Thinking of a new build and need advice on caliber

XSIVSPD

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So I'm planning on building a "pistol" to hunt with. This will be a bolt action in a chassis with a folding stabilizing brace.

I realize that this isn't what the specialty pistol forum is usually about, but I figured you guys would be the best place for the info I need.

I live in Alaska and do a lot of hiking/backpacking and would like to be abke to have a compact, lightweight rig to bring with me during hunting season where the likelihood of my spotting anything is slim, but not impossible.

Brown bears are not on the menu for me to shoot (they are NOT good eating usually) black bears... Possibly. This will mainly be for moose, caribou, sheep, and goats. With the occasional predator (fox, lynx, coyote) thrown in.

I'd like to stick with a 12" barrel unless there's a really good reason not too. I'm not stuck on a short action, and I'm open to magnum cartridges. Shots on game will likely be 400yds max. I try to get as close as possible when hunting, so most are around 100yds typically

I've really been looking pretty hard at a 338 federal. That seems like the best balance of power, recoil, and muzzle blast to me.

I can handload and wont rule out a wildcat, but factory available ammo is a huge plus.

You guys think there is anything better for up here?
 
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Ernie

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Problem with the 338 Fed is that a lot of the 338 bullets have an impact velocity range that is to high for the 338 Fed.
What bullet(s) have you been considering?
What are their minimum impact velocities?
 

Mark Hampton

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I've enjoyed success in the field with a 15 inch Encore barrel in 338 Fed. Federal Premium ammo provides a factory load with Nosler's 180 gr. AB. Velocity was 2516 -- and I wouldn't use anything less than a 15 inch barrel. The 180 gr. Nolser AB works well and I've taken Shiras moose, boar, a huge Livingstone eland (over 1500 pounds) and other African critters with the 338 Federal. While many 338 caliber bullets are intended for the 338 Win Mag, Nolser's 180 gr. AB has performed well with 338 Fed. velocities.
 

XSIVSPD

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Problem with the 338 Fed is that a lot of the 338 bullets have an impact velocity range that is to high for the 338 Fed.
What bullet(s) have you been considering?
What are their minimum impact velocities?


I've been looking at bullets like the 230gr eld-x ( since that line seems to expand reliably down to ~1300fps) and the the Barnes 250gr lrx, as well as the 180 AB for the higher speeds.

If the recommendation is to keep it 15" I might as well add an inch and use a real rifle stock too.

What about something like a 358 win? Seems like that might let me shorten the barrel up some, but it's not the easiest to find ammo for. I've also thought about a 375 raptor, but then I'm into a pretty rare wildcat.

Thanks for all the responses, this is great!
 

XSIVSPD

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I've enjoyed success in the field with a 15 inch Encore barrel in 338 Fed. Federal Premium ammo provides a factory load with Nosler's 180 gr. AB. Velocity was 2516 -- and I wouldn't use anything less than a 15 inch barrel. The 180 gr. Nolser AB works well and I've taken Shiras moose, boar, a huge Livingstone eland (over 1500 pounds) and other African critters with the 338 Federal. While many 338 caliber bullets are intended for the 338 Win Mag, Nolser's 180 gr. AB has performed well with 338 Fed. velocities.
Man, that sounds like some great hunts! Thanks for the info!
 

mindcrime

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If the recommendation is to keep it 15" I might as well What about something like a 358 win? Seems like that might let me shorten the barrel up some, but it's not the easiest to find ammo for. I've also thought about a 375 raptor, but then I'm into a pretty rare wildcat.

Thanks for all the responses, this is great!

I was in the same quandry as I built a packable AR-10......I went with the 358 Win and LOVE THAT CALIBER!!! (I also love my 35 Whelen!!!)

I think a 358 Win might perform pretty well with a max range of 400 yards.
My dad FLATTENED two Elk with my 35 Whelen and 225 gr. TSXs, right near 300 yards (275 yards in reality), and the 358 Win is pretty darn close to my 20" barreled Whelen/Mauser. The 358 Win can also be loaded with 180-220 grain bullets intended for the 35 Rem's lower velocities if you want even more explosive expansion at longer ranges.

I really liked the 375 Raptor, however I didn't want to shorten the ".308 Win" case, like you have to do with the Raptor. Plus, most of the 375 caliber bullets are intended for 375 H&H velocities, IMHO.

I've REALLY considered turning MY XP-100 into a 358 Win, but I am wanting to shoot a little farther. :cool:
 
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XSIVSPD

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I was in the same quandry as I built a packable AR-10......I went with the 358 Win and LOVE THAT CALIBER!!! (I also love my 35 Whelen!!!)

I think a 358 Win might perform pretty well with a max range of 400 yards.
My dad FLATTENED two Elk with my 35 Whelen and 225 gr. TSXs, right near 300 yards (275 yards in reality), and the 358 Win is pretty darn close to my 20" barreled Whelen/Mauser. The 358 Win can also be loaded with 180-220 grain bullets intended for the 35 Rem's lower velocities if you want even more explosive expansion at longer ranges.

I really liked the 375 Raptor, however I didn't want to shorten the ".308 Win" case, like you have to do with the Raptor. Plus, most of the 375 caliber bullets are intended for 375 H&H velocities, IMHO.

I've REALLY considered turning MY XP-100 into a 358 Win, but I am wanting to shoot a little farther. :cool:


I have a couple hundred hardcast lead 375 bullets I've been using in reduced loads on my 375h&h, I bed those would be decent in the raptor with a short barrel. Maybe even be able to do a straight 375x308 without oal concerns since they're short
 

mindcrime

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You didn't mention what weight your cast bullets were, but If you go with the .375 caliber, I would personally consider bumping it up a little to a 375-284 Win, or .375 WSM variant as you are trying for 400 yards.

Here's an article on the 375-308 Jaguar , which should give you an idea on velocities.......from a RIFLE though.
 

Ernie

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With Mark’s information (I would encourage a 15 inch barrel as well as a minimum), A 180 grain Accu-bond would have right a 2500 ft./s muzzle velocity.
With a 400 yard max hunting distance, the Accu-bond will be going just under 1800 fps at 400 yards, depending on atmospheric conditions.
if I am correct, 1800 ft./s is the minimum impact velocity that Nosler gives for the Accubond bullet line.
If, you think that you’re going to be pushing the maximum distances more often, or distances close to your max, you may want to consider upping your case capacity, and using a very good muzzle brake.
 

XSIVSPD

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With Mark’s information (I would encourage a 15 inch barrel as well as a minimum), A 180 grain Accu-bond would have right a 2500 ft./s muzzle velocity.
With a 400 yard max hunting distance, the Accu-bond will be going just under 1800 fps at 400 yards, depending on atmospheric conditions.
if I am correct, 1800 ft./s is the minimum impact velocity that Nosler gives for the Accubond bullet line.
If, you think that you’re going to be pushing the maximum distances more often, or distances close to your max, you may want to consider upping your case capacity, and using a very good muzzle brake.


In all honesty, im much more likely to be within 250yds than needing to take a 400yd shot, just was hoping to still have some decent range lol
 

Ernie

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Harrel is a good brake.
The Holland is a better brake (IMO), but more costly
If, your 7-08 has a MV of 2600 fps, at my atmospheric conditions, your impact velocity is going to be around 1759 fps. The AB's are designed to have a 1800 fps or faster impact velocity.
Not saying it won't kill at 1759 fps/600 yards, but just giving you a heads up.
In all honesty, im much more likely to be within 250yds than needing to take a 400yd shot, just was hoping to still have some decent range lol

Understood.
At 250 yards either 338 Fed or the 358 Winchester will be more than adequate.
 

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