Northwest Cajun
June 2, 2003, 10:50 PM
Hi guys,
I'm getting a 338-06 built and was wondering if anyone has a pet load for 225gr bullets. I'll most likely use Hornady SST or the Nosler Accubond and hopefully push them 2600 fps.The brass will be LC 68 Match 30-06 resized in lee dies.
Which powder do yall use? I'll try Varget first because thats what I have on hand but I think the max load will not push them that fast.How about RE19 or IMR 4064??

Any suggestions will be greatly appreicated.


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June 3, 2003, 05:56 AM
I haven't fired or loaded for my .338-06 in quite sometime now [built in '96] but, the powder that I settled on as my best performer is Hodgdon H414. Hodgdon H4350 is a good second.

The load I like best is:

Nosler 225 PAR
Federal Gold Match brass
F210M primer
MAX charge, Nosler #4 Manual, of H414
3.300 COL

In my Shilen 24" chrome moly bb; I get 2674.5 fps avg. for 5 rounds.
Accuracy is .752(3), .855(3), 1.134(5).

Substituting the Hornady 225 gr. SP for the Nosler PAR the velocity is slightly lower but you can still break 2600 fps and the accuracy is a tad better.

Neither bullet you mention were available last time I loaded .338-06's! :D

Northwest Cajun
June 3, 2003, 11:42 PM
Jim. Thanks for the data
Did you get to hunt anything with it?

I'll use it for Elk & Black Bear In Washington and (If I ever get orders to Alaska) Moose and bigger bears.
It will have a forward mounted Burris 2.75X"scout" scope soI would keep the shots under 200yds. I think those loads have enough power:D

June 4, 2003, 06:02 AM
Did you get to hunt anything with it?

No, unfortunately not yet. :( I haven't fired it in nearly two years now.

A friend of mine lives in NE WY and has asked me out a couple of times to hunt whitetail deer with him.
A max shot in his terrain is 200-250 yds. with an average being closer to 150 yds.
I thought the .338-06 with a 180 gr. Nosler BT would be the ticket so, I worked up a load but it didn't shoot as well as one that I already had for the 210 gr. PAR bullet so I have settled on that as my "light weight" load. ;)

Good luck with your .338-06. It's a great old cartridge that's over looked too many times.

June 4, 2003, 12:10 PM
Great to see some else is playing with the .338-06. I recently had one built on a Zastava MkX action. (I've had the rifle since 1975, killed my first deer with it in '76, in .30/06 of course.)

I too have found the H414 to be the best powder for hunting loads. I haven't shot any 225's, but have tried several 200gr and the superb Sierra 215 BTSP. My second favorite powder is RL-15.
My data and results are as follows:

200gr Hornady or Speer
Seated to 3.335" OAL (to cannulure on Hornady)
Winchester LRP
Winchester .30/06 OFB -reformed.

63.0gr H414 gave 2,868 fps. Accuracy "so-so" 1.5-2.0"-5 shots @100yds. (books suggest this is max., I concur)
62.0gr @ 2,840 ("my load"), accuracy slightly better.
54.0 Rl-15 @2,820 (books say 55.0 is max, but this is enough!, made the 2,800fps threshold I was looking for)
52.5 RL-15 @2,755 fps. Most accurate 200gr load. 3-shots @ 0.875" with Speer bullet.

Sierra 215 BTSP @ 3.315" oal
60.0gr H414 2,750fps. Duplicates A-Square/Weatherby factory load. 5shots@ 1.2" (3,611ft/lbs!)
57.5gr IMR-4350 @ 2,625fps VERY accurate, 3shots one hole (0.70").
60.0gr H-4350 @ 2,705fps 3-shots only for accuracy velocity, essentially same as H414.
52.5 RL-15. @2,720fps -also a very good load- warm though.
I might add that none of these loads showed any signs of excessive pressure. (I can't say the same for the OFB in .30/06 they were made from. -All had cratered primers and some showed head burnishing into a plunger ejector on the headstamp!)

As JimC said, the two Hodgdons powders are excellent. I plan on trying RL-19, as well as IMR-4064, and 4320. For economy and practicality, the RL-15 is probably unbeatable though.

As all my reloading manuals state, it's really hard to believe that this round has not been commercialized sooner and isn't wildly popular. Having owned and shot a .30/06 for practically my entire shooting career, I unequivically concur that the .338-06 is substantially more gun than the .30/06. Alot more than I expected! You should be able to approach 2,650 with the 225gr bullets, and 2550 with 250gr. bullets. Bear in mind that most of the factory loads I've chronographed with 250gr bullets in .338 WinMag run 2,650fps. (not my guns/ammo). I consider the comparison of the .338-06 to the .338 WinMag to be on the order of .308 WCF to the .30/06. Definitely not the order of difference of .30/06 to .300 WinMag. BTW, recoil of the .338/06 is on the same order of the .300 WinMag. (makes sense as energys are quite similar). I plan to substitute the Nosler 210 Part. for the Sierra for heavier game. Once I get the loads nailed down, I probably won't shoot this gun much, as it's really quite a bit more than necessary for deer. (I shoot those with a .257 "Bob", or a flat-top .223 with 55-60gr SP's.) The '06 was already languishing in the corner prior to the the conversion.

I hope you are pleased with yours as I am mine.
Now, If I can only get drawn for that Elk tag !!!

June 4, 2003, 01:04 PM
the .338-06 is substantially more gun than the .30/06. Alot more than I expected!

I agree 100%! :eek:

I still recall my first time out with mine. I let loose with my first round, a Hornady 225 gr. SP and my first reaction was ***! :D

I've shot a lot of .338 WM and love the round dearly but I'm convinced that the .338-06 is not very far behind it.

I would never compare it to my .340 Wby. but then who could.

As I stated above, I have a 24" Shilen CM bbl. I had Shilen screw it into a Rem. 700 BDL action and true up the bolt lugs. For testing I had it bedded into a Rem. 700 BDL stock that once had a 7mm RM in it.
It shoots so well that I never finished the project of having a top quality kevlar/fiberglass stock put onto it. I'll get around to it some day. ;)

Northwest Cajun
June 5, 2003, 04:05 PM
Thanks guys for all the info. The rifle will not be finnished untill the end of this year(If I'l lucky) :eek: The gunsmith is a little backed up.
Did any of you guys have to annel your case necks prior to resizing? I've just ordered the Lee die set with the new tapered resize/decapper. Will I need to annel?


June 5, 2003, 05:54 PM
Did any of you guys have to annel your case necks prior to resizing?

I did not find it necessary with either Federal or Winchester brass.

Northwest Cajun
June 5, 2003, 06:01 PM
I didn't think you needed to, If I were going up to the 35 Whelen then maby.
Thanks for all your info.


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