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Discussion Starter #1
I currently own a .338WM. I'll be retiring in Alaska soon and am considering a .416 Ruger. I've also considered the .375 Ruger. The .375 Ruger has a bit more wallop than the .338 WM; but not that much more. As I plan on keeping my .338WM, it seems the logical choice would be the .416 Ruger.

Does anyone have any experience hunting with the .416 Ruger in Alaska; specifically with the Ruger Guide Gun with the 20" barrel?


Thanks,
Alaska Bound
 

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While only you can make the decision as to "how much" power you really want, as I look at the three cartridges you've mentioned, I see a lot of upside to the .375 Ruger. Energy figures I see look like this: typical .338WM 250gr yeilds about 3900 FPE looking at Federal & Remington 250gr loads. The 270gr .375 Ruger yeilds about 4800 FPE, a significant increase (IMHO). The .416 Ruger yeilds about 5100 FPE from a 400gr load and by 100 yards the .375's energy matches the .416 and actually pulls ahead, energy-wise at both 200 & 300 yards. The .375/270 remains a significantly stronger choice at all practical ranges as compared to the .338/250.

Trajectory-wise, the .375/270 gives up nothing to the .338/250 at up to 400 yards given the same 200 yard zero. It actually flies a tad flatter matter of fact.

Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Rifle :: Choose by Caliber :: 375 Ruger :: 375 Ruger 270 gr SP-RP Superformance®

https://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=315

ADDED: A little bit of snooping also yielded, surprisingly enough, prices for the Federal/.338 and Hornady/.375 that were virtually the same @ about $51/box

http://www.swva-arms.com/p-62200-hornady-8231-superformance-375-ruger-spire-point-270-gr-20box10case.aspx

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/654235/federal-premium-vital-shok-ammunition-338-winchester-magnum-250-grain-nosler-partition-box-of-20
 

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Discussion Starter #3
While only you can make the decision as to "how much" power you really want, as I look at the three cartridges you've mentioned, I see a lot of upside to the .375 Ruger. Energy figures I see look like this: typical .338WM 250gr yeilds about 3900 FPE looking at Federal & Remington 250gr loads. The 270gr .375 Ruger yeilds about 4800 FPE, a significant increase (IMHO). The .416 Ruger yeilds about 5100 FPE from a 400gr load and by 100 yards the .375's energy matches the .416 and actually pulls ahead, energy-wise at both 200 & 300 yards. The .375/270 remains a significantly stronger choice at all practical ranges as compared to the .338/250.

Trajectory-wise, the .375/270 gives up nothing to the .338/250 at up to 400 yards given the same 200 yard zero. It actually flies a tad flatter matter of fact.

Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Rifle :: Choose by Caliber :: 375 Ruger :: 375 Ruger 270 gr SP-RP Superformance®

https://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=315

ADDED: A little bit of snooping also yielded, surprisingly enough, prices for the Federal/.338 and Hornady/.375 that were virtually the same @ about $51/box

Hornady 8231 Superformance 375 Ruger Spire Point 270gr 20Box/10Case The 375 Ruger is one of the most practical, hardest-hitting cartridges ever for la

Federal Premium Vital-Shok Ammo 338 Winchester Mag 250 Grain Nosler

Trihunter,

Thanks for the advice.

I took a look at the Hornady website to review the data on the 270 grain .375 Ruger load. Their ballistic information is relative to a 24" barrel. The rifle I'm looking at is the Ruger Guide Gun which has a 20" barrel. I've been told that a reduction of 25-35 FPS per inch of barrel length is the factor to use when calculating ballistics. Using the average of a 30 FPS reduction per inch of barrel length (4") = a reduction of 120 FPS. Applying this reduction to the 24" velocity published by Hornady, (2,840), = 2,720. Using the ballistics calculator provided by Hornady on their website yields the following values with this load and the 20" barrel of the Ruger Guide Gun:

Muzzle Velocity = 2,720, Energy = 4,435
100 Yards = 2,487 / 3,707
200 Yards = 2,265 / 3,076
300 Yards = 2,055 / 2,532

The published data for the Buffalo Bore .338WM 250 grain Barnes TSX is as follows, (my .338WM has a 24" barrel):

Muzzle Velocity = 2,800, Energy = 4,351
100 Yards = 2,587 / 3,713
200 Yards = 2,783 / 3,152
300 Yards = 2,189 / 2,659

Using Hornady's Ballistic Calculator for the .416 Ruger 400 grain load:

Muzzle velocity with a 24" barrel = 2,400; Energy = 5,115
Using the 30 FPS reduction per inch of barrel length (4) = 120 FPS
2400 - 120 = 2,280 FPS

Muzzle Velocity = 2,280, Energy = 4,617
100 Yards = 2,030 / 3,659
200 Yards = 1,797 / 2,868
300 Yards = 1,584 / 2,230

While the .338WM energy numbers are higher than the .416 Ruger, it's with a bullet that's 150 grains lighter. I'm thinking that the .400 grain .416 Ruger load might serve me better in the event I cross paths with a Grizzly / Brownie that might want to turn me into a snack while I'm moose hunting.

Alaska Bound
 

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Some thoughts.
Wouldn't most of the small differences in energy from these big slow moving bullets discussed be expended in the dirt on the other side of your animal?
Big slow moving bullets from what I've seen only stop big animals quickly by removing there mobility as in front shoulder and spine shots.
Would a smaller caliber higher velocity cartridge kill faster such as a 300 rum?
Remember were not talking cape buffalo or elephant here.
 

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Some more thoughts....do you shoot the 338wm well? If you do, then forget the 416 or 375. Load up some 210-250 Gr Partitions, and go. You don't need anything bigger or faster. The 338wm will take on anything you need it to do in AK. It is a fine cartridge for even the largest bear. Peoples biggest mistake when going up there, is thinking they need the biggest, fastest greatest cartridge. Take one you familiar with and comfortable shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Some thoughts.
Wouldn't most of the small differences in energy from these big slow moving bullets discussed be expended in the dirt on the other side of your animal?
Big slow moving bullets from what I've seen only stop big animals quickly by removing there mobility as in front shoulder and spine shots.
Would a smaller caliber higher velocity cartridge kill faster such as a 300 rum?
Remember were not talking cape buffalo or elephant here.
Kevinbear,

I'm a bit more on the heavyweight / proper controlled bullet expansion side of the equation; such as the .338WM Buffalo Bore .250 grain Barnes TSX. They expand well at close and extended ranges; and pack a wallop as well. As I don't hand load, my on-line research shows this Buffalo Bore factory round to be the hardest hitting round I can get in this caliber.

While thus far I'm not disappointed in the .338WM performance, and with having only one Alaska moose hunt's worth of experience, (I did not get a shot), I'm wondering if this caliber/round combination is enough for whatever I might encounter in Alaska; such as a grizzly, (inland), or the bigger brown, (coastal), bears.

Thanks,
Moose Chaser
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some more thoughts....do you shoot the 338wm well? If you do, then forget the 416 or 375. Load up some 210-250 Gr Partitions, and go. You don't need anything bigger or faster. The 338wm will take on anything you need it to do in AK. It is a fine cartridge for even the largest bear. Peoples biggest mistake when going up there, is thinking they need the biggest, fastest greatest cartridge. Take one you familiar with and comfortable shooting.
IDTrapper.

Please note the comments I'd posted relative to Kevinbear's comments on this subject.
 

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I've already responded once and have pondered some since then. First, a look at Buffalo Bore's site doesn't mention the load you're talking about going as fast as you claim anywhere. Perhaps within 75-100 FPS, but not where you put it. If you want to limit yourself to that one load, I sure hope it shoots in your rifle.

Also, having been to Alaska on a drop hunt for 9 days, I say the difference between a rifle with a 24" barrel and one with 20" barrel would be significant to me while dealing with the alders. YMMV.

I own a good number of rifles and calibers and my feelings are that the bigger bore, even if "numbers" are equal is preferred by me. Heavier bullet, larger bore compared to lesser weight and bore, wins hands down, again YMMV.

You'd find few that would argue that the .338WM properly loaded would not do what you want. However, I think you'd find fewer still that wouldn't prefer to have the .375 in hand if/when "that" happened. I had a .450 Marlin in hand on my trip and even it felt puny seeing the grizzly I saw. I was hunting black bear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've already responded once and have pondered some since then. First, a look at Buffalo Bore's site doesn't mention the load you're talking about going as fast as you claim anywhere. Perhaps within 75-100 FPS, but not where you put it. If you want to limit yourself to that one load, I sure hope it shoots in your rifle.

Also, having been to Alaska on a drop hunt for 9 days, I say the difference between a rifle with a 24" barrel and one with 20" barrel would be significant to me while dealing with the alders. YMMV.

I own a good number of rifles and calibers and my feelings are that the bigger bore, even if "numbers" are equal is preferred by me. Heavier bullet, larger bore compared to lesser weight and bore, wins hands down, again YMMV.

You'd find few that would argue that the .338WM properly loaded would not do what you want. However, I think you'd find fewer still that wouldn't prefer to have the .375 in hand if/when "that" happened. I had a .450 Marlin in hand on my trip and even it felt puny seeing the grizzly I saw. I was hunting black bear.
Trihunter,

In regards to the velocity and energy values I've referenced from the Buffalo Bore website for their .338WM 250 grain Barnes TSX round; please note:

"This 338 Win. Mag. load is designed for those who want the deepest possible penetration out of an expanding bullet fired from a 338 Win. Mag. The 250gr. TSX by far out-penetrates the typical 250gr. premium type partition bullet. This 250gr. TSX load penetrates deeply enough to use on 2,000lb buffalo, shot at bad/extreme angles.
Both my 338’s have custom 22 inch barrel as the below velocities show. For your reference, 24 inch barrels will GENERALLY give 75 fps more velocity than 22 inch barrels and 26 inch barrels will GENERALLY give 50 to 60 fps more than 24 inch barrels".

➤ 2657 fps — Win. Mod. 70 with a 22-inch Krieger barrel
➤ 2677 fps — Rem. 700 with a 22-inch PAC-NOR barrel

(I'd used their published values starting with a 2,800 fps muzzle velocity per the original values I've included in my previous response. Per their note above relative to "24 inch barrels GENERALLY give 75 fps more velocity that 22 inch barrels", as I have a Remington 700 stainless / synthetic, I applied the starting velocity of 2,677 fps and added 75 fps to it to obtain a 2,752 fps muzzle velocity).

Using Hornady's ballistic calculator on their website, I obtained the values below:

2,677 + 75 = 2,752
B.C. = .425
Muzzle = 2,752 mv / 4204 fpe
100 = 2,541 / 3685
200 = 2,340 / 3040
300 = 2,148 / 2562

Please let me know if you have personal experience with the .375 Ruger and / or .375 H&H on moose, caribou, and/or bears and how you'd rate the terminal bullet performance.

.....Maybe I'll just keep my .338WM and get a .416 Ruger for the dense, heavy cover.

All the best and shoot straight,
Moose Chaser
 

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Here are some things to keep in mind while your plugging away at numbers comparing cartridges. First of all, let me give you some background info on where I am coming from. I have spent time hunting all of the species you are talking about hunting. I have killed moose, caribou, and grizzly bear with the "lowly" 30.06. Moose and caribou in particular are not that difficult to kill. Heck a 270 is plenty of gun for those two critters. The larger bears is where the game changes, a 30.06 with a appropriate bullet will do the job just fine, but a 300 win or your 338 will also do the job just dandy and give you a little more wallop. Gains or losses from a 24 in bbl or 22 in bbl aren't going to be noticeable at all in terminal performance. You will however notice a 22 in bbl is significantly easier to pack through the brush. don't get caught up in what you read online, about how you need a 500 super duper magnum with 10000 ft lbs of energy to take a brown bear or moose. (I hope you see the exaggeration there). Or how the load your using will pass through a 2000 lb buffalo lengthwise. Great. Instead of worrying about whether your 338 with the BB load will be the best bet, take it out and try it. I doubt you'll be unhappy with its performance ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the words of wisdom IDTrapper. I do plan on heading out to the range with my .338WM and trying out different factory loads, (I don't hand load at this time; maybe when I retire),and seeing which one(s) my rifle prefers.

I'm thinking about getting myself a retirement present; after more review, probably a Sako 85 synthetic / stainless in .375 H&H, (can't have too many guns), It's a proven round and from what I can see, (on-line), there's no problem getting ammo for it in Alaska.

Please indicate if you've taken moose, caribou, and or bear with the .375 H&H and how you'd rate the performance.
 

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Alaska Bound, my experience with the 375 H and H is limited to a couple of black bears, and a large bull elk. I was impressed with its performance. I would say that a sako in 375 will serve you well up north. I never used the 375 in Alaska, I was younger and broke when I first went north. All I had was a Winchester mod 70 in 30.06, and a 45 colt revolver, and a 12 gauge shotgun. Shells for these calibers and gauges were cheap and plentiful, I carried the 06 everyday and took a variety of game from fox to grizzly with it. From my experience, anything 06 and up will do you just fine for Alaska. I will say that if your busting brush, a 45-70 lever with hard cast or a 12 gauge loaded with slugs is about the best close range bear medicine you will find. But a good bolt action will also serve you well. There were several times I would have given anything for a Sherman tank to go into the brush after a bear. Ha, I wish you the best of luck, and a 338 wm and the 375 h and h will be all you'll ever need :)
 

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Cartridge considerations aside.

Considering were talking about living and hunting in Alaska, I would think seriously about taking up reloading. There's just so much more to be gained by rolling your own, and especially if living in a state where everything is in limited supply, thus making it much more difficult to locate and acquire enough of the same performing brand. A guy could find himself in a situation where he would be constantly working on sighting back in with each new box of ammo, and then having to start all over again due to availability issues.

Where as reloading would allow you to develop a load, then just buy a bunch of those components that perform as desired. No muss no fuss, load and shoot the same development till the end of time.

Just saying.

SMOA
 

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"The 250gr. TSX by far out-penetrates the typical 250gr. premium type partition bullet. This 250gr. " I'd certainly agree, the copper bullet penetrate like a solid (they are) but that comes at a lack of expansion and tissue damage. Nothing wrong with solids, on proper shot placement.

Coming in late, but the 338 would be fine. I assume you know a number of people make 300 grain .338 bullets for hunting and tactical; if you just want a heavier bullet.

I've hunted Alaska and killed moose and big bears. My choice as a sport hunter, is the 416 Rem mag (I've also used the 416 Weatherby, and the 338). So my 416 with the 400 grain Hornady SP have killed moose and grizzly with one shot and the animals fell in their tracks right where hit. The 350 Mag Tip bullet is also good and kicks somewhat less in the 416 Weatherby. I've reloaded the 350 gr and the 400 grain 416 and had perfect performance on everything including African BIG game animals. My rifles all have 24 inch barrels, just my preference.

one last comment; Don't overly focus on numbers, such small differences don't matter at all. And shoot the cartridge you might want before buying it. Might make your decision easier.
 

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And shoot the cartridge you might want before buying it. Might make your decision easier.
This is good advice all the time... back when the RUMs came out, I was at a local sporting goods store chatting with one of the guys behind the counter. One of the things that came up was that the RUM chambered rifles had a high return rate in their store. Folks would buy them, go out and shoot them, decide that it was too much recoil, then return them.
 

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I'd be happy with the .338. Ain't no elephants in Alaska that I am aware of.
Yep, Even if I had a "redo" on my Alaska experience, I'd still keep the 06. Might not be what arm chair outdoorsman would ever recommend but I had no complaints. I was younger then and didn't overthink things like I do now. ;)
 
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