Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

338 Edge - History and Development

338 Edge - History and Development

By Shawn Carlock

Shawn CarlockI developed and named the 338 Edge in 2001. Now, I am sure I was not the first person to neck up the 300 Ultra (RUM) case to .338”. But I have, in all probability, spent considerably more time with this 338 round than anyone else.

The 338 Edge is simply a 300 Ultra Mag necked up to .338”. This is a simple process requiring no more work than a standard .338 reload. I choose this option for the 338 Edge for several reasons. First, the round had to run through a Remington 700 long action, use a standard magnum boltface and launch very high BC 338 bullets. I settled on .338 caliber for the Edge early on for its BC and weight.

When I started searching for a suitable case for the Edge, the 338 Ultra Mag case was the only realistic choice. When Remington released the 338 Ultra Mag it occurred to me that there could be some confusion about what you could chamber in the rifles, so I named the round the 338 Edge mostly to avoid confusion of the 338 RUM vs. 338-300 Ultra issues.

Jacob Gottfredson wrote an article about my 338 Edge test rifle that published in the October 2000 issue of “The Accurate Rifle”, this article on the 338 Edge can still be viewed in the “snipers paradise” website. Since initial development of the Edge we have been refining the 338 Edge to become the most practical “bang for the buck” available to the long range hunter/shooter/tactician.

338 edge

Our first refinement to the 338 Edge was to move to 30” match barrel of extreme quality. We chose Hart barrels based on reputation and our experience with them and have never looked back. We currently use others as well for the 338 Edge but the Hart tubes are the overwhelming majority used for the Edge.

With the longer barrels used for the 338 Edge we started running heavier bullets specifically the .338 Sierra 300 gr. SMK. We can run the 300 SMK .338 bullet 2800-2950 fps depending on the load and individual rifle. Our initial push was to develop a 338 Edge bullet rifle combo that would penetrate 3/8” mild steel @ 1000 yards with extreme accuracy. Below you see the results of a 338 Edge bullet cratering in a piece of ˝” T1 steel at 735 yards. This bullet /speed combo in the Edge will penetrate 3/8” mild steel at 1000 yards.

338 edge

What has become our standard load for the 338 Edge runs right at 2800-2830 fps. While you can run faster, this 338 Edge load combo gave extreme velocity spreads of low teens and single digits. Also since we were using a Hodgen “extreme” powder for the 338 Edge when we tested temperature sensitivity we found it to vary less than 30 fps from 20-90 degrees. No other combo we tested came close to this kind of consistency in the 338 Edge. From my position I will gladly give up 100 fps (or less) for this kind of performance in the 338 Edge. To put this performance into perspective, running the 300 grain .338 SMK at 2800-2850 fps and shooting a big game animal at 1000 yards with the 338 Edge is just like putting your 308 Winchester right against the fur!

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