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358 Win as Elk/Brownie Hunting Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ExAgoradzo, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Well-Known Member

    As, some of you know, I am hunting for my 'med bore' rifle. Unless I get some freakishly awesome deal, this will be the last/only one I get.

    I don't want a 'magnum' (unless that's all I find). I like the idea that I could do more with less--but is this 'too little'.
    I like that the 358Win is a reasonably find-able caliber in terms of ammo.
    I don't anticipate taking more than a 300 yard shot with this rifle (realistically it's more like 200).

    I really like the BLR so it will have the 20" tube (same as Ruger as well, IDK what other rifles it was chambered in).

    I am concerned that 'it just isn't enough' for the Elk/great bear (though in reality it will mostly be a medium game rifle/have fun with a big-bang-at-the-range-with-a-cool-lever-action-rifle).

    Thanks again,
  2. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    The 358 Win is experiencing a bit of a resurgence in popularity up here in Alaska with the anti-magnum crowd.

    It works for for moose, deer, caribou, sheep and mountain goats and with the proper bullet and good shot placement it works fine for big browns.

    I have seen poorly constructed 375 H&H bullets blow apart when hitting a brown bears shoulder blade. I have also seen a big griz anchored in place with a 6.5x55mm Swede using a 160 grain Hornady round nose right behind the shoulders edge.
    So it is bullet placement and bullet construction that matter.

    46 grains of Benchmark powder, a Federal match primer, Winchester brass and a 225 grain Nosler Partition bullet will give you 2400 fps from a 22 inch barrel or 2350 fps from a 20 inch barrel.

    A Nosler Accubond will go a little faster with the same powder load and give you more range. They work fine on elk and moose.
    They are going almost 2,000 fps at 250 yards when launched at 2450 fps.

    Personally I am really starting to like the Swift A-frame bullets and Swift Sirocco bullets.

    For the anti-lead states you could use 200 and 225 grain Barnes TSX bullets.
  3. DM~

    DM~ Well-Known Member

    Great round, but NOT one I'd choose for brown bears...

  4. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    I'll readily agree that bullet placement and construction are important. I won't go so far as to say they are the only important factors. When dealing with a big grizzly I'd rather have a well placed and constructed bullet from a 375 than an equally well placed and constructed bullet from a 6.5x55.

    Back on topic, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot the biggest elk that ever walked with a 358. I consider grizzlies to be dangerous game and would prefer something in the 375 H&H class up when dealing with them, but a 358 would be high on the list of non-magnums.
  5. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    Yes they do tend to become irritated when wounded. But there is a difference between a defense cartridge and a hunting cartridge.
    When hunting I can whistle one through a bear's vitals at 100 yards when he has no clue I am there. The biggest brown bear I ever killed was with a 7x57mm Mauser.

    But when I am hiking back to my float-plane with a pack loaded with moose meat..... Well then I want something very large in diameter and fast shooting.
    It seems that all the trails back to the plane are surrounded by head high grass and berry bushes.
    ( Why I carry a M1100 riot gun loaded with 8 Brenneke 12 gauge slugs while meat packing.)

    If the original poster wants a 358 Win as a general all around shoot anything non-magnum cartridge, he can general count on that round to cover 95% of all situations.

    Granted that a 35 Whelen would be better if he was intentionally wandering about big bear country. And a 416 Taylor would be even better.

    But I guess he would have to reasonably figure out just how often he would be actually needing an anti brown bear rifle compared to all the rest of his back-woods activities.

    With all the worry about Brown Bears, it is a total wonder that my brothers and I managed to walk around in the Alaskan woods almost every summer day from the age of 6 to 16 with nothing more than an Ithaca single shot 22 and a fishing pole.
  6. Unlicensed Dremel

    Unlicensed Dremel Well-Known Member

    Excellent choice, IMO. Just keep your shots to around 150 yards or so, unless you really get to know your rifle; then a bit longer. 150 yards is still a very long ways - longer than you can even see in most woodsy areas.
  7. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Well-Known Member

    The issue is not that I'm 'scared' of the brownie (though if face to face...). The issue is, is it enough: it sounds like, most of you believe it is within 150 yards or so.
    A Whelen is on my 'list' if I found one.

    What I like about the 358 is that there's more ammo available: the .338-06, Whelen, or 9.3x62 are all contenders in my mind, but I want to make this list as 'broad' as possible in the hopes of finding one and being read to buy because I've researched it.

    Thanks guys, I love reading your comments.
  8. DM~

    DM~ Well-Known Member

    Shoot any brown bear in the lungs with a .243 Winchester, loaded with 100NP's and you will have a dead bear.... Will he die quick enough? That is the question!

    The same could be said for all the rest of these some what "inadequate" brown bear cartridges talked about here...

    I never lung shoot brown bears, I prefer them to go down faster than that....

  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    I consider the .358 Win an ideal round for your intended purposes. Just go with a good bullet.

    In my .35 Brown-Whelen, I like the 225 grain Nosler Partition Jacket. It never fails.
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    The .358 Win with the right bullet like everything else, will kill any game you care to hunt. However, it may not be readily available in small places.
    Yogi doesn't wear body armour, but you still have to place the shot. Nothing will stop anything in its tracks.
  11. Limey46

    Limey46 Well-Known Member

    A .358 bullet I've found to be very effective is Speer's 220-grain flat-point. I've never killed a big bear with it, but it's worked just fine on everything else. I too like the idea of a BLR and sometimes I wish I still had one, but in recent years I've formed an affection for my Remington 673 in 350 Rem Mag. Yeah, it's a magnum, but it's a nice short one that fits in a Model Seven action, so the 673 is very compact and handy. It'll get the Speer bullet going around 2600 fps, a tad faster than the .358 Win but not significantly so. Another thing I like about the 673 is that it's pretty eccentric. I'm always the only guy that has one.
  12. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Well-Known Member

    That 673 is a handsome gun.
    What shocked me is that I e never heard of a 6.5Rem Mag.... That's just surprising is all...
    The 350 Rem Mag I have t really considered because it is too close to the Whelen: but again, I suppose if backed into a corner I'd take it ;).

  13. WYO

    WYO Well-Known Member

    The .358 in a BLR really is not a 300 yard rifle. The magazine box is short and it cannot take advantage of the newer technology like Barnes Triple Shocks (TSX) because you have to seat them too deep. The .35 Whelen can accommodate them, and it is a 300 yard rifle using a 200 yard zero. You can pick up at least 200 fps out of it. I could make a load to make the BLR work if I had to, but I would take my Whelen if I were intentionally going after a big bear in Alaska. (Not that I have any actual experience with Alaskan big bears.)
  14. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    I agree that as long as you are hunting the bear you can get by nicely with something in the 30-06 class. The problem is that you don't always get to pick whether you need a hunting cartridge or a defense cartridge - sometimes the bear decides that. So my philosophy is that if you're going out into the woods to deliberately provoke big bears it's a good idea to carry a rifle suitable for the defensive role.

    For general all around use, a 358 / 35 Whelen would be a fine choice.
  15. Silent Sam

    Silent Sam Well-Known Member

    I have used a BLR in 358Win on moose and elk and it is very effective out to 250 yds. The 225gr Nosler Partition is my bullet of choice for large game. 2450 fps out of my BLR and a 200yd zero. I would hunt brown bear with it if someone wants to pay for my hunt ;-).
    A few observations:
    The Speer flat point is a good bullet but its low BC will limit your range. I would go with Partitions for sure if after bear.
    Monolithic bullets are not a plus at 358Win velocities.
    A short action BLR is a completely different animal than a long action BLR.
  16. eldon519

    eldon519 Well-Known Member

    As a somewhat informal indicator of a cartridge's health (in the market sense), I often check Midway to see how many loads and how many companies are supporting a cartridge. It isn't an end-all definitive test, but it gives you an idea.

    The .358 Winchester shows 6 loadings total from 3 different manufacturers (Buff Bore, Double Tap, Horn).

    The .35 Whelen shows 15 loadings total from 7 different manufacturers (Buff Bore, DT, Horn, Fed, Rem, Nosler, Barnes).

    Neither is exactly mainstream (for comparison, .338WM has 31 and .375 H&H has 43), but to me, I'd say the .35 Whelen seems to have more momentum at the moment. It's been going through a resurgence for 5-10 years now. At a glance, it and the 9.3 (16) appear to have the strongest ammunition support of the non-magnum medium bores.
  17. Biggs300

    Biggs300 Member

    I have a 358 Win in a Ruger M77 that I have used for deer and elk. It is probably my favorite rifle of all that I own and is an excellent backpack rifle. Although I have taken deer with it I've not taken elk I see no reason why it will not work well on elk under 250 yards. Like Silent Sam, my bullet of choice for the 358 Win is the 225 grain Nosler Partition. I don't hunt brownies but, if I did, I'd probably pick my 9.3X62 over the 358 Win. It extends the useable distance a bit and, it is a larger, hard-hitting round.
  18. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Well-Known Member

    1. As a def round, I'm thinking the BLR would be great (flow up shots mainly).
    2. I know it's isn't a .375 or .45-70, but in short distance sounds like it would be there (a guide would have his .338 WM or .375 no?
    3. I put 300 yards as a max: reality for me with my 270 is 250 yards: I'm not Annie Oakley's grandson.
    4. Thanks for the tip on the solids, I may need to check I to that: I do live in CA after all...

    So, Question:
    What bullet would you all use for 'regular' hunting (deer/pig)?

    Again, thanks,
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    In .35 Brown-Whelen, I use Sierra Game Kings for everyday hunting. I save the Nosler Partition Jackets for elk and larger game.
  20. Silent Sam

    Silent Sam Well-Known Member

    225 SGKs also. Same load as NPs. Shoots to the same point of aim.

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