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Thread: The 338winchester magnum - an american classic

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    Default The 338winchester magnum - an american classic

    THE 338WINCHESTER MAGNUM - AN AMERICAN CLASSIC




    With my Ruger M77 chambered in 338Winchester Magnum with a 24" barrel and with the receiver no longer than a standard 30-06 length, I have a substantial big game rifle and cartridge. This American classic is truly a very versatile all around cartridge for big game. It has reasonable recoil with only the 250-300 grain bullets being a little to much for some people, but not for most of us who use the magnum cartridges when hunting big game. If one re-loads for the 338Winchester Magnum, the new cartridges like the 338 Fed and the 325WSM are not able to run with it, nor can they use the heavier bullets as well or with as much punch.



    The 338Winchester Magnum can push a 180gr bullet at 3100-3200fps, a 200gr bullet at 3025-3075fps, a 210gr bullet at 2980-3010fps, a 225gr bullet at 2850 - 2900fps, a 250gr bullet at 2800 - 2820fps, a 275gr bullet at 2670 to 2700fps, a 300gr bullet 2500-2550fps, and is manufactured by 90% of the major gun manufactures. This places it right in the middle of good company when you consider how flat it shoots (like some of the 300 magnums) and how hard it hits (like the some of the 375 magnums).



    It is not a compromise by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary, with the bullet and powder selections of today, the 338Winchester Magnum is a very good all around big game rifle for coyote to Brown Bear. It is arguably the best elk and moose cartridge, with no apologies when used on bear. With lighter loads it reaches out hitting coyotes, deer and hogs like Thor's Hammer, while not destroying any more meat than the 30 and 7mm caliber cartridges.



    A hunter in the field with this one cartridge could take everything from coyote 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 that most hunters would consider reasonable and with plenty of energy to anchor anything in North America and most of Africa out to 400yds (where legal to use). Also, with some bullets and loads in the right hands, it could be a very effective round when used at longer ranges.



    Since1959 the 338Winchester Magnum has preformed without question on any thing it has been used on in North America, as well as plains game in Africa, with consistent success. Easy to load for, accurate, reasonable recoil if stocked correctly and hits like a hammer. With velocities that are perfect for the big game bullets that are manufactured for the .338 caliber. Jim, a friend of mine said, "with the 338Winchester Magnum you could kill everything from mice to Moose" and I would add even a big mean-spirited bear up close. Jim summed it up in his use of figurative speech, in accurately describing the 338Winchester Magnum.



    Most are aware in the hunting world that the 30-06 with a 180gr bullet has been and is very affective in most situations and on most game given proper circumstances. Also the effectiveness of the 300Winchester Magnum using a 180gr bullet is unquestioned. In light of this fact a 338Winchester Magnum using a 250gr bullet, has a striking energy that is around 25% greater than that 30-06 with a 180gr bullet. Also, the 338Winchester Magnum using a 250gr bullet, has at least 15% greater striking energy than the 300Winchster Magnum using a 180gr bullet. On top of that the cross-sectional area of the 250gr bullet 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 for smaller deer to the largest, toughest and heaviest 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, like a heavy weight. Bullet selection ranges from 180 grains to 300 grains to meet any need the North American hunter would engage. It can be down loaded to 30-06 levels and still produces excellent accuracy.



    On smaller species of big game one can use the 180gr to the 215gr bullets. Now there is a bullet in this weight range that is good on the smaller species of big game, while being the exception in this group due to the fact it is also highly effective on the larger species of big game. I am making reference to the 210grain Nosler Partition. The 210gr Partition has velocities between 2980fps and 3010fps with very good accuracy, flat shooting and hard hitting. It is a combination that really allows the 338Winchester Magnum to stand out as a longer rang load while still being devastating up close.



    Of course for the really big stuff the 250gr bullets due to their great shapes and constructions are real game getters for sure. The 250gr to the 300gr bullets when used in the 338Winchester Magnum do not have to apologies, nor are they inferior for any of the tasks handed them when taking big game.



    I owned and shot the 338Winchester Magnum some 20 years ago but did not hunt with it nor did I reload for it to my regret. I am doing both now and that is why I have written this article. I am a shooter, hunter, and re-loader, that is in the process of discovering what others have known for years. The 338Wincester Magnum is hard to beat as an all around big game cartridge. It is easy to load for, shoots flat, hits hard and according to a multitude of hunters and guides, brings home the bacon. It truly is and has been an American Classic and will be used by the discerning and informed North American hunter for many years.



    I am proud to be one of those discerning hunters who will have a lot of fun with an American Classic cartridge during hunting season this year and the years that will follow. I will not be disappointed in the results. Yes, Mississippi deer and hogs, Missouri white tail, Louisiana deer and hogs, with the 200gr Accucond, 210gr partition and last but not least. Planning a trip to use the 225gr Patition on Alaskan Black bear in the spring of 2011. Watch out game, cause here I come with my 338Winchester Magnum.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  2. #2
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    Default good to see

    you finally come around to the dark side

    Been shootin 225 partitions in mine forever. Started them @ 2650 way back when cuz I was shootin in heavy dark timber in Northern Idaho and have finally found a fast loading for them that's purdy good shootin. 71g IMR 4350 w/Fed 215 @ 2887 to 2994fps @ under 3/4" @ 100. A solid 1.25" @ 200 and havn't put enough time beyond that to give a number, but so far it's lookin real good.

    Haven't shot mice with it, but some of the P-dogs in Idaho were darn little.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up I think...

    I shot my first one in 1967. I bought my fist .338 in 1975. It has been my main Alaska hunting caliber since then. I like it...

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Default

    They have called the 57 Chevy a classic for years so I guess the 338winmag could be one

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default newbie

    I bought my first a couple weeks ago and sighted it in last weekend with factory rounds. Seems solid - ole bessie (my .300 winnie) won't see much action here in Alaska now I am afraid.

    I think that Santa is going to get me some dies and maybe a chrono so I can see what the new gal on my block can do!

  6. #6
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    i have two of them that look purty all year long... sitting there in the dark closet... HOPING some one will break down and they get a turn..

    no need no point... not sure why i have them

    i sure have a lot of dead bears with smaller cals ... so that is not the issue for real..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    i have two of them that look purty all year long... sitting there in the dark closet... HOPING some one will break down and they get a turn..

    no need no point... not sure why i have them

    i sure have a lot of dead bears with smaller cals ... so that is not the issue for real..
    You could always sell them, specially in Alaska where the .338WM is so popular.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    You could always sell them, specially in Alaska where the .338WM is so popular.

    na i cant... some of mine are more the where they came from then cost they are worth i will play with all... but never get rid of some of them
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    The 338Wincester Magnum is hard to beat as an all around big game cartridge. It is easy to load for, shoots flat, hits hard and according to a multitude of hunters and guides, brings home the bacon.

    Watch out game, cause here I come with my 338Winchester Magnum.
    Amen to that brother

  10. #10

    Default 338

    Shot my first one in July 1976 (an early model "Pre 64" 70 win) sighting my bosses rifle in for an elk hunt in Wyoming. I bought the same rifle in January the next year for russian boar hunt in Tennessee the next spring. Something came up and the hunt got cancelled, I never hunted with that rifle ( TOO pretty). Finally sold it to a friend in 1994, it's now been to Canada twice, Russia, Mongolia, and Africa.
    I purchased another when I worked for K Mart in 1995 a Savage 116 Weather Warrior ,Fluted, with adjustable brake and synthetic stock. I believe that they are now discontinued. IT's not as pretty !!
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    I only have one big game rifle, and it's a stainless steel Ruger M77 MK II. I replaced the trigger years ago, and mounted a matte Leupold Vary-X III 2.5-8x on it. Later I replace the stock with a Hogue Rubber Over-Molded, which is a lot better than the original boat paddle stock. It's not a pretty combination, but a working tool, and it does its job with aplomb in September each year.

    I started hunting with in the early '90s, just when retiring from the military in Alaska. I had never hunted before, nor did I own any rifles. I can't say enough about this rifle, except that it impressed me greatly by the time I killed the second and third moose. At the beginning I though that I was just being lucky to drop such a large animal so fast, but my confidence it it grew as it kept dropping each except for perhaps two with one well-placed shot. I am certain that I could have done the same with another caliber rifle, but once I became familiar with my only big game rifle there was no turning back. I really like the numerous bullets in different weights I can use.

    And yes, there is a dream rifle in the same caliber, but this dream rifle has gotten quite expensive lately. At its beginnings it cost around $6,000 and the latest I have heard around $14,000, so it will have to continue in my dreams. The rifle? A Legend by D'Arcy Echols.

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    It is hard to beat the 338 Win Mag for the one gun guy. My M70 Stainless has a 2.5x8 Leupold and is as close to an all around rifle for big game there is to me. Well, my Whelen might argue some, but there is really no difference in what I would use either rifle for. Scotty

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    Default It is an American classic...no doubt.

    My first Alaska big game were taken with a BAR chambered in 338WM...caribou, moose and brown bear. It did the job on them just fine.

    BT, I enjoy your enthusiasm for guns and hunting...I ALWAYS do, even when I don't always agree (you already know that I prefer the 375H&H). You are a kindred spirit, and you are welcomed at my campfire anytime, sir.

    Doc (Chuck)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    My first Alaska big game were taken with a BAR chambered in 338WM...caribou, moose and brown bear. It did the job on them just fine.

    BT, I enjoy your enthusiasm for guns and hunting...I ALWAYS do, even when I don't always agree (you already know that I prefer the 375H&H). You are a kindred spirit, and you are welcomed at my campfire anytime, sir.

    Doc (Chuck)

    Thank you, that was really kind of you and I would not mind sitting at your campfire for sure and maybe that would work out one day.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Meat is in the Freezer

    My moose is in the freezer thanks to the 338 Win.
    Alaska

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