.338-06

Jbotto

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It seems, in my use of the search function here, that the .338-06 is more popular than I gave it credit for. I have been in the process of building one for a few years now, first in my head and then physically assembling all the pieces. My rifle isn’t a true build as much as it is a rebarreling. Started with a donor Stevens 200(Savage 110) and replaced the factory barrel with an ER Shaw 24” heavy sporter taper barrel. This whole project has been nothing fancy but seems everything I’m using has good reviews.

My goal here is to get a good load together with the Barnes 210gr TTSX. I have plans in the next few years to hunt elk in WY with my brother in law and figured this would be a decent starter elk rifle.

For those of you with a .338-06, what have you learned about loading for this cartridge? I have 200 pieces of brass already formed and my stock just arrived this week. So this project is coming to an end soon! I appreciate any help, insight, and suggestions shared with me for reloading this new-to-me cartridge!
 

klampson

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Great choice, I love my 338-06! I emailed Barnes before working on a load, and they recommended the 185 gr TTSX bullet with this cartridge for elk. The 185 gr TTSX is supposedly a favorite of the wife of the owner. She uses them with her 338 win mag and has killed a wide variety of game with them. I load them with Varget, and seat the bullets 50 thou off the lands. I'm getting a tad over 2,900 fps. With Barnes mono bullets I like to push them fast. This combo works so well, I haven't felt the need to try something different.
 

Jbotto

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Great choice, I love my 338-06! I emailed Barnes before working on a load, and they recommended the 185 gr TTSX bullet with this cartridge for elk. The 185 gr TTSX is supposedly a favorite of the wife of the owner. She uses them with her 338 win mag and has killed a wide variety of game with them. I load them with Varget, and seat the bullets 50 thou off the lands. I'm getting a tad over 2,900 fps. With Barnes mono bullets I like to push them fast. This combo works so well, I haven't felt the need to try something different.
You addressed a great concern of mine with the TTSX as I’ve worried that the 210gr isn’t being pushed fast enough in this cartridge. It seems that the 210gr is the perfect weight for his cartridge in jacketed bullets like the Partition, but haven’t been able to find much about the 210gr TTSX and the .338-06. Thank you for those thoughts!
 

ImBillT

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Solid copper bullets generally seem to do better at higher velocities. For other bullet types, I would recommend going above 210gr. It’s only at the heavier weights that the 338-06 will begin to offer something that the 30-06 does not do already.
 

JLS

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I agree. I shot 185 grain TSX out of mine. I think going up in weight you are going to limit your maximum range more than you’d like. With the 185 it’s a 400 yard gun easy.
 

Jbotto

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Solid copper bullets generally seem to do better at higher velocities. For other bullet types, I would recommend going above 210gr. It’s only at the heavier weights that the 338-06 will begin to offer something that the 30-06 does not do already.
Yeah, I’m aware that there is little difference between a 30-06 and the .338-06 but I don’t mind the overlap to be able to have something a bit different.
 

brockel

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When I had my couple I loaded 225 grain accubonds on top of h4350 for 2600-2650fps
 

ImBillT

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Yeah, I’m aware that there is little difference between a 30-06 and the .338-06 but I don’t mind the overlap to be able to have something a bit different.
Oh there’s plenty of difference...once you get into the heavy bullets. With 185’s you’re likely not gettting enough increase in velocity to matter and you’re giving up a fair bit of BC. If you move up to 225+ you’re beating the 30-06 pretty heftily. I want a 338Fed or 338-06 and would likely be shooting 250gr at the lightest. If shooting light enough bullets to get high velocity, the .280Rem/.280AI will shoot similar weight bullets at very near the same velocity and gain a tremendous advantage in BC.

I’m all for the 338-06. I would simply suggest that you keep an open mind when it comes to heavier bullets. There are some serious 250gr bullets out there.
 

JLS

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If you want heavy you could always try these


I just don’t see any advantage to going any heavier. With most guns you’re going to be too limited by magazine length.

Edit. Checked this through the Hornaday ballistic app. If you can get 2600 FPS at the muzzle, which you should, you’re still at 1890 FPS at 400 yards.
 
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Dr. Vette

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If you want heavy you could always try these


I just don’t see any advantage to going any heavier. With most guns you’re going to be too limited by magazine length.

Edit. Checked this through the Hornaday ballistic app. If you can get 2600 FPS at the muzzle, which you should, you’re still at 1890 FPS at 400 yards.
Those are the ones I'll be trying in my 338-06 next year going for moose.
 
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brockel

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I wouldn’t overlook the 213 grain hammer. Should be able to push them 2750fps and they have a higher bc
 
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Aussie_hunter_JD

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USA needs to really catch up on the metric calibres. 9.3x62 has been around since 1905 and does everything the 338-06 does plus working better with larger pils which gives it good variability.
My brother loads 250gn tsx through his, i just ordered some 285gn norma oryx for mine.
 

std7mag

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USA needs to really catch up on the metric calibres. 9.3x62 has been around since 1905 and does everything the 338-06 does plus working better with larger pils which gives it good variability.
My brother loads 250gn tsx through his, i just ordered some 285gn norma oryx for mine.
Yeah, because we don't shoot enough 5.56, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, 7.62... Lol

9.3X62 pretty much equals our 35 Whelen.
 

Ben Lamb

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The 9.3's out class the whelen enough to be allowed for dangerous game in a couple of African countries.

The 338-06 is a great cartridge for hunting within 300 yards. I wouldn't consider it a long range option though. Using a heavy for caliber bullet and keeping it under 200 yards makes the 338-06 a fine choice for timber hunting. If you want to reach out with a 338 class cartridge, you're going to want more oomph though.
 

Bambistew

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The 9.3's out class the whelen enough to be allowed for dangerous game in a couple of African countries.
I'm guessing this has more to do with the 9.3 outnumbering Whelens in Africa 10,000:1 than there being any real world difference in performance. :)

I shoot H4350 in my 338-06 AI. It worked well with 210 Accubonds and Partitions, as well as 225 Swift A frames.
 

Ben Lamb

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I'm guessing this has more to do with the 9.3 outnumbering Whelens in Africa 10,000:1 than there being any real world difference in performance. :)

I shoot H4350 in my 338-06 AI. It worked well with 210 Accubonds and Partitions, as well as 225 Swift A frames.
More than likely, but reloading for both, I'd rather have a 286 grain pill at 2450 fps than a 250 at 2550.
 

Jbotto

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Ok, to bring this thread back on topic here, I am looking for some clarification:

With my preference of shooting all-copper bullets in rifles, is the 210gr a good option for the .338-06 at most reasonable hunting distances. In the past, I haven’t hunted in an area where shots past 300 were possible. However now, here in western ND I could very easily see those shots as being possible. It’s going to be a couple years before I get to hunt elk, so my hope is to get this project together and start shooting it so I know the rifle when the times comes.

So I’ll reiterate: ballistically, where does the 210gr TTSX at normal .338-06 velocities run out of steam?

I guess in my research I’ve viewed this weight as a good compromise for this cartridge as it has a better B.C. than the 185gr, and better velocities than the 225gr. I’m not married to this bullet or bullet weight, and I’ve noticed that Nosler has a 200gr E-tip they looks promising. Hornady GMX might be a possibility too but haven’t looked at what they offer for this diameter.
 

Dr. Vette

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I wouldn’t overlook the 213 grain hammer. Should be able to push them 2750fps and they have a higher bc
Yes, but they're also a fair bit longer. Given the 30-06 sized magazine they won't fit as well as the 225, believe it or not.
 

Dr. Vette

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Ok, to bring this thread back on topic here, I am looking for some clarification:

With my preference of shooting all-copper bullets in rifles, is the 210gr a good option for the .338-06 at most reasonable hunting distances. In the past, I haven’t hunted in an area where shots past 300 were possible. However now, here in western ND I could very easily see those shots as being possible. It’s going to be a couple years before I get to hunt elk, so my hope is to get this project together and start shooting it so I know the rifle when the times comes.

So I’ll reiterate: ballistically, where does the 210gr TTSX at normal .338-06 velocities run out of steam?

I guess in my research I’ve viewed this weight as a good compromise for this cartridge as it has a better B.C. than the 185gr, and better velocities than the 225gr. I’m not married to this bullet or bullet weight, and I’ve noticed that Nosler has a 200gr E-tip they looks promising. Hornady GMX might be a possibility too but haven’t looked at what they offer for this diameter.
So a few of us have recommended the Hammer, but apparently that's not on your personal list.
Nothing wrong with the 210TTSX; go ahead and give it a try if that's what you want to do. I've loaded the TTSX in 7mm for Dad's rifle and it is devastating.
 
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