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Thread: 338 bullets

  1. #1
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    Default 338 bullets

    I'm interested in hearing what 338 bullets are working well, or not working well. I traded back into my old Ruger 77. The guy I got it back from had some Hornady 225's loaded up for elk loads. I had 250 gr Nosler Partitions and 275 gr Speers loaded when I had it before. Are the Hornadys' holding up all right in larger critters? Should I stick with the Noslers for carry in bear country? I'm in Wy, we have a fair population of grizzlies, and they've been getting bolder all the time. 5-600 lbs is about as big as they get here, most are smaller. I'd just like to know whatever loads I'm using hold together and penetrate well. Are there any standard grade bullets that hold up well?

    Has anyone come up with a premium type hunting load and less expensive practice load that shoot close to the same scope setting?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2

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    My ruger will shoot the 210 noslers partitions in a 1in. group. I hunted elk in the Bridger Wilderness and we had a black bear that hung around us while we field dressed an elk. We threw snowballs at him but he always kept comming back and waited until we finished. It was kind of cute and I have a vidieo of him. It would'nt be so cute with a grizzly and I am sure they are going to be problems for elk hunter around yellowstone. I am sure the 210 nosler would be plenty for grizzly and so would the hornady 225 grain interbond although my rifle does not shoot these as well.

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    handloaded 225 partition @ 2900 for hunting

    shoot my 308 in the off season to keep tuned up, but run 100 to 150 of the 338 partitions a year just so "she" doesn't feel left out ;-)

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    I shoot Swift A-Frames in my 338; 225's for elk and 250's for moose. I use Nosler partitions to get the load close and do my final testing with the more expensive A-Frames. I've recovered a couple A-Frames from elk and they performed as advertized, nice mushroom shape with 95-98% weight retention.

    Woody

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    I have use the 338 Win Mag with Nosler 210 gr bullets for years and have killed 3 Elk, numerous deer and 5 different "Plains game" in Africa. I would not hesitate to shoot any North American animals, including Grizzly with that bullet. It has never failed to kill the animals and none have walked more than a few feet from where they were shot. I use 76 gr of IMR 4350 and get a velocity of 3100 fps. I have used that load (so has my son) for 25 years with good results and accuracy.

    Good Luck,

    Silver Tip

    Quote Originally Posted by Malamute View Post
    I'm interested in hearing what 338 bullets are working well, or not working well. I traded back into my old Ruger 77. The guy I got it back from had some Hornady 225's loaded up for elk loads. I had 250 gr Nosler Partitions and 275 gr Speers loaded when I had it before. Are the Hornadys' holding up all right in larger critters? Should I stick with the Noslers for carry in bear country? I'm in Wy, we have a fair population of grizzlies, and they've been getting bolder all the time. 5-600 lbs is about as big as they get here, most are smaller. I'd just like to know whatever loads I'm using hold together and penetrate well. Are there any standard grade bullets that hold up well?

    Has anyone come up with a premium type hunting load and less expensive practice load that shoot close to the same scope setting?

    Thanks for any input.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no other place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth." ...Ronald Reagan.....please never forget this!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malamute View Post

    Has anyone come up with a premium type hunting load and less expensive practice load that shoot close to the same scope setting?

    Thanks for any input.
    Even if somebody developed two loads that shot to the same POI in THIER rifle, it would be a stroke of luck if the same two loads did that in your rifle too. Rifles are very very individual. I have two 338's and two 340's and none of them will shoot any bullet I've tried to the same POI and I've tried a bunch of bullets.

    For 500 to 600 lb grizzlies, even the standard elcheapo cup and core 225gr. or heavier, hornady, speer or sierra bullets will kill them just fine. WHen bear wieghts start getting above 700 or 800 lbs, then you might need the premium type bullets..............

    I like cheap cup and core bullets as they work well for a lot of applications and allow me to afford shooting rocks, sticks, etc., but when the bullets start getting real expensive, I cant afford to shoot a lot.

  7. #7

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    Malamute, I assume you have a 338 Win mag and are hunting elk with it? If you got them back with the rifle, the 225 Hornadys will work well. I have gotten good accuracy wiht them out of 338-06 and 338 Win mag. They perform very well for a cup/core bullet.

    Do you still have any of the 275 Speers left? If so, use those! Those were awesome, but Speer hasn't offered them for some time. I have a few rat holed for moose or bear hunting!

    The 250 partition, or one of the newer bondeds would be a good compromise for an elk hunt with bear protection.
    Honestly, I'd experiment with any of the 225-250's and purchase what you have confidence in and what your rifle shoots well and you are fixed up!

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Barnes 210gr tipped or ttsx.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
    www.kodiakcombos.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Sundles View Post
    ...For 500 to 600 lb grizzlies, even the standard elcheapo cup and core 225gr. or heavier, hornady, speer or sierra bullets will kill them just fine. WHen bear wieghts start getting above 700 or 800 lbs, then you might need the premium type bullets..............

    I like cheap cup and core bullets as they work well for a lot of applications and allow me to afford shooting rocks, sticks, etc., but when the bullets start getting real expensive, I cant afford to shoot a lot.
    I agree completely. I've carried 225 Hornady SP for years in my 338 WM (2800 fps) and never found them lacking. I am comfortable hunting anything in NA at ranges from 0-300 yards. Different bullets may provide more performance, but these have always been enough. Enough is all I need...
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I agree completely. I've carried 225 Hornady SP for years in my 338 WM (2800 fps) and never found them lacking. I am comfortable hunting anything in NA at ranges from 0-300 yards. Different bullets may provide more performance, but these have always been enough. Enough is all I need...
    That is good to here. I have several hundred of the Hornady 225 SST's and 225 IB I stocked up on just before prices spiked. I have found them to both shoot out of my Ruger to "almost" the same POI. Have only shot 2 black bears with the SST's which did fine. It never hurts to experiment with different types of bullets in a rifle. I worked up a load using the same powder, primer, and different case using 250 Barnes TSX. Found a load that shoots just about an inch and POI is only off an inch from my standard 225gr load. Now I keep 35 of the standard loads and 15 Barnes (brass marked with red marker) in a 50 rd MTM box and figure if my shots are reasonably close, the difference in POI will not matter. I just loaded the Barnes 250's in case I ever get a shot at a big bear and to experiment. That is what makes hand loading fun for me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozarks View Post
    Malamute, I assume you have a 338 Win mag and are hunting elk with it? If you got them back with the rifle, the 225 Hornadys will work well. I have gotten good accuracy wiht them out of 338-06 and 338 Win mag. They perform very well for a cup/core bullet.

    Do you still have any of the 275 Speers left? If so, use those! Those were awesome, but Speer hasn't offered them for some time. I have a few rat holed for moose or bear hunting!

    The 250 partition, or one of the newer bondeds would be a good compromise for an elk hunt with bear protection.
    Honestly, I'd experiment with any of the 225-250's and purchase what you have confidence in and what your rifle shoots well and you are fixed up!
    Yes, I got a supply of loaded 225 Hornadys back with the rifle. He hadnt shot any of the 40 or so 275 gr Speer loads I gave him, and I think I still have a box or two of bullets around. The Speers shot fairly well in the gun. Theres also some 250 NP's loaded, and I think I have a box of bullets left of them also.

    I shot the gun with some of the 225's. I was able to hit about a 6"-8" rock @ 300-350 yards kneeling after getting the scope adjusted some. If they do well as hunting/bear loads, I may buy more and keep shooting them for general use.

    I was very happy to get the rifle back. It's an early 77 with tang safety/bolt lock. It has real nicely figured wood. I put the steel trigger guard and floor plate on it, a decelerator pad, Williams Shorty ramp and sourdough up front and Lyman reciever rear sights. I sighted in with the peep, then took the slide off and inletted under the butt pad for the slide so it was always with the gun. I had a 4x Leupold on it before that I saved, but I think I'll put a 2-7 Leupold on it. It will be a general purpose gun, year round. I had some 200 gr FP loads @ about 1500 fps for grouse that shot real well, and I have a 200 gr GC mold for it that I need to get in use. I've always been surprised how comfortable this gun was to shoot, an impression that was reinforced after getting it back. I'd have to say I'm happier about this trade than anything I can recall in many years. I hope someone slaps some sense into me if I ever talk about trading it off again.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malamute View Post
    Yes, I got a supply of loaded 225 Hornadys back with the rifle. He hadnt shot any of the 40 or so 275 gr Speer loads I gave him, and I think I still have a box or two of bullets around. The Speers shot fairly well in the gun. Theres also some 250 NP's loaded, and I think I have a box of bullets left of them also.

    I shot the gun with some of the 225's. I was able to hit about a 6"-8" rock @ 300-350 yards kneeling after getting the scope adjusted some. If they do well as hunting/bear loads, I may buy more and keep shooting them for general use.

    I was very happy to get the rifle back. It's an early 77 with tang safety/bolt lock. It has real nicely figured wood. I put the steel trigger guard and floor plate on it, a decelerator pad, Williams Shorty ramp and sourdough up front and Lyman reciever rear sights. I sighted in with the peep, then took the slide off and inletted under the butt pad for the slide so it was always with the gun. I had a 4x Leupold on it before that I saved, but I think I'll put a 2-7 Leupold on it. It will be a general purpose gun, year round. I had some 200 gr FP loads @ about 1500 fps for grouse that shot real well, and I have a 200 gr GC mold for it that I need to get in use. I've always been surprised how comfortable this gun was to shoot, an impression that was reinforced after getting it back. I'd have to say I'm happier about this trade than anything I can recall in many years. I hope someone slaps some sense into me if I ever talk about trading it off again.
    Malamute, sounds great, you are fixed up great in my opinion. I really like the 225's in the 338 Win mag versus the 210's. The 225's seem to complement the powder capacity of the Win mag to produce a real "smack". Now those 275's, while blunt looking and heavy on the shoulder will really "thump" verus "smack". Consider yourself fortunate to have those left, and since they shoot well in your rifle reserve those for that special moose or bear appointment! I have used the 210's in 338 Win mag, but they seem more appropriately matched to the 338-06 or 338RCM powder capacity.

    Also like your scope choice. A few years ago I swapped some scopes around and ended up with a Burris FFII in 3-9X on my 338 Win mag with the ballistic plex reticle. Honestly, I wondered how long it would last. I thought I would not have it on there that long, and hoped I wouldnt break it unti I got it off. My goal, which hasn't happened, was to put a Leupy 2.5-8 on it. Well, it is still on there, and it is set on the same zero hitting same POI as day one. I did some load development off the bench with it (225's), so it has had some rounds down the tube with that scope. I prefer Leupold when I can afford them, but I am impressed a $200 scope is holding up on a rifle in a caliber that is known to shell out the weaker ones.

    Glad you got back the one that got away...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I agree completely. I've carried 225 Hornady SP for years in my 338 WM (2800 fps) and never found them lacking. I am comfortable hunting anything in NA at ranges from 0-300 yards. Different bullets may provide more performance, but these have always been enough. Enough is all I need...
    I have killed a number of elk with that 225gr. Hornady loaded @ 2850 fps out of a 338 WM and it gets such a big mushroom (soft bullet) that it lacks penetration for those bad angle shots on elk, in my opiinion, but it is almost always a very accurate bullet and it is CHEAP, so I use it a lot. At lower speeds out of a 338-06 it will not mushroom nearly so much and is a very good 338-06 bullet for elk sized critters.

    I load a lot of ammo for my friends 338 WM rifles and I normally load up that 225gr. Hornady (if it shoots well in thier rifle) so I've seen a bunch of elk killed with it and even though it lacks penetration in certain instances, I've never seen it not kill the elk.

    I would expect that bullet to come apart at 340 WBY speeds (3100 fps) if you shot an elk up close with it, but I've not done it as I stick strictly with "premium" bullets in my 340's because of the extra veleocity.........

    About 10 years ago, I bought several thousand of the Hornady 225's and the Speer 225'gr. boat tails, just so I'd have a good supply of cheap bullets for the rest of my life. My biggest bull ever (an enormous 7X7) was killed with that 225gr. Speer at 200 yards, broadside and the bullet never made it through the animal on such a soft shot placement. I can understand the bullet not going all the way through an 800 lb bull if it was a shoulder shot or a quartering shot, but a double lung shot at the reduced impact velocity of 200 yards should not stop any decent elk bullet. I only paid roughly 10 cents per bullet for those bulk speer and hornady 225's, so I got more than what I paid for, but just beware, they are too soft for bad angle shots on 800 lb animals.

  14. #14

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    Having nothing to do with super performance debates, I'm going to pass along a heads up for sheer fun and a way to put a new dimensions on a 338.

    Keep your eyes open for some of the Hornady 200 grain flat points intended for the 33 Winchester, catalog #3315. They don't make them any more, so if you find them they're likely to be on a back shelf, dusty and cheap.

    For years I loaded those to 2200-2300 fps in my 338's as "deer" loads for closer range shooting. I have to say I don't know of a more fun bullet to shoot, and one that is better suited for deer hunting in cover with shots usually less than 100 yards. It's along the lines of a 35 Remington in power and use, and that's a good thing in the kind of deer country I really like to hunt.

    Hawk Bullets makes flat points for the 33 Winchester in 180, 200 and 215 grain weights, but they're by no means cheap.

  15. #15
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    Yes, the 200 gr Hornady flat points are what I made up some grouse loads with. I have a box or two of them left in my junk also. I'm looking forward to casting some bullets for it also.

    The 200 gr Hornady FP's at 33 Win velocity would be perfect for shooting deer in the yard.

    I bought about 10-15 boxes of the 33 bullets a couple years ago and turned them to the guys on leverguns forum, they were happy to get them. I saved one or two boxes in case I ever got a 338 again. I think I still have a partial box from before also.

    With the comments about the 225's not penetrating as well one would hope, I may stick with the Nosler 250's for hunting/carry loads. They'd kill elk I reckon, but the question is what you may run in to, not what you're looking for. Not sure how many 275's I have, but if they quit making them, I'll save them for something big. Been wanting to get a moose tag.

    What barrel length are you fellas using for the 338? This one is the factory 24". I've gotten in the habit of trimming bolt guns to 22". Am I going to notice much difference in muzzle blast? I'm not blessed with the thing about not hearing a shot when hunting, the few times I've shot game without ear plugs it was instantly extremely painful. Come to think of it, I shot a deer with this rifle years ago in thick timber without ear plugs and lost hearing in my left ear from that one shot that never came back. There's a mix of country here, from wide open to thick timber/brush.

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    Default 338 perfered choice for me

    I use the 250 gr Speer grand slam in my 338 RUM. I load them @ 2900FPS and have nothing but great results. I have shot bull moose from 16 yards to 400 yards w/ the same results DOA. I have recovered all but 1 bullet in the moose. I also was a back up on a Kodiak hunt for bear & had to put the finishing shot on 9'-10" bear @ a ranged distance of 387 yards w/ a complete pass through on a quartering away shot. Both lungs, rib bones and off side front shoulder bone. That was a bang flop, roll down the hill DOA deal. My friends would make fun of me shooting speer bullets but you can only guess what they shoot now ???

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