.308 Winchester vs .338 Winchester Magnum Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & Chart
- Caliber Ballistics Comparison
- 07 Dec, 2018
The following ammunition cartridge ballistics information and chart can be used to approximately compare .308 Winchester vs .338 Winchester Magnum ammo rounds. Please note, the following information reflects the estimated average ballistics for each caliber and does not pertain to a particular manufacturer, bullet weight, or jacketing type. As such, the following is for comparative information purposes only and should not be used to make precise predictions of the trajectory, performance, or true ballistics of any particular .308 Winchester or .338 Winchester Magnum rounds for hunting, target shooting, plinking, or any other usage. The decision for which round is better for a given application should be made with complete information, and this article simply serves as a comparative guide, not the final say.
For more detailed ballistics information please refer to the exact round in question or contact the manufacturer for the pertinent information. True .308 Winchester and .338 Winchester Magnum ballistics information can vary widely from the displayed information, and it is important to understand that the particular characteristics of a given round can make a substantive difference in its true performance.
|.338 Winchester Magnum||Rifle||2820||3920|
As illustrated in the chart, .308 Winchester rounds - on average - achieve a velocity of about 2680 feet per second (fps) while .338 Winchester Magnum rounds travel at a velocity of 2820 fps. To put this into perspective, a Boeing 737 commercial airliner travels at a cruising speed of 600 mph, or 880 fps. That is to say, .308 Winchester bullets travel 3 times the speed of a 737 airplane at cruising speed, while .338 Winchester Magnum bullets travel 3.2 times that same speed.
Furthermore, the muzzle energy of a .308 Winchester round averages out to 2620 ft-lb, while a .338 Winchester Magnum round averages out to about 3920 ft-lb. One way to think about this is as such: a foot-pound is a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy required to raise a weight of one pound a distance of one foot. So a .308 Winchester round exits the barrel with kinetic energy equal to the energy required for linear vertical displacement of 2620 pounds through a one foot distance, while a .338 Winchester Magnum round exiting the barrel has energy equal to the amount required to displace 3920 pounds over the same one foot distance. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to hunting, muzzle energy is what many hunters look at when deciding on what caliber of firearm / ammunition to select. Generally speaking, the higher the muzzle energy, the higher the stopping power.
Again, the above is for comparative information purposes only, and you should consult the exact ballistics for the particular .308 Winchester or .338 Winchester Magnum cartridge you're looking at purchasing.
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