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#96527 - 10/05/02 04:02 AM .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
avagadro Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 10675
Loc: Tri-Cities, Washington State

Been looking at larger bore rifles, I was wondering (other than the name and price) what is the difference between a .338 mag and a .340 wby mag. I was looking at the Speer manual and their reloading manual gives me the impression that the .338 out performs the .340.

What are the opinions of the forum? Is the Weatherby worth the extra premium that one would pay for it? The ammo seems more expensive.


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#96528 - 10/05/02 04:12 AM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
ConradCA Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 7541
Loc: Los Gatos CA, USA

Quoting from Lynman's guide to: Big Game Cartridges & rifles

"The 340 Weatherby is a step up in performance over the .338 Winchester. It has a velocity improvement of 150 fps over the 338."

However, the ammo is a lot more expensive, harder to find and it has more recoil.

The .338 can generally do just as good of a job as the .340 weatherby.
The political scale is fascists on the left and individual freedom on the right.

"It takes a village" torture a young girl and her family.

#96529 - 10/05/02 04:22 AM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
JimF Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 3233

The 340 certainly outperforms the 338. But then the 338 ultra, outperforms the Wby, and of course the 338/378 weatherby outdoes the ulta..........then again if you took a 50 BMG and necked it..........Oh!!! sorry, sorta lost my head.

The Weatherby offers more velocity as do the others but the price in ammo costs, recoil (yikes) and related aggravations would not be worth it to me. You (can) use calibers like these for lots of things, and they (will) work, but if you have other choices, I don't see much usefullness in Baja Alaska.

On the other hand, if big and bad is what blows your skirt up, these are all in the baaaaadddd category.


#96530 - 10/05/02 04:23 AM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
I had a 340 Wby built on a fully accurized 700 with a Shilen Barrel in a HS Precision stock. I couldn't get more than 2800 fps with 250 grain bullets with any accuracy. I tried chambers both with and without the freebore. I had that exact barrel rechambered in 338 RUM and picked up a solid 150 fps and improved accuracy. I did change stocks with the 338 RUM to a McMillan.

The recoil from a 340 is stout. I did not think the 100 fps increase in velocity the 340 provided over the 338 Win was worth the exponential increase in recoil the 340 provided. However, the 338 RUM--in the McMillan stock--isn't any more uncomfortable to shoot that the 340 was in the HS Stock.

From what I've seen through my chronograph, a 338 Win will get 2600-2700 fps with 250 grain bullets. (I chronoed some factory loads at the range last week, and they barely went 2600). A 340 Wby will get around 2800 fps with handloads. I didn't chrono any factory ammo through my 340, but I think the claimed 3000 fps with 250 grain bullets is extremely optimistic. As you have noticed, most handloading manuals don't show much over 2800 fps with the 340.

The 338 RUM gets around 2950. The 338 Win's recoil is mild (300 Win Mag level). the 340 and 338 RUM's recoil is stout, and does take some getting used to. In fact, my 416 Rem is more comfortable to shoot than either the 340 was or the 338 RUM is.

I do know of one guy who had Blackstar electro-polish his 340's barrel and uses moly coated bullets. He gets 3030ish with 225 grain Barnes X bullets.


#96531 - 10/05/02 11:48 AM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
Deputy_Norm Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 3094
Loc: Noblesville, Indiana

Here are some "Relative Recoil Factor" numbers:

.30-30 1.69
.30-06 2.19
.338 2.93
.340 3.33

Source: "Ammo & Ballistics For Hunters, Shooters and Collectors."

Norm -
NRA Member Since 1966

#96532 - 10/05/02 03:17 PM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
Recoil is a very subjective thing with many variables. Here are the recoil numbers from my 338 Win, 340 Wby, and 338 RUM. The 340 and 338 RUM are from my actual loads, the 338 Win data is from the Nosler manual for a higer velocity accurate load. Rifle weight is 9.5 lbs as shot.

338 Win - 250 grainer at 2650: 33 ft lbs
340 - 250 grainer at 2800: 43 ft lbs
338 RUM - 250 grainer at 2950: 50 ft lbs

However, the RUM is more comfortable to shoot that the 340 due to the better stock (McMillan vs HS Precision). Also, lighter bullets weights will decrease the recoil.

My recommendation to a guy just stepping up to his first 338 bore is the 338 Win Mag. It has mild recoil (relatively) and enough thump for anything in NA out to as far as a good shot can hit with it. Ammo and components are readily available. I love my 338 RUM, but it does take some effort to get comfortable with--as does the 340. Also, I bought 500 cases of brass when I had the rifle made so I would never run out. This just isn't an issue with the 338 Win.


#96533 - 10/05/02 04:21 PM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
Muley Stalker Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 5781
Loc: Golden, CO, USA
I agree with AFP that recoil is very subjective. I'll take the recoil of my (lighter) .338 Ultra over my .300 Wby accumark (with lighter bullets). Seriously! A large part of the equation is the stock fit.

OK that said, get the 338 Ultra and don't look back. You can load it to 338 Win velocities if you want and are worried about recoil, but you can also stoke it up if you wish. I get over 3300 fps with 200 grain ballistic tips, 3100 fps with a "light" load using 210 grain Barnes XLC's. Another infamous poster here gets about 3400 fps with those blue wonders.

LOVE the rifle!

#96534 - 10/05/02 09:01 PM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
Cheaha Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 6401
Loc: Mt.Cheaha,AL.
Yeah, If you handload,get the 338 Ultra and don't look back. If you don't handload,I wouldn't consider it.

They all three kick so it's important to try several and get the stock that fits YOU best.

I'm getting 3260fps with the 210gr XBT/Moly bullets with very good accuracy. You can start off with light bullets and work your way up to full performance loads.

My 338 Ultra has less "Felt Recoil" than my 338 WinMag because of the stock fitting me perfectly.

Good luck...

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men. Mt 15:9

#96535 - 10/05/02 09:46 PM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833

For the benefit of those who don't know, The Accumark uses a HS Precision stock. That stock is Kevlar/Graphite over a foam with a full length aluminum bedding block--it doesn't flex--just like the HS Precision stock I had on my 340. A stiff stock may be very desurable in the "almost no recoil" BR chamberings, but when you start exceeding 35 ft lbs of recoil, a stock that soaks up recoil is a nice feature.

Now, I had the 338 Win in the HS stock with no problems.


#96536 - 10/05/02 10:57 PM Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
WheelchairBandit Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 11279
Loc: Peoplez Republik
Actualy,only for the first couple years of production was the HS Presicison used on Accumarks.Then they changed the the cheaper and 8 oz. heavier Bell&Carlson.I had the same rifle with both stocks (LONG story!),and comparing the HS to the B&C was like comparing a high grade walnut stock made by a fine craftsman to a 2x4.

The easiest way to tell the two apart is that the HS will say so on the recoil pad,and the B&C will say Decelorator.

"You set your own goals for success, and when you succeed it don't necessarily mean that you're going to be a big star or make a lot of money or anything. You'll feel it in your heart whether you've succeeded or not." - Roy Buchanan

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