Savage Hog Hunter 338 WinMag For Long Range


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.454
February 19, 2013, 07:30 PM
I know its not what this rifle's intended purpose is, but if it shoots 1 moa why couldn't this gun be used out to 500 yards for elk? I'm tempted to pick one up since its a lot of gun for the money - $400+ tax right now locally. I did some research and it doesn't look like I'd be giving up that much power with the 20" barrel; less than 100 fps than a 24" tube. What say you?

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Gtscotty
February 19, 2013, 11:08 PM
Well as you stated, the hog hunter is a little short, and a longer barrel would probably be ideal for a dedicated long range rifle... but... if you're only losing ~100 fps and can keep your shots in 1 moa, I don't see why that rifle couldn't be successfully used at long range.

I would think that a slick 225 gr bullet like the Hornady SST (BC: .515), pushed to ~2700 fps would serve the purpose you proposed very well.

browningguy
February 19, 2013, 11:17 PM
First, I would need to see some actual test data to believe that you only lose 100 FPS with a 4" shorter barrel in .338 Win Mag. I only shot factory ammo in my 20.5" Mannlicher stocked Dumoulin but I measured consistantly 200-240FPS slower than advertised with various loads from 225-250 grains.

Mind you it still killed Elk dead, but I never considered taking a 500 yard shot at an elk either.

TwoEyedJack
February 20, 2013, 02:22 AM
Scroll down a bit on this link and you will see some actual data from a .338 win mag.

http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/short-barrel-magnum-velocity-19346/

I think your estimate is pretty close. My .338 has a 26" tube and it is not real handy. As long as you practice, use a good laser range finder, and pass up shots in windy conditions, you should be OK at 500 yards. It helps a lot to have a scope set up for that kind of thing, like a Huskemaw.

jmr40
February 20, 2013, 08:18 AM
It is impossible to know for sure until you shoot it. If you were to start with a 24" barrel, chronograph loads, the cut it down to 20", 100 fp is about what I'd expect. But every barrel/gun is different. I've seen equal length barrels on different guns shoot 130 fps different with ammo from the same box. I've seen 20" barrels shoot the same ammo faster than another gun with a 22" barrel.

If you end up with a gun that is 200 fps slower than expected, that same barrrel would probably have been 100 fps slower than expected even if it were 24" long.

As a hunting rifle where most consider 400 yards a long shot I think you will be fine. For a true long range target gun where you are trying to squeeze every possble fps out of your rifle and ammo, 100 fps makes a dfference.

.454
February 20, 2013, 10:22 AM
Scroll down a bit on this link and you will see some actual data from a .338 win mag.

http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/short-barrel-magnum-velocity-19346/

I think your estimate is pretty close. My .338 has a 26" tube and it is not real handy. As long as you practice, use a good laser range finder, and pass up shots in windy conditions, you should be OK at 500 yards. It helps a lot to have a scope set up for that kind of thing, like a Huskemaw.
That's the main resource I'm going off of for the 100 fps loss on the 20" barrel, but have seen others.. Also, I'm not saying I'll consistently be shooting elk at 500 yards, but it would be my max distance. This rifle wouldn't be a dedicated mountain rifle either, it would be used on whitetaiI (I know its overkill), and go on a couple hog hunts too. The only thing steering me away now that I looked up the specs is the weight. 8lbs with no scope. It didn't feel that heavy when I picked it up at the store.

TwoEyedJack
February 20, 2013, 11:28 AM
Weight is a real issue with long-range elk hunting. The bullet has to arrive with enough energy to kill, but you also must be expert at hitting at distance, which means lots of practice. There is a real trade-off between weight and hitting at distance. Heavier is better to manage recoil. The other thing you can do is put a muzzle brake on, but then you *have* to hunt with hearing protection. Lots of trade-offs to consider.

Gtscotty
February 20, 2013, 12:39 PM
How light do you want a .338 WM anyway? I have a rifle of similar power that weighs 7.75 lbs with no scope. When loaded up to it's full potential, it isn't a whole lot of fun to shoot. I would like to get a .338 WM some day, but honestly, 8 lbs or maybe a little more sounds like a good weight to me.

Robert
February 20, 2013, 12:44 PM
I carry a 10 pound 375H&H in the mountains of CO Elk hunting, and I am over weight, out of shape and have asthma. We do a lot of walking and stalking and I never even noticed the weight of my rifle. Super light weight medium caliber rifles are way over rated. I would rather have a heavier rifle I can shoot well than a light rifle that hurts.

.454
February 20, 2013, 02:31 PM
Come on you guys, I almost talked myself out of this rifle, now you are making it sound more appealing again. I guess I'll have to go after work today and check it out one more time. So much for completing my AR build:confused:

Craigman
February 20, 2013, 06:40 PM
So much for completing my AR build

There are no AR parts anyway now....
I bought one of the Hog Hunters in .308 and like it alot. The .338 has plenty of power and I think you will be fine with the shorter barrel. I still kind of want the .338 version to add to my collection. Seems like a fun little package in that model

MCgunner
February 20, 2013, 08:42 PM
I'd say .338 win mag is stupid overkill for hogs. Where I have hunted 'em, a .357 magnum pistol is all I've needed. Range ain't that long in thick hog cover. Might be a better elk rifle IMHO. Of course, I hunt geese with a H&R 10 gauge turkey gun, so I'm sorta used to this sort of thing. :D

.454
February 21, 2013, 12:27 PM
I never got to the lgs yesterday because my dog got sick, but I did call Savage this morning. I asked what ammo they test the rifles with. They said Federal Safari loaded with 210 gr. Partition and to expect 1.5 moa or better at 100 yards. I was hoping to hear 1 moa so now I'm on the fence again. I looked all over and can't find anyone on the web who has posted much about how the 338 shoots from this rifle.

yuppiecruncher
March 15, 2013, 08:54 PM
Hi folks,

First-ever post!!

Brand new to THR.org - its my first day. I have also been trying to find info on my new purchase - the Savage Hog Hunter in .338

I figured if no one else is going to post on it, I will!!! :neener: My hope is to learn about shooting from all of you and also learn about my particular gun by asking and answering questions about this rifle.

I am brand new to rifles and bought this one because I found it for $399.99!! I really like the iron sights and LOVE the accutrigger. Threaded barrel and long action are neat, but not really a deal maker/breaker for me. The stock is crap... its basically the same plastic that the little "army men" are made of.

I put a Leupold 3-9X40mm scope on it. This glass is actually intended for AR's, but it was a mildot reticle and it adjusts in .10 mil increments. Coming from the Army I am comfy with the metric system and gauge distances in Meters anyway. -also really comfy with the M4 ;)

I have been able to take it to the range and put 20 rounds through it so far, at 25yds zero and at 100 yds. at 25yds, its a laser. At 100yds, I was having issues with recoil and jump. I have read that this gets better with experience... I hope thats true! I still managed to keep groups within 2MOA at 100yds, and for the first 20 rds through a brand new gun, in a caliber that is brand new to me, I think I did alright. I can put up the results if you like.

So, ladies and gentlemen, ask away. I am happy to provide my limited experience with the Savage Hog Hunter .338 Win Mag.

Pics coming soon, if y'all want 'em

Craigman
March 16, 2013, 11:29 AM
I would definately expect the jump like you said. Try holding a finger on the top edge of the stock when shooting off bags, It'll probably still jump out of your grip but may help.

Pics are always cool Put some up! I have the .308. The stock is crap but its floated and shoots pretty darn good. No need to mees with it yet.

What ammo were you shooting?

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:04 PM
Hey all,

Got some pictures of my new Hog Hunter. Attached are:
Precision Armament M11 Muzzle Brake
Leupold 3-9 x 40mm Mk AR
Leupold sight rings - you can just barely use the iron sights through them!
Blackhawk Bipod
Scope Caps

Still working on cheek rest/pad and a good sling

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoMar1694530AMSmall_zps889a8465.jpg

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:06 PM
http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoMar1694430AMSmall_zps236fb84a.jpg

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:07 PM
http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoMar1694416AMSmall_zps1f1f8cde.jpg

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:08 PM
http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoMar1694325AMSmall_zpsa73954ca.jpg

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:10 PM
http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoMar1694518AMSmall_zpscb01ee7e.jpg

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:12 PM
http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoMar1694258AMSmall_zps22cf9266.jpg

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:23 PM
Here is one zeroing target from 100yds.

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/100ydszeroing_zpsc59a0677.jpg

I was using Hornady Superformance 225 gr SST rounds from a bench

Temp ~ 40F
Wind <5MPH

Also, ignore those two on the bottom right. My buddy wanted to take some shots at the small target on the bottom

Craigman
March 16, 2013, 12:36 PM
looks like an interesting build. I bought my .308 as a "budget" target/hunter myself. Does it still flip up with that giant brake?

Groups should tighten up with different ammo. try more

yuppiecruncher
March 16, 2013, 12:54 PM
I just put the brake on yesterday (after I shot that group). So I'll head back on Sunday and measure any differences. I just bought every different type of ammo Cabela's had to offer (except their ballistic silvertips - yikes). Including:

Winchester 200gr Power Max Bonded
Hornady Superformance 200gr SST
Fusion 225 gr
Remington 250 gr express Core-Lokt

Any suggestions for ammunition?

Lj1941
March 16, 2013, 01:50 PM
A very mean looking machine.I will be very surprised if it doesn't turn out to be a very accurate rifle based on my experience with the Savage line,especially the pillar bedded models.Good luck with it

Strongbad
March 16, 2013, 05:27 PM
Any suggestions for ammunition?

Yes. Handloads. :) Forget the factory fodder. For what you're paying you could roll your own. Save the brass, put some primers, powder, etc. on order and wait for it to arrive. :)

yuppiecruncher
March 18, 2013, 06:52 PM
Hey guys,

Turns out, I'm a big flinching sissy! I put that mean old muzzle brake on in between range sessions and what a difference! Additionally I switched to Hornady Superformance SST 200gr (vs. 225) This combo tightened up my shot group by a whole MOA at 100yds. The recoil was nearly negligible and no more bouncing! What a great piece of equipment!

Scope is now zeroed to 100yds... shot groups looking good. This Savage Hog Hunter .338 Win Mag is a tack-driver!

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/100ydszeroSmall_zpsabb390fe.jpg

egonzo11
March 18, 2013, 08:50 PM
hey yuppie! I'm looking at basically the same rig as you. Did you install the brake yourself? If so did you use PA's alignment ring thinga-majig? Also how well can you see the sights through those rings? I'm deciding between those or just a set of QD's.

yuppiecruncher
March 18, 2013, 08:55 PM
Yes, I put the brake on myself and I used their spacer rings. They made it super easy to correctly "time" the brake. Clean the threads with brake cleaner - regular car brake cleaner and then I used loc-tite blue to seal it up. Torquing was tough because I don't have a vice, but it's not impossible. The iron sights are visible, but caution on the scope caps, they reduce the visibility to almost nothing. Without the caps, you can see just enough to take an aimed shot. Also forget about a cheek rest if you use one, it will totally block your line of sight- makes it impossible to use both the cheek rest and iron sights.

dubbleA
March 18, 2013, 10:02 PM
The iron sights are visible, but caution on the scope caps, they reduce the visibility to almost nothing. Without the caps, you can see just enough to take an aimed shot. Also forget about a cheek rest if you use one, it will totally block your line of sight- makes it impossible to use both the cheek rest and iron sights.


It's just my opinion. but I think you'll be better off ditching the see through rings and getting that scope down where you can get a good cheek weld and forget using the open sights.

Or leave the rings and install a removal cheek piece so you can take it off for barrel cleaning and forget about the irons.

yuppiecruncher
March 19, 2013, 01:13 AM
It's just my opinion. but I think you'll be better off ditching the see through rings and getting that scope down where you can get a good cheek weld and forget using the open sights.

Or leave the rings and install a removal cheek piece so you can take it off for barrel cleaning and forget about the irons.
I agree with dubbleA. It was a good idea in the store, but after shooting, the iron sight/scope combo does not make much sense.

It is much more practical to have a good cheek-weld than to have to hold your head up for every shot.

Ideally, there would be a velcro cheek rest that you could remove if/when you needed the sights and when you need to clean the rifle. Anyone know of such a thing?

yuppiecruncher
March 19, 2013, 01:34 AM
After doing some math, I calculated that I could save about $1,500.00 (including equipment costs) by reloading 1000 times, using my 100 brass cases on hand. Holy. Cow.

Good Call Strongbad -- also nice reference. Trogdooooooor!
http://www.hrwiki.org/w/images/c/c0/A_dragon.PNG

CA Raider
March 19, 2013, 01:47 AM
"I bought one of the Hog Hunters in .308 and like it alot"

would like to hear about your experience with the 308 in the Hog Hunter.
Accuracy? Any downsides? If I recall, that version of the rifle is heavier than
some other models.

thanks,
CA R

.454
March 20, 2013, 09:50 AM
Hey yuppiecruncher, thanks for posting your results! I still have to get a scope mounted on mine and get it out to the range, but it's nice to see some actual groups from the .338 version of this rifle. I was thinking of not putting a brake on mine because of the noise, but now you have me thinking twice.

coyote315
March 20, 2013, 10:03 AM
As for see- through rings, they'll only lead you to practice bad habits. IMHO it is worthe the money to buy some GOOD QD rings for your scope. Especially w/ that kind of rifle, you're not looking for match accuracy at 1,000 yards. You can easily go back and forth: I use a hog hunter in .308 for that and have no issues keeping 1" POI at 100 yards through a deer season, going on and off a couple times a week.

.454
March 20, 2013, 11:51 PM
Coyote, what QD rings did you go with? That's the route I want to take.

yuppiecruncher
April 24, 2013, 02:40 AM
Ok,

After a few sessions on the bench, I have some updates:

Shoulder says: Go with the 200gr or the 250gr. For some reason, 225gr really pounds my arm.

Paper says: Go with 200gr.

Wallet says: Go with 200gr.

I hand-loaded my first Speer 200gr. bullets with RL-19 pushing them with CCI Large primers. I have only verified that they will not explode in my face and will actually push a bullet out of the barrel... mission accomplished!:)

Next task is to ladder test the different loads and play with different charges. Here is a scan of the recent hand-loads performance. The colored rings are added by me digitally to help me recognize them when using "On Target." to measure the groups.

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/d9d041e1-6c3b-4d8d-ace3-9186a75e376c_zps23f3d147.jpg

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/80df7c66-49b7-40e4-af81-e6ff2f3086d3_zpse0332a0a.jpg

Larger pic of data here: http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/Ladderfiring20APR13_zps2c96ad32.jpg

yuppiecruncher
April 28, 2013, 11:26 PM
Here is a video of the muzzle brake in action. This took a LOT of the bite out of the recoil. You will see that the barrel stays pretty well put on the bipods. It used to jump and bounce once before settling down. The muzzle blast is still pretty significant though, it knocked my camera down on the first shot and I had to prop it up for the rest of the shots.

http://youtu.be/Hv8cMQYKyyE

yuppiecruncher
April 28, 2013, 11:41 PM
Here is the group I shot with the iron sights at 50 yards. I still had my scope mounted and could see the target just fine. Next time I'll take a pic of my sight picture.

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/IronSightsData28APR13_zpsff851da8.jpg

Additionally, I am very pleased with my hand-loads. I seem to have found a very sweet load on my first few test loads.

nastynatesfish
May 13, 2013, 05:44 PM
yuppie. that's awesome im looking at one now for 450 scoped. on a lighter note...if you shot that thing next to me in an indoor range, after I picked my self up and stopped the blood flowing from my ears of course, id punch you in the face lol. that's awesome. I love big stupid calibers that just make people mad lol

Kachok
May 13, 2013, 06:11 PM
Not knocking the 338 Win Mag I like them too, but what the heck are you going to do with that monster that you could not do with a little 6.5lbs 308? I am not a fan of bringing a knife to a gun fight but I never feel the need to bring a 155mm Howitzer either :D The hog hunting I have done has been very mobile in some pretty thick undergrowth, a heavy or very long rifle would be a huge handicap in my book. If you are feeder hunting out of a stand sure blast them with whatever floats your boat, 17 HMR-50 BMG there is no wrong answer as long as they are good and dead.

Z-Michigan
May 14, 2013, 04:54 PM
@Yuppiecrunch, in post #18 it looks like your scope reticle is canted. This will make it hard to be accurate at distances beyond your zero distance. While you're fixing that I also vote for ditching the super high see-through rings and replacing them with a good quality lower ring. I like Warne and TPS personally, but there are lots of good brands. Just get the scope down lower so you can get a good cheekweld. I see that your accuracy results already improved a lot, but this will help further.

Still Shooting
May 15, 2013, 02:28 AM
A couple of years ago, I bought a NIB Savage 11 in 7mmWSM. While I did manage to get close to Savage's 1 moa advertised accuracy with the Winchester ammo they said they used for proofing, nothing else I shot would get to the 1 moa number. I started doing ladder loads, in 2 different bullet weights - 140 Nosler BT, the other a Hornady 162 SST.

It took about 80 rds. through that barrel, and suddenly it settled down to an honest, repeatable 0.5 - 0.6 moa at 100 yds, 5 shot groups. From new I cleaned the bore @ 5 rd. intervals for 25 rds., then 10 rd. intervals for another 30 rds. I kind of "gave up on it" after that, but probably did clean at 10-15 rd. intervals. I have heard elsewhere on this blog that Savage barrels can be a little "rough" right from the factory, and I do believe that. But now I can shoot 140, 150, and 162gr. bullets with the sub-moa groups I stated above. You may have a pleasant surprise in store if you keep pushing lead down the pipe on that .338 of yours...

-just sayin'

yuppiecruncher
August 8, 2013, 04:43 PM
Folks,

First I greatly appreciate all the input. Much of the advice here in this thread will be taken. Lessons learned from real world shooting have shown me that indeed, the see-through rings were a good idea in theory, but bad in practice. They will be replaced with lower profile, steel rings mated to a steel rail. Secondly, I have learned a TON about reloading from mistakes and now I have started to refine that practice as well.

Most recently I have taken my rifle out to California where I grew up in the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas. I couldn't find a range that accommodates distances further than 100 yards where I live, but out in the foothills, there is no shortage of unpopulated valleys and hills. I have pushed my .338 win mag out to a full 826 meters!!!

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoJul1495146PM_zpsb1edfce0.jpg

First shot, approximately 6" off-center. This target is 22" high

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r235/yuppiecruncher/PhotoJul1495203PM_zps6cdc0bbc.jpg

This shot was repeated a week later, landing three out of four rounds on target. MOA calculation wasn't done, but I might follow up and post that as well. A little video if you are interested in seeing my last shot of the day...

http://youtu.be/fxslbHH_9d8

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