Is the .338 RUM Dead?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Saul, May 6, 2019.

  1. Saul

    Saul AH Enthusiast

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    As a fan of big .338s, I really want a new rifle in .338 RUM but it seems that no one is making it in this cartridge anymore. If the RUM is dead, I might as well just get a .338 Lapua, as everyone seems to be chambering it now. Thoughts on the life of the RUM?
     

  2. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    It is alive and well at my house! Look at Montana Rifle Company. I love the 338 RUM and it has served me well.
     
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  3. Saul

    Saul AH Enthusiast

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    I should qualify my statement, wood-stocked .338 RUMs are not being made anymore.
     

  4. Shaneb

    Shaneb AH Member

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    MRC will customize your rifle however you want I believe
     
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  5. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    To the original question...Is the 338RUM dead?
    The 338RUM has been around since 2002 and there are 7 options for loaded ammo currently on Midway.
    Of those 7, only 3 are actually available from $66-$85.

    If you don't reload, it could be a problem down the line.
    So yes, maybe a slow death.

    338Lapua maybe the way to go or step up to a 9.3mm/375 caliber depending on your needs.
     
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  6. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  7. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    It seems the most widely available ammo in 338 caliber is the Win Mag.
    I know it pales in comparison when it comes to performance versus the RUM, Lapua, Nosler, Weatherby, RCM, Federal...etc.

    The real question is what would you like to do with it?
    For hunting out to 300-400 yards you should be more than good for elk and moose sized game with the 338WM and adequate scope.
    Shots beyond that on game animals are not in my skill set, and I would imagine most hunters would choose to get closer.

    Secondly, do you reload?
    If so, get whatever caliber you want and you can "roll your own" without having to worry about availability in a store.
     
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  8. Saul

    Saul AH Enthusiast

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    I know that the RUM, Lapua, Wby, etc. are not the most practical in terms of big game hunting at under 500 yards, but I like big guns and I want it!!! :)

    I do reload but I like the option of being able to buy ammo as well as having a ready supply of brass.
     
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  9. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    If you want it, get it.
    Being practical has nothing to do with it.
    Some things just speak to our soul and if it's a 338RUM that does it for you, don't let others talk you out of it.
     
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  10. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Do not forget the .340 Wby!

    Going strong with a limited by loyal fan base since 1963, and available in a wide variety of Mark V as well as being chambered by all quality custom rifle makers for decades. Not to mention that most .338 Win are built on a long action and that it only takes pushing a reamer into them to make them .340 Wby, which can really simplify and reduce the cost of your search for the rifle...

    The .338 RUM and the .338 Lapua essentially duplicate the .340 Wby ballistics. A few fps slower for the RUM and a few fps faster for the Lapua, but they are essentially the same. The .33 Nosler and .330 Dakota are a bit slower. The .338/.378 Wby might be too much of a good thing!

    The .338 Lapua is the current darling of the sniper world and is generally shot in 15 lbs rifles with enormous muzzle-brakes. That puts it mostly in the non-hunting category (as most commercially available loads show), and it helps tremendously in explaining its popularity (because people can actually shoot it, generally from prone position), in addition to the "tacticool" fashion that drives billion $ sales these days...

    Conversely, here is the reason why the big .338 are not all that numerous in the hunting fields. Built to be 8 lbs. hunting rifles carried more than they are shot, and generally without ear-splitting muzzle brakes, they hit like the hammer of Thor ... on both ends. The .340 Wby has been universally recognized for decades as an incredibly potent caliber ... but one that is difficult to shoot. The .338 RUM shares exactly the same praise ... and the same curse. The bottom line is that the recoil is both heavy and fast, and unless the shooter maintains a really tight grip on the rifle, by the time the bullet leaves the pipe, it may not be pointing in the right direction anymore...

    So, the .340 Wby (I say .340 Wby because it is the oldest, but you can replace with .338 RUM) has either cult status with those who have learned to shoot it well (I bet Bullthrower338 belongs to that club!), or it is feared and therefore ridiculed by those who can't shoot it well or who got hurt trying to shoot it with improper technique or improper equipment (rifles too light with scopes too far back being the primary culprits).

    I am an unapologetic fan of the .340 Wby and used it as my one-rifle plains game safari battery last year for 12 days / two dozens animals, for anything from Eland to Steenbok (see https://www.africahunting.com/threa...faris-august-2018-plains-game-paradise.45017/), but admittedly I need to remember that I shoot the .340 when I pull the trigger. If I do and brace myself, whatever I point it at falls. If I forget and do not control the rifle, I could miss a barn from the inside. THAT is the big .33 blessing ... and curse.

    I am going back this year for another 2 weeks and another 2 dozen animals, and I am taking the .340 Wby again ... but also a .257 Wby because it is objectively easier to shoot and much more forgiving, while totally sufficient for anything up to 300 lbs, which represents the vast majority of plains game...

    I suspect the .340 Wby will stay with us because Weatherby will not let one of their emblematic calibers die, and there is a fairly large number of rifles out there, sold over the last 56 years. Conversely, I do not know if enough .338 RUM have been sold for corporate Remington to keep it alive, because, truth be told, the few skilled shooters who realize its potential will use it for everything ... and most folks who bought it on a whim will shoot 3 boxes in 10 years...
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  11. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The main problem facing RUM users is the non-standard case diameter. Fortunately the 300 RUM does seem to have enough of a customer base to keep it in production, however since the 2338 is shortened from the full length RUMs it does complicate case forming a bit. The hit to the RUM line was when Ruger introduced the Ruger line based on a head size of .532". The RUM line is a quality cartridge but like the 220 Swift, 284, 404 and others, they don't do well when the cost accountants determine which cartridges a company will produce.
     

  12. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I love my Montana Rifle Co .338 RUM. I used it in Namibia last year, stoked with 225 Swift’s on everything from blessbok to eland with great results.
    Is the cartridge dead? I think it is dying a slow, but accelerating, death. Remington only offers two factory loads and I believe Nosler only one. If you want to reload, only Nosler brass is available, unless Remington starts marketing it again.
    If looking for a .338 mag, the Winchester has the widest variety of rifles, ammo and brass. It also has the least recoil. The .33 Nosler gives you a little more juice but is too new to know how popular it will become. The .340 Wby is a well established round that has readily available ammo and brass. The .338 Lapua has an excellent reputation for accuracy and has a wide variety of ammo and brass available. Then there is the .338/378 Wby. I personally think this is too much of a good thing, but it may be up your alley.
    Another .338 that is a little off the norm is the .338 Norma mag.
    If the RUM is what you want, go for it. Grab up ammo and brass. I have been a long time fan of the Winchester, but since getting the RUM, it may be my new favorite .338.
     

  13. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I never understood why it was alive to begin with. (n) I haven't been able to fully grasp what problem was being corrected with the .338 win Mag. And cost accountants don't figure into my assessment. Seemingly, most everyone else has reached the same conclusion - at least with regard to the RUM. Most "new" cartridges simply more or less duplicate what has been done before in a somewhat different package. Often with new feeding or bullet depth seating issues. My current head scratcher is the 6.5 Creedmore - best I can tell, it is almost as good as my 6.5x57 - only not quite as versatile.
     
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  14. Saul

    Saul AH Enthusiast

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    Because more guns is never a bad thing!

    From what I have seen, the RUM is about equal to the Lapua, and both are faster than the 340. The 33 Nosler seems like all hype as I have yet to see real velocity data that holds up to what Nosler is putting out.
     
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  15. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    And I wouldn't use any of them on anything I wouldn't use my .338 Win Mag - at least at any range I am going to take a game animal.

    I agree they aren't a bad thing - I just think they are a redundant thing - at least for hunting.
     
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  16. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    A Love Story...

    It was September 1989, essentially 30 years ago, when I fell in love. I cannot explain why, but I was swept by an uncontrollable passion and an unshakable certainty. This was the one!
    Now, almost a third of a century later, after 30 years spent together, with the benefit of experience, I know that all the promises were not fundamentally untrue, but that they were also not as life-changing as they seemed to be.
    Yet, I am still in love...

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack 1.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack 2.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack 3.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack 4.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack 5.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack p 6.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack p 7.jpg

    Weatherby .340 - The leader of the pack p 8.jpg

    From that moment on, I HAD to have a .340 Wby. My first one was a full custom rifle I commissioned from the ground up with Griffin & Howe on a wonderfully tuned-up ZKK 602 action (the only true magnum length Mauser action available in the early 1990's), with beautiful metal work (quarter rib, integrated claw mounts, barrel band front sight, fully regulated 3 leaves rear sight, etc. etc.), French walnut, hand rubbed linseed oil finish, etc. and I took it everywhere:

    Moose New Foundland.jpg
    .340 Wby in Newfoundland, circa early 1990's

    This rifle was destroyed in transit at the Phoenix airport. The stock could have been replaced, but the barrel was bent...

    DSCN0472.JPG

    Since then, my .340 has been a stainless Mark V that has served me well...

    DSC00802.JPG

    I now KNOW that the .340 Wby 250 gr only flies 10% faster than the .338 Win 250 gr (2,950 fps vs. 2700 fps), which is real but hardly earth shattering;

    I now KNOW that the .340 Wby 250 gr only offers an increased maximum point blank range of 23 yd compared to the .338 Win 250 gr (291 yd vs 268 yd), which is real but hardly life transforming;

    I now KNOW that there is nothing the .340 Wby does that the .338 Win cannot do, even though the .340 Wby 250 gr hits 25% harder than the .338 Win 250 gr does (4,800 ft/lbs vs. 3,900 ft/lbs), which is real but many of us have become weary of "energy" alone as a predictable killer;

    I now KNOW that the .340 Wby 250 gr recoils 30% more than the .338 Win 250 gr (43 ft/lbs vs. 33 ft/lbs in a 9 lbs rifle), which makes it considerably more difficult to shoot well;

    But every time I grab the .340 Wby something inside me feels warm and confident and I KNOW that whatever I will point it at, will fall...

    I am still in love...

    PS: I had been thinking for a long time (many years actually), that I wanted to dig that iconic article from my old G&A stash, and I had even tried a few times, but unsuccessfully. I just spent 3 hours in the attic to finally unearth it, for your reading pleasure. This is a cult article for the lovers of the big .340 and to the best of my research it was not on the internet yet. I hope you enjoyed :)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  17. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    FYI, the factory data says Nosler Custom Ammunition 338 Remington Ultra Magnum 250 Grain Partition: 2,850 fps, and Weatherby Select Plus .340 Wby 250 Grain Partition (same bullet): 2,940 fps. Hardly earth shattering, and I am not making the point that the Wby is meaningfully faster than the RUM, but it is incorrect to say that the RUM is faster than the Wby.

    As to the Lapua hunting loads, they are not faster either. For example, the Nosler Custom Ammunition 338 Lapua Magnum 250 Grain AccuBond factory data says 2,850 fps, and the Swift High Grade Big Game Hunting Ammunition 338 Lapua Magnum 250 Grain Swift A-Frame factory data says 2,900 fps. This being said, I agree that the Lapua has the case capacity to be loaded faster than the Wby.

    A couple fps more or less depending on barrels length, load, bullet, etc. is not really meaningful one way or the other. The data essentially supports the fact that commercial hunting loads are ballistic triplets, with a tiny mathematical edge maybe to the Wby, irrelevant in the real world. No doubt, however, that the Lapua can be reloaded faster; after all, it has about the same case capacity as the .338/.378 Wby since the big Wby case is nothing but a .416 Rigby with a belt, and the .338 Lapua is a .416 Rigby necked down...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  18. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    BOOMPLOP: The .340 Weatherby

    By David E. Petzal Field & Stream November 2, 2015

    On my first trip to New Zealand, I brought along a .338 to conduct my various slaughters, and fell into a conversation with a fellow hunter who was a fan of the .340 Weatherby, whose bore is also .338, but which is a much larger, fiercer cartridge.

    “When I took my .340 to Africa,” he said, “the trackers called it ‘Boomplop,’ because they’d hear the boom of the rifle and simultaneously, the ‘plop’ of whatever it shot hitting the ground.”

    That’s been my experience with the cartridge. Ross Seyfried said it most eloquently: “If it can’t be done with a .340, it probably can’t be done with a rifle.”

    I got involved with the cartridge in 1971 because I wanted something of .338 caliber, and no one made a southpaw .338 Winchester, but Weatherby made the .340 left-handed, and I bought two, a plain one and a fancy one. I shot an elk and a mule deer with the plain one in 1972, and both animals went down in their tracks, which is pretty much the way things have gone ever since with that cartridge, right up through an Alaska moose in 2006.

    The cartridge was introduced in 1962, and like the other long Weatherbys, is based on the .375 H&H case, necked down, given a Venturi shoulder, and de-tapered. It holds gobs and gobs of powder, and with a 24-inch barrel produces 200 fps to 250 fps more than the .338. Weatherby has always used a 26-inch barrel for this round, and I have always rushed to the gunsmith to have 2 inches lopped off, but it will give you even more velocity. A twenty-two inch barrel, which does very well for the .338, is mere foolishness with the .340.

    The .340 occupies several niches: One is as a delivery system of Major Wallop at long range. You can crank a 210-grain bullet (much better than the 200) up to nearly 3,000 fps in a 24-inch barrel and it will pound the daylights out of whatever you want to pound way, way out there. Another niche is inside of 300 yards, as a general overwhelmer of whatever poops, where it’s at its best with 250-grain bullets, which I was able to get moving at 2,850 fps.

    If you’re interested in really big game, the slug of choice is the 275-grain Swift A-Frame, which is what I used to maul my moose. It’s the equivalent of a .375 H&H, maybe a bit better, because the bullets are so long. I was getting 2,600 fps and change, and I would not hesitate to use the round on a Cape buffalo were it legal, which it ain’t in most places.

    The price for all this is recoil, which is quite grim. In a 10-pound rifle, the 250-grain bullets will give you around 34 foot-pounds of kick, which is right up in .375 H&H territory. If you get a .340, you want it to be about 10 pounds with scope, not less, and make sure that scope is a long way from your eye. Either that, or use a muzzle brake. (I would prefer the recoil.) The muzzle blast is also very impressive.

    This is a specialist’s cartridge. For the majority of shooters the plain old .338 is much easier to handle and will result in fewer trips to the orthopedist.

    But if you can stand up to it, the .340 is truly Boomplop.
     
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  19. greyfox

    greyfox AH Fanatic

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    338 RUM (and others) have attempted to fill a void where none exists - like so many other cartridges. Companies design/create/market to a niche that is such small numbers, the expense is not recovered.

    338 RUM (and others) are invaluable and the "cat's Meow" to those few who own and shoot them, however I suspect like many other fads, most are either in someone's safe, just sitting, or in storage somewhere. Few people actually hunt their new guns, most just rub and dream..
     
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  20. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    @Saul, I'm with the gotta have one crowd. Everyone has their favorites and with practice can use them to their fullest capability. I own a few oddballs, some wildcats and bean counter ne'er do wells. As far as a wood stock version of the rifle, if you can swing the funds, consider a custom build.
     
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