Author Topic: 338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester  (Read 5204 times)

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Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« on: December 05, 2005, 11:11:33 am »
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.


Offline Con

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2005, 06:22:17 pm »
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

Offline poncaguy

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2005, 07:06:04 pm »
338 for me, lighter recoil, plenty of brass, biggest I hunt are deer and hogs in the future

Offline 358Win

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WOW
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2005, 10:40:59 pm »
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.

Offline TNrifleman

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2005, 03:55:53 am »
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.

Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2005, 03:15:33 pm »
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.

Offline Slamfire

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2005, 10:58:02 pm »
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.

Offline Lone Star

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2005, 04:41:50 am »
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.

Offline Con

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2005, 02:08:13 pm »
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

Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2005, 02:25:32 pm »
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.

Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2005, 03:45:04 pm »
Hi Con:

   Here's a couple of wild wildcat ideas.

1) A 35 caliber based on necking the 25 WSSM up a couple of times.  Should be like a mini-length 35 Whelen or our beloved 358 Win

2) A 411 caliber based on necking the 325 WSM up to a truely useful caliber.

Now those would be real hunting rifles that you could still do all your plinking and practice with pistol bullets. :-)

Offline rickt300

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2005, 06:33:41 pm »
Ilike the idea of the 338 Federal.  Where can I look for more information and does anyone make riflesfor it yet"
I have been identified as Anti-Federalist, I prefer Advocate for Anarchy.

Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2005, 06:36:44 pm »
Hi All:

   Since one of my gun hobbies is trying to find the smallest case that will meet the objectives in any gun or wildcat.  I thought it over and decided that I can most likely get what I want from a 411 by using either the 284 Winchester or a 350 Remington Mag as a case.  The  350 Remington would be a bit less than the 411 Taylor.  But if I could get even 2000 fps with the 400 grain bullet.  That would be an excellent short range thumper.. [/list][/list]

Offline kombi1976

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2005, 03:13:09 am »
To be frank, with the right support, the .338 Fed could have a big future.
Considerably bigger than the .358 Win.
The issue with the wide buying public for the .358 has always been recoil.
The .338 has less recoil, more premium bullets, and Sako of all people are backing it.
I wouldn't be surprised to see it chambered in the Steyr Scout rifle.
Fits well between the .308 Win and the 376 Steyr, which incidentally kicks like a mule.
Sorry Con & 358Win, but my vote goes to Federal.
8)

Cheers & God Bless

.22lr ~ 22 Hornet ~ 25-20 ~ 303/25 ~ 7mm-08 ~ 303 British ~ 310 Cadet ~ 9.3x62 ~ 450/400 NE 3"

Offline BattleRifleG3

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2005, 12:00:21 am »
I would love the versatility of the 358 caliber if they made decently aggressive bullets for it.  But no, the heavyweight biggest game stoppers skip 358 caliber with heavier weights available for 338 than 358.

I think the 338 Federal is a compromise that will give decent brusbusting ability, decent trajectory, sufficiently mild recoil, great results due to good bullet selection, all in very popular standard rifles.  Its future will depend of course on who chooses to chamber it, but I think it being "new blood" will make it stand out ahead of the 358 Winchester.

Essentially, due to bullet weights available, I can't see the 358 caliber in any cartridge to be anything more than a medium/short range gun.  The 338 Federal should be more popular simply on account of bullet choice for the medium to longer ranges, and doing well for the short ranges too.

It seems to offer decent power for a clean kill without high velocities that would damage meat.  Seems it would be excellent for the larger non-predators (and any predator short of a griz or polar bear on this continent) while being no less useful on deer or hogs.
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Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2005, 09:59:04 am »
I'm not sure I understand the comment about 358 bullets.  Just about everybody makes a 250 grain.  Swift makes a 280 gr and Woodleight makes a 310 grain.  For those who are bullet casters getting 358 bullets clear up to 350 grain isn't a problem.

Well I got out an checked my 125 grain pistol bullet load of 43.0 gr. of H380.  This is what chronographs are for.  Instead of getting the 2900 fps I had hoped for it was more like 2200 fps.  I know that 48 grains is safe under a 250 grain, so I'll have to try that charge with the pistol bullet to see if I can get it up there.

Yes, it's pretty clear that the 338 Federal has the potential to have a bright future.  The 358 Win is already a reloaders only cartridge so barring a sudden attack of logic like what happened with the 45/70 the 358 Win is already basically dead.

I did like the comment about how having a rare caliber keeps folks from borrowing your ammo.

The one thing that came up a couple of times is recoil.  If the factory specs for the 338 Federal are honest, the 338 Federal will most definitely be the harder kicker.

Offline BattleRifleG3

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2005, 12:16:29 pm »
I'll take recoil over muzzle blast, especially in a brushbuster.  Wouldn't mind a heavier rifle for this though, say a Mauser type.
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Offline Coyote Hunter

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2005, 08:30:26 pm »
Quote from: 358Win
 ...But if I could get even 2000 fps with the 400 grain bullet.  That would be an excellent short range thumper.. [/list][/list]


Except that your wildcat would be bolt-gun friendly, it would duplicate a 40,000 CUP .45-70.  With a better B.C., of course.
Coyote Hunter
NRA, GOA, DAD - and I VOTE!

Offline Coyote Hunter

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2005, 08:37:25 pm »
Christmas morning I will be “unwrapping” a used (1975) Remington BDL in .308 Win.  Only time will tell how this rifle shoots, but if the barrel is a loser I’ll have two choices.  The first is to rebarrel to .308.  The second is an opportunity to go for the .338 Federal.  I would probably stick with the .308 but the .338 Fed would be sorely tempting – I like big holes and I already have a couple .30’s, a .300 Win and a .30-30.
Coyote Hunter
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Offline Coyote Hunter

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2005, 08:40:01 pm »
Christmas morning I will be “unwrapping” a used (1975) Remington BDL in .308 Win.  Only time will tell how this rifle shoots, but if the barrel is a loser I’ll have two choices.  The first is to rebarrel to .308.  The second is an opportunity to go for the .338 Federal.  I would probably stick with the .308 but the .338 Fed would be sorely tempting – I like big holes and I already have a couple .30’s, a .300 Win and a .30-30.
Coyote Hunter
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Offline killdeer

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2005, 08:19:40 am »
.358 win is at the top of my short list.      .338 fed to me is like wide right to a Buffalo fan.

Offline Mac11700

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2006, 11:11:14 pm »
For me...it would be the 338 Federal...and my choice of rifle would be a good Remington 7600 with a good peep site and a firesite post on the ramp..I think it would make a fine dark timber elk gun...or whitetail gun...bear gun..or just about anything else...I already have a 26" Handi rifle in 338-06 and love it..and this would fit the bill nicely....

Mac
You can cry me a river... but...build me a bridge and then get over it...

Offline kombi1976

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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2006, 05:06:08 am »
Quote from: Mac11700
For me...it would be the 338 Federal...and my choice of rifle would be a good Remington 7600 with a good peep site and a firesite post on the ramp..I think it would make a fine dark timber elk gun...or whitetail gun...bear gun..or just about anything else...I already have a 26" Handi rifle in 338-06 and love it..and this would fit the bill nicely....

Mac

So did you the 25-06 or the 280 Rem H&R/NEF barrel overbored?
Or was it a custom job?
8)

Cheers & God Bless

.22lr ~ 22 Hornet ~ 25-20 ~ 303/25 ~ 7mm-08 ~ 303 British ~ 310 Cadet ~ 9.3x62 ~ 450/400 NE 3"

Offline 358Win

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2006, 01:52:18 am »
Hi All:

   Just read an interesting article on efficiency.  Didn't catch the author.  A little light reading at the magazine rack while waiting for a prescription to be filled.  Seems the author had some free time and did the math for a whole bunch of cartridges at the 200 yard line.  He calculated energy per grain of powder and Wooters L score per grain of powder.  Didn't say if he made any attempt to equalize ballistic coefficient or not.  I'm assuming that he was using factory ballistics charts of some sort.

   The bottom line of his article was that the most efficient cartridge on both scales was the 35 Whelen.  He also pointed out that the 358 Winchester, and the 350 Remington Mag were also in the top 5.  And made the comment that the 35 Remington with spitzer bullets would also be in the same basic placement in terms of foot pounds of energy per grain of powder burned.  I found it quite interesting that  the top 5 was dominated by 35 caliber cartriidges.  The only thing that bothered me was that when I did the math myself the 358 Winchester came in first and the 35 Whelen and 350 Remington Mag tied for second.

   I've had a pet theory for a long time that there are some calibers have slight advantages over other similar calibers due to poorly understood effects of air turbulance during flight.  Engineers and Scientiists are still working on getting mathematical fomulas for all of the interesting aspects of Fluid Dynamics.  Air being the fluid in this case.  These effects are why Wind Tunnel testing are still so critical to to aircraft design, race car design and bullet design.  There are just some aspects of Fluid Dynamics that can't just be predicted by the currently available formulas.  If  these things were completely understood Wind Tunnel testing would not be needed as you could just plug all the known variables and predict the results.  One caliber that seems to be more than would be expected is the 6.5mm (0.264 inch) bore diameter.  I have always thought of the 0.375 bore was another of those that performs just a bit better than expected.

   My recent experience with the 0.358 bore leads me to believe that it may even be more of a "magic"  bore than the 0.264 and the 0.375.  The BLR in 358 Win has been a really wonderful experience.  The "felt" recoil is amazingly light.  The only 35 caliber that I've heard recoil horror stories about is the 350 Rem. Mag. in the original Model 600 and the Model 660.  My BLR with Nikon 1.5-6x42mm Monarch Gold scope weighs 7.8 pounds and the "felt" recoil is less than my Ruger #1 in 270 Win with a Lepould 2-7 Vari-X II that weighs 8.5 pounds.  The muzzle blast is very mild, mostly due to a high expansion ratio.  Max loads are burning between 48 and 50 grains for bullets in the 180 to 250 grain bullets using Accurate Arms 2520 powder.  That charge wieght, of that powder, expanding into a 0.358 caliber bore and a 20 inch tube has fairly low exit pressure with almost complete combustion.  The deep boom  of the 358 Win is a lot more pleasant on the ears than the high pitched crack of the 270 Win.  It should be noted that this Ruger #1 has the barrel shortened to 21 inches from the 26 inch tube it came with.  While that makes for much a handier rifle the muzzle blast is awful.  Even other shooters on the range ask what kind of a cannon is that??  And are usually quite surprised when I tell them it is a 270.  Even though H380 is a relatively fast powder for a 270 it is quite the flame thrower compared to the 358 Win with an inch shorter tube.  While I'm only using a couple more grains of powder in the 270 it just doesn't have the expansion room of the 358.

   The most delightful aspect of the whole thing is the minor difference in trajectory.  The 270 is usually thought of as a very flat shooter.  A lot of people think the 358 Winchester is a short range proposition.  But check out this comparison.  This 270 is hampered a bit by the 21 inch tube.  The Factory Ammo just barely breaks 3000 fps.  With a 200 yard zero, this is 1.6 inches high at 100 and 7.4 inches low at 300.  My best load out of the 358 is a 250 grain Nosler at 2400 fps.  With a 200 yard zero, this is 2.9 inches high at 100, and 11.7 inches low at 300.  SO THE DIFFERENCE IN DROP AT 300 YARDS IS ONLY 4.3 INCHES!!!  I generally figure that in the field with a good field rest I can shoot about 3 MOA or 9 inch groups at 300 yards.  So at 300 yards there is a 60% overlap in groups from the 270 and groups from the 358 Winchester!

   At 300 yards I'm still getting 1,945 foot-pounds of energy with the 358 Win versus 1,480 foot-pounds of energy for the 270.  So at 300 yards the 358 Win is delivering 31.4% more energy than the 270.  At 300 yards the 270 has a momentum of 1.31 pound-seconds where the 358 Win has 2.08 pound-seconds.  So the 358 Win is delivering 58.8% more momentum at 300 yards.  Last but not least the initial frontal area of the the 0.358 caliber slug is 67.0% greater than the 270.

   In summary using less powder, a shorter case, a shorter action, and a shorter barrel the 358 Winchester out to 300 yards has similar trajectory to the 270, more energy for increased expansion and ablity to destroy large bones, more momentum for increased knock down power amd penetration and more frontal area for increased wound channel diameter.

Offline BattleRifleG3

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2006, 01:27:46 pm »
NICE Article.  Expresses very well a few thoughts I've had on experimental vs calculated data, and the relationship between empirical and theoretical ballistic science.

And seems like info I'll find very useful in future gun purchase decisions.

If only he'd been able to test the 338 Federal.
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Offline Blacktail53

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338 Federal vs. 358 Winchester
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2006, 09:49:49 pm »
Check out this site on the .338 Federal.. Lots of good info.  BT53  http://www.chuckhawks.com/338_federal_first_look.htm