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Old 07-16-2012, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default .338 win mag

I recently started reloading for my .338 win mag and was wondering of anyone had any suggestions for loads that worked for them. A lot of people that I know reload, but its always for speed and not so much accuracy. I'm looking for a very accurate load.

I use a Ruger m77 hawkeye, and the loads I have tried with the h4831 powder pushing the 225 grain interlock bullets by Hornady have only given me about a 3-4 inch 3 shot groups at 100 yards.

Obviously I'm not real happy with that big of a grouping at 100 yards, so I figured I'd ask the more experienced people here for some helpful hints and advice.



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Old 07-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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I've not had much luck with hornady bullets in my 338. No matter what powder/charge combination or seating depth, I could never get less that two MOA out of em. I started using the Sierra 225gr SP's and get nice half inch groups at 100 yards using IMR4350 and RL19. If I recall correctly, the Sierras sit on top of 68.5 grains of 4350 moving at 2750 fps out of a 26" barrel. It also likes the Barnes tsx's but I don't recall the charge.



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Old 07-16-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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I have a Ruger Stainless Model 77 in .30-06 that I had trouble getting to group decently. I did 2 things. First I bought a box of that Final Finish ammunition that is marketed by David Tubb. It has abrasive bullets loaded in both a coarse and a fine grade. You start with a clean barrel. You cannot have any copper fouling in the barrel. Many Ruger barrels are like the surface of the Moon, and it takes a lot to get them really clean. I use Bore Tech Eliminator which really helps.

You then fire the 10 coarse bullets, and then clean the barrel. After that you fire the 10 fine projectiles, and then clean again thoroughly. Your barrel will be very smooth after this treatment, and will not foul as easily.

I also found with most of my Ruger rifles, that if I seat the bullets out to the lands I got much better accuracy results. This may require you to go over the COAL shown in the manual. You can establish this distance by seating the bullet long in the case, and use a black Magic Marker to cover the ogive of the bullet where it will engage the rifling of the barrel. Keep extending this distance until you get 6 equal, shiny marks where the bullet is touching the rifling. Then adjust your seating die to seat the bullets .015 to .020 deeper. Keep your loads under maximum when you do this. Start out about 10% under max and see what kind of accuracy you achieve. You can then work up.

Ruger barrels are usually quite rough from the factory, and the Tubb Final Finish Ammo really helps smooth it out. You'll be able to see just how much shiner your barrel is after the treatment. It will clean up much easier as well.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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I have a Browning BAR in .338. I've had my best accuracy with 200 Grain Barnes "X" bullets, Remington 9 1/2 M primers and IMR 4350.

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Old 07-16-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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I will say that I am approx. 10 grains of powder under the max load right now, would that have anything to do with accuracy?

I'm fairly new to reloading and before hand I shot the federals with the Barnes bullets and they shot fairly well.

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Old 07-16-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97cobra View Post
I will say that I am approx. 10 grains of powder under the max load right now, would that have anything to do with accuracy?

I'm fairly new to reloading and before hand I shot the federals with the Barnes bullets and they shot fairly well.
Most loading manuals list an "accuracy load". It generally runs a few grains under max. 10 grains seems a bit excessive. Also remember it is not wise to reduce the charge to below the minimum listed in the manual for any given load of slow burning powder. This can cause pressure spikes and hang fires. In worst case scenarios it can cause detonation.

Barnes bullets can be somewhat more troublesome to get to shoot accurately than conventional lead core bullets of the same weight. The reason is because the copper they are made from is less dense than lead, requiring a longer bullet. The longer the bullet, the faster the rifling twist is required to stabilize it. So while a given weight lead bullet may shoot very accurately, the same weight in a Barnes or other homogeneous bullet, might open up the group size considerably.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billt

Most loading manuals list an "accuracy load". It generally runs a few grains under max. 10 grains seems a bit excessive. Also remember it is not wise to reduce the charge to below the minimum listed in the manual for any given load of slow burning powder. This can cause pressure spikes and hang fires. In worst case scenarios it can cause detonation.

Barnes bullets can be somewhat more troublesome to get to shoot accurately than conventional lead core bullets of the same weight. The reason is because the copper they are made from is less dense than lead, requiring a longer bullet. The longer the bullet, the faster the rifling twist is required to stabilize it. So while a given weight lead bullet may shoot very accurately, the same weight in a Barnes or other homogeneous bullet, might open up the group size considerably.
I loaded it at the second lowest suggested grain for 225 grain Hornady bullets with my powder.

I loaded up some more to try at .5 and 1 grain more powder. The max load listed is 73.5 while the minimal load is 60.9.

These next loads are at 65.5 and 70 grains of powder. It doesn't have the accuracy load you had mentioned, but it is a pocket load book with thousands of load combos.

I have a Lyman reloading manual, recommend trying loads from that despite me using Hornady bullets?
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I have a Lyman reloading manual, recommend trying loads from that despite me using Hornady bullets?
You can, just start out a bit on the light side. Today they don't recommend cross referencing data like that because most every bullet manufacturer publishes their own manual. Back in the 60's and early 70's some didn't. If the bullet you're using has a larger bearing surface to the rifling, than the bullet that's published in the manual, it could raise pressure slightly. But it won't be enough to cause a problem unless you are loading right at the red line.


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