338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

Just to get a bit of a new line going. Which would you prefer the 338 Federal or the 358 Winchester?

I think both would be great. Obviously from the flexibility standpoint the 358 Win is the hands down winner. But the 338 Federal might get a few folks a least looking in the right direction.

Still seems to me that the right media blitz by Winchester could put the grand 358 Win back on the map.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 10:22 PM
Con
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

Without a doubt I'd prefer the 358Win be reborn rather than have the new 338Federal. I base that almost solely on the availability of cheaper pistol projectiles for practice. I enjoy shooting and using my rifles, so cheaper projectiles are a major drawcard. I'm even tempted to ask my 'smith to build a "411 Taylor" so that I can use pistol projectiles on the range with the Woodleigh 400gr for the serious hunting. Would be fun in a lightweight package.

The 338Federal it seems to me will draw interest as its being loaded with some great premium projectiles, but realistically, at this velocity are they required? The 33's have better SD and BCs compared to the .35s, but at the distance within which these cartridges should be used ... I doubt it would make a difference. So its still the 358Win for me.

Whether its a 358Win, 338Federal, 9.3x57, 9x57Mauser, 9x56Mannlicher, 318WR, 375Velopex, 35Win, 303-35 etc ... there is a lot of effective hunting history in the slowish medium bores. But consumers want velocity and these medium bores fade very quickly.
Cheers...
Con
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 11:06 PM
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

338 for me, lighter recoil, plenty of brass, biggest I hunt are deer and hogs in the future
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default WOW

Hi Con:

I'm totally amazed. On this topic; you think more like me, than I do.

I've been an avid fan of 41 Mag revolvers since the early 1970's. My first was a Ruger Blackhawk with 6.5” barrel. That was the gun that got me started in reloading. For years I dreamed of a short barreled rifle that would shoot the 400 grain - 0.411 inch bullets so I could have a real "Big game" caliber rifle. Then for plinking, practice and fun I could shoot the 0.410 jacketed and the 0.411 cast pistol bullets for fun and practice; and real 400 grain rifle bullets for hunting.

While I never did get the rifle, partly because I just HAD to have the smallest backpacking gun I could find. A trail that went from a 30 ounce 44 Special Rossi 5-shot revolver; to a S&W Model 60 38 Special +P 5-shot revolver, which weighed 24 ounces; to a final stop at the Kahr Arms P40 40S&W that which hold 6 in it's single column magazine. The Kahr wieghs 20 ounces loaded, is less than an inch thick(0.94"). Interesting enough the most potent factory ammo at the chronograph was the Blazer 165 grain truncated cone full metal jacket. This averaged 1060 fps. While not reloadable extra points are given for the approx. 30 grains weight savings per cartridge just in the "brass" alone. Now that I've gotten completely off track, back on in the next paragraph.

I thought about several options:
1) Standard belted cartridges in lengths ranging from 1.5 inches clear up to 2.85 inches (the latter being the length of the 375H&H) including such options as the 411 KDF and the later 400 H&H;
2) Various rimmed cartridges and actions including; the 348 Winchester necked up to 0.411, fire-formed to a body taper of 0.020” per inch of case length with a 20 degree shoulder, the 45/70 necked down, and the 444 Marlin necked down;
3) Using short or regular rimless cases necked-up 411-08 and the 411 Whelen.
4) The idea that I finally settled on was the 284 necked up to 0.411. Would have been real nice if I’d ever been able to actually make one up.

But now I have the same idea fulfilled with the Taurus Tracker 357 and the BLR in 358 Winchesters.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 07:55 AM
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

The 358 is a fine cartridge, no doubt. It has never gained the following that it deserves. At this point, it is unlikely that it ever will. The 338 Federal looks well balanced and useful. I have long thought that a 338 on the 308 case would make a fine medium big game round. The Federal cartridge is new, and will get much press. Time will tell if it gains a following or not. Hopefully, it will fare better than the 358. I like what I'm reading about the 338, and once the rifle manufactures get on board, I'll likely order one in a bolt action.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

From a market place standpoint my gut feel is that the 338 Federal will be the hands down winner in terms of sales. As for recoil to get the velocities they are quoting for the 338 Federal it has got to be loaded to a higher pressure than the 358 Winchester. That plus pushing a higher powder charge down a smaller bore. I think it is very safe to say that the recoil and muzzle blast will be worse in the 338 Federal. I don’t know what the SAAMI spec for the 338 Federal is, but to get the quoted velocities it will have to be higher than the 52,000 CUP for the 358 Win.

One of the basic bits of physics is P = F/A where P is pressure, F is force, and A is area. So for a given cartridge if you open up the bore and keep the bullet weight and pressure the same then the force, and hence the acceleration, and finally the muzzle velocity is higher. The trade off being that the narrower bullet will have a higher SD and BC if shape is constant. This is why the 358 Win gives higher muzzle energies than the 30-06 which burns considerably more powder. So what happens is that for the first 250 yards or so the fatter bullet wins in velocity, energy and trajectory. At longer ranges 300 to 1000 yards the narrower bullet with the higher BC starts to regain ground on velocity, energy and trajectory. The cross-over point typically being around 400 to 500 yards.

The take home lesson for the hunter is that when loaded to the same pressure with the same bullet weight the larger bore is superior over hunting ranges. Thus if loaded to the same pressure (not true with factory ammo) a 140 grain bullet in a 280 Remington would be the winner over the 140 grain bullet in a 270 Winchester. The same holds true for a 250 grain 358 Winchester and a 250 grain 338 Federal. If the pressures are the same (again this would appear to not be true) the 358 Winchester would be the winner over the first 250 yards or so. This covers about 99% of the shots that should be taken at game.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 02:58 AM
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

Physics don't have nothin' to do with wantin' somethin' different. Not havin' to share your ammo does. :-D

Bold talk from a one eyed fat man.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 08:41 AM
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

Quote:
The take home lesson for the hunter is that when loaded to the same pressure with the same bullet weight the larger bore is superior over hunting ranges. .... the 358 Winchester would be the winner over the first 250 yards or so. This covers about 99% of the shots that should be taken at game.
Unfortunately, this just isn't the case for the majority of hunters who use factory loads:

.358 WCF = 200 @ 2490 fps
.338 Fed = 210 @ 2630 fps

The new .338 may or may not have a higher SAAMI spec. It may utilize the same technology that Hornady uses in their LiteMag loads. These achieve higher velocities than "normal" factory loads do while staying within normal SAAMI pressures.
While handloading should change this around, it doesn't happen in factory loads....which is what matters when trying to sell rifles. The large advangate of the .338 over the .358 should spell doom for the latter, except among those very few who favor the .35 bore.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 06:08 PM
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

358Win,
Yep ... great minds think alike :-D . The idea of a "411 Taylor" came from my experience with a rebored M98 in 10.75x68Mauser. Its original ballistics had a 347gr (.423) at 2200fps. It was an awesome "mild" big bore, but cases were an issue as was its rebored barrel. A 41cal on a shortened H&H case would duplicate it nicely, a 400gr (.412) at a mild 2100fps would bounce of nothing, a 300gr from the 405Win for the medium game and then the pistol projectiles for the plinking and practice. I have a sneaking suspicion that a Lee 416Taylor die would full-length resize well enough to hold a projectile, turn the expander down some to make it usuable as well, or a Lee case flaring die to help get projectiles seated. The alternative would be to "bump" pistol projectiles up to .416 and use them that way I suppose in a regular Taylor.
I like my pistol projectiles in reduced loads for rifles, whether .35 or .475!
Cheers...
Con
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester

Like I said in my earlier post I have yet to be able to find a box of factory ammo in 358 Winchester here in Utah. So the debate about which has the better future is already over, and has been for about 35 years. The only thing that keeps the 358 from being totally obsolete is the occassional run of BLR's. The 358 is a reloaders only cartridge.

Thank goodness for this board and the few die hard reloaders of this cartridge. I was starting to think I was the only 358 Win fan on the entire planet until I stumbled across this board.

.358 WCF = 200 @ 2490 fps
.338 Fed = 210 @ 2630 fps

At least in factory format given this data we can be positive that the recoil and muzzle blast of the 338 Fed will be higher in rifles of equal weight, stock configuration and barrel length. The old every thing else being equal catch phrase.

There are two distinct components to recoil. The first is conservation of linear momentum WEIGHTbullet X VELOCITYbullet = WEIGHTgun X VELOCITYgun. The second component is the jet effect when the bullet exits the muzzle. This component is a function of the weight of the powder gas and the pressure when the bullet leaves the barrel. The only way to get higher velocity at the same peak pressure is to lengthen the pressure curve so that the pressure stays high longer. The down side of that approach is increased jet effect recoil and increased muzzle blast.

Don't get me wrong I think that the 338 Federal is a great idea. Just pointing out that there is no free lunch. It will kick harder and will have more muzzle blast than the 358 Win.
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