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Thread: 338/06 or 35 Whelen ?

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    Default 338/06 or 35 Whelen ?

    I'm gonna toss this out and count the votes AND the rationale with them - I have a Kimber Montana 84L in '06 that I'm just not satisfied with as far as accuracy goes - I've tried a whole bunch of loads with 165's, 180's and even a few 200's and I'm just not impressed but I like the gun, sooooo ...... I've just about talked myself into taking it to JES for a rebore job - I am considering either 338-06 OR 35 Whelen, now let the suggestions begin

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quite a thin/whippy barrel on that montana. Because of that, the 338-06 might be the better choice since you're looking for accuracy.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    338-06...

    As much as I like the idea of the .35....they just don't appeal to me like a .338-06.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    The 35 Whelen ammo is more readily available currently, but the 338-06 is a standardized cartridge and easily made. 338-06 brass is available as well. The 338 has more bullets available unless you include 35 caliber pistol bullets. Both produce ample power for all interior animals you would hunt.
    Sorry your current 06' didn't work out and hope your future choice does.
    I currently have the 338 RCM and a 338 WM so I might be just a little partial.
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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I like the .338 caliber bullet selection better, so I built a .338-06. I'm planning another .338-06 build, as well.

    Is there enough meat in a Factory Kimber barrel to bore it out? I'm only familiar with the two Montana models that I have, and they're both pretty skinny.

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    Default 338/06 or 35 Whelen ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    I like the .338 caliber bullet selection better, so I built a .338-06. I'm planning another .338-06 build, as well.

    Is there enough meat in a Factory Kimber barrel to bore it out? I'm only familiar with the two Montana models that I have, and they're both pretty skinny.
    I've got one in 338 federal so I would say yes. It's a shame you couldn't find a load that worked but Jes will do a fine job turning into a 338.

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    I asked this question a while back and i decided to go with the 338-06, better selection. and i love the 338's the way most people love the 30's.

    Im getting mine for my Encore from MGM.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    What is the price difference for rebarrelling vs reboring. Might be worth it to get a full on premium barrel.

    Where are you hunting, what are you hunting and what distances will you likely take shot at game? If you are not shooting too far (under 200 yards?) then go for the Col. I like the bigger hole for more blood loss and better tracking if need be.


    Ask your self.. What is the difference from a 7 mm to a 30-06 Not too much. There is quite a big difference from a 7mm to a .38. Enough difference to really justify having another rifle. Same as the 30-06 and the 338-06. How much difference is there really? There is quite a difference from the Whelen to the 30-06. Of course, if you are only shooting deer, pronghorns and rock chucks, then rebarrel it to a 25-06.

    What a dilema.

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    I prefer the array of bullets available in 35 cal for the velocity range of either caliber. Too many of the 338 bullets are built too beefy for 06 velocities.

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    Member akula682's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I prefer the array of bullets available in 35 cal for the velocity range of either caliber. Too many of the 338 bullets are built too beefy for 06 velocities.
    With the 338 Federal now a standard round they have started to make better bullets for the slower velocities. besides... at normal hunting ranges they are still going plenty fast enough.

    and i agree with Daved, id go with a new barrel. (also, yes there isnt much diff between the 30 and the 33's but some of us like being different and not going with the 30's)
    Josh
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Easy choice. 338-06.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Quote Originally Posted by akula682 View Post
    With the 338 Federal now a standard round they have started to make better bullets for the slower velocities. besides... at normal hunting ranges they are still going plenty fast enough.

    and i agree with Daved, id go with a new barrel. (also, yes there isnt much diff between the 30 and the 33's but some of us like being different and not going with the 30's)
    Of course, I have many thousands of .358 bullets I've picked up over the years, so that may be influencing my view! At today's bullet prices I'm not likely to buy many 338 bullets to shoot instead of 358's I bought in lots of 1,000 at $5/100 at sporting goods closeouts back in the 80's.

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    Daved ! Now, WHY did ya have to go and say that ? DANG IT ALL .... I'm swaying toward the 338-06 too - It's an "elk" gun and I don't hunt the wide open country as much as I used to but I want cartridge that will give me a long, calculated shot with enough energy left at, say 500 +/- "if" I find myself in that sort of situation (but that's still dependant on accuracy as well, I may end up chasin my tail, I do that alot it seems) - "on paper" a .338/ 225 Accubond leaving at 2800 is a mighty impressive bullet when it hits (IF it hits) the intended target at 500 yards - Can I get that kind of velocity from a 24" tube ? - Daved might be right, I AM asking alot from a production lightweight barrel, for an additional $300-$400 it would be less of a "gamble" ....

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    I have a 338-06 and shoot a 210gr Barnes out of it. I'm only getting 2700fps. I really can't see you getting 2800 fps with a 225 gr bullet. That is more in the realm of 338wm. Also I do have a 24" tube and loaded till I got pressure signs with RL-15

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Alaska made the 338-06 what it is today and took off on its own without a factory pushing it.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    If you are taking longer shots up to 500 yards on elk, then it is an easy decision, neither. Get a 280 ackley improved built off your action or trade the whole thing in on a hopped up .300. The whelen is out and the 338-06 may be marginal. Heck, your 06 might not be to snuff for those ranges.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I own them both and I haven't carried the 338/06 hunting since I got my Whelen. They are very similar, but the Whelen is everything the 338/06 and does it with a bit bigger hole....
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    I have a 338-06 and shoot a 210gr Barnes out of it. I'm only getting 2700fps. I really can't see you getting 2800 fps with a 225 gr bullet. That is more in the realm of 338wm. Also I do have a 24" tube and loaded till I got pressure signs with RL-15
    You'll need a Whelen to get that kind of velocity with a 225. Nosler lists 4 different powders that will acheive 2750 fps (2 of those net 2800+) with 225s in the Whelen, but I only use RL 15.......
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I like the 35 cal and although I don't have a Whelen, I do have it's ballistic twin the 350Rem mag. It shoots the Sierra 225gr GK at 2800+ from a 24" barrel using Tac powder. I don't think there is a lot of real world difference though.

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    If you want 500yd elk smacking performance, then neither, get yourself a magnum from 7rm-338. If you want a good all around gun for smashing up any NA big game at ranges of 350yds and in, get either. But I prefer the Whelen personally, never used the 338-06, but have no doubt it would work well, likely no better than my Whelen, but that's pretty dang good. I really haven't hunted with much else since I built the 35, but I haven't seen much need since no animal, from caribou to brownbear, have required a second shot. These animals have been taken using 180, 200, and 250 grain bullets, at ranges from 50 to 325 yards.

    I would recommend a new barrel, not that JES doesn't do great work, but that it's going to be getting mighty thin out there at 24". And you may not get the accuracy you're looking for because of the mega light barrel. If you rebarrel with a barrel having a slightly larger OD, you won't gain much weight, if any, because of the increased bore size. Shilen or Douglas barrels are very reasonably priced and both are great makers.

    And as I've said before, the Whelen kicks like an 06 and kills like a 375.

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