Fastest, most accurate .257, .284, .308 ??????

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by CanadianLefty, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. CanadianLefty

    CanadianLefty Well-Known Member

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    Hi all!

    Just getting into LRH -

    I just want to confirm what the latest fastest and most accurate long range cartridges are for the following bullet diameters (given 26-28" barrel length...)- please let me know!! From several books and internet sources, I have come up with a short list below. The cartridges can be wildcats, factory or proprietary as long as they have achieved a high degree of respect and credibility against their peer cartridges for velocity and accuracy.

    1. .257 - is it the .257 Scramjet or the .257 STW (hot tomale)?
    2. .284 - is it the 7mm RUM or 7.21 Firebird, other?
    3. .308 - is it the 300 RUM, 300 Pegassus, 30-378WM, 30-338 Lapua mag (wolf), 7.82 Warbird, other?

    This should be fun [​IMG] Thanks.
     
  2. MAX

    MAX Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] Insufficient data to compute. This question cannot be assimilated.

    Oh, I'm sorry [​IMG] I was having a Borg flashback. Perhaps if you provide bullet weights some of the folks here 'bouts could give you some help.

    Welcome aboard BTW.

    The question strikes me oddly. Are you considering a purchase or building one? Most here are more concerned with high BC rather than velocity, though they get some of that too. Retaining velocity is more important than what you start with. Accuracy is up to you and the quality of your rifle/loads, not so much the cartridge. The .257 caliber, though one of my favorites, does not really qualify for LRH on big game, at least not in the same sense as the .30's and .338's and larger. Not bad for pottin' varmints out there a ways though.

    Anyway, if you have the time, hang out awhile. You're sure to pick up some VERY GOOD advice now and then. The archives are interesting if you're looking for particular info. Most of it's been addressed along the way.

    Well, I'm off to the unknown boundries of ballistic possibilities and the far side of THE curve. Catch you later... [​IMG]
     
  3. CanadianLefty

    CanadianLefty Well-Known Member

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    Bullet weights?? ahhhh... [​IMG]I will choose bullets with the highest BC given the bullet weight I want to use.

    I am interested in these calibers for eventual use in a new custom rifle or 3- I can dream cant I?! [​IMG]. Bullets weights for the .257 will be between 100-120 gr; .284- 140 to 168 gr; and .308 - 168gr to 190gr.

    Hope that helps out. I now do my own reloading too.

    Also, can any of these cartridges be AI'd ackley improved to 40 degrees for even more efficiency and velocity?

    thanks

    [ 03-02-2004: Message edited by: CanadianLefty ]
     
  4. CanadianLefty

    CanadianLefty Well-Known Member

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    Would anyone comment, I'd like some perspectives from the regulars at this forum.

    Thanks!
     
  5. 4mesh063

    4mesh063 Well-Known Member

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    All 3 cartridges seem to be entirely too hot for accuracy work. In My Opinion.

    That in itself will draw many answers to your post.

    There is very seldom a cartridge which is both most accurate and fastest.

    IN MY OPINION Your bullet selection is at least at the lower end of the weights that will yield the best result for your purpose. I will assume that because you are asking here, that you have not done a lot of shooting at long range and that you think that fast bullets are the answer. They can be in rare circumstances, but, being realistic, you would be better served by building a simple cartridge and going from there. You will find it a pile cheaper and far more rewarding. You can kill something with a lot less gun than what you describe above, at most any realistic "first year of LR hunting" range.

    I have to add that opinion disclaimer to all my posts now because of the infinite wisdom of others who disagree and call me out on everything I say. Sorry.

    Try a 7mm WSM or 30WSM. They're cheap, efficient, and there is no way to get caught in the speed trap that lures shooters to just keep adding powder like the RUM's. You also get a lot more speed per grain from a WSM over a RUM (like 30% or more)

    Again, "In My Opinion"

    [ 03-03-2004: Message edited by: 4mesh063 ]
     
  6. CanadianLefty

    CanadianLefty Well-Known Member

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    Thanks- I actually have a .300WSM, 24" barreled Savage Weather Warrior-Model 16--I have been very successful with it up to 400 yards on game. I need to practice more with it as I want to consistently hit 10" paper pie plates out to 800 yards (max. distance at shooting range available to me). My rifle system currently shoots .75-1MOA out to 400 yards.

    The reason why I ask about these cartridges? I am planning ahead for when I want to ge another rifle [​IMG]I may want to experiment with something more powerful later on...

    To answer your question on the lower end bullet weights- I plan on using any one of these cartridges at a MAX. of 800 yards- that to me is considered extreme range [​IMG](at least until I practice more and hang out at this forum [​IMG] )--as a result, I do not feel a need to go for any heavier weights (please corect me if I am wrong).

    A semi or full custom rifle will take another year to build and I do not plan on ordering one for at least 6 months. Thus, I have another 2 seasons of lead time to improve my skills.

    Thanks for helping me out!
     
  7. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

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    The WSM is an easy 800 yard deer rifle. A 300RUM would give you a little less drop and more retained energy. 300RUM is the top end for 800yds.

    The 7STW or WSM might be your best bet if you are looking for flat shooters.

    JB
     
  8. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

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    Canadian, It sounds like you came from the same school I did fastest = flatest= most accurate. I dont know if thats necassarily true but the way i have my 7STW figured for is 500 yards. Basically I am trying to tune it to where I can use the same hold as lazz uses on his Firebird with 140 gr bullets. I am using 120 and 127 gr. With this load if it is basically in 500 yards (which will be the case 95% of time) Put the crosshairs where they need to be and squeeze. The problem with the super magnums like you mentiond is that alot if not most bullets cannot handle what they are capable of. This causes iradic bullet behavior compared to those rounds that arent so "super".

    To answere your question my favs are the .257 STW, 7 STW, and 30-378 WM or 30-338 Lap. No real advantages that I know of or anythng, I just like them!
     
  9. 4mesh063

    4mesh063 Well-Known Member

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    As JB said and I pointed out before. The 7mmWSM is a smokin cartridge that would fit your bill well. If you wanted to shoot the lighter bullet for a while, the 168's generally will outperform the 30 cals up to 210 and will just smoke them in velocity. I see both regularly and personally shoot a 30 WS. The 7 is flatter, faster and I think is a better capacity for the bullet it shoots. All the same, I'm not changing now or later. I have 30's. I'm also not killing stuff with them far away.

    A 7 in a 30" gun, will give you 3100fps easily from a 168 in the cold weather. I wouldn't go that far in summer. The 168 has a bc around 650 so it's gonna keep truckin along pretty well.

    If the 30 held about 5 more grains, it'd do well with the 210 also. (for hunting that is).
     
  10. MAX

    MAX Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty good at fly fishing too. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    The lazzeronis offer awsome potential on paper(as far as drop/wind curves and energy). I'm having a 257Scramjet built. But I've learned in waiting that there is alot more to rifle performance than sheer speed. The best long range HUNTING rifle will balance many things. BC/low wind drift, sufficient energy, low recoil, average barrel life, reasonable weight & distribution, practical function, good reloading components available, etc.
    My Scramjet will be strong out the gates, but will be less than fun after replacing barrels constantly. And sure, it'll decapitate deer, If the recoil doesn't throw the bullets right over em.
    I should have gone 6.5WSM, or even better 6.5WSSM. Better barrel life, enough energy, lower recoil, same wind drift @1K, more components/dies available, and all around more accuracy potential. [​IMG]

    [ 03-06-2004: Message edited by: Mikecr ]
     
  12. jmbn

    jmbn Active Member

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    Hi Lefty- I'm far from being an expert on long distant shooting but I've been shooting and hunting for many decades and maybe I can offer a perspective. I've shot a few deer at just over 500 yards and have even hit a few jackrabbits at similar ranges, but the thought of shooting at a poor Bambi at 1000 yards is beyond the abilities of both me and my equipment.

    Accuracy is of prime importance. I have several deer rifles that will shoot real close to a half-inch at 100 yards when conditions are good, but when I put up a box at 400 yards I feel lucky when I keep them inside of 6 or 8 inches. Maybe some of these guys can explain why, but I can't, other than maybe wind. That's just the way it works. Also, my rifles are mostly sporter weight guns, not the heavy, long-barreled rifles, with heavy, specialized optics that are needed for long range accuracy.

    Some of the other posters have mentioned long-for-caliber bullets. Obviously the advantage of these is retained energy at long range and less wind drift. These are a huge factor at 800 or 1000 yards, but within reason not that important at 400 yards unless you are shooting something like a 243. A 115 Ballistic Tip from a 25-06 will do a fine job on a small deer like my AZ whitetails at 500 yards with a good hit, likewise a 130 grain bullet in a 270, but these probably aren't good enough at 800 yards no matter how well you have the range dialed in.

    I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know, but the way I see it is that for a "long range" rifle for 400-500 yard shots, with a 3X9 Leupold (which doesn't follow directions worth a damn in my experience), lighter bullets and very flat-shooting rifles have a real value because they extend point blank range a little, but for ranges longer than that very hi velocity drops off in importance in comparison to wind resistance, retained energy, heavy and stable rifles, and optics that can be dialed in to the distant that the shot is taken. An an excellent rest, etc.

    Apparently there are certain cartridges that are inherently more accurate than others, and it looks to me like these are not normally at the higher end of the velocity scale. I know that the little 6mmBR set a 1000 yard record a few months ago, and I believe that the 308 and the 300 Win mag are legitimate contenders at this distance. Even the Win mag is almost a plodder compared to cartridges like the 30-378 or the long-cased Lazzaroni, but they apparently shoot very well, which is what counts.

    jmbn
     
  13. CanadianLefty

    CanadianLefty Well-Known Member

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    ttt
     
  14. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    A guy that shoots at Williamsport told me that the 300 Ultra was tried a lot but pretty much given up on by all there the last couple years, just didn't do all to well. I've got one that shoots plenty acceptable for short strings, not 10 rounds fast as you can, but I never tried it anyway. He also told me there are several guys shooting the 30/338 Lapua Imp, they have good success with them though. I've also got one of them, it outshoots the Ultra, but it has a custom heavy barrel on it and a nice chamber so, it better.

    I'm super happy with the throat life I'm seeing in the Lapua, but it has a 40 degree shoulder and really long neck, .405" verses the comparatively shorter necked 30 Wolf and a 35 deg. STL tells me he is getting very good throat life from his too, so it may be alot to do with the 3 groove 11 twist Lilja barrel we both use???

    Wind drift -
    If you haven't much experience beyond 400 yard yet, you'll soon find that wind drift is going to whip your A$$ unless you're using the highest BC bullets you can get your reloadin hands on, then you still have your work cut out. You'll make drop charts, track you MV stability in various temps, modify charts for changing air density, but you still must deal with the wind. Using the highest BC bullets just narrow the possible overall error you must deal with, that and shooting as fast as you accurately can, so speed does IMHO play just as much a role. Any of these cartridges for the most part will guarantee you enough energy at 800 yards, and is the last worry on my mind, wind drift is the first however. To me, less drop is a byproduct of attaining minimal wind drift, nothing I worry about, it can all be very easily compensated for, wind is the wild one to get your hands on!

    You must be able to shoot it accurately, so don't by the biggest baddest thumper you can spend money on and lack the ability to put a bullet out of it at POA every time, work up to it if you have doubts. A muzzle brake will be a tremendous help.

    My Fav is the 30-338 L...

    [ 03-23-2004: Message edited by: Brent Moffitt ]