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Here's a project that I'll be starting on soon. Rebarrel a short action Remington to a medium caliber based on the 308 case. Rifle will weigh about 6.5 lbs. scoped. Use will be for deer/black bear/Elk out to about 300 yds. I'm considering a 338-08 because of a better bullet selection in weights of say 225 gr. and under. With better B.C. and S.D. than .35 cal. bullets of about 25 gr. heavier, it seems like the .338 "cat" might get better ballistics with less recoil.

But, I can't find concrete ballistics anywhere. I'm wondering, does 180 @ 2800, 200 @ 2700, 225 @ 2600 seem attainable in a 20-22" barrel??

Any other feedback or opinions on this project? fire away, thanks in advance.

Jim
 

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jim, over at www.shooterstalk.com/ in the wildcat forum they are trashing or thrashing this very cartridge. While many people think that the short fat cartridge is the greatest, let it be known that when two dissimilar sized bullets of the same weight are fired with the same pressures, the larger bullet will attain the greater velocity consistently. A 338/08 will not better the 358winchester for the same reason a 308Win can't beat the velocity of the338/08 with the same weight bullet. Now if a person were to use a long action and seat the bulletsout to gain more powder space. you might get close to the velocity of a 338-06. I'll agree the best reason to have any 338 cal wildcat is to just have one. There is no magical performance gain without consuming more powder. The velocities you hope to attain are not possible on a 308 case with normal 55-60,000psi operating pressures. Good Luck on your venture. One other point to consider. Build the 338/08 on a Winchester short action. You can feed cases of 3.1" vs 2.8" in the Remington.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ruger # 3

Thanks, you're right, there is a boatload of stuff over there. Most of the info is speculative, but I'm trying to get the Waters article and also some up to date vel. & pressure info from Match Grade Arms, as they have built some of these pretty recently.

Q for you....are you sure about the magazine length on the M-70 short action? It might be that a M-70 long action that is blocked for short cartridges might  accomodate 3.1" but I'd be really surprised and pleased to learn that the SHORT action has that much mag. box length.

Thanks for any info
 

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Your desired velocitiies seem high to me.  I have a 338-06 and after a lot of fooling around I picked the 225 Hornaday and with the best powders I max out at 2600FPS from a 24" tube.  If you want to stay witha short action, you might consider basing your cartridge on the 284 Win case or on one of the new short magnum designs if you really want velocity.  The beauty of the bigger bores is that they don't need super high velocity to work well and do not require pemium bullets to keep together.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Grizz;

Thanks, I think you're right. I've gotten some good data on the 180-210 wts that will get close to what I wanted. But the 225 @ 2600 probably won't go. It looks like about 2500 is the best that a 24" will do and a 22" would probably lose another 50 or so.

But I agree, I don't really "need the speed" and also, that 225 Honady is on my short list of key bullets for bigger stuff. If a critter is big enough to need the 225, I'd be pretty dumb to be blazing away at beyond 200 anyway. Most respondents on other boards where I've knocked this around, can't seem to get past talking about premium bullets. I think that those interlocks will do fine @ 2450 or so.

From the data out there, this "cat" would seem to shine with the 180 @ 2800 and the 200/210 @ 2600-2650. Those numbers seem pretty "do-able" with new powders and would be more than enough for the game intended.

Q for you...How long is the 225 Hornady? 1.20" or so?

Thanks for the input!!
 

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Jim,

I have the Waters article on the 338-08.  If you'd like, I can scan it in and send it to you.  Let me know,

Jimmy
 

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Hey Guys,

You've narrowed your choice to the .358 Win and the .338/08 in the conversations so far.  How about a .375/308Win wildcat??? Paco Kelly is currently working on one of these, and it seems quite feasible.  

El Lobo in NM
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jimmy:

Thanks for the offer, I just got a back issue.

El Lobo:

Ouch!!!!!!!!!!  

Seriously, I know, the 235 gr. probably wouldn't be too bad, but the goal is a combo deer, elk, bear (lower 48) rifle with some reasonable range capability. I think that the .375 would be more than I need.  Besides, if I do return to AK, I could probably justify another gun anyway. Then the .375 would be a contender.

jim
 

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Jim, I have built a .338-08 IMP on a Rem Model 7 action with a 20" Shilen barrel. It has some distinct advantages over the .358 Win in that it will attain greater velocity [and better bullet expansion] than the 358 and likewise shoots flatter, making it easier to hit targets at moderate range. I have no trouble attaining 2600 fps with 210 grain bullets but I would say your hope of achieving 2700 fps is unrealistic in this small of a case. Still, for large deer and black bear out to 250 yards or so it is very effective and I would not hesitate to use it on moose or elk inside of 150 yards. This has been an ideal light rifle for hunting the Maine woods and should be just right for any similar woods hunting. I would leave the 300+ yard shots to the more potent 338-06 or magnum cartridges. The faster burning rifle powders such as IMR 4064, 4320, AA 2520, H 380 and W748 and 760 seem appropriate for this caliber.
 

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There's an excellent article on this in Wildcat Cartridges Volume II.  The person responsible for the wildcat wrote it, I can't remember his name.  All of his work was based on the Model 88, and he came up with this wildcat for 2 reasons,
1) He couldn't get a 358 in the 88, so had to rebarrel a 308 and,
2) He wanted to use Nosler bullets.  At the time this article was written Nosler had dropped the .358 bullets from their line.  Or something like that.

He summed up his findings as, he very impressed with what he had come up with, I think he was averaging 2576 fps using 210 Nosler, I don't remember the powder charge, accuracy was 1.5" 10-shot groups at 100 yards, from a 24" barrel.  However he said that it probably wasn't a great improvement, if any at all, over the 358 and he could not recommend it over the 358, at least not for his use.  He killed two animals at the time of writing, one was a finishing shot on a moose someone else had broken a leg on (340 yards), and a 50 yard elk kill.

I was impressed with it and am considering the same thing.  I don't know if it'll happen anytime soon, but a Model 88 with a full mannlicher stock in this would be a lot of fun.  I have no idea what a bolt action setup would do.
 

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Alyeska, that was also the point of my experiment with this cartridge- it seemed that I couldn't get enough velocity for the Nosler Partition to expand reliably in 35 caliber so thought it reasonable that the 210 Partition could be driven at higher velocity in a bolt action rifle. Seems to work. Better than the 358? I can't say for sure, but it IS a bit more versatile with the gain of at least 250 fps over the 358. An interesting project just the same and when a gunsmith friend told me he could cut the chamber with his 338-06 Improved reamer I couldn't say no. Haven't tried it on game yet, looking for a nice mannlicher stock to set the barreled action in.
 

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Yeah, if you have an extra .308 action lying around and want something a little bigger, why not?  I think it would be a really handy rifle in the Model 88.  If I was going with a bolt action, I'd definitely step up to the 06.  One thing the guy said about the 338-08 was that he dismissed the 338-284 out of hand.  He said the neck was too short and the shoulder to steep to seat the 210's properly.  He was actually able to get more powder in the 308 case because of this.  I've never tried it, so I don't know...

Someday, I'll have that 88 in 338-08 with full mannlicher stock.  Yessir.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ya'll........

Thanks for the responses. My project has gone from guesswork to almost done. It'll be a 21" bbl. on a Rem. 700 short, and it will be very light. I agree with most of those who have mentioned that my original velocity desires were a bit high, especially with the heavier bullets.

However, the more I read about the "medium" calibers, the more I come to realize that the velocity is not the real "killing factor" anyway. I'll have the finished product in about a week. The cases, bullets, powder etc. are here, but the dies are not. Besides I have two feet of snow at the range and my shooting hand in a cast to boot, so look for my first shooting results in a month or so.
 

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Jim's project is already going together so this is too late for him, but anyone looking for a short action medium bore should think about the .350 Rem. Mag. or the .338/.350. I am happy with the original because I like to carry a few lightly loaded 158 grain cast bullets for small game, but for medium game only .338 has better ballistics.
 

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jim said:
Here's a project that I'll be starting on soon. Rebarrel a short action Remington to a medium caliber based on the 308 case. Rifle will weigh about 6.5 lbs. scoped. Use will be for deer/black bear/Elk out to about 300 yds. I'm considering a 338-08 because of a better bullet selection in weights of say 225 gr. and under. With better B.C. and S.D. than .35 cal. bullets of about 25 gr. heavier, it seems like the .338 "cat" might get better ballistics with less recoil.

But, I can't find concrete ballistics anywhere. I'm wondering, does 180 @ 2800, 200 @ 2700, 225 @ 2600 seem attainable in a 20-22" barrel??

Any other feedback or opinions on this project? fire away, thanks in advance.

Jim
I too have been thinking about a 338/08 for several reasons.
I don't need the power of the 06 case and while a .35 whalen was my origonal chioce, the 338 bullet has a better SD and 210 or 225 GR bullets don't need a lot of velocity to take down large game at the 200yd max ranges I usually shoot at. It is true that larger bores produce higher velocities with similiar bullet wieghts and pressures but they also slow down faster over longer ranges and penetrate less due to the much lower SD. Much lower recoil is also an advantage at the target range. Lower velocity also reduces the need for premium bullets. Moose and elk are not that hard to kill and will go down fast to any well placed bullet at velocities well below what a 210gr bullet can travel from the 338/08
Firebird
 

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moxgrove said:
Isn't the new .338 Federal the same as the .338-08?
Yep, it is, but this thread was started a few years before Federal legitimized it.
 

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338/08

moxgrove said:
Isn't the new .338 Federal the same as the .338-08?
I guess I havent beemn paying attention to all the rounds beening offered these days. I just looked it up and yes it is the same. I am happy to see it is now a factory cartridge. Loading dies will now be available from major manufacturers. My father used a beautiful Parker Hale sporter with iron sights in .303 british to bag his annual moose without fail and he never lost or had to chase a single moose. My thinking is that a 338/08 will have consideral more power than I need for anything up to moose at 250 yrds. I have never had to shoot farther than 150 yrds to bag a deer or moose yet so the big magnums don't serve any purpose for me. Any time I launch a bullet of 225 GR at anything over 2400 FPS I do expect any animal up to moose size to drop quickly as long as I do my part in placing the bullet in the vitals.
I would limit myself to a max of 250 yrds which is 100 yrds farther than my farthest moose so far. Should I move to the prairies or mountain country I might have to rethink my requirements but for the bush country I hunt in, the 338/08 sounds like the perfect combo of reasonable recoil in a light bush rifle with heavy bullets providing more than enough penetration for moose or bear.
Thanks for the reply.
 

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firebird said:
I guess I havent beemn paying attention to all the rounds beening offered these days. I just looked it up and yes it is the same. I am happy to see it is now a factory cartridge. Loading dies will now be available from major manufacturers. My father used a beautiful Parker Hale sporter with iron sights in .303 british to bag his annual moose without fail and he never lost or had to chase a single moose. My thinking is that a 338/08 will have consideral more power than I need for anything up to moose at 250 yrds. I have never had to shoot farther than 150 yrds to bag a deer or moose yet so the big magnums don't serve any purpose for me. Any time I launch a bullet of 225 GR at anything over 2400 FPS I do expect any animal up to moose size to drop quickly as long as I do my part in placing the bullet in the vitals.
I would limit myself to a max of 250 yrds which is 100 yrds farther than my farthest moose so far. Should I move to the prairies or mountain country I might have to rethink my requirements but for the bush country I hunt in, the 338/08 sounds like the perfect combo of reasonable recoil in a light bush rifle with heavy bullets providing more than enough penetration for moose or bear.
Thanks for the reply.

Not only does the 338-08 sound good, but with Nosler 225g or the new Barnes triple shocks. More vel, less pressure, and performance of a larger bullet, and accurate!

Another plus is Jim West, in Anchorage Ak., says he will rebarrel a Savage 99 for you, for about 1000.00. He has one for sale on auction arms. That is re-barrel and the gun. Cheaper if you send in yours. That makes it a right or lefty, 5 shot carbine. :cool:
 
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