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Old June 23, 2021, 10:34 PM   #1
45flaco
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338 Federal, modified reamer for 3.34" OAL

Hey guys.
I've always wanted a 318 westley richards or 333 Jeffery for hog hunting, due to the fact that they throw bullets with very high sectional density at relatively good speed, and were designed to fit in a mauser action.
Unfortunately, due to bore diameter, neither are very useful for someone in missouri where even 30 cal bullets are hard to find at reasonable prices.
I did some math, and realized that a 8mm-08 or 338 Federal, if the chamber were cut with a longer free bore, and it were used in a military length action (3.34" OAL), would be able to duplicate or even exceed the 318 Westley Richards with modern bullets.
The 8mm-08 is unfortunately not a real cartridge, but the 338 federal is, and I've even seen ammo for it at the local store.
Figure it should be able to launch a 250 grain bullet at 2400 FPS or so, maybe even faster with a decent barrel length and slow powder, which is what the 318 Westley Richards was famous for.
Any opinions?
I think the idea of standard length cartridges with high sectional density is a great one, and am sad that none exist today, hoping to fix that lol.
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Old June 23, 2021, 11:07 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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.338-06 is pretty real.
Elmer and friends thought so, except they used .333" bullets like the Jeffrey in the .333 OKH.
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Old June 24, 2021, 04:56 PM   #3
Scorch
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The 318 Westley-Richards is almost the same as a 8mm-06, and will fit in a standard length action. You may have trouble finding 8mm bullets exceeding 220 grains, but they're out there.
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Old June 24, 2021, 05:23 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Woodleigh thinks .318 WR is .330" and makes 250 gr bullets for it.
They also make 250 gr 8mm S .323" and 250 AND 300 gr .333".
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Old June 24, 2021, 08:01 PM   #5
45flaco
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Yeah, my reasoning for the 338 federal or 8mm-08 instead of the 8mm-06 is the cartridge length. I was planning to build this on an old sporterized mauser, and mocking up a few cases, it looks like the 8mm-06 with heavy bullets would have the bullets seated pretty far into the case, whereas the 8mm-08 or 338 federal can use much longer bullets, as they were both designed for a 2.800" OAL, so putting them in a mauser length magazine gives an extra 1/2" of room for bullet, meaning a 300 grain bullet can be seated without intruding into the case. Plus, I have a ridiculous amount of 308 brass to convert lol.

I will look into the 333 OKH, but I'm not sure what the barrel and bullet selection is going to be like.

Looking forward to having a nice hog rifle with no recoil but good penetration.
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Old June 25, 2021, 12:21 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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SOME Mausers do not feed the .308 shape well.
I'd check that before bending metal.

A regular chamber reamer and a separate throater might cost less than a special order.
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Old June 25, 2021, 01:59 AM   #7
Scorch
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Quote:
Woodleigh thinks .318 WR is .330"
Yes, and the 8mm is .323" and .338-06 is . . . oh, yeah, .338". 318 Westley-Richards falls about half way in between. The WR case is also bigger in diameter. But it's pretty close to 8mm-06 or 338-06 performasnce-wise. The point being that the bigger 06 case will handle the heavier bullets a little better than the smaller 308 case.
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Old June 25, 2021, 09:39 AM   #8
45flaco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
SOME Mausers do not feed the .308 shape well.
I'd check that before bending metal.

A regular chamber reamer and a separate throater might cost less than a special order.
Yeah, I've had a lot of issues with mauser rifles feeding, especially any bullet with a flat tip. But, I've got fairly good at fixing this, as I've never owned one that worked right to begin with, and so far have fixed all but one.
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Old June 25, 2021, 10:56 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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The more I think about it, the more I agree with your thought.

I had a couple of wildcats and a couple of obsolete calibers that had just as well been wildcats and I am pretty well over it. 8mm '06, .338 '06, and .318 WR sound neat but not neat enough for me to fool with.

A friend had a seldom used 6mm that he contemplated rebarreling to .358 Win but he contemplated it until the .338 Fed came along and that is what he bought.

I think a 250 gr bullet at 2400 fps is going to have some recoil, though.

Me? Just for nostalgia, I might load some .30-03 equivalent 220 gr RN and be content.
W.D.M. Bell lived long enough to see the .308 introduced and said it would make a good elephant gun with the proper bullet.
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Old June 25, 2021, 07:47 PM   #10
45flaco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
The more I think about it, the more I agree with your thought.

I had a couple of wildcats and a couple of obsolete calibers that had just as well been wildcats and I am pretty well over it. 8mm '06, .338 '06, and .318 WR sound neat but not neat enough for me to fool with.

A friend had a seldom used 6mm that he contemplated rebarreling to .358 Win but he contemplated it until the .338 Fed came along and that is what he bought.

I think a 250 gr bullet at 2400 fps is going to have some recoil, though.

Me? Just for nostalgia, I might load some .30-03 equivalent 220 gr RN and be content.
W.D.M. Bell lived long enough to see the .308 introduced and said it would make a good elephant gun with the proper bullet.
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of wildcats, especially when there's factory ammo that does the same. I think I'm definitely going with the 338 federal, since I can grab a box of ammo from the local gun store any time, and also make the cases from 308 Winchester.

As far as the recoil goes, I'm not super worried. My last project was a 375 H&H, and my current project is a 500 Jeffery waiting on a barrel, so this 338 will be the lightest recoiling centerfire rifle I own lol. Although, I'm also planning to build it much lighter than the 375 H&H, maybe 6 or 7 lbs vs the 10 lb 375.
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Old June 25, 2021, 07:59 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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Friend's .338 Fed is a Remington 600, I think the cheap Mohawk. Light for caliber.
His dies would not reform .308 into usable .338. I think the neck expanded too thin.
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Old June 27, 2021, 10:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
His dies would not reform .308 into usable .338. I think the neck expanded too thin.
What die set is he using?

I use RCBS dies to form my .358 Winchester and .338 Federal from commercial .308 brass, and have not had issues with thin necks.

I do have issues using military brass, necks come out too thick to easily chamber in my .358, but I’ve not tried any military brass for the .338 Federal.
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