Cartridge Sizes .30-06 verses .338

by Mark Braddy

Is a .338 caliber cartridge bigger than a 30.06 caliber?

Hi Mark, and thanks for your inquiry. Yes the .338 caliber cartridge is considerably larger than a 30-06 as can be seen in the image below.

.338 and 30-06 cartridgeFrom left to right: 7mm GPC, 30-06 Springfield, and 338 Winchester Magnum Image courtesy of Wikipedia

With more powder capacity because of a larger diameter and longer casing, as well, the .338 takes a larger diameter bullet, the .338 is capable of delivering a much heavier bullet with more energy at the target.
The 30-06 bullet diameter is .308 inches while the .338 bullet is .338 inches.

Let Do Some Comparisons

  • Muzzle energy of a .30-06 with 180 grain bullet = 2913

  • Muzzle energy of a .338 with 200 grain bullet = 3225

  • Muzzle velocity of a .30-06 with 180 grain bullet = 2700

  • Muzzle velocity of a .338 with 200 grain bullet = 2630

  • Bullet drop at 300 yards with zero at 200 yards - .30-06 with 180 grain bullet = 8.6 inches

  • Bullet drop at 300 yards with zero at 200 yards - .338 with 200 grain bullet = 9.4 inches

There is not an appreciable difference between these two cartridges... except to the shooter!
The downfall of the .338 is recoil. The .338 is most unpleasant to shoot unless the rifle has a muzzle brake installed (.338 ammunition costs more too).

Either one of these fine cartridges would be very suitable for moose hunting or for hunting of moose sized game.

Cartridge information gathered from

Comments for Cartridge Sizes .30-06 verses .338

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338 deadly on moose
by: trapper

I have shot 8 moose with a 338 win mag. I use 210 gr. Nosler partition fed. bullets. 6 of the 8 have dropped in their tracks. Some were shot at 30 yards, and the longest at 250 yards.
I would use the Nosler bullet in any caliber 270 and up.

Show the rest
by: Boredintr

Ok if you limit this comparison to 200 gr bullets but check the 225 grain 338 bullet it has the muzzle energy of the 30-06 at 200 yards

Velocity of 338 200 gr low
by: Boredintr

I hand load spec hornaday 200 gr bullets at 7100 gr powder and get a book speed of 2900 fps faster then this example and drops black bears in their tracks!

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