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Thread: .338WM Handloading options

  1. #1

    Default .338WM Handloading options

    I found out the extremely accurate federal load I have been shooting is being discontinued. Therefore, I have decided that I will begin handloading .338WM this fall. I was lucky enough to come across an assortment of .338 bullets at a garage sale, and could not pass them up for the price. Safe to say, I will never get a deal this good again. My question is, where should I start? Does anyone have pet loads that people have found to work extremely well with any of these bullets? I realize every rifle tends to like different loads, but it would be nice for a decent starting point. I also know there are other "better" bullets out there, but I would rather use what I have first. I should also mention I have handloaded before. I am by no means an expert. I am looking for tips on which bullets to use, and a good starting load, from people with experience (.338 WM experience preferred.) Any handload info is appreciated though.

    Bullets:
    200GR Nosler Ballistic Tip Spitzer
    200GR Hornady Spire Point
    225GR Hornady Spire Point
    225GR Speer Soft Point Boat Tail
    225GR Kodiak Super Premium Bonded Core (AK Bullet Works)
    250GR Nosler Partition Spitzer
    250GR Kodiak Super Premium Bonded Core (AK Bullet Works)

    Specifics:
    Caliber: .338 WM
    Rifle: 1971 Factory BAR
    Range - 200 yds (however I tend to fire at targets less than 150)
    Game: Moose, Brown Bear, Black Bear
    Shooter: Experienced and loves to practice.
    Goal: An accurate handload that is tailored for Brown Bear and Moose, using the existing inventory of bullets.

    I understand there will be differing opinions, and I will gladdly listen to them all. Thank you in advance. This could potentially save me quite a bit of time and money in the decision making process.

  2. #2
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    For that caliber, and that kind of game, I'd load up the 250 grain Nosler Partitions and never look back. (so long as they shoot well in your rifle.)
    The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

  3. #3

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    I look at that list in terms of replacement costs. With that in mind, the Hornady and Speer will be the cheapest to replace. I do lots of shooting between seasons, so cost for plinking and practice loads is important to me. Knowing full well what the Kodiak's and partitions cost, I'd be inclined to work up hunting loads with them and reserve them for that.

  4. #4

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    I am looking into that right now. I have pretty much figured the hornady for plinking rounds. I am more concerned with developing a hunting round, and the plinking round will soon follow.

    Thanks for the tips so far. Keep em coming!

  5. #5
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Reloader 19 and 225gr

    338 Win

    225 Barnes TSX or Nosler Accubond
    Reloader 19 @ 75.1 or IMR 4350 @ 72.5
    Win. Large Rifle (WLR) primers not Magnum primers
    WW cases

    Make sure you use RCBS Small Base dies.
    Since you are using a BAR the IMR 4350 load should be excellent!
    Alaska

  6. #6
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Pick up the "Pet Loads" book from Ken Waters. He has the best info I have seen from any of the publications. Jim

  7. #7
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    in my pre-64 .338 I was playing around with IMR4831 and got darn good accuracies out of it with 67.2 grains with 215GM and W-W brass. This is shooting of course the heavy and preferred Nosler 250 Partition all around Alaskan bullet-for me anyways. I've had good succcess with RL19 but now have stocked up with a couple more pounds of IMR4831-I am content. By the way I use mine for in the brush, in close use so optimum or high velocities is not my goal. If that was the case I would probably look at Alliant powders.

    good shooting

  8. #8
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    If you are just beginning reloading this caliber, I would start with the plinker rounds to get practice on working up loads. This will also help figure what you rifle likes in terms of OAL, crimp, etc. you will improve your reloading technique, plus you get to practice! I'm also a fan of the much discussed (and cussed) 225 TSX with reloader 19, but load a bunch of Hornady's to plink with. Next step is to get a chrony so you really know what is going on. Good Luck

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the help. I think this should give me a good starting point.

  10. #10
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Gas Spring

    I ordered a Wolff Gas Spring for my 72' BAR.......never had a problem with reloads again
    Alaska

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