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Thread: Bullet help for a guide's .338????

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Default Bullet help for a guide's .338????

    I have a friend that will start guiding next year with a reputable Alaskan outfitter. He will be guiding for peninsula and Kodiak brown bear, interior grizzly, caribou, moose, and sheep. He'll be taking one gun and he has decided on a .338 win mag. I'm going to be helping him reload for his new gun and I want some ideas on bullets for the gun. Since I personally have NO experience with hunting, reloading, or shooting the .338 I'd like some advice/to bounce some ideas off you all. Here goes:

    I was thinking of developing two different loads. One with a heavy bullet for brown bear and one with a more mid range bullet for the rest. Since the coastal brown bear hunts will happen in the spring or a few weeks after the close of the other fall seasons I figured it wouldn't be a problem to sight in between the two loads. So I'm thinking load a 210 grain tipped TSX at 2900fps or a 225 grain tipped TSX at 2800fps for all around. Load a 275 grain A Frame at 2500fps or a 250 grain A Frame or TSX at 2600fps for coastal brown bear. Thoughts?............Or I could use the KISS system (Keep It Simple Stupid) and just load 225 grain TSX or A Frames at 2800fps for everything. Thoughts?

    Any other bullet recommendations or theories on this one?

    Thanks again.

    Brett

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    Go with one load, just incase the point of impact is different. Stoke up that 250 TSX and turn him loose.

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    The 338 is a great choice for a one gun show. Here are my loads for the animals you listed. My POI is identical with the 225's and my 250's print 3/4" higher at 100m but the POI is the same at 275m. After that the 250's drop a little quicker. I spent a good deal of time trying powder and bullet combos so I could interchange loads without having to shift my zero. You cannot go wrong with the A-frame for big or toothy stuff. I like the accubond for the mountains or distance and I use the Partitions for general mixed bag stuff. I loaded some of the tipped TSX's but they printed about 2" left of every other load I have.

    225 grn Nosler Accubond over 72.0 grns of RL19, CCI 250 primer.

    225 grn Nosler Partition over 72.0 grns of RL19, CCI 250 primer.

    250 grn Swift A-Frame over 72.0 grns of RL19, CCI 250 primer.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Brett- I much prefer one load for everything. Re-zeroing a rifle every season is an engraved invite for Murphy (not OUR Murphy, the evil Murphy) to show up at the worst time.

    I'd either go with a single load for everything or as an alternative 2 rifles, one for the Interior and one for the coast. Since your buddy probably isn't made of cash a 250TSX or Partition would be my pick for an "all around" .338 load.

    The 250gr is overkill on bou and sheep but everything in a .338 bore will be. But I'm betting they'll work.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Brett,

    I load for my step brother's tried and true 338WM. He prefers 250gr Partitons loaded to 2660fps. That load matches his Accutrack scope turret perfectly. His longest kill shot is 607yards with that load. His recovered bullets are often missing the lead in the front half of the Partition bullet but they always work.

    Most game has been shot at close range. Moose seem to think he's a hot cow, the bullet has never failed to do it's job. This past August he tried test batch of 200gr Accubonds that I did not chronograph and took a nice ram.

    I think the 225gr bullets are a great compromise for a single load in a variety of situations. I also think the Swift A-Frame is tougher than the Partition.

    I'm away from my notes but It was either H-4831ssc or RL-19 and Fed 215's. More in a few days if your interested.
    Last edited by marshall; 11-19-2010 at 17:04. Reason: more info

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I spoke with him today and it looks like we're going to do one load for all guiding and his hunting as well. We're thinking 225 grain A Frames or TSX. I have reloading books for both, but any load info on these or real world experience would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Brett

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    I would go with a 250gr cup and core bullet. At the velocities a 338 is capable of, it should work very well. He won't need long range as a guide need only shoot to protect his client. I would use the money saved on cheaper bullets to shoot more, especially offhand at close moving targets if possible. I believe a good shooter is more important than what bullet you are using. The 338 is adequate with heavy (250gr+) cup and core bullets even for brown bear if the shooter does his part.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    With all due respect to you Brett how is this person a guide and not know what bullet and has just decided on 338. I'm sure this is a good person but it sounds very much like he needs more time afield before takeing on guideing.Its almost like the guide asking the client what he wants to be backed up with.Again I'm all for young folks getting in the trade and mean no disrespect.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    With all due respect to you Brett how is this person a guide and not know what bullet and has just decided on 338. I'm sure this is a good person but it sounds very much like he needs more time afield before takeing on guideing.Its almost like the guide asking the client what he wants to be backed up with.Again I'm all for young folks getting in the trade and mean no disrespect.
    He's not a guide yet.....but he's starting next year. There are lots of people who are practicioners and not experts. I'm a practicioner of bow hunting but hardly a technical expert. Does that mean I'm unsuccessful at bow hunting? No. That said I would certainly admit if I ever want to become a great bow hunter I'll need to eventually learn that techinical knowledge. He's a good hunter, successful hunter, in excellent shape, and he has a good outfit too in which to learn and grow. I doubt even the most successful professional hunters ever started with all the knowledge they could have had. That said I'm working on a lot of the techinical data with him relating to reloading, ballistics, bullet preformance, and in general rifle-ology. Not that I'm an expert, but I've done a bit. Honestly it's like a NASCAR driver. Does the driver have to be able to rebuild a car from top to bottom to be a good driver? No..........but it doesn't hurt. That said I'm genuinely interested to see what his thoughts are on back up guns after his first trip into the alders after a wounded brown bear. I really don't know what his thoughts will be, but it should be interesting.

    Brett

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I knew it was touchy to bring up and I believe the person to be a quaility man.Is this going to be his first year as an asistant guide working under a guide or will he have guide status.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I knew it was touchy to bring up and I believe the person to be a quaility man.Is this going to be his first year as an asistant guide working under a guide or will he have guide status.
    Very valid questions. I'm not going to get my nose all bent out of shape so don't swet it. I'm not sure about the guide/assistant guide thing. My impression was you are required to start as an assistant until you have met certain requirements???? I am NOT an expert on this. Can anyone comment on this process. Thanks.

    Brett

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    I've been using the 225 barnes Xbullets (now the TTSXs) in 338 WM for everything from sitka blacktails to brownies. I don't see a need to shoot 250 grain pills or 210s either. The 225 does the job nicely. Just the view from my seat on the bus...the short bus. ;-)

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I believe we'll be trying the 225 TSX first.

    Brett

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    250 grn Nosler Partition. Nuff said!

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    I have a vague memory - something about guides (assistant guides?) only being allowed to use factory loaded ammo. Not sure this makes complete sense - maybe someone more knowledgeable could comment?
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    We have enough guides on this forum I would just PM one of them and ask. I'm guessing but with 290 views so far some guides have looked at this post and may be just shakeing their heads
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    We have enough guides on this forum I would just PM one of them and ask. I'm guessing but with 290 views so far some guides have looked at this post and may be just shakeing their heads
    Will.....I've never been a guide, but I have been a client. That said as a client I expected my guide to know the area, know the animals hunted, know how to hunt those animals, know how to trophy judge them on the hoof, know how to get me what I want, and know how the keep me out of trouble. The person being a master reloader or ballistics expert is pretty far down my importance list. Yeah all else equal it's nice. One more thing for us to BS about, but really it isn't the be all end all for guiding. I think you need to consider switching to decaf. Lighten up.

    Brett

    PS. Are you a guide?

  18. #18

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    Please don't get caught up in the velocity stuff with a .338 Win. Mag. If your friend is guiding for brown bears load a 250 grain bullet with either the Barnes X, Swift A Frame or Nosler Partition. Use Winchester cases, Fed 215 Magnum primers and RL19 or H4350. Get an accurate load and learn the trajectory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Brett- I much prefer one load for everything. Re-zeroing a rifle every season is an engraved invite for Murphy (not OUR Murphy, the evil Murphy) to show up at the worst time.
    I agree with the One-Load,

    but rather than an "invite", isn't "Re-zeroing a rifle every season", a good way to keep ole Murphy at bay?

    I would think, that most any 250 grain Cup & Core type bullet, at about 2700 fps, (Factory ballistics) would be fine for the 338, and bars. I'd certainly try them, anyway.

    Smitty of the North
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    You can't out-give God.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I agree with the One-Load,

    but rather than an "invite", isn't "Re-zeroing a rifle every season", a good way to keep ole Murphy at bay?
    Smitty of the North
    Smitty... I guess I should have been more clear. I think checking zero frequently is a good practice. Switching loads and rezoring the rifle to a different POI at least twice per year- not so much.

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