338 Cal Rifles

switchbackkd

Member
Jan 22, 2012
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0
I'm looking at getting my first 338 Caliber. I grew up a weatherby fan, so instinct lead me to look at the 340 WBY.

In the past year I purchased a 28 Nolser and loved the the round then brought into play the 33 Nosler.

I'm looking for a long range hunter I'm new to the whole new ballistic of all this.

I have looked at the 340 WBY, 338 RUM, 33 Nosler, 338 Win Mag, and have chance to pick up a 338 RCM.

Just new to reloading, does one hold a advantage over the other.
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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You left out one. The 340-378 Weatherby. But I love my .340 and will never give it up. I have a load for it shooting a .225 grain Barnes TTSX bullet at 3000 fps that is lights out for whatever it hits. I have taken animals with it from 90 yards to close to 800 yards with all shots being complete pass through shots. The only bullet that has been recovered was a elk that my brother in law shot at just over 500 yards. He hit it in the head and the bullet was recovered under the far side skin.

A lot of it is going to be your personal preference of what you want. I will say that the experience of shooting one off of a bench that my .340 is good for around 10 shots before I have to put it away. I do however have a removable muzzle brake that when it is on I can shoot it all day long.

As for reloading I don't think that any of them hold a advantage over one of the others. In my opinion 3000 fps with a 225 grain bullet is plenty fast enough for any animal that you would like to shoot.
 
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Micah S

Active Member
Jan 11, 2016
178
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Sandy Oregon
I'm having a 33 nosler built right now. I went with the 33 nosler over other calibers because it will fit in my mag well with a 250 grain Berger loaded out long.

What weight bullets do you want to run? What fps do you want? How much do you want to spend?
 

memtb

Member
Jan 19, 2019
64
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switchbackkd, You’ve decided to take a look at possibly the finest “all around, do it all” caliber. My wife is using the “lightweight” of those you’ve mentioned......the .338 WM. She’s using the Barnes 225 TTSX pushed ( pretty hard) to 2950 fps from a 24” barrel. She uses it exclusively for all of her big game hunting, deer/antelope up through elk and moose.

As a handloader, you can “download” any of your listed cartridges down to .338 Federal levels or even less. The .338 WM is the most popular, so buying ammo is a bit easier and less expensive. The Weatherby ‘s while fairly popular, and are pretty good “hot rods” have quite expensive brass.....not a huge issue to a handloader. The RUM is a relative newcomer, and the Nosler is very new.....both could virtually disappear from the factory ammo scene much like the RCM is about to become obsolete. As good as the RUM and the Nosler are, my cautious side says......stay withthose that have established themselves!

Something else to consider, if you want to keep the rifle weights down to a good, comfortable “carry weight”, this is another plus for the .338 WM, if used without a brake. Even if, you are comfortable with recoil and are keeping the weights @ 9 1/2 pounds or under, while “not” using a brake......the bigger cartridges will start to get your attention. We don’t like or use brakes, they add a lot of length to you rifle and will require the use of hearing protection at all times....even when hunting! memtb
 
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switchbackkd

Member
Jan 22, 2012
68
0
switchbackkd, You’ve decided to take a look at possibly the finest “all around, do it all” caliber. My wife is using the “lightweight” of those you’ve mentioned......the .338 WM. She’s using the Barnes 225 TTSX pushed ( pretty hard) to 2950 fps from a 24” barrel. She uses it exclusively for all of her big game hunting, deer/antelope up through elk and moose.

As a handloader, you can “download” any of your listed cartridges down to .338 Federal levels or even less. The .338 WM is the most popular, so buying ammo is a bit easier and less expensive. The Weatherby ‘s while fairly popular, and are pretty good “hot rods” have quite expensive brass.....not a huge issue to a handloader. The RUM is a relative newcomer, and the Nosler is very new.....both could virtually disappear from the factory ammo scene much like the RCM is about to become obsolete. As good as the RUM and the Nosler are, my cautious side says......stay withthose that have established themselves! memtb
I know a lot of guys who "download" the 338 WM for whitetail deer in Maine
 

memtb

Member
Jan 19, 2019
64
27
We don’t download, as our shots can range from near the muzzle to well in excess of 500 yards. This is one of the great things about handloading, you can taylor your loads to you specific need! memtb
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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For me I tried out bullets up to 250 grain and finally decided on the 225 Barnes TTSX, this bullet hits like a 250-270 grain one is a very good all around bullet. On a African hunting forum I'm on it is one of the few things that just about everyone agrees on as far as the bullet weight for a .338 caliber rifle.

When I started loading this bullet for my .340 Weatherby 3000 fps was not the max load for it but since then loading manuals have dropped it down a ways, but then they have done that with all loadings. In my Weatherby my load is shooting just fine with zero signs of pressure and if I follow the old manual I can stuff a few more grains of powder into the case for a few more fps.

As to loading heaver bullets I personally don't think that you need to. But when you do you have to resight the rifle in for the loadings that you are shooting. None will really shoot to the same point of aim when you start playing with bullet weight and velocities.

I have used my loading in my .340 for 7 African plains game animals, all were one shot kills except for the one that I screwed up and it took 3 hits before it was finished. My furthest shot was a 479 yard shot on a kudu. As I mentioned before I have never recovered a bullet myself. I have also shot pronghorn, mule deer, and elk with the round and even considered taking it on a coues deer hunt in Southern Arizona but traded it off for my .25-06.
 

dan maule

Active Member
Jan 3, 2015
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Upper Michigan
I am a 340 wby guy. I have two of them, I purchased them before the ultra mag and other newer 338s had come out so I cannot speak to them. I love my 340, have killed Whitetail, Mule Deer and Black bear with it. I loaded some 200 grain ballistic tips for deer hunting that are absolutely devastating.
 
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tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
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north idaho
I have had a 338 wm for a couple of decades. great caliber. 225 gr accubonds is what i am using. the only downside is the recoil.
 

RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
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Two Harbors, Minnesota
I bought a "tweeked" 338WM Winchester Super Grade from an old guy who couldn't shoot anymore because of Parkinsons. I had to glass bed it and a couple other small things, but now it is an absolute killing machine. My first 3 bull elk were shot at under 60 yards, so even a 45-70 would have sufficed, but my 4th bull I nailed 3X at 480 yards. It does have a brake, but the McMillan barrel also has the screw in cap for hunting. I had a competitive shooter friend load up some 185 Gr. TSX at 3,034 fps. I had wanted to use the 210 gr., but they were unavailable at that time. But, they perform effectively in every case, whether close or far. My delimma now is that I will likely never hunt with it again, so it may be time to consider selling it. Especially now since I was compelled by a higher power to buy another 30-06.
I can't speak to the other options that you listed, but there is certainly a trade of when you try to push that bullet to hypersonic speeds that aren't really necessary to kill anything in North America.
 

HuskyMusky

Veteran member
Nov 29, 2011
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IL
I believe the 2 most popular .338 at least in the US are the
338 win mag
340 wby

the 338win mag is shorter than the 300 win mag... so IMO the .340wby is really where it's at!
it's a great design, 225-250grs at around 3000 fps is pretty awesome.

I have a .340wby and really dream about one day picking up another one, with a 24" barrel, and possibly no free bore...

Get yourself a .340 Weatherby!
 

JimP

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If it is still available I might know where a .340 Weatherby Alaskan is for sale. If I remember right it is listed at $1275 and is in Tennessee

It has the black fiber stock and nickle plated along with a fixed muzzle brake. I believe that it comes with dies and some brass.
 

alaska2go

Active Member
Oct 20, 2012
254
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Canon City, CO
I have 2 338 RUM. One long range sniper type rifle w/ a 29" Douglas barrel Remington shoot 300SMK 1200 yards 12" plates. Another is a winchester w/ a Douglas barrel 24" ... I used to shoot some barnes but had terrible luck at the longer ranges on killing performance then went to 250 SBT and wack with those bullets. I also use 250 Speer grand slams on Kodiak brown bears and close up moose hunting. My buddies call my winny "thumper" because when it hits a critter it makes a load WHACK ... RUM brass used to be very reasonable to buy but not currently.. Both guns like Retumbo powder .. Thumper shoots 250 SBT @ 2930 FPS & 250 speer GS @ 2890. OL sniper rifle shoot the 300 SMK @ 2856 .... I will say the biggest reason I like the RUM is that is NOT a belted case..
 

swampokie

Veteran member
Jul 29, 2013
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I recently got a savage 116 bear hunter in 338 wm. It shoots 250 grain corelokts like u couldn't believe. Havent got to try it out on anything yet but plan on Colorado bear in sept. Has the on-off muzzle brake and recoil isn't as bad as the 300 rum I had even with the brake off.
 

Triple BB

Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
283
5
Wyoming
Might look at the 338 Edge. I'm waiting to shoot mine as soon as the weather warms a bit and the wind quits howling. If you have a few Shekels in yer pocket, check out Shawn Carlock's website and his 338 Edge +P...