recoil of an unbraked 338 rum is pretty stiff, quite a bit more than a 375 h&h with full house loads. I shot mine for over 4 years without a brake, but I won't go back. I hear of guys with 338 rums that kick like a 243, but I have never seen it. My 300 rum kicks like a 243 with 180 gr bullets, but the 338 kicks pretty good with 300 gr bullets and not quite as bad with 225's. I use a walker game ear in my right ear and it keeps my right ear from the muzzle blast and my left ear is against the stock and the game ear also helps me listen for sneaky grizzlies that might be trying to sneak up on me.
Remington model 700 300 RUM LH 26" rem ss/blued receiver lam stock 215 Berger @3070/180 NAB @3300
Remington model 700 338 RUM LH 26" Bartlein 5C #4 Muscle Brake, blueprinted action, sako extractor, jewell trigger, bell and carlson Alaskan stock
Savage LH 22-250
Unless you are very fond of recoil it will need a brake at 8.5 lbs.
Mine is 9lbs ish ready to go, and with 250's I can handle it unbraked. once I go up to 300's I can take the recoil, I just cant hold on to the gun hard enough to shoot accurately.
Im going back to 250's and taking my brake off. I nearly went deaf this year when I forgot to put in plugs. Im a carpenter and If it hurts my already deaf ears, it cant be good for you.
Recoil out of a 8 1/2lb 338 rum is going to be bad, no matter what bullet you're shooting! Only you can decide if you can handle it. My rum weigh's 11lbs fully loaded and kicks about like a 270 with my 4 port side discharge brake on it.
The recoil without the brake is stout, no doubt about it. It's a huge case shooting a lot of powder behind a heavy bullet. Those are all the elements that create recoil, and you have them all in the .338 RUM. You say that it is going to be a mixed use rifle, and I am not sure what that means. I think that you, and a lot of others, are too worried about noise. I don't mean that you want to go to the range with no ear protection, stay a couple of hours, and absorb all of your noise plus that from everyone else. That's a recipe for deafness at a young age. My point is that there are hearing protection devices available that will completely protect you from any recoil noise, and you probably should not let the noise issue make the decision for you. It is just one small, solvable issue) I use a protection device (and I cannot remember what the brand is, but you could find them at Cabelas, Midway, and most other shooting supply outlets)that fits snugly and comfortably in the ear, lets in normal conversation level noise, and completely blocks recoil reports. The few times that you would shoot the rifle at game in the field simply would not be enough exposure to hearing damage levels to affect your hearing. So I agree with you on one point, but not on another. At the range, definitely use ear protection regardless of whether you or anyone else is or is not using brakes; in the field, you just don't shoot enough to cause any damage to your hearing. I cannot think of anything you would use a .338 on in the field where your daily limit would be in the dozens. We are usually talking about one or two shots per animal hunted per season. Plus, you would want to leave the brake on when hunting anyway so you can see where the bullet hits the animal.( I just looked up the protectors I use in the Cabelas catalog, and they have two brands that do the same thing: "Hear Defenders ($30.00)," and "Hearing II Protectors" ($12.00. I use a different brand, but they all operate the same.) I am 66 years old and have been shooting highpower rifles since I was 14. I also shot trap competitively for 20 years. I have over 50 rifles from a .22-243 Middlestead to a Browning highwall in 45-70, and I shoot a lot, and I mean a lot. I have no hearing loss whatever. The advantages to brakes are endless, the disadvantage is just one, the noise, and that problem is easily solved. Whatever .338 you buy, and I still recommend the RUM, put good brake on it, (I recommend Benchmarks, other guys will recommend their favorites) and enjoy your shooting by about tenfold. I posted earlier that the recoil from my >338 Rum with a Benchmark brake on it is about the same as an unbraked .243. Maybe less. Anyone who doubts that statement is more than welcome to come up to my place and we will take a number of heavy rifles out and shoot them with and without their brakes. It will be an education. Best wishes to you whatever you decide to do.
I agree. Use some noise cancelling headphones that amplify sounds all other times. Protects your ears but enhances your abilities during the hunt by quite a bit. I tried it for the first time this year and will always have a pair on now! Takes having a brake out of the equation.
Never pass up a kool-aid stand or lemonade stand. Remember it is a young American learning the American dream.
I have never tried those, but I am desperate need of even a small new toy, so maybe I will give them a try. I have heard good things about them from a number of sources. But I will stick to my recommendation for brakes until they plant me next to my favorite willow tree, and I do not understand, frankly, why some people are against them. I am repeating myself here and I apologize if people are tired of reading my posts on the advantages of brakes, but they have all positive features save the increased noise, which is easily dealt with. Why would anyone want to be beaten to a pulp by a .338 when you can shoot all day with no discomfort. Why would anyone want to shoot a heavy rifle, and big calibers are getting more popular by the minute, and eventually develop a flinch or a habit of closing your eyes as you pull the trigger as if that would reduce the recoil, or ruin your son or daughters interest in shooting because they do not want to endure even the recoil of a 25-06, develop a laundry list of bad habits all due to the fear of recoil when a simple 2-3 oz device installed on the end of your barrel solves all those problems. I hate recoil, and despite my years of experience, recoil was affecting my shooting significantly until I got to the point that I was closing my eyes and just jerking the trigger. I am the poster boy for the old adage "the jerk behind the trigger" as an excuse for poor shooting. Then I tried one brake, a Vais, on my 300 Win mag, and my whole world changed. Now I can hold rock steady prior to firing a shot; now I do not even blink when the gun fires; now I can see the bullet hit the target and know immediately the results of my shot; now I have a lot more confidence in myself and in my rifle. That is a luxury on the range, it can be a miracle in the field. I posted the story of the doe I shot and hit a little low and just behind the last rib. I saw the bullet hit the deer, clearly saw it hit her, and clearly saw exactly where I hit her. She ran off showing no sign of being hit. She ran 200 yards, jumped a fence, and disappeared over a hill. My partner swore I missed her, but I knew better. We searched for two hours, my partner getting more and more angry that we were wasting hunting time. I kept telling him that I saw the bullet hit the deer, but he does not use a brake and would not believe me. 21/2 hours later, we found the deer, about fifty yards from where she jumped the fence. She had been hit slightly low and just behind the last rib, and the bullet went right through her liver. How she went that far, I have no idea, but I do know that without the brake on my rifle, we would have given up and the deer would have been left to rot. I would have probably shot another one, and we would have had two dead deer instead of one, and one of the two would have been wasted. Even the scavengers would not have eaten the first doe. We hunt wheat fields, and the coyotes like those warm little mice and won't even give a dead deer a second look. There is a reason that gun builders like John Lazzeroni, Weatherby, and a host of others put brakes on their guns as standard equipment. And the reason is that the owners of those expensive guns expect them to shoot very well, and the builders want to make sure that they do for publicity purposes, and they know how much better the new owner of a fine rifle will shoot with a brake. I am sure there are many of you out there who are not particular bothered by recoil, and all I can say is God bless you, and keep doing whatever works for you. I shot on the range once next to a guy shooting a .416 Rigby without a brake. He was rock steady, kept his eyes open, and could tell you where every shot went. I admired that, but I can't do it, so it is brakes forever for me. Sorry this got so long, it is just that I hear on the range complaint after complaint about how poorly someone's gun shoots, and how there must be something wrong with it, and when I watch the guy shoot, he has both eyes closed and couldn't jerk the trigger any harder if he tried. I have politely offered some of them if they would like to shoot my rifle. Some get angry at the offer, some politely decline, and some take me up on it and then say that they are off to get a muzzle brake put on their rifle. The day before the opener two years ago, I was at the range and shooting 3/4 inch groups with my 300. The guy next to me was all over the place; could not even get the rifle sighted in. He had just bought the rifle, and did it right; he had a Remington 700 with a 3-9 Leupold on it. He asked me to help him, which I agreed to do of course, but I was not looking forward to shooting even his 30-06 without a brake. I got it sighted in and finally had it shooting inch and a half groups. He went back to shooting it and shot four to five inch groups. He was also closing his eyes and flinching badly. I had him shoot my 300 and to concentrate on relaxing, breathing normally, and keeping his eyes open. After about three groups, he was under an inch. He went off to get a brake installed. As I said, if it works for you, keep doing it, but it is brakes forever for me.
I did not read all of the posts but have a little input. My 338RUM BDL kicked pretty hard with 300gr loads but then I added a lighter synthetic stock (Bell Carlson Alaskan) and a lighter weight scope (zeiss conquest) it kicks significantly less now and I have no intentions of adding a brake to it.