Discussion in 'Reloading' started by matt85, Sep 26, 2015.
thats good to hear, i have plenty of IMR 4350 layen aorund.
err post fixed.
I've had a Model 70 Alaskan 338 for several years and it is my standard elk rifle. My favorite load is a 200 Grain Bitterroot, but since Bill isn't making anymore, my standard load is the Swift A-Frame. they had a production error several years back and ended up with a bunch of 216 grain bullets. I got a bunch of them and I've found that next to the BBC, they are about as good as it gets. I'd have to check my records but seems the load is about 70 grains of Rl19.
Can't help you with load data as everything is different in each rifle. But what I use projectile wise is the 225gn TSX which is a really good projectile for the .338WM on most near all critters. And for the bigger critters I use the 275gn Swift AFrame and it seriously rocks water buffalo when hit. The last one I shot I cut the bullet from the shoulder just under the skin on the far side, a perfect mushroom and it weighed 269gns. You honestly can't ask for more than that, he was dead on his feet with one shot. I think the .338 WM is a brilliant round and if I had to pick just one calibre to use on everything that I hunt, it would be the .338WM by a long way.
Mostly use Barnes 225 TTSX and RL19
Back in the early days of the internet (about 20 years ago) there was a company website forum for AllSeasons Sports. One of the posters on it commonly referred to the 338 Win Mag as GCC, which stood for God's Chosen Cartridge. After years of use, I find it hard to disagree with him.
To add to this older thread....
My "go-to" load for my 338 Win Mag is 73.6 grains of Alliant RL 19 behind a Barnes 225 grain TTSX. It's a stout load that's a little above "book", but I worked up to it very carefully using the Newberry OCW method, and it has yielded no pressure signs during that load development (in 90+ degree heat might I add).
It hits like Thor's Hammer, with the most impressive result being a big UT bull elk I took with it a couple of years ago. Elk are very tough and durable creatures no doubt, but the bull shook when I hit him in the chest, took 3-4 steps and dropped. It is certainly good medicine when it comes to big animals like elk, moose, etc.
In fact, I am taking it with me on my NWT hunt in a little over 2 weeks for Alaska-Yukon Moose, and Mountain Caribou. I had debated taking my 375 Ruger along because of the chance I might encounter a Grizzly, but in the end I wanted the extra range the 338 WM gave me, and I figure Alaska guides have used the 338 WM to great effect for all creatures "Alaskan" including big brown bears, so if I have the misfortune of encountering a Mountain Grizzly up close and personal, then it will have to suffice.......
I've been playing with a 338 Win. Mag. recently. I tried RL-19 with 225 grain Hornadys and wasn't impressed; I think I tried a couple of other powders with that bullet and still wasn't impressed. The loads would have been good enough for hunting a big animal at 100 yards but I wanted a ground hog ready load.
I've done a lot better with the 300 gr. Accubonds and IMR 7828. At 100 yards, I can pretty much count on an inch. You may notice that the COAL is a bit longer than what is specified in the manuals. They do fine in the magazine of my rifle and when chambered are contacting the lands. It's also a compressed load so IMR 7828 SSC would be a little easier to work with.
Back when Savage used to make the hog hunter in .338 WM, I had to have one. I loaded a 250 grain Hornady PSP or a 250 grain Nosler Partition in front of 64 grains of Alliant Reloder 17 (obviously, work up to that. Alliant lists 66 as max but with a speer Grand Slam, your mileage may vary). It gave me about 2550fps out of that 20" barrel. It also gave me a recoil headache after shooting a box of them because the gun only weighed about 7lbs. Aside from the big bores, and the .375 H&H, this is one of my favorite medium bore calibers! It hits hard a reaches out a long way! with 250 grain premiums, it will easily take anything walking North America and, from what I have read, has an enviable reputation as a "last-day-of-the-hunt, quartering-away-elk-at-300 yards" cartridge. Have fun with it!!!
i just got back from Namibia where i used the 338 WM to hunt PG. my load ended up being a 210gr Barnes TTSX over 65gr of RL 15. this load worked very well on everything from jackal to zebra.
I think I am going to try this bullet in my .338 WM as well.
@matt85 glad you got to use something smaller than a 416 on your hunt!
In my 338 Win Mag
IMR 4350 @ 71.0
225 gr Swift A frame
WW Cases with WLRM primers
The 225gr is very good weight for the 338 Win
Offers flatter traj and milder recoil and with a good bullet bonded or Barnes great weight retention.
I would put a guard on those Bitteroot bullets
That’s a lot bitteroots
I am surprised no one has duplicated the bullet.
He was a former Speer employee and tried to get Speer too manufacture them they refused and he went rouge. One man operation he was.
Closest thing to it is Swift A Frames.
My Ruger Hawkeye really likes 225gr Hornady Interlock with a mid range charge of RL22 and CCI primers. Not tested on anything large though, I'd be sceptical of that bullet on larger game.
The problem with standard production bullets on game is what economists refer to as "opportunity cost". the opportunity cost of using a bullet such as a Hornady Interlock is that it replaces the possibility of using a different bullet. It's a "sum zero" equation where to use one means that you need to forego using another. Since our hunting opportunities are limited most of us will only be shooting a few large animals and while using a Hornady bullet may give very good performance, to use it means that we didn't use a premium or super-premium bullet. Since hunting opportunities are limited and in some cases quite expensive, using a bullet of Bitterroot, Grizly, or current production North Fork, Woodleigh or Swift quality makes a lot of sense.
The .338 Win is one of my favorite cartridges. I first used a 250gr Sierra sbt backed by IMR 4350 on a mule deer at 60 yds. Bullet came apart.
Switched to the 250 Speer Grand Slam (2nd version). Took elk at 135 yds and 225 yds as well as a huge mule deer at 100 yds and whitetail at 70 yds. Great performance. The only bullet recovered was from the mule deer. 70% weight retention. Powder was IMR 4350.
Kept hearing how great the 210gr Nosler Partition is. Took a small bull elk at 80 yds. The bull only went about 30 yds but I was disappointed by the penetration. Found the bullet inside the far ribs on a lung shot. Powder was IMR 4831. NOTE: This is the most accurate bullet in my rifle.
These were all back in the 1980’s when the Nosler and Speer were the only common “premium” bullets. In fact, if I remember correctly, the 250 gr Nosler Partition was a round nose design and they weren’t making a 225gr yet.
A few years ago, took a whitetail with the 225gr TTSX in front of RL 22. I can’t wait to try it on African PG or a moose. I think it will become my go to bullet. However, I’d like to give the 210gr Nosler another try sometime and the 250gr Swift.
I never bothered to reload for my Ruger 77 .338. It was my older brothers and had been glass bedded, Magna Ported, and a slicked up 4 pound trigger.
It shot all Federal ammo from 210 to 250 grains so well, there was no need to try to improve on accuracy or bullets. But my favorite was Winchester Gold 230 grain Black Talon/Fail Safe which I used in Africa, but that ammo is no longer available.
I have the scope adjusted to match the trajectory of my Pre 64 M70 .308 Featherweight which has had the same accuracy treatment. Point of aim = point of impact out to 250 yards. KISS works well in the field.
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