Ammo Brief: Heavy-Hitting .338 Winchester Magnum

Ammo Brief: Heavy-Hitting .338 Winchester Magnum

A well balanced hunter, the .338 Winchester Magnum is fit to take nearly any game on God's green earth.

What Makes The .338 Magnum Such A Capable Hunting Cartridge:

  • Shoots almost as flat across 500 yards as simliar .30-caliber magnums.
  • Designed to hand the heaviest game in North America, including brown bears.
  • Only slightly less powerful than the .374 H&H Magnum, though not legal to hunt some game in African countries.

338 Win Mag Box and Cartridge

Historical Notes

Announced in 1958, the .338 Winchester Magnum is another of the series based on the .458 Winchester necked down. Initially available only in the Winchester Model 70 Alaskan bolt-action rifle, Remington adopted it for the 700 Series bolt action. Some of the European rifle makers also chamber it, as does Ruger for the Model 77 and No. 1 rifles, Mossberg in the Patriot line, Savage in the 110 series, as well as many custom and semi-custom rifles. Browning’s BAR autoloader also chambers it.

General Comments

With proper bullets, the .338 Winchester Magnum shoots almost as flat across 500 yards as similar loads in the various .30-caliber magnums—the difference amounts to only a few inches more drop. Designed to handle the heaviest North American big game, the .338 has also done well in Africa on the larger varieties of plains game.

Although slightly less powerful than the .375 H&H Magnum, the .338 is better suited for North American hunting conditions and game. It’s a well-balanced cartridge for anything from elk through moose and grizzly bear, under almost any situation. It could also serve very well for deer or antelope, even though it’s overly powerful for this class.

Like the .300 Win. Mag., the .338 Winchester would make an excellent one-gun cartridge for the worldwide hunter who has to travel light—though the .338 is automatically barred in some African countries in which the .375 is the minimum caliber. The .338 continues to enjoy well-deserved popularity. Winchester, Remington, Federal and other makers load this ammunition commercially.

338 Winchester Magnum Chart

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from Cartridges of the World, 16th Edition.

Raise Your Ammo IQ:


Next Step: Get your FREE Printable Target Pack

Enhance your shooting precision with our 62 MOA Targets, perfect for rifles and handguns. Crafted in collaboration with Storm Tactical for accuracy and versatility.

Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and get your downloadable target pack sent straight to your inbox. Stay updated with the latest firearms info in the industry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.