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The 358 WSM was one of those calibers where you are rubbing your hands together and salivating to see what it can really do. We were thrilled with the end result. The 358 WSM performed side by side with the famous 358 NM(Norma Magnum) but in a MUCH SMALLER package. That is a very iconic caliber to be sharing the podium with.
In VA, we do not have the enormous black bears like some other states. A few here and there but that's it. With our fingers crossed we knew this would be the ultimate compact 35 caliber out there and would be perfect not just for the big black bears of the North, but all bears. If it can handle that, we are sure the larger game of North America and Africa(Plains Game, 375 caliber is required for dangerous game) would not be a problem.
We like this caliber in an 18" barrel and a suppressor. For bullet choice, opt for Noslers which usually have you covered out to 400+ yards for almost any sized game. If you want more energy at closer range, go with Woodleighs. Those options are based on minimum expansion velocity which is set by the bullet manufacturer.
We can sit here all day and compare, but the numbers clearly state that with equal barrel lengths, the 358 WSM and the 358 NM are "ballistic twins." So, what makes ours better? For starters, it is a short action. Can put it in an AR if you like. Our ammo is optimized for various barrel lengths. It might be an ugly scene if you took off the shelf 358 NM ammo, had a gunsmith shorten the barrel and pull the trigger. NOT IT!
Below are some numbers from our production and custom ammo lines. The last section MER (Maximum Effective Range) is based upon the bullets minimum expansion velocity and what we feel will be adequate for a clean harvest on medium to large game.
18" Barrel (Loads can vary 50 FPS depending on climate and elevation)
Bullet FPS FT LBS MER
225gr Partition 2700 3650 500 yds
250gr Partition 2600 3760 450 yds
275gr WDLEE PP 2525 3870 300 yds