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Pushing a .338 as fast as possible

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Unread 11-07-2002, 02:34 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 1
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible

I am extremely interested in hearing from DANTEC on his experiment with a 338/408 Chey TAC. I have been considering doing this myself but have really been wondering if I would gain much if anything over a 338/416 Improved. Has anyone else tried this cartridge? The 408 Chey Tac brass seems to be very strong and should have a lot of potential especially with a 338 300 grain bullet.

Also would appreciate hearing from Darryl about who has a reamer for the 338/416 improved and where I can obtain dies.

Prairie Gun Works has a 338 based on the 408 Chey Tac but they do not have any information on the cartridge's performance.

Neat website with some very good information. Wish I had found it a long time ago.
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Unread 11-07-2002, 06:03 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Canyon Ferry, MT
Posts: 324
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible

From Darryl:

"I have a friend with the exact same chambering as me who is shooting the 338/416 IMP to 3350 FPS and his group killed their elk a few yyears ago at 2890 yards with 4 witnesses from the Williamsport 1000 yard club."

A 300gr SMK at 3350 fps MV works out to around 950fps/604 ft lbs at 2890 yards. Drop is about 2.5" per yard at that distance. ( with a BC of .760)

An error in wind reading of only 1 mph results in an error of over two feet. a 3 mph error results in an error of 7 feet.

How many rounds does it take to make a killing shot on an elk at 2890 yards? If it is more than one, I have to put it in the category of "unsportsmanlike" and a cruel stunt. A sick self-gratification.

Your mileage may vary,


Wait a minute,

I guess that means that a cartridge capable of squirting a 300gr SMK at a mere 1400fps is an effective elk round out to 1000 yards. (in the hands of a practiced marksman, of course)

Lets see, a .338 WinMag can puke a 300gr SMK at 2450 no problem. That makes it a valid elk round out to 2100 yards....right? with a LRF of course.

Makes me wonder why anyone wants a 338 RUM.

I've heard on this board that a .338 WinMag is only good to about 600 yards or so.

A lot of conflicting information. I'm feeling dazed and confused. I hope someone can straighten me out....
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Unread 11-08-2002, 02:06 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 2,539
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible

I agree with Jerry completly.

The drop of about 2-3" per yard at 3000 yards and about 48" of wind deflection per 1 mph of wind is accurate with my program.

Undoubtedly conditions were perfect and sighter shots for elevation etc were taken before moving to the animal. These guys are not into this to make hailmary shots on game but exactly the opposite. They invest time and money in big ways to perfect their ability at this too.

A person shooting in less than perfect conditions at these ranges is foolish to say the least, but if conditions are perfect, the distance is near maximum but entirely doable with their equipment, experience and practices, no doubt. It is far out of my reach for many reasons and without much thought it would seem improbable to many.

Their odds are better than most I know that only hunt close range and practice regularly.

They have much more time to wait for a good shot, to accuratly check wind before the kill shot, to set up before the shot, and to take the shot etc. etc. etc.
Brent Moffitt
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Unread 11-08-2002, 02:09 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Canyon Ferry, MT
Posts: 324
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible

Thanks for the feedback Jerry.

Yes, I have studied the subsonic ballistics of the 300gr MK. They are impressive.

I guess in my mind, the change in point of impact at 2890 yards can change so dramatically by a minor wind change, or even a 20fps variation in MV, or the animal moving during the time of flight(3+ seconds?)that the probability of putting the first one into an 18" target at over 1.6 miles seems pretty low. Even after firing a "registration" (pardon my artillery terminology) on a point nearby.

But you are very correct in suggesting I do not have experience in this type of shooting. But, as an artillery FO with over 23 years service, I believe I can appreciate it more than most.

This type of shot is almost akin to shooting artillery. We use detailed meteorological data as well. Even the rotation of the earth during TOF is calculated. With perfect Met data(we fly a balloon to get conditions aloft, our max ord. can be several thousand feet), surveyed gun positiion, surveyed target location, and having registered on a known point, our first round rarely hits within 20 meters of a target even at a relatively close 10,000 meters. Granted, a 155mm howitzer is not as precise a weapon as LR heavy rifles.

I do not doubt the elk was killed at over 1.6 miles. Boyd did state the elk was killed by a double shoulder shot. (But an exit hole the size of a volleyball by a projo traveling under 1000 fps seems like a bit of embellishment.) I am curious how many shots were fired at the elk, how many bullets hit the elk, and where they hit the elk, by the time he was dead. I also am curious if the elk was a penned game farm elk, or a free roaming critter on public land.

I am interested and fascinated in this extreme LR shooting. I personally could not pull the trigger on a big game animal at that distance with a clear conscience though. Under the best of conditions, the chances of a first round humane kill are too unlikely for me.

Reading everything that Warren Jensen has related on the .408 Chey-Tac thread only reinforces my opinion on this.

Thanks again, MM

[ 11-08-2002: Message edited by: MontanaMarine ]
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Unread 11-08-2002, 04:08 PM
Writers Guild
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible


Let's say that the rifle combo has a mechanical accuracy of 1/2MOA at long range. At 2890yds, the min. group size would be 14.5". So it is mechanically possible to hit an 18" to 24" target at that range.

From the type of info that is posted, I would think that these LR rigs can shoot better then 1/2MOA, the bullet certainly is.

The wildcard are the conditions. I agree that conditions would have had to be ideal to even consider the shot. I guess we could ask the hunter how many shots actually were needed to make the kill. Anyone know?

Another point that is often mentioned, is that game hit at extreme ranges tend not to jump and run. I guess the noise from the shot is so subdued that it can't scare the animal and the impact is such that the animal feels pain but may not know why. Most account that their game moved a little and bedded down without much fuss.

I live in a town where many compete in the Ironman Triathalon. I even work with one. When you look over the task, you really think these people are nuts and that fatalities must be commonplace. However, when you see some people complete the event and just walk off to dinner, you know there are specialists in just about every extreme field/sport.

Any thoughts on what the mechanical accuracy of the 105's are? 10,000meters on an elk would be interesting. If you connected, you would not need to worry much about gutting or skinning. Would bullet placement still apply with this "cartridge" or would close enough be sufficient? To a 105, is an elk a varmint?

You put forth some good thoughts. I think most on this board have considered these in detail and are truly LR hunting because it is within their capabilities.

Makes you understand why a $3500 rangefinder is a must have.

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Unread 11-08-2002, 04:47 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Canyon Ferry, MT
Posts: 324
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible


I would estimate that the odds of a first round hit on an elk at 10,000 meters with a 155mm ( We still have 105s in the inventory, but the M198 155mm howitzer is the workhorse in the USMC)is far worse than 1 in 200. I'm not talking about effective casualty radius, I mean steel on steel, errrr...steel on fur [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] .

As far as mechanical accuracy on a howitzer, well thats classified. The guys who calculate the firing solution are in the FDC(Fire Direction Center) The FDC sends a Quadrant, Deflection, and charge ( and shell/fuze/fuze setting) to the gun line. I am not a detailed expert in this aspect of the operation, because as an FO, I spend my time out front with the supported infantry, doing my piece. Anyway, the FDC arrives at their firing solution after factoring many things some of them, that come immediately to mind:
Range to tgt
air temp
powder temp( how hot is the gun?)
barometric pressure
powder lot
projo lot
fuze lot
barrel age (rounds fired at different charges)
muzzle velocity(each round is recorded, dependingb on the Btry or Bn Cmdr)
earth rotation

I know I have missed a few factors, but it is pretty comprehensive. Keep in mind that the Marine Corps is not noted for lots of new equipment( our barrels, and howitzers are well used)

I will tell you that one gun firing by itself can put succesive rounds a pattern generally within 50 meters or so on flat terrain at around 14000-16000 meters. Max range with RAP (Rocket Assisted Projectile) is over 25,000 meters.

Generally, a Battery(6 guns) or a Battalion (18 guns) will shoot the FFE (Fire For Effect)with each gun given a different firing solution to maximize the desired effect, based on the shape/size of the target. We normally disperse the FFE over a large area, up to several hundred meters in width depth or both.

When real precision on a point target is required, we load up a round called copperhead. Copperhead is a semi-active laser guided projectile. It contains a laser seeker and can steer itself to a point designated by a spotter illuminating the target with a laser. (this one can shoot minute of elk out to max range, but costs $10,000.00 a pop [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] )

Good shootin'. And thanks for your feedback. MM

[ 11-08-2002: Message edited by: MontanaMarine ]
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Unread 11-08-2002, 09:54 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: tennessee
Posts: 480
Re: Pushing a .338 as fast as possible

Maybe I can help. As far as I know there were 5 shots. Three spotters and two actualy at the elk.The forth, I belive went a little high, they corrected with the next and killed it. One round hit the elk. The bullet made a hole that big because it tumbled once inside the animal. Darryl shot one at 2100yds and it went through the elk and a tree behind it.
And yes 300grs of lead is deadly at any range.

Montana Marine, as far as embellishment goes Darryl is one of the most distinguished LR shooters/hunters on this board and alive. I doubt that he has any reason to lie.

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