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338 Federal

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2007 at 14:13
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New to the forum and think it's great. I am looking to get a short action rifle for hunting deer, and am wondering if anyone has had experience with the new cartridge.

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i dont have any hands on with the round but the ballistics and accuracy are pretty good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 09:54
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Welcome B&T!

 

Just out of curiosity, why did you select this cartridge for deer?  I totally understand if it's just to have something "different," as I use this logic all the time as justification for a new rifle.

 

It just seems that there are better short action cartridge choices for deer when you factor in ammo and brass availability, bullet choices, and recoil, and deer aren't exactly hard to kill.  Most of the typical .338 bullets are generally tougher, designed for larger animals than deer.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 15:26
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Rifle Dude, I mostly hunt deer and wild hog, but have passed down the opportunity to hunt larger game limited to max bullet weight of 150grs. My usual hunting guns are 30/30 or .270. I was looking for something with more weight but not necessarily magnum caliber for multiple duty in a short action. I don't get an opportunity to get to hunt large game often, but would like to have something with more weight and punch when I do, and not have it collect dust in the interim. Thanks for your reply and I hope this gives you a better understanding of my thought process.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 16:47
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Big & Tall,,,,,,,,,,,,Wecome to the forum where the debates and such can become heated and sprited. Certainly makes it more fun and interesting. Stick around and you`ll see............Your curiosity with regard to the 338 Federal is understandable. Based on your post, I assume you are looking for a non magnum, short to medium range cartridge, not only for deer, but for the larger game as well. In the short to medium range category, the 338 Federal is a very good choice as long as you understand that this cartridge is not a .338 Win Mag. and does not have it`s longer range capabilities....... Reloaded properly, the .338 Federal is an excellent choice for closer range big game brush hunting and for deer and pigs at the medium ranges. The bullet selection for reloading purposes is very good, making this cartridge very adaptable to your specific hunting needs, whether in the brush and thickets or on the plains................I happen to reload for a few people, one of whom has a 338 Federal. He uses his for the same purposes; deer, pigs and the bigger stuff. He has been very successful. I will be reloading the ammo for his upcoming moose hunt later this year..............What rifles have you considered? I have an excellent choice to recommend chambered in a .338 Federal.............................. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 20:43
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Big Squeeze..... I'm looking more towards a Ruger M77 stainless w/22" barrel. Saw one at a gun show recently and it felt good in the hands, and the cost was reasonable. I reload, so I'll be able to work up some good loads. I'm also no stranger to heated debates, just about as many at ranges, gun shops etc... as in the forum. Thanks for the insight.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2007 at 22:09
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when you say you wanna shoot larger game i assume you mean moose and grizzly bears?? even a moose would go down with 150 gr bullet coming out of your .270, now if your talking about going to africa i could understand your thinking, but really with the 2 guns you say you use, your going to kill anything in north america that you want.and dont get me wrong cause i am in no way shape or form trying to sway you from buying a new stick, because i dont do stuff like that, i will however voice my opinion just cause i can and say it wouldnt be my next choice of a new gun but thats just me. the ruger is a nice fit in my hands as well i have a .280 rem in an m77 and i like it a lot but rugers are rugers and there triggers are terrible from the factory, so make sure and get that adjusted right away.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 03:16
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Big & Tall...............I already like your choice of rifle because I am a Ruger M77 owner. But, I will suggest to you to please take a real hard look, as I did several months ago, at the Ruger M77 Frontier Mark 2 with the 16.5" barrel, available in the .338 Federal with the stainless barrel. Ruger calls it their "Target Grey." You`ve probably seen it............I bought this compact sweetheart in the blued 300 WSM shortly after selling my 35 year old "full sized" 300 Win. Mag. Vanguard. What a difference! Not only in weight, but very easy to shoulder (shorter length of pull), quicker acquistion to the target, easier to manuever, to carry, to hunt with and to pack. It is simply an outstanding compact field rifle! This rifle was also nominated "rifle of the year" in either `05 or `06 by the G&A staff.............Depending on the various hunting needs with my Frontier, I can use my Elite 4200 mounted conventionally or I can switch to my EER Nikon scout scope mounted on the barrel. I don`t know if the "target grey" version offers the scout style scope mount or not.................As my chrono results have already determined, the velocity loss with the shorter 16.5" barrel is only between 3.5 & 4.5% in comparison to the 24" barrels which are 31% longer!!! When compared to the 22", the difference will be even less, which in practical terms is an even wash! This also confirms Dick Metcalf`s velocity findings in his article entitled "short answer about scout style rifles" written about the Frontier now on line at,,,,shootingtimes.com,,,,click on "long guns" then scroll down to that several page article. An excellent read!..........To give you an example, the average velocity for my reloaded 150 grainers chrono`d @ 3185 fps,,,,,,180`s @ 2994 fps,,,,,,and most recently the 200`s @ 2828 fps. All from a 16.5" barrel you say?...That`s right!!.. All without pressure signs and within a half to a full grain of maximum. Like my 300, simply take the 338 Federal velocity stats for the 22" barrel and deduct even less to about 3% to 4%. Accuracy was very good for these hunting loads. In all cases, 1.225" or less. With further powder experimentation, I`ll group even tighter!!..............In the final analysis, including the scopes and slings, I dropped 2 lbs 5 oz. in rifle weight! I shortened the total length by 9 inches! I gain all of the benefits listed above and more importantly, I`m maintaining the same accuracy with very little loss in velocity!!!! Simply stated, the Frontier is a lighter and shorter package that without a doubt, accomplishes the same thing in the fields as my good `ol beloved longer magnum!..........For these excellent reasons, I am a compact rifle fan! I can honestly tell you that based on my own experience, when it comes to hunting, you should truly love this rifle!...............Since Ruger discontinued the WSM`s in their Frontier line and,,,, JUST IN CASE,,,, you are thinking of perhaps a little more long range poop and flatter trajectory than the .338 Federal??? Savage makes a wonderful compact 300 WSM, with a 20" barrel in their "Sierra" line! I think it`s close to a half pound lighter than my Ruger too!  Dammit! Though as far as I know, no .338 Federal in the Savage Sierra...........Hopefully, you have dealers in your area that have these compacts in stock. You`ll be able to see and judge the benefits for yourself.........I see your user name is "big and tall." I`m 6`3" @240 lbs. When I pull that little shorty Frontier out of it`s case at the range and compared to my size, some people think it`s a little .22!.......I don`t say anything, I just nod. I keep my ammo hidden. However, their assumptions completely disappear after the first shot is fired! Oh yeah! Then, it does become quite a conversation piece!............................Good luck with your shopping around and more importantly I hope you find the rifle that works best for you!  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 09:33
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Pyro6999... I am talking about moose and I know shot placement is the most vital aspect. Don't get me wrong the .270 is a great rifle and has never let me down, but I have never hunted anything larger than deer and hog. As many people out there that will side with you on the .270 argument there are others who disagree. I'm not saying either are wrong, again back to the shot placement aspect. Trust me, this also gives me an excuse to get another rifle to add to the collection and I thought it would be a decent cartridge. I wanted opinions that's why I posted.

 

Big Squeeze...I'll take a look at the shorter version at the next gun show this week if I can find one and see how it feels. Being 6'9" @ 290lbs most rifles are a touch on the small side anyway, but it has to feel right. At this time I don't really feel a need for a 300WSM. Most game around here is taken within 100yds. If I get one the reload info will be a good starting point. I'll check out the shooting times article also, should be a good read.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 10:20
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Big & Tall...............Damn!!!! Standing next to you, I would be a midget!!!! You could probably conceal that Frontier in your hip pocket!! HA HA!!.............Hopefully, you`ll find something good at the show. Maybe you`ll see a Frontier there to play around with...........Based on what you say your needs are, the 338 Federal would be perfect for you and good enough to handle the bigger game when needed................Have fun at the show!  

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 17:04
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oh dont get me wrong i am the farthest thing from a 270 fan i am more like a hater! i own calibers above and below it but will never own the .270, i like lots of calibers that are comparable as i mentioned above i shoot a .280rem and also a 6.5 rem mag which is also comparable to the .270, but i also shoot a 300 wsm and i dont think its any to big for whitetail deer, they dont run away thats for sure.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 17:33
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Pyro.......................Well! At least we all know what you won`t get for Xmas this year or any year! A 270!...HA HA!!!..........Personally, I`m kind of a luke warm fan of the 270. Many love it though!......Be careful! Jack O`Connor`s ghost may come and haunt you!!!!  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 17:53
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B&T, speaking of the .300WSM, have you considered it, as well as the 7WSM?  Both are short action calibers that will give you the versatility you seek, plus are offered in a greater selection of rifles, at least for now.  Either seems to fit your requirements perfectly.  Not trying to sway you away from the .338 Federal, as it has some virtues, at least on paper.  If you were wanting the Ruger 77 anyway, the availability of rifles so chambered isn't an issue.

 

As for the Ruger "lawyer" trigger, their new trigger on the new M77 Hawkeye is much improved over the previous trigger.  You can also get a Timney, Spec Tec, Moyers, etc. aftermarket trigger installed for relatively little cost that will give you a crisp 2-3 lb. pull.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 18:25
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jack o connor's legacy pisses me off
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 18:27
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pyro,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,That was funny!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 18:28
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really why in the world did people back then think everything he ever said was gospel, the only time stuff like that happens is when your in a cult for hells sake
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 18:30
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i shoot stuff i write about it and i dont have a band of followers a million strong saying i must own a magnum cause hunter says its the best thing on the planet, no they buy whatever they want.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 19:03
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Yeah, I know what you mean..... Because of O`Connor and his articles, the popularity of the 270 really took off with American shooters and hunters in the forties, fifties and sixties. As a result, via O`Connor, the 270`s influence on people has been handed down over the years..........But you always have to remember that O`Connor, over many years, was nonetheless very successful with the 270 Winchester. Although not my first choice, love it, hate it, or somewhere in between, it`s hard to argue against the success!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 20:02
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i guess what i want to know is would the .270 had been as popular without the touting jack did issue after issue, what if he would have used the .250 savage or something like that, same ending? the whole .270 thing is like a brainwashing sceme that just keeps going and going year after year in this country. and there are so many choices that are better out there.



Edited by pyro6999
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2007 at 21:53
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Pyro................If not O`Connor, then someone else would have. He wasn`t the only big writer during those years who enjoyed the 270. But, he was the most popular that`s for sure.....I don`t think that there ever was, or is a conspiracy or a brainwashing scheme going on behind closed doors to manipulate the buying public into the 270........If this cartridge was that bad in the first place, the buying public, the marketplace, would have seen to it`s demise years ago. It would have become the Yugo, Edsel, DeLorean among others of the shooting world!!!.............May I ask why you hate the 270 so much? Were you unsuccessful at some point using it? Bad experience? What exactly? I`m just somewhat curious.................
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2007 at 07:38
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I don't hate the 270 but not a big fan.  My attitude is coloured by the results I have seen on deer at our camp over the years.  It always appeared to me to be an overly distructive calibre but this could have been a result of poor available factory bullets at the time, none of us were handloaders.  Nothing scientific here just observation.  Other calibres in the camp at the time included 30-30, 308, 30.06, 300 Sav, 303 British, 44 mag.  None of them seemed to tear up as much meat as the 270, no matter where the bullet hit.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2007 at 08:33
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i hate the .270 because people think its the answer, truth is the .270 has a tiny amount of weight of bullets to choose from and i agree with dogger's theory on the meat destruction, a few guys i hunt with use the .270 and you can tell which deer they shot as oppose to say the guys who use the 30-06. yes the people were brainwashed by the typewriter of jack o connor, craig boddington and layne simpson they cant sway the masses that jack did even if they tried.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2007 at 10:34
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Pyro......................I understand your points. I was just curious........I`ve always been a .30 caliber man and shall remain one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2007 at 10:38
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BIG & TALL.........................Let us know what rifle and caliber you purchased.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2007 at 13:50
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Originally posted by Big Squeeze Big Squeeze wrote:

Pyro......................I understand your points. I was just curious........I`ve always been a .30 caliber man and shall remain one.

me too, its my bread and butter but i am also a fan of the 7mm and the 6.5mm  but the 30's will always be my go to choice.

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