Long Range Tack Driver



I have recently been granted permision from my most loving wife to have a custom gun built. Now the fun part, putting the plan in action.
What I am asking is advice on cal., barrel length, twist rate etc. on a gun that will be very accurate and have the power at 1K to humainly take a deer. Please keep in mind I am only 5'10" so I am interested in a gun that doesn't weigh 20 lbs. and one that is still fun to shoot ie: one that doesn't kick like a mule. Wildcats are of interest as well.
As always thanks in advance for your replies.
You can get all kinds of answers depending on who you talk to as everyone has his or her own way of doing things. As far as caliber is concerned, I tend to opt for the lighter ones. Of course, a quick and clean kill is the ultimate goal and there are many calibers which will give you that. Some use large 30 or 338 caliber magnums which really do fine. I prefer the the 6.5's and 7mm's for up to a thousand yards. Cartridges like the 6.5-300 Weatherby, 6.5 Gibbs, 6.5-300WSM, 7mm Dakota, and the 7-300 Weatherby would all be good. If you want to shoot farther than that, a .30 or bigger probably would be the way to go. What weight rifle are you looking to get into to? For accuracy at this range, generally heavier is better. A regular weight rifle that you can carry around and shoot off hand isn't your best bet. At least 10 to 12 pounds is a good place to start, with 15 or 16 being even better. Krieger barrels are my favorite but Hart also makes a fine tube. A barrel length of at least 28" would be best to gain maximum velocity and many use 30 inchers. The extra length also helps with stability. A Remington action would be a good starter and will produce excellent results but be sure to get it "trued". Once you have your rifle, develop a drop chart and start practicing.
Keep your lines wet and your powder dry.

I am a 30 cal fan but I have heard alot about the 6.5's. So I am very interested. My concern is down range energy. I don't have enough load data to compare
The 6.5's against the 30's at 1000 yards.

12lbs is fine for me to carry I have a 12-15lb rifle now in .308 that I will hunt this year with.

I'm fine with the 26" barrel but I would like to stay as short as possible and still complete the tast effectivly ie: efficiently.

Any help with the down range energy would be great.
As you say that you don't have drop charts/energy levels for different bullets and cal.s, you might want to check out Dallen's "Huntingnut.com". He has a FREE ballistics program that he's written called PointBlank. The site also has a forum and a loads page.
I think you might find something you can use there.
In fact, I just downloaded the latest version last night, to compare drop/energy on .308 and .338 bullets at 1K.

C'ya. Jeep.
Wyowhisper- You mentioned that you want a 26 inch barrel as a max length. You can get some good velocities (energy) with that length from a 30 caliber but it will require a lot of case capacity and is going to kick like a mule, even in a varmint weight rifle. A muzzle brake would help but I don't like wearing ear muffs in a hunting situation. A 300 Ultra, weatherby, Hart, or Dakota would all do very well, but strap on a helmet and a shoulder pad when you touch the trigger off. I guess I am not the burly, lumber jack type, cuz I hate shooting those large boomers. In fact, a guy I know that shoots competitively long range, had a 300 Ultra built for long range deer and it broke his front tooth out.
A 7mm Dakota or STW could deliver some impressive ballistics from a 26 inch barrel and to give you an idea of energy, if you launched a 160 grain VLD type bullet with a BC of .6 at 3100fps, you would have around 1100lbs. of energy at a thousand yards. Again though, pretty fierce recoil. A .280 Improved is a good choice and can deliver ballistics equivalent to the 7mm Rem magnum and is actually quite pleasant to shoot. I just had my 280 rechambered to the improved and really like it.
The 6.5's offer the advantage of very high bc bullets which retain velocity and deliver good energy to distant targets without requiring a bucket full of powder behind them. For example, with a 26 inch barrel chambered for 6.5-06 improved, launching a JLK match bullet with a BC of .645 at 3,050 fps, you have right around 1,000lbs. of energy at a thousand yards. If you went with a 6.5-300WSM, you get even more than that and it would still be pleasant to shoot.
Hope this helps.
My 300 Ultra Mag.(Sendero) shoot's a 220gr Match King at 3050fps out of a 26 inch tube.It still has over 1000 ft lbs of energy at 1200 yard's.It's not a 338-416 or a 338-378 but it's still one of the baddest boy's on the block.At 12.5 pound's with a brake it's recoil is about like a 7.5 or 8 pound 270.

[ 10-01-2001: Message edited by: Boyd Heaton ]

What is the accuracy like ???? I need the power but I REALLY need it to be accurate.
It will shoot 3 shot group's under .5 inch with H1000 and RL25.The H1000 did'nt give me the velocity I wanted.2985 when I started seeing BAD THING'S.RL25 is giving me an honest 3050fps.With no pressure sign's.I shot five 3 shot group's with it and my wife two.The smallest was at .390.And the biggest was at.505.I'm not gonna tell you who shot the smallest one.Hope this help's.
Boyd Heaton have you heard anything about the chanber not being right in the sendero's.sounds like it shoots to good not to be right.it sounds like the .338 RUM is the poor boy's .338 lapua,thanks,keith
If your primary purpose is hunting, then you have to go with minimum of a 6.5 in 1-10 twist shooting 139-142's. 7mm you need a 1-10 or 9 twist with the 160s or higher customs. The 30 cal in 1-10 or (1-11 for 300 WSM) twist is probably the best bet. 300 WSM or 300 Win Mag both are accurate and can shoot 180-220 grain bullets out to 1000 very easy. The 300 WSM will top out though at the 180 with 26 barrel for practicality. Something to consider, if you say a gun will shoot .5 MOA at 100 then you really are saying it will group 10 inches at 1000 when you add conditions such as wind, mirage etc. We are shooting 1000 yard Factory Class here in VA and that is exactly what it has worked out to be and that is from top quality bench rests. That is minimum level of accuracy you should accept when you are talking an 18 inch chest. If you want true top notch accuracy, build the gun from scratch with custom action and barrel even in lighter weight. Rampro and Viper and others sell custom actions for what a trued 700 would cost and are much more accurate and resale in long run. With weight and barrel limit, you are going to want and need all advantages. Go with single shot bolt gun in custom 300 WSM or 300 Win Mag.
Correction on the 6.5 is 1-8 twist not 1-10. Barrels by Clay Spencer are some very high quality barrels that are breaking in quick, low fouling and extremely accurate for the 1000 yard guys and military Special ops units. Heard several problems with Kriegers lately and canceling orders too many really bad ones have shown up, might want to check into that. Harts are consistent from day to day and good. Liljas are consistent good.

If you have got permission to build a custom gun, then build a quality custom and be happy!!

Just a suggestion for what you want to do.

300 Winchester Mag.---Hart, Lilja or Shilen Barrel (26 to 28"--- 30" would be better), 190 and 200 Gr and 220 gr MKs, Norma or Lapua brass, Remington action, McMillen stock and muzzle brake of choice. 10 Twist barrel

There is some extremealy good brass available for this caliber that many of the others don't have available YET. Many good bullets available too.
In the 300 RUM, you have only Remington brass.
In the Winchester Short mags, Only Win brass (the last time I looked) and some of that was junk.

If you want to be as accurate at 1000 yards as a "hunter" could hope to be with the limitations you have put on concerning barrel length, the 300 Win Mag has proven itself many times over. Hard one to beat for the range you want to shoot plus the excellent brass that is available would or should possibly be a consideration.

Prime has given sound advice also concerning the 7mm rounds. Ballistically they are VERY good.

My choice as you asked and the limitations you set, would be the 300 Win mag with a brake. Pleanty of power to kill the elk and deer you may encounter.

If I went to a 6.5 diameter for accurate QUICK kills at 1000 yards, I would go with a tapored 30" barrel and chamber it to the 6.5/300 Weatherby with an 8 twist. This one is lethal and you can ask Coyote slayer about it.. I have had many of them and they are someting else to behold. The LR boys started using this one here in North Central PA 35 Years ago and some are still using them. They will kill a lot further then 1000 yards to if you can see the hits.

Again, for your situation, you can't go wrong with the 300 Win mag.

You really can't go wrong with the 30 Cal, 7mm and 6.5 Diameter bores for out to 1000 yard accuracy. Just pick the one that retains the energy the best, has the best componants for reloading (Brass and Bullets) and has enough powder capacity to get the job done.

Problem with 8mm and and some others are, bullet selection is not very good for consistant accurate shooting to 1000 yards.


[ 08-16-2002: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
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