.338 Spectre - expected range and accuracy?


October 9, 2009, 12:28 AM
I'm eying an AR15 .338 Spectre setup with an AAC can. What kind of range and accuracy should I expect from it with what I would be loading for it, the 300-grain Sierra HPBT MatchKing subsonic?

I'm finding there's not too much discussion of the load out there, or I'm looking on the wrong places. Not even a wikipedia page on it.

If you enjoyed reading about ".338 Spectre - expected range and accuracy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 9, 2009, 11:07 AM
Well, as far as range, 9x19mm is good to around 100 yards without *much* holdover, and this is similar velocity (your subsonic load) - just a heavier bullet with a better BC. So your PBR will be that or a bit more (maybe 110-120 yards PBR for a man-sized kill zone would be my guess; possibly a little less; 80 yards easily though, for a 6" [+/- 3"] kill zone).

If you know your holdovers, then it could be quite effective out to 400 yards or more pretty easily, albeit with a lot of drop. But it will retain the majority of its (small) initial energy with the very high BC and heavy bullet, for a looooong ways. Just have to know your drop & drift, like anything.

Accuracy, of course, is a function of barrel quality, chamber specs, crown, ammo quality, etc.

FWIW, I'm very interested, and have as one of my next 4-5 guns to acquire (very high on my "list"), a .338 spectre - but mine is going to be a turnbolt SBR with about a 10" bbl & can, probably on a Savage action, with a 1 in 6.5 bbl, to stabilize 300s+. I can't see needing or wanting more than one immediate shot from such a rifle (I'm not an 'operator'), and it will be quieter and possibly more accurate as a turnbolt than a semi. Not to mention a lot cheaper to build, and easier to retain your brass. Mine will be strictly a range/fun gun.


This seems to be the better goldilocks choice than the .300 whisper/fireball or the .500 phantom, since the .500 phantom is just too danged expensive to shoot, whereas the .338 spectre will give you a pretty big boost in power & BC over the .300 whisper (comparing subsonic to subsonic), without much added expense. And a good 9mm pistol suppressor should be useable, at least with subsonic loads.

October 9, 2009, 11:38 AM
I have an ar-15 in 300 whisper and a Savage in 338 whisper. Both perform well at 500 yards which the the furthest I have shot them. I do not know much about the 338 spectre except that it is shorter than the 338 whisper so it fits in the AR. Check out http://www.silencertalk.com , someone there should have some info.


October 9, 2009, 05:12 PM
This guy manufactures the .338 Spectre. He's a very nice guy and may answer your questions. He has a contract with the Feds and supplies his handloads to some military unit.

Reed's Custom Ammo (http://shop.reedsammo.com/category.sc;jsessionid=FAA9A473F7FEB38B355D98E08D1F766F.qscstrfrnt04?categoryId=51)

October 9, 2009, 07:55 PM
The .338 Spectre is the brainchild of Mr. Marty ter Weeme of Teppo Jutsu . The cartridge has a wide array of applications Including small to medium game hunting, match target, and suppressed sniper shooting. In November of 2005 Reed's Ammunition & Research got together with Mr. ter Weeme to expand the load data and look at commercial production of the ammunition. After a bit of R&D we found that there are several powders that work very well, consisting of the slower magnum pistol powders and fast burning rifle powders. With it's ability to launch a wide array of bullet weights combined with it almost non-existent recoil and extreme accuracy, the .338 Spectre offers something for everyone.

Ballistic performance is comparable to the .357 Herrett, .35 Remington or even the 180-grain load for the .44 Magnum. In the 16" barrel carbine, the .338 Spectre will launch the 180-grain BT at 1,800 ft./sec., approaching 1,300 ft-lbs. of energy. By loading the 300-grain Sierra HPBT MatchKing bullet at subsonic velocities (1,040 ft/sec.) for suppressed applications, the muzzle energy measures 720 ft-lbs., surpassing both the high velocity 115-grain load for the 9mm Parabellum as well as the 240-grain .300 WhisperŽ load.

For the sportsman, the .338 Spectre offers a user-friendly cartridge in terms of brass forming and reloading, with light recoil and excellent performance on small to medium-size game. For the law enforcement professional, it offers solid terminal ballistics from one of the most-widely used weapons platforms with minor modification.

The wide range of available projectiles should appeal to both the recreational shooter as well as the professional. Reloading dies for the .338 Spectre can be obtained from CH Tool and Die (http://www.CH4D.com/). Loaded ammunition is available through Reed's Ammunition & Research (http://www.reedsammo.com/).

Cartridge dimensions.


Zak Smith
October 9, 2009, 10:26 PM
All of the big subsonics have approx the same ballistics, and Dr.THW got it right, for a 3-5" impact zone you have a maximum point blank range of 110 yards with something like a 40-60 yard zero.

With an ACOG on a 300 Fireball, I wouldn't call it "effective" at 225 yards: the holdover is over three feet.

Zak Smith
October 9, 2009, 10:32 PM
[whereas the .338 spectre will give you a pretty big boost in power & BC over the .300 whisper
BC makes no difference between these two:
_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 | YARDS
240SMK 0.71* 1100 > 1100 1092 1083 1076 1068 1061 1054 1047 1040 1034 1027 | velocity (fps)
-2.70 0.44 1.76 1.22 -1.19 -5.51 -11.77 -19.98 -30.18 -42.38 -56.63 | drop (inches)
elevation maxima 1.80" at 55.32
300SMK 0.77* 1100 > 1100 1092 1085 1078 1071 1064 1057 1051 1045 1039 1033 | velocity (fps)
-2.70 0.44 1.75 1.22 -1.19 -5.49 -11.71 -19.88 -30.02 -42.15 -56.30 | drop (inches)
elevation maxima 1.80" at 55.33

Heck, here's a poor BC bullet for comparison

poor bc 0.400 1100 > 1100 1086 1072 1060 1048 1036 1025 1015 1005 995 986 | velocity (fps)
-2.70 0.48 1.82 1.26 -1.23 -5.70 -12.20 -20.76 -31.44 -44.26 -59.29 | drop (inches)
elevation maxima 1.86" at 55.24

Summary: BC makes basically no difference in this type of subsonic load.

The 300gr does have 25% more momentum (mass).

If you enjoyed reading about ".338 Spectre - expected range and accuracy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!