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mountain gun

04 Jan 2014
@ 03:46 pm (GMT)

Mike McRae

Hi,
Looking to sell both my rifles and be a one-gun guy. I have a .308 win, and a 300 win mag. I am in Alberta canada and hunt deer, bighorn sheep, elk, and in the future moose. Seriously considering the .280 Remington, and may upgrade it to a .280 Akley improved. From all the research I've done- mostly on JBM ballistics, even the .280 rem has more ft/lbs of energy at 500 yards using the 168gr Berger, than the 300 win mag using a 190gr Sierra. Also considering the .284 winchester to the short list. Would like to hear everyone's thoughts.
Mike

Replies

06 Jan 2014
@ 07:53 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: mountain gun
Hi Mike, sorry for the late reply.

One of the downsides of using ballistics software and ft-lb models is that these fail to take individual bullet performance into account. For example, the .308 Win loaded with the 178gr A-max at 2550fps produces greater wound trauma at all ranges in comparison to your .300 Win Mag 190gr SMK example.

When some folk write books, it is a load of waffle and self adulation. Some folk just want to make money which is fine. When I wrote my second book, it was a two way deal. I believe the information is important and that both hunters and ammo makers need to be aware of the information given. At the same time, I hope to be able to make money for our family. You have posted your questions in the long range section of this forum so I am assuming that long range performance is a part of your criteria for at least some of your game hunting. My second book has the answers you need and methods for cartridge selection.

The short answer is that the .30-06 may suit you very well, running mid weight bullets for mid weight deer and heavy 200-220 grain bullets for Moose at close to moderate ranges. But I need to know the ranges you want to hunt to, the type of terrain you will be in and so forth. The book is set up in such a way that you can work through this step by step, taking ranges and game weights into consideration.

While I am beating my own drum here. An older gentleman recently dropped a book off in our letter box on long range shooting. The gentleman phoned me to tell me that the book was too complex and beyond his understanding but that maybe I could understand at my expertise level. So I had a read. Yes, I understand it completely- it is a load of intellectual waffle. If somebody sets themselves up as a teacher and cannot communicate what you need to know- in a manner that you can understand, the fault is theirs, not bloody yours. This business of using complex tables, heavy wording and trying to cram everything about the entire sport of long range shooting into one 300 page book is a load of nonsense. Total friggin bullshit. Worse still, many of these writers still cannot differentiate between long range shooting and long range hunting. If you come accross this sort of rubbish, don't beat yourselves up for not being able to understand it.
07 Jan 2014
@ 06:33 am (GMT)

deerndingo

Re: mountain gun
Hi,
Not to throw a shadow or Nathan's answer ('cause I can't), but its not just about energy. Its about devastation. Devastation is about energy, fps, calibre and terminal performance of the projectile. Slide ruler numbers on the site you mention won't give you the real answer.

Have a look in the knowledge base of this site or do yourself a favour and buy Nathans book. That will answer your question, but you still have to further develop your question. What range is your max and possible min. You've got your weight range.

And one last point, please remember this, if you had to stand in front of a shot that was going to kill you, do you want to stand in front of a hard hitting 30 cal or 7mm? Whatever your answer is I'd want my end to be quick thanks!

FWIW
16 Jan 2014
@ 10:52 pm (GMT)

faulkner

Re: mountain gun
Hi Mike,

It sounds like you already have the rifle! The 300 win!! I've shot Elk with 338, 300, and a 7SAUM and the 30 cal has the biggest wounding potential at moderate and long range. If your 300 is too heavy for your liking and want something new and easier to shoot well than a light weight "un-breaked" 300 win mag a 30-06 or a 300WSM will work great with a 178 amax for the long shots,,, and theres SST and Partitions for the closer shots or the big animals!

hope this helps, Aj
17 Jan 2014
@ 05:30 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: mountain gun
Hey! lighten up a bit you guys, you’re going to turn people away from this site. I look over this site most days & enjoy it, I have both books & like them. It's the most Informative site I’ve found. Nathan, he has a 300 win mag, probably an oversight but why would he need a 30-06?
Cheers
Bob
17 Jan 2014
@ 03:26 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: mountain gun
Hi Bob, Steph read this thread this morning and said to me, "in your attempt to help Mike and steer him away from ballistics waffle, you have posted your own waffle". She is of course correct. How ironic. My apologies to all. I do take helping hunters quite seriously at times, too seriously in this instance. Thanks Bob- although why a Queenslander is posting in a Mountain rifle thread I do not know. Another irony.

The .300 Win Mag is certainly ideal but sometimes folk want to get away from the magnums and run something a bit cheaper, a bit less recoil, a bit more user friendly if hunting 50/50 bush / tops. I was wondering if that was where Mike was heading with the .280 cartridge size.

One of the simplest .300 Win Mag configurations is a straight M700 action, mid weight barrel contour finished at .650" muzzle diameter at 26", HS pro Varmint stock which is neither slim nor as wide as the current Sendero stock. Recoil is rather stout but manageable due to to the stock design. Ample power for general hunting of light through to large bodied game. The .308 Norma / .300 FBI can also be added to the list here.

Faulkner pretty much summerized options with his post but I was hoping Mike would answer my questions to him because with these answers I could provide more relevant info. One of the harsh realities of mountain hunting is that sometimes, although we may be able to spot game at ranges of up to 2000 yards, the actual retrieval of animals shot at ranges of 1000 yards and beyond can at times be highly problematic. A hunter may find after a time, that the country is so steep and difficult to traverse that shots are best taken out to ranges of around 700 yards and up to around 900 yards at a push.

Bloody Queenslanders.







17 Jan 2014
@ 04:22 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: mountain gun
Good on yah Nathan.
I just built a similar rifle in 30-06 cal, M700 action, 24” barrel, HS stock. 30-06 is my do it all caliber, 600yds is my ethical max on Deer using 180gn SST’s. 150gn Interbond is my meat getting pill. Anyway, the bloke wants a new rifle and is looking for an excuse to build "THE RIFLE" just like I did. My comment last night was Guinness induced ha ha . If you would like to come over to Queensland I can show you some terrible steep Red Deer mountain country!!!
All the best
Bob
17 Jan 2014
@ 04:44 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: mountain gun
G'day Mike
I was in the same position as you, wanting a do-it-all, accurate carry around rifle. I found an old 30-06 Remington 700 in excellent condition, fitted a 24” #3 Maddco stainless barrel, bedded it in a HS Precision stock, Jewel trigger. Bloody nice rifle and I love the 30-06 caliber, it covers a lot of hunting. I use Woodleigh projectiles for big stuff, 150gn Interbonds for normal range, all round meat hunting & 180 SST’s for long range culling.
Keep us posted mate
PS. I didn’t know Canada was in Queensland???

Cheers
Bob
18 Jan 2014
@ 03:13 am (GMT)

Andy Stewart

Re: mountain gun
I, am a mountain hunter, NZ Southern Alps. I don't actually hunt mountains, but I do hunt Tahr. I am NOT a "shooter", but a HUNTER. Knocking off my quarry at 1000m is NOT hunting. But hey, I carry a popgun compared to some.....

I am one of those oddities that carries a 2506. MK5 WBY Ultralite, 25" fluted Trueflite. 30 odd years climbing up and down places that make unaccustomed folk cry and ring up the nearest chopper has helped me to understand this: Your rifle needs to be light enough to carry for days without compromising you, it needs to hit hard within ranges where recovery of an animal is an accepable option, it needs to not boot you into next week because in the mountains you already have variables in your shot consideration, and recoil is not your friend when shots are long.

If you are a DS super sniper and don't climb, then by all means carry your anti aircraft magnum, but outside of that, 2506/270/280/3006 will do the job no dramas (3006 possibly the best all rounder)
18 Jan 2014
@ 11:03 pm (GMT)

faulkner

Re: mountain gun
Andy I'll be as polite as I can and if you take offence so be it but your statement of "knocking off quarry at a 1000m is NOT hunting" is BULL SH_T and it bothers me!

As hunters world wide we are under the microscope of countless organizations determined to keep us from or reduce our hunting opportunities. As hunters we must not pass judgement on other hunting cultures or methods, all this does is separate us as a whole and weakens us. I am sickened by bow hunters bitching about rifle hunters and them bitching about hounds men, or some sod that does't like the ranges I can harvest an animal at cause in his/her mind there's no way its ethical, but the half dozen shots they fire in practice "minute of milk jug" at 100 yards might be a little more,,, see my point!?

The rest of your post is spot on, cheers Aj

19 Jan 2014
@ 12:17 am (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: mountain gun
I really think Nathans Utube vids of long distance hunting speak for themselve's but each to there own opinion

regards mark
19 Jan 2014
@ 03:24 am (GMT)

Andy Stewart

Re: mountain gun
Nathan has specific skillsets, specific equipment for the job, specific setup options and specific terain and wind/distances he knows well. That is not a situation that desribes the average "hunter" carrying a rifle and pack, jammed on the side of a mountain trying to maintain a good shooting position, reading the wind by the seat of his pants, hoping the animal a klick away doesn't move 3 inches while the bullet is in flight.......
19 Jan 2014
@ 04:07 am (GMT)

Andy Stewart

Re: mountain gun
Quote:
Andy I'll be as polite as I can and if you take offence so be it but your statement of "knocking off quarry at a 1000m is NOT hunting" is BULL SH_T and it bothers me!

As hunters world wide we are under the microscope of countless organizations determined to keep us from or reduce our hunting opportunities. As hunters we must not pass judgement on other hunting cultures or methods, all this does is separate us as a whole and weakens us. I am sickened by bow hunters bitching about rifle hunters and them bitching about hounds men, or some sod that does't like the ranges I can harvest an animal at cause in his/her mind there's no way its ethical, but the half dozen shots they fire in practice "minute of milk jug" at 100 yards might be a little more,,, see my point!?

The rest of your post is spot on, cheers Aj

Say it straight, no problem with that!, my take on what a "hunter" is: You close the distance on your quarry as much as can be achieved without spooking it, you use the wind, the terain, you try to outsmart the animal,predict it's movements, prepare your "actions on", the closer you get the chance of a first up successfull shot get better and better. I want to pit my wits and fitness against my quarry, I pit my shooting skills, against gongs at a thousand. (not with a 2506!)We all have a differing view of distance where hunting becomes shooting and differing abilities to make that judgement . Maybe I am lucky to live somewhere that has allowed me to hunt often and develop knowledge and skills relevant to the terain and animal I choose to hunt, and if I have to pass a shot because I don't like the circumstances, there is allways next weekend!
19 Jan 2014
@ 05:15 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: mountain gun
Our cat found a rabbit hole a couple of days ago. He sat and waited all day, never came in for dinner, finally nailed a rabbit after dark and slept till daylight. Then he went back and sat above the hole another 12 hours or so (probably slept half of that). It was a sniping position to be sure, an ambush.

I have seen where AJ hunts and it is identical to the Southern Alps of NZ. AJ has also hunted the Southern Alps. AJ works on both his bush stalking skills and long range hunting skills. I say long range hunting and not shooting, because there is all of the prep which goes with this such as the climb in, locating game exit points / feed areas on ridges, finding appropriate shooting positions and so forth. It is a process, a method.

I think we all develop our own hunting methods based on what works for us. Much of what drove me initially was that in our area, it was very difficult to secure pigs because they were under pressure from dogs. I learned to stalk pigs without dogs which some locals said could not be done. In the beginning, I upped my success rate by using binos and glassing for very long periods of time, then staling in. But often the wind would change etc.

I was always interested in marksmanship since my father introduced me to his hunting buddy who's father was a sniper and who was himself encouraged to become a sniper by the NZ army. I was about 6 years old- Whats a sniper Dad? Watch son... crack, 300 yard neck shot with a .222. These were the things I saw as a boy. So I had always worked towards good marksmanship. It was natural for me to use marksmanship to my advantage. Getting back to the pigs, as I gradually extended ranges, my success rates became much higher. So it became a case of glass long, shoot long. This was a very gradual progression.

Looking back on my Sika hunting, it took me a very long time to get a handle on hunting Sika in close. Bush hunting Sika is not easy, it can take years. The irony is, by the time I got my head around bush hunting strategies, I was also beginning to get my head around long range shooting and the potential to wait it out like our cat. But you have to be in a hunting area that allows for such shots. The land contour dictates methods, hence why I said in the book and in an earlier post that we need to be realistic about mountain hunting ranges.

When I learned to hunt the Alps, the men who took time to teach me were extremely kind souls but as hard as nails. A light weight rifle was 9.5lb. An average rifle 10.5lb. Typical cartridges were .270 through to .300 Win Mag. The men wanted maximum power so they adopted rifles that would settle well without heart rate or winds pushing cross hairs around, the weight also helping to tame recoil. I don't know if I will ever be as tough as these guys and I am not talking about rifle carry weights because I was fine with that and with a pack weight of 18lb. It was the death defying free climbs that got me. These guys got the long shots but they climbed up high, up vertical faces without ropes. Quite a bit different to the old climbing wall at the local YMCA. It was a real head shift for me. If the rifle was heavier than 10.5lb, it could shift your center of balance- very dangerous. Somehwere between 9.5 and 10.5lb was considered about right. I trod in their foot steps, listened, observed and came to understand how they arrived at their conclusions.

Light weight rifles were only just starting to come along at this time, the Rem Model 7 had been around a long time but was not originally known for its accuracy (the little 18.5" wood stocked jobby). But the synthetic stocked 20" M7 got a bit of attention (though these often needed work). For those who were used to using medium weight rifles, the idea of a light weight rifle was a head shift.

Rifle weight is to some extent subjective. More and more men are now employed in work with little physical labor content which has a pronounced effect on how much weight we can bare. By the same token, some men are naturally incredibly strong no matter what their occupation. Strength is not a black and white affair. Some of this is comprised of mental disposition, some is genetic and some elements are based on occupation, physical labor etc. Another aspect is personal motivation. I covered these issues and the subject of rifle weight in the first book for those who are interested.

Stalking in close is both exciting and rewarding, no doubt about that. Doing so with a big bore adds further enjoyment. That is the one thing lacking with this site. Because I have uploaded data in a linear fashion and because I have not yet uploaded my medium / big bore data, the site is lop sided. It will will take much time to correct this due to the pace of uploads versus my work load in general. Not many of you would know that one of my favorite all time cartridges is the .35 Whelen. Steph feels the same way too, it is one of her top 3.

My next client was quadriplegic. I say was because he has recently developed the use of his arms. He is now paraplegic, Right (master) arm is now fine, left has just enough movement to dump over a rifle scope (overhand technique). Method of transport will be a kawasaki Mule (central North Island open terrain). Like our cat Bill, this hunter will have to be very patient and vigilant from fixed positions. His hunting method will be entirely dependent on his shooting skills, not his stalking skills. Before his accident, this man was a very adept stalker and a highly valued NZ police officer. His life has now changed, his hunting methods must change accordingly.

19 Jan 2014
@ 08:31 pm (GMT)

faulkner

Re: mountain gun
Andy, you're style of hunting is very similar if not the same as mine, I found Tahr hunting very similar to Rocky Mt Goat hunting. That said you are very lucky where you live and to have the hunting opportunities you do, I to am lucky altho I'am bound by "open seasons and bag limits" as well as "Limited Entry Draw" for some animals such as Grizzly Bear and Dall sheep. But most months of the year there is something to hunt and the Law is very clear on what is a lawful hunt here!
In Alberta a few years ago there was a law change that banded hunting coyotes with dogs, this came about cause someone decided "that wasn't hunting" and squeaked, we all now how that goes! As long as a hunter is being lawful they have my support regardless of my personal tastes. Legal to pit lamp, pit away, legal to hunt over bait, giver! Just put some effort into it and take some pride,,,, I can't even imagine the effort required to hunt from a wheel chair, my hat is off!!

Mike, sorry for the hi-jack!! Would like to hear more on the intended use and expectations of your new rifle, the one rifle approach is sound! If you need to do some test shooting of different calibers and platforms I've got a pretty good assortment, you can get my contact info from Nathan,

Cheers and happy hunting, Aj
20 Jan 2014
@ 02:48 am (GMT)

Andy Stewart

Re: mountain gun
When I was a young fella, I too was taught by older blokes that seemed immune to cold, pain, tiredness and fear of heights, one of them was a mountain climber who taught me I too could climb stupid places and then wonder how the hell to get back!. For the first 10 years my only rifle was a 300 Wby Vangard Delux 26", a heavy bloody awkward thing to climb bluffs with, especially in winter with ice axe and crampons and 20m of rope! I loved that rifle to bits, wish I still had it now (sigh!) haven't we all sold rifles we should have kept!.

Bact to the OP: if you wanted one all around rifle for hunting anything anywhere, I had listed the four I thought I considered best, I might shorten that to .280 and 3006 because of your bullet weight selection for a wide range of game is better, Nathan might comment on 3006 with 208gn Amax as an out to 600m option (vs 178 Amax) for larger animals.

Have often wondered about building a 338-06, just happen to have an M70 with a B&C stock in .270 as a start point, compares favourably to 35 Wheelan - That would be a pretty good alrounder, but tought to get ammo for in random places if you left yours behind! But you could hunt damn near anything on the planet with it!
28 Feb 2014
@ 11:18 pm (GMT)

GREGG FOSSE

Re: mountain gun
" haven't we all sold rifles we should have kept!"

Yes indeed and I am sure there are many who can relate to this. Once you sell a gun, pretty soon the money is gone - then you have neither the gun nor the money..... unless you used it to buy another gun : )

In relation to your 338-06 idea I see that Hornady has just introduced a 285gr 338 A-max with a BC over 700....
 

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