I'm currently building a 338 Lapua long range rifle and am looking for a 20 inch barrel (+ muzzle brake). I would appreciate any feedback regarding manufacturer and twist rate combinations that worked or didn't.
I recently got my paws on a Sako factory long range gun. It is a Military contract set-up and sported a 20 inch barrel with a 1 in 9 twist that produced some great results. I've always liked the short barrels for hunting and was in the process of building a lapua. I hadn't even considered the shorter barrel until seeing it up close. Now I'm both curious and interested! The balance of the shorter barrel is a big plus for my use and the slight velocity loss doesn't deter me alone.
While their is no dought as to the accuracy potential of a short barreled rifle, but a 20" barrel will not take advantage of the case capacity of the Lapua round. The 338 Lapua (338 Edge, etc) are at their best when shooting very higb BC bullets such as the 300 grain SMK with a BC of .768. I personaly would not want a 338 lapua with a barrel shorter than 26" inorder to get as close to 2800 FPS as I could with the 300 grain long range bullets. If I were going with a 20" 338 then I would not use a case with more powder capacity than a 338 Win. That's my opion my 338 Laupa hax a 31 1/2" barrel including the brake.
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
If you want to rifle with a 20 inch barrel for hunting get a 308 winchester. The 338 lapua/edge/AM are all rounds with large case capacities and do best with long barrels, slow burning powders, and heavy bullets. A 20 inch barrel on a 338 lapua is more of a flame thrower.
Make no mistake...I have a platform for a 338 well on it's way. The barrel is the last piece it needs. I was eyeballing barrels in the 26 inch class, but the 20 inch one I saw beat my standards minus 6 inches. I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience with a shorter barrelled a 338? If so it would save me a lot of time and $$$ learning from thier experience.