.340 Weatherby or .338 Win Mag?


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pubthumper
June 23, 2012, 01:42 PM
Ive been mulling a new rifle purchase, and have whittled it down to two calibers- .340 Weatherby Mag and .338 Win Mag. I will be handloading either choice, and am wondering if anyone has experience working with the .340, and what kind of results you got. Yes, I am aware that .338 Win Mag will more likely be available if an airline 'mishap' occurs, so save that advice please.


A .30-06 has been my workhorse, but i'm looking to step up. It should be noted that the caliber chosen will be used to hunt elk, moose, and possibly brown bears. I would be good with my trusty '06 on these animals as well (well, the bear gives me pause), but think some added power couldn't hurt. And I gets me a new rifle. Win-win.

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Loosenock
June 23, 2012, 05:44 PM
I had a Winchester model 70 in .338. A great caliber. I bought it because where I was hunting at the time the distance your game got in 8 or 10 seconds after being shot could cost you a day or two of very, very hard work getting it out. So I wanted a caliber that would drop them right there in their tracks. The .338 also will give you some extra yardage in distance. I regret to this day ever getting rid of it.:cuss:

Another great caliber that is only about 100-200 fps behind the .338WM is the .338/06. Basically a handloading proposition but you'll save a ton of $$ in ammo.

Just my opinion, others will vary.

'loose

pubthumper
June 23, 2012, 05:52 PM
That was a real concern of mine as well, I would rather not have to pack an elk out of a canyon. Will look into the .338-06, but am leaning towards the win mag. Seems the appropriate choice.

jmr40
June 23, 2012, 06:14 PM
My 338-06 can be loaded to within 75 fps of the 338 mag as long as I stay with 225 gr or lighter bullets. Once you get to the heavies the 338-06 can't keep up. If you don't anticipate needing heavier bullets or shooting at longer ranges where the extra weight and speed matter then the 338-06 is an interesting option. It also allows you to load your gun with 5+1 instead of the 3+1 of a magnum chambering. Which may be more helpful with big bear than the extra power.

Never hunted the big bear, but know several who have. Their advice is that a 30-06 or 300 mag loaded with heavy bullets is every bit as effective as the 33 caliber magnums and you have to step up to the 375 mag to see any real difference in performance. Basically if a .308" dia. bullet doesn't get the job done, another .03" won't help. In fact the smaller diameter .308 bullets have proven to out penetrate the larger .338 bullets in large game.

If I wanted to step up over my 30-06 I'd go with one of the 300 magnums. It gives you an extra 100 yards or so of more effective range over the 30-06, or the 338 mags, and with proper loads will easily take anything in North America. I'd pick a lightweight 300 WSM if I wanted 1 rifle to hunt everything from coyote to grizzly. I'd still have a rifle versatile enough for 600-700 yard shots on deer size game with very manageable recoil and light enough to carry up and down the steepest mountains.

Of course your 30-06 will do the same thing, just at slightly reduced ranges.

If I simply had to have something larger than 30 cal, I'd skip right over the 33's and go straight for the 375. Or even consider the 35 Whelen. It really won't do anything a 30-06 won't do, but it is cool to own and easy to justify if you want to buy something larger than 30-06.

GlockNation
June 23, 2012, 06:17 PM
9.3 x 62 Best medium bore ever.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/cz550_american_kevlar.htm

hardluk1
June 23, 2012, 09:19 PM
And if you have worries about finding 340 weatherby mag in stores wait till you try to find a 9.3x62 in most any local gunshop.

crazyponie
June 23, 2012, 11:28 PM
I would have to place my vote in the weatherby corner. As stated, the ammo might be hard to come by but, after you have it sighted a box 20 is all you will need for the next twenty years of elk hunting. My father has had one since I believe '77 and I have lost count on the elk I have seen taken with it. I do only remember one of them ever going more than 20yds. It slid down an embankment for for 100yds. I am partial to them for that very reason. I couldnt find a MV deluxe in .340 so, ended up with a .300 MV instead. I wouldnt hesitate on either for anything in N. America. Without having charts in front of me, I would guess that both outdo a .338. Although, it will almost always come back to shot placement. My grandfather never carried anything other than a 30-30. Undoubtedly, he has taken more elk and deer in 80 years with that than my father and I combined. Just my .02.

SaxonPig
June 23, 2012, 11:38 PM
If I had to choose between the two I would opt for the 338 Winchester due to ammo availability/price/reloading component price. The small difference in power will cost a lot of money.

But neither would be my first choice for a mid-sized magnum. The 375 will do anything the 338 or 340 will do only better and saying "375 H&H" is way cool.


http://www.fototime.com/4B23862FAB641C8/standard.jpg

pubthumper
June 23, 2012, 11:57 PM
I have to admit, the .375 was an option. However, after long consideration and reading these posts, I think the .338 Win Mag will be my choice. Its performance all-around is well known and well documented. It will be almost a crime to go on a hunt without my '06, but she will understand. All this said, I also should admit that I've been poking around about the .338-06, and am very, very interested. Its got me wondering what a 225 grain Nosler Partition might accomplish in that chambering.........or maybe the Accubond.

pubthumper
June 24, 2012, 12:01 AM
And Saxonpig, that's a nice rifle. Big drool factor.

GlockNation
June 24, 2012, 01:45 AM
<And if you have worries about finding 340 weatherby mag in stores wait till you try to find a 9.3x62 in most any local gunshop.>

That's why the call him hardluk....


BTW Pubthumper did say he rolls his own

The 9.3x62 is based on what is essentially a .30-06 case with the shoulder moved forward to increase powder capacity and necked-up to accept the largest diameter bullet (.366") suitable for the case. The result is one of the world's most useful heavy game cartridges and it is just about the lowest recoil cartridge suitable for hunting all CXP3 and CXP4 game.

243winxb
June 24, 2012, 01:55 AM
"375 H&H" light as you can go in Africa.

Kachok
June 24, 2012, 02:17 AM
9.3 x 62 Best medium bore ever.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/cz550_american_kevlar.htm
While I will not disagree with that I would also say that the 375 H&H, 338win mag, 9.3x64, and 375 Ruger are also at the top of that list. I personaly like the 9.3x64 but since I live in the states I will probably get the 375 Ruger for my medium bore, brass is not crazy expensive and the local bass pro carries a variety of 375cal bullets up to 300gr.

GlockNation
June 24, 2012, 02:36 AM
A word about the subjective recoil of these 9.3x62mm rifles: This powerful, hard hitting cartridge is the mildest of the dangerous game cartridges in terms of recoil, yet it carries a Hornady HITS rating of 1863 at 100 yards. It kills as well as a .338 Win. Mag. (1744 HITS), but kicks noticeably less. We consider the 9.3x62 to be the best balanced of all the medium bore cartridges. No cartridge that develops over 3,500 ft. lbs of energy from the muzzle of a hunting rifle can be called a soft shooter, but the 9.3x62 is a bargain, in terms of recoil, for its killing power. Chuck Hawks.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/407/products_id/23223

Kachok
June 24, 2012, 02:47 AM
9.3x62 is VERY similar to the 35 Whelen in nearly every respect, they use similar powder charges, similar bullet weights, and achieve near identical trajectory/energy if you handload that is. But if I had to choose one or the other I would go with the 9.3x62, not because of any real world advantage I just like metric cartrages :D

Lloyd Smale
June 24, 2012, 08:16 AM
ive used and like all the 300 mags the 8mag, 338 and the 375 but in my opinion based on animals ive shot NOTHING put the smack on animals under a 1000lbs like the 340 wby does. Ive never been to africa and cant say how it works on those animals but have seen it work on animals as big as 2000 lb buffalo. Would i take it on a cape buffalo hunt. I doubt it. But for about anything smaller id use it in a second and truth be told it would probably knock the snot out of any cape bufflalo a guy put a good shot on.

pubthumper
June 24, 2012, 09:47 AM
Well thanks guys. This really narrows it down.........:banghead:

Gtscotty
June 24, 2012, 10:29 AM
9.3x62 is VERY similar to the 35 Whelen in nearly every respect, they use similar powder charges, similar bullet weights, and achieve near identical trajectory/energy if you handload that is. But if I had to choose one or the other I would go with the 9.3x62, not because of any real world advantage I just like metric cartrages

As similar as the two rounds are, I never could get my 35 Whelen to safely produce the velocities that I read about online. I also could not get the 35 Whelen to throw 250 gr bullets any faster than my 9.3 will throw 286's

The slight differences in the two cases gives the 9.3 just under a 9% increase in powder capacity over the whelen.

(35 Whelen: 71 gr, and 9.3x62 : 77 gr.)

I think this powder increase along with the 9.3's higher expansion ratio give the round a solid advantage over it's American cousin.

Of the OP's two original choices, I would definitely go with the .338 Win Mag.
Unless you're looking at trying very long range shots on game, I don't think you will necessarily be getting any increase in capability by going with the 340 over the more common and less violently kicking 338.

FSJeeper
June 24, 2012, 11:42 AM
I went through the .340/.338 debate with myself preparing for a Plains Game hunt in South Africa. I thought I needed the extra Whallop over my 30-06. I ended up having Match Grade Arms build me a M70 in .340. While I was able to wring out better performance out of the .340 over the .338, it turned out not to be that significant when dialing the loads in for accuracy. Brass life was very short, much more difficult to obtain, and much more expensive. If I had it to do over again, I would have opted for the .338 and been a happy camper.

All of the above said, my gun bearer dropped the .340 early in the 3 week hunt and bent the scope. I ended up using my M70 30-06 back up rifle for the rest of the hunt and for most of the animals shot. Used IMR 4064 and Nosler Partition 200 grain bullets in the hand loads. It performed flawlessly and all animals shot were DRT. That 30-06 is now my sole hunting rifle and I have zero need for any other hunting cartridge or rifle. (Except South Texas hogs in heavy brush of which I use the .45LC in a lever gun.)

I traded my custom .340 for a hunting truck and have never missed it.

pubthumper
June 24, 2012, 01:02 PM
Yeah Jeeper, I am beginning to think that I should just rely on my '06. Although, that Ruger African in 9.3x62 is looking mighty nice...

Gtscotty
June 24, 2012, 01:37 PM
Yeah Jeeper, I am beginning to think that I should just rely on my '06. Although, that Ruger African in 9.3x62 is looking mighty nice...

There's certainly nothing wrong with the old '06, but if you want to step out and try a cartridge that's a little different, I don't think you'd regret a Hawkeye African in 9.3x62. That's the exact model I have and I really like it, in fact, I just topped it with this:

http://swfa.com/Nikon-1-4x20-Monarch-African-Riflescope-P42349.aspx

Now I'm ready to go on Safari... most likely for hogs and deer, but hey, a guy can dream.

If you check out realguns.com there is a good review of the Hawkeye African in 9.3, and some excellent load data.

Rampant_Colt
June 24, 2012, 02:49 PM
My friend's dad uses a .340 Weatherby for elk hunting in bear country for added insurance. If you're gonna be reloading, I would suggest .338 Rum, .325 Winchester or .338 Federal because there's no belt to deal with

Offfhand
June 24, 2012, 03:08 PM
Back when Outdoor Life magazine was worth reading, the then Editor Jim Carmichael wrote several articles about hunting with the .338 Win Mag. Which he used with great success hunting Cape Buffalo, lions and other game in Africa, plus Kodiac bear and moose in Alaska and everything else in between, always using ammo hand loaded with 250 grain Nosler Partition bullets. I've followed his advice and have had similar success on a number of elk, moose and bears with 250 grain Noslers in my .338 Mag. It's hard to argue with this kind of success.

longrange308
June 24, 2012, 03:45 PM
I was just about to suggest the 325 WSM, my cousin used the 325 WSM on his last Elk hunt. He shot a nice Bull it took three steps and down it went. I thought about buying one myself, but living in North Carolina there's no need of one.

Float Pilot
June 24, 2012, 06:39 PM
A couple years ago I did a poll of Alaskan hunters and after near 2500 responses the 338 Win Mag came up almost tied with the 30-06 for popularity.

The 30-06 and 338 Win Mag are like shovels, everyone up here has a couple laying around the house someplace and they get used...

As an experimental hand-loader the 340 Weather-beater, 338 Rem Ultra expensive and 338 Lapua are neat to play with.... The Lapua being the most accurate of the crowd. But they are long, beat the crap out of your ears and shoulder, and the extra range is far past any ethical hunting distance.

Odd that nobody mentioned the 358 Norma Mag. It is what 338 Win Mags become when they grow up....

Here is a nice load from a stock M-700 Rem chambered in 338 Win Mag.

MachIVshooter
June 24, 2012, 08:34 PM
If you're gonna be reloading, I would suggest .338 Rum, .325 Winchester or .338 Federal because there's no belt to deal with

+1 for the .338 RUM over the .340 Weatherby. I've never known anyone who could safely match Weatherby factory velocities with available powders, and the .338 RUM outclasses even the factory .340 loads with cheaper and more available brass.

Kachok
June 24, 2012, 09:54 PM
The 338 is more ballanced then the 340 Wby, and if you want radical performance the 338 RUM or 338 Lapua both top it without the stupid belt. So I would vote the 340 out despite the fact that it is a very capable cartrage. 338 Fed and 338-06 are both very useful medium range cartrages but in terms of performance they both fall well short of the ol 338 win mag which is more common and has more choices in factory ammo.

pubthumper
June 24, 2012, 10:20 PM
Its settled. .338 Win Mag it is. Thanks for the advice and info, much obliged.

hardluk1
June 25, 2012, 10:33 AM
Finally, common sence prevails with a caliber you can find in most every gun shop.

Next question will be

What rifle should it be in!!! ha

1948CJ2A
June 26, 2012, 10:49 AM
pubthumper - I know you said it's settled but thought I'd throw the 8 Mag into the ring. It's .323 Cal and almost identical in case capacity to the 340 Wby (main difference being the Venturi shoulder). You're limited to used rifles or an expensive custom shop job (either through Rem or your own smith) but I absolutely love this cartridge and it would fit in with your criteria.

pubthumper
June 26, 2012, 08:02 PM
Hardluk, no question there. Kimber Montana.

Lloyd Smale
June 27, 2012, 07:56 AM
ive got a 338 but dont have a 340 but will still vote 340. Ive watched enough game killed with the 340 to know that about nothing puts a thump on an animal like it will.

longrange308
June 27, 2012, 09:42 AM
"It should be noted that the caliber chosen will be used to hunt elk, moose, and possibly brown bears."

340

tulsamal
June 30, 2012, 07:29 PM
Just move up to .416 Rigby and quit fooling around!

Gregg

WTBguns10kOK
June 30, 2012, 07:51 PM
Just move up to .416 Rigby and quit fooling around!


Couldn't have said it better myself. Don't be a wuss if you think you wanna "step up".

DM~
June 30, 2012, 08:14 PM
I have owned or still own (and hunted with) pretty much everything mentioned here and more... .338-06, 338 Win. Mag., 340 WBY., 9.3, even the 375 H&H.

You picked the .338 Win. Mag., and i think you made the right choise for what you want to do.

250NP's really slam the bigger animals like big bears and moose! That is the best "all around" bullet i ever used in my Win. Mag...

DM

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