View Full Version : 358 Winchester?

Harry Bonar
September 19, 2005, 07:50 PM
Dear Shooters.
I've built a 416 Taylor, a 9.3X62 and still thinking Englsh/German philosophy of a medium velocity, heavy bullet DGR letting alot of blood out and lots of air in to the chest cavity (man or beast :D ).
I know the 358 isn't a "magnum" but by golly it isn't far behind a 35 Whelen with a 250 gr bullet!
I wouldn't shoot at a big game animal over 200 yards anyway (and I suspect some of the 500 yard shots you hear of are actually about 150 yards) therefore I'm going to usde a no. 3 Douglas, 26" long and chambered for the 358. If I find the extra bbl. isn't gaining any velocity with the chrono, I can always lathe it back to 24"!
My definition of a big game cartridge is above 30 cal, and pushing a 250 (or heavier) bullet at 2500 fps!
Give me some opinions?
Harry B.

September 19, 2005, 08:37 PM
I like the 358. Will be building another this winter for myself.
it is a nice safe sane round with reliable performance on game and no surprises in reloading. Very friendly.

Mine will have a 20" bbl as I intend to use it as a close cover Elk gun.


Unkel Gilbey
September 20, 2005, 07:05 AM
Somewhat similarly, the 35 Remington has always been a favorite back here in the deer woods, and also for Bear.

IMHO, it's really hard to fault a large caliber, heavy weight bullet for hunting. Afterall, Keith went through a lot of effort perfecting his pistol loads, which were all heavy, both in bullet weight and velocity. Coupled with his style bullet, you had a combination that's really hard to beat.

Now if only we could get rifle bullet to act as a Semi-wadcutter! Forget about mushrooming and all that. Retain bullet weight, cut a full caliber hole on entry and try to expend all of the bullet energy in the animal. That's the ticket!

Good luck with your project!

Unkel Gilbey

September 20, 2005, 08:26 AM
Here is an idea: how about a double rifle? Big caliber w/ two big barrels.

Lawyer Daggit
September 22, 2005, 02:20 AM
I have a .350 Rem Mag Model 7 MS and a .35 Whelen 7600. Both are exceptional. For most shooting the .358 Winchester is almost as much gun.

Unfortunately the .35' s are not sexy as far as gun journalists are concerned and the calibre is as a result a bit of a graveyard. Good to see you looking at getting one- you won't be dissapointed.

September 22, 2005, 05:55 AM
The 9.3x62,9.3x74R and the 35 Whelan are ballistically the same.The 358 is a bit lighter.With a 250 gr it's a fine cartridge for most game out to at least 200 yds.I wouldn't use a 26" barrel, just a 22 or 24". It's amazing how well the larger bore nonmagnums work !!! ;)

September 22, 2005, 10:01 AM
6.5x55 :)


September 22, 2005, 10:14 AM
Harry, the .358 Win. is a great choice for big game one would find in Ohio for all the reasons you mention. Some people say it is a good choice for black bear, but I wouldn't know. It is good for the large whitetails here in eastern Kansas.

Out west in more open areas, one might pick something that shoots flatter at longer ranges. The .338 bullets have better BCs.

September 22, 2005, 02:08 PM
One of the prettiest rifles I ever saw was a .358 Winchester built on a 1910 Mexican Mauser action. Gorgeous!


September 22, 2005, 04:04 PM
Which variant of the Mauser will you be using Harry? I really like the VZ24 myself and wouldn't have a problem building the very same rifle you are contemplating. I am planning a build right now myself using the last VZ24 receiver I have left in some form of 6mm. I am still up in arms with it for now trying to decide. As soon as I find some more of them I plan to buy as many as I can get my hands on, won't be many more left before long.

I think you may end up lopping some of the barrel off myself Harry. For me, a bench gun can have as much barrel as you care to put on it, but for a hunting rifle, 24" is the most I would go with unless you want to swing that much gun. Personally, I would cut the barrel down to 22" and use it with a peep sight if your eyes can stand to use one with a good post sight out front. With the range the gun would be practicl at, a very good peep would do quite well with a good swinging rifle. I used a Fajen varminter stock for my last build for my son, I would suggest using either it or one of the Boyd's Mauser stocks, they come in a laminate but you can upgrade to a fine cut of Walnut. I really like the way their stocks swing and come up to the shoulder with a little weight out front.

The way I can picture the rifle would be a military receiver with the original safety without a scope, with a peep sight and front post and a bent checkered bolt handle. Here's a link to the peep I like to use:


Scroll down to the bottom, the number is 539-057-002 for the Mauser. I really like the way it adjusts and it looks very good sitting on top of a Mauser to me.

Stocked in a fine piece of checkered walnut with a skeletonized grip cap with a skeletonized buttplate. I think some checkering under the grip cap and buttplate would do very nice. I am sort of in limbo about the forened design, would you include the ebony tip or do a European type knob on the front. I would do a fine oil finish on it, I really like Arrow's wood finish these days. I would also put either one of the Bold or Timney trigger or a modified 2 stage trigger that has a very crisp 2nd stage trigger pull. I would put the Dakota European swivels bases on it with a good military sling. Man o man, sounds good just thinking about it to me Harry!!! I might have to build it myself <<<LOL>>>. Sure does sound like a nice project. Maybe some of my ideas sounds good to you, I think you and I think a little bit alike when it comes to the Mauser.

I would love to see some pics when you get finished with it. Maybe you could post some pics of the blueprinting of the receiver if you can, I am sure a lot of folks would like to see you in action on the lathe. I usually send mine out to be heat treated after I do any machining on the lugs and the receiver face if it has to be taken down very much, do you do this yourself? I also have the bolt heat treated as well at the same time. Just curious about your machining practices. Take care and keep us posted if you will.


Harry Bonar
September 24, 2005, 07:19 AM
Dear CNTRYBOY1289:
You're probably right on bbl. length, but I always thought if my chrony doesn't show a significand mv gain (which I don't think it will) I'll whack it off to 24".
I'm using an FR8, Spanish action; it's a LR Mauser 98 and the transition rifle the Spanish used when they went from the 7X57 to the 308.
I love the Boyd pepper laminate stock; they're so hard that my 9.3X62 didn't even get glass bedded at the recoil shoulder.
Thanks for the comeback, and yes, I always detail the action. Harry B.

September 25, 2005, 12:11 PM
Good luck on the project. Several years ago I built a 35-284 on a tuned up Savage110 action. I used a Douglas Premium barrel and this gun will shoot into 3/4 inch at 100 and 1 1/4" to 1 3/8" at 200 yards. I typically use Sierra 225gr BT @ 2700 fps out of this gun. I have shot comepletly through and Elk on several occasions. Including an almost Texas headshot. The 35's are great and the 358Win is one of them.

Paul B.
September 27, 2005, 04:46 PM
Harry. I don't really think you'll need more than a 22" barrel on a .358 Win. I have five of them, and the shortest barrel is 20" and the longest is 22". I would be more concerned with the twist rate in the barrel you choose.
When Winchester brought the cartidge out, they used a 1 in 12" twist. My Savage 99 has a 1 in 12" twist as does my Browning BLR. However, my two Ruger 77s have a 1 in 16" twist as does a Kodiak Mauser I found at a gun show. Why Ruger and Kodiak couldn't stick with Winchester's original specification, I rally don't know. I guess they figured that if Winchester no longer loads 250 gr. bullets, nobody would want to reload them. What in hell do they know? :rolleyes: :mad:
I also have three rifles in .35 Whelen. The Ruger 77 and Remington 700 both have that (IMHO) improper 1 in 16" twist :barf: and a custom Mauser I picked up at an estate sale that has a 1 in14" twist. Still not right but better.
The .358 is a great little round that unfortunately is not appreciated by those that are supposed to be in the know.
Paul B.

Harry Bonar
September 27, 2005, 07:57 PM
Dear Shooters:
I always take suggestions and I think 22 to 24" bbl would be better than 26?
However, I thought that at sometime (my recent visit to my cardiologist was very positive) I Might (?) want to run a 358 Norma Mag reamer in there and open up the bolt-face etc. (ouch!)
But, I feel you're right - 22 might just be perfect - my twist is 12!!
Harry B.

October 1, 2005, 07:33 AM
Yep, I love my .358, Browning lever gun. Short and sweet for woods-carrying. The 250 gr. is nice, but hard to find now except occasionally at gun show. Not sure if that wt is commercially available now. Usually see 220 gr or so. I enjoy the lines on my lever so much that I refuse to scope it; would be a shame to mess up the lines. Plus, is best used, IMHO, as 70 yds woods gun.

October 3, 2005, 10:28 AM
My uncle built a 358 Norma after shooting my 35-284. He just liked the idea I guess. I have shot it many times and will say. if you are recoil sensitive you might want to think this over :D It really is WAY more than you are going to need for deer and bears in Ohio. But then again, if you are planning on Moose or Elk, it just might be the perfect gun. The Norma is pretty close up on a 375 H&H as far as shear power goes. Anyhow,, lots of luck on whatever you do.

January 31, 2006, 06:00 PM
Ok I've finally decided to make one! Have a 1908 brazilian action(barrel was horribly pitted),20" douglas bbl.,commercial bolt and shroud, all steel hinged trigger guard,Timney featherwait trigger with side safety,Drilled/tapped for LEUPOLD ONE PIECE MOUNT,folding peep on rear of mount ala older redfield bases and a Aimpoint 5000 2x sight! All of these were found on the net(mainly Ebay) except the rec'r. All on a Charles Daly synthetic stock. Wish me luck on "MOOSE" time:) :rolleyes: jim