Caliber Selection Help

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by trailside22, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. trailside22

    trailside22 New Member

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    I am new to posting on the forums, but have been doing a lot of reading as of late. Here is a little about myself before I pose my question(s). I have been shooting long range for the last 14 years with a Savage in .308. It does have a good bit of custom work done to it and I have been very please with it. I have started to notice a loss of accuracy and some vertical stringing. The rifle has 8,120 rounds through this barrel. I have several what I think are long range kills on whitetail deer(450+) and varmits (800+) with it and shoot out to 1000 yards on a regular basis.

    I am going to have a new rifle built I am just not sure what caliber. Here is what I am looking for; able to take deer sized animals to 800 yards; something I could use to hunt elk and antelope with if I choose to (never done that before). I have been thinking about a 7WSM. I like the the newer high BC bullets and the fact I can reload a vast range of bullets for; it is short action; and has been getting good reports from hunters and bench shooter alike. I do not like the fact that if ever needed there is not a lot of factory ammunition out there for it. I am however very open minded and open to any and all suggetions. This will be my one rifle that I will spend hours with, that I will learn and I will use for just about all of my hunting and target shooting needs. If you have any build and/or builder suggestions I am open as well. I am very interested into what your caliber suggestons will be.

    Thank you for your help and suggestions. I have really enjoyed the reading and learning I have done on the forums in the past few weeks.
     
  2. Savagebien

    Savagebien Well-Known Member

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    i'm interested in the 7wsm for basicly the same reasons you r. im interested to c what other ppl have to say, and btw thats an amazing amount of rounds through a bbl! i think you got your moneys worth!
     
  3. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I like the WSM's, but would take the 300WSM over the 7WSM for 2 reasons.

    1) Longer barrel life.
    2) You are used to .30 cal bullets and their wind characteristics. You probably already have piles in your reloading cabinet because of the .308.


    The 7mm bullets are great, but they don't gain as much as you think if you are only talking hunting biggame out to 800yds. The higher SD and weight of the .30's definitely balance that out when you are talking about Elk size game.

    AJ
     
  4. LostInSpace278

    LostInSpace278 Well-Known Member

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    So a .300 WSM is good for Elk as well. I was trying to decide between the .300 WSM and the .300 WM for a few weeks now.

    I was thinking a .300 Wm was to much for antelope but good for elk and the .300 WSM was good for antelope and not so good for elk. Well this makes things a lot easier. Thanks AJ for the info.
     
  5. TheReeper

    TheReeper Well-Known Member

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    My vote goes to the 300 Win Mag. If you are going to build one, I would use a Bartlien or Krieger 28" barrel with a nice muzzle brake. The 300 Win. Mag will do everything you said you wanted it to do, and you can always find factory ammo if need be.
     
  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    In response to the original poster, that wanted a short action caliber, I recommended the 300WSM. He was a 'potential elk hunter' with 800yd deer requirement. I recommended the 300WSM for his needs.

    What are your specific requirements? The 300WSM might be the right caliber, or perhaps something else would meet your needs completely.

    I'd recommend posting your needs in a new thread so everyone can give you input.

    The 300WSM will definitely take elk. I am biased to the big 338's though, but the 300WSM will take anything on this continent with the right bullet (as will the 300WM and a host of other cartridges).

    AJ
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Less than 800 yds: 7mm Remington Magnum, 7mm WSM, 300 Win Mag, and 300 WSM will all be good to 800 yds, and are pretty similar performance wise within each caliber. If you want better access to factory loaded ammunition for some reason, the 7mm RM and 300 Win Mag would have the advantage, particularly in 7mm caliber. The 7mms will kick a little less than the 30 cals - each shooting heavy for caliber bullets. And the 7mm will have less slightly wind drift and higher muzzle velocities. I'd go one of the 7mms. 7mms have plenty of energy to kill elk to 800 yds.

    More than 900 yds: If you're only interested in 800 yds and closer read no further. But for shooting past 900 yds I actually think the 7mm is the better caliber between these cartridges because you can maintain bullet expansion velocity farther out with the 7mm VLDs than with the .30 VLDs in these calibers. If you want to shoot past 900 with the .30 calibers, then a 300 RUM class cartridge is called for to maintain sufficient bullet expansion velocities at these greater distances.

    For example: My 7mm RM can maintain expansion velocity (~1700 fps) out to about 1000 yds with a 168 gr Berger VLD. My 300 Win Mag can maintain expansion velocity out to about 900 yds with a 210 Berger VLD.
     
  8. LostInSpace278

    LostInSpace278 Well-Known Member

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    Well I will be moving to CO next spring. I am wanting a caliber that tends not to drift a lot in light wind. Of course I love to shot and will shot anything that walks, crawls, or flies. (In season of course) To start with I'll be shooting antelope, mulies, whitetails, prairie dogs and coyotes. ( a large hole in the pelt doesn't take away from the beauty of it in my eyes, it just adds character) As I learn more about Co hunting seasons and draw registrations. I'll move up to elk, bear, and possibly mountain lions. My wife has family that lives in the prairie country, the foot hills (front range), and in the Rockies.
    I'd like a caliber that easy to reload, with plenty of load data at my finger tips. I'm new to reloading and don't want to drop a ton of money to find something that works. Just data for general idea, I understand that every gun shoots different. Got a specific cartridge that fits the bill? I want a cartridge that will put them down on the spot. I am partial to my body and I would like to keep all of it in tack.
     
  9. 300WSMMAD

    300WSMMAD Well-Known Member

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    + er lots for the 300WSM!!!
    Its an awsome calibre but IMHO the WSM case in any of it calibres are accurate, I havent seen or heard of one that dont shoot!
    My Lamy Tikka T3 shoots 2.5" grps at 600 yrds with 178 gr Amaxs,
    on the weekend shot over 40 goats from 25 - 505 yrds only about 5 needed follow up shots the rest droped like logs fell on them, the ones at 505 were big billies and I wish I had them on video, spectacular!... "and sleep!" is the easiest way to describe it.

    So yep they awsome, but Im bais any way!!!

    Best of luck
    Regards 300WSMMAD!!!
     
  10. trailside22

    trailside22 New Member

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    Thank you so much for your help. I am going to give the 300WSM a look and see how it fairs to the 7WSM. If you have any more ideas or suggestions please feel free to post them. I am learning so much from you all. Thank you.
     
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I've got 300 WSM and am working up loads for it now. It looks very promiisnng. I'm getting about 3000 3030 fps with 180 gr E-Tips and haven't reached max yet, but I think I'm close.

    If your looking at a 7mm, consider the 7mm Dakota. My first custom build will likey be just that. It can push a 180 gr VLD (BC .684) 3050 - 3100 through a 26 - 27 inch tube, making it an 1100 - 1200 yd gun. The ballistics are similar to the 7mm STW. I like the Dakota because it's parent case is the 416 Rigby. Short (relatively), fat and no belt.

    As for the 300 WSM, all I have read and heard has been good and so far I am pleased with mine.

    Cheers and good shooting,

    Mark