Best LRH caliber to start with?

WildRose

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Quit tormenting yourself by using the gun guys "N" word. NEED. You may not need that 325 but it'd make a great thread! Seriously tho good advice all around. I like your 200 add for reality. I use 50% so 500 is 750. 1000 will get to 1500 real quick when you start pasting rocks at 1300! It may not happen to everyone but it sure as heck got me!
I have a lot of actual "needs" for which I lack the budget so until I've taken care of all of them my "wants" go on the back shelf.

If I should one day win the lottery (difficult since I don't play) I'll need to buy a slightly used but in great condition National Guard Armory to house the entire Arsenal and I'll probably die with fifty more builds paid for and waiting for various gunsmiths to complete.

Having such limitations for myself I understand the rest of the guys especially those new to the sport who have serious budget considerations that have to be worked around while trying to accomplish their goals.
 

toddc

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I have a lot of actual "needs" for which I lack the budget so until I've taken care of all of them my "wants" go on the back shelf.

If I should one day win the lottery (difficult since I don't play) I'll need to buy a slightly used but in great condition National Guard Armory to house the entire Arsenal and I'll probably die with fifty more builds paid for and waiting for various gunsmiths to complete.

Having such limitations for myself I understand the rest of the guys especially those new to the sport who have serious budget considerations that have to be worked around while trying to accomplish their goals.
I think we are all in the same boat. Even if we have the money theres always the WIFE FACTOR!
Its why I shoot savages. 3 base guns and I change the barrels if I wanna go from deer to prairie dogs(or just use a 338 lol). This way wife recognises the stock/scope combo and all the barrels are bead blasted so she thinks I have 3 guns. Which technically is true.
 

WildRose

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I think we are all in the same boat. Even if we have the money theres always the WIFE FACTOR!
Its why I shoot savages. 3 base guns and I change the barrels if I wanna go from deer to prairie dogs(or just use a 338 lol). This way wife recognises the stock/scope combo and all the barrels are bead blasted so she thinks I have 3 guns. Which technically is true.
I don't voice it often but I have an admitted bias against Savages. Most likely it's just due to my age because I went through several of them during those years when they were really having trouble both financially and with their quality.

I know they've come a long way especially over the last decade but man I got burned bad of four in a row and just swore I'd never take another chance on them.

Even my first Remington 700bdl was a piece of crap that after five trips to Remington still would not shoot right. I finally sent it off to a client of mine that was a NASA engineer and hobby gunsmith who took it apart completely and looked at it and told me that basically everything on it was out of square to every thing else on it and no amount of money would ever make it right. I sold it at a gun show for 250.oo and felt good about it HA!

I owned nothing but M70's for a long time after that until bitten by the 7mm STW bug and at the time the only place my local gunshop could get one was directly from the Remington Custom Shop. That one has served me well as have the rest I've bought since including the current Sederos I own.

You won't see me badmouthing Savage though, I just don't recommend them.
 

toddc

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I don't voice it often but I have an admitted bias against Savages. Most likely it's just due to my age because I went through several of them during those years when they were really having trouble both financially and with their quality.

I know they've come a long way especially over the last decade but man I got burned bad of four in a row and just swore I'd never take another chance on them.

Even my first Remington 700bdl was a piece of crap that after five trips to Remington still would not shoot right. I finally sent it off to a client of mine that was a NASA engineer and hobby gunsmith who took it apart completely and looked at it and told me that basically everything on it was out of square to every thing else on it and no amount of money would ever make it right. I sold it at a gun show for 250.oo and felt good about it HA!

I owned nothing but M70's for a long time after that until bitten by the 7mm STW bug and at the time the only place my local gunshop could get one was directly from the Remington Custom Shop. That one has served me well as have the rest I've bought since including the current Sederos I own.

You won't see me badmouthing Savage though, I just don't recommend them.
Gun makers change quality and models constantly so I keep an eye out for whats good TODAY. Since I only care about the action the stock/trigger/barrel etc mean nada. Never have so the junky savages dont bother me. Just a cheaper way to get an action. And now they ALL build some bad boy stuff I just look at value per $. Same thing with scopes. Burris used to build glass almost as good as leup. Then they discovered whatever small island they built crap on for a while and a BSA was better. Now they SEEM to be creeping back. Point is GLASS CHANGES TREMENDOUSLY from model to model and year to year. Seems to be in cycles almost. Maybe like tobacco they addict us with the good stuff and then they screw you later. Maybe I'm nutz too.
 

dieselboy427

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I'll throw in my .02 Don't send the .308 to the scrap heap. It is WAY cheaper to learn Windage and Range estimation with repeated shooting. It will be more sensitive to these conditions and you will get a more defined response to your calculations. Where I'm at, we have NO trees compared to what you're used to. It is flat and pretty bare. Most anywhere, a shot at 880 is possible in any direction and some flat shots with 2-3 open miles behind it. For a non-reloader, based on availability of ammo, the 300WM is a winner. For cash sensitive reloaders, the 7mm class and the 300WM & RUM are pretty fast, "cheap" and easy and can be had in a number of quality factory rifles. I would suggest a brake though to avoid developing a flinch. For the people with a long founded addiction, 7mm, 30's, 338's, and whatever ridiculous crap you have can be loaded to deliver but they are not for everyone. I wouldn't limit my bullets to any certain weight. You would be surprised how much effect a properly sized brake has on any rifle. A 30 cal with a 230gr bullet, pushed over 3000 fps can have less recoil than your .308 with a 175smk at 2600.

P.S. Welcome to the sport. Welcome to the addiction.
 

toddc

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Hard kickin 308? Why thats impossible! LOL. Worst gun I have to shoot every year is always a 308 that some guy buys a girlfriend to use. Instead of her sighting it in I just do it so she wont be flinching by the time I get her on a deer. This year it was a mossberg. Nice gun....175 gr wasnt so nice. Im a wimp I want my 338 and its brake and 30lb stock back!
 

paphil

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I live not far from you so come down and shoot a 6.5-284 or a 7mm and you will find what you are looking for!
 

dieselboy427

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Wasn't meaning a .308 was hard kicking. I was trying to say you can make a 300wm, 300RUM, 30-378 and the like can be brought under the recoil level of a .308 sporter with a good brake.
 

D.ID

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Wasn't meaning a .308 was hard kicking. I was trying to say you can make a 300wm, 300RUM, 30-378 and the like can be brought under the recoil level of a .308 sporter with a good brake.
That is a fact I try to point out all the time. With a properly engineered muzzle brake recoil should never be an issue. Hell my 338 I was referring to earlier in this thread is a 13lb 338 shooting 300grn at 2781fps. My wife has trouble with 270win recoil, my hunting partner has trouble with 300wsm recoil but they both love my little 338 cannon, They both shot it this year in pre-hunt refresher sessions....... they both ended up shooting there elk with it this year and they both want one. If you put a smart break on it you need to address hearing safety IE:walkers game ear but recoil quickly becomes a non issue.
 

toddc

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That is a fact I try to point out all the time. With a properly engineered muzzle brake recoil should never be an issue. Hell my 338 I was referring to earlier in this thread is a 13lb 338 shooting 300grn at 2781fps. My wife has trouble with 270win recoil, my hunting partner has trouble with 300wsm recoil but they both love my little 338 cannon, They both shot it this year in pre-hunt refresher sessions....... they both ended up shooting there elk with it this year and they both want one. If you put a smart break on it you need to address hearing safety IE:walkers game ear but recoil quickly becomes a non issue.
That is what I keep trying to tell people. But any time you suggest a 338 its always too heavy/recoil/blast bla bla bla. So they end up with a 9lb 300wm without a brake. OUCH.
I know a lot of 338 naysayers have never shot them because they dont adequately describe shooting or reloading for them. The brake and weight cure the recoil. Game ears cure the blast. Only other gripe they have cracks me up. They say the 338 is hard to load. HMMMM its the largest bore of an overbore clan but its not for beginners to load but the 300 is.HMMMMM smells funny.
338 is the only LR caliber if you wanna come down to it everything else is a MIDrange caliber.
 

MontanaRifleman

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JPaul, we have a few things in common. I'm originally from PA. Family from the East side of the state and I spent a lot of time on the Southwest side going to school in California PA, and working a little. Shot my first deer back there with a 243, and my Uncle who was my hunting mentor used a 308. He was the most skilled and successful PA deer hunter I knew.

toddc, Wildrose, D.ID and others have offered you some very good perspectives and advise. If you already have a 308 then keep it. A great gun for general shooting and getting the feel for windage and a great short to mid-range hunting such as back there in PA. You already have a great PA deer rifle, so don't build another one.

Here are some good perspectives I want to reiterate for Western LR hunting. Your game will consist primarily of antelope, deer, elk and bear. Elk are big critters and the bigger the bullet you use on them, the better. For bear, big is good too.... you don't need to be tracking wounded bears and they may re-open Grizzly hunting soon.

Don't do the LR gun curve. Get the right gun for the job right off the bat. It's a lot cheaper and less time consuming. For that, I recommend .30 or .338 cal. Also, get a gun 1 or 2 steps more than you "need". It gives you "forgiveness".

My recommended minimum would be a 300 RUM and you might consider a 338 Lapua or EDGE. Those rifles speak with AUTHORITY, especially the 338's, and that's what you want for an "all around" Western LR rifle. If you want a repeater, get a custom action. Going the 700 route is quite expensive and to do it right means replacing the trigger and bolt, using just the receiver chassis. I've been through this. I'm not too familiar with the Savage actions, if they will allow a repeater for the long high BC 30's and 338's? If they do, then OK.

The 7 mags are great rifles. I've hunted quite a bit with a 7mm RM, but definitely not my first choice for a LR Elk rifle. Elf's maybe, but not Elk :D Like most of us, you will probably add more rifles to your collection. Start BIG and go from there.

Also, very important. Pick a good smith who knows and understands LRH, not just bench shooting. They are 2 different things. Your build will be a team effort and he will probably have a big influence in your project based on his vast experience.

Before you start spending $$$, spend a lot of time reading the many threads in here and maybe ask some more questions.

Welcome to LRH and good hunting.

Mark
 

angus-5024

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So much good info on this thread. Most of it coming from guys with a couple extra posts:rolleyes: and probably a couple extra notches under belt.

I'll be the first too tell you that I havent shot a single animal past 650 yards. I have limited time for hunting and cant find those shots very often. I am ready for over 1000 yards, as the steel and rocks will testify to.

I shoot a .338 RUM for hunting big game %100 of the time. I started with .338's and fell in love. 8 years into LR hunting and its still the go-to. I have other guns, and am actually hoping to build a 7mm WSM shortly (on a long action!).
however, being out east, i think that your plan of a 7mm WSM/SAUM on a long action is the way to go. with the exception of elk/grizzly it is IMO the best package going. You can keep the weight down and 7mm bullets are ALOT cheaper than .338 bullets. I nearly ran myself broke feeding the .338's.

I think that your well on your way, and are making the right choice %110!
 

dieselboy427

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I love these threads when some know-it-all starts thinking their opinion is the only one that counts. The sharing of knowledge ceases when someone posts stuff like that. If you feel the need to pat yourself on the back, do it with shots on target and not your 1000+ posts. There are people here with a legitimate thirst for knowledge. You scare someone into not asking a question, one that might open your own eyes, for making them think it could be "dumb". Post count is NO replacement for trigger time.
 

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