338 WINCHESTER MAGNUM

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by BARTFRNCS, May 15, 2011.

  1. Daga Boy

    Daga Boy AH Veteran

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    Sgt Zim has obviously guided a but. A lot of local hunters can shoot pretty well and I have witnessed some really good shooting, especially in dessert areas; however I have guided hunters who have for instance struggled to hit a standing impala at 50 or kudu at 80 (off a rest at that!)
    Ito recoil reduction. a lot of people here have gone the suppressor route. Recoil reduction can be in the region of 50%. I wont have one a bush rifle as the make the weapon cumbersome and affect swing weight, but I plan to install them on a couple of my long range rifles in the off season.
     

  2. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    Never guided, just time in the woods and range time with folks all excited about their new magnum rifles. Guys with a lot of bad habits, the same bad habits I had at one time until I learned better and practiced what I'd learned.
     
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  3. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    I have found that a 338 Win Mag using 200 grain bullets handloaded to the potential of the rifle to be well suited to comfortably firing at game. the caveat to it is that when shooting at the range I train myself to "follow-through". By this I mean as I'm watching the crosshairs or front sight I try to watch for the bullet to exit the barrel and fly toward the target. While a spotter can observe the trail of the bullet, I have been unable to; but by trying it gives my mind something to look forward to and occupied as the rifle recoils. then when I'm in the field the muscle memory comes in and while I'm attempting to spot where the bullet hits, the result is no flinch, buck, jerk or other action resulting from an unoccupied mind. as far as recoil goes, a 338 with 200 gr bullets is very similar to a 300 Mag with 180-200 gr bullets, so if a person can shoot one, they should be able to shoot the other.
     
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  4. Luvthunt

    Luvthunt AH Enthusiast

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    Yes the 338 win can do it, but if you can handle the extra a 340 Wby is my go to 338 with 225 and 250 Noslers.
    Used a 300 Wby on an eland with 200 gr Swift A-frames. What I had with us at the time.went about 60 yds.
     

  5. Alaska

    Alaska AH Senior Member

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    My love affair with .338 first started with a 338-06 hunting elk. The 210 Nosler Part accounted for many heads of game with IMR 4320. Then I moved to Alaska and the 338 Win Mag replaced my beloved 338-06. Still my Cal the 338 Win Mag with 225gr. A- Frames and Nosler Part with IMR 4350. I have added a 338 RUM to my collection, yes more recoil, but a amazing accurate gun. I will not Part with my 338 Win but that 338 RUM has earned a front row seat in my Safe.
     

  6. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I too have been a long time fan of the .338 Win mag using 210 Nosler partitions and 250 Speer Grand Slams (2nd version).
    On this year’s Namibian safari, I used a MRC in .338 RUM with 225 Swift’s. I may now have a new favorite for larger critters.
     

  7. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Been thinking of filling a few caliber holes in my collection.
    338WM is at the top of the list, followed closely by the 300WM for my bride.
    Maybe a matching set will boost my approval chances with the Department of Finance.
     

  8. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    The 338 is excellent. I use 225 grain as it has the most energy but not necessarily the most penetration.
    Possibly a bit of an “overkill” for most game though.
     
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  9. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Thank you sir, I'll take mine extra dead.
    If I'm not using a 338 it would be the 375 so...extra or extra extra dead.
     
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  10. Luvthunt

    Luvthunt AH Enthusiast

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    Yes had a couple of 338s went to the 340 and sold the 338s .Do not take that wrong like the 338 but like the 340 more—-much more. That extra vel is dramatic and can use hvy bullets and still get 338 vel.
     

  11. shaggy430

    shaggy430 New Member

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    Hello all, new to the forum. I’m planning a plains game hunt to South Africa next June and am planning on taking my 338. My best shooting load is max book load of IMR4350 behind a 250 grain Speer Grand Slam. I don’t see a lot of mention of the Grand Slam. Would this be a suitable bullet for plains game in the 338? Planning on game up to zebra and kudu. Thanks
     

  12. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    Your ammo is the least expensive and most important part of your hunting trip. No offense intended, but if you're going to spend maybe 8-10K USD on a hunt, kind of hard to justify going "cheap" on your ammo.

    I assume you're getting somewhere around 2600 fps out of that load. It *probably* won't stress that bullet at close range, but why take the chance?

    In no particular order: Swift A Frame, Barnes TSX/TTSX, Nosler Partition, Norma Oryx, Woodleigh PP, Northfork.
     
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  13. shaggy430

    shaggy430 New Member

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    I’ve tested both 225 grain Partitions and Accubond and neither will group in my gun. I’ve had bad luck with Barnes bullets in the past. Not familiar with the Oryx, Woodleigh, and Northfolk. The Grand Slam was once considered a premium bullet on par with the Partition. Is there a reason you don’t like the Grand Slam?
     

  14. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    A thread I noticed on them recently. Seems they are more cup and core build now. https://www.africahunting.com/index.php?threads/49249/



    For a comparable 250 grain bullet I'd go with the Swift A-Frame.
     
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  15. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    I like the GS just fine. Just not going to take them to Africa, though, when there are better choices. I wouldn't take any cup-and-core to Africa. It would suck to pay say 1000-1500 for a zebra or kudu and have it run off wounded because your bullet failed.

    I'm not a Barnes guy myself, but my best friend uses them in his 375 Ruger and gets MOA accuracy with them at about 2750 fps. I've had good fortune with NP and NAB in my 9.3x62, but when it's time to go to 300 gr, I'll go with A Frames.

    Have been shooting NP 125 gr in my 6.5x55 SE, but am in the process of switching to Woodleigh 160 gr.

    No personal experience with North Fork, but everyone here who uses them raves about them.

    YMMV
     
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  16. Daga Boy

    Daga Boy AH Veteran

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    I live in SA and have hunted extensively all over Southern Africa. .338WM has been my "go to" for the last 20 years. ( I think the 9,3 is a bit nicer in the bush and there are a few calibres which are better at extreme ranges, but in my book nothing beats the .338WM as an allrounder).
    250gr Grand Slam will be fine on Kudu or any other thin skinned game.
    225gr Barnes and other monometals (eg Peregrine VRG3) are highly recommended on all game, including buffalo.
    Only problems I have ever experienced have been a degree of bullet break up and consequent extensive meat damage when using relatively light bullets at bush ranges (Nosler 210).
    The only other criticism I am aware of is a tendency to over penetrate. A strong conventional bullet goes right through an eland and a 250gr class monometal will go right through a buff side on. This obviously creates a risk of accidental wounding. In fact I know of a case in which a (client) hunter killed 2 bull buffalo with one shot from his .338WM.
    You don't say where you are going to be hunting. If in the more open areas (E Cape, Karoo, Kalahari) then basically any bullet from 200-250gr will be fine.
    My current bush load is a 275gr Swift A Frame going at 2400fps. This is a great load for bigger animals at closer ranges.
    In a nutshell, your GS load will be perfect as an allrounder and is likely to give you instant kills if placed in the boiler room, but you should look at going to a stronger, heavier bullet if you are going to be hunting in the bushveld areas (Limpopo). Also if planning to have a go at anything thick skinned (Incude giraffe in this category)

    Note that this calibre is more than most people appreciate. With heavier bullets it outperforms a .375H&H at ranges in excess of 100m. Thousands of buff have been taken with .338WM, and it is also used to hunt elephants in countries where that is permitted. So basically you cant go wrong with this one,
     
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  17. shootist~

    shootist~ AH Veteran

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    Does anyone have actual experience with the Barnes 185 grain TTSX?

    I worked up a reload with it for a Sako 338 WM last year and have enjoyed shooting it. It shoots MOA-ish to 425 Yds from the bench and has worked well from the sticks (for me) on steel at my normal practice distances of 170 and 220 Yds, (and paper at closer distances). It only runs a bit over 2900 fps, which makes the 8.5 lb rifle fairly pleasant to shoot.

    The plan is to use it on a Limpopo Province plains game hunt next year with the larger animals being Kudu and Zebra.

    I also plan (at this point anyway) to have a box of Barnes factory 210 grain TTSX available - and already know the ballistics and sight adjustments. (1.5 MOA right and the 210 gr has a 170 Yd Zero vs 219 Yds for the 185.)

    And before someone asks why I don't just shoot a .300 WM - I don't have one. (I do have a 338, however.)
    Actually, digging the 338 Sako out of the back of the gun safe, is what eventually let me to consider hunting Africa. :)

    Thanks in advance.
    Joe
     
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  18. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Yes I shoot 185 tsx and ttsx. I hand load them with IMR 4831 and my gun loves them. I have a pic of one I recovered from a black bear that I will post if I can find it (the only tsx I have ever recovered). I think its an excellent bullet and would be great for PG.


     
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  19. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Took my eland with my 300 wsm with 180 grain Barnes TSX. Ran 100 yds stopped and hit him again . Done. The 338 will do the job.
     

  20. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Here is the 185g tsx from a 338 WM that I recovered from a black bear I shot at about 35 yards. It went in the left shoulder, glanced off the inside of the right shoulder and I found it under the hide in the right rear quarter. It lost one petal in the process....And is the only tsx I have ever recovered.
     

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