Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Anybody use the 275 gr Speer in 338?

  1. #1

    Default Anybody use the 275 gr Speer in 338?

    Anybody have experience with the now obsolete 275 grain Speer bullet in .338? I came by some of these bullets in a gun swap and was thinking about loading up some in 338-06 and 338 Win mag and see how they shoot in my rifles. I am also curious how long they have been out of production.

    Just looking at them makes me think they would be an awesome moose bullet.

    I am guessing they were of typical HotCor construction and not a "premium" per se...??? Tough enough for the big bear?

    Would enjoy hearing down range performance experiences on game with these. They sure are long and mean looking!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,083

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozarks View Post
    Anybody have experience with the now obsolete 275 grain Speer bullet in .338? I came by some of these bullets in a gun swap and was thinking about loading up some in 338-06 and 338 Win mag and see how they shoot in my rifles. I am also curious how long they have been out of production.

    Just looking at them makes me think they would be an awesome moose bullet.

    I am guessing they were of typical HotCor construction and not a "premium" per se...??? Tough enough for the big bear?

    Would enjoy hearing down range performance experiences on game with these. They sure are long and mean looking!
    They should be quite nice for moose. A much tougher bullet is the .275-grain A-Frame, but very expensive. If you already have 275-grain Speer, give them a try. You may have to dig around for some old reloading data. Maybe Speer steel has it? If not, then some of the older reloading manuals should have it.

    Perhaps loaded to 2,500 fps-2,550 fps? Check some reloading data first.

  3. #3

    Default

    I used them fairly extensively in a 338 Win Mag back in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I took only one elk myself with them, but finished off two at fairly long range that had been wounded by others. Probably a dozen or so mule deer and a hand full of Columbia blacktails, too.

    They first appear in Speer Manual #1 (1954) as a .333 diameter bullet for Keith's beloved 333 OKH and the 333 Express. By Manual #6 (1964) and the appearance of the 338 Win Mag, diameter had been bumped to .338 and the .333 version had been dropped. They were still listed in manual #10 (1979) and #11 (1987), but they're gone from #13 (1998). I've given you those dates and #'s so you can track down a used manual with data in it. Be aware though, that the charges listed in the early manuals were pretty astronomical, and I was never able to go as high as they listed before running into high pressure signs. The later manuals are more moderate and better reflect what I was seeing as "max" in my guns.

    One thing to note though- They're not HotCor, or at least aren't listed as such in the manuals, and I don't ever remember seeing it on any of my boxes. That's not a problem in the 338 Winnie however, due to the moderate velocity (2500-2600fps) and high sectional density. In fact, that might make them expand a little better at the even lower velocities of a 338-06.

    I'd have no qualms taking moose with it in either round.

  4. #4
    Member The Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    1,089

    Default

    If I recall correctly from my readings, these were one of Elmer Keith's favorite bullets, for all forms of the 338. He spoke very highly of them and their game killing performance. I believe he may have said something a time or two about them having a thicker jacket than the lighter versions. Regardless they should be fine at the velocity attainable and work great on game.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Hodgden has loads on there web site for these in the 338 WM.

  6. #6

    Default

    That's good to know about Hodgdon- easier than tracking down old manuals.

    I should probably add that if the bullet was still readily available, I'd probably still be shooting a 338. They're that good.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for all the good input guys, and many thanks for the great historical data on the bullet. I guess I'm nostalgic, but I find it so cool to carry something old (be it rifle, caliber, bullet, etc) that has been proven to work by great hunters in past. To shoot what someone like Elmer Keith so highly approved of is meaningful to me as well. I've got a couple of his books, now I will have to see if I can find a reference in them to those bullets.

    Bandhmo thanks for the heads up for the Hodgdon site. I was shocked to see they show TEN different powders for the 275 speer bullet and several of the newer powders are listed. They must have had a stash of the 275's in their test lab!

    Max velocity shows at 2564 with max load of H1000 at 51,100 CUP, doesn't give barrel length. Velocitys for all powders pretty much running 2300-2500 between start and max loads. Those are impressive numbers considering that is same velocity range for 270 grain bullets out of 375 HH with more sectional density. I bet they penetrate like no tomorrow!

    I will have to work up some loads this winter to try out in 338 Win mag and maybe in 338-06. Will have to do some research on the 338-06 though....

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozarks View Post
    I bet they penetrate like no tomorrow!
    You got that right. I've never recovered a bullet myself, or seen one recovered by anyone else. One of the wounded elk I put down was going straight away. I did a Texas heart shot at him at about 200 yards, and the exit hole in his brisket was about 2" across. He went down so hard his nose cut a furrow in the ground.

    BTW- That Speer Manual #6 lists max loads of 4831 that deliver 2669fps, and three other powders that hit or top 2600fps. Nowayinhell!!!!!! I had cases with the primers falling out before I got within 2 grains of max using any of those powders. Nice to have better loading data today.

  9. #9

    Default

    I have used that bullet in my 338. I ran across a couple of boxes at a gun show right after reading some old articles by elmer keith. anyway, i played around with several powders and found my rifle (a howa) really liked 7828. my groups were so good I still have them hanging on the wall of my garage.
    I shot three or four moose with this load with great results, in 1989 i took a big delta buffalo at around 220 yards with a clean heart shot.

    however, for moose, i have yet to find a load that kills moose like my commercial custom mauser with common speer 200 grain spire pts and 77 grains of hodgdon 4831...i can't exactly recall the number of moose that have fallen to this load but i can honestly say none of them travelled over 25 yards after the shot.....sounds like bs but it is true.

  10. #10

    Default

    Speer manual #12 has the bullet listed and .338-06 data as well.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Palmer,AK
    Posts
    130

    Default Speer 275 in .338

    I have a Speer reloading manual (# 10 )that has the info if you are interested. The manual was published in 1979. PM me if you like. It even has a photo of 60" bull moose that fell victim to the .338 275 gr bullet

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
  •