From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The .338 Winchester Magnum was introduced in 1958 by Winchester. It is based on the .458 Winchester Magnum and is suited for all kinds of large game in North America. It is also a useful round for thin-skinned African game.
This cartridge is able to push a 225 grain (14.58g) bullet to velocities of 2,800 ft/s (853.44 m/s), generating 3,918 ft·lbf (5258J), providing energy values at 100 yards that are roughly equivalent to the .30-06 Springfield's energy values at muzzle. Bullets are available in a very wide range of designs and weights ranging from 180 to 250 grains. SAAMI pressure level is 64,000 p.s.i.
The recoil of this caliber is quite heavy, with about 31 ft·lbf (4.16 m*kg) of force in a 9 lb (4.08 kg) rifle. This is about twice as much as the recoil from an average .308 Winchester. Strong recoil like this can be mitigated with the use of properly designed stocks and recoil pads. By comparison, this cartridge has less recoil than other more powerful .338-caliber rifles such as the .338 RUM, .340 Weatherby and .338 Lapua. Use of a muzzle brake such as the highly efficient JP Howitzer brake can reduce or virtually eliminate recoil from these rifles. Use of brakes will, however, increase greatly the blast noise through the diversion of muzzle gases to the sides.
In practice this cartridge is frequently used for hunting the larger North American members of the deer family, namely moose, elk, and caribou. It is sufficient for stopping polar bear and grizzly bear, both of which are often encountered while hunting in Canada and Alaska, though some think that a slightly more powerful cartridge such as the .375 H&H provides a better margin of error for taking this dangerous North American game. Comfort with a particular rifle is probably more important. The .338 Win Mag is one of the most popular cartridges with big game hunters in Alaska."
.338 Winchester Magnum. (2009, March 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:48, March 22, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=.338_Winchester_Magnum&oldid=278399548