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Rifle selection - first magnum

30 Aug 2017
@ 08:53 pm (GMT)

Andrew Smart

Hey Fellas,

First time poster, frequent visitor..a real wealth of knowledge on these boards and Nathan has provided a wonderful resource, thank you.

I'm essentially a bush hobbit and as such have relied on the trusty 308, forever really. I'm on my second one - yes its a Tikka, a wood/blued T3 that I bought about 15 years ago. For the last 5 years it has sat in a B&C stock and is suppressed (ducks head) I reload and use 165gr projectiles from Hornady and Speer depending on usage. I am disappointed if the holes are not all touching or very close to it when I am on the farm practicing.

I chase Sika in very tight crap and reds in Te Urawera a lot of my shooting has been 5-20m. On the odd occasion I shoot 200m or so.

I have a few spots that I would like to start hunting where it is more like long range and less like bush stalking, and I think everyone deserves a Magnum at least once in their lifetime.

So, after my long winded introduction my question is:

Am I crazy looking at a REM 700 and spending some money on it when I know a Tikka will do what I want out of the box?

For the last 12 months I have considered a few rifles but always gone back to a Laminated Tikka in 7mm RM or 300WM. (leaning toward WM for sharing some projectiles with the 308)

This week I have thought more along the lines of SPS REM 700, New Trigger and a Precision Platform Stock. Then as funds allow, bed it etc.

What I like about the REM 700 over the Tikka is that it has a 26" barrel, and allows for longer COAL if required.

What I like about the Tikka is that it is generally a known quantity performance wise and I have a set of 30mm rings for one already.

Either way I will be buy the recommended literature and follow the running in process and suggested recommendations.

I'm not interested in hearing about using the 308 for everything sorry, I want a new rifle dammit!




30 Aug 2017
@ 10:22 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
I want a new rifle dammit! Love it Andrew.
Opted for 300wsm myself, built on a R700 Sa optimised for the 208amax/eld m. Was pointed more towards an allrounder rather than a dedicated long range, compact/light enough to do bush and carry up hills all day(thought I had good base fitness until fiordland!) yet with with more effective reach than I currently have the skills to master.
31 Aug 2017
@ 05:54 am (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Oh and Andrew THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO LONG RANGE HUNTING CARTRIDGES, First book listed in the store is 100 percent where I would start.
Everybody is going to have there own favourites but will give you all the info you need to match a calibre for your intended use. The books may feel like outlay when you are trying to scrape together coin for a new rig but I wish i had come across them earlier, would have saved alot of money!
31 Aug 2017
@ 07:33 am (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Andrew, after reading all of Nathan's books, I now look at this differently.

Firstly - What game am I harvesting?

Secondly - At what distance?

Thirdly - What projectile?

Fourthly - What velocity will achieve success?

Lastly - What calibre does the above necessitate?

Then house it in a Remington 700 or Montana X2

Justmy 2 cents.

31 Aug 2017
@ 11:47 am (GMT)

Luke Lahdenranta

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Let me join in the chorus of suggesting you get Nathans books and here's why. I could tell you ya man get the Tikka dey r da bomb!!!?!? Or get Remmie!! My grandpa has been using his m700 since 1879!!!!?! But the best thing is if you get Nathan to lay out the straight goods on the various rifle models for long range and then you can make an informed decision on what is best for your needs.

For your purposes get the Long Range Rifles book jump ahead and read through the notes on pros/cons of the models that interest you. Then go back and read it from cover to cover. You could also grab the Cartridges 2nd Edition and read up on some Magnum cartridges that interest you.

You won't be sorry you got the books, they are excellent investment if you're even slightly interested in long range shooting or just interested in improving your marksmanship. They are also fun to read, I frequently read and re-read little bits and chapters here and there. The whole series is a great library of knowledge put together by Nathan and Steph!

31 Aug 2017
@ 01:26 pm (GMT)

Jonathan Kitterman

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Has anyone tried building a 308 Norma Magnum on the Tikka platform? I thought I saw in the books this was a possible solution to get performance near a 300 Win Mag without the COAL issues.
31 Aug 2017
@ 03:36 pm (GMT)

Andrew Smart

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Thanks fellas,

I have purchased the paperback version this afternoon.

I will be hunting, reds, rusa and sika mostly and I intend to get south for tahr and chamois.

Range would be what I can humanely shoot to with correct technique and bullet selection. At this stage most of my known spots would present shots on deer out to 700 yards.
Obviously I am a way off that hence getting started.


31 Aug 2017
@ 03:41 pm (GMT)

Ricardo Laborin

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Ooohh there are times when only a new rig will suffice, nothing else! Most of us have been there, it's very exciting...

I'll echo the voices speaking pro-Foster's books, they'll either rationally and logically narrow your choices or straight out give you the answer. Having typed that, Jack O'Connor once said hunting was about "fun and games", so please enjoy the process.

Bon Voyage!
31 Aug 2017
@ 03:50 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Off the shelf,
How about a Tikka 300wsm SS Varmint, you know them, have a few bits already and can work around the coal mag limitations found with the 300wm in the same model (dependent on throat lengths). Recoil will be pretty stout though.

Might not quite get the top end velocity with big pills as a 26" Rem 300wm but do you really need to chase top velocities at the listed ranges and use?
And as you say possibly some shared pills.

Yep grab the books!
31 Aug 2017
@ 08:32 pm (GMT)

Ben Law

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
I have thought about rifles fitting your description over quite a few times in the past and I always come back to the same rifles - rem700 & howa in 300wm, and in particular because i'm a lefty, tikka in 300wsm! for the mag reasons already mentioned.

These are the 3 rifles that always come to mind for me!
Then I think a Winchester or savage could also do the job or even possibly a ruger but its seems easier to go with one of the 1st 3.

Good luck choosing your new rifle.
01 Sep 2017
@ 10:34 am (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
what you find appealing may not be for everyone that's for sure, choosing a firearm is a personal thing if it were not there wouldn't be all the hoohar about the latest salesman have to have item to make your new toy the latest and greatest,

the rem or the tikka are upgradeable rifle's, both can be made to shoot and have loads of aftermarket gear on sale that the new buyer may want to exchange for the factory part to make there rifle the best,

IMO to be practical I like (from your choices) the tikka best and in 270wsm-300wsm because of the oal issue with the tikka, either of them cartridges would be fine for what you want
and with the knowledge you get from the books you will kick into what is more important IMO

good luck with it
regards Mark
01 Sep 2017
@ 03:22 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Why not a 30-06 Ackley improved ?
01 Sep 2017
@ 04:19 pm (GMT)

Andrew Smart

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Thanks for all the responses.

I know someone with a 30-06imp and to be honest I'm not really interested in being different for the sake of it, chasing the 300wm but never quite getting there.
The 280 Ackely is another I really do consider a fine cartridge and I have thought long and hard, but to do it justice it will still have a nice long barrel on a long action and try to be a 7mm RM, so personally I would rather be boring and go with the old work horses.

Just my opinion. I love hunting, I just want an accurate tool. I think I'm heading down the 700 action and building my rifle up.

I will wait to read Nathan's book first however.

01 Sep 2017
@ 06:42 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Andrew. Nathan's books are awesome, full of practical information that you'll have for life. Enjoy the reading and knowledge absorption.....
My suggestion of the 30-06 AI is based on a few things.
1 you can use factory ammo.
2 Factory ammo will be fire formed ready to reload.
3 Reloading will give you a good balance of power, range and bullet selection.
It's not different. .... its improved. To get the best from a common every day easy to find proven and tried calibre
Similar to blueprinting a car engine matching balancing and making everything work together the best as possible. Comparing it or trying to copy it to a standard magnum isn't the reason to go this route ! As long as you get the tool to do the jobs at hand you'll be happy regardless of what you choose .

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors "African proverb "

Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will aquire the skill to do difficult things easily ..........

Have a great day
01 Sep 2017
@ 09:59 pm (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Get an M700 in 7 mm Remington Magnum if that's what you want. It's great. Having standard factory ammo in abundance to choose from is a wonderful thing. I don't like non-standard calibers such as Ackley Improved stuff, or things that have to have cases formed before loading. Sometimes you just need to be able to buy a box of ammo and go hunting.

The M700 is better than the Tikka, better than Savage, pretty much better than everything. It's the easiest rifle to work on, and you can get a very accurate out of the box rifle in either the Long Range or Sendero models. Watch Nathan's videos on bedding the M700 versus his videos on bedding the Tikka and you'll see the difference. They're just better designed rifles.

Don't let anyone talk you out of getting exactly what you want. It's not anybody else's rifle, or caliber so get it how you want it.
02 Sep 2017
@ 02:38 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Lane you are doing no different to anyone else who gave there opinion to the post
giving your opinion
nobody is talking anyone into anything, its offensive to say we are

and as far as your opinion I think it's shit talk
tikka's are a much better quality and bang for buck rifle than the remington they sell today at the same price
tikkas also have as many up gradable parts for sale, that seems to be attractive to the sheeple
the salesman loves tikka and remington buyers the same,
they will both go to heaven LOL
you need to give us the same respect for our opinions as we give you
regards Mark
03 Sep 2017
@ 04:55 am (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Ok Mark, let me fix this. In my opinion, everything I already said.
03 Sep 2017
@ 06:21 am (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum

I sort of didn't read what you said after I saw the term shit talk. So let me try again. Apologies for being disrespectful to the Tikka fans. In my opinion, if you want a Remington is a fine design with many, many upgrades and parts available, especially the LR's and the Senderos. Tikka's right now seem to be more accurate out of the box across the board.

Remingtons can be more expensive, but are more common in my area, and therefore easier to get parts for, and perhaps a bit easier to work on as an amateur. Remingtons in my area are more common for gunsmiths when building custom designs, and the gunsmiths I know will most commonly use a Remington action when building a custom design if they are given the option.

I do have several friends who use Tikka's in the 30-06, and the 25-06 and they love them. My preference, as a long term investment, based upon my experience, and the experience of the guys I most commonly hunt with between the two is Remington.

With regard to caliber, I have used the 7 mm Remington Magnum for taking elk, white tails and the occasional pig, and have found it to be a great caliber.

03 Sep 2017
@ 08:12 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
I think that was a bit too aggressive Mark. Lane's post showed more enthusiasm than anything.

As I have been reiterating over and over again lately, the Tikka magnums do not currently have a magazine long enough to accommodate new long range pills. I covered this in detail in the books and I went over this again in the last blog (pdf download on blog page). If a guy wants to shoot a long magnum way out using the latest pills, the Tikka is simply a no go unless he wants to single feed.

There are other issues that could be argued back and forth but the above comment is the most pertinent here.

In the original post, Andrew was contemplating the M700. I believe Lane was simply trying to support him in this. Andrew has since purchased the first of the books and can read all of the pros and cons for himself. The Cartridges book goes into further detail regarding mag lengths for each of the cartridges however the first book will help establish fundamentals.
03 Sep 2017
@ 01:36 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
lately Im reading reports of chaps reloading using superpreformance powder to push a 140-145 grn projectile out at over 3100fps and getting very very respectable groups to go with it......the humble .270 winchester isnt a magnum but this sort of result puts it up there.......
keep your awesome 08 for your bush work and set up a good rifle with long barrel for your tops/bush edge type work ...pick cartridge that YOU happy with,learn what it will and wont do then go hunting and BE HAPPY.
03 Sep 2017
@ 01:54 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
nothing to do with tikka or remington, don't give a fark, don't own either
it is typical shit talk that mine is bigger than yours
so lets not turn it into a tikka or remington facade, I'm very happy for everyone to get what they want,
as I said earlier, quote "choosing a firearm is a personal thing"

my beef is with being so impolite and disrespectful to suggest that we earlier posters are talking someone into doing something they don't want!

quote "Dont let anybody talk you out of getting exactly what you want. its not anybody else's rifle, or calibre so get it how you want it."

I also said earlier about the tikka mag length problems,
quote "IMO to be practical I like (from your choices) the tikka best and in 270wsm-300wsm because of the oal issue with the tikka"

anyone who has been following past posts about long magnums would know I advocate using a magnum action for a long magnum so you can seat the projectile out long and that is why I have turned my 300wm long action into a 270wsm so it fits better bc projectiles eg berger 170gr EOL in a long action

in the original post, Andrew was contemplating the tikka and the remington,
he believed the quality of the tikka to be better out of the box than the remington (I agree wholeheartedly) that also was going to be much more expensive as he would need to upgrade but would not have to upgrade the tikka
quote "am I crazy looking at the rem 700 and spending some money on it when I know a tikka will do what I want out of the box"

quick answer "YES"

I think I have made my point
regards Mark

03 Sep 2017
@ 03:00 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Mark does have a point in that Remington let quality control drop significantly over the past few years. A lot of people are buying custom Remington clone actions or buying trued Remington actions from PT&G with which to add a decent barrel, trigger, stock and so on. Out at our local range I have helped literally dozens of new gun owners try to get decent accuracy and use from rifles with rough bores, poor bedding, actions that are not level when you install a rail, and on and on. I do not recall this being an issue other than needing a glass bedding job way back when I started tinkering, shooting and reloading 60 years ago

Many other persons are recommending the Howa barrelled actions as well. What irks me a little is a parallel trend on the part of gun makers to continue cost cutting by bringing out rifles like the Rem 783, Ruger American and yet still fail to output the ones I like with better quality. We can make them shoot for certain but I am thinking more and more that in the long run a good custom rifle with a better trued after-market action and high quality barrel Timney or Jewel trigger etc with a high end stock are the real answers. I also like Tikka rifles but there too, Nathan is right. With a load of time and effort the issue can be resolved, but it is time I think that rifle makers go back to getting things right again.

Buy once and cry once is a good summary.
04 Sep 2017
@ 02:41 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Just to add ... I have three older Remingtons. One model 700 classic in 7x57, one 721 in 30/06 and one .308 Winchester model 700P LTR. These still all needed truing of the action to finally achieve their full accuracy potential, but all shoot extremely well so I am not knocking Remington in general. Just look closer at their Custom Web site and you may see my next one there!
22 Sep 2017
@ 11:26 am (GMT)

Andrew Smart

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Just a bit of an update of where I am at, I haven't pulled the trigger on anything yet so to speak.

I have read Nathan's rifle book and re read several aspects of it.

Making the most of a late start to work, I have just been looking over a Montana Rifle co X2 in 300WM, there is also a 300WSM and a few calibers that are not for for my purpose - If I wanted another cal they suggested a 6 month wait.

My initial impression is that it actually feels like a proper rifle, a tool, the action is pretty sturdy and the balance of the rifle is centered around this.

26" barrel that looked of a higher quality than what I have been seeing on other rifles so far.

The action had packing grease in it but the bolt fits like a glove and only using my "eyecrometer" looks well machined.

The stock is perhaps a little small through the palm swell for me, but it is hard to judge while in a store with two small children.

Trigger hard to judge without putting it into a working situation, certainly heavier than my Tikka (but it is very light). Nothing that could not be improved by someone with a clue.

I asked about troubleshooting should there be bedding, accuracy type issues that are not the shooter and they said "there wont be" but if there is they would deal with the manufacturer.

I have put this rifle on my list for sure.

22 Sep 2017
@ 12:23 pm (GMT)

Andrew Smart

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Edit: 24" Barrel
05 Nov 2017
@ 09:48 pm (GMT)

Andrew Smart

Re: Rifle selection - first magnum
Good evening guys,

Here's an update of where I am at.

After a lot of thinking, reading and re searching I have bought myself a new rifle.

I handled some rifles, considered views and then started thinking about how I would build an M700 in 7mm RM.

While talking to a long time friend of mine he suggested they were putting together a rifle that I should come and have a look at.

I already had a VX6 Scope that I have been sitting on for a year or so unused but if I am going to keep it I will have2 turn locking turrets put on which Leopold in Aussie have confirmed they will do if I send it for a holiday.

Long story short I drove up to Reloader's on my next day off and Scott came down to the shop to show me the rifle.

REM 700, 26" Trueflight UM 8.5, Trued action, tuned trigger in a Precision Platforms Laminate stock.

The battle in my head about rifle weight was soon put to rest, to I think I was concerned about a 10lb set up.

Dan has sent me some 162 ELD X and 180 ELD M projectiles and am in the process of working out my COAL. From my first workings this rifle will not have any issues with the length of the 180's.

I will look to bed the rifle before I go ahead with any load development.

Today I finished my 10hr shift at 7am had a short sleep and took the rifle and my 3 year old daughter out to the farm, bore sighted it and went through putting the initial shots through it.

First three shots, only experienced light copper fouling at muzzle which I tried to photograph but did not capture.

Nothing startling but on paper at least and first shots with this rifle and any shooting since April.

Barrel cleaned and subsequent groups pretty much the same first two shots touching and then the third off a bit.

Photo representative of subsequent shooting.

I am Ok with it at this stage, getting used the rifle. The trigger is definitely not as good as my 308, my rest was not the greatest (rolled up swannie).

I am happy with the lack of recoil, having never fired a magnum sporting rifle it was maybe less than my lighter stocked/suppressed 308 (have used vehicle mounted 50 cal BMG)

So in the coming weeks, bedding and load development and a spring/summer Sika.





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