Suggestions for Rifle and Caliber of good mid-range bolt gun?


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epijunkie67
May 14, 2006, 10:12 AM
I was looking through my safe the other day and realized I have a lot of rifles but I don't have a good midrange bolt gun. I classify this as 400 yards with minimal bullet drop.

I want a round that has a variety of bullet weights to chose from, preferably with a wide selection of ammo. Good out to 400-500 yards with minimal drop. Low to moderate recoil. Effective on light game up to 200-250 pounds. I'm not really interested in any of the ultra super magnums, just a good handy rifle mostly for the range and an occassional trip into the field.

Although 308 and 30-06 might work I wanted to look at some others as well. Possible considerations so far are .243, 25-06, 7mm mag, maybe 270? I also looked at the ballistics on 25 wssm and 300 wsm and they might fit the bill but I don't know what recoil on them is like.

So based on these criteria which caliber would you chose and what rifle platform would you launch it out from?

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dodge
May 14, 2006, 10:27 AM
If you plan on hunting deer with it the 243 maybe a little light for that range. The 25-06 and up will serve your purpose very well. I use the 30-06 (but have used the 270 and 25-06) and have no compliants at all. Myself I can't really tell the defence between the recoil of the 270 and 30-06. I'm not a beg fan of the magnums either. My logic is if I can't reach and kill it with the 30-06 I have no reason to be shooting at it with a magnum.

dfaugh
May 14, 2006, 10:48 AM
I'd look hard at the Savages in maybe .308. By most accounts the Savage bolt guns are good value/accuracy for the money (will probably be my next purchase, although not sure what caliber). And, .308 gives you a HUGE variety of factory ammo, and much more if you handload. I'm a big fan of the .270 (and 30-06), but if I was was looking for something new, given your requirements, I'd still probably go with .308.

Magnums have their place but its fairly limited for most of us. If I was looking for another .270, I'd consider .270 WSM, though.

Stiletto Null
May 14, 2006, 10:53 AM
Define "low to moderate".

There's always the K31...ammo can be spendy (solution: reload), but it's a great rifle.

epijunkie67
May 14, 2006, 02:35 PM
Define "low to moderate".

There's always the K31...ammo can be spendy (solution: reload), but it's a great rifle.

I already have a K31 and it is indeed a great rifle. I actually plan on refinishing the stock and cleaning up the action because I think it'll be a really handsome weapon once it's cleaned up.

"Low to moderate recoil" = M1A, Cetme, SU16, 30-30, .357 carbine, SKS. I have all of these in the safe (along with quite a few others) and consider all of them to be low to moderate recoil. I recently aquired a lever action 41 magnum that is has pretty snappy recoil but I think that's a combination of a light rifle, small stock footprint, and magnum powder. With some powder suited to an 18" barrel and a small buttpad it should shoot great.

Stiletto Null
May 14, 2006, 03:47 PM
Well, bolties good out to "400m" will tend toward the battle rifle class rather than assault rifle class calibers. Which means recoil will be a little bit on the stout side.

Someone did/does a CZ 527 conversion to 6.5 Grendel; I hear it's super sweet. Ammo could be a problem, though, unless you reload.

Lonestar.45
May 14, 2006, 11:10 PM
Of the possibilities you mentioned, I would not classify a 7mm rem mag as low to moderate recoil.

Personally I think you'd like a .270 Win. I love mine. Lots of ammo to choose from, great ballistics, and a good all around mid-range rifle. It will recoil more than a .243, etc., but it's not too bad with a proper stock and/or butt pad.

However, if you TRULY want the widest possible selection and availability of ammo, then the 30-06 obviously just can't be beat.

I've often thought about picking up a .260 Remington, as the ballistics look great and I think it would be a pussycat to shoot. But the availability of ammo and loads kind of holds me back as I don't handload.

mustanger98
May 14, 2006, 11:43 PM
I agree about the .30-06 being a good "mid-range" deal based on the wide variety of ammo and its performance. However, with mention of the .243Winchester, I figured to throw in that with my favorable experience with this rifle/round I also ran the numbers on a trajectory/range calculator program. The kill zone size I figured in was 5". This data will vary some given differences in Atmospheric Density and such. This program also automatically assumes your sight (scope, presumably) is 1.5" above the bore axis and that's how I ran it, but my rifle (Savage M11GL) has see-through scope mounts so the scope is sitting a bit higher which will probably make the trajectory higher past the 100yd zero (lower at 25-50yds).

Calculated Parameters
Elevation: 3.37 MOA Azimuth: 0.00 MOA

Atmospheric Density: 0.07163 lbs/ft³ Speed of Sound: 1116.5 ft/s

Maximum PBR: 355 yds Maximum PBR Zero: 302 yds
Range at Max Height: 168 yds Energy at PBR: 1093.2 ft•lbs

[http://www.eskimo.com/~jbm]

I'd bet on .243Winchester to do the job very well. Light for deer? I've seen deer hit with .243- pick your shot and place the bullet through the upper lungs, maybe break the spine while you're at it. The deer ain't going anywhere.

michael_aos
May 14, 2006, 11:56 PM
260 is about perfect, but you can't beat 308 for variety.

Mike

esheato
May 15, 2006, 12:03 AM
I skimmed the thread and didn't see mention of 7mm-08 either. Although my preferences lean towards the 260, either of those would more than adequate.

Ed

rangerruck
May 15, 2006, 12:55 AM
skip around and look should stop at these three, 257 roberts, 6mm remmy, 6.5 swede. the swde will be the cheapest because you can get milsurp ammo. the roberts is quite gentle. plus that uberlong streamlined bullet just doesn't move in the wind. the old 6 remmy , my personal favorite, for a non wildcat round , shoots farther, faster, and flatter than all but about 5 rounds out there, such as the wehterby mags, and the 2506, but much less recoil, and great bbl life. it is far superior to the 243, because of the case and neck design. it is amazingly not overbore, because it is so efficient at it 's powder burn. if you look at an annuals ballistic charts, for a 90 to 100 grn round it is double tough to beat. Plus Academy here in houston, sells the 6mm rounds at about 8 bucks per box.

kennyboy
May 15, 2006, 06:07 PM
7mm Reminton Magnum

Stiletto Null
May 15, 2006, 06:17 PM
Overbore?

"7mm Remington Mag" and "Moderate Recoil" don't belong in the same sentence unless there's an odd number of negatives in the mix.

ryoushi
May 15, 2006, 07:58 PM
I was looking through my safe the other day and realized I have a lot of rifles but I don't have a good midrange bolt gun. I classify this as 400 yards with minimal bullet drop.

I want a round that has a variety of bullet weights to chose from, preferably with a wide selection of ammo. Good out to 400-500 yards with minimal drop. Low to moderate recoil. Effective on light game up to 200-250 pounds. I'm not really interested in any of the ultra super magnums, just a good handy rifle mostly for the range and an occassional trip into the field.


You've just described the 260 Rem.
http://www.clcweb.net/Shooting/Rem_260/rem_260.html

Terrierman
May 15, 2006, 08:11 PM
When I went through that same thought process, I wound up with a .270 and have not ever regretted it. But I used to wait by the mailbox for the next magazine with a Jack O'Connor article in it so maybe I'm just a teensy bit biased:) .There are a lot of good choices being suggested, just remember that at 400 yards, wind is a big deal so read those wind drift charts if you're serious about that sort of range. Best of luck with whatever you decide on.

captdavid
May 21, 2006, 01:22 PM
I think the perfect sub 300lb game and up to elk in a pinch) is the 7-08. The 260 is a close second. A frriend's son killed a 6x6 elk with his 7x57 Mauser(7-08 twin) at 200yds. It broke a shoulder and was under the skin on the off side. The 7-08 comes into it's own with a 24" barrel in my opinion. A longer,heavier, barrel is also easier to 'hold on' at distances. In my opinion the 7-o8 CDL is about perfect for what you want. capt david

CB1961
May 21, 2006, 07:29 PM
.270win has pretty good reach for most deer size game. You can pick up the ammo just about anywhere too, which is one of my picking points. I just don't get the super short magnum craze going on. Seems like between the light weight bullets in .270 caliber and the heavy ones in .308(30-06) caliber you could handle about any north american hunt out to what I think of as ethical kill ranges. I'm not even going to try a 400 yard shot, but if you can place one that far out then you have my respect.

Brian Williams
May 21, 2006, 10:43 PM
Win Compact Classic in 7mm-08

mountainclmbr
May 21, 2006, 11:12 PM
Another vote for .270 Win. Mine is over 25 years old and is still my most accurate rifle with handloads.

rbernie
May 21, 2006, 11:27 PM
25-06.

ocabj
May 22, 2006, 12:22 AM
Long Action? 6.5x55 Swede
Short Action? .260 Remington

The the 6.5mm/.264" bullets will give you a good range to choose from. Light bullets under 100gr for varminting. Then 100 to around 160 for everything else. While the 6.5mm/.264" bullet is smaller in diameter to the .30 cal bullets, the sectional density of the heavier 6.5mm/.264" bullets allow for hunting use. The 6.5mm/.264" bullets also have incredible ballistic coefficients, which rival or even exceed the BC of match grade .30 cal bullets.

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