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Anyone hunt or frequently shoot the .338 Federal??

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  • Anyone hunt or frequently shoot the .338 Federal??

    For some reason this cartridge has been on my mind lately.

    Anyone shoot it regularly? Is this a short action version of the .35Whelen?

    You like it? Dislike it? Something that does what it does better?

  • #2
    I have only seen one rifle chambered for .338Federal and that was at Cabela's. Based on the .308 necked up case the .338 does outperform the .308 by about 200fps with equal bullets. I would definitely recommend this only for reloaders as only two companies load for it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Buckshott00, there are lots of really nice cartridges on the market.
      About an hour north-northwest of me is the Wichita Mtn WMA. They have draw hunts every year for elk. We DO have elk that leave the WMA and wander the area. The chances of seeing an elk are slim, but it IS possible.
      Other than that, there is no real reason to carry one of those "Big Boomer" cartridges here.
      Hunted with a guy who shot a 7mm STW. The ammo looked like a small artillery round.
      THAT wasn't good enough! Last I heard, he's gone to a .30-340 Wby.
      He does hunt Wyoming, but for these medium+ sized whitetails around here, a .270, '06, .308 class cartridge is sufficient.
      If a man wants to shoot a "Big Boomer" cartridge, that's his prerogative. Around here, it just isn't necessary.

      Plus, I'm a recoil weenie! LOL!

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Federal was looking for a niche to fill and invented the .338 Fed to fill it. Don't see what it can do that a .338 Win Mag, .35 Whelen, or even a 220 gr. .30-06 can't do as well, or better. All readily available at almost anyplace that sells ammunition.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bubba, I saw my first and so far only wild elk in Wichita Mtn WMA. Big bull with a non-typical rack and then a small herd on a hill side a long way off. I was in OKC for a professional meeting and we spent the day there. Beautiful country. Also saw my first bison, prairie dogs, and loved the wild cattle. As an east coaster I was particularly tickled that all the bison there are descendants of a herd from the Bronx Zoo. I went all the way to Oklahoma to see NYC bison

          Sorry for the drift, just sparked a great memory.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think it is the short action version of the .35 Whelen. The .35 caliber bullets seem to perform more like the .375 caliber bullets and the .338 caliber bullets seem to perform more like the .30 caliber bullets.

            For deer hunting in rough timbers at close range, I favor the slow moving .35 Remington for getting through to the deer and taking them off their feet. For open air shooting, I favor the fast moving 25-06. Not much need for the .338 Federal for me. It will never be able to make them deader and its slow bullet would make my lead on running deer pretty unpredictable to say nothing of losing that flat shooting range.

            If I want .338 Federal power, I'll use my .300 Dakota with about 500 yards of additional range.

            Comment


            • #7
              I’m recoil adverse myself. Don’t feel bad. I have a friend who hunts with one. He hunts a small piece of property and not friendly land owners around him. He says he want them down ASAP! It works for him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Moose1980 View Post
                Bubba, I saw my first and so far only wild elk in Wichita Mtn WMA. Big bull with a non-typical rack and then a small herd on a hill side a long way off. I was in OKC for a professional meeting and we spent the day there. Beautiful country. Also saw my first bison, prairie dogs, and loved the wild cattle. As an east coaster I was particularly tickled that all the bison there are descendants of a herd from the Bronx Zoo. I went all the way to Oklahoma to see NYC bison

                Sorry for the drift, just sparked a great memory.
                Moose1980, that's okay, the longhorns are decendents of cattle brought in from Texas!
                Fer chrissakes, don't tell Lawton natives that! LOL! They will go bonkers defending their "non-native" livestock!

                Somebody up there raises a pasture full of "beefalo" every year.
                As crazy as the "stock" market is this year, he probably quit!

                In the fall, it isn't unusual to see huge bulls on the parade grounds on Fort Sill.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                  I think Federal was looking for a niche to fill and invented the .338 Fed to fill it. Don't see what it can do that a .338 Win Mag, .35 Whelen, or even a 220 gr. .30-06 can't do as well, or better. All readily available at almost anyplace that sells ammunition.
                  Aren't those all standard or magnum action lengths? I'm trying to piece a few pieces together in my mind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post
                    I don't think it is the short action version of the .35 Whelen. The .35 caliber bullets seem to perform more like the .375 caliber bullets and the .338 caliber bullets seem to perform more like the .30 caliber bullets.

                    For deer hunting in rough timbers at close range, I favor the slow moving .35 Remington for getting through to the deer and taking them off their feet. For open air shooting, I favor the fast moving 25-06. Not much need for the .338 Federal for me. It will never be able to make them deader and its slow bullet would make my lead on running deer pretty unpredictable to say nothing of losing that flat shooting range.

                    If I want .338 Federal power, I'll use my .300 Dakota with about 500 yards of additional range.
                    hmm so you're thinking it's an answer looking for a question then?
                    A few pieces seem like they're coming together. It's a Medium Caliber Brush cartridge, with performance similar to a .30-06 but out to about 200yds, for guys that want a brush cartridge in short action...

                    Okay someone thought they could make a medium bore stopping round without the recoil of the heavier medium bore cartridges or the width and deflection of the short-action magnums. I think. maybe I'm still missing a few pieces.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okie dokie! Here goes! LOL!
                      Why the .338 caliber, who knows?
                      I've killed enough game with .50 and .54 caliber, slow moving black powder slugs.
                      It's amazing, too me:
                      1) how quickly the animal goes down
                      2) how little blood shot meat there is

                      I've also seen deer shot with the .22-250!
                      THAT deer was bloodshot from flank to mid neck! Good Grief!

                      Know a guy in east Texas that hunts those 125 pound white tails with a .338 Win Mag and factory ammo.
                      That huge, slow moving slug slams them down post haste with a .338 entry wound, a .338 exit wound and very little blood shot meat in between!

                      Maybe Federal was trying to get a bigger slug for shock effect and smaller case for less recoil?
                      I dunno!
                      Just random thoughts! LOL!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                        Okie dokie! Here goes! LOL!
                        Why the .338 caliber, who knows?
                        I've killed enough game with .50 and .54 caliber, slow moving black powder slugs.
                        It's amazing, too me:
                        1) how quickly the animal goes down
                        2) how little blood shot meat there is

                        I've also seen deer shot with the .22-250!
                        THAT deer was bloodshot from flank to mid neck! Good Grief!

                        Know a guy in east Texas that hunts those 125 pound white tails with a .338 Win Mag and factory ammo.
                        That huge, slow moving slug slams them down post haste with a .338 entry wound, a .338 exit wound and very little blood shot meat in between!

                        Maybe Federal was trying to get a bigger slug for shock effect and smaller case for less recoil?
                        I dunno!
                        Just random thoughts! LOL!
                        You're good bubba, that's part of the fun of this is just thinking about why. Maybe someone will write a book someday "The Zen of Rifle Cartridges".

                        My old man has taken to only hunting deer with his .338wm, he other rifles in good and common cartridges, but just chooses that one. I dunno. All I can think is that some designer somewhere thought there was a market niche.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I find the cartridge intriguing as well even though I have no reason to use one. It seems like it would be a good option for larger sized black bears and big northern deer, especially in something like a Rem model 7 with good 2×7 glass on it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have only seen one rifle chambered for .338Federal and that was at Cabela's. Based on the .308 necked up case the .338 does outperform the .308 by about 200fps with equal bullets. I would definitely recommend this only for reloaders as only two companies load for it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Buckshott00- wrote- "Aren't those all standard or magnum action lengths? I'm trying to piece a few pieces together in my mind."
                              I cannot speak to the .35 Whelen being either standard or Magnum length, as I have no experience with that caliber. From my reading, I think it is a .30-'06 case blown out to .35 caliber, and was developed by Col. Townsend Whelen. Somewhat similar to the 8 m/m-'06.
                              The .338 Winchester Magnum is the same length as a .30-'06, and was developed in the late 1950s by shortening and necking down the .375 H&H Magnum case to a standard (.30-'06) action length. The .264, .300, and .338 Winchester Magnums were truly the first "short magnums."
                              Some people find the recoil of the .338 to be excessive, but other than off the bench, my Classic Sporter Model 70 with
                              Pachmayr recoil pad is quite bearable with 225 gr. loads.

                              Comment

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