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Next logical step up from a 308

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sleepyone, Nov 11, 2009.

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  1. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    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?
     
  2. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    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.
     
  3. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    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.
     
  4. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    highly reccomend the 338 win mag... more shootable than the 300 win mag, and probably the most versatile big game chambering ever conceived.
     
  5. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    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.
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  7. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  9. highorder

    highorder Member

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    I was going to suggest the same thing.
     
  10. desidog

    desidog Member

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    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
     
  11. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

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    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...
     
  12. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    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.
     
  13. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  14. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    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:

    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)
     
  15. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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    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.
     
  16. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  17. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  18. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    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.
     
  19. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Member

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    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.
     
  20. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  22. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    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.
     
  23. Geno

    Geno Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  24. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  25. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    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.
     
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