.338 Win Mag for Grizzly?


December 24, 2007, 01:25 PM
I have read that this caliber is too small for Dangerous African Game (that the minimum is .375 H&H)... but is it a good caliber for Grizzly Bear?

Looking at the Winchester Product guide, the .338 win mag looks very much like the .458 win mag...the .338 keeps a great deal of energy, similar to the much heavier .458 win mag, at all listed ranges.

Quite a few THR members have remarked about this .338 caliber, and I have found a good price on one, but I need to know what I could do with it? (Translated, I want it but what can I use it for? :))

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December 24, 2007, 01:52 PM
In short you can do anything you want with it!

The .338 win is probably one of the most versatile rounds in the history of center fire cartridges.

The .338 will do anything a .375H&H will do and some things it will do slightly better.

It is a fantastic deer round, elk, moose, bear, and plains game cartridge up to and including eland and giraffe. It is also probably one of the finest hog rounds on the planet.

There are no flies on a .338 win mag.

By the way it is nothing more than a necked down .458 win.

The reason I don't shoot one is that it isn't DG legal. The .375 is. A technicality really but that is just how it is.

December 24, 2007, 02:03 PM
338 win will be enough for a grizz, but how are you on recoil,a 30-06 would do just as well without the kick ,shot placement is the key to all hunting ...

December 24, 2007, 02:18 PM
Capable of ANYTHING on the NA continent, and then some......

I picked up one of Browning's lightweight BARs in a trade and on a lark tried it on deer.......as was stated....fantastic! Shoots as flat as an '06 and hits much, much harder. Buck I shot with mine leaped straight up and landed upside down where he stood!

Having lived in Alaska and hunted most game there I would not hesitate to pack that rifle for anything. Plus, if you are recoil shy, that autoloading system really tames the comeback....its really more of a long 'push', than a 'kick', and not at all difficult to deal with.

December 24, 2007, 04:33 PM
The .338 that I have run across is the Browning A-Bolt with the ported Boss System installed. This gun is beautiful in stainless and a composite stock, and at $625 I think it is a good deal. My only concerns were for the versatility of the round.

H&H, my son and I have been using your posts here as a primer to reduce the "Felt Recoil" in the various rifles that we shoot, and have noticed a great improvement in our shooting! We no longer have any real perceived recoil with any of the guns that previously would give us fits :) Primarily, we have left the bench and now shoot from various positions that we would use in the field, this allows our shoulders to roll.

Thanks gentlemen, this is the support I needed :D

December 24, 2007, 05:15 PM

You'll find the .338 to be a big pussy cat to shoot.

December 24, 2007, 05:32 PM
My .338 Win Mag was brutal. Back in (I believe) 1987, Remington offered its "Classic" in .338 Win Mag. It had, as the name implies, a classic-line, straight stock. OMW that killed my cheekbone! Of course it could also have had something to do with the handloads that I had ginned up for it, launching 200 Gr. Speer Hotcores at 3,171 FPS. No, I will not provide the data for the load because as one can see in the reload manuals, it is excessive...back in my excessive foolish youthful days. The factory rounds we not near so punishing.

Anyhow, I purchased that rifle/caliber because, in my research for a bear-hunting rifle, I learned that a .338 Win Mag with either 225 Gr or 250 Gr projectile, had more down-range energy than a .375. It also had as-good of sectional density at the .375 in 300 grains.

If I were ever to purchase a new .338 Win Magnum, and I would love to, I would be sure to get something with a stock that possessed some good cast off, like a Weatherby Mark V, synthetic, stainless steel.


December 24, 2007, 09:32 PM
I love my Ruger Model 77 S/S in .338 WinMag. A couple of thoughts that haven't yet been posted:

1) Don't overscope - a 1.5 - 6x or 2 - 7x is plenty of scope for the terrain where grizzlies are usually found. Leave the scope on its lowest power while you're walking or sitting - if you need to dial up the power, you can do it just before you shoot (i.e., if you need more power, the animal is far enough away that you likely have time to adjust the scope setting). You will need more eye relief than with your 06 or whatever you hunt with of lesser caliber.

2) While I'm sure you can handle the .338 recoil, be aware that the recoil seems to push back FASTER than some other rounds - the gun can really come back in a way that seems "quick." This is something to get accustomed to.

3) Wear a PAST recoil pad while shooting at the range. When I'm using the recoil pad, I can comfortably shoot 30-35 rounds through my .338 in a range session from hunting positions (standing/sitting/kneeling).

4) One note ab out hunting griz - the prevailing thought is to keep shooting until the animal stops moving (as with much dangerous game). So, once you have your rifle sighted in, practice shooting from hunting positions, in 2-3 shot sets, to see how fast you can get back on target and deliver accurate 2nd and 3rd shots.

Good Luck! You'll love the .338.


December 24, 2007, 09:38 PM

December 24, 2007, 10:23 PM
I would be sure to get something with a stock that possessed some good cast off, like a Weatherby Mark V, synthetic, stainless steel.

I just purchased a Weatherby Mark V stainless steel, with a synthetic stock in .308 ...What is this "cast off" you refer to? I purchased it because it was a super good deal...and I hope to make some $$ on it at the next club gun show :evil:

Does this "Cast Off" from the stock design make more of a difference than the ported BOSS on the .338 I described? Does the Browning also have a good, or better than average at least, stock design?

One frequent shooter in one of the local clubs in which I belong has told me that the BOSS is based on the same design that is used on some military .50 cal rifles, and that he actually shot one that had a negative recoil!! He said the weapon actually lurched forward a bit upon pulling the trigger.

I have no personal experience with this...


December 24, 2007, 11:04 PM
can't help you w/ the brake stuff - i don't/won't use 'em. but can tell you i really like my 338 win mag. i can't think of a single chambering that is more versatile or effective for everything it is appropriate for. recoil is very tolerable, and i would rather shoot my 338 30 times from the bench than my 300 20 times... i've even had my 338 on a dog town. it wasn't a 350-shot day, mind you, but it was still a lot of shooting.

if i knew then what i know now, the 338 win would have been the first centerfire rifle i would've purchased, and most certainly would've been the most-used. i really wish i would've gotten one much earlier.

recoil is stiff but tolerable and manageable. it isn't a gun that you're gonna get used to overnight, but after a dozen or so range sessions of working up, you'll find you can comfortably shoot that rifle a lot. make sure your recoil pad is a decelerator or better, and pay attention to your body when your shooting it - when your body says 'enough' stop shooting and save the rest for another day.

bullet placement is important, but putting a big hole in something and delivering 2-tons of whoop-ass is every bit as important!

December 24, 2007, 11:36 PM
Stock design is 9/10ths of the problem with felt recoil the other 99% is physiological.

If Connie Brooks of Barnes bullets can comfortably and accuratly shoot a .500 NE at 5' nothing and 100lbs soaking wet a big ole man can certainly learn to shoot a .338 without too much fuss. ;)

December 25, 2007, 12:13 AM
Stock design is 9/10ths of the problem with felt recoil the other 99% is physiological. That along with some shooting positions and how the fella is holding the rifle.

25 or 30 years ago couple of us went to a big yip skip hands on gun show. Where for a buck you could shoot just about any make or model rifle or shotgun going at the time.
Well of course the 460 Weatherby had a line 20 deep or more, but we just had to shoot it that was for sure, wait or not.
It was entertainment just watching the different guys shoot the dang thing.
I shot it, figured it would be ok for 5 or 6 times before it began to hurt, then watched my cousin shoot it, he looked about like I felt.
Guy said it was a ten pound gun and with a recoil pad was much easier on ya than I figured it would be, but then both of us had been shooting stuff since we was little kids too.
One guy was turned 3/4ths of the way around and to this day I am not sure how come he didn't drop that gun, cause he spun clear around till I don't think the Weatherby guy coulda grabbed it if he tried. You could see the pain in his eyes as he walked past us but he was toughing it out and hid that all he could. Poor fella, I bet he was sore for days.
The guy that walked out with you had to kinda catch the gun a few times so it didn't end up on the ground, and a few were visibly hurting as they walked by but most did OK far as I could tell.

So hold that gun like it otta be held when you shoot em boys, don't pull it away from your shoulder to not get hit so bad, Keep her snug and in place, shoot from a good standing position the first time or two, and you otta do just fine.
For a few rounds at the least.

Good grief, I wrote all that then noticed H&H said physiological not psychological. Duh.

December 25, 2007, 10:59 AM
Nope the duh is on me I meant to say PSYCHOLOGICAL.

Them dang spell checkers will get you every time.;)

I shoot several heavy rifles all the time. I simply don't notice the recoil anymore. It's all about knowing how to hold a rifle, stock fit and repetition. Even the biggest rifles simply aren't that bad to shoot.

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