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  #1  
Old 02-01-2008, 07:44 PM
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Question Opinions On The .338 Win Mag


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I want to get a .338 Win Mag for shooting buffalo. Will the .338 kill a buffalo easily?? The other caliber i was considering was the .375 H&H which is i know a bit better, but it just means more recoil and more cost etc. Please owners or users of the .338 win mag what do you think????
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:30 PM
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I like my Ruger M77, I shoot the Nosler 210grn Partition's thrue it mostly, it kicks like a mule!
I think with a bit heaver "premium" bullet and proper shot placement it should do just fine.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:03 AM
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Are you talking about African or Australian Water buffalo or American Bison. If the latterr the 338 will do the job, but I'd prefer the 375 H&H for the former. The big Water Buffalo is rated as one of the "Dangerous Game" critters in the world, why take any unnecessary chances. Potting one from an unseen place it wouldn't much matter, but if you get a wounded one, your better off with more gun than the 338 offers.

my 2 cents.
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2008, 06:19 AM
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.338 will do for bison (assuming you're hunting bison). A 30-06 will do for bison if you want it to.. but it's the legal minimum where I'm from.

Keep in mind that you should be using heavy, well constructed bullets when hunting these beasts (200gr for the 06, and 250gr for the .338), their hide is thick and sometimes they dont know when they are dead. My co-worker hunted bison with a .300 win mag and shot it 7 times before it died, he said he wished he had a .375.

If you are looking for a dedicated buffalo gun, dont rule out the .45-70! Thats my dads favorite.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2008, 07:11 AM
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One of the great hunting cartridges available today, for those who want to step up from ordinary deer rifles....

I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a bison with mine, but I already killed a bison with a handgun, and they aren't armor-plated nor that hard to kill if you know what you are doing.
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2008, 09:24 AM
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For American bison it oughta do you just fine.

For Cape Buffalo......I don't think it's a legal caliber for them anywhere. And if it is......I don't think too many PH's would actually let you try it.

As far as going out and buying a .338WM......I guess it'd depend on what else I already had in my safe. If I had a .270 or '06 on the top end of the power spectrum, I might consider a .338 WM.....or .340 Wby. If I already had a .30 magnum the .338 would be completely redundant and I'd look at a big .35 (STA) or a .375 of some sort.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2008, 03:34 PM
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I've never shot a bison (if that's the buffalo you're referring to), but have shot one moose and quite a few elk and deer with my 338 Win Mag Browning A-bolt. I favor either a 225 gr Nosler partition, 230 gr Failsafe, or 250 gr Sierra Gameking for those animals on the menu.

I think the 338 has plenty of punch for bison. I'd stick with a 250 or even a 275 grainer that some offer. The one moose that I shot was somewhat face-on with a slight turn of the head. It was laying down at about 40 yards. The 225 Nosler partition penetrated a lot of neck to sever its spine.
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2008, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faucettb View Post
Are you talking about African or Australian Water buffalo

my 2 cents.
australian water buffalo
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .308 HUNTER View Post
australian water buffalo
Oh.

I think you need to look into something......say....... .37 caliber or larger.

If you look into it, the .375 ammo is not much more expensive than the .338 stuff. Recoil-wise........if the gun fits you, you install a good pad and you're used to a .338...... the .375's not going to hurt you either.

Last edited by magnumitis; 02-02-2008 at 05:25 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2008, 07:40 PM
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I believe the Australian Water Buffalo is just as big and tough as the African variety. For me the 375 would be the minimum. I'm sure they can be and have been killed by smaller caliber rifles, but this is one critter with a rep over the years for mangling folks that were intent on killing them.

If your purchasing a new or used rifle there's no difference in price for any of the big magnums, shoot the biggest you can handle. From my point of view there's very little difference between shooting the 375 and the 338, but there's a big difference downrange. You also might look at the new Ruger 375, all the same energy in a short action controlled round feed action.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:14 PM
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Just my $0.02 but I've killed most everything on the face of Alaska with my Rem 700SS .338 Win Mag shooting 250 grain Nozler Partitions. I'm not recoil shy but the .375 was never comfortable for me to shoot off the bench and I think the ability to shoot the rifle well is far more important than the ballistics. I don't think the ballistics difference between the two is that much anyway. Every animal I've shot with the 250 grain bullets, including large bear and moose has gone down immediately with the exception of a blacktail buck I shot on Afognak Island, go figure!
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:45 PM
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Aussie Buff, I'd go with the .375 H&H.

I've got a Ruger #1 H in .375H&H that weighs 8.5 pounds with Leupold VX1 2-7x33 and sling and it does kick but it's not a sharp smack but more push-like. It is more than my 30-06 but not brutal.
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2008, 05:03 AM
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308Hunter,
I had and shot a 338 for several years. Thinking I ws done with the heavy rifle game, I sold it with most of the others.
I have replaced them with Weatherbys is 270Wby and 7mmWby, an older Browning Safari in 300 Win mag and a Ruger Tropical in 458 Win mag. There's lot of other levers, single shots and more in between.
I guess my point is, that I don't really miss the 338. I still load for a buddys and use mostly the Game Kings in 250 grain. Great load.
I do still have a hole in my lineup and it will likely be something in the 375-416 catagory. It will be about as pretty as a garden hoe. And it will be used like one, where I am hopefully going to take it.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2008, 04:38 PM
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Have to agree with Bob and Michael, and quite a few others - 375. While a bison has every bit as much weight - or more - than a cape or water buffalo, reports are they are not quite as tough. I'd have no issues in taking a 338 after a bison. I'd still feel fairly confident with the 338 for the aussie water buffalo. I'd feel a lot better with a 375 or 416 for the aussie water buffalo. If 375 is the next choice, I don't see much sense in using less than 300 grains. If you were inclined to use a 270 gr in the 375, may as well stick to the 338 with 250's or a 275 (Woodleigh) with a better sectional density.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2008, 06:48 PM
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i love the .338 bore, but for big buff's i'd personally lean towards a .416 rigby, now that brass is readily available i'd like to give one a try. i have a .405 winchester that with a good quality bullet would do in a pinch but for buffalo i think i'd rather have an extra margin of power available. that could truly be a situation when a person would want as much gun as they can handle.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2008, 07:39 PM
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I'd like to recommend the Marlin 45/70 Guide Gun.
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2008, 05:35 AM
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Agree with Faucetbb-
I would opt for the 375 HH!!!! I do believe, on average, that most rifles in 338 kick harder than those in 375HH. At least the ones that I have owned have...
I went to the 3/4 bore a few years ago and it has been great. The 375 shoves where the 338 slaps. Just my opinion. Also, if you look at being able to shoot everything from 220gr to 350gr, the 375 is the winner. Furthermore, if you ever do go to Africa, there are several areas where you have a minimum standard on large game. The 375HH is usually the minimum on big critters. Also, if you ever have to use it for a "stopping rife", the 375 wins hands down.
The 375HH case design is also very reliable when it comes to feeding. Long, slender, not much of a shoulder......easy for rifles to digest in a hurry.
Hope this helps and I hope all is well with everyone....
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  #18  
Old 02-15-2008, 08:15 PM
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I have bothe calibers. and depending on rifle weight and other factors the 375 isn't much worse in teh recoil dept that a 338. ive honestly thought about selling the 338 ad hhunting everything i sued the 338 for with the 375
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  #19  
Old 02-16-2008, 03:50 PM
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Thumbs up

I am in Australia, but I have yet to hunt buffalo. I know a lot of guys who say that you can shoot buff with anything upwards from .270 win. I know with correct shot placement you could probably get away with it. Personally I would choose at LEAST a .375 H&H. My ideal buff calibre would be a .416 Rigby. I have a medium stature and I can shoot one comfortably, and remember when you actually have the beast in your sights, the last thing your thinking of is the recoil whilst all that adrenalin is rushing through you. No doubt a .338 could handle it, but I would prefer the extra security and peace of mind with a .375. Don't worry about cost of ammunition or whatever, you probably won't be using it much outside of your buff hunting.

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  #20  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:59 PM
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.416 is a lot more expensive and harder to find than a .375. I wouldn't rule out the new .375 Ruger though, and you can get one for around $800, whereas many of the big caliber guns will set you back over $1000.

I've shot several Bison and cows with my .50 Cal T/C Hawken muzzleloader, they aren't that tough.
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