Caliber Creep

LanceK

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Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
177
Location
Amarillo, TX
I’m thinking about ordering a MK X from shaw and I can’t help but get a strong case of caliber creep. I’m wanting a step up from my .243, which is perfect for the Texas deer I currently hunt. In the next couple years I want to hunt aoudad and antelope. At first I was stuck on 280ai, then I shot a 270, and kind of started to like that one. More looking and researching made me think 300WM or 338-06. So for everyone that has been down this road, what made you finally decide what you wanted?
 

rammac

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Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
272
Location
SW Montana
Old age made the decision for me, when your body starts to tell you that you're old you tend to migrate toward lighter rifles and light rifles usually require less powerful cartridges.

My current favorite is a 22" Kimber Mountain Ascent in .308 Win. It'll do the job out to reasonable ranges on just about anything. For deer, antelope, etc. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't try a shot out to 400 maybe 500 yards.
 

Skimbleshanks

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Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
458
Location
Willamette Vally
Its hard to say. When I was young I had a 22-250. Hunted lots of ground squirrels, a few coyotes and a few deer. I passed on a few marginal shots on big deer because of the caliber. I went to a 30-06 next not because I liked it but because it had a reputation for just working. Over time I really grew to like it for many reasons. Ive got a few guns from family that passed. I got my 308 because that rifle wasn't available in 30-06. My 338wsm was because no good bullets in 8mm. I should have just went with the 325wsm. There are plenty of bullets. I now find that argument stupid. "Only half a dozen bullets of xy or z caliber" yep and im only going to need 1 so... Most recently Im haveing a 7 mag built because I wanted something that shot a bit more flat, big enough for deer and elk, not a barrel burner, and mild enough recoil that I wouldn't need a muzzle brake.
 

Tiny Tim

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Jan 26, 2015
Messages
908
If you have no experience with large magnum calibers, you may find them a bit much. There are things that can be done to mitigate recoil, and its always fun (and expensive) to tinker. Best advice I can give is be realistic in what you want it to do and have at it. Been hunting with a 7 RM for 40 years. Been hunting with a 243 for the last couple seasons. Both are great. I like speed and magnum rifles. Don't need them, but I like them.
 

SteelBanger

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Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
404
Location
IL
Pin a handful of cartridges from .257 - .284 on a wall and throw a dart ... they'll all do what you're asking and it's probably the only "easy" way to pick.

There are so many factors that go into picking a cartridge that I'd bet most of us here have a hard time deciding on the next one to get ... which is why a lot of people also end up with a huge safe(s) full of rifles (that too often rarely get shot). Personally I think a good 7mm is a perfect "do it all" caliber until you get into big / dangerous game, as such I'm just finishing up a 7SST build.
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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Aug 30, 2020
Messages
889
Location
Tennessee
6.5 prc is a good option for what you've mentioned. Shaw makes them in that cartridge too. It is sufficient for the lower 48. It really makes water at extended ranges too. I was comparing data and realized that at 1000y a 147gr eldm is almost exactly where my 300 Weatherby 200gr eldx is in velocity and energy. That doesn't account for projectile diameter, but it is still above 1,600 fps which is where hornday says their eld line won't reliably expand.
 

Hand Skills

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Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
1,076
Location
Canada
So for everyone that has been down this road, what made you finally decide what you wanted?

All I know is, it's a long road. I'm not sure there is a final destination. The landscape is always changing!

Go with your gut. We humans like to collect information, but when it comes time to make the decision, it's emotional, and often the 'information' takes a back seat.

Handloading really opens up the options
too. If a guy is limited to factory ammo, that's a good place to start - price and availability, because it can vary... A lot!
 

schmi015

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Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
111
6.5 PRC or 6.5 Saum, either will do the job, just enough recoil to not bother you and super flat ballistics. Deadly on game and the bullets with high BC's punch well above their weight class. No reason to go 30/06 or a win mag, 6.5 will out shoot them.
 

LanceK

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Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
177
Location
Amarillo, TX
A few points.... I reload exclusively, no factory ammo for me. Had a 300WSM 30-06, 308 and 444 in the past, so not new to big(er) recoil, but at some point the joy of shooting diminishes. I’m often drawn to “different” cartridges, and when someone asks me what I’m shooting it’s kind of nice to throw something out there that no one has heard of; 444, 41mag, 356gnr for example.

So far 280ai is really calling my name. For me researching the cartridge is half the fun of getting a new gun. This will be the most expensive gun in my collection so far, so I want to do it right.
 

Rick Richard

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Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
4,109
Location
North Carolina
I’m thinking about ordering a MK X from shaw and I can’t help but get a strong case of caliber creep. I’m wanting a step up from my .243, which is perfect for the Texas deer I currently hunt. In the next couple years I want to hunt aoudad and antelope. At first I was stuck on 280ai, then I shot a 270, and kind of started to like that one. More looking and researching made me think 300WM or 338-06. So for everyone that has been down this road, what made you finally decide what you wanted?
For what you said will be hunted, stick with what you have or if you have the itch anything in 6.5.
 

ghay

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Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
632
That 280AI is one of the very best options out there, especially for a reloader. All kinds of bullet options for all kinds of game and can really reach out there. Not nearly as hard kicking as a 7 Mag and almost as potent without burning so much powder. I think you had it right the first time, but caliber creep calls to us all. Good luck!
 

26Reload

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Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
2,609
Location
SE Idaho
I like the idea of throwing a dart..
Tie a piece of paper with cartridges names you've tossed around
to a string....wad those strings into a mess of a ball....throw that dart...and unravel the mystery to your new rifle....
Be a cool way of doing it....
'Course your spouse may want to do same with how many carats in next diamond'........
Good luck...😅😂🤣😂😅
 

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