|10-28-2004, 12:45 PM||#11|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Basically you can think of the .338-06 as a slightly "watered-down" .338 Win mag. (It shoots the same bullets at about 200 fps less velocity.)
Where it falls in line compared with other factory rounds based on 30-06 case?:
25-06 does about 3000 fps with 120 grain bullets for 2400 ft/lbs.
.270 Win about 3000 fps with 130 grain bullets for 2600 ft/lbs.
.280 Rem about 3000 fps with 140 grain bullets for 2800 ft/lbs.
30-06 (handloads) 3000 fps with 150 grain bullets for 3000 ft/lbs.
.338-06 about 2750 fps with 200 grain bullets for 3300 ft/lbs.
.35 Whelen about 2800 fps with 200 grain bullets for 3400 ft/lbs.
With the .338-06 & .35 Whelen I'm a little limited on reliable resources (reloading manuals) to average data from.
Basically with a given cartridge (say a 30-06), regardless of which bullet weight you decide to use, you'll get the same foot pounds of energy- meaning you can shoot the lighter bullets faster or the heavier ones slower.
And if you neck-up the diameter of a given case, say a 25-06 to the 30-06, you can push a heavier bullet (of the larger diameter) out of the same case to the same velocity as a smaller one, OR you can use a heavier bullet (in the larger diameter) at the same speed as a smaller diameter of the same case.
Also if you increase the case capacity but keep the bullet diameter the same, you can push a given weight bullet faster at the same pressure. Here's a comparison between .338 caliber cartridges (though not necessarily at the same pressure).
Using 200 grain bullets:
.33 Winchester 2200 fps
.338-06 2750 fps
.338 Win mag 3000 fps
.340 Weatherby 3100 fps
.338 Ultra Mag 3200 fps
.338-378 Wthby 3300 fps
So to answer your questions about the 338-06:
This is a medium speed cartridge like the 30-06, except slower because the bullet weights are heavier. I used the lightest bullet in my example above, so if I used the 250 grain bullet instead, velocity drops to about 2400 fps or so. Still enough velocity for a 250 or 300 yard shot.
It has less velocity, therefore less energy and doesn't shoot as flat as the .300 and .338 mags, but also it doesn't kick as much as they do either.
As for the aerodynamics of the bullets, ("ballistic coeficients") a 150 grain .308 is roughly equal to the 200 grain .338, the 165 grain .308 is about equal to the 225 grain .338, and the 180 grain about even with the 250 grain .338. Of course the velocity is going to be much lower with the heavier weights of the .338 bullets than the 30-06 weights.
As for what you would use it for, I guess you would use this one when you want a little more "oomph" than the 30-06 without stepping up to the .300 or .338 magnums. The reason I say "I guess", is that as for me personally, I prefer to use the .338 mag backed off a few grains from full throttle to achieve the same thing. I've had too many experiences with the smaller-capacity cases not getting all the velocity the reloading manuals said they should, and I'm not going to risk blowing up my gun to get them! I can also load up my magnum to full throttle anytime I feel like I need it.
For those that do like the 338-06, more power to you! Sometimes the "coolness" factor inspires us to buy a new gun that may or may not be all we hope it to be.
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