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Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 12:10 PM
The .358 Win has been around almost as long as the .308 Winchester it is based on. Given typical hunting ranges are generally under 300 yards and the recoil and blast is quite a bit less than any of the .30 cal magnums, but hits like a freight train with 225-250 grain SPs, why isn't this caliber more popular? The cartridge fits the same short action rifles and doesn't need a particularly long barrel to operate well with 18-22" tubes being all that is needed to get close to peak velocity. Given all it has going for it, why is .358 Win so ignored?

R

mcmikeblues7
07-06-2012, 6:33 PM
I don't know much about the cartridge but I do know that not much power is needed to kill a deer. Why use a slow .358 when a fast .30-06 kills it just as dead.

ElToro
07-06-2012, 6:52 PM
i had a nice red pad, tag safety ruger 77 in .358 win and could only find ammo online for it. i guess theres now some small makers making lead free .358 ammo but its not cheap. if i could find a savage 99 or pre 64 win 88 in it i would buy it. its a great round. serious pig stomper.
thing is ruger has it in several models now. but ammo is still non existent

Fjold
07-06-2012, 7:10 PM
People like velocity and flat trajectory. Even if the average shot is 200 yards that still means that half the time you have to shoot further than that. With a flatter shooting round you have the advantage of not having to hold "off hair" for longer shots.

lewdogg21
07-06-2012, 7:50 PM
It makes for a tremendous dark timber gun in a lever action. I have a .35 Rem and would rather have a .358 given the choice.

capturedlive
07-06-2012, 9:05 PM
I recently purchased a beautiful Remington 788 left-hand .358 custom rifle from a friend who had it converted from a 6mm Remington back in '75 (less than 140 rounds shot). I tell you, I love that gun. It's true, I have yet to find the ammo on a shelf in CA-- even at a gun show-- but I haven't had any issues acquiring some from Midway, Cabela's etc., online. I usually get Hornady 'cause it's easier on the wallet. And I BELIEVE the good folks at Oak Tree Gun Club could order it in if I asked...

I agree, it's a head-scratcher why the caliber isn't more popular. My friend (who has 2 other .358s) seems to think it's slowly making its way back. Just the same, I think I'm going to start reloading soon.

FLIGHT762
07-06-2012, 9:22 PM
Bought a BLR a few years ago in .358 Win. I hand load, so no issues on ammo.

It is quite a thumper. I've only been able to get a shot at 1 Deer with it so far, but it was very effective, even with a 200 gr. bullet.

Too bad about the scarce factory ammo for it.

Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 9:40 PM
People like velocity and flat trajectory. Even if the average shot is 200 yards that still means that half the time you have to shoot further than that. With a flatter shooting round you have the advantage of not having to hold "off hair" for longer shots.

Is that really true though? Why the resurgence in popularity of the old .45-70 then? When I compare it to .300 Win Magnum, trajectory and energy figures aren't as different as you might think and it is much flatter shooting than .45-70. At 200 yards it appears to be a real performer and that's as far as most of us shoot game at.

Compare some of the numbers for a bolt action rifle with a 22" barrel.

The supposedly slow and awful .358:

.358 Winchester, 180 grain bullet at 2700 - 2800 fps
.358 Winchester, 200 grain bullet at 2500 - 2600 fps
.358 Winchester, 225 grain bullet at 2400 - 2500 fps
.358 Winchester, 250 grain bullet at 2200 - 2300 fps

Compared to .308 Winchester:

.308 Winchester, 150 grain bullet at 2820 fps
.308 Winchester, 165 grain bullet at 2700 fps
.308 Winchester, 180 grain bullet at 2620 fps

And the mighty .300 Winmag:

.300 Winchester Magnum, 150 grain bullet at 3290 fps
.300 Winchester Magnum, 180 grain bullet at 2960 fps
.338 Winchester Magnum, 200 grain bullet at 2950 fps
.338 Winchester Magnum, 250 grain bullet at 2660 fps

And of course the re-surging big bore slow-poke:

.45-70 Government, 300 grain bullet at 1810 fps
.45-70 Government, 350 grain bullet at 2100 fps
.45-70 Government, 405 grain bullet at 1330 fps

Now for Max Point Blank Ranges where things get REALLY interesting:

.308 Winchester, 150 grain at 2820 fps - MPBR 264 yards
.308 Winchester, 165 grain at 2700 fps - MPBR 260 yards
.308 Winchester, 180 grain at 2620 fps - MPBR 250 yards

.300 Winchester Magnum, 150 grain at 3290 fps - MPBR 300 yards
.300 Winchester Magnum, 180 grain at 2960 fps - MPBR 284 yards <-- compare to .358 Winchester

.338 Winchester Magnum, 200 grain at 2950 fps - MPBR 289 yards
.338 Winchester Magnum, 250 grain at 2660 fps - MPBR 265 yards

.358 Winchester, 180 grain at 2700 fps - MPBR 255 yards <-- compare to .300 Winmag
.358 Winchester, 200 grain at 2500 fps - MPBR 237 yards
.358 Winchester, 250 grain at 2300 fps - MPBR 227 yards <-- compare to .338 Winmag

.45-70 Government, 300 grain at 1810 fps - MPBR 164 yards
.45-70 Government, 405 grain at 1330 fps - MPBR 130 yards

So, the heaviest 250 grain load has a MPBR that is still about 30 yards longer than a typical hunting distance, while being less than 60 yards less than the powerful .338 Winmag! In other words, plenty flat enough. Compared to the .45-70, it's practically a laser beam compared to the rainbow arc shaped trajectory of the old Buffalo slayer. Oddly enough, for all the critics of .358 (without showing velocity or MPBR), the considerably more pokey .45-70 is gaining popularity. Why is that?

Using 180 grain bullets, a number of reloading manuals show very warm to hot loadings that meet or exceed 2700 fps. This will provide a MPBR of around 255 yards, which is comparable to the .308 with a 150 or 165 grain bullet!

The .308 is not usually considered a short range cartridge. Note also that this 255 yard figure is only 30 yards shy of the MPBR of the .300 Winchester Magnum with 180 grain bullets. Maybe .358s only real problem is that it has been ignored and primarily suitable for handloaders right now. I would have to buy ammo online or setup a reloading station for it, but both are acceptable. That kind of performance without the recoil and blast of a magnum sound like a good thing to me.

Handloaders have been getting excellent results with more compact lead cored bullets (Barnes TSX and other all-copper rounds are either very light and lower in SD, or very long in the same weights) and new propellents like TAC and Reloader 17 and Varget to push these big loads around.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 9:47 PM
i had a nice red pad, tag safety ruger 77 in .358 win and could only find ammo online for it. i guess theres now some small makers making lead free .358 ammo but its not cheap. if i could find a savage 99 or pre 64 win 88 in it i would buy it. its a great round. serious pig stomper.
thing is ruger has it in several models now. but ammo is still non existent

Sounds like a great rifle. Winchester Pre 64s in particular are appealing as something of a Mauser controlled feed aficionado.

No, ammo isn't cheap, but how many rounds does it take to sight it in and take down a mid to larger size critter?

R

Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 9:48 PM
I don't know much about the cartridge but I do know that not much power is needed to kill a deer. Why use a slow .358 when a fast .30-06 kills it just as dead.

See my post on velocity numbers straight from the commercial manufacturers and load books. It's not as slow as you might think. ;)

R

Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 9:49 PM
Bought a BLR a few years ago in .358 Win. I hand load, so no issues on ammo.

It is quite a thumper. I've only been able to get a shot at 1 Deer with it so far, but it was very effective, even with a 200 gr. bullet.

Too bad about the scarce factory ammo for it.

We agree, but I don't want to preach to the choir.

R

CS Sports
07-06-2012, 9:50 PM
Love the 358 and it's lever action twin the 356. They are both great rounds, especially for pigs.

I foolishly passed on a very reasonable priced Pre-64 Model 70 in 358 at the Tulsa gun show in 1997. Still kicking myself for that stupid decision.

Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 9:57 PM
I recently purchased a beautiful Remington 788 left-hand .358 custom rifle from a friend who had it converted from a 6mm Remington back in '75 (less than 140 rounds shot). I tell you, I love that gun. It's true, I have yet to find the ammo on a shelf in CA-- even at a gun show-- but I haven't had any issues acquiring some from Midway, Cabela's etc., online. I usually get Hornady 'cause it's easier on the wallet. And I BELIEVE the good folks at Oak Tree Gun Club could order it in if I asked...

I agree, it's a head-scratcher why the caliber isn't more popular. My friend (who has 2 other .358s) seems to think it's slowly making its way back. Just the same, I think I'm going to start reloading soon.

I think it was bad press from folks that just didn't get it or getting pinned as a "woods cartridge" when it is so much more capable than that. Anything that fits into short actions is a good starting point for a shorter, more handy rifle. .30-06 is all fine and good, but it is not "short." A compact case hurling bullets topping 250 grain at respectable velocity in a handy rifle sounds like a damn good rifle for bear country (or even for bears specifically). Unlike the magnums, it is not punishing to shoot on a Sunday afternoon at the range. It's also not that far behind ballistically to magnums burning a lot more powder to push similar bullet weights but has a lot less recoil and blast, particularly in those shorter barreled, handy rifles.

Maybe its just me, magnums never impressed me. The .308 is a great cartridge, but it's smaller and larger siblings fill niches that the .308, for all it's merits, just can't. Short, efficient with reasonable recoil flinging a big bullet at velocities that can top 2700 FPS with 180 grainers is a recipe for white tail or even mule deer at ranges out to 300+ yards if a long shot like that could be taken cleanly.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-06-2012, 10:33 PM
Love the 358 and it's lever action twin the 356. They are both great rounds, especially for pigs.

I foolishly passed on a very reasonable priced Pre-64 Model 70 in 358 at the Tulsa gun show in 1997. Still kicking myself for that stupid decision.

I feel your pain - a rare find now-a-days. I'm probably going to have to buy an action and have a custom barrel chambered and threaded to get what I want.

R

DirtyDave
07-06-2012, 11:01 PM
Same reason so many other "Good" cartridges aren't more popular. Some cartridges are poorly marketed, some are beat out by similar rivals, some were not offered in factory rifles (or very limited).
Look at the .243win and 6mmRem. Very similar, with the 6mm being just a touch faster in comparable loads, yet the .243 really took off and the 6mm is more of a novelty now.
Some cartridges will NEVER go away like 30-06, 270win, 243win, 308win, 223, for example. Other cartridges come and go with the generations.

zfields
07-06-2012, 11:23 PM
R,

Those look almost like trapdoor loads for 45/70. A lot of the modern action hunting stuff is pushing 405 around 16-1800 fps, then you have hsm and garret making scary hot loadings in 405 and the real popular 525 grizzly loads.

I think 45-70 is coming back due to the flexibility in loadings, going from the faster 300-350 deer loads , including the new hornady stuff which is pushing the reach out and touch someone distance, to the super heavyweights in the 500 grain range. I know loading for it is interesting, just wish I had the land to shoot it more.

Sent from my Incredible 2 using Tapatalk 2

Fjold
07-07-2012, 8:34 AM
Hornady list one load for the 180 grain bullet out of the 358 Win that will reach 2600 fps. This is the flattest shooting load that they list and the trajectory for that is:

Range Drop
(yd) (in)
0 -1.5
50 1.3
100 2.7
150 2.3
200 0
250 -4.6
300 -11.9
350 -22.4
400 -36.6

There are half a dozen loads for the 180 grain 308 Win load at 2600 fps, it's trajectory is;

Range Drop
(yd) (in)
0 -1.5
50 1.1
100 2.2
150 1.9
200 0
250 -3.7
300 -9.3
350 -16.9
400 -26.8

For the standard 150 grain load the 308 win trajectory is:
Range Drop
(yd) (in)
0 -1.5
50 0.6
100 1.7
150 1.5
200 0
250 -2.9
300 -7.4
350 -13.5
400 -21.5

If you go to a flat shooting load for the 308 using the 130 grain bullet at 3200 fps, you get:

Range Drop
(yd) (in)
0 -1.5
50 0.4
100 1.4
150 1.3
200 0
250 -2.6
300 -6.7
350 -12.4
400 -20.1

toby
07-07-2012, 8:42 AM
If ever I find one at a good price it will join my herd. Also a 348 Winchester is in the search, as is a 375 Winchester.

FLIGHT762
07-07-2012, 8:43 AM
We agree, but I don't want to preach to the choir.

R

From what I've read on the subject, the .358 Win. was introduced around the time when some the now popular belted magnums were also being introduced and the .358 was pushed aside with everyone getting magnum fever.

capturedlive
07-07-2012, 8:51 AM
Another caliber that I own, and is on the tightrope of existence, is a .327 Federal Magnum. I have the single-action Ruger Blackhawk. EXTREMELY fun gun to shoot-- and a great hunting cartridge for varmints and small game-- but you can't go to your friendly neighborhood Walmart to stock up on the ammo. On the other hand, I HAVE found it at a couple of local brick n' mortars, so it's not nearly as bad as the .358.

Richard Erichsen
07-07-2012, 10:16 AM
Hornady list one load for the 180 grain bullet out of the 358 Win that will reach 2600 fps. For commercial ammo, that is about as hot a load as I've seen. For the handloader using some of the newer propellents, another 100 FPS can be expected with a 22" barrel at 70 degrees F at sea level.


[bullet drop for .358]....250 yards -4.6", 300 yards -11.9"
[bullet drop for .308]....250 yards -3.7", 300 yards -9.3"


Even Hornady's load with a -4.6" drop at 250 yards, some fifty or more yards further than most of us would choose to take a shot on live game, isn't really all that much. Less than an inch in fact between the .308 and .358 while the .358 is packing a bit more punch with the larger frontal area. The difference in drop at this range, in my opinion, isn't enough to worry about on large game critters.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-07-2012, 10:23 AM
If ever I find one at a good price it will join my herd. Also a 348 Winchester is in the search, as is a 375 Winchester.

You may have to build one rather than wait around. I found some great barrel blanks that could be turned to the desired profile, chambered and threaded for the receiver that cost less than $100. Match grade barrels are available too, though for a hunting rifle are complete overkill. Midway and Brownells sell brass, dies and bullets in this caliber if you want to roll your own ammo as well.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-07-2012, 10:25 AM
Another caliber that I own, and is on the tightrope of existence, is a .327 Federal Magnum. I have the single-action Ruger Blackhawk. EXTREMELY fun gun to shoot-- and a great hunting cartridge for varmints and small game-- but you can't go to your friendly neighborhood Walmart to stock up on the ammo. On the other hand, I HAVE found it at a couple of local brick n' mortars, so it's not nearly as bad as the .358.

Funny, I just brought up .327 Magnum on another forum as an example of something else, inconsistent names vs. actual caliber (the bullet is .311"). It's probably the most "fun" magnum there is, though I've only known one person in 20 years that had one and managed to get a box of ammo I bought to try it out before returning it to an acquaintance.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-07-2012, 10:27 AM
From what I've read on the subject, the .358 Win. was introduced around the time when some the now popular belted magnums were also being introduced and the .358 was pushed aside with everyone getting magnum fever.

No doubt - magnums are and were what help sell units even if the "magnumness" is usually overkill for taking game at 200 yards or less.

R

chicoredneck
07-07-2012, 11:38 AM
If you hunt an area where long shots are not a possibility then a slow, heavy, cartridge and bullet are not a hinderance and may make sense. If you hunt an area where a shot past 200 yards is at all a possibility you are just limiting yourself by using a slow cartridge.

Some people are fine with that, but I am not. If I have a shot at game at 500 yards and I know that I can make a good hit, I'm going to take it. I don't have the luxury of being picky with my shots. Often the only buck I see during deer season is the only one I have a chance to shoot. I want to make my odds better by having a rifle that let's me take a long shot if necessary. Lots of other hunters feel this way too. Manu hunters only own one or two rifles. Of those at least one is usually an all purpose big game rifle. That leaves the 358 in a specialized category for most people as niche rifle. There are many different niches and most standard calibers work equally well in the same roles as specialized niche rifles for big game. The ballistics are also closely duplicated by a number of other cartridges. This all adds up to a very small margin of gun nut hunters and collectors who would be interested in the 358.

Fjold
07-07-2012, 1:32 PM
For commercial ammo, that is about as hot a load as I've seen. For the handloader using some of the newer propellents, another 100 FPS can be expected with a 22" barrel at 70 degrees F at sea level.



Even Hornady's load with a -4.6" drop at 250 yards, some fifty or more yards further than most of us would choose to take a shot on live game, isn't really all that much. Less than an inch in fact between the .308 and .358 while the .358 is packing a bit more punch with the larger frontal area. The difference in drop at this range, in my opinion, isn't enough to worry about on large game critters.

R


Using the same argument you could add another 100fps to the 308 loads.

I try to be ready for the most extreme conditions possible on my hunts. I always have drop data out to at least 500 yards on my deer guns and I'm confident I can take that shot if the conditions allow. Even though my las two deer were taken at 250 and 100 yards, I've shot antelope out to 460 yards before.

That's also why I had dope on my 375 H&H all the way out to 300 yards the first time I went to Africa and I wound up shooting a zebra at 302 yards for my first game animal there.

It's also why I brought solids when I hunted buffalo, with modern bullets like the Barnes TSX you don't need solids for buff but I had 10, 300 grain FP solids along just in case.

ElToro
07-07-2012, 10:42 PM
heres what i had at the time with my rifle. all since sold.
http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab266/tims_albums/358ammo.jpg
http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab266/tims_albums/ruger77rtside.jpg

toby
07-08-2012, 6:41 AM
There is a Ruger Hawkeye for sale right now.......cheap

Randall
07-08-2012, 10:12 AM
My primary big game rifle is the .358 Winny's big brother. The .35 Whelen. Nothing wrong with the .358 Win. It's just not as good as the .35 Whelen. :jump:

Seriously, so long as you enjoy the round and can shoot it, who cares what others think about the round? I catch sh@t from all my hunting buddys about that .35 Whelen. They also don't like the fact that I'm shooting it in a single shot rifle. I especially like it when I kill something and they don't.
Randy

Richard Erichsen
07-08-2012, 8:41 PM
If you hunt an area where long shots are not a possibility then a slow, heavy, cartridge and bullet are not a hinderance and may make sense. If you hunt an area where a shot past 200 yards is at all a possibility you are just limiting yourself by using a slow cartridge.

Some people are fine with that, but I am not. If I have a shot at game at 500 yards and I know that I can make a good hit, I'm going to take it. I don't have the luxury of being picky with my shots. Often the only buck I see during deer season is the only one I have a chance to shoot. I want to make my odds better by having a rifle that let's me take a long shot if necessary. Lots of other hunters feel this way too. Manu hunters only own one or two rifles. Of those at least one is usually an all purpose big game rifle. That leaves the 358 in a specialized category for most people as niche rifle. There are many different niches and most standard calibers work equally well in the same roles as specialized niche rifles for big game. The ballistics are also closely duplicated by a number of other cartridges. This all adds up to a very small margin of gun nut hunters and collectors who would be interested in the 358.

Taking game past 400 yards, even when possible, isn't something a typical hunter would be comfortable doing. You're in an elite minority if you are comfortable taking shots past 500! .358 isn't limited to 200 yards, it's the typical hunter that is limited, or self-limiting to 200-300 yards maximum. I would expect that better than 90% of the big game in this country is taken within 100-200 yards, regardless of caliber. Whether that is luck, geography or the comfort level of the average hunter, it is what it is. I posted figures for max point blank range (point blank range is not max effective range of course) and velocity showing that .358 is no slouch even with the heavier 200-225 grain loads.

As for the .358 being a niche, I suppose that's where it ended up, but I don't think it was a given it had to go that way. It's not a magnum, but that suits me just fine. I will probably never own a magnum of any kind and see little reason to. 300 yards is the very outside range I would ever shoot at live game and I doubt that would change with the rifle or caliber. The loads will go a lot further, needed or not.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-08-2012, 8:44 PM
My primary big game rifle is the .358 Winny's big brother. The .35 Whelen. Nothing wrong with the .358 Win. It's just not as good as the .35 Whelen. :jump:

Seriously, so long as you enjoy the round and can shoot it, who cares what others think about the round? I catch sh@t from all my hunting buddys about that .35 Whelen. They also don't like the fact that I'm shooting it in a single shot rifle. I especially like it when I kill something and they don't.
Randy

The only problem I have with the Whelen is the long action it requires. I want a somewhat more compact rifle and short action gets me there. I also want a somewhat shorter tube to complete the package. Anything more than about 20-22" is probably more than is really needed.

Ignore your friends about your .35 cal. They just don't understand. ;)

R

Deja-Vu
07-08-2012, 9:09 PM
I built a 358 win on a Steven Savage action with a McGowen 20" barrel, Heritage Classic Sporter Stock for Stocky's with a Timney trigger, all I did was cut a little off the end of the stock and painted it black to match the short barrel and lighten it up, now this is my favorite bolt gun.

http://i930.photobucket.com/albums/ad149/Deja-Vu_Pics/PC040472.jpg

Richard Erichsen
07-09-2012, 1:40 PM
I built a 358 win on a Steven Savage action with a McGowen 20" barrel, Heritage Classic Sporter Stock for Stocky's with a Timney trigger, all I did was cut a little off the end of the stock and painted it black to match the short barrel and lighten it up, now this is my favorite bolt gun.

http://i930.photobucket.com/albums/ad149/Deja-Vu_Pics/PC040472.jpg

That thing is gorgeous, regardless of caliber! More pics please!

R

Rusty_Buckhorn
07-09-2012, 2:19 PM
Taking game past 400 yards, even when possible, isn't something a typical hunter would be comfortable doing.
R
I'm not sure where you got your 'typical hunter' info, but you're dead wrong. The typical hunters, most people I know at least, will shoot from any distance they feel comfortable with, whether that be 300 or 600. In the real world, typical hunters who hunt a lot are proficient to at least 300yds, and most are taught that from a young age. Go hunt some BIG country, see how far 200yds gets you.

Deja-Vu
07-09-2012, 7:27 PM
That thing is gorgeous, regardless of caliber! More pics please!

R

Thanks
That is a older pic of the gun it has the 358 win McGowen 12 twist barrel on it. Right now I got the same barrel and caliber on it but it is a 14 twist and it is in load development right now with a big fat scope on it.

I was just posting this so anyone thinking of going with the 358 win caliber all they have to do is get a used short action Stevens, Savage gun and put a barrel on it. I paid just under $200 with shipping for the 358 win 20" barrel from McGowen.

Richard Erichsen
07-09-2012, 9:50 PM
I'm not sure where you got your 'typical hunter' info, but you're dead wrong. The typical hunters, most people I know at least, will shoot from any distance they feel comfortable with, whether that be 300 or 600. In the real world, typical hunters who hunt a lot are proficient to at least 300yds, and most are taught that from a young age. Go hunt some BIG country, see how far 200yds gets you.

Virtually no hunter I've ever gone hunting with ever took game at further than 300 yards and most considerably closer. The vast majority of game I've taken was in the flat terrain in the Texas panhandle, the hill country of central Texas, the thickets and swamps of east Texas and the craggy foot hills of central and southern Colorado. Most of those shots were in the 50-200 yards range, only twice can I recall it being further. Most of the folks I've talked to or hunted with at one point or another were within the same 300 yards or less envelope. I've heard of folks taking game at 600 plus yards, though I've never met anyone who could or would do so personally. Part of this is skill level, no doubt, but a lot of it goes to making sure every hit is as clean as possible. Wounding the animal is a lot worse than letting it go, at least in my opinion.

If a shot was too far for me to be comfortable with, I'd either wait for another opportunity if situated in a blind off a well scouted trail or feeding station, or I'd stalk closer until close enough, when the wind and circumstances allowed it.

I've always admired folks that could hump all the way up a hill, take aim at some distant target and not have their shot spoiled by the thumping of their heart moments after getting eyes on their quarry. I'm not anywhere near the necessary fitness level to pull that off.

I read a statistic in some hunting magazine that surveyed some hundred or so hunters across US and found that the average range was pretty darn close to my own figure. Granted, the averages are always less when you consider the denser forest terrains compared to open plains, but my own experiences and that magazine article reflect that 300 yards is bloody far for many of us. When and if I find that article, I'll post it. It was a few years ago, the article should be online on their website if their search function works. Until then, here is a "Practical Accuracy" article from Chuck Hawks that covers some of the same ground.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/practical_accuracy.htm

R

Whiterabbit
07-10-2012, 11:10 AM
I suspect it's not as popular cause many calguns folks who type about hunting hunt less than real hunters, or just hunt rabbits. Since they spend more time target shoting and less in the field, they'd be more interested in paper performance. That implies that chucking pumpkins isn't preferable to something flat shooting, regardless of terminal performance. Much less performance on game.

Randall
07-10-2012, 12:54 PM
The only problem I have with the Whelen is the long action it requires. I want a somewhat more compact rifle and short action gets me there. I also want a somewhat shorter tube to complete the package. Anything more than about 20-22" is probably more than is really needed.
Ignore your friends about your .35 cal. They just don't understand. ;)
R I've shot short action bolt guns and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. I don't want you to take this the wrong way. But IMO, the whole short action vs. long action debate is much ado about nothing. In the heat of the moment, it's the practiced hand that gets the job done first.

My long action bolt gun has never hampered a shot nor has my 24" barrels ever caused me issues in the field. I own two Whelens, and bring them both when I hunt.

My favorite being a Browning 1885 that I rebarreled with a #3 contour Douglas barrel and a Leupold VXIII 1.75-6x32mm scope. With it fully loaded including sling with 4 rounds on the sling it weighs in right at 6 1/2 lbs. The action is very short being a single shot falling block. The rifle points naturally, and is an excellent mountain rifle. It's my preferred elk rifle. Lets face it, you're going to carry it much more than you'll shoot it on a hunting trip.

The other I built from an VZ24 Mauser action with an Adams and Bennett barrel, timney trigger, cheap hollow plastic stock and a Leupold VXII 3-9x40mm. This one's a little heavier at 7 1/2 lbs, and isn't nearly as pretty as the Browning, but its killer to be sure. And, I use it when the weather gets bad.

Richard Erichsen
07-10-2012, 12:57 PM
I suspect it's not as popular cause many calguns folks who type about hunting hunt less than real hunters, or just hunt rabbits. Since they spend more time target shoting and less in the field, they'd be more interested in paper performance. That implies that chucking pumpkins isn't preferable to something flat shooting, regardless of terminal performance. Much less performance on game.

Most of my friends hunt with lever action .30-30s which is as good a deer-slayer as any with half the recoil and blast of the .30-06 in a short package, but not "flat enough" for some I suppose.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-10-2012, 1:26 PM
My long action bolt gun has never hampered a shot nor has my 24" barrels ever caused me issues in the field. I own two Whelens, and bring them both when I hunt.

I'll clarify that the choice of barrel and action lengths, stock lengths and weight are personal preference. I prefer something a bit shorter which can help reduce the weight that has to be lugged.

My favorite being a Browning 1885 that I rebarreled with a #3 contour Douglas barrel and a Leupold VXIII 1.75-6x32mm scope. With it fully loaded including sling with 4 rounds on the sling it weighs in right at 6 1/2 lbs. That sounds like quite a rig. Do you have a pic of it configured as you described?

The other I built from an VZ24 Mauser action with an Adams and Bennett barrel, timney trigger, cheap hollow plastic stock and a Leupold VXII 3-9x40mm. This one's a little heavier at 7 1/2 lbs, and isn't nearly as pretty as the Browning, but its killer to be sure. And, I use it when the weather gets bad.

That's similar to what I had in mind for a build based on a Belgian, Czech or Polish pre-war '98 action with a Krieger or Shilen barrel and probably a Timney trigger. After comparing the weight of the stocks, the microfit stocks weren't that much heavier than the polymer stock I was looking at and a lot prettier. I've hunted in positively boggy conditions and I can't say moisture ever seemed to harm the wood stock, or degrade rifle performance even in a full rain storm (as for the hunting party, that's a different matter). If they swelled at all from the moisture, they seemed to end up where they were supposed to given the bedding jobs they were given.

With a scope and medium rings, a synthetic sling, I like to keep the rifle under 9 lbs. (about the weight of my wife's barky little pooch), the free recoil under about 17 lbs and the flash and blast to a minimum.

R

Rusty_Buckhorn
07-10-2012, 1:42 PM
Most of my friends hunt with lever action .30-30s which is as good a deer-slayer as any with half the recoil and blast of the .30-06 in a short package, but not "flat enough" for some I suppose.

R

I think that speaks volumes about your opinion on short actions and short range calibers, 30-30 falls right into that group. My point in my previous post wasn't so much about beating up the 200yd statement you made, it was more about letting your choice of caliber dictate how long of a shot you can make. Long range rifles(with scopes down to 3 or 4 power) are just as deadly at 50yds as at 4-500yds.

Randall
07-10-2012, 6:31 PM
That sounds like quite a rig. Do you have a pic of it configured as you described?
R I'll have to check. If I can find one, I'll post it.

As far as the wood vs plastic stock. All things being equal, wood tends to be lighter overall than most plastic resin stocks. When properly bedded and sealed, wood stocks can be very water resistant...and almost always better looking.

rabagley
07-10-2012, 11:06 PM
People like velocity and flat trajectory. Even if the average shot is 200 yards that still means that half the time you have to shoot further than that. With a flatter shooting round you have the advantage of not having to hold "off hair" for longer shots.

Meh. I almost never take a hunting shot longer than 75 yards. I guess that's why my 45-70 is still my favorite rifle.

Richard Erichsen
07-11-2012, 8:40 AM
Meh. I almost never take a hunting shot longer than 75 yards. I guess that's why my 45-70 is still my favorite rifle.

That was honest, though I'm pretty sure the 45-70 will shoot a mite bit further. ;)

I might start a thread to get an average range most folks will pull the trigger on a large game critter. If it is where I think it may be, many folks are hauling around rifles that are heavier and with more brutal recoil than they may really need to.

R

Whiterabbit
07-11-2012, 9:12 AM
Might I make a suggestion? make the thread to get an average range folks ALREADY HAVE pulled the trigger on big game.

If you ask what they are "willing" to do, I'm sure you'll get all sorts of answers involving 223 at 400 yards.

Richard Erichsen
07-11-2012, 2:55 PM
Might I make a suggestion? make the thread to get an average range folks ALREADY HAVE pulled the trigger on big game.

If you ask what they are "willing" to do, I'm sure you'll get all sorts of answers involving 223 at 400 yards.

An excellent point. Willingness vs. experience aren't the same. I was willing to marry Tyra Banks (unbeknownst to her) after a particularly good Tyra show, but do not have the personal experience to counsel my judgement. ;)

R

chicoredneck
07-12-2012, 2:45 PM
You don't have to justify your choice in calibers by claiming it is "better" or enough for the job. We hunt with what we like. Lots of people still hunt with old, outdated, or outclassed cartridges and rifles. It does not mean it is wrong, just that they are using what they like. Part of hunting for some people is using a tool that you have an affinity for.

Richard Erichsen
07-12-2012, 3:19 PM
You don't have to justify your choice in calibers by claiming it is "better" or enough for the job. We hunt with what we like. Lots of people still hunt with old, outdated, or outclassed cartridges and rifles. It does not mean it is wrong, just that they are using what they like. Part of hunting for some people is using a tool that you have an affinity for.

I don't believe in "better", I focus on making the right compromises. You can't have your cake and eat it to. The .30 magnums generally cost more to buy and more to shoot, tend to be heavier, longer rifles while lighter, smaller bore rifles may not be suitable or ethical for medium sized or larger game. In a world where we aren't limited to one flavor of icecream, we have a proliferation of calibers and rifles to fire them in. I'm a believer in "right sizing" - i.e. neither too much nor too little within the range I'm willing to hunt within. It wouldn't hurt my feelings to let something go if it were beyond a range I'd be confident the shot will be true and the bullet will perform as intended without risk of wounded game. I've come home empty handed many times, I still eat.

R

CS Sports
07-12-2012, 3:33 PM
As far as the wood vs plastic stock. All things being equal, wood tends to be lighter overall than most plastic resin stocks.

Yeah, not so much. Maybe if you compare Claro Walnut stocks to HS Precision tactical stocks. With stocks of like design, fiberglass and injection molded stocks tend to run at least 6oz lighter than similarly shaped wood stocks. But then what would I know, I've only fit a thousand or so of them over the years.


When properly bedded and sealed, wood stocks can be very water resistant...and almost always better looking.

Correct, but the problem is that the overwhelming majority of wood stocks are not properly sealed. The simple fact is that most stock oils use driers that evaporate, leaving the oil finishes porous. This results in oil finished stocks that actually absorb water at a faster rate than bare wood.

Ironically, the cheaper wood stocks that are finished with polyurethane (like Remington BDLs) are generally more water resistant than much more expensive wood stocks.

CS Sports
07-12-2012, 3:38 PM
I don't believe in "better", I focus on making the right compromises. You can't have your cake and eat it to.
R

Excellent point. Choosing a hunting caliber is all about compromises. I wish there were a rifle/chambering combination that was light, stable to shoot, high velocity, low recoil, no meat damage, exceptional penetration, readily available, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately it doesn't exist, and if it did people would still disagree over certain merits.

Rusty_Buckhorn
07-12-2012, 3:49 PM
The .30 magnums generally cost more to buy and more to shoot, tend to be heavier, longer rifles

maybe cost more to shoot, but off the shelf rifles of the same make/model cost the same, regardless of caliber. Same for weight, give or take a few ounces for a bigger diameter barrel. And, obviously, if some calibers are only available with longer barrels, a few more ounces there.

Gasman
07-15-2012, 2:57 PM
I used a BLR in 358 to take a couple of wild boar, and it did very well using 225 Partitions.

Then the lead ban came along.

Since then, given the relative lack of lead-free bullets in 35 caliber with decent BC's and the fact that monolithics perform much more reliably when launched at higher velocities, my BLR has effectively been retired from hunting in CA. I don't even think I could break 2500 fps with a 200 TTSX out of the BLR's 20" barrel, and I don't feel comfortable that I'll get reliable expansion at that MV, especially if the distances get longer.

Now, the 338 RCM is a whole different ballgame. I'm easily getting 2850 fps out a 20" barrel with 185 GMX's. It's essentially a short action 338-06. There's a lot better selection of 338 bullets compared to 358 bullets, too. If you want to build a rifle, any WSM donor action should suffice.

Richard Erichsen
07-15-2012, 9:32 PM
I used a BLR in 358 to take a couple of wild boar, and it did very well using 225 Partitions.

Then the lead ban came along. I still see plenty of lead cored ammo, oddly enough. .358 commercial ammo is hard enough to find as it is.

Since then, given the relative lack of lead-free bullets in 35 caliber with decent BC's and the fact that monolithics perform much more reliably when launched at higher velocities, my BLR has effectively been retired from hunting in CA. I don't even think I could break 2500 fps with a 200 TTSX out of the BLR's 20" barrel, and I don't feel comfortable that I'll get reliable expansion at that MV, especially if the distances get longer.

In a box fed rifle, you should be able to use solid copper Barnes TSX bullets, but most lever actions are tube fed and ill suited to these pointy high BC bullets. I show reliable expansion at fairly low velocities, so I'm not sure I'd be that concerned.

Now, the 338 RCM is a whole different ballgame. I'm easily getting 2850 fps out a 20" barrel with 185 GMX's. It's essentially a short action 338-06. There's a lot better selection of 338 bullets compared to 358 bullets, too. If you want to build a rifle, any WSM donor action should suffice.

I will likely go through with the building of one rifle in .358 to replace the used and well worn Winchester Model 70 I briefly owned some 20 odd years ago, or using a suitable push feed short action, or a controlled feed Mauser 98 style long action (at which point I may consider .35 Whelen since I already have the action length, why not use it?).

Choices in .358 bullets don't look to be too poor for the reloader, the .338 options are just considerably newer. High ballistic coefficient is all fine and good, but at under 300 yards it may simply not matter that much.

R

Gasman
07-15-2012, 10:07 PM
Just curious, why a push-feed M70? A CRF SA would feed fine chambered in 358. Alternatively, you could pick up a Ruger Hawkeye SS in 358.

Good point about fully utilizing the action length of an M98 by chambering it in 35 Whelen. Two other great rounds using the 0.473" bolt face include the 338-06 and the 9.3 Mauser. If you're looking for a thumper, the 9.3 has a lot going for it.

ouch1
07-16-2012, 10:39 AM
If your going for a bolt action just pick up a used .308 and have it rebarreled/rechambered for the .358 since the only difference if the projectile diameter the .308 bolt will work fine.

The other option I like would be to build an AR-10 and have it setup with a barrel in .358. That way you have a solid semi-auto rig with 10 rounds to work with.

-ouch1

Richard Erichsen
07-16-2012, 7:57 PM
Just curious, why a push-feed M70? A CRF SA would feed fine chambered in 358. Alternatively, you could pick up a Ruger Hawkeye SS in 358.

That was meant to be an OR not a description of the later post '64 M70. I fixed that above to make it more clear. In order of preference, the Win M70 pre-64, a reasonable current (read "available") push-feed model in .358 from the factory (of which the Ruger M77 Hawkeye would qualify) or a build from a pre-war Mauser 98 action, in that order.

Good point about fully utilizing the action length of an M98 by chambering it in 35 Whelen. Two other great rounds using the 0.473" bolt face include the 338-06 and the 9.3 Mauser. If you're looking for a thumper, the 9.3 has a lot going for it.

I've considered something big like the 9.3 mm, I've just never had the opportunity to try one. There is a good probability if while looking I find a good Mauser action with non-matching serials and limited collector value at around the same time I find a suitable M70 pre 64, whether in .358 or not, I may buy both and budget to barrel both in 20-22 inch medium light profiles. If that is what ends up happening, I already know I'm going to probably end up setting up a reloading station for this caliber, so I might be better off to stick with .35 cal so that I can stuff similar bullets, bought several hundred at a time, into their respective cases.

R

Richard Erichsen
07-16-2012, 8:02 PM
If your going for a bolt action just pick up a used .308 and have it rebarreled/rechambered for the .358 since the only difference if the projectile diameter the .308 bolt will work fine.

The other option I like would be to build an AR-10 and have it setup with a barrel in .358. That way you have a solid semi-auto rig with 10 rounds to work with.

-ouch1

That is an option, and one I have described earlier in this thread. If the only Win M70 pre 64 Standard I find is in .308 or .243 (as so many are) I will not hesitate to buy it and rebarrel it with a suitable barrel. Drop in barrels aren't easy to come by, but it's a straightforward chamber, profile, crown and thread job using a quality blank for any well qualified gunsmith, particularly one with an easily tweaked CNC lathe.

I have a plan for an autoloader in this caliber too - but not in the AR10. ;)

R

Richard Erichsen
07-16-2012, 8:24 PM
Yeah, not so much. Maybe if you compare Claro Walnut stocks to HS Precision tactical stocks. With stocks of like design, fiberglass and injection molded stocks tend to run at least 6oz lighter than similarly shaped wood stocks. But then what would I know, I've only fit a thousand or so of them over the years.

I honestly don't know what the material was on the synthetic stock I was looking at was, but when I asked the vendor to specify the weight, the numbers they gave me were within 2-3 oz. Hollow polymer/fiberglass stocks filled with polyethylene foam, or whatever they fill them with don't appeal to me. If I wanted to build something unusually light, I might feel differently. I was only comparing synthetic to hardwood to reassure myself that if limited to weather imperviousness, I wasn't losing anything with a quality wood stock I finished myself.

...the problem is that the overwhelming majority of wood stocks are not properly sealed. The simple fact is that most stock oils use driers that evaporate, leaving the oil finishes porous. This results in oil finished stocks that actually absorb water at a faster rate than bare wood.

If I build a rifle I generally am the one finishing the stocks and can be assured that mine will be sealed because I have no need to cut corners. It usually takes me several weeks of application with dry time between coats and sanding to get to where I want it to be. I'm in no rush.

Ironically, the cheaper wood stocks that are finished with polyurethane (like Remington BDLs) are generally more water resistant than much more expensive wood stocks.

I've done boiled linseed, tung oil and the various traditional varnishes on wood stocked rifles, but I'll admit the best results seem to be with oil modified polyurethane over a properly conditioned wood that has been stained to the desired color. I'm not too concerned this may be deemed to be lesser in terms of correctness, modern chemistry has been improving paints and coatings for quite awhile and the simple fact is they just work. There is plenty of handwork involved since I brush on all my coatings and sand each to build up the layers. It's a slow process but now that I'm getting back into rebuilding what was once a pretty decent collection of fine sporting rifles I will be doing so again. I really like the look of the stocks on the old full length Mannlicher Schoenauer and the Schmitt-Rubin sporters, true craftsmanship.

Speaking of craftsmanship, I'd like to see some of your work. I may have a need for some objective opinions at some point for one of my self-finished stocks, or to provide me with another option if for whatever reason I find that have a finished barreled action ready to go and an unfinished stock by hunting season.

R

1ridgeover
07-17-2012, 5:55 AM
The 358 always seemed to me to be a good timber cartridge, but I went a step up and got the 350 Rem mags. Now thats a thumper!!

Richard Erichsen
07-17-2012, 6:34 AM
The 358 always seemed to me to be a good timber cartridge, but I went a step up and got the 350 Rem mags. Now thats a thumper!!

A very classy pair you've got there. .350 RM is probably too much gun for my purposes, but it is one of the great .35 cals and better represented than either the .358 rifle of my dreams or the .35 Whelen that may substitute in a long action Mauser 98 build, as chance will determine.

R