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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the Woods Pa
Re: 338 Federal Opinion
Not wanting to beat a dead horse, but spent a good bit of time yesterday testing 338-08 loads. All were within the safe load in manuals.
Rifle is a Kimber 338-08, 22 inch barrel.
Chronographed two boxes of factory, MV was about 200 fps less than that stated on the boxes. Yea, I know published are for a 24 inch barrel, maybe even a 30 inch barrel.
So the factory energy and trajectory are not going to be achieved by most hunters.
The reloads for max velocity from reloading manuals are mostly compressed load, yep really not a lot of case volume in that 308 case, not a magnum. The full powder reloads duplicated the factory velocity (actual chrono velocity, nothing got the published velocity, not even the factory roounds).
Presently, there really isn't a good bullet designed for the 338-08. Most are designed for the 338 win mag (or 340, Lapua, etc). So I don't expect a good expanding bullet on deer at the lower 338-08 velocity. Hornady manual confirms this, as it lists the velocity range for its .338 bullets as above what the 338-08 can deliver.
Best bet on a deer bullet in this cartridge is probably the Nosler partition as it has a notoriously soft nose by design.
Accuracy was sub MOA, with both 3 reloads and factory. Overall length is a problem with the short mag well on the Kimber, bullets can't be seated to the cantilure, and clear the mag. this would not be a problem with an '06 std length action. Loading the 180 will help as it is shorter.
Just some other thoughts.