Has anyone really tinkered extensively with the .308 Norma mag or .30-.338??

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by goodgrouper, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    I have a Browning Stainless Stalker in .300 win mag that is probably going to bite the dust in the near future and I was considering the .308 Norma or the .30-.338. Tell me about velocities attained, bullets tried in the 180 class, accuracy, finickiness, feeding problems(if any) and anything else you might like to throw in. I was hoping to get 180's to 3100 from 27 inch barrel or 26. Possible? Can the action/follower be made to work. I know Brownings can be hard.
    goodgrouper
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    GoodGrouper,

    I would not think there would be any action work at all needed to convert the Browning in 300 Win Mag to either of the two rounds you are looking at.

    As far as velocities go, I tend to be a little conservative and as such I would say out of a 26" barrelI would say using a conventional cup jacketed bullet or Ballistic Tip, you should be able to crowd 3100 fps pretty hard and in a 27" pipe I would feel it would get a little more.

    This is all dependent on your barrel though but with a custom throat, I see no reason why you could not reach this level. The 300 Win Mag can do it with factory throats!

    Between the two, I have only had experience with the 30-338 and was impressed with its performacne. I devloped a load for a customer in a custom rifle he had but he was using the 200 gr Parition and if I remember correctly, it took exactly 9 rounds of testing to get a load that cut 1/2" groups at 100 yards for three shots. Velocity was inthe 2900 fps range and I used Rl-22 I believe.

    Personally, I would choose the 30-338 over the Norma every time simply from a case forming standpoint and price of brass. You can use any 7mm to 338 standard length belted magnum case to cold form the 30-338 and it needs no real fireforming.

    I used virgin 7mm Rem Mag brass with my customers loads and they shot extremely well. Sure they will be more consistant with fireformed ammo but it is plenty accurate to load and hunt with.

    The round seems as easy to load for as the 338 Win Mag which I believe is one of th easiest rounds out there to load for in a quality rifle, generally shoot most bullet weights very well.

    Hope this helps a little!

    Have a good one and let us know what you decide.

    Good shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen
     

  3. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    goodgrouper, There is a great amount of reloading information on the 30-338, Sierra has some of the better loads out. I think you may be somewhat on the hot side if looking for 3100fps out of the 30-338 or 308 Norma with 180 gr bullets. I think you may want to consider a 5r type barrel as give alittle better velocity. As to reworking an action I'm not a gunsmith so cann't really say one way or another. The 30-338 has made a name for itself in the 1000yd match and you will see it listed every once in awhile. Rem use to make the 40x in 30-338 also. I talked to Fred Jr in the 80's and they still were using the rifle his dad build after that I had my first 30-338 build by K&P using a ruger #1 action with a 1/12 twist for the 165 gr bullets my next one was on a rem 700 action with a 1/10 twist for the 180 gr bullets and in both rifles I'm using H-4831 and with the 180 gr bullets I'm over 3000fps. Both rifles will get groups in the 4's if I do my part. The 1/12 twist will shoot from 150,165 and 180gr bullets all within 1' the 1/10 doesn't like 150 but shoots 165,180 and 200 gr in about 1 1/4". I shot 5 shot grouops of each bullet weight. I kind of knew when I had each rifle build just about what powder I was going to use and only palyed around with different bullets. I only use 7 mag brass and just neck it up. I had an old 308 Norma Mag that I shot back in the 70's it was a good shooter if brass was cheaper now wouldn't be a bad rifle to have. I never chronogaphed that rifle so cann't say as to velocity but did have alittle less case capacity than the 30-338 I used Norma brass. My next 30-338 will have a 5r barrel and be in 1/10 twist and hope it will work with R-19/22. I started out with a 28" barrel on the 700 finally cut it down to 24" just wasn't balance right with the longer barrel and the #1 has a 26" barrel. Well good luck.
     
  4. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Excellent,excellent posts roper and fiftydriver! I asked the right question in the right place. Both these cartridges would probably do fine, but (if I understood correctly) you both think the .30-.338 will go a touch faster? If so, that's the one I'll settle with if accuracy is sixes. One thing I didn't understand though fiftydriver is you said "from a case forming standpoint, I would choose the .30-.338". Isn't it easier to just buy .308 Norma mag brass than to form .30-.338, or don't they make the Norma brass anymore?
    ps. roper, what is a 5r barrel?

    [ 09-23-2004: Message edited by: goodgrouper ]
     
  5. JBM

    JBM Well-Known Member

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    Forming .308 Norma brass shouldn't be a worry. I do it all the time from .300 Win Mag. Just lube and full length resize then trim to length.
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Goodgrouper,

    YOu are correct in that is is "Easier" to buy 308 Norma brass then it is to form 30-338 brass from wither 338 or 7mm Rem Mag brass.

    But!

    IT is much cheaper to form brass for the 30-338 then it is to buy for the Norma. There is alot of quality brass for the belted magnums these days and with a little prepping, you can make some really nice brass for very little price.

    So you are correct, it is easier to buy then form but I would still go with the 30-338 way over the Norma. Just my personal opinion.

    As far as performance, all other factors aside, the Norma will probably be a tick faster then the 30-338 but something as slight as case volume variances might cancel this advantage out.

    They are very close, the Normas body length is about 0.040" longer then the 30-338 but the 30-338 is slightly larger in diameter at the shoulder, it would basically be a wash and chamber, throat and barrel variations would determine which is the faster of the two.

    Good Shooting!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    JBM,

    I agree it isn't a big deal to form Norma brass out of 300 Win brass but I just do not like trimming necks that much. If I had a power trimmer I may think different.

    But your right, it is not that difficult at all and more cost effective as well. Most 300 Win brass will out last the Norma hulls as well.

    Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  8. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    Goodgrouper, Huntington sells 308 Norma mag brass for around $100 per 100rd bulk. I use a Sinclair 30 cal neck mandel to open the 7mag brass. Redding now makes typs s dies for the 30-338 but not the 308 Norma mag. The best way to explain the 5r barrel is that they radiusing the intersection between the lands and grooves. You get on the net and look for "5r rifle barrels" they have alot of information also look at RIFLE-BARRELS.COM. Tim North makes them and they used to go by the name of Broughton Barrels he make my last one has some kind of problem with the 5r name so uses a 5C instead. Tim not only makes the barrel but he also use them in the 1000yd game. I know Obermeyer and Mike Rock make 5r barrel but can be a long time in getting one I think there are afew other also making the 5r(c) barrels. I average about depending on bullets 150/200fps more with Tim's barrel over standard velocity and figuring on a 30-338 with a 180 gr bullet should be pretty close to 3225/3300fps and you would be using 10gr of powder less than the 300wby. There are alot of guys still using the 308 Norma Mag and it's a fine caliber but brass dried up for a long time and had to form either 300H&H or 300win mag(later). Afew of us that date back to the 60's kind of remember the push for another cal besides the 30-06 and 300wby, fred came out with the 30-338 in 1958, 308 Norma was out think in 1961 and 300win mag in 1963. If you look back in time the 300wby and 308 norma parent case was the 300H&H. Fred just neck down the 338 mag case that came out in 1958 and had Win done that first you wouldn't have the 300win mag. There was such a push for the 300mag back then that the 30-338 and 308 norma got push aside but not forgotten. Those older Browning 308 mags were all good shooter. I think Parker Hale made afew also. This is just reminding me how old I am so best sign off.
     
  9. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

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    g.g.-- find "chaz" on http://wildcatshooting.com

    he shoots a 308 norma at long range, and can probably help you out.

    tell him i sent ya [​IMG]

    JB
     
  10. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Roper and JB1000br,
    Thanks guys for the info. I'll kick it around awhile and let you know what I decide!
     
  11. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    Would you mind explaining what you perceive as the advantage of either the 308 Norma or the 30-338Win. over the 300 Winchester Mag.? I'm not trying to make you justify your choice, I am only curious. If you want it; that's good enough. But, you expect some advantage, to make it worthwhile. Seems like there is not a lot of difference between them, in application. And, what is your application? Do you like a longer neck, or what?

    Good hunting. LB
     
  12. Crispin

    Crispin Member

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    RE: Perceived advantages of the 30-338 over the 300 WinMag. The 30-338 (or 30 AMU) is a more efficient case. It achieves 300 WMag velocities with the same bullets using notably less powder. The same cannot be said of the 308 Norma case. In my experience, with nearly identical barrels on Rem 40xs, the 30-338 holds tighter groups at all ranges but really shines with SIE 220s at 1000. That matters when you are on the benchrest or have your chest in the grass at Perry. In pragmatic terms if you were hunting with any of these three cartridges (and a few dozen others)the results would likely be pretty much the same.

    [ 09-26-2004: Message edited by: Crispin ]
     
  13. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    My dad had a 30-338 with a 26 inch Shilen barrel built on a Enfield action. With 180 Ballistic tips he was getting 3180 fps with no pressure signs and 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards. I really wish he did not sell that rifle! [​IMG]
     
  14. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    LB,
    Call it a flare for the unusual. I love the .300 win mag but as crispin said, one can get equal or better performance out of the other slightly smaller cases and have a longer neck, a shorter overall length, and it's fun to be sitting around the hunting fire when everyone is saying what they shoot (like 30-06 and 270's) I can stump them a second and say, "mine's a .30-.338".