New to the site, have some questions on what to pick

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by bigtmiller, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. bigtmiller

    bigtmiller Member

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    Hi,
    being a newby to long range hunting and bigger bore rifles, I need some help in picking a caliber.
    I am looking at the 338wm. I want a gun that I could shoot animals out to say 500yds, after years of practice. Maybe do some long range target shooting, and have enough power to hunt bear and moose if I get the chance. I was looking at the 300wm, but have read alot on the 338 and think it might be a better all around gun to hunt deer, muleys- do alot of this, elk, moose, bear, and anything else in North America. LIke to be able to take the long shot and know my gun can do it and make a good clean kill. What do you think of the 338 and what make of rifle would you suggest looking at?

    Thanks for the help and a great site.

    Tomgun)
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    First, welcome to the site.

    You ask a good question, but it would help us to know a bit more about your experience shooting, what you currently shoot, do you reload etc.

    Either the 338WM or the 300WM will do what you ask (as will a host of other calibers).

    Again, welcome to the site.

    AJ
     

  3. bigtmiller

    bigtmiller Member

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    thanks for the reply AJ. I currently shoot a 30-06 for most of my hunting. I have been shooting for a long time and have shot bigger calibers. Recoil does not bother me. I do not reload yet, but am planning on getting into it soon. I am really leaning toward the 338 being that it is a full step up from the 300wm.

    I really want to start Elk hunting and maybe bear.

    Can the 338 do everything a 300 can, but better? What is the best factory rifle made in a 338 for less than a grand?
    What about optics- good low cost scope but no sacrificing quality.

    Thanks for your help.

    Tomgun)
     
  4. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the best 338 factory rifle for under $1000 would be a Rem model 700 in 338 Remington Ultra Mag. But you will definitely want to have a muzzle brake installed, and that will likely put you over the $1000 mark.

    If you are really wanting to get a 338, I'd go with the UltraMag over the Win Mag.

    You say you don't mind recoil, I shoot an 8lb 7mm Rem Mag and I wouldn't shoot a 338RUM without a brake (did it once, and that was enough).

    You will definitely want to reload, due to the cost of ammo. Start reloading the '06 and get your feet wet. Meanwhile keep your eyes open for a 338 and study the ballistics charts, read this forum and become familiar with the different 338 bullets. There are a lot of cartridges out there and maybe the 338 RUM is bigger than you want/need. Maybe the 338WM is perfect, or maybe just a larger .30cal rifle ? The 300RUM is a phenomenal cartridge that should be given a serious look.

    I'd choose the 300WM over the 338WM, due to it's better trajectory. I'd pick the 300RUM over either of them, as it's pretty impressive. But only you can make the choice, as you know how/where/what you will be using it for.

    As far as scopes, you get what you pay for. The Nikon's and Bushnells are well thought of (the elite line), as are others (just do a search here on the forum).

    Hope this helped, but you probably have more questions now than before.

    AJ
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  5. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    I started a thread on this same topic 300 win or 338 win. I got allot of feedback from allot of experenced shooters, the 300 win is the way to go hands down!

    It out shoots the 338 win mag at all ranges.

    It has enough power for a clean kill all the way out past 1000yds

    There are more bullet choices in 308 diamiter than 338.

    There are more choices in factory ammo.

    The US ARMY shoots it in competition.

    The list goes on and on. The only way to out do the 300win is to step up the a 338rum,edge,lapua etc but then your cost goes up to. One 20 round box of federal 338 rum is 80.00.
     
  6. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    You included elk, moose and bear out to 500 yards. Of those two the 338 win mag is by far and away the best choice. I wouldn't even consider the 300 win mag in the discussion. It does not in any way form or fashion have the ability to take down elk size critters like the 338. I have seen hundreds of large animals fall for 40 years through hunting and guiding and seen a lot of crying because the guy lost his animal because he had to small a caliber. There is a reason the few hunters like me who have had the opportunity to witness hundreds of kills recomend the 338 as minimum on elk. It is the same reason there are caliber minimums in Africa for dangerous game. Big calibers take down and disable large game quicker.

    I can take my 6mm-06 imp out and take an elk at a quarter mile by waiting for the perfect shot and conditions. It can do the job just like the 300 can but it is by far not the best choice. You ask which is the best, not which will do the job. And no way in this world is the 300 win mag a 1000 yard elk gun by any sain person who has the experience to speak about it. Will it take one at a 1000 yards, yes, I took one at 1100 with a 270 wby when I was a young and sain man. But I didn't have the experience to know better. Now I know if I am building a 1000 yard elk rifle it will be in 338 because I have seen a bunch of elk lost or chased forever with small calibers that would have been dead with a 338.

    I don't know why you picked these two calibers when there are so many choices but it is interesting you did. The 338 winchester is the best elk cartridge over the counter you can get that does not require a muzzle brake to shoot accurately and will get you a 500 yard elk. It will do very well on those animals out to 500 yards with a 200 grain nosler ballistic tip around 3100 fps and is fairly easy on the shoulder. The 338 winchester does not push the heavy bullets fast enough to give you an advantage with them at the ranges this caliber is most effective. The next step up would be the 340 wby, 338 ultramag and 338-300 ultramag which are all virtually the same within a hundred fps and definitely require a muzzle brake which a lot of people don't like.

    The 200 grain bullet in the 300 win mag quickly is going faster than the 338 winchester 200 and long range velocity is much better with the higher BC. But even though on paper the 300 gives more foot pounds of energy after a few hundred yards I learned long ago elk don't read the paper. It is that caliber thing again and I guess knowbody has figured how to compute that but when you see a bunch of animals fall to everything there is you quickly realize caliber is the answer and not good looking paperwork.

    Wall-Mart has 338 winchesters and 300 wbys for $400 and less. Either of those would be better than the 300 winchester.
     
  7. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Allot of good points LONG RANGE!
     
  8. bigtmiller

    bigtmiller Member

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    Thanks for all the help. I think I will definently get the 338wm. I know there may be bigger, faster calibers, but the 338 will do anything I need it to and then some. My father in-law uses a 243 for deer. He said he can't see why I would want something that big. Then we talked about the 170 class buck he could not get a shot at because it stood behind a small tree. I jokenly said, now I could just knock the tree over and pin the deer down. But anyway, I called around and found a 338wm in a savage weather warrior series. Question, is this a good gun to get, I can order a rem, ruger, brown, tika if I want. The one guy said he could have any of them in about a week.

    What gun make would you choose if you were somewhat budget conscious but wanted a good quality gun?

    Also, I chose these two calibers because of - long proven history, wide range of factory ammo available anywhere, cheaper ammo, and there is nothing out there that is "that much better" that I want.

    Thanks again for the help and advice.

    Tomgun)
     
  9. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Savage are great guns and well worth the money. I had a Savage 110 LE that would shoot one hole groups at 200 yards with Federal GMM.

    Im a REMINGTON man though
     
  10. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I have a Savage 300WSM that will shoot from .3" to .5" groups all day long. The accutrigger is good once you spend a little time with it.

    AJ
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    My appologies to you fine gentleman who had already posted on this and brought up good valid points. I was in a hurry and just read the topic and started typing. I agree the Savage is a good shooter. I had about 20 of those weather warriors go through my shop one year and they were all good shooters. Inside of 500 yards I think you will be in great shape.

    A little while back I put in a post about an Alaska hunt when my gun got torn up and I borrowed a 338 winchester but he had no bullets. Way out in the middle of nowhere in Alaska the store had 338 winchester ammo and a few other standard ones. That makes a lot of difference.
     
  12. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the 300 WM, but thats just me. It hits harder (on paper) at long range, shoots flatter, drifts less, retains more velocity (all these aint on paper either). All the right choices for a LR cartrdige if you ask me...

    The 338 WM just isn't a long range rifle.

    Let me rephrase it, out to 600 yards you wont notice much difference. Past 600 yards, gimme the 300 WM every time.

    I hastily dissagree with the poster who says the 300 WM is not a 500 yard elk rifle. You obviously havent' seen that many elk shoulder shot with 180-200g bullets to know that they put elk down right now. I've seen a chit pile of elk killed from 500-800 yards with 300 WM's and good 180-200g bullets when properly placed, which is the shoulder if you want elk to drop on the spot.

    Theres nothing the 300 win mag cant do that the 338 does. Except for maybe if you load the 338 w/250g bullet, it will shoot from ahole to brisket. However, its not my opinion anyone should be taking as shots or any other raking shot on elk as its not a killing shot in the first place. A 30 cal 200g bullet will provide all the penetration you need from any reasonable angle to put an elk on his as quicker then chit.
     
  13. kfrye

    kfrye Well-Known Member

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    I shoot with guys who hunt elk with 300 WM in Savage rifles and have killed them out to 1000 yards. With that said, the 300 WM will give you better BC with the heavier bullets. Budger wise, you can't go wrong with the Savage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  14. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    How do you figure the 338 gives you higher BC bullets??

    The only one commercially available is the 300g SMK and the 338 WM doesn't have the capacity to push that fast enough to make it usefull.

    I could make a page list of higher BC bullets for 308 cal in comparable hunting weight or target weight bullets, but I'll save myself the time...