338 improved, Which bullet to throat for?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by backyardsniper, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. backyardsniper

    backyardsniper Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
    I'm in the middle of a build and we are getting the reamer ordered from Dave Kiff. We are going to run a 37 degree shoulder, and add the bore rider throat from the rogue. It is being designed as primarily a long range hunting rifle. It will see plenty of range time as well though. Has anyone had any experience with the 285 amax. i have had great luck with the 178, and 208 in both 308 and 300wm. The build is a a tac338, manners T5 100% carbon, weatherby internal box mag with rem 700bdl floor plate, Broughton 5C length is undecided but likely 27" or 28". Brake is also undecided at this point. Potentially badger thruster but I don't know if it will take enough off of the recoil or if I need to go to a bigger brake like a fat bastard. The badger can be contoured in to the barrel and they look really good but I'm still up in the air on that one. Anyway, how about the 285, I'm wanting the extra velocity and slightly flatter trajectory out to 1000yds plus the ballistic tip is very nice for hunting, or should I just throat it for the 300 berger?
  2. DrillDog

    DrillDog Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    The major factor to consider here is that you are building a "HUNTING RIFLE".

    In this case you will have to throat the chamber within the limits of the magazine in mind unless you plan to hunt by loading the gun one round at a time. Which of course is not very ideal if the first shot misses or maims an animal.

    If you tell Dave to throat it for the 300 Berger without clarifying the rifle's intended use then you are probably going to have one heck of a jump to the lands. Make sure he understands that you are building a hunting rifle and give him the OAL of you magazine. Then you can better design the freebore to get a more forgiving rifle.

    As for which bullet to use...Which 338 improved are you talking about??? The 338 WM case? The 338 Norma? The 338 Lapua?.....
    A 300gr bullet is ideal for the Lapua and Norma case capacities. However, when seated to magazine length in the Lapua, it may hinder case capacity and sacrifice performance. The 338 Norma was specifically designed to eliminate this problem. The Norma case duplicates the 338 Lapua speeds using heavy bullets with the ability to seat bullets out farther in a magazine and thus sparing it's case capacity.

    For a big 33 hunting rifle shooting heavy weight bullets from a magazine, I would definitely recommend building an Improved 338 Norma over the Lapua. You will not sacrifice performance and be able to shoot anything from 180gr to 300gr with no issues.

    Don't forget to consider the twist rate of the barrel either. If you are dead set on the 300gr Berger bullets (which is a very good choice), you will definitely want a 1 in 9". A barrel with 1 in 10" twist will work for just about everything else.

    I would also recommend basing your bullet choice on what is mostly available in today's market unless you want to wait and hope to find what you need. The 300gr Nosler Accubond is an excellent bullet to consider. I personally use the 250gr Berger Elite Hunting VLD's in my 338-375 Ruger and have taken 2 deer with devastating effects.

    Basically anything launched from a big 33 is going to kill.......Hard!
    Good luck
  3. vikingsniper

    vikingsniper Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    Thinking about gettin a 338 norma AI but I wonder about the marginal performance gain. I mean is it really worth the trouble and time? Ive heard that most 338 normas shoot lights out but would you gain all that much velocity (over 200fps) by improving it? I hear that improving the case makes the brass shrink less but with the big 338's isnt it the primer pocket that goes to hell first? It cant be BETTER for barrel life and powder usage..