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RIP Stan Lee.. . .
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the best choice for a 338 (prob Win Mag) bolt gun with iron sights.
I liked the numbers on the 338 Federal cartridge, but best I can tell the only available gun is the Savage Hog Hunter and I'm not even sure they still produce it in that caliber. And I don't want to "buy into" a dying caliber.

The 338 Lapua ammo seem to be especially expensive so that just leaves the 338 Winchester mag in the 338 arena. I know there is the Ruger Compact Mag and the Remington Ultra Mag, but know nothing about them.

I guess I'd even be interested in similar calibers as long as there is a good choice of over the counter loadings available for it.

So my requirements are:
- Bolt Action
- Iron Sights
- Removable Magazine would be nice (but not a deal breaker)
- Reliable
- Lighter Weight
- 338 or similar (prefer 3,000-3,500 ft/lbs)

Ideas? Recommendations?
 

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What's the best choice for a 338 (prob Win Mag) bolt gun with iron sights.
I liked the numbers on the 338 Federal cartridge, but best I can tell the only available gun is the Savage Hog Hunter and I'm not even sure they still produce it in that caliber. And I don't want to "buy into" a dying caliber.

The 338 Lapua ammo seem to be especially expensive so that just leaves the 338 Winchester mag in the 338 arena. I know there is the Ruger Compact Mag and the Remington Ultra Mag, but know nothing about them.

I guess I'd even be interested in similar calibers as long as there is a good choice of over the counter loadings available for it.

So my requirements are:
- Bolt Action
- Iron Sights
- Removable Magazine would be nice (but not a deal breaker)
- Reliable
- Lighter Weight
- 338 or similar (prefer 3,000-3,500 ft/lbs)

Ideas? Recommendations?
http://www.sako.fi/rifles/sako-85/85-brown-bear

Sako Brown Bear in .338 Winchester.

http://www.sako.fi/rifles/sako-85/85-Kodiak

Sako Kodiak in .338 Winchester as well. Essentially it's the same gun but different trims.
 

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Not sure what Ruger has for offerings today, but even an older one with iron sights shouldn't be hard to find. One thing you mentioned was lighter weight. I'm not sure you will find a really light .338 Win Mag.

Not that I would ever try to steer a guy away from a gun purchase, but can I ask what you plan to use it for?
 

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Wolverine
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11,197 Posts
Try to find a Sauer 202. I have one in .300 WinMag and it's an outstanding rifle, and allows interchangeable barrels in other magnum calibers. Originally planned on getting either a .338 WM or .375 H&H barrel but never did.

I think Sauer discontinued that line and now offers the 404, which looks quite pricey.
 

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If you have the patience to look, I'd recommend a pre-64 Winchester model 70 or an older Remington 700 in good condition in 338 with iron sights.

And if you might consider something besides a bolt action the Browning BAR semi-autos came in 338 and were very accurate rifles and Ruger no. 1 single shots also had iron sights.

But the problem is that if you want to buy a new rifle not many are made these days with open sights although Ruger might still make them.

The other exception would be the Savage Model 116 Alaskan Brush Hunter Bolt Action Rifle .338 Win Mag 18" Stainless Steel Barrel Iron Sights Black Synthetic Stock Stainless Finish, but the biggest problem with that is that you'd lose a lot of velocity and trajectory out of an 18 inch barrel. They would be better off making that rifle in 375 H&H or 450 Marlin or even 458 SOCOM if they want a decent Alaskan Brush Hunter carbine.

In my opinion Savage makes the most accurate out of the box rifles today and so your other choice would be to get a Savage 111FCNS in 338 win mag with a proper 24 inch barrel and then have your local gunsmith put sights on it.

Mossberg makes their Patriot rifle in 338 with open sights but I don't know if the Mossbergs are as accurate as the Savages, but for $362 dollars it might be worth looking at.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/97088/Mossberg+PATRIOT+22+338+WAL

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/14440?sort=date

https://www.brownells.com/shotgun-parts/sights/rear-sights/foolproof-tk-receiver-sights-prod27350.aspx?avs|Make~~Model_1=Savage+Arms__110
 

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RIP Stan Lee.. . .
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18,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking for more like a Brush Gun.
Was thinking of the Marlin 336BL (30-30) 18.5" barrel.
But thought I'd check out the Bolt gun arena before buying.
And if I get a bolt gun, I might as well go up in power over the 30-30

Already have a Marlin 357 mag (pistol caliber) lever gun and a 444ss Marlin. But I only have 2 bolt action guns. JM Marlin 881 in .22LR and a JM Marlin 983s in .22 Mag.

I though about having the 444 cut down to 18.5 inches, but since they are not made anymore, and since mine is a microgroove barrel, I thought I'd just keep it in it's original format.
 
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.444 is a great cartridge, buddy and I were shooting his in the guide gun just a few days ago. If you're thinking about something short and fast handling maybe a .308 with an 18-20 inch barrel? More than enough range for anything with open sights. I've got a few 03 Springfield sporters that I keep a peep sight on for timber and river bottom hunting.

AND DO NOT CUT THAT .444 DOWN!!! But if I were going to I'd only go to 20 inches. I have a Guide Gun with the 18.5 and I think it would balance a bit better if it were an even 20.
 

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RIP Stan Lee.. . .
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
AND DO NOT CUT THAT .444 DOWN!!! But if I were going to I'd only go to 20 inches. I have a Guide Gun with the 18.5 and I think it would balance a bit better if it were an even 20.
Did the math. . With the Superformance 265 grain ammo, anything below 20 inches drops it under 3,000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

I realize that's an arbitrary number, but I wanted to keep the gun above that mark.
Using 265 grain Superformance:
22 inches = ~3,125 ft/lbs.
20 inches = ~3,050 ft/lbs
Going down to the Std Guide Gun 18.5" = ~2,945 ft/lbs.
 

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M62/76
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I'd recommend a decent, used Winchester Model 70 XTR in .338 Win Mag. Can be had on GB for $500-700 fairly regularly.
 

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Amateur geezer
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With irons only, you aren't going to be taking advantage of the (relatively) flat shooting of the .338 win mag. Might as well broaden your search to include the .35 Whelen or .375 H&H. Or pick up a Marlin 1895 guide gun in 45-70 or 450 Marlin.

Planning an elk hunt in Griz country?
 

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35whelen would fit your bill perfectly and it doesn't just fine with a short tube!

Remington is making them in a pump carbine again, might be worth a look.

I have 2 pump 35whelens ones got a peep and the other a scope.


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