Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Duplicating Factory .338 HE loads

  1. #1
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    577

    Default Duplicating Factory .338 HE loads

    Does anyone have a load for 225 TTBCs that comes close to the Federal HE load? I got a few boxes several years ago on sale, and I think I'm about out so I'm gonna have to start making some.

  2. #2

    Default Doubtful

    I don't know what kind of "black magic" the folks at Federal are using to load their HE ammo, but I don't think a handloader can duplicate it. Some have speculated that they (Federal) are using some sort of duplex (2-powder) load, but it's a trade secret, whatever it is.

    I've clocked those HE 225 TBBC loads at about 3000 fps in summer temperatures. I think the best I've done with my 225 gr handloads is around 2850 (if memory serves).

    I quit trying to handload TBBC bullets to HE veleocities, and just keep a couple boxes in reserve.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,461

    Default

    I have heard that Federal uses a special powder that is not available to reloaders, actually most factory ammo uses powders that are different than what you can get over the counter. Also they use a process to get a heavy charge of that powder into the case.

    That said, I wouldn't try and chase every last fps of velocity. Accuracy is the key, and std 338 loads will push a 225 gr 2900 fps, which will handly kill any Alaskan game at whatever range you can reliably place your shots.

  4. #4
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    577

    Default

    True, Paul. And the extra inch or two of holdover ain't gonna make much difference at any reasonable hunting distance. Guess I'll just work up some kind of standard load with TBBCs and see how they shoot.

  5. #5

    Default Fed. HE Loads

    Federal uses powder that they do not sell to the general public. They also use a special loading process. I never worried about getting the fastest velocity. The easiest and safest way to do it with most belted magnums is to go to a 25 or 26 inch barrel. My old Mod. 70 .338 had a 25 inch barrel and would send 225 gr. bullets out pretty fast.

  6. #6
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    894

    Thumbs up Agree

    Stick with the standard 2800 FPS with a good bullet like the Barnes 225 TSX and you will have all you need for Alaska in the 338 Win.
    Alaska

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    216

    Default

    AKRoadkill,
    I've read the same thing as the others about the HE loads. Proprietary powders, drop tubes and some sort of sleight of hand magic not possible for us handloaders. Do you really need that much more than typical factory velocity? Here's how my Browning Stainless Stalker with its 26" tube fares with the old style Barnes X-bullet. Trajectory courtesy of my PACT Chronograph. Using the maximum point blank range method of sighting in my trajectory looks like this:

    225 Grain X-Bullet
    2820 fps
    10" kill zone
    100 yards +3.9
    200 yards +4.5
    300 yards -.8 yup .8...less than 1 inch low at 300 yards
    400 yards -12.9
    500 yards 32.7

    That's pretty flat shootin for just about any Alaskan game...and you know the results of this combination.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,428

    Default 338 Trajectory

    Sep,

    That is a good load . The 338 WM with 225 gains is a great compromise bullet weight, flat trajectory and a lot of punch. It's pretty easy to get 2800-2850 fps from most 225 grainers. Your Barnes X assuming a BC number of .482 which does seem a little high,(Most makers are optimistic about that), leaves me with some questions about that sight setting.

    First your maximum Point Blank Range here is about 340 yards but that is with a 10" kill zone. I think that is unrealistic for hunting any big game even moose. Also with a 10 K.Z. your allowing a trajectory that is 5" high at max ord and 5" low at max range. With any error on the shooters part you have a bad shot, even if the rifle performs perfectly.

    I have never really liked max pbr for a hunting rifle sight in because it seems to encourage shooters to go long. You also show the numbers out to 400 and 500 yards, is this for a guide for hold over? If so why the pbr ranging? Max PBR means I can hold on the middle of the kill zone and hit out to the pbr range (in this case 340 yds). I would like to meet the shooter that can hold one moa groups from the field at that range. The +/- 5" for the trajectory allows nothing for the shooters error or the rifles capability. Realistically, if we desire to stay with in a 10 " zone we should restrict shots to about 5" or 6" of trajectory and give ourselves some room for error. A good rifle is only capable of +/- 3" at that range, if we are perfect with every shot.

    Kill Zone 10" minus 1 moa for the rifle (at 340 yards +/- 3.4") then subtract for your own capability. Geez, I can't keep my shots in three inches at 300 yards from a field position, and I'm a good shot. This gets me down to about 250 yards for a sure shot on a elk size critter and if I can get a good rest, over a log or limb or tundra mound I can make that 300 maybe a little more shot. There are many shooters who are better than I am, no doubt, but honestly I don't run into many of them out at the ranges.

    I have a simple test for folks who want to hunt on my meager deer farm. (no they're aren't fenced in) There is a large round rock at precisely 300 yards from my rifle bench out over the shooting range. The rock is about 16" in diameter. To earn the right to hunt and to be a member of the small group who hunt there, a shooter must hit the rock. One shot, one rock or go home. The only rule; you can't shoot from the bench. There have been over 100 misses over the past dozen years or so, and only six first time hits.
    Most shoot at it standing. Why would a hunter do that? When the grass isn't too high, one can shoot prone, but mostly it is sitting or kneeling. It's still a tough shot.

    This requires knowledge of the trajectory of the rifle and the load and of course the range (when they ask, I tell them) and it requires marksmanship skills but it also requires good judgement and an assesment of ones own ability. Can I hit this rock off-hand? If not get down. I'm amazed at how many shoot standing. Then for a second chance they try sitting, then go home. For your sight setting with the 338 you would hold in the middle of the rock, right?


    I have seen many misses in the hunting fields and almost all were over the back. Too high of a sight settin and over estimating the range result in high misses.

    I think a much better field setting, when dealing with rifles capable of 2800 fps, would be to sight in at 2-2.5" high at 100 yds, and if unable to shoot at longer ranges, keep shots at 300 yards or less. With all modern hunting loads it will be 6-8" low at three hundred and be within +/- 2.5 inches out to 250-275 yards.

    Just because we have a Max PBR doesn't mean we could connect on even a big moose at that long line. Why not a 2" high at 100 sight in and just hold up about 6-8" at 300, etc?

    I will admit it's fun to play with the trajectory charts, I do it quite often, but hunting requires a higher level of precision to make a clean kill. If we want to shoot at 500 yards it should be at a good rifle range.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    216

    Default

    Murphy,
    Thus far:

    2 mule deer
    1 whitetail
    7 blacktails
    5 caribou
    4 moose
    2 brown bears
    1 grizzly bear
    1 mountain goat
    and 1 pig in California believe my 10" kill zone approach is realistic for hunting them...of course they're not here to verify that...cause they're dead! ;-)

    Seriously though, you raise some great points and no matter what method you use, it all really comes down to the accuracy of the rifle and the capablity of the shooter. I believe in the max point blank range method because I have tested it and it is repeatable. I have done so over a period of some 16 years with several different calibers. Admittedly, I have only tested it at 100, 200, and 300 yard distances because the gun ranges I shoot at only go out that far but I'm not an advocate of shooting beyond that range anyway...at least not with my capabilities and rifle.

    Let me give you an example of one such "test". In 2000, a friend and I were hunting mountain goats. I found myself in a position where I could get no closer to a billy. The terrain wouldn't allow it. As I lay prone trying to guess the distance to the goat I figured it was 300 yards. I asked my huntin buddy how far he thought it was and he replied 300 yards. So, the goat faced directly away from me and I put the crosshairs on the top 1/3 of his butt, thinking I could rake his vitals from back to front. I squeezed off the shot and he dropped...then he stood back up. I fired again, this time somewhat quartering and nothing. I chambered one more round and asked my friend to spot me. I fired and he said "you're shooting low." The goat hobbled off behind a large rock and out of my field of view. I scambled down and around some rocks to get closer. I stalked to within 25 yards or so of him and finished him off.

    Now my round should hit less than 1 inch low at 300 yards so I couldn't figure out how my first shot broke his left rear leg low near the ankle. About a week after the hunt I went to our local rifle range and set up a target at 300 yards and fired a 3 shot group. I fully expected there to be a problem but much to my surprise the center of the group was close to where it should be at 300 yards so I didn't make any scope adjustments.

    So what conclusion can I draw from this experience? Well, either I shot low 3 times in a row or we both underestimated the distance to the goat. This was 1 of 2 times I have ever shot a game animal at 300 yards or more. I just don't like to do it. I have 20 years of active duty military rifle shooting experience and have been hunting with rifles even longer but I'm no Carlos Hathcock.

    I don't take super long shots because I know my capabilities and my rifle's. I view it as irresponsible and disrespectful to game animals to arrogantly blast away at extreme range. If other more capable shooters than I can make 600 yard shots doping 20 mph winds then by all means blast away...if you've got the skills and equipment go for it...there's nothing wrong with that.

    As for the maximum point blank range method, it works for me. If another method works well for you then by all means stick with it...I'm not trying to convert anybody here. ;-) I only mentioned it to illustrate to AKRoadkill whom I have served with and hunted with for a number of years that for most game hunting with the .338 Win Mag you don't need hyper velocity.

    As for your 300 yard rifle range rock, does it by chance have rear legs? If so, I think I've got a chance from the prone position!

    Good huntin,

    Sep

  10. #10
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    577

    Default

    OK, I know the standard loads are adequate, but I just like the HE loads. Was hoping to be able to come close, but I guess I can just work up a "standard" load. I have a bunch of 225 grain Hornadys, but I'd rather use the TBBC. I know I could make a "practice load" and a "hunting load", but I prefer one load for one gun...except my .25-06 with QD rings and 2 scopes. For that rifle I load 75 Vmax for the 6-24x Sightron, and 100 Hornady Interlock for the 3-9X Kahles.

    Wow, talk about getting off topic. Might as well close this one, no further questions...I'll figure out a load that works...or I'll buy factory HE.

  11. #11
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    894

    Thumbs up Well Said

    Well said Murphy!

    Just because a rifle can shoot 500 yards ........

    I impose a 300 yard Max range on myself nomatter what gun I carry on game!

    I like the 3" Zero at 100 yards myself or dead on zero at 200 yards

    Retired Army!
    Alaska

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •