caliber questions...

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by the shotty, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. the shotty

    the shotty Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I have been a member for a while but like to just lurk a bit as I don't have near the first hand experience as other members. I have seen all the posts and whatnot about how great the .338 is due to the high bc bullets and power. Now my question is: based of a 300 rum case, why not do a 300 rum based around the .240 smk ( twist and throated). I know a big thing is to do the .338-300rum to run the 300 smk, but if your running the same case capacity but a bullet that is 60 gr lighter couldn't you shoot it faster/flatter? Other than wound channel of .03 larger and a bc .06 better for the 300 smk, is there that big of a difference or does it just come down to preference at that point? I do some reloading, nothing wildcat, but to me it would seem easier to just reload a standard case rather than having to deal with changing the necks and annealing which I personally feel is way over my head at this point. I am not looking at either of these calibers or a new gun in general right now just trying to grow my knowledge base about the sport in general. Thanks for humoring me :)
     
  2. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    The reason to go to with the 338Edge (300RUM necked up to 338) is additional lethal range and some barrel life.

    Lets accept for a moment that to cleanly kill deer you need 1000lbs of energy (this is at times a hotly debated issue, but for the sake of this conversation, lets accept that this is true (some say 800lbs, some say 900lbs, some say it is a function of velocity)) Regardless, lets just accept 1000lbs as that is probably the most conservative of the numbers.

    Take the 30cal 240grain SMK and shoot it at 2900fps. This bullet carries 1000lbs of energy to 1400 yards.

    Then take the 338cal 300grain SMK and shoot it at 2850fps and it carries 1000lbs to 1700yards. All that AND the barrel will probably last longer?!
     

  3. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    If you shoot very much, the barrel life of a 338 Edge or RUM will be significantly greater than a 300 RUM driving 240gr bullets. Reduced barrel life is the primary reason I wouldn't favor that 300 RUM / 240 gr bullet combo over the 338 calibers.

    I suppose if you Melonite treated the bore, the 300 RUM barrel life could be extended. I think the Melonite treatment cost about $60 for a barrel. But it's not a coating process that's been in common use over a long period of time yet - at least in the bores of rifle barrels - based on my understanding.
     
  4. WyoMarine

    WyoMarine Member

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    IMHO the 338 edge is not vastly better than the RUM's. But it is better. I think the appeal of the 338 edge, to most of us, is the fact that it's a long action. Some one can buy a normal RUM over the counter at almost any sporting goods store and build it into something very close to the power levels of a 338 lapua. Because the brass is cheaper, the edge becomes cheaper to shoot. The price of the rifle is far less as well. (OK, I know you have to buy a new barrel and all the work that goes into that is not cheap, but in the end you have a barrel that is better than factory.) So now you have a 338 that is comparable to a "super magnum". Your question is "why do all this for such a small gain?" Someone with a 338 edge might ask "if you can make it even better why not?" I might be wrong, tho. I could be all about having something your buddies don't have. Hope this helps
     
  5. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    There is a 'second kind of cool' when it comes to the 338Edge.
     
  6. the shotty

    the shotty Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense, thank you all for your input!
     
  7. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Barrel life is a big difference plus the 338 will outperform the smaller calibers taking animals at extreme range. Since 2001 when the 338 RUM was introduced that is the best choice between the three. No need to go to the trouble of wildcatting the 338-300 RUM when you can shoot the standard 338 RUM. That ended the great run with the 338-300 RUM at my shop we had from 1998-2000. When guys could shoot them side by side on my range everybody went over the counter with the 338 RUM from then on. No need for the trouble of wildcatting.

    The 338-300 RUM gave about a 120 fps gain in velocity over the 340 wby and was worth the trouble for some from 1998-2000. But then the 338 RUM came out over the counter in 2001 shooting the same numbers as the 338-300 RUM and for logical people who saw them shoot side by side on my range that was the end of the road for the 338-300 RUM. The 225 grain CE bullet with a bc of .640 at 3250-3300 fps out of a 338 RUM looks very impressive for guys who rarely hunt over 1000 yards. Compare the numbers to the 300 smk at 2750-2850 fps and it represents a much lighter recoil option for many. 2750-2850 fps is where 90%+ of the 338 RUM, 338-300 RUM and 338 Lapua rifles are going to end up with best accuracy with a 300 grain bullet. The 340 wby hits best accuracy between 2700 and 2750 fps with the 300 grain smk.

    I looked at some of my 300 RUM loads from way back and I had the 240 smk shooting right at 2900 fps out of my 28" barrels. As far as hitting animals at long range take your pick. Either would do well. The main difference would be the barrel wear and most people had rather hit an animal with a 300 smk 338 cal long range than a smaller 30 cal. Way more damage and power at long range.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011