Is enough ever realy enough?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by winmag, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Is there such thing as having too much gun.... maybe, if you want to shoot rock chucks with a 338edge, some would consider it overkill, still others go for it on a never ending search for ''the perfect tool''.
    My question concerns factory rifles being shot with as much precision as can be attained per individual rifle without crossing into the ''custom L/R realm''.
    Like many folks I live on a budget. As much as id like to break into the ''custom L/R realm'' its not feasable for me right now(But Ill keep deraming anyway).
    I own 2 rifles that I load for and shoot to 600yds on paper pretty regularly. Ones a 270 wsm and the other is a 300 wby. Both are factory model 70 Winchesters. Both shoot well (by my standards) to the range im comfortable shooting to. My personal ability somewhat limmits my range while hunting to around 400 yds. No Im not bringing up ethics here. just my own ability to place my 1st shot confidently where it needs to go.
    I own a Browning A-Bolt in 338 win mag(a gift from a good friend of my family) that id like to shoot accurately to 600yds give or take, but I cant seem to find anyone that thinks this is a good idea. Its always the same ol ''if your gonna build a 338 go with a RUM or EDGE'' etc.
    The problemb is I HAVE AN A-BOLT, and I dont have deep enough pockets to go the other route. And Im not ''Building'' one, its already built.
    Now Im not above putting a new stock on it or trigger in it, but Im not gonna ''Build'' it(keep the action and scrap the rest).
    I know that out to 600yds or so(the range im going for here) my 300 wby is gonna keep up with it or maybe even surpass it to some extent for the purpose of whackin deer,elk,and blackbears, but the big advantage is bullett construction IMO. Do I need it for such game? No, not nessisarily, but ''if i can kill em with a 270wsm or 300 wby why not kill em ''DEADER'' with more authority with the 338?'' Ive shot a few 338's and dont mind the recoil, its well within the tollerable range for me.

    Am I splitting hairs here, or wasting $ that I should be putting toward a future custom rig someday? Should I just scope it and see what I can get for accuracy and live with an ugly black plastic stocked, sponge triggered rifle? It just seems a waste of a what could be a fun new toy!
    Any advice on this one will be apreciated, and I am on a budget remember, I can only do a little here and there.:) Thanks, winmag
     
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    I think your 300 wby is more than enough gun for 600 yards on deer,elk,and blackbears, even a 1000yards. Mot sure what you mean by bullet construction but I'll take a stab at it...There's a vast selection of excellent 30 caliber hunting bullets that will do the job. The animal won't now whether they were hit by a 30 or 338 caliber bullet.

    As far as what to do with your 338, it sound like your not to happy with the way it looks and such, so if you can afford to tweak it with a new trigger, stock and such...I say go for it, turn it into a looker and make yourself happy.
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I would stay with the proven 300 Wby and go up on a forum where the 338 Win will be a treasure such as 24hour BSfire and sell it. I would then take the money immediately and buy an action such as a Surgeon or whatever in a magnum or Lupua bolt face. I would dunk the action in some 90W gear grease and put it away. A year or so from now I would I would buy a barrel from one of the group buys on Snipers Hide or from one of the clearances of the barrel makers. And over five or so years I would assemble all of the components needed. Then when everything was at hand I would try to find the funds to have a really good gunsmith put them together.

    If it was me I would get the Lapua bolt face. :D
     
  4. Kiwi Nate

    Kiwi Nate Well-Known Member

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    Am very sorry but I have to agree with Buffalo Bob. The Brownings tend to shoot well enough and can be very accurate but are pretty rubbishy these days. The trigger housing is made of zinc (toy car) metal, the trigger is gold painted plastic. The short lift bolt has no camming power if you get a case problem and the magazine box is too short for long loaded rounds. The threads in the reciever are usually total crap so that when it comes time to rebarrel, the poor smith loses sleep over ripped/gawled threads which is frikken unfair- especially with added pressure from folks saying that Browning A-bolts are oh so cool.

    As far as the caliber goes, the 338 is ok but most of the available bullets have low BC's. The SMK's have high BC's but they don't expand very well at low velocities like the VLD bullets. With the 250 grain SMK, you will be limited to between 2650 and 2750fps at the muzzle and at the 200 yard mark, unless you are hitting a very solid animal, you will find the kills to be very slow, very dissapointing. Even the plain jne .308Win does a better job on lean animals at the 200 yard mark.

    In a few months, you will probably be able to obtain the new .338 VLD bullets which will enable the .338 Win mag to really shine on a wider variety of animals at longer ranges/ lower velocities. For now, I wouldn't call the .338 over powered for general work. People too often read energy charts and take it as gospel that a bigger bullet means a bigger hole. They get the big gun and if things go right for them they gloat, but if trhings go wrong, like slow killing, they hush up, won't pass on information and nobody is any wiser.

    Bullet construction is, as you can imagine, far more relevant to wounding than simply a theoretical unit of energy.

    Here is a pic of a 200 yard shot from my .338 Winchester on a Goat. It was a slow kill, the animal did not offer enough resistance for the 250 grain SMK bullet at this velocity. The exit side of the rib cage is shown. I only peeled back the scapula a short distance, should have peeled it back more for a clearer picture of the continued exit wound. Note also the lack of bruising.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Nathan
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  5. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I have taken several animals beyond 600 yards with the 338 winchester including a moose at 1100 yards. It is a very potent cartridge. If there is sentimental value with your browning I would shoot it and if it shoots good then there is your answer. If it doesn't then your 300 wby will easily get you way out there if you can get it accurate enough. My longest shot with the 300 wby was 1340 yards on a deer. So you have the calibers, you just need to make them accurate. Do not try and build a gun on the browning action. It is very poor metal and the worst action in the business. Design is good, just p-poor metal in it.

    If I were you I would sell the Browning and buy a Remington 338 ultramag and then you are good to however far you care to shoot. Cabelas had the stainless ones with a hard gun case and 3-12 scope on sale christmas for $569. Have it accurized and a brake put on it and it will last you a lifetime of fun hunting further than most anyone can legitimately hit something. Then the only guys that will have any advantage over you in a hunting weight carry rifle would be the ones with the 338-378 wby's.
     
  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    With the standard remy it's a roll of the dice whether you get a shooter or not.
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    My high school teacher shot over 50 + elk, his favorite rifle 338. I have a buddy that has taken 45+ bull, his fav. 300WEATHERBY, THERE YOU GO your all set:D:D My 325 wsm Browning has since 06, taken 3 big muleys, 3 6x6,1 5x5, 2 bear, with several past 500
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  8. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Great comments by all. Thank you! I always wondered why almost no-one ever built a L/R rifle on a Browning. I guess now I know.
    Unfortunately, being a gift, I can not sell/trade the rifle. It was a great honor to recive such a toy from a friend, and I wouldnt want to dissapoint him. I suppose for now Ill scope it, and add ''bolt on'' bennifits(stock and trigger) as I can afford them.
    My more immediate goal is saving enough to get an AR in a 308 for using in the hawthorn brush for close in black bear hunting. Ill keep the 300 wby and 270 wsm for the longer stuff and let the 338 A-Bolt go to the back of the cabnet.

    As far as the 338 win caliber goes, I have another question;
    would a 338 WIN be a smart caliber to go with when I have the $$ to start my first real L/R rifle? (obviously after what Ive just learned, NOT on a Browning action). Or should I just stick with a 300 of some kind(another wby maybe??) ''BUILT'' for accuracy this time by a gunsmith, not an over the counter Winchester just cause im a Winchester nut. Not that Id be opposed to using a Winchester action, but I mean a REAL purpose built accurate rifle.

    I noticed 'BUFFALOBOB' didnt mention Winchester actions when he said buy an action now and collect the pieces as I can afford them.(good advise) Is there a reason? Or would it just be a sin to soak a Winchester action in 90 wt? haha (I did appreciate his comment tho, and am curious about the lack of Winchester actions in his comment)Does LAPUA have a bigger bolt face or something? and if Im building a 338 is it just not bennifitial enough to me to go with the smaller WIN case? Or 30 cal of some kind?
    Thanks again for the comments, keep em' commin..........
     
  9. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Your original post mentioned 600 yards if that's is the LR you just mentioned in your last post then I think there are a number of good choices such as 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30 caliber...some would perform well to a 1000 yards. IMHO I wouldn't go with a 338wm but, If you wanted to have a 338 then I'd look into 338 RUM, 338 Lapua, 338 Edge or 338AX.
     
  10. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    It's a rifle, a tool, use it. There is nothing wrong with the .338 WM. Do you re-load? If so, develop a load with your choice of bullet. Use the rifle inside the limits that it has. Enjoy the gift, I think you have a very fine factory rifle. It may wind up shooting better than your other rifles. Use a good quality bullet for the intended use and it will make everything you shoot very dead.

    If you are just going to put it in the back of the cabinet, you might as well send it to me. It can still be yours, I'll just get the enjoyment out of it that you are not going to.:)

    Good luck,
    Steve
     
  11. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    If you are going to build a custom rifle and do not have a suitable action in hand, then it is the consensus of opinion that it is cheaper and better to buy one of the "semicustom" actions rather than to buy a factory action like a Rem 700 and then pay the gunsmith to true it up to the tolerances of the semi custom. The semicustom action retains its market value better.

    The 338 Lapua and the 30-378 Wby series have a bolt face that is larger than a magnum bolt face. Once again a smith can open up a magnum bolt face to the Lapua size, but it is an added cost.

    I mentioned Surgeon as making a semi custom or perhaps a better term is semi competition action but their cheaper action is not available in a Lapua bolt face but Stiller has one and it can even be had in a 408CT bolt face. Might as well just go for the whole enchilada. :D
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    The 338 win mag is a great 600 yard round !!!!!

    The thing that really separates the factory guns from the customs is mostly the barrel. Most
    factory barrels are poor quality compared to custom barrels, so if you want to keep the 338
    win mag as is the only thing you need to do is re barrel it with a new custom barrel and true
    the action and bed the stock.

    Then if you want to buy a better stock,trigger or any other improvements you have a good
    base to start with.

    If your factory barrel is not very good none of the normal things will improve it much.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  13. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all again.
    Chas1, I guess its kind of a toss up between a big 30 or a 338 of some kind for me. I love how flat a 7mag shoots and noone can argue the point of a 6.5 being accurate to great distances. Im just not much of a ''metric caliber'' fan.(maybe I should just call it a .264 haha) I can see I have ALOT to learn before I decide what L/R rig to go with for my needs.
    Whwn that day comes, Ill probably pester ''BUFFALOBOB'' some more too about actions so i can get educated enough to make a wise choice in actions.
    MontanaMtnMt, Ill take the advice of your first paragraph and use the tools I have as best I can, and yes, Ill work up some loads for it. As far as ''permanantly loaning it to you'' Sorry I cant do that.
    Kiwi thank you for your input and pics.
    I know I left out a couple people and Im sorry,my memory isnt that great. But I do appreciate ALL THE ADVISE I have recived from everyone.
    When the time comes, maybe Ill have a group input and see what we all come up with for a good place to start. Do pics and such with the build progress etc.
    Thanks again, and Ill keep reading if anyone has any more input.
     
  14. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    It wouldn't have to be a permanent deal. I'd give it back after a while, after all it is yours. I'd just be giving it the love it deserves.:Dgun)

    Steve