Winchester M70 .338 Win Mag, Max Effective Range

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by mmpoeth, May 17, 2005.

  1. mmpoeth

    mmpoeth Member

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    I was wondering if any of you have an insight on the max effective range of my Winchester M70 .338 Magnum rifle. I’m really new to long range shooting and know that some popular cartridges for long range are .308 win, .300 win mag., .338 Lapua and .50 BMG. However, I am trying to do a few things to use the one rifle that I have to establish long-range experience (i.e. getting good optics, 15 moa base, proper ammunition, etc.). And, I see that the .338 lapua gets very good ratings and I just wonder if there was a tremendous amount of differences between my .338 win. Mag. Rifle/cartridge for a long range shooting setup and the .308 win, .300 win mag, and the .338 lapua? With the right setup on my rig what do you think I can achieve in terms of maximum effective range (ignoring the factor of “beginner” human error)? I know I can probably never reach a comparable accuracy to the first-class long range and most costly rifle on the market, but I’ve heard a few good things about the new Winchester Model 70’s and thought I would get your take on my model with the .338 Win Mag for long range shooting. Your insight is appreciated.

    - matt
    Virginia
     
  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    There is no reason not to shoot the .338 Win. out to 'long-range', to a point just what constitutes long is determined by the shooter as much as by the equipment . When I read your post my mind went back to the longest shot that I have ever made, an antelope, and the kill was made with a .338 Win.

    The only negative that I can see with shooting the .338 Win. for a primary long range rifle is the recoil - to obtain the skills required for confident long range shooting we have to shoot a lot. The magnums in the weight of rifle you are talking might be fairly hard on the shooter. The worst I have ever been hurt by recoil was from a relatively lightweight .338 Win. and it did a number on my shoulder that lasted for over two weeks. We can use PAST recoil shields and Limbsaver recoil pads to reduce the abuse but the cartridge does kick a lot more than the .308 Win.
    Welcome to the site, you can learn a lot from these guys. As for your question - Max Effective Range for a good shooting .338 Win. is way out there, I would say past 6-700 yards for sure. There are lots of good bullets available.
     

  3. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Ian sans the kick. My BAR 338 Win Mag with BOSS break kicks less than my .243 - My petite nieces say it kicks less than my 50 BMGs or my 243 ( the BMGs seem to kick the least to all the boys )
    The big BAR is exceptionally accurate for an auto - but an accurate auto is not really a long range gun.
    Put a good muzzle break on the 338, PAST (My Winchester recoil shields seem to work just as well and are MUCH cheaper).
    I also use a slipon Limbsaver while practicing (and a PAST) - live game gives you kick amnesia.
    So if you don't add a break, Ian is 100% right - if you do he's only 99% right /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  4. mmpoeth

    mmpoeth Member

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    Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way about the punishing effects of the .338 recoil. I've got a slanted scar right between my eyebrows from creeping up too close to a poorly rated eye-relief optic. After that, the .338 treats me pretty nice, especially after adding the limbsaver. I'm anxious to start using this for long range precision.
     
  5. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the site. Lots of good info here and in time I'm sure you'll be able to answer your question about the 338 Win. quite well for yourself. I started out LR hunting with the 338 Win. years ago and still like it a lot. Guys here will try to push the 338 a bit faster by going to the Lapua, Ultra Mag or 338/378 Wby to minimize wind drift etc but the 338 Win. is no slouch.

    I put a muzzle brake on my cousin's 338 Win. the other day and it shoots like a 308 Win with the 225's now. He's just learning about LR and what it takes and with his new Ruger M77 MkII 338 Win. but it's definitely an effecient killer on moose without a doubt. It gives up a little bit to the larger 338's but is a great cartridge that hits real hard.

    With some practice I think he will be able to keep all shots inside a pie plate at 500 yards with a solid rest, even further the more he learns his rig and what he is capable of.

    LR hunting is definitely not rocket science but, it does take knowledge and experience with the basic skills you can easily learn here in time.

    The 338 Win can be as effective as the 308 Win to 600-800 yards but, with more energy at the target obviously, it can go beyond 1000 yards if you really practice with it and know the variables inside and out.
     
  6. mmpoeth

    mmpoeth Member

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    I was thinking about buying a replacement barrell for my M70 .338 mag, that would be an upgrade from the standard stainless thin "sporter" barrel that it came with. I'm looking for something that would be a direct insert but much heavier and able to shoot tighter groups and precision at long range. Does anyone have any suggestions, links, prices, experience?

    -matt
    VA
     
  7. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I had to learn the hard way about the punishing effects of the .338 recoil. I've got a slanted scar right between my eyebrows from creeping up too close to a poorly rated eye-relief optic.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I saw the same thing happen to a friend while hunting this year. Not pretty.

    While I like the energy carried at distance with that round, I prefer a flatter shooting cartridge myself. I'm shure it will kill out as far as you are capable of shooting it.
     
  8. mmpoeth

    mmpoeth Member

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    I was thinking about the new barrel and possibility of a new stock, and was wondering what is really left of the old rifle after all this "accurizing" is actually done? Replacing barrel, stock, trigger job, action worked on, I don't know at what point it (cost effectively) becomes to better to just focus on building a whole new rifle and keep the unaltered one I have?
     
  9. x2hunt

    x2hunt Member

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    I recently inherited my dads 338 win mag. it was born a 375 HH but he had it rebarreled for 338 wm its on a whitworth express action and shieln barrel w break, custom offset stock. I have always enjoyed shooting long range and i do so with my custom savage 7 mag and even shot 600 yd match with my AR. I was thinking about rebarreling my 7 mm to a larger cartridge because my savage was pushing a 168 Berger about 2940 fps and i wanted to get up around 3100
    or 3200 while staying with the heavier VLDs so i was thumbing through my reloading books and seen the 338 wm pages and i was amazed !lightbulb I never had gave that rifle a thought its always been just an elk gun to me ! its pushing a 160 over 3200. has anyone used any 160 + gr VLDs and if so what have you had luck with groups and on animals for long range gun)
     
  10. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in the era of friends shooting elk w/338 win, couple frienDs have taken 20+ each. Nothing wrong with it and I saw elk fall to them in 700 + RANGE. Brake it and get a limbsaverpad if you need. Recoil is different for everyone, I shot a non braked 340wby for 10 yrs, before I braked it. I put 400 rnds. threw it first year I HAD it, shot everything w/it gophers, yotes, what evergun)
     
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    The 338 winchester is a good 800 yard rifle. Just depends on how accurate your model 70 is. Call Devin at Sin Arms and put a 338 SIN barrel on it. It would fit great on that action and put you easily into 1000 yard hunting.
     
  12. Warbird2006

    Warbird2006 Well-Known Member

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  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    lightbulbI hope the OP has moved on since his original post date.lightbulb