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Thread: 338 Hawk

  1. #1
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    Default 338 Hawk

    Anybody have any experience with the 338 Hawk cartridge. Appears to be very similar to a blown out 338-280 without the 40 deg shoulder. There are 'factory' cases available -- sort of -- single source.

    My guess would be 338-06 + 100-150 fps for 225 gr. Does that seem reasonable?

    thanks
    Jim

  2. #2

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    Call me a grouchy old expulsion of digestive gases, but I'm always skeptical about claims of velocity jumps like that from small changes in shoulder angle, etc. "Improving" cases by blowing them out can produce gains in powder capacity, but the basic '06 case can only take so much blowing. Gibbs probably came closer than most to gains in his rounds, but by dramatically shortening the neck while pushing the shoulder way forward. Even with that, most velocity gains with his own loads were achieved via astronomical pressure increases more than increased case capacity. With few other changes in the cases, jumps in velocity almost HAVE TO come with higher pressures, or perhaps some new powder with more suitable burn rates no one has tried before.

    That's not sour grapes and in fact if factory cases are available, that's good news in itself. It's significant that 338-06 performance without the extra 100-150fps would be available via the cartridge.

  3. #3

    Default 338 Hawk

    The 338 Hawk is basically the same as a 338-06 AI , it has a neck that is slightly longer than a 338 Gibbs. These improved cartridges work better in longer barelled rifles (alowing the extra powder to burn), thus increased velocity. If you like to fire-form brass, and reload it is usefull round.But, with a 338-06 factory ammo is available.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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  4. #4

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    Yup. Right back to my resemblance to digestive gas, I get a pretty good laugh at all the short magnums. Not that they aren't great cartridges, but at the claims about efficiency and all.

    Have you ever looked at the standard pressures on those? HOLY COW! Talking to a ballistician friend with one of the majors, he said the same principle is at work behind those as with the 450 Marlin. The makers are afraid of high pressures in old guns, so the new line of cartridges lets them "start fresh" (his words) without as much fear of older stuff out there. Modern metalurgy and manufacturing has proven to allow higher pressures than old, and the new cartridges were a way to take advantage of that fact with less dangers of law suits.

    Long and short of it, he tested a bunch of loads at the same SAAMI pressure specs for factory 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 30-06 and 270 Win to see if there was any velocity gains from the "new, more efficient" case design. Nowhere near enough velocity difference to make you buy a new gun. And selling new guns is everything in the gun industry.

    The single advantage of the design in his book is to allow more powder capacity in short cases for short actions. Period. The increase in velocity due to higher pressures would be just as achievable in older cartridges if the metallurgy was up to it.

    Just reporting what he said, but I figure 40 years of testing ammo and guns in labs probably gives him a leg to stand on. What we do with the info is up to the individual.

  5. #5
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    Default .338 hawk

    I like the .338-'06 better, it has a longer neck.

    Don't care much for velocity wringing every fps outta any cartridge.

    Although it has its place in varmint hunting.

    Lower pressure shells extract better which is a plus for getting the next round going before you get chewed on.

    I like long necks better for big game type recoil to keep bullets in place without excessive crimping.

    It also helps with keeping ammo waterproof.

    The only detriment to long necks is higher neck pull tensions which mean greater variations and just slightly less accuracy.

    However, in big game ammo, I totally disregard a 1/20th inch or less group increase in trade for a round that wont setback in the case and is way less likely to have water infiltration. (especially when using sealer)

    I do like z-hat and I think zeglin is 1st rate. I just like longer necks over higher velocity and pressure.

    Dead bugs on your windsheild are proof that the big slow theory works.

    ; ) jedi

  6. #6
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    Default Another good 338..

    Bmafg,

    I have used many of the Hawk, Fred Zeglin designs, but not the 338 specifically. It is the ballistic equivalent of the 338-06 AI, whatever that is. I say it that way to avoid a debate about the ballistics of either. To expect an increase in velocity over the 338-06, with most bullet weights, of 100 fps would not be out of line.

    The Hawk series is well thought out and well tested. Loading data is available from Z-hat and most loads have been pressure tested. He uses a Oehler M43 system just as I have used for over 10 years and has good data for just about all his calibers. A free update is included with the CD loading manual as new loads become available.The 338 Hawk is a useful wildcat and certainly fills that "something different" niche.

    The neck is a little shorter than the 338-06 and capacity is slightly more. There are however pros and cons of a short neck or a long neck on a cartridge. I know of no problem with the Hawk design that would not be found in any standard calber. I have a couple, a 375 and a 411, and like them alot. More magic from the wonderful ole '06 case.

    Fred has his own headstamped brass and data and many good bullets are available. The round will fit and feed in an unmodified rifle action made for the 30-06. What more would we need?

    Your other responses are correct. Modern rifle will withstand greater pressure than old clunkers. But, it is a mistake to buy such a caliber with the intention hot-rodding it to the max velocity. There is no difference in field performance afforded by an extra 100 fps from any bullet. The real beauty of this caliber is better performance, for some applications, than that of the parent cartridge, without the recoil and blast of the magnums. If that appeals to you then this may be your cartridge.

    Most wildcat and custom cartridge designers will sing praises about there wonderful designs because obviously they believe there is an edge. There may very well be but it may be so subtle as to be missed by most of us. There are many good wildcats out there, this one is one of the best partly because of the support from the designer for reamers, brass, and barrels. This one also has the support of a top notch gunsmith and very knowledgable ballistics guru in Fred Zeglin.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  7. #7

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    You're talking about the differences that really matter, Murph:

    "Most wildcat and custom cartridge designers will sing praises about there wonderful designs because obviously they believe there is an edge. There may very well be but it may be so subtle as to be missed by most of us. There are many good wildcats out there, this one is one of the best partly because of the support from the designer for reamers, brass, and barrels. This one also has the support of a top notch gunsmith and very knowledgable ballistics guru in Fred Zeglin."

  8. #8
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    Default 338 Hawk

    Thanks all. It's nice to get reasonable friendly useful responses to a newbie request for info.

    My impression of Mr Zeglin's wildcats are that he approaches the process the way I might. Try to make reasonable extensions of the real-life hunting capabilities of a proven design. Don't try to turn an old standard into a Supermagnum Loudenboomer.

    With respect to the 100 fps (assumed)... it might be useful to some as it will add about 50 yds to the 338-06. Doesn't matter to me since the useful range of the 338-06 is near the limit of my shooting abilities for anything I might hunt. The Hawk cartridges just seemed like they might be a useful, not too painful way to scratch the want-something-a-little-different itch.

    Good to hear that Mr Zeglin seems to be well respected. His website is full of useful and only slightly optimistic info.

    Anyway, Thanks again.

    jim, the BMAFG (balding middle aged fat guy)

  9. #9
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    Default

    I'll echo what Murph says about Zeglin. I have a 411 Hawk that Zeglin built on an 1895 Winchester for me several years ago. The entire setup is first rate. Fred knows what he's doing and has the skills and talent to execute it. His inline dies are second to no one...

  10. #10
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    Default another reason

    Quote Originally Posted by jedi rifleman View Post
    I like the .338-'06 better, it has a longer neck.

    Don't care much for velocity wringing every fps outta any cartridge.

    Although it has its place in varmint hunting.

    Lower pressure shells extract better which is a plus for getting the next round going before you get chewed on.

    I like long necks better for big game type recoil to keep bullets in place without excessive crimping.

    It also helps with keeping ammo waterproof.

    The only detriment to long necks is higher neck pull tensions which mean greater variations and just slightly less accuracy.

    However, in big game ammo, I totally disregard a 1/20th inch or less group increase in trade for a round that wont setback in the case and is way less likely to have water infiltration. (especially when using sealer)

    I do like z-hat and I think zeglin is 1st rate. I just like longer necks over higher velocity and pressure.

    Dead bugs on your windsheild are proof that the big slow theory works.

    ; ) jedi
    I also like loading the heaviest bullets possible.

    So short necks let the bullet hang into the case eating up all the capacity created by shortening the neck anyway.

    Which leads to rings building up at the shoulder/neck juncture, which can lead to other problems like tight chambering or pressure increases from tight necks if you dont stay alert to this.

    You can also lose the case to cracks there too.(neck / shoulder junction)

    Has any one else found this to happen too, loading with long bullets in short necks?? example(.223 with 80 gr to fit in AR mag)

    jedi

  11. #11

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    My longest experience with short necks and deep seats is with the 284 Win in three different rifles over the last 35 years or so. I've never experienced what you report, but I generally anneal my case necks at least every other trimming. Sure sounds like a case hardness problem to me rather than any kind of inherent design flaw.

  12. #12
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    Default deep seating

    I was thinking it was all the pressure and gasses forced to go around the bullet untill the bullet cleared the neck base.

    Possibly forcing brass to flow from the shoulder to the neck base area during the few nanoseconds dwell time. Also the extra heat focused around the neck wall longer, rather than down the center of the neck. Like putting your thumb over a garden hose.Same volume but the restriction is deffinetly responsible for a big change.(possibly hardening the case there too as you sugested)

    Kind of like the way boattails erode crown edges faster than flat bases.
    As the bullets clear the muzzle and the boattail is still in the bore area ever so slightly. It's forcing all gasses around the edge of the muzzle rather than the center.
    It's no big deal, if you see accuracy fall off get a $50 recrown.
    So why do I hate to lose brass? lol ...I don't know,I just do.

    jedi.

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