Which .338 bullet for elk?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Alan Griffith, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Alan Griffith

    Alan Griffith Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    For ELR hunting of elk out to 1760 yds, which bullet would you prefer? Cart is .338 Edge running approx 2800-2850 fps muzzle vel.

    Nosler 300 gr CC, .800 BC
    Sierra 300 gr MK, .768 BC
    Berger 300 gr Hybrid, .818 BC

    Any negative reports in quantity?

  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    You will be at an impact velocity in the 1200 to 1275 range with the Berger at 4000' asl. So I say which ever one you can drive through the heart.

    Expansion will be hard to get with any of them.

    I would not count on that BC of the Nossler, I feel it is less, so I will count on less impact velocity for it from my experience.

    I have 3 reports from friends I trust on game killed at 1600, 1775, and 1697 this past season. These are the only info I can trust. 3 different bullets, the Berger OTM, Berger Elite Hunter and The SMK all 300 gr. The EH was from a LAI and was at 1600 yards but it did expand. The others were not in the shoulder either and didn't expand.

    There is a reason I went to a chambering that gained me 400 fps. And if I engage an animal at a mile I will be sending a Berger. From what I have seen the EH with a MV of close to 3K has done the best at expansion so far. So with my MV of 3200 it is doable when all the stars align.

    So, 2800 MV, put it in the shoulder, heart or real that distance in and make sure you have a clear view of where the elk could run to and be ready with a good spotter for a follow up if needed.

    Good luck trying to have this discussion. There are only a hand full of people that truly know what really happens at these distances. But opinions will rage on.

  3. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    I have been doing quite a bit of shooting at a mile. Let me say first that I have never taken game out that far. I have been shootig steel at 1300 to 1780. First off, shootig a live, moving animal is WAY different than shooting a non moving piece of steel. I shoot a 338 lapua pushing the 300 gr OTM at around 2815 fps. All I know from my experience form shooting a non moving piece of steel is that you had better be on your A game if you want to take a live, moving animal out that far.

    So many things affect the flight of your bullet out that far until it gets to the target that it is insane. You will be hard pressed to get your bullet to expand well at those ranges with the velocity you are looking at. That is why a lot of people such as Broz are moving to a faster cartridge to get the bullet to expand better. To tell you the truth, most people that take game past 900 yards get saved by a bullet that shrapnels like the Bergers do. There are very few people even on this forum that can put their bullet where it needs to be out that far (don't worry, I am not bragging as I am not one of them) and they know who they are.

    The reason I shoot out as far as I do is to get better at the 1300 yard shots and under because I want to get my accuracy down pat on 1300 yds and under. I know the limits of my rifle and myself. If you want to go after animals out at a mile, you are going to have to really think about stepping up to a 338 Allen magnum, LRKM or a chey-tac casing to get your bullet to open up consistently.

    Not bashing you in anyway but you can't argue with the facts and knowledge of the ones who are out there doing it (again not me, but the ones who are out shooting and taking game that far).
  4. Kiwi Greg

    Kiwi Greg Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    I would recommend a Berger Elite Hunter over the OTM on game especially at Edge speeds.

    The Elite Hunters shoot great at 34-3500fps out of the 338 DCM & terminal performance is great.

    It will be interesting to see how the new 285 Amaxs stack up.
  5. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Jeff, you really hit the nail on the head in regards to impact velocity. The full custom that I just finished a few months ago was almost a big .338 of some kind. I wasn't financially prepared to step up into a Cheytech based case or do something like what you have done with your .338. So, I was looking at probably an Edge in a Rem 700. I consulted with a couple people (gunsmiths/machinists) in the know about what was possible with a 300 RUM and 230 Berger Target as far as velocity. I was hopeful to get close to 3150fps with a 230 and when comparing that to say a 300SMK at 2850fps I wasn't giving up anything as far as ballistics.
    So, I designed a custom chamber with special throating, 32" Broughton 5C 9 twist and with RL33 am achieving a solid honest to goodness 3250fps with the 230 with NO pressure. Accuracy is well inside .5MOA. Now, when I compare those ballistic numbers (velocity and energy) to a 300 SMK at 2850fps I have a pretty big leg up even past 1500 yards. Comparing my 230 with a 300 grain OTM at 2850fps I still have the edge by 155fps and am only shy on energy by 77 ft.lbs at 1500 yards. Now, I may not have the sheer bone smashing mass of a 300 grain bullet but this should accomplish my purposes with very good impact velocity at long range. So, in essence I'm doing the same thing that you are doing, just on a smaller scale.:D