer and antelope as far as 800yards. They also offer a barrel in the 6.5x47Lapua. It would be whole lot cheaper to shoot compared to your big gun. Trigger time is essential and that practice will carry over to your larger rifle.

Shilen Barrel Savage 110 Series 260 Remington Varmint Contour 1 in 8" Twist 26" Stainless Steel - MidwayUSA
Choate Tactical Stock Savage 10 Short Action with 4.4" Screw Spacing Detachable Magazine Composite Black - MidwayUSA
Rifle Basix Trigger Savage 10 through 16, 110 through 116 with or without AccuTrigger 4 oz to 3 lb Black - MidwayUSA

As far as your long range heavy rifle is concerned, your budget will limit you. I would definately look into a RUM. I am a big advocate of the Lapua also. Just remember these things can really kick, so a muzzle break should be a provision not overlooked. Though depending on where you live and your elevation, you might get away with a 300WM with 208 A-Max, 210 Bergers, 210 SMK's or start loading your 7WSM with 180grn Bergers and you could start reaching to 1000yrds pretty easily with decent results IMHO.

+! with ATH with one small exception I think the 300WM much beyond 800 yards is kinda pushing it.
Buy two rem 700 rifles. One in 243 win and one in 338 rum. You will be good to go if you do that. That's my combo I dream about. They can be stock in either stainless or matte. It personal preference for you.
I agree with ATH on the .243. in fact that is my set up right now. I own two rifles and they are a .338 RUM and a .243win. The only other rifle I'm missing is a 7mm, which you already have. I like remingtons, but I think that my next rifle will be a savage simply because you can re-barrel it yourself so easily. I would say go buy yourself a .338 RUM/Edge/Lapua and a .243 and you cant go wrong. I can say that because its what I did and I'm very happy with it. Ohh yeah, spend the extra couple bucks for a brake on the .338.
If you want no kidding LR rifles, I would not recommend buying standard Rem 700 models. Most 700's will need a good bit of work to get them to shoot to LR accuracy levels. The Senderos on the other hand are often capable of 1000 yd shooting out of the box with some load development. Sometimes they might need a little work but usually not much. The SPS's, XCR's etc are made for 1-2 MOA accuracy.

Savages are a good choice to and so are Sub MOA Vanguards. I like the Senderos and Vangurds.
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