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Thread: Effective range of the 338-06?

  1. #1
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    Default Effective range of the 338-06?

    Anybody have any opinions on the effective range of the 338-06 with a 210 or 225 grain bullet? This rifle is NOT Ackley-Improved. My buddies are trying to talk me out of the 338-06 and go with a magnum. Could you take a long range elk/caribou shot with it?

    Ken

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    Default load data for a 338-06

    338-06, all bullet weights Bullet Powder Weight Powder Velocity OAL Primer Source 180gr BTHP 57.0 gr du 4064 2,950 fps Fed LR guest shot in a 26" barrel. Great whitetail load. Sub moa groups with very little recoil. Shoots very flat and consitant. Drops deer straight down and not alot of meat damage.
    200gr JSP 55.0 gr RL 15 2,550 fps 3.305"
    CCI LR guest First load with this combination and grouped 5 shots well at 100 yards. Using 4x scope so larger magnification could improve performance.
    200gr JSP 60.0 gr H414 2,550 fps 3.310"
    CCI LR guest Same point of impact as my other 338-06 load listed with the 200 grain bullet. I put 5 rounds of each in a less than 2 inch group at 100 yards.
    200gr SP 63.0 gr h414 2,800 fps 3.350"
    Win LR guest use a hornady 200 grain soitzer
    200gr SP 55.0 gr RL 15 2,700 fps 3.34"
    CCI LR guest Shot a one hole group at 100 yards from a cold barrel.
    200 gr JSP 56.0 gr AA4064 Unknown
    Fed LR guest Hornady bullet seated to cannelure.Shoots less than an inch at 100 yds.Custom VZ-24 with E R Shaw barrel built by me in my shop.Burris 3.5X10X50 scope,Leupold 2 piece base,Burris signature rings
    210gr SP 60.0 gr IMR 4350 Unknown CCI LR guest Excellent load...groups 1/2 - 3/4" in my custom Mauser...use the Nosler Partition. Great performer on Moose, Elk, big Mulies, etc.
    210gr JSP 56.0 gr IMR4064 2,800 fps
    CCI LR guest Excellent elk load in my custom Pre-64 Win M70 with 24" barrel.
    215gr SP 64.0 gr W760 2,816 fps
    Win LR guest Weatherby SBGM 24". Sierra 215 gr SBT in WBY brass. Velocity at 60 F. over Shooting Chrony, SD 9. However, W760 is very temperature intolerant and velocity varies +/- 4 fps per 1 degree change in temp. 100 yard 3-shot bench avg consistent at 0.73".
    225gr JSP 50.0 gr Varget Unknown 3.305"
    CCI LR guest Excellent 100 and 200 yard accuracy. Still tweaking for better performance. Hornady 225 SST bullet.
    225gr SP 61.0 gr Reloader 19 2,329 fps 3.277"
    LR guest Most accurate load with Nosler Partition Sub minute of angle (.802in) at 100 yds in custom Mauser with 21" barrel. Remington 9 1/2 primers.
    250gr JSP 53.0 gr IMR4064 2,550 fps
    CCI LR guest The 250 gr Nosler Partition makes a good load for moose and bear.
    250gr SP 58.0 gr W760 2,585 fps
    Win LR guest Weatherby SBGM 24". Sierra 250 SBT, WBY brass. 100 yard 3-shot bench avg 0.83", 200 yard 3-shot bench avg 1.0". Velocity at 65 F. over Shooting Chrony, SD 8. However, W760 is temperature sensitive and velocity will vary +/- 4 fps per 1 degree F. temperature change. Took several heads of African game with htis load, including two (2) 1300 lb Eland in which the bullet penetrated both shoulders. No recoveries, full penetration on all shots. Good killing power as well.

    250gr SP 51.0 gr Reloader 15 2,390 fps 3.400"
    LR guest Speer Spire Point Boat Tail Game King bullets, Remington 9 1/2 primers. Extremely accurate - .462in five shot groups at 100 yds in custom Mauser with 21" barrel.
    Last edited by barko; 02-03-2007 at 07:11.

  3. #3

    Default Ooooops !

    DEFINE LONG range. Where do you hunt. What optics are you looking at. What are you planning to hunt.

  4. #4
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    I shoot the 210 gr partitions out of a 26 inch barell for @2800fps. I have taken game out to 325 yds with no problems. I doubt I would try a 400 yd shot with it, but 350 I would definately shoot.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Effective range

    The effective range of a rifle is one thing. The effective range of the shooter is another. Most rifles have an effective range that greatly exceeds the effective range of the shooter.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  6. #6

    Default 338-06

    Elmer Kieth would tell you the 338-06 is good to 400 yards. So it must be. Once you settle on a well constructed 210 to 225 gr. bullet shoot it out to 400 yards. That is the only way to know what you, the rifle and the load are capable of. I always get the accuracy I find acceptable then I shoot the gun from a rest at targets that are a known range so I know my trajectory. My scoped, big game hunting rifles are zeroed to be dead on at 200 yards. I hope I never have to take a shot past 200 yards again. My daughter shot a moose through the lungs at over 300 yards with our 338-06 and one 225 gr. X bullet. It tasted good.

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    Thumbs up

    I have a .338 Win Mag. I wished I would of built up a .338-06 instead.
    I hope this answers your question
    Tennessee

  8. #8
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd keep my shots under 600 yards if I had a 338-06. Effective range would be farther than that.

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    My deal is that I'm heading to New Mexico this coming fall of 2007 to hunt elk. My buddies claim you need the additional yards provided by a magnum. I figured I get on the Alaska Forum to see what long range shooters think. With a 210 or 225gr bullet I know the 338-06 has the horse power to certainly drop them but without the word 'magnum' they claim I'm severly limiting myself out there.

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    The rifle has a 24" Lilja barrel built on a Rem 700 ADL action. It has a Jewell trigger on it and a Leupold 3.5x10 VAR III w/ two-piece Leupold rings and mounts. Using a HS Precision pillar bedded stock. The rifle loves the 225gr nosler accubond bullet. I order them thru Noslers custom ammo shop. I plan on getting into reloading this spring.

  11. #11

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    I realize that this is probably not going to be helpful, but if you are beyond 400 yards from your elk, you should really just get closer. I wouldn't go out there planning on shooting 500 yards, especially with a bullet that does not even reach 3,000 fps.

  12. #12
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 338-06

    IMR 4230 @ 56.0 with 210 Nosler Part
    Fed 210M in WW Cases

    Good 300 yard gun......most game taken under 200 yards.
    Alaska

  13. #13
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    I have a 338-06 Weatherby Ultralight and love it. I would view this caliber as one of the best available for elk size animals - plenty of punch without all of the noise and recoil of the magnums. I personally am not a fan of high power scopes and have a Leupold VX III 1.75-6X scope on mine which is more than adequate for all ranges for this caliber and it keeps the scope size and weight down (why have a lightweight rifle and mount a big, heavy scope on it?). I generally keep it set at the lowest setting in case the need for a fast, close quarters shot arises.

    I used mine in '04 in AK for a one shot caribou kill @ 320 yds using 200 gr. ballistic tips which is an excellent bullet for deer to caribou size animals. Muzzle velocity was 2810 fps which gives an effective range out about as far as you care to shoot it. During the hunt I generally had a couple of 225 gr Barnes XLC rounds on top of the ballistic tips as bear repellant if necessary. I handload all my hunting loads for all guns that I hunt with.

    I'm returning to AK for moose this fall and am leaning toward the 225 Swift A-frame, 210 Barnes TSX or 225 AccuBond. Any of these will be sufficient on moose out to 350+ yds which is plenty long in anyone's book though I don't expect to need to shoot at more than 200-250yds. I can push the 225 gr bullets out the muzzle at 2,625 fps without undue pressure which in the case of the AccuBond is still generating 2,000 lbs of energy at 400 yds which is plenty good for moose.

    For elk I would likely go with either the 210 TSX or 225 AccuBond, both of which will give you plenty of punch out to 400+ yds and if zeroed at 275 yds you can hold dead on out to 325 yds and at 400 can still hold right on the back line with no need to compensate more than that.

    The only elk I've taken so far was in NM in '03 before I had the 338-06 so I used a 280 Rem with 175 gr Partitions to take a huge (body size) 350 class bull. While it did the job I would definitely go with the heavier, larger diameter bullets of the 338-06 for any future elk hunts.

  14. #14

    Default Range

    If you want to know how far you can kill an elk with a 338-06? Here's how to find out. Take a 9" paper plate, paint it subduded brown place a 2" flouresent sticker in the middle. Then start shooting and backing up until you can't consistently hit this target 3 out of 3 times. This is the maximum range you are capable of shooting. MAGNUM OR NOT!!!

  15. #15

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    take a peek at a balistic program once you chrono your pet load, with the right wind/elevation hold for your situation you could kill an elk so far away you would never find it.......which raises another problem, having killed an elk at 400+ yards this year it was a true pain to find it, and I hit it in the neck in the snow. finding a critter a long ways off can be a pita. but to answer your question yep it is plenty of gun.

  16. #16
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    In my WBY UL 338/06

    Reloader 17 @ 61.0
    225 gr Hornady SP
    WLRM primer
    WW case

    2700 FPS

    use to use IMR 4320 and RL 15 but when RL 17 that was natural for the 338-06......accuracy + vel

    I limit my shots to 400 yards on moose with the 338/06 and 225gr pills........suggest the same for elk

    the Nosler AB in 225 gr has a good BC

    The 210 gr Nosler Part would make a dandy ELk bullet in the 338/06 with 56.0 of IMR 4320.
    Alaska

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    Member IglooBoy88's Avatar
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    As far as you can hit.

  18. #18
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    New load for 338-06

    61.0 of Reloader 17
    WW brass
    WLRM primer
    225 gr XLC Barnes

    2700 FPS in 24" WBY UL
    Alaska

  19. #19
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kknies View Post
    My deal is that I'm heading to New Mexico this coming fall of 2007 to hunt elk. My buddies claim you need the additional yards provided by a magnum. I figured I get on the Alaska Forum to see what long range shooters think. With a 210 or 225gr bullet I know the 338-06 has the horse power to certainly drop them but without the word 'magnum' they claim I'm severly limiting myself out there.
    I would find some new buddies that really know something about hunting. I lived in NM and hunted there and its not any diff that hunting elk in CO, WY or anywhere else. IF you know your rifle and ballistics you can get the job done with most anything out there. I have taken bull elk with a 25-06,30-06, muzzle loader, so you can take elk with about anything. The "X" took a nice bull in the Koyukuk a few years back with nothing more that a 308cal and it walked 15yrds and fell over. Yukon moose are about 500# heavier that elk. The bottom line is the 338-06 is a choice not a need.

    Sweepint
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