Originally Posted by new shooter
Kirby you have had this 338 AM out for about 5 +years so what is the life of the barrel at a vel. 3358. Thanks Joe
Oh, the 5 million dollar question.....
Accuracy life at this performance level. I can say in all honesty, barrel life in the 338 Allen Magnum is much more dependent on how the rifle is used and cared for then anything else. Yes this chambering is hard on barrels, no way around it, you can not put 145 to 150 grains of powder down the bore without some wear.
Still, if a 338 AM is limited to three shot strings and allowed to cool between strings, cleaned often properly, you will see on average 800-900 rounds and if your really careful with the barrel, 1000-1100 rounds of accurate barrel life.
Last I checked I have around 70 of my XHS rifles out in the field. Of those about 70% are 338 AMs and 30% are 375 AMs. Of all those, I have had 5 rifles returned that had legit barrel wear problems and three of those are in shop right now that just need to be rebarreled and shipped back out the door.
Please keep in mind that the cost of a complete new barrel installation is around $1200. That's new fluted 32" stainless steel barrel, complete machining of barrel and installation on receiver, install muzzle brake and bead blast matte finish barreled receiver.
So for roughly the cost of a new factory Remington Sendero purchased at any local sporting good store, you basically have a brand new 338 AM for 1/4 the original price of the rifle. Certainly not saying this is cheap but for the performance level you get, its not all that bad to pay $1200 and get the most potent 338 magnum back in brand new condition.
I would also like to state that the 338 Allen Magnum is not a do it all rifle. Its a very specialized weapon system. I talk 10 times more customers out of 338 Allen Magnum rifles then I build for customers simply because in 90% of the time, there are better choices out there for the goals that the customer has for the rifle.
Generally, when I recommend a 338 AM, it is to a customer that already has a medium performance level rifle and has a good amount of experience out to 1000 yards. The 338 AM was really designed for use from 1/2 mile out and especially at ranges PAST 1000 yards. In all honesty, most have no use for a rifle with this performance level and if that is the case, the rifle is really a novelty item. Now, nothing wrong with that, I have two 50 BMG rifles that are pretty much novelty items, that's what makes our sport so fun, we do not NEED them, we want them but I do try to stress to potential customers that these are extremely specialized weapon systems and not high volume shooting platforms.
Used as they are intended, they will last a very long time. If they are abused or heated up and continue shooting, you can burn out a throat in as little as 100 rounds. Take care of them and keep them cool and you will get 10 times that many down the pipe. There is a price for performance and you can not get totally around that.