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

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 10713
Loc: Tri-Cities, Washington State
Gentlemen,

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.

Thanx

George
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George
Associate Gypsy
Order of Sleepless Knights

Originally Posted By: GOD
... That is when I carried you ...

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

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 7554
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.
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The political scale is fascists on the left and individual freedom on the right.

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

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 3233
Well...............

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.

JimF

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#96530 - 10/05/02 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.

Blaine

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

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

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
_________________________
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NRA Member Since 1966

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#96532 - 10/05/02 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.

Blaine

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#96533 - 10/05/02 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!

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#96534 - 10/05/02 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...
_________________________
James


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

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

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
Muley,

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.

Blaine

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

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 11279
Loc: Peoplez Republik
AFP,
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.

WB.
_________________________
"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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#96537 - 10/05/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
Bummer!! While the HS Precision isn't my favorite for heavier kickers, I do have a couple and like them on my 6mm Rem and 300 Win (700s).

I wonder if Rem did the same thing on the Model 7 SS?

Blaine

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#96538 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
Sitka deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 26320
Loc: Anchorage, AK USA
One of my favorite stories, which I admit to having told here before, is about a gun guru at the local Wally World telling a customer who had expressed an interest in the 338WM, "you need to look at the 340W... it might not seem like much, but those two extra thousandths make a BIG difference!"
art
_________________________
Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.

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#96539 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
Art,

He was more right than he knew..............

Blaine

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#96540 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
bearstalker Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 06/23/02
Posts: 9520
Loc: Alaska
Can any NA game tell the difference between a .338 Win. Mag. and a 340 WBY? If so, I want to see the stories.

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#96541 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
Muley Stalker Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 5781
Loc: Golden, CO, USA
Bearstalker, there you go being all logical again!

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#96542 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
Bearstalker,

What the game animal can tell is irrelevant. It's what the hunter can tell (or thinks he can tell) that matters. A rifle chambering is maybe 25% for the game and 75% for the hunter.

Blaine

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#96543 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
mickey Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 332
Loc: Beyond Hope and through Hells ...
If you think that a .300 Win Mag is the same as a .308 than you will like the .338. If not than you should get the .340.

The fact that it will shoot 250 grain bullets 200fps faster if need be is a GOOD THING.

For those of you who don't like the Weatherby Rifle, I have a Winchester SS in .338 that I had rechambered at Kesselrings Gunshop and a Pacific Research stock added four years ago.
_________________________
Mickey



"Instead of getting married again I am just going to find a women I don't like and give her a house"

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#96544 - 10/06/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
rossi Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 548
Loc: Nebraska, USA
Having hunted both, the 338 Win Mag is a real pussycat compared to the 340 Wby. I am not one who is recoil shy in the first place, however accuracy achieved with the 338 Win Mag is excellent because it does have a milder repor and can be dialed in from the bench quite nicely.

Today, I should think the 338 Ultra would be more suitable than the 340 Wby. I am not a real fan of freeboring, as such, the 338 Ultra has no belt and is headspaced on the shoulder. A better setup for accuracy in a long range thumper does not exist (5,000 ft-lbs of ME). That said, the 338 Win Mag probably displays the best accuracy of all .33s and thats simply because it shoots milder than the rest. The case, even though wearing a belt is a good one producing excellent speed and accuracy in the .33s. Todays factory loadings with mixed powder propellents put the 338 Win Mag in new unchartered waters with Hornady's 225 grain at 2950 fps and now Federal pushing 250 grains at 2800 fps. What more do you really need.

If I wanted a really fast .33, the Ultra is the call. The 338-378 Wby is a beast and requires most shooters to brake it for accuracy and handling. Again, freeboring is not my bag.

Factory loaded ammo does not really give much of an advantage over the 338 Win Mag. With 250 grain factory loadings, here's the scoop.

REM-338 Rem Ultra Mag, 250gr Swift A frame - 2860 fps
Wby-340 Wby, 250 grain Part - 2941 fps
Wby-338-378 Wby, 250 gr Part, - 3050 fps
Fed-338 Win Mag, 250 Part, - 2800 fps
Dakota - 330 Dakota, 250 Nos Part, - 2800 fps
Norma - 338 Lapua, 300 grain load - 2800 fps
Lazzeroni - 338 Titan, 250 grain Swift A - 3150 fps

Handloading would open a whole new ball game for some of the big cased offerings, however, the 338 Win Mag with it's many factory offerings and handloadings may still be the most accurate of the bunch and will kill any game the above is attempting. Many Cape Buff have been killed with the 338 Win Mag, so don't be lead to believe that somehow your hugely handicapped by carrying a 338 Win Mag.


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#96545 - 10/07/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
avagadro Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 10713
Loc: Tri-Cities, Washington State
The reason I asked for input from the group is that in hopefully the next 3-4 years I want to go an a hunt for brown bear in alaska. I have been checking out websites and I have read that guides will not even considering taking some one out without a .338 WM or higher (with .375 HH prefered).

I currently hunt with a .300 wby mag and am comfortable with the recoil. from Weatherby's literature the .340 really isn't that much more than the .300. When I purchased the .300 wby I was under the impression that it would meet my hunting needs for any game in north america (bad advice i guess). So if this bear hunt becomes a reality I'm going to have to step it up a little bit.

I was going to go checking the local gun shops this week-end but research got in the way. So hopefully I will get a chance to go looking around and see what a .338 WM costs. I pretty much know what a .340 wby costs (aint pretty!!)

I greatly appeciate all the input from the group. Since archery has just opened up in parts of the country I will wish you all good luck with the season and upcoming rifle seasons!

George
_________________________
George
Associate Gypsy
Order of Sleepless Knights

Originally Posted By: GOD
... That is when I carried you ...

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#96546 - 10/07/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
BW Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 5637
Loc: Alaska
avagadro,

That info about the guides requiring a 338WM as a minimum...

You didn't hear that at this site, right?

I hope not, because I don't believe that to be true. My suggestion would be to call a couple guides, in the area you think you want to hunt, and ask them about what rifle to bring.

I suspect that you'll get an answer that goes something like, "the biggest cartridge you can comfortably and accurately shoot". Naturally that cartridge should be something reasonable, like a 30-06 or bigger.

The 338WM is a great cartridge, and if your really want to buy another rifle, then this is a really good choice. Can't fault your reasoning there!

I guess the point I'm trying to make, is don't be hung up on a couple opinions from the internet. Ask the guides and see what they think.

What rifle do you have now, that you might take if needed?
_________________________
Brian


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#96547 - 10/07/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
mickey Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 332
Loc: Beyond Hope and through Hells ...
If you are going to buy this rifle for one hunt than buy a .375, the recoil of it and the .340 is about equal and not as daunting as most gunwriters would have you believe. I honestly believe my .340 with glass stock has less felt recoil than my partners wooden .300 Winnie.

If you don't really want a new rifle for BB's than just load your .300 with 225 grn. bullets. It will be fine unless you get into a serious charge. Than even the .375 can be too small.
_________________________
Mickey



"Instead of getting married again I am just going to find a women I don't like and give her a house"

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#96548 - 10/07/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
Sitka deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 26320
Loc: Anchorage, AK USA
BW is dead on... if you shoot any 300 well and use premium bullets, bring it... wrong answer, wrong answer... buy whichever new rifle blows your dress up and then bring whichever one you shoot best. This should be viewed as a buying opportunity, just don't get hung up thinking you need more bore. ;-)

I used to use a 300WM for back-up and never felt under-gunned...
art
_________________________
Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.

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#96549 - 10/07/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
avagadro Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 10713
Loc: Tri-Cities, Washington State
My current rifle is a .300 WBY MAG. I bought for the variety of game that i could hunt with it (thinking this would be the one "big" gun that I could use anywhere in North America). I feel really comfortable with it and enjoy shooting whenever i get the chance. It is the one gun that goes to the range with me each and everytime i go, regardless of what I plan on taking.

Don't get me wrong I would love another reason in the future to buy a new rifle. I don't plan on an Alaska trip (for brown bear) for at least 3-4 years. I am hoping within the next two years to make it up there for a caribou hunt (which I'm pretty sure the .300 Wby should be plenty).

Thanx

George
_________________________
George
Associate Gypsy
Order of Sleepless Knights

Originally Posted By: GOD
... That is when I carried you ...

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#96550 - 10/07/02 Re: .338 mag vs. .340 wby mag
AFP Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 11833
I agree with the notion the 375 H&H is a better choice. It's felt recoil is less than the 340, and it has a bigger bullet. Also, ammo is available everywhere. However, like most everyone here will say, the 30 cal and up rifle that you can shoot best will be your best choice.

BTW, I have become very skeptical of manufacturers claims, especially Wby's velocity claims.

Blaine

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