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African Series: 338 Sabi
Old 01-20-2005, 03:26 AM
CAfrica CAfrica is offline
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Default African Series: 338 Sabi

One of the classic “old” African calibres which gained an excellent reputation for anything up to the largest non dangerous game was the old 318 Westley Richards. This rifle launched a long, heavy for calibre 250gr bullet at 2350ft/s.

With the demise of this cartridge (and the similar 333 OKH), there was a gap between the 30-06 class rifles and the larger 375 H&H magnum. For bushveld application, the 338 Magnum was regarded as too fast. What hunters wanted was a bushveld calibre in the same class as the old 318 Westley Richards. Because of the popularity of the 338 Magnum, 338 bullets have become readily available in a large range of weights and configurations.

The solution therefore was the 338 Sabi. Ballistically similar to the 338-06, it is not one. The Sabi’s case is blown out so that it is more of 9.3x62 necked down to 338. This was done not to increase velocity, but to lower pressure. This cartridge is also very easy on the shoulder for such a heavy bullet (recoil is about in the 30-06 class).

The cartridge was developed around the 250gr bullet at 2350ft/s. Although it will launch the 200grainer at about 2900ft/s this defeats the object of the calibre, which is:
  • Low velocity for minimal meat damage, acceptable bullet performance from conventional construction bullets and deep penetration.
Sabi rifles load this bullet commercially (correctly headstamped, they also supply correctly headstamped cases for the reloader and are the only source of reloading dies) and they will also load any bullet of your choice upon request.

The cartridge is a proprietary cartridge of Magnum Arms (Sabi Rifles) and as a custom shop obviously they also build custom rifles for it (on any components of the client’s choice and to any specification).

This is a truly African cartridge which has over the last 10 years gained quite a following. This cartridge is capable of taking on the largest non dangerous game including Eland and Giraffe.

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