? .338 win mag as a long range hunting rifle

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by berryreed, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. berryreed

    berryreed Well-Known Member

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    I have a Browning .338 win mag A-Bolt rifle that I would like to make into a long range hunting rifle. Will this make a good long range rifle?
     
  2. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    What do you consider long range? The longest shot I have ever taken with a 338 win mag was a first shot kill on a moose at 1100 yards. It is excellent to 800 yards. The 1100 was stretching it for this cartridge. But then anything over 800 yards is stretching the killability of most unless you make a perfect shot or shooting one of the big 338's.
     

  3. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Stay within the working range of the bullet that you choose and you will be in good shape. Make sure the down range velocity is high enough to make the bullet function. Most bullets, the minimum velocity for terminal performance is 1800fps. Choose your bullet carefully.

    Also stay inside your comfort zone for shooting ability.

    Good luck,

    Steve
     
  4. berryreed

    berryreed Well-Known Member

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    I am looking at becoming proficient at 1000 yards on the range. I will probably never shoot beyond 800 yards at an elk. I am shooting a 225 hornady sst bullet at about 2900 ft per second. Looking at a nightforce 5.5-22 x 50 NXS for the optics. I am shooting about a 3.5-4 inch group at 300 yards Any comments or suggestions appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard. You'll get a lot of help from these guys. There's a lot of satisfaction that comes from practicing and achieving your goals.
    Best of luck!!
    Richard
     
  6. berryreed

    berryreed Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I have enjoyed looking and reading posts so far and am ready to take a long range step, just want it to be the right one.
     
  7. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Your A-bolt sporter is not a rifle that would typically have the ability to make kills at 1000 yards. But that doesn't mean that it will not. The cartridge will do it. All you can do is start working up loads and shooting further and further untill you reach the maximum potential of the rifle. With a good trigger, proper bedding, good scope and loads you should be able to reach 650 yards. After that hits in the kill zone are exponentially harder. Lots of difference from 650 to 800 and 800 to 1000. Your cartridge will kill elk at 800 yards. Just keep working until you are 100% on with shots in the kill zone at that distance. The 225 nosler accubond has a much higher BC .550 and would be a better choice for long range. I have taken numerous animals in the 600-800 yard range with a 338 winchester.
     
  8. loosesniper2000

    loosesniper2000 Well-Known Member

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    There's no doubt the cartridge will do the job, but I would focus more on the rifle itself. I've owned several Brownings and yes they are nice but to shoot long distances the appeal goes away. I wouldn't feel comfortable shooting any gun unless I could get sub moa, preferably 1/2 moa
    I'm sure you'll find out real soon you'll be wanting a heavier barrel, better trigger...etc, but as a starting point just try not to stretch it too far unless you have the load right where it needs to be. Which brings the rifle into question.
    Hope my 2 cents helps. Good luck!
     
  9. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    B Reed, making these long shots might be especially difficult for you since you will be looking through the rangefinder while I will be squeezing the trigger.......nuff said
     
  10. banjo318

    banjo318 Well-Known Member

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    A trigger does not affect accuracy at all, and my 7mm mag isnt bedded at all, and can hold .25 inch groups at 100 yards... and it holds at the most 5 inch groups at 1000 yards...
     
  11. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I wish I knew as much as you think you do.
     
  12. greenejc

    greenejc Member

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    Actually near as I can tell. a better trigger does help accuracy, and so does a stiffer (generally heavier) barrel. Otherwise, bench rest shooters would all shoot sporters. I put a Timney trigger in my Ruger M77mkII and my groups shrank by about 1/2in. A 3 lb trigger is much easier to hit with than a 6.5 lb trigger. That still doesn't make the ruger a tack driver, but it got it under an inch at 100yds with 4 different bullets, as opposed to 1 1/2 to 1 3/4in with the lawsuit proof trigger it came with.
     
  13. greenejc

    greenejc Member

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    Also, a .338 bullet weighing 225gr. at 2900 fps should be going somewhere between 1200 and 1300 fps at 900yds if its BC is around .420 or so and the alitiude is around 1000 ft. But who hunts elk at 1000 ft? At 9000ft and above, the velocity goes up and the drop decreases due to lower atmospheric pressure. You will get a significantly flatter trajectory from 600 yds on. Check it on a ballistics calculator. Also, the round will hit with at least as much energy as a .357 at the muzzle even at 900yds. If you use a bullet that will still expand at 1200-1300fps, like a Sierra or a Speer, it should do fine on deer and even elk at 800yds. In other words, if you do your job, the Browning .338 will do its job, too.
     
  14. Anschutz

    Anschutz Well-Known Member

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    Oh really? That's why I shoot a 2 ounce trigger on my three position and airgun. So you're saying that if I bump the trigger up to about 2 pounds I'll still be able to shoot a one hole 10 shot group standing? Also, check the High Power line at Perry. I'd guarantee almost all will have their trigger at the minimum.