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Thread: .338 Federal?

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    Default .338 Federal?

    What do you all think of the .338 Federal? It looks to me like it could be a great multi purpose round, but I am no expert? Have any of you used it? Can the .308 brass hod enough powder to propel the bigger bullet effectively? ?Thanks in advance for any and all info and opinions.

  2. #2

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    Never used the 338 Federal but have done lots with the 358 Win which is one of my favorites. It does fine with the heavier bullets. Only concern I MIGHT have is that most 338 bullets were designed for 338 Mag velocities where as the 35 calibers were more designed for Whelen velocities. That said, seems that people using the 338 Federal like it.

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    Default very good

    the 338 federal is one of the best in my opinion, at ranges where most animials are shot it is almost a balisti twin to the great 338 winchester except its much easier to shoot. i bought one last year and its my favorite round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toby.davis1 View Post
    What do you all think of the .338 Federal? It looks to me like it could be a great multi purpose round, but I am no expert? Have any of you used it? Can the .308 brass hod enough powder to propel the bigger bullet effectively? ?Thanks in advance for any and all info and opinions.
    Hi Toby,

    My experience is much the same as Storm56. I've got a 40 year history with the 358 and currently own 3 of them. If I didn't have them, I'd be grabbing a 338 Fed. Even so, if I find a Savage 99 in good shape but cheap enough I'll probably rebarrel it to 338 Fed.

    It should handle heavy bullets just fine, but beware of the really heavily built ones intended for mag velocities if you plan to stretch the range.

    Check back a few pages on this forum, on the reloading threads and on the hunting threads. There have been some very good discussions along with loads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Hi Toby,

    My experience is much the same as Storm56. I've got a 40 year history with the 358 and currently own 3 of them. If I didn't have them, I'd be grabbing a 338 Fed. Even so, if I find a Savage 99 in good shape but cheap enough I'll probably rebarrel it to 338 Fed.

    It should handle heavy bullets just fine, but beware of the really heavily built ones intended for mag velocities if you plan to stretch the range.

    Check back a few pages on this forum, on the reloading threads and on the hunting threads. There have been some very good discussions along with loads.
    The .338 Federal should be a very nice deer to moose caliber. To stretch the distance, use some 180-grain Partition bullets, perhaps up to 200 or so. The heavier ones made by Speer, Woodleigh, and even the Partition should work fine a closer ranges. The Partition Gold is just too strong, so I would not use that one. Some of the lighter wright Barnes 185-grain TSX to165-grain Tipped should also work very well.

    165-grain Tipped TSX
    http://www.barnesbullets.com/product...ed-tsx-bullet/

  6. #6

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    TSX's will do the job, & open up nicely IMO. I shoot 140gr TSX's(federal factory gear) in my 7-08. Whacked a deer in the neck with this combo. Started to open up straight away from the looks of the entry, & fully open on the way out. Yup this 338Fed combo with 185gr TSX's will be a great match. Even better if the 210's gel

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    Quote Originally Posted by toby.davis1 View Post
    What do you all think of the .338 Federal? It looks to me like it could be a great multi purpose round, but I am no expert? Have any of you used it? Can the .308 brass hod enough powder to propel the bigger bullet effectively? ?Thanks in advance for any and all info and opinions.

    I just filled my doe tag yesterday with my 338 Fed, using a factory 180 grain Nosler Accubond. It went about 10 steps before falling. A quartering toward shot. The bullet went in just behind the shoulder, through the close lung, clipping the heart, through the aft far lung and out the far side front of the paunch; a big enough hole that a softball size of intestines were hanging out.

    As far as propelling the bigger bullets effectively, I have not reloaded it yet. But, have been going over reloading data alot. I expect the 225 grainers (maybe not the long ones; Accubond for example) to top out at 2400 fps. The 250's at maybe 2250 fps, a little too slow I think, unless you find a nice soft one. Murphy turned me on to some 225 gr Seirra prohunters a while back that I am looking forward to try.

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    Default Good info

    Thanks--I have a Win model 88 that is currently in .308. I think all I would have to do is get it rebarrelled? Everything else should match up just fine, correct? I don't shoot at long range much--most rifles are good for farther than I can shoot'em. Just wanted to know on the heavier rounds if they would work on closer (150-200 yds and in) on bigger game. Thought the rifle round combination would be a perfect "all the time" gun. I have a .375 H & H, the .308 i mentioned, 25-06, 30-30, etc for more specialized work. Again--thanks for all the info so far.

  9. #9

    Default Fusion 200 gr

    Bought a Kimber M84 SS in .338 Federal mounted a Leupold Ultralight scope on it and have shot 40 rounds through it using Federal Fusion 200 gr. It shoots about 1.5-2 inches at 100 yards with these rounds. Not as good as i would like. It is so lightweight it kicks fairly well. Need to get used to shooting a light weight rifle. Just worked up some loads tonight with the brass, using Speer 200 gr bullets, RL15 powder (45, 45.2, 45.5, 45.7, 46), 2.820 COAL, Federal 210 primers, trimmed to 2.005. I hope to shoot them Saturday and see if my groups improve. Gee, I hope so.

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    I just got this m70 classic done in .338 federal. I put some rounds through her for breakin and brass...shot federal fusion 200g...got consistent 3/4 inch cloverleafs at 100 yards...need to work up a load now and see what it really can do.

    M70 classic SS, blue printed action, 2.5 lb stock trigger
    ER shaw ss 22" 2.5 contour
    HS sporter contour stock with some crylon touches
    Williams solid bottom metal
    leupold QR rings and bases
    leupold VXII 4-12x AO


  11. #11

    Default Light weight

    If you want to shoot a 180 -200 grain bullet out of a bolt gun; just buy a 30-06 and save money on ammo. There's no advantage to the 338 Federal with light bullets over the 30-06,300 Mags or 35 Whelen, unless you HAVE to HAVE a short action rifle. If you want a rifle that shoots a heavy large animal class bullet with enough velocity to be a hunting cartridge the 338 Federal isn't it. As the use of heavier bullets requires the bullets be seated back into the case reducing case capacity and velocity.
    It will never be in the same class with a 35 Whelen or 338 Win Mag regardless of who loads it or what bullet weights are launched, the bigger case will always launch the same weight bullets at greater velocities with more energy.
    You may fool yourself into believing the MEDIA HYPE, but will never measure up.
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    My dad took one up the haul road this year. He didnt get a chance to kill a caribou with it but felt good enough about the cartridge that he made it his all around Alaska gun. Look at the ballistics of the round. Then look at the high quality hunting bullets made today. Inside 200 yards you could shoot anything in Alaska with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    If you want to shoot a 180 -200 grain bullet out of a bolt gun; just buy a 30-06 and save money on ammo. There's no advantage to the 338 Federal with light bullets over the 30-06,300 Mags or 35 Whelen, unless you HAVE to HAVE a short action rifle. If you want a rifle that shoots a heavy large animal class bullet with enough velocity to be a hunting cartridge the 338 Federal isn't it. As the use of heavier bullets requires the bullets be seated back into the case reducing case capacity and velocity.
    It will never be in the same class with a 35 Whelen or 338 Win Mag regardless of who loads it or what bullet weights are launched, the bigger case will always launch the same weight bullets at greater velocities with more energy.
    You may fool yourself into believing the MEDIA HYPE, but will never measure up.
    I believe that you got it all wrong. The idea of having a .338 Federal is not to duplicate the ballistics of the .338WM, .30-06, nor the .35 Whelen. The .338 Federal is a slightly more powerful .308, with ballistics that are similar to the .358's. You can look at the .338 Federal in relation to the .308, in a similar fashion as when looking at the .338-06 (or .35 Whelen) in relation to the .30-06.

    Something else: there is nothing wrong with shooting 180-grain bullets with a .338WM. In fact pronghorn or small deer (or caribou) at longer ranges can be hunted with some of the factory loadings of 180-grain bullets. I would not use them on moose, however. The same bullet out of the .338 Federal do very well on deer-size game at longer ranges. Heavier bullets can be used for close-range hunting, much like .358 users have done for years and years.

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    Default

    JMHO but the 338WinMag was designed for large game and the start of dangerus game and the 338 Fed was to do this in a short action. With the 338 Fed loads folks are now useing for deer with light bullets is a 180 from its intended purpose.I believe folks will have to start useingthe gun with 225 to 250 gr bullets to see its real worth and if its equal to the 338WinMag.Right now its just one more shell for the gunshop to stock.

  15. #15

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    I watched a gentleman last year use the 338 Federal with 210 grain TSX bullets take a Zebra Stallion and the results were very impressive. The bullet exited the animal and blew a hole through the heart that one could stick a fist in
    The 338 Federal is about the ballistic equivalent of the 318 Westly Richards and this round was very well thought of in Africa, Bell tokk a lot of Elephants with the 318

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    Default God Bless

    God bless everybody but I don't get for a split second the need for a 338 Federal in the world . We have the 358 Winchester , 35 Winchester , 338 WM , 338-06 and the short mags . We have to be pretty darn bored .

  17. #17

    Default True

    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    I believe that you got it all wrong. The idea of having a .338 Federal is not to duplicate the ballistics of the .338WM, .30-06, nor the .35 Whelen. The .338 Federal is a slightly more powerful .308, with ballistics that are similar to the .358's. You can look at the .338 Federal in relation to the .308, in a similar fashion as when looking at the .338-06 (or .35 Whelen) in relation to the .30-06.

    Something else: there is nothing wrong with shooting 180-grain bullets with a .338WM. In fact pronghorn or small deer (or caribou) at longer ranges can be hunted with some of the factory loadings of 180-grain bullets. I would not use them on moose, however. The same bullet out of the .338 Federal do very well on deer-size game at longer ranges. Heavier bullets can be used for close-range hunting, much like .358 users have done for years and years.
    I didn't say you couldn't or shouldn't use a 180 bullet in a 338 caliber rifle but the same weight bullet in 30 caliber will have a higher Ballistic Coeffeceint and a higher Sectional Density it will have better down range velocity and energy (when launched at the same velocity) negating the difference in bullet diameter 0.030. The 338 Federal therefore offers no ballistic advantage over a 30-06 using the same weight bullets. It's only niche is it can be used in a lever action rifle like the BLR or Savage 99.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    I didn't say you couldn't or shouldn't use a 180 bullet in a 338 caliber rifle but the same weight bullet in 30 caliber will have a higher Ballistic Coeffeceint and a higher Sectional Density it will have better down range velocity and energy (when launched at the same velocity) negating the difference in bullet diameter 0.030. The 338 Federal therefore offers no ballistic advantage over a 30-06 using the same weight bullets. It's only niche is it can be used in a lever action rifle like the BLR or Savage 99.
    But again, the .338 Federal is just a .338-08, and like the .358 is not designed for long range hunting. However, if one wants to hunt smaller game (small deer, caribou, pronghorn) at longer ranges with a .338 Federal, one can in fact load lightweight bullets. This is the case with most cartridges. If one wants to hunt a closer ranges, one can use the heavier bullets, just like .358 hunters have done for many years.

    The .308 has no significant advantage over the .30-06. We all know that. If both the .35 Whelen and .338-06 offer any advantage over the .30-06, so does the .338-08 (Federal) over the .308. It's a simple as that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by logman View Post
    God bless everybody but I don't get for a split second the need for a 338 Federal in the world . We have the 358 Winchester , 35 Winchester , 338 WM , 338-06 and the short mags . We have to be pretty darn bored .
    Well, all depends on how you see things. To you it makes no sense to pick the .338 Federal over a .358, but not everybody sees things the same way. For example, while I only use a .338WM for all my hunting in Alaska, my hunting partner believes in having a whole bunch of different calibers.

    But you mentioned the .338-06, right? Well, the .338 Federal is the former .338-08.

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    Default 338 Federal

    For the sake of argument . If you had a .308 , would you want a .338 Federal because it had a bit more punch ? Or maybe you have a .358 and want a .338 Fed because it should shoot a little flatter ? I could see a .338 Federal if you didn't have anything between a .22-250 and your .475 A&M but most people are probably falling for bs marketing when they already have a .30-06 or .308 . My point is that we need a very small percentage of the chamberings offered by companies to us neurotic gun nuts . Way back when in Minnesota I used a .30-06 with 250 gr. Barnes Originals , that was/is a combination that could logically knock out the reason for buying a dozen different cartridges from the .35 Winchester to the .338 Winchester mag .

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