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Reloading Berger Bullets


338-06 Exploratory thread

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Unread 11-04-2007, 02:08 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 118
338-06 Exploratory thread

I have a 338 Ultramag that is a powder hog. lol (I plan to keep it though)
I am looking on building 3 338-06 heavy barrel rifles with parts that I have on hand (barrels, stocks, actions etc...)
The said velocity with with a 250 grain SMK is around 2500 to 2550 with the down range velocity at 1000 yards of 1386 fps. I would use the full 28 inch length of the barrel to squeeze all the velocity I can get.

Why 338-06?
1. On hand 5000 maybe 10,000 unfired mil brass. (All would be loaded with 250 grain SMK's)
2. Rifle would also work on big game in Northen States. (Moose, bear Elk....)
3. 54 plus or minus grains of powder VS. 95 grains in the Ultramag.
4. I want to have an insurance policy in case ammo ever runs out or is no longer available in quantities.
4. Before anyone asks, I hunt off quads so weight is not the issue here. ;)
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Unread 11-04-2007, 03:14 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
I think that the 338-06 is a great round , very effecient with plenty of power for elk at moderate ranges. I would probably opt for the Ackly improved version to help keep the brass life a bit. Your expected velocity of 2500fps is very reasonable , I have a friend that shoots a 338-06 Ai with 225gr bullets out of a 24" barrel right at 2700fps with no pressure signs at all he has mentioned that he tried some 250gr pills and got them to right at 2700fps before the bolt started to get sticks but thats a good ways into high pressure signs. I'm pretty sure he is using the new VV N-550 powders. This powder is said to be hard of barrels but I think that with the bore to bowder ratio of the 338-06 it shoulden't be any trouble at all till mayeb 3000 rounds !!

I don't think I would shoot game with the 250gr SMK at these speeds as they might not open reliably. I know that the Nosler Balistic tip bullets in .338m cal are alot tougher than the smaller cals like 30 and 7mm so those might be a good option also.
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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Unread 11-04-2007, 03:17 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 286
Send me one that you build and I'd be happy to test it for you,....free of charge even. ;)
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Unread 11-05-2007, 12:57 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Augusta GA
Posts: 74
I have a 338-06 built from a mauser 98 action. Though not intended for a long range rig, it does shoot very accurate with my handloads, 54 gr IMR 4064, 200gr Nos.BT's. Have used it to stop many a deer in their tracks. I only have a sporter A&B barrel on it, but it shoots great for my purpose. I too have wondered if it could be used to really stretch out and reach critters at long distance, however many people have said it is a not suited for 300 plus yards??? Keep us informed on your progress.
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Unread 11-05-2007, 01:12 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 748

Hi go with a 338-06 improved as you will get more performance with better headspace
especily if using ex mil cases as they have a smaler capacity to start with.

Try the 225gr accubonds they are a perfect fit in the 338-06AI

If you wanted you could also shorten the neck and fireform the cases out to get more capacity.

Cheers Bill
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Unread 11-05-2007, 09:57 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 205
First let me sat that I am a FIRM believer in AI's. That said; you already have a very "improved" 338, if you are trying to reduce powder use etc. I think I would stay away from the improved version of the 338-06. EVERY reason stated by the others for doing an AI is dead spot on but against the reasons for building these rifles. If you need better case life, more velocity, and heavier bullets, shoot the RUM.

However, if you do decide to go with the AI version, I will be glad to help fire-form all those rounds with you, heck, if you make good coffee I might even help you load 'em.
Genises 27-3: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison...
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Unread 11-07-2007, 11:07 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8
I just received my 338-06 barrel from Thompson Center custom shop for my Encore. Its a SS heavy barrel 26 inches long with a muzzletamer.I put a limb savior recoil pad and resonator on the encore. I'm also using hornady 200 grain spiral points and IMR 4064 for my handloads. I loaded it just a tad over 2500 FPS.Sighted it in at 2 and half inches high at 100 yds. The groups are less than an inch.I can't wait to use it for deer season this year.
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