Calibre for lightweight rifle dilemma...

bushmantim

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Hi fellas,
I have a bit of a dilemma, in that I'm looking for a cartridge to fit a lighter weight rifle (6-6.5lbs) that will be my 'overseas' rifle for PG in Africa, New Zealand & North American Mountains (for Tahr, various sheep etc)
I purchased a Tikka T3 Lite stainless in 300WSM, and put a Manners stock on it, but I find the recoil a bit 'fast' for my liking. I don't like fast recoiling cartridges, (though I have no issue with heavy 'slow' recoil and have a 404J, 9.3X64, 9.3X62 & 338-06 that I shoot well) but the rifles I have are all reasonably heavy- not something that I want to lug up mountains.

I have decided to sell the Tikka, and am leaning toward buying another Mauser M12 Extreme. Reading about the 30-06 on here & other forums, just thinking it doesn't have enough legs for mountain shots, or enough omph for bigger PG? (This rifle also comes in 7mmRM, 300WM but a bit reticent to use these cartridges).
My other option is to get APRS (a division of Nigthforce) to build me another 300WSM on a stiller-manners combo.

Thoughts please?
 

Velo Dog

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G'day Bushmantim,

There is no one perfect rifle for all things.

You already have a 9.3x62 as well as a .338-06, either of which are fantastic African PG calibers however, the .338-06 might be dodgy to find ammunition for in most of Africa, if you needed some in a pinch.

For a light weight and flat trajectory, mountain sheep & goat rifle that does not kick you silly, take a good look at the 7x64 Brenneke or the .280 Remington (ballistic twins).

I know you are not especially interested in the .30-06 but here in Alaska, it is a very common sheep and goat caliber, usually with 150 grain or 165 grain bullets, because there are potentially long shots, up above the timber line, as we call it here.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

bushmantim

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Thanks Velo Dog,
Not ruling out the 30-06 completely, and the Mauser M12 comes in a 7x64, which is handy. wish it came in a 8x68, and then I'd be sorted!
agree, one rifle-calibre won't do it all, Im just trying to find something that shoots relatively flat, has enough energy to nail African PG and Tahr up to 400 yards, in a lightish package. I have just purchased a Swarovski Z5 3.5-18X44 with a ballistic turret to put on this rifle when I find one.
I'm not really a long range sort of a guy, I prefer to hunt in close & current rifles cover me for this in Australia, but that isn't always going to be practical for mountain hunting & african PG from what I've read or been told.
 

gillettehunter

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I think that Velo Dog gave some very good advice. When I read your use and needs the .280 came to mind. Or perhaps the 7 SAUM. Both are efficient cartridges with bullets up to 180 grain available. Flat shooting and much less recoil. I also have the T-3 in the 300 WSM. It shoots very well, but I have not used it for 4 yrs......
Another cartridge for 400 yards and less would be the .308. Great cartridge with a lot of bullets to choose from. Recoil is very manageable. Would also be a winner. Bruce
 

IdaRam

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Hey bushmantim,
I am with you on the "fast" recoil. I have a 6 pound 300 WSM that is an excellent lightweight mountain rifle, but it kicks the snot out of me with 180gr Swift Scirocco's. I'm not terribly recoil sensitive but this rifle is not fun to shoot.
My vote is 7x64/.280 Rem as Velo Dog suggested. A 150 gr Nosler Long Range Accubond or 150 Swift Scirocco at 2950 makes a great medium game, medium range game getter. I have a stainless synthetic .280 Rem and absolutely love it. It's my go-to gun for everything up through elk. Bullet in the boiler room and he's biltong (y) Flat shooting, retinas remain attached and I don't have to worry about a scope smiley between the eyes :) The older I get the less I like getting beat up by recoil. I just tell myself I'm getting wiser.
An '06 with premium high B.C. Bullets like the Scirocco or L.R. Accubond would seem like a viable option as well.
Interested to hear what you decide. Let us know!
 

IdaRam

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Hey, looks like we have a consensus! Gillettehunter and I were typing at the same time. Another example of great minds thinking alike (y) :) So there ya go, the decision should be easy from here :ROFLMAO:
 

flatwater bill

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Bushman..............I also own a Tikka T3 stainless lite..........mine in a .270 Win....I think the rifle is one of the best values in out of the box guns. A good combo on this rifle is to put a Leupold 2.5X8 scope on it. It is one of the lightest scopes, and is both reasonable quality and price. 36mm objective. It makes little sense to get a 6lb gun and a 3 lb scope. At the time I bought my Tikka, the T3 came in only one action length.......unlike the Sako, and therefore getting a short cartridge with a standard magazine can lead to shifting of the cartridge forth or back, so a mag plug is included...it may be better to get a standard 2.5 inch cartridge..........eg...06 family for this gun. Since they don't chamber a .280 Ackley, which would be about ideal, that leaves 270 and 30-06 in standard cartridges. Had I to do it over, I would get the 06 for a "traveler" and have emergency ammo almost everywhere. Lastly in this diatribe, I have chronographed several 7x64 Bren loads, and although the cartridge case is a dead ringer for the 280 Remington, the velocities in factory loads were no better than a 7x57. you definitely need to handload the Brenneke........with good bullets and a ballistic calculator, you can get good long range performance with the 30-06.....FWB
 

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Last winter I did exactly what you are doing now. And I finally settled on .338 federal. I started with a win 70 CRF in .243 and had a 20" Douglas stainless .338 federal barrel installed, along with a green Kevlar stock and topped it with a Lupy 3-9x40 vx-II with a dot reticle. Then had all the metal Ceracoted "armor black" (flat black). It weighs just under 6 1/4 lbs fully loaded with 5 +1. And man what a shooter it has turned out to be. Easily shoots under MOA with Federal 210g nosler partitions. I have just started working up some hand loads for it and expect that it's going to be a 100 yard tack driver. The recoil is slightly more than a standard 308 but not even close to the pounding of the 300 and 338 mags. It's never going to be a 400 yard across the canyon gun but anything inside of 250 has a pretty good chance of getting a hole in it if I do my job. The pic I posted is the gun with a FX-3 I had on it before I changed it to the 3-9x40
image.jpg
 

matt85

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7mm rem mag is a fine choice if your shooting strictly at long range. the 264 win mag or the new 26 Nosler would also be good choices for long range shooting.

problem I see with high velocity cartridges is they tend to blow critters up at close range. this is why I prefer cartridges like the 7x57 or 6.5x55. as a hand loader I can make these shoot light fast bullets or heavy slow bullets to suit what ever need I have.

-matt
 

blackdog001blackdog001

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I have a 300 WSM in a Mod 70 Fwt (I won it) and it lets you know it's there when you pull the trigger.

Why not a 30-06? Not sure if you handload but you can make this a 400 yard cartridge without too much difficulty. Even if you don't handload, factory ammo is good to 300 yards. Otherwise, how about a 7mm Mag, either Rem or Weatherby? Both are available in many rifles and are good long(er) range medicine.
 

PeteG

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Thanks Velo Dog,
Not ruling out the 30-06 completely, and the Mauser M12 comes in a 7x64, which is handy. wish it came in a 8x68, and then I'd be sorted!
agree, one rifle-calibre won't do it all, Im just trying to find something that shoots relatively flat, has enough energy to nail African PG and Tahr up to 400 yards, in a lightish package. I have just purchased a Swarovski Z5 3.5-18X44 with a ballistic turret to put on this rifle when I find one.
I'm not really a long range sort of a guy, I prefer to hunt in close & current rifles cover me for this in Australia, but that isn't always going to be practical for mountain hunting & african PG from what I've read or been told.

bushmantim,
you mentioned the 8x68, for another option the 6.5x68s is a pretty interesting caliber to consider. you may have difficulty finding ammo though. very similar ballistics to the 7x64 with a 140gr but with a higher s.d.
my choice would be the 7x64 though.
 

gordon-kruger

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7mm Rem.Mag shooting and 154 gr Hornady Interbond, its a combination that is hard to beat. If you take shots longer out (over 500 m) for small or middle size game I would go for Hornadys InterLock also in 154 gr (same impact).

Also its not very hard to find ammo for the 7mm Rem.Mag if you traveling to different places in the world for hunting compare to he RUM and WSM can sometimes be a big problem. In Africa this is perhaps important now when SAA recommend that the ammo box should be transported separately, and if its lost in the luggage handling you have a problem to find some ammo for sure, in this situation perhaps the 30-06 is even better. :confused:.... but to select a caliber because of things that hopefully never happens, its not the correct way.

If you are a bit recoil "reserved" please stay away from the 8x68S it will probably smack you even more than the 300 wsm, the 8x68 is more like a 338 win mag in recoil, and in a lighter rifle its easy to start to flinch... not good.

Gordon
 

James.Grage

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I would say the 7MM Rem Mag would be a great starting point.

When you say mountain hunting what distances will you be looking at.?

Also look at the 300 Jarrett for real long distance shooting.
 

Rob404

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You might also take a Peak at a 7MM-O8 Lighter recoil than a 7MM Mag and a good flat shooter, I just did a Barrel swap on my 308 swapping it out for a 7-08
 

Diamondhitch

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My Wby Ultralightweight in .257 WBY has served me well worldwide. It shoots flat a woman or child can handle it and drives tacks. Who could ask for more.
 

gordon-kruger

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Rob14, my opinion is that that the 7mm-08 is very similar in ballistic to a traditional 30-06 shooting 150 gr, therefor is not any direct advantage for the 7mm-08.

James, The 300 Jarrett will for sure kick more than the 300 wsm.... so on what distance is rely a long shot in field conditions for you ? 500 meters or 550 yards is a very long shooting distance for Africa, even up in Kalahari and the 7mm rem mag will manage this on most middle size game except for gems bock, in the end depend of the guy that Squeeze the trigger but regarding external ballistics the 7mm rem.mag is most effective and right on where acceptable recoil meet ballistic superior when its loaded with a spritzer/boat tail 150-160 gr bullet.

Gordon
 
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Saul

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My Wby Ultralightweight in .257 WBY has served me well worldwide. It shoots flat a woman or child can handle it and drives tacks. Who could ask for more.
Could not agree more. My mountain rifle is a Montana Rifle Co. in .257 wby and it is a sheep and goat laser. Mine is loaded with Nosler Accubonds and I have a Swarovski Z6i mounted on it.
 

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I too like the 7x64/.280 Rem rounds. I have a Steyr Professional M in 7x64 and it shoots like a house-a-fire. I had a custom barreled .280 some time ago and was able to get some pretty impressive ballistics from it as well using a 24 inch Douglas barrel, however it was no lightweight. Not much mention of the old classic 7x57 which makes a very nice light rifle, good killing power, low recoil and accurate in a good rifle. And despite the plethora of new, latest and greatest, fat, blown out, non belted magnum type rounds - will do most of what needs doing in the hunting fields. I remember reading Jack O'Connor and how his wife dumped a big eland bull with the 7x57. I would say that's a pretty good recommendation.
 

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Why did you mention the 8x68 but don't like the 7mmRM ? I am confused.

Light weight rifle = short action in my mind.
7mm is the min recommendation for some countries/game.

7/08 shoots comp silhouette out to 500yards. They are chambered with a relatively short throat so load a good 140 and your sweet. A premium for plains game up close in the bush and a conventional cup and core for the long shots.

If you are going with a euro rifle, 7x64. It drools class.
 

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For mountain shots and plainsgame, I would recommend the .338 WM, but if you want a somewhat lighter caliber, then the 7mm RM.

On the other hand, every animal in Africa has been shot with a 7x57mm, but this requires very careful shooting.

Whatever you choose in the end, if the idea is international hunting, stay away from the newer, or more "exotic" calibers, and stay with a "classic" as ammo availability is a concern.
 

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