I talked to a gunsmith the other day about building me up a rifle chambered for the 338LM,I told him it was for 1000yd.target shooting and possibly long range hunting.He insisted the 7mm would be a better choice,he said it would be superior to the 338 in accuracy,and would do just as well for hunting at 1000yd.I alway's thought the 338 would be more accurate at long ranges because it is less affected by wind drift.Also,would the 7mm have enough energy left at 1000yds. to drop large game?The more input I get the better,so I can make the right choice for what I want to do.BTW,Elk would be the biggest animal I would hunt.
What 7mm chambering is he referring to. I can think of no 7mm factory offering that would offer better on game performance at 1000 yards then a 338 Lapua. Ballistically, sure they may shoot flatter with the velocity edge they have over the big 300 gr SMK but terminally they would not compare.
Then add to that the barrel life issue. The Lapua would be nearly twice that of rounds like the 7mm STW and RUM
As far as accuracy, if both are loaded with quality bullets there should really be no real difference in accuracy potential.
The key here is on game performance. If your hunting deer only, the larger 7mm will work great out to 1000 yards. If you are serious about elk, I would not even consider anything other then the 338 Lapua given the choices you have.
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IF you want to compete your gunsmith gave you good advice. Hunting different story.
Go to any of the 1k club websites and see what is winning and the 338 will not show up normally. (Ohio, VA, PA, Montana, Mo, NC, etc)
No one is winning with a 338. Problem is match quality bullets for the 338. There really are not any real good ones.
The 338s have to be sorted to high heaven for base to ogive and weight first to get a shootable number. The 338 SMK and 250 Scenar are the only two being used right now by anyone with the vast majority using the SMKs.
Steve Shelp posts here and you can PM him and ask him what he goes thru to shoot his 338 Yogi in comp. By far, Steve and Dave Tooley, have more experience than anyone shooting the 338 in the 1000 yard BR game. Steve is about the only one left shooting the 338 at 1k, now several use the 338 Lapua AI, 338/404 or 338/416 for one mile matches. However, the one mile record is held by a 7mm WSM.
The 7mm has numerous high BC match quality bullets with Berger, Sierra, Carterucio and JLK both in the 168, 175 and 180 grain range.
Lot of cases can be used to make the 7mm a LR match gun and hunting gun. 300 weatherby, several RWS variations for example to name a few and more than several top notch LR smiths who have years of experience building both types and shooting them for LR hunting and 1k comp. Dave Tooley-NC, Bruce Baer, Mark King-PA, John Myer-VA, Leonard Baity-NC are just few and have the proven ability and all are "Top Recommened Gunsmiths" on 6mmbr.com. You cannot go wrong with any of those and they know how to build a gun to do both and be competitive IF you want to compete.
For a hunting rifle the smith is not correct pure and simple. For competition I have tubes in 338 Lapua Improved and even with the brake the bag manners are so poor that it make it difficult to use that round and win..
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I am currently shooting the 7WSM in 1,000 yard F-Class competitions. It is flat shooting and teh 180 grain Bergers hold into the wind like crazy. However, I would not even consider a .338LM or bigger for 1,000 yard F-Class use. The simple reason is you CANNOT use a muzzle break during a F-Class match, and your rifle with scope cannot weigh more than 22lbs. With that in mind, it is not practical - to me anyway - to shoot anything much bigger then the 7 or 300 WSM without a break; it will wear you and beat on you over the 60 round course of fire and 60-70 rounds shot during a match. If you could use a break, then the sky and your budget is the limit.
Kirby and others are correct; the 338 brings a bunch more energy to the chosen target at and beyond 1,000 yards.
I'm gonna re-scope my 7mm RemMag and try 1k. It's just burnin me up to give it a shot. Or three. It's a box stock M70 with a 26" bbl. I missed a deer at 602, but that was my fault( wrong reticle tic). I think the gun has another 400 yrds in it. If I'm good enough(which I Probably aint).