338 Sherman max vs 338 WSM

richhymas

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Mar 3, 2012
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97
I am considering building my first .338 caliber rifle. Up to this point I have kept everything 30 cal or smaller. Right now, the short mags are more attractive to me than the long action. Couldn’t even tell you why. So my question is, has anyone compared the two side by side? Does anyone shoot 300 grain bullets out of either? Thinking about the heavier Hammer bullets or berger bullets depending on my purpose, but I am wide open to recommendations at this point.
 

DBoone

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Feb 22, 2018
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B.C. Canada
Curious about the responses here.
I ended up with the Sherman Max. Received the gun just before hunting season, so only have some fireforming loads through it so far. I did put a long throat in it for mono's. Hopefully by the new year I can provide some better info. I've got some 300 Berger's on hand, but the 250ish mono's will be my priority when I get back to it in December. Good luck with your project, whatever you decide.
 

AudentesFortunaJuvat

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Sep 13, 2020
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edmonds
Curious about the responses here.
I ended up with the Sherman Max. Received the gun just before hunting season, so only have some fireforming loads through it so far. I did put a long throat in it for mono's. Hopefully by the new year I can provide some better info. I've got some 300 Berger's on hand, but the 250ish mono's will be my priority when I get back to it in December. Good luck with your project, whatever you decide.
What free bore did you go with?
 

Skimbleshanks

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Jan 8, 2010
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Willamette Vally
I have a 338 WSM. kind of disappointed with the speed. 2750 with 225 accubonds and varget.That was the load my smith came up with. He said it was a slow barrel and pressured out with the standard powders. H4350 and RE15. That was pushing it till primers popped with my powder, bullets and brass. One ragged hole load. I switched to 230 ELDXs and they were happy 1 grain over my starting load. I switched to BLC-2 cause its always on the shelf. Guessing mid 2500s or 2600. Looked like another node was coming together at the top end but I didnt feel like pushing it once I saw ejector swipes. My barrel likes the low end and way over the top end it seems. Barrel life should be great though and that was 1 of my criteria for the build. Good practice rifle capable of elk with more poop than my 06 and better bullet selection than my 350 rem mag. I do think the case capacity might be a bit low for 300s however.
 
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richhymas

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Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
97
Curious about the responses here.
I ended up with the Sherman Max. Received the gun just before hunting season, so only have some fireforming loads through it so far. I did put a long throat in it for mono's. Hopefully by the new year I can provide some better info. I've got some 300 Berger's on hand, but the 250ish mono's will be my priority when I get back to it in December. Good luck with your project, whatever you decide.
Really curious on the 300 bergers as well as the 304 hammer hunters. Would be awesome to get that bullet up around 2700 or higher in a short action.
 

codyadams

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Jan 7, 2015
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Southwest Wyoming
Really curious on the 300 bergers as well as the 304 hammer hunters. Would be awesome to get that bullet up around 2700 or higher in a short action.
With a long 28" barrel and max loads, they are just breaking 2700 fps with 285 grain Hornady's. Doing that with 300's would be pushing the envelope even on a long barrel. Might be doable, but it would be pretty high pressure. I have seen other loads woth the standard 270 based 338 Sherman, about the same capacity as the max, and with a 24" they are getting upper 2600 range, again, with max loads.

For a useable load that would have brass last with 300 grain pills, I would aim to hopefully break 2600 with a final load and a 26" barrel. Thats if you don't get a slow barrel. If your ok with your brass lasting 3 or maybe 4 loads, then you might break 2700.
 

richhymas

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97
With a long 28" barrel and max loads, they are just breaking 2700 fps with 285 grain Hornady's. Doing that with 300's would be pushing the envelope even on a long barrel. Might be doable, but it would be pretty high pressure. I have seen other loads woth the standard 270 based 338 Sherman, about the same capacity as the max, and with a 24" they are getting upper 2600 range, again, with max loads.

For a useable load that would have brass last with 300 grain pills, I would aim to hopefully break 2600 with a final load and a 26" barrel. Thats if you don't get a slow barrel. If your ok with your brass lasting 3 or maybe 4 loads, then you might break 2700.
I suppose that would do. At 4000’ elevation, the 285 grain hammer going 2550 FPS at the barrel still has 2000 FPS at 600 yards and 1800 FPS at 900 yards. That should do the trick for my hunting needs. Has anyone experimented with the 285s to find minimum impact velocity, or should I just trust that it will open appropriately at 1800 FPS. I have no intention of hunting past 700 yards.
 

Aoudad shooter1975

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Sep 4, 2017
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1,070
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Blanco, Texas
My favorite bore diameter. I own or have owned 338 federal, 338 RCM, 338 win, 33 Nosler, 338 RUM, 338 Norma. I now own a ruger 1 and a tikka T3 in a 338 federal, a custom barreled, and one custom 338 RCM, and 2 338 Norma's one light under 10lbs..and one just shy of 19lbs...if you are looking a 270 grain and heavieror monos over 250... bypass anything short...start with the RUM, Norma, Edge, Lapua...it will give you good speeds. If you want to build a really pleasant killer look at the 33 Nosler...brass is high but very good..I ran out of a long action box (375 length) it ran 230s at 3K, 250s easy at over 2800 fps 270 ELDs started to slow to 2680 so I kind of quit there.. just not enough room for gas to push faster..but with a brake or suppressor it was super pleasant a 338 win would do about 8-10% less..shooting heavys or monos...go bigger...Norma and RUMs are my favorites for that kind of work...
 

DBoone

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Feb 22, 2018
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55
Location
B.C. Canada
I do think the case capacity might be a bit low for 300s however.
I agree. Especially if your trying to fit it all in a short action. Case lengths ~2.010" bullets starting at ~1.8", all limited to a COAL~2.950". That puts half the bullet in the case. Doesn't leave much room for powder.
A medium length action fits it all a little better for either cartridge.
 

codyadams

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Jan 7, 2015
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3,234
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Southwest Wyoming
I suppose that would do. At 4000’ elevation, the 285 grain hammer going 2550 FPS at the barrel still has 2000 FPS at 600 yards and 1800 FPS at 900 yards. That should do the trick for my hunting needs. Has anyone experimented with the 285s to find minimum impact velocity, or should I just trust that it will open appropriately at 1800 FPS. I have no intention of hunting past 700 yards.
I haven't hunted with the 285's, but I have loaded them in my 9 twist .338 Norma mag. I'm not much on pushing pressure in that gun, and with a conservative load was running around 2800 out of my 24" barrel. They load easy, and shoot well, thats about all I can comment on. And they are nearly 2" long, if you want to run heavy monos exclusively, maybe consider an 8 or 8.5 twist, and a bigger cartridge.
 

liv4thehunt

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Feb 26, 2012
Messages
77
I have built 2 .338/7WSM’s both are pushing the 250 Berger’s at 2920-2950 with rl16, on tikka actions.
 

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