I have a M77 MKII stainless, varmint barrel, chambered .223. This gun was given to me by my father, who has taken it on many hunting trips to South Dakota and ended the lives of many, many prairie dogs. Its had I dont know how many thousand rounds shot through it, still shoots good, but could probably use a new barrel. (At least thats my excuse
I want to re-barrel it with another bull or semi-bull barrel but in a caliber larger than .223. Ive gotta stay within the short action cartridge length of course. I want something good for deer sized game. No non-commercialized wildcats, but a factory round that you dont see every day would be cool. I kinda like the idea of something that everybody and their brother doesnt already have.
I already have a .243 win and a 6mm rem so those are out. Some calibers Im considering are: .260 rem, .257 roberts, .25 wssm, and .270 wsm. But Im wide open to suggestions
. I realize I may have to get a new bolt for some of these calibers as the face diameter may differ, but thats ok.
The main purpose of this thread is caliber selection
, but as a side note, give me some opinions of who makes the best aftermarket barrels without breaking the bank.