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Thread: My next gun ...338WM or what?

  1. #1
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    Default My next gun ...338WM or what?

    I know there are a lot of arguments in all directions and what not, but I'm thinking of what my next rifle should be. I've been suffering along with a .30-06 so far and want something bigger. Something that covers the bases and can still be a protection gun if it comes down to that, say for a brown on Kodiak when actually hunting deer (I'm not interested in hunting for browns/grizzlies). Anyway, knowing what I know and not knowing what I don't know, the .338 Winchester Magnum keeps getting the nod so far. I've considered the Lapua and RUM, but they don't have as much ammo available in your average sporting goods store ...yes, I hand load, so this isn't a deal breaking issue, but I'm curious what people would recommend for deer through moose or black bear (considering that I'm handloading and can pick the bullet/load that would be best for each). Should I just go get a .338 WM and call it good? Or are there valid reasons for considering something else? I really don't want to carry 50% or more extra weight just for a very outside chance that it might offer a small advantage sometime, but I'm open to hearing all the arguments... How's the .375 Ruger holding out in popularity nowadays?

    Thx,
    Brian

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    .375 Ruger is holding its own. I just picked up number 2. Talked to a fair number of folks who really like theirs.

    Actually I think a .338 is a very nice choice, but for some reason it's never grown on me...I went straight from the .300 to the .375s.

    A .375R shooting 260gr ABs will do it all and can fake the rest if required!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tananaBrian View Post
    I've been suffering along with a .30-06 so far
    Suffering? How so?
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    MY vote goes to the 338WM. We have three of them and they are all good shooters. In the early 70's I wanted a rifle with some knok down power as we were doing a lot of hand gun hunting. Got a M70 and cut the barrel to 20". It is still with me and is my 'go to' rifle. Over the years I have loaded bullets from the 175 Barnes to some old 300 FMJ's. It has done everything that I have asked for and it is not bad to shoot. The wife has a Savage 116 and it has severd her well. The Savage is not for me but then I am not shooting it. I am back to 225 grain bullets just because. I hope to play with the Barnes 185 with the latest 330 M70 that we have. I also see that Sierra is coming out with a 225, and that will be one to try.
    While some of the other calibers that you mentioned might be nice, the 338 WM is easy to load for and can be fun to shoot with lighter bullets.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I have a 338WM but I end up taking my 30-06 afield 80% of the time. Seems like it does all of the things you want a rifle to do. That being said, if you feel like you just have to have another round, the 338WM is a fine cartridge.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I don't feel like suffering when I'm packing my 30-06. In fact, it's been my largest rifle for the last 15 years. I've been to Kodiak twice with it and pretty much all over the rest of the state carrying it. My biggest beef with .338WM's is that they always seem to come in huge rifles. I like 20" to 22" barrels, so if I was looking at a .338 it'd be at a .338Ruger.

  7. #7

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    What a quandry! Suffering with such an inferior rifle as a .3006 should be criminal! I have a couple .3006s, a .300WSM and a .338WM that I haven't got set up yet. Both the '06s have killed more game, but I really love my Win 70 .300WSM! I got the .338WM because I wanted something bigger and my dad was always a big fan of the .338. I plan to do some bear hunting at some point and it will be my first choice. Really though, more stuff has been killed with a .3006 than probably any other cartridge. Of course one needs very little excuses to buy another gun so I would say you should, or rather Need or rather MUST buy a .338WM!

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    300 Win Mag all the way IMO. Compare two loads: (source; data.hodgdon.com)

    300 Winchester; 220 grain Speer round nose - IMR 7828 load; 2760fps, 3721 ft/lbs energy
    338 Winchester; 225 grain Hornady spitzer - IMR 7828 load; 2777 fps, 3853 ft/lbs energy

    Obviously you cant pack as heavy of a bullet into the .300 as the .338, but you can practically match the 225 grain .338 load in the .300. You cant match the bear stopping power of the 338 with a .300 but you can come darn close.

    For long range trajectory, nothing the .338 can offer comes close to a 180 grain boattail bullet coming out of the 300 at 3100 fps. Thats my personal load with 78 grains of IMR 7828, and I get 3140 out of my Thompson Center 28" barrel. Very accurate, too.

    If you're really looking to set up a dual purpose gun (stop a brown bear up close, and take 500 yard shots at a blacktail), I think the .300 Winchester is the ultimate. Especially since you handload, I think the .300 would make you real happy.
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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    For a general purpose hunting rifle in NA it'd be hard to best a .338 WM. I've one that has been bloodied a good bit and it leaves little to be desired. There are superior choices in particular circumstances, but for all around hunting it's very, very good.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    The 325wsm pushes a 200gr Winchester XP3 bullet at 2950 fps and has 3864 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle. There are quite a few forum members that have really embraced this caliber. On a side note, when I brought my 338wm to my soulder during a very intense moment in big bear country whle moose hunting that caliber fely kinda small at that time.

    Good luck!
    John
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    Have you considered a 9.3x62? CZ and Ruger both make them for a reasonable price. Good bullet selection (.366), brass is cheap, inexpensive dies. Cartridge is finally getting the respect it deserves and is gaining in popularity every day.
    Any 30-06 can be rebarreled to one as well. Rifles such as the Win 70 or CZ will hold 5 down. It is about the most performance you can get out of an '06 sized case. Almost 2,400 fps with the 286 grain bullet.

    .338 WM is a great round but if I had to pick the 9.3 would be my choice. I have a nice SS Ruger 338WM but it rarely gets used. If I want a heavy hitter I'll take the 375 Ruger or the H&H. They both kick a lot, just try one before you decide.
    Good luck.

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    338 winmag is a fine round.Myself I'm stepping backward to 06
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  13. #13
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    What about a 35 whelen with a 20 or 22 inch barrel?
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    I started with the .300 Weatherby and moved down to the 30-06. I feel just as comfortable with either rifle, I just wouldn't take as far as a shot with the 06. The Weatherby has better energy and velocity than the 300wm and almost matches the 338, exept the weatherby is flatter shooting. When it comes down to it, it's what YOU want, not us. If you need an excuse to buy another rifle then the .338 is a very good rifle and I wouldn't hesitate.

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    Another vote for the 35 Whelen or the 9.3 Mauser. Not a whole lot more recoil than an '06, but a good deal more killing power, especially on bigger game.

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    Im not big into the reAlly big recoiling rifles. With that said I got a 338-06 made. I love that rifles it is about 150 to 200fps slower then the 338wm but it still hits hard. With my rifle I'm shooting 210g Barnes TTSX at 270o fps and it kills just as good. I'm also doing that with about 20 grains less powder.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    With modern powders you can reload your old trusty 06 to near magnum velocities. Using ReLoader 17 my 06 load that used for sheep hunting this fall was clocking at 2917fps using 180 grain Accubonds. Pack a few heavier rounds in case of bear trouble and save some money.

    Then again we all love a new rifle and nothing wrong with that. I've have really enjoyed my Winchester Extreme Weather 325WSM and have not felt under gunned while in the field with it.

    I agree that the 338 WM is a proven caliber for all NA game, but everyone I have ever fired beat me like I owed them money, just too much recoil for me.

    No wrong answers, they all bring home meat.

    few threads on my 325WSM

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ther-SS-325WSM

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-325-WSM-Loads
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    There is a good reason I bought a 30 gun safe - I LIKE EM ALL!
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Another happy .325 WSM owner. I've shot handload 200 grain TSX, but my Savage loves the 200 grain Accubonds sooo much its scary.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    Im not big into the reAlly big recoiling rifles. With that said I got a 338-06 made. I love that rifles it is about 150 to 200fps slower then the 338wm but it still hits hard. With my rifle I'm shooting 210g Barnes TTSX at 270o fps and it kills just as good. I'm also doing that with about 20 grains less powder.
    Ditto.

    ...........
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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