400 yard plus rifle for Mulies? Made a choice!

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My son and I are already planning next years deer hunt. We will be doing an eastern Montana hunt in mid-November. It has me excited!

My question is, what is a good caliber choice for long range Mulies/Whitetails. One of the fellas took a nice white tail at 800 yards. That is beyond my range. I am looking at no longer than 4-500yds. I am thinking 7mm Rem Mag. I am very familiar with this round. A premium 165-168 gr load is what I am thinking.
What say you guys? Also, may have an opportunity for an elk.

Thanks, Dave
 

Mobuck

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Unless you have experience with doping wind and such, I can't recommend shooting much beyond 400 yards with anything. Elevation compensation is mathematical but windage(in a hunting scenario) is just a huge question mark.
IF(again that's a big if) you can handle the recoil of the 7mm Rem mag, it's a great performer on deer/elk sized game at extended ranges. Once upon a time, the 7mmRM was my primary game rifle and I shot it a lot. Coyotes @400 yards were in big trouble even with a variable crosswind.
My go to load for a deer/elk combination hunt is the 160 grain Nosler partition. It will expand readily on a deer's ribcage @ 400 yards and still penetrate 3' of elk @ 50 yards.
I shot an elk with the 7mm RM in 2017 and haven't fired it since. I simply can't tolerate that much recoil anymore. I switched to the 25/06 and haven't looked back. The 25/06 has killed deer and coyotes for me out to 400+ yards and in 2018 we killed 2 cow elk at 250 and 350 yards using Nosler 100 grain "E-tip" factory ammo.
If mule deer is your primary target with a possibility of filling an elk tag, don't overlook the 25/06 BUT make sure where you place the bullets. 7mm RM will be more tolerant of iffy hits.
 
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I don’t want to sound like a rookie here with my question. It is just that where I have hunted the last 60 years most shots are about 50-75 yds. I have shot a deer at 225 yds with a Ruger #1 7mmRM using the 160gr Nosler Accubond load. Also took an elk at 250 yds with a Ruger 77 in .338 Win Mag.
So recoil is not a real issue. Ballistic performance is.... This will be my first time hunting the open country such as eastern Montana. I do think that in reality that 400 yds is probably my limit.
 

sixshot

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Actually the best caliber you can use is to practice a lot with the caliber you choose! There are so many good bullets out there anymore that just lots of practice will get the job done with just about anything you shoot well.
I killed my first 6 elk with 7 shots using a custom 270 & a plain old Hornady 130 gr spire point. One bull in the Selway Country raised his head up so he go another round.
The 25/06 mentioned is another very good caliber, as is the 6.5/284 & the 7X57. All these are assuming you use good bullets & practice, not on good days when it's calm & no wind but on bad days when you have to learn how to become a shooter. That's what separates the shooters from the wanna be shooters.

Dick
 

tinman

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sixshot said:
Actually the best caliber you can use is to practice a lot with the caliber you choose! There are so many good bullets out there anymore that just lots of practice will get the job done with just about anything you shoot well.
I killed my first 6 elk with 7 shots using a custom 270 & a plain old Hornady 130 gr spire point. One bull in the Selway Country raised his head up so he go another round.
The 25/06 mentioned is another very good caliber, as is the 6.5/284 & the 7X57. All these are assuming you use good bullets & practice, not on good days when it's calm & no wind but on bad days when you have to learn how to become a shooter. That's what separates the shooters from the wanna be shooters.

Dick


............this...........
 

contender

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I have to agree with sixshot.
If you already have the 7mm Mag,, then you should be good to go. I shot my first 2 elk with my 7 Mag. One was a neck shot at a bit over 400 yds,, (about 435 yds,) dead calm & the elk was standing still.
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Just remember to use a good range finder. The difference between 500 and 550 is a miss. I've got one you can borrow if you want. I prefer ranging vs hold over personally. Then Practise, Practise, Practise. Can hardly wait to hear about it.
 
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I am not the shooter that others on here are. You already have a positive relationship with the 7 mm RM it would make sense to use it IMO. My second thought would be a 30/06, or 300 Win Mag. That .338 may also be an option, but I am not familiar with it’s ballistics. Look forward to hearing of the hunt!
gramps
 
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I do believe I am going with the 7mmRM.

Now, the question is platform. In deference to the Ruger bolt action platform, I am leaning toward a Bergara B14 Hunter. I have read good reviews about these rifles. Guaranteed MOA accuracy with quality ammunition. I handled one at the local gun shop. Impressed with the fit, perceived weight and trigger. The price point is good as well.

We shall see....
 

Mobuck

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"Yeah, Jack ran that caliber into the ground."

He sure contributed to it's popularity. I never really liked the 270 and felt it was an answer to a vague question. After I got hold of my first 25/06, I understood what the 270 was trying to accomplish but the 25/06 did it better. I couldn't really feel a difference in recoil between the 270 and 30/06 and the trajectory wasn't improved that much either. Improvements in bullet design and powders made the smaller calibers shine but O'Conner's constant bragging on the 270 put more luster on it than it might have had otherwise.
 
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Mobuck said:
"Yeah, Jack ran that caliber into the ground."

He sure contributed to it's popularity. I never really liked the 270 and felt it was an answer to a vague question. After I got hold of my first 25/06, I understood what the 270 was trying to accomplish but the 25/06 did it better. I couldn't really feel a difference in recoil between the 270 and 30/06 and the trajectory wasn't improved that much either. Improvements in bullet design and powders made the smaller calibers shine but O'Conner's constant bragging on the 270 put more luster on it than it might have had otherwise.


As a young hunter and beginner firearms enthusiast, I read almost every article in Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, American Rifleman, etc. I am afraid I was influenced by my Dad's preference for the venerable 30-06. He definitely didn't agree with Mr. O'Connor and his love of the .270. In 1962 he was all in on the "new" Remington 700 and it's new chambering of the 7mm Rem Mag. When that happened, I inherited his 721 '06. From then forward I was a .30 caliber fan. I hunted with that rifle for 25 years. It wasn't until about 15 years ago that I began to appreciate my Dad's preference for the 7mm caliber. Since then I have owned and hunted with many different 7mm chamberings. I have found the 7mmRM to be my favorite of those 7mm chamberings.

To be fair, I have never given the .270 a chance. I was just not interested.... And, by the way, I am back to hunting with my 30-06 chambered Ruger American. It doesn't have the range for the hunting experience I have planned, so I am going back again to the 7mmRM. It should do the job just fine.

Dave
 
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Today, I was cruising some gun shops. Couldn't believer the bare shelves for most firearms and ammo.

At a shop in Kelso, WA I saw a Beraga B14 Ridge chambered in 7mmRM. The Ridge model has a heavier barrel than the Hunter model I had been looking for. Also the Ridge had a provision for the addition of a muzzle brake and has a larger bolt handle. It also weighs almost a pound more. I imagine it will weigh close to 10 lbs in hunting configuration. This won't be a long packing distance rifle. The price point was only $50 more than the Hunter.

So.....I snapped it up! Now for the optics...... :D

Image as follows...

https://www.sportsmans.com/shooting-gear-gun-supplies/rifles/bergara-b-14-ridge-rifle/p/p58893
 
Joined
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Good luck finding “the optic” that will enhance your set up. A Nikon Prostaff was a good addition to my Rem 788, without costing an arm and a leg. Let us know what you settled on.
gramps
 

Mobuck

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Since NIKON may have bitten the dust in the rifle scope market, I confidently recommend the VORTEX CrossFire line. I use a CrossFire 2-7x32 with BDC on one of my AR platform carbines and can assure that the clarity and visual acuity is beyond any other "mid-priced" optic. In low light use, the Vortex will positively identify and allow precise aiming when other scopes only reveal a dark blob with zero definition. The other I recommend is the Burris e-1 line. Son and I have been using those for the last 4-5 years on our EDC coyote carbines that get handled, bumped, exposed to all sorts of environmental conditions, and seem to never lose zero. The Burris is more expensive than the Vortex but not really any "better".
 

Beruisis

Single-Sixer
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Hockley, TX
400 yards is my limit also. I've used a lot of different calibers but have settled on 7x57 & 260 Remington for such work. 270 & 25-06 are decent choices also with good bullets.
Beruisis
 

BearBio

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If elk are on the agenda, anything smaller than 7mm/270 is too light. Remember, you may only get one shot! A buddy used 25-06 but that was his do everything rifle. For years, before I quit hunting due to health issues, I used a 300 mag with 180 gr Noslers for just about everything from ground squirrels to several elk, at ranges from point blank to 400+ yards. Most were one-shot kills. Longest was an eastern Wyoming (Thermopolis area) mulie at 450+ yards nd a cow elk at ~440 yards. Broke shoulders on each and required a follow-up shot.

I chose the 300 mag over the 7mm mag because it offered about 10% more and was on sale at the same price. As a part-time guide while in grad school, I saw many elk, deer and wild hogs killed with a 7mm Mag, so I would not fault you for using it. It my opinion, it probably has a slight edge on antelope.

There may be better calibers but something to remember is that 300 Mag and 7mm Mag ammo will be available pretty much anywhere in elk and deer country,
 

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