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Thread: Cast boolits in a .338?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Cast boolits in a .338?

    I just got a Lee 250gn mould, 1000Hornady gas checks and a 0.338" RCBS sizing die. I don't even own a .338 but the 'deal' included several other Lyman moulds and sizers for other calibres. The seller didn't want to seperate.

    Has anyone loaded for say 338Win Mag or similar?
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    The 338 Win Mag has too much case for cast bullet velocity. I've got one, tried it, and bought a 358 Winchester when I saw one at a local store. The 338 Federal would be a better fit for cast bullets. Think of it as a 358 Winchester that sometimes still has factory ammo on dealer's selves.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I load 200 grain bullets, with SR 4759, in my Model 70 338W magnum. No fillers, mould is Accurate's clone of the discontinued RCBS bullet.

    Winelover

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I did some limited experimenting with a Ruger No 1S, but it was with someone else' 250 gr. cast GC bullets. They were a lot more fun to shoot than stiffer jacketed loads. I never saw much difference in accuracy in my limited tests.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    An Accurate paper patched boolit, about 225gr. is all I use in my 338-06. It shoots as good as I can see, at full pressure and velocity. I never saw the need for anything else. I agree in the win mag something like 4759 or AA5744 would probably be best with normal gaschecked cast boolits.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master


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    There's currently a thread started by a new guy in the reloading tools forum about loading for the .338, seems a lot of guys are doing it.

    I never owned or even shot one before, but the .338 always seemed like a much more sensible cartridge than most of the huge .30 caliber magnums. Seems like once you step up from the .30-06, you've hit the point of diminishing returns real fast.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    My 338 WM absolutely loves CB's! I have both the Lee 220 gr RNGC mold and an Accurate 235 gr. semi-point flat nose mold. Both shoot well but differently. The Lee boolit is not stable below 1650 fps muzzle velocity from my rifle but the Accurate boolit is accurate down to 1500 fps. With iron sights, the rifle (a 1985 vintage T/C single shot) at an MV of 1750 fps will bounce paint buckets regularly using the Lee boolit at 700 yards plus when my old eyes are up to the challenge in early morning. The rifle has done well with 5744, RE-7, and 3031 powders although 5744 has had the edge on accuracy. Until I discovered the Lee boolit, I had all but quit shooting the 338 due to the expense but all that has changed. It is really fun to shoot now except for that now unnecessary muzzle brake.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    The Lyman cast boolit handbook suggests 338 Federal is more suited for cast due to its smaller case capacity.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I use the lee 220g bullet in my ruger no 1 338 wm. You might try 41g of 4895 with that 250g mold.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misery-Whip View Post
    The Lyman cast boolit handbook suggests 338 Federal is more suited for cast due to its smaller case capacity.
    Sure it is. And a 338BR would be even better. But you use what you've got, right?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I shot cast in my Savage 110BA in .338 Lapua Mag just to find out what it would do. Was about 1-1/2" at 100 yds. Not anywhere near J-word, but not too bad.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I always wonder why the 338 Federal never caught on.
    It seemed like a good compromise between the 308 Winchester and the 358 Winchester.
    The Remington model 7 in the 338 Federal would have been a wonderful mountain gun.
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  13. #13
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    338 Fed was an ideal round for the right application. Agreed.

    I’ve got some unique loads loaded up with cast sitting in que for testing. Will report back when I’m able to do so.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    The Savage Hog hunter in 338 Federal would be fun if you can find one. Twist rate may be a bit fast for higher velocity loads, but that's often the case.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    I load cast reduced loads for my 338 Win Mag (Model 70). I use a 250 design offered by BRP (no longer in business). I shoot this over 16 grains of Red Dot/Promo (no filler). It gets 1.5 to 2 inches at 100 yards. At 1,500 fps, there's little recoil or barrel heating. I shoot hundreds each year.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    BAW, you have a perfect excuse now to buy a 338 magnum rifle. OR- rebarrel one of your martinis to 33 Winchester!

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  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    338-06 has become a favorite of mine...shoots cast and jackets, hits hard, groups well and reaches out s far as needs be...

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I passed up a lightly used Stainless Tikka in 338 Federal about two years ago and have been kicking myself ever since!

    I have an AB barrel in .338-06 that fits Savage threads. I have the Lee 225 gr. 2 cav. mold (GC) and it is quite accurate!

    Lyman in their cast bullet manual circa 1980 refers to their .338 Win Mag as their most consistent cartridge they published cast bullet loads for!

    All in all, the .338” bore size is fairly overlooked for cast boolits.

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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've owned a Ruger MK2 338 WinMag for a long time. I got lucky, it's very accurate. It's also heavy, and still kicks a bit with jacketed hunting loads. One of the smaller 338's will kill the same things (maybe excepting big bear) you just need to get closer. The 338 Federal or 338-06 will be much more pleasant for most uses.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Don't know about the 250 grainer, but the Lee 220 grain boolit lands close to the previous one with 39 grains of 3031.

    Found that 5744 did a decent job with the 200 grain RCBS boolit. Winelover may remember the amount.
    5744 loads are in Accurate's manual.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check