Caliber opinions for build

Mazdayasna

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Oct 16, 2017
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1. Don’t go less than 22”.
2. Short and light will be unpleasant to shoot if you go too powerful. (Think practice, not the one or two shots you take hunting.)
This is an old wise tail. For instance the 300 RCM is designed as a short barrel round by Ruger-Hornady. You can tune for the short barrel and powder burn. Or that's what I read from the Manufacturer. Oh and I forgot to mention the new 6.8 Western in that list but I didn't take the time to look up the data on that one. Rich could probably chime in and give the data of his 6.5 @ 600 Yards and we could see, as the 6.5 PRC did not list a factory load that could accomplish the 1500 Pounds recommended for Elk. (yes, that's not taking into account all the well placed shot opinions, but why build a purpose built Rifle not meeting minimum recommended performance?)
 

Roughrice

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Oh hey, whoa.... I was only regurgitating the minimum recommended pounds of energy recommended for Elk. Those were the smallest cases I found that could guarantee that. Lastly my post wasn't directed towards anyone except the OP I didn't realize this was a dispute thread. If that's the case then whatever you said was probably the best answer possible and I should not have posted. Signed, "old dude".
Mazdayasna
Sorry about that !... My fault... I read thru your post too quickly and didn't realize you were speaking of 1500ft/pound of energy at first.
I absolutely agree with bringing enough power for a dedicated 600 yard elk rifle as my post suggested.
No Worries!!
 

tdot

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If you only want one barrel, then a 7saum loaded long in the Tikka mag and a 22" barrel would be a sweet combo.

But when I was in a similar situation last year what I chose to do was build a 6.5SS and 338ss switch barrel. I shoot the 6.5ss alot and when it's time to use the 338, I'm extremely familiar with the rifle, which I find matters more than any spreadsheet perfection you can find online. Your 6.5max will be efficient to shoot often and just about any small to medium animal. The 338max is a fantastic compliment. Easy to handload rounds that are balliatic twins to 6.5, with similar BC and MV, but alot more energy downrange. I took my 6x6 Bull Elk with the 338ss last fall and it was in a situation that if I hadn't been super familiar with the rifle, I'm not sure it would've ended as easily as it did. As you sound like a lefty and it's one of your few left handed actions, the concept could make even more sense.

PS. I'm also building a 7saum/300wsm switch barrel as an even light build for my dedicated mountain rifle. I love the switch barrel concept.
 

DJ Fergus

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Hello, looking for some advice/opinions. Last year I put together a LH Tikka T3x chambered in 6.5 Sherman Max, 7.5 twist 24" lightweight contour, that I have considered parting out and starting over. Soon after I ordered the barrel I had second thoughts about the chambering. Rethinking I might have been better with something in the .284 flavor. Target species for this rifle is whitetail and up to someday elk, moose. 500-600 yards. I have several other rifles that will fill the role for 90% of the hunting I normally do, although this is only one of two that are left handed.
Will be using a prefit barrel as I have all of the proper tools. Also looking to have a 20-22" lightweight barrel that's threaded this time.
Factory Tikka long action magnum bolt face. What would you pick?
I have a 6.5 saum. I absolutely love it. I also have various 7mms. There's a pile of folks here who have taken elk with 6.5s. Personally, I would take one of my 7mms if I were going elk hunting.
 

JasonAL

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I'm super happy with my 22" 7 SAUM for a short/light elk rig. (Wish I would have went 20" actually.)
What velocities are you getting with the 22"? And what bullet weights.

This thread has gotten more responses than I thought.
The magazines I'm running have an internal measurement of 3.6" so max COAL would be a few thousandths less.
Not opposed to 30 cal or larger and/or a muzzle brake, just leaned towards 7mm as a balance of bullet weight and B.C. Also would like to run Hammer bullets.
I understand elk and such are taken every season with 25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor etc, I live in the south east so this rifle would be used here (rarely as I have several that fill that role) and if/when I take a trip out west to cover anything that could be hunted.

My load with the 6.5 MAX is 62.5g of H1000 Fed 215 primers with 131 hammers with a velocity of 3050fps. COAL is 3.06. This not is not compressed but very close, I need to load more to see if I can get more velocity.
With the 156 berger is 61.0 of H1000 Fed 215 primers with a velocity of 2870fps. COAL 3.04. Also not compressed but very close. I stopped with this to switch to the hammer.
Should note the 131 hammer and 156 berger are almost the same bullet length due to lead vs copper.
The speeds seemed really low to what was claimed though I cant see an 400fps gain with different power. That's the reason for the idea to part this project out and start over.
 

Shootin4fun

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168 VLD @ 2940, 175 ELD-X @ 2910. Will be developing for 155 Hammers soon.
Not to highjack the thread but....

Interesting...I don't have an SAUMs and thought that they have more umph than the standard Mag, but this is about what I get out of my 7RM with 168 VLDH and 168 Classic Hunters out of a 24" Savage, stock barrel, very accurate.

I would use those for elk, but I'm also working up a load for 145 LRXs too. I have TTSXs that go out at 3100 and are very accurate too. I've read about iffy situations with the 168 Bergers, close vs far, etc. My experience with Barnes is they just work, but of course there's stories of them not opening up too.
 

Buck 300

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Usually magazine length is the limiting factor for Tikka actions, especially in a 7 Rem Mag. I’d seriously look at doing a 300 WSM or stay with one of the larger Sherman cartridges. Like it was pointed out, you already have the brass. Not sure why you’re getting rid of the 6.5 Sherman, it’s a really great cartridge.

My dedicated elk rifle is a 300 WSM and it just dumps elk. Rifle is light and not noticeable on my shoulder when going up and down the mountains chasing elk.

Doug, what is your elk load in the 300 WSM?
 

MarkTheFark

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Here to Learn...
Interesting...I don't have an SAUMs and thought that they have more umph than the standard Mag, but this is about what I get out of my 7RM with 168 VLDH and 168 Classic Hunters out of a 24" Savage, stock barrel, very accurate.
Yes, I am getting 7RM-type performance in the SAUM, but in a short action, a shorter barrel, and less powder. There are guys running SAUMS faster and farther with long actions, longer barrels, and heavier bullets. Both cartridges are great.
 

dougduey

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Doug, what is your elk load in the 300 WSM?
200 gr ELDX, Nosler brass, WLRM primer, 2.855” OAL, 62.8gr RL17, 2952 fps
Last bull I shot with this load looked like he got hit by lightning. He dropped so fast it was nuts.

Old pet load was the 180gr Accubond, Winchester brass, WLRM, 2.860” OAL, 3025 fps, 65.5gr HV100.
 

JasonAL

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Bumping this to the top. Been thinking about this more since hunting season is getting closer.
Due to current availability of brass my options are limited to something new. I do have 100 pieces of Nosler 7mm Rem mag brass and the factory tikka barrel with a 9.5 twist rate. Thought about switching back to that and selling all the parts, pieces from the 6.5 MAX. Thoughts?
 

Hard rock

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Fergus you should be able too get more velocity out of the131 hammers . I think your powder choice is a little slow I'm getting 3180 with 57.3 grs of n165 for my 6.5 PRC that is a switch barrel too 300 wsm the switch barrel would be a great way too go . I think with the 6.5 and 30 cal you would have pretty much have all the bases covered
 

DJ Fergus

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Bumping this to the top. Been thinking about this more since hunting season is getting closer.
Due to current availability of brass my options are limited to something new. I do have 100 pieces of Nosler 7mm Rem mag brass and the factory tikka barrel with a 9.5 twist rate. Thought about switching back to that and selling all the parts, pieces from the 6.5 MAX. Thoughts?
I am a very big fan of the 7mm rem mag. If you go that route, get yourself some 162 eld-m bullets, 71 grains retumbo plus or minus a few tenths of a grain usually runs that bullet around 3050 fps in a 26" bbl. This load has been accurate in several 7mm rem mags. DRT results on whitetails. With all of that being said, if you have everything including brass & components for the 6.5 max, I would go ahead with it. It will be a tight grouping cartridge & easy load development. A 7mm 162 eld-m pushed to 3050fps is going to shoot just as flat and resist the wind nearly identical to a 156 Berger or 147 eld-m pushed to 3050 fps. The 6.5 max will be less finicky to tune. With that being said the 7mm rem mag can be tuned to shoot just as well but may take a bit more time to tune if you haven't had much time in loading for it.
 

Hard rock

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Fergus you should be able too get more velocity out of the131 hammers . I think your powder choice is a little slow I'm getting 3180 with 57.3 grs of n165 for my 6.5 PRC that is a switch barrel too 300 wsm the switch barrel would be a great way too go . I think with the 6.5 and 30 cal you would have pretty much have all the bases covered
 
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