Advice On a Custom Rifle.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by jdm5267, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. jdm5267

    jdm5267 Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    I am looking to change my hunting setup a little bit as it will not satisfy all of my needs. My current rig is a Browning A-Bolt Medallion in 7mm WSM topped with a 5-25x52 Swarovski. I enjoy this setup very much and it has the capability to reach much further than I care to shoot. I have strecthed this rifle as far as 618yds while harvesting a Boone and Crockett caliber Pronghorn. My main reason for switching this setup is that it really isn't an all around caliber and is a little on the heavy side. I would not shoot anything larger than deer with it at any type of distance beyond two hundred yards. Also I'm a fan of the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw loaded by Federal. This round is not available for the 7mm wsm and although it is still available the 7mm wsm is getting harder to find everywhere I go. I figure that a 300 wsm topped with the scope from my current rifle will satisfy all of my hunting needs except for the largest animals in the world, while not shredding deer and antelope to pieces. Essentially I am looking for a rifle light enough to chase sheep all day ( hopefully in the future) and still have the stones to handle Alaska-Yukon Moose ( also hopefully in the future)

    My mother currently shoots a Bansner because factory rifles simply wouldn't fit her. This rifle has served her flawlessly for the last 7 or 8 years inculding trips to New Zealand and long shots a elk and mule deer. Considering this and given their location not very far from my home they seem like a logical choice.

    I am "cheap" and meticulous in that I only want to do this once. So I am looking for any advice or feedback from anyone willing to give it out so I make the "right" choice. I want this rifle to last at least my lifetime, which is a good long while since I am only 22 years old.

    I do not have the time or resources to make or load my own ammo so I am looking only for something that is factory available.

    I thank everyone in advance for any advice you can give me and I welcome any questions you have to help find my need better.

    P.S. I don't know how many people are aware of this, but firearms are only covered by insurance up to around $2500. If anyone here is like me they have that wrapped up in just one gun. Just something to think about, feel free to contact me about this as well.
  2. gcamp54

    gcamp54 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    I think the key element you are asking for is factory ammo. I just bought a new, used, rifle with the same thing in mind except I wanted a good back up rifle in case my custom isn't finished in time for this hunting season either. I looked at available good factory ammo for long range and decided on 300 WinMag. I bought loaded ammo with the 190s from HSM but you can get the 168VLD, 185VLD, or 210VLD Bergers from them also. You can also get good factory ammo in Fed Match loaded with the 190s. HSM does make 300 WSM with 168VLD and 185VLD Bergers. Look around and see what's available in factory ammo before you make your choice. There are other calibers with good choices of factory ammo. Me, I'm still hoping for my custom 7WSM to come in but I'm already set up to load my own for that caliber. Also, if you watch BoTW much you'll see many large animals killed at long range with the 7mm bullet to include large Elk and Brown bear. Just food for thought. Good luck.

  3. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    IMO the 7 WSM will be fine for anything below dangerous game. HSM has the 168 Berger loads for the 7 WSM and 7 Rem Mag. The biggest thing I could tell you is get EXACTLY what you want. Don't try and tell yourself that something will work if it's not what you want. That will save you $ in the olng run.
  4. jdm5267

    jdm5267 Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    I appreciate your advice but I do not believe that the 7mm wsm will remain a readily available cartridge in the future. In my area I've already seen it drop to the point where all I can find is 140gr ballistic tips. I really do not enjoy shipping ammo due to the cost and the way things are handled by the shipping companies. With this limitation on ammo this rifle simply won't have the punch I feel that it will need on larger game.
  5. hammertyme

    hammertyme Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    One might take a moment to think about this one. AT 22 years old when many of us asked advise, specifically me, I silently listened as some very knowledgable guru's of the shooting industry imparted their knowledge. I asked the same question of a 70 year old machinist/gunsmith who hand made gun parts for all application of Winchester,colts and Smith & Wessons.

    His answer to me was a 300 H& H as it was pleasant to shoot compared to the 300 Weatherby, many manufacturers of quality ammo. Another told me about an estate sale in which a complete reloading outfit was going to be sold. I still use that reloader and for $50. that reloading outfit as saved me many thousands of dollars over the years. Hand Crafting quality ammo at todays prices especially in Alaska save me 3/4 of the price of a box of shellls. Components last or store in my case many decades. I bought the 300H&H and immediately learned that someone rechambered it without marking to 300 Weatherby. After two shots I noticed a problem, took it back to the gun shop where I purchased it and got a 300 Win Mag. I used it for many,many years.

    The moral to this story is when you ask questions of the incredible talent pool here you may want to sit back and watch,wait and learn. Many of us are 3 and 4 times your age. Many have shot every caliber in existance and built or designed a few of our own.
    I wish someone would have told me to go Savage when I was a young man. Of course Savage wasn't what it is today be any means. However, being able to swap barrels,bolt,boltheads and such would have saved me a lifes fortune. My Savages now are swapped from 204 Ruger to 460 Weatherby and above without special tools and many of the barrels I bought un-used for $50 ranging from 204 Ruger to 300 Rum and I saw a factory 458 Win Mag barrel recently.
    A 300 Ruger compact Magnum, 338 Ruger Compact Magnum or a 375 Ruger would all fill the needs to requested and do it nicely. If your Browning was a long action and readily interchanable I would re-chamber it into a 7 RUM and use 180-200 grain bullets.

    Good luck in your quest

  6. ewallace

    ewallace Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    Are we talking a full custom including action stock barrel trigger and so on. Or we talking a rebarrel of you Browning? If you want a 300 WSM you should have one and if you like your current rifle just have it rebarreld to a 300 WSM with the same contour barrel and length you currently have you could flute the barrel to save some weight.
  7. jdm5267

    jdm5267 Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Well of course sir you present a valuable and very important point in that my age is a limiting factor. I certainly am well equipped to gold my own in the firearms department as I had a grandfather who was a certifiable gun nut. I am far and away from being anything near great in the shooting and advice. My point simply was that currently I need to drive more than 40 minutes to find 7mm wsm factory ammo in anything other than 140gr ballistic tips. I appreciate any and all information I can get, that is the whole reason I came to this place as many of these folks have built or at least own very high quality, top notch rifles. I am mostly looking for an experience that someone can tell me about with one of the custom builders. I do not want to piece a rifle together as I have no idea where to begin I am looking a one stop shop for lack of a better term. I thank you personally for your time and the advice that you had to share
  8. dirtboy

    dirtboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    Well I had bought a 30-378 accumark used. I then sent it to Christensenarms to put a slect match grade shilen barrel with removable titauim muzzle brake. accurized the action, timney trigger. Etc.

    Now having said that you have a abolt, you can't dont nothing with that action,but you can a barrel a carbon barrel put on it. I am very happy with what they did to my gun. If you keep your abolt and have it rebarreled to 300wsm with the removable brake that would be a shooter. Thats also for about 1.200 bucks If you really want to get a custom rifle built and you want a shortmag. I would have them build me a 300wsm with mcmillan edge stock 20-22oz of stock wieght on an action of your choice. I just bought a carbon fider x bolt. The action is nice the triggers are way better then the a bolts you have a clip and I would get a 24'' barrel with brake put on.

    my 30-378 shoots 1/2'' groups with factory ammo.. If you op to go away from the short action. I would lean towards the 300 weatherby mag or 300 ultra. about the same in factory ammo I just read that there more reliable case feeding because of case design with weatherby. check out christensen arms. they garuntee thire rifle and their a big company that doesn't seem like thier going anywhere. The have about a month turn around time.gun)lightbulb
  9. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    jdm, I would suggest a custom built from the ground up. Keep your scope if you must, but that is a heavy scope, and there are others too choose from that will allow you to kill big game without the excessive weight.
    Sell the Medalion, this will fund the custom action for your rifle.

    The build, to be lighter, will need a composite stock, preferably using carbon fiber for strength and light weight. I shy away from the ultra light weights as they tend to be very petite (ie fragile)

    Of the many custom actions, choose one with your smith that will fit your cartrige and be a bit lighter than the others, while still maintaining quality.

    Determine what your effective range needs to be and with the experience of your smith choose a barrel contour that will provide the needed consistancy/accuracy and weight parameters of your build.

    On cartiges, if your faith is a bit lacking in the 7wsm being around and available in 5 years, I'm not sure why you would choose the 300wsm. It could very well be in the same boat. The 300 win mag may be a better choice, due to the availability and multitude of availabe factory ammunition.

    I hope this helped in your decision making.
  10. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    The gun: I agree with the other poster who said that you may be under-estimating the caliber. The 7mm WSM will do everything you want it to do and more. I shoot a 280 rem using the same bullets at almost 150-200 fps slower and have never felt under gunned on the species you mentioned and at the distances you mentioned. zThe only thing you are going to gain with the 300 WSM is more expensive ammo.

    Unless you absolutely want a new rifle I would look at reducing the weight of your current setup with a quality synthetic stock. Small weight savings can be had with a litter firing pin setup (if available) and lighter rings like Talley's. A lighter scope would not hurt either.

    Ammo: The reason you can not find trophy bonded bear claws anymore is because they have been discontinued in favor of the tipped TBBC, which Federal is still loading up. That being said, there are alot better factory loadings out there like Nosler Partition and Accubond, Barnes TSX, etc. For an oddball like 7mm WSM you would be better off ordering ammo over the internet. Midwayusa, Natches Shooters Supply, and Cabelas all regularly stock 7mm WSM. Before I reloaded I would just wait for one to have a sale and stock up on 6 boxes. Try gunbroker too.

    Here's two clearance deals from Midway...

    Federal Premium Vital-Shok Ammunition 7mm Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) 160 Grain Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet Hollow Point Lead-Free Box of 20 - MidwayUSA

    Winchester Supreme Ammunition 7mm Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) 160 Grain Nosler AccuBond Box of 20 - MidwayUSA