338-06

I have not started working up loads for the 338-06 yet, have been studying all of the reloading data I can find though.

At this point I can't see the 338-06 being quite as efficient as the 35 Whelen. I just went through my notes on my .35 Whelen loads. Over the last 6 months I have loaded the .35 Whelen using 17 different powders, 9 different bullets and well over 100 different powder/bullet combos. Only about a dozen loads made it to long range accuracy testing

At the end of the day I did not really end up where I thought I would be with the Whelen. My very best loads were 250gr bullets with Alliant 2000-MR.

65.1gr 2000-MR and 250gr Speer Hot-Cor 2684 fps .65 average
66.0gr 2000-MR and 250gr Norma Oryx 2659 fps fps .80 average

There is lots of info around about CFE223 and .35 Whelen loads. I made a point to compare CFE223 and 2000-MR and the 2000-MR loads almost always outperformed the CFE223 loads for me.

Pushing 2700 with a 250gr pill is serious business in my book. I am only getting 60-70fps more from my .338WM 250gr loads.

Some of you with extensive experience with the 338-06, what is the "sweet spot" for that caliber? As I said above in the .35 Whelen I think its the 250gr bullets.
It sometimes puzzles me how necking up a cartridge, i.e. 30'06 to 35 Whelen improves "efficiency." Why are folks able to get velocities from heavier bullets in 35 cal. that would be impossible to get with the same weight bullet in 30'06 without blowing the lid off pressure-wise? Taking it to the extreme, is a straight wall cartridge the most efficient possible?
 
It sometimes puzzles me how necking up a cartridge, i.e. 30'06 to 35 Whelen improves "efficiency." Why are folks able to get velocities from heavier bullets in 35 cal. that would be impossible to get with the same weight bullet in 30'06 without blowing the lid off pressure-wise? Taking it to the extreme, is a straight wall cartridge the most efficient possible?

Me too, that's why the Whelen was so interesting to me at first. 35 Whelen 250gr bullet and 30-06 200gr about the same velocity in my loads.
 
My gunsmith called me today about my 338-06 A-square build. He told me he also had a chamber reamer for 338-06 AI. I told him I already bought a set of A-Square dies. He told me he would throw in the AI die set if I wanted to go that route.

Soooo I guess I will be fire forming brass now instead of just neck resizing. My Winchester Mod 70 in 338-06 AI should be ready on Friday. I ordered 100 pieces of Lapua 30-06 brass from Midway today that is what I am going to work with.

Anybody want to buy a Lee Pacesetter die set in 338-06 A-Square? :sneaky: :ROFLMAO:
@Deepfork
More work for not much gain. That's why I went back to the standard Whelen over the AI.
Bob
 
I guess folks need anecdotes and may even enjoy or expect them when shopping used cars. :):) I'm not trying to sell anything but here are a couple. Anecdotes seem obligatory when discussing shooting and hunting.

Recovered 338-06 Barnes TSX bullets with data card with pertinent notes. I keep this info in separate baggies in a recovered bullet collection file. All 338-06 225 gr TSXs have been pass-throughs and all the 210s have been pass-throughs except these two 210s.

IMG_5059 copy.jpg



IMG_5060.jpg
 
Nothing wrong with the AI version. I have had an AI version in both the 30-06 and 35 Whelen. Didn't gain anything ballistically in the '06 and not needed for headspace control because the '06 shoulder is more than adequate. Nothing gained ballistically in the 35 Whelen AI but it did increase headspace control which increased case life. Loss of headspace control becomes very apparent in the 35 Whelen when shooting low pressure, cast bullet loads. Full pressure loads simply reset the primer while stretching the case rearward... thus masking the stretch that has already happened. If any thing, the 338-06 version may help prevent case stretching, albeit likely it will be a very small amount as the shoulder on the 338-06 is adequate, in my experience. Anyone with a regular 35 Whelen or 375 Whelen or 40 Whelen can test the theory in their own rifle. Resize a case as per normal. Prime it. Shoot it. Inspect primer protrusion in the fired case. :)

For larger than wildebeest, I just use a 375 HH or 416 rem Mag. BTW, 375HH and 416 Rem Mag work great on smaller antelope like impala. Doesn't waste meat, ruin hides or capes by blowing big holes. :)
@fourfive8
Define NORMAL reloading practices. As I only own 1 rifle in each caliber I have my normal practice is neck size only with a Lee collet die. This leaves the shoulder unaltered and the case formed to MY chamber. When case get hard to chamber I FULL length size, trim and anneal. Then start again.
NEVER had a problem with primer in any round doing that.
Bob
 
I am not messing with my 35 Whelen! More work is fine I have to have something to tinker with!
@Deepfork
After tinkering with some AIswith little gain I now prefer to spend time tinkering with the wife. More gains to be had ( read more hunting or range time).
Bob
 
@steve white the cross sectional area of a 35 Whelen bullet is about 35% greater than the cross sectional area of a 30-06 bullet. ( 0.10066 sq inches compared to 0.07450 sq inches) At an equal pressure of say, 60,000 PSI inside the case , there is a lot more pressure pushing on the 35 caliber bullet. .........FWB
 
I guess folks need anecdotes and may even enjoy or expect them when shopping used cars. :):) I'm not trying to sell anything but here are a couple. Anecdotes seem obligatory when discussing shooting and hunting.

Recovered 338-06 Barnes TSX bullets with data card with pertinent notes. I keep this info in separate baggies in a recovered bullet collection file. All 338-06 225 gr TSXs have been pass-throughs and all the 210s have been pass-throughs except these two 210s.

View attachment 573075


View attachment 573076
@fourfive8
I noticed that both those shots were at 100yds and impact velocity was still just over 2,200fps. How well do they expand out at w 00 or longer when velocity goes below 1,800fps.
Bob
 
@Bob Nelson 35Whelen Thanks for the heads up about the 338 projectile toughness. Most of my shot are pretty short (200 yards or less) and I have magnums if I need to shoot longer. I will wait for the Woodleigh 338 bullets and use those for hunting loads.

I also have a 35 Whelen AI that I tried CFE223 in based on your recommendation - 2660 fps with Speer 250s and very nice accuracy. I am also taking a barrel and pre-64 Model 70 action to my gunsmith next week to have him build me a 358 Win. I may have a thing for medium bores.
Welcome to the club. Just a warning though as using 35 calibers your tracking skills may decline due to no usage. Blood trails will be short and copious.
 
@fourfive8
I noticed that both those shots were at 100yds and impact velocity was still just over 2,200fps. How well do they expand out at w 00 or longer when velocity goes below 1,800fps.
Bob
Expansion and fragmentation do not kill. A hole made by the bullet through vital organs kills. Another thing... using a soft bullet at high velocity is a double edged sword. Usually counterproductive especially when doing so for the purpose of long range impact velocity expansion. Who passes up shots at closer ranges when using such a combination where explosive fragmentation is almost a guarantee? :):) Additionally- the chances of hitting vitals decreases exponentially at longer ranges and the window of ideal impact velocity with fragmenting or soft bullets is by the nature of their design very narrow and unpredictable. I do not shoot big game at long ranges and anyone doing so in many instances is doing so on purpose. I keep my shots to 300 yards or less. Where I've hunted in Africa, one would have to work to find a place to shoot an animal at long range and in any case there is usually a way to get closer and moreover no one has ever forced me to shoot at an animal. Testing I've done with the TSX, indicates at least some expansion at velocities of about 1800 fps or higher. The impact velocity of either a 225 gr or 210 gr 338 TSX will be greater than about 1900 fps at ranges less than 300 yards if the muzzle velocity is 2500-2600 fps.

I learned my lesson a long time ago about frangible or soft bullets- with my first oh crap moment in about 1970, IIRC, one of the POS Hornady "Big Game" bullets. I have had to be reminded a couple of times since. The latest, about 8 years ago when trying one of the new bonded bullets by a well known manufacturer. Even using a fairly heavy for caliber version loaded to a conservative velocity, the BONDED bullet came apart like a cheap suit on a mid-sized PG in Africa. The bullet was the then fairly new Ultra Bonded Core-Lokt by Remington. Premium big game bullet my arse! We recovered the animal after quite a long tracking job and some luck. The largest fragments I found of that bullet were a few thin lead and jacket shards about the size of flattened grains of rice. So no more bullets without me testing them first. And no more blind use and based on marketing that would make a used car salesmen proud. Another good tool is to simply study the cross section of the bullet. Amazing how good the brain is if given the chance to analyze something without marketing bias and keyboard hype. :)
 
It sometimes puzzles me how necking up a cartridge, i.e. 30'06 to 35 Whelen improves "efficiency." Why are folks able to get velocities from heavier bullets in 35 cal. that would be impossible to get with the same weight bullet in 30'06 without blowing the lid off pressure-wise? Taking it to the extreme, is a straight wall cartridge the most efficient possible?
Steve I'm no engineer or math major so the easiest way to say it is that the larger diameter bullet has more room to get pushed by the powder and accelerates faster. It's the same with the 338 Federal vs 308, same case same powder capacity but the Fed beats the 308 because it basically gets more push from the powder. That's the simplest way to make sense of it to me anyway. I'm guessing it has the same effect when taking the 416 Rigby case up to 458 like the 460 Weatherby did so that's why the 460 is so hot.
 
Yes, pretty good description. In simplified terms, the larger the diameter of a cylinder (bullet), the greater the ratio of mass to surface area. It’s a geometric, not linear, relationship. Thus the greater the ratio of mass to coefficient of friction imparted by the surface area to both the bore or the atmosphere. The “efficiency” theory depends on the difference of those ratios when comparing bullets of different diameters. Of course there’s a lot more to it than that in the real world of ballistics and terminal effects.

I’ve never seen an animal die of fright because of the velocity of the bullet that hit it nor die from being impressed by the distance from which it was shot.
 
Without labeling, which may create a bias, here are four different “premium” hunting bullets by well known manufacturers that have been sectioned. All have totally or at least partially bonded lead cores. Simply use your brain to estimate the potential terminal performance of each at extremes of normal impact velocities. :):)

94B0ED5E-D450-4038-89B0-0185AAD5A574.jpeg
8F03F311-1369-41A2-AF87-C8A71E9DD56F.jpeg
F0E16C47-24D4-41E4-869B-ED87EED36294.jpeg
8922A75A-5A72-4548-8A2B-347BAF31B674.jpeg
 
My gunsmith called me today about my 338-06 A-square build. He told me he also had a chamber reamer for 338-06 AI. I told him I already bought a set of A-Square dies. He told me he would throw in the AI die set if I wanted to go that route.

Soooo I guess I will be fire forming brass now instead of just neck resizing. My Winchester Mod 70 in 338-06 AI should be ready on Friday. I ordered 100 pieces of Lapua 30-06 brass from Midway today that is what I am going to work with.

Anybody want to buy a Lee Pacesetter die set in 338-06 A-Square? :sneaky: :ROFLMAO:
@Deepfork With my 35 Whelen AI, I don't even bother with special fireforming loads. I've tested my loads in both new and fireformed cases, and the loads shoot the same, with similar SD/ES numbers. With similar case capacities in 35 Whelen AI and 338-06 AI, you might not have to worry too much about fireforming. At the very least, it's worth a test.
 
@Deepfork With my 35 Whelen AI, I don't even bother with special fireforming loads. I've tested my loads in both new and fireformed cases, and the loads shoot the same, with similar SD/ES numbers. With similar case capacities in 35 Whelen AI and 338-06 AI, you might not have to worry too much about fireforming. At the very least, it's worth a test.

Good info...thanks
 
I got my 338-06 back from my smith/builder today, decided on the AI chamber. I already love this rifle, barrel is a stainless 22in Proof #4 contour it balances perfectly. Rifle is a Winchester mod 70 classic (push feed) DBM (detachable magazine). I believe 1994 was the only year that configuration was available. It is threaded, I already have a .338 can. This one started out as a .270.

I have a bunch of 30-06 and 35 Whelen brass to work with, just going to see what works best. I fire formed some RP 30-06 cases tonight with light loads, they look great to me.
20231220_212606.jpg
20231220_214822.jpg
20231220_214834.jpg
 
Beautiful rifle Deepfork! What does the AI actually improve in the 338-06? Looks like similar body taper and length to shoulder from the pics.
I don't really know what it improves but 338-06 Ackley Improved sounds way cooler than 338-06 A-Square which is the standardized cartridge.;)

Truthfully though, in 338-06 I think the performance difference between the standard and improved is negligible.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
53,169
Messages
1,117,986
Members
91,842
Latest member
esprit73bird
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Busy times 12 Wildebees 11 blesbok and 2 waterbuck cows culled in the past 2 days!
Safari Dave wrote on Longwalker's profile.
I do apologize for my flippant response.
Riflecrank wrote on Rafiki's profile.
My first PM start here. Learning the ropes.
Riflecrank wrote on Rafiki's profile.
.50-90
Riflecrank wrote on Rafiki's profile.
50-90
Michael said you are doing one.
I have some ideas.
 
Top