.358 Norma Magnum

.358 Norma Magnum
358 Norma Magnum.JPG
The .358 Norma Magnum rifle cartridge.
Place of originSweden
Production history
DesignerNils Kvale
Case typeBelted rimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter.358 in (9.12 mm)
Neck diameter.388 in (9.85 mm)
Shoulder diameter.490 in (12.45 mm)
Base diameter.513 in (13.03 mm)
Rim diameter.531 in (13.50 mm)
Rim thickness.050 in (1.30 mm)
Case length2.520 in (64 mm)
Overall length3.346 in (85 mm)
Primer typeLarge rifle magnum
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
250 gr (16 g) Bonded SP 2,756 ft/s (840 m/s) 4,217 ft⋅lbf (5,717 J)

The .358 Norma Magnum is a rifle cartridge introduced in 1959 by Norma. The cartridge is closely related to the .308 Norma Magnum. Both calibers share the same dimensions of the case head as the .300 H&H Magnum, but have far less body taper, resulting in the same internal capacity in a shorter case.[1] The cartridge case is the longest that will comfortably fit in a standard Mauser action, or any rifle action designed to chamber the 30-06. The .358 NM was the first .35 caliber cartridge commercially developed and sold to the American market since the decline of the .35 Newton in the late 1920s.


Though introduced by a Swedish company, the .358 Norma Magnum was designed for American hunters, due to Norma's chief designer Nils Kvale's close contacts with American colleagues. It is intended as a cartridge for the largest of North American game - elk, moose, brown bear, Bighorn Sheep, and bison, and shoots fast and flat enough to be useful to 400 to 500 yards on game the size of American elk (Wapiti). While it is needlessly powerful for deer-sized game, it can be used, at least with the heavier (and therefore slower) .358 bullets on such game without destroying too much meat. It would work well, with properly designed bullets, on most large African species. But laws prohibiting the use of bullets smaller than 0.375-inch (0.95 cm) on dangerous game, in most African countries, limit its use to "plains game," including the largest antelope, the one-ton eland.[2]

Norma took a gamble, introducing the .358 only as new empty cases for handloaders, and chambering-reamer specifications for gunsmiths who made custom rifles—there were no factory rifles available, and it was several months before factory-loaded ammunition appeared.[3] The cartridge proved immediately popular with hunters and custom gunsmiths, and within a year the Danish firm of Schultz & Larsen chambered its Model 65 for the round, and Husqvarna its Series 1600 and 1650 rifles.[4]

The .358 Norma is what is known as a "short magnum," designed to work in long rifle actions; many 30-06 rifles such as the 1903 Springfield rifle have been rebarreled to the much-more powerful .358 Norma.[5] Norma's factory ammunition for the .358 Norma drives a 250-grain bullet at 2880 fps and produces more than 4,600 ft-lbs (foot-pounds) of kinetic energy at the muzzle, while delivering a foot-ton of energy 500 yards downrange.[4]

See also[]


  1. ^ Kvale, Nils; Kulor, krut och älgar. Norma, Åmotfors, 1963.
  2. ^ Massaro, Philip P. (22 June 2015). Understanding Ballistics: Complete Guide to Bullet Selection. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media. pp. 142–143. ISBN 978-1-4402-4340-0.
  3. ^ Speer Reloading Manual for rifle and pistol (10 ed.). Idaho: Omark. 1979. p. 293.
  4. ^ a b Mann, Richard A. (7 September 2012). Cartridges of the World: A Complete Illustrated Reference for More Than 1,500 Cartridges. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 481–482. ISBN 1-4402-3063-3.
  5. ^ Simpson, Layne (24 February 2005). Layne Simpson's Shooter's Handbook: 600 Questions Answered. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0-87349-939-5.