New Guy

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Kerry Knudsen, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. Kerry Knudsen

    Kerry Knudsen Member

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    Oct 3, 2002
    Greetings.

    This is my first day logged in, but I've been lurking for a week or two. Very interested to learn.

    My current set-up is a Browning A-Bolt Stalker chambered for a .338 Win. Mag. and it has a composite stock and a Leupold VariX III, 3.5X10X50.

    After reading, I realize this may not be an optimum set-up, but then, I didn't really think much about shooting over 500 meters.

    Now that I've been watching for a while, I'd be more interested in knowing what I can expect from my gun than how much I can spend getting a better outfit. Wife would not want to hear it. That Leupold was not cheap.

    FWIW, recoil doesn't seem to bother me. I had a Pachmyer decellerator installed right after I bought the gun.

    I can currently keep the holes in the 10-spot at 200 meters, which is the extent of our shooting range.

    I am also ready to start leaning to reload, having just bought a kit from RCBS.

    All comments appreciated.

    kk
     

  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    May 3, 2001
    I have shot the .338 mag a bunch and have made some very long shots for it (and me). Your goal of 500 is very doable with that rifle. Secret is to shoot a bunch so you get confident.
    Long range is a personal thing, don't worry about 1000 until you get 500 under your belt.
    Good luck with your shooting and reloading.
     

  3. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Jul 27, 2001
    Welcome to the site. This may seem like a simple answer but the only way to find out how your rifle will shoot is to try it.

    If your load is consistent, then there is every chance that your long range groups will reflect your short range groups. ie MOA at 200yds may mean MOA at 500yds.

    The big variable are the conditions and the shooter. If you can find a very calm day and shoot off a solid bench using good front and rear rests, you man find that you have all that you need.

    Would suggest getting some target turrents put on at least the elevation knob, and a good range finder (Leica 800 or 1200 to start). Your scope is excellent for anything you are planning to do in the short term.

    If the load strings, then you can start looking at bedding and other load tweaking.

    Start with what you have and really try and make it work. Most factory rifles are so well built today that they can rival many custom hunting rifles.

    Good luck...

    Jerry
     
  4. Kerry Knudsen

    Kerry Knudsen Member

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    Oct 3, 2002
    Ian:

    When you say, "shoot a bunch..." what should I expect in terms of intervals? In other words, what does "hot" mean in terms of not shooting if the barrel is hot?
     
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    When I shoot a sporter weight barreled magnum I try not to shoot less than two minutes apart, more is better. The barrel is going to heat up a bunch if you shoot too quickly and that can cause vertical stringing. Plus it is hard on the shooter's concentration.
    I fire a shot and look at my watch, round off the movement of the second hand to the nearest quarter minute and wait two full mintues before chambering a round.
    Heavier barrels heat up a little slower but when they get hot they stay that way for a while. Good quality barrels that are pillar bedded properly will shoot amazingly well when they are very hot, but you are shortening their life by doing so.
    I have shot magnums that were far too hot to touch, on hot muggy days when the barrel just won't cool - no choice but to shoot and they were very accurate.
    Waiting between shots is very boring, but it can be a good idea.
     
  6. DANTEC

    DANTEC Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2002
    welcome to the board

    as IAM M say try to shoot a lot and improved your skill , 338 WIN is not a real long range cartridge but a well balanced powerfull hunting cartridge accurate enought to take game under 350 yards , after low BC hunting bullets get lot of drop .

    you can try 338 250 Scenar for accuracy shoot if you want to improve your accuracy but best is perhaps to find a practice low cost rifle as a used ( as nib ) SAVAGE in 30.06 for few $ and practice with , SAVAGE have a very good ratio price / accuracy for a out of the box rifle and 30.06 is less kick cartridge so for practice that better and price of ammo is better in 30.06 than in 338 Win n ad keep your 338 Win for limited trials and hunting a lot with .

    try to shoot a lot and learn on the range .

    Good shooting

    DAN TEC
     
  7. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I usually practice with the 225 Hornady spire point, or a similar bullet from Speer to cut costs. My favorite hunting bullets for the .338 are the 225 Swift A-Frame and the 210 Nosler. There are some very good Barnes bullets also but I have not found a load that beats the other two bullets. The 225 Hornady has produced some very tight groups from my rifles.
     
  8. Kerry Knudsen

    Kerry Knudsen Member

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    Oct 3, 2002
    No doubt I have gone about this all wrong, but I can't read and think all year. So I jumped in with both feet.

    First, I now have an RCBS Rock Chucker and am assembling it and reading the manual.

    I focused on the 225 Game King bullet, but when I got to the rifle shop they only had 215s and 250s, so I went with the 250s. Unfortunately, that screwed up my choice of Re19 powder, so I took a quick look at Hornady and bought the IMR4350.

    I have over 100 spent cases of factory stuff I have already shot, so tell me where I stand.

    I don't have the load information for the 250 Game King and IMR4350 any longer. Advice on working up a load appreciated.

    I got Winchester primers, if that matters.

    I don't mind shooting the gun, and am not new either to shooting or hunting. I am, however, a total newbie to reloading and to long-range hunting.

    Your input is very much appreciated.

    kk
     
  9. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I believe that 250's are not the optimum bullet for making long shots with the .338 Win., would suggest 225's or lighter when you can get them. Since you have the 250's there is no reason not to determine a good accurate load and shoot them for practice and learning.
    There are a couple of considerations when starting to work up a load. Powder and primer selections are first, no sweat on the bullets since you have them. Check the manuals and internet sources (www.accuratreloading.com is the first one I would go to) to determine a range that you can work within with the 4350. Then you really need to determine the overall length that you will be setting your die for. You can do this with guages (Stoney Point for instance) or trial and error in your rifle. Frequently the optimum OL will be longer than your magazine well, so if you are making hunting ammo you are restricted to the length that will fit into the magazine.
    You may or may not want to compare Win primers with Win Magnum primers for this magnum case.
    Load three or five rounds of each weight, starting at least 3-4 grains below the maximum listed. Shoot the test rounds slowly and use a pad so that your shoulder does not get beat-up. Your rifle will indicate which load it prefers, you might even have to go one or two grains over maximum if it appears that accuracy is improving and more velocity is needed.
    Remember to record all the group sizes, how easily the brass extracted, O.L. and the details of the makeup of the best load.
    Your rifle will tell you when pressures are approaching the danger point, as will the base of the cartridge case. Stop if you can feel that you need a slightly increased effort to lift the bolt. Also check the bottom of the cartridge case and see if there are flattened circles where your ejector plunger was located, or if the primer is really flattened in the pocket. Some loads show excell pressure by creating craters around the firing pin indentation, sometimes that is not a reliable indicator.
    Good luck in your load development - it ain't rocket science but you should develope a routine that ensures safety and accuracy.