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338 mag. - - - 5 messages. Showing 1 through 5.
cheep charlie
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Joined 03/22/2009
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 05:12 AM 02/07/10 (CST)
I would like to get some feed back on this round. Is it to much for deer,is this round going to be around ( is it popular) for a wail.Thanks for any and all feed back.


BE GOOD BUT NOT SO GOOD YOU DON'T HAVE FUN
The Fisher
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Joined 12/13/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 12:43 PM 02/08/10 (CST)
Hey Cheep Charlie,

I have been using a 338 magnum for something over 15 years now. I absolutely love it.

It is a more versatile cartridge than one might think. I have taken animals that range from 150 pound whitetails to 700+ pound elk with it. The 338 magnum has performed exceptionally in every circumstance.

I would also like to address your concern of it being overmatched for whitetails. It is obviously true that a rifle of this size and caliber is not necessary to down a whitetail... not by a good deal. However, it has performed exceptionally on them for me. A few things to consider....

1. Expanded shooting range. If you are rarely shooting to 100 yards or beyond then there are a great many servicable loads. However, I often reach out to around 300 yards. The ballistics on the 338 mag make that a much more doable shot. Of course there is no magic caliber and a GREAT amount of the skill in making a clean kill at that distance resides in the person squeezing off the round. With a skilled marksman that 300 yard clean kill shot is doable from a 270, 308, and even some of the slightly smaller newer WSM rounds. However all things being equal that 338 will up the percentages in my favor due to the superior and flatter ballistics it maintains.
2. If you will downsize the shell to the Federal Premium 338 magnum 180 grain bullet then you will have a more whitetail sized wallop in a smokin' flame thrower of a projection system.
3. I have never had a whitetail walk over 6 steps after being shot with a 338. Admittedly these were all well placed kill zone shots. However, almost all of the many bucks I have shot with it dropped where they stood...the one that took 6 steps was slowly staggering and I think only made those steps because it was headed down a fairly steep bank when I shot it. That makes tracking a breeze.. and very little chance of losing a deer. Again though..IT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT WHERE YOU PUT THE BULLET THAN THE SIZE BULLET YOU PUT THERE. All the deer I have killed with a 338 would have been just as dead with a 30.06, 270, 308, 30.30, or even a 243 for that matter....but the 338 increased my odds.

On the larger end of things it is a perfect rifle for elk, moose,and brown bear if you hunt Alaska. On the larger animals I have usually opted for the 225 grain bullet. Again it has peformed marvelously. The 225 grain makes for a big amount of lead fired at high velocity that does an incredible job on larger animals. IT HAS ALL THE SUBTLETY OF A RAILROAD TIE!

The only draw back I can find is that it does deliver a pretty good kick when you fire off a round. It is strong enough that it might be a consideration in purchasing if the person using it is rather small bodied and framed. Unfortunately I don't seem to have that problem!

I love the 338 and have found it servicable to a wide range of large game animals. I must stress again though that there is no magic caliber...... where you place a bullet is still far more important than the bullet that is placed there. However, with that being said the 338 is, in my experience, perhaps the finest all around big game caliber out there. If you can place the shot in the kill zone then this is one load that will positively put them on the ground for you. It is also a great load to give you a better percentage at shots over long distance. I have also had good success with it as a "brush buster" at times. I can recall a couple of whitetails that I shot through some small brush that I feel certain a lesser caliber would have not gotten through. The smallest of twigs can at times deflect a shot it seems.

Well that has been my experience with the 338 mag. I hope it is helpful to you. Let us know what you decide. By the way..what specific species were you looking to hunt with it?

The Fisher
cheep charlie
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Joined 03/22/2009
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 06:24 PM 02/09/10 (CST)
The Fisher; Thank you for your words of wisdom and your knowledge of the 338 mag. I agree whole heartily that the placement of the cross hairs is 90% of the harvest. I am looking in to this caliber in hopes that besides hunting whitetail, that there may be an elk, moose, bear, the list could go on and on trip some day. Again thank you for your insight. Aim straight, don't forget to breath, and squeeze...


BE GOOD BUT NOT SO GOOD YOU DON'T HAVE FUN
The Fisher
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Joined 12/13/2004
Posts:1116

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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 06:08 PM 02/10/10 (CST)
Cheep Charlie,

If there are indeed moose, elk, or brown bear in your future then the 338 would certainly the gun of first choice for me. It is obviously some overkill for a whitetail....but with that 185 grain bullet it is manageable. The benefits I listed also help it be a reasonable whitetail choice in my book.

You won't be disappointed in it.

If you go that way post us a pic of your new rifle!

The Fisher
toddafisherman
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Joined 01/07/2009
Posts:23

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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 11:44 PM 02/11/10 (CST)
my brother shoots 338 win mag.its a nice round but it is a bit over kill for white tailed deer, think about it if you can kill a deer with a bow set at 40 pounds not really a need for such a big round unless you plan on hunting out west for elk or something. my younger bro shoots a 243 win. cause he has a heart problem and he can't handle lots of recoil and he's killed deer out to 160 yards with a 100 gr. bullet. but if you like that round go for it it gets the job done pretty good.
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