Started a new project

8x68

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I was looking at adding a 358 Norma Mag to my "herd of anti meanie devices". Kinda liked that calibre for a number of years just couldn't find something to my liking. Seen a few used here and there. The nice ones were a bit pricy which was deserved as they were.....well...NICE!
Looked at a few Husqvarna's, Schultz and Larsen's, etc. Thought about building one from scratch couldn't come up with something that appealed to me. The the other day I was sitting......er....on the porcelain throne of deep contemplation and I had an epiphany! (a most rare event as I can't drink anymore. Used to get real epiphiminated after a few...er...several "wobblypops". Good thing people didn't listen! I seem to recall waves of hilarity, and uhhh general finger pointing in my direction).

My idea: Why not use a CZ 550 7mm Rem Mag that is sitting in disgust in my safe as a "donor" rifle? Get a Lilja 24" Match Moly barrel with 1/12 twist, target crown, etc in 358 Norma Mag! Shouldn't take much gunsmithing. Bolt face is big enough, magwell is long enough, feed rails won't need to be worked. Feed ramp may need a bit of work but that's it I think. Follower should be OK as the cartridges are basically the same size.
Voila a 358 Norma Mag on a strong Mauser action. I have rings & a scope. Can make brass from 300Win Mag, or 338Win Mag (338 neck ends up a tad short). I have Redding dies coming.

What do think?
 

CAustin

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Sounds like a project that I would mess up somewhere. But if you have done this sort of thing you may come out with a great rifle on the other side .
 

Alexandro Faria

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Epic caliber, best of luck. Let us all know how it all works out :)
 

8x68

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Epic caliber, best of luck. Let us all know how it all works out :)
Looking forward to the finished product. Initially I thought why bother since I have a 9.3x62, 375H&H, 416 Rigby, 404 Jeffery, 450 Rigby but when one collects....you know what I mean.
 

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I have always fancied a rifle in this caliber. With 250 grain bullets and hand-loading, one could conceivably get in the ballpark of 375 H&H performance. I'm not sure I'll ever do it, but it would be a neat caliber. Certainly a hand-loaders caliber though as there is very little, to zero factory fodder out there that I am aware of. Norma maybe.....

Anyway, please let us know how it turns out....
 

8x68

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I have always fancied a rifle in this caliber. With 250 grain bullets and hand-loading, one could conceivably get in the ballpark of 375 H&H performance. I'm not sure I'll ever do it, but it would be a neat caliber. Certainly a hand-loaders caliber though as there is very little, to zero factory fodder out there that I am aware of. Norma maybe.....

Anyway, please let us know how it turns out....

Will do.
 

8x68

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Next question would be: What scope to put on it? Hunting area ranges from 50yds to 300+yds, bush to open areas. Animals hunted: Whitetail Deer, Bear, Moose. One day hopefully Elk, Grizzly....AFRICA!
I was thinking something along the lines of a Zeiss HD5 2-10x42 with #20 reticle. I have CZ ringmounts. I realize everyone will have their own choices but this platform seems right for the 358NM. Short range magnification with longer range capabilities, plus my eyes ain't what they used to be. Also looking at Nikon Monarch 3's (2-8x36), Leup VX III's (2.5-8x32). The Zeiss HD 5 series is about as high as I want to go price point wise. I have all the aforementioned scopes and there is very little difference in clarity. The Zeiss does have better light retention in low light conditions.
This is the rifle it will be going on (minus scope). Currently it is still in 7mm Rem Mag. Just waiting for gunsmith to get the new barrel in.
IMG_0043.JPG
 

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The start of a new project is a wonderfull time of possibilities and sleepless nights as you go through the many combinations of parts that may just end up in that "perfect rifle" you see in your minds eye during the dark hours of the nightime wakefullness and in the bright hours of a daydream.
Lookin g forward to seeing what you finally decide and the project progress as it comes together.
 

8x68

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Well I chose my scope. Nikon Monarch 3 2.5-10x42 with Nikoplex reticle.
 

8x68

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Does anyone have any "pet loads" for the 358NM? I have the standard listings in reloading manuals. I would like to load some Sierra 225gr Spitzers but load data is only available for the 35 Whelen.
 

8x68

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Well after 13 months I finally have my 358 Norma Mag in hand. I have attached a few pics. I've put a Nikon Monarch 3 2-8x32 on it.
Going to load up some "breaking in the barrel" loads for the weekend!
IMG_0253.JPG


IMG_0254.JPG
IMG_0256.JPG
 

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I use 59 Gr. of 4064 in my Whelen pushing a 225 Gr bullet. Since the 358 Norma Mag has more case capacity I suspect you can go a bit hotter than that. A 358 caliber bullet weighing 225 Gr moving out at 2,800 to 2,900 fps is a butt kicking round.
That combo (using Barnes TSX bullets) resulted in one shot drops of Waterbuck, BWB and Gemsbok with none of them traveling more than 40 yards.
 

8x68

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I use 59 Gr. of 4064 in my Whelen pushing a 225 Gr bullet. Since the 358 Norma Mag has more case capacity I suspect you can go a bit hotter than that. A 358 caliber bullet weighing 225 Gr moving out at 2,800 to 2,900 fps is a butt kicking round.
That combo (using Barnes TSX bullets) resulted in one shot drops of Waterbuck, BWB and Gemsbok with none of them traveling more than 40 yards.
Thanks for the info. I want to try some Woodleigh 250, 275, & 310gr bullets in it at some point. Just mucking around with Hornady, Sierra, & Speer at the moment.
 

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Nice looking rifle! Probably an excellent shooter, too. I like the.35s.
 

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Hey @8x68 How is the 358 NM going and how does it shoot and what game have you taken? I would love to do a 358NM project.
 

8x68

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Hey @8x68 How is the 358 NM going and how does it shoot and what game have you taken? I would love to do a 358NM project.
Good evening @Neale
Well I've been bangin' away with it for the last few weeks.
Been playing with several different types of bullet weights, brands.
Across the board so far it shoots best when loads are at or just below max.
Still working on 250gr bullet weights. Had a couple of good results so far
Had excellent results with Sierra's 225gr Spitzer. Recently loaded up a string of 10 rounds from the best performing load. Put three through the same hole. Group ended being just under 2" at 100yds (two flyers ruined a really good group...bloody annoying!). Without the flyers grouping was just over an inch.
Rifle shoots exceptionally well.
I have only shot some nasty looking cardboard targets.
It's a fun cartridge to shoot. Recoil is not bad. I can shoot 50+ rounds from the bench using a PAST "sissy pad" across my shoulder before it starts feeling a bit numb.
I would encourage you to go for it.
Next project for me a 358STA
 

8x68

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Just an update on a range session from last weekend. I put up some targets at 100, 200 & 300yds.
Load was using Sierra's 225gr SBT's. Powder 74gr of IMR 4350. Primer WLRMP. Case Norma. 5 shot avg muzzle velocity was 2825fps (chronograph was 6ft from muzzle)
5 shot grouping at 100yds was 1.25", 200yds 2.50" (I yanked one grrr), 300yds 1.35" (3 shots. Other 2 shots went very low for some reason). I held a 100yd zero. Drop at 200yds was 5", drop at 300yds was 11.25".
 
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8x68

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Just an update on a range session from last weekend. I put up some targets at 100, 200 & 300yds.
Load was using Sierra's 225gr SBT's. Powder 74gr of IMR 4350. Primer WLRMP. Case Norma. 5 shot avg muzzle velocity was 2825fps (chronograph was 6ft from muzzle)
5 shot grouping at 100yds was 1.25", 200yds 2.50" (I yanked one grrr), 300yds 1.35" (3 shots. Other 2 shots went very low for some reason). I held a 100yd zero. Drop at 200yds was 5", drop at 300yds was 11.25".
Just an update. I fired a string of 10 rounds at 300yds just to see what kind of grouping I could get. It was a a bit windy but nothing too bad. 10 shot grouping was 5.25". 4 shots were touching. I thought that was acceptable. Very little wind drift.
 

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I know you probably do not need a reason but I have to ask why is the next project a 358 STA
 

8x68

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I know you probably do not need a reason but I have to ask why is the next project a 358 STA
I dunno. I just get these "hankerin's" for something different. It just happened to tickle my funny bone. I like 358 cal. I looked at its ballistics and thought it was quite impressive. Hankerin' might wear off before anything comes of it. Have to pay for all the other "hankerin's" I've had "tickle my funny bone" the last few years. My line of credit not happy!
 

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