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Thread: .338 Federal discontinued?

  1. #1
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    Default .338 Federal discontinued?

    I heard a rumor that the .338 federal was being discontinued by sako. If I am correct they were the first to chamber this round.

    Can I get your thoughts on the longevity of this cartridge? Will ammo still be available in the stores?

    I ask because I don't really follow what happens with the new rounds that come out. I did buy a Kimber Montana M84 in this one and was able to shoot 4 inch groups with factory 210 grn Nosler Partions at 300yds with it. They lost about 12 inches in elevation though but I can make up for that. Have only got to shoot it a few times though and really hope that the caliber is here to stay.

    Thanks for any input

  2. #2

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    There has never been a bad round developed that was based on the 308 Winchester.

    I can remember Murphy commenting in regards to the 30-06, stating that the only improvement over the parent case was the 338-06. Many would also throw the 35 Whelen into that same argument. I think the exact same thing could be said of the 308 family. The 338 Federal for sure answers the bell in regards to taking its parent round to another level as does its stable mate the tried and true 358 Winchester(I put that in there for you Beartooth)!

    The 338-06 was finally offered as a commercial round a few years ago but didn't last long. The 358 Winny even fell from grace in the eyes of commerce for a period of time and though it is back now one has to wonder for how long?

    The 338 Federal is one heck of a round, it is inherently accurate, efficient, fits in a short action and is suitable for everything on this continent. It deserves to be around forever but that has nothing to do with it! The 6mm Remington,284 Winchester were excellent cartriges that though they had their loyal followers the shooting fraternity as a whole met them with a yawn. The 6mm lost out to the 243 and the 284 was sandwitched between the 270 and the 30-06 and wasn't going to uproot either one of them. The 325 WSM is one those short mags that the media is in love with and anything the 338 Federal will do the 325WSM will do a little better. The 358 Winchester being resurected also gives the 338 Federal some stiff competition.

    If Sako is dropping it then it can only be because they aren't selling! With all of the cartriges out there it wouldn't surprise me if the 338 Federal fell between the cracks. If they do factory ammo will still be available for awhile. I would not sweat the ammo though as the resources for reloading them will always be avilable. I'm sure you could find someone to load you up a batch every now and then.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    New bullets today are like the 20 year ago S&W model of the week pistols.With the economy the way it is I would expect alot more guns and bullets to go away at least for awhile.Watch what happens to all the new Marlin rounds in the next couple of years.Folks can only re-invent the wheel for so long before people catch on.

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    I wouldn't fret. You can still buy factory 8mm Remington Magnum ammo from several sources and it was born dead as a doornail in 1978.

    The .338 Federal has too many good attributes to vanish and I would anticipate ammunition being available for a good while- if even from small manufacturers (Superior, Quality, etc.) who find it profitable to make a run every now and then. Components appear to be blown out .308 cases and light for caliber .338 bullets- neither of which I'd expect to vanish anytime soon.

    Sako's are great rifles but pricey and I'm sure their sales are suffering given the current exchange rates and economic environment. The only other factory .338 Federal I'm aware of is Kimber and they ain't giving those away either.

    What the .338 Federal really needs is for someone to chamber it in a cheaper rifle...

  5. #5

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    Ruger is still chambering the .338 Federal.

    I think it is a great cartridge and I have almost bought a rifle so chambered on several different occasions.

  6. #6

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    I have a Ruger Hawkeye in 338 Federal. I could not be happier with this rifle. I have shot groups at 1/4 inch at 100 yards using Federal Fusion.

    I guess I like cartridges that are born dead as a doornail. I shot my spring bear with an 8mm magnum.

    As noted earlier, ammo for the 338 Federal will likely be around for a long time. I can't imagine Federal will drop a cartridge which bares its name.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    That was an easy one to see coming. Not to bash the 338 fed, but if you look at comercial cartridges larger in dia than 30 cal in this country, only a few have had any real staying power. The 8mm's are dead, the only 33 cal that has been largely popular is the 338 win mag, and as much as I like 35's, only the 35 rem has had any real staying power. You have the 375 H&H, and beyond that the rounds just don't have mass popularity, well the 45-70 but thats about it.

    But, so long as you are a handloader it just isn't an issue. If you are going to rely on factory fodder, then consider the rounds that are and will continue to be popular as factory loadings 30-06, 300 win mag, 338 win mag, 375 H&H.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    That was an easy one to see coming. Not to bash the 338 fed, but if you look at comercial cartridges larger in dia than 30 cal in this country, only a few have had any real staying power. The 8mm's are dead, the only 33 cal that has been largely popular is the 338 win mag, and as much as I like 35's, only the 35 rem has had any real staying power. You have the 375 H&H, and beyond that the rounds just don't have mass popularity, well the 45-70 but thats about it.

    But, so long as you are a handloader it just isn't an issue. If you are going to rely on factory fodder, then consider the rounds that are and will continue to be popular as factory loadings 30-06, 300 win mag, 338 win mag, 375 H&H.
    Well said, the 30-06, 300Win mag, 338Win mag and the 375H&H are the ones that really sell. I even anticipate the 358Win being only a reloading option as time goes on and I can only hope it will be chambered by someone.

    The 33's and 35's are great cartridges and it is a shame they do not sell better. I will admit that I like the 358Win so much that I have done everything I can to promote it's attributes on forums. I am hoping I see game this hunting season so I can keep the campaign alive for the 358Win.

    After this hunting season and if things go well I will be writing and article of it attributes in hope that hunters, reloader and shooters would give it a shot so that sales continue and some manufacture keeps it around for a while.
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    I'll be right there promoting the 358 too. It's truly all the gun needed. The 338 Federal is the first cartridge with the Federal name. It aint going anywhere. Sakos and Kimbers although nice......are not the most affordable out there. Savage, Remingon, and others should chamber the cartridge. The Ruger 338 federals might not sell too well considering that Ruger introduced their 338 Ruger Compact Magnum.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I'll be right there promoting the 358 too. It's truly all the gun needed. The 338 Federal is the first cartridge with the Federal name. It aint going anywhere. Sakos and Kimbers although nice......are not the most affordable out there. Savage, Remingon, and others should chamber the cartridge. The Ruger 338 federals might not sell too well considering that Ruger introduced their 338 Ruger Compact Magnum.
    Imagine this Rem 700 classic 358win in a 21" barrel. Make that a 20.5 inch Shilen and thats what I have. Love it for the way it carries and shoots. Loaded up quite a few "workup loads for the 200 and 225gr bullets. But its ben either gusting to 30mph, raining, and now pushing 90 degrees so I have not shot and yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I'll be right there promoting the 358 too. It's truly all the gun needed. The 338 Federal is the first cartridge with the Federal name. It aint going anywhere. Sakos and Kimbers although nice......are not the most affordable out there. Savage, Remingon, and others should chamber the cartridge. The Ruger 338 federals might not sell too well considering that Ruger introduced their 338 Ruger Compact Magnum.
    I love them both. Been using the .358 for a while and bought my wife a 338 Federal this spring. It's a plain Jane Tikka (blued/wood) that is fairly lightweight, shoots very well and allows her to shoot 200 & 210 grain bullets to 200 yards with no problems. We hope she kills her first moose with this rifle and I'll be sure to post some pics when/if she does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I'll be right there promoting the 358 too. It's truly all the gun needed. The 338 Federal is the first cartridge with the Federal name. It aint going anywhere. Sakos and Kimbers although nice......are not the most affordable out there. Savage, Remingon, and others should chamber the cartridge. The Ruger 338 federals might not sell too well considering that Ruger introduced their 338 Ruger Compact Magnum.
    I agree on all counts.

    I love the 338fed and 358win even though I don't have either, but the only reason I don't is I can’t find a rifle I like chambered for either of them. I’m a lever action nut and much like bolt guns much, I find them dull and boring and they just sit and collect dust if I’m their owner. Since I try buy levers, autos, pumps, or even break open and falling block single shots over dust collecting bolt action rifles my chambering options become extremely limited.

    For the past 15 years when I have a nickel to spare I have been looking for a Winchester model 88 in 358 with no luck, guess I’m going to haft to build it. The BLRs in 358win are still somewhat common and even still made, but I suppose I have my heart set on an 88 . . . someday.

    The thing I don’t get is why so many gun guys chase the latest and greatest fad. Right now it’s the little big gun fad, Short magnums, compact magnums, and so on. Once again I must have somehow missed the memo that explained how a bullet knows it was fired from a 300wsm or not a 300wm and what it matters. Ya, I know shorter action length has some advantages, but longer action length has some advantages of its own. So there is not enough real difference to account for the high demand for the newcomer. So why gun buyers run out and plop down the cash for a new little big gun when they likely have guns that do the same thing.

    I never get what the excitement is about, people don’t run out in mass to buy a new truck because they put a smaller motor in it when it’s otherwise just like the truck they have. I do get that some great stuff gets lost in the hype. The good thing is if we roll our own we are largely immune to the whims of marketing hype and can pick and chose the good stuff as it goes by.
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    Default Model 88

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    [ For the past 15 years when I have a nickel to spare I have been looking for a Winchester model 88 in 358 with no luck, guess Iím going to haft to build it.
    ADfields, FYI I was browsing around and came across this one. It's a .308, but you might be interested, Good luck.

    http://alaskaslist.com/1/posts/9_Gen...ssberg_22.html

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northriver21 View Post
    ADfields, FYI I was browsing around and came across this one. It's a .308, but you might be interested, Good luck.

    http://alaskaslist.com/1/posts/9_Gen...ssberg_22.html
    Thanks! Looks like it would make a good 358
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    For the lever rifle mid bore fans, a friend took a savage mdl 99 284 win and had a 35/284 built. Now that is an interesting combo. I suppose a 35/45-70 could also be worked up, but then you have the pointy bullet in a tube mag issue.

    As to the popularity of the short/fasts (WSM), the truck analogy doesn't quite cut it, unless you are pulling your truck around vs. driving it. Carry a relatively heavy rifle in your arms day after day in rough country, and the lightweight rifles sell themselves. Get one that balances well and you'll be suprised how accurate it is when shot off hand.

    As a complete gun loony I settled on the 350 rem mag. I orginally had delusions of re-chambering it to a 358 sambar (35-300 wsm) but then I shot the relatively light 350 and figured I'd leave it as is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    As to the popularity of the short/fasts (WSM), the truck analogy doesn't quite cut it, unless you are pulling your truck around vs. driving it. Carry a relatively heavy rifle in your arms day after day in rough country, and the lightweight rifles sell themselves. Get one that balances well and you'll be suprised how accurate it is when shot off hand.

    As a complete gun loony I settled on the 350 rem mag. I orginally had delusions of re-chambering it to a 358 sambar (35-300 wsm) but then I shot the relatively light 350 and figured I'd leave it as is.
    I am not certain the short/fasts (WSM) cartridges deliver that much advantage. The difference in a LA and SA 700 is around 3 oz. That's the total advantage to choosing one over the other. Now I know barrel lengths can be shortened, but they (WSMs) need similar barrel lengths to provide slightly less ballistics. So if things are equal you may be able to squeeze 3-6 oz off the rifle's total weight by using the WSMs. I realize this is not insignificant, but it is not earth shattering either. Most rifles I see in the field easily place more than 3 oz back in a scope that is heavier than it needs to be.

    As for a balanced rifle I agree completely. But I am not convinced the extra 3 oz is impossible to balance on the longer action rifle. I love light, short rifles/carbines, but there is so much more going into one of these guns than a short action. If a rifle loony wants a WSM, I say go after it, but I don't buy that the cartridges have significant advantages over standard length cartridges for hunting applications.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    I agree on all counts.

    I love the 338fed and 358win even though I don't have either, but the only reason I don't is I canít find a rifle I like chambered for either of them. Iím a lever action nut and much like bolt guns much, I find them dull and boring and they just sit and collect dust if Iím their owner. Since I try buy levers, autos, pumps, or even break open and falling block single shots over dust collecting bolt action rifles my chambering options become extremely limited.

    For the past 15 years when I have a nickel to spare I have been looking for a Winchester model 88 in 358 with no luck, guess Iím going to haft to build it. The BLRs in 358win are still somewhat common and even still made, but I suppose I have my heart set on an 88 . . . someday.

    The thing I donít get is why so many gun guys chase the latest and greatest fad. Right now itís the little big gun fad, Short magnums, compact magnums, and so on. Once again I must have somehow missed the memo that explained how a bullet knows it was fired from a 300wsm or not a 300wm and what it matters. Ya, I know shorter action length has some advantages, but longer action length has some advantages of its own. So there is not enough real difference to account for the high demand for the newcomer. So why gun buyers run out and plop down the cash for a new little big gun when they likely have guns that do the same thing.

    I never get what the excitement is about, people donít run out in mass to buy a new truck because they put a smaller motor in it when itís otherwise just like the truck they have. I do get that some great stuff gets lost in the hype. The good thing is if we roll our own we are largely immune to the whims of marketing hype and can pick and chose the good stuff as it goes by.
    My preference is for the Win94's and I've got three Big Bores, two are .375Win (one is first year production) and one is a .356Win. Now that is the way to go in a midbore traditional tube fed lever. Carries, points and shoots like an extension of me. My bolt rifle is not used anymore but it is a .338-06. I like the midbores if you couldn't tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    As a complete gun loony I settled on the 350 rem mag. I orginally had delusions of re-chambering it to a 358 sambar (35-300 wsm) but then I shot the relatively light 350 and figured I'd leave it as is.
    Read in a post you had on the old forums (yeah, I was digging), you said you were completely fed up with wildcats and the work they involve, and have settled on more factory rounds aso they have comparable ballistics anyways....have you strayed from this thinking as of late?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    For the lever rifle mid bore fans, a friend took a savage mdl 99 284 win and had a 35/284 built. Now that is an interesting combo. I suppose a 35/45-70 could also be worked up, but then you have the pointy bullet in a tube mag issue.

    As to the popularity of the short/fasts (WSM), the truck analogy doesn't quite cut it, unless you are pulling your truck around vs. driving it. Carry a relatively heavy rifle in your arms day after day in rough country, and the lightweight rifles sell themselves. Get one that balances well and you'll be suprised how accurate it is when shot off hand.

    As a complete gun loony I settled on the 350 rem mag. I orginally had delusions of re-chambering it to a 358 sambar (35-300 wsm) but then I shot the relatively light 350 and figured I'd leave it as is.
    I bought a Ruger M77 All-Weather Mk.II in .350 RM with the same thought. After shooting my 225 TSX loads at 2700+ I came to a similar conclusion LOL!!! Really though how much more do you need?

  20. #20

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    I wish I could get my hands on a light weight left handed 338 Federal and I've been looking for over a year now. Eventually I'll have one built. I'm also considering a 35 Whelen, 338-06, or a 358 Win.

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