Need Caliber Selection Opinions

Dave King

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001

Welcome to the Long Range Hunting forums.

Your question about a flat shooter leads me down the path of explaining the different methods and lines of thinking for some Long Range Hunters.

I do this because it'll help you understand my reasoning for cartridge and bullet selection.

The are the Point Blank folks, the Hold Over folks, the Adjust The Scope folks and also the Custom Reticle folks (not an all inclusive list).

Basically there are two groups, those that shoot to max distance of the prezeroed rifle and those that adjust the scope (either through cranking the knobs or through reticle marks) for the critters distance.

Until you get to the Ultra Long Range folks there is a fairly (not always true) easy method to determine what group the shooter belongs in. Fast Flat cartridges more often equate to Point Blank and Hold Over folks, chunky slower easy on the barrel cartridges more often equate to Adjust The Scope shooters.

The 257 Weatherby is a fine cartridge, there are several wildcats that are in that league. .257 caliber is not known for being selected as an accurate Match Type cartridge.

7MM has a good selection of bullets and the 7MM RUM should be a VERY flat shooter with the correct bullet(s).

If it were me and I HAD to select between these two cartridges, it'd be the 7MM RUM hands down.

I like to shoot, I like to shoot a lot, and these two would not do well for me as I'm afraid I'd shoot the barrel out in just a year or two.

Depending on the distance you plan to shoot while on these hunts in Northern MO, I'd try the 30-06 and shoot the heavier bullets with high BCs. Put a scope on the rifle that will allow you to adjust the elevation and you'd be set to 500, 600, or 700 yards.

With the 7MM RUM initially setup for long range (adjust the scope method) you could be looking at a 1000 yard rifle.

If you opt for the Point Blank or Hold Over method the 7MM RUM will probably make it to 450 yards on a good warm day at higher elevations.

What method of Long Range hunting do you have in mind??

Hi Folks:

I'm brand new to this forum; stumbled onto it the other day from a reference on another forum. I have really enjoyed reading much of the info. here. It seems you all have an immense amount of knowledge about long range and flat-shooting calibers, and I hope you don't mind if I try to tap into it a bit.

I have been deer hunting in the Midwest for 25+ years, and have hunted out West for Mulies a couple times. Most of this hunting has been with either .243 or .30-06. I would like to move to something faster and flatter shooting, for my northern Missouri deer hunting (a lot of hunting over large pastures and fields) and a few more trips out west (possibly to include elk).

The two factory calibers I am most intrigued by are .257 Weatherby Mag and 7mm Rem. Ultra Mag. So, would you guys mind giving me your thoughts on those calibers--pros and cons, what would you choose, experience with them, inherent accuracy, recoil levels, etc. Whatever you feel might be helpful to me.

Thanks in advance!
Dave King: Thanks for your reply and insight. I will try to give you a little more info. in case you want to expound even more.

I neglected to mention that my .30-06 is a semi-auto (BAR). I like it a lot, but I'm pretty set on getting a bolt action, as obviously, it would be inherently more accurate than the BAR.

Presently, and most likely for the duration, I don't shoot that much, other than pre-season zeroing and occasional light target shooting. So, I don't think I'd really need to factor wearing out a barrel in my decision.

I would probably consider myself a "point blank" shooter; my present scopes are all your typical hunting-type variables, without any range finding/reticle adjustment capababilities. However, that could change with the purchase of a scope to accompany the new rifle (if it gets to that point, I will then be asking for input on scope selection!).

As an alternative to the 7mm RUM, are there any other factory calibers that you would recommend instead, for my applications? I don't reload, nor have a buddy to do it, so that is why I am really limiting myself to factory calibers.

Finally, as far as this class of cartridge, do you recommend having a muzzle brake on the rifle? I suspect that at any given shooting session, I would not be likely to shoot more than say, 15-20 rounds.

Hope this wasn't too much to throw at you. I appreciate your help!

Jim.There are many caliber's out there that will be able to take deer out past 700 or 800 yard's.If I were going to buy a new gun for your purpose.And was'nt going to reload.I would get myself a Sendero in 300 Win Mag along with some Fed Match ammo.That combo should do quite well for what you are trying to do.Hope this helped some..
I couldn't agree with Boyd's post any more than what he said.

Especially based on that fact your not going to reload Jim. A 257 Weatherby isn't a great shooter in factory configration without playing wiht your hand loads a little. There's always exceptions yes, but a general rule, you need to tuned up Weatherby's with hand loads. The 7RUM while not as bad as the Weatherby does ok with factory ammo, but not great.
The Federal 190gr and the Black Hills ammo for the 300 Win Mag has consistantly fired some amzing groups and scores in competiton. The 190gr MK is up to the task and will propably give you approx 500-600yd shooting if you use a duplex reticle and the 3 aiming point method with PBR applied to the top aiming point. This method is just a spin off of the "point-blank" catagory that Dave King laid out above. And very well worded also David!

Good luck Jim,
Your question (best cal. for LR deer hunting) is one of the huntcamp favorites for which there are many answers, most of them more or less correct. Were I wearing antlers, I would not want to be standing in front of anyones' recommendations. So for the fun of splitting hairs, I'll add my opinions to the stew. I think that 7mm is the best caliber for longrange deer and sometimes elk hunting that you want, because it has the highest BC and sectional density in a deer/elk appropriate weight, without begging the need of a muzzle brake for its more potent commercial cartridges. I don't wear ear protection when hunting and value my hearing more than brakes. A wide variety of excellent 7mm bullets and commercial cartridges are available for your application. A cartridge worth considering is the super popular 7mm Remington Magnum. Delivering a ton of energy out to 400 to 500 yards with a 175grain bullet, you can knock elk flat with any reasonably placed shot. The white tail you hunt mostly will easily bow to 1/2 ton of pressure at 800 yds plus with this or lighter 7mm Mag rounds. And you can buy an accurate shooter in this round from any maker, many for less that $500 at discount department stores. But if you're bent on maximizing your range and accuracy way out there where the wind is as important and less predictable than gravity, less time of flight would favor the 7mm RUM. That's what I'm doing. The commercial options for this load are limited now, but should increase with the popularity and by the Remington pedigree of this brand new round. From the advice that I've received on this learned webpage, the Rem. Sendero looks like the out-of-the-box consensus for this cartridge.
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