beyond the the 338?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by D.ID, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    The questions preface: I have a 338 edge which is my favorite rifle. Flat out, no contest. I can barely talk myself into going out without it. If I end up with the last light, last day of the season or whatever situation you can imagine where it is all or nothing. I would feel foolish to not have it on hand. This is all do to it's raw capabilities at extended ranges. Cost of shooting it is always a factor but it is still very affordable. Round count is getting high and I am preparing to purchase it's second barrel to have on stand by. She is still a tack driver but someday she won't be and I need to prepare for that inevitability. Probably build her a sister to be ready for the transition on short notice or have a back up if anything ever happened to her. ..........................................................That being said, The question:......................The 338 edge is as far as I can see at the EDGE of diminishing returns. Weight,cost,power,drift. Is there a modest step up or are you just burning fuel because you can after that? Price IS an issue, I work for a living so price is ALWAYS an issue. Bullet selection seams very limited efficiency or extremely expensive in comparison above the 338. A precision 408 and 416 are probably too much weight and certainly too much money for the volume I want to use it for. The 50 is even worse. The 375 looked like it may be coming along but bullet supply faded out or never followed threw. More speed is available but not much and at twice the cost. Is the edge the climax of the "poor boy's extreme long range magnum" or is there something significant after it? Any opinions?
     
  2. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    The 338-300 RUM gets you there at a poor boys cost. that is the beauty of the cartridge. If you are familiar with it you can kill anything as far as you need to be shooting at game. The 338-378 wby does it quite a bit better but not at a poor boys price. The 378 wby does it a lot better than either with the new cutting edge .9 bc bullet but again not at a poor boys price.

    My rifles are hunting rifles and not range queens. They look rough like hunting rifles and not pretty range queens. I work up a load and zero and then they shoot very few rounds per year while hunting. So based on the number of shots they get the extra cost is insignificant next to what I spend hunting each year. But like you said when the sun sets on the last day and a B&C contender walks out I have the best tool possible in my hands. The extra cost is not a concern at that point.

    For example I have a 338-378 wby shooting the 260 grain .76 bc cutting edge bullet over 3300 fps like a dream. What is that kind of advantage worth? Run the ballistics. It shoots a .64 bc 225 grain cutting edge over 3500 fps. This is out of a 10.75 pound 28" barrel rifle scoped out. Can you do a lot better than a 338-300 RUM, yes. Is the cost worth it? You have to make that decision based on what you said with that trophy on the line on the last day.
     

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    It is true that the 338 Edge is around the limits of what we could call an affordable option for long range chambering. That said, its really just the beginning of the performance relm for long range hunting. It is true that you have to pay to play. Just like when building high performance cars. For example, my current hobby is a 2010 camaro SSRS. Started out at 400 HP, it cost me around $2000 to get to 500 HP, it cost me about $8000 to get to 680 HP!!! Next step will be to get it to around 800 HP and that will cost me another $8000.

    Rifles are the same way but not to quite that scale. There is easily another +500 fps possible over the 338 Edge. It may cost you twice to three times more then a 338 Edge in a modified Rem 700 but in the end, there is a performance level that makes the Edge look anemic. That is not a flame toward the Edge in any way, just a fact. As impressive as the Edge is, as capable as the Edge is, as easy to load for as the Edge is, there are other wildcats that will dramatically improve its performance and are really no more difficult to shoot or load for. You do however reduce barrel life somewhat when you increase ballistic performance but not by as much as many would think in the 338 bore size.

    The trick is to find a wildcat where you do not have to spend alot of time forming wildcat brass. Go to www.apsrifles.com if your interested on the next level of performance over the Edge, or the next after that or the next level after that!!!:D

    When you get to these ultra performance wildcats however your really looking at specialized rifle systems, not just a modded Rem 700. In the end, they are generally well worth the investment if your really looking for a precision long range weapon system.
     
  4. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Guys, That is what I expected to here. I'll stick with the edge. It is more than enough for my needs and it sounds like the top end of the actions I want to work with anyway. Thank you both for the experienced insight and ultimately.........confirmation.
     
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    In the end, the 338 Edge is very hard to OUTGROW even for a serious long range hunter. The higher performing rounds will increase your margin of error slightly in estimating wind conditions and the increased terminal performance will help out a bit more when the hits are on the fringes but if you do your job, the 338 Edge is certainly a very capable chambering.

    The pilot is often the weakest link in the equation!!! I know thats the case with me:D
     
  6. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I chuckled at your comments concerning horsepower versus wallet size.:) You need a Gixxer. It will suck the paint off your Camaro when it screams past and costs half what your engine will, in the end. It's economy of scale and applies to rifles too.

    I used to play the car game too. Bikes are so much cheaper and so much faster. It's possible to even build a potato bike to run if you have the wallet....again.
     
  7. highridge1

    highridge1 Well-Known Member

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    The 338 Edge and similar rounds are very tough to beat because within realistic longrangehunting distances they will get the job done with authority. When you starting talking about more power and going past a mile and even 2000 yards I start to think about just having fun and hitting rocks and steel.At those extreme ranges the accuracy isn't good enough with any round to be a serious hunting tool as far as I am concerned.Thats what makes the 338 edge. Ultra ,lapua etc so perfect because within the range I consider workable for hunting accuracy say about a 1600 yard limit those rounds have plenty of power and just make alot of sense.
     
  8. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Besides my comment concerning power versus size.....

    I have personal issues embracing the .50 caliber round. The equipment and the round is just too expensive, even reloaded, to be of consequence. I look at it as a caliber of curiosity and not much else.
     
  9. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Your comparing a croch rocket to a muscle car???? :rolleyes:

    I am into bikes as well but its a totally different sport. Apples to Oranges. Bikes are fast as hell, no doubt about that but when you drive by someone on a GIXXER, they will shear or give you no look at all. Drive by most anyone in an 800 HP 2010 camaro and most will give you that "OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THAT CAR" look!!!

    Again, nothing against fast bikes, I personally live the super sport imports but they are no muscle car. They do not make movies about GIXXERS!!! LOL

    Besides, you can not take your better half to the movies and a nice dinner and cruise the strip on a saturday night in comfort on bike, also can not take your 5 year old little girl to school on a Gixxer, just no comparision of any kind. Kind of like comparing a 338 Edge to a 338 Allen Magnum!!! LOL (Shameless Plug!!!):cool:
     
  10. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    I can not disagree with what you say but you are missing one aspect about long range shooting and hunting. Yes an Edge will do anything you need to do in ideal conditions, even in not so ideal conditions.

    In a 10 mph crosswind the Edge will be pushed around 40" at 1000 yards. Not to darn bad. Thats with a 300 gr Berger loaded to standard 338 Edge/30" barrel velocity of 2850 fps. In a 15 mph wind, it will have 60" of drift at 1000 yards.

    Now how difficult is it to tell a 10 mph wind from a 15 mph wind at 1000 yards???? If your off 5 mph in wind estimate your shot will land up to 20" off point of aim IF everything else is perfect which it never will be.

    Now a 338 AM in the same conditions will have 31" drift at 1000 yards in 10 mph crosswind. 15 mph will be 47" of drift. Thats roughly 22% less drift then the Edge. That equates into a 22% larger margin of error in your windage estimate at 1000 yards.

    Thats just one aspect. We can look at many more. For instance retained energy and velocity at long range. Does the 338 Edge have enough energy, certainly but at higher terminal velocity and energy always produce more consistant bullet performance, especially with long range match bullet designs. The 338 AM will have 2330 fps and just over 3600 ft/lbs of energy at 1000 yards. Compare that to the 338 Edge with 1935 fps and 2490 ft/lbs of energy. Looking at it another way, the 338 AM numbers at 1000 yards are nearly exactly what the standard 338 Edge will get you at 550 yards. Again, not hammering the Edge in any way, I build them 5 to 1 to my 338 AM as they fit most hunters needs much better but there are levels of performance out there that most have no experience with.

    Another KEY aspect to responsible big game hunting at long range is getting the bullet down the barrel and to the target big game animal before the animal moves. We all know this is a real possibility and one of the biggest risks to us big game hunters that results in poor hits. The time of flight for the 338 Edge to 1000 yards is 1.278 sec. Again, not bad at all. BUT the 338 AM will cover the same distance in 1.074 sec. Now, 0.200 sec does not seem like alot but if you figure the amount of time it takes a big game animal to take a full step....... Its a LONG TIME when the bullets in the air and the target decides to take a step.

    AGAIN, I am a huge fan of the 338 Edge, there is nothing bad you can say about it but most of the time when I hear guys say there is no need for anything larger then the 338 Edge I get the feeling that they have never experienced the next level of performance. All I can say is that until you do experience this level of performance you have no idea what its like. Hell, a quote from my good friend Shawn Carlock who knows a thing or two about the Edge said about the 338 Allen Magnum shooting at 1000 yards, "Its as easy as kicking your best dog!"

    Hitting small targets at long range, especially in conditions that you can not peg exactly on is dramatically easier with this level of performance. On paper numbers is one thing, in real life the difference is much more dramatic. I am not saying the 338 AM is better then the 338 Edge, as I mentioned, I recommend and build the 338 Edge 5 to 1 compared to my 338 AM. That is because it DOES fit most hunters needs much better as far as rifle size, cost and just what they need for how they hunt.

    My only point being, for special situations, the 338 Edge could be considered marginal, even at ranges of 1000 yards or less.
     
  11. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    I have worked ALOT with the 50 BMG class weapons, built alot of them, even up to my 510 Allen Magnum which will add 200 fps to anything the standard 50 BMG will produce. I like the 50 cal weapon systems. Once you learn how to load for them, they are amazingly accurate but I would have to agree, they are more novelty then practical weapon systems, at least for field use.

    Not only that, consider that the standard 50 BMG mil spec load has EXACTLY the same trajectory out to 1000 as a 300 Win Mag loaded with a 190 gr Hornady SP!!! Nothing to write home about. Most modern magnums will smoke the 50 BMG in nearly every ballistic catagory other then kenetic energy.

    Add to the lacking ballistic performance, you have to pack around a 30 lb or heavier rifle, not real practical. They are fun as hell to shoot. More accurately discribed as an EVENT then just shooting session but thats about it.
     
  12. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    Cars: 1972 Torino, drove it as beater for years then I built it up with a beefed up 351 Cleveland. After years of working on it......I drove it less than 50 miles the year after completion and sold it to a kid who might actually get around to driving it. I drive a m1009 84 blazer. Strait utility. 20mpg 4x4 0-60 in about 6..................... minutes, that is.
     
  13. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

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    I had a bunch of things I wanted to reply to............then I realized this is the same BS that I went away for in the first place.......keep the carnival going !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Kirby....

    My comment is simply that if you have the money to pour into any project it becomes something of unique interest. Key word is money.

    Dollars for dollars, the Gixxer is the best investment.

    I have a really nice vintage Triumph with a sidecar that I spent 4 years building both mechanically and physically. It is unique, usually wins first place at any show it's entered into, it's certainly a chick magnet (not that I care at my age) but as a practical bike, it's not. It gets ridden ocassionally. Thats it. Is it fun? Sure is. Does it garner attention? Sure does, in fact, I have to park it where I can watch it because people are attracted to it and have to 'touch' it, I have an issue with hands on the paint job stuff.....

    No, I don't have a Gixxer, no death wish here....

    Definite ratio between money and practical usage, probably why I don't own any custom built rifles and all my rifles and hand guns are production models.

    Would I like a one off firearm? Sure would but the practical side of me wins out every time.