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Old 06-13-2008, 08:57 AM
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Default .338 cal. vs. .308 cal. advice needed...



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Looking for pros and cons comparing .338 rifles vs. .308 rifles for heavy game in the field.
Which do you own and why did you choose it ?
Did you compare them before you purchased ?
Tell me your success with your firearm in the field...

Thanks in advance for your replies...
Old 06-13-2008, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonecutter6 View Post
Looking for pros and cons comparing .338 rifles vs. .308 rifles for heavy game in the field.
Which do you own and why did you choose it ?
Did you compare them before you purchased ?
Tell me your success with your firearm in the field...

Thanks in advance for your replies...
The .338 Winchester magnum is a heavy duty round suitable for elk or moose by anyone's standards.

I see people at the range who have .378 Wbys, stuff like that. Sometimes in a lightweight rifle.

In general I dont think people with guns like that ever practice enough to be good with them.

No disrespect but if you are asking a q like that it suggests you are not particularly a rifleman. So I'd say, a rifle you shoot well is worth a whole lot more than one you dont.

A .308 is very adequate for nearly any use, a bit much for deer reallly. Perfect general purpose high power round. Not too expensive to shoot a lot, like some magnums.

I have heard a lot of people say they need a heavy rifle coz they will hunt moose and grizzly bears, but you know, not that many people ever really do.

I've taken moose, walrus, caribou with a .243 and it worked fine. A .308 outta work fine for you.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:19 PM
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based on your opinion looks like the .308 cal. is what I need to start looking for...no offense taken...I'm into preserving bears; not exterminating them. thanks for your helpful advice.
Old 06-13-2008, 04:18 PM
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based on your opinion looks like the .308 cal. is what I need to start looking for...no offense taken...I'm into preserving bears; not exterminating them. thanks for your helpful advice.
Im not into exterminating bears either. I thought i was going to have to exterminate a bear one time
but lucky for both of us he decided his interests were elsewhere.

A good .308 bolt gun like the CZ will bring you great success and happiness. Go forth.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:20 PM
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.308 is also a plentiful and commom ammo.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:16 PM
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Concider the 30.06 also.
I own a .308, and it is great !! 5/8" groups at 100 yards with mil surplus.
However, 30.06 is also available at around the same money.
Do not limit yourself too one.
If the right rifle comes up in either caliber, get it, and buy surplus ammo too getr started.
.338 is way too costly.
I have a .300 WSM.
That ammo is $44.00 per box for what I shoot.
I just got 400 rounds of M-80 ball for my .308 for $238.00.
Crunch the numbers, and search what is available.
Money talk these days.
Try too get the most bang for your buck.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:40 PM
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I'd chime in on the .308/.30-06 side. My dad has a Savage .338 Win he picked up via a trade and the cartridges are pretty steep per box. He loves it as a shooter, but admits it's way too much for local whitetail deer and more suited larger game.
.308/.30-06 are two very common rounds and both can be had in specialty loads and via military surplus.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:46 PM
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I have a Savage.308 and it has great range and has been used for years by both the military and civilian law enforcement, how could you go wrong.
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:14 PM
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I have both chamberings in a few rifles, and heres my thoughts...

.338 has the advantage of a bigger caliber and heavier bullet weights and generally they are shot at pretty high speeds. They are serious thumpers at both ends! If you need extreme penetration and heavey bone breaking power then this is a good caliber to start with. Unfortunately due to the stout recoil most people are not able to practice enough with them to be really proficient. Practice at the range is more punishement than enjoyment after a box or two of ammo. Ammo is pretty pricey too unless you reload.

Truth be told...an animal shot with a 308 will likely be just as dead just as quick as it would had you shot it with a 338. The .308 can do just about anything to a adequate degree that a 338 can accomplish with the appropriate load and do it at reduced recoil, reduced cost and the ammo is way more plentiful.

I agree with the previous post that if you really got to ask you most likely need to stick with the 308. If you really need the bigger heavier bullet and deeper penetration then consider something like the 338-06 commercially available from A-Square or the 338 Federal which if memory serves me correctly is basically a 308 necked up to a 338. Both are pretty effceint rounds and throw the big bullets with some pretty respectable velocities that arent too far off the magnums. The down side is ammo isnt real common, gun selction is limited and they are much better with the lighter bullets than the heavier ones which are at thier best in the bigger case magnums.
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonecutter6 View Post
Looking for pros and cons comparing .338 rifles vs. .308 rifles for heavy game in the field.

Thanks in advance for your replies...
.308 is more common so you should always choose the more common caliber.That way its easier to find ammo...
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:44 AM
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I forgot too mention my reason for the 300 WSM,
It is a hard hitter, and since it uses .308 bullets, I only have too stock pile 1 type of bullet, powder, and primer for both of my .30 cal. rifles, and for long term use, I can disassemble any 30.06,.308.300 win mag,300 savage, etc. bullets that I may run across for reloading either rifle that I have.(Not ideal, but doable)
Options are very wide as well, AP,API,Tracer, JHP,JSP,FMJ, etc. etc. etc.
This allows a very wide range of uses for a single rifle, from hunting large game, too equiptment destruction.
primers are the only thing I need too stock up on.
CCI MilSpec Large rifle primers for .308
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:44 AM
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Thanks to all who have replied...extremely helpful in educating me in which way i should proceed...greatly appreciated...
Old 04-16-2016, 04:46 PM
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Living in Alaska many years the accepted norm was a 338 mag. How ever my personal preference was a 30-06 with which I dropped many a moose and caribou with one shot. I carried a 338 for a couple years (largely due to possible bear encounters) but returned to the 30-06 with 220 gr corelokts. The 06 was easier to carry and handle in the brush than the heavier 338 and the recoil was much more forgiving allowing a faster 2nd shot if needed (and it was). The whole thing boils down to shot placement and I have seen many seasoned hunters "flinch" because of the recoil from larger calibers resulting in needed followup shots. The 30 cal's are much more versatile due to the wide range of bullet weights. From flat shooting 150's to the freight train hitting 220's. My personal all around is the 168 gr which is well suited for deer, elk,moose and black bear. Once again stressing shot placement.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:17 PM
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I was asking a similar question for myself about a year back...thought about a 300winmag, then was looking at a bolt in RUM, and was dreaming of the power to hunt 1968 Buicks with a 338 lap....

best I was able to do was get on a bench with 308 next to 300winmag both in model 700 platforms.
what I found was the winmag twisted me so out of shape that my followup shot was a major effort.. i just didn't enjoy the rifle at all.

mind you, I'm 6'1, 230lbs, and not recoil shy..but it doesn't mean that recoil doesn't have an impact/effect on me.

after 40rds through each rifle, I put em both aside, grabbed the AR10 and proceeded to lay down a full 20rd mag much faster and nicely on target at the same 400yard distance...not saying I'd win any marksman championships with any of the rifles...but I quickly realized that the big gun was not my best tool....for me
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:23 PM
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I have a very expensive .338LM rifle/scope combo sitting in my safe, right where it's been for the last 12-18 months. In that time I've blown through 500-1000 rounds of .308 at the same cost-to-shoot as 50-100 rounds of .338LM.

That said, if you want to drop something B-I-G from F-A-R away, there is nothing better in a standard, widely available cartridge than the .338 Lapua. Nothing.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:38 PM
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I'll hafta second the suggestion of .30-06. It's arguably the most common cartridge in America. So the ammo is available everywhere, and in greater variety than most others.

It also has a feature going for it that the .308 doesn't. Every time there has been a buying frenzy and ammo is hard to get, there has always been .30-06 on the shelves. The same can't be said for .308.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:45 PM
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WOW 2008 necro-thread but hey what the heck.

Absent daily encounters with Polar/Grizzly bears, I too suggest the 30.06 if something a bit heavier hitting than a .308 is desired without having to beat up your shoulder. It allows heavier 220gr bullets and has more case capacity for handloads.

At one point I had looked into getting my Ruger re-barreled into 338.06 but ended up just sticking with 30.06.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:22 PM
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In 2008, I didn't have the 1st hand experience hunting large North American game .

Now..... It is confirmed here at least, and I will share more specific info. ( Distances below may or may not be the cartridges max effective range next to a given critter. It is the distances involved in my hunts. The exception pertains to the bear and musk ox category only)

Short answer: Yes. A 308 168gr ttsx ( Asym or Black Hills) will cleanly kill any of the following critters outright and using one bullet......

Any species of deer, goat , or pig. 500 plus. Even the next monster hybrid swine will end up just as dead.

Mature bullelk out to 300 yards including Roosevelt elk.

Mature bull moose ( Alaskan) out to 250 yards.

Mature bull bison out to 250 yards.

Bear: Black bear out to 300 plus. Grizzly to about the same. Mature male Alaskan brown bear out to 150 yards. Mature male polar bear= No distance as I haven't shot one with no plans to. If it ever comes up, the white bear would end up just as dead as the others.

Musk ox: Haven't shot any myself, and since bison can grow much bigger than they do, not worried about it, as it is plenty for the task.

Domestic cattle: Mine. DRT as far as I can place the shot.

Mature male caribou at 400 yards plus.

Note: Comparing this to my hunting in the past using 3006, the same critters= No critter listed above could tell any difference.
Old 04-28-2016, 08:26 PM
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A Zombie thread brought back from the dead -

Comparing a .338 to a .308 really is not a fair comparison. With that said, the .308 Wins hands down for 95% of shooters or hunters. Many, if not all of the reasons for choosing it over the .338 have already been mentioned.

I just want to add my voice to the fact that there is nothing in North America that can not be cleanly killed with this cartridge - using appropriate bullets.
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