@ 05:52 pm (GMT)
Calin BrabandtThanks very much for your thoughts and feelings about the 358 Norma, Nathan. You're definitely not alone. You got me reading about the 358 Norma now and it seems that hunters who own it love it! It's a shame that the cartridge never took off.
Making brass from 300 WM looks like a fairly easy and economical solution. Interestingly, online retailer MidwayUSA's price for Norma brand 358 brass is actually lower than the price for nearly any other Norma brass, including Norma 338 Win Mag brass. Sometimes it's a LOT cheaper. Nonetheless, Norma products are all expensive relative to US-made products and it "pays" about $1 per case to resize less expensive brands of 300 Win Mag brass.
I read this post about throating a 358 Norma chamber a bit longer so 300 Win Mag necks do not need to be trimmed. Interesting:
MidwayUSA just got some 35 Whelen stainless barrel kits in stock. One of the reviewers reportedly had it installed on an Axis!
Again, it would be the simplest and least risky conversion for me, but it's not nearly as appealing to me as taking-on a Norma 358 conversion project. I have plenty of information now. I just need to make a decision, which might also come down to what Internet coupon deals come into my email inbox between now and Christmas.
I've heard of Hawk bullets, because Alexander Arms uses them in a factory Beowulf hunting load and publishes the load data too. I've never hunted with my Beowulf AR-15 upper. Ballistically, it would be much like hunting with a 500 S&W revolver, which I'm sure works very well at shorter ranges with a Hawk bullet too! Regardless of my Axis conversion decision, I think I'll try some Hawk bullets soon.
Don't worry about sending me up any particular garden path. Thomas Jefferson was an ardent horticulturist. As I recall, he said he had one success for every 200 experiments but the success was worth it! (My gun projects success rates run much higher!) Mostly this project will be an investment in my time. Even if it doesn't work out, I'll probably be able to reverse the conversion and return my Axis to a 270 and then sell the Savage parts for most of whatever I'll end up paying for them. They'll fit plenty of Savage 110s out there!