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.340 Weatherby or .338 Win Mag?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by pubthumper, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. pubthumper

    pubthumper Active Member

    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.
  2. Loosenock

    Loosenock Well-Known Member

    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.

  3. pubthumper

    pubthumper Active Member

    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.
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member

  6. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    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.
  7. crazyponie

    crazyponie Active Member

    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.
  8. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

    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.

  9. pubthumper

    pubthumper Active Member

    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.
  10. pubthumper

    pubthumper Active Member

    And Saxonpig, that's a nice rifle. Big drool factor.
  11. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member


    <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.
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    "375 H&H" light as you can go in Africa.
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member

    9.3 x 62

    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.

  15. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    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
  16. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. pubthumper

    pubthumper Active Member

    Well thanks guys. This really narrows it down.........:banghead:
  18. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. FSJeeper

    FSJeeper Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. pubthumper

    pubthumper Active Member

    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...

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