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  #1  
Old 10-20-2019, 9:50 PM
el chivo el chivo is offline
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Default Bolt gun caliber dilemna

I'm thinking of getting a bolt gun that would be more accurate than my leverguns, that would be an all round gun. I'm left handed.

I have looked online at Tikka in 260 Rem or 7mm 08, or Savage in 7mm 08, but I also ran across a CZ Lux in .223, I really like the CZ but not sure about the caliber. However I would probably need it for coyote and smaller creatures anyway so it would be ok for that.

I'd hunt with it but it would be 98% target shooting and load testing. I'd like to do some long distance shooting but for me that would be 400 yards or so. I just want a combination that's a dead nuts shooter. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:03 PM
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For game larger than coyote, stick with something bigger than a .223.

If long range to you is 400 yards, that 7mm-08 is more than enough and makes shooting relatively easy.

Just get two guns.

That being said, I'd rather shoot a coyote with a 110 grain Speer TNT in 7mm-08 than shoot deer with a 65 grain Game King in .223.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el chivo View Post
I'm thinking of getting a bolt gun that would be more accurate than my leverguns, that would be an all round gun. I'm left handed.

I have looked online at Tikka in 260 Rem or 7mm 08, or Savage in 7mm 08, but I also ran across a CZ Lux in .223, I really like the CZ but not sure about the caliber. However I would probably need it for coyote and smaller creatures anyway so it would be ok for that.

I'd hunt with it but it would be 98% target shooting and load testing. I'd like to do some long distance shooting but for me that would be 400 yards or so. I just want a combination that's a dead nuts shooter. Any ideas?
What are you looking to hunt? Or, what do you feel would be the biggest animal you would hunt with said rifle?
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el chivo View Post
I'm thinking of getting a bolt gun that would be more accurate than my leverguns, that would be an all round gun. I'm left handed.

I have looked online at Tikka in 260 Rem or 7mm 08, or Savage in 7mm 08, but I also ran across a CZ Lux in .223, I really like the CZ but not sure about the caliber. However I would probably need it for coyote and smaller creatures anyway so it would be ok for that.

I'd hunt with it but it would be 98% target shooting and load testing. I'd like to do some long distance shooting but for me that would be 400 yards or so. I just want a combination that's a dead nuts shooter. Any ideas?
Since your usage is 98% target use, build a 100% target rifle and forget all about the 2% that would dramatically cripple the other 98% if you tried to accommodate the "all around" usage.
When you need a dedicated hunting rifle, get one.

So, you are looking for a heavy barrel target rifle.
A 24" to 26" heavy barreled 308 is a great place to start for up to double the distances you are talking about.
When you get a hunting rifle, a skinny barrel 260, 6.5 Creedmoor or a 7-08 would probably be good options.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2019, 12:25 AM
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.223 is adequate for deer sized critters, just use hunting ammo.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2019, 12:28 AM
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+1 on the heavy barrelled .308. It’s a great all around cartridge and easily available.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2019, 12:59 AM
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I also looked at varmint and target rifles, but generally they're not available for lefties. Just one hunting model per company. But that's getting on the right track.

I have plenty of hunting rifles, mostly leverguns. I also have a .243 in a youth handi rifle I got because it only weights 6 pounds with the scope. That's what I carry around when I get out, in case I see a coyote. I probably won't hunt deer around here anymore. If I go back east I will probably get back into hunting deer, but I don't even have freezer space anymore.

The .243 is accurate, but I hesitate to shoot it since the barrel has a limited life. I took a few shots at 200 to check the sighting, then hit the 300 yard gong the first shot.

The 308 would not have an issue with barrel life either, not a bad idea.

Savage used to have a tactical model like you describe, 308, 24" barrel, left handed. Looks like they've improved it.



Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2019, 1:21 AM
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They have hunting rifles now that are shooting 1/2Ē MOA.
You can accomplish BOTH in a hunting rifle that shoots as good as a boat anchor barreled rifle. The 30-06 is the sniper and hunting wonder round combo for almost the last 100 years. Ammo is cheap and available everywhere in the USA.
If you need to shoot the new cool-aid caliber of the week you may have trouble finding ammo for it in 10 years.
There is no ONE perfect rifle good for everything. BUT the 30-06 is close and similar to the wheel, not going to be replaced anytime soon.
It is also soft shooting for what it delivers in knock down power.(more power then the 308)

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Old 10-21-2019, 5:59 AM
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Eventually you will want more than one rifle, but a Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor will actually do everything you are asking for, at a pretty ridiculously low price. I bought one on a whim for $399 and it is a for-real Ĺ moa rifle, even in its cheap stock.


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  #10  
Old 10-21-2019, 6:22 AM
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.260 is a great choice for either purpose. I have an AR with a 24” bull barrel which I’ve taken out to 900 yards, and a Tikka T3x TAC A1 which I’ve taken out to 1344 (so far). 400 yards is child’s play.

A 140 grain projectile will take out a yote readily. .260 is a pretty economical round, especially if you reload.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2019, 6:30 AM
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I donít understand the left-handed thing. I am left-handed and have no problem (SO FAR!) shooting anything, AR-10, AR-15, .22LR semi-auto, anything. Still to answer the OPís question, I am a fan of .308 WIN. It is a reasonable hunting for anything in North America and 400 yards is easily doable. This opinion has whatever value you care to attach to it.

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Old 10-21-2019, 8:38 AM
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I've heard great things about tikkas. Savage's custom shop will put together anything you want and make it left handed if that is not available stock. Another CZ option numerous people like is the cz 527 in 7.62 commie.

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  #13  
Old 10-21-2019, 8:42 AM
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Hard to go wrong with 243.
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Old 10-21-2019, 9:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epaphroditus View Post
Hard to go wrong with 243.
This would be my suggestion also.
Anything bigger could be a problem for recoil sensitive people for a long day at the range.
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2019, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Bolts View Post
I donít understand the left-handed thing. I am left-handed and have no problem (SO FAR!) shooting anything, AR-10, AR-15, .22LR semi-auto, anything. Still to answer the OPís question, I am a fan of .308 WIN. It is a reasonable hunting for anything in North America and 400 yards is easily doable. This opinion has whatever value you care to attach to it.

Rusty Bolts
Those are all semi autos. With a bolt a lefty needs to reach awkwardly across the top of the receiver to cycle the bolt. Both my wife and son are left handed. My sonís got a remington 700 .308 and itís a pita in a timed competition for him to reach over.
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Old 10-21-2019, 9:49 AM
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Henry Long Ranger in .243 or .308? Henry's other lever guns are around 2 moa.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsmithson View Post
They have hunting rifles now that are shooting 1/2Ē MOA.
You can accomplish BOTH in a hunting rifle that shoots as good as a boat anchor barreled rifle.
Not for 40-60 rounds which is a typical day of target shooting.
Skinny barrel hunting rifles heat up and the zero wanders.
Even if the group is still small for 3 sequential shots, a wandering zero makes a rifle useless for target work.
Those 3 shot guns won't shoot 10 shots into a group even double the size of their 3 shot groups.
Then there is recoil.
Skinny barrels recoil more which kills concentration making it even harder to shoot them well.

I have run many precision rifle training classes and we see people show up with their skinny barrel hunting rifles.
It's rare that someone keeps shooting a skinny barrel rifle in prone much beyond 10-20 rounds while all the people with proper heavy target rifles are just fine at 40-50 rounds.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:13 AM
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Yeah Randall is right. A standard hunting rifle opens up quite a bit after decently paced shooting. I learned this years ago while practicing with my deer gun at the time. My groups were getting much bigger around 10-12 rounds. The barrel gets hot very fast.

I’d say get a heavy barreled rifle for target shooting at first then add a slimmer profiled hunting rifle in the future.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:40 AM
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I'm no expert, but as I understand it, 30-06 has the widest range of allowable bullet weights. If you want to design your own ammo, that might be helpful.

My wife and I both shoot left-handed, using right-handed rifles. As long as you aren't set up in "overwatch" in a stable prone position, I haven't found any problems. Follow-up shots aren't really an issue either way, because the rifle WILL move when you fire. :-)

(Edited to add: again, I'm far from experienced, but between my wife and myself we've hit 3 pigs with 3 rounds of 30-06 "Hog Hammer" by Remington (TTSX copper rounds). None of the pigs took a single step after they were hit. The one I shot this year, I hit her in the middle of her neck, it exited cleanly on the other side, and it broke her massive jawbone from the shock alone (no bullet marks on the bone, just a break). )

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  #20  
Old 10-21-2019, 12:42 PM
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Can I put in a good word for the .270 Winchester?

It's been here for a long time, you can load bullet weights up or down depending on what you're shooting / hunting, and with the right handloads it's satisfyingly accurate.

Plus, Remington has made a left-handed Model 700 for decades now (got mine in 1979; bought it through F. Bob Chow).
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Old 10-21-2019, 1:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
I'm no expert, but as I understand it, 30-06 has the widest range of allowable bullet weights. If you want to design your own ammo, that might be helpful.

My wife and I both shoot left-handed, using right-handed rifles. As long as you aren't set up in "overwatch" in a stable prone position, I haven't found any problems. Follow-up shots aren't really an issue either way, because the rifle WILL move when you fire. :-)

(Edited to add: again, I'm far from experienced, but between my wife and myself we've hit 3 pigs with 3 rounds of 30-06 "Hog Hammer" by Remington (TTSX copper rounds). None of the pigs took a single step after they were hit. The one I shot this year, I hit her in the middle of her neck, it exited cleanly on the other side, and it broke her massive jawbone from the shock alone (no bullet marks on the bone, just a break). )
It's not so much the ergonomics (outside of dangerous game) but what might happen if you have an over pressure situation. That said, I've shot RH rifles lefty my whole life.
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Old 10-21-2019, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ora Serrata View Post
Those are all semi autos. With a bolt a lefty needs to reach awkwardly across the top of the receiver to cycle the bolt. Both my wife and son are left handed. My sonís got a remington 700 .308 and itís a pita in a timed competition for him to reach over.
If you are prone, on a bench or are using barricade, using your right hand to work the bolt is easy. Its only when you shoot offhand or kneeling that it becomes more of an issue.
I shoot prone and bench as as a lefty with righthanded guns thats wha i found.
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Old 10-21-2019, 2:15 PM
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If you are prone, on a bench or are using barricade, using your right hand to work the bolt is easy. Its only when you shoot offhand or kneeling that it becomes more of an issue.
... what changes when you are offhand?

My right hand is still on the right side of the gun, the gun has still recoiled up in the air... I still cycle the bolt while getting myself re-set for the next shot, with my right hand.

I'd actually say prone is the hardest way to cycle the bolt, because my right arm is tucked under the stock, and the muzzle moves the least of any other position...

Thinking about it, I guess if someone can't hold their rifle in one hand... but I don't think that's easy for my wife, and she manages as well, by bracing the stock under her left elbow/armpit.
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Old 10-21-2019, 2:27 PM
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You could always get a heavy barreled bolt action target rifle in .223 or .223Wylde if you're only going to be shooting at a max range of 400yds. It could double as a varmint rifle. Ammo would be cheap and easy to find with negligible recoil. You could shoot it all day and never tire.

Then if you want a hunting gun, there are plenty of affordable options to choose from in a variety of good hunting calibers: .243win, 6.5CM, 7mm-08, .308win, .270win, .30-06, etc...
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Old 10-21-2019, 4:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el chivo View Post
The .243 is accurate, but I hesitate to shoot it since the barrel has a limited life.
umm, my Dad still shoots the .243 Grandpa bought for Grandma back in the very early 60ís - it has taken many deer, elk and targets and is still has more accuracy than I can squeeze out of it.
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Old 10-21-2019, 6:38 PM
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Another vote for .308. its a very versatile round and has been used in Long Distance shooting / sniper work for many decades.
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Old 10-21-2019, 7:09 PM
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My first center fire rifle was a Remington 788 chambered in .243 I made the mistake of selling it years ago. To this day it was one of the most accurate rifles I have ever owned.
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Old 10-22-2019, 9:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
... what changes when you are offhand?
In traditional shooting positions, a lefty would use their left hand to grip the stock and pull the trigger and their right hand to support the forend.
This would leave you reaching over the scope to operate a right hand bolt.

It sounds like you shoot wacky, using your left hand to support the forend and right hand to grip the stock and pull the trigger.
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Old 10-22-2019, 9:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
In traditional shooting positions, a lefty would use their left hand to grip the stock and pull the trigger and their right hand to support the forend.
This would leave you reaching over the scope to operate a right hand bolt.

It sounds like you shoot wacky, using your left hand to support the forend and right hand to grip the stock and pull the trigger.
I cannot fathom how you arrived at that conclusion. Let me be explicit.

Left hand on trigger. Right hand on foreend.

Left index finger pulls trigger. Gun goes bang and recoils.

Right hand actuates bolt.

Right hand returns to foreend.

Gun is returned to target.

At most, I sometimes rotate the gun slightly counter-clockwise (from the viewpoint of my left shoulder, looking in the direction of the muzzle) for easier grip on the bolt handle.
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Old 10-22-2019, 9:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
I cannot fathom how you arrived at that conclusion. Let me be explicit.

Left hand on trigger. Right hand on foreend.

Left index finger pulls trigger. Gun goes bang and recoils.

Right hand actuates bolt.

Right hand returns to foreend.

Gun is returned to target.

At most, I sometimes rotate the gun slightly counter-clockwise (from the viewpoint of my left shoulder, looking in the direction of the muzzle) for easier grip on the bolt handle.
Oh, you are breaking cheekweld and moving the gun off target then.
Those are BIG no-no's in proper marksmanship.
That happens when you use your support hand to cycle the bolt instead of your trigger hand.
Your trigger hand is supposed to cycle the bolt SO THAT your support hand continues to keep the gun on target to maintain your cheekweld between shots.
Do you also lift your head after the shot to see over the top of the scope?
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Oh, you are breaking cheekweld and moving the gun off target then.
As I said above, a 30-06 hunting rifle moves off-target just fine on it's own. We've met, you know how big I am... even I cannot hold my rifle on target after firing.

I will admit, though, I got this thread mixed up with the two "new hunter" threads floating around... this OP is interested in target shooting, not hunting as I figured... which changes things... so I'll just back out quietly. :-)
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:44 AM
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If you shoot off hand at all, get a left handed bolt, like Randall said. A lot of lefties compromise by shooting right hand bolts because they are used to them and off the bench and at a range you can do this easily. If you are hunting and shooting offhand you will be 100% better if you have a left handed bolt gun.

Almost every maker makes a left handed hunting rifle and many make varmint/target guns.

For a 400 yard target gun that you want to take occasionally for coyotes look at a fast twist 223 or 243, up to 7-08. Even though the 260 is one of my favorite medium range cartridges it's too hard to find ammo for at local gun shops.


I have lefty guns in 22 lr, 223, 22.250 AI. 243, 6.5x284, 7 Mag, 308, 300 WSM, 375 H&H, 458 WM and some are built for long range.




I hunt a lot and there is no way that a right handed bolt gun would work as well.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:14 AM
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A .243 would be a viable option but for something different the 25-06 would be worth a look.
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Old 10-22-2019, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklon View Post
Can I put in a good word for the .270 Winchester?

It's been here for a long time, you can load bullet weights up or down depending on what you're shooting / hunting, and with the right handloads it's satisfyingly accurate.

Plus, Remington has made a left-handed Model 700 for decades now (got mine in 1979; bought it through F. Bob Chow).
Absolutely!
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  #35  
Old 10-23-2019, 9:47 PM
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nitroxdiver nitroxdiver is offline
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Im having a blast with my 6.5 creedmoor and hornady match 140gr ammo clapping steel plates. Farthest Iíve shot to date is 1000ish yards. Usually between 500-800 at my range. When i miss itís because i over correct for wind. Iím launching them with a bergara hmr topped with an swfa 10x fixed power SS with a harris bi-pod and rear squeeze bag from prone on a shooting mat.
I use the ballistic iphone app.
All in iím only at about $1500 for rifle, scope, base, rings, and bi-pod.


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  #36  
Old 10-23-2019, 10:11 PM
tsmithson tsmithson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Not for 40-60 rounds which is a typical day of target shooting.
Skinny barrel hunting rifles heat up and the zero wanders.
Even if the group is still small for 3 sequential shots, a wandering zero makes a rifle useless for target work.
Those 3 shot guns won't shoot 10 shots into a group even double the size of their 3 shot groups.
Then there is recoil.
Skinny barrels recoil more which kills concentration making it even harder to shoot them well.

I have run many precision rifle training classes and we see people show up with their skinny barrel hunting rifles.
It's rare that someone keeps shooting a skinny barrel rifle in prone much beyond 10-20 rounds while all the people with proper heavy target rifles are just fine at 40-50 rounds.
Copy that.

I did put 45-50 rounds of 300 Win through my Weatherby MK V Arroyo and another 300 Win a month ago within 4 hours.
It was necessary because I had to remount two scope before the Elk hunt.
It was not a friendly encounter to the shoulder that day.

Last edited by tsmithson; 10-23-2019 at 10:29 PM..
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  #37  
Old 10-23-2019, 10:26 PM
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G38xOC G38xOC is offline
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98% target : tikka CTR in ur favor caliber
2% hunting : tikka lite ( hunter or ss ) in ur favor
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