New rifle with a few questions

Tac-O

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Ok so I had to re read this thread a couple of times & if I am reading it right you have only use the Winchester silvertip factory ammo?
Is that correct??

Did you actually shoot multiple brands/types of ammo through the rifle??

I have only had 2 Rem 700's & they both shoot sub MOA with factor & handloads.

Yes. I tried 8 different loads
 

LVJ76

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Awesome. Thanks everyone for all the insight. I'll have to do some more reading and thinking for awhile before deciding.

What about factory ammo cost? I found an article today that mentioned a 7 rem mag being a great gun for larger game so I checked out ammo prices and they seem quite a bit more than .308 and .30 06.

Part of the reason I initially chose .30 06 was due to the price of factory loads and it's versatility in the range of bullets it can shoot. .308 is nearly the same, but can't do the higher weight bullets as well (I think).

.270 is the only other cartridge I know of that compares to or beats the cost of the old .30 cals and has significant power at long range. But, it seems that a lot of hunters say you shouldn't hunt tough 800lbs+ game with it farther than maybe 300yds. So, that's part of the reason for being a bit hesitant in going with a light, fast cartridge. Is that just old school thinking that is wrapped around the older powders not giving as much power and it just won't die?

The 7mm RM ammo will be $5 to $7 more per box of 20, however, but you pay for the performance. With the 30-06 you will lose from 100 to 200 yds of reach than with the 7mm Rem Mag.
 

Tac-O

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I finally made a decision and am very happy with it! I sold my Remington and bought a t3x superlite in .30 06. After much reading and researching I decided to go with that because it's so versatile with bullet weight, factory ammo is cheap, and it's the largest bore cartridge with a 400yd elk range that I can also reduce loads for smaller game. Sure itsinot as efficient as some other cartridges, but it's extremely versatile for the bore size.

I decided I wanted to hand load to get the most accuracy out of my gun and also because I enjoy the process of figuring it out. So while I first planned to have an accurate cheap gun for hunting, I ended up with a hobby! I picked up a Lee hand press kit, made up some loads for an incremental test of 4 cartridges each, and found a winner! Pics are below.
 

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aushunter1

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Haven't heard of a Tikka that wont shoot fantastic out of the box.

As Doug Marcaida says...…………………...It Will Kill ;)
 

LVJ76

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That looks like a nice load Ryan and good choice on the cartridge. I would recommend you try the same load a couple more times to check consistency and also try it put to 200 yards.
 

Tac-O

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What load worked for you? Looks good.

Thanks! I used Hodgdon H4350 because it was listed as a powder for nearly all weights of .30 06 bullets in Lee's manual. I chose sierra prohunter 150gr bullets because it was the cheapest flatbase bullet in the store and I figured that would be my best bet for easy accuracy in learning to hand load (less recoil, faster stabilization from flat base). I used CCI 200 primers for no reason other than the box being blue. For cases, I just used some once-fired winchesters. After getting the hang of it, I'll move into the heavier bullets.

I did a full length resize due to the store not stocking the Lee collet neck sizer, COL of 3.350 which is 0.015 off the lands, and did a factory crimp.

I started on the low end of the recommended load in Lee's book, which is 56.0gr. Increased each 4 round set by 0.60gr. Set 1 and 2 were the worst, the standout was my third set at 57.2gr., and sets 4 and 5 were somewhere around 1" moa.

That looks like a nice load Ryan and good choice on the cartridge. I would recommend you try the same load a couple more times to check consistency and also try it put to 200 yards.

Yes! My plans were to repeat the best load shown there, but I haven't decided whether or not I want to repeat the other four sets of loads. I was really careful to get my rests set exactly the same way every shot, keep the time between shots pretty consistent, and keep my hold pressure etc the same for every shot. I'll probably repeat the best one and keep working upward on the load range from the manual to see what happens. Tons of fun!
 

spud06

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No need to repeat the others. I would repeat the 57.2 and also do a set of 57.0 and 57.4. Take the same care in shooting. Also, you don't have to full length resize. You can back the die off a bit, maybe 1/16 in. Check out this article: http://www.gsgroup.co.za/faqsizerdie.html
As long as you can chamber without much effort. It will save your brass from overworking. But, I would go with the Lee Collet die instead. Interesting, I've never used a factory crimp. If this works, good for you! I have a few used Tikka's, (lefty's), 30-06 & 7MM Rem Mag. Haven't shot them yet. Probably should get on it.
 

diddlyv

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Mar 25, 2016
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Don't chase the highest possible velocities. You are far better off shooting game with the most accurate load your rifle will shoot. Limit shots to the range you can consistently put every shot into a 8 or 9 inch paper plate.
Over about 400 yards wind starts to do amazing things not to mention what the game can do in the time it takes from the time your brain says squeeze the trigger till the round gets to where the animal is.
 

Tac-O

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Don't chase the highest possible velocities. You are far better off shooting game with the most accurate load your rifle will shoot. Limit shots to the range you can consistently put every shot into a 8 or 9 inch paper plate.
Over about 400 yards wind starts to do amazing things not to mention what the game can do in the time it takes from the time your brain says squeeze the trigger till the round gets to where the animal is.

I completely agree! I'm just curious as to how the higher loads will look and I figure it's good practice for loading.

After doing a bit more research and reading over the last couple months I realized that taking shots at game over 400 or 500 yds is irresponsible unless the conditions happen to be exactly perfectly right. Even then it's iffy due to the potential of the animal moving, as you said. IllI only shoot at game from a distance I can hit an 8-12" circle every time from field positions and don't know that I'll ever try farther than 400.
 

spud06

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I would reduce that down to a 5" circle. Use a ballistics calculator to find your "Maximum Point Blank Range" for your load. Start with that for a few years of hunts. Your cheating yourself out on a lot of "hunting" by wanting to shoot animals from 400 yds. The further you are away from the animal, the more likely you won't get a decent second shot and the more likely they will get away wounded. For an ethical hunter, wounding and losing an animal may haunt you for a long time. Also, you'll be tempted to shoot one that you can't easily get to, so pack a fork, and salt and pepper. I highly recommend you keep your shots to below 250 yds. I certainly can't speak for all but, for me, the joy is in the hunt, not in the kill. I know this is a long range forum, so I'll likely hear some objections.
 

Tac-O

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I would reduce that down to a 5" circle. Use a ballistics calculator to find your "Maximum Point Blank Range" for your load. Start with that for a few years of hunts. Your cheating yourself out on a lot of "hunting" by wanting to shoot animals from 400 yds. The further you are away from the animal, the more likely you won't get a decent second shot and the more likely they will get away wounded. For an ethical hunter, wounding and losing an animal may haunt you for a long time. Also, you'll be tempted to shoot one that you can't easily get to, so pack a fork, and salt and pepper. I highly recommend you keep your shots to below 250 yds. I certainly can't speak for all but, for me, the joy is in the hunt, not in the kill. I know this is a long range forum, so I'll likely hear some objections.

The joy for me is in the hunt as well. I'm mostly an experience and meat hunter. Growing up hunting whitetails in close proximity was great, and I hope to do the same with elk, pronghorn, whatever I can get a tag for. With the meat being equally important to me as the experience, I just want the ability to extend my range if need be. No, I certainly don't want shoot from 400yds!
 

32/40

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Nice job Ryan , I just read this post hoping to pick up some tips. It is quite a contrast between your first target and your last because you saw it through until you had the Hunting Rifle that you wanted in the end. In the meantime you learned to reload and develop your own loads. Well done.
 

DartonJager

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I finally made a decision and am very happy with it! I sold my Remington and bought a t3x superlite in .30 06. After much reading and researching I decided to go with that because it's so versatile with bullet weight, factory ammo is cheap, and it's the largest bore cartridge with a 400yd elk range that I can also reduce loads for smaller game. Sure itsinot as efficient as some other cartridges, but it's extremely versatile for the bore size.

I decided I wanted to hand load to get the most accuracy out of my gun and also because I enjoy the process of figuring it out. So while I first planned to have an accurate cheap gun for hunting, I ended up with a hobby! I picked up a Lee hand press kit, made up some loads for an incremental test of 4 cartridges each, and found a winner! Pics are below.

Ryan glad I read all the replies before I added mine as I was going to suggest the simplest and by far cheapest solution was for you to sell the rifle and buy a rifle with a CURRENT well established reputation for great OOTB accuracy like the Tikka. I was going to recommend the Tikka among others as I own rifles from many different manufacturers and my Tikka T3 is by far my most accurate gun.

So far two of my friends and one of my friends sons after seeing how my Tikka shoots then shooting it for themselves went out and bought Tikka's of their own.
I have included one of my many targets of quite good accuracy shooting my reloads out of my 100% stock Tikka T3 Lite in 300wsm. I dont see how anyone can expect better accuracy from a 100% factory rifle.

To be honest though I was going to also suggest you consider a Ruger American rifle as no I don't own one but I have seen three total being shot at my private gun club and was very impressed with the accuracy of a relatively inexpensive rifle all of which were shooting factory ammo. But you have a Tikka and you will unlikely ever regret your purchase.
 

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