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Don Fischer's picture
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Can't believe that this is

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.

 

WesternHunter's picture
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308 Win

Don Fischer wrote:

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.

 

The .308 Win is a great cartridge for biggame.  Not sure why it is often snubbed or overlooked by many deer hunters.  That cartridge works great on deer and even elk.  Have a buddy who uses it on both animals and have watched it bring down cleanly a few big bucks and bulls over the years.

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Thanks, Don.  I wouldn't have

Thanks, Don.  I wouldn't have found this thread if you had not posted to it.  I'm kind of lazy when it comes to reading older posts that are beyond the first page...

A fun read throughout.  It's funny how everyone has an opinion on the best cartridge for hunting, but in the end all seem to agree that one caliber is never enough.

In the .338, check out the .338 Federal cartridge too.  This is the venerable .308 case necked up to a .338 caliber.  Up to 300 yards, the ballistics are pretty good and the kick is considerably less than the win mag.  I'd be willing to bet, since the .338 Federal uses a .308 win case, there will be many AR style rifles available in this chambering in the coming months and years too.

I've also read some about the Ruger Compact Magnums.  Haven't had the pleasure of shooting either the .300 or .338 in these, but they look like pretty good alternatives to the respective win mags as well.  Plus, it's always good to have a list of calibers and guns that still need to be added to the gun safe.

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best vs best

shatodavis wrote:
If you're looking to buy just one rifle and be done with it I say the 338 is the ticket. its accurate, its powerful, and its big enough for anything on the North american continet. I see or hear people always ask: is my 270 big enough, or is my 30 06 enough , or do you think I can kill a moose with my 243. My answer is simple: If you're asking then you have doubts yourself and you've answered your own question. On the other hand I've never heard anyone say: is that enough gun? when refering to the 338. Now I'm sure that I'll get flamed that the 338 is too much for a whitetail or a mule deer etc. And I would agree to a certain extent. A 338 isn't my first choice for a whitetail gun, but it certainly will get the job done. And I'm certain someone will say its too much recoil. well yeah it kicks, but my 14 year old 115 pounder shoots mine just fine so he's either really tougher or we're whinners Now, I want to close by saying that picking one gun is boring! Multiple calibers is the way to go. I like buying a new caliber just cause I don't have one. heck, I own reloading dies for calibers I don't even own....YET!

 

I'm sure it's a great cartridge.  But when you consider that the .30-06 is plenty capable of cleanly taking any game animal in the world (certainly within the Americas) and has a proven track record going back decades................... Whistling

bruse's picture
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I was thinking of another

I was thinking of another rifle to add to my outfit. I have a 25/06, 280, 7mm Mag and a  30-30 and was considering a 35 Whelen over all others for my really big game gun. I will use my 280 for everything else. I also know several guys who deer hunt with a 35 whelen. The ammo is hard to find but its out there. Just my thoughts. I was considering a 338 but was told it will beat you up at the range.lol

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Magnums

bruse wrote:

I was thinking of another rifle to add to my outfit. I have a 25/06, 280, 7mm Mag and a  30-30 and was considering a 35 Whelen over all others for my really big game gun. I will use my 280 for everything else. I also know several guys who deer hunt with a 35 whelen. The ammo is hard to find but its out there. Just my thoughts. I was considering a 338 but was told it will beat you up at the range.lol

 

I personally don't like big-bore magnums for most game animals and find them only nessesary if you plan to kill game like Rhinos, Hippos, and Elephants.......maybe brown bear and polars too

For all other biggmame (including elk and moose) most non-magnum higher velocity 7mm, .270, .280, and .30's will serve that purpose very efficiently.  For game like deer, you really don't need to go much bigger than a .30-06 Springfield to have a very effective cartridge.  In fact I find the .30-06 to be a bit much for deer, but that's my opinion.  Your .25-06 and .30-30 are great deer cartridges. But for everything you may want to hunt upto elk and moose, your're 7mm Mag is an excellent all around cartridge.  That, coming from a guy who uses a .270 Winchester on pronghorn, deer, and elk, it serves me very well, and I can practice with it at the range for an hour or two comfortably without it killing my shoulder, jarring my teeth, or detatching my retinas.  Problem with heavy recoiling rifles is that not many shooters can withstand or tolerate the recoil those things generate for extended range practice.  Being able to hit the vitals is key regardless of caliber used and to do so you need to practice off-bench regularly.

Don Fischer's picture
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There is 35 Whelen cases

There is 35 Whelen cases around but I think, not sure but think, they can be made by necking up a 30-06 case. Nosler does make loaded rounds but pretty expensive.

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Yep, the .35 Whelen is just a

Yep, the .35 Whelen is just a necked up .30-06 case so finding cases for it really isn't a problem.  and reloading is the way to go for this round. 

There is something to be said for a big bullet going slow when it hits a animal. 

tim
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I like my .338 win mag I like

I like my .338 win mag

I like my .270wsm

I like my .223

I feel i got north america covered

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I use quite a few rifles and

I use quite a few rifles and calibres my primary target is Sambar deer (similar to elk )my personal list for now at the moment 458 Wm 45/70 (siameese mauser) 35 whelen 338Wm 338Fed 300Wm 303Epps 30-06 308,most times i head out the door its the Tikka t3 stainless lite in 338Wm thats in my hand over here the smallest cal you can legaly hunt Sambar is 270 with 130 grn bullets.I have shot deer with all these guns and several others including 375 HH 375 &338RUM 7x57 but the 338 puts them down and out no fuss the lowest bullet weight in the Wm i use is 225grn and in the Fed 200grn

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