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  #1  
Old 04-05-2007, 05:52 PM
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Still the best? the 338 Win. Mag.


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When I think about the best cartridge that is a full step up in power over the 30-06, I think of the 338 Winchester magnum. While the 300 Win. Mag has longer range and certainly more power than the 30-06, the 338 has the decided advantage. It can shoot a bullet 70 grains heaver the venerable 06 at the same speed and that is worth getting excited about!

The 338 Win mag was designed for the American hunter as a larger Elk-class hunting tool with the same trajectory as the 30-06. It's ideal for elk, suitable for big bears, and usable on deer, caribou, goats and sheep, the 338 can do it all. It is a very versatile cartridge with great game bullets ranging from 175 to 250 grains and some hand loaders can use heavier bullets such as, Speer’s 275 and and 300 grainers from Woodliegh.

Today, there is a great assortment of factory, premium .338 Win. Mag. ammunition, but their less expensive ammunition is also quite good. The Winchester, Federal and Remington all make excellent lighter loads. The less expensive ammunition I used was accurate and had plenty killing power on their intended game while the premium loads are quality loads for the toughest Game on this continent.

The 375 has always been more an Africa caliber, yet I will agree, it can replace the 338, however that caliber has traditionally been found in heavy rifles and does kick more than a 338 will in a standard weight rifle. For practical use, the 338 will shoot a 250-grain bullet close to the same velocity and trajectory as the 30-06 will shoot a 180 pill, The 375 has been traditionally, a heaver, less flat shooting round with its standard heave weight slug, the 300 grain. The 270-grain has been a choice for a flatter shooting plains game round, which retains good sectional density. I have no doubt that it can be loaded today with a 250 Grain Sierra and shoot as flat as a 338.

Recoil is less with the 338 and although heavy, it was designed for lighter American hunting rifles weighing in the same class as the 30-06. All the popular magnums, from 257 to 338 have their place for the American hunter and I see no reason why anyone cannot include the 375 along with the rest. All these tools have their uses. The 375 H&H is a heavier caliber with more power and will prove itself well on this continent.

Nevertheless, the 338 Win. Mag. is a proven heavy game number and popular in America whenever a need for a rifle that offers an advantage over the venerable 30-06. I believe that with new powders and superior bullets, the 300 Win. Mag. moves up a notch, covers Elk size game well, and has a slight advantage in versatility; however, for the man who lives in Elk, Moose and Grizzly country, the 338 Win. Mag. reigns supreme!
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2007, 07:06 PM
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LOL Charshooter,

I like you, you crack me up.
Sure the .338 is a good cartridge. No arguement there. Given a choice between that and the .375 H&H I'll take the .375 H&H.
Why?
Like you, it has history. It's wouldn't still be here if it didn't get the job done. No muss, no fuss.

The greater recoiling thing about the .375H&H is mostly myth and mythunderstanding. In a properly stocked rifle, it's a non- issue. Recoil is slightly heavier in a similar weight rifle with similar weight bullets. The difference is recoil impulse, the speed with which you get smacked. I and others have found that to make more of a difference and the .375H&H has a slower recoil impulse in a comparable rifle. The .375 H&H can be loaded with bullets from 200 grains to 350 grains and with the classic 300 grain load, it generates an easily shootable 5000 foot pounds of muzzle energy and 2000 foot pounds at 500 yards and that is not a barrel strainer of a load but only at about 2550 fps. That makes one howler of a varmint round! Thats why I like Sierra's 300 grain .375 Game King bullet.

As for primarily an African cartridge, What about all those guys using it for bears and other large game here in the states, including Alaska and what about the guys in Canada? I think it's more world wide than you give it credit.

I think the .338 is a good cartridge. Is it the best? Maybe the best of the .338s but overall? I don't think anyone can really say any such thing.

But then, it's good to agree to disagree.
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Last edited by MMichaelAK; 04-05-2007 at 07:12 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2007, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
But then, it's good to agree to disagree.
I agree with you! It still is a good writing, and heck, I'm not trying to sell ya a 338!

I have always liked the 338 and it was popular when I was using it. I think the 375 has become more popular among US users in the last 20 years mainly because today there is not a problem finding a magnum length receiver. I agree that the recoil is not all that different if you are using the same weight bullets.

I have always liked the full length magnum 338, but not the Weatherby. Both are just as hard kicking as the 375.

I am getting up in age and now I get it all done with my 300 Win, if I lived up there in Alaska, I would consider either 338 or 375 in the best fitting and shooting rifle I could find, both are superb!
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2007, 10:57 PM
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I think the 338 is kind of a comprimise cartridge. There really isn't anything the 338 can do that the 300 win can't do just as well. The 220 gr partiton in the 300 win is pretty comparable to the 250gr bullet in the 338 win. The 375 is a lot more gun than the 338 with any bullet weight.

I do like the 338 RUM though. Up to 400fps more than the win mag really starts to make things exciting.

I do pretty much everything with my 300 win and 200gr partitions or 180 TSX, if I want more power I go to my lightweight 375 H&H.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2007, 11:34 PM
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.338 Win. Mag.

The .338 will do. One of it's big selling points is price. Rifles in most middle bore like the Weatherby aren't cheap. When I bought my Tikka in .338, I was looking for a bolt rifle with detachable magazine in .340 Weatherby Magnum. After checking prices on ammo, guns, and general quality, I went with the .338 . No regrets.
The .375 H&H is good, but Elephants are scarce here and deer are small.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2007, 12:31 AM
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Nothing wrong with a .338. I'd rather have a .375. Same felt recoil IMO, more power.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2007, 01:45 AM
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There really isn't anything the 338 can do that the 300 win can't do just as well.
I would find it hard to argue with you on that point; it seems to me that given today’s premium bullets, the 30 caliber has moved up into a medium bore effectiveness, particularly the magnums.

I have gotten away from the magnums these days and feel capable with using the 300 loaded with tough 180-200 grain pills on just about any large game, the exception being the big bears; however, I know men who feel the 300 is plenty on even these bruins,

I think, back in the 1960s the 338 had more advantage, but today the 200 grain Swift A-Frame, and other super slugs have made the big 300 competitive.

I will still give the 338 an edge and the 375 and edge over the 338, I guess it is all matter of how much edge a fella thinks he needs!

I still like that 35 Whelen of mine for close encounters where heavy a bullet retains its energy and works like the bigger boys!
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2007, 01:52 AM
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That was a good argument, but lots of folks have a favorite. I spent five years in Alaska and did my share of hunting there and I grew up in Idaho hunting elk in some of the best elk country in the state.

Lots of folks here like the 300's for elk. Lots of folks in Alaska like the 338 for moose and bear. My personal favorite is Remingtons 8mm mag. It chucks a well designed 220 grain spitzer boat tail as fast as most of the 300 mags and a fine 250 if you want a dedicated bear gun.

Is it better than a 300 mag or a 338 or a 375, no, but it fills my purpose well. All the cartridges mentioned are great cartridges and all are some one's favorites as well they should be. Thank goodness for them all and the new ultra mags also, gosh I love them all.

As I get older and look to somewhat easier to shoot cartridges my 8 mag sits more in the safe and the 280 Remington mountain rifle and the little 308 model seven carbine more often find themselves in the field with me. I find that the Ruger #1 in 243 going to the field more often than not.

As my eyes get less effective scopes become mandatory and shooting longer distances become a thing of the past. Those once simple 400 yards shots with that 8mm mag have now shrunk to 250 yard and under shots.

Just keep in mind that some day no matter how much you like that big boomer, and I love mine, you may just end up like some of us old guys and start thinking how nice it is to shoot that mild little 243 instead.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2007, 05:28 AM
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Let's see...

Between 30-06, 338 Win, and a 375 H&H.

Take bullets of the same S.D. for each caliber.

i.e. 165gn 30-06, 200gn 338, 250gn 375,
180gn 30-06, 225gn 338, 270gn 375,
200gn 30-06, 250gn 338, 300gn 375,

All the above comparisons are within a few points of S.D. (advantage of the 250 338 being slightly more) All the above cartridges are within about 100 fps of each other with a bullet weight of same S.D.
Hence, have approxamately the same trajectory. I know that there are small variations but it's a pretty close comparison.

Need a bigger hammer than an 06 with a very similar trajectory? get a 338. Need a bigger hammer yet? again with a very similar trajectory get a 375.

You can use the same logic to go larger and smaller cartridges and create a "battery" of guns. And as always, you stop with the biggest hammer you can swing well.

Todd
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2007, 12:38 PM
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Todd, that is exactly where I landed and why I like the Sierra 300 grain BTSP bullet for my .375 H&H.
Between that and my favorite 30-06 load with 180 grain bullets, POA and POI are close enough that I don't worry much at all. Very complimentary rounds.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2007, 09:08 PM
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I would say the .338-06 or 35 Whelen would be the best step up from a .30-06. If for some reason you can't get within 300yds. or so of your quarry, why wouldn't you just skip the .338WinMag and just step up to the big boys; the .338 Lapua or .338Ultra Mag? ...easy 200fps advantage over the .338WinMag.

Jim
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2007, 09:38 PM
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That's interesting Dakota, my thoughts exactly. I've been shooting the Rem 8mm mag since 1968 for elk and if I were to do a new elk gun today it would probably be the 338 Ultra mag. Flat shooting, plenty of energy and just a great caliber. With the kind of velocity it generates you'd want some well constructed bullets.
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Old 04-07-2007, 09:53 PM
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Charshooter, much of what you stated is fact but I would take the .375H&H or my other in the .375 Wby over the .338 Win mag. Now don't get me wrong, I loves the .338 Win mag I truely do, that is why I own 3 of the rascals and a .338/06 in a featherweight.

In places like Alaska and big bad game like bears, the .375 makes more sense in the way of a larger bullet and bigger wound channel made. The 300 grain bullet is a plus in stopping a bear charge if it should happen etc. Lets just say I would feel more at ease with one in my hands verses my .338 Win mag in such a situation.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:50 PM
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look at what Nosler lists their 35 whelen 225 grain partition load at:
http://www.nosler.com/index.php?p=11&b=3&s=109

They list the 300 Win. mag. pushing a 200 grain at 2800, I can push mine 2850 without signs of pressure excess
The 8 mag lists at 3050 witha 200 grain.
I did not look up the 338, but my guess is around 2800 with a 225
These are all close for heavy game, I think the 35 Whelen is just a great number, ya'll know I like it but this is about the 338 and it is a good one, no doubt the 375 is too.
BTW: Bob, was your orginal 8mm full magnum a wildcat? I thought Remington came out with that round about 79?
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Last edited by Charshooter; 04-10-2007 at 01:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2007, 08:29 PM
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Remington brought out their version of the 8MM Mag in 1977.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by riley
Remington brought out their version of the 8MM Mag in 1977.
Your absolutely right riley, I bought mine in 78 in Anchorage AK. I got them danged keys mixed up. I spent five years up there in the service.
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:53 PM
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Gosh, I was stationed in Hawaii at the same time and the "meanist" thing I had to hunt was Wild Boar (some exciting times though). I envy you your time and experiences in Alaska and would have swapped orders with you in a "heart beat" As far as the 8mmMag I believe it was one of (the late) Col. Charles Askins' favorite rifle calibers; he was one of the first to take it to Africa to collect just about every "legal critter" offered. Boddington also favours the 8Mag, which are two very good endorsements besides yourself. I personally think it has more reach than the .338 while the .338 seems to be more of a "Medium bore all-around" caliber (it looses considerable velocity at 250gr and above even if it has a good B.C.). Most .338 "advocates" used to always "toute" the Partition 210gr before Barnes came along. It took the .338 a long time to become popular since its 1958 inception. I personally believe the .338 would not be as popular today if the .358Norma (same case, essentially) had been offered in a decent rifle that "North Americans" could have gotten their "hands on". I also think the 8Mag would have been more popular if it had been introduced in the last decade rather than when it was because, no one marketed really good bullets for it (the 8X68S in Europe and parts of Africa seems to still be going strong and a PH friend of mine considers it "on par" with the .338). I also believe that if Ruger or CZ (not readily available as a Brno in any large quantities at the time) had been around it might have surplanted the .338. When Remington offered the 8Mag, it was in the 700BDL. I'm sorry, but the BDL configuration is just not my "cup of tea" (then or now); for the reason of my height, build, reach, cheek bones, or "whatever" it kicks the "tar" out of me in just about any caliber I might choose above a .308Win (and I love the 700 action). I have a 700 BDL (.270Win) action (custom) that I changed stocks a quick as possible to avoid the extra "whack" I felt I was getting from that "mild" cartridge. I do know a few who really like the stock, and it is a "good looking" stock; just not for me. And to me "if the stock don't fit, don't equip" All good calibers and good information and reason to try more calibers and rifles. Many regards, Riley

Last edited by riley; 04-10-2007 at 02:57 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2007, 10:14 PM
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If I could only have one rifle for alaska it probally be a 338win because like the 06' its versatilityYou can load from 160gr to 250gr and beyond.Shoots flat enough for long shots on critters and heavy enough for bear.Sure you can find calibers thatwill shoot flatter or hit harder but few can do it all as well north of lower 48
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:56 AM
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What about the new .338 Federal or .375 Ruger? I know both are brand new, but the concepts behind both are interesting for someone looking to "move" up from 30-06. Personnally, I like my 350 Remington mag as a "move" up from my 308 Win.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:50 PM
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Paulinus

The 338 Federal is really not in the magnum class if you compare it to the 338 Win mag or the 340 Weatherby. This isn't saying it isn't a good big game cartridge, just that I wouldn't call it a good choice for Brown bear.

The new Ruger 375 is a whole different ball of wax. It's performance is comparable or perhaps even a little better than the old 375 H&H which puts it in the true magnum class. I do agree with you on the 350 Rem mag, it's a dandy cartridge.

riley

I've had a total of three 8mm Rem mags, two BDL's and the last one is the 1998 yearly classic. I have to agree with you in the fact that the classic stock does seem to be nicer to shoot than the BDL stock.

I had the first one I owned Magna-Ported and it made a bunch of difference in shooting it. I havn't had either one of these last two ported and just traded off the 8mm BDL last fall for a CZ Varmint in 204 Ruger. The last big 8 in the safe is actually for my son, but hasn't gotten shot much. He just does not seem interested in hunting.
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