338 Cal Range Day

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,916
383
Had a fun day at the range with the wife, and her best friend's son.
They had fun shooting the 22 rifle and pistols (a Browning Buckmark and a Ruger Competition), while I spent time with 3, 338 caliber rifles.

Shot my 2, 338 Federals and my Marlin 338 Marlin Express.

Was fairly shaky today, so my groups at 100 yards weren't overly great, but still managed a couple sub 1" groups with both of the 338 Federals, and consistently rang the gongs out to 400 yards with both the semi custom Winchester Model 88 and the semi custom Sako LH Model 85 Finnlight II. I even managed hits with both rifles on the iron pig set at 500 yards. 1/2 and 2/3, with both misses just off the iron. Love the B&C reticles in the VX-3 2.5-8 x36 and 3.5-10x40 scopes on these rifles, respectively.

The Marlin is still not shooting great groups (2"+), but will consistently ring the 200 yard gongs (12" and 8"; did not try the 4" gong today). Need to work up a load once I have more brass to reload.

More time learning the individual break points on these triggers will help, as both the Marlin and the Winchester have stiff triggers (5-7lbs) with a little creep prior to breaking. And a day where my hands are steadier would help too! LOL
The Sako trigger breaks clean without creep or overtravel and is set at 3 lbs.

Definitely like shooting these rifles!
And looking forward to hunting with the Sako and Marlin this year!
 

Teknys

Handloader
Jan 14, 2008
714
22
That 338 Federal has all ways been a favorite since they came out. Deer and Elk probably don't like them so much. My groups with my Sako has always been in the 1" - 2" . I'm now working loads for a Sav 16 and it is more promising.
 

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
1,244
217
Not much beats a good day at the range. The 338 Federal has piqued my interest. I may have to get one sometime. Dan
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,916
383
Not much beats a good day at the range. The 338 Federal has piqued my interest. I may have to get one sometime. Dan
Try it; You'll like it!
I really like the 338 Win Mag and 338-06, and as I get older the shoulder likes the reduced recoil of the 338 Federal.
And since the average distance of all the game I have taken over the years is just 137 yards, I really don't need the extra velocity and recoil of the larger cases. I sold my 338 Win Mag, but doubt that I will sell the 338-06, as it is a custom rifle.
The heavier weight of the Model 88 is OK for short hikes into thee thick brush for elk, moose and bear, and the lighter weight of the Sako is great for longer hikes into mountains and meadows.
I also found that if I do need the extra power, the 338-06 provides better ballistics and retained energy past 300 yards with the 215 gr SGK than the 338 Win mag does with the 210 gr Partition for moose and elk, and I now have my 9.3x62 for bison.
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,907
238
Try it; You'll like it!
I really like the 338 Win Mag and 338-06, and as I get older the shoulder likes the reduced recoil of the 338 Federal.
And since the average distance of all the game I have taken over the years is just 137 yards, I really don't need the extra velocity and recoil of the larger cases. I sold my 338 Win Mag, but doubt that I will sell the 338-06, as it is a custom rifle.
The heavier weight of the Model 88 is OK for short hikes into thee thick brush for elk, moose and bear, and the lighter weight of the Sako is great for longer hikes into mountains and meadows.
I also found that if I do need the extra power, the 338-06 provides better ballistics and retained energy past 300 yards with the 215 gr SGK than the 338 Win mag does with the 210 gr Partition for moose and elk, and I now have my 9.3x62 for bison.
I thought long and hard about the 338-06 before I had JES bore and chamber my spare 30-06 for 35 AI,
I don't regret having it done. I lucked into a Ruger Hawkeye Stainless in 338 WM which no one was bidding on GB, I really didn't want it, but it was low priced and like new in the box, it gave me fits before I got it figured out. After hunting with it I sold it since I picked up a M70 Classic in 338wm and that one shot good right out of the box and is a keeper.
I found I could download the 338WM and still get good performance out of it and not get beat up, not saying there is anything wrong with the 338 Federal and if I came across one the right price, I would consider buying it.
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,791
310
There is an article by a Mr. Roy Smith in either RIFLE of HANDLOADER Magazine about the wildcat 338-08 as developed by Mr. Smith. Every time I see a post on the .338 Federal Mr. Smith comes to mind. He only wrote two other articles, one dealing with S.E.E in the .243 Win. and hthe other was his dislike with milsurp brass. I had a conversation with his son about four years ago and told me Mr. Smith had passed. Too bad as he had a way with words that is sso lacking in this day and age. That's one gentleman I wished I'd had the opportunity to meet and talk with first hand. I've always thought Federal should have called the cartridge the .338 Smith-Federal.
Paul B.
 
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