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Thread: .338-06 vs .338RCM

  1. #1

    Default .338-06 vs .338RCM

    .338-06 and .338 RCM
    When I searched .338 RCM on the web, there was a lot of poo pooing of the new cartridge. An article in Rifle by W.Van Zwoll states some impressive chrono numbers and stated that the case capacity of the .338 rcm is virtually the same as a .338-06. If this is true then it will likely perform in a similar fashion the much revered .338-06 and if so it will be an excellent cartridge. Bonus for those considering a sub-magnum .338 will be ruger factory rifles/brass and - thank the lord – iron sights on a production rifle. My only question is the 20 inch barrel and trying to equal factory ballistics as a handloader. I hope someone here will be able to help with that. Regardless I am waiting to see the new beast before I install a custom .338-06 barrel and pay 350 dollars to have iron sights installed on my ruger 06. What do you think?

  2. #2

    Default another couple of short somethings?

    Combining both posts... I don't remember anyone blasting the 35 Whelen. It's only drawback is a hidden headspace issue that most don't recognize or at least tend to ignore. A cousin, the 338-06, isn't subject to this issue. Both are very good cartridges and easy to load for. In a pinch 30-06 brass is used to make ammo for both. Probably nothing wrong with the 338 rcm in and of itself. But, I don't understand the fixation, draw or mentality of "highest possible velocity" so I don't get into those discussions. I see you are comfortable with the future supply of ammo and/or brass for the 338 rcm. If so then go for it. I don't think making 338 rcm cases from 375 Rug. cases will be a walk in the park if in the future the 338 rcm fades in popularity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber View Post
    .338-06 and .338 RCM
    When I searched .338 RCM on the web, there was a lot of poo pooing of the new cartridge. An article in Rifle by W.Van Zwoll states some impressive chrono numbers and stated that the case capacity of the .338 rcm is virtually the same as a .338-06. If this is true then it will likely perform in a similar fashion the much revered .338-06 and if so it will be an excellent cartridge. Bonus for those considering a sub-magnum .338 will be ruger factory rifles/brass and - thank the lord – iron sights on a production rifle. My only question is the 20 inch barrel and trying to equal factory ballistics as a handloader. I hope someone here will be able to help with that. Regardless I am waiting to see the new beast before I install a custom .338-06 barrel and pay 350 dollars to have iron sights installed on my ruger 06. What do you think?
    I have no idea how close ballistically one is to the other, but the RCM is a new cartridge, and brass for a new cartridge always takes time to reach the shelves. Not only that, but you would need new dies, too. At the moment you would have to depend on loading data from the factory, or from others who have reloaded for it.

    Reloading data for the .338-06 has been published for years, and is available in most reloading manuals. You can buy head-stamped brass for it if you like, but you can also used the .30-06 brass you already have as well. More than likely you can use the same dies, too, except that you may have to buy a .338 expander button for your die. These things give the .338-06 an advantage over a brand new cartridge.

  4. #4

    Default yep


    I agree with all that you say but part of the attraction of the new cartridge is the rifle it comes with. Believe me if ruger made a .338-06 with a 22 inch barrel and open sights we wouldn’t be talking cause I ‘d be at the range. A custom barrel, sights and fitting add close to a grand to the project which severely eats in to the scope budget. I don’t for a minute think that the new round will be any better but I am interested to see what it does.

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    [quote=35gibber]
    ......part of the attraction of the new cartridge is the rifle it comes with. Believe me if ruger made a .338-06 with a 22 inch barrel and open sights we wouldn’t be talking cause I ‘d be at the range.

    I'm with you all the way! How we dream! I already said it before, if my Kimber 84 .338 Fed had rifle sights on it, hands down, it would most likely become a favorite. Give me a good rifle with hard sights, medium to light in wieght, and medium to short in length, in a tame 338 cal.... 338-06 great. I can't get myself to want the weatherby ultralight with no sights....and I don't want to go thru the trouble of having someone attempt to put on sights and then not be satisfied. Will they be in line with my eye with proper shouldering (is that a word?) when its complete, or will I have to cheek down onto my check bone or have to raise my head so I have a weak weld to the stock with my chin?

    I just look at that Ruger and think this may be it!................

    Then I take a few deep breaths and think maybe I'll just shorten my 700 BDL Stnlss in 375 H&H to 21 or 22", load up some 250 grain Sierras or 260 grain accubonds to 2500 - 2600 fps and be done with it.

  6. #6

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    I like the Ruger rifle and the sights on a short barrel. I think that is just great. I got to looking out of curiosity and Midway and others do not even have ammo in for it yet much less brass. Then there is load data and so on. I think the 338-06 is so easy to develope loads for and make brass. I think you guys are right about the fact that if we had a rifle buy ruger or other companies that had sights on 388-06 or Fed 338 we would not even talking much about the 338 RCM. I have a Mod 7 rifle on the way in a old favorite of mine which is 350 Rem mag. I would like sights on it but I am going to just put a real low power 1.5-7 or something like that on it for my thick covered pine woods and oak bottoms and some thick cover in mountains I hunt at times. I don't know if the 338 or 300 RCM will make a big hit or not but they have very good ballistics for short barrels.
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  7. #7

    Default .338-06 vs .338 RCM

    I think, from what I have read, that the .338 RCM will be hotter by a substantial margin than the .338-06.......which is a darn good cartridge in it's own right.

    If one reads the article by Van Zwoll quoted in this thread one will find reference to his discussion with a ballistician at Hornady. The ballistician is explaining that considerable tweaking has been done with propellants to obtain the quoted high velocities out of 20" barrels. We will probably be able to load for the RCM cartridge, but using the propellants available to us peasants, our reloads will probably just about equal the .338-06. So, if you want to reload and shoot on the cheap, grab the .338-06. If you like the factory ballistics in the .338RCM, buy that one and shoot factory ammo.

    Further, the likelihood of obtaining good velocities out of the .338-06 with a 20" barrel is pretty low. Once again, we don't have the powders to do that.

    Now what was that, 35 Gibber, about paying $350 to have a gunsmith install iron sights on a rifle? That is an outrageous price for a relatively simple job! I would find another gunsmith, quick. If they really are charging that much and getting it, it's time for me to go back to school and get into the gunsmith trade!
    Jack.

  8. #8

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    Would like to see the 338RCM come out with a 22" barrel minimum.
    20" is too short for a short mag IMO. Other than that, it looks the goods.



    340

  9. #9

    Default RCM's

    I don't much care for a cartridge that requires special proprietary powders in order to achieve factory velocities. Especialy if there is such unlimited factory ammo to begin with. But then again I load all of my owne ammo and would just prefer the 338-06 to the 338 RCM if I can't beat the velocities of the '06. Now if hornady released the powder to handloaders that would be a completely diferent story. I would probably buy one up yesterday!

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    Default Go the 338-06 over the 338RCM

    Hi all
    I am rather dubious about any ammunition that has to be loaded with SPECIAL POWDER and SPECIAL TECHNIQUES to get similar ballistics. It would be nice to see what could be acheived within the normal handloading parameters from that 20" tube. Also speaking of the short barrel, that 20" tube isn't going to help anyones shooting unless it has enough wait not to waive around to much.

    Go with what works, a 22" or 24" barrelled 338-06 and know what you are buying! 338-06 ballistics are easy to acheive by anyone at home and components are everywhere.

    Using only factory loads is fine if the rifle you have shoots them, I have a Remington BDLSS in 270Win that shoots no less than 2" - 3 shot groups with factory rounds however it will shoot 3/4" with regular old soft points and a little neck tension in my handloads.

    As for sights, I fully agree, it would be nice if the large rifle makers would give us an option for open sights again. I had a Mauser carbine in 308Win wrecked when a so called "gunsmith" drilled and tapped the barrel for open sights, they were so crooked that they were not usable and I probably could have done a better job at home with a hand drill.

    Remember that in most circumstances a short light rifle is great to walk with but is generally harder to shoot well.

    Happy hunting
    JohnC

  11. #11
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    The concept of this, it's better than any 338 heretofor, is bizarre for even the most intellectually deprived.

    Hornady is advertising a 200 grain SST at 2850 fps and a 225 grain SST at 2710 fps. This is certainly 338-06 ballistics. I don't know what length barrel that is from but likely not 20". Though the 338-06 in 20" is now very close to that. It is so funny, we couldn't have a 338 WSM because of who knows what, but the 338 Federal received a big send off. The 338-06 has never been heralded by any gun writer, yet all get on the 338 RCM band wagon.

    I don't buy into the wizardry of loading with exotic powders except to say it is higher pressure for modern guns because we know there isn't any old guns in this caliber that we need to protect.

    I'm sure it is a good caliber, effective in the field, quick and handy, with it's shorter action and tube, and I might buy one some day, but it ain't better than the 338-06, it's just different.

    I have a 338 WSM with a 20" barrel and it exceeds these ballistics as one might expect with the capacity of the WSM case. It is just so funny how the gun writers all explained how we couldn't get a 338 WSM from Winchester because Winchester engineers couldn't get useful ballistics from the case, now enters, not one but two smaller cases and they are both the proverbial hammer of Thor. Oh, well, it gives us all something to talk about.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12

    Default .338-06

    The .338-06 has a great track record with Alaskan hunters. I knew one fellow who took sheep with his, due to the proximity of griz. For that reason he preferred it over a .270 or '06. His rifle was as light as he could make it.

    There are various .338-06 Improved cartridges out there. I couldn't find one in my P.O. Ackley books, but I read an aricle on them several years back in a shooting magazine, and they showed substatial velocity increases over the standard .338-06. I believe information on this might be available from RCBS. I considered this option and might pursue it yet.

    Another thing; I love carbines. Short, handy, light carbines are special to me; moreso as I get older. It took me some time to get used to my first one, but, like shooting various types of firearms, it gets better with practice. If I need to grab a rifle and make a quick hunt, or take care of a problem, most of the time I reach for a carbine. I have hunted antelope successfully with carbines, though a high-velocity, long-barreled rifle would have been better. I had a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder for several years, and long, heavy rifles stayed on the shelf. Even after the surgery (ies), for several years I favored the light carbines. The matter of getting steady and accurate with them required practice, but they work, and we do carry them a lot more than we shoot them. In the brush, and for dangerous game, short barreled, big bore carbines are quick and hard to beat. I can't imagine having to make a quick turn-and-shoot in the alders with one of my 28" barreled rifles.
    Jack.

  13. #13

    Default .338 rcm to .338 wsm

    Here’s a question. If I bought a .338RCM and it turned out to be less impressive than advertised. How easy would it be to ream the chamber to 338 wsm or even 338-06?

    With regard to the improved .338-06; the data, for instance, for the .338 scoville in the barnes manual shows no advantage over the standard 338-06. it has more case capacity so you would expect some improvement, so perhaps this is due to the lack of pressure testing for the wildcat round. I don’t know.

    What effect does improving or moving a shoulder forward to increase case capacity have on feeding. My .35Gibbs does not feed as smoothly as a 35 whelen and you can get 1 less round in the box. I looks as if occasionally the shoulder hangs or scrapes on its way from the mag to the feed ramp. It never malfunctions but is not buttery smooth. I assumed that is because the magazine feed rail is designed for the 06 shoulder angle which is shallower and further back. I wonder if anyone with improved rounds has noticed something similar. Perhaps I just need a competent smith to sort out the feeding.


    Couldn't someone just influence a manufacturer to bring out the .35 wsm or a beltless .358 norma in a standard rifle and save us all this stress? 250 grains at 2700 with powders I can buy across the shelf. Dare to dream Arnold!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber View Post
    Here’s a question. If I bought a .338RCM and it turned out to be less impressive than advertised. How easy would it be to ream the chamber to 338 wsm or even 338-06?

    With regard to the improved .338-06; the data, for instance, for the .338 scoville in the barnes manual shows no advantage over the standard 338-06. it has more case capacity so you would expect some improvement, so perhaps this is due to the lack of pressure testing for the wildcat round. I don’t know.

    What effect does improving or moving a shoulder forward to increase case capacity have on feeding. My .35Gibbs does not feed as smoothly as a 35 whelen and you can get 1 less round in the box. I looks as if occasionally the shoulder hangs or scrapes on its way from the mag to the feed ramp. It never malfunctions but is not buttery smooth. I assumed that is because the magazine feed rail is designed for the 06 shoulder angle which is shallower and further back. I wonder if anyone with improved rounds has noticed something similar. Perhaps I just need a competent smith to sort out the feeding.


    Couldn't someone just influence a manufacturer to bring out the .35 wsm or a beltless .358 norma in a standard rifle and save us all this stress? 250 grains at 2700 with powders I can buy across the shelf. Dare to dream Arnold!
    The 338 RCM is larger in diameter of body than the 338-06 but smaller than the 338 WSM case. I don't know the other dims of the RCM but it could likely be reamed to WSM. I have my own 338 Ruger made on the 375 case at 2.570" in length and you could easily ream the RCM to 30-06 length with my new 338 Ruger reamer. By the way I need a name for my new 338. It is just the 358 Nukalpiaq necked down and that would be the answer to the perfect 358 caliber. Beltless, '06 length, and not too fat so it holds three in the box. 358 Norma ballistics plus about 100 fps with 250 grain bullets. The plan was 250 grains at 2800 fps. It has a 30 degree shoulder angle for good head space datum and still smooth feeding. Not quite as blunt as the 35 degree of the Gibbs. The reamer is just laying around now, waiting for another customer. I believe it will rechamber a 358 Norma cleanly.
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    Murphy,
    Along those lines any discussion regarding reaming a sako85 338 federal into a 338 RCM. Sako uses different length actions but not sure on differing bolt diameters. Would it be a simple chamber ream and bolt face milling? I guess I need to take my mic to the gun store unless someone has the answer.
    I would be content with a 338-06 performance in the sako.
    K

  16. #16

    Default

    If you want to make a major improvement over the .338 fed look at going with the a .284win reamer. Shouldn't have to even rethroat your barrel.

    If you want high velocity might look at the Reloader 17 article at 6mmbr.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    The concept of this, it's better than any 338 heretofor, is bizarre for even the most intellectually deprived.

    Hornady is advertising a 200 grain SST at 2850 fps and a 225 grain SST at 2710 fps. This is certainly 338-06 ballistics. I don't know what length barrel that is from but likely not 20". Though the 338-06 in 20" is now very close to that. It is so funny, we couldn't have a 338 WSM because of who knows what, but the 338 Federal received a big send off. The 338-06 has never been heralded by any gun writer, yet all get on the 338 RCM band wagon.

    I don't buy into the wizardry of loading with exotic powders except to say it is higher pressure for modern guns because we know there isn't any old guns in this caliber that we need to protect.

    I'm sure it is a good caliber, effective in the field, quick and handy, with it's shorter action and tube, and I might buy one some day, but it ain't better than the 338-06, it's just different.

    I have a 338 WSM with a 20" barrel and it exceeds these ballistics as one might expect with the capacity of the WSM case. It is just so funny how the gun writers all explained how we couldn't get a 338 WSM from Winchester because Winchester engineers couldn't get useful ballistics from the case, now enters, not one but two smaller cases and they are both the proverbial hammer of Thor. Oh, well, it gives us all something to talk about.
    well said. now that I finally got rid of that 375 ruger tank mounted alaskan........I still REALLY want an RCM. The short length, the open sights, the short action, the light weight, the 338-06 ballistics.......just perfect as an Alaskan mountain rifle IMO. Plenty of velocity and trajectory with a handiness for technical climbing. Then....when the sheep or goat is downed with the nice 180-185 grained accubond, mrx, interbond...........then you can decent, float, or hike out of the mountains sporting the open sights and a 250 grainer for bear protection. I'm telling yah........it's just a darn perfect rifle!.......especially when you have a packfull of bloody raw sheep or goat meat......and a hungry grizzy down wind of yah......getting sick of blueberries.

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    I was shying away from wildcatting, i do reload but wasn't so gungho as to jump into resizing up that far. Although the 284 brass is probably going to be around longer.
    I still would like to know if it is possible(safe) to open up the bolt face on the sako.
    K

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    [QUOTE=Eastwoods;194320]
    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber
    ......part of the attraction of the new cartridge is the rifle it comes with. Believe me if ruger made a .338-06 with a 22 inch barrel and open sights we wouldn’t be talking cause I ‘d be at the range.

    I'm with you all the way! How we dream! I already said it before, if my Kimber 84 .338 Fed had rifle sights on it, hands down, it would most likely become a favorite. Give me a good rifle with hard sights, medium to light in wieght, and medium to short in length, in a tame 338 cal.... 338-06 great. I can't get myself to want the weatherby ultralight with no sights....and I don't want to go thru the trouble of having someone attempt to put on sights and then not be satisfied. Will they be in line with my eye with proper shouldering (is that a word?) when its complete, or will I have to cheek down onto my check bone or have to raise my head so I have a weak weld to the stock with my chin?

    I just look at that Ruger and think this may be it!................

    Then I take a few deep breaths and think maybe I'll just shorten my 700 BDL Stnlss in 375 H&H to 21 or 22", load up some 250 grain Sierras or 260 grain accubonds to 2500 - 2600 fps and be done with it.
    I'm over it.

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    Let's add some real time honest fuel to the fire. Winchester stainless classic action, Douglass stainless #3 contour 22 inch barrel in 33806 Ackley imp. The whole works is blued.... really... as black as a standard barrel. Sitting in a McMillen stock... Fiberglass pillar bedded.. barrel floated. Trigger tuned and set @ 2.5 pounds. SORRY, no sights. ANYWAY.. 225 gr Nosler Partitions @ 2680 fps and it will kill Prairiedogs a long way off, ha !! I shot some of the old Barnes 200 gr. X bullets thru it with some Brownells molly bore paste run up the barrel and could rub 3000 fps real hard but about 1 1/2 " was as good as it got. Been thinking about some 210 TSX. The only thing I don't like about the whole works is fire forming the brass. Other than that... PERFECT !!! You guys might look into Spearfish gunsmithing out of Spearfish S.D. This guy is really good and doesn't charge like the "BIG NAMES". www.spearfishgunsmithing.com
    I built the above gun in gunsmithing school. These guys built my 280 Ackley . Fullcurl

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