The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 25, 2014, 12:18 PM   #1
stonebl
Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2009
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 36
New Hunting Rifle - .338 Win Mag

Folks, I am preparing for a few upcoming hunting trips that will include elk and bear so I have decided on the .338 Win Mag. I am not looking for a caliber debate, but I am looking for your help with a rifle and optics combination. I am trying to stay below $1500 for the rifle, and I would like to stay below $3000 for the whole setup. Your input is greatly appreciated.
stonebl is offline  
Old July 25, 2014, 12:37 PM   #2
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,554
My first choice would be a stainless steel M70 Classic, second would be a new M70 Ultimate Shadow stainless again, third choice would be a Ruger Hawkeye All Weather. All of which will be far under $1500 and you would have money left over to upgrade the stock. Scopes for me would be a 2.5-8X36 or 3.5-10X40 VX3 with CDS MOA dial, but I'd lean more towards the 2.5-8 both are under $500. More money left over to spend on that bear or elk hunt.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old July 25, 2014, 03:18 PM   #3
Colt46
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: Campbell Ca
Posts: 916
Legacy sports Howa

They offer a complete package with hogue stock, mounts and 3X-9x42 Zeiss scope for $1050
Colt46 is offline  
Old July 25, 2014, 04:26 PM   #4
Ruger480
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 555
Quote:
They offer a complete package with hogue stock, mounts and 3X-9x42 Zeiss scope for $1050
Pretty much can't beat that deal with a stick.

Last edited by Ruger480; July 25, 2014 at 04:33 PM.
Ruger480 is offline  
Old July 25, 2014, 04:37 PM   #5
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 2,125
Having 3-Grand to spend. Normally I'd say nothing wrong with American made. But on this occasion having deeper than normal pockets for something special in rifles. Those Shooting Enthusiast that happen own one love em. The rest of us rifle connoisseur's wish were as lucky. Actions & triggers smooth as silk and they shoot!! Preferred plus: Having options available other rifle manufactures wish they too could offer. But don't.

(See the links)

http://www.sako.fi/pdf/specs/75Hunter.pdf

http://www.sako.fi/sako85models.php?deluxe
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old July 25, 2014, 08:33 PM   #6
TomL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2009
Posts: 119
New Hunting Rifle- .338 win Mag

Congrats on the right caliber, I have one on a M70 Win. I hand loaded back when I was hunting and developed 3 bullet weights all using the same zero. The M70 was high end enough for me, I think I paid $275.00 for it in 1981 dollars. I used it in Alaska once but I mainly took white tails and did it fine, probably over gunned for them but it was a fun round. The only problem ever was the 1.5x5 power variable scope, that gun would shake it out of kilter so back it would go to the factory, twice only tho, after the second repair it went on a M70 in .270 and there it remains. The .338 is a safe queen for all intents these days. Good luck on your choice but remember the M70 is the "riflemans rifle". Words from a renowned author and shooter, not mine but worth remembering.
TomL is offline  
Old July 26, 2014, 10:40 AM   #7
Westcoaster
Member
 
Join Date: April 14, 2009
Location: Central BC
Posts: 70
Excellent choice, the 338wm is a very versatile round that does little meat damage. Mine gets used for everything although most of what I shoot is elk, moose and bears up here in northern BC.

I chose a New Haven Model 70 SS Classic, now mine is somewhat customized but suffice to say the modern version of it is the Extreme Weather Model 70. Stainless steel with a Bell and Carlson stock. IIRC they run just over $1000 before any taxes. That leaves plenty of money to put a decent scope and mounts on.

I have a Nightforce NXS 2.5-10x32 on mine although now that they have a NXS 2.5-10x42 I would probably go with that. Excellent scope, good glass, tough, very repeatable adjustments, and some good reticles. Mine has lived on my 338 for years without issue and I shoot more than average through out the year to stay sharp.

Regardless of the scope you choose - do put decent mounts on it. I used Nightforce mounts and rings but other nice mounts are made by Talley, and Badger to name two. I think this is an underrated area that folks should also expend resources when buying a new rig.

Lastly is bullet choice. I see some folks talk about shooting 210's for deer, 225's for moose and 250's for bear - I don't see this as rational. Unless you compromise the potential of each combination they are all going to have different points of impact (POI). I prefer 250's but whatever you pick (because the animal is not likely to notice the difference) stay with one bullet weight and style and get good with it.

I have found the 338 to be a very accurate and effective round. This may be in part that I just shoot one bullet weight and style with one load. Good luck on your selection and post what you end up with.
Westcoaster is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 04:46 PM   #8
stonebl
Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2009
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 36
Thanks folks. I hadn't considered Sako, but I am looking at them harder now. I don't want to hurt any feelings, but I have never really been a M70 fan. I think I have narrowed my choices down to Browning X-Bolt, Nosler M48 and now throw the Sako into the mix. For optics I am considering Leupold, Vortex and NightForce. I am leaning towards Nosler Accubonds in 225 or 250 grains if anyone wants to share any load data I would appreciate it.

Last edited by stonebl; July 28, 2014 at 05:07 PM.
stonebl is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 05:13 PM   #9
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,443
Browning is also a good choice... my 338 is a Browning stainless stalker... wearing an older Burris Posi-lock 4.5-14 X scope... it is my go to rifle penetration of the 338 Win Mag is more than my 375 H&H, & my .416 Rigby with a tough bullet ( like trophy Bonded Bear Claws )
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 06:04 PM   #10
USMC 77-81
Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2012
Location: Northern Idaho
Posts: 94
Savage.
USMC 77-81 is online now  
Old July 28, 2014, 06:24 PM   #11
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 777
Yeah, I got a Savage "Weather Warrior" in .338. Not pretty, but its function is flawless and it's accurate. One caveat - it's kinda light. Not for the recoil sensitive. My "go to" load is a SGK 250 over 71.2 gr Reloder 19 for 2,700 fps (Std 8.2). I have tried everything from 200 Nosler Accubonds to 275 Swift A-Frames, and they all shoot well (<1 1/2"). I am working with Barnes' 210 TTSX. It goes 2,860 over 70 grains of IMR-4350 with a Std of 10, but I haven't fired a serious group yet. If I could find the Sierras, I would probably stay with them. Moderate velocity avoids meat damage up close, and the outstanding BC of these bullets carries, literally, a ton of energy way downrange.

PS: Reading Elmer Keith's autobiography, and he has just concluded that a 30-06 with 220's is no elk rifle. Seems his rounds failed to penetrate his bull end to end! He'd love the .338/250 combo. No disrespect to the '06; I think it's plenty. And Elmer killed elk with much lighter calibers. But it's hard to beat the .338 Win Mag.

Last edited by ligonierbill; July 28, 2014 at 06:32 PM.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 07:37 PM   #12
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,389
Give the Remington model 700 XCR II a close look. It's far enough under your budget limit that you could replace the stock with something better, and even upgrade the trigger if you so desire.
__________________
"I don't understand all that I know"

"I never said half the crap that people on the internet claim I said" - Abraham Lincoln
steveNChunter is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 08:56 PM   #13
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 6,078
Quote:
My first choice would be a stainless steel M70 Classic, second would be a new M70 Ultimate Shadow stainless again, third choice would be a Ruger Hawkeye All Weather. All of which will be far under $1500 and you would have money left over to upgrade the stock. Scopes for me would be a 2.5-8X36 or 3.5-10X40 VX3 with CDS MOA dial, but I'd lean more towards the 2.5-8 both are under $500. More money left over to spend on that bear or elk hunt.
My thoughts exactly
jmr40 is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 09:15 PM   #14
olddav
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2008
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 480
If you hadn't thought of Sako don't overlook Tikka.
__________________
Never beat your head against the wall with out a helmet
olddav is offline  
Old July 28, 2014, 09:36 PM   #15
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,426
If you want a pretty Rifle, CDNN has a Winchester Supergrade for $1,199. Grade 4/5 stock. It would be a truly beautiful rifle. They also have Ruger 77's for $569-$599. The Savage 116 would not be a bad choice, but not nearly as pretty as the above mentioned.
As to optics, it really depends on what you prefer. Minox new HD line is impressive to say the least. Meopta is the brightest optic I have ever seen. Leupold and Night Force always are in the conversation but I mentioned Minox and Meopta because most people are not yet aware of how truly good their scopes are.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old July 29, 2014, 10:06 AM   #16
natman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Posts: 1,474
Quote:
If you hadn't thought of Sako don't overlook Tikka.
Tikka is hard to beat on a bang for the buck basis, but given the OP's budget Sako is definitely the way to go.

Leupold / Zeiss / Swarovski for the scope.
natman is offline  
Old July 29, 2014, 11:25 AM   #17
jrothWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 1,978
Reread your post and assume that you have existing rifles?

If so, have you considered rebarreling, as a solution?

If you have the 30-06, rebarrel to either: .35Whelan, 8mm-06 or the .338-06.

You gain using a familiar action and optics. Gives more money for other items???

Good luck.
jrothWA is offline  
Old July 29, 2014, 04:31 PM   #18
Orion6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 239
The Howa package with Zeiss scope will be hard to beat. Very strong and dependable action, lots of aftermarket stocks.

The Nosler rifle should also make you happy.

Don't forget about the:

Ruger Hawkeye African - 338 Win Mag with muzzlebrake - $850



Incredibly, they also have the standard Ruger Hawkeye in .338 for $551.00. That's all the gun anyone would need from a quality standpoint. Claw extraction, walnut (easily changed to synthetic) stock, decent trigger.

Personally, I'd get a Winchester 70 Alaskan, but if you don't like the Winnies, nothing can change that.

Any of the rifles you mentioned should serve you very well.
Orion6 is offline  
Old July 31, 2014, 10:48 PM   #19
hps1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 26, 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 396
The .338 is my go to hunting rifle and simply works for everything from hogs to WT deer, nilgai to scimitar horned oryx to gemsbok. The 200 grain NBT's work great on scimitars and smaller game but I prefer the 210 gr. NP for larger game. I'm very fortunate that my rifle shoots both bullets to same POI @ 100 yds. Took 1/4 moa right windage and down 1 moa after shot 1 w/210 NP and fired #2 w/ 210 NP, then #3 w/200 BT. on tgt. below. W/100 yd zero, the 210's w/2970 MV are 1" low @ 200 and 7" low @ 300.



Oh, the rifle? It's one of those old ugly Savage 111's; you know, the ones with the flexible Tupperware stocks? It's a pre-accutrigger at that. May not be much to look at, but beauty is as beauty does.



Which ever rifle you choose, you can't go wrong with the .338.

Regards,
hps
__________________
Gun Owners note: The Second Amendment is not about hunting! Join NRA @: http://membership.nrahq.org/
hps1 is offline  
Old August 1, 2014, 03:33 AM   #20
Husqvarna
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2012
Location: Sweden
Posts: 623
if you are only going to have one scope I'd go with a 1,5-6x42 or something or a 1-4

I very very rarely turn my magnification up anyway

if you go with a quality brand 42 gives you enough light transmission anyway so you don't need to use a big 50 scope
Husqvarna is offline  
Old August 1, 2014, 11:04 AM   #21
south_ridge
Member
 
Join Date: September 17, 2013
Posts: 17
For what it's worth, I have a .338 WM in the Model 70 Extreme Weather. I have been pleased with it to date although I haven't taken in on any 'out west' hunting trips like I had planned.

I have a Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x36 on mine. That seemed about right for something I bought for elk / big bears.

I have owned several Browning A-bolts and like them. I never got around to buying an X-bolt but I've never been disappointed by a Browning.

Opinions vary, but if I'm bear hunting I want a claw extractor. So that would push me to the M70 or various Ruger offerings.

SR
south_ridge is offline  
Old August 1, 2014, 03:06 PM   #22
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2012
Location: Oh, Jesus.
Posts: 206
Suggestion:

Use locktite or something similiar on every single screw on the scope mount.

Even this doesn't always work.
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret is offline  
Old August 3, 2014, 06:03 PM   #23
cornbush
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: The retarded place below Idaho
Posts: 1,390
Don't rule out a used rifle. Earlier this year I found a mint condition Ruger Hawkeye blue/walnut in .338 win mag with a Swarovski 4-12x50 scope for $899. My brothers, uncle and father didn't believe me until I produced the receipt.
The most surprising part for me was it was at Cabelas, they're usually pretty proud of their stuff and charge for it.
This rifle shoots very well and didn't have a scratch on it.
__________________
The best shot I ever made was an accident
cornbush is offline  
Old August 3, 2014, 06:49 PM   #24
Groundhog34
Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 91
I have a Mauser 3000 in 338 with a Leupold VXIII 3-10 scope. I highly recommend it I am left handed but there are more right handed models around. The rifle was made in the 1970's and is highly accurate. They are priced around $500 the scope about $450. Try gunbroker
Groundhog34 is offline  
Old August 11, 2014, 12:43 PM   #25
WildBill45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2011
Location: Western PA.
Posts: 1,582
where are you hunting

Where are you hunting? In Grizz country or Colorado, etc???

It makes a difference in my opine...
__________________


.........................................................
"If Ands and Buts were Candy and Nuts, everyday would be like Christmas"
WildBill45 is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13578 seconds with 8 queries