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Thread: 338 Win Mag vs 358 Norma Mag

  1. #1

    Default 338 Win Mag vs 358 Norma Mag

    I am quite fond of the 358 Norma Magnum chambering, although I personally feel the bullet manufactures (Hint: Barnes) have slighted the 358 by not offering adequate heavy for caliper bullet offerings.

    Years ago I came across quite a bit of unfired Norma Brand 358 Norma Mag Brass and completed ammo. I also have 5-6 boxes of premium 358 bullets, (Swift A-Frames, Nosler Partitions and A Square Lion Loads). I have the Norma 358 reloading dies. There are sufficient components and completed ammunition for 300 rounds or so.

    I recently purchased a new Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS rifle, chambered in 338 Winchester Mag. This is the fluted barrel stainless version and at present it is unfired. I've topped that with a Schmidt and Bender 3-12 by 50 scope. It is a very nice rifle. (I own a matching rifle/scope combination chambered in 300 Winchester also) I have zero 338 Winchester Mag ammo for this rifle.

    Should I:
    1. rebarrel the Winchester Model 70 frame with a custom barrel chambered to 358 Norma
    2. have the original barrel re-bored to 358 Norma chambering

    or

    3. Keep the original rifle configuration and merely purchase the danged 338 Winchester Brass, Bullets and Dies
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the shadow is mine and so is the valley. Thy Glock and thy M14 comfort me in days of civil unrest and terror

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    Should I:
    (304) 526-2634. rebarrel the Winchester Model 70 frame with a custom barrel chambered to 358 Norma
    2. have the original barrel re-bored to 358 Norma chambering

    or

    3. Keep the original rifle configuration and merely purchase the danged 338 Winchester Brass, Bullets and Dies
    I vote for the rebore. Jesse at JES can fix you right up for $225. Great guy to deal with and does GREAT work. He's a .35 fan as indicated by his website www.35caliber.com

  3. #3
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Rebore or send to pacnor for a rebarrel. I saw the exact rifle (rebarreled model 70 extreme weather) selling on gunbroker and it was chambered for the 358 norma mag. Man, what a sweet rifle!

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    Rebore and have it chambered with a little freebore. I have both a 338W and a 358N. The Norma will shoot a 250gr at 2880. So far I'm having trouble getting the 338 to 2700 with a 225gr. I'm going to keep trying with the 338 but so far it's a dud. If you are going to go over 250gr you may want to have it bored with a 1/12 twist rather than the more standard 1/14.

  5. #5
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Mine was twisted for heavy bullets in mind (1/12 twist), but haven't shot any bullets over 225 grains. With a 26" barrel I get right at 3000 fps and I can like those results.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    I am quite fond of the 358 Norma Magnum chambering, although I personally feel the bullet manufactures (Hint: Barnes) have slighted the 358 by not offering adequate heavy for caliper bullet offerings.....

    I recently purchased a new Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS rifle, chambered in 338 Winchester Mag. This is the fluted barrel stainless version and at present it is unfired. I've topped that with a Schmidt and Bender 3-12 by 50 scope. It is a very nice rifle. (I own a matching rifle/scope combination chambered in 300 Winchester also) I have zero 338 Winchester Mag ammo for this rifle.
    This may sound crazy, as I recently sent a 338 WM to be rebarreled to 358 NM, but if I had a perfectly good 338 WM I'd never done it. I was going to rebarrel the rifle and making the switch seemed reasonable, but I can think of better uses of my money in your situation. I'd at least get bored with the 338 WM first.......
    Esse quam videri

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    I have used the 358 Norma Mag since 1969, when I acquired my first one, a Husqvarna. The 1:14 twist will easily handle 250 gr bullets. No trick at all to get 250s beyond 2900 fps with good case life and fine accuracy with the standard caliber and a half freebore chamber. My current Nine Norma is built on an FN Supreme action, and sits in a laminated walnut stock.

    I lost track a long time ago how many head of game I have put in the freezer with the 358 Norma Mag using plain vanilla 250 gr Speer spitzers. They just plain work! You won't be disappointed if you go to the 358.

    Ted

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    This may sound crazy, as I recently sent a 338 WM to be rebarreled to 358 NM, but if I had a perfectly good 338 WM I'd never done it. I was going to rebarrel the rifle and making the switch seemed reasonable, but I can think of better uses of my money in your situation. I'd at least get bored with the 338 WM first.......
    This does not sound crazy at all. That's why I asked for help in deciding. I am not one to throw away or modify a perfectly good Model 70 barrel without giving some thought to the matter. There is pro and con to each side of the issue. And which ever choice is made will have a fiscal impact....

    I like the 358 Norma cartridge. I am familiar with it, having perviously owned a fine rifle chambered in it. I also have quite a large investment in dies and reloading components for the 358 Norma cartridge. On the plus side it's a tad bit different than your run of the mill 338 Winchester cartridge. On the down side there is not as many weight options in the heavy for caliper range for the 358 as for the 338, particularly since the 338 Lapua has become increasingly popular.

    The 338 Win cartridge has a bit better ballistic coefficient, being longer, all other things being equal. The 338 Win cartridge is a bit easier to find in the stores than the 358 Norma cartridge, should the need ever arise from lost luggage.

    Per suggestion below yesterday I have spoken to Jess at JES Reboring. It'll cost me $275 to have my 338 Win Stainless Steel barrel rebored to 358 with a 1 to 12, 4 groove twist. I could use that money for reboring to buy reloading supplies for the 338 cartridge. If I choose to have the original barrel rebored than I am left with the dilema of how to restamp the barrel to the correct caliber designation. May sound trivial to some but the astetics matter to me. For the expense of $275 I could buy a fair amount of 338 reloading components......and not feel undergunned at all.

    There might be an idea in re-barreling to 358 Norma chambering and saving the original Winchester 70 barrel for future use. I've yet to look into the cost there for rebarrel and rechambering. A custom barrel may even be hand lapped and theoretically be more accurate.

    With all due respect to rbuck, (and I thank him for his comments) as for the issue of:
    "Rebore and have it chambered with a little freebore. I have both a 338W and a 358N. The Norma will shoot a 250gr at 2880. So far I'm having trouble getting the 338 to 2700 with a 225gr. I'm going to keep trying with the 338 but so far it's a dud. If you are going to go over 250gr you may want to have it bored with a 1/12 twist rather than the more standard 1/14"
    I'm not sure an animal could tell the difference getting hit with 2880 fps or 2700 fps. Maybe, but I'm skeptical. Saying the 338 Win is a dud might be stretching personal preference a bit. Lots of animals have fallen to that "dud" of a cartridge. But your point is taken. You are getting better velocity numbers from the slightly larger bore diameter.

    The 358 is probably a more verisitile cartridge in that it will gobble up 35 cal handgun ammo.....

    Still undecided.....what should I do, I'm a winner either way.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the shadow is mine and so is the valley. Thy Glock and thy M14 comfort me in days of civil unrest and terror

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    For the amount of powder I'm burning in the 338W, I'm getting poor performance. Yes I know that a 225 at 2650 ( what I'm getting with 70.5gr AA4350) will kill most anything it hits. My 350Rem gets 2800+ with a 225gr and 61grs TAC. The 358N shooting about 10grs more powder acts like it's shooting another 10 grs. So far my 338W and 2 others I have checked have been underwhelming. I have not finished wringing out mine so I still don't know for sure what it will do. Time and a few more powders to try and I'll know whether I will still have a 338W or something else.

    Anyone have any favorite powders for the 338 with 225s? I'm going to try AA2700 and RL19 next.

  10. #10
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    338 win mag 71.0 gr h-4350 cci 250, 225gr Hornady was getting 2700 plus over my chrono.
    “When the people fear the government, that's tyranny; when the government fears the people, that's freedom.”

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    You'll probably come out ahead in all respects with a rebarrel in 358 norma by IT&D and sale of your 338 barrel versus a rebore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    For the amount of powder I'm burning in the 338W, I'm getting poor performance. Yes I know that a 225 at 2650 ( what I'm getting with 70.5gr AA4350) will kill most anything it hits. My 350Rem gets 2800+ with a 225gr and 61grs TAC. The 358N shooting about 10grs more powder acts like it's shooting another 10 grs. So far my 338W and 2 others I have checked have been underwhelming. I have not finished wringing out mine so I still don't know for sure what it will do. Time and a few more powders to try and I'll know whether I will still have a 338W or something else.

    Anyone have any favorite powders for the 338 with 225s? I'm going to try AA2700 and RL19 next.
    RL22 ! 75grns of RL22 pushes a 225grn Partition or a Interlock out my Ruger M77 at 2850fps and shoots sub-moa, starting load is 73grns - max. load is 78 grns. CCI 250 primer, WW or RP brass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Anyone have any favorite powders for the 338 with 225s? I'm going to try AA2700 and RL19 next.
    For 225s I've long used 4350 (H or IMR) with 2800+ easily on tap. RL 19 has proven a bit faster....
    Esse quam videri

  14. #14

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    .358 NORMA!! Got both, beware of throating- aka free bore, faster , but in my experience with WEATHERY, just did not shoot as tight.
    I am building another .358 Norma from a .338 RUGER as soon as I turn my Custom AK and 1,000 rounds.
    One thing leads to another!!
    Goo

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    Both very good & reliable killers of big game. I think if I was to build a new one of either, it would be the 358 Norma.

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    Go to powders for me have been RL22 and recently IMR 4350. 72g RL 22 gave me 5 in one ragged hole @ 2650 in rem cases with FED 215's. 74g RL22 pushed 2785 with a bit bigger ragged hole for 5 shots. Got to playing with IMR 4350 in WW cases & FED 215's. 1/2 grain under Nosler book 5 max gave me 1.5" at 200 yards all day long running 2887fps with a SD of 5 FPS and an ES of 15. Yes, I'm grinning all day every day with this loading! Max charge gave me 2985 and opened groups up to 2" @ 100. This is all with 225 Partitions.

    Can't promise you'll get these numbers out of your gun as I haven't been able to duplicate the speeds or the accuracy out of any of the 3 other 338WM's I load for. (Glad I got the fast & accurate one! HA)


    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    For the amount of powder I'm burning in the 338W, I'm getting poor performance. Yes I know that a 225 at 2650 ( what I'm getting with 70.5gr AA4350) will kill most anything it hits. My 350Rem gets 2800+ with a 225gr and 61grs TAC. The 358N shooting about 10grs more powder acts like it's shooting another 10 grs. So far my 338W and 2 others I have checked have been underwhelming. I have not finished wringing out mine so I still don't know for sure what it will do. Time and a few more powders to try and I'll know whether I will still have a 338W or something else.

    Anyone have any favorite powders for the 338 with 225s? I'm going to try AA2700 and RL19 next.

  17. #17
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    Looks like I'm going to have to try IMR 4350 as well. Thanks Buck

  18. #18

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    I think that .358 Norma Mag. is a power house that with the right bullet would put the big hurt on about any thing. Is it better then a .338 Win. Mag. ? I doubt any critter would know the difference. Is it potentially as flat shooting past 300 yards as the .338 Win. Mag., probably not. But, considering most Alaskan game is shot at half that distance it is pretty much a mute point. I think it's advantage would show up more with over 250 grain bullets of stout construction, which most folks won't use. Loading components might be a bit more scarce and expensive then those for a .338 Win. Mag. Still, if ii is some thing you want, then go for it and have fun. Nobody will ever say your under gunned!

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    rbuck351 I use IMR4350 225 nosler accubond in my 358 norma mag very accurate 1/2 group at 100 yds around 2950 with 26 in barrel

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner Ted View Post
    I have used the 358 Norma Mag since 1969, when I acquired my first one, a Husqvarna. The 1:14 twist will easily handle 250 gr bullets. No trick at all to get 250s beyond 2900 fps with good case life and fine accuracy with the standard caliber and a half freebore chamber. My current Nine Norma is built on an FN Supreme action, and sits in a laminated walnut stock.

    I lost track a long time ago how many head of game I have put in the freezer with the 358 Norma Mag using plain vanilla 250 gr Speer spitzers. They just plain work! You won't be disappointed if you go to the 358.

    Ted
    Great info Ted! Lately, I'm really gravitating towards the 1:14" twist rate for a .358-.366 bores. I have a 1:10 twist rate for my 9.3x62, and it doesn't do well with light bullets. The best accuracy from that rifle thus far, is with 300 grainers or 320 grain woodleighs. Same thing with my older .358 with a 1:12" twist, it didn't like the lighter bullets. Surprisingly, the 1:14" twist rate has shot bullets accurately all the way from the 200 grain accubond, all the way up to swaged-down (.366 to .358) 286 grain woodleigh roundnose.

    matnaggewinu


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