Originally Posted by 25 Otter
My first 338 was a 77. If it's been sitting around for 12 years it could be a tang safety model as well. A good thing in my mind. If it's been sitting for 12 years clean, and has anything at all for a scope on it $500 is a GOOD deal. If you can see your way clear to pick it up I'd go for it. Nothing against the 300 WSM,a fine round for sure. I though am partial to he 338. It's a timeless round that has held it's own in a world of "newer is better" since 1958. If they stopped killing critters with the 338 Winchester today,I doubt the 300 WSM would live long enough to catch up to it. Seems these newer is better rounds come and go with the latest marketing craze. Will it do for Elk? Absolutely. Will you likely have more offers to buy a safe Queen Ruger for $500 ? I doubt it. Like I said. If you can afford it,get it. Everyone should have one in their life at some point. I personally just put a stainless Tikka on lay away last Sat in 338 Win Mag. I can't wait to pick it up and start load development. A time tested old sledge hammer of a cartridge. I love it.
I second this as well. My first "elk" rifle was the same sort of 77 you are talking about. It counted for my first few elk and very well. The WSM is fine and will do the job but that 338 really works good. Now that said, I found 225 bullets about the best for mine and I had a second 77 that felt the same way but I also had a 700 that loved 250's. Get the best setup you can for it, shoot some good bullets out of it and you will never look back. I think it was Jack Atkinson that used to say "the 338 numbs em" and he's right on with that!
What most people don't think about is that the 338 is a super versatile cartridge too. In addition, mine I did not think recoil was bad with. I've got a 300 RUM that is brutal compared to that old 338 and had a 300 Wby with a thin butt that would slice your shoulder it felt like every time you shot it. To me, that 338 was a push and not bad. Super rifle, super round, grab it and shoot the stuffing out of it.