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Hello from Scotland

A few years back i read an article by a British shooter who had a custom .338-06 made at great expence. I liked the capabilities of this round.
I believe that the .338-06 can now be bought as a basic factory rifle and factory ammo ? Is this true ? If so could some one tell me who makes them.

Whilst on the subject of .338 calibre rifles what "real" advantage does the .338-06 have over the wildcat .338-08 ?

Are they similar to .308 vs .30-06 ie very similar up to 150grain the .30-06 taking the lead with 180-200 grain bullets.

Any one got one ? Would like to hear how you find it on game.

Best Regards ENGLANDER
 

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I too have a great deal of interest in the .338-06 and hope to acquire one in the next couple of years. It's ballistics are surprisingly close to the .338 Win. Mag., but without the silly belt and greater efficiency to boot. For example, my Speer no. 13 manual shows a maximum 2531 fps with a 250-grain Grand Slam in the .338-06 from a 23" barrel. The same bullet in the .338 Win. Mag. tops out at 2664 fps with an extra inch of barrel length. That added 133 fps requires an extra 11 grains of Reloader 19 used for both recipes. Not too shabby I'd say.

It has been a legitimate factory round for a couple of years, known officially as the .338-06 A-Square after the company (now defunct?) that made it so. At this time I believe Weatherby is the only mass production company that chambers it. What I would really like to see is Ruger make them in the No. 1 and M77RS MkII. I am very partial to both rifle designs and Rugers in general, so to me this would be an outstanding development. For all you .338 lovers out there, why not join my letter-writing campaign to get Ruger into the game!

With the lightweight 200-grain deer bullets, the .338-06 and -08 would be very close. But as bullet weight increases the gap in performance will slightly widen in favor of the bigger cartridge. Now will an elk or moose know the difference? Highly doubtful.
 

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Thought I'd jump in about the 338/06 vs.338/08 as I have had both. Your right in thinking they're like 30-06 vs 308. With 338/08 22" barrel 722 action 200 Nosler BT I could just break 2600 fps with 46 gr. H4895, same bullet 338/06 24" VZ24action 63 grains H4350=2744fps both speeds as recorded on Pact chrono no rounding no correction to muzzle. As to comparison to 338 Win 24" Rem. 700 action same bullet with 75 gr. H4350=2903fps. On game I haven't been able to tell the difference,which is best way of comparing. Where I bench in have access to surveyed 500 yds. they all reach no problem the slower ones just require a tad more holdover. Any of the above rifles make good hunting equipment. good hunting
                          Lynn
 

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I know this topic is about a month old now, but like you guys, I'm interested in the 338/06 too.  Weatherby is making in a factory rifle, if you want to call the cost of a Weatherby factory.  I've owned a couple of Weatherby's in the past and do not question they are grand rifles, but just a little too flashy or "California" for my tastes, so I don't own any Weatherby's at the moment.  Both were superbly accurate by the way and if you like the looks of the Weatherby, you can't go wrong with them.

What I was thinking was rechambering a Brownchester 1895 to the 338/06, then CharlieZ had to open up a new can of worms with the suggestion of the 400 Whelen.  I've been researching as much as I can about both and now am kinda leaning toward the 400 Whelen, so Bill, I think Ruger does need to offer the 338/06 in the No. 1.  It would make a great match for the 338 Win Mag in the No. 1S that I have now.  Better yet would be to offer a double rifle based on the Red Label that has been mentioned in other posts, offered in the 338/06.  There's just too much neat stuff out there...
 

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Alyeska,

For those interested the .338-06 is currently chambered for the Mark V Ultralightweight and Big Gamemaster. Both are synthetic-stocked and sans iron sights, the main reason why I'll always pass on Weatherbys.

A rechambered 1895 is seriously on my list as well. It would be easy and relatively cheap to do. I see a fair number of Brownchesters in my area so it is a distinct possibility if Ruger does not add it.

Here's one to drool over my fellow No. 1 aficienado: the No. 1BL (Bill Lester):

25" medium contour barrel
three-leaf quarter rib rear sights
ivory bead front sight
Circassian walnut stock and forearm with the Alexander Henry-style tip

I would put my wife into hock to get it!  <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo-->



<!--EDIT|Bill Lester|Mar. 10 2002,09:35-->
 

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Would you case-harden the action on my #1BL?  (there is no "emoticon" for white-eye rollback.)
 

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Where's the emoticon for drooling?  Bill, if you start making that No. 1 for us, you can send me one for testing.  I'll try it out for 30 years or so, just to see if you get it right of course.
 

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I had the same urge for a .338/06 a few years back and sent to Ruger #1A to Ridgetop Sports to have the .270 barrel re-bored to .338.  Dick Nichol ( now deceased) did the job in short order and got it back to me.  With the 22" bbl I was able to reform .270 brass with a single pass on the Redding dies with tapered shaft easily.  I developed the following loads:

200 gr Speer & Hornady  58 gr 4320        2800+
225 gr Nosler Ptn & Hornady   56 gr 4320  2650
250 gr hornady              58 gr 4350        2480

The 200 & 225 both shoot around 1 1/4" groups for three shots.  The 250 is around 1 1/2 and kicks out of that 7 3/4# rifle.  The 225 gr load has killed both a moose at 250 yards and a six-point bull elk at 50 yards.  Complete pentatration each time.  Good cartridge and rifle.  Joy to carry and easy to load for and shoot.  I recommend it highly for elk, etc.

Good luck in your quest.

dclark
 

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I had the opportunity to shoot a Dakota 10 a couple of years ago in 270 Win.  It's a light, well made, well balanced rifle.  The fit and other superlative features were very good.  Starting from 2500 and up is just a little much if you ask me.  I like the looks of the Ruger better.  The Dakota is just a little too high brow for me I guess.  Is it nearly 2 grand better than the No. 1?  No, not even close.  Least I didn't think so.  They are good rifles no doubt about it, but I think most of the cost is in the wood and fitting.

The 10 is more of a style over substance thing if you ask me.  Kinda like a Mercedes over Ford or Chevy.  Yeah it's nicer, but it doesn't get you where you want to go any better.
 

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I kinda feel the same way about the D10.  Been having this same debate with a buddy about it.  I just doesn't set with me spending 5x as much for a gun that will not do anything better than my #1A (I shot a 4 shot 1 5/8" group with it Saturday at 200yds&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->.  

I do agree that Bill R. got the looks right, too.  Better even than the rifles who's style he copied.

But.... to do all we suggest above will cost you about the same a D10, so I thought I'd drop it into the discussion.

Charlie
 

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I've been thinking about "dressing" up my little RSI with some really nice wood and maybe case coloring the receiver.  The thing that scares me the most is those little "ears" where the stock fits the action.  Those are very small and kinda thin, if you don't get 'em right and break them, well, you have a mighty expensive piece of firewood.  I do okay making cabinets and such, but I guess a No. 1 would be the wrong the rifle for my first try at a custom stock.  Don't want to go to the expense of the case coloring if I don't have a nice piece of timber on it.  Wouldn't that mannlicher look nice with a nice grained dark piece of walnut on it?  The factory stock is pretty light colored and very plain.
 

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Not that I'll trade in my '06 to get one, but I think a .338-06 would be about the perfect North Idaho caliber. Most shots are pretty close, but not all, so ranging capability to 300 yds or so is useful. And since the critters can get pretty heavy here the bullet diameter and weights make sense. All without the belted case, heavier rifle or added recoil of a .338 Win mag. We don't have brownies here so you don't really need the power of a .338 Mag to ward off being 'et !               IDShooter
 

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ID,
I've heard and read many times about the punishing recoil of the 338 Win Mag.  While I don't have as much experience with the cartridge as alot of people, I've taken truckloads of game with it and had 3 different rifles in that chambering.  I don't think I'm too recoil resistant (I've have been abused by a couple of lightweight 270's and 30/06's), but I just don't think the 338 Win Mag recoils as bad as some make it out.  Maybe it's because all of mine fit me very well and all had classic styled stocks, I don't know.  I've had a Ruger M77, Weatherby Alaskan and a Ruger No. 1 S (I still have the No. 1).  As a matter of fact, the folks that talked me into to selling the other two shot 30/06's and thought the felt recoil of the 338's were less.  The M77 and Wby didn't weight more than a couple of ounces more than these guys '06's.  Maybe it's just the "felt" part, maybe it's because they were scared and braced for it, or maybe they don't hold on to a "lighter" caliber like an '06.  I don't know.  I do know that both guys shot them from the bench, one guy only had his trigger hand on the rifle.  It's not that bad.  I've heard that the M70 and Rem 700's pound pretty hard in the 338, but I had an 8mm Mag in a Custom 700 (with classic style stock) and recoil didn't feel too bad.  I'm not a big guy, about 5'10 and 160, so it's not like I've got a lot of padding either.  Like I said, I've been punished by supposedly light recoiling rifles (270 & 30/06), and I have no problem shooting a couple boxes of shells through the 338's.  I think alot has to do with the classic style stock and that the rifles have fit me pretty good.  I had a 300 winny that was heavy and punishing, it had an exaggerated monte carlo stock on it and the length of pull was a little on the long side for me.  It "kicked" much more than the 338's.  The guy I sold it to put a BSA 3-9x scope on and after 3 shots the scope literally fell apart.  That rifle kicked, but it was controllable.  I had shot it for 6 or 7 years (had a Leupold on it) shooting very hot 200 gr Bitterroots.  It would shoot if you could hold onto it.  

Anyway, I don't know what the reasons are, I'm an engineer at work, but I'm a hunter in the field, I don't mix the two (my brain just ain't big enough to correlate work fun with pleasure fun).  If I started doing that, I would spend all my time tinkering with rifles instead of using them doing what I do enjoy the most.  That would be hunting.

Just an obtuse observation from left field above the 61st Parallel.
 

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Alyeska,
   Yes, I know what you mean about the stock shape making a difference in felt recoil. And I agree that the Ruger stock is a good one for handling recoil. But here's my experience with the .338 Mag.
      My .338, which I shot for about 5 years, was the Ruger 77 old model with tang safety. It weighed about a pound more than the same rifle model in standard calibers. I also had a 6mm, 270 and 30-06 in the Model 77 at one time or another. And I could shoot the .338 fine, even from the bench. But it definitely DID kick more than 30-06 class rifles with the same stock! It made my neck stiff and gave me a headache sometimes if I fired a lot of rounds.
     Since then I've seen elk shot with a .308 die almost immediately and elk shot with a .416 run for three hundred yards, each with lung shots. So I decided not to punish myself more than necessary and sold that .338 to a police officer who was going on an African trip.
       I fully agree that a .338 Mag is not the fire-breathing dragon it's made out to be and if I lived in Alaska I would probably step up to it (or a .338-06! ), but I still think it's more punishment and power than necessary for my area. I'm cheap, too and the less powder I burn on each shot the happier I am!
         I think the other difference between us is that I AM somewhat of rifle-person vs. a hunter. I like to hunt, but shooting/ tinkering/ handloading is my year-round hobby and I tend to think about all the little technical differences between cartridges. I understand and respect what you're saying. It's these differences that keep things interesting! And I bet if we went hunting together we'd each be happy with our choice of firearms.       ID

PS- My friend built a .416 Rem as light as he could get it with fiberglass stock, etc. After test firing it I asked him how the recoil was. He said it wasn't too bad, but later that day he noticed one of the hands on his watch had fallen off! That's too much for me!.
 

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I agree with you wholeheartedly, ID.  No need to have something you aren't comfortable with.  And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have to have a belt to make a cartridge an effective and efficient round.  I've seen several moose die just as dead just as quickly when shot with a 30/06.  I just don't think the 338 deserves it's mankiller reputation.  If someone is thinking of getting a 338 Mag, and really wants one, try one out, you may be pleasantly surprised.  Don't let the recoil scare you off before you try one, I guess is what I was talking about.  Shoot, everything that I've shot with my little 7x57 has died dead, very quickly.  It is pretty mild when compared to the 06, but I don't think anything that I've ever shot would have known the difference.  Magnums are well suited for what they are meant for, but I'd feel just as comfortable doing what I do where I do it with a 338-06, 35 Whelen, any other cartridge of like size.  My bear defense gun when I'm in big brown bear country is a 12 gauge shotgun.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my rifles and never miss an opportunity to go shooting.  I'm much more of a rifle person than a cartridge person, though.  I guess that's the reason I like the No. 1's so much.  I think you and I would get along great on a hunt, I think we'd get along great talking about guns and cartridges.  I'm not set in stone about this or that (except the No. 1's  <!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->), and I've read a lot of your posts and highly respect your opinion.  I didn't mean to sound like I didn't.  Sorry about that.  Shoot, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to guns, I like to tinker with what I've got and hope to someday start making (or at least putting together) some really nice custom rifles.  I'm sure if I sat down at a bench and shot 100 rounds out of both rifles, there would be a noticeable difference between the 338 and 30/06, but the rifles I've had just didn't seem that bad.  That danged ol' 300 was bad, though.  And I've shot a 416 Rigby that rattled my teeth, too.  The worst I ever shot was a 378 Weatherby.  I'm sure there are worse out there, but I don't want anymore.
 

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No Problem, Alyeska!
   I wasn't offended at all, just explaining my point of view. Or rather, the experiences that helped shape my point of view!                                               IDShooter
 

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For those of you who are interested, Zhat custom is offering a line of "improved" '06 chamberings in their Hawk line.  They have a 338 based on the 30/06.  I don't know anything about it or them, it may be something like 338/06 AI, I don't know.  If you are interested, here's their website:
http://www.z-hat.com/HawkCartridges.htm
 

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<!--QuoteBegin--alyeska338+Mar. 12 2002,12:49--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (alyeska338 @ Mar. 12 2002,12:49)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->I'm much more of a rifle person than a cartridge person, though.  I guess that's the reason I like the No. 1's so much.  [/quote]
Ah, now there is a truly sage bit of wisdom. It has been an exceedingly long time since choice in cartridge was critical to success in the hunting fields. Fit, feel, operational characteristics, etc. of one's chosen rifle are far more important to accuracy and huntability than is the round it chambers.
 
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