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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post here. In the next year or two my dad has expressed interest in getting a rifle built for college graduation. I'm trying to decide on the caliber I want. It will more than likely be used for long range whitetail, elk, or sheep hunting. I've never actually been on a elk or sheep hunt but aspire to in the future. I am a .257 Weatherby Magnum enthusiast and love how flat it shoots and how hard it hits. We also own a 7mm Rem Mag, Several .243's, two 220 swifts, three 22-250's, and two 17 remingtons.

Personally I'm having trouble deciding what caliber I want. My dad would like me to go with a 240 Weatherby, 6mm-284, or 6.5-284. My main issue however with these calibers are not that they are bad calibers but what can they do that my 257 cant. I could elk hunt with them, but why would I when I have a 257. I can deer hunt with it but I've killed over 20 whitetail with a Swift or 22-250 and close to 10 with my 257. 22 calibers work fine, 257 is exceptional.

My logic is to go up in size from my 257 not down. I originally liked the idea of a 7mm STW because of its ability to shoot at long ranges. It seems like the STW is a completely different animal than any other sub .30 caliber at 400-500 yards. It's way overkill on whitetail but with the plethora of hunting and varmint rifles that we already own, plus bow hunting I dont need it for that.

Anyways that is part of my dads concern, that I will never shoot it due to the fact that its overkill for whitetail (seems like it would be great for antelope and muleys even though .257 is great as well) and that I might not be able to go on yearly elk or sheep hunts my whole life ( It would be nice to be able to afford to though so I can hope). He is also concerned about the recoil even with a muzzle break being unpleasant. He also worries about the accuracy of the 7mm STW.

He wants me to go with a .264 Win or 7mm Weatherby (which I like but I'm just looking for something different since its the same case as my 257)

I've always like the idea of a wildcat just because its something not everyone has.

So I'm looking for some feedback if you could help me. Any experience with 7mm STW's? How do they shoot? Does anybody have any calibers that I might be interested in or that would be better alternatives to the STW. I am open to any discussion on a direction you think I should go.



Ideally this is what I was thinking

7mm STW
Stiller Predator Action
Bartlein or Hart Fluted Barrell Remington Mag Contour 26" plus Muzzle Break
McMillan or HS Precision Stock
4x14 Leupold
Keep it around 8lbs or less


Thanks and any feedback is appreciated.
 

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My gunsmith tells me that the right way to choose a caliber is to start by choosing the bullet I want to use. After that, it is a matter of looking at the available calibers (or wildcat options) and considering the velocity, recoil, size factors of each.
 

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7mm STW is a good choice, you might also consider the .270 WBY mag, shooting 130 grain bullets, at 400 yards your 7.9 inches low with 1900 ft lbs of energy, that is if sighted in 2 1/2 high at 100, at 500 yards it is 21 inches low, with around 1600 ft lbs of energy, something the .257 wby cant compete with, but obviously the 7mm STW will out perform that, and would be a better choice for elk sized game. Have you thought about jumping up to a medium bore? maybe a .338 WM :D
 

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I think BarkBuster is on the right track. From the description of what you have already available, it would seem to me that any 7mm is a move sideways. I think you should look at something that can do things you can't already do, and that means at least a .338 of some sort.

If they appeal to you, don't forget the large bore lever actions too. They are very different from the .257 Wby.
 

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Another posibility would be the WSM family (.270, 7mm and .300 in particular). There is also the various .30 magnums (WM, Norma and RUM to name a few). With proper bullet choice and placement you can shoot a deer without any excessive meat damage no matter the caliber (meat damage is relative to the caliber by the way). If you move up to 7mm you can use hunting bullets with BCs greater than .6 moving them faster than a .30 cal bullet for a longer period of time. It just depends on ho bug of a bullet you want to push and if your going to make it serve as a range gun as well. By the way I would suggest a quick detach suppressor if you're allowed one on your area. Sight your rifle in with your suppressor, remove it and then put it back on. If it still shooots the same POI just do that in a hunting situation. It will save everyones ears. This is appicable because that 400-500 yard shot isn't a split second offhand shot.
 

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I certainly wouldn't waste time with the 270 WBY, it doesn't do anything your 257 WBY won't also do.

The STW is okay, but why when the RUM is there. With Elk and Sheep in the picture, I'd be looking at the 280 AI (Nosler's M48) or the 7 RUM in a factory Rem 700 rifle.

With the list of stuff you have, you will never be able to get that as light as 8lbs. The Remingto TI rifles are around 8lbs scoped, and at nearly $2000 they are still cheaper than any other competition in the light weight category.

http://nosler.com/riflemodel48home.htm

http://remington.com/products/firea...00/model-700-cdl-sf-limited-edition-2010.aspx

http://remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire/model-700/model-700-sendero-sf-ii.aspx
 

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I will tell you I am strong believer in 7mm full length actions. Start with the 280 and work up from there. The 7mm STW is a fantastic round. The 7mm Mag is no slouch either. Although there is nothing wrong with them I am not a fan of belted cartridges. You would be pleasantly surprised by the .280AI. I am making some assumptions based on your current suite of available rifles that there is already some hand loading involved.

And as many game animals I've take with a .280 over the years. More and more I find something of .358 caliber in my hands. Don't under estimate a 225 gr slug going at 2700fps, or believe anyone that tells you it is limited to 250yards of less.

enjoy, I'm sure you will get lots of help and opinions to ponder.

good luck
GF
 

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Depending what areas you want to hunt for what,elk is a fine example, a 338 is a better choice. If you want to take quartering shots or head-on or hoop shots on an elk, a heavy bullet is definitely better. It also gives you range power over 400 yds if you really need it, but, it needs to be a clean killzone shot out there.
I've shot deer, elk & moose with a 7mm-08,140gr partition, clean killzone shots under 300 yds. Shot deer in the bean at 300 yds. with it.
But, elk & moose are different creatures, if they get up, you quite possibly will never find them again.
You don't normally get clean shots at elk, and moose seldom seem to give a broadside profile. That is when the 338 can do the job.
One thing to note---get a GOOD quality synthetic stock on it. Sheep & elk hunting quite often involve going downhill the hard way, and , a GOOD synthetic stock won't make you want to magnaport the gun.
 

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You mention range gun and also trying to stick around 8 pounds. Even in the 7mm STW you're gonna get whacked and it won't be much fun at the range. Ear plugs and muffs both wil help but not the shoulder.

Now, if you really dont mind the recoil, why stop at 7mm?
Why not a 300 RUM? Shoots nice and flat and carries more weight than the 7. That way if you ever do get to go someplace really exotic and maybe look at larger game, maybe with teeth, like brown bear, you have something that will do the job.

Unless things get ugly, then all bets are off with Mr Bear :D

Best advice I can give is get waht you want. Dont listen to guys like us. We'll try to talk you into all sorts of cool stuff.

.375 Holland and Holland :D
 

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Well, you've certainly got the quarter-bore and smaller covered, with that arsenal, so I'm thinking something bigger is in order. The 7MM STW is a fine choice, but you mentioned liking the idea of something a little "different", so I'm going to suggest the 325WSM. This is very similar to the 8MM Remington Magnum, but in a shorter package. It will shoot flat enough for sheep, but still have plenty of power if a 400 yard shot at an elk ever presents itself. I'm not sure I would like an 8lb rifle shooting either of those calibers, but if that's what you go with, it'll knock some of that silly college stuff outta yer head! ;)

Odd that you haven't mentioned wild hogs; I think a 325WSM would be a real solid anchor for the bacon.
 

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You can look at this:
http://www.chuckhawks.com/game_range_caliber.htm

Im not sure how I feel about Chuck Hawks. Anyone who wants to charge $30 a year to read their articles is pretty full on themselves...

And, How much do you spend on shooting magazines, which are held captive with their "product reviews" because they exist only by their advertiser's dollars.:confused: I'd be willing to bet that the 100s and 100s of hours of reading material you'll find on the "Member Side" will make you change your mind about that fee, very quickly. Heck, you might even learn a thing or three from the forum there, seeing as how it's only populated by members willing to spend their own hard-earned money to participate.

I'm not trying to be rude, I promise, but perhaps as a serious shooter your membership which costs less than an average box of cartridges might turn out to be a really smart investment. If you ever had a question as to which caliber to choose (sound familiar?), all the ballistics, trajectory and comparative information is a click away, giving you real numbers and real life reasons to choose a .35 Whelen over the 9.3x62 (simply used as an example).

If you couldn't guess, yes, I'm a member and after over 30 yrs of hunting and shooting experience prior to joining, I've learned a considerable amount there. I've seen members, fairly new to shooting, or at least brand new to handloading, get individual attention including private tutoring, endless emails of information and explanation and even free equipment from the paid members there. I know of shooters, who on asking for advice on a new rifle scope, end up with a free scope donated by another member.:eek:

These are facts, not conjecture. I'd wholeheartedly suggest anyone who thinks they could be interested, go ahead and join. I cannot imagine that ANY serious shooter could be disappointed with the information available there.:D
 

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I paid the $15 for a 3-month membership and now wish I'd just paid the $30. One of the things I like about how Chuck presents his information is that it follows a consistent format, which makes it very difficult for him to "take sides" on a topic. I've been shooting for 30 years and definitely have learned things (and confirmed what I "thought" I knew) by reading some of the many articles on his site.

I find it interesting that you (correctly) point a new shooter at that particular article, then cast aspersions at the source. :rolleyes:
 

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I was in a similar boat not too long ago. I have a plethora of other calibers from .22lr up to 7mm Mag currently. I like shooting my .243 win and 7mm customs, but I wanted an in between caliber. Thought about some standard calibers like a .257 Rob, .260 Rem, 6mm Rem, and a few others. I ended up choosing the 6.5-06. The ballistics will beat out my 7mm Mag with my current loads with a lower BC bullet in the 6.5. The 6.5-06 will also edge out the 6.5-284 by about 100 fps. I built this rifle as a light weight carry rifle and it weights around 7-8 lbs. Kick is not too bad and it is accurate.

On a side note, I also wanted a larger caliber "Mountain" caliber. Being that my 7mm weights about 13.5 lbs it's not a gun you want to carry around in the mountains all day long. I currently have a .308 Norma Mag being built for a Elk/Moose/Big game "relativley" light weight rifle. It's being built on a P17 action with a #4 Hart SS 10" twist barrel, Timney trigger, Richards Microfit stock, and will put a Leupold 4.5-14X40 on it. Will be a clone to my 7mm, but with a lighter barrel. When it is done it will basically be a budget version of a A-Square rifle, but still high quality.

Anyways, I had all the smaller calibers covered so I needed some .30's and up calibers. My next project is most likely going to be a .338 Norma on a Stiller, Surgeon, or possibly a Savage action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the helpful input so far. I still have close to two years before I get my hands on whatever I decide but the first step is figuring out what I want so I appreciate all the input. I am trying to absorb as much as possible and examine every option.

I know that i definitely want to keep it at 30 cal or below. The a mature whitetail buck in West Texas averages around 125lbs field dressed. We know a lot of people that shoot large bored rifles on these size whitetail and the deer run farther than if the deer had been shot with a medium size caliber. I know people that have lost deer with 300 and 308 Win Mags because at 125 yards the bullet goes right through them like being stabbed with an ice pick. I have a lot of respect for larger calibers and what they will do and I would agree that a 338 would be better on an elk or sheep than a 7mm but the I feel like for the type of hunting I will be doing it might not be practical for me. I feel like if I have the money to go to Africa, grizzly hunt, or moose hunt someday ( It will be after I get the chance to elk or sheep hunt) then I will also have the money to buy a .340 Weatherby or a 338 Laupa.

That being said my favorite calibers so far

30 caliber- .308 Norma or 300 Weatherby
.284- 7mm STW, 7mm Weatherby, 280 AI

I feel like the 270 Weatherby is too similar to my 257

I would really like to hear some input on the 7mm Weatherby. I know that it is the same case as my .257 but would it be a noticeable difference in stopping power on a bull elk. Also I've heard that out of the Weatherby Mags made off of the 300 H&H case that the .257 shoots consistently better than the .270 and 7mm. Is this just a rumor or has anyone heard this before?

I still like the way the STW looks on paper. I think the 300 Weatherby is the best North American caliber out there but I feel like it might not be exactly what I'm looking for.

As far as keeping it under 8lbs, I dont know know if that is possible but I would like to keep it as light as possible without sacrificing too much accuracy. I know that these magnum calibers need some barrel under them for them to group. Basically I would like to build something similar to the Weatherby Accumark but keep it a little lighter. I feel like the Accumarks are not too heavy to carry up and down mountains but they approaching that point.

Another Question?

Is my best bet for a composite stock going to be a McMillan or HS Precision. Any other good brands out there that you would recommend over these due to better quality or the same quality but for a cheaper price?

Again thanks for all the imput so far.
 

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This last post suggests you do not understand a couple of things. All the .300 Mags are, in fact .308 caliber. Whether or not a bullet behaves like "an ice pick" going through an animal depends more on the specific bullet chosen, not on the caliber or the size of the case used to propel the bullet. I also wonder how you know that the bullet "goes right through them like being stabbed with an ice pick" if the animals were lost.

If you think the .300 Wby is the best North American caliber out there, why is it not what you are looking for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am aware that all .300 Mags are .308 cal. And I am aware that the bullet chosen affects what happens when the bullet impacts the animal. The reason I shoot 120 grain HP in my .257 for deer but for elk I would shoot 120 grain Partitions. I do know that I have never lost a deer shot behind the shoulder with a 22-250 or .220 swift. I know the bullet matters what I am saying (totally my opinion, I dont want this thread to become an argument over caliber philosophy because everyone has a unique opinion about it) Is that its too much gun for a 80 lbs doe or 120lb buck at 125 yards. At 200 yards on a 200 lb whitetail its fine but for the type of deer hunting I do its not ideal.

I think the 300 WBY is a great case like I think the 340 is and the 338 Laupa but i dont know if it is practical for me. If I was to hunt all over the world ( excluding dangerous game ) and only owned 1 gun that is what I would buy. I havent ruled it out and it would be great for elk and sheep but I feel like in my opinion it is too much for the type of deer hunting I do. I dont want to buy a gun for elk hunting when Im not sure how much elk hunting I will get to do in my life. Im sure I will go once or twice but I'm not at a point in my life where I know that I can go every year.
 

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If you are after a 7mm, go with the RUM. Better than the STW, and beltless which is a plus to some people. But the STW is a beast.
 

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I am surprised that you have found HPs to work in the .257 Weatherby, without problems blowing up. I have one and although only a few bullets have been tested in the field, it does seem to be quite destructive.

Which bullets have you found work best? Perhaps I don't have a good candidate......
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The 120 grain HP's work great on deer but I would NEVER shoot them on elk. Ive made a lung shot on a deer at over 150 yards and seen the bullet leave a 3 inch exit wound, and the deer pancake. On neck shots they as equally as devastating.So it seems that the 120 grain HPs are a much heavier jacket than the lighter HP's made for .224 and .24 caliber. Another advantage of them is the accuracy of them. I have never seen Sierra HP's not shoot. I would be skeptical about shooting lighter weight HP's however and I would never shoot them on anything bigger than a deer. If i ever elk hunt with it I would go to a Partition.

My dad shoots 115 grain ballistic tips with in his Accumark and gets great accuracy and the bullets perform great on game. He also shoots 100 grain ballistic tips in his newer Remington Model .257 and has had good results with them. Other than that though I dont know if we have tried much else because we have never been anything but happy with the results from those particular bullets.

I do know that my Dad's friends shot a deer twice in the neck and once behind the shoulder with his .257 with partitions because the bullets weren't expanding enough. And I also know that he tried some Barnes X one time and didnt like them.
 
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