Should I add 338 to my hunting rifles?

MachV

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Took my elk last year with the 6.5x55 while deer hunting, dropped in his tracks. With that said I just added a 338 Federal to an already filled elk arsenal (7mag,30-06 and 338 Edge)
You always need a new elk rifle 😎 Just make sure you can get ammo for it!
 

crkckr

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In the woods outside of Warrenton, MO
I have a .338 WM that shoots just fine for me, as far out as I'm willing to reach... maybe 350 yards, and does a number on elk. However, if I were in the market to buy an elk rifle today it would definitely be a .338 RUM or Lapua! And yes, for elk you need as much gun as you can handle. While an 06 and .300 WM will kill an elk, you can take shots with the .338 that an ethical 300 WM hunter should pass on, due to either angle or range. The .338 is an elk slayer, keeping in mind at all times that shot placement is always king!
Cheers,
crkckr
 

camodave7

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Shawn O'Shea shot that bow somewhere near where I live in Central Alberta. He arrowed it at 18ish yards. I shoot targets at very long range but I hunt to get within 100. Just google Shawn O'Shea world record elk if you doubt me.
 

camodave7

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Shawn O'Shea shot that bow somewhere near where I live in Central Alberta. He arrowed it at 18ish yards. I shoot targets at very long range but I hunt to get within 100. Just google Shawn O'Shea world record elk if you doubt me.
Final score just under 450 inches. Close to, if not, the all time World Record non typical elk
 

MagnumManiac

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Late to the discussion, but a 338 is almost a must have...well, it is in my circle.
I own 3 338WM, a 338-06 and a 338-416 Rigby Improved 45°. Did own a 338 Edge until last November.
It really is a hammer, you can shoot 210g Partitions and shoot everything, or step up to 250g and take some big critters with them. I like the Accubonds personally, either the 225g or 250g in the 338WM, and the 300g at 338-416 Rigby Improved velocities.
The 265g ABLR is a good LR killer.

Cheers.
 

Dragoon300

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338 Lapua, standard shoulder so you can use factory ammo in a pinch. Throated to allow 300 grain Bergers seated to 3-15/16" OAL (or whatever your max nag length will allow)
Lapua brass is about the best there is, and it is available. I have played with 30-378 Wby's cause I like that kinda thing, especially fast light bullets, but the 338 Lapua with 300 grain Bergers has the advantage in the big game world, and the Lapua brass is better so you can push it harder. 30 caliber is great, but 338 at close to, or at the same speed is better. And the BC of the 300 grain Berger is better, so if big game is the goal it is hard to pick a 30 cal that is better than an equally fast 338.
 

StoneyBurk

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Mar 18, 2021
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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.
The .338 is a great caliber with 225 or 250 grain bullets ! Moose and bear guides like them ! I think you got the spectrum covered with 6 5 to. 375 thought unless you just want another good rifle !
 

camodave7

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Canada
I like the fact that my 338/06 doesn't need a brake in a packing weight rifle. 😁
The hardest kicking gun I have ever fired was a Browning single shot in 45/70. My friend Tom bought it just because he could. It had an octagon 22 inch barrel and a crescent butt plate and was to die for.
I fired 3 shots with it, relatively mild factory ammo, handed it back to him and told him I never wanted to see that gun again.
Years later, after Tom died at the tender age of 58, I asked a mutual friend if Tom had left the gun to him and he said, "Nope. He fired about 3 shots out of it and sold it".
Just the other day a gentleman took me to task about recoil measurement. That leaves out a huge component of dealing with recoil. Metal crescent buttplate in a bigger bore with lots of drop of the stock and a shortish barrel with not a lot of weight. I gave that gun back and Tom sold it because firing it HURT!
 

camodave7

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The idea that any rifle needs a brake is a relatively new one as such things go. I have been shooting rifles now for 58 years, since I shot my first 22 at age 11, and I have never owned a rifle with a muzzle brake.
I watched a guy sighting in his Stone Sheep rifle once in British Columbia. If you want to see serious sheep hunters these are the best of the best. No idea what the gun was but my guess is it was not more than 8 pounds. I did ask and learned the chambering was the 300WSM. The gun had no brake.
His groups were under an inch. It is one thing to shoot one inch groups with your Sheep Rifle. It is an entirely different thing to do it with a light, hard recoiling gun.
 

memtb

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Winchester, Wy.
The idea that any rifle needs a brake is a relatively new one as such things go. I have been shooting rifles now for 58 years, since I shot my first 22 at age 11, and I have never owned a rifle with a muzzle brake.
I watched a guy sighting in his Stone Sheep rifle once in British Columbia. If you want to see serious sheep hunters these are the best of the best. No idea what the gun was but my guess is it was not more than 8 pounds. I did ask and learned the chambering was the 300WSM. The gun had no brake.
His groups were under an inch. It is one thing to shoot one inch groups with your Sheep Rifle. It is an entirely different thing to do it with a light, hard recoiling gun.

A bit of a challenge.....but, definitely doable! It just requires a little more determination.....and enjoying pain is a definite asset! 🤣 memtb
 

camodave7

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I have a 375 Ruger that weighs under 8 pounds and the only thing I have shot so far is the 300 grain factory ammo. Not enjoyable to shoot but manageable, especially offhand which is how I mostly will shoot it. It is my iron sight big bore for relatively short shots, out to about 200 metres.
 

Mike Matteson

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Jun 26, 2017
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Excuse me, but did you say 3233 fps out of a 338 Win mag with a 200 grain.......?
Yes 3230 with a 338WM, in Mark 11 Ruger in a 24" barrel. The load was develop in early 2000's You won't fine that in any reloading book. I'll put out a little more info on that load. Fed 210 primer in Rem case, W760 powder. 70+ grains. Necks turned. Cases weighted. Now using 200gr Accubond Nosler bullets the load is hot, but no creators in the primers, just flat. No ejector marks either, which would even be higher chamber pressures. This load was develop in Mex-lifornia during warn to hot weather. Never check on how the temperature effects the velocity, because W760 is effected by heat, but how much, I don't know presently. No info on temperature effect the powder presently. Hopefully this year I will get a chance to figure that out. Earlier last year my son had gotten a Browning in 338 WM, and we loaded up 12 case to see if it would handle the powder charge. It did, but that was it. We haven't had time to get back to it. I am having a 338 WM in a 26" being built to see what I can achieve in velocity with it. The 5 shot grouping was under 1/2" @ 100yds.
The two things that I reload for is: Accuracies, and velocity. My ranger is under 600yds. I generally don't use hand loads that don't achieve 3200 fps or very close to that. Grouping has to be in the 1/2" @ 100 yds.
 

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