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Thread: I wonder if a 338 federal could be re-bored to 358 Win?

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default I wonder if a 338 federal could be re-bored to 358 Win?

    I would like a 338 federal or 358 Win light compact rifle....
    But I have discovered that the 338 federal is becoming extinct. Midway does not even carry brass for it anymore.

    So If I find a 338 Fed chambered rifle I like I wonder if a re-bore to 358 Wi would be practical?
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Yes but 358 cases are even harder to find. The beauty is its easy to make brass for ether from 308/7.62 NATO, I just fire whatever sutable 30 caliber in the 338 or 358 to get brass. Both are very good rounds (358 a tad better bullet wise) but the lower 48 shooters seem to think anything north of 308 must be for Africa so sales for ether are slow.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    While I'm pretty sure you could ream out a .338Fed to .358Win.... why not neck up some .308WIN brass to .338Fed? A set of F/L dies and you're set.

    >358WIN brass isn't exactly growing on trees either and the world is full of .308 brass.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Actually there is all sorts of 358 Win brass available. I was surprised. Including a bag of 100 out in my shop.

    I was wondering if they were too close to re-bore, and if there would be a shoulder location problem.

    AD, what the heck are you doing down there???????
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Just building guns and enjoying the worm winter here.

    Well the grove diameter of 338 should be .338" and land diameter of 358 is .350" so that would be at least .010" even if the 338 was shot out. When we ream a hole we want to ideally leave between .020".001" stock for the reamer to cut so 338 to 358 is a simple ream and recut.

    The 308 family all use the same chamber, same shoulder angle and head space gage so nothing needs done to the chamber to go up caliber. Last I heard Jes was $225 plus shipping so it may be practical to round up a 338 fed to make a 358 . . . but again 308s are far more common so just getting a 308 downer is likely more practical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    The 308 family all use the same chamber, same shoulder angle and head space gage so nothing needs done to the chamber to go up caliber
    That's a good thing to REMEMBER. I was gonna look up the chamber dimensions.

    Thanks
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    Neck your .358 brass down to the Fed. or .308 up or 7/08 or 260 or 243. I have both calibers and I like the Tikka Fed better, especially with Barnes X bullets...it shoots a bit flatter but not enough to make a difference inside reasonable range. If the Fed is a good deal and you like it, go for it!!
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Tikka no longer offers a 338 Federal. Nor does Ruger, Browning, Kimber or Sako.
    I just happen to know where there is a Hawkeye in 338 Fed. and the barrel look slightly larger in diameter than the 308 barrel.

    There are a couple things that bother me about Tikkas.
    1. The safety locks the bolt so you cannot chamber (or un-chamber) a round with the safety engaged.
    2. The detachable plastic super expensive magazines.
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    My .358 Win is a Hawkeye and it shoots really well...not as good as the Tikka Fed. I agree with the plastic mag but they work just fine but must be gold plated somewhere. The Tikka safety is a bad idea but then I don't like the backwards safety on CZ's either.

    I also have a Hawkeye in .260 that shoots around MOA with 120 gr TSX most of the time so I'm pretty happy with them. First load I tried with the .358 WIn was 1.5 MOA which I figured was good enough for big critters under 250 yds.
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    I know where a Ruger Hawkeye SS in .338 is new on the shelf, I know as I had it on lay-a-way, and got my money back at Christmas time. If the thing still sitting there come June, I may have to snag it and bring it home.

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    I went around Anchorage this last weekend when I was there for a class and I had no luck finding anything chambered in either 358 Win or 338 Federal.
    I did not have time to go out to the valley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I went around Anchorage this last weekend when I was there for a class and I had no luck finding anything chambered in either 358 Win or 338 Federal.
    I did not have time to go out to the valley.
    Great Northern Guns had several boxes of .358 Win when I was there last fall. Pricy, but I bought one, as I wanted a factory box. I make almost everything from .308 with no problems.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Yes, GNG had ammo but not one rifle in either chambering. Yog had a list via chambering.
    Oh Well...
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    The Three Bears on KGB probably has the largest selection of .338 Federal I have seen, but that was two months ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Yes, GNG had ammo but not one rifle in either chambering. Yog had a list via chambering.
    Oh Well...
    Oh, sorry misread your post! Yes, I have never seen a new .358 ever.

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    A few years back Ruger was making 358wins in their stainless M77MKII and Hawkeye series.

    Hudge: the mindless kids they have behind the counter at SW in Soldotna, SW on Diamond and Cabela's Anchorage did not know that there was such a thing as the 338 Federal. Nor did they know the difference between a Hawkeye and American model. Scary......

    I should call 3 Bears. I think I was at one up in the Valley but I thought it was between Palmer and Wasilla. But that was a few years ago. But since nobody is making them now, the chances of them having a 338 Fed rifle in stock is pretty slim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I should call 3 Bears. I think I was at one up in the Valley but I thought it was between Palmer and Wasilla. But that was a few years ago. But since nobody is making them now, the chances of them having a 338 Fed rifle in stock is pretty slim.
    Yes on Palmer/Wasilla highway at Trunk Road is Three Bears but that one is more picked over by much more traffic. The newer one out on Knik Goose Bay road (KGB) near Vine Road is more tucked away and pretty well only folks that live in the Valley ever go in that one or even know it's there.
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    A M-70 Featherweight in 358 or 338 Federal would be really neat...

    I guess Kimber made some 338 Fed rifles for awhile but they are not listed now.
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    I sure would like to find a kimber Montana in 338 fed!
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    I talked with my cousin who has worked at Browning/Winchester in the R&D dept for over 30 years. He said that the 338 Fed was no longer going to be chambered in many rifles. He noted that the factory ammo max COL was set at 2.820 which is longer than the 358 or 308, thus factory loads would hang up in the magazines of some short action rifles. Plus they put the shoulder in a weird spot to make sure the lawyers were happy. He also noted that while it was plenty accurate with hand-loads, it had mediocre accuracy with available factory loads. So it was a marketing failure.
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