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Thread: .338 wm or 340 wby

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    Member hunterelk2002's Avatar
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    Question .338 wm or 340 wby

    I am trying to decide on which caliber rifle ( .338 or 340 Wby) to buy for hunting in AK. Would appreciate members input.

    Thanks

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Both will kill any animal in Alaska. Ammo is going to be more common in the 338 though I am sure you can find 340wby in Anch, FBX, and most likely on Kodiak with ease. Ammo is going to cost you more with the 340. In the end just buy whichever one makes you happy and enjoy it.

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    We have three 338's so I would have to say 'go with the 338'. If there is amyone in your area that has either one, see if you can shoot them. I have shot a 340 WM and was ir was not something that I would want to shoot much. While both od them are close, the 38 can be gotten in less expensive rifles and the ammo is easier to get.
    Either one will make your trip here wroth it. Which ever you end up with do not skimp on a scope.

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    Member hunterelk2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Bearcat View Post
    We have three 338's so I would have to say 'go with the 338'. If there is amyone in your area that has either one, see if you can shoot them. I have shot a 340 WM and was ir was not something that I would want to shoot much. While both od them are close, the 38 can be gotten in less expensive rifles and the ammo is easier to get.
    Either one will make your trip here wroth it. Which ever you end up with do not skimp on a scope.
    Good thought, my buddy has a 340, and thinks it's great, I will shoot it before I decide. Wondering if I should get a muzzle break if I chose the 340?

    Thanks

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I'd get the 340wby but I'm a big weatherby fan. If you're going to go that big might as well get the best ballistics. I'd definitely get it with a brake, ideally a weatherby accumark. I have one in 300wby and love it.

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    340Wby and you won't need a break. Great cartridge and you will not be under gun by any stretch of the imagination in Alaska with the 340Wby.

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    338 RUM a non belted mag.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterelk2002 View Post
    I am trying to decide on which caliber rifle ( .338 or 340 Wby) to buy for hunting in AK. Would appreciate members input.

    Thanks
    I own and shoot both. Both have their advantages IMO. Concerning terminal performance there is not much to chose between them. The 340 has significant recoil--noticeably more than a 338 WM, but it does not need a brake IMO.

    I am considering selling my 340 (Mk V, Redding dies, New Brass) PM me if you're interested
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Member oldmil007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterelk2002 View Post
    Good thought, my buddy has a 340, and thinks it's great, I will shoot it before I decide. Wondering if I should get a muzzle break if I chose the 340?

    Thanks
    Seems like it would be a big help to you to do some shooting with the .340.

    Everybodys a bit different with what they feel comfortable with as far as recoil goes. Usually I shot 30-06 or 7mm Rem mag. When I had the .340 for a while I never got real comfortable with the recoil. I miss it in a way though because the ballistics were really impressive.

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    Member hunterelk2002's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys, I'll put pics up when I get my new rifle. Leaning towards 340.

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    to each his (or her) own ... I have worked with both in load development from the bench and hunted extensively with 338 win mags - for my money, the 338 will do whatever the 340 will do and the recipient of the shot will never know the difference - a vast assortment of great rifles awaits the hunter shopping for a 338 and likewise a grand assortment of factory loaded ammo - 340 Wby not so much - IF you handload the difference narrows significantly - I do like the statement "get whatever makes YOU happy" though because at the end of the day you have to like the gun you hunt with (I LOVE my Kimber Montana 338 win mag)

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    IF you handload the difference narrows significantly
    I have owned both, hunted with both, handloaded for both and wrote articles posted on the forum about both, and on top of that I love both cartridges. But to say that if you handload the difference narrows significantly is not true. When handloading the 338win mag does not narrow the difference or get close to the 340Wby. 1. 250gr Sierra Game King - My first group out of a 340 Weatherby with this bullet was 0.58". Average velocity was 3066 fps, with a std. dev. of 8 fps. Using cartridge length of 3.700", Start load at 88grains with 90 grains being max load of IMR 7828, Fed 215. SD=0.313 BC=0.565. 2. If you push the 250gr bullet at max in the 338Win Mag you will get 2650-2730fps out of a 24" and maybe 2775fps out of a 26 inch barrel, but I would not call that a narrow difference between the two. There is a significant energy difference and down range ballistic difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    I have owned both, hunted with both, handloaded for both and wrote articles posted on the forum about both, and on top of that I love both cartridges. But to say that if you handload the difference narrows significantly is not true. When handloading the 338win mag does not narrow the difference or get close to the 340Wby. 1. 250gr Sierra Game King - My first group out of a 340 Weatherby with this bullet was 0.58". Average velocity was 3066 fps, with a std. dev. of 8 fps. Using cartridge length of 3.700", Start load at 88grains with 90 grains being max load of IMR 7828, Fed 215. SD=0.313 BC=0.565. 2. If you push the 250gr bullet at max in the 338Win Mag you will get 2650-2730fps out of a 24" and maybe 2775fps out of a 26 inch barrel, but I would not call that a narrow difference between the two. There is a significant energy difference and down range ballistic difference.
    FWIW, using similar components (I use Norma cases-you didn't mention that fact otherwise identical components) in the 340 I cannot approach your velocity figures. I've tried in several rifles and just cannot safely get much over 2900 with the 250 SGK with anything approaching reasonable case life. I'm not saying you don't beartooth in your rifle, but I am no newbie to reloading or shooting and I know this is not normal fare for 340s. I've shot them both enough to know that 100-200 fps extra is on tap with bullets from 180 to 250 grains from the 340. They (338 WM & 340) are far from twins IME; but I have never achieved +3050 fps with a 340 & 250 grain bullets. As a rule, Weatherby ammo doesn't leave much room for pressure increases and that is about a 150 fps increase over 340 factory ammo and 250 grain NPTs in my rifle.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  14. #14

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    I use Quick Load as a guide and that is what I got out of my 340Wby across the chrony. My rifle also gave me just about the same with Weatherby ammo. Now my Mark V handled this load. Don't know what to say other than that. But if your 2900 is the best you could could get it still is much better than 2650-2730 out of a 338Win mag.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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  15. #15

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    Sorry, I made a big mistake looking at my notes, I gave you the 225gr load not the 250gr load. So sorry for the miss print. I got 3066 out of a 225gr bullet. with the 250gr bullet I got 2956fps. Very sorry about that and thank you for causing me to think about it by sending your post 1Cor15:19. WOW!! Need to pay attention and take my time.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Well, I have a LH 700 BDL in 338 Mag, so naturally I am going to throw my weight behind that argument. The ability of either to kill big critters well is indisputable, one is as good as the other. Bother generate heavy recoil that is the price for that level of performance, but a person can either train themselves to handle it or put on a brake. Contrary to what some think, neither is a one trick pony, only suitable when hunting big stuff that bites. Either will kill non-dangerous large bodied & medium game just fine. I can personally assure that the 338 lays big bodied bull elk low w/o breaking a sweat.

    The only thing that favors one over the other is availability of over the counter factory ammo, the nod there has to go to the 338. It's a moot point if you load (my 338 has never fired a factory round). The 338 is a pretty benign round to load, I can't speak to the ease of coming up with accurate loads in the 340. I do load the 257 Roy and can advise brass for the Roy calibers is quite a bit more costly than similar standard chamberings.

    Another point that favors the 338 for me is cost of the rifle. There are any number of good production rifles in 338 from the fairly inexpensive Savage bolt actions up to high end stuff like Sakos & Blasers, I don't believe the 340 Roy comes in anything but Weatherby
    rifles which are pretty pricey.

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    I will still take the 338, getting those blistering velocities from a factory Weatherby is not as easy as some make it sound and there is still the rifle to be considered - I do like some of Roy's cartridges, the 257 is outstanding and the 300 is as versatile as it gets (I have a friend who shoots a McMillan lightweight custom 300 Wtby, gun scoped is well under 7 lb and it is not that bad to shoot but in a rifle that light it feels weird to me to have such a long bolt cycle) I think that either proponent, 340 WBY OR 338 win mag can stage a good argument but I will STILL take the 338 and I have loaded and shot a ton with it (250 moly coated BarnesX 2840 from 25" PacNor barrel,killed 2 caribou and 1 moose with that load but it is too apt to pass through and kill somethin' on the other side, like another caribou) 338 win mag with 225 Accubonds is my absolute favorite all around and it does a clean job on mule deer just as well as elk or moose (no brake needed with a 7lb 4oz rifle ) question: has Weatherby ever made the 340 in their ultra light model ?

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    FYI - In case anyone is interested the Nosler 2nds website has Nosler Custom 340 WTBY brass for $31 / 25 right now - I use Nosler 2nds in bullets and cases all the time with no complaints or adverse observations

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    Member hunterelk2002's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great input guys, I still am tossing both calibers around. Great points everyone has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    FYI - In case anyone is interested the Nosler 2nds website has Nosler Custom 340 WTBY brass for $31 / 25 right now - I use Nosler 2nds in bullets and cases all the time with no complaints or adverse observations
    What website are you finding those on? I never can seem to locate them. Are they just in the "Specials" on the main Nosler site?

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