Loaded Ammo for .338 Win Mag ?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Jon Bischof, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Jon Bischof

    Jon Bischof Active Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    I am not a reloader (yet) and don't have the money to start anytime soon. So I am looking for advice on ammo for the .338 Win Mag. My new BAR .338 put Winchester 200 grain power-points into one horizontally elongated hole on a gusty 13 mile per hour day. But still a very good group.
    The Federal 250 gr. Nosler Partitions made a 1.75 inch group at 100 yards which was poor compared to the Winchester 200 grain 5 shot group of 1.1 inch at 100 yds.
    I also tried Winchester 200 grain Ballistic Silvertips--1.2 inches.
    So, my question is: Who makes and where can I get 210-230 grain ammo to test in this new gun? I know I can get loaded ammo from Cabela's but who else sells loaded ammo that is really good?
    And which maker/bullet would you knowledgeable guys recommend?
    Can't wait to see what ya'll will come up with.
  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    Hope that this does not turn into a dog's breakfast. I tested some .338 factory ammo a while back in two rifles, have put the velocity chart below.
    Re. 210 grain ammo - Fed. Premiums with Nosler 210 gr. Partitions
    Re. 230 grain ammo - Win. Supremes with 230 Failsafes

    I will submit this and hope that the chart lines up. If not the headings are:
    1. Ammunition
    2. Bullet Wt.
    3. Win.M-70
    4. Sako-75

    Chronograph Velocity Info - .338 Win. Mag.
    Ammunition Bullet Wt. WIN. M-70 SAKO-75
    1.Speer Nitrex 250 grain Gr. Slam 2672 2683
    2.Winchester Silvertip 250 grain Silver Tip 2662
    3.Federal Supreme Safari Hi-Energy 250 grain Nosler Partition 2823 2726
    4.Sako Hammerhead 250 grain Hammerhead 2625 2608
    5.Winchester Fail Safe 230 grain Fail Safe 2765 2730
    6.Remington Core Lokt 225 grain Core Lokt 2769 2769
    7.Remington Premier Safari 225 grain Swift A-Frame 2775 2751
    8.Federal 225 grain 2740
    9.Federal Supreme Premium Safari 225 grain Tr. Bonded 2679 2705
    10.Hornady Heavy Magnun 225 grain 3005
    11.Federal Supreme 210 grain Nosler Part. 2712 2712
    12.Winchester Supreme 200 grain Ballistic S’tip 2930 2926
    13.Winchester Super-X 200 grain Power Point 2916 2894
    14.Federal Supreme Hi-Energy 250 grain Woodleigh 2727
    15.Winchester Supreme 250 grain Partiton Gold 2696

    You will find that your rifle will decide what ammo it shoots best, only way to find out is to shoot a few brands. Sounds like you are doing very well as is. Not sure you will beat one inch with factory ammo from a factory rifle - that is very good performance.
  3. Jon Bischof

    Jon Bischof Active Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    Ian M: Thanks for the great chronograph data! I think I might be able to shrink that 1 inch group since:
    1. This was my first try with the new gun.
    2. There must be 10 or 12 maker/bullet combinations I haven't even tried yet.
    3. The wind was gusting up to 15 mph that day.
    I am looking forward to trying the Failsafes because I know they are generally accurate bullets.
    But what I really want to know is what ammo did you find to be most accurate in your Winchester and your Sako? Obviously, you have tried most of the available ammo--soooo, what were your best groups with those rifles and what ammo?
    Can't wait to hear from you.
  4. Jon Bischof

    Jon Bischof Active Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    Ian M:
    Thanks for all the good info. I have two BAR's. One is a .30-06 that I have hunted with for 28 years. It shoots under an inch with 165 gr. Sierra Gamekings.
    My new BAR .338 I have only grouped once on a windy day and got four shots in one horizontally elongated hole at a hundred yds. with those Winchester Powerpoints you did so well with in your friend's Ruger.
    Other than being totally accustomed to the gun, the other thing I love about the BAR is that my .30-06 kicks like a .30-30 and my .338 kicks like a .30-06! Add to that a group where 5 shots make one hole and I'm not missing that bolt-action one little bit!
    I have a Winchester Model 70 in .300 Win. Mag that kicks like Chuck Norris to give me a sore shoulder and 1.5 inch groups....still working on that gun.
    Thanks again
    I will post new results here.
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    This varies so much from rifle to rifle that I did not put accuracy results into the table. The Sako preferred the Winchester Supremes with the 200 gr. Ballistic Tips, the M-70 shot its best groups with - REMINGTON el-cheapos (225 grain). This was the average of three 3-shot groups, not a really big test but both rifle shot right at 1.0" with those cartridges. Fact is many of the groups shot when I tested all that ammo averaged between two and three inches - but that is how it was, not how I wanted it to be.

    I have much better accuracy with handloads, have had amazing accuracy with 225 Hornady and Speer bullets and also 225 Swift A-Frames if you like to spend money. The .338 is a fairly punishing bruiser on the bench so I only shoot 3-shot groups and always wear a PAST recoil shield - these are fairly light rifles and they beat me up.

    A while back I tested a Ruger .338 that my buddy bedded into a very nice HS Precision stock and it shot a couple of 0.75" 3-shot groups with Winchester 200 gr. PowerPoints, again one of the cheapest factory loads out there.

    Although it is neat to test a variety of ammo, you must determine what bullet weight is most appropriate for the size of the critter you are hunting. Use the 250's for big, heavy-boned stuff like moose and the 200's for deer. The Federal Premiums loaded with 210 Nosler Partitions are my favourite all-around hunting load - even if they shoot two or three inch groups that is still going to raise hell with a moose or bear within a couple of hundred yards. Not the accuracy that this forum is focused on, but it is good enough for 90% of our hunting under most conditions.
    Shoot that rifle as much as you can so that you get really good with it, and it will kill anything you point it at.