December 2012

A Brace of 338 Win. Magnums: We Pick Winchester Over Ruger

In this match-up of hard-kicking bolt actions, Winchesterís Model 70 tops Rugerís Hawkeye with better accuracy and more shooter comfort.

The 338 Winchester Magnum is perhaps the most versatile of the so-called ďall-aroundĒ rifle cartridges for North American hunting. The caliber is less intimidating than the physically longer 375 H&H, though it has similar performance. The 338 can be flatter shooting than the 375 with careful choice of loads, and also carries its power to long distance well, thanks to the great sectional density of its more useful bullet weights. A 375 commonly shoots 235- to 300-grain bullets, and bullets in that weight range are readily available in 338, at least for reloaders. The 338 bullets are slimmer, and therefore retain their velocity better, even though they might start at slightly lower speeds. The 338 can be fitted into shorter and less costly actions, which is why so many shooters choose the 338 over the 375. And the 338 will do things 30-caliber rifles only dream about, having a significantly greater amount of power at any range.

For this test we look at two of the currently available 338s that come with iron sights. We found there are not many of those on the market. The Winchester Model 70 Alaskan ($1270) and the Ruger Model 77 Hawkeye ($1099) were our choices. We tested them with Remington 225-grain Core-Lokt, Hornady 225-grain SN, and with a handload featuring the 210-grain Barnes X bullet. Hereís what we found.

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Gun Tests

Get the next year of Gun Tests for just $24. Don’t wait another minute to get the knowledge you need to make the best possible firearms investment. Our offer is guaranteed. You can cancel at any time and we'll send a full refund for any unmailed copies. No strings, no hassle.

Or get 12 months of Gun Tests Digital. You get unlimited access to everything on the site including all current and past monthly issues in PDF format.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.