1000yd range-7mm vs. 338 Lapua

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by KQguy, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    322
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    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.
    KQguy
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    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.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Messages:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    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.

    BH
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,266
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    KQ

    I would have to agree with Fifty all the way on this one.

    I use to shoot 1000yd matches with a 7mm because it was so flat
    and compensated for my inability to read wind and mirage.

    But with better balistic 338 bullets I would go with the 338 with out
    a moments thought.( I still need the help).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,843
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    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..
     
  6. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    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.

    JeffVN
     
  7. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,131
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    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).
     
  8. Steve Shelp

    Steve Shelp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    KQguy,
    I think JeffVN had a good point that needs to be clarified. The answer may make this decision easy. What style of competition are you talking about, F-Class or BR? If your thinking F-class I believe calibers larger than 8mm are illegal. IF the 338 is legal in F-Class then the recoil factor is a VERY big factor to consider as JeffVN pointed out also. So you can pretty much rule out a 338 for F-Class period, regardless of accuracy potential.

    If it's BR competiton you are thinking about then yes, I would still agree with your gunsmiths advice on another caliber besides the 338. I'm the guy that BH referred to in the previous post that shot the 338 a lot. After 4 solid years of BR competiton with my 338 (keep in mind my rifle was in HG class which weighed #74 so recoil wasn't an issue) there was more than adaquate data to support the fact that until we get better quality 338 bullets it will not consistantly win in BR competition. I had my share of wins, but the better bullets available for the other calibers is the difference. I have my 338 barrel sitting in the corner waiting on Berger to finish up their 338 match bullet. Now that just might put the 338 over the top in accuracy department.

    Many will argue the "advantage" of the high BC of the 300 SMK, but I've been beat more often than not firing right next to 6.5s, 7mm's, and 30's in the same conditions with lesser BC bullets while shooting my 338. It's the quality of the bullet not the BC that wins in BR. Some disagree, but the statistics show this clearly based on several years of data.
    I can honestly say I won 1 match against 2 of the hottest shooters at that time because of the high BC of the 338 bullet in those 4 yrs. Both of these shooters were firing 300 Ackleys with Berger 210s and the wind was blowing at Hawks Ridge Gun Club here in NC. Both of those guys have won National championships and won at the World Open match at Williamsport using their 300 Ackleys. On this one day all 3 of us fired our 10 shot strings at the same time in a shoot-off. When I got done firing I looked up and Mike was pulling his bolt out and Alvin just fired his last shot also. I shot a 12" group and Mike and Alvin shot 18" + groups. All 3 groups were much wider than they were high. There were no other qualifiers for the shoot-off that day because the other relays had all shooters blown off paper and nobody advanced to the shoot-off. Just to give you an idea of the wind that day. That is the only time I can say the BC of that bullet won a match for me in 4yrs of competition.
    There are friends of mine that still shoot the 338 in BR and they do a ton of work to the bullets. But the win percentage of a 338 over the other calibers has not gone up at all even with all of the work.

    Now with that said, I'm not saying the 338 isn't accurate. It just isn't acurate enough to beat the good 6.5s and 30s in BR competition consistantly. When I'm talking about loosing a BR match I'm talking by an inch or so. I have agg'd in the 7"-8" region for (10) 10-shot targets over an entire season in any and all conditions with my 338. But the other calibers simply do better.. consistantly.

    As far as the points made by Kirby and the others in regard to long range hunting up to elk size game, then the nod goes to the 338 hands down. That 300gr bullet is a big hunk of lead. I would always laugh when firing my 338 at the range during the sight-in period. It would throw hunks of sod and dirt into the air while the 6mm and 6.5s sometime are hard to see the impacts if it had rained recently. Lots of energy there at 1000yds.

    So what is your priority? long range hunting with some competition... then the answer is a 338! If competition is your priority with some hunting then... 7mm or other calibers and adjsut your range according to animal size.

    Steve
     
  9. jeff 300

    jeff 300 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    882
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Best think i can tell you is a lot smith out there have no clue what long range hunting is are what it takes. When i started looking for a smith i talked to a lot of guys that could build a rifle. but not many really had a clue what i wanted. i could not make up my mind and i didn't like the one that wanted to build me the gun they liked. but the first time i talked to Kirby he had an answer for ever question i ask. the best thing you can do is to talk to a smith that shoots like you want your rifle to. i was wanting a smith that i could meet and see his work. but i am so glad i went with some one that builds the kind of rifle i needed and shoots the way i wanted to. give some of the guys on here a chance you won't be sorry
     
  10. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Steve,

    Only a minor correction... the caliber limit for F-Class is .35 cal. I don't believe I've ever heard of anyone firing that kind of slug in a match, though.

    Given the 22# limit, including scope and sans brake... seems like about the 'max' people are willing to put up with is about a .300WSM w/ 210gr VLDs, 7mm WSM w/ 180VLDs, etc. 70-100rds in competition takes a toll on folks over a day.

    On the BR side of things, though... would you go back to the .338 if/when Berger gets around to making .33 cal VLDs?

    Monte
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  11. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    744
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    F Class

    The International F Class rules go up to 8mm calibre in the US the 35 cal was put in so the 338's could be used in clubs on existing ranges and most clubs will let a muzzle break be used ar club level.

    Ok here is what I have A 7mm short mag based cartridge for 800 yards+ on targets in the same action a 6mmX55SMc for back to 800 yards and to 1200 in still conditions.

    Then for hunting I have another rifle a 338WBX its a 338 Edge improved with 60 degree shoulder.

    now if I was you I would have a switch barreled rifle made with a 7mm and another barrel in 338 Edge to use the same boltface.

    if you were to have 1 barrel a 30 cal that will launch the 240gr matchkings for game and a 210-220 match projectile on the targets if the 240's don't group aswell. I would also have a muzzle break fitted that could be removed if needed. if you are not shooting F Class only 1000yd BR with a light gun and hunting the muzzle break would not need to be removed.

    You have to tell us what target competitions you want to shoot.

    Cheers Bill
    Australia

     
  12. Steve Shelp

    Steve Shelp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    I have seen enough from my setup to know the accuracy potential is there. Just need a good bullet. I will be shooting a 338 when Berger gets theirs bullets in procduction and giving them a run for their money. If it's better than what I shot before, then I will be using my 338 again in BR. So the simple answer is yes.

    Thanks to you and Wild Bill on the F-Class rules clarification. I've have seen some guys try the 300WSM with 210s and some haven't finished the course of fire. I couldn't imagine getting pounded by a 338 the whole afternoon lying on my belly. My 6.5x55 Ackley BR LG worked great for me when I have competed in F-Class. It's is a good fun game to where you get to learn a lot from a different perspective.



    KQguy,
    Wild Bill has a point in the switch barrel setup. I have multiple barrels and bolts for my guns also. Didn't even think of that angle in my first post. But he even went further to say if you keep the same bolt face for both cases and simply change caliber with the barrel itself, then it's that much cheaper and easier. Just a thought to consider. Switching barrels isn't very hard and doesn't require and lot of expensive tools. An action wrench and a barrel vise. Then some place to mount your barrel vise to a sturdy bench is all. Your gunsmith does the hard work when he sets the headspace during the chambering operation. It only takes a matter of minutes to swap out a barrel. I've done it at the range many times. You will have to put some fore-thought into your scope mount setup to be able to repeat your zero setting is all. But again that isn't difficult.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  13. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    If shooting in Canada

    You want to review the F class rules if you plan on traveling to shoot. The big shoot in Connaught limits to 8mm and NO MAGNUMS. Our ranges are regulated such that some ranges can only shoot up to certain cals/bullets/effective distances.

    Most of us never worry as shooting a big boomer in F class is fun most don't want or need.

    I think the idea of a switch barrel or two rifles is a great idea. If you compete and want to do well, you need to optimize the gear for that specific task.

    Rarely do LR hunting and comp specs agree.

    Jerry
     
  14. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    +1 on the concept of a switch barrel for competition use. I have one in almost done right now - as in waiting for the reamer to come back so it can get chmbered up and delivered; I opted for a tightneck straight .284 / tightneck 7/300WSM. The .284 is for the non-magnum ranges and calm days, and the Short Mag for the windy and nasty days when my needs for a large margin for error are at their highest. :)

    JeffVN