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Nothing Works Better than a .338

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February 25, 2008

Nothing Works Better than a .338

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Once in a while you hear your exact thoughts repeated to you in just the words you would have chosen yourself. A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a geezer of taste who had done a lot of hunting, especially in Africa, and we swapped war stories, working through the
roster of cartridges. Then he said:

"I never had anything work as well as the .338. If you have a good .338 and you can shoot it, you'll never have to track anything. Pull the trigger and it'll be lying right where it was standing."

This has not only been my experience, but it's just the way I'd say it. I dislike attributing magical qualities to cartridges, but I've shot everything from prairie dogs to elk with a .338, and taken it to Africa and shot lots of stuff there, and only one animal has ever gone  anywhere after being hit with it, and that was an elk that traveled 100 yards and was deceased when we found it.

The .338 is loaded with bullets of 200 to 250 grains, and the favorite these days seems to be the 225-grain slug. It's a good compromise, but I believe that the 200-grainers are for deer, and that the 250 is the best of all. What you get with a tough bullet in this weight is tremendous, straight-line penetration. You want to break an elk shoulder? Consider it done. Do you wish to pound a puku (which is a tough African antelope about the size of a small elk)? No problem, as the young folks say.

If you're crazed for high velocity and the .338's modest numbers are not enough for you, there is always the .340 Weatherby and the .338 RUM. Elmer Keith may not have been right about everything, but he was right about the .338. If you want stuff to drop, here's your cartridge.

Comments (111)

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from Maz wrote 5 years 40 weeks ago

I wonder how the .338 Federal stacks up? It seems to be pretty close to the .338/06 ballisically, and it's available in an AR-10 configuration.But for the time being, I'm sticking with my tried-and-true single-shot .458 Winnie. Just because it's what's in the rack.

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from jaredhwy wrote 5 years 46 weeks ago

it would be in defence for sure.also, there are many neat-o spots in wyoming to hide.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 46 weeks ago

...and I thought I was a right-wing extremest. Your muzzle blast will give your position away jaredhwy.

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from jaredhwy wrote 5 years 46 weeks ago

I have recently purchased a savage model 111 .338 win mag. after spending $10 on a recoil padit never once had me saying ouch. as soon as i have my muzzle break finished i couldnt see it kicking any harder than an .06 without said mods. so why not? a charging grizz will drop at my feet weather or not my shot is dead on.read the NSPD 51-21 and ask your self if a 7mag or 270 will pass through an Interceptor OTVMil-Spec Outer Tactical Vest.vote from the roof tops.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Has anyone seen what happens when you shoot a straight out running jackrabbit with a 338 Win Mag? YYYUUUUCCCCKKKK! Blew the critter totally up I did

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from Mock1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

By the way, anything over .40 caliber is not a hit, it's an IMPACT!

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from Mock1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun. Garrett Hammerhead Bullet's, bigger lever loop, 4x Bushnell scope screwed down tight!. My reloads. Anything w/n 150 yds. Down for the count! Shot a 1,200 moose in New Foundland and it went about 15 yds. My mistake w/ the 15 yds was factory loaded 300 grain Nosler Partitions. If the 300 grain Noslers where my handloads, that moose wouldn't have gone 2 steps! No .338 at 100 yards will do that. At longer ranges, I have to conceed to the .338. I've shot long range, over 400 yds maybe 10 times in my life w/ kills and I never had to track as far w/ the BAR .338 as the BAR .300 Win. But dangerous game, Brownies, Duggas, whatever under 100 yds, I'll take the 45-70. I also took a nice deer at 127 yds last yr around Morristown, Mich w/ 300 grain jacketed hollow pts w/ my Guide gun and he did'nt move a step after impact.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

AS stated many times, to me the 30-06 is all the firepower 99% of us will ever need. Now, most all the hunters want a light wt rifle around 5 l/2 lbs.Even a 243 will kick at that wt. Back many years a 9-10 lb rifle was normal wt, to me it still is. I have all my Western hunting rifles weighing around 9-10 lbs. I don;t spot and stalk, I am disabled and stand hunt. Now and then I will amble thru the thick timber with my 30-30 open sghts and its not a heavy recoil weapon as we all know. With todays larger caliber and loaded to the max or more, the Mags will turn you around. My bolt 06 is just right for me, little reoil, even bench pratice don;t hurt and I only weigh 128 lbs. If I was able to handle a larger caliber to use in the Rockies it would be a 300 Win Mag. With a wt of 10 lbs it is manageable for me, but my trust is in the 700 CDL 06. Until I bought this CDL I used Monte Carlo stocked frearms, with this CDL and straight stock with cheek piece, the felt recoil is even less than the 742 Auto.After all is said, shoot enough gun for the game you hunting, and pratce a lot. Know where that bullet is going to hit and build your confidence in what-ever gun you use. If you own a $2-3K gun and don;t trust it or yourself, then you would be better off with a $300.00 243,30-30 or 270. When I pull the trigger on my 700's I know when the firing pin falls if its a good hit or not.You got to have confidence in your weapon and yourself and have the correct ammo to be a successful hunter of any type . In closing, a few years back I ordered a new gun, it was to be my Western hunting machine. O it was pretty,nice Stock, stainles steel and a muzzle break in 300 win mag. I took the gun out of the box, looked it over careful for flaws, non apparent, then I threw the gun to my shoulder and it did not feel like an extension of my arm. I did that over a period of a week, never fired the gun or even loaded it. I returned the gun and bought the Rem 700 CDL in its place. Now I wish had keep the other gun as it has been discontinued and worth mega bucks, but at the time I wanted a gun I felt confortable with, of which I am now. Years are flying by for me at 73, but can hardly wait till season opens. If my health was ok, I;d go to Fl and hunt a few days . But will hunt out West again and 5 weeks here plus 4 weeks or turkey next month. So should get in enough hunting. Waiting now on the New MArlin in 270 to come in, never shot a 270 so want to see how it compares to my 700 25-06. If Shootimes Magazine is l/2 correct in their article, this rifle will surely sell. Hope big green don;t screw it up as they did with the 710 and now with the 715 and the lousy looking 770 made from Japan beer cans. Pray they don;t dcrew up what Marli has done for over l00 yrs, but an investment Co bought Remington and now they bought Marlin, all they want is to make more $$$$$. I did e-mail Rem and told them never forget, that there were other firearms available made in USA. Savage has realy improved its line of firearms. To me they been under-rated too long.Ok long message, but hopefully meaningful to someone. The Old Gunslinger down South

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Any of you guys try the new Mossburg muzzleloader barrels to fit the Mossburg 500 pump shotgun.... MidwayUSA has them listed.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Walt I used a Remington Auto for 35 years and no problem, as i kept the gun clean. However, I was on a Lope hunt in Colorado and teh guide would not allow me to have one in the chamber of the 740. A uge Lope appeared at about l00 yds out and I aimed and click. I was use to the gun having one in the chamber when hunting, I had forgotten to chamber a round, but you know the racket chambering a Auto makes, can be heard l000 yds away. So after that deal i bought some Rem 700's in bolt action for Western hunting. However, I continue to use my 742's BDL wherever I am allowed to load it up. The secrete to a non-jamming Auto is to clean teh rifle, and just pour some Hopps down the bbl, but take the action out and forearm and buy some Gun Scrubber and clean the gun. If in a dust envirement clean often, otherwise, wipe down and clean when hunt is over./ I do agree, both the Auto's and Bolts have their place. For 3-400+ shots I will take my 24" bolt 06 verses the 22 inch 742. I don;t like the new Rem 750 Auto, but Remington has not come out with a good looking gun since the 700 CDL. Now lets hope they don;t screw up MArlin's line.

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I still say that the 30-06 is simply the best all around cartridge for north american game.For those who think the cartridge is light for the big bears, that maybe, but I don't plan on hunting anything that can eat me anyhow.At least I know that I can accuratly dump 5 rounds out of my Rem. 740 in under five seconds and quickly reload. How many rounds can you get out of a .338 bolt in that time??

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from james ti wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

staring at hill would make any of us want to go into a dark closet with our favorite rifle and dosome serious thinking! what could be worse is having the terrorist as our next pres. better load up!

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay,When the .338 first came out the only factory rounds available were 200gr, 250gr(silvertip) and 300gr soft point. So, my early experiences were limited to what there was. I think I have yet to meet a Silvertip I liked, so the choice was 200 or 300 for backup.I agree that the top quality 250 gr is now a fine choice for that caliber.dickgun

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from BA wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter,I was really impressed by what I discovered about the 338-06. With the bullet weights out there today, say 160 to 250 grains, and the superb construction and reliability of modern bullets it would be hard to pass on the 338-06 for an all around big game rifle. It should do anything within reason that the 06, 300 WSM, 325 WSM, and 338 Win Mag will do. Of course the 338 Win Mag will top out the line up for power. But in most cases which aren't extreme, the 338-06 will keep up with them or do better in the long run. Recoil should be tolerable. To say the least, it is a very interesting prospect.Like you said, "Plan early, plan well". Better advice was never given.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

BAI sometimes wish I'd gotten my Weatherby Mk V in .338-06 instead of .30-06 Spfd. A friend has one and it is usually 'lights out' on game.I have several .257, .308, and .358 caliber rifles. Maybe I should add a 7mm/ .284 and .338 to the locker!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

DickgunI’ve shot the 300 grain in my 338 Win Mag and to tell you the truth, I was not impressed with them at all! The loads I use, I feel comfortable with and so did my hunting companions. Why? They knew if I can see them and they got in trouble that 338 loaded with 250 grain Nosler Partitions loaded at 2850fps’ish would laser in and if I was loaded with 300’s I know they would be screwed! 300’s are just too darn slow; don’t have the shocking blow and drops like a rock! The heaviest grain bullet I would suggest to go is a 250 and nothing heavier. You don’t gain anything I know of by doing so. Yes I’ll agree with you that there are newer and better bullets than the Nosler out now. But I’ll stick with them, nothing has walked away from one yet and my Browning loves them. 250’s shoot dead on at 100 yards and my Hornady 225 dead on about 225 yards, O’YA!

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Well, I must admit CM spiced rum has helped me cope with life on one more then one occasion but asking it to help deal with HRC is asking too much from this elixir!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I don't think I could ever get enough "Captain in me" to make HRC look good.That is what you call a show-stopper!

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from BA wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I truly like the .338 Win mag. It has been one of the most reliable cartridges I've ever used. I shot a Ruger #1 in .338 for over 20 years. I never had to shoot anything more than once. After the new bullet boom, I decided to step down in caliber because the bullets were now super reliable in almost all calibers. With the Swift A-frame, the Scirocco, Barnes triple shock, Trophy bonded, I mean what more could you ask for? After reading Elmer Keith, I realized that a person has got to learn how to handle heavy kicking rifles. Ishawooa is right. I learned how to do it and enjoyed many years of letting the rifle be the boss so to speak. If I were to pick a rifle of the .338 persuasion right now, it would be a .388-06 with out question. Some of you know that I'm a short fat fan because of the obvious reason bench resters use that type of case and also because of being able to use a more compact and lighter rifle. But I did a comparison of several cartridges just for kicks and found that the 338-06 is within 100 fps +/- with a given bullet weight of the 300 WSM, 325 WSM, and just a little less powerful than the mighty 338 win mag. The sectional density/choice of bullet weights, and BC of the 338 class of bullets gives it a flexability not found in many others. Talk about a wind bucker? If you can't take the recoil, go to something lighter. I don't measure a hunter by the caliber he shoots, it's how many one shot kills he/she can make.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry Chev JimStaring a the Hill that long would have me upchucking!!LOL!!!Bubba

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

After much experimenting, I have found that Captain Morgan's spiced rum makes an excellent after dinner drink and bore cleaner. It's not that it's better than some of the bore cleaners that have been on the market a long time, it's just that you're no longer as concerned about whether the barrel is clean or not. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, however, let me state right up front that not only do gunpowder and alcohol not mix, but they don't taste good together, either. While I don't ordinarily advocate taking such an elixir into the hunting fields, I will tell you that if you pour a bowl full near a salt lick, you won't have any trouble keeping an elk or whitetail in your sights, and either a .30/06 or .338 will do quite nicely. Once the game is shot, skinned, hung up and the guns cleaned and put away, you can pour yourself a couple of fingers and conjure up the ghost of your choice, or just stare at a picture of Hillary until you think she looks sexy.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

As many of you will recall, I think a 30-06 is enough weapon for anything in North America other than maybe the Griz or Brownie. I hunt the Rocky Mtns yearly for Deer and Elk and I use Scricco l80 gr bullets. I do believe this load would take a big bear ok, but just for safety, I would prefer to have a back-up hunter with a larger weapon if my 06 did not drop the bear. If a 06 don't take your animal down, then you are not using the correct ammo, or you need more pratice pior to a high $ hunt. I as a rule I shoot my 700 CDL 06 daily (3 shot groups) every day for a couple months prior to going west. A extra $l00.00 spent here at home, will make your 5K hunt worth while once you get in the Rockies.I;ve hunted for the past 40 years with a 30-06 and a 25-06, now and then a 30-30 (woods hunting) and only once have I had to shoot a animal twice. If you pratice enough, use best ammo available, then you will know where that bullet is gonna strike. Have that trigger set at 3 lbs and you will know when the bullet leaves the muzzle if its gonna hit where the wires crossed. Buy and install a good scope and base and rings so the rifle stays 0 all the time. After i begin my pratice session and thru till I get to the Rockies, I do not clean the bbl period. All I do is run a clean patch down the bbl once. I also leave a piece of elec tape on muzzle all teh time, if I shot, then replace the tape. That tape will not interfer with your bullet path, but will keep gook out of the bbl. You would be suprised at what gathers in a gun bbl carring thru the woods and land.Don;t take but a dab to ruin a l000.00 gun. I clean my guns after the season is over but not until the. Now with the B/P gun, thats a different story. I swab the bbl after each shot. I use Power belts and Pyrodec Pellets and there always is some residue left in the bbl after each shot.With the Sabot jacket type, you will not have that problem. The Powerbels fit so tight, that any un-burned powder is left in the bbl. O well, Glad the B/P season is only l week, as i detest B/P hunting to begin with. Give em a Center fire anyday and i;m happy/ Waiting for my new MArlin 270 to come in, my first ever 270 to haul on the 4 wheeler and truck. Go with the 06's and bring home the trophy. The old Gunslinger

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from james t wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

dr. ralph- if you think a .30-06 will drop something faster than a .338 you should learn to shoot your .338 better. an equal shot by either and the .338 or .30-06 is no competiton. you were obviosly either exagerating or mistaken when you said everything you shot with the .o6 drop in place. not in reality. i don't care who you are. the .338 is one of the best calibers there are out there but an .06 won't do what you say! not every time!

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay, I agree with you about what would be good on Ole Mr. Brown Bear. It's a little much on deer here, but if I were in bear country, that .210 should do the trick.. Still have to place the shot in a vital area. Thats where a lot of people get in trouble. By the way, I was looking through a scrap book here and found the blue Cert. for marksmanship in the Air Force, They still use that form?

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay,I respectfully disagree with your premise that the 210gr Nosler would be the preferred bullet for backup out of the .338. The early Nosler bullets had the unique (for then) position of being about the only 'premium' bullet out there, however, although it is true that the core held together, by and large on the Noslers we dug out of big bears the forward lead portion of the bullet had fragmented and basically did not exist in a meaningful way. Fairly early on I quit using or recommending them, especially when the Swift A-Frame came along which largely became my bullet of choice both for personal use and to recommend to clients. Until then the factory 300 gr bullet remained my choice for backup. I still have 10-15 boxes of them, as when the factory quit marketing them and there was nothing to really take their place, I tried to corner the remaining supply!There are now a number of bullets of good quality from which to chose that make fine backup rounds. I just do not think that the Nosler 210 gr is one of them. I much prefer a heavier bullet that will still provide penetration and expand while holding together.dickgu

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Chev Jim... I thought Dave's epitaph was great but I'm not quite a ghost yet. By the way send me some of the good stuff too.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

To Chev Jim: ever the editor, I feel compelled to add the following:1. As I never take my own advice, I have only one scope cut and no problems with my shoulder.2. Your rhyme doesn't scan. Be more careful next time.3. Heavey is not allowed in the office. He works out of his home--a shipping container--in Virginia.4. Whatever you've been getting into--where can I get some?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter |You say, “I can almost always get inside 300 yards”! You just hit the nail on the head and drove it straight thru the board my Friend! Your average shot, even in Alaska is under 175 yards.Black Rifle AddictIt’s true I passed all the chances of shooting a Grizzly and Brown bear on a many occasions. However, because of my shooting ability, I was asked by many hunters to be their backup. The 30-06 is a bet light for Brown Bear and I would prefer a little distance like over 100 yards. I have found thru my own experience firsthand dealing as backup, talking to all the flying guide services and biologists and they say with one thing in common that 338 Win Mag is one of the best choices and works best with 210 Nosler Partitions.

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from Brian wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Does anyone have an opinion on the new 338 federal ?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Isawooa,If you have a favorite deer rifle, I recommend using it on wolf.When I lived in ND, I spoke to a number of guides, in both WY and SD as well, about what their clients used on game. Most of them seem to agree that the eastern hunters always asked if their deer guns would be adequate out west? Well, most of the guides would ask the hunter if they were confident with the rifle, use it!Now, unless the hunter was using a shotgun with slugs or a pistol shooter, most "deer woods" rifles will do the job. And with the advent of the lever evolution ammo, it makes a lever gun even more acceptable for plains shooting.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Isawooa,Anything from 243 to 3006 sounds like good advice to yours truly.Back in '86 a guy I knew in Ak shot 3 wolves dead with a 3006. He was moose hunting near Mt Mckinley park. Said four attacked him. He shot 3 and the last one ran into the brush then howled while he skinned the dead ones. Sounded far fetched to me but he had 3 fresh hides. If it were me it would be the 2506. It's flat shooting, has plenty of power for wolves and easy on the shoulder.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

IshawooaI can see it now; DEP recommending the 6.5 Swede, Bodington the .265 Scramjet, O'Connor's ghost the .270 Win, Keith's spirit the .444 Marlin, Sarg the .308, Clay the .25-06 or .22-250, Black Rifle the 6.5 Beowolf (fitting), as for SA (having never shot a wolf) I would be good with anything middle ground .243 on to .30-06. Your own choice for those extreme shots is a good one too.SA

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sarg:May God bless and watch over the men and women of that Guard unit. A detachment just arrived back in Wyoming from 18 months in Iraq. A nurse friend of mine was one of them and she was fortunate enough to survive a couple bombs which exploded near her Humvee plus heard a few 7.62 x 39's hit it during the time in country.I sure like the .204 but have had a couple .17 Rems for about 20-25 years so it is tough to buy and gear up for another caliber that is close in performance. Also have a .223, .22-.250, and .243 for long range p-dawgs and coyotes. I have a few friends who love .204's and these guys are picky so it must be an excellent round. If I lived in the beautiful state of Kentucky and hunted deer in that wonderful timbered land I think the .308 would be my first choice (yep listen to the .30-'06 guys start whining).Sounds like we might be able to shoot wolves legally in '09 in Wyoming. What would you guys suggest for a 100-140 pound gray wolf? Most I have seen for the last ten to fifteen years have been in packs, rarely a solitary animal. The .17 might not be enough but the .338 excessive. I know two guys who have shot them in Canada one with '06 and the other with .300 Win mag because that is what they were hunting caribou with. I personally think wolves will make great 500-1000 yard targets for my recently built 7 mm Ultra with a BDC scope. The fewer wolves the more elk, moose, and deer so like most locals I have no sympathy for these predators since they hunt year round. We'll see how it goes...

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Chev Jim,Got any mushrooms left, I'll come over.

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

There are never right wing, conservative, evangelico demon-casters around when you need them.

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clink clink! Dave Petzal jumps out of bed and demands the spectre identify itself . . . "I am the ghost of bruised shoulders past!" Dave says, "Well, you look like the ghost of Jack O'Connor!" Says the ghost, "That's right, big-bore boy! And I'm just here to remind you how much more handsome and smart you'd be if you hadn't been shooting all of those .338 magnums at deer and dik diks!" Dave looks into the mirror and regards his scope cuts, and pulls back his T-shirt to look at the scar tissue on his shoulder. Clink clink! Dave looks around and sees another spectre. I guess you are the ghost of bruised shoulders present! "You are right," said the spectre, who looks like a dead ringer for Craig Boddington. "I'm such an idiot for shooting those Lazzeroni rounds and those double rifles," said the spectre. "Man, I retired from the Marine Corps and I just miss the punishment! These high recoiling rifles help expiate the guilt for being a civilian again!" Dave watches the second spectre fade away, and then sees a third spectre appear in its place. "You've got to be the ghost of bruised shoulders future," said Dave. "You catch on pretty quick," said the spectre, who could be no other than Dr. Ralph. "I'm here to warn you about recommending big bore, powerful calibers that are unnecessary for the game you are hunting!" Dave replied, "Awww, so what if I want to shoot prairie dogs with a .338?" The third ghost said, "Let me show you what will happen if you don't change your ways!" The ghost took Dave's hand and transported him into the future. Dave sees a grave with a tombstone that looked like a huge recoil pad stuck halfway into the ground. Inscribed on the tombstone was the words, "Here lies Dave Petzal, late of Field and Stream, who never would settle, for rounds not so extreme." "Oh, no!" said Dave. "Tell me that it's not true! Tell me that I didn't convince shooters to use rifles that would detach their retinas, loosen their fillings, and give them a case of the flinches!" He started to sob. "Oh, spirit of bruised shoulders future, please take me away from here and give me another chance!" The next thing Dave knew, he was awake but still in bed. "Oh boy!" said Dave. "I've got another chance to redeem myself!" Dave got out of bed and ran to his office, and began to pound out the next article for Field and Stream. It was titled, "How to Use the .22 Tiny Tim to Take Barren Ground Grizzly and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint." Soon, the other staffers began to come in. Dave pulled out a bottle of champagne from under his desk and began to pour everyone a drink into his vast collection of coffee mugs. Bill Heavey took a big swig and said, "God bless us everyone!"

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Ishawooa, my unit (ARMY National Guard) here locally are leaving out for parts unknown on Monday, I guess I'll go down and see them off. I do know where they are going but shouldn't say. They will be gone for a year. One boy I know well has either sold his bird dogs or some one else is going to take care of them.. I hate to see them go.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Ishawooa, I like the .308 probably because I'm used to it.. A lot of the hunters here use the 7mm08 and I would like one myself.. I just don't like extreme calibers for deer here in Ky.. Heck, I'd like a .270., want a .223, like a 22-250. Even bought one of those 7.62x54R the other day. Haven't shot it yet, We are expecting 2-4 inch of snow tonight and tomorrow. If it does, may get the 4wheeler out and just go shoot something. Got a new .204, shot enough to zero., wanting to shoot it some. Like my new .17 HMR. I just like to shoot. I don't really need a .338, but wouldn't turn my head on a good deal. I'm looking for another Mauser in 7mm to tinker with this winter, but now I'm working on my fishing gear.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sarg:In fairness to your .308 I will say that I have a .270 and 2 x .280s but actually prefer my 7 mm-08 on deer sized animals. If it was a .308 I would be just as happy (have owned a few in the past). However none of them are a .338 and in these mountains I sometimes don't know if the smaller cartridge will be enough. They probably would suffice in most instances but you never know until the circumstances are revealed then you use what you have with you. The .338 just seems to fill my purpose better than most.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

You guys shoot your .338,s,.375,s and your .416,s, I'll stick with my trust, low recoil, easy to find .308 on deer size animals.. One shot, no tracking ETC... I would like to have a .270, but I still would use my .308 Win.

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from Gerald Keller wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

leadbeltloudmouth,Weatherby was making rifles and ammo in 338-06,and still do as far as I know.Mine is built on a 1909 Argentine Mauser.I've been using the Barnes 185gr. Triple-Shock.Plenty of penetration and flat shooting.I want to try their new 160gr.Triple-Shock as soon as I can get a box or two.I'll load them in the 338 Federal as well.They should be great for Caribou,Muleysand just about anything else.I have a 338 Mag. as well and used it for Elk,but the 338-06 would have killed the Elk just as dead.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Black Rifle addict,During my 4 years in AK I carried a Rem mod 700 classic in 350 Rem mag and Leupold VXIII 1.5x5 scope. (think ballistic twin to the Whelen with a short action). Both my friends that were guides carried 375 HH bolt guns. The reasoning is if they have to shoot it could be a very bad situation with quick kill necessary. Unlike Johnny nobody carried anything but a bolt gun. semi-autos pumps and levers sometimes jam. I knew a CWO that experienced a charge on Afognak. He and another guy emptied a 300 Win and a 375 into a big boar. The last shot at point blank range. The hide was shot full of holes. The amount of punishment a bear can take once angered is amazing. Probably more hunters carried 338's than anything else. Lots of people carry too much scope and/or a cheap scope both are mistakes.

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from Mike Reeder wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Not to argue with johhnydwson, because I think his experience with hogs points out the folly of judging the efficacy of particular calibers based on relatively small anecdotal evidence. All I know is that I've shot maybe a dozen or so hogs over the years and never had one go more than a couple of feet after being hit with 139 grain bullets from a 7X57, 130 grain bullets from a .270 and 180 grain bullets from an '06. In fact, as I've mentioned here before, about the most impressive kills I've ever had on anything with anything involved a couple of hogs shot with my little 7mm. They went down so fast they didn't even twitch. My son did have a smallish one run about 30 yards after being hit a bit back in the lungs with a 100 grain bullet from a .243, but I draw fewer conclusions about the bullet or caliber than I do about the nature of all kinds of game to do all kinds of peculiar things after being hit by otherwise lethal blows.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

More from a .338 lover...back to the charging grizzley, it is very difficult to gain precise shot placement while you are peeing you pants and smelling the grizz's breathe. I guarandamntee you that a 250 or 300 gr from a .338 Win will come closer to stopping the charge than any '06 (and yes I have an '06 that I bought in 1970 and have used it a lot). That said for less than adequate shot placement I move along to exact shot placement. In Wyoming or Montana we are often faced with little timber and lots of open spaces. A typical scenario is you spot your bull just before dark near the end of shooting light. Your option is to walk away for another day (unless it is the last day of your life or the season or you have to go back to work) or take your time, range the bull, and shoot. Out to 500-600 yards a carefully placed .338 bullet of adequate design, velocity, and weight is extremely effective. Insofar as the continueing hullabaloo about the recoil of the .338 go back and see what my kid could do with it when he was 15. Stop by and visit so you can watch him shoot it now at 17 years old and he will throw in a few rounds of .416 Taylor to boot. He is no different than you guys who don't like the recoil except that I have trained him to handle it since he was ten or so. Again on a trap tourniment weekend he will fire probably 600 rounds of AA in two days. Don't take this to sound like bragging but merely a testament that if a kid can do it so can you. I have not seen 500 elk killed but have shot or witnessed the demise of a 100 or so. Many calibers and cartridges will work but I believe the topic of this blog is NOTHING WORKS BETTER THAN A .338, not will also work or is almost as good as, etc. Again short range or long as far as I am concerned I keep going back to my old .338 (but like others I use lots of other cartridges on some hunts just because I want to like Dave and his 6.5). As far as Clay's comments on whether to shot or not I certainly respect his comments and agree with his philosophy. I also feel that his statements regarding what most hunters feel is a relatively long range shot is perfectly within reason for those with the right equipment and level of expertise. You ain't changing my mind.

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from johnnydwson wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

My .338 is a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle). It was muzzle heavy, and I have long arms. So I lengthened the stock and put in a 10 oz. mercury capsule. Now the recoil is nothing. It is a well balanced rifle that swings like a double barreled shotgun, and the sight picture is perfect with the fixed-four-power scope. Drops large boars in their tracks, but my 30.06 would not do that. With the 30.06 they would trot away for ten to fifty yards before falling down to die. So now I have a lethal repeating rifle with negligible recoil, a deadly combination.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

as to the .325 WSM I say as always that the short mags are a passing fad for which factory ammo will dry up fast and brass will be in short supply soon too. Some of them now rely on powders not available to the handloading market for the 'magnum' velocities. For my money stick with the tried and true.SA

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from Mike Reeder wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have no doubt that a properly placed bullet from a .338 will mow down nearly everything you shoot with it. So would a bazooka. If someone wants to use a .338 on elk, moose or bears, and can shoot it (and that's the relevant clause) more power to them, although it strikes me that using one on deer would be the hunting equivalent of sado-masochism. I simply don't see much that a .338 will do that a 30-06 loaded up with good 180-220 grain bullets won't do with far less damage to the person on the back end. It seems like an awfully big tradeoff in order to gain .030 in bullet diameter. If the trade includes fewer shots fired in practice due to excessive recoil then it's not much of a trade, unless you're throwing lions into the equation.Exactly how many degrees of dead are there?

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from David wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

IT ALL DEPENDS.I see everyone replying to this blog and other blogs in the past about shooting whatever caliber it is and making the statment"I drop them in their tracks".I say BS, It all depends on shot placment,bullet travel and bullet performace. Make that perfect Shot weather it be a Heart, Neck or Head shot and a small caliber will drop them in their tracks just as well as a 338 or whatever else.

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from Corn Boy wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I use a 50 bmg for everything bigger than my mastif. I figure with 1 shot I can drop the game and cut fire wood for the nite. A win win for me anyways. Anything under a 100yrds I try to spook just to give it a chance.

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from Carney wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA Mnthunter,Looks like we're at opposite ends of the state! I only started hunting 5 years ago here in the Pacific Nothwest so I don't know any better than to hunt in the rain!!Carney Layne

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

By the time I see this blog, here in Alaska, the subject matter has been pretty well (thrashed, trashed, bashed, you pick). I will only add that I bought a .338 M70 in 1960 - they were just out then - and named the Alaskan. It immediately went to AK with me and served me as a personal weapon, including a backup gun, very well for many years. Those years included guiding a lot of clients for the world's biggest bears - the polar bear of the western Chukchi Sea and the Ursus Gyas brown bears of the SW end of the Alaska Peninsula. I never felt undergunned. One thing that has not been mentioned is the original factory load in 300gr soft point. For its vintage it proved to be an excellent load in both penetration and expansion. 300 gr bullets are available today in both soft point and solid I believe. My .338 now rests in my rack, mostly, with its scars and stories.dickgun

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

CarneyI live in the Mount Vernon area and gave up elk hunting in WA since there are more elk hunters than elk on the east side and I don't like hunting in a wetsuit on the west side!I got rid of my .338 Win because that rifle didn't shoot particularly well and the felt recoil was more than I wanted to put up with. At the time, my only other rifle was a .308 Win.As for the .325 WSM, it might be a good rig for a one rifle guy. Although I have seen some numbers that make me a little suspicious of the ballistics claims, I think time will tell. I also don't think the recoil will be noticeably lighter than a .338 WM. I like to shoot my "service rifles" and if the recoil is too stiff, I won't practice enough to suit my standards. I might buy a .325 WSM if I found a deal on one in something other than a Japan made rig.

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay-I am not questioning your shooting ability here, it's your ability to recommend a bullet/caliber without having taken a specific game animal with it. As for passing up a shot on a grizzly, I respect your reasoning for not taking it, but I would have to say most hunters would do 6 months hard labor to have that chance.I have also read once that most guides carry a 30/06(maybe with the exception of brown bear guides?)What did the guides in Alaska carry as a general rule?

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from Carney wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

2 questions:1) WA Mtnhunter, what part of Washington are you in? I'm in Vancouver and hunt Gifford Pinchot National Forest.2) I've never had the chance to shoot the 338 though I've been both encouraged and warned about it: "no need for any other gun..." & "better get a steel plate for your eyebrow..."When the marketing of the 325 extolled its ballistics as identical to the 338 I thought I'd consider it for my next long range hunting rifle. As I've perused the comments though, I don't think it has been mentioned once! After several years does it still have no track record? Or is it just no good?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay, I totally agree. I would probably take a .338 or .358 flavored magnum if I were hunting Alaska. I just commented on the .35 Whelen matching my hunting skills (I can almost always get inside 300 yards) and my shooting ability ( I can always hit a 12 inch target at 300 yards).I readily admit that I am not a long range shooter anymore. I recognize my limitations (I hope). Once upon a time, I didn't mind taking long shots at light infantry pop-up targets of opportunity. :-)

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

On a different note. Now that S. Africa has lifted its ban on elephants it would seem to make economic sense to allow hunters to pay for culling the herd rather than doing it in-house with management people.

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from Dick Mcplenty wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I've had the good fortune of being in on over 500 elk kills over the past 30 years on 3 seperate ranches here in wyoming and one ranch in montana. I've seen every caliber in the spectrum used from .243 to 458win mag. And even a few more exotic calibers.The bottom line is with todays bullets you'd be hard pressed to find any differance in actual killing performance from .270 through .375. A marked differance in killing power and reaction of the animal shot becomes apparent when you hit the .40 cal and larger. I've seen some of the most dramatic kills on bull elk with the anemic 150gr partition fired from a .270.A load that some would have you believe will bounce off an elk,let alone kill it. Because of all of the rhetoric about the mighty .338 in the press over the past 20 years,I've seen probably close to 100 elk killed using the .338 win mag and its various .338 off spring.I've yet to see it kill elk any better then a host of smaller calibers. With 250 gr bullets the .338's greatest virtue is it has the ability to penetrate an elk length wise with standard cup and core bullets,which was why elmer praised it.However I've seen the same performance level in the standard 175 gr 7mm bullets,along with 200 gr bullets in .30 cal..A couple years ago Rifle magazine published stats from a scandic moose study concerning caliber versus killing ability. They compiled 6.5 mm through 9.3 mm data and the end result was the reaction of moose when properly hit,fall over dead regardless of caliber.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA MtnhunterListen my Friend; I don’t have a problem with those that shoot 35 Whelan or 338-06’s at all. You just have to find a rifle and cartridge combinations to match you’re shooting skills and the variety of terrain your hunting! I chose the 338 Win Mag for its long range performance over other Alaskan cartridges. It’s close to the same trajectory of a 30-06 165 grain bullet with tremendously more energy and larger wound,hydrostatic shock damage. I don’t recommend a 338 cal for anything smaller than Elk!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

By the way, my 338 Win Mag is a Browning A-Bolt Hunter topped with a Leopold Vari-X II 3x9 and I use a 1 1/4 military sling the same way I shoot High Power Competition and that’s how I make those long shots!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

ClayYou are correct in stating that a .35 Whelen is comparable in bottom line effectivity out to 250 yards or so. The longest shot I ever took with my .35 Whelen was 264 yards, and it penetrated about 40 inches of elk before exiting! I try to hold my shooting to less than 300 yards, so the whomping magnums are of little utility to me.ScottThe .338-06 is also a fine cartridge for North American game. I have seen the results!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Hey WaltYou say “Good hunters don't HAVE to shoot long distances and you enjoy your 40 foot shots”. That’s OK and all due respects Sir I’m impressed but I have listened to this from hunters every year coming to Alaska. YA’MAN! I’m from Wisconsin and I don’t shoot over 50 feet! You should have been with me in Alaska 1986-90 and watch these guys come back to the range mad as hell and they had one thing in common to say, “HEY COOP I NEED SOME HELP, WHATS THE BEST GUN!” My number one choice for serious reach out and knockem down John cartridge is the 338 Win Mag!!! Besides, I like to see someone dash across that tundra to get a 40 foot shot! BEAR BAIT! YUM! YUM! I like my distance I do!!Black Rifle AddictYou ask me, How many 300 yard shots have you taken at brown bears lately? I’ll answer that question this way. I young Sergeant came into my office the first Wednesday before the first weekend of August of 89 and asked me the same thing. My office was the central meeting location for all the hunters going to Taylor Mountain and fly in hunts etc. for Black Bear (Brown and Grizz opens Sept 1st), Caribou and to finalize their plans and get all their equipment lined up including range time after hours that I offered one on one, assistance. My reply, how many State and Regional High Power Championships have you ever won Sir? The office busted into laughter and he walked out in a huff. By the way the young Sergeant shot and wounded a nice Bull caribou and knocked down stone deed three cows behind it with a 375 H&H.So now I’ll answer your question Sir.During my 4-year tour (1986-90) at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, I've been asked how many bears have I taken. I had hundreds of chances. I had my crosshairs on many with a round in the chamber of my 338 Win Mag with Nosler 250 grain partitions loaded at 2800 fps and a harvest ticket in my backpack. An easy one shot clean kill everyone. I never pulled the trigger though.Why you ask?The beauty and respect of one a Hunter to the other (the bear) perhaps? Most of all the cost of having it mounted I couldn't afford and I knew in the back of my mind that if I did pull the trigger, the hunt was over. I wasn't ready for the hunt to end, never. I wanted more days to hunt, just to be out there. Even if I came home empty handed, it didn't matter. The awesome power, to watch a Grizzly role rocks the size of my ATV like a basketball, hunting for rodents. I never have taken a bear until I moved back to Arkansas.Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man has ever walked.To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and feel the Lord setting next to me enjoying what God has made.I may have come home empty handed,but my mind is full of awesome memoriesit is a experience, I'll never forget!I ask you my Friend Black Rifle Addict this, is this what hunting is really about?Check out the 416 Barrett it outperforms the 50BMG at 2500 yards as a sniper rifle!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dan D.I'm surprised! My 870 shoots 2 3/4 like a dream but I've never tried 3 inchers. This fall I'll try a few just for 'kicks'.

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from CPT Brad wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

OK OK, Obviously I don't know anything about shooting by reading the other comments posted here; but I will tell you that I had a really bad experience with a Ruger M77 ultra light in 30-06 during my youth (spelt I owned it less than a week and took it back)that was the HARDEST kicking rifle I have ever brought to shoulder. I have shot 300 win mags for years and recently had the pleasure of moving up to and killing deer with a 338 win mag. I have NO COMPLAINTS about the 300s but the 338 just does it better. I shot a Large (for Arkansas) 9 point last deer season and it never took a step. this was broad sided at 200 yards. (Laser) I have shoot deer past 400 with both the 300 and 7mm mag but I can't make the same comment there. I had the luck of finding a good 700 with a Vias muzzle break and a good recoil pad and with good ear protection I can easily shoot two boxes through it. I like the Nosler 200 grains on deer, Federal makes the same in the ballistic tip. Once again anything that I've done good with the other magnums the 338 will do better. If you can handle the gun it will work on anything I've seen. Last comment; Things don't get too dead, and Bring enough gun!

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from Scott wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Had a .338 once...it was a Remington "Classic" rifle and only weighed in at around 6.5 pounds. Let me tell you folks, that rifle could pound you into dust. Sighting in was the worst experience I've ever had with a rifle. It was, to give big green a plug, very accurate for its intended purpose. I kept it for just over a year and after the hunt was over it went to a much more deserving family. I returned to the 30-06 and have never looked back. If one desires the .338 caliber, one should consider the 338-06. It will do more than the standard '06 and near what the Win. Mag. will do within reason, with much less punishment.Frag away guys!

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from Michael wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I agree with you Chad on the 6.5x55;(love my CZ 550)but the other caliber is the 9.3x74. How about it Dave? I never hear you talk about the 9.3's. What's your opinion?

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from Dan D. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have to agree there is more to recoil than the mathematics. Perception is a big key. My Ruger M77 in .338 win mag is a joy to shoot compared to my Rem 870 12ga with 3in slugs. I can only describe the recoil of that pump gun as "violent".I have hunted deer with my .338 but never had the oppurtunity to take one. I bought the rifle as my moose gun.....if I can ever win that damn Maine moose lottery or afford to go to Canada.Dan

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Had an old gunsmith tell me once that the only reason anyone made a "Magnum" was so the Cajuns in south Louisiana could hear noise and feel pain when they pulled the trigger!If I had aspirations of hunting large bear or the ungulates larger than whitetails, I might consider a larger bore. For me, right now, a .270 Win is sufficient for everything in my neck of the woods!Bubba

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

The .338 Win Mag in a well made rifle does not kick as hard as most 12 gauge shotguns firing slugs, a lot of that is perceived recoil not just mathematical recoil. The .338 is a really good all around choice if one hunts in areas with ornery bears, heavy boars (though I've yet to kill one of 'em) or -- as I've mentioned before -- need to put animals down NOW or lose them to unscrupulous other hunters. There are certainly other cartridges which fit the bill; I am surprised no one brought the .416 Rigby into the discussion, the .444 Marlin has the tragectory of a rainbow but still delivers Thump at range, the .375 H&H absolutely deserves the mention it got as it is still the smallest dangerous game round allowed in most of Africa.I have always had a hankering for a .338, I've fired a few belonging to buddies and range bums of my aquaintance and the recoil wasn't bad, the termiinal performance is outstanding and ammo is relatively available.SA

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I bought my .338 in 1973, had it completely rebuilt about 15 years ago--retained the Finnish Sako action but had a 24" Lilja stainless barrel put on it, a synthetic MPI stock from Portland, OR (the only synthetic stock I own), and a 1-3/4X-5X Burris in Leupold rings. This rifle has accounted for two Alaskan brown bears, one Alaska-Yukon moose, about five elk, a couple mule deer bucks, and three barren ground caribou, one taken at 368 paces with the excellent 225-grain Hornady Spire-Point. I shot the moose and big bears with 250-grain Nosler Partitions. Wonderful cartridge in an excellent rifle.Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Montana had its goofy bison hunt supervised by game wardens, a warden captain complained to me that most of the wounded bison that required multiple shots to dispatch were first shot with .338s. My reply to him was the guys behind the rifle didn't know how to shoot. The .338 Win. Magnum is a superb cartridge, although it may have more recoil than many hunters can handle.Jack Atcheson, Jr. of The Atcheson's booking service in Butte, MT once told me that he used a .338 more than any other cartridge and swore by it. Jack shoots more game in five years than most hunters do in a lifetime, so I respect his assessment.

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from Dj wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I hate to tell you all but if you are hunting with a 338 and practicing enough to get good with it, you are going to be reloading. so if you are shooting deer at no more than 40 yards why are you botherring with a rifle? Go to bow hunting or to a pistol if that is more your twist. also if you can whack prairie dogs at 600 yards you can put down a deer at that range. not saying you should but if have a wounded one you got to do what you can to put him down. I don't hunt in the woods like most of you, and we would look stupid if all 12 of us was sitting in that one tree in the middle of them 20 sections (if this does happen to you, try to be there first). We mostly still hunt or set up a blind. as such it is considered a close shot if they are withing 100yrds.

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

The deer who finds himself in mortal danger from me and my 6.5x55 could probably count on a long and fruitful life if I had to pursue him with a .338. Of course, that's just me.I don't suppose there's any argument against the idea that a .338 will mangle more deer flesh than my 6.5x55. The difference for me is that I shoot my Swede with confidence. I'm afraid I might be a little tentative with the bigger calibers.So, nothing does it better than the .338, provided the .338 is in the hands of a shooter impervious to recoil.Incidentally, I choose to see my aversion to recoil as a result of great wisdom and higher learning rather than simply being puny. Any opinions to the contrary will be met by an icy stare full of contempt and unshaken by magnum calibers.Thank you.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph,Yea right. I've shot paper at long range don't you start crap about dropping game at 600-1000 yds. Don't happen but by accident or bragging.

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from YooperJack wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I just can't imagine buying a 338 for hunting anything in MI. My shots are just like Walt Smith desribed 25' to 150'. I could set up in a few spots for,at most, a 200 yard shot. Anyway, I think you would have a hard time buying 338 ammo up here unless you had a store order it for you.YooperJack

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

"Show Me" Jim where have you been? Clay drops Caribou at over 700 and out shoots expert marksmen at 1000 with open sights while they use 32X scopes... practice makes perfect, and I do have to admit that I can make shots with an air rifle that anyone who was not there would swear could not be made. Kentucky windage baby... and shooting every day. Often. Today I killed three squirrels, four blackbirds and a crow and never left the yard or touched off a grain of gunpowder. My children however burned a half pound of Pyrodex by pouring it into empty Nerds boxes, sticking a bottle rocket fuse in the box and taping it up with electrician's tape... the tighter and more you pack it the bigger the bang I said... errr... I mean I just discovered this atrocity and they will be severely reprimanded. Next time I will buy Goex.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay,You got friends shooting big game at 600 yds? Then you got friends blowing smoke up your skirt.

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from Dj wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

thanks c_pratt. what i was thinking, and have to reload for dad anyway.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Yeah Black Rifle Addict, Dave posts a picture of a monster he shot with his 6.5 and now he needs a .338? Like he tracks his own deer anyway...

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dave, I thought you were the 7mm-08 is enough deer gun hunter, and now you shoot them with a .338winchester mag. What gives?Clay-How many 300 yard shots have you taken at brown bears lately?

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from KJ wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

The truth is, every cartridge has its limitations. If all your hunting is in North America, and the big bears are on the agenda, I'd think the .338 would be good. The .35 Whelen (which is pretty similar out to 200 yards or so) would be good, too. But, if I ever get to go to Africa after a Cape Buffalo (my dream hunt) I'll want something with a bore big enough I can stick my fist in it.

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from C_Pratt wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

DJ,IMHO, you would be better served with a 300RUM. My reasoning is that although the 338 Lapua will outperform the 300, it is a much more expensive gun to purchase, and shoot. The 300 is a capable 1000yd calibre especially with vld bullets.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have fired a .338 Win Mag in the past. I have pulled the trigger on a .458 Win Mag, .375 H&H and several other large calibers. The only rifle I have ever had truly hurt me with recoil, was a Ruger M77 in .338 Win Mag! I no longer shoot "Magnum" rounds, other than a medium mag handgun! I shoot a .270 Win. I am happy with my .270 and will continue to shoot said rifle.I'm glad you guys like the .338 Win Mag. What ever is left to my life ration of .338's, you guys can have!Bubba

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

There's nothing in the world like having 30 or 40 Whitetails within 50 yards of your stand. If they are directly underneath you, they never know which way to run after the first shot goes off... The first time I hunted with my .257 Weatherby I was in a stand completely surrounded by does. The law said I could drop three before I even tagged the first so I fired two times, dropped two deer turned around to see one getting up and finished him off and fired at another running down a hill. While re-loading they began to congregate under my stand once again. Only time in my life I have emptied a gun, re-loaded and then killed one more deer. A 200 yard shot will never begin to match the adrenaline rush I experienced... I had to pee before I could even get my tree stand to the ground. 40 foot shots rule! Once I shot a buck so close I swear he heard my heart beating out of my chest, I know I could hear it.

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Good hunters don't HAVE to shoot long distances. I enjoy my 40 foot shots.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

One more thing, the farthest distance you can shoot with a 30-06 165 grain, the 338 Win Mag with a 225 grain, you will be able to hit just the same! O’YA BABY!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

If you really think anything a .338 can do, a .358, .35 Whalen 225 TB slug or 375 H&H will do better? I got to say, out of personal experience with these cartridges your wrong! The 338 Win Mag has superior range over these cartridges and has still has plenty of knockdown power when it gets there. All the hunters I’ve talked to say, the biggest problem of all hunting Brown Bear at Cordova Alaska and such, they didn’t have the range that the 338 Win Mag offers. 600 yard shots on Caribou still leaves an area just over the size of a pie plate totally blood shot! Yes I’ll agree anything a .338 can do, a .358, .35 Whalen 225 TB slug or 375 H&H will do, only at shorter ranges under 250 yards.The next loads for my 338 Win Mag will be Hornady 225 SST’s @3000fps!By the way David, Barnes makes a 160 grain in 338 Cal.The best thing I like about 7mm Rem Mag cases is it makes beautiful 338 Win Mag and I’ve made cases out of 300 Win Mag also with good results too!

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Hey don't misunderstand me. I love the place they carry about five different bullet weights for 30-06. LOL.

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from YooperJack wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Walt SmithHey I stop there! Please don't denigrate that establishment! LOL.YooperJack

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry Dave, but you can throw all the balistics you want but you'll never talk me out of my trusty 30-06 for any size game. From red squirrels to any other critter on the north american continent they all fall to the 180 grain fail safe. Besides, you can't find any .338's at the Outpost in Iron River, MI. anyhow!!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

In reality a lot of factors come into play, weight of weapon etc... I added a link when you hit my name that has a recoil energy and recoil velocity calculator. Play with it if you really want to know how much punishment your favorite load/weapon are doling out.

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from Steve C wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

"If you want stuff to drop, here's your cartridge"No argument. But the same can be said for a dozen other cartridges. In which case, what makes the .338 unique?

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from Dj wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Well, as long as we are on the subject, i will put a questions to you all. I have been looking at a long range rifle. ok mostly it just going to be to make me feel good, and see if i can hit at a 1000 yards and more than likely use it for deer in SD. the 2 i have looked at were the 300 RUM and the 338 Lapua Mag.The 300 as my dad has a sako in that and it shoots 4 inch groups at 600 and a deer hasn't walked away from it yet.The 338 because i was told it was the ultimate 1000 yard cartridge byt the owner of Tac Pro down in TX. he seems to Know it pretty well as he teaches long range shooting and doesn't talk alot of BS near as i can tell.So, opinions, experience, or anyone's 2 cents?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Matt/Jay... Chuck's recoil table gives the .338 Win 33 ft/lbs and also includes a recoil velocity table that gives it a 15. This is very high considered to other cartridges and tells you how fast that rifle is moving back, not just how hard.For comparison the '06 rates 18 recoil energy and 12 recoil velocity and a 12 gauge shooting a 2 3/4" shell with a 1 oz. slug only 17 on the recoil energy table... about half a hard as a .338 will hit you. Just for the record those masochists will enjoy hearing that the .338 RUM with a 250 gr. bullet will produce 43 ft/lbs of recoil energy and a .460 Wby. Mag right around 100. OUCH!

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from Chad wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

For those of us who cannot afford to hunt in Africa or dont care too, the trusty .30-06 is what I'll carry for Elk, deer, and black bear

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from John R wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have to agree w/ Dr. Ralph in that bullet placement is everything. As far as cartridges are concerned everybody has a favorite and everybody has an opinion. I suppose we can all agree that our preferences are opinions.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have to admit my first comment was biased on my part. I could not tolerate the .338 Win Mag at the bench. Maybe if it had been something other than a 1989 or so vintage Winchester M70, it would not have required so many rounds at the bench to attempt to get it zeroed (Just before it went back on trade-in).The .35 Whelen is "good enough" for my uses, so the .338 WM is not worth the increased recoil to me. I shoot 3 1/2 in. 12 ga. loads thru a M870 Rem. pump gun all season long for geese and unless I've knocked a few screws loose, it has nowhere near the felt recoil of that Win M70 .338 WM.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

As I have mentioned in a previous blog entry my kid started shooting my .338 (9.5 lbs loaded and scoped) when he was 15 and about 120 pounds. Yes he has shot a lot in his few years but he went through 20 rounds from the bench that day and has shot hundreds since. The rifle has no brake and is a McMillan stock with a Pachmyer Decelearator, all eighties vintage. If this kid (his current favorite is a custom 7 mm Ultra and I won't get into his long range shots because most of you probably would figure I'm lying anyway) can shoot and enjoy the .338 so can others who take the time to learn to deal with recoil. Oddly enough the 250 grain bullet works as well on deer or antelope as it does on elk, moose, or bears. Cactus Jack used lots of calibers other than the .270, just read his books. Given one rifle (here we go again on that beat to death horse) I would just keep my old .338 Win. I recently visited with my local riflesmith about opening it up to an Ultra. He can do the job plus add a brake for the much larger cartridge. After going home I begin to think what I would use the .338 Ultra for that the .338 Win could not do. For my purposes the older round is fine so I canceled the conversion.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

To Ralph: Took a .338 to Maine last year for whitetails. Very, very tough country to track in without snow on the ground, and if I did shoot one I wanted to do lots of damage right up front. Use Nosler 200-grain Accu-Bonds at 2,850 and you will will set them free.

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I’m a 35 Whelen owner and user, but I have to admit the 338 bullet is superior. If it wasn’t we’d all be talking about the 358 Norma Mag. The 338 Mag is a beautifully designed cartridge.I almost built this Mauser 35 Whelen in 338-06. I was lazy in my research. I easily found 35 Whelen loading data. This wasn’t so in 338-06 at the time.I preferred the 35 Whelen and 338-06 over the 338 Mag and 358 Norma Mag since I like 22” barrels’ handling. The Mags all seemed to sport 24” and 26” barrels.

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from Brian wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

.338- outstanding for elk, painful on the bench

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from Matt in MN wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

opps, that was .300I only see numbers for the .338 ultra mag. 8.5 lb rifle, 250 grain slug = 43.1 ft lbsso I'd guess the .338 win is somewhere slightly above the 12 gauge slug

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from Matt in MN wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Jay,From Chack Hawks recoil table:.300 win mag 180 grain, 8.5 lb rifle = 25.9 ft lbs recoil12 gauge 1 1/4 ounce slug, 7.5 lb gun = 32 ft lbs recoilI would imagine these are for average velocities in facory loads.

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from Jay wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

When I read about the .338 win mag all I hear about is how punishing the recoil is. In comparison, what shotshell/slug would a .338 compare best too for recoil.Chuck Hawks has good info on rifle recoil but not much for slugs/shotshell. I ask because most of my hunting in Illinois revolves around slugs and shot shells.

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from leadbeltloudmouth wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Does this mean that maybe somebody besides just A-Square will build rifles chambered for the .338-06? Nothing against A-Square; they make great rifles and ammo; but if the .338-06 is ever to take off, some of the big name rifle makers are going to have to jump onto the bandwagon. Or am I the only person who has a fondness for this load?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

If I hunted Alaska, Africa, Rocky Mountains or anywhere you are likely to encounter an animal over 400 pounds on the hoof on a regular basis I would carry more gun than my 30-06... I don't. O'Connor wanted to know where all those armour plated Elk were that his Model 70 .270 couldn't drop. He never found any. One more time all together... Roy Weatherby even admitted it BULLET PLACEMENT IS EVERYTHING. For a mad bear or Africa I want more gun than a .338 and for just about everything else I want less gun...

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from John B wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I had a .338 once, but never got a chance to hunt with it as some slime bucket broke into my house and stole it along with many other essentials of life. Unfortunately for both of us he got the rifle but I still have the bolt. He must have had a hard time trading that one off to the local drug dealer.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,The .338Win mag is a time proven cartridge, but it does have limits.You mention different bullet weights for deer, but would you really use a .338 for deer unless you were on a mixed bag hunt of some kind, maybe?Anywho..what would be your minimum/maximum pray you would use the .338 as your main battery?ps-WA Mtnhunter I'm with you on the .35 Whelen getting the job done!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have used lots of calibers/rifles in the Rockies for the last 27 years. The only one that has never failed to drop an animal with one shot is my old custom .338 Win with various bullets. I wish I could say the same for my '06, several versions of 6 mm and 7 mm, and 300 mags but it just ain't so. If you look back at some older blogs you will see where I stated that there is a great void between .300 and .338 when it comes to absolute reliability in having confidence in a one shot kill. Based upon personal experience it would take a strong arguement to change my mind. The .338 works well up close or at long range regardless of the case version. As for .358 and .375 I am certain that they are as good or better but so far the .338 is my choice.

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from Chad Love wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have no experiecne with a .338 so I'll suspend comment.I will say that I love my .375 H&H and I can't think of a better two-gun battery (for me) than that and a 6.5x55.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I guess I'll join the bash Dave/Elmer/.338 club and say everything I shoot with my ought-six is laying exactly where it was standing an instant before... with significantly less recoil.To make matters worse for the Dave/.338 camp my singular eyewitness account of a deer being shot with a .338 was hit directly in the chest from head on at about 20 yards and ran over 100 yards straight to the bottom of the steepest hill in Tennessee and halfway up the other side! Good thing there were two of us because the thing would have stayed there if I was alone. To the cartridge's defense there was a two foot wide blood trail... tough buck.

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from Blue Ox wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

.338 is a good strong caliber, of that there is no doubt.But I'd rather go with a .375, especially while in Africa.To each their own.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Anything a .338 can do, a .358 will do better! A .35 Whelen 225 TB slug will break both shoulders on a bull elk and pass through. None of those fragmented bullets under the hide!Just my opinion... No science implied.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 46 weeks ago

...and I thought I was a right-wing extremest. Your muzzle blast will give your position away jaredhwy.

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from Maz wrote 5 years 40 weeks ago

I wonder how the .338 Federal stacks up? It seems to be pretty close to the .338/06 ballisically, and it's available in an AR-10 configuration.But for the time being, I'm sticking with my tried-and-true single-shot .458 Winnie. Just because it's what's in the rack.

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from jaredhwy wrote 5 years 46 weeks ago

it would be in defence for sure.also, there are many neat-o spots in wyoming to hide.

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from jaredhwy wrote 5 years 46 weeks ago

I have recently purchased a savage model 111 .338 win mag. after spending $10 on a recoil padit never once had me saying ouch. as soon as i have my muzzle break finished i couldnt see it kicking any harder than an .06 without said mods. so why not? a charging grizz will drop at my feet weather or not my shot is dead on.read the NSPD 51-21 and ask your self if a 7mag or 270 will pass through an Interceptor OTVMil-Spec Outer Tactical Vest.vote from the roof tops.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Has anyone seen what happens when you shoot a straight out running jackrabbit with a 338 Win Mag? YYYUUUUCCCCKKKK! Blew the critter totally up I did

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from Mock1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

By the way, anything over .40 caliber is not a hit, it's an IMPACT!

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from Mock1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun. Garrett Hammerhead Bullet's, bigger lever loop, 4x Bushnell scope screwed down tight!. My reloads. Anything w/n 150 yds. Down for the count! Shot a 1,200 moose in New Foundland and it went about 15 yds. My mistake w/ the 15 yds was factory loaded 300 grain Nosler Partitions. If the 300 grain Noslers where my handloads, that moose wouldn't have gone 2 steps! No .338 at 100 yards will do that. At longer ranges, I have to conceed to the .338. I've shot long range, over 400 yds maybe 10 times in my life w/ kills and I never had to track as far w/ the BAR .338 as the BAR .300 Win. But dangerous game, Brownies, Duggas, whatever under 100 yds, I'll take the 45-70. I also took a nice deer at 127 yds last yr around Morristown, Mich w/ 300 grain jacketed hollow pts w/ my Guide gun and he did'nt move a step after impact.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

AS stated many times, to me the 30-06 is all the firepower 99% of us will ever need. Now, most all the hunters want a light wt rifle around 5 l/2 lbs.Even a 243 will kick at that wt. Back many years a 9-10 lb rifle was normal wt, to me it still is. I have all my Western hunting rifles weighing around 9-10 lbs. I don;t spot and stalk, I am disabled and stand hunt. Now and then I will amble thru the thick timber with my 30-30 open sghts and its not a heavy recoil weapon as we all know. With todays larger caliber and loaded to the max or more, the Mags will turn you around. My bolt 06 is just right for me, little reoil, even bench pratice don;t hurt and I only weigh 128 lbs. If I was able to handle a larger caliber to use in the Rockies it would be a 300 Win Mag. With a wt of 10 lbs it is manageable for me, but my trust is in the 700 CDL 06. Until I bought this CDL I used Monte Carlo stocked frearms, with this CDL and straight stock with cheek piece, the felt recoil is even less than the 742 Auto.After all is said, shoot enough gun for the game you hunting, and pratce a lot. Know where that bullet is going to hit and build your confidence in what-ever gun you use. If you own a $2-3K gun and don;t trust it or yourself, then you would be better off with a $300.00 243,30-30 or 270. When I pull the trigger on my 700's I know when the firing pin falls if its a good hit or not.You got to have confidence in your weapon and yourself and have the correct ammo to be a successful hunter of any type . In closing, a few years back I ordered a new gun, it was to be my Western hunting machine. O it was pretty,nice Stock, stainles steel and a muzzle break in 300 win mag. I took the gun out of the box, looked it over careful for flaws, non apparent, then I threw the gun to my shoulder and it did not feel like an extension of my arm. I did that over a period of a week, never fired the gun or even loaded it. I returned the gun and bought the Rem 700 CDL in its place. Now I wish had keep the other gun as it has been discontinued and worth mega bucks, but at the time I wanted a gun I felt confortable with, of which I am now. Years are flying by for me at 73, but can hardly wait till season opens. If my health was ok, I;d go to Fl and hunt a few days . But will hunt out West again and 5 weeks here plus 4 weeks or turkey next month. So should get in enough hunting. Waiting now on the New MArlin in 270 to come in, never shot a 270 so want to see how it compares to my 700 25-06. If Shootimes Magazine is l/2 correct in their article, this rifle will surely sell. Hope big green don;t screw it up as they did with the 710 and now with the 715 and the lousy looking 770 made from Japan beer cans. Pray they don;t dcrew up what Marli has done for over l00 yrs, but an investment Co bought Remington and now they bought Marlin, all they want is to make more $$$$$. I did e-mail Rem and told them never forget, that there were other firearms available made in USA. Savage has realy improved its line of firearms. To me they been under-rated too long.Ok long message, but hopefully meaningful to someone. The Old Gunslinger down South

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Any of you guys try the new Mossburg muzzleloader barrels to fit the Mossburg 500 pump shotgun.... MidwayUSA has them listed.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Walt I used a Remington Auto for 35 years and no problem, as i kept the gun clean. However, I was on a Lope hunt in Colorado and teh guide would not allow me to have one in the chamber of the 740. A uge Lope appeared at about l00 yds out and I aimed and click. I was use to the gun having one in the chamber when hunting, I had forgotten to chamber a round, but you know the racket chambering a Auto makes, can be heard l000 yds away. So after that deal i bought some Rem 700's in bolt action for Western hunting. However, I continue to use my 742's BDL wherever I am allowed to load it up. The secrete to a non-jamming Auto is to clean teh rifle, and just pour some Hopps down the bbl, but take the action out and forearm and buy some Gun Scrubber and clean the gun. If in a dust envirement clean often, otherwise, wipe down and clean when hunt is over./ I do agree, both the Auto's and Bolts have their place. For 3-400+ shots I will take my 24" bolt 06 verses the 22 inch 742. I don;t like the new Rem 750 Auto, but Remington has not come out with a good looking gun since the 700 CDL. Now lets hope they don;t screw up MArlin's line.

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I still say that the 30-06 is simply the best all around cartridge for north american game.For those who think the cartridge is light for the big bears, that maybe, but I don't plan on hunting anything that can eat me anyhow.At least I know that I can accuratly dump 5 rounds out of my Rem. 740 in under five seconds and quickly reload. How many rounds can you get out of a .338 bolt in that time??

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from james ti wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

staring at hill would make any of us want to go into a dark closet with our favorite rifle and dosome serious thinking! what could be worse is having the terrorist as our next pres. better load up!

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay,When the .338 first came out the only factory rounds available were 200gr, 250gr(silvertip) and 300gr soft point. So, my early experiences were limited to what there was. I think I have yet to meet a Silvertip I liked, so the choice was 200 or 300 for backup.I agree that the top quality 250 gr is now a fine choice for that caliber.dickgun

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from BA wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter,I was really impressed by what I discovered about the 338-06. With the bullet weights out there today, say 160 to 250 grains, and the superb construction and reliability of modern bullets it would be hard to pass on the 338-06 for an all around big game rifle. It should do anything within reason that the 06, 300 WSM, 325 WSM, and 338 Win Mag will do. Of course the 338 Win Mag will top out the line up for power. But in most cases which aren't extreme, the 338-06 will keep up with them or do better in the long run. Recoil should be tolerable. To say the least, it is a very interesting prospect.Like you said, "Plan early, plan well". Better advice was never given.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

BAI sometimes wish I'd gotten my Weatherby Mk V in .338-06 instead of .30-06 Spfd. A friend has one and it is usually 'lights out' on game.I have several .257, .308, and .358 caliber rifles. Maybe I should add a 7mm/ .284 and .338 to the locker!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

DickgunI’ve shot the 300 grain in my 338 Win Mag and to tell you the truth, I was not impressed with them at all! The loads I use, I feel comfortable with and so did my hunting companions. Why? They knew if I can see them and they got in trouble that 338 loaded with 250 grain Nosler Partitions loaded at 2850fps’ish would laser in and if I was loaded with 300’s I know they would be screwed! 300’s are just too darn slow; don’t have the shocking blow and drops like a rock! The heaviest grain bullet I would suggest to go is a 250 and nothing heavier. You don’t gain anything I know of by doing so. Yes I’ll agree with you that there are newer and better bullets than the Nosler out now. But I’ll stick with them, nothing has walked away from one yet and my Browning loves them. 250’s shoot dead on at 100 yards and my Hornady 225 dead on about 225 yards, O’YA!

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Well, I must admit CM spiced rum has helped me cope with life on one more then one occasion but asking it to help deal with HRC is asking too much from this elixir!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I don't think I could ever get enough "Captain in me" to make HRC look good.That is what you call a show-stopper!

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from BA wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I truly like the .338 Win mag. It has been one of the most reliable cartridges I've ever used. I shot a Ruger #1 in .338 for over 20 years. I never had to shoot anything more than once. After the new bullet boom, I decided to step down in caliber because the bullets were now super reliable in almost all calibers. With the Swift A-frame, the Scirocco, Barnes triple shock, Trophy bonded, I mean what more could you ask for? After reading Elmer Keith, I realized that a person has got to learn how to handle heavy kicking rifles. Ishawooa is right. I learned how to do it and enjoyed many years of letting the rifle be the boss so to speak. If I were to pick a rifle of the .338 persuasion right now, it would be a .388-06 with out question. Some of you know that I'm a short fat fan because of the obvious reason bench resters use that type of case and also because of being able to use a more compact and lighter rifle. But I did a comparison of several cartridges just for kicks and found that the 338-06 is within 100 fps +/- with a given bullet weight of the 300 WSM, 325 WSM, and just a little less powerful than the mighty 338 win mag. The sectional density/choice of bullet weights, and BC of the 338 class of bullets gives it a flexability not found in many others. Talk about a wind bucker? If you can't take the recoil, go to something lighter. I don't measure a hunter by the caliber he shoots, it's how many one shot kills he/she can make.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry Chev JimStaring a the Hill that long would have me upchucking!!LOL!!!Bubba

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

After much experimenting, I have found that Captain Morgan's spiced rum makes an excellent after dinner drink and bore cleaner. It's not that it's better than some of the bore cleaners that have been on the market a long time, it's just that you're no longer as concerned about whether the barrel is clean or not. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, however, let me state right up front that not only do gunpowder and alcohol not mix, but they don't taste good together, either. While I don't ordinarily advocate taking such an elixir into the hunting fields, I will tell you that if you pour a bowl full near a salt lick, you won't have any trouble keeping an elk or whitetail in your sights, and either a .30/06 or .338 will do quite nicely. Once the game is shot, skinned, hung up and the guns cleaned and put away, you can pour yourself a couple of fingers and conjure up the ghost of your choice, or just stare at a picture of Hillary until you think she looks sexy.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

As many of you will recall, I think a 30-06 is enough weapon for anything in North America other than maybe the Griz or Brownie. I hunt the Rocky Mtns yearly for Deer and Elk and I use Scricco l80 gr bullets. I do believe this load would take a big bear ok, but just for safety, I would prefer to have a back-up hunter with a larger weapon if my 06 did not drop the bear. If a 06 don't take your animal down, then you are not using the correct ammo, or you need more pratice pior to a high $ hunt. I as a rule I shoot my 700 CDL 06 daily (3 shot groups) every day for a couple months prior to going west. A extra $l00.00 spent here at home, will make your 5K hunt worth while once you get in the Rockies.I;ve hunted for the past 40 years with a 30-06 and a 25-06, now and then a 30-30 (woods hunting) and only once have I had to shoot a animal twice. If you pratice enough, use best ammo available, then you will know where that bullet is gonna strike. Have that trigger set at 3 lbs and you will know when the bullet leaves the muzzle if its gonna hit where the wires crossed. Buy and install a good scope and base and rings so the rifle stays 0 all the time. After i begin my pratice session and thru till I get to the Rockies, I do not clean the bbl period. All I do is run a clean patch down the bbl once. I also leave a piece of elec tape on muzzle all teh time, if I shot, then replace the tape. That tape will not interfer with your bullet path, but will keep gook out of the bbl. You would be suprised at what gathers in a gun bbl carring thru the woods and land.Don;t take but a dab to ruin a l000.00 gun. I clean my guns after the season is over but not until the. Now with the B/P gun, thats a different story. I swab the bbl after each shot. I use Power belts and Pyrodec Pellets and there always is some residue left in the bbl after each shot.With the Sabot jacket type, you will not have that problem. The Powerbels fit so tight, that any un-burned powder is left in the bbl. O well, Glad the B/P season is only l week, as i detest B/P hunting to begin with. Give em a Center fire anyday and i;m happy/ Waiting for my new MArlin 270 to come in, my first ever 270 to haul on the 4 wheeler and truck. Go with the 06's and bring home the trophy. The old Gunslinger

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from james t wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

dr. ralph- if you think a .30-06 will drop something faster than a .338 you should learn to shoot your .338 better. an equal shot by either and the .338 or .30-06 is no competiton. you were obviosly either exagerating or mistaken when you said everything you shot with the .o6 drop in place. not in reality. i don't care who you are. the .338 is one of the best calibers there are out there but an .06 won't do what you say! not every time!

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay, I agree with you about what would be good on Ole Mr. Brown Bear. It's a little much on deer here, but if I were in bear country, that .210 should do the trick.. Still have to place the shot in a vital area. Thats where a lot of people get in trouble. By the way, I was looking through a scrap book here and found the blue Cert. for marksmanship in the Air Force, They still use that form?

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay,I respectfully disagree with your premise that the 210gr Nosler would be the preferred bullet for backup out of the .338. The early Nosler bullets had the unique (for then) position of being about the only 'premium' bullet out there, however, although it is true that the core held together, by and large on the Noslers we dug out of big bears the forward lead portion of the bullet had fragmented and basically did not exist in a meaningful way. Fairly early on I quit using or recommending them, especially when the Swift A-Frame came along which largely became my bullet of choice both for personal use and to recommend to clients. Until then the factory 300 gr bullet remained my choice for backup. I still have 10-15 boxes of them, as when the factory quit marketing them and there was nothing to really take their place, I tried to corner the remaining supply!There are now a number of bullets of good quality from which to chose that make fine backup rounds. I just do not think that the Nosler 210 gr is one of them. I much prefer a heavier bullet that will still provide penetration and expand while holding together.dickgu

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Chev Jim... I thought Dave's epitaph was great but I'm not quite a ghost yet. By the way send me some of the good stuff too.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

To Chev Jim: ever the editor, I feel compelled to add the following:1. As I never take my own advice, I have only one scope cut and no problems with my shoulder.2. Your rhyme doesn't scan. Be more careful next time.3. Heavey is not allowed in the office. He works out of his home--a shipping container--in Virginia.4. Whatever you've been getting into--where can I get some?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter |You say, “I can almost always get inside 300 yards”! You just hit the nail on the head and drove it straight thru the board my Friend! Your average shot, even in Alaska is under 175 yards.Black Rifle AddictIt’s true I passed all the chances of shooting a Grizzly and Brown bear on a many occasions. However, because of my shooting ability, I was asked by many hunters to be their backup. The 30-06 is a bet light for Brown Bear and I would prefer a little distance like over 100 yards. I have found thru my own experience firsthand dealing as backup, talking to all the flying guide services and biologists and they say with one thing in common that 338 Win Mag is one of the best choices and works best with 210 Nosler Partitions.

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from Brian wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Does anyone have an opinion on the new 338 federal ?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Isawooa,If you have a favorite deer rifle, I recommend using it on wolf.When I lived in ND, I spoke to a number of guides, in both WY and SD as well, about what their clients used on game. Most of them seem to agree that the eastern hunters always asked if their deer guns would be adequate out west? Well, most of the guides would ask the hunter if they were confident with the rifle, use it!Now, unless the hunter was using a shotgun with slugs or a pistol shooter, most "deer woods" rifles will do the job. And with the advent of the lever evolution ammo, it makes a lever gun even more acceptable for plains shooting.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Isawooa,Anything from 243 to 3006 sounds like good advice to yours truly.Back in '86 a guy I knew in Ak shot 3 wolves dead with a 3006. He was moose hunting near Mt Mckinley park. Said four attacked him. He shot 3 and the last one ran into the brush then howled while he skinned the dead ones. Sounded far fetched to me but he had 3 fresh hides. If it were me it would be the 2506. It's flat shooting, has plenty of power for wolves and easy on the shoulder.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

IshawooaI can see it now; DEP recommending the 6.5 Swede, Bodington the .265 Scramjet, O'Connor's ghost the .270 Win, Keith's spirit the .444 Marlin, Sarg the .308, Clay the .25-06 or .22-250, Black Rifle the 6.5 Beowolf (fitting), as for SA (having never shot a wolf) I would be good with anything middle ground .243 on to .30-06. Your own choice for those extreme shots is a good one too.SA

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sarg:May God bless and watch over the men and women of that Guard unit. A detachment just arrived back in Wyoming from 18 months in Iraq. A nurse friend of mine was one of them and she was fortunate enough to survive a couple bombs which exploded near her Humvee plus heard a few 7.62 x 39's hit it during the time in country.I sure like the .204 but have had a couple .17 Rems for about 20-25 years so it is tough to buy and gear up for another caliber that is close in performance. Also have a .223, .22-.250, and .243 for long range p-dawgs and coyotes. I have a few friends who love .204's and these guys are picky so it must be an excellent round. If I lived in the beautiful state of Kentucky and hunted deer in that wonderful timbered land I think the .308 would be my first choice (yep listen to the .30-'06 guys start whining).Sounds like we might be able to shoot wolves legally in '09 in Wyoming. What would you guys suggest for a 100-140 pound gray wolf? Most I have seen for the last ten to fifteen years have been in packs, rarely a solitary animal. The .17 might not be enough but the .338 excessive. I know two guys who have shot them in Canada one with '06 and the other with .300 Win mag because that is what they were hunting caribou with. I personally think wolves will make great 500-1000 yard targets for my recently built 7 mm Ultra with a BDC scope. The fewer wolves the more elk, moose, and deer so like most locals I have no sympathy for these predators since they hunt year round. We'll see how it goes...

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Chev Jim,Got any mushrooms left, I'll come over.

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

There are never right wing, conservative, evangelico demon-casters around when you need them.

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clink clink! Dave Petzal jumps out of bed and demands the spectre identify itself . . . "I am the ghost of bruised shoulders past!" Dave says, "Well, you look like the ghost of Jack O'Connor!" Says the ghost, "That's right, big-bore boy! And I'm just here to remind you how much more handsome and smart you'd be if you hadn't been shooting all of those .338 magnums at deer and dik diks!" Dave looks into the mirror and regards his scope cuts, and pulls back his T-shirt to look at the scar tissue on his shoulder. Clink clink! Dave looks around and sees another spectre. I guess you are the ghost of bruised shoulders present! "You are right," said the spectre, who looks like a dead ringer for Craig Boddington. "I'm such an idiot for shooting those Lazzeroni rounds and those double rifles," said the spectre. "Man, I retired from the Marine Corps and I just miss the punishment! These high recoiling rifles help expiate the guilt for being a civilian again!" Dave watches the second spectre fade away, and then sees a third spectre appear in its place. "You've got to be the ghost of bruised shoulders future," said Dave. "You catch on pretty quick," said the spectre, who could be no other than Dr. Ralph. "I'm here to warn you about recommending big bore, powerful calibers that are unnecessary for the game you are hunting!" Dave replied, "Awww, so what if I want to shoot prairie dogs with a .338?" The third ghost said, "Let me show you what will happen if you don't change your ways!" The ghost took Dave's hand and transported him into the future. Dave sees a grave with a tombstone that looked like a huge recoil pad stuck halfway into the ground. Inscribed on the tombstone was the words, "Here lies Dave Petzal, late of Field and Stream, who never would settle, for rounds not so extreme." "Oh, no!" said Dave. "Tell me that it's not true! Tell me that I didn't convince shooters to use rifles that would detach their retinas, loosen their fillings, and give them a case of the flinches!" He started to sob. "Oh, spirit of bruised shoulders future, please take me away from here and give me another chance!" The next thing Dave knew, he was awake but still in bed. "Oh boy!" said Dave. "I've got another chance to redeem myself!" Dave got out of bed and ran to his office, and began to pound out the next article for Field and Stream. It was titled, "How to Use the .22 Tiny Tim to Take Barren Ground Grizzly and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint." Soon, the other staffers began to come in. Dave pulled out a bottle of champagne from under his desk and began to pour everyone a drink into his vast collection of coffee mugs. Bill Heavey took a big swig and said, "God bless us everyone!"

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Ishawooa, my unit (ARMY National Guard) here locally are leaving out for parts unknown on Monday, I guess I'll go down and see them off. I do know where they are going but shouldn't say. They will be gone for a year. One boy I know well has either sold his bird dogs or some one else is going to take care of them.. I hate to see them go.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Ishawooa, I like the .308 probably because I'm used to it.. A lot of the hunters here use the 7mm08 and I would like one myself.. I just don't like extreme calibers for deer here in Ky.. Heck, I'd like a .270., want a .223, like a 22-250. Even bought one of those 7.62x54R the other day. Haven't shot it yet, We are expecting 2-4 inch of snow tonight and tomorrow. If it does, may get the 4wheeler out and just go shoot something. Got a new .204, shot enough to zero., wanting to shoot it some. Like my new .17 HMR. I just like to shoot. I don't really need a .338, but wouldn't turn my head on a good deal. I'm looking for another Mauser in 7mm to tinker with this winter, but now I'm working on my fishing gear.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sarg:In fairness to your .308 I will say that I have a .270 and 2 x .280s but actually prefer my 7 mm-08 on deer sized animals. If it was a .308 I would be just as happy (have owned a few in the past). However none of them are a .338 and in these mountains I sometimes don't know if the smaller cartridge will be enough. They probably would suffice in most instances but you never know until the circumstances are revealed then you use what you have with you. The .338 just seems to fill my purpose better than most.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

You guys shoot your .338,s,.375,s and your .416,s, I'll stick with my trust, low recoil, easy to find .308 on deer size animals.. One shot, no tracking ETC... I would like to have a .270, but I still would use my .308 Win.

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from Gerald Keller wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

leadbeltloudmouth,Weatherby was making rifles and ammo in 338-06,and still do as far as I know.Mine is built on a 1909 Argentine Mauser.I've been using the Barnes 185gr. Triple-Shock.Plenty of penetration and flat shooting.I want to try their new 160gr.Triple-Shock as soon as I can get a box or two.I'll load them in the 338 Federal as well.They should be great for Caribou,Muleysand just about anything else.I have a 338 Mag. as well and used it for Elk,but the 338-06 would have killed the Elk just as dead.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Black Rifle addict,During my 4 years in AK I carried a Rem mod 700 classic in 350 Rem mag and Leupold VXIII 1.5x5 scope. (think ballistic twin to the Whelen with a short action). Both my friends that were guides carried 375 HH bolt guns. The reasoning is if they have to shoot it could be a very bad situation with quick kill necessary. Unlike Johnny nobody carried anything but a bolt gun. semi-autos pumps and levers sometimes jam. I knew a CWO that experienced a charge on Afognak. He and another guy emptied a 300 Win and a 375 into a big boar. The last shot at point blank range. The hide was shot full of holes. The amount of punishment a bear can take once angered is amazing. Probably more hunters carried 338's than anything else. Lots of people carry too much scope and/or a cheap scope both are mistakes.

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from Mike Reeder wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Not to argue with johhnydwson, because I think his experience with hogs points out the folly of judging the efficacy of particular calibers based on relatively small anecdotal evidence. All I know is that I've shot maybe a dozen or so hogs over the years and never had one go more than a couple of feet after being hit with 139 grain bullets from a 7X57, 130 grain bullets from a .270 and 180 grain bullets from an '06. In fact, as I've mentioned here before, about the most impressive kills I've ever had on anything with anything involved a couple of hogs shot with my little 7mm. They went down so fast they didn't even twitch. My son did have a smallish one run about 30 yards after being hit a bit back in the lungs with a 100 grain bullet from a .243, but I draw fewer conclusions about the bullet or caliber than I do about the nature of all kinds of game to do all kinds of peculiar things after being hit by otherwise lethal blows.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

More from a .338 lover...back to the charging grizzley, it is very difficult to gain precise shot placement while you are peeing you pants and smelling the grizz's breathe. I guarandamntee you that a 250 or 300 gr from a .338 Win will come closer to stopping the charge than any '06 (and yes I have an '06 that I bought in 1970 and have used it a lot). That said for less than adequate shot placement I move along to exact shot placement. In Wyoming or Montana we are often faced with little timber and lots of open spaces. A typical scenario is you spot your bull just before dark near the end of shooting light. Your option is to walk away for another day (unless it is the last day of your life or the season or you have to go back to work) or take your time, range the bull, and shoot. Out to 500-600 yards a carefully placed .338 bullet of adequate design, velocity, and weight is extremely effective. Insofar as the continueing hullabaloo about the recoil of the .338 go back and see what my kid could do with it when he was 15. Stop by and visit so you can watch him shoot it now at 17 years old and he will throw in a few rounds of .416 Taylor to boot. He is no different than you guys who don't like the recoil except that I have trained him to handle it since he was ten or so. Again on a trap tourniment weekend he will fire probably 600 rounds of AA in two days. Don't take this to sound like bragging but merely a testament that if a kid can do it so can you. I have not seen 500 elk killed but have shot or witnessed the demise of a 100 or so. Many calibers and cartridges will work but I believe the topic of this blog is NOTHING WORKS BETTER THAN A .338, not will also work or is almost as good as, etc. Again short range or long as far as I am concerned I keep going back to my old .338 (but like others I use lots of other cartridges on some hunts just because I want to like Dave and his 6.5). As far as Clay's comments on whether to shot or not I certainly respect his comments and agree with his philosophy. I also feel that his statements regarding what most hunters feel is a relatively long range shot is perfectly within reason for those with the right equipment and level of expertise. You ain't changing my mind.

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from johnnydwson wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

My .338 is a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle). It was muzzle heavy, and I have long arms. So I lengthened the stock and put in a 10 oz. mercury capsule. Now the recoil is nothing. It is a well balanced rifle that swings like a double barreled shotgun, and the sight picture is perfect with the fixed-four-power scope. Drops large boars in their tracks, but my 30.06 would not do that. With the 30.06 they would trot away for ten to fifty yards before falling down to die. So now I have a lethal repeating rifle with negligible recoil, a deadly combination.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

as to the .325 WSM I say as always that the short mags are a passing fad for which factory ammo will dry up fast and brass will be in short supply soon too. Some of them now rely on powders not available to the handloading market for the 'magnum' velocities. For my money stick with the tried and true.SA

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from Mike Reeder wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have no doubt that a properly placed bullet from a .338 will mow down nearly everything you shoot with it. So would a bazooka. If someone wants to use a .338 on elk, moose or bears, and can shoot it (and that's the relevant clause) more power to them, although it strikes me that using one on deer would be the hunting equivalent of sado-masochism. I simply don't see much that a .338 will do that a 30-06 loaded up with good 180-220 grain bullets won't do with far less damage to the person on the back end. It seems like an awfully big tradeoff in order to gain .030 in bullet diameter. If the trade includes fewer shots fired in practice due to excessive recoil then it's not much of a trade, unless you're throwing lions into the equation.Exactly how many degrees of dead are there?

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from David wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

IT ALL DEPENDS.I see everyone replying to this blog and other blogs in the past about shooting whatever caliber it is and making the statment"I drop them in their tracks".I say BS, It all depends on shot placment,bullet travel and bullet performace. Make that perfect Shot weather it be a Heart, Neck or Head shot and a small caliber will drop them in their tracks just as well as a 338 or whatever else.

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from Corn Boy wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I use a 50 bmg for everything bigger than my mastif. I figure with 1 shot I can drop the game and cut fire wood for the nite. A win win for me anyways. Anything under a 100yrds I try to spook just to give it a chance.

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from Carney wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA Mnthunter,Looks like we're at opposite ends of the state! I only started hunting 5 years ago here in the Pacific Nothwest so I don't know any better than to hunt in the rain!!Carney Layne

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

By the time I see this blog, here in Alaska, the subject matter has been pretty well (thrashed, trashed, bashed, you pick). I will only add that I bought a .338 M70 in 1960 - they were just out then - and named the Alaskan. It immediately went to AK with me and served me as a personal weapon, including a backup gun, very well for many years. Those years included guiding a lot of clients for the world's biggest bears - the polar bear of the western Chukchi Sea and the Ursus Gyas brown bears of the SW end of the Alaska Peninsula. I never felt undergunned. One thing that has not been mentioned is the original factory load in 300gr soft point. For its vintage it proved to be an excellent load in both penetration and expansion. 300 gr bullets are available today in both soft point and solid I believe. My .338 now rests in my rack, mostly, with its scars and stories.dickgun

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

CarneyI live in the Mount Vernon area and gave up elk hunting in WA since there are more elk hunters than elk on the east side and I don't like hunting in a wetsuit on the west side!I got rid of my .338 Win because that rifle didn't shoot particularly well and the felt recoil was more than I wanted to put up with. At the time, my only other rifle was a .308 Win.As for the .325 WSM, it might be a good rig for a one rifle guy. Although I have seen some numbers that make me a little suspicious of the ballistics claims, I think time will tell. I also don't think the recoil will be noticeably lighter than a .338 WM. I like to shoot my "service rifles" and if the recoil is too stiff, I won't practice enough to suit my standards. I might buy a .325 WSM if I found a deal on one in something other than a Japan made rig.

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay-I am not questioning your shooting ability here, it's your ability to recommend a bullet/caliber without having taken a specific game animal with it. As for passing up a shot on a grizzly, I respect your reasoning for not taking it, but I would have to say most hunters would do 6 months hard labor to have that chance.I have also read once that most guides carry a 30/06(maybe with the exception of brown bear guides?)What did the guides in Alaska carry as a general rule?

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from Carney wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

2 questions:1) WA Mtnhunter, what part of Washington are you in? I'm in Vancouver and hunt Gifford Pinchot National Forest.2) I've never had the chance to shoot the 338 though I've been both encouraged and warned about it: "no need for any other gun..." & "better get a steel plate for your eyebrow..."When the marketing of the 325 extolled its ballistics as identical to the 338 I thought I'd consider it for my next long range hunting rifle. As I've perused the comments though, I don't think it has been mentioned once! After several years does it still have no track record? Or is it just no good?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay, I totally agree. I would probably take a .338 or .358 flavored magnum if I were hunting Alaska. I just commented on the .35 Whelen matching my hunting skills (I can almost always get inside 300 yards) and my shooting ability ( I can always hit a 12 inch target at 300 yards).I readily admit that I am not a long range shooter anymore. I recognize my limitations (I hope). Once upon a time, I didn't mind taking long shots at light infantry pop-up targets of opportunity. :-)

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

On a different note. Now that S. Africa has lifted its ban on elephants it would seem to make economic sense to allow hunters to pay for culling the herd rather than doing it in-house with management people.

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from Dick Mcplenty wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I've had the good fortune of being in on over 500 elk kills over the past 30 years on 3 seperate ranches here in wyoming and one ranch in montana. I've seen every caliber in the spectrum used from .243 to 458win mag. And even a few more exotic calibers.The bottom line is with todays bullets you'd be hard pressed to find any differance in actual killing performance from .270 through .375. A marked differance in killing power and reaction of the animal shot becomes apparent when you hit the .40 cal and larger. I've seen some of the most dramatic kills on bull elk with the anemic 150gr partition fired from a .270.A load that some would have you believe will bounce off an elk,let alone kill it. Because of all of the rhetoric about the mighty .338 in the press over the past 20 years,I've seen probably close to 100 elk killed using the .338 win mag and its various .338 off spring.I've yet to see it kill elk any better then a host of smaller calibers. With 250 gr bullets the .338's greatest virtue is it has the ability to penetrate an elk length wise with standard cup and core bullets,which was why elmer praised it.However I've seen the same performance level in the standard 175 gr 7mm bullets,along with 200 gr bullets in .30 cal..A couple years ago Rifle magazine published stats from a scandic moose study concerning caliber versus killing ability. They compiled 6.5 mm through 9.3 mm data and the end result was the reaction of moose when properly hit,fall over dead regardless of caliber.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

WA MtnhunterListen my Friend; I don’t have a problem with those that shoot 35 Whelan or 338-06’s at all. You just have to find a rifle and cartridge combinations to match you’re shooting skills and the variety of terrain your hunting! I chose the 338 Win Mag for its long range performance over other Alaskan cartridges. It’s close to the same trajectory of a 30-06 165 grain bullet with tremendously more energy and larger wound,hydrostatic shock damage. I don’t recommend a 338 cal for anything smaller than Elk!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

By the way, my 338 Win Mag is a Browning A-Bolt Hunter topped with a Leopold Vari-X II 3x9 and I use a 1 1/4 military sling the same way I shoot High Power Competition and that’s how I make those long shots!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

ClayYou are correct in stating that a .35 Whelen is comparable in bottom line effectivity out to 250 yards or so. The longest shot I ever took with my .35 Whelen was 264 yards, and it penetrated about 40 inches of elk before exiting! I try to hold my shooting to less than 300 yards, so the whomping magnums are of little utility to me.ScottThe .338-06 is also a fine cartridge for North American game. I have seen the results!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Hey WaltYou say “Good hunters don't HAVE to shoot long distances and you enjoy your 40 foot shots”. That’s OK and all due respects Sir I’m impressed but I have listened to this from hunters every year coming to Alaska. YA’MAN! I’m from Wisconsin and I don’t shoot over 50 feet! You should have been with me in Alaska 1986-90 and watch these guys come back to the range mad as hell and they had one thing in common to say, “HEY COOP I NEED SOME HELP, WHATS THE BEST GUN!” My number one choice for serious reach out and knockem down John cartridge is the 338 Win Mag!!! Besides, I like to see someone dash across that tundra to get a 40 foot shot! BEAR BAIT! YUM! YUM! I like my distance I do!!Black Rifle AddictYou ask me, How many 300 yard shots have you taken at brown bears lately? I’ll answer that question this way. I young Sergeant came into my office the first Wednesday before the first weekend of August of 89 and asked me the same thing. My office was the central meeting location for all the hunters going to Taylor Mountain and fly in hunts etc. for Black Bear (Brown and Grizz opens Sept 1st), Caribou and to finalize their plans and get all their equipment lined up including range time after hours that I offered one on one, assistance. My reply, how many State and Regional High Power Championships have you ever won Sir? The office busted into laughter and he walked out in a huff. By the way the young Sergeant shot and wounded a nice Bull caribou and knocked down stone deed three cows behind it with a 375 H&H.So now I’ll answer your question Sir.During my 4-year tour (1986-90) at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, I've been asked how many bears have I taken. I had hundreds of chances. I had my crosshairs on many with a round in the chamber of my 338 Win Mag with Nosler 250 grain partitions loaded at 2800 fps and a harvest ticket in my backpack. An easy one shot clean kill everyone. I never pulled the trigger though.Why you ask?The beauty and respect of one a Hunter to the other (the bear) perhaps? Most of all the cost of having it mounted I couldn't afford and I knew in the back of my mind that if I did pull the trigger, the hunt was over. I wasn't ready for the hunt to end, never. I wanted more days to hunt, just to be out there. Even if I came home empty handed, it didn't matter. The awesome power, to watch a Grizzly role rocks the size of my ATV like a basketball, hunting for rodents. I never have taken a bear until I moved back to Arkansas.Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man has ever walked.To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and feel the Lord setting next to me enjoying what God has made.I may have come home empty handed,but my mind is full of awesome memoriesit is a experience, I'll never forget!I ask you my Friend Black Rifle Addict this, is this what hunting is really about?Check out the 416 Barrett it outperforms the 50BMG at 2500 yards as a sniper rifle!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dan D.I'm surprised! My 870 shoots 2 3/4 like a dream but I've never tried 3 inchers. This fall I'll try a few just for 'kicks'.

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from CPT Brad wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

OK OK, Obviously I don't know anything about shooting by reading the other comments posted here; but I will tell you that I had a really bad experience with a Ruger M77 ultra light in 30-06 during my youth (spelt I owned it less than a week and took it back)that was the HARDEST kicking rifle I have ever brought to shoulder. I have shot 300 win mags for years and recently had the pleasure of moving up to and killing deer with a 338 win mag. I have NO COMPLAINTS about the 300s but the 338 just does it better. I shot a Large (for Arkansas) 9 point last deer season and it never took a step. this was broad sided at 200 yards. (Laser) I have shoot deer past 400 with both the 300 and 7mm mag but I can't make the same comment there. I had the luck of finding a good 700 with a Vias muzzle break and a good recoil pad and with good ear protection I can easily shoot two boxes through it. I like the Nosler 200 grains on deer, Federal makes the same in the ballistic tip. Once again anything that I've done good with the other magnums the 338 will do better. If you can handle the gun it will work on anything I've seen. Last comment; Things don't get too dead, and Bring enough gun!

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from Scott wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Had a .338 once...it was a Remington "Classic" rifle and only weighed in at around 6.5 pounds. Let me tell you folks, that rifle could pound you into dust. Sighting in was the worst experience I've ever had with a rifle. It was, to give big green a plug, very accurate for its intended purpose. I kept it for just over a year and after the hunt was over it went to a much more deserving family. I returned to the 30-06 and have never looked back. If one desires the .338 caliber, one should consider the 338-06. It will do more than the standard '06 and near what the Win. Mag. will do within reason, with much less punishment.Frag away guys!

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from Michael wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I agree with you Chad on the 6.5x55;(love my CZ 550)but the other caliber is the 9.3x74. How about it Dave? I never hear you talk about the 9.3's. What's your opinion?

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from Dan D. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have to agree there is more to recoil than the mathematics. Perception is a big key. My Ruger M77 in .338 win mag is a joy to shoot compared to my Rem 870 12ga with 3in slugs. I can only describe the recoil of that pump gun as "violent".I have hunted deer with my .338 but never had the oppurtunity to take one. I bought the rifle as my moose gun.....if I can ever win that damn Maine moose lottery or afford to go to Canada.Dan

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Had an old gunsmith tell me once that the only reason anyone made a "Magnum" was so the Cajuns in south Louisiana could hear noise and feel pain when they pulled the trigger!If I had aspirations of hunting large bear or the ungulates larger than whitetails, I might consider a larger bore. For me, right now, a .270 Win is sufficient for everything in my neck of the woods!Bubba

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

The .338 Win Mag in a well made rifle does not kick as hard as most 12 gauge shotguns firing slugs, a lot of that is perceived recoil not just mathematical recoil. The .338 is a really good all around choice if one hunts in areas with ornery bears, heavy boars (though I've yet to kill one of 'em) or -- as I've mentioned before -- need to put animals down NOW or lose them to unscrupulous other hunters. There are certainly other cartridges which fit the bill; I am surprised no one brought the .416 Rigby into the discussion, the .444 Marlin has the tragectory of a rainbow but still delivers Thump at range, the .375 H&H absolutely deserves the mention it got as it is still the smallest dangerous game round allowed in most of Africa.I have always had a hankering for a .338, I've fired a few belonging to buddies and range bums of my aquaintance and the recoil wasn't bad, the termiinal performance is outstanding and ammo is relatively available.SA

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I bought my .338 in 1973, had it completely rebuilt about 15 years ago--retained the Finnish Sako action but had a 24" Lilja stainless barrel put on it, a synthetic MPI stock from Portland, OR (the only synthetic stock I own), and a 1-3/4X-5X Burris in Leupold rings. This rifle has accounted for two Alaskan brown bears, one Alaska-Yukon moose, about five elk, a couple mule deer bucks, and three barren ground caribou, one taken at 368 paces with the excellent 225-grain Hornady Spire-Point. I shot the moose and big bears with 250-grain Nosler Partitions. Wonderful cartridge in an excellent rifle.Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Montana had its goofy bison hunt supervised by game wardens, a warden captain complained to me that most of the wounded bison that required multiple shots to dispatch were first shot with .338s. My reply to him was the guys behind the rifle didn't know how to shoot. The .338 Win. Magnum is a superb cartridge, although it may have more recoil than many hunters can handle.Jack Atcheson, Jr. of The Atcheson's booking service in Butte, MT once told me that he used a .338 more than any other cartridge and swore by it. Jack shoots more game in five years than most hunters do in a lifetime, so I respect his assessment.

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from Dj wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I hate to tell you all but if you are hunting with a 338 and practicing enough to get good with it, you are going to be reloading. so if you are shooting deer at no more than 40 yards why are you botherring with a rifle? Go to bow hunting or to a pistol if that is more your twist. also if you can whack prairie dogs at 600 yards you can put down a deer at that range. not saying you should but if have a wounded one you got to do what you can to put him down. I don't hunt in the woods like most of you, and we would look stupid if all 12 of us was sitting in that one tree in the middle of them 20 sections (if this does happen to you, try to be there first). We mostly still hunt or set up a blind. as such it is considered a close shot if they are withing 100yrds.

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

The deer who finds himself in mortal danger from me and my 6.5x55 could probably count on a long and fruitful life if I had to pursue him with a .338. Of course, that's just me.I don't suppose there's any argument against the idea that a .338 will mangle more deer flesh than my 6.5x55. The difference for me is that I shoot my Swede with confidence. I'm afraid I might be a little tentative with the bigger calibers.So, nothing does it better than the .338, provided the .338 is in the hands of a shooter impervious to recoil.Incidentally, I choose to see my aversion to recoil as a result of great wisdom and higher learning rather than simply being puny. Any opinions to the contrary will be met by an icy stare full of contempt and unshaken by magnum calibers.Thank you.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph,Yea right. I've shot paper at long range don't you start crap about dropping game at 600-1000 yds. Don't happen but by accident or bragging.

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from YooperJack wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I just can't imagine buying a 338 for hunting anything in MI. My shots are just like Walt Smith desribed 25' to 150'. I could set up in a few spots for,at most, a 200 yard shot. Anyway, I think you would have a hard time buying 338 ammo up here unless you had a store order it for you.YooperJack

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

"Show Me" Jim where have you been? Clay drops Caribou at over 700 and out shoots expert marksmen at 1000 with open sights while they use 32X scopes... practice makes perfect, and I do have to admit that I can make shots with an air rifle that anyone who was not there would swear could not be made. Kentucky windage baby... and shooting every day. Often. Today I killed three squirrels, four blackbirds and a crow and never left the yard or touched off a grain of gunpowder. My children however burned a half pound of Pyrodex by pouring it into empty Nerds boxes, sticking a bottle rocket fuse in the box and taping it up with electrician's tape... the tighter and more you pack it the bigger the bang I said... errr... I mean I just discovered this atrocity and they will be severely reprimanded. Next time I will buy Goex.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Clay,You got friends shooting big game at 600 yds? Then you got friends blowing smoke up your skirt.

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from Dj wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

thanks c_pratt. what i was thinking, and have to reload for dad anyway.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Yeah Black Rifle Addict, Dave posts a picture of a monster he shot with his 6.5 and now he needs a .338? Like he tracks his own deer anyway...

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dave, I thought you were the 7mm-08 is enough deer gun hunter, and now you shoot them with a .338winchester mag. What gives?Clay-How many 300 yard shots have you taken at brown bears lately?

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from KJ wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

The truth is, every cartridge has its limitations. If all your hunting is in North America, and the big bears are on the agenda, I'd think the .338 would be good. The .35 Whelen (which is pretty similar out to 200 yards or so) would be good, too. But, if I ever get to go to Africa after a Cape Buffalo (my dream hunt) I'll want something with a bore big enough I can stick my fist in it.

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from C_Pratt wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

DJ,IMHO, you would be better served with a 300RUM. My reasoning is that although the 338 Lapua will outperform the 300, it is a much more expensive gun to purchase, and shoot. The 300 is a capable 1000yd calibre especially with vld bullets.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have fired a .338 Win Mag in the past. I have pulled the trigger on a .458 Win Mag, .375 H&H and several other large calibers. The only rifle I have ever had truly hurt me with recoil, was a Ruger M77 in .338 Win Mag! I no longer shoot "Magnum" rounds, other than a medium mag handgun! I shoot a .270 Win. I am happy with my .270 and will continue to shoot said rifle.I'm glad you guys like the .338 Win Mag. What ever is left to my life ration of .338's, you guys can have!Bubba

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

There's nothing in the world like having 30 or 40 Whitetails within 50 yards of your stand. If they are directly underneath you, they never know which way to run after the first shot goes off... The first time I hunted with my .257 Weatherby I was in a stand completely surrounded by does. The law said I could drop three before I even tagged the first so I fired two times, dropped two deer turned around to see one getting up and finished him off and fired at another running down a hill. While re-loading they began to congregate under my stand once again. Only time in my life I have emptied a gun, re-loaded and then killed one more deer. A 200 yard shot will never begin to match the adrenaline rush I experienced... I had to pee before I could even get my tree stand to the ground. 40 foot shots rule! Once I shot a buck so close I swear he heard my heart beating out of my chest, I know I could hear it.

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Good hunters don't HAVE to shoot long distances. I enjoy my 40 foot shots.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

One more thing, the farthest distance you can shoot with a 30-06 165 grain, the 338 Win Mag with a 225 grain, you will be able to hit just the same! O’YA BABY!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

If you really think anything a .338 can do, a .358, .35 Whalen 225 TB slug or 375 H&H will do better? I got to say, out of personal experience with these cartridges your wrong! The 338 Win Mag has superior range over these cartridges and has still has plenty of knockdown power when it gets there. All the hunters I’ve talked to say, the biggest problem of all hunting Brown Bear at Cordova Alaska and such, they didn’t have the range that the 338 Win Mag offers. 600 yard shots on Caribou still leaves an area just over the size of a pie plate totally blood shot! Yes I’ll agree anything a .338 can do, a .358, .35 Whalen 225 TB slug or 375 H&H will do, only at shorter ranges under 250 yards.The next loads for my 338 Win Mag will be Hornady 225 SST’s @3000fps!By the way David, Barnes makes a 160 grain in 338 Cal.The best thing I like about 7mm Rem Mag cases is it makes beautiful 338 Win Mag and I’ve made cases out of 300 Win Mag also with good results too!

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Hey don't misunderstand me. I love the place they carry about five different bullet weights for 30-06. LOL.

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from YooperJack wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Walt SmithHey I stop there! Please don't denigrate that establishment! LOL.YooperJack

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry Dave, but you can throw all the balistics you want but you'll never talk me out of my trusty 30-06 for any size game. From red squirrels to any other critter on the north american continent they all fall to the 180 grain fail safe. Besides, you can't find any .338's at the Outpost in Iron River, MI. anyhow!!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

In reality a lot of factors come into play, weight of weapon etc... I added a link when you hit my name that has a recoil energy and recoil velocity calculator. Play with it if you really want to know how much punishment your favorite load/weapon are doling out.

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from Steve C wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

"If you want stuff to drop, here's your cartridge"No argument. But the same can be said for a dozen other cartridges. In which case, what makes the .338 unique?

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from Dj wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Well, as long as we are on the subject, i will put a questions to you all. I have been looking at a long range rifle. ok mostly it just going to be to make me feel good, and see if i can hit at a 1000 yards and more than likely use it for deer in SD. the 2 i have looked at were the 300 RUM and the 338 Lapua Mag.The 300 as my dad has a sako in that and it shoots 4 inch groups at 600 and a deer hasn't walked away from it yet.The 338 because i was told it was the ultimate 1000 yard cartridge byt the owner of Tac Pro down in TX. he seems to Know it pretty well as he teaches long range shooting and doesn't talk alot of BS near as i can tell.So, opinions, experience, or anyone's 2 cents?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Matt/Jay... Chuck's recoil table gives the .338 Win 33 ft/lbs and also includes a recoil velocity table that gives it a 15. This is very high considered to other cartridges and tells you how fast that rifle is moving back, not just how hard.For comparison the '06 rates 18 recoil energy and 12 recoil velocity and a 12 gauge shooting a 2 3/4" shell with a 1 oz. slug only 17 on the recoil energy table... about half a hard as a .338 will hit you. Just for the record those masochists will enjoy hearing that the .338 RUM with a 250 gr. bullet will produce 43 ft/lbs of recoil energy and a .460 Wby. Mag right around 100. OUCH!

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from Chad wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

For those of us who cannot afford to hunt in Africa or dont care too, the trusty .30-06 is what I'll carry for Elk, deer, and black bear

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from John R wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have to agree w/ Dr. Ralph in that bullet placement is everything. As far as cartridges are concerned everybody has a favorite and everybody has an opinion. I suppose we can all agree that our preferences are opinions.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have to admit my first comment was biased on my part. I could not tolerate the .338 Win Mag at the bench. Maybe if it had been something other than a 1989 or so vintage Winchester M70, it would not have required so many rounds at the bench to attempt to get it zeroed (Just before it went back on trade-in).The .35 Whelen is "good enough" for my uses, so the .338 WM is not worth the increased recoil to me. I shoot 3 1/2 in. 12 ga. loads thru a M870 Rem. pump gun all season long for geese and unless I've knocked a few screws loose, it has nowhere near the felt recoil of that Win M70 .338 WM.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

As I have mentioned in a previous blog entry my kid started shooting my .338 (9.5 lbs loaded and scoped) when he was 15 and about 120 pounds. Yes he has shot a lot in his few years but he went through 20 rounds from the bench that day and has shot hundreds since. The rifle has no brake and is a McMillan stock with a Pachmyer Decelearator, all eighties vintage. If this kid (his current favorite is a custom 7 mm Ultra and I won't get into his long range shots because most of you probably would figure I'm lying anyway) can shoot and enjoy the .338 so can others who take the time to learn to deal with recoil. Oddly enough the 250 grain bullet works as well on deer or antelope as it does on elk, moose, or bears. Cactus Jack used lots of calibers other than the .270, just read his books. Given one rifle (here we go again on that beat to death horse) I would just keep my old .338 Win. I recently visited with my local riflesmith about opening it up to an Ultra. He can do the job plus add a brake for the much larger cartridge. After going home I begin to think what I would use the .338 Ultra for that the .338 Win could not do. For my purposes the older round is fine so I canceled the conversion.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

To Ralph: Took a .338 to Maine last year for whitetails. Very, very tough country to track in without snow on the ground, and if I did shoot one I wanted to do lots of damage right up front. Use Nosler 200-grain Accu-Bonds at 2,850 and you will will set them free.

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I’m a 35 Whelen owner and user, but I have to admit the 338 bullet is superior. If it wasn’t we’d all be talking about the 358 Norma Mag. The 338 Mag is a beautifully designed cartridge.I almost built this Mauser 35 Whelen in 338-06. I was lazy in my research. I easily found 35 Whelen loading data. This wasn’t so in 338-06 at the time.I preferred the 35 Whelen and 338-06 over the 338 Mag and 358 Norma Mag since I like 22” barrels’ handling. The Mags all seemed to sport 24” and 26” barrels.

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from Brian wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

.338- outstanding for elk, painful on the bench

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from Matt in MN wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

opps, that was .300I only see numbers for the .338 ultra mag. 8.5 lb rifle, 250 grain slug = 43.1 ft lbsso I'd guess the .338 win is somewhere slightly above the 12 gauge slug

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from Matt in MN wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Jay,From Chack Hawks recoil table:.300 win mag 180 grain, 8.5 lb rifle = 25.9 ft lbs recoil12 gauge 1 1/4 ounce slug, 7.5 lb gun = 32 ft lbs recoilI would imagine these are for average velocities in facory loads.

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from Jay wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

When I read about the .338 win mag all I hear about is how punishing the recoil is. In comparison, what shotshell/slug would a .338 compare best too for recoil.Chuck Hawks has good info on rifle recoil but not much for slugs/shotshell. I ask because most of my hunting in Illinois revolves around slugs and shot shells.

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from leadbeltloudmouth wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Does this mean that maybe somebody besides just A-Square will build rifles chambered for the .338-06? Nothing against A-Square; they make great rifles and ammo; but if the .338-06 is ever to take off, some of the big name rifle makers are going to have to jump onto the bandwagon. Or am I the only person who has a fondness for this load?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

If I hunted Alaska, Africa, Rocky Mountains or anywhere you are likely to encounter an animal over 400 pounds on the hoof on a regular basis I would carry more gun than my 30-06... I don't. O'Connor wanted to know where all those armour plated Elk were that his Model 70 .270 couldn't drop. He never found any. One more time all together... Roy Weatherby even admitted it BULLET PLACEMENT IS EVERYTHING. For a mad bear or Africa I want more gun than a .338 and for just about everything else I want less gun...

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from John B wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I had a .338 once, but never got a chance to hunt with it as some slime bucket broke into my house and stole it along with many other essentials of life. Unfortunately for both of us he got the rifle but I still have the bolt. He must have had a hard time trading that one off to the local drug dealer.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Dave,The .338Win mag is a time proven cartridge, but it does have limits.You mention different bullet weights for deer, but would you really use a .338 for deer unless you were on a mixed bag hunt of some kind, maybe?Anywho..what would be your minimum/maximum pray you would use the .338 as your main battery?ps-WA Mtnhunter I'm with you on the .35 Whelen getting the job done!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have used lots of calibers/rifles in the Rockies for the last 27 years. The only one that has never failed to drop an animal with one shot is my old custom .338 Win with various bullets. I wish I could say the same for my '06, several versions of 6 mm and 7 mm, and 300 mags but it just ain't so. If you look back at some older blogs you will see where I stated that there is a great void between .300 and .338 when it comes to absolute reliability in having confidence in a one shot kill. Based upon personal experience it would take a strong arguement to change my mind. The .338 works well up close or at long range regardless of the case version. As for .358 and .375 I am certain that they are as good or better but so far the .338 is my choice.

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from Chad Love wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I have no experiecne with a .338 so I'll suspend comment.I will say that I love my .375 H&H and I can't think of a better two-gun battery (for me) than that and a 6.5x55.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

I guess I'll join the bash Dave/Elmer/.338 club and say everything I shoot with my ought-six is laying exactly where it was standing an instant before... with significantly less recoil.To make matters worse for the Dave/.338 camp my singular eyewitness account of a deer being shot with a .338 was hit directly in the chest from head on at about 20 yards and ran over 100 yards straight to the bottom of the steepest hill in Tennessee and halfway up the other side! Good thing there were two of us because the thing would have stayed there if I was alone. To the cartridge's defense there was a two foot wide blood trail... tough buck.

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from Blue Ox wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

.338 is a good strong caliber, of that there is no doubt.But I'd rather go with a .375, especially while in Africa.To each their own.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 7 weeks ago

Anything a .338 can do, a .358 will do better! A .35 Whelen 225 TB slug will break both shoulders on a bull elk and pass through. None of those fragmented bullets under the hide!Just my opinion... No science implied.

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