A more powerful 338?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by matt85, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    The jacket on the 338 SST is thicker than the .30 cals but I don't think it would be my choice for eland either but they do kill moose very dead. Zebra/kudu/gemsbok I wouldn't hesitate. I can run 100+ GMX down the barrel of my 338 without any noticeable loss in accuracy but every gun is different but I can't see it tightening up 2.5 inches. I'm guessing higher velocities and your rifle don't get along. My Kimber was the same. In the end I had to go to 225 bullets. Each beast is unique. I'm just happy my current 338 likes the 185s but it's a bit short and fast for many of the standard twists in 338s.
     
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  2. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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  3. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    interesting, but the part that worries me is how small the HP cavity is. im already concerned that the Barnes might not always open.

    -matt
     

  4. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Keep impact velocities above 2,000fps and you'll be fine. Drop below that and ya, you'll likely experience some poor expansion issues.
     

  5. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    If you want a really high quality sporting rifle (not a tactical black gun with military platform features) there are quite a few nice custom guns out there such as .340W and .338/378W.

    The problem as I see it for Africa applications is that you are dealing with pretty angry recoil and heavy guns to get these calibers. They are often more powerful than a .375HH or a 9.3x64 brenneke. So you're taking the weight and recoil of the medium magnums but you're not legal by bullet diameter to use the rifle for dangerous game.

    A 375HH and rangefinding binoculars that will instantly give you your holdover is probably a superior solution out to a pretty fair distance. I hunted a bushbuck at 340 yards with a 6x scope as the hold over was around 14" inches which was quite manageable.

    Not trying to talk you out of the goal of your conversation, just expressing hesitation as to the benefits of the super-potent .338 over going to a medium magnum. Is flat shooting passed 400 yards the requirement that trumps all? If yes, I get it, you need a mega .338.
     

  6. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I kept wondering why you needed to a rifle that could shoot so flat but I have been reading Killers in Africa: The Truth about Animals Lying in Wait and Hunters Lying in Print by White Hunter Alexander Lake. It is a great book by the way. But in it he talks about how initially, he couldn't get any closer to them than 800 yards no matter how stealthy he was. He was nearly killed several times by Chacma Baboons, and had his arm ripped open by one. Now I get why they are grenerally free trophy fees on safari. They might be one of the few species that stalking close really requires a special set of skills.

    I was thinking, since they are generally under 100 pounds, would not something in 6mm - 7mm work better than a .338 in terms of flat trajectory and wind bucking as well as rapid expansion from a lighter built bullet? I mean, If you want flat shooting, a .243 AI shooting an 80 grain bullet or a .257 weatherby with an 85 grainer would kill them just as quick, maybe faster and would shoot really flat to 400 yards easily. Zero for 300 Yards and you are 3.5" high at apex and only 7" low at 400. At long range just aim at the head and it's going to drop somewhere that is going to do some serious damage. It will still be travelling faster than 2000fps out to a minimum of 475 yards so it will expand.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016

  7. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    That's a new topic. Here'a a request: when you go to a pristine hunting area with trophy game, especially nyala and bushbuck, PLEASE leave the baboons alone. The less harassed they are, the less they alarm ruining stalks.

    Try to hunt bushbuck when the baboons go on alert...not fun.
     
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  8. BigKnuckle

    BigKnuckle New Member

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    I've had a Weatherby Mark V in .340 WBY Mag for years. Its a great cartridge for anything bigger than mule deer. Might be overkill on some smaller species. I always used to pine for a .338 Lapua, until I started really studying the difference between the Lapua and the WBY and felt that they were pretty comparable. and the Weatherby suited my purpose just fine. I'm planning on taking it with me to SA next year. I use the 225 grain Barnes TTSX. Its about 2970 fps and 4408 energy at the muzzle and it only drops 11.5 inches at 400 yards when zeroed at 300. The only downside is the cost and availability of ammunition.

    You could also look at a 30-378 WBY mag if you want something a little longer and faster, but with a lighter bullet. That's about 3450 fps at the muzzle with 165 grains, 3400 fps at the muzzle with 180 grains or 3160 fps at the muzzle with 200 grain partitions.

    Or, if you want a heavier bullet, check out the 338-378 WBY mag. That's a 225 or 250 grain bullet with 3180 fps and 3060 fps respectively at the muzzle.
     
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