Can't believe that this is that old and I haven't said a word. I have owned a couple 338's, which by the way are cartridges, not rifles! And a whole bunch of other stuff. I've had 3 30-06's, one now and have never killed the first head of game with one. I've owned one 270 and haven't killed anything with it either. It would not bother me a great deal to hunt anything in N. America with my 6.5x55. But depending on the animal hunted, there are cartridges with a bit more authority. I spent a couple years in Alaska and my cartridge of choice was the 308 win with a 180 gr Hornady. And at that time I did have a 338. The big difference for me was to get a 338 in as handy a rifle as my old mod 660 Rem, I was going to get the snot kicked out of me, and imagine shooting a 338 mag with a 20" barrel. No need for worry around a bear, the muzzle flash and blast will do it a great deal of harm to it, and probably you. So to carry a rifle with a 338 mag chambering I'd need a longer barrel to get all the power the 338 has to offer, and it would have to be heavier to stand all the recoil the 338 has. And in the end, it can kill no animal any deader than the 308! Including a big bear.