December 9, 2012, 01:16 PM
do any of you own a 338-06? whats the advantage of this chambering? it seems like an interesting concept to me. an 06 isnt known as a long range round by some standards so how does the 338-06 compare to the 06 at longer ranges say 600-800yds. thanks for the info.

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Coal Dragger
December 9, 2012, 01:57 PM
It isn't a long range round at all. .338-06 was created by someone that was actually practical, instead of being obsessed with tact-cool nonsense. .338-06 was designed to flatten game animals decisively within the very reasonable 300 yard range that 95% or more of all shots are taken. It can launch a bigger heavier bullet at a respectable speed compared to the .30-06 making it suitable for animals like elk or moose.

Jim Watson
December 9, 2012, 02:03 PM
In the first place, the .30-06 does pretty well at long range and even Long Range by MY standards. I only shoot a .308 because F-T/R does not allow the '06.

But the .338-06 is not meant for long range.
It is an outgrowth of the .333 OKH that Elmer and his friends liked to hunt elk with.
In those days a plain softpoint was the only dependable expanding bullet and the only way to improve penetration on big critters was to use a bigger bullet.

December 9, 2012, 02:18 PM
Advantage : More frontal area, heavier bullets available( 250-300 )
Dis-Advantage : Parent case simply isn't large enough to get the most from the larger bullet.
To do an approximate apples to apples. Both calibers offer the 180 Nosler accubond. BUT. The BC for the .338 is .372, where the .30 is .507. IF both leave at the same velocity, the .30 is going to have considerably less drop, wind drift, and more retained energy between 600-800 yards.
There are bullets available in .30 up to 225 grains. But frankly speaking, for the ranges you want to shoot I would either stick with a straight 30-06, or opt for a .338 with a larger case.

December 9, 2012, 02:39 PM
.338-06 is a 30-06 necked up to .338 so you can use heavier bullets.

I have the reverse - a .30-338 that is a .338 necked down to .30 caliber or a 7mm necked up to .30 caliber (your choice in making brass). I use bullets in the 190-220 grain weights with it and can get a 190 grain bullet out of it at 3000 fps. Terrific elk and mule deer gun with 220 grain bullets out to 400+ yards.

December 9, 2012, 02:52 PM
338-06 is a bit more potent then it's 30-06 parent, hits hard and it's only weakness is that it does not have enough case to effectively use the heaviest of the 338 bullets. That said you can kill anything in North America with a well placed 225gr Partition at 2550fps. The 338-06 is like the 338 Fed with an extra 150fps.

December 9, 2012, 02:54 PM
thanks guys, i was just curious on the round. if it would be worth it to have one built. from what ive gathered ill just stick with my 300wsm and maybe some day buy a 338 of some sort.

December 9, 2012, 02:55 PM
I like the 338 caliber. But mine is a 338 Win Mag, and it will reach out to the 500 yard line on elk. Ethics of this shooter is the real range limiter.

+ on the 30-338, Winchester missed boat by not making it the 308 Win Mag when they brought out the 338 Win Mag,

December 9, 2012, 03:36 PM
.338 is well served by several fairly popular cartridges. .35 Whelen on the other hand is a great American classic and excellent medium bore that will leave retinae and shoulders completely attached ;)

December 9, 2012, 05:07 PM
At the usual ranges, a 200 grainer from the .338/06 will travel faster than a 200 grainer from a .30/06. The wildcat carries more smack at normal ranges. The parent cartridge is better at longer ranges.

December 9, 2012, 06:15 PM
I've got both 338-06 and 30-06. The practical differences are very small in both energy numbers and trajectory. Since the 338/06 is pretty much handload only it should be compared to the best 30-06 handloads to get a fair comparison. With the best loads the 338-06 is about 50 fps faster with equal bullet weights.

Another way to look at it is to say the 338 shoots 200 gr bullets to about the same speed as 180's from a 30-06. But the .30 bullets have better sectional density and will out penetrate 338 bullets of the same weight even though they are slightly faster. The .03" difference in bullet diameter is insignificant.

If you compare a 200 gr Accubond @ 2800 fps from a 338-06 to a 180 gr 30-06 Accubond @ 2800 fps the energy and trajectory numbers are very close. Either are capable 400 yard elk guns. At 400 yards the 338 still has 1750 ft lbs of energy with 31" of drop compared to the 30-06's 1800 ft lbs of energy and 29" of drop. This is with a 100 yard zero. With a 200-250 yard zero making hits and at this range is not a problem, nor is retained energy.

I like the 338-06 and wish it were more popular. It is big enough for anything in NA, without being overkill for whitetails. It still shoots flat enough for 400+ yard shots and recoil is manageable. But with bullets heavier than 200 gr recoil is going to equal or exceed common 300 win mag levels. The "cool factor" is high with this round, but from a practical point it rates low. It is still way below the 338 win mag in performance, and in reality won't do anything a properly loaded 30-06 won't do.

December 9, 2012, 06:24 PM
thanks again guys, very informative thread. jmr40 with numbers that close it sounds like the 338-06 is impractical for what i wanted for. which really in itself is impractical, long range shooting. which i disovered today im very rusty in my shooting form. very disapointed in my performance.

December 9, 2012, 08:02 PM
I had my first .338-06 in the 70's and have had one ever since. For me, the BIG advantage was/is the heavier bullets when used for the biggest big game.

I've taken brown bear, moose, caribou, sitka blk. tails and many other animals with mine, i like it very much.

As far as i'm concerned they are for BIG game with heavy bullets, and not needed for anything else.


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