Re: New Mexico Antelope 338AM
I get ribbed all the time from guys about using big guns on smaller big game. I try to explain to them the reasoning behind it but often it goes in one ear and out the other. Simply put, the goal to long range hunting is nothing more then putting the bullet precisely where you want it and at long range, the higher the BC bullet you can drive and the higher the velocity you can produce with that bullet, the less effect external conditions will have on your bullets trajectory.
A 338 AM is not used because there is a need for this class of power to kill these game animals, its used because it makes precision shot placement at these long ranges EASY even compared to the best conventional 338 magnums on the market today including the 338 Edge, 338 Lapua and even my 338 Allen Xpress.
You can spend a few hours shooting these lesser chamberings and then switch to the 338 AM and its like comparing a 243 Win to a 6mm-284 in ballistic ability.
I am not saying its difficult to make shots with these lesser 338 magnums, certainly that is not the case but making a 1000 yard hit with these lesser 338 magnums is about like making a 1500 yard hit with the 338 AM. One just has to be shot to experience the raw power of these weapons and also the accuracy potential as well is amazing.
I took a customers 338 AM out yesterday, same class of rifle as the one posted about on this topic and at 1520 yards, put two 265 gr Barnes TTSX bullets into within 3" ctc!!! That was with a relatively mild load and 3440 fps velocity which is around 100 fps lower then the max you can get with this weapon system but the owner will be using it for hunting in a wide range of envornmental conditions and locations so we throttled things back a bit. Recoil is about like a 243 Win sporter rifle at most.
I often get the comment that there is no need for a rifle of this power class. For 80% of all hunting I would agree, there is no NEED, but for certain applications its unbeatable. One fella gave me so much crap about these big guns that I called him out on it. He said his 300 Win Mag was all he ever would need for big game hunting out to a mile. I told him to put his money where his mouth was and invited him to come out and shoot with me. Suprisingly he did.
He did pretty well out to 1200 yards or so in the conditions we were shooting in but past that things went to hell for him. At that point I pulled out one of my XHSs in 338 AM and lined up on my gong that was set up at a mile. The fella had just missed the gong three times in a row from his prized 300 Win Mag that was built by a top end builder. No need to give the name, it was a good rifle.
Slapped the steel three times in a row with the 338 AM making a slightly less then 1 moa triangle. Not amazing but plenty good for the conditions we were dealing with and again, remember this guy could not even hit the gong with his 300 Win Mag. I then let him shoot the big rifle and he slapped it another two times in a row.
After that shooting session he said he still felt that for most big game hunting his 300 Win Mag was fully adequate but at times maybe the big 338 AM had some merit!!! I agreed with him 100%!!!
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