Is 30-338 a good caliber?


December 31, 2002, 06:20 PM
Ive seen a great deal on a custom 30-338 rifle, and Im thinking of grabbing it. Im not familiar with this cartridge at all. Does anyone have one, or know about it ballistically? (Is it similar to a 300 Win mag, Weatherby mag, etc?) Thanks guys-

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December 31, 2002, 06:37 PM
Hi the 30-338 (I assume you mean the 338WM necked down to 30 cal) is essentially the same thing ballistically as a 308 Norma Mag.

I am somewhat leery of wildcats such as these since you can pick up the ballistically equivalent 300UM for around $650 in a stainless synthetic..

In evaluating the custom rifle, make sure you know who did ythe work....

December 31, 2002, 06:38 PM
Pretty much the same as a 300WM, little less powder, have to make your own brass(not a big deal, just run 7mm Rem over an eliptical expander, or neck down 338WM), but they do tend to work just fine. S/F...Ken M

December 31, 2002, 06:41 PM
Echo and Wild, If you didnt know who did the gunsmithing, would you buy it? It is a 03-A3 conversion, and comes with RCBS dies for $215.

December 31, 2002, 07:18 PM
Personally, I would not own a modified 03A3.

We have had them in our shop in the past, a real good one is worth about $150.

You really can do much better by saving up and getting a modern rifle.

If you really want it check out the following..

The provisons for mounting a scope...are the holes straight? What type of bases are there? Is the safety modified? The bolt?

Is it a rechambered military barrel or a factory barrel..

Check out some fired cases..look for incipient separations....

Take it out of the stock and check the bedding and for cracks..

Check feeding...

Hows the crown?

December 31, 2002, 08:31 PM
I have an 03 custom that is great, but there are some real losers out there too. All depends on who did the work, and their level of skill. For $215, somebody obviously has some doubts about it. Can you have a decent smith check it out? If you're in Joliet, I know a couple good smithes who can help you if you're willing to head N to Waukegan. Hell, I'd be willing to help, but the things I look for you can do yourself. S/F...Ken M

January 1, 2003, 02:14 PM
.30-378 is gooder. :D

Big belted magnums on a 1903-A3 action can be iffy. Least it wasn't built on a low-numbered 1903 action. :what:

January 1, 2003, 04:08 PM
Lots of (traditional)short magnums(eg 30-338,7mmRem, 7Mashburn, 300WM) were built on 03's, and there is no real problem with that, if it's done right. That being said, there were lots that were NOT done right, and that is the problem. S/F...Ken M

Art Eatman
January 1, 2003, 04:31 PM
I guess it's already drilled and tapped for a scope? Check the general appearance and the alignment of the holes. Heck, see if the seller has a mount(s) that will fit, and lay a scope in the rings to see if there is binding.

If all that's okay, then it's probably a reasonable deal. Check the headspace, of course.

About the only caveat I'd consider would be in reloading. I'd stay a grain or two under max, just sorta "general principles".



January 1, 2003, 04:53 PM
Are you a goat hunter who envisions taking shots at 500 yards?

If not, the various .30 "super-magnums" don't make much sense, in my opinion. You burn a lot of powder, make a lot of noise and endure a lot of recoil to get a .30 caliber bullet to the target 400 fps faster than with another .30 caliber.


January 1, 2003, 05:10 PM
Actually, yes, I am. Ive taken a Corsican at a "few" hundred, and Im going for a Audad next. Dont kid yourself, when you`re shooting from one ridge to the next, any wind bucking ability is much appreciated, that is where magnums come into thier own. Ive been hunting with a buddy who wasnt "into" magnums, well, he underestimated the wind whistling between the two hills, and didnt allow enough dope for the wind. His trophy was shot in the head. Doesnt make a pretty mount. A magnum would have helped mask his error.

January 1, 2003, 05:34 PM
The .30-338 cartridge is a good one. Superior in many ways to the .300WinMag.

I agree with WildAlaska about the Springfield action, though. If you want a .30-338, get a more modern action. This is a dynamite cartridge when built up on a model 700 Rem or model 70 Win action. Or even better, IMHO, on a Ruger No. 1.

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