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.338 bullet question?

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  • #31

    A factor seldom mentioned in discussions of the .338 Win Mag is that is heir to similar cartridges that earned great reputations in Africa, Asia and other continents. By this I mean it is similar in bullet diameter, weight and performance to historically successful calibers. To better illustrate, attached is a photo of the .338 Mag between the legendary .318 Nitro Express and 9.3X62 Mauser. Case length of all is nearly the same, which is a big plus for all three as they fit the magazines and function in standard length bolt actions. A feature never to be overlooked in that it permitted their use in a wide choice of relatively inexpensive rifles that were bought and used by resident hunters mainly concerned in hunting for food as well as sport. Such hunters were seldom concerned with ballistics. But they knew from experience what worked, and worked well on about everything they hunted. Which is what the performance level of the .338 is heir to. Cartridge on right is .400/.360 Westley Richards Nitro Express. Shown here for comparison because despite being a handsome "medium bore" rimmed round, and offered in superb rifles, never achieved much popularity except for tiger hunting in India by rich nabobs and similar minded Englishmen in India and Africa. I handload this cartridge to about 2300fps with 285 grain bullets, but despite it's elegant bloodline it's still not quite the equal of the three classic medium bore cartridges shown.
    Attached Files


    • #32

      Went to the range -

      To shoot my newly designed cartridge and rifle

      Sorry this photo is out of focus, but this is what I got at 100 yards with the load listed.

      The way the rifle came together, with an experimental cartridge and load, . . . . . what did I think about the results ?

      Basic details :

      Cartridge name - 338 BOS

      Action - Whitworth (Commercial Mauser)

      Barrel - Bartlein - Stainless Steel - 1 in 10 twist

      Trigger - Timney - set @ 2.75 lbs.

      Stock - English Walnut - Classic Safari

      Initial R&D -
      First load . . . . first time out -

      Caliber - .338

      Bullet - 250 grain, Swift A-Frame

      Powder - Reloader 22 @ 77.0 grains -

      Velocity - 2,709 fps - @ 12 ft. from the muzzle

      Energy - 4,000+ ft. lbs.

      The above is posted in another section here.
      The cartridge is my own design (.338 BOS), and has proven to work quite well. Only taken a hundred critters or so with it, so, it has not been really comprehensively tested.

      Since that first post/report, I have changed the powder and am now pushing 250 grain Swift A-Frames at a chronographed 2917 fps, with no signs of pressure (89 degrees the day I shot).

      Basically, it's no better or worse than a 340 Weatherby. It does however, operate/work in a standard length action.

      And as you can see, the accuracy is pretty good for a hunting rifle. (that's 3 shots at 100)

      Warning !
      Anyone that attempts or uses this loading data in any rifle, pistol, shotgun, cannon or any other type of weapon, is out of their friggin mind !


      Stay out of sight and downwind
      Professional Hunter / Tanzania


      • #33

        Nice looking cartridge. Beautiful stock on that rifle. What is the parent case? RD
        Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

        Et Canis Manducare Canis Mundi


        • #34

          Beautiful rifle, well done Phil. Tell us more about your new cartridge.
          NRA Endowment member
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          NRA classified Master, F-Class mid-range
          Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
          BC is like diamonds, maintaining value forever


          • #35

            Beautiful rifle. Nothing like a beautiful accurate rifle.
            "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

            "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

            "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"


            • #36
              Following up on earlier posts: this is the .338 WM I've taken to Africa several time and used for the game sown in photos. Built by David Miller on a Mauser action much customized by Miller and Miller scope mount it has not shifted zero for forty years.
              Last edited by Offfhand; 01-15-2018, 12:57.


              • #37
                That rifle is a beauty, Offhand.


                • #38
                  The 338WM is a great cartridge and I've used it in Africa over 30 years.

                  On bullets:
                  Back in the day, the 250NoslerPart .338" was the go-to bullet, but the old Speer 275grain was another great choice. (Yes, they take buffalo, but this is not legal in many countries these days. Still it's good to know when walking a forest.) The 300 grain Barnes originals worked fine, too, but were a little slow.

                  Fast forward to the 21st century- -

                  These days I use a 225gn TTSX with its high BC of .514 for resisting any wind drift. It gets 2800-2850fps which means it's flat shooting out to 400 yards and a shot over 300 yards is pretty rare in Africa. Penetration is excellent. Monometal bullets tend to retain 100% of their weight so that they often penetrate about like bullets that are 10% heavier. In other words, a 225gn TTSX is the equivalent of a 250gnNP regarding penetration, but with a better BC and higher velocity.
                  This one bullet, 225TTSX, does it all,
                  although I also have a few Barnes flat-nose solids in 250gn .338".