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Back in late January I posted the results of a study I did of 2,640 rifles for sale via internet. One of the results that kinda bugged me was not even one 358 Winchester was for sale at that time. I have a BLR in 358 Win and I love that round. The way I see it, the 358 Win is perfect for the kind of dense woods hunting likely to be found when west of the cascade range, and equally good for everything, be it deer, bear, elk, cougar, you name it. I find it perfectly accurate within 200 yards, deadly of course, and very easy to reload. I also have a 35 Whelen and still like the 358 Win better. So I have to ask, why is the 358 Win not more popular?
 

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I suspect it's because the military 7.62x51 and it's commercial counterpart, the .308 Winchester, can do everything the .358 Winchester can do. At least on paper. And for bullet weights under 200 grains ...

Ammunition and rifle markets have always been driven by what the military is doing, only partly due to cheap surplus ammunition.

Personally, I think the .257 Robert was a superior cartridge, but I don't see a lot of new rifles chambered for it either...
 

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The 358 was a nice round for deer, moose, caribou and bear hunting also. For some reason the caliber faded away. I almost bought a rifle cheap chambered for the cartridge years ago. Ammo hard to get and I dont reload so passed on it. Another cartridge was the 375 Winchester. I had two friends that had lever action model 94 rifles chambered for it. Ii could have gotten one of those cheap also.
 

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The only 358 I had was a Savage 99. Savage made a run of these in the late 70's or so. I made cases from 308's. It was a decent rifle. I have not seen one of the 99's since. Looks like American shooters are not carried away with these medium bore rounds on the 308 case.
 

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For whatever reason the 35 Calibers have never been popular. I had a 350 Rem Mag and loved the gun. Once I bought my left handed 375 Ruger I decided I didn't need the 350 anymore. Boy was I wrong. I wish I never would've sold it now.
 

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There's a cluster of cartridges that are perennial. You find cartridges like the 358 and 257 Roberts that have a following. I'm seeing the 338 Federal going in this direction. This following could care less about the Whizzbang Specials featured in this months gun rags. If you want a 358 or a Roberts or similar have at it. Get you a rifle built. There are ways to put together a utility hunting rifle without mortgaging the homeplace. When some guru points out this his favorite will shoot flatter on paper. The answer is so what.
 

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problem with the 358 is it's too much in the short woods and not enough across a canyon.
the 35 rem covers the first and has for 75 or so years.
and the 35 whelen does everything the Winchester does,, only faster.

having said that I have a 358 win.
I shoot nothing but 250gr. cast bullets in it at 2350 fps.
it just flat pounds deer to the ground out to a titch past 200 yds.
 

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I would buy a 358 or a 375 if I ever found one in good shape that wasn't what I consider overpriced. I frequently see some well used 375 Win. rifles that are roughly $200.00 more than I willing to pay for a medium bore truck gun. The 358 are much scarcer and even higher yet when I see them.
 

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No hijack intended. How about doing one of those conversions of a Savage 110 type action. It's fast with a good selection of barrels. I wanted a Roberts with 10" twist with a shorter chamber. Did exactly what is suggested building a utility rifle. Worked great. We are talking here about a plain basic rifle. I'm, in this instance, not willing to pay collectors price for a rifle.

Added: Maybe this is my imagination but it seem like I see more references to 358 recently. There sure are a bunch of 35 Remington caliber rifle sold. Looks like 338 Federal is making a comeback. The lack of factory cartridges and rifles may be the problem. The 358 not a choice for people who do not reload or are not interested in rebarreling an existing gun.
 

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Henry at one time was going to release The Long Ranger in 6.5 Creedmoor and .338 Federal. Well they did release it in the Creedmoor. Why that, I don't know. A long Range cartridge in a 20" barrel? Makes no sense to me. The .338 Federal makes more sense. A short action that has the punch of a 30.06 would be a great move for Henry. I did e-mail Anthony and got the response that they were going to release it but please don't release the info yet. If y'all think I'm full of BS, I have saved the e-mail from him. I told him as soon as the .338 Federal is available, I'd buy one! If more people would e-mail Henry Arms wanting one, they would probably start making one.
 

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I think it's because people often pick one cartridge when starting out which is a jack of all trades and then build around it.

Fr' instance start with a .30-30 or .30-06 and expand their choice as they perceive a cartridge to do 'better' to suit their needs (like into a .270 Winchester/7mm or .243 and then perhaps .300WM).

The intermediate bores are often missed as the person then goes to a .45-70.
 

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I know it's been said before, but the 338 Federal looks great on paper but it's problem is the bullet selection is geared more towards the 338 Magnum cartridges and their faster velocities.
That's where the 358 shines. Most all the bullets are designed with the more moderate velocities in mind.
 

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problem with the 358 is it's too much in the short woods and not enough across a canyon.
the 35 rem covers the first and has for 75 or so years.
and the 35 whelen does everything the Winchester does,, only faster.

having said that I have a 358 win.
I shoot nothing but 250gr. cast bullets in it at 2350 fps.
it just flat pounds deer to the ground out to a titch past 200 yds.
I have read so much about the 35 Whelan cartridge. I dont own a rifle in this caliber or do I know anyone. I have considered getting me a 35 Whelen barrel and building one on a Mauser receiver I have. Very interesting round for sure
 

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I know it's been said before, but the 338 Federal looks great on paper but it's problem is the bullet selection is geared more towards the 338 Magnum cartridges and their faster velocities.
That's where the 358 shines. Most all the bullets are designed with the more moderate velocities in mind.
Many times I go out on the range I'm amazed that those reloading are running max load plus thumpers in whatever whatizit they are shooting.

They either don't shoot as much as I do, or enjoy the pain and stress (not that an occasional maxed out big boomer isn't FUN from time to time but not something I want to routinely shoot with). Anyway I discovered in my travels of doing this that I want something that I can count on to do the task at hand but have no need for practice bleeding. So have gotten to more moderate land in my later life.
 

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I know it's been said before, but the 338 Federal looks great on paper but it's problem is the bullet selection is geared more towards the 338 Magnum cartridges and their faster velocities.
I agree with one exception. True enough about the 338 bullets. I'd be for taking a look at the 200 gain standard bullets. You got to be picky. I have had good accuracy with the standard Hornady 200 grain bullet. You can run a 200 gr. bullet 2500-2600 fps which is in the range of the 338 Federal. We'd do well if somebody had actually used on of these bullets on game. I might add that 250gr. bullets are for 35 Whelen. The 200's are, maybe, for 35 Remington. That Whelen can run at the heels of 338 Magnum. Point being we got to be picky about our bullets. Same deal with 25 caliber bullets. Exactly what round is the bullet intended.
 

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The first time I ever experienced seeing someone reload ammo was years ago. I was about 19 and looking at land to buy away from towns and secluded. I was near Paw Paw W.V. and looking at a plot of land on top of a mountain with three trailer homes and a view. I pulled up to property and glanced around. There was a neighbor and about the only one in miles. He heard me coming. He walked through the woods and came over with a Winchester lever action and also a revolver in holster. Asked me what I was doing. We got acquainted and talking and then about guns. He invited me over to his property. He had this outbuilding and was all set up for reloading. He did the cowboy shooting and was showing me some quick draw stuff and let me shoot his revolvers and lever action M94. He was reloading as I was there and showing me how he used just enough powder to perform and shoot the cartridge. I was amazed at how he had so much knowledge and interest in this sport and reloading. I should have gotten into it myself. I only have one family member that reloads. He is an uncle and has health issues now and barely walks. He has a machine shop in basement and used to build 1911,s and custom work. Also specialized in Springfield Trapdoor rifles. I wish I had his shop. It is not used anymore.
 

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Many times I go out on the range I'm amazed that those reloading are running max load plus thumpers in whatever whatizit they are shooting.
This is American were more is better. Either the 338 Federal or the 358 Win. would make into a great light weight rifle. I can put a point blank zero on my 338 Fed using the current Hornady 200 gr. bullet for Marlin Express at 200 yards. That would be 2.75" at 100 yards. My bullet will drop 3" below the line of sight at 230 yards. I used a MV of 2400 fps so nobody could accuse me of cooking numbers. At 200 yards there is MV of 2019fps and 1809 foot pounds of ME. My 338 Federal is a T3 with old 2x7 Leupold scope. I promise you, a T3 is hard to beat.

I need to resupply bullets. This Hornady bullet looked like a good place to start. I do not think downrange there would be much difference between 338 and 358 . I'd say this and the 358 Winchester would be good medium game calibers. I'd consider my range for the Federal to be that 230 yards. All my 35 caliber data is from a Whelen with 26" barrel. That data is totally irrelevant here.

Mind you, all this is on paper. Think maybe I should actually shoot the rifle to see what happens down range? Out in the field is where you really get some good information. I do not give a damn for the Whizzbang numbers.
 

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problem with the 358 is it's too much in the short woods and not enough across a canyon.
the 35 rem covers the first and has for 75 or so years.
and the 35 whelen does everything the Winchester does,, only faster.

having said that I have a 358 win.
I shoot nothing but 250gr. cast bullets in it at 2350 fps.
it just flat pounds deer to the ground out to a titch past 200 yds.
I will let the inimitable Clay Harvet speak on the range issue:

"To make the 358 into a real hairy chested load, kick a 250 grain Speer spitzer to 2400 fps, which is not difficult with Winchester 748 powder. The 300 yard drop is 11.2 inches and the energy left at that distance is a whopping 1928fpe! Thus with a hold just below the back line of a bull elk, you could drive a 250 grain slug carrying nearly a ton of energy into his lungs at 300 yards or a bit better. Short range? Medium? Buffalo chips!"
 
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