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Old September 29, 2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Can anyone tell me if the 338 win mag is to big for deer
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Old September 29, 2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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Not as long as you hit the vital area, but there are a lot better calibers for deer hunting.
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Old September 29, 2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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Short answer, yes. But if that is the gun I had, I wouldn't stay home.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:51 AM   #4
Metal god
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All right I have been wanting to know the answer to this type of question .

Why is it to big of a caliber ? I do know why you don't want to use a small caliber . It's inhumane cus it's not likely to bring the bigger animals down right away . How ever you shoot a deer with a 50 cal , it's going to drop it like a bad habit .

Now I do understand there is alot to consider when choosing a rifle and caliber for hunting , velocity , trajectory , size & wieght . How heavy the gun will be when carrying and shooting it .

In general I would think bigger is better . ( bullet )

The only thing I can think of as to why you may not want to use a bigger caliber then needed is , The amount of damage to the meat the larger caliber would do .

Please help me to understand thanks
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Old September 30, 2012, 08:03 AM   #5
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I have seen many animals taken with "too much gun."

Most of the time the meat damage is no worse or even less than with normal "deer" cartridges ie. .270, 30-06 etc.

The bullets in the bigger stuff are made to be used on bigger game, they are tougher, they don't send pieces flying or blow a shoulder off the animal.

My dad has killed a couple pronghorn antelope with a 375 H&H with 270 grain bullets leaving the muzzle at about 2600 fps, you could almost eat to the bullet hole, and they were just as dead as the ones my brothers and I shot with our 270's and "06"s.

If you have a 338 you are covered very well for all north american game, don"t worry about being over gunned.

The biggest drawback is a lot of people don't shoot the bigger stuff as well, if you can handle the recoil and shoot it well you have nothing at all to worry about.

I'll be using a .375 Ruger for elk this year, 270 grain Speer BTSP doing about 2700fps, I'll let you know if the bullet instantly dismembers anything.....
The best shot I ever made was an accident

Last edited by cornbush; September 30, 2012 at 08:52 AM.
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Old September 30, 2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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I know a guy who uses a .375 H&H. It actually does less damage then my .300 Win Mag.
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Old September 30, 2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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.338 best all around

I think the .338 Win Mag is the single best round for an all round rifle, in North America.

Excellant ammo availability.

Reasonably flat shooting with good terminal performance at long range.

Big enough for animals that need to be anchored by one shot. Example of this are Moose on the edge of rivers, Elk on ridges above steep, brushy canyons, and Sheep and Goats on mountainous precipices.

Big enough for Brown Bear.

Perfectly acceptable for deer.
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Old September 30, 2012, 10:56 AM   #8
big al hunter
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Your shoulder is the only reason not to use it. If you can shoot it accurately it will kill a deer just as dead. As stated previously the bullet will expand less than optimally. I have taken deer with a 338. ( only rifle I had that year) It kills them but I prefer less recoil when I can do without the extra range or penetration of the big guns.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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I've used a .338 WM on several deer, all mulies. My pill of choice is the 210gr Nosler Partition. Meat damage is minimal. Most all are one-shot kills, with only one exception and that was my fault (didn't dope the wind correctly and hit the deer too far back).

In all cases where I put the shot through at least one front shoulder, the deer never took another step.

Now, as to recoil: Expect significantly more recoil than a .30-06. And if you use a muzzle brake, always, always, always use hearing protection. If you do not use ear pro, you will lose hearing from even just one shot if you have a brake on it.
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