338 edge

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by zkodiak, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. zkodiak

    zkodiak Well-Known Member

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    Im having kirby build my first custom. I was deciding on a 338 ultra or edge. So here is the question. Im have only been relodaing for about three years and never a wild cat. So when i get my info i look in a book. So for the edge were do you get the info to start loads at. If i choose this caliber i will be mostly shooting 225 and 250 graind bullets. So any info would be great.gun)
     
  2. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    defensiveedge.net Has all the load data you could want for the edge.

    BigBuck
     

  3. lamiglas

    lamiglas Well-Known Member

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    I had mine built by defensive edge and when i picked it up, he gave me all the load data, specs, and instructions. i am sure kirby would do similar.
     
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    You are refferring to the 338-300 ultramag and there are plenty of people on here shooting that round by whatever name so load data is no problem. I built many of these from the late 90's until about 2001 when the 338 ultramag came out with virtually the same performance in a standard cartridge elimininating the need for the 338-300 ultramag. Both are going to hit best accuracy around 3250-3300 fps with the 225's and 3100-3150 fps with the 250 grain bullets. It is going to vary a bit between individual rifles. Both are easy to load for and very accurate. When you can get everything over the counter for the 338 ultramag to me that is by far the best choice and why me and most others quit fooling with the 338-300 ultramag when the standard one came out I think around 2001 or so. Several gunsmiths called them by various names in the 90's and after the turn of the century but most went away with the 338 ultramag introduction. Edge seems to work on this website. I just always stick to calling a cartridge what it is so there is never any confusion as to what it is.

    The 338-300 is still a great round but no better than the 338 ultramag. I actually prefer the standard 338 ultramag because it feeds better through standard magnum actions. The beauty of the 338-300 in the first place back in the 90's was a guy could get a little more performance than the 340 wby on a standard magnum bolt face. For the guys wanting a big time high performance 338 and the money for a custom then the big time cartridges are out there overwhelming the performance of the 338-300 or standard 338 ultramag. But the ultramag is still tops on a standard magnum action and I don't see anything out there better than the ultramags for that purpose. They have a niche filled there and do it well.

    If you have a standard magnum donor action and wanting to save money the ultramags are a good choice. If you are doing a custom rifle with custom action you should look at some with performance well beyond the ultramags. Wind estimation is everything in long range shooting and the most unkown variable so all the velocity you can get is critical to iliminate the most of that unknown variable. The high performance 338's are just as accurate as the ultramags so why limit yourself if you are doing a custom anyway.

    I have 338-300 ultramags and a 338 ultramag and they are top shooters but they are what they are and no more. Best on a standard mag bolt face. But they can not compete velocity wise with cartridges based off the 378 wby, 416 rigby or improved lapua cases. But for those you have got to spend the money for a wby mk 5 action or a custom action costing more money. Velocity and wind are important. There is quite a bit of difference between the 30-06 and a 300 wby. Just ask anybody who has shot both of those. About the same difference between the ultramags and an improved 338-378 wby. Whole different league. If you are going custom I would consider stepping up so you are not dissapointed if you happen to shoot side by side one day with a guy shooting a big rifle thinking you had the best.

    I don't mean to offend anyone on here but I seem to read a lot about the same particular rifles and I want new guys on here to understand a little about the history of all these rifles and what the true performance level is and how they stack up against one another. I have or have had and shot most all of them and have done it for many years. I just want the new young guys on here to understand there are many choices out there and the world doesn't revolve around a couple current popular choices. Talk to a lot of older smiths who have extensive knowledge of big guns and seen many fads come and go. I have no biases and don't care what a guy shoots but I do want a guy to base his decisions with the most information he can gather. I hunt with all calibers based off all the popular cartridges and enjoy all of them because they all have there purpose.
     
  5. highridge1

    highridge1 Well-Known Member

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    338 ultra,338-300,340 weatherby,338-378,338 Lapua are all great rounds well suited for long range big game hunting. The weatherby 338-378 is a superb round but it is quite abit more spendy to shoot,will burn barrels out faster and I'm not sure if it really is as accurate as the 338-300 or Lapua. My 338-378 was very accurate but not quite as good as my 338-300. Another factor is the muzzle blast is quite abit more dramatic on the 338-378 and this can be a factor for some shooters. They all will get the job done very well ,alot of it is just preference. The Ultra's will definitley be easier on the wallet .
     
  6. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

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    ltlr you need to post some groups from your Hart barreled 338/378 wby and let these folks see how accurate the gun can be in the hands of a very capable reloader and shooter I can remember some serious sub-min groups shot up at your farm and down on the power lines near Jeff's...I would dare say some folks will comment that guns with free bore are inferior in accuracy...
     
  7. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Sniper2, thanks for the kind words. The freebore you and I worked out for the 338-300 ultramag chambering back in the 90's sure worked out great. Yours and all the others down that way all shot like a dream. I never heard anyone complain about the performance of their 338-300 ultras that I know of. I remember one day when we were shooting your 338-300 and another guys at about 650 yards on the range at the farm and it was hard to tell on one of your groups how many shots went through one bullet hole. Had a flier in there maybe on the first clean barrel shot or something but still I thought that was pretty good shootin. Take away the flier and probably about the best group I have seen. If you can shoot their eyes out at 650 yards I figure you got a pretty good gun and a mighty good shooter behind it.
     
  8. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    LTLR I plan on building an Edge in the future . So can you explain to me what "freebore" means ? Thanks
    BigBuck
     
  9. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    First, you will enjoy shooting that rifle. I don't think I have ever seen anyone not happy with that chambering whatever name a guy calls it by. It is easy to load for and shoots very accurately. Freebore is basically how far in front of the chamber the rifling starts. It varies depending on the cartridge. Roy Weatherby is probably credited the most for his research with it and made it famous with the weatherby chamberings. In big magnums that burn a lot of powder many times they build up unsafe chamber pressures before reaching top performance of the cartridge. So some gunsmiths work on the exact amount of freebore in front of the chamber to allow the cartridge to reach more of it's potential while retaining top accuracy. In other words how far the bullet travels before engaging the rifling. Many shooters like to seat the bullet on or very close to the lands for what they feel is best accuracy. Freebore sets the rifling back from the chamber and depending on the length of the freebore you can not seat the bullet to the rifling before running the bullet out of the case. Many shooters do not like this.

    Freebore rifles if done right will shoot extremely well. The key is working with that length until you have the best of both worlds. Getting the best performance out of the cartridge while retaining top accuracy. That seperates the men from the boys in gunsmithing. Primarily a lot of experience with it is the only way to do it effectively. Some of the best smiths have proprietary freebore measurements for their proprietary chamberings. Sniper2 on here worked with me on the developement of the 338-300 ultramag cartridge in the late 90's and we came up with a freebore for that chambering that allowed for top velocity while retaining great accuracy. Sniper2's personal 338-300 will shoot the 300 smk into the 2900's and the 200 grainers well into the 3400's with excellent accuracy. That is by being very good at working with freebore and having the experience to know about what will work with a certain size case. Many hours were spent designing the perfect 338-300 ultramag and developing loads for it beginning the day remington released the specs on the 300 ultramag. Within about five weeks we were testing chambers and barrel lengths. The one we came up with still remains at the top of the velocity spectrum for that cartridge while retaining top accuracy.
     
  10. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    LTLR, Thanks for the insite . I really like what I see from the Edge/ .338-300
    but I often wonder if it would benefit me to go that route I already have a 300 RUM model 700 . so it wouldn't take much to turn it into and Edge. Can you tell me what the difference is in velocity between a .338 ULTRA and the Edge lets say both were shooting 300 grain match kings out of 30'' tubes .

    Thanks BigBuck
     
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how far you hunt but inside of 1200 yards I like your 300. In my opinion I would not change your 300 over to the 338-300. I would spend that money on some 177 grain .638 or so bc HS bullets or one of the other similar ones. I think Rocky Mountain bullets has a similar one. In a 30" barrel you can push that bullet near 3500 fps. Run the numbers on that and I think you will really like your 300 ultramag. The HS bullets are quality monometal big game bullets that will not deform and blow apart. That can not be said for the 300 smk. On occasion there are problems with it. That is why sierra continues to say it is a target bullet and not a hunting bullet although it performs better than many hunting bullets.

    The 338 ultramag will do anything the 338-300 will. All the 338's in that range are so similar individual barrels could make one faster than the other. Slightly more case capacity with the 338-300 will give you a slight velocity gain on average but less than 75 fps with what I have seen. Most were closer than that. Just not enough difference to make any difference. You must consider that you can seat the bullet out further in the shorter 338 ultra allowing for more powder so it averages out to not be that much difference. Both are equally accurate. The 338 ultra will feed through your 300 action better with long 300's seated. 338 ultra loading components are cheaper and easier to load for. No one shot wasted for fireforming. No ruined necks from sizing up from 308 to 338. When I can get basically the same performance easier and cheaper I go with it. That is why I quit fooling with the 338-300 in late 2001. Just not enough difference to be worth the effort. If velocity is important to a guy the ultramags are not where they should be looking anyway. Step up to a bigger case. I shoot 132 grains of powder in my 338-378 to get about 200 fps more than the ultramags so you can see the 6 or so grains of powder you can get in the 338-300 over the 338 ultramag is just not going to make much difference.
     
  12. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    .338-378 What action does one need for this ? I really like the thought of 200 fps more :) . How much would this action cost (roughly) ?

    BigBuck
     
  13. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    You need a Mk5 wby or a custom action. The Sako TRG is lighter and works but that much power on the mickey mouse trg lug system doesn't work well. Like the lapua improved, the improved 338-378's with the shoulder moved forward some seem to work very well. My standard 338-378's average about 3050 fps with the 300 smk, 3300 fps with the 250 grainers, 3475 fps with the 225's and 3600 fps with the 200's. The improved ones get a little more. The extra velocity helps in the wind by reducing time of flight to target therefore less wind effect on the projectile. They work best with some freebore which some guys don't like. To me if it shoots, it shoots.
     
  14. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    +1 "if it shoots, it shoots."
    BigBuck