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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering the purchase of a rifle in .358 Winchester. I have no experience with this cartridge but have a lot of interest in it.
What can I expect for performance from handloads in the 225-250 gr range.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I've owned and hunted with the .358 for over 25yrs and love the cartridge. I have two rifles chambered in it now, a steel receiver BLR and a SS M77 Hawkeye. I've taken deer , hog and black bear using one or the other of the rifles and using 200, 225 or 250gr loads.

I've pretty much settled on using a 225gr load now by BB at a hair under 2550 FPS at the muzzle. This load carries 1500 FPE to 350 yards. I've also used a 250gr Grand Slam for hogs and my SIL used the Hawkeye with 250s to take a 150" Tn buck. Both the hog and the buck dropped at the shot.

I like the 250 for close ranges, but the trajectories are a bit steep looking 200+ yards. I passed up a shot on a big Georgia boar that was a bit under 300 yards when my quick figuring came up with 15+" of drop with the zero I'd used for a bear hunt a few months prior.

For deer, I'd look at 180gr JFN, 200gr RN or SP, 220gr JFN or the fine Sierra 225gr Spitzer. I've seen companies claim 27-2800 with those 180s and I'm sure they would absolutely do a bang-up job on deer.

The .358 is a great round, try it, you'll like it!
 

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358 is a great cartridge, probably the near perfect round for black bear and wild boar. Maybe even for bigger game.

But if I wanted a deer rifle I'd opt for a 308/7-08/260. the 358 is at it's best with 225+ grain bullets. Deer (at least the ones I shoot) are really not monster creatures and a 120-150 gr bullet actually will kill better; and smaller diameter means better longer range ballistics.

That said, if at a gun show I see a model 99 in 358 I'll buy it.

As I said, other deer rifles are better, and I think that is why it wasn't a successful rifle round. Winchester brought it out as a modern replacement for the 348. It is smaller diameter, rimless, and 35 cal not 348. At the time the 348 was a decent lever action big bore. But after WW-2 levers gave way to bolt guns and the 348 died ( Yes, I got one). Faster smaller bullets were the fad then...and now.
 

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Don't have a lot of experience with the .358. Most has been with my son's BLR. Accuracy is great and drops critters with authority. In a light easy to handle rifle don't see much not to like.
 

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I am considering the purchase of a rifle in .358 Winchester. I have no experience with this cartridge but have a lot of interest in it.
What can I expect for performance from handloads in the 225-250 gr range.

Thanks in advance.
As a youngster I dreamed of owning a centerfire rifle one day. At first I zeroed in on the 358 Win. in a Win. Model 88 lever action. My hunting would be mainly in Michigan for whitetails but hoped to hunt Moose and Caribou eventually too. I wrote Jack O'Connor asking what he thought of the .358 Win. for my uses. He said the .358 Win. would be just fine up to about 250 yards but beyond this the trajectory would make good hits a difficult. Later I changed my plan to a Model 100 auto in .308 Win. Never did get a centerfire until my mid twenties. By then I had more realistic visions and bought a Rem. 788 in 6mm Rem. for deer and varmints. I am curious what you plan to hunt with a .358 win. which while packing a wicked punch is a medium range cartridge. Some might say it is one of the larger "thumper" type chamberings.
 

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I once had a Winchester M88 in 358 Winchester. Wish I had it back.

I used 200 gr bullets at around 2500 fps and 250 gr bullets at around 2250. WW748 was my powder.

Very accurate. That was back in the 70ties. Today I would probably use the 225 gr, probably a partition if possible.

Brass is easily made by running 308 into the sizing die. So, as long as 35 cal bullets are being made, you can make ammo.

Cast bullets required a bit of work but good loads can be made for practice. You can even make ammo with 357 revolver bullets for varmints or practice.

Squibb loads made with 158 gr cast 38 bullets at 700 fps or so are fun to shoot at close range. They also make almost no noise. That is roughly equal to a 4 inch 38 Special standard load, but really quiet.

From a handloader's standpoint, I cant see too many downsides to the 358 Winchester cartridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like the Savage 99 rifles and I'm looking to add one with a bit more oomph as the .308 is the largest I own now.
 

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ironhead said--
So, as long as 35 cal bullets are being made, you can make ammo.
That's the best reason to gather and keep some .30 Carbine brass on hand. You can fill them partially full of lead and have jacketed wad cutters forever.
 

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I like the Savage 99 rifles and I'm looking to add one with a bit more oomph as the .308 is the largest I own now.
I have both the M88 and M99 in .308 and they are both very nice rifles. I will have to say, however, my Marlins in .356 & .375 and my BLR in .358 get used a lot more.

In my mind there's a very good reason for that even though some will argue til the cows come home that the .308 is the way to go. They may prefer it (.308) but I love using my medium levers and they do a very good job for me :D
 
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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Dad took elk with his M99f in 358W. I harvested my first deer and my sister her first elk with that rifle.Then it sat forgotten for many years until Dad brought it out and we went hunting (our last hunt together) just for the sake of hunting. We hiked just out sight of the Bronco and sat down in the sagebrush overlooking a large draw with scattered junipers on the far side and choke cherry thickets in the bottom. . . . . . . . .

You'll love one in 358W. I treasure mine.

Oh, with even bullets as light as 200 grains, you can expect things to die quickly. :D

RJ
 
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One of my favorite rounds. I've had a BLR for quite a while. The last deer I shot was a doe with the 200 Hornady SP at around 2500 fps or so at 200 yards. I get around 2450 with the 225s.
 

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roseman, just to make you drool a bit :D



And M1 too!

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
That's something you probably no longer need. I'd be willing to discuss taking it off your hands.:D
 

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Honest wear is a badge of usefulness. I claim it for my guns and for myself.
 

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I had a model 99-358, nice gun, but too heavy and kicked like a mule with the straight stock.

I traded is straight up for a new Hawkeye Stainless model in 358win. Not nearly as collectable but so much better shooting and gentle on the shoulder.

I've had good luck with 200gr Hornady RN or SP over 3031, 4064, or 4198. I've kinda settled on 4198 because of it's consistent accuracy with good velocity, about 2500fps.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I'm leaning towards the Sierra 200 grain RN. In testing (wet clay behind my target board) I've found the Hornady to be a bit "over jacketed" in that the bullet doesn't expand well at my velocity. No doubt it would dispatch a critter if I chose to do so, but I want to try the Sierras before I go there.

RJ
 

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I am considering the purchase of a rifle in .358 Winchester. I have no experience with this cartridge but have a lot of interest in it.
What can I expect for performance from handloads in the 225-250 gr range.

Thanks in advance.
"Performance" for what purpose? On paper at 800 yards? On groundhogs at 50 feet?
 
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