Choose Your Weapon with Jim Burnworth

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Saul, May 17, 2014.

  1. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    So I was watching Choose Your Weapon with Jim Burnworth from Western Extreme. I have always really liked him and his hunting advice. The thing that really rubbed me the wrong way, especially about this episode, is his gun recommendations. He normally recommends the .338 Lapua for hunting African plains game and sometimes even elk. Now I see him recommending a benchrest rifle chambered in the .338 lapua necked down to 7mm while hunting antelope. He says it's a great gun for new shooters who can't handle lots of recoil. I may not know a lot about hunting African plains game or the .338 lapua round for hunting, but this seems like really irresponsible advice. Does anyone have any opinions on Jim Burnworth or his caliber recommendations. I just want to know what the consensus is from the African plains game hunting community before I jump to conclusions about him or his show.
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That is a lot of gun for plains game. You will not be found short on the big stuff for sure.
    Sounds like someone has a pet round to me.

    Any rationale for the suggestion he's made?
     
  3. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    Basically he said it is plenty of power to hammer big game at any range. He has several custom rifles in .338 lapua and says its his favorite caliber because of performance and customizability. He says the .338 lapua necked down to 7mm is a low recoil alternative.
     
  4. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Being a long time shooting instructor, owner and avid fan of the .338 Lapua I would strongly recommend AGAINST this round or any wildcat being used for beginner shooters. Let me explain why.

    It is ridiculously expensive to shoot especially if you don't reload.

    The comment of a 7mm wildcat being low recoil is about as stupid a comment as I've ever heard. Pack 95 grains of powder behind any bullet and it will kick the crap out of you.

    What kind of barrel life are you going to get with a 7mm version. Less than 1000 rounds would be my guess.

    Putting a heavy kicker in front of any beginning shooter is a fantastic way to develop a world class flinch.

    The .338 is not great for customizing as most of the high BC bullets are too long for the magazines that are currently in most production rifles.

    Sorry but this 338 Lapua fad is grating on my last nerve. I see so many people jumping on the band wagon and getting them simply because the armed forces around the world are adopting them with no idea what they are getting into.

    Stick with smaller calibers 270 - 300 win mag to start with they are cheaper, way easier to shoot accurately and more than enough for most of the plains game critters I saw over there. Accuracy and shot placement over power any day.

    All the above being said. It is a fantastic cartridge for those that are experienced shooters. It is flat shooting and hits hard. I have dropped alot of animals with it and it has never failed me. Is it overkill? Yes, but it certainly gets the job done.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well if you watch him long enough like I have he liked super fast bows, guns and cars. It's his opinion. Nothing wrong with it, he has shot over 50 elk bulls and hundreds of Africa stuff. I still say a lot of times you are better of with a 7mm Rem Mag.
     
  6. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    Very true there. I usually listen to him when it comes bows (I hunt with a Bowtech Insanity CPXL) but I don't agree with his gun choices. Honestly, the .338 lapua seems like too much gun. For those of you that have hunted with it, how does the meat damage compare to say, a .300 weatherby. It seems to me that it would massively bloodshot all your meat. It seems like a caliber for trophy hunters only who don't eat the meat.
     
  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Sale or camp use of the meat is a meaningful contributor to the bottom line of most PG operation's. Destroying the front quarter of say a Gemsbok will not earn you the most popular client award in camp.
     
  8. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    It hits hard. I usually go for neck or head when meat hunting. Mind you I have hit deer with my 300 win mag and seen damage just as bad as my 338 Lapua. It's never pretty when a large bone it hit with a high velocity round.
     
  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I'm a die hard meat hunter, I always aim for the lungs, you lose some rib meat that is it. A neck shot on big animal ruins a lot of meat, just my two cents. If you hit the lungs just right, you ruin very little.
     
  10. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Elite

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    This sums it all up, cannot agree more.
     
  11. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I think his advices are totally off.
    As Johnny7604 says, the .338 Lapua is very expensive to shoot and demands a very experienced shooter to consistently shoot well.
    Most people need a muzzle break or silencer to shoot it well.

    It also really shines at 500 yards and beyond compared with other cartridges when it comes to hunting in my opinion. Personally those ranges are not hunting to me.
    I think it is a great cartridge for its use, but to me it is mostly a cartridge for use in warfare and long range target shooting and not so much hunting.
    For hunting I personally think the .338 win mag is a better choice than the .338 Lapua.

    And the idea of a 7mm wildcat based on the .338 Lapua case is even more useless than the .26 Nosler and will eat your barrel very quickly.
    And to call it a great cartridge for a novice who can't handle lots of recoil is total nonsense.

    I many cases I think even a .300 mag of some sort is to much for a beginner.

    A 6.5x55, 270 win, 7x57 mauser, 308 win or a 30-06 are much better choices for beginners and for African plains game hunting.
    A 7mm rem mag is also good if you want something flat shooting.
    More experienced shooters can use a .300 mag, .338 win mag, 9.3x62 or a .375 of some sort, but the cartridges above are good for them too :)
     
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  12. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Elite

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    Good Morning Saul,

    I agree with Enysse, Norweigianwoods and many others here.
    The regular 7mm, .30 and .338 magnums already shoot waaaay plenty flat for hunting in Africa.
    In most African settings (most, not all) the above cartridges actually shoot much flatter than needed.
    Jim Burnworth is obviously suffering from VELOCITY MADNESS.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
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  13. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    I agree. He does seem to be compensating for something a lot on his shows.
    One episode of Choose Your Weapon involved him and Ray Bunney hunting Kudu. He started off by saying that the Kudu is the hardest plains game animal to kill and he recommends the .338 Lapua with 300 gr. Bergers.
    When I first saw this episode, i did not know much about hunting African plains game, so I started looking around at .388 lapua rifles. The rifles I saw were between 8-10 pounds. This seems like WAY too much gun to be lugging around, not to mention the recoil and noise. I've always considered my .300 Weatherby to be a big boomer, but it's not even close to the Lapua rifles.
    On top of that, Burnworth went on and on all episode about how it was his signature rifle and "hammered" game like nothing else. Ray Bunney had a .300 win mag (a sako if I remember correctly). When it came time to take the kudu, Jim's ran off and died a couple hundred yards away, while Ray's was DRT. So much for the .338 lapua being the hammer.
    The point of my long rambling here is basically I find these television celebrity hunters to mostly be full of it and despense terrible advice to sell products. Once again, I have no real experience hunting with the .338 lapua, but it seems to me like a caliber for people with a very small "ego".
    That being said, one of my friends swears by the .338 lapua (he has aHS Precision and a Montana Rifle Co. in the caliber) and takes everything in North America from mule deer up with it. He says the recoil/noise and massive overkill from this cartridge are a myth and it performs very well on all large game with minimal meat damage (similar to a .338 win mag he says).
    I guess this is why we have so much variety in the firearms world and have a great place like AH.com to discuss it.
     
  14. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I dint know of this bloke .
    nor have l heard of his show .
    but it sounds like he definitely doing his job
    selling what his sponsors , produce .
     
  15. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I think this piece of advice should be treated like all pieces of advice with regards to caliber, it's just one person's opinion. Granted he may be given some greater amount of credibility due to experience, but he also may just be hocking a product for the hand that feeds him. It really matters not to me if it's the latter, everybody needs to make a living and again it's only one man's advice. When seeking advice, I like to get lots of thoughts and weigh the overall trend and not rely on one man's opinion.

    Having said that, I do have to agree with Johnny, it just seems like to me that when you put 95 grains or more of powder into the case, big recoil happens.
     
  16. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Hey, I resemble that remark. Lol.

    To put things into perspective the 338 Lapua is extraordinarily close to the 375 H&H in both ballistics and recoil energy/velocity. I don't think there would be any argument that the 375 is widely regarded as the African do-all cartridge.

    Are they both highly effective? Yes.

    Are they both overkill for most light skinned critters? Yes.

    Are either suitable for beginning or inexperienced shooters? Not in my opinion.

    Can you get exactly the same result with a well placed shot from a less expensive, easier to shoot and smaller calibre round. Most certainly.
     
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  17. K-man

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    I watched an episode last year when he carried a 50 bmg into the woods to kill an elk. Now understand he is about 6 feet 7 but I thought it was about the dumbest thing ever. I quit watching after that show. I always enjoy Ray Bunney though,
     
  18. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Elite

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    Amen bluey, amen.
     
  19. drew416

    drew416 AH Veteran

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    Isn't the 338 lapua a purpose designed military cartridge? Don't most African countries not allow import or hunting with military chambered cartridges?
     
  20. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Elite

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    Drew416,

    I do not know about that for sure but I have heard other hunters say that most if not all prohibit the 7.62x39 cartridge and .50 BMG cartridge from being imported by foreign hunters.

    I do know from reading the web site for South Africa that, foreigners may not be in possession of ammunition other than what their legally imported rifle is marked for.

    In other words, if you have some wildcat like the 7mm Lapua or whatever it's called but you made your brass by necking down some .338 Lapua brass, you will smash into a problem if when you arrive in S. Africa and The SAPS notice the .338 head-stamped cartridges and the 7mm marking on your rifle.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     

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