Some general comments...
I'm currently in "science project" status just now, considering what I would use the M71 for, and what bullets/velocities might be best for whatever that turns out to be. Critter-wise (?) I don't see the .348 any more suitable for various animals than my .300 Savage... or my .260 Remington, for that matter... with the exception of the great bears. Not too many of those around here...
Anyway, I doubt I'll get out elk hunting again, never cared much about shooting a moose, don't really want to kill a bear all that much assuming he's not intent on munching my arm off.
Bullet-wise, a 200-250 grain chunk of lead, encased or not, is certainly larger. More useful? I dunno... More recoil? Yeah, probably, but not insurmountable.
I'm better with a scope (Savage M99, etc) than without. OTOH, a good peep is a good peep, not insurmountable... especially when the target is probably bigger than a breadbox and distance is reasonable.
Midway has Woodleigh 250-grain Weldcore bullets, and both Starline and Hornady brass in stock. Graf & Sons has a few 200-grain Swift A-Frame bullets in stock. I ordered some of all of those. Arm and a leg, plus a lien on my firstborn. Thought I was gonna have to throw in a well-broke mule, too... Anyway, all that to complement my existing horde or Hornady 200-grain FPs, Barnes Original 250-grain solids, Winchester brass, and some loaded Wnchester 200-grain Silvertip ammo.
I see some articles are describing the current Hornady 200 FPs as "InterBond" -- which may be newer than the supplies I have, simply marked FP. I have mixed feelings about their 200-grain FlexTip. Somehow it seems to modern for this rifle, and perhaps not really all that useful... although maybe an extra FPS or two may suit some.
Might be interesting if Barnes came out with re-engineered versions of their 200- and 220-grain X bullets, i.e., with the bands.
I'm guessing any decent 200 at 2500 FPS or a good 250 at 2300 FPS is good enough for about anything, long as it shoots to point of aim, is decently accurate, and well within pressure limits.
The M71 really does "carry nice" if you want to schlep it around in your hands most of the time, and it shoulders fast!
Last edited by Ranger4444; 08/12/20.