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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the range today and shot my 338 ME handloads and 2 165 gr 30-06 loads and 1 180 gr 30-06 load through the Chrony.

The 30-06 loads were shot through the Chrony out of my Ruger M-77. BTW, the Ruger is my most accurate gun. It shoots 1 ragged hole groups at 50 yards and sub-1 inch groups at 100 with just about any load I feed it.

165 gr. 57.5 gr IMR-4350
Average Velocity - 2711 fps
S.D - 35
The velocity was good, but I don't like a standard deviation over 25, so this is a little high. This is a REALLY old batch of powder so that nay be the reason

165 gr 57.5 gr H-4350
Average Velocity - 2725
SD - 11
Velocity is almost identical but I didn't have the extreme high and low of the IMR. This is a really good standard deviation.

The IMR actually had one round at the highest velocity, 2759 vs 2740 for H4350, but the H powder is much more consistent.

180 gr PSPCL bullets over 56.5 gr of IMR-4350.
Average Velocity - 2645
SD- 18
Interesting that this SD is lower for the 180 gr load than for the 165 gr.

Then I shot the handload I had picked as the most accurate out of my 338 MX. This is 45.7 gr of AA-2520 with a CCI-200 primer.

200 gr FTX 45.7 gr AA2520
Average Velocity - 2380
SD - 16.5
Again it shot great. I shot 6 shots and they were just one ragged hole at 50 yards. Highest velocity was 2405 and lowest was 2365.

I'm not sure what to do now. I have taken the load up to 46.5, which was the max load I got from Johan, but it didn't shoot as tightly. I'm thinking of loading up a few rounds at 46.0, 46.3, and 46.5 and retesting. I'd like to get an average at 2450 if I could.

Any thoughts?

For now I think I'll stick with H-4350 for my 165 gr 30-06 load, and use up the remainder of that pound of IMR-4350 on the 180 gr bullets.

I like the way my 338 shoots with the load I have, but I'm going to have to play around and see if I can increase the velocity a bit without sacrificing accuracy. When the winds die down I need to shoot it at 100 and 150 yards. One thing I did not do was chronograph the factory LE 338 rounds. I need to do that and see how much velocity I am giving up.
 

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You'd expect the 180's to have a lower standard deviation most times over the 165, wouldn't you? That is, if both are near the same pressure level.

Regarding the 338, can't say I've shot it, but if I have a target velocity in mind for the needs of a particular use and one powder isn't giving me the desired accuracy at the velocity I want, I switch powders.

I'm not one to back down on the load if accuracy is insufficient to try to regain accuracy at the expense of velocity.

I just punt and try another powder that gives the desired speed to see if the rifle also produces the desired accuracy. I'm kind of a perfectionist in that I want both. If one powder doesn't deliver both, then life is too limited to settle for half measures, but that is a personal choice I'll expand on in a bit...oftentimes things we want aren't the things we really need.

Do you have enough powder space to try AA4064? Johan rates it of the same burn rate as 2520, and in the same gun, assuming the powder space is adequate, velocities should be similar. It's a short extruded powder that should work. I've used it to duplicate what the 2520 can do in the 35 Remington with somewhat more powder compression, so it's pretty close to the same as he says. I won't promise that exact duplication in every instance, but I believe it will translate well here.

The slight difference in physical dimensions may make a difference, accuracywise.

How much velocity do you need, anyway? For that matter, how much accuracy do you need? For long range shooting I hate to settle for less of either, but then the caliber is often a handicap as well or we'd all be shooting 30-378 Weatherbys. For most average deer hunting, I honestly don't need the most of both at the same time even though I often seek it out as a sort of perfectionistic quest. Either accuracy or power can be less than maximum and it will still work fine.

Only you know what you value and need the most of, which is why it's hard to advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Last time I was in Cabela's they had AA4064 for $19.99 and I actually thought about getting a pound. I haven't given up on AA2520, because it shoots rather well. And looking at velocities the Big Med is getting with 1 gr less powder than I'm using, the exact same velocity I'm getting, I'm beginning to suspect my Chrony may be a bit slow. I wish I had another to check it with, but since I don't, I am thinking about buying a PACT. If this is the case, I might actually be over 2400 fps.

I have a box of factory LE, and I need to chronograph that and just see what the difference is. I was going to do that yesterday, but in my haste I forgot to take the box along. Next range session is going to be limited to my 338 and my Ruger Single Six so I won't be lugging so much stuff with me.
 

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Hawlg,
I'm not scientifically minded like yourself and 35 Remington, but adding another 70fps to your handload, possibly at the cost of accuracy,
won't make any viable difference when hunting Whitetails. I have probably shot in excess of a dozen deer at the exact velocity
you are are getting with your .338 caliber bullet, albeit mine were out of various .35 caliber rifles. Of those deer, only two moved from the
point of impact and then only 25 to 35 yards. The remainder only moved 3ft, straight down. Certainly your volocity of 2380fps with the
200gr .338 FTX bullet is well within the working velocities perameters of that bullet. If the .338 200gr FTX bullet has the strength and integrity for larger game animals, Elk are not out of the equation with your handload. Just my humble 2 cents.
358 Win
 

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Halwg - your 165 gr/H4350 load is almost identical to the one I've been happily using for years. Good combo. Does fine on mule deer & black bear. I'd use it on elk too. Seldom shoot the 180's out of my .30-06 anymore, although they too shoot well.

Here's a link to a good article "Getting the Most out of your .30-06" http://www.24hourcampfire.com/newsletters/May_2009.html

Looks like your rifles & loads are doing well for you. Regards, Guy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Running the ballistics calculation and using 2380 vs 2450 there is minuscule difference out to 300 yards. With a 200 yard zero the differences are:

100 yards +2.7" vs +2.8"

150 yards +2.3" vs + 2.4"

200 yards 0 vs 0

250 yards -4.3" vs -4.5"

300 yards -10.8" vs -11.4"

The biggest difference at 300 yards is a difference of 90 ft/lbs of energy, but the 2380 load is still packing over 1500 ft/lbs. And there is no way I'm a good enough marksman to hold within .5" at 300 yards.
 

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Halwg said:
I'm beginning to suspect my Chrony may be a bit slow. I wish I had another to check it with, but since I don't, I am thinking about buying a PACT. If this is the case, I might actually be over 2400 fps.
Hal, you and I have the same Chrony model. Why don't you wait 4-5 weeks until I get all my reloading supplies including rifle in, for me to do some testing and we can then compare results?

I'll admit that I'm not as concerned about reaching 2450/2500 velocity as you are because I only bought (aside from treatment to my accute Marlinitis ;)) the 338MX for those occasional 150+ to 300 yds shots that I would not confidently depend on the 35Rem (the only doe I saw this hunting season was about 250 yards, not that I could taken a shot because it was buck only season). The 35 Rem at 100 yds with 200 gr bullet has v=1963/e=1711 and that takes care of any doe/buck/black bear and I'll bet Elk in the vicinity. ;D
With the 338MX:
at 200 yds with 200 grs bulllets I'll get v=2174/e=2099 and
at 300 yds with 200 grs v=1992/e=1762
(all stats usings FTX 200 gr) gives me the confidence that the aimed at deer, black bear or hog (no elks in So. Florida that I know) is going down. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
2shotal said:
Hal, you and I have the same Chrony model. Why don't you wait 4-5 weeks until I get all my reloading supplies including rifle in, for me to do some testing and we can then compare results?

I'll admit that I'm not as concerned about reaching 2450/2500 velocity as you are because I only bought (aside from treatment to my accute Marlinitis ;)) the 338MX for those occasional 150+ to 300 yds shots that I would not confidently depend on the 35Rem (the only doe I saw this hunting season was about 250 yards, not that I could taken a shot because it was buck only season). The 35 Rem at 100 yds with 200 gr bullet has v=1963/e=1711 and that takes care of any doe/buck/black bear and I'll bet Elk in the vicinity. ;D
With the 338MX:
at 200 yds with 200 grs bulllets I'll get v=2174/e=2099 and
at 300 yds with 200 grs v=1992/e=1762
(all stats usings FTX 200 gr) gives me the confidence that the aimed at deer, black bear or hog (no elks in So. Florida that I know) is going down. ;D
Al, I'd like to see what you chronograph. I'm going to shoot 46.0 and 46.5 gr of AA 2520 through the Chrony as well as the factory loads. I'll report back when I get this done.
 

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OK will do, but itwill take a little time as I want to start a little lower than what you are at now to give me a chance to get to know my rifle. BTW, the AA2460 that John mentioned above, I still have about 1/2 lb. left from last summer, so I'll be able to include it in my tests. AA2460 you may recall is the one that I loaded to 42 grains with the 180 grains Speer on the 35 Rem and it loosened up a bunch of screws plus it increased the kick and noise quite a bit :p It might speed up the 338 a bit over the AA2520. Yet I remember reading here that someone spoke with Johan and he said that there was little difference between 2520 and 2460. We'll see.

CORRECTED: Ooppsss my bad, John was referring to the A4064, still I wonder if the A2460 could be used as it is shown in the burning chart between the IMR3031 and AA2520.
 
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