WHY DO WE RE-INVENT THE WHEEL?

bullet

Handloader
Dec 26, 2007
4,973
7
WHY DO WE RE-INVENT THE WHEEL?
THE 338WINCHESTER MAGNUM

If I could just have a rifle and cartridge that had no more than a 24” barrel, with the receiver no longer than a standard 30-06 length, producing reasonable recoil that could push a 200gr bullet at 3025-3075fps, a 210gr bullet at 2980-3010fps, a 2225gr bullet at 2850 - 2900fps, a 250gr bullet at 2800 - 2820fps, a 275gr bullet at 2670 to 2700fps and a 300gr bullet 2500-2550fps, manufactured by 90% of the major gun companies, WOW!!!

I could take everything from deer to the largest Alaskan Brown bears. It would not destroy meat anymore on the smaller size big game like white tail deer than would a 130gr bullet out of a 270. It would buck the wind at distances most hunters would consider reasonable and with plenty of energy to anchor anything in North America and most of Africa out to 400yds. Also, with some bullets and loads in the right hands, it could be effective a lot farther than 400yds.

Of course you know us here in America when it comes to rifles and cartridges, we are constantly re-inventing the wheel. Why do we do this? I am sure you all have your beliefs and even evidence to support your understanding of why this takes place every so often with rifle and cartridge companies. Give us a few more years and there will come the next line of new wonder cartridges and their platforms. Again these will be marketed as being better than what went before or the next best thing to sliced bread. The prevailing attitude will be only the engineers, rifleman, and hunters of today really know what is best as if those in the past were uninformed or miss led or just not as intuitive.

Why??? It is beyond me why we re-invent the wheel every 5 to 10 years, when there has been one that fits my above description since 1959, the 338Win Mag. Easy to load for, accurate, reasonable recoil if stocked correctly and hits like a hammer, along with velocities that are perfect for the big game bullets manufacture for the .338 caliber. As one friend of mine said, “with the 338Win Mag you could kill everything from mice to Moose and even a big mean spirited bear up close.” He ought to know since he and others have used used the 338Win Mag on the above and so his figurative speech describing the 338Win Mag is appropriate.

Most you know or at least should know that a 30-06 with a 180gr bullet has been and is very affective in most situations and on most game given proper circumstances much less the 300Win Mag using a 180gr bullet. In light of this fact a 338Win Mag’s using a 250gr bullet, has a striking energy that is around 25% greater than that 30-06 with a 180gr bullet. Also, the 338Win Mag and 300Win Mag along with the 300Wby are in the same neighborhood when it comes to energy. Yet the 338Win Mag's cross-sectional area is 20% greater with a momentum factor that allows for greater penetration due to 70grs greater weight.

It has tremendous potential as an all around big game cartridge from small deer to the largest and toughest game in North America. It is a tremendous medium bore with great legs. What do I mean by saying great legs. It is a true sprinter with endurance and has a hard quick crushing blow, that hits like a heavy weight. There is a great selection of suitable bullets from 180grs to 300grs to meet any scenario. With this selection of bullets, one could imagine them selves in a sequence of possible events as a North American hunter and feel with confidence that they were well armed. It can be down loaded to 338RCM, 338-06 or 30-06 levels and still produce excellent accuracy attesting to it's real versatility.


On smaller species of big game we have with the 338Win Mag 180gr to 225gr bullets. In this weight class there is the 210gr Nosler Partition, that is good on smaller game, while being the exception in this group due to the fact it is also highly effective on the larger species of big game. The 210gr Partition with velocities between 2980fps and 3010fps with very good accuracy is a flat shooting, hard hitting combination that really allows the 338Win Mag to stand out as a longer rang load while still being devastating up close.

Of course for the really big stuff the 250gr due to the great bullet shapes available is a real game getter for sure. The 250gr to 300gr bullets in the 338Win Mag do not have to apologize, nor are they inferior for any of the tasks handed them when taking big game.

I had to pick up my 338Win Mag which I had stored away after only firing 15 rounds through it because I was so busy with other projects, namely my 257-300Wby. As I said, I am using it to hunt with this year due to problems with two of my rifles, my 30-06 and my 300Wby. I have owned and shot the 338Win Mag some 20 years ago but did not hunt with it nor reload for it. Well, I am doing both this year and that is why I have written this article. I am beginning to discover what some great hunters and guides have known for years about the 338Win Mag and I really like what I have found so far in briefly reloading for the 338Win mag.

Looking forward to using it in the field and have the experience of taking game with a fine Medium bore cartridge.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,847
1,229
Bullet,

If you stick with the heavier bullets, meat damage is less than a 270-30-06.
Tough to beat a 338 Win Mag for hunting everything from mice to moose.

JD338
 

jtoews80

Handloader
May 19, 2007
912
0
LOL, I would agree to an extent.

IF Winchester had ceased development of new products in 1963 and kept the old M70 to those specs I would have loved to keep riding on those wheels...... Even if only the 4 magnums they had developed up until then were all they were chambered in: 264 win, 300 win, 338 win & 458 win.

Depending on whether the rifle would see antelope or Grizzly bear and what terrain generally hunted would be the only factors to consider and any 1 of those 4 would be everything needed to be adaquately equipped to hunt NA(IE 264 is a bit light for bears).

I think that some of the new technology we have availible in powder and bullets would have eliminated the market that produced alot of these newer cartridges. Even the readily availible & cheap 8mm Mausers would have taken much more of a following if there had been readily availible factory ammo loaded to potential, not reduced loads in case somebody fired it out of an 8X57S with the .318" bore not the 8X57 JS with it's .323" bore.

Not exactly what you were saying, but I agree that alot of what we are all chasing today has been availible in other forms for a long time without the media and sales hype.

The 6.5mm and 350 Rem mags for instance, they were short mags in the mid 60's.

JT.
 

FOTIS

Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
23,227
497
Bullet:

Nice write up.

What is wrong with the Ruger 30-06? I thought it was shooting great!
 

bullet

Handloader
Dec 26, 2007
4,973
7
POP":2hpskvu5 said:
Bullet:

Nice write up.

What is wrong with the Ruger 30-06? I thought it was shooting great!

Remember, I ruined the stock trying to put metal pillar bedding post. I will have to restock after the first of the year.
 

Antelope_Sniper

Handloader
Jan 25, 2008
2,618
0
Very nice write-up bullet. Nosler should hire you to do some of the Cartrige introductions for the next reloading guide.

It's amazing what a guy can do with a few Classic Calibers.

My core rifles are all old classics:

22-250
.270Win
.338 Win mag.

The .338 Win Mag is a Winchester, Model 70 Classic Sporter. Wood stock, 26" blued barrel, and the old claw extractor. Mounted with a Leupold VXIII, with Mildot and target knobs, and loaded with 200-225 Accubonds, it's a very versitile rifle.

I gained a new respect for the .338 When comparing it to the .375 H&H. Our top load with the 250gr Nosler partitions chronographed at 2821fps. This is with a published load, and a 24" barrel. Top loading in the Hodgdon #26 for the .375 H&H with a 250gr bullet is 2759fps.

Now with a wider varity of Modern bullets, everything from the 180gr BT, to the Lapua 250gr FMJ, it's more versitile then ever. The Nosler #6 only listed old classic powders, I wonder how some of new powder will enhance the performace? The .338 Win Mag is considered one of the best all round North American rifles, but I believe there's alot of Africa that could be hunted with this North American Classic.
 

jmad_81

Handloader
Feb 14, 2007
2,937
2
All these reasons and more are why I'll never sell my M70 Classic. Doing some load work with the 200 ET between corn harvest, should get it all posted up next week. Going to be using it for everything this year.

The 338 WM is as close to perfect as I've found.
 

FOTIS

Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
23,227
497
bullet":14eo9uuc said:
POP":14eo9uuc said:
Bullet:

Nice write up.

What is wrong with the Ruger 30-06? I thought it was shooting great!

Remember, I ruined the stock trying to put metal pillar bedding post. I will have to restock after the first of the year.


Ahhh yes! Should have left her alone after you "accutaped her!" :lol: :lol:
 

bullet

Handloader
Dec 26, 2007
4,973
7
POP":2kouusya said:
bullet":2kouusya said:
POP":2kouusya said:
Bullet:

Nice write up.

What is wrong with the Ruger 30-06? I thought it was shooting great!

Remember, I ruined the stock trying to put metal pillar bedding post. I will have to restock after the first of the year.


Ahhh yes! Should have left her alone after you "accutaped her!" :lol: :lol:

Believe me I do regret that move.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,847
1,229
bullet":2xiev1cl said:
POP":2xiev1cl said:
bullet":2xiev1cl said:
POP":2xiev1cl said:
Bullet:

Nice write up.

What is wrong with the Ruger 30-06? I thought it was shooting great!

Remember, I ruined the stock trying to put metal pillar bedding post. I will have to restock after the first of the year.


Ahhh yes! Should have left her alone after you "accutaped her!" :lol: :lol:

Believe me I do regret that move.

But than you would not have discovered the 338 Win Mag and the 210 gr PT. :grin:

JD338
 

bullet

Handloader
Dec 26, 2007
4,973
7
JD338, you got to be a used car salesman, that is really good man. :lol:
 
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