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Reloading?

Are your dies pushing the shoulder back?

You should be headspacing off the shoulder, not the belt.

How much free bore does the chamber have? Some bullets like to 'jump' some don't.

Primers can make a big difference.

Forgot to mention:

My Ole Mauser was a scatter gun even with the new replacement barrel.

Bedded the action, no help.

Then I went on a powder search to replace H450. .....[2.3/4" groups] ......best that I had.

Tried H4831...........Holey Crap!!!!. ANY Bullet under 1"

Even Scatter guns may have a magic load...and.....some guns need to be set free.
 

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I like RL-19 in the .338..My elk load is the 225 gr. Accubond and a max load of RL-19 for a tad over 3000 fps in my gun..average of 10 chronograped loads, and its max...

Sounds like you need a glass bedding job to start with, and go from there. Any gun that shooting pie plate groupls is not the loads as a rule, its the gun, maybe exceptions but Ive never run across that..if the shooter is not flinching.

Sometime the crown needs recutting.. Its an investigation in such cases, try and shoot is the fix, push comes to shove a new barrel or rebores usually works.
 

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Wow, that load is THE hammer of Thor!
I thought almost 3000 FPS with a 200 TTSX or the 225 TSX at 2800 FPS from my 35 Whelen AI was impressive.

Impressive in the sense of comparing the numbers on paper, on animals the Whelen and 338 Win are justifiably both devastating.
 

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Hey Big 5 ---- I'm using that same load and bullet in my Ruger Hawkeye with same velocities. I thought my chrono was broken! It's not a load for casual paper punching but groups right at 1 inch. It's sudden death on elk.:eek:
 

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Ive spent a lifetime shooting the .338 Win. I presently have one in a Ruger African model that shoots an inch as a rule for 3 shots with most of my loads..Ive shot more than a few elk, a few moose, Black Bears and all of Africas plainsgame plus a couple of cape buffalo with it..I like the 225 gr. Accubond and a stiff load of Rl-19, and the 300 gr. Swift and Woodleighs with RL-22..

I also have a Ruger no. 1 in .338 Win that shoots one hole 5 shot groups, all loads to the same POI Its a half inch gun on average..Shoots with bench rest guns..

First, there is no such thing as a "little flinch" , the slightes flinch can create pie plate groups and that could very well be your problem, so let someone who is without a flinch shoot your gun for groups..Those size groups do not indicate load problems, they indicate something is wrong with your gun itself, crown, inletting come to mind as the most common of gun problem, the worst is a bad barrel and its the most common,,and that requires re barreling

Based on your post I think your definatly in need of a professional, probably a gun smith, or perhaps a return to the factory would be best...You said you got a killer deal on the gun, and that raises some flags as to why it was cheap..
 

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Gunpa,
'Yep and IM getting 2913 FPS and no signs of pressure in the bolt gun or the Ruger SS..Reloading one case 14 times, and it was still going strong, but tossed it anyway..Rugers are strong as a bank vault to start with..I pushed the string on finding max and beyond in my tests, then backed off to little past book max. found my best accuracy and that's been my load for the last 40 or so years...I worked up my loads with 210 Noslers, 225 NOsler partitions and Accubonds and with the Swift 300 gr. and Woodleigh 300 gr...Of interest I my lifetime largest elk 389 B&C with the 300 gr. Woodliegh PP in the last rib and it came out behind his ear, now that's penetration, I got exit holes in both of the bufflao I shot broadside with angles, with that bullet
 

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I wasn't aware the 338 was that bad on recoil, Im 85 and been shooting it for over 40 years..Recoil is something any hunter can with a bit of effort in the 338 and 300 Win mag...I would suggest you using a brake as opposed to the other stuff. wear ear protection as brakes are loud, but big guns, even a 222 Rem are loud and will damage hearing just the same as a 338 with a brake. The brake will make you happy give you confidence,make you a better shot, less likely to wound game with a flinch...Its not the demon some claim that have not used one and passing on he said she said, or didn't wear ear protection....When Hunting you can take the brake off screw on a thread protector false crown if you wish, and in time you will take it off more and more until you don't need it...It did me a long time ago!!Its worth the effort on a caliber as good as the 338 Win.
 

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I wasn't aware the 338 was that bad on recoil, Im 85 and been shooting it for over 40 years..Recoil is something any hunter can with a bit of effort in the 338 and 300 Win mag...I would suggest you using a brake as opposed to the other stuff. wear ear protection as brakes are loud, but big guns, even a 222 Rem are loud and will damage hearing just the same as a 338 with a brake. The brake will make you happy give you confidence,make you a better shot, less likely to wound game with a flinch...Its not the demon some claim that have not used one and passing on he said she said, or didn't wear ear protection....When Hunting you can take the brake off screw on a thread protector false crown if you wish, and in time you will take it off more and more until you don't need it...It did me a long time ago!!Its worth the effort on a caliber as good as the 338 Win.
I am picking up a new 338 Win Mag tomorrow , ive owned one before which was a Mossberg 4x4 .
It came with two boxes of ammo iirc . 200gr Hornady super performance and some 250gr Remington loads . I couldnt tell a difference in recoil between them , I think stock design has alot to do it with it as well .
I had a Winchester 1917 in 300 Win Mag that someone had sporterized probably in the 50s . It had a nice looking stock on it and was heavy but recoiled worse than my lighter 338 win mag .
 

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LOL, 300 Winchester Mag wasn't introduced until the 1963. Must have been sporterized then! 😊

Superformance ammo is known to produce more recoil, so wouldn't surprise me 200 gr. loads felt the same as 250 grain loads.

I agree stock design has everything to do with how the recoil treats the man behind the gun.
 

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LOL, 300 Winchester Mag wasn't introduced until the 1963. Must have been sporterized then! 😊

Superformance ammo is known to produce more recoil, so wouldn't surprise me 200 gr. loads felt the same as 250 grain loads.

I agree stock design has everything to do with how the recoil treats the man behind the gun.
close enough lol , the rifle had a very retro 50s style look to it whoever or whenever it was done .
I love the 1917 action but the trigger was terrible .

The stock shape of my Weatherby worked fairly well , the shape of the cheek piece really pushed downwards and away from your face under recoil . I think the 200gr Super performance loads are listed at 3000 fps , buts its not bad at all on the shoulder . Im planning to pickup a box of the Hornady 230gr ELd-X , seems like a pretty good flat shooting load for the 338 Win Mag .
 

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Silliness abounds whenever 'foot-pounds' comes into the discussion. If you want to reduce loads - figure out how far away you will shoot a critter, and then how fast the bullet needs to be going to expand (if it is an expanding bullet) and then the problem will work itself out.

As an example to the above, if Nosler says an Accubond will expand at 'x,xxx' feet per second, and you'll be shooting deer out to 150 yards (or whatever), then make sure that your loads start out fast enough to meet the recommended threshold of expansion at that range. So, off the top of my head, probably 400fps faster than the minimum expansion threshold? Just a guess, look it up in the trajectory tables. They are in every reloading book I own. If that's too complicated, then just use recommended starting loads and don't shoot deer too far away.

A .338 Win Mag will surely kill any deer that ever walked the earth, but the pointy bullets have to expand to be any good. On the other hand, flat-nosed bullets in the .35 Rem work just great, pretty much no matter the muzzle velocity. Have to know what you are dealing with before making predictions.

Shooting a .338 off the bench.... I have a Ruger 77 and you had best be holding the forend like it owes you money, before touching off a round. If you do that, it isn't bad. If you fail to do that, you won't do it twice. Guaranteed! But it is accurate when I do my part. Years ago I found some Federal Premium loads with the 210 gr. Partition, reasonably priced. They are (sadly) almost all gone, and shot like a house afire. Will that work for your gun? I don't know. But try some of the lighter bullets. The 210s were more pleasant, and by chance, more accurate than 225 or 250gr. bullets. Probably just random chance.

May have to go back to a slightly smaller cartridge, say the .30-06, and work your way back up. Just a thought. I don't shoot my .338 a lot and generally, it is one group to test the zero and back in the cabinet it goes. Just not my idea of an all-day gun to wear out at the range.

Just a few thoughts.
Just an observation as I have had this discussion with several hunting buddies who went through their 338 mag phase. They go from an AR then want bigger and faster so buy a 338 only to find out it slaps the snot out of them. And they don't like it. Then in an effort to mitigate the recoil they down load it. I ask them why did you want that rifle in the first place, what was your end goal. Usually they say something like they want DRT or short copious blood trails. I explain that is a good goal but where we hunt 150 yards is a long shot. I explain at that range you can meet your goal with a more manageable round such as 35 rem or 358 win or if you must have more rea
Onondaga, I appreciate your suggestions.



My needs and wants are fairly different than yours, but I can see that you've spent quite a bit of time experimenting and loading and tinkering to gain this knowledge, and, I respect you for that.

I probably DO suffer from velocity disease, I normally do think starting loads are stupid. Let me explain, that wasn't meant to be knocking you, I've just always been of the opinion to buy a weapon that under normal operation (factory ammo) is the power class you want it. Yep, you can make a 30-06 shoot at 30-30 or even 30 carbine power levels with the RIGHT load, but, respectfully, if a boy wants a 30 carbine, buy a 30 carbine, not a 30-06. I've also seen boys with the right barrel and handloads get the old 30-06 to nearly rival the power of a 300 magnum (usually by fudging the handloads on the hot side with a longish barrel). However...

I do know this rifle recoils a lot more than what I'm used to. But, I do want full power, flat shooting loads for bear hunting, in MY neck of the woods. A normal bear hunting scenario here is to catch the bear feeding in a field or crossing the road on a cold winter morning, and something that shoots -flat- and hits hard is quite the order of the day. I've made more than a few kills on deer in the 200-275 yard range, and I'd like to use this skill to my advantage hunting bears. In my mind, that calls for something that hits hard and hopefully doesn't require me to think too hard about holdover while I'm already a bit excited and all with a bear in front of me. I passed up several shots on a sow with a mature cub this year at right around 250 yards. I could have taken her legally, but I wanted to wait for a boar or a sow without a cub present, even though it was a second year cub (you can tell from the size). With my 7mm Remington magnum and handloads, I'm pretty sure on the marksmanship side, it would be a fairly easy shot, but I'm not content that the round would squarely anchor her (or a him) to the spot. The terrain off the sides of the field are extremely thick. Think of wading through briars and brush on soft, squishy flat ground, and little blood to follow. That's why I leaned towards the 338 and don't want to use my quite capable 7mm Remington magnum. I'd like the bear to expire where it's standing, and hit it with authority. It's not my desire to turn this into a bear hunting thread, although suggestions to that end are kindly appreciated.

I might well have been better served for my needs with a 300 magnum of some sorts, for my exact scenario. I totally understand that. I also know that with some practice and a good range finder I could certainly take the same shot with a 45-70, or loads such as you suggest. But, like I said above, for some reason, I really wanted a 338 Winchester, preferably with a BOSS. Maybe, I'm a fool and perhaps a glutton for punishment! :D

All that said, I really like the idea of a 'starting load' or other approved 'reduced loads'. I totally get the concept that you can't just reduce any old load, it may cause a pressure spike and blow up the rifle, and, I'm not into all of that excitement. But an approved reduced load or starting load may be just the ticket to help me over any flinching, and perhaps check the rifle with some ammo other than what came with the gun: Hornady Superformance SST's.

Realistically, I'll probably shoot a few deer along the way, because deer season always coincides with bear season here, and here and there I'll probably pop a doe or maybe even a buck because the rifle happens to be in hand when I'm waiting for a bear, but see a deer and decide to collect some meat and call it a day. A little too much gun is less of a crime than not enough gun in my book. My preferred deer round is a 260 Remington, but I've taken plenty with 243, 30-30, etc. 338 is way overkill in my book, but it definitely worked on a 80 yard doe last fall, and to say the least, she didn't suffer!

I appreciate everyone's comments, I love rifles, love experimenting with different calibers, and hunting. The biggest thing I've learned about guns and hunting on the internet is that many people's hunting scenarios are DIFFERENT, (close range, long range, thick cover, open terrain, mountains, swamps, hunting with hounds legal/illegal), and what works perfectly for one fellow in one corner of the world, may not always suit another fellow hunting the same animal in another place. The animal is the same, but the hunting conditions and needs of the individual hunter can vary quite a bit.

All that said, thanks for any and all suggestions. I love guns, hunting, shooting, and good conversation on those topics! Ears open, mind mostly open, and enjoying every minute of it.
ch a 35 Whelen. Just one man's thoughts. If moving outside your comfort zone find someone who has the gun you are considering and ask them if you can shoot it. Good luck with the rifle, I hope you can sort it out.
 

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I'm with you, I'm guessing he bought the gun with a large quantity of ammo, it beat him up, and he got rid of it rather than trying to figure it out. Guns for sale on Gunbroker often have deals where you can buy a large quantity of ammo in the caliber rifle you are buying at a decent price; I'm guessing that's what he did.

Honestly, I was kinda surprised when I figured out it was the ammo/gun. I used to have a Browning Bar that was nearly a tackdriver without a BOSS. I figured the A Bolt should be more accurate, and with a BOSS, even better. And, I had a trusted Leupold that had been on several rifles without incident or question, so...
Hornady: I've had great luck with their ammo, and they have become one of my go-to ammos for most things that I use factory ammo for. I had really expected great things from this ammo/rifle combination.

I've been shooting rifles seriously (handloading, amateur bench shooting, etc) for 20 years now, and have NEVER seen a gun hate a factory ammo that badly. Even the SKS's I've owned and my Mini 14 will group better than that! It just had to be the rifle if it was shooting that badly. Then add the fact that normal 'deer ammo' that I buy locally runs $15-20 a box. and .338 WM runs $45 a box, plus shipping and handling, and isn't available locally. In my mind, it just had to be something out of sync with the rifle, or the scope went bad, or maybe it was me.

Eventually, this caused me to 1. Level and improve my shooting bench. 2. Work the kinks out of my midway shooting rest. 3. Load some good ammo. 4. Play with a BOSS for the first time, something I've wanted to do for years (yes, I like it, no, I don't care what it looks like). 5. Work on my recoil tolerance. 6. Wind up with a really great bear rifle, that will turn heads when someone asks what I'm shooting (haha). 7. Get a really great group, that I now consider one of my personal bests (lots of folks can shoot bughole groups with a 22 ppc, it's different getting a 5 round group with a 338!).

I'm really glad I kept at it, I've learned a lot from and had fun playing with this rifle. I'm looking forward to shooting it some more. I wonder if I could lighten it and still get good accuracy?!? Lol
looks like you got it sorted out🤔
 
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