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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
since i have to wait for the 444marlin, i decided to get another barrel for my tc encore. the 338 federal with a 23" factory heavy barrel from mgm. i have a few pounds of powder, so that don't worry me none. what i have is a slight problem. do i use 200gr hornady sst or 225gr hornady sst? this year they are allowing black bear to conincide with deer hunting. i know that my 308 and 30-06 can take a bear down and 180gr round nose is what i load for(308 and '06). without trying to sound stupid(or really, really dumb), the 200-225gr sst look about right. which one should i use?


i am disabled(darn stroke), and i really like the sst. so please don't say you should use a 198gr noserra speandy cuz it can take you out to 378 yards
. most of my deer hunting is under 100yards and i really like the 225gr sst, but the 200gr might be the right choice.


 

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just stick with the 180gr RN...it will do the job on anything you encounter...anything....
 

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I don't have any .338's in any chambering, but from what you described - - bear and or deer in coinciding season, shots generally under 100 yards, and what appears to be a personal preference for the 225 gr H'dy SST, I would stick to working up a load with the 225 gr SST.

Either bullet is probably more than capable of handling those critters with a cool trigger hand, but what if a bear doesn't present a nice broadside, and you're limited to an acute quartering angle? Would the .338 Federal give you a better chance at making two holes on a quartering shot with a 225 or a 200 gr SST? My guess would be that the 225 will provide better penetration on a less than optimum shot angle on a heavier boned critter - - thus, two holes - - one going in, one coming out. And with good shot placement, I reckon that same 225 gr SST load will smack a deer just as well as the 200 gr SST would regardless of shot angle.

Not sure that makes sense, but if in doubt, I generally lean towards a heavier projectile, especially if heavier boned critters are involved. The 225 gr SST might provide that extra bit of latitude you need for a nice bear that isn't cooperating with a broadside presentation.
 

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I have never pulled the trigger on a .338 Federal, but I hunted for several years with a .338-06, which is a tad more potent. I used 200 grain, Speers, 210 Nosler Partitions and 250 grain Sierra and Woodleigh bullets. The 250s were over the top for Texas game. I do not know the size of your bears. Up to somewhere around 350 (+/-) I think you will be fine with 200s. If you want almost certain exit wounds, use the Nosler Partition, Barnes Triple Shock. or any good bonded core bullet.

Best wishes,
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
these bears go from 150-700 or so pounds. i shot one a few years ago and it went 396 pounds. the guy who beat me on poundage wise was at 680 some pounds, it was about ten miles from my house.
 
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