Discussion in 'Big Stuff--7mm, 30 Cal, .338+' started by Terry, Dec 12, 2019.
I'm interested in your experience.
Advantages / Disadvantages of each in ELR.
ELR as in what distance?
1500 and in a 30 and 338 work fine
1500-2000 a 338 work and even a 30 if you can spot impacts
the other side of 2K bigger is better. 375 and up.
I have them both. The .375 Chey-Tac is the smallest case that’s too big for standard sized bolts, actions, reloading presses, and moderate weight rifle builds. The barrel should be 6 inches longer to use that powder, and therefore also much beefier at the tenon. There is an SMK for it, but there are many solid and lead core choices for the .338. So it’s really a big, specialized tool, whereas a .338 LM variant rifle can do it all, if that’s what you want.
The LM case can reach out with a 300 grain bullet and I have made some hits past 2,000 but don’t miss. Also, that is the smallest case at matches, so if it would bother you to have guys talk about why you picked a 6BR for a long range Fclass match, go bigger.
You’re guaranteed to need way more come up at the extremely long 3,000 plus yard targets than others, too. I recall a match where I was maybe 50 moa above another shooter’s with a mild (600 yard “accuracy”) Scenar load. On the other hand Hornady is releasing an A-Tip in .338 that will be very interesting.
This^^^. Was going to go larger but could use my existing press, priming tool etc. A 300g Berger Hybrid will do well at ELR. At some point, obviously you will need larger caliber but will serve well.
375 if your serious.
If your ELR max is 2K, the 338 LM or improved version is more than adequate. Build it, load for it and shoot the hell out of it. Learn what it does at the range you want to shoot it at. If your looking for a 1.5 mile or beyond rifle, don't bother with the 338, go straight to the .375
I own & shoot both. - The 338 Lapua Imp. can & will bang a 2 ft. X 3 ft. plate at 2141 yards. - I spent 4 days shooting at one at Broadwater just prior to 2018 E2K. - That said I wouldn't sell a good shooting 338 short to 2500 yards. (1.5 miles = 2640 yards).
The 375 CheyTac Imp. I need to work further with now that I have Peterson Brass and a few more bullets to work with. - The only real long distance Lead Core bullet that I've tried are the Sierra 350 gr. match-kings which did show some promise at shorter range testing. - IF (big if) I can get a lathe turned solid to shoot well at longer ranges then the 375 will provide possibly an advantage. - There are a lot of factors to be considered regarding comparison of these two calibers before an "accurate assumption" or statement can be made that has real merit. - IMO accuracy & precision (The ability to shoot a smaller group and do it with consistency) has value. But as well, the ability to read and deal with the prevailing conditions will also be very (most) significant. - When I was shooting at 2141 yards there were times I was holding off 9-10 feet because of wind to be able to score a hit on the plate and there were a lot of times I miss-read the condition & missed.
Here are my thoughts on Advantages / Disadvantages of each:
338 cal. - More bullets to chose from and some (one that I trust) are already "proven performers".
- Easier to Tune
- Less expensive to build (for the most part) than a 375 (CheyTac)
- Less expensive to shoot from a bullets, brass & powder standpoint.
- Known good components (Bullets & Brass)
- Bullet weight versus a larger caliber - where the 338 cal. is running 300 gr. bullets and a 375 could be running 400 gr. with a higher BC
or a 416 cal. running 400 to 550 gr. bullets. - Less "splash" at greater ranges & the ability to see the hit or miss being made.
- Less maximum terminal effective range - The 375's & 416 are more capable at the real extreme ranges (3000 & more)
375 cal. - Greater maximum range because of heavier & higher BC Bullets & bullets would be less effected by wind conditions and leave a greater signature of where the bullet impacts.
- Could be troublesome to achieve the desired tune / level of accuracy with some solid bullets which are known to be finicky regarding bore size of barrel, groove configuration, and velocity temperamental.
- More expensive to build & shoot, but the 37xc probably brings the cost measures closer in alignment with a 338 cal.
But a CheyTac case based 375 is going to be more expensive to run / build.
That's my nickels worth on the subject, along with the fact that there is no replacement for getting out and shooting & testing.
- Ron -
What's your thoughts (or experiences) with the 338 XC ? Looking at both the 338 LM vs 33 XC, the XC looks considerably larger for powder capacity. Reading some data, doesn't look like it's as much as I thought. What's your thoughts on this subject ? John
I believe that both the 33 & 37 XC are both probably excellent cartridges, but I do not have any experience with either of them. Both have a good source of brass (Peterson Cartridge Co. through Tubbs) they both have fairly straight bodies and a 35 degree shoulder. - What is really not to like ? with the possible exception that the 33xc may be a little over-bore and may give up a little bit of accuracy potential to a regular 338 Lapua Imp, but I'm not going to go so far as to say that its the case. (common sense dictates a smaller case should shoot more accurate in a lot of instances) - Reloder 33 should work IMO with either. - The 37xc I believe with the right bullets would be an excellent choice. - The possible down-side IMO would be that there is a sole-source supplier who ultimately has control of this brass that Peterson Cartridge Co. has provided at this time. - So IF I was to do either version I would have a discussion in advance about being able to get enough brass to last for the long-haul. - i.e. 500 or 1000 pieces before I had the reamer built & provided. - Both of these are similar in some regards to the 416 Rigby brass based wildcats that have been made years ago.
- I've also considered both of these cartridges but before I do anymore projects I have to finish up the two I have in the works.
- RON -
I will add my 2 cents. I was originally going to go big, 375 Variant or something. A very good question brought up was,
"Where you going to shoot it?" Without driving hours to a range that has 2500+ yards. Very good point! I am fortunate to have access to 2650 at a ranch next door.
My 338LM Imp. Is capable at that distance at 5500 ft elev. I can ck a load and adjust a tune pretty easily. Now, if I have to drive hours to do that, not so easy. Also, having a bit of time behind it now, I will say it takes a bit more to drive a bigger gun, mine is 28lbs.
Really glad I went the route I did and, a huge shout out to Ron for the advice on loads and projectiles. Looking forward to trying the Atips to see if I can get any Accuracy and increase in BC. If 2000 yards is you goal, you can hit the easy button with a 338 Imp version.
I've shot a bunch of elr matches. It's really fun. I've noticed something in common at most of them. The 338 guys are always watching during the finals and not participating.
And the "finals" are at what range ? - If you don't mind sharing that with us ? - and what caliber(s) / cartridges do you see winning and placing high in the standings. Also, what type and size of targets are being shot at. (And I could care less about the "rigged" Kof2M)
- Thanks, - Ron -
Go with 375 if you want to shoot beyond 2600 yards.
Another observation I've personally witnessed. I shoot a ELR match in Wyo.
Niteforce ELR to be specific. Ranges out past 2000. Last year it was opened up to all the
"Big guns" no caliber restriction, no ammo restrictions. I remember finishing a stage and picking up my brass along with some 375 CT brass. I asked the RO, as they obviously wouldn't have just left it. He said 2 guys in the last squad were kinda not having too much fun with their CTs. I left my 338LM Imp. home, as I decided the 300 PRC would be capable. Depending on your goals, I think there are better tools suited to the game being played. I've found more shooting venues avalible to the + or - 2000 yard matches as apposed to the over 2000 yard venues. Over 2500 is a very specialized game with very limited matches or ranges. Oh and by the way, a big gun didn't win that match.
The ones I’ve shot, finals are usually 2200+ to start. Not often do you find a 338 or smaller in the mix, but it does happen. Target size is usually 30x32 I want to say. Don’t quote me on that, but I think that’s close. The rounds I see winning are usually 375 of some sort. The 416s and 460s are starting to win more though lately. They aren’t winning as much as the 375s but that might be due to the fact that there are more 375s being shot.
Thank You for sharing the information Geno.
Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas !!
- Ron -
It just seams to me that the internet is full of people who only shoot in good conditions and haven't given a second thought to "what if". They all know their ballistics, and most of them are much smarter on the internet than they are in person. Wait until its foggy and you're an early relay. Wait until its green grass and moist ground, or targets with less than perfect backstops. On paper the 338 is fine, in real life you gotta see your misses. Some matches the .338 rules, but as a norm, I don't care what ballistic advantage something has, you gotta deal with plan B when the target isn't hit and no one has a clue where that bullet went.
When we shot "at paper" at 2000 yards we shot a 6 minute sighter period at pods of clay targets adjacent to the actual record targets, then ceased fire, record targets were checked to insure no strikes by sighters, then we fired 5 shots in the allotted 10 minute record period, 5 shots & ONLY 5 shots with NO sighters during the record fire period, No spots on targets as we shot. - In other words we shot our record targets "blind" just like IBS 1000 yard competition, for group & score. - We shot at the MR-1 target and there were many shooters who didn't keep 5 shots on paper during the record target, And we shot 3 relays per class.
I'm Not disagreeing with anything you've said, in fact all very valid points.
- Ron -
Don't have a ton of experience, but beyond 2k you better be able to make a big splash when you miss, you better have great glass, and the very best spotting scope. I have seen conditions where no one sees splashes from misses at 2200 with 416s in green grass and 17mph wind after a night of bad storms in Texas, its the misses you need to be able to correct for, if you make a first round hit , run them. But you miss and can't see it the game begins.
I shoot 375 cheytac
First ever match i shot was in those conditions and with a 30-338 rouge, i realized the advantage of larger bullets.
The last match I shot was in september in central Kansas. I did well, I was in the top 5 or 6 I think coming into the finals. But the finals were held the second day, the shooting order was as it should be, the fella in first place shot first, second was next and so on. The conditions that morning were not good, fog and moisture. You try to ping a target at 2600+ yards or wherever the closest target was in the finals and you can barely see the target, you better have a big bullet to plow a trench and throw dirt. You can have all the data in the world, an accurate rifle, a good load and the best glass and spotters, but it's all useless, unless you're extremely lucky. Weather you miss by an inch, or fifty feet, you don't know. That day it paid off to not be on the top of the scores coming into the finals. The guys on the bottom of the list shot last in much better conditions. That's just luck of the draw, some days it works the other way around also.
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