Speer 225 grain from .338-06

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 22BR, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. 22BR

    22BR Member

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    5799F3D7-5371-4DE4-9AF4-CED41FF68AB9.jpeg

    My rebarreled Marlin XL7 (.270 to Shaw .338-06) shows a preference for Speer 225 gr. BTSP bullets regardless of powder or velocity. I was working on new loads with Sta-Ball powder this morning and my ‘LH’ bench shooting gave a decent 4 shot group without actually trying very hard. I normally shoot ‘RH’ but was giving that achy shoulder a break today. These or similar results have been seen with four different powders over a 200 fps velocity range. It shoots Nosler 200 gr. CT bullets nearly as well but the groups open up slightly with Nosler 180 gr. BT bullets / have not been able to get under 3” with Federal 200 gr. Fusion. At least I know which bullets to restock!
     
  2. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Looks good.
     
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  3. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    My experience with speer bullets has been that they tend to be some of the more consistently accurate options.
    If a rifle wont shoot a traditional speer well, it usually wont shoot well at all.

    On game ive found the BTSP to be softer and squirtier than most other options also. My
    375 Ruger will stack the 270s, but at 2850ish blows huge holes in things..... USUALLY not an issue butt ive had a fun afternoon of picking bone and bullet chunks.
     
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I haven’t thought of it this way before, but I think I’m on board with it. They may not be the smallest shooting bullets for everything, but it seems pretty accurate to say - if they don’t shoot at least well, then the rifle doesn’t shoot well.
     
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  5. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    What “expectations” are you talking about?

    I used to push the Hornady 225 to around 2575 fps in my 22” .338-06, accurate and killed well.



    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
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  6. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    I hunt big deer and hogs so I prefer the higher velocity of the 180 grain AccuBond and 210 grain Partition. It's been easy for me to find good loads with Reloader 15, Viht 150 and Reloader 17. I always like to see a thread about the 338-06, and my only regret is that I should have had one 40 years ago.
     
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  7. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Im rather curious about that statement as well, I didnt see any expectations in the OP.
    I did run some numbers in quickloads and best powders suggest 2700-2750ish should be doable from a 24" tube at about 62K and minor compression.....course "best" powder is RL-17, which isnt known for being particularly temp stable.
    My .375 Ruger uses it to good effect, but my temp range is usually only about a 40-degree swing.
     
  8. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Damn
     
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  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    How many can you fire before getting cross eyed, seeing double, and bucking like a jackass anticipating the recoil? I have a 35 Whelen and the 225's and 250's kick hard!

    Good shooting!
     
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  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Argh… I have a midweight magnum contour barrel blank in .338 for which I simply hadn’t yet decided a home, and this thread has me itching to stick it on my old Ruger M77 MkII instead of going back to .30-06. I love the 338 A-Square, maybe I’ll do it as an AI this time?
     
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  11. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Yes you will!
     
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  12. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Last year midway usa had “factory overruns” of the now discontinued speer 225 grand slams on sale for like $25/100. I bought about 1000 of them which will probably be a lifetime supply for my 338 win mag. Considering current pricing I’m glad I got in on that one!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
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  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Quite a few years ago I acquired a quantity of .338” 225gr flat base “blems”. They were an over-run from a manufacturer, and were made by Sierra. They were, and are the most accurate bullet I ever shot through my .338-06.

    I easily got 2,750fps with them using RL15, BLC2, and H414. Like the OP, Accuracy was uniformly good between powders.
    My personal favorite load was the Nosler 180gr Ballistic Tip over BLC2. Max load gave 3,100fps but was more accurate at 3,000fps. That’s .300 WinMag power and speed.
    The worst I ever blew up a deer was a doe I called up while trying to call up a coyote with a fawn-in-distress call. At 40yds the Nosler 210gr Partition hit the deer on the left shoulder, penetrating the spine and taking out about 10” of spine. It looked like a dinosaur took a huge bite out of the top of the back. Both shoulders and half the spine were blown out and bone shards everywhere.
    At least the hams were left...
    60gr of H414 chronographed at 2,850fps. (24” Adams&Bennet barrel in a MkX Mauser action).

    The .338/06 should be more popular than it is. But it suffers the same malady the parent.30/06 does,
    ITS BORING ! Good.
     
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  14. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    I'm hoping to have my 338-06 operational before deer season in November.I have the metalwork done and have done the preliminary load development done with it in a Magpul Hunter 700L stock to save my shoulder.I had a hard time getting good accuracy out of the 185 grain Federals,they were in the 2MOA range.I've been able to gather up a variety of bullets to try in it after I get the stock work finished.The barrel is 19 inches long,so I'm not expecting any great velocity.Actually,the weight of the fully assembled rifle(scope,sling and a full mag included)is going to be right at 7.5 pounds so I'm probably gonna be staying at the lighter end of the spectrum.It's definitely an easy cartridge to work with and I think it'll be a great rifle for deer and bear in most of the country I hunt.200 yards is a longish shot most of the time and I like short,compact rifles with low power scopes.This one's sort of like a long action Model 7 the way I contoured the barrel.It's one of the more unique rifles I've built so far.
     
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  15. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    My .338 is in a large frame AR with a hefty brake and although its is still a thumper I can shoot it until my wallet cries.
    I would like to get a threaded .338-06 and put it in a nice MDT chassis like my .30-06.
     
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  16. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    I have never bought the argument about RL-17 not being particularly temp stable. Unless you are a long range target shooter in some kind of competition RL-17 is a great powder. I have one 338-06 rifle that will almost shoot in the same hole at 200 meters. As was indicated above I like to sight my rifles in at a mid range temperature of about 50 degrees and I am confident of getting good hits from 20 degrees to 85 degrees without being concerned about the zero. One of the selling points for RL-17 is that it gives the highest velocity at any temperature. You've heard of closet smokers, well I think there are a lot of closet users of RL-17. They use it but don't say anything on the forums because of the negative press. When Alliant powders hit the shelves RL-17 is quick to go. Of course, I am a hunter and not a target shooter and my longest shots are not much more than 300 yards. There is a video on youtube with a shooter in Utah hitting a milk jug at 1000 yards using RL-17 in a 338-06 AI and because it was hot he was keeping his ammo at a consistent temperature in a cooler between shots. I've never been that serious.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
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  17. 22BR

    22BR Member

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    Thanks for all the comments and input. I started loading with IMR4320 first as it seems to be the ‘classic’ powder for this round. I was looking for RL-17 but haven’t gotten any yet. Other ‘usable’ powders I have tried are IMR4064, Varget, Sta-Ball and Superformance. The barrel is 24” and the rifle weight is 8.5#. So far - 180’s at 2900 fps; 200’s at 2800 fps and 225’s at 2600 fps. No pressure signs on any loads yet even at the maximum from the manuals. Interesting enough - though it seems all the load data indicates a preference for slower burn powders the best velocities keep coming from the faster powders with loads less than the maximum. Haven’t reached any ‘book speeds’ yet even at maximum loads but I feel I have some good workable loads.

    From the bench - 10 of the 225’s are enough for me / fortunately, shooting offhand or from field positions changes its personality to ‘hardly even noticeable’ so my plan is to shift my practice to field positions. There is an elk hunt planned for the future and I am sure this round is more than needed but it will be gratifying to take one with a load that you can’t buy in the store.

    Recommendations for powder, bullet and load data are always appreciated.
     
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  18. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ive had very few issues with it myself unless running close to the edge.
    Its one of my 6.5 CM powders when its available, and getting a 140 over 2800 from a 24" tube takes about 42gr of powder.
    That load has proven just fine EXCEPT when the rounds are left sitting in the sun, which happened, and they blew primers and locked up the rifle. It could rightly be said that it was user error for leaving rounds in direct sunlight, but thats the only load that did that. 42gr of RL-16 and h4350 were fine. Both of those loads chrono about 2775
    Those numbers are consistent over......6 different creedmoor rifles.

    Does that mean I think its a bad option, especially when some change in velocity isnt supercritical to success, not in the slightest.

    Like I said, it's THE powder for my .375 Ruger (tho Stabal, if i can ever get more, might dethrone it), but Its also one IM more cautious with than some of the other options. That CM load will consistently shoot sub-MOA and ring a 10" gong at 1000 yds from both of the current creedmoors in use, no cooler, just not left in the sun.
     
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  19. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    the hornady manual with their 225 gr bullet they get 2700 fps and manuals are known to be very cautious most guys get more then their stated max velocity if that really matters. to me it seems like the 338 bore gets the most velocity out of an 06 case for bullets from 180-250 grains
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
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