Originally Posted by tyfo
step up how? Chambering, action, or barrell length? I can always buy another barrel and I also have a stiller predator with a mag bolt face on another rifle I would be willing to use. if I use that do you think I could open that one up to shoot the lapua or Norma safely or should I just try to find another custom action?
I would say if 2800 is your bottom-line number, and you have that kind of flexibity in what you chamber, give yourself some cushion. For example:
I can get 2825fps out of my 338LM with a 28" barrel at Hodgdon's max book load for Retumbo/300SMK (always work up). Through load development, I found it shot best at about 2750. The 75fps is worth less to me than the accuracy, and I am being easier on brass.
If my shooting requirements dictated that I NEEEDED 2800fps, I would go up to a 338LM improved (or any of the many other wildcat 338s that safely run faster). That way, I don't max at 2800fps, I fail at 2800fps. Basically, I know with pretty high certainty that I will find a load that shoots great at 2800, and that I may find a load that shoots great at an even higher velocity. I don't need to find the magic load that maxes the velocity potential of my rifle and hope that it also is the most accurate.
This is just my philosophy, YMMV