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Old August 24, 2012, 11:43 PM   #26
Rob228
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I've got the same rifle in .325WSM back when the cartridge first came out. With ammo prices where they are, I wish I'd have made the same choice you did and gone with .338 Federal.
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Old August 28, 2012, 04:40 PM   #27
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Thanks Miykael.

Regarding your Q's:

I'm assuming the barrel wear will be just as good as the .308?
Can you rebarrel or change a .308 barrel to 338 without any other mods, since the case is essentially the same?
Since 20" barrels work great with .308, assuming same for 338 Fed?

I can't imagine why the barrel life would be any different. They are pushing their respective bullets down the barrel with about the same powder charges and speeds.

Your 308 can eaily be re-barreled to 338. Contact Shilen or another barrel maker for costs, etc.

The 338 Federal IS the 308 win. case necked to 338.

20" is going to cost you a loss of 35-40 or so fps according to the stuff I have read.

Good Luck
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Old August 28, 2012, 05:13 PM   #28
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Quote:
The revered 30-06 will launch at 180gr Speer at around 2700fps according to the Alliant book.

At 300yds this bullet will be going 2169fps and have 1880ft/lbs of energy.

This 180gr 30-06 load will recoil approx 2lbs less than a 338 Federal 200gr Speer launched at 2750fps (which by the way at 300 yds is going 2211 fps and has 2171ft/lbs of energy) out of a similar weight rifle.
I am confused as to how a more more efficient .308 caliberbullet launched just 50 foot seconds slower will still be going slower than the heavier, squatter .338 caliber bullet at 300 ..... or are you not comparing apples to apples (comparing a flat based, round nosed 180 grain .308 bullet to a boat-tailed 200 gr .338)?
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:20 AM   #29
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It does not seem to fit any need that others cannot do as well or better.
No point to the caliber that I can see.
But, if you like, that is all that is important.
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:53 AM   #30
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338 Win Mag has enough case volume to get the job really done. Any other 338, save the Lapua, is suffering from lack of powder. The last decade has produced droves of "me too" cartridges, with the biggest feature "fits in short actions." The gun magazines breath life into many that should have remained wildcats. This further dilutes demand for the successful cartridges, causing higher ammo prices. Sounds like a win-win for gun magazines and their sponsors. Not so much for the mainstream hunter.
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Old September 4, 2012, 06:18 PM   #31
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338 Fed/338-06 can replace .308/30-06

Thanks Mac, great thread to start and for the descriptions you mentioned at the beginning too. Kimbers seem like great rifles (out of my price range for now

I was thinking of just replacing the .308 barrel later on (might be cheaper than cutting it up to 338) but for now just have to work with what I have. This season will be .308 & Barnes LRX 175.

For when I can go to a hunting only rifle, 338 Fed or 338-06 might be it.

The big magnums really only have distance as an advantage, not anything else.

If you're going the magnum route anyway, might as well be 338 Lapua Me I think that the 338 Federal, 338-06 AI can essentially replace the .308/30-06 (except .308 for target shooting) as they're better in every way for hunting, without the magnum recoil.

Mac, let us know how your season goes with the 338 Fed

Last edited by miykael; September 4, 2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:57 PM   #32
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Just found this thread... I'd been curious about the .338Fed for a while, myself... and I found a really good deal on a Ruger Hawkeye All Weather in .338Fed three weeks ago

I liked the fact that it hits as hard or harder than a .30-06 out to 300yds and makes a bigger hole. That it drops more after that isn't a problem as I doubt I'll shoot it over 300yds to begin with. Also, it's not a problem that it won't shoot laser straight for a mile... makes it easier on the mind about what's behind the target, IMO.

I've already taken it to the range and broken it in...

The rifle itself shoots nicely... the way it feels, etc. all good. I was actually surprised at the recoil... it feels less than my Browning A-Bolt .30-06. The pad that comes on the rifle is plenty good, IMO. I can tell you for sure it's easier to see the .338" holes at 100yds through my 3x9 scope than it was to see the .30" holes the guy next to me was putting in his target at 100yds at the range the other day

I was using the 200gr Fusions to start with. I need to go back out and finalize sighting it in and will then actually pay attention to shot groupings, etc. I'm pretty happy with the rifle and the cartridge so far (mostly on paper) and will definitely be trying it out this year on whitetails and hogs, if I'm lucky. Maybe one day I'll get to try it out on something bigger

My main whitetail/hog gun is my .260... I like that cartridge a lot, too.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:53 PM   #33
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Quote:
The big magnums really only have distance as an advantage, not anything else.
I'm still trying to figure out how a shorter, heavier bullet is going to be better at a distance than a longer, thinner one.

As for hitting harder, even elk are not armored vehcihles, and a bonded bullet out a .30-06 will do for them at any reasonable distance.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:35 PM   #34
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The .338Fed isn't about distance... it's a solid 300yds cartridge... good strong punch without magnum recoil.

Another thing magnums are good for are heavy bullets. The .338 Win Mag can lob a 250gr at the same velocity that the .338Fed throws a 200gr. Or it can fling same weight a couple/few hundred fps faster.

Quote:
As for hitting harder, even elk are not armored vehcihles, and a bonded bullet out a .30-06 will do for them at any reasonable distance.
Yeah... but .30-06 is boring... everybody has one of those... Bigger holes can be a bonus, too.
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:04 AM   #35
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?

jimbob, if you reread the post or quote, you'll notice I said the opposite (or I can't really understand your post - what calibers were you comparing or favoring?). A 300/338 magnum's advantage is only for longer distance (OK and a little more muzzle energy) but when you realize you're getting close to (not exactly but close) magnum energy with far less powder and far greater barrel life...the 338 Fed/338-06AI really are in a class of their own...
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:26 AM   #36
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I was referring to Macwhatever's post #15 .... it think his numbers are fuzzy, and said so in post #30.

I just don't see a use for the 338 Fed ...... that is not aready covered by more established cartridges, especially since advances in bullet construction have made lighter calibers so much more effective.

Q: "What is it for?"

A: "Why, to sell, of course!"

If you like it, buy it and shoot it a lot..... maybe it won't go the way of the 225 Winchester, the .30TCU, and the .222Mag ....
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Old September 14, 2012, 09:37 AM   #37
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Quote:
I just don't see a use for the 338 Fed ...... that is not aready covered by more established cartridges, especially since advances in bullet construction have made lighter calibers so much more effective.
By that logic, we only need .223, .308 (or the .30-06), and the .375 H&H... just three cartridges. Why would anyone have any rifle that shoots anything other than those cartridges? It's because we can

Personally, those cartridges are just boring *because* they are ubiquitous. Having something different is just fun and far more interesting *to me*. I have several rifles chambered in various of the ubiquitous cartridges if I want to use them but I find I almost always take something that isn't one of those.
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Old September 14, 2012, 09:46 AM   #38
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Quote:
Having something different is just fun and far more interesting *to me*.
What you need is a 7mm Mashburn Super-Magnum:

http://pawpawshouse.blogspot.com/200...1_archive.html

....or better yet, make up a wildcat of your own, so you have something unique.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:03 AM   #39
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Not *that* different and out of mainstream I actually think it would be fun to run a wildcat and/or even make my own... I just don't have the time for it or really the budget to do it right, either.
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:54 PM   #40
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Quote:
I just don't see a use for the 338 Fed ...... that is not aready covered by more established cartridges, especially since advances in bullet construction have made lighter calibers so much more effective.
That reminds me of the statement I saw in the 1970 Speer reloading manual #8, in the section about the .223 Remington:
Quote:
Because it is so close to the .222 Remington Magnum and has no advantage over it, there is no real need for this cartridge, but because of its adoption by the military, it will be around a while.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:24 PM   #41
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I think I will stick with my 180gr in 300WM. I personally don't think that the 338 Fed. has any advantage.
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Old September 17, 2012, 07:46 PM   #42
miykael
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The advantages...

Here are the advantages over magnums:
  • Barrel life: assuming the same as a .308 - 5000+ rounds vs 1000-2000. HUGE COST SAVINGS!
  • Save on powder (45-50gn vs 65-80gn)
  • Recoil!!! With a VAIS muzzle brake, no sound increase either.
  • Lighter rifle (short action).
  • Far less expensive to handload and that means MORE SHOOTING

These are only off the top of my head. Almost...repeat almost, magnum performance with many advantages over magnums...unless you want to kill very large game at very long distances (i.e. 600+ yards away).
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:47 AM   #43
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Well... I'd still probably want to take my .338WM for brown bears (I've never hunted them and probably never will) but for anything else in NA inside 300yds (for me... for others maybe even farther), the .338 Fed with 200/210gr (particularly copper bullets) should do just fine.

And yeah... if you already have a 300WM or WSM or whatever and are happy, there's no reason to run out and get anything else.

Last edited by shane256; September 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM.
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Old September 18, 2012, 06:18 PM   #44
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barrel life???? 40+ years I fire 200+rnds per year and it still clover leafs at 100yds.

cheaper to reload (less powder) Yup, according to you, about 1/2 so......you save about $10 per 150 rounds.

lighter weight. yup......easier for you to carry, but less stable when shooting off the sholder. BTW shorter action dosnt necessarily mean less weight. Barrel diameter and length are the major weight factors. Oh and dont forget the stock. Some stocks are heavier than others.

recoil, yup again, but stock fit and shooting technique have a lot to do with "felt" recoil.

You forgot about trajectory. You can bring down some fairly large game at distance with a 45-70 if you know how to lob it in there.

One more item..... Lets not forget about bullet selection. You have a lot more choices in .30 than .338. You can tailor you ammo to the game you intend to hunt.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:19 PM   #45
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Best 300WM ever?

sc928, you must have the best made WM barrel in the world at 8000 rounds and still cloverleafs
Quote:
barrel life???? 40+ years I fire 200+rnds per year and it still clover leafs at 100yds.
A cloverleafing .308 bullet is getting approximately .3 MOA...that's amazing for a 8000 round WM. (actually that would be amazing for a $5K custom rifle) Especially considering this:

Quote:
Another tidbit to consider--take a 300 Win Mag that has a life expectancy of 1000 rounds.
Taken from article: http://www.6mmbr.com/gailmcmbreakin.html [excerpt Gale McMillan, of McMillan Stocks fame, was one of the finest barrel-makers and benchrest shooters of all time.]

I think Mac's thread was addressing something that needs to get more attention...thanks Mac. I think the 338 Federal is an ideal hunting cartridge for the reasons mentioned earlier.

Last edited by miykael; September 21, 2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:30 PM   #46
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I'm with PK and Mapsjanhere, too. When you load the '06 to the pressure level of the Fed, then 180s are CHRONOGRAPHED at 2800 from 22". My 338-06 puts the Nosler 210 at 2810 in 22" because it's throated for 250s. I'm quite skeptical of a real world 200 Fed hitting 2750 in 22", since the 308 can barely hit 2600 with 180s.
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:11 PM   #47
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Dual purpose vs strictly hunting

For dual purpose, target/hunting duty, I still prefer my .308.

As an alternative to those that don't want Magnum punishment for hunting and want to shoot more frequently, saving money, barrels and shoulder the 338 Federal & 338-06AI seem like excellent options. Of course I do dream of owning a 338 Lapua one day...just because

btw, I'm not saying ged rid of a WM for a 338 Fed/338-06...only for those who haven't bought a WM. Those that are between .308/30-06 and 300/338 WM but that haven't bought yet, should consider the 338 Federal/338-06AI.

For about 40-50% more powder burn, you're only getting 200-300 fps more out of a 300WM/300WSM. The energy difference is almost made up by going to the 338 Federal/338-06. Is the magnum worth it? I think the 338 Lapua makes a great move up from the 308/30-06, 338Fed/338-06, considering your getting 1000ft/lbs more energy than a WinMag

Last edited by miykael; September 21, 2012 at 12:38 AM.
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:14 PM   #48
miykael
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Good article on 338 Federal

Good article

http://www.rifleshootermag.com/2011/...on_338_101207/

Truly Useful: The .338 Federal
by Wayne van Zwoll • January 4, 2011

Read more: http://www.rifleshootermag.com/2011/...#ixzz26sUX6FJw
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:41 PM   #49
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I have seen some folks talking about getting 2700+fps for 200gr out of the 338Fed... right here on these boards ( http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=497762 )

Also saw a guy posting about killing a moose using the 200gr Trophy Copper (seems like it's just E-Tip).

Anyway... I don't think anybody here is saying everyone should throw their rifles away and go get one. If you don't have something in that performance range and want one, the 338Fed might be one to consider. I have a .30-06, .270Win, and others but I still thought the 338Fed would be cool to have.
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:23 PM   #50
Buckeye!
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I really expected the 338 Fed to take off like wild fire...i've been waiting for a affordable rifle to be chambered in this round...maybe the Ruger American may surprise us !!!
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