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Thread: 338 Federal VS 358 Win

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    Default 338 Federal VS 358 Win

    I have a 7mm-08 I was thinking about getting rebarreled. I just can't decide on what to get it rebarreled to. The rifle is a Kimber Montana and shoots ok, but I have 3 7mm-08 that are Model 70 FW that I prefer over the Kimber. I have it narrowed to either a 338 federal or the 358 win. The rifle would be used for caribou, black bear, moose at 300 yards and under. Would like to keep it at a 22 barrel. Anyone have any real world experience with either one of them? Decisions, decisions..

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    I've always like the idea of the 338, but I've been suspicious of bullets that were intended for mag velocities and therefore too tough. Since I'm already a 358 user, I never added a 338 to the stable. There are no end of 358 bullets that are built "right" for the 358. Next guy to answer is likely to have as many good reasons for the 338. All of us have our favorites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I've always like the idea of the 338, but I've been suspicious of bullets that were intended for mag velocities and therefore too tough. Since I'm already a 358 user, I never added a 338 to the stable. There are no end of 358 bullets that are built "right" for the 358. Next guy to answer is likely to have as many good reasons for the 338. All of us have our favorites.
    Me Too.

    It's the bullets. Construction, and there are more 35 cal bullets.

    For a non-hand loader, though, probably not an issue.


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    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    I have it narrowed to either a 338 federal or the 358 win. The rifle would be used for caribou, black bear, moose at 300 yards and under. Would like to keep it at a 22 barrel. Anyone have any real world experience with either one of them? Decisions, decisions..
    For your parameters I'd say the choices are same/same. I have a .338 Federal bolt action (22 inch tube) and a .358 Winchester BLR (20 inch tube) and ballistics never dictate which rifle I carry. If you want bigger holes then the .358 is preferable, if you'd like a little lighter weight projectile and probably a tad less recoil then the .338 is better. Caribou, black bear and moose inside 300 yards will never be able to tell the difference......
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I should have added I do hand load and already have a 338-06. I really don't need either nor, but we all know how that goes. A light weight 358 win with a 22 or 20 barrel would sure be handy the more I think about it.

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    I think the .338 Federal slinging 180ABs or 210 Partitions is pretty much an awesome rifle for what you describe. Most of the lighter .338 slugs will perform just fine at the speeds we're talking. Admittedly, the .338Fed is probably not at it's best with heavier .338 bullets- nor was it intended to be.

    In reality- the difference is basically nil on both ends of the rifle. I just never fell in love with the .35s.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Well there are more 35 bullets out there and if you hand load 358 win is a slightly better way to go, can do anything the 338 fed can with hand loads yet you can load down and shoot .357 pistol cast too. But (for now at least) if your buying ammo 338 fed is the way to go as being new(ish) ammo can be found where 358 is right hard to come by. I love them both, have both reamers and for me the deciding factor in which to build is which caliber barrel I can find a better deal on that day . . . Canít go too far wrong with ether one.
     
    Do need to watch the 338 bullets as most are for mags but there are a lot of longer range mag bullets that work fine . . .
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    I'm a fan of the 358 win, myself.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I've always like the idea of the 338, but I've been suspicious of bullets that were intended for mag velocities and therefore too tough. Since I'm already a 358 user, I never added a 338 to the stable. There are no end of 358 bullets that are built "right" for the 358. Next guy to answer is likely to have as many good reasons for the 338. All of us have our favorites.
    This post mirrors my opinion exactly.
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    If and when I ever build another rifle, a lightweight .358 Win. with 20" barrel is what it will be. For all of the reasons stated about bullet options, .358's will always be a better choice than .338's in my opinion. The only exception might be once we're talking about the ultra-long range game, then bullet availability favors the .338" But that scene has no interest for me.

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    I believe you will have to step up in barrel contour to accomodate a .358 in montana. Which is why Kimber stopped at 338 Fed in the 84m line. The standard stock on a montana won't accept a larger diameter contour barrel the 358 win would dictate. Which is why they don't make a 35 whelen in their 84L line either. I could be wrong on all of this but its what I found out after researching a bit down this road.

    I think a 338 fed in Montana 84M will end up being my wife's next gun though. Hope that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I believe you will have to step up in barrel contour to accomodate a .358 in montana. Which is why Kimber stopped at 338 Fed in the 84m line. The standard stock on a montana won't accept a larger diameter contour barrel the 358 win would dictate. Which is why they don't make a 35 whelen in their 84L line either. I could be wrong on all of this but its what I found out after researching a bit down this road.

    I think a 338 fed in Montana 84M will end up being my wife's next gun though. Hope that helps.
    The Kimbers are all minimal contour barrels per caliber to keep them as light as possible, going from 7mm there will be stock work for ether 338 or 358. But ether will work.
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    I built about the cutest little "bigbore sheep rifle" for a buddy of mine here while back. I took a SS Remington M7 and put a Shilen 14 twist barrel on it and bedded it into a McMillan Hunter's Edge pattern stock. The trick was getting the barrel profile right, I recountored the #4 to a slightly fatter clone of a M70 FWT taper. It's still a long straight taper with only a 3/8" cylinder like the FWT, just a bit larger diameter to account for the larger bore. We finished the barrel up at 20" and topped the rifle with a Leupold 2.5 ultralight in Talley one piece mounts. All up it weighs somewhere right at 5# and shoots Hornady factory 200gr ammo lights out.

    Ive built this gentleman somewhere around 15 rifles in the last five years and I told him that this one may well be my favorite. I can't think of a better Alaska rifle for kids or ladies.

    Another friend, who lived in the copper basin for 30 years used to shoot a Sako Forrester that had been rebarreled to .358. He says that the 200 Hornady spire point at a little over 2500fps does a bang up job on moose, having taken a number of them to include a 69" bull with that combo. Hard to argue with that type of experience.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    The Kimbers are all minimal contour barrels per caliber to keep them as light as possible, going from 7mm there will be stock work for ether 338 or 358. But ether will work.
    Pretty sure they use the same barrel contour on the 84m Montana 338 Fed as they do on their 7-08, .308 win, .243, and more, same overall barrel diameter on all of those, just less "meat" left on the bigger caliber barrels. Which is why you can swap from a 338 Fed to a 7-08 or .308 to a 243 or even a 243 to a 338 fed without having to do anything to the stock as they all share the same barrel contour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Pretty sure they use the same barrel contour on the 84m Montana 338 Fed as they do on their 7-08, .308 win, .243, and more, same overall barrel diameter on all of those, just less "meat" left on the bigger caliber barrels. Which is why you can swap from a 338 Fed to a 7-08 or .308 to a 243 or even a 243 to a 338 fed without having to do anything to the stock as they all share the same barrel contour.
    One would think any gunsmith worth a **** could turn the barrel to factory contour or open up the barrel channel on the stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I built about the cutest little "bigbore sheep rifle" for a buddy of mine here while back. I took a SS Remington M7 and put a Shilen 14 twist barrel on it and bedded it into a McMillan Hunter's Edge pattern stock. The trick was getting the barrel profile right, I recountored the #4 to a slightly fatter clone of a M70 FWT taper. It's still a long straight taper with only a 3/8" cylinder like the FWT, just a bit larger diameter to account for the larger bore. We finished the barrel up at 20" and topped the rifle with a Leupold 2.5 ultralight in Talley one piece mounts. All up it weighs somewhere right at 5# and shoots Hornady factory 200gr ammo lights out.

    Ive built this gentleman somewhere around 15 rifles in the last five years and I told him that this one may well be my favorite. I can't think of a better Alaska rifle for kids or ladies.

    Another friend, who lived in the copper basin for 30 years used to shoot a Sako Forrester that had been rebarreled to .358. He says that the 200 Hornady spire point at a little over 2500fps does a bang up job on moose, having taken a number of them to include a 69" bull with that combo. Hard to argue with that type of experience.
    Kid,
    Do you have any pics of this rifle by chance? I'm going to be ordering a barrel to do something similar with a .358 on a Savage action and I'm wondering on the contour. I'm looking at stainless, finish at 20" looking to keep it light but robust etc. I'm trying to decide on which barrel manufacturer to go with and keep the lead time and price within reason. Was your original contour a Shilen #4?

    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    One would think any gunsmith worth a **** could turn the barrel to factory contour or open up the barrel channel on the stock.
    I agree...just saying you could go from 243 up to 338 in the 84m with the same contour barrel w/o having to do any stock work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I agree...just saying you could go from 243 up to 338 in the 84m with the same contour barrel w/o having to do any stock work.
    i agree I go with the 338 federal and try to get the 185gr tsx or 200gr accubonds to shoot and call it a day... Maybe the 210 partitions as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I agree...just saying you could go from 243 up to 338 in the 84m with the same contour barrel w/o having to do any stock work.
    Iíve got a 243 and a 308 take off barrels on my rack and they are not the same profile, look about the same but they are not.
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