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Thread: .338 Win Mag COAL in Ruger 77 Hawkeyes

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    Default .338 Win Mag COAL in Ruger 77 Hawkeyes

    I'm very interested in buying a new Ruger in .338 Win Mag. I am a reloader and would definitely reload for it. Before I jump on one, I'd like to know if any reloaders out there are having any issues when building loads for this particular rifle. Specifically, I know the magazine well on the Ruger 77's seem shorter than other rifles and I don't know yet whether the .338 WM generally likes to be loaded at COAL (3.340) or if longer or shorter works best. My 30.06 goes in both directions depending on the bullet weight, manufacture and type (N.P. TSX, AUB). My Winchester M70 has quite a bit of room in it for me to load long.

    I have a friend who has a Ruger 77 in .300 Win Mag. He found out when using the 180 grain Nosler Accubonds that he had to compress them quite a bit just to get them to fit in the magazine well and that was using reloading manual data. He just bought a Remington M700 XCR II and the mag. well on that rifle gives him lots of room to work with that AUB load along with longer bullets and the heavier bullets too.

    I'd want the ability to run the full range of 180 thru 250 grain bullets in the .338 and not have any major COAL limitations.

    This rifle will be my dedicated high country elk rifle and would be topped with a Leupold 3.5x10.

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Bear View Post
    I'm very interested in buying a new Ruger in .338 Win Mag. I am a reloader and would definitely reload for it. Before I jump on one, I'd like to know if any reloaders out there are having any issues when building loads for this particular rifle. Specifically, I know the magazine well on the Ruger 77's seem shorter than other rifles and I don't know yet whether the .338 WM generally likes to be loaded at COAL (3.340) or if longer or shorter works best. My 30.06 goes in both directions depending on the bullet weight, manufacture and type (N.P. TSX, AUB). My Winchester M70 has quite a bit of room in it for me to load long.

    I have a friend who has a Ruger 77 in .300 Win Mag. He found out when using the 180 grain Nosler Accubonds that he had to compress them quite a bit just to get them to fit in the magazine well and that was using reloading manual data. He just bought a Remington M700 XCR II and the mag. well on that rifle gives him lots of room to work with that AUB load along with longer bullets and the heavier bullets too.

    I'd want the ability to run the full range of 180 thru 250 grain bullets in the .338 and not have any major COAL limitations.

    This rifle will be my dedicated high country elk rifle and would be topped with a Leupold 3.5x10.

    The magazine box on your rifle is going to allow a maximum of 3.35± OAL, which should cause no issue with the .338 WM, but often causes problems in the .300 WM case as it places the case neck above the bullet's ogive. As for the best OAL for the .338 WM, it's going to vary from rifle to rifle. Loading to a longer OAL is often times advantageous, but in practical terms it probably will not matter much in a hunting rifle. OAL concerns would not keep me away from a M77 MK II in .338 WM.
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    I own and shoot a Ruger M77 MKII .338WM and I reload for it. I never been restricted by the OAL of the magazine or any bullet choice. I regularly shoot Nosler partitions and Hornady Interlock Spire Points in 225grain, 250grain Partitions fit without issue. The Nosler and Hornady bullets I seat to 3.324 for best accuracy in my rifle and are just off the lands, both bullets shoot to the same POI with 75 grains of RL22 behind them, I get sub-moa accuracy from this load from a factory barrel sighted with a heavy duplex Leupold 1.5-5 VXII scope. I think you will find that the magazine well, headspacing and cannelure on the bullets will have much in common in this model, at least that has been the case with my rifle and a few others I have seen.

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    For what ever it's worth to ya. I load 338WM in the M77 to .050 off the lands with 250gr Partitions and it feeds from the magazine well. I also load 225gr Accubonds at .100 off the lands and it too feeds from the magazine well. Both loads preform great in the rifle at less than 1 MOA, more than good in a hunting rifle.

    Your rifle will be different since a different guy made it and I'm reasonably sure he used a different reamer. The M77 is a solid reliable good performer.

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    Thanks gents!! With the given info above, I've narrowed my next rifle choice to either the Ruger 77 Hawkeye in .338 WM or possibly a Winchester M70 in .325 WSM. I really like the .338 WM and it would complement my Ruger 77 Hawkeye Alaskan in .375 Ruger so I've got some pondering to do. I was concerned with the COAL but it sounds like I'll be ok as this configuration has been around for quite a while and is a proven performer in the 77 platform in all parts of Alaska and the world for that matter.

    I figured I'd use the 180 up to 225 grain bullets for some long range work on elk with the 250's in reserve for bigger stuff.

    You’re probably asking yourself why does this guy want/need a .338 WM or .325 WSM when he’s got a .375 Ruger, well, the answer is just because.


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