338 thunder's first blood. Story and pics

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by goodgrouper, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    The day started at 3:30 a.m. this morning with a hour and a half drive to Evanston, WYoming to meet a buddy of mine (Craig)who had two doe antelope tags. I arrived in town shortly after 5:00 a.m. and then it was off to Bridger Valley to meet another friend (Josh) who also had tags. Josh was actually more interested in filming some long range hunting than shooting one of his own. He has a production quality video camera and wanted to get some shots filmed at 40x zoom so Craig and I were happy to oblige.

    After meeting up with Josh, we drove out onto the prairie and waited for it to get light. Right off the bat, I spotted a few antelope on the skyline of a small ridge. Out came the Swaro rangefinder and we beamed them at 850. Then there was another heard that came through and another and another. Other trucks driving around trying to get within 400 yards of the herds kept them spooked and running.

    After about 15 minutes, two does got seperated from the herd and came out at 880. Craig whipped out his custom 6.5mm short mag and began dialing in. I set up the spotting scope and kept ranging them as they were walking. They got out to around 900 yards and Craig let loose on a 123 grain Lapua Scenar. I saw dust fly way right. A quick correction and Craig connected at 901. Unfortunately, he learned the same lesson I learned on my wet phonebooks-Scenars are really depleted uranium bullets that zip right through game. THe doe died but bullet performance was lacking.

    Anyway, we threw her in the truck and started looking for number two. We drove up to a high ridge that overlooked a valley that the antelope just couldn't stay out of no matter how many trucks were down in it driving the roads. At this point, the wind started to pick up and my wind meter was going from 6 mph to 9 mph and gusting. I told Craig he should use my 338 thunder to break it in on it's first big game hunt and it might just help with the wind as it was.

    It wasn't too long and we had a herd of does come in at 1450 yards. I quickly got the spotter out, ranged them, asked Exbal for corrections, dialed in the turret, and Craig tried to get comfortable on the rocky ground laden with prickly pear cactus. He finally found a semi-good spot where the bi-pods and rear rest could give enough of a solid rest.

    Craig cranked one in and fired. The bullet went about 2 inches over her back. THe whole herd started running from the sound and came right at us! At about 1106 yards, they stopped and looked around. I quickly took the new measurement to the doe on the far left (1086), did the computer thing, and dialed the turret down a few minutes. I also had about 2.5 minutes of windage dialed in. Craig chambered another round and squeezed. I watched the 225 grain Accubond's disturbance trail arc out and twist to the right and go right past the doe he was aiming at. At least, I thought it went past her. Turned out that the 6" diameter disturbance trail just "looked" like it went high when in fact it just garbled the image of the doe as it went INTO her!

    The whole heard bolted again and so did our doe. I watched her carefully and never saw the hide wiggle or saw her stumble in any way until she bounded a few times and I saw a fountain of blood gushing out both sides of her while she ran.

    She went about 50 yards closer to us and then piled up in a pretty spectacular fashion! The Thunder had claimed it's first victim!!

    After some back slapping and grins, we drove down to get her. The bullet had hit barely behind the front shoulder and took part of the heart and lungs out the other side in- between two ribs. 1/4" further left and it would have dumped her where she stood but as it was, the bullet never hit bone.

    It was a great day and even though I never pulled the trigger, I had just as much fun watching my buddy get a kill over 1k yards with my rifle. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif


    Here is the pic of Craig with his 6.5 short mag kill:
    [​IMG]

    And here is the thunder kill:
    [​IMG]

    Here is where the 225 grain accubond impacted. The hide has slipped a little far forward making it look like it hit in the shoulder blade but it was actually further back:
    [​IMG]


    Here is a close up of the entry wound:
    [​IMG]

    And here is the exit wound of the accubond that never touched bone. Still a very good hole there that the Scenars just won't do.
    [​IMG]

    I honestly don't know how any of the other "regular" type hunters ever score on these hunts. Trying to get within "normal" range of these wary critters when there are 100 million four-wheelers and trucks circling them all day is next to impossible. Throw in a little famous Wyoming wind and Long range precision looks even better to me. We heard lots of shooting but only saw two kills and they both belonged to us! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    Now on to some elk! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  2. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood story and pics

    GG, great story. It must be nice to live so close to so many great hunting and shooting areas. I live in the Peoples Republic of California, so It's hard to find a place to shoot unless you know someone. Every time I read one of your stories, I get pumped up. Good luck with hunting, and please, keep posting the great stories and pics.

    Wildcat
     

  3. sniperVLS

    sniperVLS Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood story and pics

    Another excellent read from GG! Did your friend get video footage with his camera? Get it posted here if he did!
     
  4. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood story and pics

    GG- Good story and photos. I always like the photos you take. Glad to see the 338 Thunder get its first taste of blood! Good luck with the elk!!
     
  5. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood story and pics

    GG,
    Great story! Congrats to Craig on his kills, and kudos to you for building such a great rifle.
    Dave
     
  6. JD338

    JD338 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    GG,

    Great story and pictures, thanks for sharing.
    Congratulations again for putting together the Thunder
    and connecting on a 1k kill. Your friend is a luck man
    to have you and our experience there to help him.
    Great job to the both of you.

    JD338
     
  7. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    Hi GG great shooting the rifles and shooters performed well. I am curious why you dont use a 300gr MatchKing or at least a 250gr projectile in that 338 as they should give at least the performence you are getting with the 225gr projectiles. Also how does the 6.5 shoot with heavier projectiles i know a guy using the discontinued 155gr Sierra's in one and it is just awsome they are very accurate and have a lot of energy transfer the 142gr Sierra's would be my next choice but you have to use what works for you.

    Thanks for the pics and keep up the good work.

    Cheers Bill
    Australia
     
  8. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    Thanks for your kind words everybody. I really appreciate it and am glad that you found the post entertaining.

    All the shots were filmed and DVD's are being made today. I should get my copy sometime next week.


    WIld Bill,
    I actually did design this reamer to utilize the 250 grain Lapua Scenar bullet but rigorous testing with the help of 7mmrhb concluded it was a poor choice for hunting. WHile it may be the best match bullet ever made, it fails miserably in the expansion category as we saw with Craig's ammo yesterday.

    I next went to the 250 grain Mk's and tested them in wet phonebooks at 600 yards and 700 yards and the results did not impress me. Some of the bullets opened up and some did not. Almost all of them tumbled through too. While some people use the MK's with great success, I have not seen the 250's work that well. It may be that they have a thicker jacket than the rest of the MK line, I don't know. The 300 grain MK works better probably because of it's sheer size, but we already have a gun that shoots them.


    I am anxiously awaiting a 250 grain Accubond but it doesn't sound like they will make one. Nosler claims that it would not stabilize in a 10" twist yet the 200 grain .30 cal Accubond stabilizes in a 10" twist and it is much longer.

    I guess I will just have to wait until next year for Berger's 250 grain VLD. It will have a huge bc and will surely open up if they make it with a soft enough jacket. A J4 would be awesome. Until then, I am using the 225 Accubond. <font color="blue"> It may have a lower bc than the 250 MK, but bc never killed any animal. Only bullet construction will do that. </font> And as you can see from the photos, even when an Accubond doesn't touch any bone it will still open up way out there even on a very thin skinned animal. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


    Ps. Craig tried the 142 grain MK's on an elk last year at around 700 or 800 yards. The elk was hit first shot and right in the vitals but the exit wound was the same size as the entry wound and the elk stood in it's tracks for a few minutes before finally rearing up and falling backwards. No expansion was seen when Craig gutted it. It killed it almost like an arrow would have. Trouble is, Craig's rifle is pushing the bullets so fast that Bergers and amax's never make it to the target so he is stuck shooting tougher bullets like Sierra's or Lapuas. But even Sierras don't like to be pushed too hard and shot worse than the Lapuas.
     
  9. JD338

    JD338 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    GG,

    It looks like the 225 gr AB did a decent job of expanding, even with very little resistance. What was the impact velocity and how big was the enterance and exit wounds under the hide?

    I know that a 250 gr AB would be much perfered for LRH. I have been constantly reminding Nosler that there is a huge market for a 250 gr AB in 338 cal. I think if you and the rest of the guys keep asking Nosler, they will offer this bullet.

    Regards,

    JD338
     
  10. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    The impact velocity was 1994 fps and energy was 1986 ft/lbs.

    The entrance hole was dime sized and the exit hole was slightly bigger than a quarter. Very good performance considering how far away she was and knowing she was only about 90 pounds soaking wet and only about 10" thick.


    [ QUOTE ]
    I think if you and the rest of the guys keep asking Nosler, they will offer this bullet.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Let's hope so. C'mon all you 338 fans, email your requests! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  11. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    GG,
    Awesome hunt! Accubond continues proving its self!
    First, Elk at 820 yards using 180 gr. Accubond in the 300 Win Mag.
    Second, Craig takes an Antelope at 1086 yards with the 338 Thunder and 225 gr. Accubond. Do we have any more long range kills with Nosler Accubond passing let's say 700 yards? My son William took a small buck using 200 gr. Accubond with great results but that was at 412 yards.
    Congrats to both of you!
     
  12. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    Thanks Eaglet.

    Remember Clint's elk from last January at 949 yards? That was a 180 grain Accubond from my 300 win mag as well.

    And stay tuned because another one is lining up for the weekend.....
     
  13. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    Yes!!! How did I forget that one? Thanks!
     
  14. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Re: 338 thunder\'s first blood. Story and pics

    I hope I'm not out of line by making the face of the man that made such an awesome shot more visible!
    Great Shot!

    [​IMG]