From what I have just read in your posts, it appears that you have a firm grasp on the math and what you want. I agree that the Lapua round with a 20" barrel would be a super cartridge and would pretty much burn all the correct powder in a 20 inch barrel. If someone did not have the reamer and did not want me to test the 338 X 378Weatherby imp. in a handgun I would have gone the Lapua Imp route myself.
Thanks Neal. I didn't look up the ballistics on your thunder stick, but it sounds like quite the impressive hand cannon. 17 inches isn't a common barrel length for that round. Did you ever compare the velocities of a longer barrel to see what you lost? Like I was saying about the sako...the military standard for submission into the testing was grouping beyond my hunting/1000yd goals. I don't remember the exact details, but I'm talking measured groups past 1500 yds plus. This isn't custum ammo either. Black Hills I believe. I just figured that if a major manufacturer was working this direction it must be relatively plausible. Tactically speaking I'm sure the addition of a supressor makes the short barrel a benifit. I however am looking at packing/hiking/humping this thing up and down mountains.
Working the numbers mind you as the reamers were just made, I figure I am loosing between 400 and 500fps with the shorter barrel. But, The 378 Weatherby case holds way more powder than the Lapua and because of that case capacity I am limited on powders I can use. Up side is there is an awesome amount of shearing gasses so recoil is very managable with the brake. Send me an e-mail if you wish and I will send you a picture.
I have a friend that is building a 338Lapua on a 20" pistol barrel. He figures he can get 3000fps with 225 grain Accubonds. I agree as I am certain that I can do the same with the 245 grain Lehigh bullet.
Thanks Neal! I would love to see the pics. My Email is email@example.com I hope your friend gets his gun running. I would love to hear what sort of results he gets. I'm going to direct my attention toward the short barrel and try to get some answers from some of the barrel manufacturers. Thanks again and keep them flying straight! Darren.
Hi, I'm the fella Neal was speaking about who is building the .338 Lapua handgun.
I chose a 20 inch barrel length (plus brake) as it seemed to provide the velocity I was looking for. According to Necco's Accu Load I should burn just over 99% of the powder (IMR 4831) when shooting 225 grain bullets. If I push it a bit harder (around 53K psi) I can burn a bit more (around 99.27%).
My velocity goal is 2900 fps as a minimum with the 225 grain bullets which will equal a 338 win mag rifle (typical barrel length of 24"). Could I have just chambered in .338 Winny and stuck a 24" tube on it, sure, but where is the fun in that!! I'll probably get closer to 3K in velocity and the extra capacity will help when shooting 250's and even 300's if I want to.
Seriously, when we are talking about short barrels (in my case for a pistol) efficiencies are out the window. It's all about horse power. Are the gains dimenishing, sure, but there is some gain.
I ordered a Bartlein barrel, and after talking with them we decided on a 1:12 twist. Remember, I'm not planning on shooting 300 grain bullets all that much and according to the twist calculator I used and Bartlein's calculations, a 1:12 worked the best for 225 and 180's. We were going to go with a 1:10 but felt it was too far from the 1:15 (which showed as ideal for I believe the 180's) so we went with the 1:12. If I was going to shoot the 300's a lot I would have went with the 1:10 or maybe even a 1:9 but not sure how the 180's would have done with the 1:9.
Right now I'm waiting on the action (Stiller Tac338) and the barrel, but I do have the Patriot Arms Fat Bastard brake. This brake is amazing! I watched a video with an 8 year old boy shooting a .338 Lapua tactical rifle and it bumped his shoulder like a .243 with no muzzle rise.
Good luck with your project, you will have to keep us posted.
i know im a newcomer, but i have too say one thing to the 20 inch barrel, personally if your gonna throw bullets at any distance, stay away from the 20 inch, and go with 26 or better... I have a 308 savage, 175 grain bullet, bullet flys geat up too 600 yards.. after that i cant hit a 4by8 sheet of plywood at 700 yards. ouch. A fusion factory bullet will fly just as far as the reloads, but falls off its face after that.. My brother is flinging bullets at 1760 yards with his 338 ultra mag.. sweet...
I have seen two 338 lapua's with 20 inch barrels. I helped set up the loads and shot one of them yesterday and it chrono'd at 2750 with 300 smk's, we then tested this speed to 1000 yards just to make sure. I liked it so much, I picked up a AI-AWSM in .338 lapua today and the first thing I am going to do is send it to Jared Joplin and have the same 20" barrel he put on my buddies rifle put on mine. Oh and accuracy was insane, the only draw back I saw was the percusion but I could live with that seeing the gain in portability.