30-338 vs 300 Win Mag



Mr Jones,

In all of the Mod 70 300 Win Mag's we buy, we always remove the magazine box spacer, trim the bolt stop back and then install a 300 Weatherby follower and spring. This, coupled with Winchester's long throats found in their Mod 70's, allows us to increase the 300 Win's COL to 3.540" with both the Nosler 180 and 200 grain partitions. This gains back some of the volume lost in the 300 Win with the standard COL of 3.340". Stated "book" velocities and better, are easier to achieve in 24" barrels without excessive pressure signs by doing this.
If you reload you can have the gunsmith throat your Mod 700 barrel to any COL length 300 Win (or the 30-338) that will fit into the magazine box. This will eliminate the deep seating problem associated with the 300 Win.
I don't have any real world experience with a 30-338 but I think both calibers are essentially equal from a ballistic standpoint. That is what seems to be the trend in reloading manuals. So the fact that you could get factory ammo in a pinch for the 300 Win, may be the only advantage of one over the other in a Mod 700 action. Both are excellent calibers for elk.
Hello, please help me out. I'm contemplating either of these cartridges for my next rifle project. The rifle is to be used primarily for mountain elk hunting. I chose these two rounds because each seems to perform well with 24"-25" barrel length. Alot easier to tote than a 26"-28" required of the super mags(RemUltras,30-378,Lazzeroni),less rifle weight(projected rifle only weight of 7.5lbs)recoil will be stiff but manageable even w/o a muzzle brake(my ears don't handle brakes well under hunting-shooting situations). I considered the new WSMs, Rem S/A ultras but I already had purchased a McMillan Rem sporter stock(beautiful marble finish) for a 700L/A. I will be doing most of the work myself except for the barrel install.& chamber work. I'm leaning towards the 300Win but I hear theres sometimes an OAL length problem with the heavier bullets 200gr or more. The 30-338 is appealing but can it really push the same weight bullets as fast as the 300Win mag? The other perceived drawback is the wildcat status which may come up if you needed factory ammo while away on an extended hunting trip. Any comments, advice would be appreciated. I would like to hear about the 30-338's velocity capabilities.Thanks, Mr Jones
I found this at the following url: http://www.cordite.com/wwwboard/messages/211.html

The 30-338 is very similar to the 308 Norma Mag if memeory serves me correctly. I believe you'll find it to be a "custom only" item. The Montana Rifleman lists the 30-338 as an available caliber. Rebarreling an existing rifle might be an option.
>>>>>>>>>>>The 30-338 is similar to the 308 Norma Magnum, but there are differences. The 308 NM case is slightly longer and the shoulder is slightly farther forward. If 338 brass is used to make 308 or 358 Norma Mags, the cases will be a bit short and the shoulder will have to be fireformed forward. However, all this isn't really necessary as brass for both, as well as loaded ammo, is available from Norma. By the way, the 308 Norma is generally accepted as the most intrinsicly accurate of all the 300 magnums. Add this to the fact that the 3o-338 is a wildcat with no factory ammo or brass available, and you might want to consider the 308 Norma. It will fit in any action that will house the 30-338.

Thought this was interesting, Ken
I've being using a 30-338 for the last 12 yrs and have taken afew elk with it. I also had a 308 Norma Mag and I still have a 300 Win Mag and a 300 Wby. One thing I like about the 30-338 is it will shoot 165gr-200gr bullets all within 1 1/2" group. In fact I like it so much that I had a second one built as my back up rifle during elk season. Rem use to make a 40x in a 30-338. Well good luck!
I have just joined this website and I'm from Australia.

I was particularly interested in the question about the 30/338 and 308 Norma Magnum. I have a custom rifle in 308 Norma Magnum built on a reworked M98 (one of the smoothest actions I have had). The stock is a classic (straight comb) old English style on a Califorian Walnut blank with the classic Goens Fleur-de-lis checkering pattern.

It shoots good too and is mild (for the calibre) to shoot. I have a Wnchester pre 64 M70 308 Win fwt and it feels harsher (due to the metal butt plate) than the 308NM.

Spootter thatks for the information about the renouned accuracy of the 308NM vis-a-vis the other 300 mags, I didn't know that. Although, my own personal experience backs that up. My rifle will generally put 3 shots into .75" and .5" is achievable with particular handloads. I havn't owned any of the other 300 magnums though, so I cannot compare.

I am about (tomorrow) to try some 190gr match projectiles driven by 4350 (62, 63, 64 and 65 grs) and the same weight in Australian powder (ADI AR2209). If I get some good results with the 4350 I'll get some more. It is no longer imported into Australia but I have a friend who owns a gunshop who can lay his hands on some. I'll let you know how it shoots at the range.

Hi, I've got a 30-338 made on a Springfield O3A3 action. My current load uses a 180g Swift A-frame over 74.6g of Vit N560 powder for an MV of 3050fps. This is a little below max. Using a redding neck die to resize (so I don't push the shoulder back and start the "belted case" reloading problem) until the cases get a little sticky going in the chamber, I'm able to get numerous firings out of the belted case. FYI and good luck.

Magnum here again.

I have got good results with maximum loads for the 180gr Hornady SPBT (73 grs AR 2213SC, repackaged as Hodgson 4831SC in the US). I didn't have a Chronograph available when i shot this load but belive im getting about 3,100 fps out of a 24" barrel 308 Norma Mag.

I will be trying tomorrow some loads with 150 gr projectiles (83grs AR2217, repackaged as Hod 1000 in the US).

By the way my rifle is comfortable to shoot even from the bench but it a bit heavy for a mountain rifle (about 9.5 lbs with scope) so I tend to use one of my Win pre 64 M70 fwt (270 or 308) for this purpose. Though the 308NM is definite the rifle I'd take after Elk.

Mr Jones,
I too have been contemplating these two excellent calibers. You might want to check out my topic starter on Bullets,barrels and ballistics under "has anyone tinkered with the 30-338 or 308 nm". Tons of good info!
I've been doing some load development in my Custom FN M98 308 Norma Mag recently.


In Australia the most commonly available powder is produced by Australian Defence Industry (ADI). Many of these powders are exported to the US and repackage and sold as Hodgson powder (see http://www.adi-limited.com/handloaders-guide/equivalents.asp ). So US members won't be totally unfamiliar with these powders.

I settled on AR2213SC (equivalent to Hod 4831, see above link and http://www.adi-limited.com/handloaders-guide/powder.asp ) for a number of reasons. It seemed to give better shot-to-shot consistency in 308NM, gave equivalent velocity to AR2217 but with some fewer grains (my Scottish ancestry coming to the fore no doubt), at the time I had no AR2217 and finally a local (Oz) shooting writer (Nick Harvey) who had a 308NM listed loads with this powder that seemed replicate Norma factory ballistics (and I liked the numbers, 180 gr @ 3,100 fps).

I started well below the ADI book maximum of 73 grs (see http://www.adi-limited.com/handloaders-guide/rifle.asp ) and worked up to the maximum. Chronographing the 73 gr load I was disappointed to see that the average velocity was barely 3,000 fps but yet encouraged that there did not seem to be signs of excessive pressure. I then decided to work up (past the ADI maximum) to Nick Harvey's load pet load of 75grs in ½ gr increments, watching carefully for signs of pressure. I shot these a week ago last Friday with the following results:

73.0gr - ave 2,946 fps 2¼" 3 shot group @ 100 yds
73.5gr - ave 2,993 fps 3" 3 shot group @ 100 yds
74.0gr - ave 3,024 fps group too big
74.5gr - ave 3,078 fps 1¾" 3 shot group @ 100 yds
75.0gr - ave 3,105 fps 1½" 3 shot group @ 100 yds

The last load seemed warm but seemed safe enough in my rifle. I was happy with this as it gave the numbers I was looking for, at this stage I was loading to velocity not accuracy but I happy with the 1½" for a first try and felt that I could do better with practice. I even thought I could probably stoke another ½ or perhaps 1 gr of AR2213SC in this rifle to get even more velocity. By the performance of these loads, perhaps another 80 odd fps. That'll give around 3,180-3,200 fps (getting near 300 Wby velocities, see http://www.reloadersnest.com/query_bw.asp?CaliberID=65&BulletWeight=180&offset=0 ).

Yesterday, I had another range session. Rather upping the load I decided do some more work with the 75gr load. This produced a 3 shot group of just under 1" @ 100 yards and confirmed the velocity for the previous week by getting an ave of 3,103 fps. The bullets used throughout were Hornady 180gr SP BT with a BC 0.452 stock no 3072.

This is a real shooter and the load is a flat shooting, long range hard hitter. With a 300 yard zero it is 9" low @ 400 yds, 25" low @ 500 yards and on deer size animal a hold dead on out to 350 yds will secure the trophy. I think I'll stay with the 75gr load as another 100 fps (if that is achievable) will still be 23" low @ 500 yards and yield less than an additional 150flbs at that range.

I intend to do a lot more practice with this load/rifle and feel confident that, as I get used to it, smaller groups a quite achievable. I like all my hunting rifles to be tack drivers.

I know we all have our favourite big game rifles (for Elgin Gates it was his 300 Wby custom and he used it all over the world, in many cases where it was definitely too much gun for the animal but he still brought his trophy home) but I think this, now lamentably fairly obscure and almost wildcat, calibre has to be one the greatest general big game cartridges ever developed. And in my custom rifle even with full loads like these it is still a sweet thing to shoot

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