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Sherman Wildcat (338 Sherman Short)

Jsmitt6

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Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Utah
About 4 months ago I set out on a fun project. I decided I wanted to try out a wildcat cartridge, learn how to put together a bolt gun (remage barrel, headspace, etc) and work up a load that was under 1 MOA. Today, I finally put the mammoth together. Altogether it weighs a touch over 11 pounds (YIKES!). I am extremely proud of myself that I was able to see this from conception to reality with the speed bumps that arose.

A couple things to note:

1. If you are going to build a "custom" rifle, do it. Don't skimp on some parts. You'll eventually replace those budget parts with what you wanted in the first place and costing you more $$.

2. Make sure the stock is inletted to your action. I didn't and the magazine was causing the bullets to hit under the feed ramp. I had a buddy use his mill to give me some clearance at the front of the magwell so I can have reliable feeding. Not an issue on either manufacturer (Defiance or MPA), I should have read about which magwell cut is which. All is good now and it feeds 100%.

3. A 338 caliber is probably unnecessary for any hunting I do or will do. However, I wanted one and so I did it. Lesson here is that if you want something, it doesn't have to be practical or fit a mold. If it turns you on, do it!

4. Online communities are generally great. I know forums of other varieties get bogged down with some crap but this forum and another (that had a TON of info on 338 Sherman builds) was supremely helpful and ultimately led me in the right direction. A ton of people helped answer my questions, ideas, and gave me tips/tricks to complete it. Thanks to all those who answered any questions I had, however dumb. Thanks to those who started threads or shared knowledge in them as well. I gleaned a TON of info from this site and others.

Here are a few pictures of the mod I had to do to the feedramps as well as the whole thing put together. I have other rifles that I will venture into back country hunts, this will be a fun rifle for the shorter distance ones. I will hopefully be shooting this in the next week and will provide real world accuracy and speed testing. Feel free to ask me any questions if you have any.
 

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1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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Indiana
Very nice!! Given what I've seen from the 6.5 version, I'd also give the 250gr Scenar's a look. Thinking of trying them in my 338 Win Mag.
 

Jsmitt6

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Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Utah
Nice! It’s really not that difficult to put one together is it?
No, not at all hard to put together. A few youtube videos to understand the concept and then just make sure you take your time. It goes without saying, but make sure you have the right tools (bolted down vice, go/nogo gaugees, wrench, etc).

that 250grn berger will be a real killer
I sure hope so. I typically like shoulder shots, which is not what the Berger is designed for. So I am going to make it a habit of being deliberate with my shot placement and my distances.
Very nice!! Given what I've seen from the 6.5 version, I'd also give the 250gr Scenar's a look. Thinking of trying them in my 338 Win Mag.
Thanks for the advice. If I can find any, I'll have to try them out. I havent looked into them in terms of on game performance though.
 

brockel

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May 13, 2016
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Baker,MT
No, not at all hard to put together. A few youtube videos to understand the concept and then just make sure you take your time. It goes without saying, but make sure you have the right tools (bolted down vice, go/nogo gaugees, wrench, etc).


I sure hope so. I typically like shoulder shots, which is not what the Berger is designed for. So I am going to make it a habit of being deliberate with my shot placement and my distances.

Thanks for the advice. If I can find any, I'll have to try them out. I havent looked into them in terms of on game performance though.
That 250 will go through a shoulder no problem
 

88man

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Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
1,723
Location
Pa
No, not at all hard to put together. A few youtube videos to understand the concept and then just make sure you take your time. It goes without saying, but make sure you have the right tools (bolted down vice, go/nogo gaugees, wrench, etc).


I sure hope so. I typically like shoulder shots, which is not what the Berger is designed for. So I am going to make it a habit of being deliberate with my shot placement and my distances.

Thanks for the advice. If I can find any, I'll have to try them out. I havent looked into them in terms of on game performance though.
The 180 7mm hunting vlds go thru mature bull elk shoulders I would think that 250grn should have no worries except a world of hurt following it.
 

Jsmitt6

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Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Utah
Hi All. Got back from the range. Here is the range report for H4350 shooting the 250 Berger Elite Hunter at an COAL 2.950. I was not finding any heavy bolt lift on any of these loads or primer cratering/ejector marks. I am also using the ADG brass. I was really wanting to get up to 2800 FPS, and believe that I could with a heavier load charge, but I fell in love with the accuracy of the 62 grain. I will be at 2725 fps for muzzle velocity and that gives me out to 1,050 yards to retain 1800 fps for proper expansion, well beyond what I typically shoot game at (usually a 500-600 yard kind of guy). I wanted to drop this here in case anyone wanted to try H4350 and what they can expect for velocity.

Below are some of the groups I shot this morning. The first one that is labelled 61.5 is actually the 62 grain group. 3 shots in one ragged hole! Easily best group I have ever shot. I only did 3 round groups for this due to limited supplies of powder, primers, and bullets.

55.5grains
2429
2358
2409

56 grains
2440
2430
2444

56.5 grains
2433
2425
Error

57 grains
2450
2482
2485

57.5 grains
2540
2535
2414


58 grains
2566
2510
2485


58.5 grains
2610
2600
2590

59 grains
2588
2597
2575

59.5 grains
2627
2635
2615

60 grains
2653
2630
2643

60.5 grains
2683
2660
2673

61 grains
2680
2694
2698

61.5 grains
2718
2700
2700

62 grains
2716
2730
2733
 

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Jsmitt6

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Jun 1, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Utah
Not a huge fan of mono bullets or the price of them to be honest. The BCs are less than this Berger as well, not sure if that even matters at hunting distances. Doubt it does.

with the price and extreme limited supply of powder and other components, I am going to stick with this bullet and load until I can find an Accubond somewhere in stock in the 225-250 range.
Thanks for the recommendation though.
 

mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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Location
montana
Not a huge fan of mono bullets or the price of them to be honest. The BCs are less than this Berger as well, not sure if that even matters at hunting distances. Doubt it does.

with the price and extreme limited supply of powder and other components, I am going to stick with this bullet and load until I can find an Accubond somewhere in stock in the 225-250 range.
Thanks for the recommendation though.
The 225 Accubond is a great bullet. Loaded them in a .338 RUM once upon a time. 3200 fps, nasty. mtmuley
 

brockel

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May 13, 2016
Messages
1,982
Location
Baker,MT
Now you got me thinking. I just got a benchmark 338 cal barrel for a hell of a deal. Was thinking of doing a 338-06 but now I’m leaning towards the 338ss on a tikka. Should move a 213 grain hammer right along nicely
 

Jsmitt6

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Utah
Now you got me thinking. I just got a benchmark 338 cal barrel for a hell of a deal. Was thinking of doing a 338-06 but now I’m leaning towards the 338ss on a tikka. Should move a 213 grain hammer right along nicely
I think you cant go wrong either way. You'll get more speed out of the Sherman. The tipping point for me was the ability to buy the brass and dies from Rich's website. That way I didnt have to worry about fireforming or bumping shoulders. Since I reload, it acts the same for every other rifle I have (without the ability to go to a store and buy a box of ammo if I ever lost or forgot ammo). I think that scenario is over played as I always pack the rifle and the ammo in the same case and double/triple check to make sure I have more ammo than I know I will need.

You can even rent a reamer from Rich for around $75. He has definitely put in the work to make this cartridge as easy as possible to jump in.
 

brockel

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
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Location
Baker,MT
I think you cant go wrong either way. You'll get more speed out of the Sherman. The tipping point for me was the ability to buy the brass and dies from Rich's website. That way I didnt have to worry about fireforming or bumping shoulders. Since I reload, it acts the same for every other rifle I have (without the ability to go to a store and buy a box of ammo if I ever lost or forgot ammo). I think that scenario is over played as I always pack the rifle and the ammo in the same case and double/triple check to make sure I have more ammo than I know I will need.

You can even rent a reamer from Rich for around $75. He has definitely put in the work to make this cartridge as easy as possible to jump in.
Plus ADG brass is great stuff
 

ND_Hooligan

New member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
25
Location
North Dakota
Happy to see this thread here and thanks for sharing your load data. I've had a Bartlein barrel and McMillan stock in production for about 3 months now and am going to turn a Model 70 WSM into a 338 Sherman Short. Hoping the components are here and the smith has it done by July so I can get some range time and use it in the mountains this fall. Once done I will share load numbers too but I am hoping to be able to use something like 225 grain bullets and somewhere around 2900 fps would be awesome.
 

Jsmitt6

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Utah
Happy to see this thread here and thanks for sharing your load data. I've had a Bartlein barrel and McMillan stock in production for about 3 months now and am going to turn a Model 70 WSM into a 338 Sherman Short. Hoping the components are here and the smith has it done by July so I can get some range time and use it in the mountains this fall. Once done I will share load numbers too but I am hoping to be able to use something like 225 grain bullets and somewhere around 2900 fps would be awesome.
Ive seen data where some guys are running the 225 Hammer up to 3000 FPS. So I would think 2900 is definitely doable.
 
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