View Full Version : 300 mag vs 338 mag: any practical difference on game?

February 9, 2002, 08:46 PM
Not concerned about trajectories or ME. Has anyone noticed any real difference in effect when comparing similar SD bullets between the two. Thinking 300/180 partition vs 338/225 partition, 300/180 "x" or failsafe vs 338/225-230 "x" or fail safe, or 300/200 swift vs 338/250 swift.

February 10, 2002, 01:10 AM
YES! The .338 definatley has better penetration and better kill especially at range. No doubt about it. It really becomes clear on bigger thicker animals.
As I keep mentioning the .300's really don't give you much more knock down than an 06 not to discount the 06 or the 300's but with the .338's and .375's you've definatley moved into different bigger abilities.
As an example I shot an elk 2 years ago at long range this is embarrasing but it was at over 400 yds with a .375 shooting a 285gr grand slam. I hit the Elk as it was quartering away at the last rib the bullet went all the way through the chest and exited neck on the off side. Needless to say it slapped him to ground right there GYD.
I am of strong conviction that there is not a .30 cal on the market that'll give you that kind of penetration at that range. And that's one of the areas that a larger caliber with heavier bullets really shines. A .338 will give very simular results to the .375H&H.

I do not recomend or condone shooting at Elk at that distance and freely admitt that I should not have even taken that shot. I had lazer range finder and a bad case of last day itis.
Humbly submitted,
H&H hunter

February 11, 2002, 12:30 AM
What ya gonna use it on? whitetails or brown bears?

If its whitetails, you probably wont notice a difference, both will knock the snot out of it. If its a brownie, a 338 will do much better if you do your part, of course.
Sometimes the size does matter. Numbers are a good starting point when considering a caliber or bullet, but I wouldnt take it to the bank all the time.

The Terminator
February 11, 2002, 04:46 AM
Like H&H said, penetetration. A Grizzly has skin 4 inches thick. I sold my 338 when I bought a beautiful 375. A 300 is not recommended by outfitters for dangerous game in Alaska, though many are killed with it. A 338 is the minimum that most outfitters recommend. The 300 is recommended by a few gunwriters. I feel sure that I will never go to Africa, so, the 375 will flatten anything that I will ever get to hunt on this continent. Good luck with your choice, but remember, you can get an extremely versatile caliber that has true power with the 375. I also noticed that the 338 handloading market is not nearly as varied as the 375. I can get anything from 210 grains to 350 grains easily.

February 12, 2002, 05:59 PM
If I was going to have to choose between a .338 and a.375H&H. I'd go for the .375 every time and here is why. If you are a hand loader the .375 is way more versitale. I can launch a 250 gr bullet at just over 2900FPS or a 210 gr bullet at 3150FPS. or a 270gr bullet at 2800FPS.
While the .338 is nothing to sneeze at the max it'll sling a 250 gr bullet is about 2650FPS a 210 gr bullet at about 2800FPS. Now don't get me wrong that's a lot of kill the .338 is a great rifle I've owned several of them. Here is the real deciding point for me.
A. If you want to use the rifle in africa a .338 is not allowed on dangerous game the .375 is.
B. The .375 can be cut pretty darn short 20" or so and you don't lose much velocity. My .375 is a 20" gun and it launches bullets at or just slightly below the velocities listed in the reloading manulas.
C. With 300gr solids the .375 penetraits like a friggin oil drill.

And with that in mind I find no discernable difference in recoil between .338 and a .375. I think your getting a bigger more veratile package in the .375 for about the same kick and cost.

Just my 2 cents and truth be known if your never going to hunt dangerous game a .338 is a fine rifle I have the greatest admiration for the round.

February 12, 2002, 11:48 PM

I use the Federal Premium .338 Win Mag High Energy loaded with Nosler Partition 250 grainers at about 2800 fps out of my Browning A-Bolt. Haven't had a chance to use it on any dangerous game but I don't think I'd hesitate to use it for anything on this continent. Not so sure about Africa though. I do know someone who used a .338 to bag a nice size lion about twenty years ago.


February 14, 2002, 07:53 PM
In gobwetrust,
You are correct the .338 is a fine cartridge. I should modify my statement from dangerous game to thick skined game. I also believe that the .338 is capable of anything in the Americas. The two rounds are really quite simular in ability. Ther are some really neat factory .338 rifles out there as well.

February 15, 2002, 11:23 AM
I prefer the 340 Weatherby to the 338. If you handload, the difference in ammunition cost is not significant.


February 18, 2002, 12:22 AM
Another fine round in fact in my estmation the most well balanced weatherby creation ever devised. Talk about a long range thumper! In fact I was real torn weather to have a .340 WTHBY or a .300 Wthby for my long range sheep thumper the .300 won out for weight purposes but it was close.

February 18, 2002, 02:59 AM
Nope, they are both dead

February 18, 2002, 10:23 PM
Huh? I suspect your an ultra mag fan or your refering to last two things that I killed with a Weatherby.:confused:

Sorry I just don't get your comment

February 19, 2002, 09:28 AM
H&H, I'd assume he's answering the original question.

Art Eatman
February 19, 2002, 10:27 AM
Something I bring up from time to time is the unending Internet problem for boards like this: It's all typing. No facial expressions. No body language.

When threads stray a bit, and there are multiple posters, it's not always clear who's speaking to whom, just exactly what is meant...

So, always keep in mind, "It is not your duty to understand me. It is my duty to make myself understood." That cuts both ways, seems to me.

:), Art

February 19, 2002, 11:14 PM
H&H Hunter,

I too would choose the 300 WBY for the sheep thumper, in fact I am buying a German one on Friday in 95% condition! The 340 WBY is a fantastic cartridge and I love shooting it in my Accumark. My favorite load of late is a 275g Swift A-Frame in Norma brass, with 90g of R25 and a Winchester primer. It does about 2866 FPS and pushes a bit (47.68lbs. @ 18.46 fps). Its great moose medicine and will go to Africa next year.