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No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

- Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776


.338 Ruger Compact Magnum

Ruger's, with the help of Hornady, new Compact Magnum (RCM) cartridges were designed with the intention of creating a magnum performance cartridge in a compact design.  The optimized case geometry of the .338 RCM allows the cartridge to achieve their ballistic target while using 10-15% less powder.  Ruger based the .338 RCM on their beltless .375 Ruger case with a case geometry that allows the bullet to achieve magnum levels of performance with a relatively short 20-inch barrel.

When looking at the performance data of the .338 RCM versus the .338 Win Mag it becomes apparent that the downrange performance of the .338 RCM matches or exceeds the .338 Win Mag.  The .338 RCM fires a 200-grain SST from a 20-inch barrel at 2850 fps while the .338 Win Mag fires a 200-grain Part from a 24-inch barrel at 2830 fps.  At 100 yards the .338 RCM velocity is at 2649 fps versus 2601 fps for the .338 Win Mag.  These differences are negligible but the .338 RCM is firing from a 20-inch barrel, which would provide a much smaller and useful package in the field.

The Ruger Compact Magnum’s ability to achieve magnum like performance with 10-15% less powder also leads to longer barrel life and less recoil and muzzle blast.

.338 Ruger Compact Magnum

Ballistic Performance

                                 Velocity (fps)/Energy (ft/lb)                        Trajectory (inches)

Bullet                              MUZZLE                     100 YDS            200 YDS            300 YDS
200 gr SST - 20"            2850 fps/3607 ft-lbf            1.7                        0.0                        -7.5
200 gr SST - 24"            2950 fps/3865 ft-lbf            1.6                        0.0                        -6.9
225 gr SST - 20"            2710 fps/3669 ft-lbf            1.9                        0.0                        -8.1
225 gr SST - 24"            2775 fps/3847 ft-lbf            1.8                        0.0                        -7.7

Source: Hornady

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Browning .338 Winchester Magnum Video

Banks shooting the .338 Winchester Magnum by Browning

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I recently ordered a couple of new guns from my local gun shop. It may be a while until they come in, from what I am told. I ordered a 3 inch Ruger SP101 in the new .327 Federal Magnum caliber and a Ruger Hawkeye African in the .375 Ruger caliber. The seller tells me that the SP 101 in that make up is just now trickling out of the factory and that distributers are having a hard time stocking them for retailers, so I may be waiting a for more.