Gas on the Fire!



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  • Gas on the Fire!

    Well... figured I haven't (that I know of) really upset anyone on THIS board yet so here goes.

    As some of you may know I'm not in Alaska full time YET so some of these statements may go a bit wide of the mark.

    I teach Hunter Ed and am frequently asked that age old question..............."What gun should I buy"? (Deep breath). Of course I ask all the questions each of you would ask, (I hope) and then hear all the junk these poor people are being told. Whats so bad about a.243/6mm .308,.270, .30-06,7(8) x57 or .300/.338 Win Mags? I'm sure I missed someone's favorite round but I HOPE y'all get the gist of my post.

    Many here reload (I do) however, many of my students never will and whats with all this WSM/WSSM hype? Am I missing something? What does this .325 WSM do that another older round won't just as well?

    Guess I'm kinda old school but sheesh!

    OK, thanks for hearing me out and yes I'm willing to learn something too. By the way, my Alaska rifle is a .338-06 on a BRNO action, so I'm not TOTALLY without the desire to be different.


    Ride well, shoot straight and be a man of honor.

  • #2

    I think the answer you will get here is... two..... two of each!!!!
    Some of the guys here own more .338's than I own underwear!!! But then I guess thats okay.....Everybody needs an alternate backp to their spare auxiliary .338 (whew).......................
    "Illigitmati non Carborundum"

    I'm 51..... thats 12 in man years.....


    • #3

      Hunt not with a gun big enough for what you are hunting, hunt with a gun big enough for what might be hunting you.

      The above statement is a good answer.

      Patriot Life Member NRA
      Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
      Life Member Disabled American Veterans


      • #4
        what fire?

        dave, that was "pure poetry".

        shortwave, how you like that BRNO(dumB question eh?)-- ever get too heavy give me a pm anytime


        • #5
          Which old gun...

          I think I'm old school....well, I'm sure I'm old school. I've been accused of it from time to time...Ive even been accused of being old! Just because I like some of the old calibers for hunting doesn't mean I'm old fashioned......does it? Well, OK, maybe a little.

          I've tried the new stuff. I ve tried the Ultra's, the WSM's, the WSSM and the Spasm's. I've tried the the newest calibers with catchy initials behind or in front of their numbers. I've even tried the calibers with somebody's name following the numbers. I've tried the American made metrics and the foreign made decimal numbered calibers. I've tried the new belted calibers, the new beltless calibers, the new Short and Fat and the new Long and Fat calibers. They just don't do it for me anymore! I always go back to the old trustworthy, never-let-me-down, get-'er-done, old faithful, old Betsy kind of a rifle. Something in a caliber that everybody has heard of and everybody's father used and, and grandfather, and great grandfather and.....

          Well if it worked then why won't it work now? It will. Will A WSM do any more than an '06? I don't think so. Can 7mm Ultra do more than a 7mm Mauser, sure it can but you'll need a search party to find your lips!

          The thing that bothers me the most is the advertising, the gun writer comments and the gun shop comments about the new stuff that isn't...uh... factual...well it's just a bunch of........mule muffins.

          "This new four and a half pound beauty is in the super-whizbanger caliber.... generates 9000 pounds of energy but don't kick hardly at all." Sure, I believe that! "It comes with a beach front lot in southern Arizona!"

          The 6.5 x 55 Swede accounts for more moose in Scandnavia every year than are taken in the whole state of Alaska. The 30-06 Springfield has single handedly made more one shot kills than any other caliber ever in existance. The 375 H&H has been used successfully in every land where dangerous game is or was in extant. Yeah, we need something new! Good shootin'.

          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


          • #6
            I have to argee with Murphy. My rifles consist of the tried and true calibers, .308, 7mm rem mag, .375 H&H., .243, etc. I don't particulary see a reason for the new calibers. One reason is ammo availability. There is little doubt that you'll find the above ammo everywhere. 30.06? more then everywhere These calibers and my shooting abillity match pretty well so I'm good to go. The only "different" one is q newly aquitred 8mm rem mag. I always wanted one so I got one.


            • #7
              For the hardened gun nut, some of the new chamberings offer some interesting packages, ie lightweight compact hard hitting rounds. That said, the true gun nut is a handloader, and lack of factory loads will never enter into his mind.

              That said, when folks are new to the sport, what they need is a tried and true combo, something that has a large selection of easily found factory ammo, and mild recoil. I'd say the 7-08, 308, 270 and 30-06 have sufficient power, reasonable recoil, and one can find decent factory ammo for them.

              For the same reason you don't start your kid behind the wheel of a mustang or corvette, you don't start the new hunter behind the butt of a magnum.
              Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

              If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


              • #8
                I handload for all my rifles and just getting into the 7mm-08 and the 8mm rem mag relaoding data. However, you never know what may happen and its sometimes a good thing to be able to get factory ammo easily and then sight the rifle in. That's why the availability of factory load availability is a consideration. I'd hate to be in Kotz minus ammuntion for a .325 WSM (just and example) and not be able to find any. I have no doubt I could find 30.06 or .375 H&H. although I would have to resight with factory ammo.


                • #9
                  Why not a 325?

                  Originally posted by Shortwave
                  Many here reload (I do) however, many of my students never will and whats with all this WSM/WSSM hype? Am I missing something? What does this .325 WSM do that another older round won't just as well?
                  Here's my reasoning...

                  I just bought a new Kimber Montana 325. I have one other rifle. My trusty old Ruger M77 30-06. However, I wanted to replace it with an all weather, lightweight, more powerful gun. One gun to "do it all well" with some magnum performance. Especially at 300+ yds on moose in the high country. I hunt moose, caribou, sheep, maybe a blacky or Bison someday but I DO NOT hunt brownies on Kodiak but may want to take an interior AK griz someday. The Kimber 325 seemed to fit the bill. I do not want a bunch of different guns for different hunts. Just one that will work well that I can shoot good. I do not reload and here in Fairbanks Sportsmans Warehouse has lots of 325 ammo. However, I may sell the 06 and get into reloading. Lots of 8mm bullets out there to choose from. We'll see.

                  With the Leupold VXIII 2.5-8x36 and a light nylon sling it weighs 7lbs 3oz. Very nice on my recent 12 day walkin sheep hunt I just got back from.(the Kimber killed to rams at 200 and 350 yds. My buddies gun jammed up on him) Nothing wrong with a 300win mag or 338 or any of the other mags except you have to go to a heavier gun. Not what I wanted. If I went another pound or two heavier (Remington XCR for example) I could have got a 300 win mag but it doesn't gain THAT much over an 06 with Hornady Light Mag loads and would be a heavier gun.

                  For me the Kimber Montana 325 fit's the bill. So, the next question is:

                  What's wrong with a 7lb , all weather, 325 WSM for a "do it all" Alaska hunting rifle?

                  For me personally, nothing. Worked great last week.

                  My .02
                  A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


                  • #10
                    "For me the Kimber Montana 325 fit's the bill. So, the next question is:

                    What's wrong with a 7lb , all weather, 325 WSM for a "do it all" Alaska hunting rifle?

                    As you well know Snyd, sheep are not hard to kill, i had a buddy shoot one last year with a 243 and it dropped dead in less than 5 feet. All the hype with the new short mags is just that.....hype. The skill in taking an animal is putting the bullet in the right place. I'm not saying the 325 is a bad round, you obviously proved that with your sheep but IF you were to take it on a Kodiak or Peninsula brown bear hunt I think you would be a little nervous about it. There's nothing wrong with having more than one gun!


                    • #11
                      Ya I know that the 325 is more than I need for sheep but I just can't justify having a bunch of different rifles. Nothing wrong with owning numerous guns that's for sure. Just not for me. I used to shoot a 243 in Montana and killed lots of whitetail and antelope with it. Wouldn't want to pack one through bear country hauling sheep though! As far as big brownies, not interested! As far as the hype goes...What other gun could I have bought that has similar balistics as the 325 that weighs 7lbs? Factory 200 grain accubond 2950 fps out the barrel (advertised anyway). Lots of knock down at 300 yds. I read several articles online, one by a guy who has shot hundreds and hundreds of different loads through it. Factory and reloads, cronoed the speed and killed elk and it seemed pretty awesome. He did a lot more with it than I'll ever do. Also, it seems that there are lots of guys who really like thier 300wsm's.

                      I'm not trying to argue the whole wsm thing and don't see why anyone would sell a perfectly good 30cal to just buy a 300 or 325 short but guys are killing critters with them and packing around lighter guns while thier at it. Sounds good to me. I guess I bought in to the hype in that respect. We all know that any manufacturer of anything always has to come out with the lastest greatest next big thing. Some things are junk. Some are good.

                      I still haven't seen a good reason to NOT by a short mag. Why is it hype? Sounds to me like it's personal preference.

                      I've got a buddy who is looking at going from his 338 to a 338RUM. Is it worth it? Is it hype? Not worth it to me. Hype to me. But, worth it to him.

                      Each to his own I guess.

                      Hopefully I'll get to try out the 325 wsm hype on a moose in a couple weeks!!

                      A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


                      • #12
                        More Hype...


                        I'm glad you had a good hunt with your new rifle. I think the Montana is a cut above and is a very well ballanced light weight. I am one of those that has ridiculed the purveyors of the advertising hype. I have done that, not because the WSM's are bad calibers but because they simply can't be all as advertised. Such as "300 WM ballistics without 300 WM recoil" All this from a lighter rifle! I don't think so!

                        I have loaded ammo and tested five WSM calibers. I like them. Are they better than what they replaced? Yes, in some ways. I said five, that is 270, 7mm, 300, 325 and 338 (yes a wildcat).
                        The design has several good points:
                        The case is very strong and brass lasts forever. I have some 300 cases fired 12 times and still good. I necked some up to 338 and fired them 4 or 5 more times.
                        Ballistics are very capable. What that means is that even though the 300 doesn't match the heavier 300 WM ballistics it is still up graded from the 30-06 and as we all know that is good.
                        The calibers are ideally suited for shorter actions. Actually most companies made an intermediate length action just for them and it has worked very well.

                        I had a Montana in 325 WSM and it was a very good rifle. I did not get the gilt edge accuracy I espected but certainly MOA and better with hunting bullets. That's better than many other calibers in many other rifles. The Kimber is a class act. It is worth the price, no doubt. I also did not get the velocity advertised from it but very respectable ballistics and more than adequate for an all-around-rifle.
                        It would not be my first choice for heavy bears but it certainly would make a perfect sheep rifle in bear country. I put a 2.5-8 VX-III on it also. It wasn't mine, just left in my care while it's owner was off doing other, more important things. I would highly reccomend the Montana and the caliber of choice would be the 325 WSM (I really wanted the standardized 338, but, oh well!)

                        I will take posession of a custom made 338 WSM (my second one) in about a month. This one is more of a "Ramblin" rifle. More general duty than specific. Montana Rifleman action, Broughton barrel, MPI stock, NECG sights and barrel band, Leupold QRW scope mounts, all covered with a thin "candy" shell of rust resistant, wear resistant, cerama-coat. I will adorn it with a Kahles 2-7x36 scope and spend the winter shooting and cleaning and bonding with it. It isn't a 338 WM mag but it is a pound lighter and it's made fit me. I think I'll see how well it fits into a saddle scabbard and see if I can find a Montana elk, next year. It will do all I can do. Everything is safe beyond 350 yards with me anyway so this will fit in quite well.

                        So I guess, like you I also gave in to the hype....or bought into it. I really needed a good excuse to buy another gun.

                        Thanks for the sheep story, good shootin'.

                        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


                        • #13
                          Now that you post again I remember reading your experience with the 325. Thanks for all your experienced info. The nice thing about the internet is that you can read/talk to guys who have actually tested stuff. Like you and others. I know what you mean about advertising hype. "Hits like a 375! Kicks like a 22! Only weighs a pound! BlahBlahBlah. That kind of thing is hype.

                          It probably kicks harder than a 300 win mag and doesn't hit quite as hard as a 338 like they say but I figure it's a good compromise for me.

                          I came real close to buying a Remington Titanium 300 short (whatever Remington calls it) but heard that it may be being phased out. Not that big a deal, but the gun only holds 2 in the magazine and one in the hole. The Kimber holds 3 in the mag. Same price, bigger caliber, one more bullet. It also seemed like a better rifle to me.

                          I hope you get your Montana Elk hunt in. I miss hunting deer and elk in the mountains of western Montana. Born and raised there until 1991 when I moved to Fairbanks.

                          Ahhh, I can still smell them elk!!
                          A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


                          • #14
                            Sales and stories

                            I think a lot of the reason the WSM and WSSM have been developed is to give the magazines something to write about and help boost sales among new gun owners. Hard to read an article that doesn't involve some type of short magnum. You can read about the 30-06 and 270 in the classic corner. All the articles attempt to show that the new load is as good as an old load, but in a short action. Other than shooting targets I'm not sure that the rigidity of a short action will help much. If I was worried about an extra 1/2 lb, I'd do more sit ups rather than buy a new rifle.

                            That being said I think it is great that these new rounds are coming out. I'm not interested (today), but I know a lot of folks who are. If I wasn't already a loyal follower of the 270 and 338 I might get a 270 WSM or a 325 WSM. Hunt with whatever rifle you want. Use enough gun for big game, but not more recoil than you can handle. Practice, practice, and maybe a few sit ups.


                            • #15
                              why not

                              Because I want to (or is it Two-of each)..........better yet.....Because I can.

                              If someone said I could only have one gun/caliber......I would be bummed and probably bored to death.

                              Anywho, guns weren't invented to put meat on the table- Hunting is just another plus.


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