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Thread: .358 in Alaska

  1. #1

    Default .358 in Alaska

    Hey everyone, im pretty new to the forums and i was wondering, who here uses a .358 Winchester? Also, what kind of game do you use it on? I am wanting to start handload my bullets and also want a new big game rifle, and i noticed that the BLR's are now in .358 Win and also the Ruger m77s as well. I have read that you can handload from 180 up to 250gr bullets, stuff like Barnes TSX and some other good ones. With the amount of velocity pushing those different bullet sizes, correct me if im wrong but couldnt you use the .358 up here for pretty much anything under 250 yards? I would appreciate all the information i can get, this caliber has really intrigued me so far.

  2. #2

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    It's right near the top of my favorite caliber list. I started using it the year after it was introduced, and have used it continuously since I moved to Alaska over 30 years ago. In a Savage 99 it's my favorite "carry" round. Sure, there are more powerful carry guns out there, but I'm so familiar with it in the light, fast 99 that I prefer it to others. I currently have 5 rifles in 358, but haven't seen the need for the Browning lever since I already own the Savage lever and a Winchester lever, a Model 70, a Ruger 77, and a custom built on an S&L short action. I'm sure the Browning is terrific based on experience in other calibers, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

    I've used it on about everything except big bears and potential long-range animals like sheep and goats. For the latter I have other rounds that make a lot more sense trajectory-wise. While I wouldn't have any qualms about sticking a big bear with it, I do have doubts about long range followup shots if the bear takes off away from me.

    You're right about the 250 yard range. I spent a lot of years shooting 250 grainer's of one sort or another out of it, but ever since Nosler came out with their 225 Parition that's been my favorite. Seems to have better trajectory at my velocities, and you sure can't fault it for terminal performance. Never tried the Barnes premiums simply because the Noslers came first and they're good enough for me.

  3. #3

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    I wonder now, after reading so much information about the .358 Win, why it is such a sleeped on caliber? I am really thinking about getting this in the BLR, as soon as i can find someone around my area who has a .358 to let me shoot it. As far as shooting big bears with it, i guess i would come to that fork in the road when it came up, i sure would like to give it a try though. Most kills are made under 200 yds anyways. Is it hard to find brass up here, BrownBear? Even if it isnt, i know you can form .358 from a .308 case so im not to worried about it.

  4. #4

    Default

    I wouldn't use it for big bears at 200, but I wouldn't make a first shot that far with any caliber. I limit myself to 100 yards with calibers on the order of the 375, and would probably draw the line at 50 yards with the 358. That's in order to still have lots of energy and a little more time for follow-ups. Bears move FAST when bothered, and every fraction of a second counts.

    Lack of popularity has always been a mystery, and most of the gun writers have asked the same question. It never gets high on the list, but it also never seems to die off completely. Ruger is once again offering it in their line.

    Cases are a snap to make from 308. I don't think I've ever bought a box fof 358 brass, instead either making my own or using once-fired cases from factory ammo I've picked up at the right price.

    35 cal in general has never been all that popular, so occasionally bullets fall out of production. If you find one you really like I'd packrat 500 or so just in case it gets dropped from production. Others don't agree, but I have had terrific results with the old Winchester Silver Tips- both 200 and 250 grain. I'm down to my last box of 250's and completely out of 200's, but you won't find any replacements anywhere.

    BTW- The RCBS 200 grain FNGC lead bullet is a terrific performer in all my 358's, as well as in every other 35 I've tried it in. Heck, loaded long in the 357 mag pistol case, it is probably the most accurate bullet I have shot out of any caliber in the Thompson Contender. Great plinking bullet, and I've always got a few loaded rounds in my pocket for small game while carrying a rifle for big game. In a #2 alloy it performed really well on deer in my 357 Herret and a Marlin LA in 35 Rem.

    Yup, I really like 35 cal, and the 358 Win is my pick of the litter.

  5. #5

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    I am hoping that with the adding of the .358 to Rugers lineup, some more companies will start loading factory ammunition in .358 It seems that the public just tends to ignore how good the .358 really is, because a lot of the old timers and long time shooters seem to understand how effective it really is. Im definately a lever gun kind of guy, its hard to decide between a ruger bolt action and the BLR. I can put a scope on both of them, the only real advantage to the BLR, besides the fact that i like lever guns, is that it is a very lightweight gun, at 6 lbs 8 ozs, after a scope it would be a good rifle to hunt with in the field. Anyways, thanks for the help BrownBear. If anyone has anything else to say about it, i would welcome the knowledge.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_outdoorsman View Post
    I wonder now, after reading so much information about the .358 Win, why it is such a sleeped on caliber?
    I think its because it doesn't have "magnum" "belted magnum" "ultra-super-galactic-extramag" or some other name on it.

    ".358 Winchester" is just so '70s. Renaming it the ".358 wicked lazer death magnum" would bring it back to the top in a jiffy.

    I had a drilling with a similar German caliber, the 9x57R (R for rimmed, there's also a regular 9x57). To make the brass I bought 8x57R cases and necked them up with a Whelen expander which was made to neck .308 caliber '06 brass up to .358, worked like a charm. The 9x57R in drillings or double rifles (thinner barrels!) was/is normally loaded slower than the .358 Win, but it does the job on lower 48 game. I took antelope, deer and elk with it with no problem. I shot 250 grain bullets at glacial speed and kept my shots to short range, under 150 yards.

    The Speer reloading manual offers much praise for the .358, mentioning that the .35 Whelen isn't noticably faster until you get into really heavy bullets.

  7. #7

    Default use it

    I know a guy who has used the .358 Win. and 250 grain Speer Hot Cors on moose, brown/black bear and a bunch of deer. It is his main hunting caliber. I don't shoot one but I think it puts out a lot of "killing power" for a .308 case.

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    Default short barrel

    anybody have any thoughts or experience on how the 358 win. will do in the 16" barrel of the ruger frontier?

  9. #9

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    My shortest barrel is 20" on the S&L custom. It chronos about 50 fps slower than my 22" barrels, so I'd guess that means a 16" would round number at 150 fps slower than book for a 22". That looks like somewhere around 2350 fps for 200-grain and 2150 fps for a 250-grain bullet.

    That's not sexy, but neither are standard ballistics for the 358. Remember that you can only get 2000 fps or so from the well-regarded 35 Remington, so the lower velocities are still a noticeable jump over that caliber. In effect it kind of reminds me of the old 33 Winchester once popular in the 1886 (200-grain at around 2200-2250 fps), and that's not faint praise. I shot a 33 for years and was always impressed with how much more impact it seemed to have on deer, elk and blackbear.

    I personally don't see any need for a barrel under 20", but if the choices was 16" or not owning a 358, I'd jump on it in a New York minute.

  10. #10
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default 358

    I load mine up with the 225 grain nosler. My concern has always been range. I would not consider shooting beyond 100 meters. My BLR is a wonder to carry though. Light, a little over 6 lbs and 4 rounds in the gun. No scope, just a reciever sight.

  11. #11

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    I have heard that the .358 is pretty good out to about 250-300yds, depending on what gr. and powder you load it with. However, i wouldnt really want to take a shot at anything over 150 yds or so, im a lot more confident of my shots up to that point. I am going to Chimos today to find out what kind of price i could get on a Ruger Hawkeye M77 in the All Weather version in .358.

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    Default good caliber

    I bought my first .358 winchester around 1984 or 1985 when I was stationed at FT. Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division.

    It was a Browning BLR.

    Anything you read about the .338 federal, the .358 will do better.

    Great rifle in a great woods caliber for eastern carolina and virginia black bears and white tails.

    Good Alaska caliber too.

    I limited myself to heavier bullets and 200 yards or less.

    I think its a dandy for hunting anything...not too sure about wounded big brownies...it will kill browns for sure...hunting and following up wounded game are 2 different scenarios...I just like .375 H&H or bigger for those dudes outta GP.

    jedi

  13. #13
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up BLR 358 Win

    I shoot 225gr TSX and IMR 4064 @ 45.0 with WLR in WW Cases.

    Very good 250 yard gun for moose and black bear!
    Alaska

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    Default premier reticles

    If dick thomas premier reticles were still doing leupolds I would say get a custom reticle and go for kills out to 400.

    I think they quit working on leupolds for some tit for tat squabble.

    I think they work on only Schmidt & Bender scopes now.(very high quality and very expensive)

    If you can afford one,(Schmidt&Bender) I would say get an etched glass custom reticle for your exact load and make 1 shot kills to 400 easy.

    http://www.premierreticles.com/Main.htm

    The .358 is great!!!!

    jedi

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    Default

    Hello everyone i am also new to the 358 winchester. I hunt deer and black bear hear in NY and hope to take on a moose hunt in the north east. I bought a new Browning BLR for it weights in at 7 pounds with a leupold 1.5x5x20 i can carry it all week long and its a very handi and super accurate rifle. The action is the smoothest i've seen in any lever gun. Just this weekend i was able to chrony some loads and they were as follows out of a 20" barrel
    win. factory 200 silvertips -2366 fps
    rem. 200 PSPCL in front of IMR3031-45.0- 2400 fps
    hornady 250 RN in front of IMR3031-42.0-2100 fps
    I am sure i can get 2500 out of the 200's and maybe 2200 out of the 250's
    Its the 250 grain load i am sticking with as the 200 grains bullets were outstanding but the 250's grouped best in my rifle.Where i hunt ranges are 30-50 yards with 100 being a long shot so i think the velocities i am now getting would be fine if i decide not to improve. Just wanted to share this with you and also was hoping maybe i can get your thoughts on the BLR velocities . Thanks Tanoose

  16. #16

    Default Ideal

    That sounds like a dandy combo, and you've picked my favorite scope.

    Your velocities are entirely reasonable for what you want to do. You might be able to spark them up a bit, but at the cost of extra wear and tear on cases. I doubt the moose would know the difference at 200 yards though, much less at under 100.

    Have you tried the 225 Nosler partition? It's really fine if you are worried about penetration on angling shots, especially at closer ranges.

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    Default nice

    Quote Originally Posted by tanoose View Post
    Hello everyone i am also new to the 358 winchester. I hunt deer and black bear hear in NY and hope to take on a moose hunt in the north east. I bought a new Browning BLR for it weights in at 7 pounds with a leupold 1.5x5x20 i can carry it all week long and its a very handi and super accurate rifle. The action is the smoothest i've seen in any lever gun. Just this weekend i was able to chrony some loads and they were as follows out of a 20" barrel
    win. factory 200 silvertips -2366 fps
    rem. 200 PSPCL in front of IMR3031-45.0- 2400 fps
    hornady 250 RN in front of IMR3031-42.0-2100 fps
    I am sure i can get 2500 out of the 200's and maybe 2200 out of the 250's
    Its the 250 grain load i am sticking with as the 200 grains bullets were outstanding but the 250's grouped best in my rifle.Where i hunt ranges are 30-50 yards with 100 being a long shot so i think the velocities i am now getting would be fine if i decide not to improve. Just wanted to share this with you and also was hoping maybe i can get your thoughts on the BLR velocities . Thanks Tanoose
    Sounds like a good unit.(always a plus when the heavier bullets shoot better.)

    For 100 yards or less I wouldn't even worry about stoking any of your loads up any faster.

    The key to happy lever guns and good extraction is clean chambers and low to normal pressures.

    I would stick with your 250 grain loading as is.

    jedi

  18. #18
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    Default

    Thanks guys i think your right , that i should stick with the velocities i have and instead of trying to stuff more powder maybe i can experiment with longer bullets , i've been wanting to try the woodleigh 250 or maybe even a swift A-frame. What are your experiences with Hornady bullets, i have found alot of people on other forums that would not consider the hornadys a good choice. They have never failed me but then i have never taken any game tougher then deer and black bear

  19. #19
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    Default

    Thanks guys i think your right , that i should stick with the velocities i have and instead of trying to stuff more powder maybe i can experiment with longer bullets , i've been wanting to try the woodleigh 250 or maybe even a swift A-frame. What are your experiences with Hornady bullets, i have found alot of people on other forums that would not consider the hornadys a good choice. They have never failed me but then i have never taken any game tougher then deer and black bear

  20. #20
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    Exclamation Hot Load!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tanoose View Post
    Hello everyone i am also new to the 358 winchester. I hunt deer and black bear hear in NY and hope to take on a moose hunt in the north east. I bought a new Browning BLR for it weights in at 7 pounds with a leupold 1.5x5x20 i can carry it all week long and its a very handi and super accurate rifle. The action is the smoothest i've seen in any lever gun. Just this weekend i was able to chrony some loads and they were as follows out of a 20" barrel
    win. factory 200 silvertips -2366 fps
    rem. 200 PSPCL in front of IMR3031-45.0- 2400 fps
    hornady 250 RN in front of IMR3031-42.0-2100 fps
    I am sure i can get 2500 out of the 200's and maybe 2200 out of the 250's
    Its the 250 grain load i am sticking with as the 200 grains bullets were outstanding but the 250's grouped best in my rifle.Where i hunt ranges are 30-50 yards with 100 being a long shot so i think the velocities i am now getting would be fine if i decide not to improve. Just wanted to share this with you and also was hoping maybe i can get your thoughts on the BLR velocities . Thanks Tanoose
    I JUST CHECKED MY HORNADY MANUAL AND THAT 42 GRAINS OF IMR 3031 IS .5 GRAINS OVER MAX WITH A 250 GRAIN HORNADY ROUND NOSE!!

    I would look for pressure signs.

    You need to consider if those rounds will ever be shot at the range in summer heat.

    Probably not a good idea to be that high in pressure in a lever gun.

    I would get rid of those rounds by pulling the bullets and backing down to 40 grains and see what happens.

    Did you work up to that load or just pick it out and start there?

    jedi

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