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Thread: 338 win mag, I need 3 loads!

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default 338 win mag, I need 3 loads!

    So I had a house fire and my beloved 300 win mag suffered damage. I made a more or less impulse buy and got a Tikka T3 in 338 win mag. It is the cabelas boar hunter model. I was going to stay with 300 and dang near got that ruger with the open sights, muzzle break and short barrel. But I have always wanted to try a tikka out and I liked that model. Only thing was that it was only in 338. Well Ive always wanted one of those too.

    Anyway, Barrel length is about 21 inches on the boar hunter and its a light gun.

    I would like a practice load, a long range light bullet load for sheep and caribou, and a semi stout load for moose, bear. I primarily hunt moose and the ranges are usually less than 100 yards.

    Ideally they would all share the same powder at least... It would be also great if the practice round would duplicate the stout load trajectory wise...

    So far Im thinking H4350 or H4895 is the powder for me...

    Id really like to use a 160 grain barnes TTSX, the Hornady GMX 185 and Im opent to suggestion on a bullet that is 210 or more.

    I have the limbsaver pad on the way. Im thinking of just putting the 3x9 scope that was on the 300 on this but maybe ill try something different.

    I have been over to the various reloading websites but my head is spinning! So thought Id make a thread dedicated to lil ol me

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    I used H4350 in my 338, when I had it.

    IIRC, 67 grains and the Hornady 250 grain RN, and Pointed, but the RN shot much better. The velocity was just under 2700 fps.

    My thinking is, that the light bullets may be OK for deer, but for big animals, a big bullet is in order.

    That was my Bear Gun, and the bears gave my a wide berth.

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    OP, I had been using the Barnes 175 X bullet for several years and it did real well. Since then I have switched to the 185 Barnes TXS in a Winchester MD 70 and am still working on a load for it. In my 'old' MD 70 I am using the Barnes 225 TXS and it also does real good. In the wife's Savage 116, I am loading the Barnes 210 TXS, as that is what that rifle likes. For practice, I play with the Sierra bullets as they are much cheaper to shoot. You may need to play with load for a while. I found the my 'old' MD 70 does not like the 210 Barnes, but the wife's Savage shooting them real well. WE also have some 275 Speer bullets, loaded as are bear loads. They are not for long range shooting but they are real good at 100 yards. If you want PM me and I can pass on the load data that I am using. I am not sure about the tikka, but finding a good load be take some time. Good luck and have fun!

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    A 225 grain bullet will do it all. You may be very disappointed in that short barrel, likely you will lose 150 to 200fps from published loads, a .338WM needs that 24" to utilize that powder efficiently and going to a lighter bullet will mean even less efficiency in most cases. Good luck with your choice.

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    Searching around the interweb, the consensus seems to be that in calibers greater than .30, the velocity loss is some what negligible in shorter barrels. From what I could find about the 338, velocity loss is somewhere around 30 to 40 FPS/inch (worst case scenario). So hopefully looking at a 120fps loss max vs 24"barrel. For what I mostly will be using this gun for and where, im not thinking this is a big deal.

    Hornady superformance ammo offers an optimistic near zero velocity loss thanks to their special powders. And at 45 bucks a box, heck Ill take that! who knows this miracle powder might be publicly available in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Searching around the interweb, the consensus seems to be that in calibers greater than .30, the velocity loss is some what negligible in shorter barrels. From what I could find about the 338, velocity loss is somewhere around 30 to 40 FPS/inch (worst case scenario). So hopefully looking at a 120fps loss max vs 24"barrel. For what I mostly will be using this gun for and where, im not thinking this is a big deal.

    Hornady superformance ammo offers an optimistic near zero velocity loss thanks to their special powders. And at 45 bucks a box, heck Ill take that! who knows this miracle powder might be publicly available in the future.
    My experience with my .338WM was 50fps per inch loss, it had a 20" barrel when I bought it. After I had it behind a chrono and saw that I was VERY unhappy, I sent it to Ruger for a rebarrel and have been very happy for it. Another negative to the shortened barrel is muzzle rise under recoil, I was looking at the sky every time I pulled the trigger when shooting off-hand, was great fun seeing the massive muzzle flash and hearing louder than "normal" BOOM, though.

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    I sure hope its not gonna be a big deal. I have a chrony, Ill post up results if I take it that far. I hate setting that thing up. I have heard the muzzle flash can be bad.

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    I used 65gr of H4895 under a 168gr Barnes TTSX last year on a caribou. ~100 yard shot through the offside shoulder had the bullet sitting under the skin, super happy with it. Not a lot of recoil either. Working on a 210gr TTSX load now with H4350, no results yet though

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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    So I had a house fire and my beloved 300 win mag suffered damage. I made a more or less impulse buy and got a Tikka T3 in 338 win mag. It is the cabelas boar hunter model. I was going to stay with 300 and dang near got that ruger with the open sights, muzzle break and short barrel. But I have always wanted to try a tikka out and I liked that model. Only thing was that it was only in 338. Well Ive always wanted one of those too.

    Anyway, Barrel length is about 21 inches on the boar hunter and its a light gun.

    I would like a practice load, a long range light bullet load for sheep and caribou, and a semi stout load for moose, bear. I primarily hunt moose and the ranges are usually less than 100 yards.

    Ideally they would all share the same powder at least... It would be also great if the practice round would duplicate the stout load trajectory wise...

    So far Im thinking H4350 or H4895 is the powder for me...

    Id really like to use a 160 grain barnes TTSX, the Hornady GMX 185 and Im opent to suggestion on a bullet that is 210 or more.

    I have the limbsaver pad on the way. Im thinking of just putting the 3x9 scope that was on the 300 on this but maybe ill try something different.

    I have been over to the various reloading websites but my head is spinning! So thought Id make a thread dedicated to lil ol me
    Sorry to hear about the house fire. Hope everything turned out alright!

    I know you didn't mention 225gr Accubonds, but when I had a Model 70 338 win. mag., they shot really good with RL22 powder. I believe I was using 72gr of RL22, though don't quote me on that.

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    I 2nd Matt's comment on the 225 accubond. My 24" Ruger shoots the 225 accubonds into less than 1/2" and they are going 2900+ fps from the muzzle with RL-17. With a decent .550 BC and at that speed it should be a good long ranger of course depending on what your definition of long range is. And I have seen half a dozen grizzly bears taken with the 180 accubond at 3050ish fps so no reason why the 225 wouldn't do just as well or better even if it is 200 fps less in your gun.

    I would think that you will likely see about 120-150 fps loss over a 24" barrel. Which should still leave you at about 2750+ fps with the 21" barrel. That said even my little 338-06 with the same 21" barrel shoots 225 accubonds at just under 2700 fps.

    My 325 WSM only lost 25 fps average per inch when I cut it down from 23" to 18". I think you'll lose a bit more than that, but I wouldn't think it would be twice the velocity loss per inch of the WSM.
    Last edited by Alaska_Lanche; 01-06-2015 at 02:07.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    My uncle's ruger and my browning both like to eat a full house load of rl17 (I think - I am on the road and can't check my logs, but it might be rl19 - 73.5 grains off memory) and a barnes 22gr TTSX. I use it for all. I tried multiple different loads when we worked it up. Was looking for one load we could share and was surprised a bit that the full house barnes did it.

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    In my m-77 I use Hornady 225 sst, 72.0 gr. of IMR-4350, CCI L/R mag primer, COL was as far as possible and still maintain adequate magazine clearance. Zero 4.5 high at 100 yields zero at 300 yds. Average M/V in my Ruger was 2800 on the money over a chroney. This works well in my weapon. Use at your own risk.

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    Checking the price of bullets at MidSouth, the fancy bullets cost about double what Hornady 225 SP cost. They do a great job on paper plates and aren't too bad on elk. If I need more bullet I've got some Nosler 250 NP stashed away.

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    I used to hate even the idea of buying 1$ boolits for my loads, but since trying the barnes in several rifles that like to eat them and then seeing the very consistent performance on a variety of big game in Alaska I won't go back to anything else when I want to be assured of bone penetration. Now for prairie dog shooting in Montana - I'll use a cheaper boolit, and it will most likely be hand poured cast lead.

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    I got two boxes of the 185 Superformance hornady ammo and ordered 2 boxes in 225 grain. 46 bucks a box. Not bad, considering the only brass I can find for sale is the nosler custom at 2 bucks a piece!

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    So the verdict with the superformance ammo is 210 less than what they claimed on the box. Im a bit disappointed with that number after reading all the hype on the hornady website. I wrote up a little review on my gun and the ammo in the shooting section if anyone is interested.

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    71.0gr h4350, fed215, nosler 225gr accubond or 225gr hornady spire point old stock. Hornady redesigned this bullet it's sp-rp now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    So the verdict with the superformance ammo is 210 less than what they claimed on the box. Im a bit disappointed with that number after reading all the hype on the hornady website. I wrote up a little review on my gun and the ammo in the shooting section if anyone is interested.
    How long was the tube Hornady fired their ammo from...?

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    according to the Hornady FAQ, most cartridges are tested using a 24" barrel.

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    Here's a load which has shot submoa in 3 of my 338s. 67.5 grains IMR 4350 under a 225 grain TTSX. This is a max load in the Barnes reloading manual. Seat the bullets 50 thousandths from the lands as measured from the bullet's ogive to start with and adjust from there if necessary. Unfortunately, all three of my 338s ended up with a slightly different OAL...so I came up with a comprise bullet seating depth.

    This summer, I intend to see if they will shoot well with H4350 and the same bullet as my 30-06 likes that powder. I'd like to be able to load for 338, 30-06 and 7mm-08 with one type of powder if it's possible.

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