What is the best .338????

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by hank shaper, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. hank shaper

    hank shaper Well-Known Member

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    My Buddy was just given 300 bullets (.338 cal. SMK in 300gr.) We are thinking about building a gun to shoot'em. What is the best 338 for bullets 250 grs. and up? What is also the most forgiving? He has reamers for 338 Win and 338 lapua. Which big 338s would you suggest? Edge, RUM or What? Do you recommend lighter bullets or is the 300 gr. best for long range? What barrel length do you like the best for this application?
    Thanks
    Hank
     
  2. Buckmaster

    Buckmaster Active Member

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    The 338 Lapua is a great round and it wins easily over the 338 win mag. There are some other 338 rounds such as the 338 Edge that get good reviews, but I do not have any experience so I can't comment. I will say that the 300 smk has always been the bullet to use for long range work in the big 338's. But, I think Richard Graves of wildcat bullets makes some 338 bullets in heavy weights as well. If I'm not mistaken, I think he makes a 350 grain.

    If you do go with the Lapua I would just go with the standard, not the improved. YMMV
     

  3. hank shaper

    hank shaper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Buckmaster,
    I've heard good things about the 338RUM and have seen one 338-378. Do these have an advantage over the Lapua?
     
  4. JD338

    JD338 Well-Known Member

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    I have a stock 700LSS in 338 RUM that delivers .5 moa if I do my part. The advantage of the RUM is lower cost brass from Remington. The Lapua brass will cost more and give you a 100-150 fps advantage.
    IMHO, if you need more than a 338 RUM, go with the 338 Edge.

    JD338
     
  5. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

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    No offense HNKSTR,dont take this the wrong way,but going through the time and expense of building a gun because you were given some bullets is the wrong way to go about a rifle project.
     
  6. Chawlston

    Chawlston Guest

    [ QUOTE ]
    My Buddy was just given 300 bullets (.338 cal. SMK in 300gr.) We are thinking about building a gun to shoot'em. What is the best 338 for bullets 250 grs. and up? What is also the most forgiving? He has reamers for 338 Win and 338 lapua. Which big 338s would you suggest? Edge, RUM or What? Do you recommend lighter bullets or is the 300 gr. best for long range? What barrel length do you like the best for this application?
    Thanks
    Hank

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The barrel length you decide on is going to determine the most efficient chambering.

    James
     
  7. Jim Oliver

    Jim Oliver Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a good excuse to me--I've acquired a new rifle with much less justification!!

    Jim
     
  8. Roll-Yur-Own

    Roll-Yur-Own Well-Known Member

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    Any excuse to get a new rig is a good one. Just like any excuse to buy new clothes/shoes is good for my wife.

    The 338-378 has the belted case. I'm not a fan of belted cases. Although I do love my 7mm stw! I also do not like the remington brass so I'm reluctant to go with Ultra Mags.
    The Lapua brass is awesome - No Belt - Saami Spec round so easy loading. I happen to love the 338 Lapua. Hard to go wrong with that round especially in a custom. I agree with buckmaster to go with a standard vs. improved. Its a pain in the a$$ for little extra.

    What will you be shooting with this new rig and where? That would make a difference as well.

    As far a barrels, Lilja is hard to beat.
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with any of them but the bigger ones become slightly less efficient with the 250 grain bullets and under.

    I like the idea of the 338 edge and the plain old 338 ultra works great too. I'm not such a fan of the standard 338 lapua mag because of all the case taper but it has good capacity. If you really want to fling the 300 grain bullets fast with a good quality case, go with the 338 lapua improved.
     
  10. Roll-Yur-Own

    Roll-Yur-Own Well-Known Member

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    How much more velocity do you get with a 338 Lapua improved over a standard with a 28" barrel?
     
  11. hank shaper

    hank shaper Well-Known Member

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    Ballistics64,
    As soon as I bought my first 30-06 I really didn't need any more rifles for S. Texas. That was 20 rifles ago. They are just toys for big boys aren't they? Thoght it would be fun to have a rifle that would kill what ever out to 1k+
     
  12. hank shaper

    hank shaper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everybody for the imput. I like the sound of the Edge or the RUM. I will use a Lilja, I have two already and they shoot great. (280AI and 6.5x300WBY) We figured on 30". As far as the use, we don't know. All we know is we don't have one. We will have to work to find a place to air it out here in S. Texas. Please let me know any other points of interest.
    Thanks
    Hank
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Those are two great choices, those and the standard 338 Lapua are about as easy to load for as they come and will get you good performance in an easy to build rifle.

    One tip I may add, don't forget the brake. YOu will get into the 2800 fps range easily with the Edge with a 300 gr pill. Unless the rifle has some weight to it you will want a brake to shoot it relaxed and comfortably like you should for accurate long range shooting.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  14. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Ballistics64,
    As soon as I bought my first 30-06 I really didn't need any more rifles for S. Texas. That was 20 rifles ago. They are just toys for big boys aren't they? Thoght it would be fun to have a rifle that would kill what ever out to 1k+

    [/ QUOTE ]

    not trying to imply you shouldnt build it if its what you want.I can only speak from my experience.When I started getting interested in long range shooting I had thoughts of a big 338 also,that is until I shot a friends 338 UM Sendero.While the recoil wasnt going to tear my shoulder off,it was much more than I wanted to endure during an extended shooting session and I like to shoot a lot,so it was a mind changer for me.I couldnt see myself shooting my friends rifle enough to be able to become proficient with it at long range so I opted a different route.A lot of calibers will kill at 1000 yds provided a person becomes proficient with thier gun including the '06.
    No discouragement was intended,just something to think about.