The 358 winchester - a true hunters cartridge

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by CircuitRider, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider G&G Regular

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    THE 358 WINCHESTER
    A True Hunters Cartridge
    A Classic With Style And Lots Of Punch

    [​IMG]

    I passed by my neighbor’s house the other day and we took a ride in his completely restored 1955 Chevy Bel Air, two-tone mint green and white. It has been since 1968 that I road in one of these classic cars. I did not expect much when he ask me to ride with him because I forgot just how cool it was. Man what a ride. That V8 just rumbled in a hypnotic way while stirring my emotions, bringing back memories of cool times and the ride was easy and smooth. Many don't know what it is like to ride in a classic that has character and style. Sometimes we don’t know due to a lack of experience with an old version of something and how it is so simply wonderful.

    [​IMG]

    That is how I think it is with the 358Win cartridge. What a wonderful, simple, accurate and efficient design that has a style of it’s own. It has been around since Winchester introduced in back in 1955. The 358Win can be acquired in chambering by more than one company. I truly am impressed not only with the cartridge but with my Ruger M77 Hawkeye chambered in 358Win topped by a VX-III 1.5-5x20mm. Of course you can get it in a Remington Model 7 or a Brown BLR.

    [​IMG]

    It is a straight-forward design being necked up from 308 to 35 caliber and of course fits in short actions which reduce weight but also enhance it’s accuracy potential. Without a doubt I believe the 358Win to be a true hunter’s cartridge. Now what do I mean by the statement that the 358Win is a true hunter’s cartridge? Let me give the following examples that will help us understand.

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    The 358Win is truly a hunter cartridge in that it is a 0-300yd big time thumper. Throwing a 225gr bullet down range with velocities that are perfect for thick brush while providing enough energy and momentum to drop any hog,deer, elk, black bear, moose and yes even brown bear. You will not do long range shooting with this cartridge but what ever you hit with in 300yds with out a bunch of hold over is dead and usually falls right where you hit it.

    Most hunters in North america even some elk hunting out west is any where between 30 and 100yds. Often times an animal is partially obscured by intervening brush or timber and we desire our bullets to penetrate that slight cover with reasonable certainty.
    On top of that we want to punch a good size hole in the game when in thick cover so as to have a blood trail if tracking is needed and the animal is not instantly dropped.

    It becomes really important to knock down your game quickly when you hunt in an area where lots of other hunters hunt. On top of that and especially when in tick woods and in some areas of North America and Canada, you could encounter large game unexpectedly and the extra margin the 358Win gives a hunter, just might be needed.

    To put it simply, the 358Win classifies as medium-range cartridge that offers possibilities, that aren't there with lesser cartridges. If Nosler would only chamber their M48 Custom rifle in this cartridge I truly would buy it the day it came out. Those are not idle words. I believe it to be the perfect answer for Nosler's Custom Rifles in having a true contender that could handle large and even dangerous game. All this while being housed in the M48 short action with a 22" barrel and giving the hunter confidence in taking anything from a deer to a brown.

    In fact I believe the M48 should be chambered in 358Win even before considering the 30-06. I have written and tried to encourage Nosler in this area. To many 358Win rifles are being purchased to day and to have a top notch high quality rifle like the M48 in 358Win would certainly attract discerning rifleman like me and others.

    Ballistic Chart
    358Win Ruger Hawkeye
    225gr Accubond
    2555fps
    Ramshot TAC powder

    Sight in at 3" high at 100yds

    1000 foot pounds energy as minimum on deer size game

    Yards--------Velocity-----Energy-----(above/below line of sight)
    0--------------2555------3261-------------(-1.5")
    100-----------2348------2275-------------(+3")
    220-----------2213------2232-------------(Zero)
    275-----------2010------2095-------------(-5”)
    313-----------1941------1881--------(-10” P/B-hold top of shoulder)
    371-----------1837------1686--------(-10” from top of shoulder)
    390-----------1804------1626--------(-14” from top of shoulder)

    The cartridge is highly accurate as demonstrated in an out of the box Ruger Hawkeye with no extra work of any kind done to the rifle.

    [​IMG]

    Three shot group using AA2495BR
    [​IMG]

    Ballistic Chart
    358Win
    225gr Sierra SBT
    2471fps
    AA2495BR

    Sight in at 3" high at 100yds

    1000 foot pounds energy as minimum on deer size game

    Yards--------Velocity-----Energy-----(above/below line of sight)
    0--------------2471------3050-------------(-1.5")
    100-----------2256------2542-------------(+3")
    210-----------2031------2060-------------(Zero)
    263-----------1927------1855-------------(-5”)
    300-----------1857------1723--------(-10” P/B-hold top of shoulder)
    355-----------1756------1540--------(-10” from top of shoulder)
    373-----------1724------1484--------(-14” from top of shoulder)

    The 358Win is just to good of a cartridge and certainly a very useful one at that, to be forgotten or neglected. Easy recoil considering you are throwing down range a 180gr, 200gr, 225gr or even a 250gr bullet and the thump it gives down range on game is impressive. Easy to load for and very forgiving when it comes to finding accuracy with many powders like, IMR3031, IMR4198, RL-7, H4895, IMR4895, IMR4064, IMR4320, Varget, Tac, AA2495BR, BL-C2 just to name a few. I call it "A LITTLE BIG THUMPER" and what a thumper it is and what a joy to carry in the field.

    In this day and time of speed and more speed, one just needs to drive a classic to appreciate the easy drive. The same is true of the 358Win. One has to take one to the range and then to the field and see what is so cool about this classic from 1955. You won't be disappointed in the least, I promise. In fact you will be surprised at how it handles, just how easy it is to drive while giving you so much in return. By: Mike Price
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  2. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider G&G Regular

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    Fired a quick three rounds with my 358Win this morning after I did the penetration test on the 210gr partition so as to make final adjustment with my sights. This is my hunting round moving 2471fps. Very consistent cartridge to say the least and a very fine shooting Ruger Hawkeye.

    [​IMG]
  3. ArkansasHunter

    ArkansasHunter G&G Newbie

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    CR by accident while researching another caliber I discovered the .358 Winchester cartridge.
    Actually I could'nt believe what I was reading...How could what appeared to be a magical caliber not have greater success than it did.

    The one's that own a rifle in .358 love them and are very successful with them.
    The Browning BLR leveraction is the guy's (for got name, the owner) faviorite rifle at GunBlast.com

    There's not a day that's goes buy that I wished I had bought my Ruger Hawkeye in 358 but due due to ammo availablity and cost I bought the rifle in 308.

    After haveing excellent experience's with a Marlin leveraction in .375 caliber I am a lover of big bullets such as the 358 and 375 with the 358 being more potent appears the perfect caliber for Deer.

    Lord willing someday I'll have me a rifle in 358 Winchester, the two of us will become a hunting team till death.
    Till then I endure LOL !!!...A.H
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  4. nathangdad

    nathangdad G&G Newbie

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    This

    actually is a great cartridge as is its "parent" the .35 Whelen (.30-06 case with a .35 caliber bullet).

    I feel the .358 Winchester would have made a much greater impact had it not come in a time when magnum mania was running rampant. Although I was young at the time I can still recall the almost insane promotion of cartridges such as the 7mm Remington Magnum. Of course, there were many other magnums being wildly promoted such as the .338 Winchester Magnum, the .264 Winchester Magnum (got off to a bad start but now has a niche following), the .300 Winchester Magnum, and the almost mystical fascination with all the Weatherby cartridges. Naturally, these magnums came over a period of years but the point I make is that it was a sort of continuous magnum promotion by manufacturers and gun writers.

    The truth is both the .35 Whelen and the .358 Winchester are excellent cartridges for hunting a wide variety of game when matched with the proper rifle.
  5. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

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    There is one distinct problem with the 358 Win cartridge !! I don't have one !!
  6. smgregory @cattco.org

    smgregory @cattco.org G&G Newbie

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    The .358 has suffered a simular fate of the .338 federal has more recently. The majority of the issues with the lack of popularity in both of these cartriges is user ignorance. Both are capable of smoa accuracy and hit with over 3000flbs of energy at 100yds with 200 grain bullets, and they are very capable rounds out 400yds in the hands of a good marksman or woman. I mention woman solely because these two cartrides are perfect for woman and young hunters wanting to hunt bigger game, without being belted like any magnum or even a 30.06 would do. I have owned both calibers (along with many others) in several rifles, and have finally settled on a Ruger Hawkeye Stainless with a 20" barrell in the .358 win. a handy, short, quick handling set up. I have a close friend who loads for me and we developed a load using hornady FTX lever revolution 200gr bullets with 44.1 grains of H322 powder CCI 200 primers that has consistanly shot smoa groups @100yds with .665" being its best. The beauty of this rifle is it shoots 200gr RN hornady's just as well at the same point of impact. I watched my 14yoa son use it to take a 305lb black bear with the FTX bullets and it flat out flipped the bear onto his back on impact and he was expired with in 10yds. I recovered the bullet under the on the off side, every ounce of energy dumped into that animal. Thats what most people dont understand about there hunting rifles faster doesnt mean better! Cartiges that dump all there enrgy into an animal are key to cleanly making a kill. I attended the FBI National Academy 247th session in 2011 and did a research paper on terminal performance of bullets and how they release there energy. Simply put a slower heavier bullet releases all of its energy as it travels through its target in the shape of a football, maximizing its release in the center of the target and loosing it as it exits. Faster more powerful catriges release energy in a long narrow cone shape at shorter ranges, thus not performing to thier potential, and also they bow a big hole on the way out! Thats why on TV shows like the Best of the West you see them dumping elk at 800 yds with a single shot from a 7mm mag, at that distance they dump all there energy into the animal. A good friend of mine took a young whitetail chasing a doe several years back with a 7mm mag at less than 100yds hitting it twice in the vitals and watched it run out of sight before it died. He was baffled that a little buck could take two rounds from his mighty rifle and keep going...no energy transfer. He no longer has that problem because he bought my old Ruger Hawkeye .338 Federal and hasn't looked back. My wife shoots a 7-08 for deer, and every deer she has taken has had more damage and blood shock with a 140gr barnes tripple shock, than any deer I've taken with my .358. I'm a huge fan of the 7-08, but it typically causes more meat damage. While I'm not an expert on the whole matter of what the best cartrige is, I have shot and processed hundreds deer that have been shot with a vast variety of rifles and loads over the past 30 years of hunting experience. I'm convinced that most hunters are missing the boat on the best choice of hunting cartriges, which in my opinion all live within the .308 parent cartrige...from the .260 all the way to the .358 they are all game stoppers, and all a typical hog, black bear, deer, caribou, elk or moose really needs in most hunting situations (sorry .243 fans that cartrige is excluded). With proper bullet selection a hunter can use biggest in the family from Alaska to Africa. I wouldn't hesitate to load 225gr. Barnes TSX in my .358 win and take on anything with fang or claw, to say the least this cartrige has proven to be a gem, and those who have educated themselves have seen what its capable of would back me in my words. Look at the data folks, see what your missing, then buy or borrow one to experience it.
  7. Jay

    Jay Old man, no tact... Staff Member Forum Contributor

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  8. bobvonb

    bobvonb G&G Enthusiast

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    The old big and slow vs. small and fast question. Which kills better? I've read good arguments both ways. One study I read recently said that it is really the quarter bores that kill deer best.

    Another thought on why these (.336 and .358) haven't done better is that smaller calibers have better sectional density and shoot flatter. They may be 'thumpers' but the 6mm's, 25s', 270s and 7mm are 'zappers' and the good old 30-06 might be described as being both a thumper and a zapper.

    Still, interesting reading (although the first poster REALLY needed an editor) in an ancient thread.
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