Next logical step up from a 308


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sleepyone
November 11, 2009, 02:25 PM
I would like some input from the magnum experts! I have a 243, 270 and 308. I want to have one magnum caliber, even though I don't need it right now. I hope to go on an elk hunt one day and want to have a rifle with which I am already competent. I can't decide between the 7mm mag, 300 win mag and 338 win mag. I don't reload and am not terribly recoil sensitive. I can shoot two boxes of 150 grains out of my 308 with a limbsaver and my jacket on before I have to call it quits. For what it's worth, I chose the 308 over the 30-06 because I felt the difference in recoil on the 30-06 was not worth the slightly better ballistics.

I have been told the 300 win mag is superior to the 7mm mag out to about 350 yards, but after that the 7mm mag takes over. I know the 338 win mag has the most recoil out of the three.

What say you?

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Z-Michigan
November 11, 2009, 02:27 PM
Are you more focused on power to take large animals or on range to take deer/elk sized animals at distances beyond 300 yards?

Of course, if price no object a .338 Lapua magnum would do all that the three listed options can do, and much more.

Sheepdog1968
November 11, 2009, 02:27 PM
I've been told that the 338 Laupa fills the gap between the 308 and 50 cal but I have no hands on experience myself. Just passing on what I've heard from someone who works in the industry.

dakotasin
November 11, 2009, 02:36 PM
highly reccomend the 338 win mag... more shootable than the 300 win mag, and probably the most versatile big game chambering ever conceived.

X-Rap
November 11, 2009, 02:43 PM
How big of a step do you want?
I would check out some online ballistic tables and compare them with what you have.
Also consider availability of ammo and components as well as cost, it doesn't matter if you reload or not if the costs are out of your range.
Look at the various manufacturers rifles and compare costs and be ready to put glass on the gun that is up to the potential of the gun.

I must disagree with the 7mm over 300 with regards to hunting, it may exceed in paper punching at distance but I would lean to the 300 for hunting due to the heavier bullet selection.

If you want .338 and better trajectory check out the 338 Lapua or 338-378 Weatherby, there are others in that catagory but the 338 WM is not your best choice for distance.

If recoil sensitve an efficient muzzle brake is a must but you will suffer from the noise while in the field shooting unprotected, there is considrable difference in the caliber you own compared to the upper tier of magnums.

Robert
November 11, 2009, 02:55 PM
You do not need a magnum rifle to take Elk, nor any other North American game for that matter. You say that you have to use a limb saver and wear your jacket to shoot 40 rounds of .308? I would say that a magnum might not be the way to go. If 30-06 had too much recoil I certainly would not get a magnum. If you want one that is fine, no better reason than that. Elk are not bullet proof and in my humble opinion any shot outside of 300 yards is getting unethical for my taste. Again this is just my opinion.

scythefwd
November 11, 2009, 02:56 PM
Honestly, I am in the same boat. Well in a way. I want to get a magnum as well. I will say this and let you figure it out. If the 30-06 wasn't worth it because of the recoil, then any of the magnums you mentioned are going to kill you. Limbsavers are nice, but if you can only shoot 40 rounds of .308 that is factory loaded with a limbsaver on, you are quite possibly barking up the wrong tree. There is a more than little difference between the lightest kicking mag. you mentioned and a .308. Find a friend or forum member that will let you shoot theirs in those calibers.

If you are set in this course... get a limbsaver. While you are at it, make sure that rifle fits you like a glove. A muzzle brake will help as well. Personally, I am looking at a .300 WM or .300 WSM and reloading it hot. I hope to be able to match factory .300 WBY rounds, but if I don't... I don't. Just remember this, factory loads are not hot loadings most of the time. They are usually at the upper end of the middle of the road.

-=EDIT=- Looks like Gus and I are in agreement. He just types faster

9mmepiphany
November 11, 2009, 03:08 PM
the chambering which i would consider a natural "step up" would be the .375 H&H Mag...it does everything the .338 Win can do with less violent/sharp recoil.

i wouldn't beat myself up with the smaller magums, the .375 felt, to me, a lot like a 12ga shotgun..and it would be good for anything in North America

highorder
November 11, 2009, 03:12 PM
the chambering which i would consider a natural "step up" would be the .375 H&H Mag...it does everything the .338 Win can do with less violent/sharp recoil.


I was going to suggest the same thing.

desidog
November 11, 2009, 03:18 PM
Based on the increments you have, i think maybe a .300WM or .300WSM...
.243 is a necked down .308, and .308 powered up a similar magnification gets you .300WSM... the logic is in the casing size and the projectile size.

I'd just think about what you'd like, what you'd use, what you can afford, where you can find it, etc. Because
more power = more recoil (the less fun on your shoulder)
more obscure = less ammo you can find at any store you walk into
"" = more it costs to feed

RoostRider
November 11, 2009, 03:20 PM
You do not need a magnum rifle to take Elk, nor any other North American game for that matter. You say that you have to use a limb saver and wear your jacket to shoot 40 rounds of .308? I would say that a magnum might not be the way to go. If 30-06 had too much recoil I certainly would not get a magnum. If you want one that is fine, no better reason than that. Elk are not bullet proof and in my humble opinion any shot outside of 300 yards is getting unethical for my taste. Again this is just my opinion.

Couldn't have said it better myself.... go get your magnum, but no sense pretending it fills some 'gap' for you in the rifle hunting realm, you got that covered.... :) ... get a shotgun if you don't already have one...

Oh, and what is a limbsaver? I can shoot a couple of boxes out of my .308 without one of those, and I have no desire for a magnum rifle...

X-Rap
November 11, 2009, 03:24 PM
The 375 will add a bunch of energy but nothing to the effective range of the 308. I feel the same about the 338 WM.
If as many say the 308 is plenty good to 300 for elk then there is little reason to launch a heavier bullet to the same range. However if his reason for stepping up is gaining distance and maintaining energy then some of the other higher velocity magnums would be in order.
The fact is clear though, if you go that direction you will definately have considerable more recoil.

scythefwd
November 11, 2009, 03:38 PM
roostrider - a limbsaver is a slip on recoil pad that is supposed to cut recoil by something like 20-40 percent. Personally I don't think the OP is ready for a magnum yet. He should probably get to where 100 rounds of .308 is his quitting point before he attempts to step up to a heavy kicker.

The website claims 70% reduction in felt recoil. A .308 reduced by .70% recoil is a .243 (or smaller). If that claim is true... the OP is not ready for a .300 wsm, .300 wm, or .338 win mag. I can't say about the 7mm mag.

saturno_v
November 11, 2009, 03:48 PM
IMHO, the next logic step from a 308 would be either a 338 Win Mag or a 375 H&H (a 338 rifle would be cheaper and it shoots flatter)

Leave the Lapua alone.....the 200 or so fps advantage over the 338 WM is not worth the cost of the rifle and ammo.

If you really want to go the super 338 route, get a 338 RUM (a Rem 700 chambered for it is only about $950) or a 338-378 Weatherby, both outperform the Lapua significantly (especially the 338-378) and the rifles are cheaper (and lighter)

You said:

I don't reload and am not terribly recoil sensitive.

I chose the 308 over the 30-06 because I felt the difference in recoil on the 30-06 was not worth the slightly better ballistics.


Sorry but I have to point to this....if you felt that difference maybe you are more recoil sensitive than you think....IMHO, the small difference in recoil between the two matches perfectly the difference in ballistic (and more than anything else, versatility, advantage of the 30-06)

wyohome
November 11, 2009, 03:54 PM
If I were to buy a magnum it would be a 300 WM. I have found that two different things keep me from having to own one. The first is that I shoot quite a bit and can "hit 'em where they live" to paraphrase an old guy. The other is by spending more time understanding the animal I am hunting and the ground he lives on. Being able to get into effective range and being able to put a bullet where you want it every time will do more for your hunting success than a larger, heavier rifle.

scythefwd
November 11, 2009, 04:04 PM
Saturno_V
I heard one gun describe the .338 LM like this - it feels like shooting a 12 with slugs from the prone. I had to go shoot the Mossy 500 from the prone after that. My 30-06 has NOTHING on it :) I still grin when I think of it, and I keep trying to get someone else to try it (only friends who are a little off sane).


" I heard one gun describe the .338 LM like this" guy - not gun.

Robert
November 11, 2009, 04:13 PM
Not reloading cuts down on the non magnum options above 30-06. If you were to look into reloading, even for small amounts of hunting ammo you could look at some interesting cartridges. 35 Whelen, 338-06 are the big two that come to mind. Though neither one of those recoil all that mild they are better than a magnum. Both are based on the 30-06 case with a simple neck up and heavier bullet.

sleepyone
November 11, 2009, 04:18 PM
All very good points. The 308 is an excellent round an quite sufficient for elk. I have heard that hunting guides will look down on you if you show up in camp with a 308, but I can almost guarantee you I will hit my target with that 308 where some, or many, guys will miss with their mags because of the flinch factor and not practicing near as much as someone with a 270, 308 or 30-06 due to the recoil and ammo cost. As far as the 30-06goes, I could handle the recoil, I just did not see a point in it when the 308 will do as well as the 30-06 up to 300 yards; and maybe further. As someone else mentioned, I would probably not want to go any farther than 300 or 400 yards in any case. A good guide should be able to get you much closer than that; say 200-250 yards.

Maybe my solution is to get the 30-06 to compliment my 308. Although both rounds can reach the target, the 30-06 can do it with more authority. It has one of the largest varieties of loads and the ammo is at every general store in the country. Would it be too much duplication to have a 308 and a 30-06?

Based on the responses, I can pretty well rule out anything above a 300 win mag. I want to be able to fire my rifle often w/o draining my bank account or killing myself.

Arkel23
November 11, 2009, 04:21 PM
If your look into only those specific calibers, look into a .300 Weatherby Magnum or definitely like X-Rap said, a .338-378 Weatherby Magnum or a .338 Lapua, OR EVEN A .340 WEATHERBY MAGNUM.

Robert
November 11, 2009, 04:22 PM
Would it be too much duplication to have a 308 and a 30-06?
Not at all. And with a good stock fitted to you and a decent muzzle break the recoil will be reduced a good amount. I think everyone should have a nice 30-06 hunting rifle. I am going with the 35 Whelen just because I like being different.

9mmepiphany
November 11, 2009, 04:23 PM
However if his reason for stepping up is gaining distance and maintaining energy then some of the other higher velocity magnums would be in order.

if he wants to gain distance and energy, i'd say he should be looking at a 6.5x55mm or a .260 Rem...and their accompanying lower recoil

the 6.5x55mm has a long proven history of taking moose sized animals.

the .260 is the 6.5x55mm sized to the .308 case and is an accuracy marvel out to 1000yards

sleepyone
November 11, 2009, 04:26 PM
roostrider - a limbsaver is a slip on recoil pad that is supposed to cut recoil by something like 20-40 percent. Personally I don't think the OP is ready for a magnum yet. He should probably get to where 100 rounds of .308 is his quitting point before he attempts to step up to a heavy kicker.

The website claims 70% reduction in felt recoil. A .308 reduced by .70% recoil is a .243 (or smaller). If that claim is true... the OP is not ready for a .300 wsm, .300 wm, or .338 win mag. I can't say about the 7mm mag.
I forgot to mention that the last time I ran 40 rounds through my 308, I had already run 40 through my 243, so I was not fresh. I probably sound like a wuss; which is not the case. I'm 45 and past the point of trying to impress people with my manliness and also like to avoid inflicting pain on myself whenever possible. Too many surgeries have left me in a constant state of pain already.

I think you guys have helped talk me out of anything more than a 30-06 or 7mm mag.

Geno
November 11, 2009, 04:27 PM
You have all the rifle you need right in that .270 Win, especially if loaded with 150 grain projectiles. The ballistic coefficient would be excellent due to the projectile length and weight, and the penetration excellent due to a high sectional density. On both accounts, it will go head-to-head with a .30-06 in 180 grain loads to whatever range you can hold it steady. Save your money toward your hunt. It won't matter to the dead game animal what you thumped it with! JMHO.

Geno

saturno_v
November 11, 2009, 04:31 PM
Sleepyone


A good 30-06 is an excellent choice.

It's the best all around cartridge ever devised, from 55 gr. sabot loads to 250 gr. heavy bone busters...you cannot go wrong with it...

I think every firearm loving individual should have a 30-06 in its safe.... I have 3...

Having said that, in the big magnum boomer kingdom, the closest thing to a 30-06 (versatility, ammo availability and cost), IMHO is the 338 Win Mag....you can get one (a Mossberg 4x4) for a little more than $300, on average from the major manufacturers any rifle chambered for it it's not going to cost you more than a 30-06, bullets range from 160 gr. to 300 gr. solids, you are good to go from small deer to water buffalo and even elephant (where legally allowed)

If you own a 30-06 already there is no real reason to go 300 Win Mag or 300 Weatherby.

X-Rap
November 11, 2009, 04:33 PM
the 6.5x55mm has a long proven history of taking moose sized animals.


That legandary European round is quite effective but the reputation it has gained for taking those moose sized animals are at very different ranges than are common in North America. While the merits of distance shooting can be debated and the 6.5 can no doubt be an effective distance target round it simply won't compete with the .30 plus magnums as a hunting round. If you doubt compare the 264WM to the 300WM.

scythefwd
November 11, 2009, 04:34 PM
If you purchase a Lee anniversary reloading kit, $100 ish, you will be able to match factory .30-06 speeds with your .308. Whether your rifle will respond well (accuracy, not blow up type response) is another story. This is just using published load data that is below SAAMI specifications.

Robert
November 11, 2009, 04:35 PM
I probably sound like a wuss; which is not the case.
I do not think that, and if I came across like that I am sorry.

scythefwd
November 11, 2009, 04:38 PM
sleepyone. I'm not downing you in any way. It is just that I have fired a .300 wby mag, and it was a good thump. I can fire my .30-06 all day long and not feel it, but I would have to stop after a box or so out of that .300 wby until I got used to it. There really is a huge difference in kick we are talking about here. I would hate to see you spend money on a gun and the have it kick too much to shoot (if you buy it as a shooter, a wall hanger is a different story). I only buy guns to shoot so to own one that was too much for me would really bother me.

sleepyone
November 11, 2009, 05:11 PM
no offenses taken, guys! Great info from everyone!

wyohome
November 11, 2009, 05:15 PM
It's the best all around cartridge ever devised

Did the military replace it with the .308 to save on 2mm of brass?

9mmepiphany
November 11, 2009, 05:17 PM
If you doubt compare the 264WM to the 300WM.

the .264WM is a very specialized round designed to shoot pronghorn antelope.

a 6.5x55mm loaded with 156-160gr bullets has great thump, with 120-139gr it is a great all-around chambering

i'm thinking a North American hunting battery should consist of the
1. .204
2. .260 or 6.5x55mm
3. .375 H&H

but then i'm not a big fan of recoil or blast

9mmepiphany
November 11, 2009, 05:25 PM
Did the military replace it with the .308 to save on 2mm of brass?

they replaced it, because they couldn't wrap their minds around a true intermediate cartridge, like the Russians could...i guess they just figured the Germans went down the wrong path...and figured that they could force it down the thoat of NATO as "short enough" to be controlable in full auto fire

saturno_v
November 11, 2009, 05:47 PM
Did the military replace it with the .308 to save on 2mm of brass?

The "brass" (pun intended), a.k.a. the Military, was not interested in hunting animals weren't they?? :scrutiny:

They wanted a more compact cartridge compared to the 30-06 even if it meant losing a bit of ballistic performance (the era of 1000+ yard shots between opposite trenches was over), but as 9mmepiphany said, they did not want to go all the way down to intermediate power level liek the Russians did.

The 308 was born as a comprosise to a compromise...do not get me wrong, it is an excellent cartridge but it does nto have the flexibility and the performance (when bot loaded at full potential) of the 30-06.

Once, as we were discussing cartridges wildlife protection with one guy at a gun show, he said, "I do not understand why someone want to use a cartridge (the 30-06) designed to be used against human targets for big bruin protection"...I replied to him: "well the 30-06 was designed to be effective against humans at distances well in excess of 1000 yards....even a 9mm handgun round is designed to be used against human targets.....at 50 yards or less....big difference"...the other people around us laughed loudly...:D

ArmedBear
November 11, 2009, 05:57 PM
Don't forget that the .30-06 as it was used by the military when the .308 was adopted was not equal to the modern hunting cartridge. Note that you are advised not to shoot even factory hunting ammo in a Garand.

And yes, the military did do it to save brass, and weight, and space.

The ONLY and I mean ONLY reason I can think of to get a .308 hunting rifle is to get a lighter, shorter rifle than a standard-length cartridge. If I want a bit less oomph than a .30-06, I'll take a .270 with a much flatter trajectory, not a .308.

What the world really needs is better factory support of the .260, which is much better matched to the case size for hunting purposes.:)

saturno_v
November 11, 2009, 05:59 PM
+1 ArmedBear

Modern day 30-06 loads, even the standard commercial ones are not your grandfather 30-06...modern slow burning powders have improved this old workhorse considerably...some loadings nowdays approach 300 Win Mag performance still within pressure specs...

Case in point...old standard military 150 gr. regular infantry loads were clocked around 2700 fps or so.....common commercial 150 gr. hunting loads reach 2900 and more...with some powders nowdays you can go over 3000 still within pressure limits.

scythefwd
November 11, 2009, 06:12 PM
saturno_V - 30-06- H4350 - 62.0 (compressed load) under a 150 gr. pill will put out 3068 fps and only have 58080 psi out of a 24" test barrel (max load).

Starting load .300 WM - imr4831 - 70.4 under a 150 gr. pill will put out 3001 fps. Now max load is slightly over 3300 fps.

Looks like SV got it right on the nose.

MJR007
November 11, 2009, 06:13 PM
338 with a good break and pad.

DRYHUMOR
November 11, 2009, 06:20 PM
I once went down the magnum road...

All the up to a 340 Weatherby, super ballistics/great energy. Had a 338 Win mag, again good ballistics and energy. It seemed to kick a bit more than the 340. Had a 300 Win mag, good intermediate caliber. I have one 7mm Rem mag left. Seems I've always had one, for at least 28 or so years. Good choice, fast/flat/energy. However, it'll probably be moved along shortly, I just don't have anywhere to justify shooting it.

Right now I'm in the 257, 25 06, 6.5x55, 308 spectrum. And ideally, that'll cover just about anywhere I intend to hunt from now on.

sleepyone
November 11, 2009, 06:27 PM
I once went down the magnum road...

All the up to a 340 Weatherby, super ballistics/great energy. Had a 338 Win mag, again good ballistics and energy. It seemed to kick a bit more than the 340. Had a 300 Win mag, good intermediate caliber. I have one 7mm Rem mag left. Seems I've always had one, for at least 28 or so years. Good choice, fast/flat/energy. However, it'll probably be moved along shortly, I just don't have anywhere to justify shooting it.

Right now I'm in the 257, 25 06, 6.5x55, 308 spectrum. And ideally, that'll cover just about anywhere I intend to hunt from now on.
that is a good mixture. save yourself some money and abuse at the same time and still drop anything in its tracks in the lower 48.

No that I think about it, if I am ever fortunate enough to go on an elk or moose hunt, the rifle will be the least of my expenditures.

Steve Marshall
November 11, 2009, 06:34 PM
If you can buy .308 factory loads with a premium bullet, your problem is solved. Barnes X-bullet comes to mind. Failing that, ask around at the local gun shop or range to see if maybe someone can load something for you. If you are calling it a day over recoil with the .308, magnums are clearly not the way to go. But the various 7's would be better in your situation than any 30 and certainly anything bigger.
I once shot a .458 prone, once. Sometime later, I found myself whining about 30-06. Fast forward 10 years and I shoot 40 to 50 in my bolt rifle. In shirt sleeves. So that's the other aspect. You might shoot your .338 fine for some time and then dread the sight of it in your safe. And to theose that will say the .308 can't handle elk, tell that to the ones harvested by 30-30's.

ArmedBear
November 11, 2009, 06:54 PM
If you can buy .308 factory loads with a premium bullet, your problem is solved.


The trajectory still sucks. Elk live in some crazy country, at least around here.

if I am ever fortunate enough to go on an elk or moose hunt

I'm fortunate in that going on an elk hunt can mean simply buying a tag and driving my Jeep down the street and up a dirt road. Moose are a bit farther, but not much -- good luck getting a tag, though.:)

But sleepyone's point still holds true. I don't think it necessarily makes sense to buy a specialized rifle for a hunt you don't even have planned. And I doubt you (the OP) want to be shooting a big magnum a lot for fun, for a number of reasons. (Some people do, but it doesn't sound like that's your particular fetish.)

If in doubt, get a .270 or a .30-06.

I'd like a .240 or .257 Weatherby, but that's because I have access to pronghorn hunting. The average shot is probably 300-400 yards, and you can't exactly stalk to within 50 yards on the open prairie. You might get lucky. I've had them within pistol range, but it's not something you can plan, and I didn't have a tag for the area where I got that close, so it didn't matter anyway.:)

However, without the pronghorns around, I think it'd be a waste of money for me to go get one of these Weatherbys. They're not cheap!

DRYHUMOR
November 11, 2009, 07:01 PM
308 trajectory doesn't suck...

It's called "lobbing". Kinda like a 30 30. :neener:

wyohome
November 11, 2009, 07:11 PM
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Home > Products > Ammunition > Ballistics > Comparative Ballistics Results

Ballistics Results

Cartridge Information
Index Number Cartridge Type Weight (grs.) Bullet Style Primer No. Ballistic Coefficient
R30062 Remington® Express® 150 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.314
R308W1 Remington® Express® 150 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.314


Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2910 2617 2342 2083 1843 1622
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2820 2533 2263 2009 1774 1560


Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2820 2281 1827 1445 1131 876
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2648 2137 1705 1344 1048 810


Short-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 50 100 150 200 250 300
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 0.2 0.7 zero -2.2 -5.9 -11.4
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 0.0 zero -1.2 -3.9 -8.4 -14.7


Long-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 1.8 1.6 zero -3.2 -8.2 -24.4 -50.9
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2.0 1.7 zero -3.4 -8.8 -26.2 -54.8


Note: These ballistics reflected a test barrel length of 24" except those for 30 Carbine and 44 Remington Magnum which are 20" barrels.
Specifications are nominal. Ballistics figures established in test barrels. Individual rifles may vary from test barrel results.
“zero” indicates yardage at which rifle was sighted in.
* Inches above or below line of sight. Hold low for positive numbers, high for negative numbers.
1 Bullet does not rise more than 1" above line of sight from muzzle to sighting-in range.
2 Bullet does not rise more than 3" above line of sight from muzzle to sighting-in range.
† 280 Remington and 7mm Express Remington are interchangeable.
‡ 6mm Remington and 244 Remington are interchangeable.








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sleepyone
November 11, 2009, 07:12 PM
You have all the rifle you need right in that .270 Win, especially if loaded with 150 grain projectiles. The ballistic coefficient would be excellent due to the projectile length and weight, and the penetration excellent due to a high sectional density. On both accounts, it will go head-to-head with a .30-06 in 180 grain loads to whatever range you can hold it steady. Save your money toward your hunt. It won't matter to the dead game animal what you thumped it with! JMHO.

Geno
my M70 Featherweight 270 is my favorite gun. I could see adding a nice Featherweight 30-06 like Saturno V suggested to keep it company.

wyohome
November 11, 2009, 07:22 PM
It's called "lobbing". Kinda like a 30 30.

A less than 4 inch difference at 500 yards is hardly lobbing.

DRYHUMOR
November 11, 2009, 07:29 PM
I knew that. Maybe the Neener failed to convey my intent.

Actually most rounds have somewhat similar trajectories, and some overlapping at certain ranges. The tale is told by the energy being delivered, and how quickly said energy dissipates.

Art Eatman
November 11, 2009, 08:17 PM
Seems to me that if a fella's gonna move up from deer to elk in some rather faroff future, competency with either the .270 or the .308 is about all that's needed. Spend the money on ammo, not another gun. Get away from the benchrest and shoot a bunch from field positions.

SFAIK, it's hard to rig a decent magnum rifle for under a grand or so. That'll buy a pretty good bit of .270 and/or .308 ammo...

desidog
November 11, 2009, 08:21 PM
Another thing to think about that i don't think has been covered here yet is that the magnums will wear out a barrel a lot quicker. I think average life is 3-5K rounds, but have no hard evidence of this.

I bought my M70 Featherweight in 300WSM knowing full well that i won't be using it that often...and it is a great gun!

Uncle Mike
November 11, 2009, 08:51 PM
.338 WIN.MAG. or the .325WSM.
A 30-06 launching Hornady 'Light Magnum' 165's or 180's(Hornady SST or Interbonds) will approach 300 WIN. MAG. performance! Very closely!

The .338 WIN.MAG. is probably the quintessential 'Medium' magnum, but don't overlook the excellent .325WSM if a shorter action, non-belted cartridge fits your fancy.

The ammo availability of the 338 is better than the 325, but like I always say, plan ahead, take plenty of bullwets!

Distributors were dumping the 'old' model 14 Classic Savages' in 325WSM, about a month ago for $450 dealer.

jbech123
November 11, 2009, 09:18 PM
If I want a bit less oomph than a .30-06, I'll take a .270 with a much flatter trajectory, not a .308.

To be fair, the .308 allows you to shoot heavier bullets

Ed Ames
November 11, 2009, 09:45 PM
Question... I read where the OP said they don't reload... did they mention a reason or something preventing it?

I ask because if they have a .243, .270, and .308, the next logical step would be to start loading for them. Handloading will allow wringing the full performance out of those rifles, and will go a huge way towards making a magnum more affordable in the long run.

If I had to get a magnum without reloading, it would be 7mm simply because it's the only magnum I know w/ ammo under $1/rd. at wal*mart.

As a reloader, I would look at some of the .338 or bigger, because if you are going to go crazy, go crazy with style.

saturno_v
November 11, 2009, 10:24 PM
SFAIK, it's hard to rig a decent magnum rifle for under a grand or so. That'll buy a pretty good bit of .270 and/or .308 ammo...



Art

I got my 338 Win Mag setup for $399 (Weatherby Vanguard) + about $150 (Scope, base and rings + Bipod + Sling)

I would call it more than decent....it doesn't have shiny wood but I do not really care...neither my targets...

Maybe you can spend another $100-150 for even better glass (I cannot complain at all with mine)

You can actually get a very good magnum setup for less than a grand....:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Sunray
November 11, 2009, 10:52 PM
"...heard that hunting guides will look down on you if you show up in camp with a 308..." No they won't. They'll look down on a guy who shows up with a magnum he can't shoot because the excessive felt recoil and cost of ammo kept him from practicing with it though.
There's no game in North America a good .308" 165 grain hunting bullet won't kill.

ArmedBear
November 11, 2009, 10:56 PM
There's no game in North America that a .22LR won't kill with the right shot placement.

So what?:D

saturno_v
November 11, 2009, 11:06 PM
There's no game in North America that a .22LR won't kill with the right shot placement.

So what?

.......right.......:D:D:D:neener::neener:

X-Rap
November 11, 2009, 11:10 PM
Wyohome only told part of the story when he compared the 06 and the 308 with 150 gr bullets. At distances past 200 yds I think a 180 gr bullet for elk is much closer to ideal.


Ballistics Results

Cartridge Information
Index Number Cartridge Type Weight (grs.) Bullet Style Primer No. Ballistic Coefficient
R308W3 Remington® Express® 180 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.383
R30065 Remington® Express® 180 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.383
R300W2 Remington® Express® 180 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 M 0.438


Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2620 2393 2178 1974 1782 1604
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2700 2469 2250 2042 1846 1663
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2960 2715 2482 2262 2052 1856


Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2743 2288 1896 1557 1269 1028
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2913 2436 2023 1666 1362 1105
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 3501 2945 2463 2044 1683 1375


Short-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 50 100 150 200 250 300
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 0.0 zero -1.5 -4.6 -9.5 -16.5
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 0.0 zero -1.3 -4.2 -8.8 -15.4
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 0.1 0.6 zero -1.9 -5.1 -9.8


Long-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2.3 2.0 zero -3.8 -9.7 -28.3 -57.8
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2.1 1.8 zero -3.5 -9.0 -26.3 -54.0
Remington® Express® 180 PSP CL 2.7 3.1 2.2 zero -3.7 -15.9 -35.6

These tables don't lie, less than 4" difference between the 308 and 06 but
20" give or take difference with the 300WM that is greater with the 300Weatherby.
I really have no quarrel with anyone if the distances are 300yds and have many guns that I hunt with that fall into that catagory but don't tell me there is no place for a magnum especially when you are talking elk in their own backyard.
A 25-06 will take an antelope easily at a 1/4 mile and have energy to spare but don't take that same 100 or 120 gr bullet and wound an elk with it at that distance.
If you need to have only one gun and you want to hunt everything then you need to look at something that will really do it all or lower your expectations.

edrice
November 11, 2009, 11:45 PM
sleepyone,

You probably should just sit tight and not buy anything just yet and let the new Hornady Superperformance ammo catch your 308 up to a 30-06 with less recoil and no need for longer barrels.

Check this out -

http://www.americanrifleman.org/ArticlePage.aspx?cid=24&id=1981

and the video -

http://www.americanrifleman.org/Video.aspx?vid=1988

This evolutionary ammo development is causing me to put off some decisions. This could change things.

Ed

Girodin
November 11, 2009, 11:50 PM
Elk are still well within the capabilities of a .308 or even the .270 (as the antlers in my basement of a 6x6 that fell dead without taking a step will attest). There are really only three N.A. big game animals I would feel I ought to have more than a .308. Moose, Bison, and big bears (Polar and Grizz). If I was shooting big bears I would want a .338 or 375 H&H.

My main hunting rifle is a 30'06. I read some post suggesting you get that and I had to laugh, why bother if you have a .308?

If I just wanted some more range and more power for Elk then perhaps a 300 win mag would be a good choice.

My last thought however is this. Without doing a fair amount of shooting a person is unlikely to have the skills to take advantage of the extra range capabilities. This means that if the recoil is sever enough that you don't like to shoot it then one would likely be better off with a lighter recoiling rifle with which they are more proficient.

In short if you want to shoot elk your current rifle will do it, but that is no reason to stop you from getting a new rifle if that is what you really want.

Girodin
November 11, 2009, 11:51 PM
+ about $150 (Scope, base and rings + Bipod + Sling)


I'm not trying to be offensive or start anything but buying low end optics is a false economy in my book.

PedalBiker
November 12, 2009, 12:21 AM
I'd say the next logical step up would be to wait until you know for sure what you'll use it for. For Alaska the 338 WM is probably a good idea. For the lower 48 your .308 can't be beat by much, but a 7mm Mag would maybe give you something.

PedalBiker
November 12, 2009, 12:27 AM
My last thought however is this. Without doing a fair amount of shooting a person is unlikely to have the skills to take advantage of the extra range capabilities. This means that if the recoil is sever enough that you don't like to shoot it then one would likely be better off with a lighter recoiling rifle with which they are more proficient.

That's me. I've got a .30-06, my hand loads are about 5-7% under max. I'm not good with recoil, so the magnums don't have much appeal to me. I shoot a bit, but really, 300 yards is a long way off. There's wind and your target tends to move. The longer the distance the more things can go wrong.

saturno_v
November 12, 2009, 12:29 AM
Girodin

Who told you they perform low end??

No problem, offense not taken....my bullets get to the black circle in the target just fine...

Girodin
November 12, 2009, 02:41 AM
No one told me. I own various scoped rifles and have shot even more and looked through even more still. I will affirmative assert that the cheap scopes are not only on the low end of the price scale they are on the low end of the performance and quality scale as well. One need only look through the nicer scopes and the economy models to tell the difference. If you are 16 an old chevy will seem like a perfectly suitable car once you start driving Mercedes you are unlikely to want to go back. Clarity is perhaps the most easily recognized difference in cheap scopes and nice ones. Clarity of the optic is a major factor in performance, particularly as the range is extended. The higher end optics are also, as a general rule, better built. This is an important factor in hard use such as hunting. Do you want to be on your big hunting trip and have your optic fail?

I don't know how you use your rifle thus I do not know the performance you expect. With that said, the fact that something is capable of adequate performance does not mean it is the best choice or best value. It also doesn't mean it is the best value. I have a cheap Tasco on a rifle that I have shot hundreds of varmints with. I still recognize it is not as good as some of the higher end scopes that I have and I will in time replace it. Its performance is adequate in that I have still managed to shoot a bunch of animals but it could be better and I recognize its limitations. The fact that I will buy the nice scope anyways because ultimately I am unsatisfied with the cheap one means I paid more than I needed to in order to get the scope I should have bought in the first place.

A nice scope will out last me. On items I will only buy once my theory is buy the best that one can afford. The quality of optics really does make a difference and it is not the place to scrimp. Given the offerings I would take a lower end rifle and spend the extra bucks on a high end scope if perfomance was my chief concern. That is the whole reason people are willing to pay more for them. Cheap scopes are cheap for a reason.

saturno_v
November 12, 2009, 02:55 AM
Girodin

For my needs, m,y Centerpoints are perfectly adequate (range time mainly)
Clarity is good.
Other people with the same scope model hunt very successfully and another guy compete (not professionaly) and he hold his own.

There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive.

And I know what a low quality scope is...I saw a Tasco with a crooked and faded reticle line out of the box...and I saw a brand new BSA self destructing on a 22.....scopes thast do not return to zero, with falling turrets knobs, etc...
And I did look through very expensive scopes also.

Inexpensive doesn't necessarily means low quality..it depends on the brand.

scythefwd
November 12, 2009, 12:14 PM
wyhome - there is over 4 inches difference in elevation at 300y. +1.8 inches to -3.2 inches is a 5 inch difference in elevation. It is less than 4 inches from poa. At 400y, you are -8.2 inches. You are nowhere near 4 inches at 500Y variation. You loose that at 300y.

X-Rap
November 12, 2009, 12:33 PM
Take a look at post 56. The 308 & 30-06 really are almost alike.

ArmedBear
November 12, 2009, 12:58 PM
Take a look at post 56. The 308 & 30-06 really are almost alike.

Sure, if you buy your ammo at Wal-Mart. Hell, I wouldn't expect the cheapest factory .308 ammo to hit 2550 fps.

If you look at reloading data, you're looking at more like:

2600 for a .308 with a 180 grain bullet
2750 for a .30-06
2950 for a .300 Win Mag
3100 for a .300 Wby Mag

I'm assuming that none of them will shoot best with maxed-out loads, so I'm subtracting .5 grains of powder, or so, from the max, and calling it the nearest 50 fps. That's probably fairly realistic.

The jump from a .308 to a .30-06 is almost as much as from a .30-06 to a .300 WinMag. You can argue all you want about overkill and whether the recoil, price and rifle size/weight of a .300 Wby is worth it, but each of these four .30 cartridges DOES represent a step up on the performance ladder.

X-Rap
November 12, 2009, 01:19 PM
Your preaching to the choir AB. I am a big fan of find what you need and then step it up a notch, I don't care if it a truck, boat, hammer, or a gun the time will come when you want or need to push it.
My point in the Rem tables are simple, not everyone reloads and yes a great number of folks will by at Walmart. I also can say that in my experience Rem CorLoct is the best off the shelf ammo for the money on the market. It also give an apples to apples comparison of safe reliable ammo that will work in any modern weapon.
Reloading data can be cherry picked from dozens of sources and while Rem can spin their own data to some degree their website is at least a consistant reference.

ArmedBear
November 12, 2009, 01:25 PM
The fact that Remington downloads .30-06 so they don't get sued for blowing up ancient rifles has no bearing whatsoever on the capabilities of a cartridge.

Sure, not everyone handloads, but you don't have to buy Core-Lokt from Wal-Mart, either. And the numbers aren't cherry-picked at all, nor are they hot loads. You can find hotter, if you want to push it. These are conservative, published loads.

If the OP doesn't handload, THAT is the next logical step up, NOT a new rifle.:)

Serious hunters do tend to load their own. Serious goofballs get .338 Win Mags for whitetail, and buy the cheapest ammo they can find. And I've heard serious elk hunters laugh and brag that they took an elk with a Core-Lokt bullet, as if that was as big a deal as a 500 yard shot on a running bull.

If the next logical step is to "get serious", then handloading is that step. It will also help make any future rifle decisions easier. I don't think you really get to know rifle cartridges until you load a few.

That's the bigger picture.:)

X-Rap
November 12, 2009, 01:47 PM
So the Core Lokt bullets are junk??
I reload for around 40 different calibers so I'm hardly a goofball but if I lost what I had and needed to hunt, plain old Rem.CL's would not bother me in the least.
I try to stay away from the boutiqe bullets and am quite happy with Sierra, Nosler, and Hornady and when comparing with recovered bullets they perform fine.

ArmedBear
November 12, 2009, 01:55 PM
Never seriously fooled with Core-Lokts myself. Don't have an opinion. There are those who wouldn't be happy if that's all they could shoot, that's all I know.

You have an opinion, based on your experience. That gets to the heart of my point. That experience is worth more than the latest hot Magnum.:) And that kind of experience is only gained through handloading, whatever the conclusions might be.

That's why I think that handloading, not buying a magnum, is the next logical step from a .308.

(Sierra, Nosler and Hornady are great bullet makers. I don't see a reason to go any farther off the beaten path, either.)

saturno_v
November 12, 2009, 02:29 PM
Armedbear

As per Hodgdon manual, a 180 gr. 30-06 can be pushed up to 2800 fps (one load reads 2799 to be precise)
Handloaders can hit 2900 and even more still within pressure limits.

Hornady sells the 180 gr. SP Light Magnum load for the 30-06 which reaches 2900 fps (we did some chrono testing at the range) and they actually claim lower pressure than a full spec 30-06 load.

300 Win Mag territory indeed.


I absolutely agree that a serious hunter or target shooter should get into handloading even before thinking about a new rifle/cartridge combo.

If the 30-06 were to be designed today it would have the Magnum label attached to it, no doubts about it...:)

scythefwd
November 12, 2009, 02:35 PM
OP - I must admit, I have been somewhat misleading about my .30-06. I said I can fire it all day, which I can. What I failed to mention is that it weighs over 9lbs. It is a Garand, and probably the lightest kicking -06 out there. I also only shoot surplus ammo out of it. That said, I will shoot through several boxes of 12 ga slugs out of a 7.5 lb shotgun and can do that comfortably... so I still think the -06 would be better than the magnum for you. I just wanted you to realize that not all -06's kick as hard as others. Remington makes a nice semi-auto -06 this is gentle enough on the shoulder.

X-Rap
November 12, 2009, 02:38 PM
Our paths seem to diverge on the reloading, while I believe in loading to ring out the best balance of velocity and accuracy for a given caliber I have long ago quit loading more than one load for a single gun and don't subscribe to the one gun does it all philosophy.
I certainly don't doubt that one gun can do most jobs only that there is a sweet spot for each gun/caliber/load and if possible I like to match that.

Saturno, it is common to see a person highlight a certain load/round when comparing to a larger caliber but they will rarely post the same hot load potential for the caliber they are comparing against.
I am a fan of the 280 and know it can be loaded to near 7RM but when you maximize the potential of the 7RM the difference reappears. Handloading will raise the potential of all calibers.

ArmedBear
November 12, 2009, 02:55 PM
while I believe in loading to ring out the best balance of velocity and accuracy for a given caliber I have long ago quit loading more than one load for a single gun

I agree, for all sorts of reasons.

That's why I haven't tried Core-Lokts, for example. Other bullets have worked great, so I haven't had a reason to deviate.

I just think that, by the time you've worked up even one good load that balances accuracy and velocity, you've learned more about rifles than you could in several years of buying ammo at Wal-Mart and blasting away with several guns. At least that's been true for me.:)

saturno_v
November 12, 2009, 03:00 PM
Saturno, it is common to see a person highlight a certain load/round when comparing to a larger caliber but they will rarely post the same hot load potential for the caliber they are comparing against.
I am a fan of the 280 and know it can be loaded to near 7RM but when you maximize the potential of the 7RM the difference reappears. Handloading will raise the potential of all calibers.


You are perfectly right...What I meant to say, I correct myself, is that you can reach common commercial loading performance for the 300 Win Mag.
Of course you can stretch the 300 WM too.

However not all cartridges can be maximized in the same way (because of the cartridge itself, the actions that fire them, etc...), some have more leeway than others....for example the 30-30 is pretty much "tight" you cannot stretch it that much, conversely, the 45-70 (even within the modern loadings segment) is extremely "upgradeable"

ArmedBear
November 12, 2009, 03:04 PM
However not all cartridges can be maximized in the same way

Right. IMHO the .308 is one of these with some limitations. As you said the .30-06 can be "stretched" quite a bit (assuming you can get it to shoot accurately that way).

Given the same overall technology, same bullets, etc., the .30-06 is just like the .308 with more room for powder.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 12, 2009, 03:12 PM
Lookit, you've already got a long-range "magnum" rifle in that .270 win. So if i were you, for that use, i'd step up to a bigger BULLET , not *necessarily* a larger case capacity- so i'd run with .338 win mag, .338-'06, .35 whelen, .358 win, .350 rem mag, 9.3x62mm, or .375 h&h mag.

X-Rap
November 12, 2009, 03:22 PM
Dr. those larger calibers you have sited are fine for large and dangerous game at close to intermediate ranges but really don't add much to the 270's ability within 200yds.
The 270 just doesn't allow the heavier weight bullets at greater distance to do the job (400-500).
The 270 is a great deer rifle even to 400 but I just wouldn't pick it as my magnum elk round.

sleepyone
November 12, 2009, 11:21 PM
Question... I read where the OP said they don't reload... did they mention a reason or something preventing it?

I ask because if they have a .243, .270, and .308, the next logical step would be to start loading for them. Handloading will allow wringing the full performance out of those rifles, and will go a huge way towards making a magnum more affordable in the long run.

If I had to get a magnum without reloading, it would be 7mm simply because it's the only magnum I know w/ ammo under $1/rd. at wal*mart.

As a reloader, I would look at some of the .338 or bigger, because if you are going to go crazy, go crazy with style.
I am not against reloading. I bet it is pretty fun. Just don't have the equipment or the knowledge. Maybe someday. The upfront cost are pretty steep from what I have read and been told.

sleepyone
November 12, 2009, 11:24 PM
Lookit, you've already got a long-range "magnum" rifle in that .270 win. So if i were you, for that use, i'd step up to a bigger BULLET , not *necessarily* a larger case capacity- so i'd run with .338 win mag, .338-'06, .35 whelen, .358 win, .350 rem mag, 9.3x62mm, or .375 h&h mag.
The more I shoot my 270 the more I like it. Today I dropped two doe dead in their tracks. Never had to worry about tracking a deer with it. I'm using 150 grains, which is probably overkill, but I like the results.

sleepyone
November 12, 2009, 11:27 PM
sleepyone,

You probably should just sit tight and not buy anything just yet and let the new Hornady Superperformance ammo catch your 308 up to a 30-06 with less recoil and no need for longer barrels.

Check this out -

http://www.americanrifleman.org/ArticlePage.aspx?cid=24&id=1981

and the video -

http://www.americanrifleman.org/Video.aspx?vid=1988

This evolutionary ammo development is causing me to put off some decisions. This could change things.

Ed
Excellent! I have heard about this, but the guy at my local gun shop did not know anything about it. Thanks!

Ed Ames
November 12, 2009, 11:47 PM
Upfront reloading costs are all but guaranteed to be lower than a new rifle.

A perfectly reasonable reloading set-up for you:

Lee anniversary reloading kit: $90 (Cabelas price last time I was there...you will want to upgrade to a non-Lee press later on but it'll get you going...I gifted off my Lee press and some of the other starter gear from that set to someone just getting into reloading once I was done with it, so I don't think it was money wasted.)

Actually... just looked... I guess they aren't tossing the book in anymore. So add another $15 or so.

.243, .270, and .308 dies: $90 (buy Lee as they include shell holders and are good quality)
Bullets: $75 (an assortment of all your calibers)
Primers: $4-5/100
Powder: $30/lb (max...more like $20 usually)

You already have loaded ammo so you don't need to buy brass.

Total: about $300 to start. You can go cheaper (pick one caliber and equip for that alone) but I wouldn't try too hard. A pound of the right powder (buy after you have the book or at least the sheet that comes with the dies) will last you a long time.

You should add calipers ($15 if you have a Harbor Freight nearby) and you'll need a sturdy bench to attach the press.

The only way I'd suggest really going beyond that, to start, is if you are made of money get yourself a digital powder measure/scale set-up.

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