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Thread: 358 Norma vs 338 WM

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    Default 358 Norma vs 338 WM

    Which is better for Alaska if you reload?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie Dude View Post
    Which is better for Alaska if you reload?
    If you reload, flip a coin. Either will work fine for anything in Alaska.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie Dude View Post
    Which is better for Alaska if you reload?
    One rifle hunter or will it be another rifle in a battery? Are you going to hunt the full gamut of game or just a few animals?

    If you are going to use the rifle for everything, then I would select the 338 because it is a better selection for animals under 350 pounds (deer, 'bou, goats, sheep, etc.) which makes up most of the hunting opportunities here in AK. But if you have a lighter rifle for those animals I would unhesitatingly choose the 358 for the bigger stuff (black & browns, moose, bison, etc.). I like plinking with the 358 and you can load handgun bullets at a much reduced cost for that.

    I will say in the field there's not much to choose between them. I really like the 358 and shooting pistol bullets makes it a versatile shooter, but it's not any "better" all around than the 338 WM. In fact, I do not have a 358 NM right now though all of these recent threads have me itching to build another one. Concerning these two cartridges, how you shoot them will make a lot more difference than which one you shoot.

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seant View Post
    If you reload, flip a coin. Either will work fine for anything in Alaska.
    +1 to what Sean said.

    Bullet weight runs pretty much the same range (excluding superlight handgun bullets designed for the .38 Special), and velocity is very close as well. The .358 might squeek out a bit better numbers with the heaviest of bullets, but you'll never know for sure until you put your round through your gun. In any case; moose, bear, caribou, whathaveyou won't be able to tell the difference.

    The .358 wins in coolness points though

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I like plinking with the 358 and you can load handgun bullets at a much reduced cost for that.

    I really like the 358 and shooting pistol bullets makes it a versatile shooter, but it's not any "better" all around than the 338 WM.
    That and what Diesel Nut said: "coolness factor". You can still buy loaded ammo, you'll be different from the rest of the herd, and you can practice 'till you can hit helium filled balloons released on a windy day; what could be better?
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan of the 35's, I've had 35 whelen ackley, 350 rigby and 350 rem mag.

    That said, even for the handloader the 338 win mag is a better choice because you'll find 338 win mag brass and component bullets are much, much more common than 358 norma brass and .358" component bullets. And should you and your rifle be parted from your handloads, getting 338 factory fodder isn't that tough in most locations, 358 Norma is highly unlikely to be located. Heck, odds of a hunting partner having 338 win mag ammo are also much greater.

    Either of them will handily take all Alaskan game.

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    I have both and on paper the 358N has somewhat better numbers. My 358N will get 2880 with a 250gr and the 338 is working hard to hit 2750. However in real world performance I don't think any any animal hit with either is going to know the difference. The real difference is the wide range of bullets. 358s start at about 110gr and go up to at least 300. Brass can easily be made from 300WM. I have never had a problem finding bullets in 225 and 250 gr. And nobody will be borrowing your ammo because they lost theirs. And, there is the cool factor!!! I'm also a 35cal fan and like things that are different. 35rem 350rem mag and 358N and working on getting a 358win.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I have had both... I would never buy another 338 Win Mag if I could have a 358 Norma mag instead....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  9. #9

    Default 358Norma gets my pick

    I have both, and for reloading the 338 is cheaper for brass. However, I am ok with the higher cost of the 358Norma brass and like it a bit better. Probably because it is a custom gun built the way I wanted it versus the 338, which has not been modified. As for killing, they are the same. I find that 250 grain A-Frames in both calibers perform the same on a broadside shoulder shot. (Moose). Recovered both bullets just under the skin on the opposite side of bullet entry. Ballistically there is not much difference. If you want a caliber that is different than most, get a 358Norma.

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    Default wish I could comment..

    But I have not hunted Alaska...
    When I do though, I will be shooting a .358 bullet...

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Well, since you're going to reload, I'd go 358 Norma all the way! That cartridge is the hammer of Thor. Plenty of premium and non-premium .35 caliber bullets on the market today. Oh, and if you're building a rifle, go with a 1-12" twist.

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    Well, at least to me, maybe because I am cheap and practical, "coolness factor" makes no sense, because there are so many different .338-caliber bullet weights, types, and factory ammo at the local store shelves. Not only that, but more than likely some other hunters at the campsite or hunting areas could spare a .338WM round or two should you need. Not so with a .358 Norma, not even at the local stores you can find ammo for it.

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    A+ on the coolness factor, .358 Norma mag is IMO a great rifle for hunting in Alaska. If you don't reload, factory ammo is easy enough to find on-line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nukalpiaq View Post
    A+ on the coolness factor, .358 Norma mag is IMO a great rifle for hunting in Alaska. If you don't reload, factory ammo is easy enough to find on-line.
    Midway has some, but I believe that there is some extra charge for shipping ammo to Alaska:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=870014

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    You can buy it at that place across from University Center.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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  16. #16

    Smile well...

    If Elmer Keith used it and wrote about it like he did the .338 Win. Mag. lots of Alaskan's would have one and rifles and components would be every where, but he didn't! I think if stout bullets over 250 grains are used it would really strut it's stuff. So heck yeah, it has the potential to be a very good "BIG GAME" round, with the right bullet. Unless were talking "big bears", especially in close cover, I think we could all get by with a .30 caliber or less rifle because of todays "super bullets". I have never hunted with a .35 any thing, but they sure do interest me. I just ain' giving up Elmer's .338 Win. Mag.!

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    If Elmer Keith used it and wrote about it like he did the .338 Win. Mag. lots of Alaskan's would have one and rifles and components would be every where, but he didn't! I think if stout bullets over 250 grains are used it would really strut it's stuff. So heck yeah, it has the potential to be a very good "BIG GAME" round, with the right bullet. Unless were talking "big bears", especially in close cover, I think we could all get by with a .30 caliber or less rifle because of todays "super bullets". I have never hunted with a .35 any thing, but they sure do interest me. I just ain' giving up Elmer's .338 Win. Mag.!
    Actually, the most popular cartridges in Alaska are the .30-06, .300WM, and .338WM. My favorite is the .338WM.

  18. #18

    Wink Just my thoughts

    I keep seeing this ''cool factor'' posted, here's my take on this
    if you really want to be different(cool) buy a .577 T REX, but
    if you just want to hunt with a time proven caliber go with the .338wm.

  19. #19
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    swift makes a 280 grain a-frame for the norma mag. i believe woodleigh makes a 300 grainer too. so as far as the "cool factor" is concerned. that is way above the bullets weights offered in 338 caliber. i'd say go with a 358 norma. by doing so......you are contributing to the success and popularity of these wonderful 35 caliber cartridges that most practical minded folks have turned up their noses to. there is enough 30 and 338 cal. guns out there......let's keep the over-looked oldies alive too and give them serious consideration.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    swift makes a 280 grain a-frame for the norma mag. i believe woodleigh makes a 300 grainer too. so as far as the "cool factor" is concerned. that is way above the bullets weights offered in 338 caliber. i'd say go with a 358 norma. by doing so......you are contributing to the success and popularity of these wonderful 35 caliber cartridges that most practical minded folks have turned up their noses to. there is enough 30 and 338 cal. guns out there......let's keep the over-looked oldies alive too and give them serious consideration.

    The Woodleigh's are 310 gr, both FMJ and Softpoint. I haven't taken the plunge on any of them yet as I just can't justify them for Whitetails!

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