THE 338 WINCHESTER MAGNUM - AN AMERICAN CLASSIC

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358Win

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
96
With my Ruger M77 chambered in 338Winchester Magnum with a 24” barrel and with the receiver no longer than a standard 30-06 length, I have a substantial big game rifle and cartridge. This American classic is truly a very versatile all around cartridge for big game. It has reasonable recoil with only the 250-300 grain bullets being a little to much for some people, but not for most of us who use the magnum cartridges when hunting big game. If one re-loads for the 338Winchester Magnum, the new cartridges like the 338 Fed and the 325WSM are not able to run with it, nor can they use the heavier bullets as well or with as much punch.

The 338Winchester Magnum can push a 180gr bullet at 3100-3200fps, a 200gr bullet at 3025-3075fps, a 210gr bullet at 2980-3010fps, a 225gr bullet at 2850 - 2900fps, a 250gr bullet at 2800 - 2820fps, a 275gr bullet at 2670 to 2700fps, a 300gr bullet 2500-2550fps, and is manufactured by 90% of the major gun manufactures. This places it right in the middle of good company when you consider how flat it shoots (like some of the 300 magnums) and how hard it hits (like the some of the 375 magnums).

It is not a compromise by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary, with the bullet and powder selections of today, the 338Winchester Magnum is a very good all around big game rifle for coyote to Brown Bear. It is arguably the best elk and moose cartridge, with no apologies when used on bear. With lighter loads it reaches out hitting coyotes, deer and hogs like Thor’s Hammer, while not destroying any more meat than the 30 and 7mm caliber cartridges.

A hunter in the field with this one cartridge could take everything from coyote to the largest Alaskan Brown bears. It would not destroy meat anymore on the smaller size big game like white tail deer than would a 130gr bullet out of a 270. It would buck the wind at distances that most hunters would consider reasonable and with plenty of energy to anchor anything in North America and most of Africa out to 400yds (where legal to use). Also, with some bullets and loads in the right hands, it could be a very effective round when used at longer ranges.

Since1959 the 338Winchester Magnum has preformed without question on any thing it has been used on in North America, as well as plains game in Africa, with consistent success. Easy to load for, accurate, reasonable recoil if stocked correctly and hits like a hammer. With velocities that are perfect for the big game bullets that are manufactured for the .338 caliber. Jim, a friend of mine said, “with the 338Winchester Magnum you could kill everything from mice to Moose” and I would add even a big mean-spirited bear up close. Jim summed it up in his use of figurative speech, in accurately describing the 338Winchester Magnum.

Most are aware in the hunting world that the 30-06 with a 180gr bullet has been and is very affective in most situations and on most game given proper circumstances. Also the effectiveness of the 300Winchester Magnum using a 180gr bullet is unquestioned. In light of this fact a 338Winchester Magnum using a 250gr bullet, has a striking energy that is around 25% greater than that 30-06 with a 180gr bullet. Also, the 338Winchester Magnum using a 250gr bullet, has at least 15% greater striking energy than the 300Winchster Magnum using a 180gr bullet. On top of that the cross-sectional area of the 250gr bullet is 20% greater with a momentum factor that allows for greater penetration due to 70grs greater weight.

It has tremendous potential as an all around big game cartridge for smaller deer to the largest, toughest and heaviest game in North America. It is a tremendous medium bore with great legs. What do I mean by saying great legs. It is a true sprinter with endurance and has a hard quick crushing blow, like a heavy weight. Bullet selection ranges from 180 grains to 300 grains to meet any need the North American hunter would engage. It can be down loaded to 30-06 levels and still produces excellent accuracy.

On smaller species of big game one can use the 180gr to the 215gr bullets. Now there is a bullet in this weight range that is good on the smaller species of big game, while being the exception in this group due to the fact it is also highly effective on the larger species of big game. I am making reference to the 210grain Nosler Partition. The 210gr Partition has velocities between 2980fps and 3010fps with very good accuracy, flat shooting and hard hitting. It is a combination that really allows the 338Winchester Magnum to stand out as a longer rang load while still being devastating up close.

Of course for the really big stuff the 250gr bullets due to their great shapes and constructions are real game getters for sure. The 250gr to the 300gr bullets when used in the 338Winchester Magnum do not have to apologies, nor are they inferior for any of the tasks handed them when taking big game.

The 338Wincester Magnum is hard to beat as an all around big game cartridge. It is easy to load for, shoots flat, hits hard and according to a multitude of hunters and guides, brings home the bacon. It truly is and has been an American Classic and will be used by the discerning and informed North American hunter for many years to come.

I am proud to be one of those discerning hunters who will have a lot of fun with this cartridge during hunting season this year and I am sure years to come and I will not be disappointed in the results. Mississippi deer and hogs, Missouri White Tail, Louisiana deer and hogs, with the 210 partition and last but not least, Alaskan Black bear in the spring of 2011. Watch out cause here I come. By: Mike Price
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,075
Can't argue with most of that. My MK II 77 is now my son's and when I had it, it was accurate and a tremendous rifle/caliber for Elk. Several 1 shot kills on Elk using Remington Corelokt 225 gr ammo. I will eventually locate one in a #1, then all will be right with the world.

Dave
 

358Win

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
96
Heliman":g23oyi9l said:
Can't argue with most of that. My MK II 77 is now my son's and when I had it, it was accurate and a tremendous rifle/caliber for Elk. Several 1 shot kills on Elk using Remington Corelokt 225 gr ammo. I will eventually locate one in a #1, then all will be right with the world.

Dave

Yes, I had a
#1 in 300Wby and let it go some years back and it would be nice to have a #1 in 338Win Mag for sure.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,075
358Win":33apsyc4 said:
Heliman":33apsyc4 said:
Can't argue with most of that. My MK II 77 is now my son's and when I had it, it was accurate and a tremendous rifle/caliber for Elk. Several 1 shot kills on Elk using Remington Corelokt 225 gr ammo. I will eventually locate one in a #1, then all will be right with the world.

Dave

Yes, I had a
#1 in 300Wby and let it go some years back and it would be nice to have a #1 in 338Win Mag for sure.

One thing that has slowed down my search for a .338 #1 is that I currently hunt Elk with a K1-A 35 Whelen and back it up in the timber with a 1-H in 405 Win. Still, I will go for the 338 someday.

Gotta love the medium bore guns! :)

Dave :wink:
 

targshooter

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
7
I've owned two rifles chambered for the .338 Winchester Magnum over a 40 year period. I currently have a Ruger 77 Sporter in this caliber. I believe this is an inherently accurate cartridge; as this rifle and the earlier (Win Model 70 1964 variant) one were both capable of just around 1 MOA when I was shooting that well. I have shot 6 deer and 1 moose with the cartridge, and I find it to be a very capable performer. I believe the 10% bore size increase and ability to toss the larger bullets at 06 velocities gives this cartridge a capability making it worth owning if one wants more power than the .30-06 offers. I purchased the last .338 for elk hunting in 2005.
 

Billyk338

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
24
Great writing!!!As you may notice from my screen name the .338 Winchester Magnum is my favorite caliber.Thanks for the great post.
 

358Win

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
96
Billyk338":1v9i0cqs said:
Great writing!!!As you may notice from my screen name the .338 Winchester Magnum is my favorite caliber.Thanks for the great post.

You are welcome :)
 

certified angus

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 6, 2009
Messages
62
Dang, I feel lucky, reading this, as I have a No. 1 .338. A few years back I saw it in a gun shop while on a grouse hunting trip. Mainly, I saw a No. 1, didn't pay much attention to the caliber. I wanted it, but had no money at the time, so when I went back to the area a month later for Thanksgiving, I asked my boss for an advance on my Christmas bonus, hoping the gun would still be there. It was, now it is mine. :D I love it. So far, I have only hunted deer with it. Someday it will make the trip west for elk. Maybe even to Canada for a moose.

There is another post here about the .338 rifle and .44 magnum handgun combo. That is my combo when deer hunting. Now I have a .44 magnum SuperRedhawk Alaskan to backup my long barreled (7 1/2") SuperRedhawk. Don't know how I will carry all three, but it will be fun. :lol:
 

Billyk338

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
24
certified angus":3mjlppi1 said:
Dang, I feel lucky, reading this, as I have a No. 1 .338. A few years back I saw it in a gun shop while on a grouse hunting trip. Mainly, I saw a No. 1, didn't pay much attention to the caliber. I wanted it, but had no money at the time, so when I went back to the area a month later for Thanksgiving, I asked my boss for an advance on my Christmas bonus, hoping the gun would still be there. It was, now it is mine. :D I love it. So far, I have only hunted deer with it. Someday it will make the trip west for elk. Maybe even to Canada for a moose.

There is another post here about the .338 rifle and .44 magnum handgun combo. That is my combo when deer hunting. Now I have a .44 magnum SuperRedhawk Alaskan to backup my long barreled (7 1/2") SuperRedhawk. Don't know how I will carry all three, but it will be fun. :lol:

I think the OP was the one who started that thread too.That is also my combination for any type of hunting(other than small animals).A 7 1/2" Super Redhawk or same length Super Blackhawk,and a tang safety m-77 blued or M-77 Mk.II stainless.There's nothing on this continent and most others that I wouldn't feel undergunned with this combo. 8)
 

358Win

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
96
Yes, my 338Win Mag Ruger Mk II and my Ruger 44 mag Super Redhawk (7 1/2") and I certainly do not feel under gunned.

IMG_9116-1.jpg
 

Billyk338

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
24
358Win":4ban7g7h said:
Yes, my 338Win Mag Ruger Mk II and my Ruger 44 mag Super Redhawk (7 1/2") and I certainly do not feel under gunned.

Dang right.My dad also hunts with this combo.Everyone always asks him were Georgia deer that hard to kill?His response always was,"No.But you never know what else is out there!"I agree with Dad. :D
 

martyj

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
616
I have the m77r in 338 and took it elk hunting and after checking the sights at the lodge, I was surrounded by other men with Mark V and custom rifles that wanted to know who built mine.
 

buckeyeshooter

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
681
can't argue-- I own a pair of 77r's. One is fitted with an aftermarket stock so the wood one stays nice. It's my 'go to' gun. A bit hard on deer, but kills everything I shoot with it stone dead.
 

certified angus

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 6, 2009
Messages
62
buckeyeshooter":31bckciz said:
can't argue-- I own a pair of 77r's. One is fitted with an aftermarket stock so the wood one stays nice. It's my 'go to' gun. A bit hard on deer, but kills everything I shoot with it stone dead.

I like Federal Premium 210 grain Nosler Partitions for deer. They go right through don't damage much meat. At least that's been my experience so far.
 

358Win

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
96
Billyk338":jzdzhj61 said:
358Win":jzdzhj61 said:
Yes, my 338Win Mag Ruger Mk II and my Ruger 44 mag Super Redhawk (7 1/2") and I certainly do not feel under gunned.

Dang right.My dad also hunts with this combo.Everyone always asks him were Georgia deer that hard to kill?His response always was,"No.But you never know what else is out there!"I agree with Dad. :D

Your dad is right, the pressure in the south when hunting deer is something else and especially on public land or state lease land you better put your deer down because the shot that kills the deer is the hunter who rightfully by law owns the dead deer. I want my deer dead in his tracks here in Mississippi. You could have a hunter not far from you and your wounded deer better not run past him or he will own that deer.
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,444
Excellent article and well stated. I've been using 338's since the late 70's. I've killed mostly moose and caribou. The 210 grain bullet is a great bullet and a guide I know has been very impressed on how it's done on the big browns. The only Brownie I've shot I used my 375 H&H. In my mind the key three classic rifles are the 30-06, the 338 Win Mag even though it was introduced in 1958 which make it the youngest and the 375 H&H born in 1912. Frankly, a guy dont need both a 338 and a 375 but my Sako shoots so well it's hard to get rid of it. I tend to like 250 grain bullet. Better Balistic coeffiecent. The 250 grain bullet gives the same balistics as a 180 grain 30-06 so if you can shoot one well you can shoot the other well. I've found the heavier bullets to give less blood shoot meet. I shot a moose in the hip one time that was walking away from me in thick timber and you could come close to eating up to the hole. I also like Nosler Partitions. I have had easily a half dozen 338's and they all have shot well. Most rifles were either Winchester or Ruger. My current rifle is a stainless Mark II with the skeleton stock. Tough gun right there. If you don't have one you need one. :D IMO
 

SeeDepp

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 27, 2009
Messages
4
I see that Ruger is now offering the Hawkeye African model in .338 Winchester Magnum. That seems an appealing rifle to me for this cartridge.
 

Three44s

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
303
I have been swooning over the .338 cartridge for some time now.

Got the brass ....... dies ........ but no gun thus far.

Then I got a pasal of brand new Norma brass for the .358 Norma .......

I have had people try hard to trade me out of that Norma brass but I am not budging.

I am pretty sure BIG HOLES are in my future ...... the exact dimension is a little uncertain at the moment!

Three 44s
 

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