Anyone using a 338-06? I'm considering getting one but have no experience with this caliber. On paper it looks like it would be great for moose and bear. My wife is right however, I don't need it! But, I sold my 35 Whelen and it was my go-to moose gun. I have a 30-06, .300 Weatherby and a .375H&H. Who really ever NEEDS a new rifle anyhow?
My wife is great though, She doesn't mind if I do get it, especially if she can use it on a moose next season.
I have been a life long 338 Winchester fan, saying that I have owned a very nice 35 Whelan for about 10 years, and several 9.3x62 rifles since 2000, a 9.3x64 since 2008 and a 338 Lapua and 340 Weatherby.
I really like the 30-06 cased rounds better!
I personally don't feel as though for 99% of all hunting that the "magnumized" caliber is necessary. And if you live east of the Mississippi or in NE Canada it for sure isn't. Magnum just adds 50-150 yards of effective range over the standard 400 Whelan, 35 Whelan, 338-06 and 9.3x62.
In fact I think for 90% of all big game hunting that a 30-06 based cartridge in .308, 8mm, .338, .358, 9.3, 375, or .411 is the right round.
Here are my points;
1. Recoil is modest
2. Rifle weight can be packable
3. Rifle will hold at least 1 to 2 more rounds than a Magnum
4. Penetration will be as good as faster more powerful rounds using lighter bullets (i.e. a 375 Ruger shooting 260's will have about as much penetration as the 375-06 or 9.3x62 shooting 300's.
5. Meat damage is minimal, and you can usually eat right up to the hole
6. A fairly stout barrel of 20-22 inches in diameter makes it portable, and you can get away with that on these shorter cartridges
7. They are still light enough to use my favorite 30mm 2.5-10x56 or 3-12x56 scopes
8. 30-06 Brass is readily available and cheap to shoot
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Cooper Firearms of Montana makes a factory 338-06, but there are quite a few things I don't like about it. Namely the magazine.
When I get back to living in America I am going to take 6 Howa 1500s and rebarrel them to various -06 wildcats to do some testing.
Going to do a 8.5x63 Reb (338-06 with the shoulder moved forward), 8x64 (8mm-06 with the shoulder moved forward), 400 Whelan and 375 Whelan, 9.3x62 and 35 Whelan.
Going to do #7 Contour Krieger barrels at 21 inches long, build Nightforce type direct mounts for them (Nightforce doesn't make one for the Howa so I'll have to machine them), put them in Manners stocks and use Timney triggers.
It will be a fairly cheap project and give me quite a bit of experience.
Edelweiss, I have not used a Cooper rifle but their accuracy looks impressive from the targets they provide. I'm curious, do you not care for Cooper rifles or is it specifically their magazines that you don't care for.
I used to have a real nice Mannlicher-Schoenour(sp) in 8X68S that was fun to play with. Lots of caribou and Sitka bucks fell to it. I didn't enjoy the Berdan primers though. Nice overall caliber for up here though!
8x68 Schuler is awesome!
I am betting that little Mannlicher Schoneauer smacked your face pretty good. I shot a friend of mine's in 9x57 and it would almost knock your teeth out. Recoil on the shoulder was nothing, but thanks to the skinny comb it would hurt your skull.
Coopers are accurate, my biggest fault with the rifle is that the very small magazine, and no integral scope mounts. I also don't think the bolt handle is welded on, I think it's soldered.
I don't think any gun has it all, but I want to have as many of the following as possible.
1. Integral scope mounts.
2. Integrally machined/cast (like the Ruger M77), dovetailed or threaded (like the Savage or Tikka) or welded on bolt handle.
3. At least a 5 round magazine in 30-06 calibers, more is better to a point.
4. Decocking safety is ideal like the Mauser M03 and Blaser rifles have, but a good quality safety is imperitive.
The beauty of the Howa 1500/Weatherby Vanguard
1. Integral cast/forged bolt handle to the bolt.
2. Rem 700 scope mount compatable, so you can use a 1913 rail and machine abuttments into the action and mount to make it stronger, then epoxy the entire thing together. Making it fairly indestructable.
3. M16 style extractor
4. 5 round magazine in 30-06
5. Similarity to M700 for machinability and customization.
6. Tons of aftermarket stocks and triggers.
7. Tons of 2nd hand ones for around $200.
I have shot many Cooper Rifles. A close friend owns a whole stable of them from .223 to 300 WM. They are all crazy accurate and have superb worksmanship all the way around. I will check to see if they have a welded or soldered handle, but I have not heard of any problems with them. The magazine is the weak point of the design, but I would get one in half a heartbeat. Another huge benefit is the 90 degree bolt lift, which allows a very low scope mount. Ken Farrell and US Optics make excellent picatinny rails for Cooper rifles.
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[QUOTE= Ken Farrell and US Optics make excellent picatinny rails for Cooper rifles.[/QUOTE]
Good job Bitterroot, you always seem to have insider corporate knowledge.
US Optics ought to be able to build a decent mount, mounts don't have any internal parts that have to move.
Someone must have beat me to the rifle, it's not listed anymore. Oh well, I'm not keeping up with shooting the ones I have now. When I do finally make a trip to Wyoming, I'll likely carry a .25-284 for deer/antelope.
Thanks for your opinions guys!
I had a 338/06 built in 1990 on a Ruger tang safety action, It sports a Douglas 22in barrel and a Bell& Carlson stock that has been glass bedded. I had it throated for the 225gr Hornaday bullet to just fit in the mag. I really saw no use in using a 250gr bullet in the 06 case, although it may be a good bullet in the dark timber. It shoots well under and inch even with the old style Barnes 200gr bullet, which is my main bullet for large game.
Its been to African 2 times where its taken 10 of the large African antelope, all being as large as an elk or larger, an eland.
It has accounted for a moose, two elk, two deer and 7 or 8 reindeer in AK. Its killing effect on game far exceeds its balistics on paper.
I get 2820fps with those 200gr Barnes X's. My furthest shot has been 275 yd on a reindeer bull.
Its recoil is on par with a 300 win mag but much less than a 338 win mag , especially a light weight one. I love mine and will never sell it. I plan to use it this Dec, on a left over cow elk tag in WY.
Last edited by Fish; 11-15-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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