340 Weatherby

Alexandro Faria

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Anyone have any experience with this beast of a cartridge?

I'm looking for a backpack/mountain rifle and the 340 seems awfully appealing, the biggest issue I have is that I have no experience with cartridge and I would like to hear from those in the know...

TIA!
 

TNDave

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It is a beast of a cartridge and rifle, it basically has the same ballistics as 338 Lapua. As for a backpack/mountain rifle, it may be a little more than what you would want to pack. The typical barrel length for the 340 WBY is 26 inches and the weight is right at 9 pounds without the glass on top. As for a long range rifle it is great as it will push 225-250 grain pills to 3,000 - 3,200 FPS with deadly accuracy, however it does have stout recoil. I got a super deal on mine just a few months ago and so far am impressed with it and haven’t even stretched it out yet.
 

bruce moulds

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dave,
you might be 200 fps optimistic on your velocities.
2800 with 250 and maybe up to 3000 with 225 gn bullets.
are you thinking of the 338/378?
bruce.
 

NWT

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It's my favorite round for moose and elk.

I use the 250 grain Nosler partition exclusively. I have not been able to exceed the factory ammo ballistics. My reloads with Norma MRP get right at 2900fps. Less the 1" moa consistently.
My gun is a Dakota Safari grade with a 25" barrel with a Schmidt Bender 1.5-6X42 . It weighs a little over 10lbs. I can shoot a box of shells off the bench with no problem. The gun is not my back packing rifle. It spends most of its time in a rifle scabbard on a horse.
I never have had to shoot a big game animal more than once to anchor it with this gun . In a light rifle the recoil would be more than I would want to deal with.
 

TNDave

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dave,
you might be 200 fps optimistic on your velocities.
2800 with 250 and maybe up to 3000 with 225 gn bullets.

bruce.

You are correct I did misspeak on the bullet weight and velocities. I loaded 210 grain Swift sciroccos as that is all I had at time and got right at 3,170 FPS. I just received some 225 grain Barnes TTSX and looking at pushing them 2,900 - 3,000 FPS. That’s what I get from going off memory and not checking my notes.

Thanks for keeping me honest Bruce!
 

Alexandro Faria

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What I was thinking of doing is a ruger #1 with a custom-fitted stock (laminate or synthetic) with a good recoil pad and a 26" barrel. Was hoping for a weight (all included) at between 8-9 pounds... Am I completely bonkers? Want to be shooting a 250gr projectile at about 2800ft/s for things like kudu and eland at distance.
 

TNDave

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We are all a little bonkers! I think what you are describing would be a neat set up. It is really a good round and will do what you are describing you are wanting it to do. If you have access to IMR 7828 SSC powder, it performs really well.
 

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You must be a glutton for punishment thinking of shooting 250 grain bullets out of a light rifle.

With my Mark V .340 I have a hard time shooting more than 10 rounds of 225 gr TTSX at 3000 fps before I have to sit it down the the day. I do have a removable muzzle brake and with it on I can shoot those loads all day long, but I don't like to hunt with it on.

I will say that the .340 is not a lightweight mountain rifle. If you want something lightweight in that caliber take a look at the 35 Whelen. It will shoot just as big of a bullet but won't tear your arm off.
 
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bruce moulds

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dave,
you could be forgiven, as roy promoted a 250 gn bullet at 3000 until the little people got chronographs.
this is not to denigrate the 250 at 2800.
here is aust 340 weatherby brass and ammo was made by norma, and was soft in the heads, meaning that they would not take the pressure required for full ballistic potential.
some here reformed win or rem 375 and 300 h&h brass, or 8mm rem mag brass, and found it would withstand more pressure.
someone gave me 400 cases 8mm rem mag necked up to 338, and I am considering chambering a barrel for that round - a ballistic twin to the 340.
on bigger animals it should have a point blank out to 300, and energy to match that distance.
bruce.
 

meigsbucks

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What I was thinking of doing is a ruger #1 with a custom-fitted stock (laminate or synthetic) with a good recoil pad and a 26" barrel. Was hoping for a weight (all included) at between 8-9 pounds... Am I completely bonkers? Want to be shooting a 250gr projectile at about 2800ft/s for things like kudu and eland at distance.
Several years ago, a rebarreled #1 is what my .340 was. Shot the 250 gr Nosler Partition exclusively. It had a 26” barrel and was getting 2840 fps with IMR 7828. Rifle weighed something like 9.5#.
I now have a .338 RUM (very similar) in a MRC with a Zeiss scope in Talley mounts. Weight is 8.75#. To me, it kicks, but the real issue is that the recoil IS FAST! It took some getting used to. Personally, I would think an eight pound .340 would be BRUTAL! A muzzle brake might help but that would add barrel length and the muzzle blast... WOW!
You are correct in the capabilities of the round, but for the hunting you describe with a rifle in the weight class you describe, I’d pick another round. Maybe a .300 mag for the speed. It would kick, but nothing like the .340.
If you want big bullets, maybe a .338 Win mag. Mine weighs 8 lb 4 oz and one of it’s loads is a 225 gr TTSX (BC of .514) at 2790 fps. It kicks but isn’t brutal. JimP’s suggestion of a .35 Whelen is another good consideration.
 

GeoffB

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I have a older .340 in a Mk5 Fibermark S/S. This model has the McMillan fiberglass stock on it from the factory.
With a scope and ammo in the magazine its weight is 9.1 lbs. I do not find the recoil bad at all.
This weight makes my .340 with 250gr bullets feel similar to my 8.5 lbs .375 H&H with 300gr bullets.
I like my .340 so much that I am taking it to Africa this year to shoot the larger plains game up to Eland.
I have not had any brass issues with the Norma brass like Bruce has mentioned and I will run the 225gr Swift A-frame at 3000 fps.
Go for it and build your .340 it will certainly have plenty of power for the larger plains game that you have mentioned.
 

rookhawk

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I had one. Miserable beast. Neither fish nor fowl. Way overkill for anything that calls for a 338, illegal for everything requiring 375.
 

Alexandro Faria

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Right, I think the general consensus is that it's not the best idea and for once I think I'll listen to the majority. The whelen, while more than capable (based on my reading, not my experience) will be a pain in Southern Africa, so I think I'll give it a miss too. I think I'll go with a 338 win mag, assuming I can get the velocities I need. I already have the 375, but at just over 11 pounds, it's not fun lugging up and down big hills after kudu or reedbuck.

I'm aware that the various 338's are overkill for most game, but I find I hunt and shoot better when I'm not worried about whether or not I have enough gun. At the end of the day, I'll limit myself to shots <450m any way, so it's not like I need a cannon for those distances.

Thanks to everyone who chipped in, really appreciate the advice and suggestions.
 

bruce moulds

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the 340 is a specialist chambering, and when it shines it really shines.
another one to look at is the 338/06.
a ballistic twin to the 318 westley Richards.
bruce.
 

rookhawk

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Right, I think the general consensus is that it's not the best idea and for once I think I'll listen to the majority. The whelen, while more than capable (based on my reading, not my experience) will be a pain in Southern Africa, so I think I'll give it a miss too. I think I'll go with a 338 win mag, assuming I can get the velocities I need. I already have the 375, but at just over 11 pounds, it's not fun lugging up and down big hills after kudu or reedbuck.

I'm aware that the various 338's are overkill for most game, but I find I hunt and shoot better when I'm not worried about whether or not I have enough gun. At the end of the day, I'll limit myself to shots <450m any way, so it's not like I need a cannon for those distances.

Thanks to everyone who chipped in, really appreciate the advice and suggestions.

So many ways to “have enough gun” without going to a 338. You have a 375 already, so you need a surgeons gun.

And what kills? Good bullets. Heavy for caliber bullets. Light bullets at high speed. Precision. -several ways to get there.

If killing with speed is your style: 300winmag, 300 weatherby. 270 weatherby. 7mm weatherby.

If killing with heavy for caliber: 7x64, 318 westley, 35 Whelen,

7mm rem mag could be loaded either way.

All the calibers I listed offer something much different than your 375 and can be a lightweight gun. The 338 doesn’t really get you that differentiation.
 
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Luvthunt

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You picked a winner of a cartridge, those who are negative about a 340 do so because of recoil.
I have one and it is a modified Rem 700 with a Sako extractor, Brown Precision stock and a 24 “ barrel and weighs 8.5 #. Have owned and loved it for 30 or more years. It has been in Alaska, Canada and Africa where it really shines. My last PH tried to convince me to use it for a Cape B. But I only had Nosler Part. No solids so I declined.
I have always used RE19 and get right at 1” groups with the 225gr. And carry a few 250 gr for ?
Do your MM cal’c and you will see it is right there with a 375 h&h but does lack the frontal mass of the 375 but has greater shocking [vel] then the 375.
I would not be without one and with the proper bullet it will do about anything you need/want.
BEST PG and cat rifle going!!!!
 

rookhawk

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Just quantifying:

@Luvhunt has a custom 8.5lb .340 Weatherby. Shooting a 250gr bullet at published velocities he is enjoying 46lbs of felt recoil. A 375H&H with a 9lb weight shooting a 300gr bullet at published velocities experiences 37lbs of recoil.

The 340W, 125% of the recoil of a dangerous game rifle yet you cannot legally use it for dangerous game. It still drops 15" at 300 yards.

Certainly not the technical approach Karamojo Bell would have selected had it been available.
 

MikeW

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the 340 is a specialist chambering, and when it shines it really shines.
another one to look at is the 338/06.
a ballistic twin to the 318 westley Richards.
bruce.

This is a good option. As much as I like the 340 Wby, I can only take it in small doses. Actually enjoy shooting my 375 H&H more than the 340 Wby. I originally purchased it as a mountain rifle but at 10,000+ feet in CO, it got very old humping this in the mountains. I purchased the Weatherby Ultralight in 338-06 and it is a welcome change. Good combination of weight and power. 210gr TSX at ~2700 fps makes for a great elk rifle and expect would fit the bill as my PG rifle.
 

rookhawk

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338/06 and the original 318 Westley Richards are excellent, managed recoil large game cartridges.
 

Ray B

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I've hunted with people that had 340s and they liked them. I've hunted with the same family case, 300 Wby and the same bore, 338 Win Mag. The 340 has a velocity advantage to the 338, but nothing that has been hit with the 338 (and there's been several moose & elk) have ever complained. I did have a review of the 338/06AI published in Handloaders Digest several years back and it is a very good cartridge, but the 338 completes the same transaction with less fuss.
 

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