Nosler Reloading Guide

Number 4


  358 Norma Magnum                                             By Paul G. Dressel, Jr.


     In the early `70s, I was quite involved in gun trading. After a hot and heavy encount-er, involving several guns and related items,
I was the proud owner of 20 boxes of Nor-
ma .358 Norma Mag. ammo. According to my  calculations,  I  had  little  or  nothing invested in it.
     The  fact  that  this  ammo  was  kicking around  at  gun shows at  very  reasonable prices indicated, even then, that  this  car-tridge  that  originated  in 1958, had never really  been  accepted  by  the  American
public and hunters. There  were  very  few factory rifles available then, and none now, that  I'm  aware  of.  I will add, though, that cases  are  easily  formed  from .338 Win. Mag.  brass.  Bullet  selection  was  quite limited. The combination of all these pretty well  brought  about  the demise  of a fine cartridge.
     The  legitimizing of the .35 Whelen to a factory  available caliber sparked  a  new interest in .35 calibers. All of a sudden, there was  an  available  source  of  good bullets. Nosler's  225-  and  250-  grain  Partition
gave the .35s a new lease on life.
     Going back to those 20 boxes of ammo,
I  did  the  only  normal  thing  a  handloader
and hunter could do.
  As of late, I've seen a
  renewed interest in the
                .358 Norma Mag.           
I rationalized that I could afford to build a rifle for  it,  shoot  up the factory ammo, and have enough component brass to last me the rest of  my  life.  I  rounded up a Savage 110 L.H. action,  a  24-inch  1-12   twist   barrel   from Douglas,  a  chamber  reamer  and a stock, and put a rifle together.
     My  experience  up  till then with magnum cartridges  was limited to .300 Win. Mag. In test  firings  at  the range, I was immediately impresssed by the bullets this big going that fast.  I  took this rifle to British Columbia that same  fall  season. I  shot  a  big  moose  at approximately  200  yards,  a beautiful black wolf  at  approximately  175  yards, a double shovel  mountain  caribou  at  about  200 yards...each with one shot.
     If  you have interest in .35 cal., you could do  far  worse  than  to  own or build  a .358 Norma  Mag.  It  will do everything  the .338 Win. Mag. will do and maybe a bit better in the  heavier  bullets.  For  a medium to long range  big  game rifle, it  will hold its own in
any crowd.            

Paul is a noted custom gunmaker
and avid big game hunter from
Yakima, WA.