What caliber should I choose?

WyoRifleman

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May 30, 2019
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Like the title states, I need help choosing a caliber for my first build.

I recently purchased a MDT ACC in a short action so that narrows it down a little. Additionally, what ever the caliber, I want to make sure that'll be able to take down a bull elk and an antelope at a "long" distance.

I currently shoot a rem 700 243 for my antelope and a Savage 30-06 for elk, stock ammo. I have been slowly acquiring all reloading equipment and have almost everything to start reloading, so I am ok with a wildcat.

I have thought about a 7mm or a 6.5 prc, possibly buying Sherman wildcat brass, and a 26 nosler. Obviously, these are not the only options.

I go back and forth, talking myself in and out of each option. Thanks for all the input!
 

Buster Hemlock

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Well the 26 Nosler is out since you said your chassis is for a short action. I love the 7 SAUM personally. Just built a 7 Sherman Short but haven't shot it yet. Both would serve you well. I believe 7mm is a solid multi-purpose cartridge but if it's going to be a long range elk gun then a 30 or 338 is in order, but that also depends on what you consider long range.
 

Jud96

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If you plan to reload that helps a lot. If I had to be limited to a short action I would choose a magnum cartridge. I would use a Wyatt’s extended mag box and run a 7mm SAUM. Similar ballistics to a 7mm Rem Mag but fits in a short action with a Wyatt’s magazine box. You should be able to run 160-168gr bullets and they’ll function well in a short action without taking up powder capacity. The Sherman Short would be a good choice too but you’re limited to one brass option or you have to make brass and fireform it.
 

lancetkenyon

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True short action, 6.5SS or 7SS. Maybe even the 300SS, but running the heavies takes up case space.

I push a 156 Elite @ 3000 in my 26" 6.5SS. Enough for elk to 880 in my opinion.

I am building a 24" 1:8.4" 7SS now, and my plan is to run the 184 F Open Hyb in it. I am hoping for 2900-2950 suppressed. Enough for elk out to 1000ish.
 

WyoRifleman

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May 30, 2019
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Wyoming
If you plan to reload that helps a lot. If I had to be limited to a short action I would choose a magnum cartridge. I would use a Wyatt’s extended mag box and run a 7mm SAUM. Similar ballistics to a 7mm Rem Mag but fits in a short action with a Wyatt’s magazine box. You should be able to run 160-168gr bullets and they’ll function well in a short action without taking up powder capacity. The Sherman Short would be a good choice too but you’re limited to one brass option or you have to make brass and fireform it.
Jud, this might be a dumb question, be when you say 30, you mean the 30 nosler right?
 

Buster Hemlock

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Jud, this might be a dumb question, be when you say 30, you mean the 30 nosler right?
30 Nosler won't fit in a short action. However it would be a good option if you stepped up to a long action. I'm a 300 win mag fan in that relative case capacity, load up some 215 Bergers at 2900-3000 FPS and you have a elk killing machine. The Nosler would run a touch faster than the win mag and add a little to range
 

zr600

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His short action won’t work with a 300winlag either. I would say a 7ss, 300ss.
 

jsmitt6

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Dec 2, 2020
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Currently waiting on my 338 Sherman Short barrel to be finished. I had the same rifle as you, a rem 700 in 243. I sent the bolt to LRI to open the face to a magnum diameter and flute the bolt, bought some SAUM AICS mags, and will screw on the remage barrel when it gets here. The ability to buy 100 pieces of brass with virtually no prep (minus opening it from a 7mm to 338) is what sealed the deal for me. Looking to get around 2800 FPS with a 250 berger out of a 26" tube
 

GrayCreed

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Jun 17, 2020
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I'd go with something 7mm or 270 just based on bullet availability, sucks not being able to get bullets in 6.5mm there is 284 win which is very underrated and gives you 280 performance in a short action. Peterson makes nice brass for it. Then there are the short mags, 7rsaum, 7wsm. Also think maybe the new 6.8 western? 270 bullets are easy to find. And all the big manufacturers will be making heavier bullets in this caliber now.
 

Buster Hemlock

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Feb 26, 2019
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His short action won’t work with a 300winlag either. I would say a 7ss, 300ss.
Yep, I was just addressing his question about 30 Nosler and just saying if he went to a long action I like the Win Mag in that relative case capacity.
 

Aoudad 101

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Feb 24, 2020
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SAN ANGELO TX
Well the 26 Nosler is out since you said your chassis is for a short action. I love the 7 SAUM personally. Just built a 7 Sherman Short but haven't shot it yet. Both would serve you well. I believe 7mm is a solid multi-purpose cartridge but if it's going to be a long range elk gun then a 30 or 338 is in order, but that also depends on what you consider long range.
My 40x 300 win mag is short action js
 

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