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338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

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  #1  
Unread 10-28-2008, 06:33 AM
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338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

This may be splitting hairs, but I am getting hung up on 29" vs 28" barrel length (plus 2 " with brake) for the new barrel on my 700P 338 Lapua. The stock will likely be my A5. Is there will be a noticeable difference between the two lengths - if no, 28" may be better for me ? However...

I want to maximize the 'real' potential of the 338 Lapua at the range and in the field, and want this to be a dedicated LR rig. This will not be a multi-purpose rifle, and I intend it for shots at 800-2000 yards +. The area I will use it in is windy, wide open prairie and the river breaks in southern, Aberta and huge, open fields in the north. I will likely hike at most 10 km, and more realistically ride in on my mountain bike followed by short 1-2 km hikes, but I do like to hike. I want the rifle to be manageable and portable, and 29" (31" length with brake) is as long as I want to go. I like the flat trajectory of the 250 grain SMK's and 250 Accubonds, but will likely end up shooting 300 SMK's exclusively.

The barrel I have will go just over 29" finished length (31" with brake). I really want to extract as much as I can with this 338 Lapua, and want the most out of it if it will make a 'real' difference. Does the extra velocity of the 29" mean anything over the 28" ?

However, the 28" barrel (30" with brake) is certainly tempting 'cause it will be [slightly] stiffer, handier, and easier to find a gun case for.

Would it make any difference if I went 29" vs 28"? I am seeking advise on the barrel length for my intended use - the last detail for the build. Thanks

Last edited by Kalashnikov; 10-29-2008 at 11:31 PM.
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  •   #2  
    Unread 10-28-2008, 11:06 AM
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    Re: 338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

    I faced the same problem recently. My original barrel was 34" w/o a brake and wanted something a little lighter.

    I ended up with a 28" plus a brake. Still managed 2910fps with a 300SMK.

    Final load is 108.5gr of US 869 with 215GM primer, Lapua brass and the 300SMK with a 4.100 OAL.
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      #3  
    Unread 10-28-2008, 10:36 PM
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    Re: 338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

    4.1 AOL - what action/bottom metal are you using. Sounds like very good velocity.

    The 28" has it's appeal, but so does a longer tube.
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      #4  
    Unread 10-29-2008, 12:48 PM
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    Re: 338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

    SAKO -TRG with factory magazine. I have to short seat rounds to 3.750 if I need the mag for hunting but the chamber is cut for the 4.100. Majority of time I shoot singles so it not a big deal.

    Doesn't seem to effect group size much at short to moderate range.
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      #5  
    Unread 10-29-2008, 04:47 PM
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    Re: 338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

    For those who have run/are running 28" barrels with any of the big 338's, what performance/velocity are you getting ? Thanks
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      #6  
    Unread 10-29-2008, 06:37 PM
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    Re: 338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

    25-30fps difference in 1" of barrel length.
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      #7  
    Unread 10-29-2008, 08:12 PM
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    Re: 338 Lapua Build - Barrel length

    i can assure you the ability to kill at the distances you mention, will be no different with a 28 than it will be with a 29. go to Lilja's web site and look at the velocity differences he obtained starting with a 46" barrel then cutting off 2" at a time and chrono'd the velocity of each barrel length. the difference between a 44" barrel and a 24" was only 232 fps. you might gain 15fps with a 29 over a 28.
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