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Greetings! I am just starting to reload again after a number of years. And to be honest, I wasn't a raging reloader before; I did just enough, according to the book, to put together cartridges for my bolt gun and my T/C Contender. Anyway...

I just bought a Marlin XLR in .338 ME. I have not yet shot it; ammo is on the way. That said, I would like to reload for it. I have read on here in many places that 2520 sounds like a great bet. I look forward to trying that- when I am able to get some. (I live in a small bush village in Alaska; these puchases sometimes have to wait a bit) I have some Accurate 4350 on hand that I use to reload my wife's .280. How would this powder work, if at all, for the .338 ME? I'd love to hear opinions from people who have a lot more reloading experience than I do. (wouldn't take much, BTW)

Thanks in advance for informed opinions.

Terry
 

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My opinion is that any of the 4350's (IMR, H, or AA) are too slow for the 338. I think you need a powder in the mid burning range like AA2520, one of the 4064's, Varget, H4895, or even 3031 on the faster side.

I'm sure 4350 would work and make the gun go bang, but the 338 ME is such a stubby cartridge I don't think that 4350 would give you very good velocity. Again, that is just my opinion and I certainly haven't tried any.
 

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The Leverevolution powder is available and might be the way to go. I have several loads ready to test if we ever get a break from the weather.
 

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big medicine said:
The Leverevolution powder is available and might be the way to go. I have several loads ready to test if we ever get a break from the weather.
+1 on that ............. everything I have read is that you will get the best velocity, best accuracy, and still have acceptable pressure from the Hodgdon LVR. It was is specifically blended for the 338ME and 308 ME.
 

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Your break's coming Big Med! Maybe 60 by Wednesday, now it'll just be a muddy mess :(

I picked up a pound (all they had) of LVR last week @ Cabelas mainly for the 308MX. If you can get it to shoot in the 338MX (and I ever get one) I might try it myself.
I plan on looking @ a couple 338MXs Saturday, hopefully one looks right, then I'll just need dies, bullets, cases, and a scope...

-chris
 

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To answer your question, I did try some IMR4350 in my initial work ups with the .338ME.

It will "do", till you can get some #2520.

I went as high as 49.5gr of IMR4350, and got about 2,300fps. Like other posters mentioned, The 4350's are a bit slow for the .338ME. I was able to seat the bullet over 50.0gr of H414 and got 2,330fps and excellent accuracy. (2nd best my rifle has delivered).

RL15 and BLC2 gave the best results behind #2520, with H380 coming in on their heels. BLC2 was my choice of powders till I got some #2520, but in your "cold" weather, the RL15 will be superior. I found that 46.0gr of BLC2 came close to the factory loads for pressure and ran right at 2,400fps from my 22" bbl. Likewise 47.0gr of RL15, with excellent accuracy for both. Just a bit slower than velocities than#2520 at 46.5gr. Be sure to work up to these loads in your rifle, as these are MAXIMUM loads per Hodgdon's data. Also, Hodgdon's lists max case length at 1.910". My rifle requires trimming the brass to 1.875" or I get difficult seating. My rifle has a "short" chamber.

I haven't tried any of the LVR but I've gotten 300 FTX's to use for "playing" with it till next season.

But, next year I think that I'm going to do my deer "slaying" with the Lee 220gr RNGC. It's darn near as accurate as the FTX jacketed bullets and at 2,100fps is far more than power enough for anything I'm likely to shoot at with it. Not many moose or grizzly bears in this part of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks for the myriad suggestions... it gives me things to ponder. I have some of the 15. I think I'll use that as my starting point until some 2520 or the Leverevolution can be had. After I first blow the purchased ammo and brass is available to do so. ;D
 

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AK_Taxidermist said:
Many thanks for the myriad suggestions... it gives me things to ponder. I have some of the 15. I think I'll use that as my starting point until some 2520 or the Leverevolution can be had. After I first blow the purchased ammo and brass is available to do so. ;D
You may find you really like the factory LE ammo. The stuff shoots really well in my gun, and that is what I'm working to duplicate. Right now a load of 45.7 gr of AA2520 seems like the one. It's under the max load of 46.5, but seems to shoot identically to the factory stuff. More testing is planned.
 

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I have three pounds of the Leverevolution powder but haven't tried it. RL-15 is a very good powder in many cartriges I reload for. Usually tope accuracy and many times top velocity. It would surely be worth a try.
I'm with Hal on the LE ammo. Shoots very well in my rifle as well.
 

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I have the LE powder and have loaded 6 diferent loads for my 308 mx from 41.5 to 44.5 and can't seem to find the grove. got on Accurites web sight and the have load for the 308 me and they list 2520 so i'm going to give it a try next. I'm not sure what's going on but I just can't get the LE powder to group at all, the factory loads group very good! Dennis
 

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stykbow57 said:
I have the LE powder and have loaded 6 diferent loads for my 308 mx from 41.5 to 44.5 and can't seem to find the grove. got on Accurites web sight and the have load for the 308 me and they list 2520 so i'm going to give it a try next. I'm not sure what's going on but I just can't get the LE powder to group at all, the factory loads group very good! Dennis
styk you might otta check your crimp . and ctg. oal. incosistency in either one will effect accuracy
 

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Plumber funny you should mention that! I have loaded for bolts for years and never had to crimp so i'm not sure how much crimp to use. I crushed the first two cases with to much crimp and had to pull the bullets and resize the so I think Your on to something. my case length was right on with the factories and the hornaday book and so was the OAL but there isn't any real instructions on crimping so any advice would be appreciated. I haven't loaded loaded the tube and shot yet I just load them one at a time to sight in and test loads. I was afraid of under crimping so the bullets wouldn't slide in the cases when the gun was shot but maybe you don't need much crimp at all. Dennis
 

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Use just enough crimp to turn the case mouth into the cannulure. It's about 1/8 turn from first contact with the case mouth after you've seated the bullet to center the cannulure on the edge of the case mouth.

I duplicate the oal of the factory ammo at 2.583"

Factory ammo give about 1.5moa for 5-shots from my rifle. Extraction is "sticky" but not too much so. Factory primers are slightly cratered. The Factory ammo is definitely loaded "warm". My #2520 load as well as BLC2 and RL15 loads "approach" the pressures of the factory ammo, but I'm not comfortable with the factory ammo's pressure levels in MY ammo. The factory ammo is also a tad LONG for my chamber as some loads require a bit of lever pressure to chamber. Probably why my rifle show some pressure signs with it. I trim and crimp my lever loads for easy cycling of the action. I like my levers to "burp" more than once if the deer(plural) are running in open cover.
 

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GooseGestapo said:
Use just enough crimp to turn the case mouth into the cannulure. It's about 1/8 turn from first contact with the case mouth after you've seated the bullet to center the cannulure on the edge of the case mouth.

I duplicate the oal of the factory ammo at 2.583"

Factory ammo give about 1.5moa for 5-shots from my rifle. Extraction is "sticky" but not too much so. Factory primers are slightly cratered. The Factory ammo is definitely loaded "warm". My #2520 load as well as BLC2 and RL15 loads "approach" the pressures of the factory ammo, but I'm not comfortable with the factory ammo's pressure levels in MY ammo. The factory ammo is also a tad LONG for my chamber as some loads require a bit of lever pressure to chamber. Probably why my rifle show some pressure signs with it. I trim and crimp my lever loads for easy cycling of the action. I like my levers to "burp" more than once if the deer(plural) are running in open cover.
Got to agree with all of that!!! Levers are about easy carrying, fast on target, and fast follow ups. I will give up 100fps ANY day for easy and reliable functioning.
 
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