338 federal vs 8x57
Sorry guys but I can't get real excited about the 338 federal.
I have a 8x57 in a 700 classic. 48.5 grains of H4895 push a 180 gr nosler BT at 2750 fps and 46.5 grains of the same powder will push a 200 gr spr sp @ a tad over 2600 fps. From the pressure signs that the spent cartriges are showing I could probably bump these loads up a little. I know these loads are a bit over max in the loading manual but the primers are still rounded off and the primer pockets are not stretching, the bolt face is not taking on any brass......these loads are safe in my rifle!!
On the other hand the only spent 338 federals that I have examined were factory fodder and they showed more excess pressure signs than my 8x57 rounds. The 338 federals not only had flattened primers but there were signs of the primer dimpling or flowing back around the firing pin.
Bullet weight for bullet weight my 8x57 will do anything the 338 federal will do and with less pressure sign but then my loads are probably still 5,000 psi behind the touted 338 federal factory ammo!
I agree that the 8x57 has lots going for it. My only interest in the 338 Fed is for a model 99 rebarrel. I've beat the stuffings out of my 99 in 358 Winnie, and for me the 338 is only interesting as an alternative to the 358 in short actions like that. If it shot a 323 rather than 338 bullet, I'd be just as interested. I have lots of esteem for the 8x57, but it just can't be made to work through a 99, which I also hold in high regard.
In bolts with identical barrel lengths and pressures, I bet the 8x57 could match the 338 Fed blow for blow, and probably beat it unless the 338 was chambered with a longer lead to allow bullets to be seated out to the base of the neck. Especially with the heavier bullets, the 338 is giong to lose powder capacity to meet factory LOA. My basis for comparison is the 7x57 versus the 7-08. I've got a 7x57 in Ruger #1 International, and loaded to comparable levels, you can't tell it from my 7-08 on the range or over the chrony. Game certainly couldn't tell. The reasons I'd consider the 338 Fed over a wildcat 8 on the 308 case are cost of chambering and sizing dies, plus access to factory loads.
I'd still rather have a rifle chambered for the 338 Federal than for the 8x57 cartridge that's borderline extinct.
If you're not a reloader Matt, borderline extinction is more than a minor consideration. There simply aren't a lot of load choices for the 8x57. But I bet in a year or two there aren't going to be a lot of factory load choices for the 338 Fed. Sad to say the 338 doesn't appear to be catching on anywhere, and in less time than it takes a savings bond to mature, it's going to be even deader than the 8x57. So where are the 338 Fed owners then? A leakier boat than 8x57 owners.
Reloading changes all that. If you can't find 8x57 cases, it's easy enough to make them from 7x57, 257 Roberts or 6mm Rem cases, just as it will be easy for 338 Fed owners to make cases from 7mm-08, 308, 358 or 243 cases. Plenty of 8mm bullets to choose from too, especially for the velocities we're talking, but I'm betting the super premium 338 bullets everyone likes for the mag are going to be way tough for the 338 fed as range stretches, so it may be no easier to find 338 bullets for the 338 Fed than it is to find suitable bullets for the 8x57.
Ten years from now there are likely to be few enough factory 338 Fed rifles floating around that they'll be sought after collectors, and meanwhile there are millions of 8x57 rifles still kicking around. Which are the ammo manufacturuers most likely to load for?
Don't get me wrong. I'm sure I'll like the 338 Fed when I get one, but that doesn't mean I'll like the 8x57 less, or that one is "better" than the other. They both have pluses and minuses, and ten or twenty years from now the race between them will be a dead heat at best.
The 338 Fed seems like an excellent hog cartridge to me. 180 to 300 grain bullets, less than 100 yard shots.
And it should be simple to rebarrel an existing 308 to 338 Fed.
But an Alaskan cartridge, it ain't!
"But an Alaskan cartridge, it ain't!"
It may not be the best cartridge for hunting big bears, but lots of other "Alaskan" cartridges aren't either. Consider the 338 Fed alongside the 358 Winnie, 35 Whelen, the 350 mag, and the 338-06, and it's as Alaskan as any of those rounds can be.
Like I said, I'm seriously considering it as a replacement for my 358 to save wear and tear on that rifle, and 30+ years of Alaskan dents and dings say that the 358 is a heck of an Alaskan cartridge. Same is true for the other cartridges I named plus a whole lot more.
Ya know, I don't get as excited about a 5'10'' 36-24-36 blue eyed blond as I used to, but a smile and tingle is still predictable when I am around one.
Exciting is not a descriptive term I would give to the 338 Federal, nor the 8x57. Neither has blazing velocity, neiter will it kick the _ _ _ _ out of you. Nor will they burn 80+ grains of powder, or blow fire out of a 18 12" - 20" barrel. They won't ultra expand a hornady interlock type bullet and run out of steam while its slower "less powerful" relative slowly penetrate by. They won't cost twice the price for brass as their more powerful distant cousins nor will you be able to spend as much time searching for the same.
Yes, there are lots of differeces one would miss if they have a 338 Federal or 8 x 57.
Different strokes for different fokes Elmer. When and if I wear out the 338 Federal barrel on my Tika, I'll re-bore to 358 Win.(another unexciting round).
You have a great cartridge Elmer, but like the above describe comparison, I still prefer a 5'4" petite red head. Bigger smile, more tingle for me.
I don't believe the .338 Federal will be rare in a few years as long as there are .308 cases and .338-caliber bullets left. The cartridge is called ".338 Federal," and that's fine, but in reality it has been around for quite a long time as the .338-08. Also, it was Federal, which perhaps is the most successful ammunition company, that made the .338 Federal official. It would only make sense for Federal to load ammo for it as long as possible.
Originally Posted by BrownBear
As you can see, the cartridges that are going by the wayside are those that manufacturers aren't producing ammo, bullets, and cases for.
You shoot your 338 fed and I'll shoot my 8x57 and we'll both end up with dead critters.
My wife is a 5'2" petite little 48 year old read head and she still makes the young lads take a second look. We are on common ground concerning the important stuff anyway! Ha!