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Old 03-31-2009, 23:33   #1
bcj128
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Any input on the 338 Federal

I am looking at the Ruger Frontier rifle in 338 Federal. Anyone have any info on this caliber? What is the recoil like, and what kind of game is to good for?
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:34   #2
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I would imagine it capable of taking anything in the USA, including in ALaska, via it's heavier/larger bullets....

Might not equal the .338 WinMag with all heavier bullet weights, but , ...so what...
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Old 04-01-2009, 13:12   #3
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Sorry to add more speculation, but I asked this question as one of my first threads here, and no response...


The American Rifleman article written when it first came out said it felt like shooting 180's out of a 30-06.

As far as game - they had a pic of the author of the article grinning over a huge black bear - apparently went through one shoulder, all the way through the torso and broke the other shoulder without exiting. I can't remember what grain or type of bullet he was using. I'd guess it would take any large game in North America... performance is often compared to a 7mm mag.

Shooting a .338 out of a .308 case has been wildcatted to death over the years... it was about time someone standardized it. That said, I still have not shot one, but it holds my interest...
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Old 04-01-2009, 13:29   #4
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I routinely hunt w/ a 338-06. The 338Fed. is sim. but you'll lose about 150fps w/ all bullet wts. It's NOT even close to a 338winmag, but would be a nice short range (under 250yd) rifle for most of NA hunting. It pretty much maxs out w/ a 225gr bullet in the short case. I've though of buidling one to go w/ the 338-06, but see little reason to. It could be had on a short action, light wt. rifle that wouldn't bet the crap out of you. It's best w/ a 200-210gr bullet @ 2600fps. The 338-06 will make 2750fps+ & the 3382inmag 3000fps. I see it as a great timber rifle for deer & elk, but much beyond 250yds, it's losing too much vel. for reliable expansion w/ anything but 185gr or 200gr Nosler bal.tips. As always, JMO.
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Old 04-01-2009, 15:09   #5
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Agree with Fred. And the loading data I've seen doesn't look any better than stated.

Always wanted to get into a 338-06, though.
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Old 04-01-2009, 15:36   #6
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Agree with Fred. And the loading data I've seen doesn't look any better than stated.

Always wanted to get into a 338-06, though.
It's agreat round, should have been standardized years ago. I have taken coyotes to elk, zebra & all things inbetween. With a 210grNP @ 2750fps, it shoots as flat as the 06 w/ 180gr loads & hits just a bit harder. It is my go to round for Montana elk/deer. If you ever get into one, PM me for some very good handloads.
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Old 04-01-2009, 19:01   #7
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Something new to get you to spend your money on. Won't kill anything any deader than rounds dating back to the 1870's.
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Old 04-01-2009, 19:05   #8
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Will do, Fred. I have been hunting with the 30-06 for years and never saw any real reason to change but have always liked what I have read about the 338-06.

In a recent Handloader mag the writer was talking about 338 WIn Mag and how he and most people actually load them down... at or below 338-06 levels sometimes for elk and especially deer. Then I've seen guys who load their 338-06's to near 338 mag velocities. It all makes me think the 338-06 should be a heck of a lot more popular than it is.

If Remington, Ruger or Browning had a rifle in 338-06 I'd buy one. All I see on the market now are overpriced old stock Weatherby's and a few custom guns made by guys I never heard of.
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Old 04-01-2009, 21:06   #9
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Will do, Fred. I have been hunting with the 30-06 for years and never saw any real reason to change but have always liked what I have read about the 338-06.

In a recent Handloader mag the writer was talking about 338 WIn Mag and how he and most people actually load them down... at or below 338-06 levels sometimes for elk and especially deer. Then I've seen guys who load their 338-06's to near 338 mag velocities. It all makes me think the 338-06 should be a heck of a lot more popular than it is.

If Remington, Ruger or Browning had a rifle in 338-06 I'd buy one. All I see on the market now are overpriced old stock Weatherby's and a few custom guns made by guys I never heard of.
The great thing about the 338-06 is all you need is a 06 based rifle & a new bbl. You can buy brass or make it by necking up 06 or 280 or 270 brass, or necking down 35whelen brass. Is it better than your 06, probably not for 98% of hunting, but for big animals in close, it is just a bit better IMO. The 250grSP @ 2550fps smack stuff pretty hard.
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Old 04-01-2009, 21:27   #10
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I know I'd want one if I were hunting anywhere grizzly or Alaskan browns roamed. The 250 gr. load would be my choice for elk in montana or moose in alaska.
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Old 04-01-2009, 22:16   #11
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I would imagine that the recoil in a Ruger Frontier would be substantial. I too am interested in a .338 federal, but have yet to make the leap.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:15   #12
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Something new to get you to spend your money on. Won't kill anything any deader than rounds dating back to the 1870's.

True, but I don't like lugging my 16 lbs. Sharps 50-90 around!!

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Old 04-02-2009, 15:40   #13
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True, but I don't like lugging my 16 lbs. Sharps 50-90 around!!

That's what horses are for.
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Old 06-16-2010, 15:39   #14
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If you were in Kodiak/Alaskan Brownie country which bullet loading would be best in the .338 Federal?
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Old 06-16-2010, 15:46   #15
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double post

Last edited by Glock1911; 06-16-2010 at 15:51..
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Old 06-16-2010, 17:45   #16
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If you were in Kodiak/Alaskan Brownie country which bullet loading would be best in the .338 Federal?
The 250 grain load in 338 Federal slows down quite a bit. I'd look toward a Nosler Partition or Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (or some other bullet known for controlled expansion and deep penetration) in the 210 - 225 grain weight.
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Old 06-16-2010, 17:50   #17
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If you can handle a 338 then you can handle a 375 H&H IMO.
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Old 06-16-2010, 21:27   #18
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.338 Fed is a very nice round. Especially if you handload.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:31   #19
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"If you can handle a 338 then you can handle a 375 H&H IMO."

Well, that certainly puts the round in a perspective, recoil wise, that I can relate to. Too bad they don't make an AR platform that will handle the .375 H&H.

I guess I should have mentioned that I've been toying with the idea of converting an AR to .338 for use as a "camp" gun. Probably, over kill, but...
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:25   #20
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...I guess I should have mentioned that I've been toying with the idea of converting an AR to .338 for use as a "camp" gun. Probably, over kill, but...
They make an AR in 338? Last I knew only Browning made a semi-auto rifle in 338.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:50   #21
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Quote:
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"If you can handle a 338 then you can handle a 375 H&H IMO."

Well, that certainly puts the round in a perspective, recoil wise, that I can relate to. Too bad they don't make an AR platform that will handle the .375 H&H.

I guess I should have mentioned that I've been toying with the idea of converting an AR to .338 for use as a "camp" gun. Probably, over kill, but...
NO, the 338Fed is not in the same recoil camp as the 338winmag & can't even be mentioned in the same naeighborhood as a 375h&h. The 338Fed recoil in a light 7# rifle will feel like the 06 w/ 180gr in a sim wt rifle. Not diff at all to shoot well, but not even close to a 338qinmag ro 375h&h, seriously. An AR10 would be an interesting vehicle for the 338Fed.
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Old 06-17-2010, 13:47   #22
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"They make an AR in 338? Last I knew only Browning made a semi-auto rifle in 338."

DPMS makes an upper assembly for the AR in .338 Federal. Midway used to list a .338 barrel for the AR. I'm not finding that on their website, but it was listed in their 2009 master catalog.
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Old 06-17-2010, 23:26   #23
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I've known it as the .338-08 for many years. It's an excellent cartridge as much as the .338-06. The .338-08 is great for close range inside 250y. The .338-06 is better to reach that extra bit with a flatter trajectory for unknown distances and when going for grizzly.

The .338-08 and .338-06 are perhaps the best medium-mediums most people can still shoot well. The guns back up quite well, but are still manageable with practice.

That being said, I elect the standard .308 Win with 220gr RN for bear.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:25   #24
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Will do, Fred. I have been hunting with the 30-06 for years and never saw any real reason to change but have always liked what I have read about the 338-06.

In a recent Handloader mag the writer was talking about 338 WIn Mag and how he and most people actually load them down... at or below 338-06 levels sometimes for elk and especially deer. Then I've seen guys who load their 338-06's to near 338 mag velocities. It all makes me think the 338-06 should be a heck of a lot more popular than it is.

If Remington, Ruger or Browning had a rifle in 338-06 I'd buy one. All I see on the market now are overpriced old stock Weatherby's and a few custom guns made by guys I never heard of.

I am also interested in the 338 Federal. However I am now mainly very interested in the 338 RCM (Ruger Compact Magnum) this round came out in 08 and is said to be better than the 338 Fed. It will send a 338 cal 225 grain bullet at 2710 fps and they say that is slightly better than a 338 Win Mag Factory load. Marlin also has a 338 Marlin Express designed for lever actions.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:13   #25
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I have absolutely NO interest in the .338 Federal, because I am a .358 Winchester fan.

There is nothing that the .338 Federal can do, that the .358 WInchester hasnt already done for the past 50 years. Except the .358 just never gained much popularity.

Comparing the two, For any given bullet weight, the .358 will out pace the .338 by about 100fps, however some say, "yeah but the .338 has better Ballistic coefficient."

Not exactly true...

Because if you want to match BCs, then you need only use the next heavier bullet weight, which will allow you to send off a heavier bullet with a larger .358 bore diameter at exactly the same muzzle velocity and trajectory as the lighter .338.

In the end, this will equal slightly better penetration with slightly better smackdown.

But is this just splitting hairs? Perhaps, but again the .358 Winchester has been around for more than 50 years. The only edge the .338 Federal has is just better marketing.

Oh yeah, also, just for fun, the .358 Winchester can use pistol bullets as well.
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