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Is enough ever realy enough?

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Unread 01-24-2010, 05:31 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LaPine Or.
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Is enough ever realy enough?

Is there such thing as having too much gun.... maybe, if you want to shoot rock chucks with a 338edge, some would consider it overkill, still others go for it on a never ending search for ''the perfect tool''.
My question concerns factory rifles being shot with as much precision as can be attained per individual rifle without crossing into the ''custom L/R realm''.
Like many folks I live on a budget. As much as id like to break into the ''custom L/R realm'' its not feasable for me right now(But Ill keep deraming anyway).
I own 2 rifles that I load for and shoot to 600yds on paper pretty regularly. Ones a 270 wsm and the other is a 300 wby. Both are factory model 70 Winchesters. Both shoot well (by my standards) to the range im comfortable shooting to. My personal ability somewhat limmits my range while hunting to around 400 yds. No Im not bringing up ethics here. just my own ability to place my 1st shot confidently where it needs to go.
I own a Browning A-Bolt in 338 win mag(a gift from a good friend of my family) that id like to shoot accurately to 600yds give or take, but I cant seem to find anyone that thinks this is a good idea. Its always the same ol ''if your gonna build a 338 go with a RUM or EDGE'' etc.
The problemb is I HAVE AN A-BOLT, and I dont have deep enough pockets to go the other route. And Im not ''Building'' one, its already built.
Now Im not above putting a new stock on it or trigger in it, but Im not gonna ''Build'' it(keep the action and scrap the rest).
I know that out to 600yds or so(the range im going for here) my 300 wby is gonna keep up with it or maybe even surpass it to some extent for the purpose of whackin deer,elk,and blackbears, but the big advantage is bullett construction IMO. Do I need it for such game? No, not nessisarily, but ''if i can kill em with a 270wsm or 300 wby why not kill em ''DEADER'' with more authority with the 338?'' Ive shot a few 338's and dont mind the recoil, its well within the tollerable range for me.

Am I splitting hairs here, or wasting $ that I should be putting toward a future custom rig someday? Should I just scope it and see what I can get for accuracy and live with an ugly black plastic stocked, sponge triggered rifle? It just seems a waste of a what could be a fun new toy!
Any advice on this one will be apreciated, and I am on a budget remember, I can only do a little here and there. Thanks, winmag
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'

"I have No idea why that cop made me ride in the back seat, when I Clearly called Shotgun!"
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Unread 01-24-2010, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,546
Re: Is enough ever realy enough?

I think your 300 wby is more than enough gun for 600 yards on deer,elk,and blackbears, even a 1000yards. Mot sure what you mean by bullet construction but I'll take a stab at it...There's a vast selection of excellent 30 caliber hunting bullets that will do the job. The animal won't now whether they were hit by a 30 or 338 caliber bullet.

As far as what to do with your 338, it sound like your not to happy with the way it looks and such, so if you can afford to tweak it with a new trigger, stock and such...I say go for it, turn it into a looker and make yourself happy.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,072
Re: Is enough ever realy enough?

I would stay with the proven 300 Wby and go up on a forum where the 338 Win will be a treasure such as 24hour BSfire and sell it. I would then take the money immediately and buy an action such as a Surgeon or whatever in a magnum or Lupua bolt face. I would dunk the action in some 90W gear grease and put it away. A year or so from now I would I would buy a barrel from one of the group buys on Snipers Hide or from one of the clearances of the barrel makers. And over five or so years I would assemble all of the components needed. Then when everything was at hand I would try to find the funds to have a really good gunsmith put them together.

If it was me I would get the Lapua bolt face.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 06:12 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Taranaki New Zealand
Posts: 186
Re: Is enough ever realy enough?

Am very sorry but I have to agree with Buffalo Bob. The Brownings tend to shoot well enough and can be very accurate but are pretty rubbishy these days. The trigger housing is made of zinc (toy car) metal, the trigger is gold painted plastic. The short lift bolt has no camming power if you get a case problem and the magazine box is too short for long loaded rounds. The threads in the reciever are usually total crap so that when it comes time to rebarrel, the poor smith loses sleep over ripped/gawled threads which is frikken unfair- especially with added pressure from folks saying that Browning A-bolts are oh so cool.

As far as the caliber goes, the 338 is ok but most of the available bullets have low BC's. The SMK's have high BC's but they don't expand very well at low velocities like the VLD bullets. With the 250 grain SMK, you will be limited to between 2650 and 2750fps at the muzzle and at the 200 yard mark, unless you are hitting a very solid animal, you will find the kills to be very slow, very dissapointing. Even the plain jne .308Win does a better job on lean animals at the 200 yard mark.

In a few months, you will probably be able to obtain the new .338 VLD bullets which will enable the .338 Win mag to really shine on a wider variety of animals at longer ranges/ lower velocities. For now, I wouldn't call the .338 over powered for general work. People too often read energy charts and take it as gospel that a bigger bullet means a bigger hole. They get the big gun and if things go right for them they gloat, but if trhings go wrong, like slow killing, they hush up, won't pass on information and nobody is any wiser.

Bullet construction is, as you can imagine, far more relevant to wounding than simply a theoretical unit of energy.

Here is a pic of a 200 yard shot from my .338 Winchester on a Goat. It was a slow kill, the animal did not offer enough resistance for the 250 grain SMK bullet at this velocity. The exit side of the rib cage is shown. I only peeled back the scapula a short distance, should have peeled it back more for a clearer picture of the continued exit wound. Note also the lack of bruising.

Cheers, Nathan

Last edited by Kiwi Nate; 01-25-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,612
Re: Is enough ever realy enough?

I have taken several animals beyond 600 yards with the 338 winchester including a moose at 1100 yards. It is a very potent cartridge. If there is sentimental value with your browning I would shoot it and if it shoots good then there is your answer. If it doesn't then your 300 wby will easily get you way out there if you can get it accurate enough. My longest shot with the 300 wby was 1340 yards on a deer. So you have the calibers, you just need to make them accurate. Do not try and build a gun on the browning action. It is very poor metal and the worst action in the business. Design is good, just p-poor metal in it.

If I were you I would sell the Browning and buy a Remington 338 ultramag and then you are good to however far you care to shoot. Cabelas had the stainless ones with a hard gun case and 3-12 scope on sale christmas for $569. Have it accurized and a brake put on it and it will last you a lifetime of fun hunting further than most anyone can legitimately hit something. Then the only guys that will have any advantage over you in a hunting weight carry rifle would be the ones with the 338-378 wby's.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
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Unread 01-25-2010, 05:41 PM
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Re: Is enough ever realy enough?

With the standard remy it's a roll of the dice whether you get a shooter or not.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 07:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 3,041
Re: Is enough ever realy enough?

My high school teacher shot over 50 + elk, his favorite rifle 338. I have a buddy that has taken 45+ bull, his fav. 300WEATHERBY, THERE YOU GO your all set My 325 wsm Browning has since 06, taken 3 big muleys, 3 6x6,1 5x5, 2 bear, with several past 500

Last edited by sp6x6; 01-25-2010 at 07:45 PM.
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