33 Nosler - what am I missing?

johnlittletree

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Hello all. I am a long time lurker on this forum, but I recently joined and this is my first post.

I want to build a precision .338 hunting rifle. I have been researching .338 cartridges for a few years now but have not been able to decide on a chambering. This will be for a dedicated elk/moose/bear rifle. The explosion of high-BC .338 bullets in recent years - Berger 250 EH, Hornady 230/270 ELDX - has really driven me to build a .338 hunting rifle.

My velocity goals for this rifle include pushing the 250 Berger at 2900+ and the 230 Hornady ELDX at 3000+. I would also like to be able to push the 250 A-Frame at 2800+ for big bears.

I have ruled out the 338 Win Mag because all of the load data I have seen just doesn't meet my velocity goals (at least not without tons of pressure and a very long barrel). Also I would prefer an unbelted case, which rules out the 340 Bee. I would really like to avoid going too much bigger in terms of case size, i.e. Norma Mag, Edge, or Lapua, because I just don't want THAT much recoil and muzzle blast in a lightweight hunting rifle. I already own a 338 Norma Mag Improved target rifle and it would be an absolute beast if it weighed 10 pounds less than it does. I am not opposed to wildcats like the 338-375 Ruger, although I am not a huge fan of Hornady brass and I hate the thought of that being the only source.

At first glance, the 33 Nosler seems like it might be the chambering that meets all of my requirements, but something doesn't add up. First off, I am completely ignoring all of Nosler's marketing BS about the 33 being faster than a Lapua. That is a ridiculous claim. But the 33 still seems like an interesting cartridge.

Here is what is throwing me for a loop: using my best Googling skills, it looks like the 33 has a case capacity of 89.8 grains of H2O. The 338 Win Mag is at 86 grains of H2O. Are those capacities accurate? I find it hard to believe that the 33 will significantly outpace the Win Mag with only 3 grains more capacity. What gives?
How many African game animals do I need to show you harvested with a lowly Winchester Model 70 in 338 Mag to change your mind? Is it just the numbers on paper you do not like or has the lowly 338 Win Mag failed you multiple times in N. America, S. America, Europe and Africa non-dangerous game animals? Because if results are all that matter on real animals. I can give all kinds of images as proof.

Keep in mind that in most countries to compete of hunt with it the head stamp on the ammo has to match the clambering stamped on the barrel. It has to meet CIP or SAAMI standards and be proof-able by a proof house and you have to be able to either buy ammo for it or buy those components that you need in that country!

I am 45 years old and the arms race for ever faster super wamy magnums has never slowed down in my life time. There is no end to people claiming well proven cartridge XYZ does not meat their factious number game that has no basis in reality. In fact prior to minimum cartridge sizes for dangerous game and such in Africa a tone of wild and dangerous beast where taken with the lowly anemic on paper 7x57 Mauser, 8x57 Mauser, 6.5x55 Swede and 9,3x63 which is often given exceptions in many African countries based on real world results not paper tiger games with some times silly numbers that mean little in real life compared to actual results.

LOL.....Sometimes you guys sound like nerds playing ancient role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons with the roll of the dice(number's) deciding life and death. The 45-70 looks like a turd on paper but in the real world it is very lethal and very fast with iron sights at close range. The 8x57 Mauser looks like a turd on paper but again shoot one with a CIP approved loading and pressure in 180gr-200g. I can ring a gong from a bench at 1000m with a factory barrel just do not ask me to do it with iron sights! LOL

Results in the real world trump numbers on paper. So I am just trying to understand what it is about 338 Win Mag you think is not up to the task?

All of that said nothing beats a man saying " Just because I want too!" LOL.... After all it is your money that you worked for and your rifle! LOL As long as it is not something as idiotic as a 338 Win Mag AI.....LOL IN 2018 nothing is as silly as building anything in AI again unless " Just because I can. or Just because I want to!" no intelligent argument can be made for it based on cost, performance, barrel life etc....LOL "Just Because" though always wins when it is a mans money he earned!

Cheers!!!! If performance and not buring out barrels is what is needed the 338 Win Mag is the way to go.

If you want to compete in PRactical Shooting Sports, F-Class or take out material target like Scud Missle Lanchers then I can see what you might want to burn more powder and eat up barrels!

Again Cheers!
 

phorwath

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"Just because" can be the best reason in the world.
Different strokes for different folks.

Some hunters' definitions of good performance are much longer than - animals I've shot have died.
 

jasent

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There was an African on Facebook the other day posing with a bunch of African big game(22 pics but I didn’t see them all) that he killed with a 243 ai and 87 gr vmax.
I think most folks would say the 243ai is not an African big game gun and most certainly not with the 87 vmax but there he was with proven results and a bunch of dead critters.

If your happy with 338wm great but many of us don’t build rifles just to make critters dead. We also want performance at extreme ranges well past what one would shoot at a critter
 

johnlittletree

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To be clear all of the African game in these photo's was taken by a close relative of mine what was my Win M70 338 Win Mag. I do not do Trophy's not that I have a problem with anyone that does. It is not my ball of wax but none of the meat goes to waste so it is all good! Ignore the other critters! He has a lot more African game too not shown. He has more much. 2 Elk from Colorado, Moose from Canada, Bear Skin rugs all over the place etc.... So my point was the 338 Win Mag is a fine cartridge for killing game even at long ranges in Africa, N. America, S. America and any place else you might want to hunt.

I can not take credit for these other than having sold my favorite rifle to a relative before one of 3 trips to Africa.

We used to shoot together all the time it was the glue that kept us together. Always competing with factory rifles, hand loads, hunting prowess, target shooting etc....

Taxidermy is expensive so I just hunt to eat the meat I like to eat or to get rid of diseased animals or one damaging property! Even actual trophies and plaques do not mean much to me. Competition is fun because of the competition win or lose and a nice full belly of Pheasant, Elk, Wild Boar, Caribou, Rabbit are their own reward right!!! Cheers!
 
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Mazdayasna

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"works" is equivalent to a favorite flavor of koolaid. Grape works. Cherry flat out "works". In this context, and with no further explanation, "work" explains nothing more than personal preference. 30-30 works for thousands.
Great that they "work" for the folk they work for though!
Wait! Koolaid is made my Monsanto Now Right? hoowee, where was that context again. Oh wait, it's not there now is it.
 

phorwath

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Monsanto now owns the Koolaid brand? Is there anthing they don't control/market? What's the world come to??? :)

Not sure that works for me...o_O
 

VLD Pilot

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The 33 Nosler is capable of propelling a 225 gr AccuBond at 3025 fps and the brand new 265 gr AccuBond Long Range at 2775 fps. That's 275 fps faster than the 338 Win Mag using the same length action and 25 fps faster than the 338 Lapua at the muzzle while burning 18% less powder. this info is from nosler.com
Of course it is !!!
 

VLD Pilot

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The 33 nolser is simply a 338 win mag without a belt its a cute little sucker,, feeding problems? there aren't any.
It will not compete with any of the bigger 338's period. Its simple laws of physics you cant take a case shorten it decrease powder capacity make the neck longer so on so forth and magically have a round that is capable of out running the larger counterparts with more case capacity and so on!! it doesn't work that way

ive had plenty of experience with it and I can tell you it will shoot like crazy and the little case when set up with the right amount of free bore will allow the 250 berger to ride out of the powder column way up in the long neck! but this doesn't mean its going to be gaining 300 fps by doin this.

in 25-26" barrels the ones ive delt with will shoot mid 2800's with 250 and high 2900-3000 with 225. these speeds are from drops not a chrono and others im sure will vary but that's what ive seen in my experience.

there is no magic pixie dust or super secret sauce to make it scream ha ha its a small case ((( smallest of the nosler mags yet)) im still trying to understand why nolser cut the legs off of these cases but they did themselves a disservice by doing so.
Very well stated. Thank you.
 

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