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358 Winchester


Co-introduced in the Winchester Models-88 lever-action and Model-100 semi-automatic in 1955, along with the 243 and 308 Winchester chamberings, the 358 Winchester was intended as a ballistic replacement for the 348 Winchester as chambered in the Model 71 lever-action, which Winchester introduced in 1935 and discontinued in 1955.  The 358 was far more compact and was offered in a much more affordable rifle.

Because the 358 Win has less body taper and a sharper shoulder, when compared to the 35 Whelen, headspace control with factory loads has never been as much of a problem but the ammo makers were cautious to not over-anneal the case shoulder because doing so did lead to headspace issues

Handloaders should be cautious about annealing case necks in this round.  It is entirely possible to soften the case shoulder enough to create a headspace-control issue.  Perhaps, the best practice would be to simply use the cases until the necks get too hard, then retire those and start with new cases.

In the early days, handloaders struggled to find load combinations that duplicated ballistics of the factory load.  This resulted from the lack of a canister-grade propellant with the ideal burn rate for this round.

Today we have a plethora of propellants that allow handloaders to achieve the full potential offered by this compact powerhouse.  With the right bullet, it is an ideal choice for use in a short, light rifle for hunting with shots to about 250 yards on any North American species.

Heritage of this case dates to the 1870s with the introduction of the 40-70 Ballard case.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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