Best LRH caliber to start with?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by JPaul17, Dec 15, 2012.


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  1. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    JPaul17, remember you said there are a lot of possibilities. Stay in the present-right now you don't live out west, you don't have an elk tag burning a hole in your pocket. You're in school so you realize there is a learning curve to things, and you can't jump over some steps. If its me I'd buy a great scope, shoot the 270, and 308 until they teach you all they can. If neither shoots well enough for your current situation get rid of both of them, for something better than you've got. Only you know what time, and resources you've got to play this game. There is a lot to get good optics, rangefinder, etc. very few of us can go buy it all and cry once. Take an old cast off stock, as long as its got sling swivels it will work, fill the barrel channel with lead until its 32lbs. take a hike where you currently hunt and see if it fits into how you hunt, and anticipate hunting. Nothing wrong with setting up in a fixed position it can be very productive. like bigngreen I try to keep flexible. Idaho has a 16lb weight limit, bush planes limit your weight, and some guides aren't going to let you load it on their animals.
     
  2. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    In case anyone misunderstood I only mentioned the 338 32lb rig to give the idea of how much easier a little weight makes a gun. And yeah we hunt with it but mainly static setups. We do pack it some but I could stand to lose 32lb off my --- anyway so it just keeps me honest. We mainly are in flat/canyon land. Still a LR rig isnt a good place to be worrying about a little length or weight. Out here I need 10lbs of gun just so the wind doesnt blow you all over the place. I knew I should have googled windiest place in the US 1st!
     
  3. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    Skip steps! Skip steps! Plan ahead and skip all the expensive "steps" (AKA: mistakes others have made) The seven is all the gun you will ever need until you shoot a bigger one. My 300wsm was all the gun I could ever need until I saw a 300 grain smk smack its target at 1022 yards with AUTHORITY. Investing in a good scope and wearing out one you have by practicing is always solid advise but these projects take time and money, do not build a gun that is already outdated for your intended purpose or you will have a whole bunch more customized long guns than you need and money invested in that learning curve .............. Just like the rest of us.
     
  4. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    So is this a vote for the 338 edge as being the only cartridge that matters?(besides even bigger 338s)? Yeah I like the way you think. Dont forget that sierra brought back the 375 350SMK. Training wheels for guns isnt the same as bicycles. Course dad wouldnt let me have those either cuz he said they were for wimps(I think he just enjoyed seeing me fall down).
     
  5. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    LOL Done more than my share of falling down.............338edge for everyone =Definitely not. Actually I was not even recommending a 338 do to bullet expense (and competition over supplies if he gets one) I was just hoping not to see the op get talked into making that curve harder and more expensive than it has to be. I agree the seven mags are alright, the 30 mags set up for long range are even a little more versatile. I am just making the case for not repeating common mistakes. Purpose built long range guns in 308 win are a common mistake WOE WOE WOE everybody settle down and let me explain before you charge in (coincidentally another common mistake). The beloved 308 makes sense for shooting palma (restricted to 308) or as part of a military logistics solution or for the shooter that trusts himself with a loaded rifle but not with a reloading press. More Power, less recoil, less drift and Just all around Better cartridges exist for these purposes. Get out your 22lr for rifle fundamentals and then jump up to a rifle that makes sense, Which in this case is something well suited to a 600 yard range, enough power to dump an elk at that range and room to expand if he gets were he thinks he's going. I never knew what long range was until I started doing it and even here misinformation is rampant and folks have a tendency to recommend the path they took even if it is not the best route.
     
  6. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    100% agree on that one. The reason I thought a 7stw/rum would be nice is that the big 30s(rum/378 etc) need a tad more lbs and brake to be shootable for a LR beginner, The torque alone is something to get used to. I used to shoot 240 smks and they were a handful out of a rum. I hear the 7rum is twitchy to reload for so I figured the stw would fall right in there belt be damned. And yes the 30s are more versatile but I think the new 195 is gonna change some things. The 300gr berger/smk from a 338 are so far above any 30 cal combo that it doesnt make sense not to shoot a 7mm. If you need more than a 7 ya might as well skip to a 338.
    Dont ley me BS you though Ive used the 300 ultra and 30-378 a time or two lol. Wow remeber when a win mag was big? A weatherby HUUUUGE! 378 variant still is I guess, course it was a wildcat like the 25-06. God Im old.
     
  7. jakelly

    jakelly Well-Known Member

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    I'll say the 300 RUM.
    Inherently accurate.
    Easy to handload.
    Awesome downrange ballistics.
    Decent barrel life.
    Won't kill you in dies or brass.

    You'll want a brake, trust me. I would plan a 12 lb rifle and scope.

    It is what I would start with, but the guys telling you to start with the scope are on the money. That $1200 swfa 5-20 will serve you well for decades of long distance shooting, and odds are pretty good that you will switch cartridges within a couple years.
     
  8. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    I'd mirror a lot of this and suggest the 7mm STW as well along with 300wm, and 300 RUM. I own and shoot all three and love all three. In fact I own 3 STW's, two 300wm's and one 300Rum.

    All of the above are deadly to 1,000yds on any north American game and the Rum adds about 250yds above the others.

    Get a good platform not a light or ultra light model, and spend money on a quality stock such as HS Precision or Mc Millan, or Precision stock works and do it right from the start.

    As for action the Savage, Remington 700 or Mod 70 Winchester's will all suit your needs quite well. You can spend a lot more on a custom for very little return in accuracy or lifespan if any for the added investment.

    Welcome.
     
  9. Kenrup

    Kenrup Member

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    I'm just a few steps ahead of you in my LRH. I've hunted elk with a traditional muzzle loader so I know it doesn't take a shoulder breaking howitzer to bring them down. I'm starting with a Remington 700 ADL in .270. It was a very good shooter to start with. I floated the barrel myself and then I bumped into a gunsmith that specializes in Remington 700 accurazing. I had him do the bedding, pillaring, lap my scope rings, install a Timney trigger and lighter firing pin and for grins and giggles he did a brake. It came back a tack driver and a hoot to shoot. I wasn't sure which way I wanted to go with a scope so after some research I settled on a Tasco Varmint/Target mil dot scope to see if I like the mil dot system. I have had a lot of guys with much more expensive scopes scratching their heads over how good this cheap scope is. I live in San Antonio but I will hunt Colorado for elk next year. I'm hand loading several suggested recipes and fortunately I have friend that owns a custom ammunition company and he guiding me and advising me on my loads. My best right now with for a deer load has it at 1.75" group at 400 yards with good speed and energy. But I'm enjoying the quest and I have some more bullets like Barnes and Berger on order and I'm trying a variety of powders. One thing I learned from working up muzzle loaders is that what works for one gun may or may not work in your gun. My advice is go with what your gut is telling you and what your budget will afford. I usually say I can afford my dream rifle setup but I can't afford the divorce.
     
  10. Joshuak12

    Joshuak12 Well-Known Member

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    Am I crazy or would the old .30-06 (no longer sexy, I realize) provide the young man with a small ballistic boost over the .308 for the same price? I hear all the points made for bigger, faster, heavier, and longer but I'm just trying to respond to the original question. Bullet options are practically limitless.
     
  11. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Yes. all things being equal you could expect about 100 FPS, maybe a little more. It is an advantage over the 308 using the heavier bullets. Overall though, at the longer ranges you might pick up 50-100 yards ballistic performance over the 308.
     
  12. yote yodeller

    yote yodeller Member

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    A decent 7mm would make you happy I'm thinking. Start reloading and practising and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what it and you are capable of. An old Vietnam vet helped set me up with my 7 and 1000 yds is easily achieved. Would you shoot an animal at that range? That opens a whole different can of worms, are you capable of making a kill shot at that range? Is it ethical to take that chance of losing a wounded animal? Only you will know your capabilities and you make that call. Some folks can't and some can. Practice is the key with any caliber IMO as shot placement is the deciding factor in most long range kills. Just my 2 cents!
     
  13. ReachOutNTouchSomething

    ReachOutNTouchSomething Well-Known Member

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    From the sounds of the rest of this thread i must be crazy... but my vote goes to the 308
     
  14. geronimo.tn

    geronimo.tn Well-Known Member

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    I agree with "toddc"s logic. gun)