Best magnum caliber for Tactical/Target Rifle?


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ArkansasFatboy
January 21, 2008, 11:20 PM
Guys just curious. I am thinking of spending some money and putting together a serious long range rifle. Mostly just for punching paper but one day may get to go out west and hunt at some extended ranges. Anyway back to my question. As far as long range accuracy(I know that depends on the platform and shooter) witch of the following calibers, if you were going to build a custom rifle would you choose (I reload so that may open up caliber selection) 6.5 rem. mag, .264 win mag, 7mm rem mag, 7mm stw, .300 win mag, .338 win mag,. Just want you guys two cents I kinda have an idea wich I will go with but wanted to have some other opinions.

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dakotasin
January 21, 2008, 11:30 PM
i like 'em all except for the 6.5 rem mag and 7 stw. in place of the stw, i suggest a 7 rum, and i also suggest you not discount performers like the 257 wby, 257 roberts improved, 25-06, and the 338-300 rum, and 300 rum.

of all those chamberings, i find the 338 win mag as shootable, or more so, than any other, and perfectly capable of anything. it is an outstanding cartridge that too many people have too little experience w/. anyway, that's my favorite cartridge and top pick for you.

birdbustr
January 21, 2008, 11:49 PM
What's wrong with the 7mm STW if you reload. Brass is becoming more scarce too, but you can make 7mm STW from 8mm Rem Mag brass, but I don't know what you can reform to 7 RUM. I realize the 7 RUM is a little easier to find factory rounds for, but if you look at some ballistics, one is very close to the other. Don't discount the 7mm STW IMO.

Zak Smith
January 21, 2008, 11:50 PM
Skip the magnum for paper and get a 260. Trajectory performance beats Federal 190gr .300WM match. If you must get a magnum, look at 7RM or 6.5-284 (which is really a magnum).


http://demigodllc.com/photo/CGMG-2006.11/icon/D100_3368_img.jpg
article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part I - Rifle & Equipment http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-equipment/)

birdbustr
January 21, 2008, 11:52 PM
What's wrong with the 7mm STW if you reload. Brass is becoming more scarce too, but you can make 7mm STW from 8mm Rem Mag brass, but I don't know what you can reform to 7 RUM. I realize the 7 RUM is a little easier to find factory rounds for, but if you look at some ballistics, one is very close to the other. Don't discount the 7mm STW IMO.
BTW either the 7mm STW or 7mm RUM has more powder capacity than you will ever need.

dakotasin
January 22, 2008, 01:29 AM
nothing wrong w/ the stw, but the question was what i would build if i were doing up another custom...

casio02478
January 22, 2008, 11:30 AM
i have to go with the 300 Win Mag. It is the old stand by for precision rifles when one want to move up from 308. It is used across the world by LEO and mil groups. It will get you out to 1000Ms easily if you know what you are doing. If you want similar performance from a short action then 300wsm is also a good choice.

USSR
January 22, 2008, 12:58 PM
I am thinking of spending some money and putting together a serious long range rifle.

If you want a "serious" long range rifle, then look at what cartridges they are currently being built in (and it ain't the ones you listed).

Don

Gewehr98
January 22, 2008, 01:41 PM
Long-range target shooters have migrated away from the recoil, barrel erosion, belted brass, and attendant headaches of those particular magnums towards rounds like the 6.5x284, etc.

Just sayin'. ;)

LeonCarr
January 22, 2008, 02:15 PM
6.5-284 would be a top choice, as well as the 6.5-06.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Essex County
January 22, 2008, 03:09 PM
Pragmist in me votes with Casio. .300 Winchester Magnum would work for me......Essex

Joe Gunns
January 22, 2008, 04:51 PM
I would advise away from .264 win mag. I have one in the original Model 70 Westerner configuration. I like it, but ammo can be scarce and wasn't cheap before the current price run-up and the 7mm mag has similar capabilities.
James

GunTech
January 22, 2008, 06:12 PM
why a magnum. 6.5-284 is king of LR small bore shooting. If you want Long range and magnum, consider the 338 Lapua.

skinewmexico
January 22, 2008, 07:09 PM
i have to go with the 300 Win Mag. It is the old stand by for precision rifles

Old being the operative word in that sentence. I think there was one 300 Winmag in the top 20 at the F-Class Nationals this year. The 6.5s and 7mm rule. Like Zak said, a 260 beats a 300 at distance, and does it with less powder and recoil.

Markbo
January 22, 2008, 07:51 PM
Have you ever shot any of these magnums? My guess is you are smart enough that you will figure out on the first range trip most of those are ill suited to long winded paper shooting. :D

If you want a 1,000 yard gun there are better options. If you want a 400 yard capable hunting gun I don't think you can go wrong with any of dakotasin suggested. In fact I have harvested more deer with the 25-06 in my life than all other calibers combined.

And I have never had ONE take more than about 5 steps. Honest.

UnTainted
January 22, 2008, 08:37 PM
338 lapua

SpeedAKL
January 23, 2008, 12:57 AM
If you want a real precision rifle in a magnum caliber, the .338 Lapua is a good choice if you don't mind spending the $$$. Unlike many of the other calibers you mentioned, match-grade bullets are readily available for this round. Furthermore, it comes in many outstanding high-end rifles.

Many people brought up the 6 and 6.5mm stuff, but keep in mind that the guy wanted to do some Western hunting as well.

Zak Smith
January 23, 2008, 01:32 AM
If you're going to get something with barrel life under 2000 rounds, factory ammo over $4 a piece, and excessive recoil for hunting, you'd better have another rifle in a manageable and affordable caliber for practice. Long-range hits are not made by calibers or rifles-- but by the shooter, and to get there it takes a lot of practice.

Lazuris
January 23, 2008, 11:21 AM
If you're looking for something to get your feet wet check out savage 110fp in 300winmag or 25-06. For under a grand you can get a rifle,scope, and some store bought ammo and hit the range the same day. Its not gonna win you any national comps right out the door but its a good place to start. Also Savage has a nifty easy-change barrel so you can always upgrade on the fly for little money.

Also the 300 shoots .308 cal bullets so there is plenty to choose from and they are cheap, tons of proven loads, and plenty of old timers to pick their brains. Yes 300's do shoot their barrels out but since its a .30 cal barrels are cheaper then more exotic calibers. Also you said you wanted to hunt, the 300 can take any North American game. BTW the recoil on a 300 is not that bad at all.

GunTech
January 23, 2008, 12:17 PM
Just for the record, I have no problem shooting good 1000 yards groups with a 308 with a 20" bbl. Lapua Scenars are you friend.

You don't need a magnum to get to 1K. Look at velocity and BC.

Browning
January 23, 2008, 02:12 PM
7mm RM.

Flat shooting, hard hitting, fairly common ammo wise.

If I wanted a magnum rifle that's probably what I'd pick anyway.

What's wrong the .308 Win, 30-06, .270 Win, .243 and the .260 though?

kieran
January 23, 2008, 02:50 PM
if you want to use the same round in a semi-auto rifle (ar10, for example), perhaps look into the 300 SAUM. DPMS and Armalite both offer ar10-style rifles in that chambering.
i think the remington variant was chosen for its sturdier brass.

ForneyRider
January 23, 2008, 03:54 PM
Remington 7mm Mag or Lapua 338 Magnum.

Rem. 7mm Mag plenty of components to play with, relatively cheap and common.

.338 Lapua lethality at long range is better but is a shoulder buster and $$$.

.338 RUM is pretty close to .338 Lapua.

300 Win Mag is more punishing(louder, more recoil) than 7mm Mag with less benefit.

Optics are $$$ for magnum tactical scopes with bullet compensation, tactical turrets and adjustable objective. Expect to pay 50% of budget on a good scope, rings and mounts.

skinewmexico
January 23, 2008, 08:41 PM
Many people brought up the 6 and 6.5mm stuff, but keep in mind that the guy wanted to do some Western hunting as well.

All I've done is Western hunting, but I didn't realize you had to do something different. Hope all the animals I've shot with 6-6.5mm don't jump out of the freezer next time I open it. My mule deer last year was 417 yards with a 25-06.

mule157
January 23, 2008, 09:29 PM
isnt there caliber restrictions in some states. i thought that you couldnt use some calibers under a certain criteria on some game animals, didnt he say he was wanting to go out west possibly and do some long range hunting. you might check into that before you buy one of the smaller calibers, sometimes game and fish dont see with the hunter eye to eye.

Zak Smith
January 23, 2008, 10:12 PM
My last LR student took a couple antelope at 400-500 yards with a 308, clean kills.

DSmoov
January 23, 2008, 10:30 PM
7 mag has better numbers (except for energy) than the .300 mag and it also has significantly less recoil. it will easily touch out to 1000 yards

Rocky Mountain Wapiti
January 25, 2008, 07:05 AM
See following message.

Rocky Mountain Wapiti
January 25, 2008, 07:10 AM
Besides punching paper, you mentioned hunting at extended ranges out west. If you are going to hunt anything larger than deer, you can forget about anything smaller than 7mm Rem Mag. You need about 2000 ftlbs of energy for Elk, for example. So that 7mm will deliver out to about 300 yards, the 300 Win Mag to about 400 yds., and the 338 Win Mag to about 500 yards. However, if you are staying on the western plains and pronghorn (antlelope) is your game (great for long-range hunting) then you need less than 1000ftlbs is plenty of energy, but I still wouldn't recommend going below 7mm Mag (any variety) to maintain solid long-range ballistics. If you intend to hunt on the plains and also hunt moose in the mountains you'll probably need two guns -- a long range gun for the plains and a hard hitter, 338 or 375, for moose. Happy shooting and happy hunting. Nothing like tracking and shooting a big ol' Bull Elk!:D

ottsixx
January 27, 2008, 12:32 AM
I dont know why you need a magnum,Im a big fan of the 6.5mm-06 and the 338-06 and my guess is at what ever practical range you can hit it in the vitals you can take the animal with either of these rounds,seems like the world has gone magnum-mania nuts,guys are huntin today with guns big enuff to be anti aircraft when heavy bullets at modest velocities and good shot placement is what it takes to put game on the ground.................

ArchAngelCD
January 27, 2008, 03:45 AM
I suggest you listen to what Mr. Zak Smith has to say. He know what he's talking about from experience whereas I'm betting the other here giving you advice have never scored a hit at 500 yards let alone 1,000 yards. They are all giving you an opinion based on what they read on the Internet, he's knowledge comes from shooting. Also, take a look at his site. There is a lot of valuable information in those pages.

9mmepiphany
January 27, 2008, 04:58 AM
another fan of the 6.5mm bullet here. i don't own one, buthave been able to shoot one's belonging to others and there is definately no reason to subject yourself to the recoil of the .30 magnums or even the 7mm magnums.

the 6.5mm bullet, atop either the '06 or .284 case is all you need. (they're both the same except for lenght of action required)

Savage makes the perfect "starter" rifle for you in their "12 F Classs", it has a 30" ex-heavy stainless barrel chambered for the 6.5x284 Norma

Markbo
January 27, 2008, 02:59 PM
So Mr. Zak Smith.... which one of your parents was human?

Zak Smith
January 27, 2008, 06:56 PM
Mother.

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