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Keokuk

Private
Minuteman
Jul 15, 2023
19
2
Maryland
Hello all, I have a crazy idea brewing in my head and I'm hoping you all can help me out. Nothing original I'm sure as everything has been done before but my google and forum searches haven't given me answers yet. I recently moved to the peoples republic of Maryland, half the state is bottleneck friendly and the other half is straight walled only. Now I'm sure a 350 legend puts down white tails just fine but I'm not a big fan of any of the rifles chambering it. I've been spoiled by tikkas so a savage or franchi aren't really doing it for me. I'm also getting into suppressors, with that in mind, max range in the local deer woods is 100 yards if I'm lucky so subsonic is viable and attractive. However, me being a fan of long range shooting, I still want to be able to stretch its legs a bit and see what it can do at 500+.

I am thinking about building a new hunting rifle, potentially tikka or r700 based, short action, STRAIGHT WALL, SUBSONIC, and probably high bc big bore. I am looking at things like 338-223 straight/thumper, 375 whisper, 416 spike, things of that nature. I am thinking the super high bc will keep velocity up extending the max range of the subsonic loads, plus the big bore heavy bullets will still pack a punch on impact. My biggest concerns are bullet choices, specifically hunting bullets that will expand or at least reliably tumble at these low velocities, and head spacing since it will be a straight walled bolt gun. If it could be based off a belted or rimmed cartridge that might be easier for head spacing but I do fancy the idea of just cutting the neck off of easy to find 223 or 308 brass. I have seen hornady's new sub-x bullets which seem to fit the bill but they're not making any in 338, 375, or 416. The 30 cal sub-x in a 300blkout would be perfect but it's not straight walled... I am a novice reloader with plenty of my own loads worked up but this would be my intro into wildcatting.

Has anyone done anything similar, have any ideas, questions, comments, concerns, or warnings. Modern gun season ends this weekend so I have about a year to bring this to reality. Thanks in advanced

338 thumper: not my photo nor do I claim any rights to it
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416 spike: not my photo nor do I claim any rights to it
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@bohem at PVA does 450 BM prefits with some impressive results, here’s a quote from another thread:
We have 450 Bushmaster and 458 Win Mag blanks on hand for folks in straight wall states. I have load data for my personal 450 BM and the 300gr Arrowhead bullets that I used last year to take several does beyond 500 yd.

So, for those folks in straight wall states, we have you covered to be able to take 500-1100 yard shots on animals that normally would be well out of range. As someone showed a page or two ago, the SML's we are making kick ass. The same blanks that are being used for SML's are also used for the 458 Win Mag and a sister barrel is used for the 450 BM's. Typical performance from the 450 BM's is just under MOA at 400 with Hornady Black ammo in the 250 FTX lineup. With handloads they shoot sub MOA at 700yd.

Handloads with the ASG 300 NSR run similar trajectory to a 150 class bullet in a 308. It's not a wind cheater, but it's a lot more capable than Pap's ol' 45-70 lobbing 405 cast lead.
I deleted a bunch of the stuff before in the post I quoted because it wasn’t relevant but that was in the PVA prefit thread. I’ve heard him talk about it on a podcast before as well.
 
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.510 WSM is one I figure on building one of these days. You could do hard cast bullets for hunting or the AMax for long distance work. And if shit hits the fan…. Suppressed AP 😁

Would be a pretty straightforward deal. Buy a WSM chambered rifle and not have to modify anything except a new barrel and chamber job.
 
Given that you said subsonic in your first post - 450BM is a great choice. You can get factory Hornady Sub-X ammo for it and the reality is that a .338 bullet might expand but a .452 bullet won’t shrink. The pistol sized bullets (452) give you a great set of choices for subsonic expanding rounds if you reload.

I’d be worried about the terminal ballistics of almost all of the high BC rifle bullets out there - most of them are designed to be pushed hard out of a magnum rifle with supersonic impact velocities.

Now I know the first criticism with a 450 is that you’re basically chucking softballs - but the reality is you’re going to have to have near perfect range estimation with subs, even high BC subs.

We shot a bolt 300Blk with 208 Amax against my Vudoo in 22LR one day at our old range, and it was kind of shocking how small the difference in performance was (despite a monumental difference in BC). It was way smaller than I would have thought past 200, and both rifles would miss with a range estimation error of less than 20 yards.
 
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If you want to shoot 500+ yards with a straight walled cartridge you don't need to mess with perfection.
 
Subs suck ass for expanding and killing compared to supers.

I’d just get a 350 Legend upper or barrel for a gas gun and run it. I just put one together for a buddy in MD for the same thing.

I hunted a good bit with a 35 Remington and that’s all my grandpa used and can tell you that shit hammers deer out to 200 yards. 350 legend is basically that in AR mag length.
 
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Ignore the muzzle brake, not needed. Turned a proper thread protector and the brake sits in the case. Have only done subsonic as of now. As mentioned above, this concept has the ballistics of an artillery round. Knowing distance to target is crucial. Other than range play I consider it a 150yd max rifle, and a fun shop activity while the wife watches cop shows.

New project is a .338/223 into a AR. Doing loads now.

Thank you,
MrSmith
 
Subs suck, supersonics are far better killers and reduce tracking time.

High BC is the wrong direction to go with a short range cartridge. You need velocity out of the barrel. I can tell you now that just looking at that 416 you showed, it's going to have so little powder room and so much bullet weight that the BC is irrelevant, it's going too slow out of the barrel.

Suppressors are awesome. If you haven't hunted with one before, they're a treat. You can shoot magnums for a few rounds without ear pro, and when you shoot suppressed the animals behave differently. They're much calmer than when they hear the boom of an unsuppressed shot.
 
I don't think BC is very important when talking about sub-sonics. Plus you aren't going to be hunting with subs much beyond 100 yards it doesn't sound like. If you do, you definitely need to know your drops in five or ten yard increments beyond 100.

I am considering a 12 or 16 inch barrel for a 8.6 BLK and upping from a Magnus to a 338 Ultra Gen2 on my upcoming can purchase so I can ring steel at 365 in the backyard and not disturb my neighbors. Apparently it is also a much more lethal subsonic round than my current 300 BLK's. Give a look at Maker Bullets.
 
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I'm all for stupid projects that waste a lot of money, no doubt. :D
But you can't reinvent the wheel AND ignore the laws of physics at the same time.

If you're getting a custom barrel made up, there's already plenty of off the shelf things that will work. Getting your Tikka to feed them and feed from the magazine will be the real issue. How bout a .458 Win mag cut down to the pain level of your choosing? ;)
 
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Just build a nice 450 Bushmaster off your favorite action. It's effective past 300yds with 250-275gr bullets at 2500+fps. Uses a standard 308 bolt and 308 AICS mags
 
I don't think BC is very important when talking about sub-sonics. Plus you aren't going to be hunting with subs much beyond 100 yards it doesn't sound like. If you do, you definitely need to know your drops in five or ten yard increments beyond 100.

I am considering a 12 or 16 inch barrel for a 8.6 BLK and upping from a Magnus to a 338 Ultra Gen2 on my upcoming can purchase so I can ring steel at 365 in the backyard and not disturb my neighbors. Apparently it is also a much more lethal subsonic round than my current 300 BLK's. Give a look at Maker Bullets.
8.6 blkout is basically what I’m after but I need it in straight walled. The development of 8.6 and Brittinghams involvement in big game hunting is what makes me lean towards a 338 based cartridge. Hoping that with people taking on 8.6blk we’ll get some bullets like a Hornady sub-x in 338 cal.
 
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Fast twist barrel... you can even neck it up to .338 if you want. lol
 
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I guess I’m overlooking the obvious but why is a 45-70 or 450Marlin with a 500+ grain bullet not on your list. High bc bullets are a joke at sub speeds. You want tonnage. All Tikka rifles are long action and a 300 WSM action will feed a 450 Marlin. Twist it tight and add bullet weight until you’re subsonic.
 
My point is, if you’re buying a barrel never download a cartridge to obtain subs. Twist it and shoot the heaviest bullet you can.

You want a 300 BO at 220g or a 450 at 5-600g. Same speed.
 
I don't disagree with your premise. I don't think they do either.

I think what they're saying is that, to the OP, if a .300BLK sub (or any straight walled cartridge loaded to sub speeds with Trail Boss, or whatever) punches through the boiler room of an ungulate and leaves an exit wound, what are you buying for your .2" larger wound channel? You're not getting more shock or damage other than that .2".

For most hunters that's not worth spending a bunch of money on for some wildcat. I doubt you autopsy two deer and even tell which was which.

But, you're not wrong. The early, storebought, underloaded, 115gr, 9mm, subs were utter crap before they started loading them to 147gr and 158gr. The 220gr .45 was dang near perfect just as it was. Now it's kind of a wash if you need a caliper to compare wound channels.
 
The old adage, “ a 9mm might expand but a 45 will never contract” applies here.

I mean really a 9mm at .355 might expand 50% but it will never compare to a .452 or .458 hardcast at the same speed.
 
I guess I’m overlooking the obvious but why is a 45-70 or 450Marlin with a 500+ grain bullet not on your list. High bc bullets are a joke at sub speeds. You want tonnage. All Tikka rifles are long action and a 300 WSM action will feed a 450 Marlin. Twist it tight and add bullet weight until you’re subsonic.
45-70 would be a great option, I also am planning on getting an 1895 Winchester in 405 win when I find the right one. I’m certainly not expecting this idea to be the best option, just a fun/interesting one lol. That said, you bringing up 450 marlin allowed me to find 45 cal sub x ammo which makes it a more viable option
 
Subs don’t expand. They make holes. That’s the point.
Most subs don’t expand, but some do. That’s where the interest in 338 comes from. Since 8.6blk is gaining popularity and the owner of q has hunted with it using subsonic loads there are a handful of subsonic expanding bullets in 338. I haven’t seen many in other calibers though other than 30 cal. Hornady and Maker bullets seem to be two popular choices
 
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Fast twist barrel... you can even neck it up to .338 if you want. lol
Now there’s an interesting idea, especially necked up to 338 to use the low velocity expanding bullets coming out for 8.6blk. Plus it’s rimmed so that makes headspacing easy. Good thinking! I wonder if I could get away with it though since most of the 32-40 family of cartridges are bottle neck, like 30-30
 
For a rimmed option in lever gun or single shot look at the 360 buckhammer, it's a 30-30 straight wall to .358.
But again the 450 Bushmaster is the easy button with subsonic 395gr loads already available from Hornady and based on a 308 case family.
 
I’ve been following this thread with the back and forth with interest. If you don’t mind a rimmed case a couple of other options are the 357 Maximum and the 38-55 Winchester. Both have a proven track record and brass is available. I feel that the 350 Legend was created to be a “Rimless” version of the 357 Max for use in the MSR platform.

Of course, I really miss the Siamese Mauser that my father had in 45-70, now that was a stops ANYTHING rifle when using Ruger level loads.
 
375 Winchester is the improved 38-55 for higher pressure loads. Both based off the 30-30 case, it takes a .375 cal bullet
 
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375 Winchester is the improved 38-55 for higher pressure loads. Both based off the 30-30 case, it takes a .375 cal bullet
375 winchester is an interesting option. I do like the idea of using a 375 or 416 cal bullet. My only reservation is I haven't found any hunting subs for such calibers. That is what makes me lean towards a straight walled 8.6 blkout, that way I can use the expanding subsonic 338 bullets being developed for it. It seems hornady is also making sub-x bullets in 45cal but I'm not really into the tacticool lever guns. Wanting more of an all carbon bolt gun.
 
450 Bushmaster is your easy button

I have an 18" PVA barrel ordered for my Impact 737 action, 450 uses standard 308 boltface. They run great in a standard AICS magazine. Carbon6 does 450 Bushmaster prefit barrels.
 
I guess I’m overlooking the obvious but why is a 45-70 or 450Marlin with a 500+ grain bullet not on your list. High bc bullets are a joke at sub speeds. You want tonnage. All Tikka rifles are long action and a 300 WSM action will feed a 450 Marlin. Twist it tight and add bullet weight until you’re subsonic.
I had the same conclusion several times but 450 marlin ammo is $8/round and can really only be found on Gunbroker. Brass is basically unobtainable and can’t really be made by any method we here can weild.
 
338 Thumper would be a pretty sweet deal. Grab some Black Collar Arms .338 pills and you’re good to go. They made some 8.6 BLK ammo with bullets designed to expand at subsonic speed. Same with Discreet Ballistics. I’d check those guys out and see if they can help you out.
 
I was on a similar quest for a straight walled deer cartridge that would allow shots out to 300 yards with good terminal performance.
Most of the common options were lacking in performance past 150 yards.
I finally went with a .458 Lott. (Defiance/Manners/Bartlein/Trigger tech/etc)

300 grain Barnes Tipped Triple Shocks are shooting sub MOA and start out at nearly 3000fps.
Less than 15 inches of drop at 300 yards with a 100yd zero and over a ton of energy remaining.
The light and fast option was better out to my 300 yard property line than the heavy higher BC options.

I'm very pleased with it and expect it to perform well.
No on game testing to report as I passed on a couple of huge bucks waiting on a monster buck.
In hindsight, that plan sucked, but I plan to take it coyote hunting next weekend.
 
I was on a similar quest for a straight walled deer cartridge that would allow shots out to 300 yards with good terminal performance.
Most of the common options were lacking in performance past 150 yards.
I finally went with a .458 Lott. (Defiance/Manners/Bartlein/Trigger tech/etc)

300 grain Barnes Tipped Triple Shocks are shooting sub MOA and start out at nearly 3000fps.
Less than 15 inches of drop at 300 yards with a 100yd zero and over a ton of energy remaining.
The light and fast option was better out to my 300 yard property line than the heavy higher BC options.

I'm very pleased with it and expect it to perform well.
No on game testing to report as I passed on a couple of huge bucks waiting on a monster buck.
In hindsight, that plan sucked, but I plan to take it coyote hunting next weekend.
Tally-Ho!
How’s recoil? Weight of the gun? Muzzle brake?
Pictures?
 
Tally-Ho!
How’s recoil? Weight of the gun? Muzzle brake?
Pictures?
Recoil is surprisingly mild. However, I've shot a lot of 12 ga, 338s, 45-70s, 375s, and hold pads for people to punch and kick multiple times per week so I might be somewhat desensitized.

I don't think it is any worse than a magnum 12ga slug or heavy loaded black powder rifle.

It has an MCS-T stock and 26 inch GAP #6 contour Bartlein barrel. (no brake as I plan to shoot it from an enclosed blind)
Empty weight with a Nightforce 3.5-15x50, light nylon sling and a single shot follower is 12lb 1.5oz.

I had JGS build a reamer based on a 300 grain Barnes TTSX at max OAL length set 50 thousandth off the lands and had Bartlein put it together.
It turned out perfect!

It could of course be downloaded, but I'm getting 2963fps with 80.1 grains of IMR4198. (no bolt lift issues or cratered primers at this level or 2 grains higher, although the velocity seems about 100+ fps over what I expected so it might be a hot load and unsafe in most Lotts)

I think it is an often overlooked option for the straight walled cartridge crowd! (No idea what the subsonic long range capability is)
 
A 510 whisper will fit your needs 750 gr Amax 1.050 BC only loses about 180 fps from muzzle to 1000 yds when fired subsonic. There are several variations of this cartridge, mine is the orginial, SKS sells expensive brass for it.
And bullets as heavy as 1002 grs available. Fit the Rem 700 LA 10 twist barrel
Short barrel? Suppressed? It's all good. Plus you can go high velocity short range with 350 gr copper bullets, or cast some soft 900 grain bullets for close range smack down.
The 510 whisper vs 220 gr in 300 blk ....or 45-70 with sub HP bullets.
But only the 510 whisper brings the energy and diameter to meet the longer down range needs.
 

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