300 RUM vs 338 RUM

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bigngreen, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    There have been some great threads lately on the 338 RUM size chamberings which has kinda gotten me to thinking about why would a guy build a 300 RUM over a 338 RUM?
    It looks like all things equal and shooting elk in the 1000yrd range, pushing hunting bullets like the Accubond the 338 RUM would be an easy choice. Most of the time I see the 200gr Accubond out of the 300 running in the 3200 fps ish range and the 338 pushing the 225 Accubond just over 3300 fps range. Running these numbers there is an advantage to the 338, not a huge advantage but combining that with barrel life wouldn't the 338 be the clear choice over all or am I missing something?
     
  2. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Fiftydriver, Put it better than me in , LRH caliber for big game below, post #14.Not everyone is mainly a elk hunt, very vast choice of bullets, and he said with his brake he can have one shooting like a 243.Me I started hunting elk at a young age w/243 all I had, next 7mm, then I jumped right to 338, I still dont even own a 308 caliber, which is kinda odd. My 16 year old son already stole my 340 from me, when I get caught up, that will be his 18 b-day w/good optics gift.
     
  3. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    For me, because a 300 is enough, I don't hunt elk, I hunt blacktail and mule deer and hogs in California. My 300rum has less recoil and 30cals have a great selection of bullets though the 338 is rapidly catching up. When i bought my 300 rum the 338 rum didnt exist. My next custom was going to be a 338 lapua improved, but now it looks like its going to be one of Kirbys 300Raptors. If the 265gr aluminum tipped 30cals ever take off, a 338 will be an after thought.
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Recoil doesn't play in the equation for me, we have so many excellent brake choices that there is no reason to not shoot something because of recoil.

    I'm in the process of putting together a 338 RUM, I was initially looking at the 300gr bullets but then looking real close at what the 225 bullets will do they really look good in the ranges we generally catch elk which tend to be right in the 800-1200 yrd range in most of our spots. I've had a lot of guys say to go the 300 RUM route but they almost all ways caveat with barrel life which for me is a killer since I shoot a lot. If I built a 300 RUM by hunting season it would be suffering, which building the 338 would seem to help while maintaining similar performance, maybe I'm thinking the 338 will get more life than it really will?

    I can see if your just shooting light game and don't feel the need for a larger hole but for me and everyone I know elk are an option at all times, you may set up on a clearing across the canyon and you may have an elk or you may have deer so you better have a rifle set up to be effective on elk at the range you looking at. Heck, I've shot antelope, deer and elk from the same spot before.
    I'm just curious what would push a guy one way or another since these are both popular chamberings.
     
  5. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Yea. I definitely understand the argument for the .338. Like I said the 338rum didn't exist when I bought my rifle. Plus being a left handed shooter my options were extremely limited in early spring of 2000. So the model 700lss was the ticket. I love my 300 but if I ran across a good deal on one of the big boys I might bite.
     
  6. Rocky Mountain

    Rocky Mountain Well-Known Member

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    It's probably animal size I think that makes a guy buy a 338 edge for elk or a 300UM for mule deer but not always sometimes just personal choice comes into it a whole lot.
     
  7. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Barrel life does the pushing you mentioned. I love to shoot both but if I was doing one and shoot it a lot it would be the 338 RUM. Barrels will last forever in comparison to the 300 RUM. As far as killing something either is fine.
     
  8. Sniper 865

    Sniper 865 New Member

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    gun)This is only my opinion, but I think both these calibers are overkill for deer, but they are efective to be sure. Balisticly speaking, the 338 Lapua has the "edge" on the 338 Edge anyway so I am not sure why the 338 edge or the 338 RUM are such a debated subject anyway. I built a 300 Rum several years ago and have no reason to complain about the performance on deer or elk. My longest deer kill is only 865 yrds, but shooting a 180 grn Barnes TSX @ 3470 fps it almost blew the oposite shoulder off the deer. This rifle load combo has killed over a dozen elk, and though bullets pass through at anything below 700yards,all bullets recovered were recovered under the hide of the oposite shoulder or very close to it. I have been feeling my way through this log range hunting, shooting field for alot of years now, and am by no means a profesonal, I do my own gun smithing within my limits and learn what I can from other sources and all my rifles are 30 cals and shoot sub moa @ 100yards. One thing I have learned using smaller caibers is that light bullets just dont have the down range performace esential for LONG range reliable kills. In my opinion this requires a minimum of 30 cal.,a high quality ajustible optic, a premium, tough ,weight retaining bullet, and most important, practice at long range targets.
     
  9. Rocky Mountain

    Rocky Mountain Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little confused you say the 300UM and 338UM are overkill on mule deer and elk at long range but then you go on to say that a big 30 cal is minimum as you dont fell the smaller cals don't kill reliable enough at these long ranges??
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Kinda thought the same thing. The ballistics on my 270 WSM with 165's are better than a 300 RUM with a 180 TSX.

    The reason for debating RUM's vs the Lapua is the ballistics are so close that for me it comes down to what is the most practical to build on a standard long action, the RUM wins that. If I were building on a custom action then I would step up to the Lapua improved of some kind to make a real performance jump.
     
  11. Akkill

    Akkill Well-Known Member

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    what about brass availavility , performance sounds good in favor of the 338 rum but ther`s only one manufacturer making brass for it.
     
  12. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Bigngreen, What kind of 270 bullet are you using at 165 grains and what is the BC. I have two 270 wby's that could push a 165 pretty good.

    Within the capable range of the cartridge how can a 270 wsm be ballistically superior to the 300 RUM going 500+ fps faster? I agree with what you were saying about the 338's but I can't figure this one out. If the 165 had a tremendous bc and the 180 bullet choice a poor bc it may make the windage pretty close but the 300 RUM would overwhelm it in all other ballistic categories seems to me. Just wondering.

    You hit the nail on the head with the popularity of the 338 RUM and 338-300 RUM over the Lapua. All are very close performance wise but the RUM's can be built easily on a standard magnum action. To the original question I think the 338 RUM is a better choice for quite a bit of shooting because of barrel longivity. I love my 300 RUM's and have taken game at very long range with them. But barrel life is not near the 338 RUM if you are getting one to shoot a lot.
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    First off, I would like to compare the Edge to the Lapua to clear some things up. First off, the 338 Edge and the 338 Lapua have nearly identical case capacities, generally, which case had the larger capacity depends solely on the brand of brass and even from lot to lot, the advantage can swing one way or the other, for all intent and purpose, they are identical in case capacity.

    That said, you take two rifles, loaded to the same chamber pressure with same bullet weight in same length barrels, one in the Edge, one in the Lapua, velocity of each will be nearly identical.

    The difference comes in the fact that most will load up the 338 Lapua until they see conventional high pressure signs common with regular cases such as the RUM brass. The lapua brass will not show pressure signs until well into the 70,000 psi range compared to the RUM brass that will start showing ejector rings at under 65,000 psi. Because of this many feel the Lapua is superior in performance when in fact they are simply putting more pressure in the same capacity case for the small advantage they are seeing with the Lapua.

    So, for all intent and purpose, with good handloads, there is NO difference at all between the Lapua and Edge class rifles.

    Now comparing the 300 RUM w/ 200 gr Accubond to the 338 RUM w/ 225 gr Accubond.

    In my experience building dozens of each of these rifles, in a 26" barrel length, you will see 3200 fps with the 300 RUM and just slightly over this, around 3225 fps with the 338 RUM. So again, when both are loaded to the same pressures, velocity is nearly the same. I have seen some 338 RUMs push 3300 fps but its pretty rare to see this without excessive pressures.

    Even with that, lets say you get 3250 fps out of the 338 RUM. The 200 gr Accubond has a BC of .595 from what Ihave tested. At least this is what I have to use to get my drop chart to match up with actual bullet drop from many rifles. The .550 BC for the 225 gr Accubond seems to be pretty much dead on.

    So right here, from a ballistic stand point, the 300 has an advantage. Slight but it is better with the higher BC. So lets look at some numbers with 200 yard zeros and 10 mph crosswind:

    300 RUM w/ 200 gr Accubond at 3200 fps
    _________________500 yards_____1000 yards
    Drop...........................-29.8"................-200.5
    Drift............................10.8".................49.3"
    retained velocity..........2502..................1905
    retained energy...........2780..................1611

    338 RUM w/ 225 gr Accubond at 3250 fps

    Drop............................-29.4"................-201.6
    Drift.............................11.6".................53.4
    Retained velocity..........2491.................1851
    Retained energy...........3101..................1712

    Teh differences between the two are so minute that they are well within the shooters margin of error. It would be very hard to say one would be better then the other as far as being able to hit a target precisely at long range.

    So lets look a bit deeper and look at the bullets. The 225 gr 338 Accubond has a sectional density of .281. The 200 gr 30 cal version has a SD of .301. That is not a huge advantage for the 30 cal but all else being the same, the 30 cal bullet WILL outpenetrate the 338 bullet, no question, especially when impacting heavy bone. Still, both will easily penetrate deep enough for any big game hunting we will do on this half of the world so again, basically a draw.

    That said, on soft tissue impacts, the larger 338 caliber bullet will displace more soft tissue which is the reason they are more impressive terminally at longer ranges. They just move more vital tissues then the smaller calibers. For this reason, on heavier game, the 338 caliber has to be given the nod as it will and is more terminally authoritative then the smaller calibers.

    It really comes down to two aspects, possibly three.

    First.
    What do you need for power. As mentioned that both have plenty of powder for anything you want to do inside 1000 yards with well placed shots. I am not one to believe in the theory that you can use to much gun. There is no such thing as a deader or more dead or deadest animal, dead is dead. Generally the proper bullet selection is the critical part. Some claim that these big guns just destroy game animals. That is not the case. Using a light, hyper velocity bullet is what causes extreme entrance and exit wounds. Us a heavy for caliber bullet with proper construction and there will not be excessive tissue damage. Drive muzzle velocities up over 3400 fps from the muzzle and you get what you should expect, dramatic tissue damage.

    For deer hunting, I see no real reason to choose a 338 magnum for a dedicated deer rifle, UNLESS your shooting extreme range, well past 1000 yards or in areas where the wind can be a serious problem or possibly in areas where its very important to drop the animal as soon as possible. For all else, in MY opinion, the 300 RUM is a better dedicated deer chambering then the 338s.

    Second.

    Recoil. Many will say that recoil does not effect them. That is fine, it may be true for some but I have never, NEVER seen a shooter or hunter NOT shoot a very powerful rifle much better when using a muzzle brake compared to the same rifle without a muzzle brake. In fact, I have seen very few that shot large calibers, 300 RUM class or larger that did not cut their average group size down by at least 1/3 moa when using a muzzle brake compared to no brake. Often its much closer to a 1/2 moa reduction in group size with the brakes. Could they cleanly harvest big game without the brake, certainly but with the brake, their margin of error for shot placement is dramatically increased because they simply shoot the rifles better, they can relax and concentrate on the shot instead of "Piloting" the heavy recoiling rifles.

    Plus, a quality muzzle brake allows younger shooters, or ladies or those that are sensitive to recoil (nothing at all wrong with admitting that either) to shoot rifles that allow them to dramatically extend their effective range on big game. I have heard many times that if you need a muzzle brake, your shooting to big of a rifle, BUNK! With todays technology, why not use a brake, no real good reason not to.

    Add to that, the ability to use larger rifles. If a new shooter can shoot a 300 RUM just as easily as a 243 Win with the same level of precision, WHY NOT use the larger chambering, especially on larger game.

    That said, even with the best muzzle brakes, you simply can not tame down a 338 RUM like you can a 300 RUM. This is because of a couple things. Bullet weight is one and the other is muzzle gas pressure. This is what makes any muzzle brake work, muzzle gas. The higher the pressure at the muzzle, the more effective the brake will be at reducing felt recoil. The larger the bore size, the lower the muzzle pressure the less effective the muzzle brakes are at reducing felt recoil. This is not to say muzzle brakes are not extremely effective with 338 caliber magnums, they certainly are but even the best designs will reduce the 338s recoil to that of around a 270 Win or 30-06. Not bad at all but to some still to much to shoot accurately. The 300 RUM however can be reduced to that of around the 243 in a sporter weight rifle which anyone with practice can easily master.

    Third.

    Barrel life. I mention this only because its a fact that the 338 RUM has a longer throat life then the 300 RUM. That said, if you heat either of them up, you can burn out a throat in under 400 rounds. IF you take care of both, you will easily top 1500 rounds with either of them.

    lets be honest, for most of us, how long would 1500 rounds of barrel life last with our big game rifles, pretty much a hunting carreer and thats with serious big game hunters. For those that do not or can not shoot as much as we usually do, either would easily last several hunting careers!!!

    For those that do shoot alot, yes the 338 RUM would get you 500 to 700 rounds longer barrel life but in my opinion is this worth considering the 338 RUM a better choice, not really, the top two considerations would far outweigh this thrid one in my opinion.

    So in closing, decide the following:

    -Game to be hunted
    -Recoil threshold or what recoil you want to put up with
    -Is barrel life a real concern or something we just hear talked about

    Answer those three questions honestly and it will point you right to the chambering that is best for your needs.
     
  14. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    LTLR, I've been shooting the 165 Matrix ballistics bullets. They have been outstanding so far, I can easily run them 3050 fps out of my WSM and I've been using a G1 BC of .650 and it has been close enough to be on target to 1435yrds so far, I need to refine the BC after the barrel gets back from Nitriding but it seems to be in that range. The Nitriding should let me run in the 3100-3150 range comfortably from the sounds of it.

    Your right the 300 RUM should be superior, but if you load a ballistic brick into it you effectively castrate a cartridge like the 300RUM. It was more a response to a previous post where the 30 cal was considered a minimum but the load was with a 180 TSX which can easily be out ranged IMO, only a response to that, not a general statement for sure!

    300 RUM 180 TSX @ 3470 300yrd zero at 5612ft 10 mph wind

    800yrd= 2044fps 1670 ftlbs 10.8 moa path 4.4 moa wind
    1000yrds= 1746fps 1219 ftlbs 17.2 moa path 6.0 moa wind

    270 WSM 165 Matrix @ 3053

    800yrd= 2095fps 1608ftlbs 12.2 moa path 3.4 moa wind
    1000yrd= 1883fps 1299ftlbs 18.6 moa path 4.5 moa wind