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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a medium bore for NA? Lots of folks have and love the 338 WM, and with good reason: huge bullet selection, lots of energy, and an ever-growing history of success in the field.
On the bigger side, you have the 375 H&H, with a more or less cult following, much more muzzle energy (4370 vs 3917, with 270gr going 2700, and 225gr going 2800, resp), a much bigger hole, and lots of romance.
I wouldn't dare try to "explain" why either of these won't do for big game in NA, but for those looking for something a little different, and since there seems to be very little info available on this cartridge, I thought I'd share some about the 358 Shooting Times Alaskan.
It was developed by the Field Editor of Shooting Times Magazine, originally by necking up 8mm Rem Mag cases with no other changes. Later the case was blown out a hair and the shoulder angle sharpened, if I have my facts straight. Most folks shooting it are going with the 250gr bullet for general use (SD is equal to the 338's 225gr and the .375's 270gr, which happen to be their respective all-around use bullets.) Barrels generally have a 1 in 12" twist, as opposed to the .35 Winchester's and Whelen's 1 in 14".

So how does this cartridge compare with the "big two" on paper?

Here's a sectional density comparison:
.338" - 225gr= .28135, 250gr= .31261
.358" - 250gr= .27866, 280gr= .31210
.375" - 270gr= .27429, 300gr= .30476

So basically, we're talking about the same thing. Given similar bullet construction, the difference is bigger hole at a given velocity with increasing penetration.

And ballistic coefficients: (bullets chosen at semi-random based on info closest to my desk)
Hornady .338 225gr SP- .448
Speer .358 SP- .446
Hornady .375 270gr SP- .485

So, again, we're talking about the same thing.
Taking these three bullets, loaded to the above velocities, and Layne Simpson's own 250gr load of 2950fps we find:

338 WM has a muzzle energy of 3917 f/pe, dropping below 2000 just after 425.
Zeroed at 200yds, at 125 it's 1.8" high, at 300yds it's 7.81" low.

358 STA has a muzzle energy of 4830 f/pe, dropping below 2000 just after 575.
Same 200yd zero, 125yds - 1.62" high, 300yds - 6.83" low.

375 H&H has a muzzle energy of 4370 f/pe, dropping below 2000 just after 525.
200yd zero gives up 2' high at 125yds, 300 yds it's 8.43" low.

Sure, some have hotter loads in the WinMag and H&H, and feel free to crunch more numbers and post them below. The fact is, the case capacity is more on par with the 375 H&H Improved and the 340 Weatherby. If anyone has load data for these two, please post them as well.
For bullet selection, it seems to be growing. Woodleigh, Swift, A-Square all make heavies, and most of the store brands have the 225- and 250- grainers. Plus there's a whole world of pistol bullets waiting to be shredded at 3500fps!!!
Of course, any time you push a 250gr bullet 2950fps, or a 280gr 2750+ fps, it's gonna feel like it! Limited word on the street is, it's not for the recoil shy, but not anything more than you'd expect with a given rifle weight.

Final thought: this cartridge is right in there with the big boys.
If you're looking for a big game cartridge for NA, give this one a close look.
Do you need it? Not if you have an '06, but what fun is that!?!
:-D

[all data computed on Point Blank, and subject to operator/software error!]
 

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I'm a fellow 35 fan, but I'll throw in some dowsides of the big 35. It is a wildcat round, and likely always will be. Anywhere big critters are hunted, 338 and 375 ammo is available over the counter. They are also plenty flat shooting for 300 yds and change, which IMHO is more then far enough for taking shots at unwounded game.

The other factor against the big 35 is the recoil produced to gain that bit of extra speed. I haven't fired one yet, and I'll likely build one just because, but the STA has a reputation of severe recoil. The 338 and 375 on the other hand are pretty mild mannered for what they do. My 350 Rigby, essentially 358 Norma capacity is quite pleasant to shoot with 66 gr Varget or RL 15 under a 250 gr for 2700 fps. I tried 71-72 gr H 4350 for 2700 fps, and the recoil was much sharper. When burning 80 gr or more powder, your recoil will rise signifigantly.

Yes, the STA is an outstanding long range round, and perfect for the far and gone 35 nut. After I finish my 350 rem mag, I'll like build a 358 STA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, and yes.
Pack two supplies of ammo, port the barrel! :grin:

The reading I've done from folks devoloping loads for the STA seems to show the reputation is a bit undeserved.
Sure, there's more, but how much?
I haven't shot one either, though one is in the works.
When I get home tonight I'll do some calculations and see what the computer thinks.
Laws of physics being what they are, you just gotta pick where on the spectrum of recoil/performance you want to go.
 

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I am one of those folks that despise muzzle brakes with a passion. No doubt that they effectively reduce recoil, but not worth the price in my mind. I also don't have a problem dealing with recoil, I sold my 458 lott to fund a 500 Jeffrey :) I have no doubt that my starting loads of 600 gr @ 2200 fps generate recoil in well in excess of anything that the 358 STA produces. That said, the STA is something that will produce a sharp jabbing recoil, something I also don't care for.

I think there are points of recoil/terminal performance thresholds, where you produce alot more recoil for little real world improvements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All figures are from an 8 lb gun, just for comparison.

.338" 225gr going 2800 fps in front of 70 gr of powder = 37.51 f/p @ 17.38 fps. (3918 f/p of muzzle energy)
.358" 250gr going 2950 fps in front of 84 gr of powder = 50.79 f/p @ 20.22 fps. (4832 f/p of muzzle energy)
.375" 270gr going 2700 fps in front of 76 gr of powder = 46.74 f/p @ 19.40 fps. (4372 f/p of muzzle energy)

.358" 250gr going 2800 fps in front of 80 gr of powder = 45.86 f/p @ 19.21 fps. [this duplicates 358 Norma velocities.]
.358" 300gr going 2700 fps in front of 85 gr of powder = 57.95 f/p @ 21.60 fps. (4857 f/p!)

500 Jefferey 600 gr going 2250 from 105 gr of powder = 134.62 f/p @ 32.92 fps.
Sounds like a pretty sharp jab to me! :shock:
But I ain't never set eyes on one, let alone shot it, FWIW.

Sure, you wouldn't put that in a rifle that weighed 8 lbs, but to get that down to 71.80 f/p @ 17.56 fps you need a rifle weighing 15 lbs!
A 12 lb rifle gets you 89.75 f/p coming at you at 21.95 fps.
So you make your choice for what you want to get done.

Now, build the STA to 9 lbs and the above figures go to 45.14 f/p @ 17.97 fps. That's a hair less than the 8 lb H&H, and a hair above the 8 lb 338. What you end up with is a 20% increase in recoil, 12.5% increase in rifle weight, for a bit over 20% increase in energy over the 338.
That seems fair to me.

And sure, you could build a 9 lb 338, (32.38/15.22) etc., etc.
As I say, you make your choice.

Now, in terms of "real-world performance" I will bet that no animal on this continent will know the difference between 3000 and 4000 f/p of energy, and bullets this size usually aren't intended for targets beyond 500 yds (or 300 for that matter!) But if you're the sort looking for "enough gun" then
I maintain that the STA is right in there.
Punch a hole through an elk longwise.

[For the record, mine won't have a brake, but I might end up porting it depending on the "real-world performance" of my shoulder!]
 

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I believe my 500 weighs in just shy of 11#'s. No doubt it generates a signifigant level of recoil, I'd estimate I moved back nearly 1 foot in recoil when shooting off the bench, and I weigh a few stones over 200#'s :) I also had to pick up the sandbags under the buttstock and the forend rest after each shot.

Heck, I'm starting to talk myself into a 358 STA more and more :-D With the 500 as a recoil trainer, the 358 will feel like a popgun.
 

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SIJ and I have been e-mailing info back and forth. He told be about this post so I thought I jump in with my set-up. Working on a 358STA with 24" #3 Douglas barrel on a Rem 700 ADL. Putting it in a Bansner's High Tech Classic stock and topped with Vari-X III 2.5-8x36. Should weigh around 8 lbs. Should be a real pleasure to shoot. :roll:
 
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