Extreme Spread with 338 Hart (338-300 ultra, edge)

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by timeless61, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    I am not having the best luck this year with anything shooting related, anyway. I am shooting the above rifle and had some baffling results yesterday.

    I was shooting 300 grain bergers .020 off with 93 grains H1000, and cci 250, numerous times, I have shot this load and it has never shown any sort of pressure signs. Well yesterday, I fired 10 shots over a period of time. The first say 7 there were no pressure signs, then the last 3 had extractor marks. Also, my velocity seemed low, around 2810, with a 34” barrel. And my extreme spread was terrible at 60 fps. I am wondering what the problem can be? This is a new 8 lb container of H1000. Last year, with 300 smk’s, I was getting single digit ES at 2950 fps. That was with a smaller container of powder though. Same lot of primers. Each charge is measured on an rcbs electric scale.

    So here are my questions, can the powder lots be that different?

    Can the bergers be doing something different than the smk’s?

    Can the electric scale be off?

    When I have done load development the velocities usually correspond and go up each half grain or grain of powder increase, and this spread was higher than the powder increase of 1 grain usually.

    I am just pretty baffled by this.

    Another note about my sizing, I was using a full length bushing die, but I found that it worked better when I used the expander ball again due to the necks having a lot of carbon when only the bushing was used with no expander . But lately, I have been only neck sizing, I felt I was working the shoulder too much when I did not have to full length sizing.

    Can this be as simple as I should use the bushing die again with no expander, and not size the whole neck as not to hit the shoulders and see what the ES is? Or is there something else I should look at first?


    actually, I thought about it some more, and the bushing die shoudl not matter, as I got this single digit ES from virgin brass, and I used the expander to open it up then bushing, then expander on the way back out, so my statement above may not hold water, figured I should add this in, will help answer that question atleast.

    thanks for responses in advance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  2. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Am I to understand that you are using the same load with the 300 Berger as you had been using in the past with the 300 SMK without doing load developement for the 300 Berger?
    If so, you need to back up, start over with load developement for the 300 Berger. Anytime you change a component of your reloading, plan on starting from square one.
     

  3. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the above post. An example was the home tumbler moly coated bullet rage of about 15 years ago. It caused the bullets to slide down the barrel so easy that they lost velocity. So it took more powder to get the same performance.

    Between bullet manufacturers the hardness of the copper content could change. Or the amount of bullet to barrel contact surface area.

    From what you stated about extractor dings. I would shift to a slower powder from the burn rate chart with an equal gr. for starters and then adjust
     
  4. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    no, my loads are different, I did basically what I did for the SMK, my load development was not too crazy for it, find my max and back off some, and it always yielded single digit ES with the smk and older powder, at every velocity because I shot the same string of charges on different days, and still each velocity was within single digits of each other.

    now, the bergers, I did not shoot each load through a chronograph when finding my max, I did not have a working chronograph at the time I measured the cases, and I am now reloading for useful case life, which is 94 grains max with the berger and 93 grains max with the smk. so i backed off some, but am just baffled by the ES comparing it to load development for the smk.

    with the smk as I said even on different days every powder charge was very close to the same charge's velocity on a different day. also, my pressure signs on a load that I know is nowhere near the top max, let alone not even max where I had case expansion. on this rifle and others, my cases expand before I even show any pressure signs, and there was a direct correlation between the case expansion and primer pockets loosening too much so that is why I am loading like I am currently.

    maybe I just got extremely lucky with the SMK, I am not sure, I just read a bit about the bergers on here, and most people were getting the same performance with the berger as the SMK, with different charges still, but the H1000 and cci 250 combo was working well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  5. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    Do a search. Me and a lot of others have noticed a difference in the new lots of H1000. I used to shoot 93 grns under a 300 grn SMK but now I get pressure at 89 grns., less velocity and worse ES. I switched to the Bergers and I'm not seeing pressure at 89 grns and haven't tried going any higher yet because that load shoots so well.
     
  6. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    I searched some, and read a bit about the newer powder, also looked back at my notes, and as I thought, every charge, just not the charge i decided on with the smk's and old powder was single digit ES i fired the same charges on different days 3 times and all the velocities were within single digits of each other. I doubt that is a fluke, so I think it is the new powder, I will try something slower to try to take advantage of my longer barrel. I used H1000 initially because the ES was great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  7. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i have 2 rifles in edge chambering and pulled the big one into action this year which hadn't seen any last year. i shoot H1000 powder with 250-300 gr bullets. on one of my first few shooting sessions, maybe the third, i had a shell that didn't go off. thought it was a weak firing pin spring as i've had this before. but it wasn't. took the shell apart, and the primer went off but didn't ignite the powder. the bottom one third of the powder was blackened and clumped together. the rest looked normal. a couple weeks ago, mayb70-80 rounds total, another didn't go off. it looked the same as the other one that didn't go off. i'm using 215 primers, and H1000 from an 8 lb keg that i bought last year and never used till this year. havn't shot either of my big guns hunting this year, been long range hunting with my trusty ole 30-06. i was also getting very high spreads, 50-60, and poor accuracy,which i hadn't in the past.
     
  8. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    yep, I bought an 8 lb container also, accuracy at 100 has been good, just huge ES, I have not shot further out yet as the ES is unacceptable so I am not wasting anymore bullets than I have to. I am going to try retumbo this weekend, and see how it goes, maybe i can even take advantage of my 34" barrel. the only reason I didnt try it sooner was the H1000 that I bought in a 1 lb container was so good. some of my powder seems to be discolored also, would Hodgdon do anything about this?
     
  9. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    Scale....If you are wondering about your scale, just simply weigh a couple of 300 gr. bullets. I have never wighed 300 gr bullets, but the 250 gr and the 210 - 240 gr .308 bullets are usualy never more than 1/2 grain off.

    Bullets.....ES.....work on diff seating depths and neck tensions to get rid of high es.

    Powder......new lot of H1000....START OVER. Nuf said.
     
  10. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    I did start over, I had to do almost nothing with the 300 smk and old powder, I now attribute that to the powder and how consistent it was. from what everyone is saying and the more I am searching I am attributing my problems now to the new powder, as I said the charge did not matter, ES was still single digits with the old powder, I was just looking to see if there was something else that could be wrong.

    I will try the SMK's tomorrow along with the bergers and retumbo and depending on what I can fit in the case, h50bmg, but I do not think that will really work out.
     
  11. 600BP

    600BP Well-Known Member

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    Along these same lines I would like to ask a quick question. I am in the process of purchasing a 30 inch barrel for my 338 RUM. I see that some of you have used the 300gr Bergers. According to Berger, if using these bullets for shots over 1000yds, or so, it requires a higher rate of twist to maintain efficiency. Is this what has been noticed by those of you that have shot them, or not. Thanks in advance.
     
  12. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    The Berger has a different ogive design than the SMK. It will more than likely stay stable through the transonic period with a 1:10 twist. Don't sweat the Berger's.

    Tank
     
  13. 600BP

    600BP Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the quick response. I'm new to this LR stuff and get so many conflicting stories about bullet selection I get kinda lost. After I posted this I read a thread from back in June about Bergers vs Barnes. To be honest, after reading about three or four pages, I still don't have an answer. I have used Barnes bullets with great efficiency, up to 500yds+, in my hunting rigs up to this point. However due to the lower BC I wasn't sure what to expect when I take the jump to 1000 or more with a larger caliber (338).

    Barnes has always performed well when I typically use about 20% less bullet weight than I normally would with a standard bullet (example 30 cal bullet, 165gr instead of 180gr). Because of the drop in weight/grains I have found that the bullet expands violently and still penetrates completely through the animal. However, I still have yet to find anyone that has been using them with luck over 1000 yds. Could be that I missed it; could be that no one uses them at that distance. I guess I will find out how they both work once I get the build done.

    Thanks again, I appreciate it.