I was able to finish up a customers rifle today which has been long in the works, like all of them I am overdue on. My apologies to everyone, working hard to catch up.
Anyway, This is one that is kind of dear to me because I used this chambering in a custom XP-100 single shot handgun for several seasons and really came to like the round. I always wanted to see how it would do in a rifle but just never took the time to build one up.
Well, finally, a customer ordered a rifle in 338 WSM and I have been working on it for the past week and today I was able to do the final assembly. Nothing special here, just a good rifle:
Trued Rem 700 WSM Short Action receiver
Wyatts extended WSM mag box
Holland Comp recoil lug
Factory trigger tuned to 2.75 lbs per customer request
Lilja #6, HEAVY fluted barrel, 1-10 twist
HS Precision Rem 700 SA Varmint stock
Factory BDL floorplate
I was hoping to get out to the range today to do some accuracy testing and load development but not suprising, we were dealing with 40 mph winds so I just set up at the shop and did some simple velocity testing to get a load worked up ready to test if the wind does stop!!!
In my handgun, I always used RL-15 but I was also using a 15" barrel and only shooting 180 and 200 gr bullets. I decided to step up to RL-19 in this one and started with the 225 gr Accubond. I worked up the load until I JUST could see a very faint ejector ring on the case head. Not even really a ring, just the slightest hint of anything really so the load is really relatively light. At that level, out of the 26" barrel, the rifle averaged 2705 fps with extreme spreads in the teens. I am sure that this load could be built up to at leat 2750 fps.
Looking over the load manuals for the 338 Win Mag, most list a velocity around 2750-2775 fps with this bullet weight in the Win Mag so that tells me that the little 338 WSM is right where it should be, roughly 50 to 75 fps under the standard belted magnum velocity levels. Not to bad considering its doing this with only 67.0 grs of powder.
Recoil is also quite comfortable. I was actually suprised. The rifle looks much heavier then it really is. THe flutes on this barrel are huge. Not sure why Lilja made them so large but they are larger then any flutes I have ever seen on a barrel of this size which makes this barrel as light as most #4 contour barrels. Combine that with the relatively light HS stock and the rifle comes out pretty darn light.
My handgun would get me around 2600 fps with a 200 gr Ballistic tip so with the extra barrel length and the added bullet weight, I figure +2700 fps with a 225 gr bullet is about right. Hopefully I can get out soon and get some long range testing done. Will report what she does.
Just wanted to mention about this rifle as I have been excited to work with this chambering in a rifle for quite some time and finally had the chance to do it. I can see one being added to the safe soon, if I can find time to throw one together.......
Anyway, its past midnight, need to get to answering some e-mails and get to bed before 1:00!!!
Good night to all.