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Old 09-17-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
txfireguy2003
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Default What caliber next?

Consider the following:

Savage long action, currently 30/06, but that's irrelevant since bolt heads can be swapped easy.

If you could build any caliber you wanted (that will run in that action) what would it be and why? Easy wildcats included such as AI's, simple neck down or neck up. Also assume you already have a 223 Remington, 243 Winchester, 6.5-300WSM, 7mm Rem Mag, 308 Winchester.

Was thinking about a 25-06AI, 6.5-284 Norma, 6.5-06AI. What other suggestions you guys have?

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Old 09-17-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
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7mm-08?
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:20 PM   #3
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Good call, but why not 280? I mean, I've got a long action, why not use all of it?

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Old 09-17-2016, 09:25 PM   #4
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270 or 338-06?
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
Good call, but why not 280? I mean, I've got a long action, why not use all of it?

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I see where you are coming from, the swing factor me would be the availability of ammo around these parts. I don't see much 280.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by .270 View Post
I see where you are coming from, the swing factor me would be the availability of ammo around these parts. I don't see much 280.
Yeah, I can see that for sure, but since I reload and rarely but factory ammo, that's not a huge issue.

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Old 09-17-2016, 09:43 PM   #7
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6.5-284, a lot of people at the ranch have them and are stretching them out a good ways
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:45 PM   #8
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280ai
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:59 PM   #9
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338/06 AI. Because you don't have a thumper in your stable. I'm saving my Savage 30.06 for exactly that caliber, but shoots so well in 30.06 that I can't bring myself to convert it just yet.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:04 PM   #10
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30-06
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bluelund79 View Post
338/06 AI. Because you don't have a thumper in your stable. I'm saving my Savage 30.06 for exactly that caliber, but shoots so well in 30.06 that I can't bring myself to convert it just yet.
Hmmm, but then, I'd have to buy another silencer....an expensive one too....to run those monsters. I don't really shoot rifles without the can anymore.

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Old 09-17-2016, 10:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 160class View Post
6.5-284, a lot of people at the ranch have them and are stretching them out a good ways
That or a 6.5 saum

edit: though that'd be SA

Last edited by sir shovelhands; 09-17-2016 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH1 View Post
30-06
I'm converting away from this, I just don't care for it. It and the 270, fit some reason, I just don't care for. I guess I'm that weird guy in camp that always has to show up with something you've never seen before, and maybe never heard of.

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Old 09-17-2016, 10:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir shovelhands View Post
That or a 6.5 saum

edit: though that'd be SA
I'm having a 6.5WSM built as we speak. Should do everything the SAUM will, maybe a tiny bit more, maybe not. I anticipate a killing machine.

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Old 09-17-2016, 11:22 PM   #15
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Well... since you already have the 6.5-300 and the 6.5WSM, another 6.5 either makes perfect sense or no sense, depending on how you look at it. You already have your bases very well covered with your caliber selection, so I feel like it's just down to what you WANT. I personally want a 280AI, but a 6.5x284 Norma is also on the list. That 25-06AI would be a nice addition to your collection as well, since you didn't list a quarter bore. Man that's a tough decision.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:30 PM   #16
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I vote 25-06 just because I like the round
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:34 PM   #17
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I know! I've got 224, 243, 264, 284 and 308 bores covered, and I forgot to mention my 22-250 and multiple 300 blackouts. All I need is a 257 and a 277 of some sort. I know both the 25-06 and 270 are awesome rounds, they just don't speak to me, maybe in a fast twist AI version they would, but high BC, heavy bullets are very limited in those diameters for some reason. I've been looking hard at the 280AI as well. I've for the long range whitetail rounds covered, I've never been elk hunting but hope to one day, it's just a drawn out process that I don't understand. I'm at the point where, I guess, I just want to play with something different.

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Old 09-17-2016, 11:42 PM   #18
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25-06 is the ticket for me
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:34 AM   #19
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.240 Weatherby
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd350 View Post
I vote 25-06 just because I like the round
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:06 AM   #21
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Thumpers: 35 Whelen, 338-06
Good ole rounds: 280, 280ai, 6.5-06
Could be fun: 240 Weatherby

But is there something "special" that this new round/rifle will be doing?
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
I know! I've got 224, 243, 264, 284 and 308 bores covered, and I forgot to mention my 22-250 and multiple 300 blackouts. All I need is a 257 and a 277 of some sort. I know both the 25-06 and 270 are awesome rounds, they just don't speak to me, maybe in a fast twist AI version they would, but high BC, heavy bullets are very limited in those diameters for some reason. I've been looking hard at the 280AI as well. I've for the long range whitetail rounds covered, I've never been elk hunting but hope to one day, it's just a drawn out process that I don't understand. I'm at the point where, I guess, I just want to play with something different.

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Berger has a 170gr .277 pill now if you wanted to go magnum and push them with speed it could be sweet deal
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malky102 View Post
280ai
This
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:15 AM   #24
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just finished a 6.5-06ai, fireformed some brass today
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:16 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchParker View Post
Thumpers: 35 Whelen, 338-06
Good ole rounds: 280, 280ai, 6.5-06
Could be fun: 240 Weatherby

But is there something "special" that this new round/rifle will be doing?
Not really, I don't think so anyway. Will definitely be a hunting gun, not a bench gun. Maybe something medium weight, moderate recoil, hard hitting enough to take elk and mule deer at decent range in case I ever make it to Colorado. 280AI is starting sound nice honestly, but I do have that covered already with a 7 mag (reminds me that I need to try some heavy bullets in it to see if the factory twist is enough to stabilize them). I could do a fast twist 270 or 25 caliber variant of some sort. Dang, it's a fun discussion, but frustrating. I guess I should just buti the bullet and go with a 25-05 or something, or maybe a 257-284 Winchester......hmmm. wonder if I can find dies for that one. Make a nice little medium weight hunter.

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Old 09-18-2016, 07:16 AM   #26
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Another vote for the 280AI but performance wise it's nearly identical to your 7 mag.

If you want a thumper that still works with your can how about the 300 Dakota?
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
Not really, I don't think so anyway. Will definitely be a hunting gun, not a bench gun. Maybe something medium weight, moderate recoil, hard hitting enough to take elk and mule deer at decent range in case I ever make it to Colorado. 280AI is starting sound nice honestly, but I do have that covered already with a 7 mag (reminds me that I need to try some heavy bullets in it to see if the factory twist is enough to stabilize them). I could do a fast twist 270 or 25 caliber variant of some sort. Dang, it's a fun discussion, but frustrating. I guess I should just buti the bullet and go with a 25-05 or something, or maybe a 257-284 Winchester......hmmm. wonder if I can find dies for that one. Make a nice little medium weight hunter.
I'm having a similar internal debate myself. I don't have a 7mag so I'm leaning towards the 280ai for the same reasons. Will put down an elk if an opportunity ever presents itself.

That 257-284 sounds fun. Here is another idea (not for elk though) a 6mm - 284. Everyone I know that has one loves it.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:27 AM   #28
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I'm not sure if a .257 Weatherby will fit in that action or not, but it's got lots of "cool factor."

Otherwise, I'd be in the .280 AI camp also. One of those with a 175 gr bullet at 2,800 fps can reach out there a ways in a lightweight rifle that you can still easily carry around.

I've found there is so much overlap with what calibers can do nowadays that you're better off figuring out the type of rifle you want (range gun, truck gun, varmint gun, close range hunting gun, long range hunting gun, large animal gun, lightweight backpacking gun, etc), then picking a caliber that will do a good job.

Rifles built up 4 different ways in .30-06, with different scopes, stocks, barrel lengths and contours could be more versitile than having a .270, 7mm-08, .308, and .30-06 all with factory barrel lengths and 3-9 scopes.

For the way I reload, the only commonality that matters is powders working well for various calibers, which most of them do. I'm moving towards only shooting one load in each of my guns as versatility is great until you're constantly having to re-zero your rifle and adjusting dies all the time.

If I'm only shooting one bullet in a gun, it doesn't really matter if it CAN be used in another. Having different calibers also keeps neck sized brass from going into the wrong rifle, so you don't have to keep it straight or full length size everything.

I'm with you on the lack of buckets with decent BC's for .25 and .27 calibers. They obviously COULD work well since they are between the 6mm's, 6.5's, and 7mm's that have fantastic BC. I think the issue is that they are so close that it isn't worth developing them coupled with the fact that the factory rifles in those calibers don't have fast enough twist rates to be able to shoot the long, high BC bullets if they were available.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:09 AM   #29
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For a thumper you could do a .416 Winchester Express which is basically a .416 Rigby in ballistics loaded in a 30.06 case. Ain't everybody got one of these.
Other calibers that can be made from the 06 case are:
1) .228 Ackley Magnum
2) .230 Ackley
3) 6mm Ackley Belted Express
4) .243 JS
5) .240 Super Varminter
6) .240 Mashburn Falcon
7) .240 Gibbs
8) .257 Bighorn
9) .25 Niedner (25/06)
10) 25/06 Vickery
11) 25/06 Ackley Improved
12) 25/06 Mashburn
13) .256 Newton
14) .26 Epps
15) 6.5/06
16) 6.5/06 Ackley Improved
17) .263 Sabre
18) 6.5 ICL Boar
19) .264 Williams
20) .270 Winchester
21) .270 Ackley Improved
22) .270 ICL Jaguar
23) .285 OKH
24) 7MM Mashburn
25) 7MM Ackley
26) .280 Remington
27) .280 Ackley Improved
28) 30/06
29) 30/06 ICL Caribou
30) 30/06 Ackley Improved
31) 8MM/06
32) 8MM/06 Ackley Improved
33) .338/06
34) .338/06 Ackley Improved
35) .35 Whelen
36) .35 Whelen Improved
37) .35 Brown-Whelen
38) .375 Whelen
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:05 AM   #30
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1st - 280AI
2nd - 6.5-06AI
3rd - 35 Whelen

If you reload brass is readily available for all the above. Enjoy the headache associated with making a decision on a caliber as well as the joys of anticipation once the build begins!

jrg
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:14 AM   #31
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Okay, I think I've got it narrowed down to 25-06AI, for a lighter weight, lower recoil deer killer, or 280AI for a mid weight all around gun. Leaning more towards the 25-06AI and reserve a magnum boltface action I have for a custom 7mm magnum of some sort.

Neither would require a change in bolt head, brass should be easy to acquire or form if needed, fairly efficient in powder consumption and common powders with other rounds I shoot. I've never had a 25 caliber before, so it would be a fun experiment.

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Old 09-18-2016, 09:15 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muzzlebrake
For a thumper you could do a .416 Winchester Express which is basically a .416 Rigby in ballistics loaded in a 30.06 case. Ain't everybody got one of these.
I have a couple of Rigbys and my handloads do 2600fps with 400 gr Barnes. There is no way in the world that a .416 cartridge based off a 30-06 case is going to have the ballistics of a 416 Rigby. Case capacity of a 06 is a tad over 60grs while the Rigby is well over 100grs.


I would keep it simple and go with a 280 Rem or the improved version.

Last edited by sendit; 09-18-2016 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:35 AM   #33
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I'm really interested in the new Weatherby 6.5 - 300 Wby Mag cartridge. OTS these cartridges have been consistent and reliable. A little trigger work, accurized on your gun, and excellent optics you can not go wrong. This is a no joke, sledge hammer TAC driver in my opinion. Good luck with your choice. I'm sure you'll be just fine with your own choice.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:35 AM   #34
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338/06 or 35 wheelen
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:38 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
Okay, I think I've got it narrowed down to 25-06AI, for a lighter weight, lower recoil deer killer, or 280AI for a mid weight all around gun. Leaning more towards the 25-06AI and reserve a magnum boltface action I have for a custom 7mm magnum of some sort.

Neither would require a change in bolt head, brass should be easy to acquire or form if needed, fairly efficient in powder consumption and common powders with other rounds I shoot. I've never had a 25 caliber before, so it would be a fun experiment.

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Pretty easy to reform the brass to .25.
All you need is the big RCBS dual arm rockchucker press and dies and good case lube.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:46 AM   #36
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338/06 AI in a well balance 21-23" version is fun! I can loan you a go gauge if you decide to go this route

I've been pushing 225gr TSXs at 2650 fps but got some 210s for next to nothing so will be playing with those next
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sendit View Post
I have a couple of Rigbys and my handloads do 2600fps with 400 gr Barnes. There is no way in the world that a .416 cartridge based off a 30-06 case is going to have the ballistics of a 416 Rigby. Case capacity of a 06 is a tad over 60grs while the Rigby is well over 100grs.


I would keep it simple and go with a 280 Rem or the improved version.
My bad. The 416 Win Express was loaded in a .404 Jeffery case which would require bolt face work. These would push a 400 gr bullet to 2350fps and a 300gr pill to 2700fps. This round developed in 1979 never got off the ground.

If 416 is used in a 30-06 case the case has to be improved for a shoulder to head space on and holds approx 72.5 gr.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:57 AM   #38
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So many thoughts and ideas come to mind. I assume this is going to be a custom build...

On the light to side I'd suggest a 240 WBY with a fast twist for the 115 Berger. I'm just about done tuning mine and it's at .25moa at 200 yards at 3100 fps. You could go with the 240 Gibbs and have a more exotic round with a little more case capacity but I don't think it will make much if any difference. It's a deer and hog hammer, killed 2 deer and 3 hogs with the 105 last year.

On the heavier side, I have the two following ideas both with fast twist and throated long.

270 wsm with the 170 berger

7-300 practical (300wm) with the 180 or 195 berger.

The last is next on my list.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:12 AM   #39
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Love my 338-06
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:33 AM   #40
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257 Roberts?
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:43 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick8 View Post
So many thoughts and ideas come to mind. I assume this is going to be a custom build...

On the light to side I'd suggest a 240 WBY with a fast twist for the 115 Berger. I'm just about done tuning mine and it's at .25moa at 200 yards at 3100 fps. You could go with the 240 Gibbs and have a more exotic round with a little more case capacity but I don't think it will make much if any difference. It's a deer and hog hammer, killed 2 deer and 3 hogs with the 105 last year.

On the heavier side, I have the two following ideas both with fast twist and throated long.

270 wsm with the 170 berger

7-300 practical (300wm) with the 180 or 195 berger.

The last is next on my list.
That practical is high on my list as well, except the original designer seemed to go through a lot of steps to form the case. There is a similar designed round, called the 7mm Rogue, that supposedly is a simple single pass neck down on the 300WM case, then fire form it. Basically becomes a 7mm-300WM Ackley Improved. He claims velocity on par with the Gunwerks 7mmLRM.

I'm not familiar with belted cases, as my 7mm Mag is the only one I have and I haven't messed with it yet, but I understand some folks have problems loading the belted cases. That said, according to the designer of the Rogue, once you fire form the brass, you just neck size and headspace off the shoulder and the belt has no function.

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Old 09-18-2016, 11:29 AM   #42
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If there is even a slight possibility that the rifle could be sold in the future I'd ditch the Savage and start with something else. Nothing wrong with the Savage unless you put a lot of money in it and try to sell it. Short action calibers in long action rifles it where it's at. I'd do a 7mm08 on a long action. That way you can seat those vld's out as far as you want.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:53 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
If there is even a slight possibility that the rifle could be sold in the future I'd ditch the Savage and start with something else. Nothing wrong with the Savage unless you put a lot of money in it and try to sell it. Short action calibers in long action rifles it where it's at. I'd do a 7mm08 on a long action. That way you can seat those vld's out as far as you want.
Yeah, I'm not terribly concerned with that. Doesn't matter what action I use, I'll never get my money back on a custom, especially if I go with something non-standard. The beauty of the Savage is, if I decide I don't care for the caliber for whatever reason, I can swap barrels again for just the cost of the barrel, then possibly sell the first barrel for a few bucks.

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Old 09-18-2016, 12:00 PM   #44
bboswell
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Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
Okay, I think I've got it narrowed down to 25-06AI, for a lighter weight, lower recoil deer killer, or 280AI for a mid weight all around gun. Leaning more towards the 25-06AI and reserve a magnum boltface action I have for a custom 7mm magnum of some sort.

Neither would require a change in bolt head, brass should be easy to acquire or form if needed, fairly efficient in powder consumption and common powders with other rounds I shoot. I've never had a 25 caliber before, so it would be a fun experiment.

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Given what you own already I would go 280AI, enjoy 7 mag performance on less recoil & powder and save you mag bolt face for a big thumper like 300 RUM or 338 RUM

My 7mag has gathered dust since I built my 280 AI
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:44 PM   #45
lonestarag
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keep 30-06 & sell all the others. Buy beer.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:32 PM   #46
bluelund79
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Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
Hmmm, but then, I'd have to buy another silencer....an expensive one too....to run those monsters. I don't really shoot rifles without the can anymore.

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True. However, it would be needed when you end up with a 338 Lapua doen the road.....and you'd have component bullets built up too
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:35 PM   #47
txfireguy2003
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Hahaha! I have absolutely zero use for a Lapua, or really anything larger than 30 caliber. I'm not hunting elephants, or Volkswagen's.

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Old 09-18-2016, 03:47 PM   #48
DirtyDave
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280AI
6.5-06AI
30-06AI
8mm-06AI
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:51 PM   #49
Mike Javi Cooper
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On a long action I'd build a 35 Whelen for Deer up and 7mm-06 AI for Elk down...
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:54 PM   #50
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I see it on here several times and the 280ai would be a great choice as well.

So many choices....my hair hurts.
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