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Thread: .338 federal or .325 WSM?

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    Default .338 federal or .325 WSM?

    .338 federal or .325 WSM? anybody want to chime in on this? I'm leaning toward the .338 federal. I love my old Husky Lt Wt. 30 06, but have been thinking a new rifle could share some of the workload. I'm covered on the smaller cal.s, but was thinking about getting something new. Something that'll swallow 165 to 200+ Gr bullets. Anyone have any experience with these cal.s?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits Hardway View Post
    .338 federal or .325 WSM? anybody want to chime in on this? I'm leaning toward the .338 federal. I love my old Husky Lt Wt. 30 06, but have been thinking a new rifle could share some of the workload. I'm covered on the smaller cal.s, but was thinking about getting something new. Something that'll swallow 165 to 200+ Gr bullets. Anyone have any experience with these cal.s?
    I recently developed some hand loads for a friends Tikka in 338 Federal. All I can say is that the next gun I purchase will be in 338 Federal. They are one of the most efficient rounds available and would kill anything on this continent in the right hands. That being said the 325WSM will do pretty much the same thing only from another hundred yards out. I have never been a fan of the WSM cartridges( it's just me and it's not justified) but if I were to own one it would be the 325....thats not likely for the same reason you started this thread. I'd rather have a 338 Federal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits Hardway View Post
    .338 federal or .325 WSM? anybody want to chime in on this? I'm leaning toward the .338 federal. I love my old Husky Lt Wt. 30 06, but have been thinking a new rifle could share some of the workload. I'm covered on the smaller cal.s, but was thinking about getting something new. Something that'll swallow 165 to 200+ Gr bullets. Anyone have any experience with these cal.s?
    Mr. Grits,
    I thought you were looking for land in Alaska? Does your wife know about these thoughts? Also, I thought I saw your Husky for sale on buy in sell under Mrs. Grits Hardway's Listing?
    Montana

  4. #4

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    Well it depends on what you're planning to buy. There are fewer guns available in the 338 Federal and Federal only offers three loads for the caliber. You have several choices in the 325 WSM as Winchester, Browning and Savage all chamber in it. There might be others, but those are the ones I know off the top of my head. And there are a few more options in loads for it.

    That said, just from an acedemic standpoint, I'd rather have a 338 Federal.


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    MT 338, NOoooooooooo!!! I checked, it's still in the cabinet. Phew!! Yeah, she knows about my proclivities. She acts like she doesn't want to make me happy sometimes by giving dramatic and sometimes animated objections and gestures about my needs. But I know that deep down she knows I will have to keep my mancard full by doing fullfilling manstuff (like buying land in Alaska - which of course can't logically be done without purchasing a new rifle for using in Alaska). Besides, Now that I have a little girl, it's 2 to 1 on most issues concerning new places to "Camp". My son is really smart, he refuses to partake in the democratic process in our house. Personally, I think the Old Lady's gotten to him when I was out looking at rifles.

    EKC, I've heard that the .338 Fed is pretty darn accurate. I like the flatter trajectory of the .325 wsm and I am not a person who shy's away from a long shot. I like to practice with all my firearms so that I can find their limits and love to practice at the max effective range of all of them. I've eaten some really tasty animals that I couldn't have taken otherwise. And that is exactly the hang up for me on these two cal.s.
    Does anyone know what the retained energy is at 500 yd.s using factory 200 gr partitions for these two cal.s?

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    Sig, why (your reasons)?
    You said from an academic standpoint... Your not shootin books are you? That would be messed up.

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    I've shot enough different calibers and chamberings, and noted the availability or lack thereof of ammo and compontents to have formed some opinions on the matter.

    If you want to move above 30 caliber, and want to have loaded ammo and brass readily available in the future, there are two choices, the 338 win mag and the 375 H&H. Every other 8mm, 338, 358 and 375 chambering has it's cult following, but they are not, nor will they be in the future popular or have readily available ammo.

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    Yeah, I gave that a great deal of thought. But heck, who's to say that I'll even be around for very long? Isn't the .338 Fed just a necked down .338 WinMag. anyway? If it is, then that may solve my dilemma.
    I mean there's probably not much I could do to find repl. brass for the WSM if they stop making it. But if the .338 Fed originates from the .338 WinMag. cartridge then, I could always get some dies and start loading my own. Which almost sounds therapeutic now that I mention it.

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    No, I guess it's a necked up .308. Even better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I've shot enough different calibers and chamberings, and noted the availability or lack thereof of ammo and compontents to have formed some opinions on the matter.

    If you want to move above 30 caliber, and want to have loaded ammo and brass readily available in the future, there are two choices, the 338 win mag and the 375 H&H. Every other 8mm, 338, 358 and 375 chambering has it's cult following, but they are not, nor will they be in the future popular or have readily available ammo.
    What Paul H said . . . except that the 338 Federal is so easy to reload (neck up ubiquitous 308 Win brass and voilą, you're ready to go) factory ammo availability is just not a consideration for me.

    As for useful effective range the 325 WSM is going to have a 250+ fps advantage with the same weight bullet in the 338 Federal and that means at least an additional 100 yards of effective range. Whether this is significant or not everyone must decide for themselves, but there is no glossing over that fact. Of course the 338 Federal uses 20-30% less powder and has less recoil so each has their tangible advantages.

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    Does this have to be a factory round? How about a 338 WSM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits Hardway View Post
    Sig, why (your reasons)?
    You said from an academic standpoint... Your not shootin books are you? That would be messed up.
    Well, all things considered, I thought the 338Fed shot better for me at the shoulder than the 325 WSM, but 338 was a Ruger that is no longer offered and the 325 was a Browning that didn't fit me well. I like the balistics of the 338 and might have to make a project out of one.

    As for shooting books, well I did do that once back in college as a way to blow off steam after finals...

    The only other book I shot was one of my own as a promotional deal.


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    I know it'd never happen being a Federal round, but I'd love to see what Hornady could do with their Superformance ammo...


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    Wow! A .338 WSM? That sounds pretty tasty. Does anyone make dies for necking a .325 case (I'm guessing here)?
    How about the .338 RCM? The more I read about that little cartridge, the more I like.
    I like the short action/short barrel lightweight rifle idea. I'm ultimately trying to get to a small lt weight rifle that I can get lost with. I'm talking just wandering around for a week or so of roadless penetration here. I wonder if Ruger is going to let anyone else chamber that round (probably a stupid question).

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    Sig,
    NOW THAT'S FUNNY (Deviant)... Oh man, I couldn't even begin to imagine the .338 RCM in the superperformance load. I've read that the new Hornady SP stuff gives a few 100 more fps and better downrange energy without adding recoil. OK, so that's what I read..... But you know how those writers are.
    Anybody know anybody at Hornady? Someone should call them and ask if they are going to do the SP in .338RCM
    I could really do a Hawkeye in .338 with the new Hornady ammo and a VAIS brake. Too bad there isn't another rifle out there with this same setup (20" barrel, 6.5#, short action .338 RCM) that has a 60 degree bolt throw and sub moa accuracy! Shoot, I think I just drooled on my keyboard.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits Hardway View Post
    Wow! A .338 WSM? That sounds pretty tasty. Does anyone make dies for necking a .325 case (I'm guessing here)?
    How about the .338 RCM? The more I read about that little cartridge, the more I like.
    I like the short action/short barrel lightweight rifle idea. I'm ultimately trying to get to a small lt weight rifle that I can get lost with. I'm talking just wandering around for a week or so of roadless penetration here. I wonder if Ruger is going to let anyone else chamber that round (probably a stupid question).
    With bushing dies you could do any neck modification you wanted to a standard case. Redding could get you a seater very easy but it'll be a little more spendy than the standard seater. I like their comp seaters a lot.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits Hardway View Post
    Sig,
    NOW THAT'S FUNNY (Deviant)... Oh man, I couldn't even begin to imagine the .338 RCM in the superperformance load. I've read that the new Hornady SP stuff gives a few 100 more fps and better downrange energy without adding recoil. OK, so that's what I read..... But you know how those writers are.
    Anybody know anybody at Hornady? Someone should call them and ask if they are going to do the SP in .338RCM
    I could really do a Hawkeye in .338 with the new Hornady ammo and a VAIS brake. Too bad there isn't another rifle out there with this same setup (20" barrel, 6.5#, short action .338 RCM) that has a 60 degree bolt throw and sub moa accuracy! Shoot, I think I just drooled on my keyboard.

    I do happen to know someone at Hornady and will ask. I'll let you know if I get a response of any worth. At my old gig at a publisher, we had a goody box from Hornady with a compete reloading outfit and some dyes and such for several calibers. IN that mix were some not-to-be-released-yet sets for the 338 RCM and the 300 RCM. I tried like Holy you-know-what to get my hands on it and was actually supposed to get it, but someone swiped it. It was not meant to be, I guess. Of course, then I would have had to get Ruger to send me the rifles and my wife would have likely divorced me.

    Wait, what was I talking about?


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  18. #18

    Default 325 or 338 fed?

    325 for the 200gr bullets. TTSX, Partitions, Accubonds and A-frames...what more do you want?

    If I wanted to shoot 338 bullets I would opt for the 338-06.

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    Ballistically, the 338 06 would do the trick, but I really want a mountain rifle for packing. It's not just the additional weight (1.5# +-) but is really all about the extra 3-6" of barrel length that is a real pain. Also, I think I'd be pushing my luck going to the well again (wife) this soon after I talked her into getting a small patch up there, at least as far as a new press and dies, etc. are concerned.
    That's why I am thinking the Ruger compact Cartridge would be about right. I know the ammo isn't as readily available as the 30 06, but I can always nail down the loads I want and then order up a bunch. If it came right down to it, I am quite happy using my 30 06 on anything, and I mean anything in Alaska. I really want a larger cal. rifle that will eat some serious backcountry dirt, though. My husky has earned a rest.
    Hey Sig, let me know what Hornady says about doing the .338 in the SuperPerfomance loads? If they have a time frame for release (taking for granted that they will do it) then I believe I just found me next rifle. Now if only someone could talk some sense into Ruger and get them to go to a 60 degree bolt throw, I'd be in heaven.
    Grits

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits Hardway View Post
    .338 federal or .325 WSM? anybody want to chime in on this? I'm leaning toward the .338 federal. I love my old Husky Lt Wt. 30 06, but have been thinking a new rifle could share some of the workload. I'm covered on the smaller cal.s, but was thinking about getting something new. Something that'll swallow 165 to 200+ Gr bullets. Anyone have any experience with these cal.s?
    Oranges versus apples. Think of the .338 Federal as a .308 with extra punch. It's a very efficient cartridge, just like the .308 has always been, but with the following benefits added to it:

    -Easy to reload
    -Easy to find brass for it (head-stamped, or just .308 brass)
    -Lots of reloading data for it (including the .338-08 data floating around the net)
    -A whole bunch of different .338-caliber bullet kinds and weights
    -Easy on your shoulder, and can be lightweight
    -Federal will load for it for a long time

    Think of the .325 as a younger sibling 8mm Magnum, and ballistically close to it, but not a 8mm Magnum:

    -Just as easy to reload for
    -Not as easy to find brass for it as the .338 Federal, but there is some out there
    -Enough reloading data for it to get you going for awhile
    -Not as many bullet kinds and weights as the .338
    -Not as easy on your shoulder as the .338 Federal, and being lightweight would add recoil
    -Factory loads for it depend on .325 rifle sales, but you can reload your own

    That said, the .325 is a lot more powerful cartridge than the .338 Federal. After all, it's nearly as powerful as the 8mm Magnum. So if you want a small package with enough punch for Alaska hunting a reasonable ranges, go for the .338 Federal. But if you want more reach and punch, go for the .325.

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