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Old January 15, 2017, 05:40 PM   #1
stagpanther
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Why No Love for 358 win?



While cleaning other rifles I had recently used this morning--in the deep recesses of my safe I noticed my forlorn 358 win AR build and thought to myself--gee, I haven't fired it since last spring, might as put a few rounds through it and clean it. It just so happened I had 6 left-over 225 gameking loads looking like they needed to be used--so off we went.

It's winter in Maine--and it's rarely much above the teens and generally very windy--plus I was shooting into the sun--so there are a few of my standard whine/excuses to get out of the way. : )



I just fired the whole mag without timing the cool-down; that stuff is sorta relative when wind-chill is not much above zero. The total group size is about 1.3 MOA though I know this load can do much better in ideal conditions.

The remarkable thing about this build is that it was a "no-fuss, no bother" build right from the get-go; no musical chairs with springs or gas adjustments--it just works well and reliably with everything I've put through it so far.

If you spend some time looking at the ballistics of the 358 as can be delivered in a system like this--you can see what a wallop it will deliver inside 400 yds or so; inside of 250 my guess is with the right placement and load it could probably drop anything on the planet. Yes there is drop to contend with (the real reason I suspect it's not more popular) but that isn't all that much of a factor inside the ranges it's most effective in IMO.

Reminds me of the classic beer commercial "Tastes great...less filling!" where they used to argue the merits--except in rifles the classic argument might be "Higher velocity...bigger bullets!"
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Old January 15, 2017, 08:46 PM   #2
jmr40
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Simply put, it offers no advantages over 308 or 30-06. Just a lot more recoil, more ammo costs and very limited availability. While on paper it looks a little better at the muzzle, a 308 or 30-06 has more than enough power inside of 100 yards for any animal in North America. And beyond 100 yards 358 it drops off significantly in both energy and trajectory. Virtually every modern cartridge introduced since the 1890's can and have taken every game animal on the planet including 223.

If using FMJ bullets you get a very slightly larger hole, but 30 caliber penetrates deeper. With expanding bullets you'd have a hard time telling fired 30 caliber bullets from 35 caliber bullets by measuring the expanded bullets.

With the bullet technology of the 1920's there was a need for bullets in calibers larger than 30. But since that time there is really nothing between 30 caliber and 375 caliber that a 28 or 30 caliber can't do as well or better.
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Old January 15, 2017, 09:02 PM   #3
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I have a .358 Featherweight 99 Savage and can attest to the recoil part.
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Old January 15, 2017, 09:29 PM   #4
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You asked! The public,for (perhaps) the reasons jmr provide,just did not receive the cartridge well.A LOT of folks (me included) will say "Great woods cartridge! A thumper! Should have been more popular!"
But I never bought one.Never bought a box of ammo.

There is a lot of merit to what jmr wrote..The caliber wars have raged since Elmer Keith poked a typewriter,and before.
I have a soft spot for BOTH bigger bores and the smaller call,high ballistic efficiency cartridges!
I've even been won over to a double stack 9mm vs a 45 for carry.Yet still,in my wild imagination,I think a bad guy will feel more WHACKED by a 45 ACP jhp than a 9mm jhp.
Given loading to 2.800 for a magazine,we are likely comparing 225 gr bullets to 165 gr bullets .I'm sure 250's and 180s CAN be loaded to work,but generally,lets go with it.

Inside about 175 yds,just my wild imagination tells me on a bear,big elk,or moose,the .358 MIGHT have the edge.Thats what the Elmer Keith side of me says.
Its a niche shot,but a practical one.

The .358 will perform in its element.

But you won't find much brass or ammo on the shelf.Yeah,you can form it.Pain,and then the semi auto flings it.

IMO,the .358 makes more sense than a .300 Blackout.Those are popular.

Just me? You enjoy anything you want,your way.I look at your nice rifle,an 800 yd scope etc....And you say it mostly sleeps in the safe???.To each his own,but,if I had a.358 AR,it might be a 16 in light bbl and a 3x or even a dot for inside 150 yds.
Your outfit looks long range precision.

I'd start dreaming of a new barrel!! .308? 6.5 Creedmore?...7-08? .243?
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Old January 15, 2017, 09:41 PM   #5
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Starline makes 358 brass and last time I looked they were available.
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Old January 15, 2017, 09:58 PM   #6
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I guess I should rephrase the title to "Why I Love 358Win" lol.

Brass easily and cheaply available--and an easy neck-up from 308. In an AR action (there goes the 30-06 argument)--it is one badda-boom. With a good comp I can barely tell the difference in recoil between this and any other of my xx308's (except for the fact it makes more noise).
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Old January 16, 2017, 12:50 AM   #7
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I never bought one either!

No less a sage then Jack O'Conner penned that a medium bore, modest velocity cartridge would be ideal for whitetail deer, U.S #1 target for hunters. When it was on the market, it didn't sell, likely because the gun public had already stopped thinking like O'Conner (and Keith) and were bamboozled by magnum's, bolt actions, big scopes, high velocity and long range. The .358 had to compete with the likes of the .264, 7mm and .300 mags (assorted) and it was a weak sister in the eyes of those who aspired to plink their deer over in the next county. When the .358 didn't turn the profit, the gun makers dropped it. We are seeing the same reception for it's kin, the .338 Federal.

The trend continues, all with the "sniper/tactical" bend now. The .26 Nosler, the .338 Lapua mag, even the tac/target turrets on the OP's AR.

But, hey, it's your rifle, enjoy it. My .358 would not be an AR, would not wear a big glass, and be as light and tidy as possible.....but I never bought (or built) one either.
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Old January 16, 2017, 06:47 AM   #8
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Funny thing about comments on an 358 AR--I wonder how many are coming from folks who have actually shot one? lol The super sniper scope is simply my preferred BUDGET go-to scope for anything I intend to shoot past 100 yds--it is a bit bulky but I like em and shoot well with them, so there you have it.

Admittedly, in an un-compensated lightweight bolt or lever gun (seems to be the automatic assumption of platform of choice for this caliber for some reason) the recoil is going to be a bit heavy.
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Old January 16, 2017, 07:49 AM   #9
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That's a nice AR. The .358 Winchester IMO is best suited to short, carbine bolt guns at moderate ranges. I had a .35 Whelen, and while I killed some Deer and Elk with it. It didn't really impress me too much. Recoil was horrendous in a light model 700 Remington, and it didn't do anything that my 30.06 wouldn't do or that my .375 H&H didn't do better. I also have an AR-10 in .308 and I may change the barrel to a .338 Federal.
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Old January 16, 2017, 10:15 AM   #10
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when did need creep in? if i stopped buying firearms that i realy needed, i would have stopped in 1955 as i had a 12ga model 12 winchester, a remington bolt action .22 along with a nice sporterized FN 98 mauser in 7x57. every thing after that has been WANT!. if no love,don,t buy one. eastbank.
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Old January 16, 2017, 10:50 AM   #11
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I do not own a 358 but I have made a few for customers and friends. They work very well.
And don't buy into that myth they are only close range rifles. One friend of mine uses it for his all-around Wyoming rifle and has killed all his antelope with it now for 14 years and some were shot out past 400 yards. He's killed everything else with it too.

It's just like any other rifle. If you learn where to hold at different ranges it's not much of a trick to kill game at 1/4 mile with a 358.

I like the idea of a 358 in an auto or a lever action. All I have made so far were on Mausers except one which was made on a 77 Ruger.

I have an itch to make 2 mid bore rifles in the coming year or 2, but instead of using the 358 Win I want to make a 9.3X57 for myself in the future. I like the availability of the 9.3 bullets even more then the 358 bullets.

In a 98 Mauser it makes sense to me to not have to mess with the box or the feed lips of the receiver and the 57MM shells work with no modification at all. For the 358s I have made on Mausers in the past I did have to fuss with them to get them to feed smoothly but nothing is necessary if you just go with the 57MM Mauser base shells.

In fact I want to make myself both a 9.3X62 and a 9.3X57. I am trying to get Green Mountain to make a run of barrel blanks in 9.3MM now. I will use 2 myself and I will buy about 6 more to have on the shelf if they do it.

9.3X57 brass is easy to get, or make from 8X57. PPU makes 9.3X62 brass also and it's no more expensive then 30-06 brass.

So that is my reasoning for those 2 cartridges in up-coming Mausers, but for lever and auto rifles I think the 358 Winchester is a very cool round.
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Old January 16, 2017, 12:14 PM   #12
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Sounds like interesting projects Wyosmith--keep us posted. ; )
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Old January 16, 2017, 12:54 PM   #13
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The 358 Win will almost always be a handloaders sweetheart. Nothing wrong with it, a lot right with it. But it didn't take off commercially, which is something that you can say for a lot of American medium bores such as the 35 Whelen, 350 Rem Mag, 348 Win, and a bunch of others that saw only limited market success.

Even what should have been an instant classic, the 375-348 Win wildcat just lingered in obscurity as people didn't see the need for a lever rifle to take on safari. Of course it was competing with millions of surplus Mausers, Springfields, and Enfields for the gunsmithing needs of the paying public.

Nothing wrong with any of them, I'd be happy to take a 358 Win to the field.

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Old January 16, 2017, 12:55 PM   #14
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Will do.....If I can get the barrels I want.

Douglas and Shilen both make .366 groove barrels, but they are not the correct contour I want. Also they cost about 2X the price of GM if I just buy uncounted blanks, and so far I have not used a GM barrel that I was disappointed in. All I have used were quite good. A few have been SUPER good shooting groups of 3/8" at 100.

Being that these 2 rifles will be for me, (and as a gunsmith I don't earn a lot of cash every month,) parts pricing is important.

I like Shilen and Douglas, but I don't want to pay for contouring and and then cut it all away and do the work again.

So I am trying to get GM to make them, but I alone can't convince them. It's going to take calls from other builders telling them that they too will buy these barrels if they are offered. Time will tell.

If I can't get GM to make them I may fall back on a Shilen later, but it will probably be quite a lot later. I will buy them one at a time as money is available, IF money is available. If GM makes what I am asking for I will buy 8 of them myself as I have the two I want on that order, and I have 4 others spoken for already. That will give me 2 more to put on my shelf for future orders.

Barrel blanks are not the cup-of-tea that most hobby builders need. So these barrels would only be of interest to those builders who can do their own lathe work, or know someone who will do it for them. (I will if they ask me)

The early German and British contours from the 1910 to 1935 era were a different shape than what we see in the USA today, and that's the way I like to make my classic re-creations on Mausers and Lee rifles as well as early Mannlichers. I know others like that old shaping too, but we need to get the word out that we can make it available again so they will contact GM and ask. The gal at GM told me if they know that they can sell 100 of them, they'll tool up and make a run of them.
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Old January 16, 2017, 01:28 PM   #15
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My AR above is built off a GM barrel BTW. Kurt at KAK finishes them If you look closely under the rail prior to the receiver you can see a tapered rise to the barrel contour.
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Old January 16, 2017, 01:48 PM   #16
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"...always be a hand loader's sweetheart..." Yep. If you can find either ammo or brass. Availability of ammo and brass is sporadic. Midway, for example, show Hornady brass and no others as being 'Unavailable No backorder' And ammo from Hornady and Double Tap only with Hornady on back order and only 2 loads from DT at ~$50 per 20.
Graf's claims to have both though.
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Old January 16, 2017, 01:51 PM   #17
stagpanther
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Quote:
"...always be a hand loader's sweetheart..." Yep. If you can find either ammo or brass. Availability of ammo and brass is sporadic. Midway, for example, show Hornady brass and no others as being 'Unavailable No backorder' And ammo from Hornady and Double Tap only with Hornady on back order and only 2 loads from DT at ~$50 per 20.
Graf's claims to have both though.
If you have the dies and 308 cases--what's the problem (other than possibly needing to keep an eye out for possible mil-spec FC/FL dimensions)?
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Old January 16, 2017, 04:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
"...always be a hand loader's sweetheart..." Yep. If you can find either ammo or brass.
No ammo or brass needed.

Purchase once fired milsurp 7.62x51, anneal, and run it through your sizing die. I don't know how that works up in Canada, but in the states milsurp brass is readily available.

One lot of 500 will give you enough 358 Win to last a very long time.

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Old January 16, 2017, 05:50 PM   #19
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See Post # 5. Nothing wrong with Starline brass.

A Buddy of mine has a .358 built on a Mexican 98 small ring shorter action Mauser.He retained the Mauser length box so he can long seat bullets.

It was built by Garret Accra-Lite with their Mannlicher pattern stock.(Garrett is no more,AFAIK,but they made high quality foam core fiberglass/Kevlar lightweight stocks.)
It wears a 2.5 X Leupold. Its a fun thumper to shoot and the owner found it kills elk just fine.
I did have a 35 Whelen and enjoyed it.
Long ago,after my Alaska bear thing, I built a 375 Taylor (.458 necked down) on a commercial FN,with a Garrett Accra-lite stock.(I knew the owner,good stock!)
I load it to a mild 2600 fps with 260 Nosler Accubonds.
I fully appreciate that I don't need a .375 for elk.I built the rifle and I like it.
2600 fps and a 300 yd trajectory suit my style.So would a 308.But I just like
Muleabelle.

WyoSmith,if you would like to buy one or two barrels to get your rifles done,you might explore Lothar Walther's site.I believe they do offer the eurostyle contours and the prices weren't bad last time I looked.(Its been a few years)
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Old January 16, 2017, 09:06 PM   #20
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I have as much of a desire for the 358 Winchester as I did for the 257 Roberts. Neither is "popular" cartridge but there will always be brass available for both. I had a 358 made on a Remington 700 action that is the "perfect 358" for me. It has a heavy Douglas barrel of 24 inches and a 1:12 twist. I can shoot pistol bullets from it at rifle velocities and 180 grain rifle bullets for medium and big game. The 358 is not, and never has been a short range round. It will shoot a 180 grain bullet faster than a 308 and it will hit hard enough at 250 yards to take an elk easily. What killed the cartridge was being chambered in lever action guns with short barrels. It is, after all, a 308 in 35 caliber. It has the same range and capability as the 308 if not more. In similar length barrels the 358/180 grain will do better ballistically than the 308 which is too often compared with the 3006.

The 358 is not only a handloader's cartridge (because it is largely ignored by the ammunitions makers) it is also a hunter's cartridge that can be used for small game (with pistol bullets) to large and even dangerous game anywhere in the Americas.
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Old January 16, 2017, 09:35 PM   #21
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Handgun bullets in .358 Win actually performing as desired is more pipe dream than reality.
I don't know a single shooter that has managed to get acceptable performance with handgun bullets in .358 Win (regardless of rifle type and chamber dimensions); nor with .35 Whelen, for that matter.

It's a classic argument for many .35 caliber rifle cartridges, but not one that really works.

Personally, the only time I've ever gotten handgun bullets to perform reasonably well in a rifle cartridge, was when I decided to stuff .32 caliber 60 gr XTPs in .30 WCF. But, even then... accuracy and precision weren't great. The only reason the load wasn't abandoned was because they're absolutely spectacular when used against rampaging potatoes at short range.
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Old January 16, 2017, 10:32 PM   #22
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My experience with pistol bullets in my 358 was with 158 grain bullets from Speer and Sierra. The Speer bullets did not group well but I consistently achieved .33" groups with the Sierra 158 HP at 2700 fps which was a compressed load of 4064. The best group from them was slightly less than the average group of .33". I never used them on an animal but I would think it would have been a grenade for varmints.

I had to work the load up and I tried a few powders with each of those bullets trying to find one that would shoot. Not so much a pipe dream as a reality in my experience.
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Old January 16, 2017, 10:55 PM   #23
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Well I like it and I like your AR! What a hog gun that thing would make, especially in a carbine.
Seems like anything over .308 diameter has a pretty tough time and that's kind of a shame. I don't agree that it has no real advantage over say a 308 or 30-06 at normal hunting ranges. I have killed lots of big hogs (had to use my loader to pick them up) with a 444, 35 Rem and many smaller cartridges and the big bores do make a difference, in my experience.
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Old January 17, 2017, 02:49 AM   #24
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I have pretty much decided that my hunting rifle is going to be a BLR in .358win.
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Old January 17, 2017, 04:17 AM   #25
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I own one, but I am inclined to think it should be on the failed round list. Just too few people interested. The couple people on this forum mean nothing in the big picture. I have a few pet rounds too, but it is not like they will get popular.
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