Should I add 338 to my hunting rifles?

F&H1821

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MN
Getting ready to get after the bucket list over the next several years. Deposit down on what should be a high quality drop camp elk hunt next year in Colorado. Very likely MT antelope this October (party has 3 pref points). Others on the horizon may include moose and/or caribou somewhere, audad or mouflon, nilgai, (the latter three during our soon-to-be retired jaunts down south), and possibly African buff and NZ red stag if we can ever get back to international travel. Speaking of which, my wife loves to travel more than anything, thus the initial plans on Africa and NZ (but let's hope she doesn't inquire about trophy fees! 😏). My currently available calibers: 6.5 PRC, 30 06, 300 WinMag, and then jump up to 375 H&H (not adding the 450 BM to the list, my local whitetail and black bear gun). After adding the 6.5 PRC (initial hand loads tuned to 0.33 MOA), I told myself that will be it for the arsenal. However, a semi-retired, avid hunter and budding long range enthusiast should never make such shallow promises to himself. Soooo, I am considering adding a 338, and looking hard at the Nosler 33 M48 Long Range Carbon (spendy brass, at least currently, but I won't be shooting it a lot). I need to also outfit my son for CO elk, who I hope can make the trip with me. Any thoughts on this? I know, it seems a bit silly asking you all if I should go buy another gun, a different spin on preaching to the choir. However, I do appreciate the amount of experience on this forum, thus know I will enjoy reading your feedback either way. Thanks in advance.
 

Quintus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
905
Yep, you definitely need a .338. Out of cases like the 340Wby, Rem Ultra, and I'm sure the Nosler they are impressive mashers. You will not regret getting one.
 

86alaskan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,188
Location
Central Missouri
in a word, yes. I went through the same questions at one point, and decided 338WM first. then that one came and went, now it's a full custom 338RUM. I won't sell it, as it shoots so well and has a safe place in the gun room. Sure there are 30cals that'll do fine, but if you're dumping some change into a hunt, why not be sure? I was in Alaska with my 338WM, because I didn't want something big and angry deciding that a 300wm didn't have enough breaking power. Anyways, get a 338 and have fun with it.
 

dusty218

Active Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
36
Location
baker montana
first and foremost you need to know how far of a shot you will be willing to take ethically. 338win is far from impressive to me unless your shooting under 300 yards. 300 wm absolutely a proven round!! 30-06 time tested but again very limited on your distance for an ethical kill on elk sized animals. I love my 338LM it bucks the wind so good and is a complete hammer. My main elk rifle is a custom 300 ultra mag. I had a client last season take a bull at 750 yards one shot and done. the 338 ultra or 338 ultra are a fantastic choice but if you want to look at a bit more efficient round look the the nosler stuff not quite the speed of the ultra but very close with much less powered being burnt.
 

Lefty7mmstw

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
4,942
Location
Dakota del norte
If you think you need a 338 you should probably explore that option. There are plenty of people here who have taken scores of elk with a 300win using heavy Berger pills. My brother has taken 4 elk with a 300win he used to own with a Barnes pill. The 300win is enough for most situations from what I am seeing.
That said, a decent 338 (win or above) is a heck of a hard hitter and if you have the means to buy/ feed it that might be a good second rifle to hunt.
 

Lefty7mmstw

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
4,942
Location
Dakota del norte
first and foremost you need to know how far of a shot you will be willing to take ethically. 338win is far from impressive to me unless your shooting under 300 yards. 300 wm absolutely a proven round!! 30-06 time tested but again very limited on your distance for an ethical kill on elk sized animals. I love my 338LM it bucks the wind so good and is a complete hammer. My main elk rifle is a custom 300 ultra mag. I had a client last season take a bull at 750 yards one shot and done. the 338 ultra or 338 ultra are a fantastic choice but if you want to look at a bit more efficient round look the the nosler stuff not quite the speed of the ultra but very close with much less powered being burnt.
A well loaded 338 win is one bullet weight lighter at the same speed than the Lapua. I run a 225 to 2900 fps or a 250 to 2750fps from my #1 338win. My brother is doing 2900fps from 250's in his Lapua. It's a bit of a hard sell to me on the Lapua for the difference I see. Possibly a fast twist Edge +p or similar might be enough difference, but I usually hunt deer so either is a lot of rifle already.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top