Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mykeal, Apr 16, 2009.
Duplicate post. Apologies.
This is the one with the info, might want to put it back. The other one is what screwed up, nobody can see it.
Outstanding. Deleted the wrong one. WTG, lummox.
Ok, here's the problem:
A friend brought his dad's rifle to the range last weekend, hoping to fire a few rounds. It's a custom made (in Alaska, about 40 years ago) bolt action rifle chambered in '.338 Win' according to the stamp on the top of the barrel in front of the receiver. Beautiful wood and metal. Large aperture (55 mm) Nikon scope mounted on top. He said that his father had 'taken many large game animals with the rifle in Alaska and the western lower 48.'
He had with him a full box of ammunition; it was an old box, generally dark yellow with a red 'Winchester' logo. The box was labeled: '.338 Win Mag'; I don't recall the bullet specifics.
We were unable to chamber any of the rounds from the box, and we had no other .338 Win ammunition to try. The problem was that the bolt failed to close completely: the cartridges fit into the chamber with no apparent problems, and the bolt would move forward ok but stopped just short of being able to drop the handle. This happened with every round in the box, and as I said, we had no other .338 Win to try.
I shoot black powder almost exclusively, and I know very little about high power smokeless ammunition. Up until now I've understood there to be only one .338 Win cartridge, sometimes called '.338 Win Mag' and sometimes just '.338 Win'. Is that correct? Is there another cartridge we should try in this gun, or do we have a problem that needs to go to a gunsmith?
You will be safer to take the rifle to a gunsmith and let him slug the chamber to see what it is. The 338win mag started in 1958 as a factory cartage. Could be your rifle predates that as a wildcat. Let a gunsmith check it and maybe if needed it could have some chamber work done for a modest price to fire factory ammo or atleast you will know whats up with it.
Are you loading into the magazine, then feeding it with the bolt, or are you loading one into the chamber and trying to close the bolt?
Former military Mausers will not allow the extractor to snap over the rim of the case, unless they have been modified.
Any chance your old box of shells is a bunch of reloads?
I would let a good smith have a look at it just to make sure its not a wild cat 338-06 or some other home made chamber. You are dealing with enough presure that if you force something in and it aint right you may only get the chance to do it once.
If someone reloaded the ammo for another rifle, it is a fairly common practice on belted mags to only partially size the brass. They would generally not chamber in another 338. I would see if new factory ammo chambers or see your gunsmith.
The gun has been taken to a gunsmith.
We were loading directly into the chamber. I don't recall for sure, but I believe the gun is a single shot.
It's certainly possible the ammunition was reloads. It was an old box, and the cartridges were also old. The owner does not reload, nor did his father, the original owner.
I don't know if the ammunition was stored with the gun. The owner is the partner of an old friend whose husband died a few years ago. He was a collector and left her a large collection of firearms and ammunition, many quite old pieces. The ammo might very well have come from that collection.
At any rate, thanks for the replies; hopefully we'll know soon, and I'll post the gunsmith's findings.
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