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Thread: Float Pilot compares, 338 Fed, 338-06, 358 Win, 35 Whelen

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Float Pilot compares, 338 Fed, 338-06, 358 Win, 35 Whelen

    I have to leave home for another week.
    Something that was bouncing around my head during the last trip, were the recent questions regarding the 338 Federal and the rekindling of interest in the 358 Winchester.
    So I thought I would review a few handloading books and various loads posted on the Reloaders Nest. Then I ran the data through my external ballistics computer.
    ****YES THERE ARE ALWAYS HOTTER LOADS AND BETTER BULLETS, These are averages with as similar type bullets as possible. ***

    180 grain flat base spitzer: .338= BC of 379 and 358 a BC of .248.
    200 grain flat base spitzer: .338= BC of 361 and 358 a BC of .282
    225 grain Nolser BT Accubnd: .338= BC of .550 and 358 a BC of .423
    250 grain flat base spitzer: .338= BC of .431 and 358 a BC of .446

    OK Using these B.C.s I plugged in average high velocities from various loads and barrel lengths. THEN, I set the program for a 100 yard zero, so I could see the bullet drop at 300 yards.

    The 338 Federal folks have often talked about how the superior BC of the .338 projectiles will improve the perfomance of the 338s over the 358s.

    I used 59 degrees F and 1,000 feet above sea level for the data.

    338 Federal
    180 grain flat base:=2,700 fps...15.3 inch drop at 300 yards, zeroed 100.
    200 grain flat base:=2,590 fps...17.3 inch drop
    225 grain Acubnd :=2,400 fps....18.6 inch drop
    250 grain flat base:=2,300 fps...21.9 inch drop

    358 Winchester
    180 grain flat base:=2,700 fps...18.2 inch drop
    200 grain flat base:=2,550 fps...19.7 inch drop
    225 grain BT:=====2,400 fps....19.8 inch drop
    250 grain flat base;=2,350 fps...20.6 inch drop


    338-06 (338 A-Square)
    180 grain flat base:=3,000 fps.....11.7 inch drop
    200 grain flat base:=2,800 fps......14.2 inch drop
    225 grain BT======2,750 fps......13.3 inch drop
    250 grain flat base:= 2,550 fps.....17.0 inch drop

    35 Whelen
    180 grain flat base:=2,850 fps.....15.8 inch drop
    200 grain flat base:=2,800 fps......15.6 inch drop
    225 grain BT======2,700 fps.......14.8 inch drop
    250 grain flat base:=2,550 fps......16.9 inch drop


    Conclusions:

    The two cartridges based upon the 308 Winchester case have trajectories that are within 2 inches of each other all the way out to 350 yards.
    The 338 Federal offers more opportunity for a handloader due to the greater number of 338 projectiles available. The 358 Winchester may hold a very slight edge in energy transfer due to the larger bullet diameter. The old tale about the 358 Win being a shorter range brush cartridge is a bunch of hooey. Both cartridges are easy to handload and both suffer from rather expensive and scarce factory ammunition.

    The edge: It is basically a wash between the two.
    338 Federal for 160 to 210 grain loads
    358 Winchester for 200, 225, and 250 grain loads

    The two 30-06 based cartridges also display ballistic flight paths with 2 inches of each other out to 350 yards when like types of bullets are employed. (Often much closer...)
    The 338-06 enjoys the availablity of more projectiles for the handloader. The 35 Whelen offers a touch more to the factory ammo only type hunter.
    While the 35 Whelen really shines with heavier bullets of 250 to 310 grains, the 338-06 offers a slight edge in longer range ballistics when using 225 grain boat-tails. However,,, it is not nearly as much of an advantage within reasnable hunting ranges as some people have claimed. This is particularly true with similar 225 grain boat-tails are employed in the 35 Whelen.

    The edge:
    Whelen for close range with heavy bullets
    Both tied for hunting out to 150-300 yards
    338-06 for hunting out to 400-450 yards.


    Personally, if I had to choose only one of the four, I would most likely go with the 338-06. (I handload)

    The short actions of the 338 Federal and 358 Winchester are not a concern for me and the 338-06 offers more power for those Alaskan type situations.

    The 338-06 also offers more rounds in the magazine, plus smoother feeding compared to my 350 Remington Mag and my 358 Norma Mag. Although both those push a fatter 225 grain bullet faster than the 338-06.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Thanks for doing this. I have been meaning to look at the numbers in the same way and now I do not have to.

    Personally I would take a 35 whelen over the 338-06 for one reason, that is the availability of light bullets for making pot loads. It is not much of an advantage but given how close the numbers are that would tip the scales for me.

    I am looking at getting a chamber adapter to fire 30 carbine out of my 30-06. If that works out I would think an adapter to fire 9mm Luger and another to fire 357 mag/38 special from an 35 whelen would be posible. That way I could fire 3 of the most common pistol rounds out of a rifle for pot loads or even possibly for deer with the 357. I am not sure a 357 adapter would be posible as the rim on the adapter would be rather small, but if it could be done that would be neat.

  3. #3
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Or just load a .358 caliber 180 grain flat nose to 1,500 fps with pistol powder and some fiber filler.

    Of course they make 160 grain bullets for the 338s that could also be loaded down to pistol velocities.

    None of the two sets of cartridges seem to be giant steps ahead of the other. Particularly when barrel length, rifling twist and even primer type can make more of a difference than the cartridge change alone.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandhmo View Post
    I am looking at getting a chamber adapter to fire 30 carbine out of my 30-06. If that works out I would think an adapter to fire 9mm Luger and another to fire 357 mag/38 special from an 35 whelen would be posible. That way I could fire 3 of the most common pistol rounds out of a rifle for pot loads or even possibly for deer with the 357. I am not sure a 357 adapter would be posible as the rim on the adapter would be rather small, but if it could be done that would be neat.
    Desert Eagle 357mag uses a 357 case that is rimless but otherwise the same. Donít have a clue if it would work but rimless should be more likely I think.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

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