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Thread: Question about 338/378 Weatherby Mag...

  1. #1

    Default Question about 338/378 Weatherby Mag...

    Anyone reload for this cartridge? If so, are you finding you need to crimp for hotter rounds? A buddy of mine is going to start reloading for this cartridge, and I'm wondering if we're going to get any bullet creep from the unchambered rounds...

    From what I can tell of the factory ammo... if it is crimped, it's not much of one...

    Thanks for any input someone may have on this..

  2. #2

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    A buddy of mine in one of the lower states has one he uses for long range elk sniping. He had the same concerns, and managed to get the bottom bullet in a magazine to set back, but he had to leave it there through 17 or 18 firings before it happened. Before he managed that, he did get some nose flattening when he had bullets seated way out.

    He doesn't crimp, rather he polished a little off the expander button in his sizing die, then made sure he had a decent chamfer in the case mouths. He got that solution from me because I had to do it for my ultralight 375 H&H, and it worked like a champ.

    My reaction is to shoot it first, maybe even do some "torture testing" like my bud did. I bet the answer is different for each brand of rifle, and maybe even from one rifle to the next.

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    I have been reloading this round since it came out. I do not crimp. I have never had a round set back or creep out. Mine chrnograph at over 3000 fps. Te rifle is a weatherby.

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    thats what I figured... thanks guys for the input

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    anyone who "has to" snipe at elk instead of "hunting" elk is too dam n lazy for my taste and all you 338/378 afficianado's can have that overbore behemoth and your easy chairs ya sit in while you shoot (oops, h u n t with em) - before the hate mail starts flyin let me say that I went through that stage ... and grew out of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    anyone who "has to" snipe at elk instead of "hunting" elk is too dam n lazy for my taste and all you 338/378 afficianado's can have that overbore behemoth and your easy chairs ya sit in while you shoot (oops, h u n t with em) - before the hate mail starts flyin let me say that I went through that stage ... and grew out of it
    Although we will not be hunting elk... the nice thing about these large cartridges, is the ability to dumb them down and make it very pleasant to shoot, on any game... or bring it to the other end of the scale, and go whale hunting if you choose to...lol

    Guess I'm not sure if you reload or not... but when you have the ability to construct your own ammunition, it opens the window of possibilities for ANY firearm...

    I'm surprised it only took 5 posts before someone had to come in with the hate...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by dammdoggs View Post
    Although we will not be hunting elk... the nice thing about these large cartridges, is the ability to dumb them down and make it very pleasant to shoot, on any game... or bring it to the other end of the scale, and go whale hunting if you choose to...lol

    Guess I'm not sure if you reload or not... but when you have the ability to construct your own ammunition, it opens the window of possibilities for ANY firearm...

    I'm surprised it only took 5 posts before someone had to come in with the hate...lol
    How much down loading can you do with this big case? I've loaded a lot of ammo for this and the 3o and don't find it capable of down loading as one might with a 30-06 or 308. I've never found a propellant that would allow for good, light loads in this 416 Rigby sized canister.

    As for crimping any rifle cartridge, there needs to be a crimp groove if you crimp. Without a groove, if you have a taper crimp you can squeeze them down some but I've not found that to do anything but make accuracy suffer. I don't think it is needed in these smaller calibers anyway.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    "As for crimping any rifle cartridge, there needs to be a crimp groove if you crimp." Murphy is correct, but also just because it has a crimp groove does not mean you have to crimp. I load 250gr. Hornady right to the crimp groove but don't crimp. I think I get better accuracy without the crimp as stated by Murphy.

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    No "hate" but maybe a little "disdain" .... I just don't see the point in giving fuel to a fire that has no point - maybe we could come up with a cartridge that runs on JP-4 or s stick of TNT, now THAT would kill an elk ! I suppose as I get older (and older) I have less patience or understanding for a flippant attitude toward the game "we" pursue but I'll be the first to shoot a prairie dog so it flips 6' in the air (bloodthirsty) so I guess I'm a hypocrite ... I had to quit watchin' the outdoor channel since the "capitalists" took over playin' their shows of 3 guys huntin' (snipin' actually) nice bulls and bucks while sharing one specialty rifle amongst 'em, near anyone can learn (or be taught) to shoot long distances to some degree of success but a "hunter" that does not make, I do "hate" the focus on the shooting rather than the game ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    How much down loading can you do with this big case? I've loaded a lot of ammo for this and the 3o and don't find it capable of down loading as one might with a 30-06 or 308. I've never found a propellant that would allow for good, light loads in this 416 Rigby sized canister.

    As for crimping any rifle cartridge, there needs to be a crimp groove if you crimp. Without a groove, if you have a taper crimp you can squeeze them down some but I've not found that to do anything but make accuracy suffer. I don't think it is needed in these smaller calibers anyway.
    Well since neither of us have reloaded for this cartridge before, I guess it is somewhat unknown how much they can be dumbed down (As far as what we know anyway). I reload for the 338 lapua, and I have found trail boss with a good 5gr base charge to be very accurate out to 100yrds or so (Thats the furthest I've shot it with the duplex loads), with the recoil of a 308... maybe slightly less

    I guess the assumption was that, because these two cartridges are so similar, that we could get similar results.

    As far as crimping goes, I never start off crimping, crimp groove or not. I only crimp if it is necessary (hot/heavy 454 casull rounds for instance). If I find I need to crimp, but the bullet does not have a crimp groove (Or it's in the wrong place), I change to a bullet that does, or I rework the load down to where it is no longer needed.

    On some cases (The cases I bell), only enough crimp to close the case back up is used.

    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    No "hate" but maybe a little "disdain" .... I just don't see the point in giving fuel to a fire that has no point - maybe we could come up with a cartridge that runs on JP-4 or s stick of TNT, now THAT would kill an elk ! I suppose as I get older (and older) I have less patience or understanding for a flippant attitude toward the game "we" pursue but I'll be the first to shoot a prairie dog so it flips 6' in the air (bloodthirsty) so I guess I'm a hypocrite ... I had to quit watchin' the outdoor channel since the "capitalists" took over playin' their shows of 3 guys huntin' (snipin' actually) nice bulls and bucks while sharing one specialty rifle amongst 'em, near anyone can learn (or be taught) to shoot long distances to some degree of success but a "hunter" that does not make, I do "hate" the focus on the shooting rather than the game ...
    I agree with you to a certain degree. I can't stand the "Product pushing" on the outdoor/hunting channels/shows either... rarely do I watch them, because of that... There are plenty of people that are running around with these calibers out in the field, using them for reasons I would consider silly... but again, to each their own (Atleast thats my feeling about it).

    I think the attraction to these kinds of "Big bore" overkill rounds, is as much about recreation as it is hunting (Atleast for myself, and the guys I shoot/hunt with). These exotic calibers have great long distance capability, and pushing these rounds out long distances, is fun IMO... The recreational "target shooting" aspect of these rifles is a blast (Pardon the pun), and the fact that you can also effectively hunt with then as well, is an added bonus...

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    NOW YA GOT ME ... why in the heck would you want to "down load" this one, of all cartridges ? to the recoil of a .308 ? why not just shoot a .308 in a nice lightweight rifle that holds 5 rounds and is cheaper to load for in all respects ? ... and if I mistakenly stated that "I have not loaded for this round" I mispoke but it was when they first came out - the 378 "class" is what caused me to quit my custom handload and accurizing business in 2002, after "working" with 1/2 dozen in 300 then 338 that arrived at my shop doorstep I developed the worst flinch ever and that year's prairie dog shoot was a disaster, I was getting headaches and the people who sent me these guns ?? another story altogether - even the RUM pales in this bruiser's shadow (I think as that one I have not loaded for) market hype ... capitalism at it's best ! but we ALL have to pay the bills I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    NOW YA GOT ME ... why in the heck would you want to "down load" this one, of all cartridges ? to the recoil of a .308 ? why not just shoot a .308 in a nice lightweight rifle that holds 5 rounds and is cheaper to load for in all respects ? ... and if I mistakenly stated that "I have not loaded for this round" I mispoke but it was when they first came out - the 378 "class" is what caused me to quit my custom handload and accurizing business in 2002, after "working" with 1/2 dozen in 300 then 338 that arrived at my shop doorstep I developed the worst flinch ever and that year's prairie dog shoot was a disaster, I was getting headaches and the people who sent me these guns ?? another story altogether - even the RUM pales in this bruiser's shadow (I think as that one I have not loaded for) market hype ... capitalism at it's best ! but we ALL have to pay the bills I guess
    Well... why does someone put a high performance motor in a crappy car? Is it necessary? No... but if the person doing it enjoys that aspect of his hobbie... whats the big deal?

    Learning the overall capabilities of the rifle and cartridge is part of the appeal to me (And many others, BION). Will I ever use the majority of the developed rounds for anything but paper? Most likely not... but again, the aspect of load development (In my endeavors anyway) is not strictly for hunting purposes...

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    [QUOTE=back country;957299]NOW after "working" with 1/2 dozen in 300 then 338 that arrived at my shop doorstep I developed the worst flinch ever and that year's prairie dog shoot was a disaster, I was getting headaches and the people who sent me these guns ?? another story altogether -

    Interesting. My son and the next door neighbors son used to go to the range with me and they both loved the 338-378 full loads. I bet the 500yd ringer at the Three Forks range in Montana still has pock marks from that rifle. They were 14 years old at the time. Both boys still shoot and neither has developed a flinch. Neither have I for that matter. AND THE PRARIE DOG HUNTING WAS FANTASTIC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    No "hate" but maybe a little "disdain" .... I just don't see the point in giving fuel to a fire that has no point - maybe we could come up with a cartridge that runs on JP-4 or s stick of TNT, now THAT would kill an elk ! I suppose as I get older (and older) I have less patience or understanding for a flippant attitude toward the game "we" pursue but I'll be the first to shoot a prairie dog so it flips 6' in the air (bloodthirsty) so I guess I'm a hypocrite ... I had to quit watchin' the outdoor channel since the "capitalists" took over playin' their shows of 3 guys huntin' (snipin' actually) nice bulls and bucks while sharing one specialty rifle amongst 'em, near anyone can learn (or be taught) to shoot long distances to some degree of success but a "hunter" that does not make, I do "hate" the focus on the shooting rather than the game ...
    We can own any rifle we want that's what is great about america till the "communists" get their way. Takes about the same amount of effort to learn you way around the woods as it does to become a great shooter! Some people can even do both.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    driving a fast car doesn't "hurt" anyone ... until that guy runs someone off the road or hotrods around and causes an accident -

    I'm not goin' "here" no more ... shoot your 338/378 "full loads" at the "500 yd ringer" all week long, I don't care, ENJOY IT !!

    "H U N T I N G" vs. "S H O O T I N G" I cannot and WOULD NOT impose person beliefs on any other (commie or liberal trait) BUT I will be pissed off when the "folks" who think it outdoorsy or manly to snipe at game without regard for that game ruin it for the rest of us .... "AND THAT'S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT" ...

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    Experience, practice, and developing skills is everything when it comes to being consistently successful in the field. Long range, short range, archery, whatever the equipment you choose. If you have the right equipment and the skillset to make it work why do people stand on the soap box, scream and point the "unethical finger." The interpretation between shooting and hunting is different for everyone. If it's shooting distance that throws you off, your argument is seriously flawed. Shooting skills and experience come differently for everyone. Some have the skills, some don't. Sometimes the opportunity for a nice animal comes at 700 yards, and some opportunities at closer range. I can guarantee that the guys that have the skills and actually practice at longer range have a lot higher percentage of making a clean kill at closer range than the guy that shoots his rifle once a year.

    If you don't have the skills to kill animals at 700 yards, then by all means don't take the shot. It's as simple as that.

    I actually prefer many of the long range guys compared to the surprising amount of folks that bore sight their rifle, shoot it maybe once a year and expect it to perform successfully killing game throughout the rest of it's useful life. These guys don't intend on shooting long range, they just want to be successful at killing something within their capability, which is often very short range. They have no real understanding of ballistics and anatomy, they just aim for hair and hope it dies. To them, and apparently for some on here, it is ethically fine because "they were within an acceptable range" of the animal when they shot.

    Pointing the finger at the long range shooters that actually know how to operate a weapon is the real head scratcher for me.

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    don't scratch a sore spot there - you said exactly what most say somewhere in their reply when you stated "shooters" ... "HUNTERS" are the ones who most often post common sense rather than defensive comments - Ya want to "prove" somethin' to the world ? If it is shootin' prowess do it at a range, if it's HUNTIN' prowess then get close and shoot straight, the game we hunt deserves that much

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    BrentC, So I suppose you have the skill set and equipment to make those 700 yard shots. You take your ballistic calculator in to the field and you have your spotter and you get reliable wind and temp indicators all the time. Your shooting position is optimum your not to cold or to hot or out of breath. I don't agree with back country's assessment of the 338-378 but neither do I think the skills for a 700 yard shot group on the range translates to to field ability. Blowing up a prairie dog at 400 is not the same as rolling over a moose at that range much less further. Just my 2 cents and no I won't debate this with either of you so don't bother trying to suck me into that hole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redale View Post
    BrentC, So I suppose you have the skill set and equipment to make those 700 yard shots. You take your ballistic calculator in to the field and you have your spotter and you get reliable wind and temp indicators all the time. Your shooting position is optimum your not to cold or to hot or out of breath. I don't agree with back country's assessment of the 338-378 but neither do I think the skills for a 700 yard shot group on the range translates to to field ability. Blowing up a prairie dog at 400 is not the same as rolling over a moose at that range much less further. Just my 2 cents and no I won't debate this with either of you so don't bother trying to suck me into that hole.
    No debate intended, just presenting perspective. A moose has at least a 20" kill zone and despite what some people seem to think, moose are not bullet proof and they will die quickly with a properly placed shot in the lungs.

    If you take a 338/378 Wby with 1/2 MOA 250 grain Accubond handloads, you'll deliver more energy at 700 yards than a 30/06 with 180 grain Accubonds can deliver at 350 yards. Now let's do a little math. 1 MOA is roughly 1" at 100 yards, or translated at a distance roughly 7" at 700 yards. Now, cut that in half to match the 1/2 MOA load, and it should put you at around a 3.5" circle, which is doable, but not likely, so let's say a 5-6" circle. Go a head and make a 6" circle with your hands and hold it in a 20" circle indicating the size of the kill zone on a moose, Not so hard to imagine now is it?

    Now to dope a 10 MPH wind, the drift will put the bullet 30" off the center of the target. You read the wind from your shooting position, and where the moose is. You hold for approximately 4 MOA and send it.

    No spotter or ballistic calculator needed. All that is needed is experience with the rifle, a dope chart, and a rangefinder. These are things that many hunters have in some form anyway.

    So yes, to answer the question. With a properly tuned 338/378 with good handloads, 700 yards is a chip shot and given the right conditions, I would take the shot in a heartbeat, he'd be dead before he even heard the report of the rifle.

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    A "properly tuned" most anything suited for big game will do the same thing - As long as there is enough retained energy to cause the bullet to do it's intended "job" it really doesn't matter all that much how fast it is moving, a lung shot is a lung shot - So you can shoot minute of angle out to "way out there" while huffing and puffing, in a stiff standing wind, on a 45 % sidehill, maybe offhand with only seconds to spare before your "target" disappears into the timber ? Like I said before, and I do have experience with this round AND rifle, it is ridiulous over kill and not "my thing" but if you want to pack and shoot the thing(s) be my guest but please get over to the passing lane when I come by ...

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