Tikka .338 Win mag Struggles

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by DieselBen338, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. DieselBen338

    DieselBen338 New Member

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    Alright Y'all i'm new to this forum I haven't posted until this thread I have just been reading threads and posts to try and gain knowledge in shooting and long range hunting. I have a problem though that I keep dumping money into and that is my tikka .338 win mag I've had it for a couple years and still can't seem to achieve a group less than 2.5 inches at 100 yards. I have tried Hornady superformance ammo and hand loads. we've used powders RL 19 RL26 H414 H4831 SC. the Best results came from the 4831 SC and the RL26 each grouping very similar at around 2.5-3 inches. the RL 26 having a good 150 FPS over the H4831 across a Magnetospeed. The bullets we have tested so far are Hornady SST in 200Gr SST in 225 Gr ELDX in 230 GR and Berger elite Hunter 250 GR. All of the bullets were seated to mag length as this has been producing the most consistent loads. today we tested the 250 Gr Berger with the RL 26 and the H4831 both powders were fantastic but accuracies were again poor. we were measuring standard deviations of no more than 12 and i'm starting to wonder if this rifle just needs to make its way back to tikka. Any Insight would be fantastic!
     
  2. woodbnek

    woodbnek Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Assuming your rifle scope is not the issue........
    Start with stock and scope mounts properly torqued. Look to see that your barrel is floating and not in contact with the stock forward of the reciever. If that is all correct then start looking at your barrel. Check for copper fouling in the barrel and completely clean it. Next check your barrel crown for any damage. I have many Tikkas and all have been better than 1 moa shooters. Good luck. Hope you find the source of your problem.
     
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  3. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    hate to be that guy, but are you experienced in shooting a hard recoiling light rifle? I have had the exact rifle you're shooting, and it's not for the weak of heart. If you're running near top loads with the 225+ bullets, that rifle can have very sharp recoil. I found the best luck with changing out the recoil pad with a limbsaver and running a stiff laod of 7828ssc and a 250gr hornady spire point. May not be some big fancy bullet, but that sucker smoked a couple brown bears and caribou. Also, when you're at mag length, is that jamming or do you still have a jump. My load was right into the lands at just short of mag length. All my tikka rifles have shot very well, so worst case, send it back.
     
  4. DieselBen338

    DieselBen338 New Member

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    Woodbnek we followed all those procedures when we first realized we had an issue. I have one of my closest friends who is a 6 year marine vet who is a very experienced marksman trying to help me get this thing nailed down. We have cleaned the barrel multiple times and inspected for fouling with nothing visible found that could be causing the issue. We have checked and re-checked all of the possible mechanical issues that I might have messed up scope base rings etc. You are not the first person to tell me how accurate their tikka was/is unfortunately we can't seem to get this one though it gives me hope for this rifle. Do you have any other ideas or suggestions?

    86alaskan I will try the recoil pad idea I have a limb saver that i haven't installed yet never really needed it. I have some experience with rifles of equal or greater energy. I'm a younger guy in my late 20s but i started hunting with a reproduction .50cal hawkin muzzleloader when i was 12 and have graduated to larger more robust firearms. currently i have a .300 win mag as my main deer rifle that is lights out toped with a vortex that is the same as the one on the .338 win the .300 is a remington 700 though. As far as mag length on this .338 the throat is "considerably" longer than the mag length. We are running a COAL of 3.368 saami is 3.340 the bullet does not contact the lands though until coal is running 3.509 in my rifle so there is a considerable jump. I will look into the 7828ssc and 250 spire point hornady do you have any load data that could give me a base to start from? we are trying to develop this rifle for a elk hunt this next year so i'm really pushing to figure this out. I appreciate both of the quick replies! If you have any other thoughts please let me know!
     
  5. jjmp

    jjmp Well-Known Member

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    Tikka builds one great rifle, but their throats are longer , must be a European thing ,Sakos same deal same manufacturer , great point raised above, mite also have a Good gunsmith look your rifle over , they do recoil ,mine pushed me around ,enuff till I had it EDMed, instead of a brake , but they both tame recoil .
     
  6. woodbnek

    woodbnek Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Some rifles are tough to get and develop the right recipe for........I had a similar experiance with a .338 WM years ago. I ended up re cutting the crown and still ithe accuracy was not satisfactory. I then ended up replacing the barrel after trying a boat load of powder and bullets with out success. The new barrel was the ticket. i also have had to re cut the crown to fix a few orher problem children.
    It has been my experiance that todays rifles will almost always shoot well as long as the prceedures I described are followed. Rifles that do not shoot well usually have problems with either bedding of the action in the stock or the Barrel itself. Some barrels just don’t make the cut. If I were you, before you goi any farther, contact Tikka/Berreta USA and exspress your concerns. It might save you some hair, $ and time. Please, Keep us updated.
     
  7. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    I can't recall the load right of hand. If you're having trouble reaching the lands with the pointy high bc bullets and not getting accuracy, you may want to step back to a more forgiving bullet. I'd try a sierra gameking either 225 or 250. The ogive is more rounded instead of a sharp point, which makes it easier to engage the lands at a shorter coal. You'll still get good accuracy and decent long range ballistics, just maybe a bit more drop. I belive my hornady load was somewhere in the 3.4 range, and I was very positive I was in the lands and short of the factory mag.
     
  8. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    A couple other ideas,..... if you have the original recoil lug, scrap it and get a ss lug. You'll find that the lug probably has a pretty good dent in it by now, because it's aluminum. Not good for repeatable accuracy. Tune the trigger down to as low as you can turn the set screw. It'll be plenty safe and around 2lbs, makes it way easier to shoot. If you reload, size the brass as little as possible in the shoulder. If you're sizing down where the press cams over, the casing is probably being sized too much and leading to higher than necessary head space. You basically want to resize the neck and body, but barely if at all push the shoulder back.
     
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  9. woodbnek

    woodbnek Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    A few other thoughts.....what stock and bottom metal do you have? If it is not anything but Tikka then that same stock, bottom metal and recoil lug on your .338 are also the same one supplied for all Tikka T3 rifles. It is my ipinion that this combination works ok for the small/medium calibers but is insuficient for the magnum class rifle caliber that you have? As 86 Alaskan said many guys replace the recoil lug with one that is steel. I have also replaced the plastic bottom metal with a mountain tactical steel unit and Pillar Bed. I like metal and wood there fore I remove those parts for both performance and astetics. Again..... All my Tikkas I have shoot better than 1” groops in factory configuration . My latest T3, a .270 WSM, shot .906 with cheap Remington ammo Fresh out of the box. After my mods and hand loads I will cut that in half.
    BTW....Make sure you allow the barrel to cool between shots!
    The .338 WM Tikka does not allow you to kiss the lands as mentioned by others. That is a known limitation with the .300 and .338 winchester magnum in the Tikka. Many handliaders consider this a problem and that is why in the T3 stay with the standard or short magnum calibers. Still, with all that said, your 2.5” group is certainly not what i would consider acceptable from Tikka.