Finally shot 338-06 I bought in 2008

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dougader, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Wow, I finally got dies and loaded some ammo up for this "shooter." Aftermarket stock, Savage marked on the bolt and 338-06 cal. marked on the barrel.

    Very frustrating, to say the least. It took me 7 shots to figure out where the bullets were flying before I finally got a couple on the target at 25 yards (yes, 25!; how embarrassing):


    I'm not sure what happened at 50 yards, but the adjustments made to the scope were plenty. I shot these three, and then made sure all the screws on the scope on stock were tight.


    Anyway, here's the 100 yard group with a Hornady 225 grain SP over 56 Grains AA4350 and Rem 9-1/2 primers. The powder and primers are from about 1994. $13/1,000 for primers and $56 for an 8 pound keg of the AA 4350. At 100 yards, things started coming together but the Fujinon scope sucks. I couldn't get it to focus for me.


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    #1 dougader, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  2. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    It's a start. Definitely upgrade the glass. I figure $1 per yard I want to shoot. 200y rifle gets a $200 scope budget. Now you get to obsess about shrinking that group.

  3. Yep. I'd be happier if that was a 200 yard target. :cool:

    I definitely pulled that far left shot.
  4. I love my 338-06! It was my first serious big game rifle & has been on many trips, one across the pond for African plainsgame. It has never failed me on an animal from the smallest antelope to biggest elk.
    I never got great results with any 225gr bullets. It handles the 200gr, 210gr & 250gr great, sub 1" (3) shot groups if I do my part. The 225gr though, if I could get them under 2" I was having a good day, wierd. I also like 4350, but H4350 w/ all bullet wts. The 210gr NP is my hunting bullet of choice. At 2750fps, it's flat enough for 300yd shooting & still expands well at that distance. I wish I could get the Hornady 225gr to shoot, expands really well, but 2" groups, not good enough. IT does shoot the 250gr quite well though, a good 200yd & under close cover round.
    I agree, better glass. IMO, crappy glass never makes for good shooting, especially when the conditions are poor. All my rifles wear Leup VXIII or better but for my light wt 280. It has a VXII for the wt. Keep at it, I am sure it will shoot.
    #4 fredj338, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  5. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    I keep telling myself I'm going to rebarrel my 700 to .338-06, but I haven't committed yet. Maybe because the .30-06 does fine on everything around here.

    Congrats on the gun and it sure does seem to be going the right direction for you.
  6. I was hoping you would chime in, Fred. I knew you had a 338-06. I grabbed the Hdy 225's because they were on sale and I just wanted to get shooting. If I can have this ready for west side elk this fall, I'd really like to take it along.

    I have heard the 210 Nosler Partition is a great bullet. I bought the AA4350 when I had an FFL and it was about half the price of IMR4350 and H4350 back then. I've been using the IMR 4350 (and 4064 for 150's) for my 30-06 since about 1985 (when, I think, it was still DuPont 4350). The H4350 and Reloder 19 look they give more velocity than the AA4350 does, at least with the heavier bullets.

    I had a Leupold VXII on my old 30-06 Ruger M77 but it went the way of the gun. Nothing against the Ruger, but I find the Remington 700 BDL a much better rifle. For me, at least, it kicks less and the trigger is better, which translates into better groups on my end.

    ZSteve: I'm in the same boat as you. I really don't need a 338-06 as my 30-06 does fine with everything in my area. But I just have been in love with the idea of a 338-06 since I read about the caliber in an old Nosler reloading manual. This rifle looks like a work-horse, but if it shoots I'll keep it.

    I have to say, words alone don't tell how frustrated I was when I couldn't even find the paper for the first 7 shots. Then, to see that 50 yard target was almost too much. I thought, "Man, I only loaded 20 rounds... is that going to be enough?" Oh, I also noticed there is a screw missing behind the trigger guard so there are only 2 of the usual 3 screws holding the barreled action into the stock.

    I'd love to get a VX III for both my rifles, but the 30-06 has a pretty nice Redfield on it already. To be sure, though, this Fujinon needs to go. I was thinking about putting on the 10/22 but I think a 4x Simmons would be better.
  7. creophus

    creophus Born Again

    I like most all rounds based on the 06! Nice to see that you got it to group after a bit of hassle. Never fied a 338-06, but might get my hands on one someday. Only 33 cal experience I have is a 338-378 Weatherby's a monster!!!
  8. That 338-378 Weatherby defines the word "overbore."

    You know, when I was younger I was all about the velocity. I thought along the lines of 6mm-06, 25-06 or 6.5mm-06, which would be great for antelope and deer at distance. But I always had a 30-06 with me and even out to 400 yards the animals dropped every time.

    Now I'm pushing 53 and it's more about caliber, sectional density and accuracy. It makes the 338 bore more appealing. I can load 185's and 200's for deer, and 210 up for elk and black bear. I like a good 250 @ 2400 - 2500 for close in bear and elk.
  9. This is mine, built on an older M77. I love it but would rather have one on an older M70.
    The 210grNP will really do the job on anything short of buffalo would probably do fine if you didn't have to stop a charge. This bullet went thru about 36" of a big Kudu bull. The left is wetpack test, the right the recovered Kudu.
  10. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    Damn you guys.
  11. LOL @ Zombie Steve. :rofl:

    Man, Fred, that is one sweet looking M77/338-06.

    I talked to a guy who shot a grizz (can't remember if he was in MT or Alaska) with the 210 grain NP; center-punched in the chest as it wandered toward him, and it was lights out, right now.

    Up close like that next to teeth and claws I think I'd want something in the 250 grain class, like the Nosler Partition, but you really can't argue with the way those 210's put the game down. With a sectional density of about 0.263, that's great penetration for the 210 NP.

    I once saw a very slightly used Cooper on GB for what I thought was too much money. Now that I see what they go for I feel like a fool for not breaking the bank and jumping on that when it was available.
  12. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    I built my 338-06 with a Brazilian Mauser I bought at Woolworth's.
  13. Thanks, the rifle is almost water proof with the lam stock. The 200gr TSSX is a really great bullet as well. I haven't taken game with it but @ 2800fps+, very flat shooting & I would expect it penetrates a bit better than the 210gr NP. I wish my rifle liked the 225gr NP, but I have to slow it down to 2600fps to get sub 2" groups, not good enough. The 250gr bullets, Hornady, Nosler, etc, @ 2550fps will shoot under 1.5MOA, just weird. Ican push the 200gr Speer or Hornady @ 2850fps & it is a great deer/antelope bullet but a bit light for elk size game. Better than an 06, maybe on really heavy game, but it is decisive there. Then again there is some guy out there that says his 243 will do it all, bullet placement, yada, yada, yada.:upeyes:
    #13 fredj338, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  14. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Hey, don't put down my 243, an LSA-55, and a very sweet shooting rifle. I'll agree, it won't take down what an '06 will.

    For the last 6 or so years, I've followed a new axiom - the glass should cost as much as the rifle. That axiom hasn't steered me wrong yet.

    Doug, is your barrel free floated? A colleague was having a problem with grouping which has now been corrected. Made me think of this. If your barrel is not free floating, you might consider experimenting with the torque applied to the action screws. Alternate differing torque amounts, and vary it heavy front to heavy rear. It may make a real difference on the grouping.
  15. Well at least you finally got to Enjoy it. SJ 40
  16. Thanks for all the comments, guys.

    I hear you, Fred. It's weird what some rifles like and what some don't. My old M77 30-06 loved 150 Nosler Ballistic Tips, but wasn't as good with 180's... which is what I used for Mule deer on up back then. West side black tails got the 150's.

    PCJim, I thought about what you are talking about. I really need to get that missing screw into the rifle and then see what goes on. I haven't even checked yet to see whether this is free-floated or not.

    I was so discouraged by the mess at 50 yards, but I'm encouraged by this first outing based on the 100 yard group... partly because of the awful glass and partly because I know I pulled at least one shot in that last 5 rounds. Also because I was a bit rushed trying to finish before sundown and the closure of the range on a week night. I feel like the rifle is more accurate than my performance yesterday.

    See what a mandatory, unpaid, furlough day gets you?

    These are hardly target grade loads, either. Free range brass, free Federal range brass at that... first guess at COL at 3.325" (just made sure the bullet wasn't pushed into the rifling at this point... and a start load from Speer #14 with AA4350.

    With all of that thrown into the mix, the more I think about it the more I am surprised the rifle did as well as it did. The trigger on this rifle is every bit as good as my 700 BDL, but I just didn't shoot as good as usual. The 700 gets me sub-MOA with most everything I have put through it. But I just wasn't as steady yesterday. I really couldn't make the cross-hairs settle down for me.

    Thanks again, guys. I appreciate all the feedback.

    Zombie Steve: Get... 338.... -06..... now..... resistance is futile....
  17. 110% correct. I have tried a lot of brands, the Leup has always been terrific, at least in the VXIII line & up. Yes, good glass cost good money, sometimes more than a rifle, but good glass is more rugged & lasts longer. I have learned the hard way, much like reloading gear, quality cost money. I fell down a mountainside w/ that rifle & my left shoulder & the scope took quite a whack, actually dented the scope tube. It still shot to zero, but I sent it back to Leup & they fixed it free. Yes, money well spent. I can't say that about Burris, Nikon, Redfield, etc.:dunno: Oh yeah, the shoulder surgery was way more than the scope.:crying:
  18. I agree, Fred. When I had the VariX II on my M77 I met a guy at the range who worked for Leupold in Beaverton. He had a then-new VariX III 3.5 - 10 X50mm (IIRC) and I mentioned how nice it looked.

    Well, he let me look through the scope and WOW is all I could say. It was a cloudy day and my little 3x9 VariX II showed about what you see with your eyes. Looking through the VX III was a revelation regarding light gathering capabilities. It was as if someone turned on a light switch. No kidding, no exaggeration.

    Oh, and Leupold really does stand behind their scopes with a lifetime warranty as well.
    #18 dougader, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  19. A shiny new 338-06 225 grain Hornady SP handload next to my fav 30-06 handload for blacktail deer, a Nosler Ballistic Tip, 150 grain.

  20. Ah you are getting me all jacked up for elk season. I may just have to try & go this year. Either that or come up to Oregon & hunt BT with you.

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