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#3780652 - 02/09/10 10:17 PM 338 RCM vs 338 win mag??
idahostalker Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 250
does the 338 rcm have any advantages over the 338 win mag? I dont really know much about the 338 rcm other than short video clips i have seen and supposidly you get the same performance from the 338 rcm with a 20 inch barrel that you would with a 338 with a 24 inch barrel. im planning on buying a 338 really soon and i was wondering if maybe the 338 rcm would be a better choice over the win mag. I reload so take that into consideration.

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#3780674 - 02/09/10 10:39 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: idahostalker]
Dan360 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 2213
Loc: Washington State
338 RCM might come in a shorter package but you'll find 338 Win Mag ammo and components everywhere. I never thought of a 24 inch barreled sporter as being too long for most of my hunting. I also believe longer cartridges in relation to their fatness tend to feed better than short-fats.

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#3780675 - 02/09/10 10:41 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: idahostalker]
muledeer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 8704
Loc: Ketchikan, AK, USA
It depends...and this ought to be a fun thread grin.

I have a .338 RCM, Ruger blue/wood Hawkeye; have killed game with it; and really like it. I have never owned a .338 Win Mag, because I don't like belted cases, among other reasons. So my viewpoint is pretty much one-sided. Having said that, I really doubt that a 20" .338 RCM can produce higher velocities than a .338 Win Mag in a 24" barrel, if the loads match up. I do think a .338 RCM provides "enough" performance to work very nicely at any hunting venture in North America.

I do believe reloading is a crucial practice if you want to be really functional with a .338 RCM, though, because I don't much care for the few factory varieties being produced. I'm getting really good loads with Re 15 powder pushing 185 and 210 TSX's and 200 gr Hornady Interlocks.

And I'll have a .338 RCM and not a belted anything, so for me it's a lot better deal... smile.

Dennis
_________________________
"The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets."

"If you're asking me something technical, you may be looking for My Other Brother Darrell."

"It ain't foot-pounds that kills stuff -- it's broken body parts."

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#3780681 - 02/09/10 10:47 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: idahostalker]
Kentucky_Windage Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 5669
Loc: San Antonio
It all depends on what type of hunting you plan to do with the rifle, what type of terrain, etc. If you plan on hunting a lot of thick cover and want a light, highly maneuverable rifle, the 338 RCM is a great choice. I have the 338 RCM and took a book-class bear with it last year, and was very, very pleased with the rifle. It achieves 338 Win Mag velocities out of a 20-inch barrel with 200 and 225 grain Hornady factory ammo. The rifle was very handy in some of the thick alders and stuff I hunted, even though I ended up shooting at 180 yards. (One shot, double lung, through and through, DRT, with 225 grain SST). Since you reload, it's important to note that Hornady uses a new, special powder, unavailable to the public, to achieve that performance, so you'll likely have to settle for a bit less velocity when loading your own for 338 RCM. If you're planning on a lot of open country hunting and long shots, you may want to stick with the 338 Win Mag, especially since you reload. If Hornady ever makes the powder available to the public, that might be a game changer.
_________________________
If you're fixin' to put a hole in something,
make it a hole to remember.

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#3780703 - 02/09/10 11:02 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: muledeer]
Kentucky_Windage Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 5669
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: muledeer

I do believe reloading is a crucial practice if you want to be really functional with a .338 RCM, though, because I don't much care for the few factory varieties being produced. I'm getting really good loads with Re 15 powder pushing 185 and 210 TSX's and 200 gr Hornady Interlocks.

Dennis



Unlike Dennis, I DO like the factory ammo. The 225 grain SST load took down the biggest black bear I've ever shot instantly. The bear will make the book, and a story on the hunt will run the May issue of Petersen's Hunting. Hornady, by the way, has now added a 185-grain GMX load to the lineup. Haven't tried that yet.

While there's nothing wrong with the factory ammo in my book, Dennis is the guy to talk to re. reloading for the 338 RCM.

One thing we do agree on is our mutual fondness for the 338 RCM. I would have no qualms taking anything on this continent with the 338 RCM, though my first choice for brownies/grizzlies would be something a tad heavier.
_________________________
If you're fixin' to put a hole in something,
make it a hole to remember.

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#3780745 - 02/10/10 12:16 AM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: Kentucky_Windage]
M12 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 2016
Loc: Stalking up High
The 338RCM cannot ever live up to the MIGHTY 338 WINCHESTER MAGNUM.
Treat the RCM as a short case/high pressured 338-06, that's where it's at. Not bad, just not great, IMO.
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#3780870 - 02/10/10 04:28 AM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: M12]
Azshooter Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 2941
Loc: Tucson, Az.
Great thread. I am in the process of building a 338 RCM. As to feeding with short fats...this is not like a WSM case, it fits and feeds like a dream from my old tang safety M77 short action, while a WSM case won't get past the feed rails.

I am certain that the 338 Win mag will beat this with handloads as the capacity of the 338 RCM is almost identical to the 338-06.

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#3782742 - 02/10/10 01:09 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: M12]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Originally Posted By: 340Wby
The 338RCM cannot ever live up to the MIGHTY 338 WINCHESTER MAGNUM.
Treat the RCM as a short case/high pressured 338-06, that's where it's at. Not bad, just not great, IMO.


I totally agree it won't keep up with it. For me the rifle that it comes in is just so nice and that's the only thing that would ever lead me to it, not the round.

Problemo is I already have a nice 338 WSM and a 338/06 and a 340 so I feel sort of covered. A Montana in a 338 Federale still perks my fancy from time to time though..

Dober
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#3782781 - 02/10/10 01:23 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Kentucky_Windage Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 5669
Loc: San Antonio
To be clear, it matches the 338 Win Mag in certain bullet weights in factory loadings and I don't see it as an either/or situation. The short, handy rifle it comes in is the 338 RCM's claim to fame. It's use certainly isn't restricted to close-cover situations (witness pile of plains game shot by Ruger CEO in Africa), but that's where it really shines.

I also have the 338 Fed in a Hawkeye all weather. It's my designated Calif. rifle as it happens to shoot the (mandatory) copper very well.

As you can no doubt tell, I tend towards rifles specialized for the particular job at hand... gives me plenty of excuses to keep acquiring more. wink
_________________________
If you're fixin' to put a hole in something,
make it a hole to remember.

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#3782841 - 02/10/10 01:38 PM Re: 338 RCM vs 338 win mag?? [Re: M12]
muledeer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 8704
Loc: Ketchikan, AK, USA
Originally Posted By: 340Wby
The 338RCM cannot ever live up to the MIGHTY 338 WINCHESTER MAGNUM.
Treat the RCM as a short case/high pressured 338-06, that's where it's at. Not bad, just not great, IMO.


That would only be the case if you actually liked a .338 Win. I do not, nor do I like any other belted magnum. I think the Ruger long and short cases are the perfect answer, as they are slightly bigger around than an H&H case, but fit nicely in the actions. I have a .375 Ruger and a .338 RCM, and like both of them very much. If I were headed to Africa any time soon, I would have a .404 Ruger built, as has been demonstrated and discussed by a personal hero here grin), and it would do very well.

Since the .338 RCM has slightly greater capacity than a .338-06, I doubt very much that it builds higher pressure to achieve the same velocity. And that's the true role of the RCM, whether Hornady wants to face it or not.

Dennis
_________________________
"The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets."

"If you're asking me something technical, you may be looking for My Other Brother Darrell."

"It ain't foot-pounds that kills stuff -- it's broken body parts."

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