338 Federal NOT a short-range woods cartridge either!
Great to hear all the good comments!
I've done a lot of comparisons and the 338 Federal just keeps looking better. It is not a short-range woods cartridge and comparing it to one is ridiculous.
It is also not a 338 Win Mag but it does not weigh or kick you like one (the Win Mag kicks over 30 ft/lbs in all but lighter loads in an 8lb rifle). My 338 Federal only weighs 6lbs11oz and kicks me less than 27 lbs even with full loads. Which one do you really want to carry and shoot? Let's continue this comparison.
By comparison, the 338 Federal winds up being around 100-300 fps/ft lbs behind the big magnum. and I think this does not matter that much at realistic hunting ranges (let's say something less than 400 yds just for argument).
At 400yds my 338 Federal 200gr Speer handload (starting out at 2750 as I've chronographed) is going 2048fps and has 1863ft/lbs of energy (and a 338 size hole before any expansion). It is 21 inches low at this distance (sighted dead on at around 230yds that take max advantage of traj).
Again, by comparison, the 338 Win Mag with a 225gr at 2800 is going 2091fps with 2185ft/lbs of energy and is 17 inches low at 400 (as with the Federal sighted to take advantage of traj).
I know that 400yds is a long way (I may never use my 338 Federal on anything that far away....but I could). I have shot it many times at 400yds and hit the steel every time (3x9 Leupold with Long Range Duplex reticle). So I know the gun is capable.
Does the above sound like a short-range woods cartridge? Not!
NRA Life Member