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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Heavy Barrel or not?

Heavy Barrel or not?

20 Nov 2014
@ 01:04 am (GMT)

Glenn Wade

Hi Nathan

I'm just about to purchase a 7mm Rem or a 300win but I'm still undecided on two things. First, weather to go the 7mm or the 300win. Second is weather to get a sporter or varmint barrel. The use of the rifle will be on Sambar deer in Victoria here in Australia. Now the reason I'm asking about the different barrels is because I sometimes do a good bit of walking to my chosen spots to sit and wait for the deer to come back from the farm fringe in the morning. The shots will be taken at app 300- 470mts. I manage to hunt Sambar app 4 trips a year.

Do you think it is warranted going for the heavier barrel? Or would I get away with the sporter weight barrel? Also would the 7mm be ok for this type of hunting? I'm pushing 60 now and I'm out hunting most weekends here in the NT but I'm just a bit concerned that the heavier gun might be too much for me to lug around.

I'm looking at a Weatherby Vanguard or another Howa. But open to suggestions.

Thank-you

Glenn



Replies

20 Nov 2014
@ 02:22 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
G'day Glen

Out of the two cals I prefer to shoot the 7mm rem mag, 300wm hurts me more in the same weight rifle. My mate lives & hunts Samba in Victoria and uses a 7mm rem mag
Cheers
Bob
20 Nov 2014
@ 10:01 am (GMT)

Randal Graham

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
I used a 7 rem mag quite a bit in Alberta and Saskatchewan for Mule deer, which I think are similar in size (?) and thought it worked fantastic, at those kinds of ranges as well. Just a plain old rem 700 and 24" sporter barrel, for long trudges over the Prarie it was ideal at 8.5 pounds or so.
20 Nov 2014
@ 04:24 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Hi Glen, there is a bit to think about here so lets break this down into bite sized pieces.

One of the very best bullets for this extended range work is the 208gr .30 cal A-Max. In the 7mm, I would want to run the 160 or 175 grain Partition for Sambar at those ranges. Say 3070fps for the 160gr or 2925fps for the 175gr- depending on what the rifle likes.

The .300 Win Mag and 208gr A-max could be soft loaded to say 2650fps if the rifle will produce a sweet spot between 2600-2700fps. That would get you out to your desired range. Would also work well on pigs in the top end. Recoil would be similar to a Whelen.

The 7mm would need to be loaded fast to maximize energy transfer. In other words, recoil between the rigs would be six of one and a half dozen of the other.

You mentioned a Howa so I assume that you are looking into something fairly inexpensive. This will go OK but keep in mind that the Howa has a 24" barrel (p[ay to check most recent model). The rifle will need a fair bit of work (like most rifles these days) so you will need to follow the steps in book 3. If you could find a laminated stocked Howa, that might be the most useful.

If you had the money, you could build a mid weight .300, run soft loads or faster loads- basically do what you like.

Another option is a 26" Remington SPS, ditch the stock and fit a Boyds laminate to bring the weight up a touch. The trigger would also need replacing though so there are add on costs.

Things to think about:
Availability of projectiles mentioned in Darwin etc?
Is it still possible to get a Boyds into Oz?
Cost and current availability of an M700 Timney trigger in Oz?

Please understand that I am trying to work with the choices and options you have given me. I try to provide select info in such instances as it is all too easy to add more options to the mix and make decision making even harder. But there is one thing I should mention- a .30-06 loaded with the 208gr A-Max bullet will do what you ask if you can work up an accurate load going 2400 to 2500fps. You could run this on Tikka Laminate. You may also be able to get a Tikka heavy barrel .30-06 which is nowhere near as heavy as others. So please have a think about this and check current weights.


Randal, a Sambar deer is like a densely muscled mature Elk.
20 Nov 2014
@ 04:54 pm (GMT)

Randal Graham

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Quote:

Randal, a Sambar deer is like a densely muscled mature Elk.


Oh geez! Yes, that would be a different deal altogether then, thanks for the clarification Nathan.

If that is not a good excuse to plan a hunting trip to " the other side" of the world I don't know what is...I could call it educational lol!

Precisely why I got a .300 win mag at one point, was for elk and moose.
20 Nov 2014
@ 07:36 pm (GMT)

Glenn Wade

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Thanks for that Nathan. Just one more question. Is that the Remington SPS long range that you mention in varmint or sporter? Looks like I could be moving towards that in the 300win. I will also be buying your third book as well.

Thanks again

Glenn
21 Nov 2014
@ 01:55 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Hi Glen, sorry, I keep finding myself a day behind.

I was referring to a straight SPS with sporting contour barrel mated to a Boyds stock. Just to keep the weight down towards something you might be happy with. This combined with a mild load (with reach) could suit you. Plus you could load faster if you wanted (in the .300 Mag).

My Tikka comments need amending. I had forgotten till I was lying in bed last night (why then?) that the magazine length is on the short side for a .30-06 running the 208gr A-MAX. It will work but case capacity is reduced. So I think no matter which way we go here, you will still end up with something to the tune of a Remington M700 or Howa to suit your needs.

If you are now leaning towards a heavy barrel rifle, thats entirely your call. The Remington Long Range rifles I have seen so far have been good units. Budget on 11.5 to 12lb carry weight.
21 Nov 2014
@ 08:00 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Nathan, would you use AR2225 or 2217 for the mild load using 208 Amax?
21 Nov 2014
@ 09:43 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Either or Mark. I often have good results with reduced 2217 loads with heavy bullets- as long as I don't pull back too far.

But that's a very good point Mark, it could be worth experimenting with 2225. The 4-5 grains difference could help bulk density and keep ES down. Experiment with magnum versus no magnum primer for ES tweaks if need be.

Start load around 74 grains 2225.

My goal for Glen was to have around 1800fps impact velocity at the maximum nominated range as a means to maximize trauma on Sambar. The down load works well for penetration too- when going frangible. A good combo for this application and the ranges are about perfect for such a load.
21 Nov 2014
@ 09:54 pm (GMT)

Randal Graham

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
So loading down based on a known range and target velocity, using a bullet that works best at that velocity on arrival.

I think you guys just jumped me ahead 10 years in understanding.
Brilliant.
22 Nov 2014
@ 08:48 am (GMT)

robert meikle

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
hi bud id go heavy barrel reason more shots can be fired without gun going off which will happen with lighter barrel. and get 26in not 24in 7mm rem mag going 24in barrel gives you a 270winchester performance with a 7mm rem mag 162 amax will work well just pace yourself better to have one shot and hit your target. than run up a hill with a lighter gun and miss. the extra stability from a heavey gun can be a real asset. for long shots as is spotting the shot if you miss stays on target better. im using a Remington police sightron scope t8 silencer and harris biypod I may not be as fast up the hill but with this set up it can reach a long way out
22 Nov 2014
@ 05:36 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Hi Glenn,
l have said many times on here l like the versatility of the 30's and this is a prime example.
Sambar can be tough animals to stop, not armour plated as some might say, but still bloody tough. I have seen them carry good shots from both calibres and prefer to use 30's or larger (larger when taking snap shots while hound hunting).
With the 300 your Factory & reloading options are great, so you could put it to good use on the buff's and alike! Nathan has offered some good options for your intended use.

The heavy barrelled, fluted Howa may be a good choice for you but do your research. You can purchase one as a barrelled action and order a laminated Boyd's to tame the recoil a bit. Would be a relatively cheap option.
I am now running with the heavy Remington's but my heavy Howa shot very well, just a little tricker to bed but other than that very good to work with.
22 Nov 2014
@ 07:42 pm (GMT)

Glenn Wade

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Thanks for all the replies guys, all very good food for thought. Interesting option with the barrelled action and boyds stock option there Martin. What did your set up weigh (Howa). I'm looking into the Remington option at the moment and in the Remington catalogue they have the 700sps long range listed weighing in at 8-3/4lb (with 26in barrel) as opposed to the 700sps stainless (with 26in sporter barrel) weighing in at 7-5/8lb. Both in 300win. Then add scope weight. App 1.5lb
I already have 2 30cals at the moment a 308 Whitworth and a 30-06 Howa with a Boyds laminated stock. The Howa with a Swarovski Z3 weighs in at 4.2kg. (App 9lb) If I'm only looking at another 1-1/2lb then tho option of a heavy barrel looks promising. Some might say just use the 30-06 but I have these Rifles set up for different purposes. Plus it's another excuse to buy another rifle.
All information is being taken onboard and greatly appreciated

Glenn
24 Nov 2014
@ 03:10 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Sorry Glen l never weighed that rifle, l built it heavy for the kids to use it was the unfluted, heavy barrelled, SS model and l used it varminting and spot lighting. Was a great rifle just had no need for it anymore.

You should be able to find the weight of the new fluted action and add it the over all weight of your Howa 30/06.

The Remington will be a good outfit though, easier to work with but as Nathan said budget for a new trigger. Will end up costing a bit more than the Howa so budget dependant l suppose. I am happy to shoot either, more options for the Rem's but we pay to much for them here in oz!
09 Dec 2014
@ 07:10 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
the one thing I would consider before heavy or light barrel is mag length,
you will want to seat the projectile's out and not stuffed short into a long action, I'm not sure which rifle would be better for this I know a lot of tikka owners cant go any longer than factory oal and my ruger was 7mm short of the lands unless I single loaded,

good luck anyway

regards mark
09 Dec 2014
@ 09:45 pm (GMT)

Glenn Wade

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Well I ended up going for the Remington SPS 700 in 300win mag, should have it in my hands by the end of the week. Then let the build begin.
Already ordered the bedding compound and Nathan's 3rd book to help me along the way.

Glenn
10 Dec 2014
@ 12:07 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
glad to see you made a decision. Question for Nathan is would this also be a decent rifle once a pile of wood is replaced with epoxy? Have done this and it was very good...with an old pre 1964 rifle
I would guess the 208 gr A-Max might work here but not sure.


Model 70 Featherweight

Item Number
535200233
UPC
048702002274
Action Length
Long Action
Caliber
300 Win Mag
Barrel Length
24"
Nominal Overall Length
44 3/4"
Nominal Length of Pull
13 3/4"
Nominal Drop at Comb
1/2"
Nominal Drop at Heel
3/4"
Weight
7 lbs 4 oz
Magazine Capacity
3
Rate of Twist
1 in 10"
Barrel Finish
Brushed Polish
Stock Finish
Satin
Wood Grade
Grade I
Receiver Finish
Brushed Polish
Chamber Finish
Polished
Barrel Material
Steel
Barrel Contour
Featherweight
Stock Material
Black Walnut
Recoil Pad
Pachmayr Decelerator
Pistol Grip Cap
Gloss Polymer
Checkering
Cut 20 LPI
Sling Swivel Studs
Gloss Blue
Receiver Material
Steel
Trigger Finish
Brushed Polish
Trigger Guard Finish
Brushed Polish
Bolt Slide Finish
Jeweled
Magazine Type
Hinged Floorplate

Trigger Material
Stainless Steel
Trigger Guard Material
Alloy
Floor Plate Material
Steel

Drilled and Tapped for Scope
Yes
MSRP
$979.99
10 Dec 2014
@ 08:09 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
[quote]Well I ended up going for the Remington SPS 700 in 300win mag, should have it in my hands by the end of the week. Then let the build begin.
Already ordered the bedding compound and Nathan's 3rd book to help me along the way.

Glenn[/quote
The rem's area easy to work with glen, follow Nathan's steps and you should be up and running in no time.

Have fun!
11 Dec 2014
@ 02:58 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Sounds good Glen. Yes, just work through it step by step.

Hi Bryan. The featherweights are OK but I have found two weaknesses which go hand in hand with the 600 yard Elk slayer thread and the Tikka comments.

1. Rifle shakes if you have been climbing, then have to drop and take a hurried 300 yard shot.

2. Recoil can be quite fearsome in .300 Win Mag.

I would not want to shoot a 208gr bullet above 2600fps in this rifle. It would also take a good deal of practice. It can be done if the hunter really wants minimal weight but there are consequences to the weight reduction. Realistic expectations are key.

13 Dec 2014
@ 11:50 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Yes, recoil at full loads would be tough. Which is why my favourites are the Remington Sendero and the Remington - 700 SS 5R Milspec, .308 (with 5R, M24 Type Rifling).

Looking at the Winchester rifles specs online the heaviest shown is only just over 8 pounds before scope, mounts, etc. The Rem Milspec is 9 pounds I think.

His choice is a very economical one, and given his bedding plans, will not doubt, be just what he needs.
17 Dec 2014
@ 05:30 am (GMT)

Gary Banas

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Bryan,
I am new to your forum but not al all new to the rifle and hunting game.
First off, you may have to temper my thoughts with the understanding that I am 65 y.o. and although in excellent physical shape, I no longer enjoy lugging a heavier rifle than needed. I recently had a custom 300 WinMag built for me using a heavy barrel in SS 26" length and a laminate stock. With the Nightforce scope it tips the scales at nearly 11#.
This puppy will definitely outshoot my abilities from the bench as I have routinely made 4 inch 300 meter 5 shot groups but in the field is a different story as I need a solid rest to get decent sight pictures and after hauling it up and down the hills and mountains (hunt in the Appalachians in western Virginia -US)
Unless your hunts will not require a long stalk or you are exceedingly strong with your upper body I would go with a lighter rig.
Definitely stay with something a bit more stout than the 7 Mag and think about a muzzle brake-to use when practicing and with very good hearing protection- with a replaceable sleeve that you can put on when you pull the brake for hunting.
I am fortunate to have a large collections of hunting rifles and can pick the one that best suits the situation and have found that I tend to leave the 300 WM home more than not and carry something lighter if I can justify it for the game being pursued and the anticipated distances encountered.
Good luck in your adventure.

Look forward to seeing what you decide and hope to add something meaningful to the forums.

Gary
17 Dec 2014
@ 06:03 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Hi Glen
You can paw over calibre's for ever. For Samba at 300-400m there's a stack of calibre's. If a 7mm rem mag won't do it out to 400m it's the rifles fault.
Cheers
Bob
17 Dec 2014
@ 03:43 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Heavy Barrel or not?
Woops!!
That's supposed to say. It's not the rifles fault !!!
With the right pill, the 7mm rem mag will do the job on Samba.
Bob
 

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