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Thread: Newbie jumps in with 338

  1. #1

    Red face Newbie jumps in with 338

    Hi all. After my last trip to BassPro and seeing a box of 338 at $55 I just ordered the bare minimum stuff to reload for my 338.
    How about comments on what I got? Remember that I am actually trying to save money and have never done this before.... Be nice.

    1- Lee Reloader C-frame single stage with lee book
    2- Lee pacesetter die set
    3- Lee case trimmer with cutter and lock stud
    4- Lee powder dipper set
    5- Cabelas case lube
    6- Cabelas bullet puller
    7- Lee ram primer
    8- Lee case length guage
    9- powder funnel
    10- Hornady interlock bullets 225g (I get good results with Hornady factory loads)
    11- 1lb Hodgdon H414
    12- 100 Winchester large rifle magnum primers

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Hillbilly View Post
    Hi all. After my last trip to BassPro and seeing a box of 338 at $55 I just ordered the bare minimum stuff to reload for my 338.
    How about comments on what I got? Remember that I am actually trying to save money and have never done this before.... Be nice.

    1- Lee Reloader C-frame single stage with lee book
    2- Lee pacesetter die set
    3- Lee case trimmer with cutter and lock stud
    4- Lee powder dipper set
    5- Cabelas case lube
    6- Cabelas bullet puller
    7- Lee ram primer
    8- Lee case length guage
    9- powder funnel
    10- Hornady interlock bullets 225g (I get good results with Hornady factory loads)
    11- 1lb Hodgdon H414
    12- 100 Winchester large rifle magnum primers

    You were doing really good until you got to the H414. Arughh! Save it for starting fires and go buy a jug of H4350 for your 225 grain Hornady's.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  3. #3

    Default H414

    According to the Hodgdon web the H414 is supposed to be very close to 4350 but a little faster burning. I will look for some 4350, but I am going to give the 414 a try.
    Why is it so bad?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Hillbilly View Post
    According to the Hodgdon web the H414 is supposed to be very close to 4350 but a little faster burning. I will look for some 4350, but I am going to give the 414 a try.
    Why is it so bad?
    You must be new at this . It is ball powder. Ball powder is double based and temperature sensitive and has a rapid response curve of pressure. Meaning it is easily provoked to over charge by small increases in your powder charge. Also I would have dispensed with the case trimmer and save for when your brass is getting used. Use the gage to check then if too long toss in a box for when that trimmer comes along. I would put that money into a good scale. The powder dippers are a good call and an inexpensive powder measure but I wouldn't load anything without a scale. I balance beam scale is not too pricey. Your choice of powder and no scale is not good. And for the record H450 would have been a better choice in burning rate if you just had to have ball powder. It is tha ball equivalent of 4350. Actually there is no reason, I mean absolutely no reason to buy ball powder for the 338 Mag. Yeah I know it is more economical because you'll use less, it should save you 15 cents per 100 rounds, but it is not the best choice in powder.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  5. #5

    Thumbs up Thanks

    Thanks for the input Murphy. I will eventually get a scale, tumbler, etc. It just seems like you can't get a good scale for less than $100 and I don't know if I will even like reloading yet. All the reviews of the Lee Powder dippers said they were very accurate and consistent so we will see.

    BTW.. the cutter, guage, and lock stud were like $10.

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    You will need some type of scale. Try a gun show or some place to potentially buy a used one if you can not afford use. The dippers will, I suppose, work for plinking but I would be very surprised if you get any significant accuracy with them. But I have been wrong before. Good Luck. J.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Hillbilly View Post
    Thanks for the input Murphy. I will eventually get a scale, tumbler, etc. It just seems like you can't get a good scale for less than $100 and I don't know if I will even like reloading yet. All the reviews of the Lee Powder dippers said they were very accurate and consistent so we will see.

    BTW.. the cutter, guage, and lock stud were like $10.
    I've still got the set of dippers I used back in the 1960's before I could afford a scale. Several times since I've played with them just to see how accurate they were. Weighing each scoop in the scale to confirm, I learned that you want to put the powder in something open and not too deep, a cereal bowl at least half full being ideal. Make a single pass through the bowl with your dipper and use a table knife or something to scrape excess powder off the top. You can be fairly consistent. If it comes out of the bowl not full, dump the dipper and do it again.

    I've got no heartburn about ball powders and max charges when I'm using a scale to confirm charges thrown with a measure, whether a conventional powder measure or a dipper. But as other have noted, ball powders are at their best when you get near max, and small variations in charge weight can mean huge differences in pressure.

    In your shoes I'd put the ball powder away until you get a scale and switch to 4350. Start about 5% below max on your charge and ease up, but figure on stopping short of book max just to give yourself a margin of error for using the dippers rather than a scale. That's not an indictment of your dippers, so much as an indicator of my faith in measures with a scale when working near max. I want to know for sure that the charge doesn't exceed max and is the same as the last one when I'm playing with max. Margin for error is greater with slower non-ball powders, but not an excuse to take chances.

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    Browwnbear is right. The dippers aren't the problem. But understand the dippers are to replace a powder measure, not a powder scale. Also it is likely you won't have a dipper that will give you the exact charge you need for your H414 powder. You may need to use two to get the charge you need. With that powder, it is rather fast for the 338 and the case will hold too much of it! You would be better off with just using RL-19 and filling up to the base of the neck, no dippers, no scale. You need a scale to verify the load regardless of where you get the load or how you get it in the case. You can get a good balance beam scale for forty bucks. Your rifle will cost at least 500 to replace, I don't know what your eyes are worth.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9

    Default Ok, OK

    I get it. I will look for a balace and some 4350.

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Advice taken

    Well I took your advice and ordered a scale. I got the frankford arsenal digital on sale at Midway for $29.95. 750gr capacity. It got mostly 4 and 5 star reviews so at least I will have a good safety check on my powder dippers and can weigh every charge to start.

    Thanks for all the good info.

  11. #11
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    I have a lee safety scale myself. Your scale should do just great.

    I also found I could use H414 for anything I might do with 4350 in the 30-06. I bet it would do the same for the 338.

    My suggestion is to go ahead and use the H414 and also give some H4350 a try at your earliest convenience.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  12. #12

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    The Lee primer seater is a a much better primer tool than the ram prime.
    One does not have to handle each primer with thepotential for contamination and dropping somewhere.
    The Lee primer tool gives a better feel to seating the primer to a consistent depth, which can imporve accuracy soemwheat.
    The tools is smooter to use.
    Recommend a scale as well.

  13. #13

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    Does the choice of powder matter if you are loading .338 vs. .338 Fed? Would Varget work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911-MW View Post
    Does the choice of powder matter if you are loading .338 vs. .338 Fed? Would Varget work?

    Yes it does matter. Both cartridges may use some of the same powders though.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911-MW View Post
    Does the choice of powder matter if you are loading .338 vs. .338 Fed? Would Varget work?
    Just because you see some overlap in powder names from one caliber to the other doesn't mean it would be a good choice.

    There is a big difference in case capacity between the 338 Federal (308 Winchester) and the 338 Winchester magnum. One holds 45 grains of powder, the other holds 75 grains of powder. If you're asking for powders for a 338 Federal I can help with that but in general 338 WM and 338 Fed. use different powders. Varget is a little slow for the 338 federal (You'll fill the case and still get low velocity.) and it is a little fast for the 338 WM. (You'll have lots of space in the case with a max load.)
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  17. #17

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    What are some good powders for the .338 Fed?

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