7mm-08 vs. .338 Federal

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by McStern, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. McStern

    McStern Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I know, you will not regard said calibers as being truly "long-range", but I'd still like to get your opinion.

    I do own a 7mm-08 and used it for everything up to 125 kg (red deer) to my complete satisfaction. For a new rifle I am considering a caliber with a bit more punch that will enable me to go after all African plains game.

    Please let me know what you think. (I do not want to chose .308, because the caliber is forbidden in France as is the .3006, 8x57).

    Many thanks for your advice!

    cheers
    Michael
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  2. Tang

    Tang Well-Known Member

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    The .338 Federal is a great cartridge. Wide range of bullets to use, plenty of power, and recoil isn't bad. I say go for it, and enjoy !
     

  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    If you're buying a new rifle than I'd consider any one of the 300 magnums as a good step up and a good choice for African plains game. The 338 Fed isn't going to do anything your 7-08 isn't already capable of doing.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    I would agree. I'm not sure you will gain much with a .338 Federal since it is based on the same cartridge as the 7mm-08.

    I'd include a 7mm Magnum or a 300 magnum as a good choice for Africa. Note that if you're going for the "larger" plains game I'd lean towards the 300.
     
  5. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    I'm not following your guys reasoning that a 7mm-08 does everything a 338 Federal will do. I'm not looking for an argument but the way I look at it there is a big difference between what a 175 grain bullet can bring down and what a 300 grain bullet can bring down. There may be an argument to be made in favor of a magnum with regards to effective range but a 338 is a lot more bullet than a 284.
     
  6. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    It's alwasy going to be an "apples vs oranges" comparison. However, since the case of the 7mm-08 and the 338 Federal are the same, by definition you can't fit any more powder in one case than you can in another. A gallon jug is still a gallon jug no matter how big the opening. :D

    However, bring in a bigger jug and you've got a better chance. If the original poster is going to be purchasing a different rifle anyway, why not get something worth taking on the trip?

    Take a peek below at the velocity and energy charts. 300 Win Mag wins over the 338 Federal and 7mm-08 in both categories. I used the same type of bullet for each rifle; it's impossible to use the same grain/BC.

    Velocity Comparison:

    [​IMG]


    Energy Comparison:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. McStern

    McStern Member

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    Many thanks to you all.

    Maybe, I should re-iterate my question: I do already own a 7mm Wby. mag. so I do not want to go that way. I am looking for a nice little short cartridge (short barrel, short system) with not too much recoil but enough power for the bigger animals.

    The reason I am considering the .338 is that I thought it might be more appropriate for the larger European game, i.e. moose or wild boar AND big antelope at shorter distances.

    Realistically, I'll not reach out beyond 200 m. A European moose will probably not be heavier than 400 kg. Although the Swedes are using 6.5x55 on moose, I'd prefer a bit more power than the 7-08.

    On the other hand, it should still be possible to hunt roe deer, which max at app. 30 kg, without destroying the animal/meet.

    In short: I am looking for a comfortable, practical 1-rifle-battery-rifle :rolleyes:

    thanks again for your advice!
     
  8. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    338 Federal is a great choice for larger game like moose. While not longrange, certainly will work to 400yards. The other caliber to look at in that same theme would be the 338-06 for just a bit more case capacity.
     
  9. Teknys

    Teknys New Member

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    I've got a 338 Federal in a Sako 85 and it is one of my favorite guns to carry. On Whitetail it is just "Bang - Flop" the deer have not taken even one step.
    Velocity is where the 200gn and 338 frontal nose just do the trick. Numbers just don't always indicate performance on game.
     
  10. cavtrooper94

    cavtrooper94 Well-Known Member

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    the 338-06 and 338 federal should work for what your wanting. Don't forget the 35 Whelan. A little more power, and the ones I've shot have been absolute tack drivers.
     
  11. topbrass

    topbrass Well-Known Member

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    .280 will shoot any size 7mm bullet and is a very good round short of 7mm Magnum.
     
  12. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hey Michael,

    Given what you're looking at here, I'd have to go with the 338. In dealing with the bigger game on your list, I'd just prefer the added weight and diameter that it offers over the 7mm bore size. Since you say that you're not shooting past 200m or so, the added BC and velocity of the smaller bores isn't going to offer much to you. Take the 338 and don't look back!

    Did you make it down to the IWA show in Nurnberg last week? Should have been able to find whatever you were looking for there, and it was a great show.

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  13. McStern

    McStern Member

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    I did not go to IWA, but it's going to be a "custom" rifle.
    potential bases:
    - Sako 85
    - Barnard action + LW barrel
    - Roedale avenger 2 + LW barrel
    - (maybe surgeon action, of which I own one in 7mm-08)

    cheerio,

    Michael
     
  14. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    For the game and ranges you are discussing the .338 Federal and .338-06 are both excellent choices and both better than a 7mm-08.

    The graphs show the .338 Federal has a 25% energy advantage over 7mm-08 primarily due to the larger piston area on the back of the larger diameter bullet allowing it to impart more push to the bullet at the same pressure. As was said earlier, at the ranges you are shooting the better BC fo the 7mm bullet isn't going to make up for it's smaller diameter.

    The .338-06 packs in more powder but requires a long action. The .338 Federal is a short action cartridge which may be an advantage. I just ordered a .338 barrel to chamber in .338 Federal for one of my Savages. I'll pull the .243 barrel off when ground hog season ends and install the .338 Federal barrel for deer season. I don't get any shots over 300 yards so I think it will work really well for deer here in PA.

    Fitch