Brainstorming an Ultra-handy large caliber Long ranger

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by AKdan, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. AKdan

    AKdan Well-Known Member

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    Hi-

    I am trying to brainstorm some ideas for a hunting rifle that has a lot of energy at close range but has good ballistic performance at medium distances out to about 800-1000 yards and be as short as possible. I intend to use it with my suppressor so length is key. I guide bear/moose/sheep in Alaska so this is going to be replacing a LONG 28" barrel 338 Lapua as my ALL-AROUND rifle. I am looking at .338-.416 bore diameters(.458 max) and barrel lengths between 18-20 inches max. I have been very pleased with the terminal performance of the 300 gr. accubonds out of the lapua and prefer similar terminal performance. I realize i am going to be sacrificing some ballistic performance and energy due to FPS loss from a shorter barrel, but hoping to minimize by proper bullet/cartridge/bore selection.

    I am excited to see what other minds come up with as a good choice.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. tbrice23

    tbrice23 Well-Known Member

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    358 Grant is a real good thumper. 180ttsx at 3010 fps. 20151116_053059-1-1.jpg made from 300wsm brass.
     
  3. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    My previous .338 RUM barrel was cut to 20" to run suppressed as you want. I was shooting 300 grain Bergers at 2600. That sounds slow, but the performance out to 1000 yards was still impressive. I may have been able to get more velocity but just ran the same load I came up with before I cut the barrel back from 26", it shot too dang well to mess with.
     
  4. reelhardmt

    reelhardmt Well-Known Member

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    Three come to mind, but the extended range makes it tough....

    1. 325 wsm
    2. 340 weatherby
    3. 375 h&h
    0r just swap to a short barrel in the lapua.
     
  5. sable tireur

    sable tireur Well-Known Member

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    AKdan,

    The .375 Norma Magnum fits in a standard length long action and when combined with the 250 grain Barnes TTSX yields 2900 FPS from a 20" barrel with 4700 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle. Good penetration for big bears and large body moose. It's a very efficient case when loaded with Re-16, Norma URP or VVN-550. No wasted powder.

    Or load up some Hammer 329 grain Hunters (longer OAL) with 5100 ft/lbs. at 2650 FPS.

    Regards.
     
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  6. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    We have a 375-338 Lap imp being built on a 24" barrel now. We call it the 375 BigDog. I am thinking the bigger bore like the 375 would be easier to get vel out of the extra short barrel that you are wanting. We have been messing with the 300 Norma case improved. Just got the reamer in .338 and plan to get one in 375. Our case design with the Norma we are calling the Fat Girl. It is giving rum performance with about 10g less powder. This is a bit shorter case than the Lapua so it will fit better in a long action with big bullets. Powder capacity in the low 80g vs the high 90's of the Lapua imp case would be better for the short barrel as well. A 408 on the Fat Girl with a healthy dose of fast powder sounds pretty cool!

    Steve
     
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  7. AKdan

    AKdan Well-Known Member

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    I like where this going. I have been toying with idea of the (.375,.408,.416,etc)/338 Norma. Agreed that the larger caliber gets the job done better with the shorter barrel. The appeal for the .338 cartridges is the variety of “long range hunting” bullets. Seeing you guys getting 2600 FPS with a RUM (or similar) with a 20” tube gets the job done. If we were to dive into bullets for a Norma/lapua based 375, which bullet/weight would you guys use?
     
  8. adam32

    adam32 Well-Known Member

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    You being a guide, I assume this will be more of a back-up gun for clients and then a protection/follow up shot rifle for yourself? If so, is the 800-1000 yard criteria an actual thing or just a 1% chance?
     
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  9. walter crouse

    walter crouse Active Member

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    How about the 375 Ruger, it is designed to a 20 inch barrel.
     
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  10. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    If you're open to a wildcat, PM Swamplord, as he has developed a number of shorter length "magnum" cartridges in all the Alaska calibers you're considering.
    By shorter..., I mean a bit shorter than the 338 Lapua length. But they're all still powerhouse cartridges, suitable for 8-900yds.
     
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  11. AKdan

    AKdan Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough to ask if it’s the 1% or a regular thing. I try to hunt for myself as much as possible and have strenched it out to 800 or so on occasion. I have had clients use my rifle when necessary as I have it dialed in for longer shots and they typically do not with their rifles. Have had clients take game initial and follow up out to about 500. I really like having the capability of taking the longer shot. My 338L worked real slick right up until I shot it with a suppressor and swore I would never shoot a rifle without one again. It’s now 57” long and a pain toting it around in the woods.

    I am trying to not get to Crazy with wildcats other than a neck up/down to simplify if I need to make brass quick. But I do like the idea of getting what does best.

    I think for a factory round the 375 ruger is a very strong candidate. Built on a Remington type action with a long mag box would be awesome performance
     
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  12. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    The one negative to the 375 Ruger is that Hornady is the only manufacturer of 375 Ruger brass. And Hornady brass in 375 Ruger leaves a lot to be desired for the reloader. From my experience, and those of other accomplished reloaders and shooters, this would keep me from choosing the 375 Ruger cartridge.
    See this thread to learn more:
    https://www.longrangehunting.com/threads/blew-a-primer-_-analysis.197020/
     
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  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    A 20" .375 ruger would be just the ticket for your purposes. You wouldn't lose a whole lot of velocity/energy even going as short as 18". Unlike a lot of the bigger case magnums on the market the .375 R is designed around faster burning powders like RL15,16,17 so you can get peak burns with shorter barrels since it was designed specifically for 20-22" dangerous game guns.
     
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  14. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Lot's of good choices. I think the heart of it needs be large enough for the Lapua cases, and a magazine long enough for the bullets you wish to use. The Montana PH model with it's 4" magazine is worth a look.
     
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