Re: 338 Titan vs 338 Lapua Imp.
I'll try to answer everyone's questions here. If I miss something smack me in the head and I'll try again.
What is the barrel thickness and taper? That is a Lilja 1 7/8" diameter x 32" untapered 10 twist barrel as pictured. I just got it back from the 'smiths a week or so ago and it's 30" long now after being set back and rechambered after 2.5 seasons.
Are you happy you went with the 338 imp instead of the 338 lapua? Again because I wanted all out accuracy, speed wasn't the issue, and with these longer barrels a std 338 case could give me the velocity range I needed. The reason I chose the improved case was in hopes of using a certain range of powders and also because part of the original neck (which is turned concentric before fire forming) gets blown out into the "new" shoulder. So not only is the neck turned but now a small portion of the shoulder is also. The ridge that is caused where the turner stopped cutting seems to stop any brass flow from reaching the neck area, which causes the "dreaded donut" in some other case designs. After cutting apart a few case after several firings I believe this has worked out. But is a lot more expensive than a std 338 Lapua setup. Custom dies had to be made and all, and good work isn't cheap.
I see that you have your front pedestal mounted to an aluminum plate. I am going to shoot 1,000 yards this summer for he first time and was wondering if that is something I should make? If your going to take the competition at least semi-serious I would recommend it at some point. A couple of reasons:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>gives a larger and more stable platform IF you use a rest stop to stop the forward movement of your rifle after recoil. Sometimes if you push forward with to much force you can cause the rear leg of your front tripod to jump up when it hits the stop. It may come to rest in the some hole on the benchtop or it may not. Thousands of an inch of rest palcement is critical at 1,000yds. I like a large foot print rest and weight to over comes this. Now some shoot without a stop in the LG class and I've done this successfully for the last 2 seasons. If you don't have a rest staop this is much less critical.
<LI>the other advantage is that the rear leg screw that most use for fine tuning thier vertical adjustments while firing can be extended back as far as you want to make your bench technique more comfortable. My wheel is only 3-4" in front of my rear rest, so to make an adjustment my hand hardly moves on the bench and it's right there to make a horizontal adjsutment on the rear rest if neccassary.
<LI>an added bonus is that it slows down the sensitivity of the vertical adjustment screw because of the length of the "lever" now use to raise or lower the rifle.[/list]
Also, what type of pedestal do you think would be good for my 16 pound rifle? For a 16.5# rifle... any of the std BR rests available are good. When dealing with the HG rifles that push 75-100# then you need to keep in mind the size of the support post to stop it from wobbling becasue of all that weight trying to balance on top of a 1/2" diameter post or something similar. Sinclair, Hart, Wichita, etc are all good. I would use the cast iron pedestals though. The Wichita is nice and works but is on the light side being made out of aluminum and has a little smaller foot print. The Bald Eagle slingshot is handy when storing because it's narrower but it's less stable even when using the LG class rifle.
Because the LG class uses sand bag rear rest I also don't see the need to spend money on a windage top either. It's another $100 that doesn't gain you much in this game. I would save that money and buy more bullets and powder to shoot much and learn the wind. Someday if you ever shoot HG class a windage adjustment is VERY handy because of the weight your dealing with. But everyone already has that built into the rear rest anyway so save your money IMO. But if you had to nail me down to one recommendation I would say the Sinclair and only becasue of their rest top design. The pedestal bases is almost indentical. You can buy the whole Sinclair setup with tungstan pins, rest top and bag, with a stop as a whole kit. The original Sinclair model '86 side tension rest top (mad out of steel!! not aluminum) is still hard to beat and isn't anymore or less money than the Bruno, Hart, Bald Eagle tops available. I like the way it clamps the bag over the Bruno setup. But they all work on the same principle. So the differeneces are small and more personal taste than anything. Go to the matches and ask to see, touch, and use others rests until you find one that really suits you and your rifle. That would be my suggestion.
I could tell your stock is McMillan 50cal LBR? Did I win? strike #1!!! [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] That's a 50HBR stock. The LBR looks very similar but has a 3.5" wide forarm (HBR is 5") and the bottom of the buttstock is radiused to slide in a rabit eared bag. The HBR buttstock bottom is flat and parrallel with the bottom of the forearm and is 2.3"?? wide I think.
Does it balance well with your heavy barrel? It took some messing around at the bench moving the rifle back and forth, changing my stop location, bench placement etc but it finally tracks really well. If you look at the bottom of the forearm and buttstock you see steel plates.... they are 5/8" thick 304 stainless plates bolted to the stock and add another #26 to the rifle. These help also. But to directly answer your question of just the stock (without the plates) with the barrled action and scope all mounted up, it was muzzle heavy.... yes. Not to far out though, but enough to be concerned with and make adjustmants to. This is normal for setting up a HG class rifle though and isn't unusual. This is where a good expereinced LR 'smith can pay big time when your building a rifle. Especially one that shoots himself and knows the game. Any good gunsmith can chamber a rifle, but the good LR 'smiths know the balance points, if a rifle combo your asking about will make weight, bedding BLOCK info [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img], twist info, etc. This is second nature to them.
That should be it for now. boy my fingers are tired. Keep'um in the X ring... or somewhere close by. Match season starts in less than a month for us down here. Got a lot of work to do.