Why a 338?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by MMERSS, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    But why the 338?

    I had a successful limited hunting season this year spotting for seven game animals to include antelope, deer, and elk. Average harvest range was well over 800 yards using the 300 RUM. Overall results were excellent except on one 4x4 deer. This deer was still harvested but only after living for several minutes. The past season a 338 LM was used to harvest six animals also with an average range over 800 yards. Next year I will be using the 338 again, hopefully the AM or AX or both.

    I understand you don’t need a 338 in every occassion, or as a matter the 30, or the 7 and so on. I’m aware of 6’s and 6.5’s taking animals ELR. But why the 338? MT offers the opportunity to harvest deer and elk with a general tag. Antelope, moose, buffalo, goat and sheep can be added with a special draw.

    The 300gr bullets shot at ranges approaching ELR and beyond have spoken with the king of authority combining accuracy with precision in my experience. A 338 with a case capable of at least 95gr produce significantly more energy at corresponding ranges than any other readily available cartridge. I want, no, I need this extra cushion of energy capability and frontal expansion capability when shots may not go as planned. ELR is prone for this. Having that king of authority can make the difference of a bad day with a less energy producing shot turning out more in your favor.

    There is absolutely noting I can complain about with the 300 RUM this year. But in my opinion there was more authority with shots using the 338 the previous year. I know this subject has been beaten to death and a search will provide this discussion. It seems there are always more questions about recommending this cartridge over that cartridge. I’m just posting mine. Take it for what you want. Everyone will ultimately have to apply their choice when that opportunity comes and live with those results afterword.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I have and shoot both the 300 RUM and the 338 and the 300 RUM is a great round, but at the longer distance the 338 and its bullets will out perform the 300.

    I use ether depending on conditions, distance and the game to be taken with equal success.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to say the .338 300 grain is king (inclusive of any providing 3000-3200 fps) because it's about the most you can get out of standard actions, without totally losing portability trying to manage recoil.

    I'm certain a .375 350 grain of like construction, and velocity would, if it could be tested objectively, would deliver the same margin of performance over the .338, that the .338 shows over the .300.

    With respect, the "EDGE", is about at the edge of what one can do with a standard Remington 700.

    Some local variants play a role. The typical "Beanfield" or "Coues deer" rifle seems to be in calibers .308 or less. The .338's evolved from/for western elk hunters, and has generally performed well enough no one questions it's effectiveness.

    The Idaho 16lb rule I think is if not front and center, at least in the back of many peoples minds.

    My opinion, offered to continue the discussion.
     
  4. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    Some time ago there was a post from a member requesting recommendations on what bullet to make to appease to the LR Hunter. I recommended a 400gr VLD type .375. Still waiting.

    With only the 350gr SMK readily available outside custom mono’s, the readily available 338 is still my option. When the .375 VLD becomes available I will be all over that!!!! My next post will be “Why the .375.”
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    What case, action, and velocity goals do you have in mind.
     
  6. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    Currently a Cheytac based action and case would meet the demands. With the cost of performance there is additionally the cost of customer demand and availability. Would a 400gr or 380gr lead core bullet with this configuration perform to the same precision capabilities of a 338LM/IMP cartridge and action? I don't know. What would the cost of this benefit be compared to the current 338 systems available? I don't know. The "I don't know" is due to I'm not aware of a lead core bullet in this configuration.

    There are already 375 Cheytac based rifles available, most of us are aware of this, with most seeming to shoot the 350 SMK or mono's. There could be better options available with a lead core based bullet outside the SMK and it's current BC. Mono's provide an advantage to BC to the SMK but lack the form factor advantage of lead based bullets.
     
  7. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    MMERSS,

    What bullet do you use in your 300 RUM this season? Also Velocity?

    thanks

    Ross
     
  8. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    Why not... It's no secret that as you ascend in bore diameter you wil get more energy and a correspondingly higher "KO" factor at range given a similar form factor bullet and usable velocity. I choose to shoot larger cased 7's and 30"s because my main game is mule deer and I'll flatten a mule deer with a 7 or 30 further out than I'm comfortable shooting any day of the week and twice on Sunday. As the game gets bigger the persuasion needs to get correspondingly bigger to have similar effect. I think a big 35 cal may be a better ticket than the 338 cal, but the bullet selection for lr is abysmal and the average barrel twists in 35 cal are much to slow to spin a decent bc bullet anyway.
     
  9. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    Ross,

    I used the 230 Berger Hybrid Target. The velocity I settled on was 3171 fps behind RL-33 seated to .005” jump. I was able to achieve velocities over 3200 fps but the overall precision and MVV at 3171 fps was best in this gun. For a 30 shot from a RUM I have no complaints other than this configuration makes the gun a one shot version.

    This same gun was used for these tests.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/accubond-lr-comparison-g7-bc-test-115818/