WHY DO WE RE-INVENT THE WHEEL?THE 338WINCHESTER MAGNUM
If I could just have a rifle and cartridge that had no more than a 24” barrel, with the receiver no longer than a standard 30-06 length, producing reasonable recoil that could push a 200gr bullet at 3025-3075fps, a 210gr bullet at 2980-3010fps, a 2225gr bullet at 2850 - 2900fps, a 250gr bullet at 2800 - 2820fps, a 275gr bullet at 2670 to 2700fps and a 300gr bullet 2500-2550fps, manufactured by 90% of the major gun companies, WOW!!!
I could take everything from deer to the largest Alaskan Brown bears. It would not destroy meat anymore on the smaller size big game like white tail deer than would a 130gr bullet out of a 270. It would buck the wind at distances most hunters would consider reasonable and with plenty of energy to anchor anything in North America and most of Africa out to 400yds. Also, with some bullets and loads in the right hands, it could be effective a lot farther than 400yds.
Of course you know us here in America when it comes to rifles and cartridges, we are constantly re-inventing the wheel. Why do we do this? I am sure you all have your beliefs and even evidence to support your understanding of why this takes place every so often with rifle and cartridge companies. Give us a few more years and there will come the next line of new wonder cartridges and their platforms. Again these will be marketed as being better than what went before or the next best thing to sliced bread. The prevailing attitude will be only the engineers, rifleman, and hunters of today really know what is best as if those in the past were uninformed or miss led or just not as intuitive.
Why??? It is beyond me why we re-invent the wheel every 5 to 10 years, when there has been one that fits my above description since 1959, the 338Win Mag. Easy to load for, accurate, reasonable recoil if stocked correctly and hits like a hammer, along with velocities that are perfect for the big game bullets manufacture for the .338 caliber. As one friend of mine said, “with the 338Win Mag you could kill everything from mice to Moose and even a big mean spirited bear up close.” He ought to know since he and others have used used the 338Win Mag on the above and so his figurative speech describing the 338Win Mag is appropriate.
Most you know or at least should know that a 30-06 with a 180gr bullet has been and is very affective in most situations and on most game given proper circumstances much less the 300Win Mag using a 180gr bullet. In light of this fact a 338Win Mag’s using a 250gr bullet, has a striking energy that is around 25% greater than that 30-06 with a 180gr bullet. Also, the 338Win Mag and 300Win Mag along with the 300Wby are in the same neighborhood when it comes to energy. Yet the 338Win Mag's cross-sectional area is 20% greater with a momentum factor that allows for greater penetration due to 70grs greater weight.
It has tremendous potential as an all around big game cartridge from small deer to the largest and toughest game in North America. It is a tremendous medium bore with great legs. What do I mean by saying great legs. It is a true sprinter with endurance and has a hard quick crushing blow, that hits like a heavy weight. There is a great selection of suitable bullets from 180grs to 300grs to meet any scenario. With this selection of bullets, one could imagine them selves in a sequence of possible events as a North American hunter and feel with confidence that they were well armed. It can be down loaded to 338RCM, 338-06 or 30-06 levels and still produce excellent accuracy attesting to it's real versatility.
On smaller species of big game we have with the 338Win Mag 180gr to 225gr bullets. In this weight class there is the 210gr Nosler Partition, that is good on smaller game, while being the exception in this group due to the fact it is also highly effective on the larger species of big game. The 210gr Partition with velocities between 2980fps and 3010fps with very good accuracy is a flat shooting, hard hitting combination that really allows the 338Win Mag to stand out as a longer rang load while still being devastating up close.
Of course for the really big stuff the 250gr due to the great bullet shapes available is a real game getter for sure. The 250gr to 300gr bullets in the 338Win Mag do not have to apologize, nor are they inferior for any of the tasks handed them when taking big game.
I had to pick up my 338Win Mag which I had stored away after only firing 15 rounds through it because I was so busy with other projects, namely my 257-300Wby. As I said, I am using it to hunt with this year due to problems with two of my rifles, my 30-06 and my 300Wby. I have owned and shot the 338Win Mag some 20 years ago but did not hunt with it nor reload for it. Well, I am doing both this year and that is why I have written this article. I am beginning to discover what some great hunters and guides have known for years about the 338Win Mag and I really like what I have found so far in briefly reloading for the 338Win mag.
Looking forward to using it in the field and have the experience of taking game with a fine Medium bore cartridge.