.358 Winchester: King Of The .35 Calibers

.358 Winchester: King Of The .35 Calibers

358 Winchester

One of the best non-magnum .35-caliber cartridges, the .358 Winchester is both accurate and effective.

How the .358 Winchester tops other .35-caliber cartridges:

  • Adequate for any North American Game
  • Capable of pitching a 250-grain bullet 2,200 at the muzzle
  • Factory performance can be improved upon by reloading
  • Known as 8.8x51mm in Europe

Introduced in 1955 by Winchester for its Model 70 Lightweight bolt-action and Model 88 lever-action rifles, the .358 Winchester is based on the .308 Winchester case necked up. It’s known in Europe as the 8.8x51mm. Many European rifle makers chamber the round. In the United States, only the Browning BLR lever-action is currently chambered for this cartridge. The Model 99 Savage was also once available in .358 Win. The .358 Winchester is one of the best commercial (non-magnum) .35-caliber cartridges turned out by any American manufacturer. It’s a big improvement over the .35 Remington, slightly more powerful than the old .35 Winchester, and more useful than the .348 Winchester.

More Ammunition Information:

As the .308 Winchester is a shortened version of the .30-06, by the same token the .358 Win. is a shortened .35 Whelen. With its spitzer-pointed bullets, the .358 is a good medium- to long-range cartridge with capabilities out to 250 yards on big game. With the 250-grain bullet, it’s better than the .30-06 on heavy game at close ranges. The .358 in a bolt-action rifle with a good scope is as accurate as any hunting cartridge available. Performance can be improved by handloading.

358 Win Table

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.


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  1. I know that this thread is several years old, but with Wilson combat making an AR10 barreled in the 358 Win caliber and also selling a stand alone barrel for AR10 enthusiasts wanting to build their own, maybe more shooters will show an interest in this caliber which was introduced in the mid 1950’s and never really gained a lot of momentum due to all of the magnum calibers being introduced around the same time.

  2. In reality, my 35 Whelen Ackley Improved (Shilen barreled 03-A3 hand lapped action and Fajen custom stock) is the one, true king of the 35’s. It’s versatility is unmatched by the 358, 348, 35 Rem, 350 Rem Mag or 358 Norma, IMO. Has been used in dark continent on serious game, big bears in NA, and a great round for whitetail too. Easy to reload, brass is plentiful, can handle 180 to 300 grain bullets with aplomb. A round for all seasons and reasons.

  3. Please explain your comment, “a 358 Win is more useful than a 348 Winchester”.Because you can get projectiles in different weights? If that is the case, a 308 caliber rifles are the most useful. I own both the 348 and 358, love both rounds, like two children: I love them differently. The 348 is the quintessential lever action round, and the model 71 is the smoothest lever action with the best ergonomics. My BLR is 358 is a honey too, but I can not consider it more useful than my 348. A dead heat in every regard IMO.


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