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.338 winchester magnum

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sprice, Jun 14, 2010.

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  1. sprice

    sprice Member

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    Please tell me about this cartridge, show me some pics, and share some experiences and oppinions of it please. I'm thinking I want one for a long range/big game hunting rifle.

    Big game- Moose, elk, mule deer. Long range ~1300 (for paper).
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  2. XxWINxX94

    XxWINxX94 Member

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    Well it's pretty big. Packs a darn hard punch compared to most things I've shot. Probably best used for bigger game, or maybe longrange stuff. Pretty pricey if you plan on using store-bought ammunition.
     
  3. cottonmouth

    cottonmouth Member

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    I had a Browning A-Bolt Medalion in .338 and liked it. It is a big boy gun for sure, if you don't recoil beware! I killed a few deer with it and like my good friend said, "just pick out the part of the deer you don't want to eat and shoot it there". But if you want a long range thumper the .338 is a good'un even more if you can handload for it.

    J.B.
     
  4. Blue Line

    Blue Line Member

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    I have a Ruger all weather and it kicks less than my old 700 in 30-06. I really like it. I think the 300 win mag may be more all around but still like my 338.
     
  5. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I love my weatherby Vanguard in 338 WM....very accurate but the recoil is sharp and you do not want to shoot more than a box of round at one time.

    With match grade barrels (longer than 24") is a serious long range cartridge.

    Look at this deer shot at 890 yards with a custom 28" barrel 338 WM rifle based on a Rem 700 action...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwIJOkFb4lg

    The 338 WM is the less expensive "big boy" rifle you can buy out there, priced basically the same as any 30-06 or 300 magnum (~$400)....anything bigger than that you have to be prepared to shell out much more green....
     
  6. conhntr

    conhntr Member

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    Why are the factory loads trending lighter ~225gr. Id rather shoot 200gr out of a .308 bore if I was using the 338 if want 250-275gr
     
  7. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I've had one in bolt action and semi. The bolt was a M70. The semi was a Browning BAR, it was more forgiving than the bolt action if you shoot more than a few rounds.

    I shot 50 or so rounds one day with it. Somewhere around 40 or so, it started to bother me. No way I'd do that with a bolt gun.

    It does have good energy/velocity. But there is a trade off in cost and recoil.

    Unless you reload, it's a pricey round to shoot. On the flipside, they are somewhat plentiful on the used market.

    Some dealer tried to talk me back into one at the Funshow last weekend. Heck, there wasn't even any intrest in the 7mm Mag I carried there to sell.
     
  8. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    OP - Have you ever been kicked by a mule?

    Bolt action recoil is significant. The percussion from touching one off is significant too. If you do buy one, just realize that at some point (probably within the first couple boxes of cartridges) you will say to youself "I need to shoot this more for practice, but I really don't want to right now."
     
  9. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Writer Jim Carmichael killed big bears, cape buffalo and other big stuff with the .338 Win Mag, He must have liked it.
     
  10. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I am a somewhat of a recoil buff, but I don't care for it too much. While it is tolerable, it is sharp and uncomfortable. I very much prefer my .375H&H and even a .416Rigby to the .338WM.

    What exactly will you be using it to hunt, and what do you consider long range?

    :)
     
  11. BADSBSNF81

    BADSBSNF81 Member

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    I've had on in a Browning BAR for over 20 years. Recoil is more of a strong push than anything else. Mine has an affinity for 225g projos. If I do my part, it will ring gongs at 300m all day long.
     
  12. NWCP

    NWCP Member

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    While definitely not an all day at the range type rifle, with the Pachmayr Decelerator installed the recoil is there, but not punishing enough to put you off from shooting a box of shells for practice once in a while. The original BAR butt pad could make the gun just plain painful to shoot after a few rounds. Another plus for the BAR is the semi auto action. It does absorb energy when firing that a bolt action rifle cheerfully passes on to your shoulder. For a large, or dangerous game rifle the .338 Win Mag should have a place in every hunter's gun safe. It's as large a round as I can comfortably shoot.
     
  13. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I had a Winchester, free-floating barrel, glass-bedded receiver, Timney Trigger, brand new, glass-bedded it myself and floated the barrel.

    From what I recall, I was using Nosler 210g Partition Bullets over 4350 powder, a nice accurate load that would place dime-size groups at 100 yards all day.

    I saw this 25-pound woodchuck and blistered him from about 30 yards, hitting him lengthwise.

    The energy literally tore him open from mouth to privates (stem to stern). When I went to retrieve him off the sugar house firewood pile, I picked him up and he was literally 5' long. :eek::barf:

    There was no skinning needed of that animal, that's for SURE!:eek:

    That was one nice gun I sold because I needed the money.
    I never should have sold that gun - However, in my older age, I am learning!
     
  14. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I like the .338 Winchester Magnum a lot. It shoots a larger (in terms of caliber) bullet at about the same trajectory as the .300 Winchester Magnum and, having shot both, I can't discern much difference in "preceived" recoil between the two, everything else (weight of the rifle, configuration of the stock, etc.) being equal.
     
  15. kludge

    kludge Member

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    For a long-range big-game rifle, the 7mm Rem Mag (.270WSM, 7mmWSM, etc.) will do 90% of what the .338 Win Mag will do without all the pounding. And it will shoot flatter too.

    If you add teeth and claws, then the balance shifts toward the .338, but that's more of a close range proposition.
     
  16. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Again, we ask, "what is your definition of long range"?

    With a 200y zero, the 338 Win Mag. pushing a 210g SP, the 338 Ultra Mag. with the 250g SP and the 30-06 Hornady Superformance with its 180g SST all come unarguably close to each other regarding trajectory out to 400y. Obviously the 338's will deliver more energy than the 30-06 will, so it becomes a question of, do you need all that expensive whoop azz?

    The 340 Weatherby Mag. out preforms the above mentioned 338's. But all that oomph comes with a substantial increase in cost! To the tune of $80 a box of 20 rounds, give or take! Yikes!

    If you indeed decide you need a 338, then, the Winchester loading would be my choice for a balance of power and cost. Again, the trajectories of most of the 338's, both long and short magnums, excluding the Lapua round, are within mere inches of each other out to 500y.

    If you decide you don't need a train load of energy to anchor your quarry, then, one of the 30 caliber magnums would definitely do you well.
     
  17. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    So you want to hunt moose with a rifle capable of an accurate shot up to 1300yds (on paper)? That is an unrealistic goal, unless you want to lug a 15lb+ .300WM/.338WM/.338LM on a moose hunt. Next question should be something to the effect of "I need two rifles for two totally different purposes...what are some recommendations for each?".

    To answer the above, a .260Rem. could do 1300yds, but I believe that is stretching it thin. A 7mmRM or .300WM (longer bbl life at the expense of greater recoil) in a good target rifle (Desert Tac. SRS, Sako TRG, AIAW, GAP, et cetera are really good starts, but a decent Savage can get it done on a budget) will make a good LRPR. For hunting I would go with something much lighter (but fits me well), with a lighter contour barrel in a cartridge like .30-06 (with heavy bullets), .300WM, .338WM, or .375H&H. CRF (Winchester M-70 Safari?...Commercial Mauser?) would be my choice of action because a bull moose is a dangerous animal. Most importantly you need good glass for both (and I would want QR rings+BUIS on the hunting rifle).

    :)
     
  18. gunnie

    gunnie Member

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    ..."Most importantly you need good glass for both"...

    +1

    and very different magnification glass also.

    gunnie
     
  19. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    A little bit of confusion here....the 340 Wby Magnum and 338 Lapua are not that far in performance from a 338 WM (source Hodgdon Reload Data Center)....assuming same barrel length, the 338 LM is within 140-200 fps from the 338 WM (same bullet weight).

    The 338 RUM has higher ballistic performance and the 338-378 Wby much more so (up to 400 fps).

    The 338 Lapua is overrated and overexpensive for what it is...the 338-378 has cost aligned with its incredible performances.

    Probably what really makes the 338 Lapua great is the platform more than the cartridge per se.

    Then you have the exotic 338 like the Allen Magnum, Lazzeroni Titan, etc.. which are on another planet compared to the "regular" commercial 338 magnums.

    However I agree with the previous posters that hunting big animals and punching paper at over 1000 yards are two very different activities requiring different hardware....that said, we have to specify the level of accuracy and consistency at that distance required by the OP.....after all there are many people regularly punching paper iron sights at over 1K with Sharps replicas firing BP 45-70 loads....does the OP wants just to fire at that distance for fun or for serious competition??
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  20. dougw47

    dougw47 Member

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    338 win mag

    I had one built on a 98 Mauser action, shot mostly paper and a couple of deer.

    Laminated stock from Richards and a heavy bbl made the rifle more pleasant to shoot off the bench...with a good recoil pad.
     
  21. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    +1. My FIL has a M77 in .338WM and if it was available left-handed, I would also. Instead, I have the M77 in .300WM. I don't notice much difference in recoil and if you handload there is little difference in cost. Factory ammo is a different story; .338WM is much more expensive.

    IMHO, if you reload there is no question that the .338WM is the better all-around choice (but I wanted a left-handed rifle).
     
  22. Brazos_Jack

    Brazos_Jack Member

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    This and a .270 is all anyone needs

    A .338 for all NA game over 350lbs and a .270 for everything less. That is the perfect NA combo.

    It would also do for all African plains game except Giraffe. Some would stretch it to Giraffe and even Cape Buffalo if legal. But I'm a conservative "use enough gun" kind of guy.

    There is nothing you can stuff in a 7mm Mag case that will put it in the same class as the .338 on larger game like Brown Bear. Some might shoot large bears with a 7 mag. Bell shot elephants with a 7mm Mauser. I wouldn't try either.
     
  23. gunnie

    gunnie Member

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    ..."assuming same barrel length, the 338 LM is within 140-200 fps from the 338 WM (same bullet weight)."...

    unless you are talking 300gr bullets. in my mind, by far the best offering in 338L.

    below from:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_11_46/ai_65574867/

    ..."With due credit to Winchester, early factory ammunition was loaded very close to advertised velocities from the 25" original Model 70 Alaskan. Winchester's loadings consisted of a 200 gr. Power Point at 3,000 fps, a 250 gr. Silvertip at 2,700 fps, and a 300 gr. Power Point at 2,450 fps. What's more, the ammunition shot with impressive accuracy The average Model 70 Alaskan .338 turned out to be a real tack driver."....


    below from:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.338_Lapua_Magnum

    9.44 g (300.0 gr) Lapua Scenar GB528 VLD 837 m/s (2,750 ft/s) 6,810 J (5,020 ft·lbf)

    above from an accuracy international, a 26" bbl. the extra inch won't account for the increased MV numbers.

    gunnie
     
  24. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I got 2500-2550 fps out of my Vanguard 24" barrel with a 300 gr. Sierra Matchking (load within specs, no overpressure)

    Hodgdon best load data for the 300 gr. SMK out of a 338 Lapua (24" barrel) is 2654 fps (2452 advertised for the 338 WM out of a 24" pipe, same bullet)

    Vihtavuori data advertises 2479 fps with the 338 WM out of a 24" barrel and 2710 fps with the 338 LM out of a 27" pipe (both 300 gr. SMK bullets).

    The 338 RUM and 338-378 are superior ballistically.

    An extra inch of barrel length in that power class can be worth up to a good 25-30 fps of difference.
     
  25. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    My little bro has an M77 338wm and has taken more than a few cow elk and some mule deer with it, it puts a mean hurtin on animals. I don't think it kicks any worse than my all weather m77 300wm. He now uses a 338-378 and its a whole new level of destruction and the recoil with Out the brake is what I consider un-shootable, I tried it twice and won't ever do it again. With the brake its like a 270 IMHO. I think the 338 wm is an ideal elk gun except for one thing. The elk I hunt live in steep country and I like a light ish weight rifle to pack up hill. I Don't want anything to do with a light weight 338wm.
     
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