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Thread: 338-06 reloading Qs.

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    Default 338-06 reloading Qs.

    Hey guys.
    I just joined this site a few days ago hoping to get to know some fellow hunters and learn some reloading tips from them. I hear this site got some knowledgeable members.
    Anyway i am having a 338-06 made and i wanted to get some info ion it. I have already asked Murphy a few questions but i thought i put these questions out in the open to get some more info.
    I have loaded some ammo for 338-06 but when i open the 30-06 cases to 338 caliber and seat the bullets, the bullets are hard to get in the brass. as a matter of fact the bullets get shaved a thin layer before they sit in the brass. i have measured the brass mouth and it seems to be right and the expander ball is the right size too. I use RCBS 2 piece die set.
    one thing i notice when i resize 30-06 to 338 is that no matter how many times i run them through the resizer there is still a good amount of resistance, of course not as much as the first running but about 25% of the original resistance when i open them up.

    i am mostly interested in shooting the 225 and 250 grain only, so should i go with Any specific measurements to tell my gunsmith about the dimensions and twist rate to handle the 250 grain bullet???

    Sincerely
    Marksmanv

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Brass is very ductile...it'll stretch a lot, but will retract just a bit from it's maximum stretched point. This makes it perfect for rifle cases becuase as the round is shot, the case expands to meet the dimensions of the chamber, then contracts slightly allowing easy extraction. This same contraction is what is causing your neck inner diameter to be too snug, as it tightens up just a bit after the expander ball passes through. Imperial sizing wax on the inside of the mouth will ease your pain a little bit, but you would be better off starting with 35 Whelen brass and necking down. You'll have to trim the cases after the first sizing, but it's better to size down and have more brass than required (.358" mouth reduced to .338") than to stretch the brass thin at the neck by sizing up.

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    I necked up lots of -06 and even the occasional 270 case to 35 cal for my whelen, so there is no problem with necking it up.

    If your cases are shaving the bullet, then you need to deburr the case mouth. Even a very tight case neck won't shave the bullet if the case is deburred, but if you have a sharp case mouth, it'll shave away. I prefer a more gentle case mouth so use a bridge reamer, Lyman makes their vld reamer which is essentially the same thing.

    Are you using a lube on the case mouth when you size it? I used lee case lube on my case mouths, it's water based and won't foul your powder or primer. Use a qtip to lightly swap the case mouth. This will make the necking up and sizing much smoother than a dry case.

    You shouldn't need any special specs on the chamber or twist rate for shooting 225's and 250's. But if there is one paticular bullet you want to use, you can make up some dummies seated to the OAL you want, and then tell him to cut the throat to whatever distance you want the bullet off the lands. As to twist rate, given the option I'll go for a faster twist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    You shouldn't need any special specs on the chamber or twist rate for shooting 225's and 250's. But if there is one paticular bullet you want to use, you can make up some dummies seated to the OAL you want, and then tell him to cut the throat to whatever distance you want the bullet off the lands. As to twist rate, given the option I'll go for a faster twist.
    Good advice so far. I've always used '06 brass to load 338-06, primarily because it is widely available & cheap. Deburr the case mouths and you shouldn't have anymore problems.

    When I had my 338-06 chambered it was technically a wildcat. I think A-Square submitted drawings and samples in 1995 for SAAMI approval in 1996. The reason for saying this is that if you are choosing the A-Square dimensions, chamber dimensions have been set along with the throat type and dimensions. If you change the throat to fit a particular bullet, which is fine if that's what you want, then you do not end up with a 338-06 A-Square, but a 338-06 marksmanv. Personally, I would now use the dimensions, throat included, for the A-Square to prevent any confusion should you decide to sell the rifle in the future. My rifle has a 1 in 10" twist; I think this is pretty normal for all .338 cartridges. If I were building another 338-06 I would use the same twist again.

    I've not hunted with that 338-06 for a number of years now, but it holds a tender spot in my heart. It was my first "custom" rifle, a rebarreled 03 Springfield that I restocked myself and mounted a fixed 2.5X Leupold. With that rifle I shot my best whitetail buck to date and had many wonderful trips in the field. It's a grand cartridge and you should be well pleased. 225s & 250s are great bullets, but don't overlook the 215 Sierra. It is practically made to order for the '06 case and provides higher velocity for a flatter trajectory and yet has enough mass to guarantee penetration. I used the 250s often, but in a 22 inch barrel I could not get much over 2400 fps. However the 215 would get 2650 fps with no problems.

  5. #5

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    I think Paul H hit it on the head for you.
    FYI, just a couple hours ago I loaded some 338-06 myself. I loaded three rounds each of Lapua -06 and Winchester -06 necked up (3rd firings for each) and three rounds of Weatherby 338-06 brass. They all feel the same to me when seating bullets, and no shaving issues.

    I will caution you to check your overall length after sizing up or down to 338-06 and trim as necessary. As previously stated, chamfer the inside and outside of the mouth for ease of bullet seating. Leave the shaving for your razor. Diesel Nut knows what he is talking about when he says add Imperial on the inside of the mouth. A dry 338 mouth can be stubborn on the upswing!

    You will love your 338-06. I am working up pet loads for my second one using RL 17 (with 180 & 200 gr) and RL19 (with 210gr). It is a more efficient cartridge in my opinion than the 30-06 or the 35 Whelen. It will push a 200 gr bullet faster than the 30-06 or 35 Whelen in my experience.

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    Thanks for the info guys. I think there are a few points in these posts that i have to adapt to and make part of my reloading.

    I do lube the case mouth a bit but i think maybe i didnt do it enough, i definitely didnt use a q-tip to oil up the inside of the case neck Paul. I will give that a shot.
    I do deburr the cases but i think i may press the deburring tool to hard down and maybe that causes the mouth to become sharp, the case mouth does always look shinny once i am done with them but in other calibers this shaving of the bullets has never happened.

    One thing that may help you guys understand it better and i forgot to mention this in the other post is that when i seat the bullet, lets say to halfway down the neck, so the bottom of the bullet is in the middle of the brass neck, i can see a bulging where the bullet ends. what it looks like is that the bullet has stretched the case. so when you look at it from the side you can see exactly how far the bullet has gone down the case neck.

    I am gonna go ahead and order the Redding 3 piece die set. I hear that the expander in the RCBS is not very good at opening the case mouth. what do you guys think about this?

    Thanks.
    Marksmanv

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    I have Redding FL and neck size dies for 338-06 and have never had any issues with the expanders, even when forming brass from 30-06 cases.

    I will have to look, I think I might have gotten a used set of RCBS 338-06 dies in a trade and see if their is any difference on case forming and bullet seating like you are describing.

    I use (as well as many others here and elsewhere) RCBS dies in many standard calibers with no issue. Nothing against RCBS, but just by happenstance my dies for calibers that require significant case forming are not RCBS brand.

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    Thanks Ozarks, that be greatly appreciated. i will wait till you get back to me with the measurements between the two brands before i order the reddings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marksmanv View Post
    One thing that may help you guys understand it better and i forgot to mention this in the other post is that when i seat the bullet, lets say to halfway down the neck, so the bottom of the bullet is in the middle of the brass neck, i can see a bulging where the bullet ends. what it looks like is that the bullet has stretched the case. so when you look at it from the side you can see exactly how far the bullet has gone down the case neck.

    I am gonna go ahead and order the Redding 3 piece die set. I hear that the expander in the RCBS is not very good at opening the case mouth. what do you guys think about this?

    Thanks.
    Marksmanv
    That sounds a little odd to me. Sometimes happens with straight wall cases, but I don't think I've ever done that with a bottleneck cartridge. Have you checked the outside dimensions of the case neck after sizing, but before seating a .338 bullet? You may have a out of spec die. RCBS sells quality products, but everyone makes an occasional mistake.

    As long as the expander ball is tapered it should work fine. My 338/06 dies are FL RCBS and I've never had a problem necking 30/06 to 338/06.
    Last edited by 1Cor15:19; 08-10-2009 at 17:39. Reason: more info

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    Default Use .338-06 brass

    I suggest you use properly headstamped brass (don't have to resize). Got mine from midway and I also recomend trimming after sizing, deburing and most importantly chamfering the brass so the bullet seats without issues.
    I've only taken five caribou with mine so I'm not as experienced as some, but have only recovered one bullet. Quartering away bull through the paunch(full-looked like oatmeal), and thru to the hide of the off shoulder, after jelling the lungs and the heart was barely attached by a small piece of the aorta. All using Woodleigh 250gr PP's.
    Great round...............enjoy.

    Ed

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    Default Murphy

    I am guessing that Murphy will chime in here sometime with some advice for you-
    He is awful fond of the 338-06 if my memory serves me right.

    As far as the brass goes, dont be afraid to resize some 30-06 brass- that is all i use for my 35 Whelen, I have never had a problem and it is way cheaper than buying Whelen brass.

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    well to be honest with you, one of the reasons i picked this caliber is the fact that you can form brass from 30-06.
    cuz i can get the brass for relatively cheap price. And i hear i can also use 270 win, 280 rem cases too, if there is no 30-06 brass around, but i have never gone to the store and come back empty handed if i was there to buy 30-06 brass.

    I know i can get weatherby or norma brass but they are so **** expensive, they are like $1.55 each, which is a rip off in my opinion.

    Anyone got any load info for this caliber?
    I bought the swift reloading manual today but unfortunately it did not have the 338-06 listed. I Was looking forward to puting my 4 boxes of 250 gr A-frames to work haha.
    I still havent ordered the reddings yet.

    Thanks guys

    Marksmanv

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    Quote Originally Posted by marksmanv View Post
    I know i can get weatherby or norma brass but they are so **** expensive, they are like $1.55 each, which is a rip off in my opinion.

    Anyone got any load info for this caliber?
    I bought the swift reloading manual today but unfortunately it did not have the 338-06 listed. I Was looking forward to puting my 4 boxes of 250 gr A-frames to work haha.
    I still havent ordered the reddings yet.

    Thanks guys

    Marksmanv
    Norma brass is not necessarily a rip off, but I use 30/06 brass as well.

    I've quite a bit of load development and info for the 338/06, but nothing with the A-Frames. I've used the 200, 225, & 250 Hornady bullets, 215 & 250 Sierras, 225 Speers, 200 (BT&CT) & 210 Partition Nosler. Let me know if you want some of my info and I'll PM it to you.

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    Rob thanks for the reply.

    Would appreciate it if you could send me the data on the 225, 250 Hornady and the 250 sierra please. And if you got a load for the 210 that would push it faster then 2710 fps as well. thanks a lot.
    I bought the the nosler reloading manual today but i think they are being conservative on the 338-06 based on the ballistics in the manual and the ballistics that people talk about here and there.
    Like the fastest they send the 225 nosler partition is 2595 fps. I have seen others say they can send it faster. I think 2650 is as high as i would go with the 225 nosler. But the manual doesnt list it.

    Also, can i replace a bullet of one brand with another? like if i got a load data for a 225gr nosler partition, can i just replace the bullet with 225 gr barnes and keep everything else the same as before?
    I am new to reloading and i know some of my questions may sound stupid but if i dont ask them i will never learn

    Sincerely
    Marksmanv

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    Oh by the 210 gr bullet, i mean the Nosler 210 grain partition.
    Thanks
    Marksmanv

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    Quote Originally Posted by marksmanv View Post
    Also, can i replace a bullet of one brand with another? like if i got a load data for a 225gr nosler partition, can i just replace the bullet with 225 gr barnes and keep everything else the same as before?
    I am new to reloading and i know some of my questions may sound stupid but if i dont ask them i will never learn

    Sincerely
    Marksmanv
    I'm glad you're willing to ask questions and learn...you'd be amazed how many won't.

    The substitution you list above is the best reason you should NEVER substitute bullets in other data without starting from reduced loads. All bullets have slightly different characteristics. Most generic, cheap bullets are generally a thin coat of gilding metal over lead, and thus quite compressible. The premium expansion-controlled bullets generally speaking have a much thicker, tougher jacket and are therefore slightly less compressible, leading to slightly higher pressures. The Barnes X-bullets are a solid bronze lump. Their compressibility is much lower than standard bullets and as such, the pressure is significantly greater. This is why you'll often see Barnes loads 100fps-200fps slower than comparable weight Noslers (for example). There's little risk in swapping some bullets (Hornady Spire Tip and Speer Hot Core come to mind), and with most bullets you should only have to back off 2-3gr to start new bullet load development. The Barnes-X however, should be loaded using only Barnes-X data.

    I know it sounds like a pain (it was to me when I started loading), but reloading is fun, right? And the more you reload the more you shoot right? The more you shoot, the better you are and we all live happily ever after (with all our fingers and eyes intact)

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    Dittos, do not subsititute data between bullets of different manufacturer, but of the same weight, especially bullets of different types of construction.

    When I had my 35 whelen ackley, there wasn't much data available for it, and I couldn't find any data for swift a-frames even for the standard whelen. I was given the advice to work up loads with hornady 250 gr sp, then swap over to the a-frames. On the one hand, the advice was correct that the accuracy load for the hornady was the same as the accuracy load for the a-frame. Unfortunately, the a-frame with it's partition is more difficult to push through the bore of a rifle, and hence will usually increase pressures over the same charge under a cup core bullet. So, by simply switching bullets I gained 100 fps, and my cases were showing the classic signs of over pressure.

    So I would be very cautious working up loads with little or no data, and doubly cautious if you are using data for one bullet swapped to one with a different type of construction.

    Also, while I know the 338-06 fans love their round, I don't see how it is physically possible to push the same weight bullets the same velocity as the 35 whelen, without running higher pressures. When you increase the bore of a round with the same case capacity, that pressure has a larger surface to work over, and hence velocities increase for the same bullet weight. So I'd expect the 338-06 to be 100 fps with the same bullet weights as the 35 whelen, at the same pressure. Anyone with pressure data to the contrary, please provide it. Those that say oh I run 2XXX fps no problem, well internet data should be taken with a grain of salt. My 35 whelen ackley pushed 250's 2700 fps. I could say the loads were just fine, but I knew they had to be running 70 kpsi, and I didn't care for that pressure in an old mauser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marksmanv View Post
    Rob thanks for the reply.

    Would appreciate it if you could send me the data on the 225, 250 Hornady and the 250 sierra please. And if you got a load for the 210 that would push it faster then 2710 fps as well. thanks a lot.
    I bought the the nosler reloading manual today but i think they are being conservative on the 338-06 based on the ballistics in the manual and the ballistics that people talk about here and there.
    Like the fastest they send the 225 nosler partition is 2595 fps. I have seen others say they can send it faster. I think 2650 is as high as i would go with the 225 nosler. But the manual doesnt list it.

    Also, can i replace a bullet of one brand with another? like if i got a load data for a 225gr nosler partition, can i just replace the bullet with 225 gr barnes and keep everything else the same as before?
    I am new to reloading and i know some of my questions may sound stupid but if i dont ask them i will never learn

    Sincerely
    Marksmanv
    The Nosler manual may be conservative by some standards but they do have very good pressure reading equipment and very few internet load data, handloaders have such equipment. It has been generally true for the 225 partition that 2600 is it for the 338-06. In some rifles that will be over max pressure for the round and in some rifles it will be under, that is the nature of the game. If you get a good shooting load at around 2600 for the 225 grain partition, you've arrived. No reason to try for the highest velocity. In some rifles, 2500 fps may be all that is safe. I like the 338-06 because it is a 30-06 with a thicker, heavier bullet. It shows visable signs of a good hit more quickly than the 30-06. If you want more velocity for a flatter trajectory, go to the 6.5-06 and use 125 grain or 140 grain partitions. Of course this means you'll need another rifle.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    marksman; I had the same problem until I used my RCBS tool to shave the inside mouth of the case neck then used boattail bullets..That ended the same proble for me...

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    Default Problem?

    Quote "One thing that may help you guys understand it better and i forgot to mention this in the other post is that when i seat the bullet, lets say to halfway down the neck, so the bottom of the bullet is in the middle of the brass neck, i can see a bulging where the bullet ends. what it looks like is that the bullet has stretched the case. so when you look at it from the side you can see exactly how far the bullet has gone down the case neck." Quote

    When sizing brass up or down on of two things has to happen. If you size up the neck wall has to flow outward as the expander passes through the neck. That causes the thickness or wall of the neck to thin some. We're not talking a huge amount but it has to and does thin a little. When you size down the brass in the neck has to flow down into the smaller dia. of the new outside neck dia.. The neck wall thickness is controlled by the expander which causes the excess brass, on the inside of the neck, to flow where ever it can which is generally along the line of the neck. So you end up with more neck than you started with which has to be trimmed off to make the case usable. The excess brass had to go somewhere. I prefer up rather than down unless you like thick necks. The thin neck will thicken some over repeated firing. It also grows longer which is why you have to trim cases.

    The problem I have with your statement is that given you are sizing up from 30-06 cases and the neck is slightly thinner than a "normal" neck to begin with you state two observations. 1. You indicate that the bullet is slightly shaved and 2. You state that there is a visual bulge where the base of the bullet stops in the neck. When you press the bullet into the case you are creating what is known as an interference fit, also known as a press fit or friction fit. The press fit along with a crimp is what causes the bullet to stay in the case until it is fired. In this case pressing a correctly sized bullet into a correctly expanded neck should only cause the neck to expand a little more to grip the bullet not cause a visual bulge were the bullet base stops in the neck. We don't know what you have done yet as far as checking dimensions or what you used to check them. I would be for checking the expander and the bullets you are using with a micrometer to see if you have the correct dia. for both. Are you sure that the bullets you are using are .338? Not what is printed on the box but by actual measurement. In a thin walled case you should have less interference so less chance of a visual bulge. How many factory cartridges have you purchased that showed a visual indication of the base of the bullet in the neck? To me a visual bulge is too much bullet in not enough inside neck dia.. Or way too much bullet in a correct inside neck dia..

    Quote" I do deburr the cases but i think i may press the deburring tool to hard down and maybe that causes the mouth to become sharp, the case mouth does always look shinny once i am done with them but in other calibers this shaving of the bullets has never happened." Quote

    Deburr is the process of removing excess material down to the original level of the material you are working on. Chamfer is the process of removing material to form a cone shape in the material you are working on. The inside of your neck should look straight up and down to start | |. A 45* inside chamfer tool should cut a taper like this \ / on the inside of the neck so you have a funnel shape to start the bullet into the neck. Sharp is not necessary but is not much of a problem as long as you don't start to cut the overall length of the neck back. No chamfer is a problem in that you can shave copper or collapse the neck from too much pressure on it. What you don't want is for the chamfer to look like this / \ on the outside of the neck. Just a touch on the outside of the neck to deburr any ridge formed in the manufacturing process. So outside of the neck | | inside of the neck \ /.

    Personally I don't know how you can reload rounds for a chamber you don't have yet. The OAL, of the loaded cartridge for your chamber, is partially dependent on the depth of the throat. Generally for best accuracy you would measure the chamber with a Stony Point (well I guess it is Hornady now) OAL tool then set your seating die for a little less so the bullet doesn't touch the lands when chambered. There are other ways to measure the distance I just like the Stony Point design.

    In all of the above I assumed that I didn't know your level of experience so started at the bottom and worked up. Didn't intend to be insulting.

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