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Discussion Starter #1
On a Serious note, I am actually considering varmint hunting with my Sako TRG-42 338 Lapua.

My M1A Scout has an Aimpoint mounted, so that limits the range already. Not to mention it not very accurate.

I am not to concern with the cost of the .338 Lapua because I do reload and I can obtain reloading components at cost and the brass I can pick up really cheap as well.

My question is will the .338 Lapua shooting Sierra Matchking have the "explosive" effect on varmints as the lower caliber ballistic tips does?

Friends I am going with will be shooting .222 and 22-250 on up to as high as 45-70 Govt.

Aside from the obvious fun of exploding varmints, is their any downside to varmint hunting with the .338 Lapua?
 

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The big bullets will make the vermin dissapear at high velocity, but they will travel/riccochet for a tremendous distance sometimes if you're not shooting into a good backstop. I'd want to be in some really open country with no people or livestock if I was using that type of round for varmints unless I had a really good backstop. It would be interesting to pop a prairie dog at 1000 yards though.:)
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I'd try a 180gr. Ballistic Tip, personally.

Sounds messy.....
 

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Dead is dead, But like KicH said, i would worry about a projectile of that mass and velocity bouncing around. Sounds like a good excuse to get a new gun :D
 

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Have to consider it a shame to not shoot an accurate rifle...but there just aren't that many big critters that need shooting in a given year. The problem with big bore varmiting is safety...those big bullets won't self destruct on contact with a varmnit (or the ground in case of a miss). Will be dribbling bullets for a good long distance and endangering the landscape.
 

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The biggest downside is the bullets are NOT varmint bullets and will tend to ricochet, as others have poined out. Richochet's are the reason I gave up coyote hunting with my 7mm Rem Mag hunting loads (thought prairie dogs and coyotes would be good practice for elk season) - but the 160g bullets were just too well built.

The other problem is recoil.

But it should certainly do them in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Coyote Hunter said:
The biggest downside is the bullets are NOT varmint bullets and will tend to ricochet, as others have poined out. Richochet's are the reason I gave up coyote hunting with my 7mm Rem Mag hunting loads (thought prairie dogs and coyotes would be good practice for elk season) - but the 160g bullets were just too well built.

The other problem is recoil.

But it should certainly do them in.
Ricochet is a fact of shooting. Whether you are at the range or hunting, bullets will Ricochet; some will ricochet less than others, but they all will spit shrapnel once they impact something.

Besides, I just bought a box of 225 grain Ballistic tips :)
 

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If you take a 338 lapua out varmint hunting your being silly !
(Boy am I holding back) Just like the yocal I met who said he shot some with a 375 H&H.

Last year I shot 1050 rounds in one three day prairie dog trip. How many would you figure on shooting!

Why don't you get a nice 223 and take it seriously?
 

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Realizing the hazard of bouncing bullets, have still taken out probably every rifle I own to varmint-hunt at least once in awhile. May not be the only rifle out there, usually there is a more traditional varmint rifle along, but that doesn't stop me from letting the varmint rig cool down, and rolling over to a a 45-70 or a .308 for a few rounds at the safest possible tragets.

Would be dull to have only the non-varmint rifle along as the shots I will take are fewer out of concern from the backstop, but believe a round of varminting is mighty good pre-season practice.

So if you see puffs of smoke on a distant ridge line, it's probably not smoke signals. May be me working out the kinks in a new flinter and getting a little field time before the season opens.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Mordo said:
If you take a 338 lapua out varmint hunting your being silly !
(Boy am I holding back) Just like the yocal I met who said he shot some with a 375 H&H.

Last year I shot 1050 rounds in one three day prairie dog trip. How many would you figure on shooting!

Why don't you get a nice 223 and take it seriously?
Everyone's entitled to their own definition of varmit shooting... let's not be so critical of the opinions of others, please.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mordo said:
If you take a 338 lapua out varmint hunting your being silly !
(Boy am I holding back) Just like the yocal I met who said he shot some with a 375 H&H.

Last year I shot 1050 rounds in one three day prairie dog trip. How many would you figure on shooting!

Why don't you get a nice 223 and take it seriously?
Why am I being silly for using a large caliber for varmint hunting? The only lower caliber I possess that is smaller than the 338 is the 308 Hs Precision. That Hs Precision weights about 2-3 lbs more than my 338 making it difficult to take anywhere.

You mentioned you shot 1050 rounds in 3 days, that is quite a lot. Did you at least kill 1000 prairie dogs? Furthermore, all of my rifles with the exception of the M1A SOCOM are "precision rifles," not your gun store best seller or weekly sales special. I invest money on accurate rifles so I don't have to do those 1000 rounder 3 day event when 500 will do the job.

Besides, I value my rifle to much to put that many rounds through it for the sake of varmint hunting. I just want to go out there, score some nice long range hits and call it the day.
 

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I must say use the tool for what it was designed for. The 338 of any kind is a big game cart, not for Varmint hunting for the most part,you can not reduce the bullet size small enough to accommodate the size of the animal. Most varmint hunters want to keep the varmint body together and make as small hole as possible not to ruin the pelt, but I guess if your just expiring varmints for cutting populations what ever, I guess It don't matter what you use, but be assured you will tern the varmint inside out using a 338 LOL. The 243 is a very versatile cart, you can hunt varmints one day and white tail deer the same day using the right bullet. A good flat shooter for a affordable price is the Remington 700 243. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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My only concern, besides ricochets, would be power. I'm not sure that 338 Lapua will kill anything bigger than a chipmunk. ;)
 

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Scout 2004 said:
Why am I being silly for using a large caliber for varmint hunting?

ou mentioned you shot 1050 rounds in 3 days, that is quite a lot. Did you at least kill 1000 prairie dogs? ... I invest money on accurate rifles so I don't have to do those 1000 rounder 3 day event when 500 will do the job.

Besides, I value my rifle to much to put that many rounds through it for the sake of varmint hunting. I just want to go out there, score some nice long range hits and call it the day.

I think its silly for all the obvious reasons of using the wrong gun for the wrong purpose. One could use 10 lb maul to do finish carpentry, but that doesn't make it a good idea and I wouldn't consider one who did a craftsman.

We estimate 65-75% hits overall, only god knows for sure. Some day I'll have to bring a counter. Hit rate is very high out to 200 yards and then it falls off rapidly. I try not to shoot beyound 300 yards. I'd put the accuracy of my Cooper 21 up against any commercially made Rifle. I hope your lucky enough the find a dog town that hasn't been shot at or poisoned in four years, as we did last year. Only then can you understand how many rounds you can shoot.

I don't know what you consider long range, but hitting a varmint like a prairie dog or wood chuck at some unknown distance like (471 yards for example) isn't as easy as hitting 3 foot sheet of paper at 600 yards even.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mordo said:
I think its silly for all the obvious reasons of using the wrong gun for the wrong purpose. One could use 10 lb maul to do finish carpentry, but that doesn't make it a good idea and I wouldn't consider one who did a craftsman.

We estimate 65-75% hits overall, only god knows for sure. Some day I'll have to bring a counter. Hit rate is very high out to 200 yards and then it falls off rapidly. I try not to shoot beyound 300 yards. I'd put the accuracy of my Cooper 21 up against any commercially made Rifle. I hope your lucky enough the find a dog town that hasn't been shot at or poisoned in four years, as we did last year. Only then can you understand how many rounds you can shoot.

I don't know what you consider long range, but hitting a varmint like a prairie dog or wood chuck at some unknown distance like (471 yards for example) isn't as easy as hitting 3 foot sheet of paper at 600 yards even.
Scarcity may be the only reason why I cannot find a dog to shoot. Range however is not.

I often shoot at 7" target silhouettes at 700 yards when I am at the range. Having a sub 1/2 MOA rifle and the proper load to give you consistency helps too.

The only thing that will prevent the round from hitting the dog is if he moves before the bullet hits him. Then again, a 338 Lapua Mag 250 Gr. coming out at 3000 fps produces a very impressive shockwave cone that will give a little leniency for a twitching dog :)
 

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I'm officially offering to take you to my favorite pd town! There are some rules however, you must bring 100rds of ammunition and if there are dogs out of their holes you have to shoot at them without any recoil aids other than the factory pad.
I'll be documenting this on video for youtube and shooter'sforum of course.
Now that is one YouTube I'd like to see!
I've heard the .338 Lapua called a few things but varmint rifle is a first.

Wondering if this 16 year old thread should of just remained dead?
 

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Riccochets are ALWAYS a concern, and a safe hunter knows how to deal with it. so that is a non-issue.

Is a 338 a perfect choice for vrmint hunting....that doesn't need an answer.

BUT, I always take my 416 mag varmint hunting with full power 400 gr bullets. I do it in preparation for hunting/safari. shooting at a range is only one way to learn hunting skills; nothing beats the field use. and varmint hunting give you that field use.

Would I use a 338 Lapua to hunt varmints because that was the only gun I had???? NO I'd borrow or buy a gun that would make varmnt huntingmore fun!

Actually, I don't understand why anyone would buy a 338 Lapua in the first place.
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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Wondering if this 16 year old thread should of just remained dead?
It should have Monty.
It's always interesting to see who will take the bait from a drive-by comment from a newbie. ;)

Cheers
 
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