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#6873987 - 08/30/17 04:10 PM 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge
Pig_Popper Online   content
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Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 1101
Loc: Fort Worth
Went to Stephens Co. with DennisB and his sidekick Rustler this weekend - Pigs Downs!

Backstory:


A few months ago I began my drills with a Savage 338 Hog Hunter chambered in 338 Federal.

Those successful trials led to my eventual migration to a semi-auto configuration, which proved beneficial on last nights hunt.

The gun is a modest build, every effort to keep costs down was taken and most of the parts were ordered during the Independence Day (Holiday) sales.

Aero Precision Upper and Lower/Toolcraft BCG/Guntec handguard/PMAGs/Budready.com muzzle brake.

Comes in at 8lbs empty with a Wilson Combat 16" midlength gas system.

Video of the gun - MUTE AUDIO IF YOU DON'T WANT MUSIC



I am using the same handloads developed for my Savage - in the semi-auto they work okay (1 - 2" groups at 100 yards). Plenty accurate for pig hunting. I will probably begin load developing a lighter bullet ~ 180 grains due to the shorter 16" barrel. It'll still be in the power envelope of 338 Federal exceeding 308 Winchesters energy (worth the squeeze).

Load detail:

Speer 200 grain Hot-Cor flat base bullets
Federal 210m large rifle primers
Starline brass
H335 gun powder
RCBS dies

Optic: Upgraded to a Pulsar APEX XQ50 since the above video was published - its the latest model with the 17 micron sensor and 2.8x base magnification. It works great, recording is a pain with wires and switches needed to connect to a DVR, which ended up being a negative for full video of the hunt. As I was panning and waiting for the shot on the big boar in the back I inadvertently hit the on/off switch with the bean bag gun rest. Here is a video of the sounder that came through, video cuts off about a half minute before things got good... I will rectify the location of the switch.



The final outcome:

I took a slightly quartering away shot on the boar at 80 yards, he is the first hog to not die right there (DRT) with my 338 Federal experience, more as to why in a bit.

Upon recovering from the shot I noticed he didn't drop and began searching for other targets, no photographed was a 30 lb shoat who took the 338 Fed to the side. DRT.

3 shots taken in total with 1 pig located, no blood on the ground where the boar stood, I did a search of the immediate area behind the feeder pen with negative findings (blood or hog).

DennisB and I search an area escape route nearby but no signs of the bigger hog. In the video you see him lurking in the back and before it cuts out he is making his way around the back left side which is where I shot him.

I was a bit disappointed to miss an easy shot with the equipment and gear and proximity that I was at, I of course faulted myself.

A few hours later when the sun came up we took Dennis' sidekick Rustler with us and in no time flat he located my downed 180lb boar. I am amazed by this young Aussie's skill and he redeemed me as I felt the shot was true.

Here is photos of the necropsy: turn away if you are squeamish!

Entry wound is 338 in diameter



Shot broke the front shoulder and traveled in front of the vitals and below the spine/neck (CNS)



Here is the full extent of damage along the wound trac - can you say hydrostatic shock!



Wound track was two to three fingers wide in the first 6 - 10 inches





Exit wound was a slice with a small "unremarkable" hole - I've not yet encountered a sliced hole exit wound



All in all a great weekend with a great friend and his phenomenal little Aussie Shepard !



Edited by Pig_Popper (08/30/17 04:18 PM)
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#6874077 - 08/30/17 05:46 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11492
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Nice! The "slice" hole exit is most likely the bullet tumbling, and exiting sideways. With a 200 grain bullet in a 338 Federal in a 16" AR platform, you are probably running 2300-2400 fps. At these lower speeds, bullet expansion will be minimal, if any at all at impact speeds. I have seen these same exits with 150 and 165 grain bullets out of the 300 blk out.
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#6874147 - 08/30/17 06:46 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
daniel1381 Online   happy
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Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 3713
Loc: longview texas
Great right up!!
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"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do."

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#6874151 - 08/30/17 06:49 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
daniel1381 Online   happy
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Registered: 03/07/12
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Loc: longview texas
Chad is there a bullet on the market that will expand at those speeds?

Barnes 185?
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#6874196 - 08/30/17 07:32 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
Pig_Popper Online   content
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Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 1101
Loc: Fort Worth
The bullets expand, what Chad is saying is with a shorter barrel - velocity is down - therefore the bullet doesn't disrupt fully.

180 - 185 is what you may want for violent expansion the only issue is that current bullet offerings are slim in this area.

I believe there is even a 165 grain Barnes out there

IF money is no option and you want to THUMP something in a nasty way consider the following bullet:

Lehigh Defense Close Quarters - 103 grain

You may want to have somebody run a load analysis on where to start with a bullet that light , velocity and energy would be stupid-insane !!!

Note: you'd have to get creative with which powder to use because I doubt case capacity would support a bunch of powder and that long bullet...

Go forth and 338 Federal something

wink


Edited by Pig_Popper (08/30/17 07:34 PM)
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#6874553 - 08/31/17 07:38 AM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
rickt300 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 456
Loc: Johnson co, TX
I believe the bullet expanded though it exited sideways. Seen that more than once. I don't think it would have done that much damage had it only tumbled. I used the Speer 200 grain bullet a lot in a 338 Magnum loaded intentionally down to 2400 fps on deer many times with good expansion.


Edited by rickt300 (08/31/17 07:39 AM)

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#6875121 - 08/31/17 06:15 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11492
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The exit wound looks like it could be .338" wide, and about the same length as the bullet. I've seen multiple exits just like this on slow rounds. When a bullet starts to tumble, it will wreck havoc inside and create a very good hydrostatic shock wound channel. It will do a lot of internal damage when tumbling.

For reliable expansion, I like impact speeds up above 2300-2400 fps, depending on the bullet. For example, I was running the 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets in my 300 blk out bolt gun. Speeds were right at 2000 fps, IIRC. I shot a pig right at 60-80 yards away, and I had a clean pass through. The exit wound was a little bigger than a .308" hole. The pig went down within 80-100 yards, since I shot it directly behind the shoulder on the run. I had also bought some Sierra 165 grain SP bullets to play with, and they also left a perfect .308" exit on critter. There's no expansion happening.

I switched to the 125 grain bullets running right at 2350 fps in my bolt gun, running 125 Nosler Ballistic Tip, 125 SST and 125 Sierra SP Pro Hunter bullet. These bullets are not that tough a bullet, and provide perfect mushroom shaped expansion, about 1.5 times diameter. I have hunted with these 125 grain bullet in my blk out bolt gun for the last 3-4 years. I has been very effective. Impact speeds are around 2200 fps, which is not that fast. Tougher bullets will hold together better, which the Hot Cor might be.

I'm showing a max charge of 47.8 grains of H335 is running 2448 fps in a 16" barrel. Since you are running it in a gas gun, you can take off 80-100 fps off that. So, you should be running about 2350 fps in a 16" AR. At 100 yards, impact velocity would be right at 2150 fps. For a tough .338" bullet, that may not be enough to have enough expansion.

Barnes makes a 160 grain TTSX, and it's a cool bullet bullet. I've loaded some in the 338 Federal. You could get it running about 2600-2700 fps in a 16" AR.
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#6875258 - 08/31/17 08:43 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
Pig_Popper Online   content
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Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 1101
Loc: Fort Worth
I don't have any data on the velocity in the 16" gun - I hope to get that next week.

The HotCor handloads ran 2635 FPS out of the 20" savage bolt action.

I've got some 185 grain Speer pulled bullets inbound from a Gunbroker auction and I have some Woodleigh 180 grain bullets to try as well.

My thoughts are to go to the 180 class bullets in the 16" barrel and strive for 2500 FPS which would yield 2500 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle.

Anything lighter than 180 grains in my opinion can be done with a 308 Win gun so in attempting to stay true to a 338 Federal higher energy I'm staying at 180 or 200 grains.
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#6876867 - 09/02/17 10:06 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
Pig_Popper Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 1101
Loc: Fort Worth
Made use of an available chronograph today, not the same make or model that I used previously so velocity registered differently, different time of the year as well but what is consistent is the load and gun tested.

Today's readings: 200 grain HotCor handloads

Savage Hog Hunter - 20" barrel bolt action -

2501 FPS
2566
2505
2534
2513

Wilson Combat 16" barrel - semi auto -

2421 FPS
2481
2503
2485
2445
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#6878422 - 09/04/17 07:34 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
bigjoe8565 Online   content
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Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 4799
Loc: Mesquite, Tx
Looks like it's effective.

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#6880842 - 09/07/17 07:01 AM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: ChadTRG42]
Huckleberry75 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 159
Loc: Yukon, OK
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
The exit wound looks like it could be .338" wide, and about the same length as the bullet. I've seen multiple exits just like this on slow rounds. When a bullet starts to tumble, it will wreck havoc inside and create a very good hydrostatic shock wound channel. It will do a lot of internal damage when tumbling.

For reliable expansion, I like impact speeds up above 2300-2400 fps, depending on the bullet. For example, I was running the 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets in my 300 blk out bolt gun. Speeds were right at 2000 fps, IIRC. I shot a pig right at 60-80 yards away, and I had a clean pass through. The exit wound was a little bigger than a .308" hole. The pig went down within 80-100 yards, since I shot it directly behind the shoulder on the run. I had also bought some Sierra 165 grain SP bullets to play with, and they also left a perfect .308" exit on critter. There's no expansion happening.

I switched to the 125 grain bullets running right at 2350 fps in my bolt gun, running 125 Nosler Ballistic Tip, 125 SST and 125 Sierra SP Pro Hunter bullet. These bullets are not that tough a bullet, and provide perfect mushroom shaped expansion, about 1.5 times diameter. I have hunted with these 125 grain bullet in my blk out bolt gun for the last 3-4 years. I has been very effective. Impact speeds are around 2200 fps, which is not that fast. Tougher bullets will hold together better, which the Hot Cor might be.

I'm showing a max charge of 47.8 grains of H335 is running 2448 fps in a 16" barrel. Since you are running it in a gas gun, you can take off 80-100 fps off that. So, you should be running about 2350 fps in a 16" AR. At 100 yards, impact velocity would be right at 2150 fps. For a tough .338" bullet, that may not be enough to have enough expansion.

Barnes makes a 160 grain TTSX, and it's a cool bullet bullet. I've loaded some in the 338 Federal. You could get it running about 2600-2700 fps in a 16" AR.


Chad, what are your thoughts or experience in regards to the 110gn offerings such as Vmax/Varmegeddon vs the 125's through a bolt gun in 300BLK? Also, have you tried the Sierra 125 Tipped Match King? Thanks for any insight. (Not trying to Hijack the thread)
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#6881689 - 09/07/17 10:37 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
Pig_Popper Online   content
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Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 1101
Loc: Fort Worth


Loaded up some 180gr Woodleigh soft points, this was a 4 shot group at 100 yards using a thermal weapon sight.

Loading manual shows 2772 FPS for this load, knock off a 100 FPS for the 16" semi

Will chrono sometime down the road , looking to field test right now but it's been a slow week for hog sightings....



Edited by Pig_Popper (09/07/17 10:37 PM)
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#6882236 - 09/08/17 05:13 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
daniel1381 Online   happy
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Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 3713
Loc: longview texas
Originally Posted By: Pig_Popper


Loaded up some 180gr Woodleigh soft points, this was a 4 shot group at 100 yards using a thermal weapon sight.

Loading manual shows 2772 FPS for this load, knock off a 100 FPS for the 16" semi

Will chrono sometime down the road , looking to field test right now but it's been a slow week for hog sightings....




What powder are you running? And what target do you use to sight the thermal in with ?
_________________________
"From my cold dead hands"

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do."

Benjamin Franklin


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#6882278 - 09/08/17 05:57 PM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
Pig_Popper Online   content
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Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 1101
Loc: Fort Worth
I used TAC and resized 7.62x51 NATO brass with 210m primers

Target is a hand warmer
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#6882529 - 09/09/17 08:26 AM Re: 338 Federal Semi Auto - The Prolific Killing Cartridge [Re: Pig_Popper]
daniel1381 Online   happy
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Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 3713
Loc: longview texas
Originally Posted By: Pig_Popper
I used TAC and resized 7.62x51 NATO brass with 210m primers

Target is a hand warmer


thanks for the info.. whwn I get back off my cruise I wanna test some of those 180 out.. headed to the lease tonight with the 200 gr federal gonna try a headshot. have hogs coming in everyday and all day to the feeders
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"From my cold dead hands"

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do."

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