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February 25, 2008

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Nothing Works Better than a .338

Once in a while you hear your exact thoughts repeated to you in just the words you would have chosen yourself. A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a geezer of taste who had done a lot of hunting, especially in Africa, and we swapped war stories, working through the
roster of cartridges. Then he said:

"I never had anything work as well as the .338. If you have a good .338 and you can shoot it, you'll never have to track anything. Pull the trigger and it'll be lying right where it was standing."

This has not only been my experience, but it's just the way I'd say it. I dislike attributing magical qualities to cartridges, but I've shot everything from prairie dogs to elk with a .338, and taken it to Africa and shot lots of stuff there, and only one animal has ever gone  anywhere after being hit with it, and that was an elk that traveled 100 yards and was deceased when we found it.

The .338 is loaded with bullets of 200 to 250 grains, and the favorite these days seems to be the 225-grain slug. It's a good compromise, but I believe that the 200-grainers are for deer, and that the 250 is the best of all. What you get with a tough bullet in this weight is tremendous, straight-line penetration. You want to break an elk shoulder? Consider it done. Do you wish to pound a puku (which is a tough African antelope about the size of a small elk)? No problem, as the young folks say.

If you're crazed for high velocity and the .338's modest numbers are not enough for you, there is always the .340 Weatherby and the .338 RUM. Elmer Keith may not have been right about everything, but he was right about the .338. If you want stuff to drop, here's your cartridge.


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Walt Smith

I still say that the 30-06 is simply the best all around cartridge for north american game.For those who think the cartridge is light for the big bears, that maybe, but I don't plan on hunting anything that can eat me anyhow.At least I know that I can accuratly dump 5 rounds out of my Rem. 740 in under five seconds and quickly reload. How many rounds can you get out of a .338 bolt in that time??

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Walt I used a Remington Auto for 35 years and no problem, as i kept the gun clean. However, I was on a Lope hunt in Colorado and teh guide would not allow me to have one in the chamber of the 740. A uge Lope appeared at about l00 yds out and I aimed and click. I was use to the gun having one in the chamber when hunting, I had forgotten to chamber a round, but you know the racket chambering a Auto makes, can be heard l000 yds away. So after that deal i bought some Rem 700's in bolt action for Western hunting. However, I continue to use my 742's BDL wherever I am allowed to load it up. The secrete to a non-jamming Auto is to clean teh rifle, and just pour some Hopps down the bbl, but take the action out and forearm and buy some Gun Scrubber and clean the gun. If in a dust envirement clean often, otherwise, wipe down and clean when hunt is over./ I do agree, both the Auto's and Bolts have their place. For 3-400+ shots I will take my 24" bolt 06 verses the 22 inch 742. I don;t like the new Rem 750 Auto, but Remington has not come out with a good looking gun since the 700 CDL. Now lets hope they don;t screw up MArlin's line.


Any of you guys try the new Mossburg muzzleloader barrels to fit the Mossburg 500 pump shotgun.... MidwayUSA has them listed.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

AS stated many times, to me the 30-06 is all the firepower 99% of us will ever need. Now, most all the hunters want a light wt rifle around 5 l/2 lbs.Even a 243 will kick at that wt. Back many years a 9-10 lb rifle was normal wt, to me it still is. I have all my Western hunting rifles weighing around 9-10 lbs. I don;t spot and stalk, I am disabled and stand hunt. Now and then I will amble thru the thick timber with my 30-30 open sghts and its not a heavy recoil weapon as we all know. With todays larger caliber and loaded to the max or more, the Mags will turn you around. My bolt 06 is just right for me, little reoil, even bench pratice don;t hurt and I only weigh 128 lbs. If I was able to handle a larger caliber to use in the Rockies it would be a 300 Win Mag. With a wt of 10 lbs it is manageable for me, but my trust is in the 700 CDL 06. Until I bought this CDL I used Monte Carlo stocked frearms, with this CDL and straight stock with cheek piece, the felt recoil is even less than the 742 Auto.After all is said, shoot enough gun for the game you hunting, and pratce a lot. Know where that bullet is going to hit and build your confidence in what-ever gun you use. If you own a $2-3K gun and don;t trust it or yourself, then you would be better off with a $300.00 243,30-30 or 270. When I pull the trigger on my 700's I know when the firing pin falls if its a good hit or not.You got to have confidence in your weapon and yourself and have the correct ammo to be a successful hunter of any type . In closing, a few years back I ordered a new gun, it was to be my Western hunting machine. O it was pretty,nice Stock, stainles steel and a muzzle break in 300 win mag. I took the gun out of the box, looked it over careful for flaws, non apparent, then I threw the gun to my shoulder and it did not feel like an extension of my arm. I did that over a period of a week, never fired the gun or even loaded it. I returned the gun and bought the Rem 700 CDL in its place. Now I wish had keep the other gun as it has been discontinued and worth mega bucks, but at the time I wanted a gun I felt confortable with, of which I am now. Years are flying by for me at 73, but can hardly wait till season opens. If my health was ok, I;d go to Fl and hunt a few days . But will hunt out West again and 5 weeks here plus 4 weeks or turkey next month. So should get in enough hunting. Waiting now on the New MArlin in 270 to come in, never shot a 270 so want to see how it compares to my 700 25-06. If Shootimes Magazine is l/2 correct in their article, this rifle will surely sell. Hope big green don;t screw it up as they did with the 710 and now with the 715 and the lousy looking 770 made from Japan beer cans. Pray they don;t dcrew up what Marli has done for over l00 yrs, but an investment Co bought Remington and now they bought Marlin, all they want is to make more $$$$$. I did e-mail Rem and told them never forget, that there were other firearms available made in USA. Savage has realy improved its line of firearms. To me they been under-rated too long.Ok long message, but hopefully meaningful to someone. The Old Gunslinger down South


Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun. Garrett Hammerhead Bullet's, bigger lever loop, 4x Bushnell scope screwed down tight!. My reloads. Anything w/n 150 yds. Down for the count! Shot a 1,200 moose in New Foundland and it went about 15 yds. My mistake w/ the 15 yds was factory loaded 300 grain Nosler Partitions. If the 300 grain Noslers where my handloads, that moose wouldn't have gone 2 steps! No .338 at 100 yards will do that. At longer ranges, I have to conceed to the .338. I've shot long range, over 400 yds maybe 10 times in my life w/ kills and I never had to track as far w/ the BAR .338 as the BAR .300 Win. But dangerous game, Brownies, Duggas, whatever under 100 yds, I'll take the 45-70. I also took a nice deer at 127 yds last yr around Morristown, Mich w/ 300 grain jacketed hollow pts w/ my Guide gun and he did'nt move a step after impact.


By the way, anything over .40 caliber is not a hit, it's an IMPACT!

Clay Cooper

Has anyone seen what happens when you shoot a straight out running jackrabbit with a 338 Win Mag? YYYUUUUCCCCKKKK! Blew the critter totally up I did


I have recently purchased a savage model 111 .338 win mag. after spending $10 on a recoil pad
it never once had me saying ouch. as soon as i have my muzzle break finished i couldnt see it kicking any harder than an .06 without said mods. so why not? a charging grizz will drop at my feet weather or not my shot is dead on.
read the NSPD 51-21 and ask your self if a 7mag or 270 will pass through an Interceptor OTV
Mil-Spec Outer Tactical Vest.

vote from the roof tops.

Dr. Ralph

...and I thought I was a right-wing extremest. Your muzzle blast will give your position away jaredhwy.


it would be in defence for sure.
also, there are many neat-o spots in wyoming to hide.


I wonder how the .338 Federal stacks up? It seems to be pretty close to the .338/06 ballisically, and it's available in an AR-10 configuration.

But for the time being, I'm sticking with my tried-and-true single-shot .458 Winnie. Just because it's what's in the rack.

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