Why no love for the .358 Win?

ChrisG

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I had considered getting a 6mm ruger No.1 bored out to .35 whelen (sorry @Bob Nelson 35Whelen), but I cant get past the .358 Win. There is just something I really like about. Small powder charges, low recoil and hammer-down power in a small light package.

So I bought a beautiful set trigger mauser 98 in .243 that will be rebored by JES to .358, barrel shortened to 22" and thenstock reshaped and checkered to an english style sporting rifle.

But it begs the question, why isnt the .358 more popular? It is such a sweet middle of the road caliber for everything in the lower 48 inside of 300 yards. A short barrel has little effect on its mu,zzle velocity and it is .35 cal so it would hit a little harder than the 30's and 33's in its power bracket. I would venture that in Africa, with a good bullet, it would cover all the bases except dangerous game within its range limitations. But lets be real here, not many hunters take game beyond 300 yards and sighted for 200 yards, a .358 with a 225 grain accubond only drops another 11" at 300, while still carrying more than 1,600 ft-lbs. Not a sluff off by any measure.

I think it has been unfairly relegated to near obsolete status, when in fact it really is aa great, game getting round.

Thought?
 

Shootist43

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Chris G, for me the reason is simple, I already have two 35 Whelen(s) AND a 1936 Winchester Mod. 71. As you know the 358 Winchester was developed to be the ballistic equivalent of the 348 Winchester load used in the Mod. 71(s). I totally agree with you that these are great game getting rounds. But on the other hand, both you and I are getting close to being obsolete ourselves. Maybe that is why we like "Old School" stuff.
 

Rell

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I love my little 358 win in a Rem M7 and the 356 as well in a trim little M94 BB with aperture sight.

Even though I love them …. They don’t kill much better then a 308/7mm08, especially with Barnes or other premium bullets. The recoil is substantially more, doesn’t shoot as flat and it’s hard to find ammo.

If your not a rifle looney …. They just don’t offer much now that we have really really good .284 and .308 bullets.

PS the 338 Federal is my actual favorite in this class and it’s not doing that well either.
 

Terry Blauwkamp

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I love my 358 win.

Try some A 2520 powder Fed 215 primers with 250 gr Hornady bullets
(Old Round Nose if you can find them) in Thin Norma brass, or W-W is next.

Do not make cases from 308 G I. too heavy.

Puts it right in the 35 Whelen class, and it flattens Deer ..
 

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My biggest problem with the .358 Winchester is the sectional density of the bullet - particular for anything bigger than whitetail or average black bear. Even with the 225 gr bullet, the load is light for caliber with sectional density around .25. That is a prescription for inadequate penetration on larger animals, particular if the presentation isn't perfect or the shot has to drive through heavy bone. Even the the 180 gr .308 reaches a SD of .27. Add to that the rounds low velocity and the penetration issues quickly compound not very far beyond the muzzle.
 

DG870

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I don’t have any personal experience with the 358 but I agree that it is a very efficient cartridge. It was introduced in 1955 and I don’t think it did real well then. American shooters were moving into the high velocity stage so the bigger it was and the faster it went the better it was. It was chambered in short action rifles or lever guns as a “brush buster”. I think the 35 Remington was popular in the woods where shots were quick and close and in the plains and mountains the Magnum ere was in full swing with the introduction of 300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 264 Win Mag, etc. Remington got into the act with the 350 Remington Mag that should be more popular because it’s bigger and faster too.

Now, I don’t know if there are any new rifles chambered in 358 (Maybe Browning BLR) and try looking for a Savage 99 in 358 and be prepared to pay a lot. Ammo, a reloaders cartridge only, which takes a lot of buyers out of the market.

Sad fact is there are lots of good cartridges that fall be the wayside and it’s great that rifle lovers can build them and enjoy them to have something different that will do the same thing that A $400.00 30-06 from WalMart with a box of store bought ammo will do.

I’m currently playing with a 338-06 that I put together to hunt pigs with. It will sit next to my 35 Whelen and 338 Win Mag and I’ll anguish which one to take the next time I get a chance to hunt. I can only say it’s an addiction and now you’ve got me thinking about a 358. Thanks
 

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As I recall, Winchester first offered the .358 cartridge in the Model 70 Featherweight and the Model 88 lever action, both of which were relatively light weight rifles (6 1/2-6 3/4 pounds). The Savage 99 in the same caliber weighed much the same. The amount of recoil generated caused the cartridge to have a bad reputation.

I have had a custom .358 built on a 1937 Oberndorf Mauser for around 60 years now and I think it is a fine little cartridge. My rifle is part of a three gun set, all built on the same actions, in caliber 6.5X.308 (now legitimized as the .260 Remington) the .308 and the .358. I have killed deer with all three and all are equally effective.
 

ChrisG

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My biggest problem with the .358 Winchester is the sectional density of the bullet - particular for anything bigger than whitetail or average black bear. Even with the 225 gr bullet, the load is light for caliber with sectional density around .25. That is a prescription for inadequate penetration on larger animals, particular if the presentation isn't perfect or the shot has to drive through heavy bone. Even the the 180 gr .308 reaches a SD of .27. Add to that the rounds low velocity and the penetration issues quickly compound not very far beyond the muzzle.
This is actually a good point I hadn't considered. It is something to consider I guess. a .358 will sling a 250 grain bullet. But not with anything like the velocity of a .35 whelen.
 

ChrisG

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I don’t have any personal experience with the 358 but I agree that it is a very efficient cartridge. It was introduced in 1955 and I don’t think it did real well then. American shooters were moving into the high velocity stage so the bigger it was and the faster it went the better it was. It was chambered in short action rifles or lever guns as a “brush buster”. I think the 35 Remington was popular in the woods where shots were quick and close and in the plains and mountains the Magnum ere was in full swing with the introduction of 300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 264 Win Mag, etc. Remington got into the act with the 350 Remington Mag that should be more popular because it’s bigger and faster too.

Now, I don’t know if there are any new rifles chambered in 358 (Maybe Browning BLR) and try looking for a Savage 99 in 358 and be prepared to pay a lot. Ammo, a reloaders cartridge only, which takes a lot of buyers out of the market.

Sad fact is there are lots of good cartridges that fall be the wayside and it’s great that rifle lovers can build them and enjoy them to have something different that will do the same thing that A $400.00 30-06 from WalMart with a box of store bought ammo will do.

I’m currently playing with a 338-06 that I put together to hunt pigs with. It will sit next to my 35 Whelen and 338 Win Mag and I’ll anguish which one to take the next time I get a chance to hunt. I can only say it’s an addiction and now you’ve got me thinking about a 358. Thanks
I actually had a .358 Ruger American Predator (kind of a try before you buy sort of acquisition). I sold that and bought this Mauser on Gunbroker to have it converted by JES. I don't know... I just have this affinity for short, fast, light rifles that throw a bigger than average chunk of lead. I had a Ruger Scout in .308, but it was a joke. 9 lbs with scope and ridiculous looking. I got rid of that pretty quick and never bought another .308, but now I am sold on the .358. I think it is actually a pretty cool looking (old world) round. Reminds me a bit of a shorter 9x57 mauser cartridge when loaded with RN bullets. I also have a mold for it, .359 sizing die and gas checks. It is going to be a really fun cast bullet gun once it is complete.
 

Neil Molendyk

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The Savage 99 in the same caliber weighed much the same. The amount of recoil generated caused the cartridge to have a bad reputation.
xausa true enough sir but none the less I stumbled across one at a gunshot and at 400 CDN considering its decent condition it found a new home. It should make a decent moose cartridge in the bush here at home but will require more hunting skills than just shooting further distances. Savage 99 in 358 Win are rare birds.
 

ldmay375

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I think wide spread popularity has always lacked because of the term
“Woods Cartridge“.
Though it is more than a 100 yard woods cartridge. But, most of the ones that I have seen were in lever guns. This only reinforced the label to people.
Even when I was a kid, where I grew up people wanted that 1/4 mile cartridge. Even if usually, there deer were seen inside 100 yards.
Hell, now people want the minimum magical 700 yard cartridge. You know, shoots like a laser, bullet defies gravity. Still hear this being alluded to in firearms discussions. Of course, not by people that could make such a shot. But, by the hail-Mary crowd, which does still exist.
If I recall correctly in one of Jack O’Connor’s books, he stated that the 358 Winchester was more than a woods cartridge.
 
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ChrisG

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I think wide spread popularity has always lacked because of the term
“Woods Cartridge“.
Though it is more than a 100 yard woods cartridge. But, most of the ones that I have seen were in lever guns. This only reinforced the label to people.
Even when I was a kid, where I grew people wanted that 1/4 mile cartridge. Even if usually, there deer were seen inside 100 yards.
Hell, now people want the minimum magical 700 yard cartridge. You know, shoots like a laser, bullet defies gravity. Still hear this being alluded to in firearms discussions. Of course, not by people that could make such a shot. But, by the hail-Mary crowd, which does still exist.
If I recall correctly in one of Jack O’Connor’s books, he stated that the 358 Winchester was more than a woods cartridge.
Yeah that makes sense, as one of its first rifles was the model 88 winchester which was a levergun. In a scoped bolt gun, it is all of a 250-300 yard cartridge by anyone's reckoning. Especially when you combine it with a really good bullet.

I personally am very tired of the would-be-sniper garbage being peddled by almost all of the major rifle manufacturers today. Inevitable portrayals are always a "hunter" in quasi-tactical hunting gear overlooking a canyon in the prone position, pointing the rifle to some poor, unsuspecting animal, 5 canyons away. Success rate on actual field shots like that has to be less than 20%. Absolutely stupid, But it is peddled as "the way you hunt" by some call-of-duty wannabe marketing guys. Give me a .358 any day and I will get withing 300 yards, or enjoy the stalk potentially miss an opportunity to shoot.
 
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PerH

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A friend have a 18 inch Rem 700 custom made tomTracker model, sling swivel on side of front sight ,ERA sights, see through Safari style rear sight, how many,moose,boar, roe ,deer and other it has taken no one knows, but its many in ,358 Win, and a Kahles 1-5x on top in QR mounts. Bullets used have been from Silvertip,Hornady ,NP, Oryx, Woodleigh one name it,it has probably gone through it.
 

7x57Joe

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I also have a mold for it, .359 sizing die and gas checks. It is going to be a really fun cast bullet gun once it is complete.
That is the main reason I have two .358s. Although the BLR is finicky with cast, my rebarreled M.70 loves putting them in small clusters at about 2000 fps. I think you are going to have a lot of fun with it.
 

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I really like the .358. My only problem with it, and it's semi-rimmed brother, the .356 is recoil. In the light lever guns, it is surprisingly stout. Would like to have an old Ruger tang safety Mod 77 in short action chambered in .358 and 20" bbl for elk hunting in the timber. Old Speer manual lists 250 grain lead core bullet at 2330 fps which is strong. I think 225 grain is about right to keep bullets short enough, but Pondoro Taylor thought the 225 grainer was just fine for eland in the .350 Rigby Magnum, and he gives an account of one of his eland hunts with this load, so opinions can vary as to the effectiveness of a 225 grain bullet........................FWB
 

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I’ve been surprised that with the increase in people using ar10 style rifles in 308 there hasn’t been much interest in ar hunting rifles in cartridges derived from 308.

I’m thinking 7mm-08, 358win, etc. Barrels can be found but I wouldn’t call them common.
 

Tundra Tiger

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I have a buddy up here in Alaska that had one built - I don't remember the specifics beyond it being a bolt gun (me being a lever guy). He has killed several very nice large bull moose with it, without a hiccup; he likes it a lot. I'd be delighted to own one someday in a Winchester 88, but that ship may be sailing with what they cost these days.
 

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