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#17648303 09/29/22
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I'm partial to short action bolt guns. Black bears and moose tend to get shot at close range here in eastern Canada, and I can't help but think that a .338 of some flavor, in a short handy rifle wiould be really effective. My first thought is a .338 vesion of a SAUM, as I have lots of components, and a R700 SA with magnum bolt face, but the RCM is another option, or maybe even a .350 RM, necked down? Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

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A 338 WSM for an elk hunting pard works killer good and was stupid simple to do. We did it with a single stack magazine...feeds like butter.

Good shootin -Al


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I used a 338 Jamison for the record book elk in my avatar. Last elk went down @ 346 lasered yards, one shot, bang/flop. Not sure how "short" a 22" barreled action is but I used it on many hunts off horseback with nary a problem. Incidentally, that Jamison is "available" as I'm done hunting.


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My Kimber Montana in 338 Fed carrys like a dream and points like a fine shotgun. It shoots just fine out to 300+ yards and has the power to get the job done at the distance.

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A young friend uses a Tikka 338 Federal and the 185 TSX on elk out here just fine. My SIL used my Hawkeye 77 in 338 Fed/180 Nosler AB on mule deer, no ruined meat, shot was close too!

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The .338 Federal gets about the same velocities as the .30-06 with the same bullet weights, so there's no reason it wouldn't work on a wide variety of big game at "normal" hunting ranges. And I have used it, and seen it used by others in various places in North American.

Whether the extra .03 inch in bullet diameter makes any difference in "killing power" over the .30-06 is debatable, along with whether rifles chambered for short-action rounds are "handier" in the field, given the same barrel length. Which may be be why the .338 Federal never became a best-seller.

One of the things I've noticed over the decades is that more and more hunting rounds have been introduced to fill various ballistic "slots" in the line-up--no matter how small. This may have something to do with the "shortage" of brass in some less-popular rounds--though luckily .338 Federal cases can be easily formed from widely-available .308 Winchester brass.


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I am a long time user of the 338Fed. I geek out on 338 diameter bullets. It is why the 338WM was the first magnum rifle I ever bought. The 338 Fed works great but in reality plenty of other cartridges work too. If you want a SA 338, consider one where brass is easily available and or easily formed. Like MD wrote, 308 is readily available. I have no idea about WSM brass.

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I appreciate the input guys. This is certainly not need, but more of a gun nut itch that I want to scratch. I have lots of SAUM brass, and even more .308 brass, and necking either one up to .338 seems about as easy as falling off a log. Will either one do a better job than the 7 saum or 7-08 that I'm hunting with now? Probably not. I shot a young bull moose last week with a 120 tsx from the 7 saum that went 10 meters and tipped over.

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In a 6.5 lb, open-sighted carbine, the 338 RCM is my general purpose winter and mountain rifle here in interior Alaska. It's mostly loaded with 225 grain fusions or interbonds. There are scores of high-bc; premium 225 grain hunting bullets in .338 caliber. The scoped .338 RCM is 3/4 lb lighter than any of the three 9.3x62 Mausers Ive owned.

When my 416 ruger cracked a stock, the .338 RCM was used to back up another moose hunter. Those 275 grain a-frames are close in velocity to my 300 grain 9.3x62 Mauser handloads.

Anyhow, the .338 RCM carbine with compact 2-7 scope is my ideal, general purpose Alaskan rifle. The open sights are zeroed at 200 yds using 275 grain a-frames, and the scope is sighted to the 225 grain bullets.

The magazine follower was flipped, so I can fit 4 rounds under an unloaded chamber. 3-down rifles are not sufficient on winter subsistence hunts where the caribou bag limits range from two, to as high as five caribou.

** Hornady just did another run of 338 RCM brass. There are at least 4 online vendors that have brass in stock. I don't need any. The past couple of years, it's been too easy to build up a life-time supply of brass and factory ammo. Checking vendors and visiting local reloading supplies places.


Left to right:
308 winchester 220 grain partitions
338 RCM 225 grain Interbond or Fusions
338 RCM 275 grain A-Frames
9.3x62 Mauser 300 grain A-Frames
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


The best-buy .338 RCM bullet I've found to date, is the 225 bonded fusion bullets. At the time, they were $18 a box of 50.

To put that in perspective, the 220 grain .308 partitions were $100 a box of 50. Quite the expensive fashion statement.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Last edited by mainer_in_ak; 10/03/22.
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Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak
In a 6.5 lb, open-sighted carbine, the 338 RCM is my general purpose winter and mountain rifle here in interior Alaska. It's mostly loaded with 225 grain fusions or interbonds. There are scores of high-bc; premium 225 grain hunting bullets in .338 caliber. The scoped .338 RCM is 3/4 lb lighter than any of the three 9.3x62 Mausers Ive owned.

When my 416 ruger cracked a stock, the .338 RCM was used to back up another moose hunter. Those 275 grain a-frames are close in velocity to my 300 grain 9.3x62 Mauser handloads.

Anyhow, the .338 RCM carbine with compact 2-7 scope is my ideal, general purpose Alaskan rifle. The open sights are zeroed at 200 yds using 275 grain a-frames, and the scope is sighted to the 225 grain bullets.

The magazine follower was flipped, so I can fit 4 rounds under an unloaded chamber. 3-down rifles are not sufficient on winter subsistence hunts where the caribou bag limits range from two, to as high as five caribou.

** Hornady just did another run of 338 RCM brass. There are at least 4 online vendors that have brass in stock. I don't need any. The past couple of years, it's been too easy to build up a life-time supply of brass and factory ammo. Checking vendors and visiting local reloading supplies places.


Left to right:
308 winchester 220 grain partitions
338 RCM 225 grain Interbond or Fusions
338 RCM 275 grain A-Frames
9.3x62 Mauser 300 grain A-Frames
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


The best-buy .338 RCM bullet I've found to date, is the 225 bonded fusion bullets. At the time, they were $18 a box of 50.

To put that in perspective, the 220 grain .308 partitions were $100 a box of 50. Quite the expensive fashion statement.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
I'll be going for more of that brass. Ast year I was picking up Speer 338 225gr for $18-$21 per 100. I bought a few.

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Are the 338 225 Bonded Fusion bullets available for reloading? Thanks.

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225 fusions are out of stock, everywhere. The jackets on these bullets are thicker than other fusion bullets. Probably because the factory .338 win mag/225 grain fusion load @ 2850 fps would've been used for more than just deer.

I'm going to test these against 225 grain partitions and 225 grain interbonds. Might as well throw in some .308 220 partitions in the test as well.

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I look forward to your report

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I have a 20" LH Ruger 338 RCM for me and a 20" RH SS Ruger for my wife very nice LW rifle 61 GR of RL 17 with any 225 Gr bullet about 2600 FPS should work well LW well balanced and with backup sights. And in LH!


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@mainer_in_ak. How long a barrel and what are you getting for velocity with the 225’s and 275’s in the 338 RCM? Thanks.

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Originally Posted by bobmn
I look forward to your report


+1!

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I run Woodleigh 225's at 2720 and 250's at 2530 in 20" .338 RCM with Reloder 17.

Last edited by Riflehunter; 10/07/22.
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Thanks @Riflehunter.

I would think from the numbers that these things would be everywhere.

To those who have them, whats the down side? I've always wondered why these were not more popular.

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Originally Posted by hillbillyjake
Thanks @Riflehunter.

I would think from the numbers that these things would be everywhere.

To those who have them, whats the down side? I've always wondered why these were not more popular.
The downsides are 1. brass availability 2. The Ruger Hawkeye short action which is what they were usually chambered in, like many short-actions, would do better with a 3" internal magazine length so you could seat the longer higher bc 225 grain projectiles and heavier out further. Otherwise it's a superb cartridge/rifle combination (exactly the same case as the 6.5 PRC except for the neck).

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It seems like to me with a couple tweaks there would be a huge market

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