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.338 Federal for moose?

08 Oct 2020
@ 06:20 pm (GMT)

Michael Green

Hi. This is my first time on this forum. I have read many of the posts and found them very interesting. I have also purchased 2 book bundles and a bedding kit. Unfortunately, I did not discover this site before purchasing a Ruger M77 in .338 Federal. I am working through the bedding, I believe I need to relieve some areas (I also rented the M77 video).
After reading the .338 Federal commentary in the knowledge base and the “Long Range Hunting Cartridges” book, I’m not sure this was a good selection.One thing that seems to work in my favor is that the gun seems to show muzzle velocities with Federal Premium 210 gr. Nosler Partition factory loads at approximately 2620 feet per second. I measured velocity with a Magnetospeed (I think I used it correctly).
I hope someone might help me with the following questions:
1. Is the 210 gr. Partition the best bullet for moose in this cartridge? If not, what other bullet might I consider?
2. If my muzzle velocity of 2620 FPS is correct, am I correct in thinking that this is best used at 200 yds or less?
3. I do not recall seeing a post where someone speaks about using a Magnetospeed. Does anyone have any experience using these?
4. Virtually all hand loading data shows velocities much slower than factory published velocities...except Leverution powder hand loading data virtually matches factory speeds. Does anyone have any experience with Leverution hand loads?
Thanks for any help that anyone might give me.


09 Oct 2020
@ 07:27 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .338 Federal for moose?
Hi Michael, a bit time short sorry so will just go over this quickly. The Magnito speed is fine. Leverevolution or CFE 223 can both be put to use. The 210gr is fine for your needs, about right for this case capacity.

Regarding range parameters, 200 yards or 2200fps is a parameter for optimum performance. Below this speed, wounds begin to diminish in size. The Partition will still expand at 1800fps (400 yards) but to achieve a fast kill, shot placement must be sound. The main issue here is wind drift. Sound shot placement is most difficult on smaller sized animals where wind drift may cause the bullet to strike the fringes of the lungs or between the lungs and liver. But on larger animals, it is easier to make a solid vital hit. Still, a big target area should never be an excuse for lax shot placement. The only way to determine your limitations is to take some practice shots out to 400 yards.

The large body weights also help at lower impact velocities by providing optimal target resistance which helps to aid or ensure kinetic energy transfer. So you have a few good things going on here.

For now, get the rifle up and running and get some practice out to 400 yards. There is no need for any other external input or cartridge / bullet comparisons at this stage. Your sole focus should be towards making a kill with this combo, after which you can reflect on outcomes and make any necessary changes relative to your ongoing hunting methods, local game weights and expected ranges versus cartridge and bullet choice.
09 Oct 2020
@ 04:35 pm (GMT)

Michael Green

Re: .338 Federal for moose?
Thank you for your quick and detailed reply. I am encouraged. I will not likely shoot at more than about 300 yds. Many Game Management Units in Alaska have antler restrictions which can make identifying a legal bull, challenging.l have really enjoyed your website, books and videos.
13 Oct 2020
@ 03:17 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: .338 Federal for moose?
Hi Michael. Nothing wrong with your choice of rifles, have one myself. Actions are a little rough in the casting (see The Book), and the bedding can be tricky (again, see The Book, watch The Video) and you will be fine. With Nathan's help, and a good barrel, these rifles are more than adequate for our type of hunting (AK and BC).
13 Oct 2020
@ 06:39 pm (GMT)

Michael Green

Re: .338 Federal for moose?
So, you have a .338 Federal. Have you chronographed it? I was thinking that the velocities would be lower than factory data. A Magnetospeed indicated velocities within a few FPS of factory data for both the 200 gr. Federal Fusion and 210 gr. Nosler Partition factory loads.
I have been working with the bedding and I think I have relieved the bedding in the critical areas for a not too tight / not too loose fit per the video. I need to go to the range again.
Federal is making fewer types of factory loads in this cartridge, at least for the US market. I think that hand loading is the only path forward.Have you hand loaded for your .338 Federal and have you had good results?
14 Oct 2020
@ 04:52 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: .338 Federal for moose?
No, sorry. I misunderstood your post. I was referring to the rifle itself, not the cartridge.
29 Oct 2020
@ 12:58 am (GMT)

Michael Seager

Re: .338 Federal for moose?
Michael, I think you are worrying too much.

You have to me what sounds like a good choice of chambering. Load it up with something the rifle likes, practice and don't shoot too far at live quarry.

(I think we all get too bogged down in about the details sometimes)




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