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Thread: New .338 recommendations (shorter and lighter)

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Default New .338 recommendations (shorter and lighter)

    All,

    I am in the market for a new to me, used rifle. I have been carrying a weatherby accumark in .340 for moose and bear and it has been a great gun. I am looking to find a rifle to replace this. There are several things i am looking for in the new rifle. The overall length and barrel length of this rifle have not worked well with my hunting style. I tend to bust brush and climb trees and the long overall length of this rifle has slowed me down. The weight of this rifle, though it is a dream to shoot with low recoil is heavier than i would like. i am looking to lighten up the next rifle. I am still looking for shootability though with a lighter rifle.

    Shorter barrel - Most 338's are 26" barrels. i would prefer a 22" to 24"
    Weight - I would like a 8 pound rifle. Seems to be the lightest i want to shoot wit ha 338.

    I currently shoot a montana that is shortened to 20" barrel and love the compact size and ease to carry in the mountains.

    I have looked at the Rem 700 extreme weather and Kimber Montana. Any experience with the montana in a 338?

    What rifles are some of you guys shooting that are carrying their rifles through the hills/mountains in 338 and what recommendations do you have when looking for one? Do most you have muzzle breaks?

    Thanks
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akprideinvegas View Post
    What rifles are some of you guys shooting that are carrying their rifles through the hills/mountains in 338 and what recommendations do you have when looking for one? Do most you have muzzle breaks?

    Thanks
    I carry a M70 338-06 with a 24" 1:10 barrel on a McMillan glass stock. No brake. Have no recollection what it weighs anymore; don't have one of them fancy scales. I say get whatever strikes your fancy.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    My hunting partner has used a Montana in .338WM for several years. It's right at 8 pounds scoped. It does have a 26" barrel on it but that's easy to have trimmed down (as you mayhave already done).

    It is about as light as a .338WM should get in my opinion. Recoil is....er, brisk. He shoots the lighter bullet weights- 180-210gr but the critters are all still dead.

    If you want shorter/lighter/etc.... you might consider a .338-06. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in the field and it does considerably better in 20" barrels than a belted mag.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    If trying to reduce weight, felt recoil, and length youare going the wrong way in caliber. Isubmit that it is difficult to do better than a 35 (such as a 35 Whelen or inshort action 358 Winchester) for hunting Alaska. Game falls to these every bit as well as itdoes to a 338wm yet you donít need more than 20Ē which handles well in brush,recoil is quite mild for how well they kill so there isnít a huge penalty forbuilding a lighter rifle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    If trying to reduce weight, felt recoil, and length youare going the wrong way in caliber. Isubmit that it is difficult to do better than a 35 (such as a 35 Whelen or inshort action 358 Winchester) for hunting Alaska. Game falls to these every bit as well as itdoes to a 338wm yet you donít need more than 20Ē which handles well in brush,recoil is quite mild for how well they kill so there isnít a huge penalty forbuilding a lighter rifle.
    I totally agree. I have a 375 with a 20" barrel that's light. Tips the scale right at 7# with the open sights it always wears. It's a joy to carry and it's accurate, but even offhand it kickstheholyhell out of you. Shooting from the bench with 300's, I get a short dose of double vision with three quick shots. And offhand isn't far behind. I carry it when I'm really worried about bear in tight cover, but it stays home more and more.

    I also have a Savage 99 in 358 that tips the scale the same or maybe an ounce or two more. Lover's tap on the shoulder in comparison, though it kills as well as the 375 at all the ranges I've been able to compare. I shoot the 358 every chance I get because it's fun. As a result I shoot it really well. I have to force myself to get out and shoot the 375.

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    akprideinvegas

    Just what you need. Today I seen 2 of'em at Cabelas.

    Looks RUGGED. See that that big ole bolt knob. KOOL, No?

    http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/m...KANBRUSHHUNTER

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Probably not what you want, but I did buy a 338 Marlin Express and used it last year on moose. Did really well on the moose, as well as my hunting partner's 375 H&H. It is light and quick handling. The 200 grain Hornady FTX worked extremely well. Killed it at 150 yards, first bullet stopped against the hide on the far side and the second (wanted to make sure he did not go anywhere) hit a large bone and I found it in a roast next to the bone. Both mushroomed wonderfully and maintained 80% and 60% respectively. Hope that helps. Jim

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    That 7.6# Savage ought to bite back real well too, especially if you load it with 300 grain Hawks along the lines of what Keith preferred for the 338. You won't shoot it lots, but you'll love it for carry and for poking holes when the chips are down.

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    My son shoots a tikka t3 lite in 338WM. Load is 225 at about 2600 FPS. He has a Swarovski 6.5 to 20 ( I think) with sling and full of ammo it tipped the scales at exactly 7 pounds. It is accurate and recoil is not bad. Just don't know the barrel length. He has killed sheep and large moose with it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by redale View Post
    My son shoots a tikka t3 lite in 338WM. Load is 225 at about 2600 FPS.
    That's on the order of what you can get with a 35 Whelen, so I'd expect it to be fairly mild on the butt end. And a real pleasure to use. Sounds like a nice combo.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I have this rifle 18" barrel, and I had the older Savage 116 with the 26" fluted & muzzle break on/off model. Both are tack drivers they love the 210 grain bullets. I shoot 250 grain hand loaded round nose bullets also and those are accurate too. The rifles are hefty compared to my other rifles (Ruger Frontier and Ruger Compact Laminate 16.5" barrels). Range sessions are bruising sessions to the shoulder, but afield when shooting while standing you don't notice the recoil, nor does it hurt. I really like my Alaskan Brush Hunter.

    I also have seen a 20" Tikka T3 Boar Hunter in 338 WM at Cabelas last year and kick myself for not grabbing one. I know a guy who has one, and when I saw his and handled it it was much lighter. Both the Savage and Tikka have open sights too so that can save weight. Just because these rifles are short barrel doesn't mean they can't sling lead out far either.

    Sobie2

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    That 7.6# Savage ought to bite back real well too, especially if you load it with 300 grain Hawks along the lines of what Keith preferred for the 338. You won't shoot it lots, but you'll love it for carry and for poking holes when the chips are down.
    I'm sure you're right. However, it meets most of his criteria.

    The barrel is a minimal 20".

    I didn't care for the sights in combination with the stock design. By the time I gott'em lined up, the bear would be chewin on me.

    The barrel looked massive, and the rifle felt hefty. I bet it weighs more than 7.6 lbs.

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Awesome info guys. Definitely what i was looking for. The 338-06 is interesting however is not offered in many rifles. the 358 is something i have not read into and made for an interisting one. That rifle sits in the middle between the 4570 and the 338 in terms of speed. I am definitely leaning towards a rifle in 338 wm. I have 7mm-08 for the mountians and a 4570 for the woods and stand. I would like to replace the 340 with something comperable to fill that gap. I agree, im not looking for a mountain rifle chambered in 338. However i will shorten the barrel to 22-24 inches understanding i lose a little speed it makes carrying through the woods much more enjoyable. Thanks again for the info!

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    Quote Originally Posted by akprideinvegas View Post
    Awesome info guys. Definitely what i was looking for. The 338-06 is interesting however is not offered in many rifles. the 358 is something i have not read into and made for an interisting one. That rifle sits in the middle between the 4570 and the 338 in terms of speed. I am definitely leaning towards a rifle in 338 wm. I have 7mm-08 for the mountians and a 4570 for the woods and stand. I would like to replace the 340 with something comperable to fill that gap. I agree, im not looking for a mountain rifle chambered in 338. However i will shorten the barrel to 22-24 inches understanding i lose a little speed it makes carrying through the woods much more enjoyable. Thanks again for the info!

    To make a 338-06 you only need $225 to send to JES reboring to convert any rifle in 270, 30-06, etc and have him bore it out to 338-06. I had that done last year to a Kimber Montana I bought in 270 for $850-875....so less than $1100 I had a 338-06 in Kimber Montana. It has replaced my 325 WSM Browning TI and thus far its worked just fine on the moose and caribou I was able to use it on. It shoots 210 grainers just under 2800 fps and 250 grainers just under 2500 fps from its short 21" barrel which is a far cry from your 340 Wby you are coming from....but its a joy to carry in the brush and such being short and light.

    Of course if you are sold on the 338 WM and want something you can just buy and go play this is the route I would likely go:
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=526208024

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    I shoo the tikka t3 boar hunter from cabelas. its an incredible rifle. its very accurate with my 250gr hand loads. I think the barrel is 20-21", heavy contour fluted with open sights that aim fast and allow for acceptable accuracy. I have a 4-16 vortex on it with quick release rings and so far the gun has accounted for a couple brown bears and a caribou if I remember correctly. I would highly recommend the tikka

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    Also, Alaska Lanche didn't mention that when you have a barrel bored by JES it has cut rifling (which is a good thing) Any rifle barrel can be bored to 338, not just Kimbers - I have a Tikka superlight 30.06 that I'm seriously considering having JES make into a 338/06 - you get the best of BOTH worlds, it would have a 22 1/2" barrel

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Well, I am back at it. No longer have a 30 cal hunting rifle so have started the search. I have gone back and forth but I have limited it down to...
    M70 Extreme Weather
    Kimber Montana
    Montana Rifle Co. X2

    As far as optics I have narrowed it down to the leupold vxIIIi 3.5 -10 x 40. I have been wanting to try the CDS however I don't know if I will go for it with this. I am also interested in the CONQUEST HD5 2-10x42 however don't know if the extra 400$ is warranted.

    appreciate the input
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    I'll echo Alaska Lanche. JES boring does a fantastic job reboring and for a great price. Pick from all the options you could have in 270 or 30-06 and ship it off to JES. I would also like to put in a good word for the 338-06. There are just soooooo many great bullets in that caliber from 160 (ttsx) up to 300. It'll come close to the 338 wm and have a well behaved muzzle blast in the shorter barrel and lighter recoil for a lighter rifle you're looking for. I like to think of it as taking the best of both 30-06 and 338 wm worlds. The only hesitation would be if you don't handload?

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    While it is not on the light side, I have an older model (1971) Winchester M70 in 338 WM that has traveled with me for many miles/years here in Alaska. It started out as a 'back up' gun while bow hunting and slowly turned into my main hunting rifle. The barrel has been shortened to 20", has been refinished, had a B&C stock installed and currently has a 3x9 VII scope on it. It is not light, weighing in at 10.5lbs but is does shoot nice, with felt recoil being OK to handle. Over the years I have shot all kinds of ammo/bullets through this rifle and it handled them all as good as I could shoot. It really like the early Barnes 175 X bullets and that is what I shot for years. My current load, while not hot of fancy, is Barnes 225 TSX. This load will shoot 3/4", 100yd groups all day long, as long as I do my part.

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    I hand load so that is not an issue. I just hesitate because of the loss of performance, though minor in 185 and 200 grain bullets it is greater in the 225 gr and at 300 yds. The decreased recoil is always a plus however especially when I have the wife shoot it.

    Additionally I would like to be a 3 rifle guy with my mountain gun, guide gun and 338. The additional cost is not a show stopper however between the 225$ plus shipping barrel price and increased brass price.

    The next question is do you rebarrel or have it bored out? I would like a 23" barrel If im cutting it and a 24" meets the bill if that is how it comes.

    I will look at more loading data when I get the chance.


    Another article
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/compared_3...06_338rcm.html
    NRA life Member JVJ

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