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Old March 31, 2013, 07:36 AM   #1
Zmax
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338 federal decline

Ruger is no longer chambering any guns in the 338 fed. I am real surprised by its rapid decline among gun makers. I thought it would last because it was chambered in bolt actions and the modern hunting AR platform. Any thoughts?
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:24 AM   #2
Nathan
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In surprised, but I'm not. The 338 Federal is one of those perfect rounds like 284 Winchester which just doesn't get any love for some reason. IMO, it would have been better as the 338 FFEH(Federal Featherweight Elk Harvester)...
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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The reason for the decline is that there isn't much of a demand for a short range thumper like the Federal. If there were the .358 Win would be immensely more popular on the commercial rifle market as well. Believe me the .338 Federal is here to stay and the reloaders and rifle loonies will keep it going.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Because in reality it offered nothing over a 308 and was a step down compared to a 30-06. Both are well estabilished and hard to compete with.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:50 AM   #5
Creek Henry
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Yeah, a short range big game round isn't what people are buying these days. Performance wise it doesn't seems to fill a niche or a void. Other rounds will do what it does and have a better selection of ammo. Same with the 480 Ruger, 325 wsm, etc. not every capable rounds that comes out makes marketing sense.
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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The .308 case has been done to death. What next, a .204-08? As others stated, "There is simply no need for it".
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Old March 31, 2013, 01:12 PM   #7
Nathan
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Pardon me for manipulating your words like a politician would...

Quote:
The reason for the decline is that there isn't much of a demand for a short range thumper like the Federal. If there were the .358 Win would be immensely more popular on the commercial rifle market as well. Believe me the .338 Federal is here to stay and the reloaders and rifle loonies will keep it going.
So, the Amercan hunter would not be best suited with short light rifle in a caliber that will take deer/antelope/elk at 0-300 yards?

It is my experience that the American hunter wants to live the dream that the need a 300 Wallhanger that will have 0-600 yd straight line trajectory and enough killing power to drop whatever, even if the hit it in the ear. It would be best if it requires no practice, weighs 3lbs with a 2-29x72 scope and shoots $8.99/20 ammo.

^^^That is why the 338 Federal failed. It can't make the false promises that the 270 WSM and 300 Rem Ultra Mag do. ... Or at least the experts at every LGS tell me so.
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Old March 31, 2013, 03:59 PM   #8
JerryM
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It does not seem to fill a niche. I would prefer the .338-06 if I were to go to the .338 caliber. I had one once when I was on orders to Alaska, but the orders were cancelled and I never shot anything with it.

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Old March 31, 2013, 06:02 PM   #9
jmr40
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Quote:
So, the Amercan hunter would not be best suited with short light rifle in a caliber that will take deer/antelope/elk at 0-300 yards?
There are tons of rifles that already do that just fine, and with less recoil. I can find no niche for the round. For animals smaller than elk a 7-08 is a better choice. For animals elk size or larger it won't beat a 308.

The 338 Fed shoots the same bullet weights 50-100 fps faster than a 308 and 50-100 fps slower than 30-06.

Compared to a 308 it has a very slight edge in energy at close range, but the more aerodynamic 308 bullets passes it in both trajectory and energy before the 200 yard mark.

A .308 bullet of approximately the same weight will not only be more aerodynamic and retain energy better at long range, it will also outpenetrate a comparable weight .338 bullet at any range. You'd have to move up to a 225 gr .338 bullet to match the penetration of a 200 gr. 308 bullet. The .003" difference in diameter is a non-issue. After bullet impact and expansion there wouldn't be any measurable difference.

My 308 weighs under 6 lbs scoped so I've got a short light rifle already that will do the same thing. Instead of dreaming up the 338 Fed, they should have offered a factroy loaded 200 gr Nosler Accubond @ around 2550 fps.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
The 338 Fed shoots the same bullet weights 50-100 fps faster than a 308 and 50-100 fps slower than 30-06.
The Federal is a little better cartridge than you are giving it credit for. I'm a .358 Win man myself, or I might have the Federal in my safe.

If you stick with factory loads and data the .338 Federal shoots a 210 grain bullet 60 fps faster than a .308 with a 180 grain bullet, and 70 fps slower than a .30-06 with a 180. With a 185 grain bullet a .338 is 50 fps faster than the standard 2700 fps for a 180 grain .30-06 load. With the 210 grain bullet the .30-06 doesn't match the energy until 300 yards and they stay pretty close at 400 yards, and the trajectory of the 210 is equal to a .308 with a 180 out to 400 yards.

Even dropping down to a 165 grain bullet in .308 it doesn't best the Federal with a 210 grain bullet by much until you get past 500 yards. The .338 Federal will still have more energy, and a 3-5" more drop at 500 yards. The Federal is in its sweet spot between 200-400 yards. You're right about the .30 cals offering more penetration however I don't think you'll have issues with the .338 Federal and penetration through tissue and bone using a 210 grain Nosler Partition.

(All comparisons were taken from Federal Cartridge 2013 ballistic charts. All bullets were chosen on similar construction or BC except the 185 grain bullet. 180 & 210 grain bullet comaprisons were Nosler Partitions, 165 grain bullet Sierra GK, 185 grain bullet listed as "Soft Point".)
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