ive broken in my barrel with 250’s and was set on using the 300gr vld hunting as my bullet working up. However, I’m reading a lot on 250’s shooting flatter with less wind carry until you get WAY out there. What’s your experience?
1st edge I had I used the SMK's then switched to the Bergers...I can't remember but think I started using the OTM's before they even had the elite hunters..They always preformed very well as a hunting bullet for me and my crowd . Didn't see the need to ever change..I bought a lifetime supply of OTM's that will probably outlast my grandson. Till I see something work better I will still use the OTM.. .. .
Ive killed elk with the 300 Bergers. They worked, but I was not in love. Have a couple guys running 250s and reports on game are better, more like the 215. If you look at the ballistics, I'll take the 250s out to 1200 or so. My opinion is to shoot the 300s if you want to play out past 1500 and the 250s for hunting.
I went with the 285gr ELD-M. I have been very impressed with both accuracy and performance on elk. I've not been enamored with Bergers for hunting, others have other experiences and opinions and that's fine.
There is some merit to this. Most of the long range crowd is obsessed with shooting the highest BC bullet possible and they will ridicule you for shooting "light" 250 grain bullets. If you compare the actual ballistics you'll find that the higher BC bullet will always drift less in the wind. But the faster, lighter bullet will shoot flatter and carry plenty of velocity out to fairly long ranges. A flat trajectory is often overlooked as a benefit to using lighter bullets since its assumed your range will be precisely known. That philosophy works great for steel targets but animals move. I have personally had more issues with bad shots due to ranging errors than wind reading errors. Another advantage to the lighter bullets, especially in a hunting-weight 338, is reduced recoil. Those 300s will boot you pretty good even with a 12 lb rifle and a decent brake. 250s are much more pleasant to shoot.
In short either bullet will serve you well out to 800 or 1000 yards. Each has its pros and cons so choose the one that suits you, or that shoots best in your rifle.
I agree with el matador. Along with the reasons he gave impact vel at range will be higher due to the higher starting vel. If you use a ballistics calculator like JBM and run the prospective bullets out to your usable hunting range and compare them sxs you will see that often the faster flatter bullet out performs the slower higher bc bullet in almost every way. When making a decision on what bullet to run I will do this and print out the ballistic charts so I can set them next to each other and really get a good comparison.
Another thing to consider when considering highly frangible bullets is weather or not the bullet can withstand the short range impacts. We spend a lot of time and resource preparing for the longest possible shot and then head out into the field and take our game at less than 300y. For me personally the vast majority of hunting shots show up under 500y, so I am a big fan of max point blank range. If I can set up my rifle to cover as much of the less than 500y typical range as possible without having to make adjustments, I am a much more lethal hunter. Animals inside 500y are much more likely to know that I am there, giving less time to prepare for a shot. So if I can range and hold hair out to 400 to 450y it takes a lot of the time out of the process. Beyond this distance a calm unaware animal will give me the needed time to set up the shot.
Recently I have given more thought to bullet time of flight. The one thing that I have no control over is what the animal will do while the bullet is on its way. Plus 1 sec time of flight makes me nervous.
I have noticed no terminal killing difference between the 285gr or the 300gr... I used the 285gr in my savage 338 Lapua because that was the more accurate bullet...I have witnessed and been present on many elk killed with the 300gr then the 285gr just because most of us use the 300....I am shooting the 300gr at over 3000fps with reloader 33... I am pretty crippled up these days and hunt mainly from the truck... The 16lb Edge is usually buried on the back seat and under coats and stuff while my 30-378 is in front with me... This load drops 22 inches at 500 yards with a 200 yard sight in... Like stated before at 500 yards most animals are on high alert and you just might not have time to dial... The first 30-378 was a Thompson Long Range with his leupold scope and mildots...This was a great system for a quick
I actually plan on shooting the 225gr Maximus from CEB. Figure 3200fps to be reasonable I’m shooting at sub 500lb animals typically 600 yards and in so I don’t see much need to shoot the sleekest thing out there!