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Old July 17, 2012, 07:08 AM   #1
swampcrawler
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caliber selection for a NULA

So I just discoverd Melvin's rifles. NULA, or New Ultralight Arms, makes some VERY cool light weight bolt actions. Look them up if you arnt familier with them. I recently developed a thing for light short rifles in light calibers. This is kind of funy being that I stand 6ft5 and weigh in at just under 340 pounds. Deffinitly no lightweight myself. Anyway I'm begining to squirrel away what I can toward eventually ordering one of these weapons. But with limited knowledge of how different cartriges work with different barrel lengths, and not wanting to waste the gentleman's time inquireing about a purchase so far in the future, I'm just going to ask you folks.

I live and hunt in south east louisiana. I hunt public land, and like to get as deep into the heart of it as possible to avoid contact with other hunters. Quite a bit of it is crawling on hands and knees thick, but I also hunt some pine savanah where a 2-300 yard shot is possible. I hunt whitetail (small ones down here) and hogs.

Due to the stuff I have to fight my way through, shorter is better. I'd like a 16-18 inch barrel. I do reload, but I also like sahooting my rifles A LOT. I'd also like to go with the 20 short action on the rifle. Lighter, shorter bolt throw.

Anyway, basically, what cartrige capable of taking white tail to 2-300 yards will work well with a short barrel and is cheap to buy and/or easy to load? This is a custom rifle and I do reload so wildcats are an option so long as components sont have to be rounded up from a hermit in croatia or some such craziness. All I can come up with are plain old 223 or 6.5 grendel.
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Old July 17, 2012, 07:20 AM   #2
taylorce1
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Any cartridge based on the .308 case will be your best option for the barrel length you want. Since it is white tail deer .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7-08 Rem would be my top three choices in order. You can go larger if you want and use the .308 Win, .338 Fed, and .358 Win and still be able to reach 300 yards.
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Old July 17, 2012, 08:09 AM   #3
swampcrawler
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Thought about that. I know the 243 is an incredibly versitile round, and I have taken 13 deer with 308 and am very aware of its effectivness. But I believe the muzzle blast and recoil from a 308 would be less than plesant from an ultra light 16 inch tubed gun. But I don't know for sure. I have a cz 527 in 7.62x39, and I love that little rifle. Only issue with that caliber is the limited bulet selection. Most good .312 or .308 bullets are designed for the higher velociteys of 308s and 303s and such so I wory about terminal performance at the lower velocities of x39. Plus its a little light on range. That's kind of what lead me toward the Grendel.
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Old July 17, 2012, 09:25 AM   #4
taylorce1
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Recoil is only going to be worse because NULA rifles are light. You'll be using this rifle to hunt so I doubt recoil will be an issue in the field. Muzzle blast will be a factor with any short barrel rifle, even a .223 has a substantial report out of short barrels. I wouldn't use shorter than an 18" barrel.

7.62x39 wouldn't be on my list at all if ranges of 300 yards are being considered. That cartridge is in the same class as the .30-30 Win, certain a capable round but one that loses trajectory and power quickly. I'd rate it at a 200 yard rifle but not a 300. Since you reload you could consider a .250 Savage or 6.5 Creedmoor, with less case capacity and lighter bullets it will ha e less recoil than a .308 but muzzle blast will still be there.
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Old July 17, 2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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It never hurts to call and inquiry about their rifles as they may have more insight into their rifles or build a rifle like you want. You may find that NULA doesn't chamber for the 6.5 Grendel (ppc bolt face) or they may not cut barrel length to 16". My wife shoots the model 24 pretty light rifle.
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Old July 17, 2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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The 308 is the logical choice. I would, and did buy the Kimber Montana in 308. Only about 2 oz. heavier, but a lot cheaper at around $1,100. I much prefer the stainless action and CRF system over the NULA. They come with 22" barrels, but could be shortened easily enough. You could buy 2 Kimbers, and put good glass on both for the price of a NULA. And have a better rifle.

http://www.kimberamerica.com/rifles/model-84m/montana
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Old July 17, 2012, 04:05 PM   #7
pabuckslayer08
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.243 hands down for what you want. I have one with a 20" barrel and its pretty sweet. 2-300 yards is no problem. Zero at 200 and your good to go from 10 yards up to 300 and actually a tick further. Probably 350 if you hold at the top of the back
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