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Okay, I am getting ready to order a Prohunter stainless frame and I am trying to decide on a barrel. For the special prices that I am getting it must be a factory (no Foxridge stuff)barrel. I will either get a 15" prohunter 7-08 stainless barrel or buy a 26" .308 barrel (make sure it shoots good first) then cut it down to say 16 1/2" and use rifle forends. I mainly will hunt deer and coyotes from stands. Some open fields some woods. What would be your preference?

Here is what I have the rest of the package down to. I think I will go with a Pachmayr grip, a black wood, flat bottom 2 1/4" wide bottom forend inletted for a hanger bar. I will use a 2 X 7 Burris with a Ballestic plex since this will mainly be a deer and coyote gun. It will be mounted on a Warne base with Burris signature Z-rings. What input can you give me on these components?

Thanks for any help and your input.
 

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I personally prefer the 7-08 for such use but really either it or the .308 Win. will do just fine. I've owned a couple of Encores in 7-08 the first blued and the second SS which is what I've come to prefer for all my hunting guns. Both were factory 15" barrels and both easily enough shot MOA with several loads both factory and my hand loads.

The first blued one had wood grips and fore end. On that one I had to mess around and free float the fore end to get it to shoot MOA but once I did it shot fine. The SS gun had the stock TC rubber and it shot MOA right out of the box with no modifications.

Were I to set up another I'd use Pachmayr grips and fore end as they have always given me excellent accuracy with Contenders and it would be a standard 15" factory barrel in 7-08. In my experience Remington factory loads with the 140 and Hornady Light Mag are about as accurate as any reload I've come up with. I normally just use hand loads for practice and target shooting and then hunt with the factory loads as both the RP and Hornady stuff give more velocity than I feel comfortable getting from reloads. I've had to push slightly beyond book max to duplicate RP velocity and you CANNOT safely match Hornady Light Mag velocity.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Graybeard said:
I personally prefer the 7-08 for such use but really either it or the .308 Win. will do just fine. I've owned a couple of Encores in 7-08 the first blued and the second SS which is what I've come to prefer for all my hunting guns. Both were factory 15" barrels and both easily enough shot MOA with several loads both factory and my hand loads.

The first blued one had wood grips and fore end. On that one I had to mess around and free float the fore end to get it to shoot MOA but once I did it shot fine. The SS gun had the stock TC rubber and it shot MOA right out of the box with no modifications.

Were I to set up another I'd use Pachmayr grips and fore end as they have always given me excellent accuracy with Contenders and it would be a standard 15" factory barrel in 7-08. In my experience Remington factory loads with the 140 and Hornady Light Mag are about as accurate as any reload I've come up with. I normally just use hand loads for practice and target shooting and then hunt with the factory loads as both the RP and Hornady stuff give more velocity than I feel comfortable getting from reloads. I've had to push slightly beyond book max to duplicate RP velocity and you CANNOT safely match Hornady Light Mag velocity.
I have not seen the Pachy forends up close, so they have some contention to float the barrel. I like the idea of a 7-08 barrel and if they had a factory 26" heavy contour barrel that I could cut down to 16.5" I would not probably even as the question.
 

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Sounds like a nice setup. As far as the barrels go the 7-08 is already a pistol barrel and would save you some time and trouble. I have a 15" ProHunter barrel in 308 and love it. It shoots very well - better that I can anyway. As far as factory loads it seems to prefer the Federal Power Shoks 150 grainers. When I went through the decision process I chose the 308 because of a greater variety of loads (when I start reloading), I love 30 calibers, and ammo is more readily available although the 7-08 is becoming more common. I went with walnut for my forend and grip. Here's a picture of my setup.
 

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Heavy said:
Sounds like a nice setup. As far as the barrels go the 7-08 is already a pistol barrel and would save you some time and trouble. I have a 15" ProHunter barrel in 308 and love it. It shoots very well - better that I can anyway. As far as factory loads it seems to prefer the Federal Power Shoks 150 grainers. When I went through the decision process I chose the 308 because of a greater variety of loads (when I start reloading), I love 30 calibers, and ammo is more readily available although the 7-08 is becoming more common. I went with walnut for my forend and grip. Here's a picture of my setup.
Very nice set-up!
 

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Heavyc makes all the same points I would about 30 caliber and the 308. There are over 100 different factory loads for the 308 Win cartridge. I did buy a custom Foxridge barrel in 6.5x55 for my pistol and it was a long wait and expensive and high quality. My brother bought a standard factory 15" 308 barrel and it works very well and the cost was reasonable.

Cheese
 

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encoreguy said:
Heavy said:
Sounds like a nice setup. As far as the barrels go the 7-08 is already a pistol barrel and would save you some time and trouble. I have a 15" ProHunter barrel in 308 and love it. It shoots very well - better that I can anyway. As far as factory loads it seems to prefer the Federal Power Shoks 150 grainers. When I went through the decision process I chose the 308 because of a greater variety of loads (when I start reloading), I love 30 calibers, and ammo is more readily available although the 7-08 is becoming more common. I went with walnut for my forend and grip. Here's a picture of my setup.
Very nice set-up!
Thanks. My original plan did not include mixing stainless with blue, but I'm happy with it. I also thought about the fact that once you cut down the 308 barrel you will lose the fluting. Might as well just buy a regular stainless at that point or try and find yourself a 15" ProHunter 308 barrel - that is if 308 is what you decide to go with. Either way, good luck. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Heavy C
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I got the .308 I was going to start with a 26" heavy barrel and cut it off to 16.5". I was not going to start with a .308 prohunter. Eventually I will get a 6.5 X 284 from a custom shop. I currently have a heavy 26" stainless .243 that will eventually be cut down to 16.5" for a coyote gun. I could use it for a deer gun, but I really wish t/c would have went with a 1 in 9 or better yet a 1 in 8" twist to use higher b.c bullets like the Berger VLD's/
 

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Truth is, buy the time you buy a new PH barrel and then have it cut down, you are only $40-$50 from a custom barrel to begin with.  Most PH rifle barrels are running around $280-$320.  I looked at one excellent custom shop and a SS 16" or less barrel is $345. 

My 6.5-284 from that shop shoots nicely.


 
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