.338 Federal

Alaska Luke

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JakeH I see nothing wrong with a 338 Federal. That said there might be other options to consider

I don't know much about hogs but I'd shoot black bears with a 308 no questions asked. Ammo is much easier to get.

The 338 Federal has the advantage of a short action but needs a full length barrel to maximize its potential. How about a 30-06 with a slightly shorter barrel? You could have the same overall length and a much more common cartridge. I don't think the animals will be able to tell the difference.

If you really want close range smackdown in a short action the 358 Winchester is another idea. I think in SOME situations you'll get better DRT performance with the 358 given the bigger bullet. If you're thinking of a short barrelled brush gun I think the 358 makes more sense.

All that said I don't think a 338 Federal is bad. Its just got plenty of competition. 338 bullets are easier to find than 358 bullets if you handload. Of course 30 cal bullets are even easier. Something to consider.
 
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if you had just caught a salmon and a bear decided it was his, and you only had a 338 federal loaded with 250 gn bullets, you could be in a much worse place.
bruce.
@bruce moulds
Yeah you could have a 243 and throw it at the bear. It would be less to carry when you run and more use throwing it.
Bob
 

Michael Dean

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I brought a 338 federal to Africa for the larger species. Shot a Nyala in the shoulder, it was a through and through. He took three steps sidways and dropped over dead. The 338 federal has a lot more power than one would expect.
 

Rimshot

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I'm intrigued by the 338 fed. To my rational or utilitarian side though, it feels like a half- measure. I tend to agree with another poster that for a thumper that doesn't suffer much with a shorter barrel, 358 win just improves upon what the 338 fed moves toward. Theoretically the 358 should have better perfomance in a shorter tube than 338 due to expansion ratio. I'm a sucker for different though so I'd probably end up with one on impulse and have to develop a cataloging system for my ever growing library of reloading dies.
 
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I'm intrigued by the 338 fed. To my rational or utilitarian side though, it feels like a half- measure. I tend to agree with another poster that for a thumper that doesn't suffer much with a shorter barrel, 358 win just improves upon what the 338 fed moves toward. Theoretically the 358 should have better perfomance in a shorter tube than 338 due to expansion ratio. I'm a sucker for different though so I'd probably end up with one on impulse and have to develop a cataloging system for my ever growing library of reloading dies.

Then beyond .358 Winchester there’s the .375 Raptor. Even more of a good thing.
 
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I'm intrigued by the 338 fed. To my rational or utilitarian side though, it feels like a half- measure. I tend to agree with another poster that for a thumper that doesn't suffer much with a shorter barrel, 358 win just improves upon what the 338 fed moves toward. Theoretically the 358 should have better perfomance in a shorter tube than 338 due to expansion ratio. I'm a sucker for diffe
nt though so I'd probably end up with one on impulse and have to develop a cataloging system for my ever growing library of reloading dies.
@Rimshot
Once you get a 358 you will never look back. Load it with a 225 grain Woodleigh or Sierra game king at almost 2,500 fps and go have fun. It will soon become your favorite rifle.
Bob
 

Viral_SIGness

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I'm intrigued by the 338 fed. To my rational or utilitarian side though, it feels like a half- measure. I tend to agree with another poster that for a thumper that doesn't suffer much with a shorter barrel, 358 win just improves upon what the 338 fed moves toward. Theoretically the 358 should have better perfomance in a shorter tube than 338 due to expansion ratio. I'm a sucker for different though so I'd probably end up with one on impulse and have to develop a cataloging system for my ever growing library of reloading dies.
I love things that are different as well. Thats why I had one of the first .325 WSM rifles. I dearly regret selling that one.

As far as the .338 Federal, it's a great cartridge, that punches out of its weight class. Two more that I like, are the .338 Marlin Express and the .338 RCM.

@Rimshot When it comes to the .35's, I'd rather have the .350 Rem Mag.
 

ufg8r93

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Update on my Sako 338 Federal. I wanted to shoot something heavier than a 185g TTSX and decided that 2550 wasn't fast enough for the 33 cal TTSX to mushroom properly - I think it's better suited to 338 WM velocities after boring a caliber-sized hole all the way through a south GA pig. It was effective though - bang flop, no tracking. That's the goal when hunting the south GA swamps.

So, my Sako also really likes the 210 Partition and 51.0 grains of Leverevolution with a Rem 9.5 primer. 2618 fps with an extreme spread of 19 fps for a five shot group. 0.78". I've made up 40 or so rounds and that will be my go-to for now. Hopefully I have a better experience with the Partitions than @bruce moulds

I also hated the Burris bases I had on the rifle so she's now wearing the Sako Optilocks. And even on this short action rifle you need a lot of scope tube to mount one properly. I really dislike the Sako integral rails. I'd own more Sako's if it weren't for those.
 

Viral_SIGness

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Update on my Sako 338 Federal. I wanted to shoot something heavier than a 185g TTSX and decided that 2550 wasn't fast enough for the 33 cal TTSX to mushroom properly - I think it's better suited to 338 WM velocities after boring a caliber-sized hole all the way through a south GA pig. It was effective though - bang flop, no tracking. That's the goal when hunting the south GA swamps.

So, my Sako also really likes the 210 Partition and 51.0 grains of Leverevolution with a Rem 9.5 primer. 2618 fps with an extreme spread of 19 fps for a five shot group. 0.78". I've made up 40 or so rounds and that will be my go-to for now. Hopefully I have a better experience with the Partitions than @bruce moulds

I also hated the Burris bases I had on the rifle so she's now wearing the Sako Optilocks. And even on this short action rifle you need a lot of scope tube to mount one properly. I really dislike the Sako integral rails. I'd own more Sako's if it weren't for those.
The 210 Partition is a great idea. The Partition uses a much thinner front jacket than the similar designed A-Frame. So you get rapid expansion, and at the lower speeds of the .338 Federal, the front might not break off.
 
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I love things that are different as well. Thats why I had one of the first .325 WSM rifles. I dearly regret selling that one.

As far as the .338 Federal, it's a great cartridge, that punches out of its weight class. Two more that I like, are the .338 Marlin Express and the .338 RCM.

@Rimshot When it comes to the .35's, I'd rather have the .350 Rem Mag.
@Viral_SIGness
Nothing you can load into the 350 Remington mag will equal the Whelen when you start using 225 grain accubonds and 250 grainers. They take up to much powder capacity in the shorter case.
Bob
 

MS 9x56

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I would recommend a 358 winchester or a 35 whelen as there are a bigger assortment of guns available in these calibers and they hit with a bit more authority. I am sure Bob will back me up on this. The 338 has a better selection of bullets but most are designed for 338 win mag velocities. Good hunting.
 

bruce moulds

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200 gn nosler accubond, 200 gn ballistic tip, and 200 gn speer would be a good group of bullets to look at with the 338 federal.
each of those bullets will do a different job for different game, while all using a similar load with similar sight settings.
if you dropped one it would be the ballistic tip due to the erratic terminal performance of plastic point bullets, and the other 2 would overlap enough to cover the same ground.
both bullets would be more predictable terminally than the 210 partition.
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

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just a note on aframes.
their jacket material, while quite thick, is softer than some conventional jackets, and will expand pretty well.
i have shot a number of goats with 140 gn 7mm swifts, and they killed emphatically.
these goats are on average about as big as a german shepherd, and they require a fairly fast opening bullet for emphatic results.
bruce.
 

ufg8r93

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200 gn nosler accubond, 200 gn ballistic tip, and 200 gn speer would be a good group of bullets to look at with the 338 federal.
I really wanted to use the 200 grain Accubond, but my rifle wouldn't do better than 1.6" with it and my OCD wouldn't let me stop there. I've always had good experiences with Partitions on game, but it's been with 30 cals and below. Partitions seem to be easy to get decent hunting accuracy (under 1") when reloading.

338 Federal isn't the end-all be-all but not sure anyone here has claimed that it is. It's a fun caliber. YMMV.
 
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I would recommend a 358 winchester or a 35 whelen as there are a bigger assortment of guns available in these calibers and they hit with a bit more authority. I am sure Bob will back me up on this. The 338 has a better selection of bullets but most are designed for 338 win mag velocities. Good hunting.
@MS9x56.
You are correct mate only Woodleigh makes 2 projectiles especially for the 338 federal.
Bob.
 

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