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Old May 17, 2005, 09:24 PM   #1
mmpoeth
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Winchester Model 70 .338 Win Mag, Max Effective Range

I was wondering if any of you have an insight on the max effective range of my Winchester M70 .338 Magnum rifle. I’m really new to long range shooting and know that some popular cartridges for long range are .308 win, .300 win mag., .338 Lapua and .50 BMG. However, I am trying to do a few things to use the one rifle that I have to establish long-range experience (i.e. getting good optics, 15 moa base, proper ammunition, etc.). And, I see that the .338 lapua gets very good ratings and I just wonder if there was a tremendous amount of differences between my .338 win. Mag. Rifle/cartridge for a long range shooting setup and the .308 win, .300 win mag, and the .338 lapua? With the right setup on my rig what do you think I can achieve in terms of maximum effective range (ignoring the factor of “beginner” human error)? I know I can probably never reach a comparable accuracy to the first-class long range and most costly rifle on the market, but I’ve heard a few good things about the new Winchester Model 70’s and thought I would get your take on my model with the .338 Win Mag for long range shooting. Your insight is appreciated.

- matt
Virginia
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Old May 17, 2005, 11:25 PM   #2
RugerOldArmy
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It would depend on what you're shooting, no?

If you're hunting, .308 thru .338 ...well...seems best to limit shots to 250 yards. It's more ethical, and you're actually hunting.

If you're shooting paper, .308 is cheap, .300 Winmag can move a 175Gr SMK faster than .308 Win to keep 'em supersonic at 1000 yards. .338 shooting a lot of paper could be recipie for developing a flinch. And .50 BMG would result in a silly grin AND the flinch.
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Old May 18, 2005, 06:05 AM   #3
keens
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First post mmposth?..if so, welcome to TFL...If I were you and had that question I would obtain some ballistics charts of the cartridges you mentioned...study them for drop at various ranges. Make sure you observe the bullet weights in grains as it will make a big difference on velocity, range etc. The Winchester rifle you mentioned assuming a 24 inch barrel should be pretty close to what you see in the ballistics charts. Depending on how much money you are ready to spend, any of the mentioned cartridges will do just fine for me for out to 300 yards...(better with the .300 Win Mag.) beyond that the big 30's and .338 Lapua will shine a bit brighter (shoot flatter etc.). And the 50 BMG, well that is in a class by itself. Take a look at the Armalite single shot ($2500) if you are interested...of course you will need bases, scope, rings, bipod...now you are over $3000, but worth it in my opinion. Let us know what you get and how it works...include scope selection, rings, bases etc...Have fun!
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Old May 18, 2005, 07:41 AM   #4
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The 338 in an accurate rifle with good loads is a SOLID thousand yard gun when punching paper or other inanimate targets.
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Old May 18, 2005, 09:11 AM   #5
mmpoeth
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I guess I am looking for a round/cartridge for my .338wm that is universal for large game and small game, target shooting, long range accuracy...able to act with the precision of a needle and still able to deliver a vital blow to any animal without immorally wounding it at the longest possible range. I know that there are a selection of cartridges for this caliber for a range of differing and specific applications, however in order for me to start developing precision at long ranges I need to find a specific cartridge and practice with it (alot) in order to be able to reach the max potential ability of my rifle and cartridge if need be with great confidence.
So, with a pronghorn yes, moose yes, bear yes, groundhog yes, man-sized paper target yes. I know many may think that finding such a round for what I have described above is unreasonable, even though they may be right, I'd like to try to narrow it down to the closest possible choice.
Thanks for your insight.
-matt
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Old May 18, 2005, 10:09 AM   #6
artsmom
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A .338 Winchester Magnum is definitely a long range caliber in the hands of a long range shooter.

The problem is, long range shooting comes with lots of practice and experience, and a .338 is a tad more expensive in achieving this experience. However, don't let this stop you if it is what you want.

You will also need to find a place where you can shoot long distances.

A .308 can equal or beat a .338 at the range, where you have the advantage of known distances. However, if you are hunting, wind and range estimation is made less critical by heavy bullets going at magnum speeds.
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Old May 20, 2005, 08:20 PM   #7
mmpoeth
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I was thinking about buying a replacement barrell for my M70 .338 mag, that would be an upgrade from the standard stainless thin "sporter" barrel that it came with. I'm looking for something that would be a direct insert but much heavier and able to shoot tighter groups and precision at long range. Does anyone have any suggestions, links, prices, experience?
-matt
VA
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Old May 25, 2005, 01:48 PM   #8
mmpoeth
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I was thinking about the new barrel and possibility of a new stock, and was wondering what is really left of the old rifle after all this "accurizing" is actually done? Replacing barrel, stock, trigger job, action worked on, I don't know at what point it (cost effectively) becomes to better to just focus on building a whole new rifle and keep the unaltered one I have?
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Old May 25, 2005, 09:41 PM   #9
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welcome

welcome to TFL you may have already noticed but most of these guys know their stuff.

Quote:
I guess I am looking for a round/cartridge for my .338wm that is universal for large game and small game,
the only thing im wondering about is what you class as small game because .338WM is a little bit of overkill for jackrabbits
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Old March 22, 2013, 05:51 PM   #10
apacheman
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As a matter of fact the 30-06, the 7 mag, the 300 mag, and the 338 win mag are 2/10ths of a MOA apart at 500 yds. The 338 actually is good to go on big game at 800yds with a .515 BC bullet of 225 grains. Snipers in the nam shot as far as 1300 yds with an 06 the 338 win mag is capable of a full 2000 yds so long as you have the MOA up to do it. As far as the 308 being more accurate...... sorry guys I've shot 338 win's that group into .239 MOA so thats a wash too. MY advice is to develop a load w/ a 165 grain bullet or maybe a 185 grain. There is your varmint load/deer load. Then develop a 225 grain load with the premium hornady bullet to around 2800 fps. That'll take care of any bear that walks.

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Old March 22, 2013, 06:44 PM   #11
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The OP asked the question 8 years ago. I bet he has already decided one way or another.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
The OP asked the question 8 years ago. I bet he has already decided one way or another.
Just so...
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