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Joined: Oct 2015
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First it was brass scarcity for our Model 71s, now quality bullets in .348 diameter are getting harder to find.
Part of this problem is due to manufacturers closing or discontinuing their bullets:
Hornady quietly discontinued their 200 gr FP bullet in .348. This was a reasonably priced go-to
bullet for hunting use in the Model 71. It worked well for deer -sized game and larger to include moose.

North Fork**, Woodleigh, and Alaska Bullet Works 230 and 250 gr bullets respectively- are no longer presently in business
or making their fine bullets. These covered a hunting range to include the big bears.

Currently, we have the following bullet makers and some smaller custom shops:
Barnes, Hawk and Swift. Smaller gun shops and dealers may have a supply of the discontinued or unavailable 348 bullets.
I have salted away .348 cartridges loaded with Kodiak, Barnes, North Fork, Woodleigh, and Hawk or Hornady bullets. No Swifts as yet.

North 61 in 2016 provided an in-depth quality review of the performance of most of these .348 bullets. It is discouraging to see Hornady discontinue
their series 3410-.200 gr 348 bullets. They discontinued these like they stopped making the .33 WCF 200 gr flat pt bullets for use in the 1886 Winchester.
That rifle was the predecessor to the Model 71 made by Winchester that is still in use today in some parts of Canada and Alaska-just like the M-71.

For we band of Model 71 aficionados, best acquire bullets and brass where and when you can.

** North Fork is now marketed under Reloading International-They have a USA office but are based in Sweden. The warehouse office in USA is in Pendleton, OR. and their site offer
200 and 230 gr .348 bullets. Be aware that their current prices are app. twice their original price per box. They also feature Swift bullets in .348 but list those as OUT OF STOCK**

Last edited by 450Fuller; 02/14/22.
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450F said
North Fork, Woodleigh, and Alaska Bullet Works 230 and 250 gr bullets respectively- are no longer presently in business
or making their fine bullets. These covered a hunting range to include the big bears.

Did you not get the Memo on NF? Their machines are in Sweden making bullets and exporting them to America and other countries as of many months ago.

https://www.northforkbullets.com/

You can check and see if they have the bullets that you need.

However, it is possible that niche bullets will continue to be less available as demand drops off.


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I watched Lever Guns 50-110 on You Tube sizing 180 grain Speer .358 bullets down to .348 with no apparent problems. I laid in a supply of the 220 grain FP .358 bullets a year ago and got the sizing die etc. I will try and resize that bullet to .348 size.

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Damn that is interesting. How many of you guys run cast bullets in your 71's. Is that a consideration? Someone with a lot of lead and time should start pumping those out and selling them? No?


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Keep in mind that cast bullets do offer potential as target and fire-forming options. They are not particularly suited for hunting applications.
At higher velocities, gas checks are required to prevent leading in barrels.

Gas checks work fairly well in straight wall pistol cases and in rifle cases like the 38-55 and 45-70. In bottle neck cases like the .348,
another issue raises its head. If the gas check should become detached for ANY reason in the loaded cartridge, pressure excursions WILL occur.
Lever action rifles like the Model 71 Winchester and Browning DO NOT TOLERATE excess pressure well. (They are not bolt actions.) A word to the wise.

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When I got my .348 maybe 15 years ago, I bought what I thought I'd need and not be left high and dry. Now, I don't see much even on Gunbroker anymore, other than brass. Occasionally some 200 Hornadys.

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Sure glad i bought 4 boxes of the 250gr ABW Kodiaks from Karl, wish he was still alive for more reasons than just buying his bullets, real pleasant guy to talk with on the phone, if Woodleigh gets back up and running we're all set, guess i have around 150 rounds loaded with the old 250gr Barnes, they fly through deer and a pig like they're made of cardboard, kill pretty quick.

Even not having done so, i'd indeed hunt the great brown bears with the 250gr ABW or Woodleigh, if one is paying attention to his rifle, you can feel the HELL you are loosing when the trigger is pulled on the M-71 in 348 Winchester, no critter is going to survive that with a well placed shot.


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Wise move. I still have some Kodiak 250 boxes left. Along with Heavy Hawks and 200 gr Hornady. Most of my good bullets are loaded in cartridges-in GI boxes-safe and secured.

There is a small Idaho company called Cutting Edge Bullets in Boise. Their bullets are $$$ except for a 200 gr offering, which is reasonable.
These bullets are somewhat like North Forks, like modified solids. Might be just the ticket for an irritated grizzly encountered on a moose hunt.

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I obtained some 350 Sierra Pro Hunter RN bullets in .358 that I size down with an NOE push through sizer. Takes some significant effort. They shoot well enough for a plinking load and inside of say 75yds I would shoot them at medium game. For anything more than that I would take the 220gr. Barnes. I do have to say that I am thinking very hard if I should exchange my 71 for an 1886 just because of the ammo cost.


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I’ve been looking at 71’s for a while. Bullet availability has held me back. This thread is interesting and informative….
One idea I had was to buy a 71 and have it re-bored to a caliber in which there are more available bullets.
Is it feasible to bore 348 to 358?


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Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
Damn that is interesting. How many of you guys run cast bullets in your 71's. Is that a consideration? Someone with a lot of lead and time should start pumping those out and selling them? No?


A couple years ago I laid in a supply of cast bullets from Montana Bullet Works and from Rim Rock Bullets. They look nice, haven't had time to try 'em yet, though...

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Originally Posted by Bugger
I’ve been looking at 71’s for a while. Bullet availability has held me back. This thread is interesting and informative….
One idea I had was to buy a 71 and have it re-bored to a caliber in which there are more available bullets.
Is it feasible to bore 348 to 358?


I had more bullets and brass than I needed but have given some up to help others get running. With items as scarce as they are for it, tough to give too much more up to make sure I don't end up short. Seems others who have them might be thinking the same thing.

I don't think it'd be too difficult to do a JES rebore to .358.

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I just now did a web search there was a thread in the 24hourcampfire Alaska forum a couple years ago regarding 35-348 and 35-348AI. The guys posted - there were plenty of bullets. But I believe the number of available bullets has diminished since then.
I read an article stating that the 33 Winchester could be loaded to similar power as the 348, but that seems unlikely to me.


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I own a couple of 1886 Winchesters in .33 WCF and load for them as factory ammunition is rare as collector's boxes.
The 338 Hornady FP is rarer than their .348 200 gr. Both are 200 gr bullets.
The nickel steel 1886 barrels and actions are tough, but these are 100 year old rifles that still do not use the
Winchester proof steel of 75 years ago. I limit my 33 WCF loading to about 2000-2100 FPS though the 86 can be pushed to 2400.

The best answer for the Model 71 in 348 is to probably order premium bullets from Hawk or Barnes-Swift for hunting. Possibly cast
lead without gas checks for fire-forming or practice with reduced loads.

Any re-bore will require new RCBS dies and the cost of the re-chamber and re-boring. Then there is the value
lost for re-sale > If its a 348 AI or 450 Alaskan, no problem: a 35 wildcat is another story.

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Huntingdon's just got their last shipment in of 250gr Woodleighs. Might want to give them a call to see if they have any left.


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I’ve found bullets and brass on-line after doing an internet search. I was a little surprised at the cost. I have not found reloading dies other than Lee. Lee would work, I suppose. I found a rifle and I think I could start shooting for about $2k all in.


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Originally Posted by 450Fuller
Wise move. I still have some Kodiak 250 boxes left. Along with Heavy Hawks and 200 gr Hornady. Most of my good bullets are loaded in cartridges-in GI boxes-safe and secured.

There is a small Idaho company called Cutting Edge Bullets in Boise. Their bullets are $$$ except for a 200 gr offering, which is reasonable.
These bullets are somewhat like North Forks, like modified solids. Might be just the ticket for an irritated grizzly encountered on a moose hunt.


Yessir, i even thought just for fun ordering a couple boxes of Hawk 0.035" jacket 270gr bullets, i could roll on a couple extra cannelures towards the base of the bullet thanks to the canneluring tool our friend here mstevenson sent me, send about 20 bullets up to Big Buddy beretzs for one of his water jug tests with pics! cool 10 with extra cannelures and 10 left as is and see which ones do best.

Never hurts to have backup plans in these component challenged times.


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More added info on bullets:

Buffalo Arms now has no bullets in 33 WCF or .348 WCF-may not carry any beyond current out-of-stock.. If the situation continues to deteriorate, casting may be the partial answer.
Gunner got some 270 grain Hawks from me and believe he will like their performance.
Scouring the net may produce results for components and dies.

Cannot Recommend going for re-barreling to 35 caliber in search of bullets.

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450Fuller, I still haven't even a 71 or 86 yet. But I've been itching for both in my last 5-6 years since retirement. Seems since then everything about diving in says no, no, big mistake, so much going against them! Don't need either but an 71 in 348 and 86 in 33wcf are 2 I'd sure like to have. Thanks to you, N61, and several more regulars on this subject keeping us informed cause interest in these, finest guns ever made in America, is lot more than the posts shows! I sure hope the supply market revives! 👍

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Graf's got some Hornady and Starline 348 brass in stock.

They had some bullets recently too, but those look to have sold out already.

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