Re: .408 Status???
So far, the military is cautious about the .408 Cheytac.
It's easy to accuse the "Top brass" of being very conservative and against change, but that accusation is without merit, if the desire is for change itself.
In comparisons with the 50BMG, in a quality rifle, with state of the art ammunition, the .408 offers small advantage, and gives many disadvantages in return.
Some of the disadvantages from the civilian point of view...
The bore size... No one has a passion for the .408 bore size, and it is 0.008" over the maximum size for most of the competitions in the USA... though this may be changing, as the true bore size is .400"
The fact that brass is available from only one, small proprietary source, means that if you pay out the $8,000 to $9,000-ish price, and if CheyTac goes belly up, you eat the rifle.
The fact that the price of brass is formidable, compared to the 25 to 50 cents each for 50BMG and other long range brass. And even .338 Lap is less than half of that. The fact that no one but Warren (Lost River) makes bullets, and they are also quite pricey, around $2.50+ each.
No one else is making .408 projectiles... and Sierra is not tooling up for the .408, so this makes other bullet options very limited.
I think many would be more confident in the cartridge and it's long range-range accuracy, if the .408 CheyTac and/or the cartridges or bullets were seen in competions, and placing in the upper levels, but that hasn't happened as yet.
I think the comparison between the .408 and the 50BMG that they post on their website is is unfair. They compare long, hand made .408 bronze bullets with high BCs, to production 50BMG bullets made for M2 machineguns...
A fairer comparison would be with one of the better "sniper" or match bullets, like the 750gr A-Max, or one of the Barnes 50 cal Bronze solids, with higher BCs than the .408.
On the military side...
In spite of the fact that the .408 has now been around for a while, it has a difficult sell to the military. THe 50BMG is well entrenched, ammo is made in every technological country in the world, and there are match/sniper bullets, plus alternative ammo should other targets of opportunity arise. To sell the 408 to the military, they have a dificult task ahead of them.
The 50BMG has the advantage of a ton of projectiles that are active... Trace, straight incendiary, API, AP, APIT, SLAP, ROUFAS, and the list is almost endless.
But... there isn't enough room in the .408 to get it to go "Bang" in a big way.
Plus... the whole proposed advantage of the 408 is based on the long, needle like, bullets with high BCs.
If you go to conventional construction for Incendary, APIT, or other active munitions... you must give up that design for for interior pyrotechnics, and the BC would drop like a brick. There goes all that work on those long beautiful bullets,
As to it's use as a sole sniper weapon against personel, I think they are missing the boat by not entering LR matches, and proving their worth against 50BMGs...
The PRL bullet guys first shoot in the civilian arena, and now the government buys everything they make.
[ 08-28-2002: Message edited by: CatShooter ]
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