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SPEEDGUNNER
March 22, 2014, 20:39
I stopped by my FFL on Friday to pick up something he ordered for me and he had just gotten in a small group of bolt guns. Normally I wouldn't take a second look at a bolt gun that isn't in .308, but one had a slick looking muzzle break on it, and was in excellent condition. It was a tang safety Ruger 77 in .338 WIN MAG, and it looked like it was unfired. Wood is as new, bluing is beautiful and it had a set of Ruger rings. Man it is a pretty rifle, and it came home with me. I mounted up a Weaver 6X K60-1, now all I need to do is find some ammo. A bit pricey I think, but I am sure there are deals. Anyone here have any experience with .338 WIN MAG?

Aeroscout
March 22, 2014, 22:54
My Dad reloads for the .338....One load he actually has to resize the case after seating the bullet as it contains so much powder it bulges the case upon seating....(and this load is in the book as a compressed load...not some crackpot thing).....It is an Elk killing machine.

MAINER
March 23, 2014, 10:13
A friend had one, but only shot cast bullets on the target range with it. Seems there was a severe shortage of Elk and Moose in Massachusetts at the time anyway.

His best load if you want to give it a try;
Lyman 338320, 205 Gr Cast
26.0 grns of IMR 4198
Win-120 Primer. (WLR) nowadays I believe.
Rem. cases
No crimp

L Haney
March 23, 2014, 10:26
26.0 grns of IMR 4198


Wow. This is odd. This is my (barely) subsonic load for a gas checked 500 grain lead projectile in my .458 SOCOM. Those lumbering freight trains shoot through 12" cement block for a treat!

MAINER
March 23, 2014, 14:01
That was the load that gave best accuracy with that bullet. Meant for nothing more than paper punching at 100 yds. No idea what velocity it was kicking up, but suspect it was in the 1400~1500 fps range. Real Pussycat load. :D

Will C
March 23, 2014, 17:55
I have an M77 MKII stainless, in .338 Win Mag, that is one of my primary hunting rifles. It's heavy for deer and will make a mess of them unless you get a clean shot through the ribs, or a head shot, so the edible portions aren't damaged. The only reason I hunt deer with it is that most of the time I'm in brown bear territory and my .270 just doesn't feel adequate for "what may happen".

That said, this is one of my more accurate rifles - one MOA if I do my part - and rugged in the extreme as are many if not most Ruger products. The .338 cartridge can handle anything in North America although some might say it's light for bison. Elk, bear, moose, etc. no problem if you use good bullets and place your shot where it needs to go. Not sure about the muzzle brake though, mine is loud as all hell without a brake.

Aeroscout
March 24, 2014, 04:08
It's heavy for deer and will make a mess of them unless you get a clean shot through the ribs, or a head shot, so the edible portions aren't damaged. The only reason I hunt deer with it is that most of the time I'm in brown bear territory and my .270 just doesn't feel adequate for "what may happen".



Funny...that has been the exact opposite of my Dad's experience with the .338 He loads 250gr bullets exclusively and has found the big heavy bullets do not come apart on bone impacts the way lighter skinned bullets do (i.e hotly loaded .270's).

The .338 is without a doubt more gun than you need for deer sized game but it will do a fine job bringing them down without tearing things all to hell and ruining a lot of meat should you hit bone going through a shoulder.

Comparisons of game taken over the years my .243 shooting 100gr bullets hauling ass have shredded far more shoulder meat than my Dad's .338 ever did....they just don't come apart like the lighter bullets do....That's what tears things up.

hagar
March 24, 2014, 08:45
Buy a 340 Weatherby. Shoot 20 rounds at one sitting, then shoot the 338. You will never complain about 338 recoil...

I like the 250 grain Sierra Gameking, shot an elk with it that was quartering away from me. Bullet went though 4-5 feet of meat and bone, left a nice wound channel but no meat damage, and exited out the neck at the other side.