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Thread: short magnums?

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    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Question short magnums?

    Recently I mentioned getting a Savage in .338 win. Recently a new option made itself available to me and it looks like I have a choice in an action I really like in either a short or long action.

    My question is this: What short magnums are popular in Alaska for big game hunting, including brown bear hunting/defense? I don't see much posted on these. I'm going to stick with .338 win unless I can be convinced otherwise.

    Thanks guys..... and gals........

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    I have a 300wsm. Its OK. I definitly dont feel undergunned with it when I'm walking the bush. When my dad shot his bear this spring, I went in first and didnt even think twice about the 300 in case things went south. I shoot factory with 180gr barnes.

    That being said my goto gun is my 338 with 225gr barnes.

    As for popularity, I would bet the 300 is the most popular up here.

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    Heres a pic of my 300. my wife bought it for my birthday. its a win ultimate shadow with a custom 22" fluted bbl. Stock is glassed and pillered.

    http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j3...1/DSC00217.jpg

    http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j3...gunpics005.jpg

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    The ultra and short mags shoot faster and flatter, but the ammo can get a little spendy and can be hard to find in a pinch, i think its more of how a gun fits you than the size, i like the old 300 win mag,

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    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Talking versatility the key!

    I want the rifle to be as versatile as possible. While I can and plan on reloading, having the ability to buy ammo just about anyplace is also very important. I had my mind made up on 338 win because it seems almost like it is the (30/06), of Alaska.......
    Being rather short I tend to prefer rifles that are handier in length as well. If I could get a shorter action I could then maybe keep a bit of barrel length...
    My Smith gave me a great price on this semi-custom job and since there is a short wait for the action I need to decide which action quick!
    Since it's a semi-custom rifle it will fit, thats no problem. Even if I was still going to go with a factory I'd whack or chisel whatever needed to go in order to get the rifle to come up and cit right....
    I'm still leaning towards the long action as the .338 win has a longer history and track record... But I see the .300 wsm is in use buy at least one intrepid hunter!! Anybody have any experience with the .325 wsm? Is it hard to find ammo? I know the round is the newest of the wsm's.....

    Thanks all......

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The 300 WSM is fairly popular, and I plan on picking one up. But, if you're looking for a bear defense gun, I see the 338 win mag as a better choice.

    What you really need to look at in the WSM's is what they offer, and that is magnum performance in a light compact package. But you also have to look at the recoil of the medium bores, and realize, you really don't want to be setting off a 338-375 mag in a 6-7 pound rifle.

    With the caveat of factory ammo availability, 338 win mag wins hands down.

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    Default 300wsm

    A couple things about the 300 wsm that people never seem to mention is that it kicks less than a 300 and that it uses less powder which saves you money on reloading. Also the loaded bullets are obviously lighter than a 300 or .338. Its a really efficient short little cartridge and once you get used to it the long magnums just look huge. I have been shooting some heavy bear bullets in my .300 which are working fine. That said if you get a wsm you had better reload because the cheapest box of shells in sportsmans is $36! Good bullets are more. I dont know what 300 or 338 costs but that is outrageous. Also commercially I think that 300 wsm only comes in 150-180 so its pretty restrictive if you dont reload. You mentioned bear hunting and for brown bear protection a 300 would work but for trophy brown bear hunting most guides consider a .338 minimum. good luck

  8. #8

    Cool Savage in SS

    I started to mention in another post (Ruger 77RS...") that I read a negative experience with the Sav. in SS from a guide in AK. He mentioned that he hunts and Guides in Central and western AK for Griz. and He got as a gift a new Savage in a meduim or big bore (don't rem.), however, it was the SS and synth. stock, but, the innerds were blued or machined steel. So, you know what happened next...One outing and the thing rusted up where he couldn't chamber the second round. Not a good thing if your faced with a charging bear...My two cents....

    PS, I read the comments while looking up Guides in AK for Giz hunts and linked to his site, etc. He also noted that he went back to his old pre-'64 M 70 with a beat-up wooden stock and rusted finish 375 and iron sights!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The 300 WSM only kicks less than a 300 win mag in the same weight rifle, but most 300 WSM's are lighter than the 300 win mag, so recoil will be on par.

    My thoughts are the 300 WSM offers great performance in a light package, it doesn't quite equal a 300 win mag, but it's hotter than an -06. Pretty good territory to be in, specially if the package is under 7#'s.

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    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Default weight

    I won't be putting together a rifle that is to light. I want it to be comfortable enough to shoot that I might even enjoy it! I'm not especially recoil sensitive but I have seen some really go overboard in the weight reduction area and I want something more realistic.
    Once I get the caliber figured out we'll be working on stock, barrel etc and coming up with what kind of weight we'll be dealing with. I obviously am not interested in a noodle barrel... I'm probably going with wood if for no other reason than my buddy does such good stock work that I would want show it off a bit.

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    Member whateveri8's Avatar
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    Exclamation Chuck Hawks says:

    [quote=reuben_j_cogburn]
    My question is this: What short magnums are popular in Alaska for big game hunting, including brown bear hunting/defense?


    Rooster Cogburn: You may have a better chance of returning home to ol' Gereral Sterling Price by skipping the WSM's and Staying with a .338 Win MAG... The complete article is at http://www.chuckhawks.com/bolt_rifle...erous_game.htm

    Here's an excerpt from Chuck Hawks Who I believe to be correct on this issue. Brown Bear is considered DG of North America, however Moose and Buffalo can also kill a man. A Black bear could too, if they had any real fight in them like a Fishercat or a Wolverine...


    "Cartridges for Dangerous Game

    Because of the recent popularity of the Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) and Remington Ultra Mag cartridges (short and long) and all the attention they have gotten from gun writers, rebated rim designs have become accepted. In the past, rebated rim designs were viewed with some (justifiable) suspicion. Rebated rim cartridges are not a good choice for repeating rifles that may be used on dangerous game, no matter how slick the advertising hype or impressive their ballistics. The rebated rim gives the face of the bolt less rim to catch and push on when it is moved forward. This makes over-ride jams more likely than with a full diameter rim.

    Dangerous animals are a different proposition than other game, and cartridges for use on dangerous game should be held to different standards than normal hunting cartridges. Any unnecessary decrease in reliability should be unacceptable. Especially when there are so many suitable cartridges available with full diameter rims.

    A rebated rim also allows more unsupported area at the head of the case when the bolt is closed, increasing the chance (however miniscule) of a case head rupture. In normal use this is not a problem, and in most instances I would not lose any sleep over it. Obviously, for example, Remington thinks that the Ultra Mag cartridges are perfectly satisfactory, and Winchester has admitted no qualms concerning their WSM cartridges.

    On the other hand, belted magnum cases have exceptionally strong heads due to the extra thickness of the belt. They may have any shape of shoulder, sloping, radiused, or none at all, because they headspace on the belt rather than on the shoulder.

    Another feature of some modern rimless and rebated rim cartridges is a very sharp shoulder angle of 30 degrees and more. Small sharp shoulders, such as are found on the classic .416 Rigby, have proven satisfactory. But wide sharp shoulders, such as are found on the WSM line of cartridges, could potentially cause a problem. Such shoulders are used because they increase the case capacity slightly (and hence muzzle velocity), and they are believed to increase the uniformity of the powder burn.

    The problem with the sharp shoulder angles found on some modern cartridges is that they can decrease the feed reliably of magazine rifles. A short, fat case with wide, abrupt shoulders is the worst shape in terms of feed reliably. This is one of the reasons why classic dangerous game cartridges such as the .375 H&H Magnum have sloping shoulders. The designers of such cartridges put their customer's safety above maximum velocity, combustion efficiency, or sub-MOA accuracy."
    God, Guns and Guts is what made America Great

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    Default fold .308

    Did you ever try an old pre 64 .308 for mule deer?

  13. #13
    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Wink pre 64

    The action I'm looking at (I'm reserving one this week actually) is a Montana Rifle Company action that is a new mfg "pre 64 Winchester action".
    I'm getting pretty much set on the .338 win, but I wanted to do my due diligence first!! What fun is it to just go buy something without doing a bit or research first!!
    Now as for .308... I have one in one of the best rifles ever built. The Savage 99! It don't know it's not a bolt action!!!!



    Here is a pic of the Montana action....... The site looks pretty impressive and the rep on the phone was very friendly and helpful...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blink
    I have a 300wsm. Its OK. I definitly dont feel undergunned with it when I'm walking the bush. When my dad shot his bear this spring, I went in first and didnt even think twice about the 300 in case things went south. I shoot factory with 180gr barnes.

    That being said my goto gun is my 338 with 225gr barnes.

    As for popularity, I would bet the 300 is the most popular up here.
    Hard to tell, but I believe the .30-06 is the most popular. Both the .300 and the .338WM as almost as popular as the .30-06. There is a poll in the "Shooting Forum" that would give you an idea relating to popularity. Here it goes:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...p?t=240&page=3

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    Quote Originally Posted by reuben_j_cogburn
    The action I'm looking at (I'm reserving one this week actually) is a Montana Rifle Company action that is a new mfg "pre 64 Winchester action".
    I'm getting pretty much set on the .338 win, but I wanted to do my due diligence first!! What fun is it to just go buy something without doing a bit or research first!!
    Now as for .308... I have one in one of the best rifles ever built. The Savage 99! It don't know it's not a bolt action!!!!



    Here is a pic of the Montana action....... The site looks pretty impressive and the rep on the phone was very friendly and helpful...
    That's a very good-looking action. I would go with the Alaskan (.338WM). A very popular cartridge up here.

  16. #16

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    Go with 338 mag and send it back to the folk at Montana for the new barrel.

    I had a Montana in 325 wsm. The rifle itself was absolutely first rate top of the line stuff. However I was dissapointed with the performance of the 325wsm. It came up a couple of hundred feet short of all of the original hype!

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    Ray, I was referring to the 300 in terms of WSM's not over all. the 30-06 and 338 are probably the most popular up here but he asked about wsm's.

    I probably coulda worded it differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blink
    Ray, I was referring to the 300 in terms of WSM's not over all. the 30-06 and 338 are probably the most popular up here but he asked about wsm's.

    I probably coulda worded it differently.
    No problem. Maybe I didn't pay close attention to your answer.
    Thanks for explaining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone
    Go with 338 mag and send it back to the folk at Montana for the new barrel.

    I had a Montana in 325 wsm. The rifle itself was absolutely first rate top of the line stuff. However I was dissapointed with the performance of the 325wsm. It came up a couple of hundred feet short of all of the original hype!
    Does Montana have stainless fluted barrels by any chance? I hear lots of good comments about their actions. Pac-Nor also has good barrels, and they do a fair job, at least according to what I read on the Internet.

    I looked at their web site, and fluted barrels are available. However, at a high price just for the blank.

  20. #20
    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Default blank price..

    When I talked with the rep I could have sworn he said all blanks where priced the same. Next time I talk with him I'll ask..... Web page might be wrong....

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