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338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

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Unread 03-16-2010, 04:38 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 327
338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

having issues obtaining any sort of decent accuracy from my 338 edge... its a custom built job but its NOT a shawn carlock built rifle.

needless to say, ive checked absolutly everything on the rifle including different scopes, rings, bedding, bbl crown, even shot it with the muzzle brake removed (ouch), nothing seems to be wrong and its always the same, it still wont shoot.

ive tried to death the 92-94grs h1000 with 300SMK recipe, and the best i can get out of it is about 1.5MOA consistantly. Sure on the odd occation itll do a SUB 1MOA 3 shot group, but im sure its more of a fluke/coincidence than the norm. My other rifles will by comparison, consistantly put 100 out of 100 rounds inside 1MOA, with 50% of those inside .5MOA. So im sure its not my reloading technique or my poor shooting skills... the thing thats playing on my mind is that ive always achieved approx 120-130fps faster from this rifle than the standard loads most people are getting from this much powder. i seem to get about 2940fps from 93grs H1000 whereas most are getting about 2820 from a 30in barrel. ive always put this down to my chamber having a deep throat,...i have a COAL of 3.900in to kiss the lands whereas shawn carlock i believe uses a 3.800in chamber. i figured this extra 100 thou in seating depth would give me a slight increase in case capacity and therefore more velocity, however i dont care about 100fps, i want accuracy which i cant seem to find.

Now so far i havnt tried any loads under 92 grs as shawn carlock recommends the best loads are between 92-94grns. So my next step before i give up entirely on the 300SMK bullet is too reduce my loads down around 90grs or maybe even 88grns and see how it goes from there.... otherwise i have some 250gr NAB`s and also some 265gr barnes TTSX to try and see if it will like those better...

Is there anything else anyone can think of? otherwise ill have to send it back to the smith and tell him his rifle wont shoot straight....
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Unread 03-16-2010, 07:04 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,087
Re: 338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

My long throated Edge is loaded to 3.920" to be just off the lands.
It shot 0.75 to 1.5" groups for the first 130 shots while I pulled my hair out trying to get it to shoot under 0.5". My loads varied from 88gns to 98gns and best accuracy was with loads less than 95gns.

My rifle had to be rechambered after 1 shot and barrel refitted due to a head space problem. The gunsmith never redid the bedding after this. As it was bedded for the first 2" in front of the recoil lug, I found that the barrel went back into the stock in a different way, this was producing a pressure point to one side of the barrel.

I removed the bedding right back to behind the recoil lug and made the barrel fully floating. The rifle now shoots under 0.5" no problem when I do my part.
scientia est potentia
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Unread 03-16-2010, 09:47 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South central, Oregon
Posts: 81
Re: 338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

My 338 edge won't shoot H-1000 With any amount. Switched to RL-25, 90 gr. with 300 Lapua and E.S. went to 3fps. S.D. went to 1fps. Load shoots in the 2's consistantly. 2,855 fps.
Try different powders until you get one to group good, then mess with primers to tighten your E.S.
Most Edges shoot best with 300 gr. bullets between 2,800 and 2,900 fps.
You may be able to push it faster but won't get accuracy and your E.S. will go to pieces. Bad for Long Range Consistancy.
Good Luck!
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Unread 03-17-2010, 03:31 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 327
Re: 338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

ok sounds like a plan to try some RL25, i was going to do that eventually in my process of elimination but didnt think that a powder would make that much difference.

In my experience, the bullet type has made the most difference in finding accuracy, not so much the powder. I say this with regard to short range accuracy, not talking about ES and SD and long range accuracy. In my experience ive found that if i cant get a particular bullet to shoot well under 300yds with a commonly accepted suitable powder (such as h1000 for the EDGE), generally it wont shoot with any type of powder... but i dont proclaim to know everything, so ill buy a 1/2 pound of RL25 and give it a go see what happens, ive also noticed that kirby allen uses RL25 instead of h1000 in the 338 edge...

im not quite beat yet....
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Unread 03-17-2010, 08:00 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: ALABAMA
Posts: 300
Re: 338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

Kirby recommended RETUMBO with my Edge. At the time it was not available and I went with H-1000. Man it sucks to spend for a custom build that won't shoot. Sounds like you've tried everything within reason, I would think about sending it back to the smith for evaluation including scoping the bore. I received a bad barrel on my first build; the heat treating was bad and changed POI as it got hot. Lucky for me Kirby discovered it during testing and the barrel manufacturer replaced it immediately.

Funny story, last Sunday my wife shot some decent groups with my Edge at 500 yards in front of 5 guy's trying to get on the paper. They were congratulating her on her skill and asked how long she's been shooting, She replied she had never shot a center fire rifle let alone at 500 yards. What made it worse is they saw me bore sight and then shoot one round at 100 yards, make adjustments to the new Nightforce then add 34 clicks of elevation to set her up to shoot at 500. The rifle will shoot 1/4 MOA. On the way home I tried to explain what a big deal it was but she couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.
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Unread 03-17-2010, 08:21 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,230
Re: 338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

I would recomend using a chronagraph to test the load SDs and ESs to start with. If they are
not under 15 ft/sec then you need to change loads. (Bullets ,powder,primer)

Mine did not like the 300 gr bullets or the H1000 so I switched to the 250gr bullets and Retumbo
and H4831sc and groups size dropped to less than 1/2 MOA and SDs below 10.

It is not like the 338s to shoot poorly unless fed the wrong ammo.

There are many things that can be causing your problem and you have to address them one
at a time so you will know where the problem is. all to often we make a lot of changes and
if it fixes the problem but we don't know what it was. So change things One at a time.

I hope this will help because I know how frustrating it can be when a rifle just won't Shoot.

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Unread 03-17-2010, 08:41 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 436
Re: 338 edge accuracy issues... input wanted

Mine dont shoot all that well with virgin brass that has had the necks expanded from 300 ultra. The next firing is when it really starts to shoot.
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