Which Caliber/Rifle to Choose?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by lgraham, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. lgraham

    lgraham Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I want to buy a new rifle to use for game at longer range and thought I would consult some advise on this forum before I go out and purchase a new rifle. First, I live and do most of my hunting in Alaska so the intended game for this rifle will most likely be: Dall Sheep, Mtn. Goat, Sitka Blacktail Deer, Elk, Caribou and possibly Moose (with larger species like moose being less likely to be taken at longer range). Anyhow, I want to be able to shoot out to around 700 (more or less) yards with this rifle when the perfect conditions arise. Thus I am left with choosing a rifle that can shoot this accurately. I am left handed and would like the rifle to be stainless/synthetic due to the climate that we have here. I have looked at a number of factory rifles and really like feel and features of the Tikka T3 Lite. However I will consider all opinions or advise on what to get. As well as this, I would like a smaller caliber with somewhat mild recoil so I can practice enough to gain the proficiency required to shoot at long range. With that in mind, I am looking at the following calibers for this rifle (.260 rem, 6.5x55, .270 win, 7mm08) since this is what the factory Tikka is offered in. However, like I said before I will consider all calibers including custom varieties. As well as this I will be reloading for this rifle and will also consider turning the gun into an Ackley Improved if that will help. Anyhow, essentially my question is what gun and caliber would you pick for the conditions I have outlined. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
  2. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    might be pricey but what bout a 6.5-284. Or a 270. wsm
  3. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    An oldie but a goodie 300 Win Mag
  4. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    I like my .270 for pretty much everything that moves. But I just boughtt a new sstl LH .338 Win Mag in case I ever come back to AK. One thing's driving me crazy now is that 6.5-284 thing, I sure feel the 'gottahaveone' creepin over me. Practically I'd think the .260 or 7-08 would be great for all but grizzlers, and you wouldnt need a custom rifle like with the 6-5-284. Good luck on your choice and your hunts.
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
  6. 3006savage

    3006savage Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2008
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    6.5-284, 6.5 WSM, 270 WSM, 7mm WSM, 300 WSM

    The 300 WSM should give you lots of good shooting and barrel life and IMO, is enough gun for anything that walks in Alaska or anywhere else in NA.

    The 300 WSM will kick a little but you can put a limbsaver on it. I use a slip on recoil pad when shooting mine and i can shoot it all day long and take off the slip-on for the field.

    RL17 should work well in any of the above cartridges, giving you 100-200 fps more velocity than other powders... or... load it down a little and get the same or slightly higher velocities with less pressure.

  8. Billy Bob

    Billy Bob New Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Hi Luke, I like your idea about the mild recoil. I see many shooters with 'big' guns and they just can't handle the recoil the thus the rifle never shoots to it's full potential. I like the Tikka in 7 - 08 and 270wsm they both shoot very well from that rifle. Have a look at the Savage in 6.5 x 284 I don't think it's avaliable stainless although it has a muzzle brake, composite stock and they are very accurate. If it was me I would go the 6.5 with a US Optics scope plus lots of range time. Good luck mate and happy hunting.
  9. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    tikka is a good choice. best choice is a 700 with a krieger barrel and a leup scope. you pick the caliber
  10. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    I'm with UncleB and J E Custom. Nothing against the other calibers mentioned but for me I'd want 30 caliber. If recoil is an issue I'd suggest 300wm, if recoil isn't a big issue then a 300rum.
  11. flyin lizard

    flyin lizard Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    I too am a fan of the 300wsm,lots of bullets to play with and with a good recoil pad it does not beat you up. My neighbors 15 yr.old son, of less than average build and NO centerfire rifle experience, shot my Sav.mod 11 with WW factory 180s off my benchrest and his after shot statement was " cool".
  12. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    I have a Tikka T-3 light in 300 wsm and 338 win mag. Either of those would be good in Alaska. I shoot the 150 grain E-tip bullet with a .469BC at 3400 fps out of the 300 wsm and that is good for about anything. I don't consider it a long range rifle so I don't use the heavy bullets but for out to 650 or so yards it does a very good job. The tikka light in 338 win mag will take out anything in alaska with a 225 accubond at near 3000 fps.
  13. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Like you, I live in and do most of my hunting in AK. I have two goto rifles. One 308 and one 338 Edge. 95% of the game I have taken has been with the 308 including most of the moose, all but one of the 6 dall rams and one mt. goat and 3 blacktails. I have taken over 20 big game critters in this state and only 6 have been with a caliber other than the 308 ranging between 25 yards and 763 yards, 150 pounds to 1800 pounds.

    I am not saying you need a 308. I am saying you dont need a super caliber. Choose what you are comfortable with and what will offer you decent barrel life and economical reloading so that you can actually get out there and practice be it a 708 or a 300wsm.
  14. pablo

    pablo Active Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    I think any of the cartridges you listed would do the job you are trying to acomplish. Micheal's comment that you need to practice a lot is the most absolutely true comment that has been made. We do our load development and drop chart on a known distance range using a six foot tall target to measure the actual drop at longer ranges. We practice after making calls on a varmint setups by ranging a distinctive rock at anywhere from 4 to 800 yards, making a wind calcuation, making the hold and then the shot. This practice is invaluable to being able to make a key shot when it counts. It is far superior to burning ammo on a known distance range.