338-06 ai

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sundance1972, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. sundance1972

    sundance1972 Well-Known Member

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    I realize it's not exactly a long range round, but does anyone here hunt with one?

    I'm hoping to have mine back by the end on the month (just "patiently" waiting for the stock to be finished), and can't wait to begin load development. The rifle itself is nothing fancy (Savage 111 action, 26" McGowan barrel, Timney trigger and will be bedded into a custom "Black Knight" laminate stock inletted for the detachable mag) but I'm thinking it should make an excellent moose/elk rifle.

    Any load data to share, or even just your thoughts/comments on it?
     
  2. kennygss

    kennygss Well-Known Member

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    It is a GREAT Elk round, a GREAT rifle round. Exceptional performer at short to moderate ranges. Mine liked the 225 Partition.
     
    Mike 338 likes this.
  3. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I am planning to build a standard 338-06 A-Square on a 98 mauser action. I have considered the AI, but the information I can find indicates that there is only about 2 grains difference in case capacity.

    I would be very interested to know how your rifle performs once you have it in hand.
     
  4. sundance1972

    sundance1972 Well-Known Member

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    Was going to go with the standard 338-06 as well, but read a few articles about the AI version having a lit better headspace control and easier extraction, so figured "Why not?" Dies were a little more $$ (Reddings), but not a big deal for a once in a lifetime purchase.

    From what little data I've found on the net (not that I believe everything I read on the reloading sites :) ), should be able to get a 200gr Accubond pretty close to 2900 (if not a little over), and a 180-185 up to 3000fps with the 26" barrel.
     
  5. mbundy

    mbundy Well-Known Member

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    I just purchased a 338-06 AI built on a mauser action. Haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, but will share data once I do. I'm focusing on bullets in the 200g-225g range. I have some load data from the previous owner using 210g Partitions that I will try out. From there will move on to Accubonds, Swift Sciroccos & A-Frames, and finally Northforks.
     
  6. kennygss

    kennygss Well-Known Member

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    It really shines with the heavier slugs as well. I ran the 225's at about 2700
     
  7. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I have read similar things about the AI version and headspace control/case life. Regardless, the AI always has a bit of extra COOL factor, IMO. I'm just never sure I want to live with fire forming. If I were getting enough of a performance boost, I think I could accept the extra hassle. Anyway, that's always the sort of calculation I go through in my head when it comes to these things.

    If I could get 2700 or so from 225's in the 338-06, I would be pretty happy. I am pretty much thinking that I would develop a 185 class load @ 3000ish and a 225 class load @ 2700 ish and that would do whatever I need done.

    Of course, that all assumes my finished rifle likes those bullet weights...

    In the end, I suppose that the 338-06 doesn't qualify as a true long range cartridge. It's still an interesting cartridge, though. I am always curious to see what anyone who has one has to say about it.
     
    Mike 338 likes this.
  8. kennygss

    kennygss Well-Known Member

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    I would add; with the (relative) popularity if the 338 06 A-square ( AI) there is brass out there etc. It baffles me that this round isnt even more mainstream. Even fireforming is ridiculously simple. This is perhaps one of the top 5 Elk rounds.



     
  9. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that its lack of popularity is simply due to the fact that it doesn't fit any of the marketing strategies used to sell "sizzle" to the general public. It's not an Ultra or a short mag. It's not a magical, short, fat cartridge. It's not tacticool. You won't see it on Best of the West flooring bull elk at 1000 yards.

    The 338-06 has all the workmanlike traits of its parent case. It is reliable, accurate, gives solid terminal performance, easy to load for, easy component availability. To a rifle crank like me, those are all desireable traits.

    To the uninitiated, it's boring. Maybe even inadequate, since it doesn't have the word "magnum" anywhere in its name. Afterall, everyone knows that if it's not a good anti-tank round, it can't possibly be any good for big game in North America.

    I'm going to make it even worse by putting it in a mauser.

    Who wants one of those? Yuck! They are old, heavy, inaccurate, obsolete junk that only a hillbilly would want and even they have sense enough to prefer a good SKS. Everybody knows that a serious rifleman carries a Remington 700.
     
    Hand Skills likes this.
  10. Knwh51

    Knwh51 Member

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    I've had a 338/06 AI for a few years and have tried several loads in it. It's a reworked 1917 Enfield with a heavy Clay Spencer barrel. I really don't gain much over a plain 338/06. I can get 2800-2850 fps with CT 200 Silver tips with good accuracy. The 225 grain Nosler AB produce similar speeds and are equally accurate. My barrel just doesn't like Sierra bullets for whatever reason. With either bullet it's quite an effective deer round. Sorry to say I've never had the chance to try it on larger game. All shots on deer produced DRT results without excessive meat loss. If you use Lapua brass you may have to turn the necks, my rifle will not chamber a round with Lapua brass without turning the necks. Brass life is good, no trimming after you fire form. IMR 4064 may give you good results with either bullet.
     
  11. sundance1972

    sundance1972 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with a mauser, my 6.5-06 is built on an Interarms Mark X action and is one of the nicer rifles I've ever owned (including a bunch of Rem 700's) and will put 5 shots under an inch at 200 if I do my part. It is a little heavier than most (26" stainless barrel and custom laminate stock), but really don't mind packing it around.

    I have a few different bullets to try out in the 338 once I'm done fireforming, (ranging from the 185gr TSX up to the 250gr Silvertip) as well as 3 or 4 suitable powders. 4064 has been recommended more than once (RL17 as well), so will put it on the X-Mas list.
    Thanks for the help/info so far:)

    PS, what is your barrel length, Knwh51?
     
  12. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    I too am surprised that this round hasn't caught on. I heard at one point that Savage was going to add it to their list of cartridges but so far no go.

    I think in many ways the 338-06 would fill a much needed gap in the hunting world and there really aren't many gaps left to be filled IMO. I personally can't imagine a better short and medium range cartridge that would also work on the short end of the LR game, ie 6-800 yards or so. And there really aren't any others that would work in its place.

    338's are notoriously easy to load for, accurate, and deadly with the big holes and good penetration. This cartridge would have acceptable recoil in a compact package that is great for carry.

    With the 180-210 class bullets you can get some great velocity as well.

    Plus if you go with the AI offering you get great brass life and you can shoot standard 338-06 loads to fire-form them.

    IMO it really is about the perfect do-all cartridge for all but the real LR and ELR game.

    Scot E.
     
  13. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    Hey benchracer I think yer spellcheck is messed up! It replaced SAVAGE with REMINGTON. AND I QUOTE "Everybody knows that a serious rifleman carries a REMINGTON 700". Did you mean a RICH rifleman? Or a non_DIY type? Or did yer spellcheck stick REM 700 where ya typed SAVAGE? lmao
     
  14. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

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    I built the following 338-06 AI and I love it.

    VZ24 action
    Shilen # 3 select match barrel
    Timney trigger
    High Tech stock
    David Tubb firing pin
    In the process of changing scope to Vortex HS LR

    As far as loading goes just use standard 338-06 load data and add 5% for max load. If max is 60 grains for standard you can go to 63. Most Ackley cartridges you can go 5-8% but the 338 is just 5%. I shoot 225 gr TTSX and I will be testing the 185 gr TTSX and the Berger 250 Elite Hunter soon.

    You will like this cartridge!!