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.408 Status???

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Unread 08-07-2002, 12:00 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 256
.408 Status???

Hopefully someone has information on the .408 and it's role in the military.
I heard some rumors that the military may not be interested and hope this isn't true.
It wouldn't surprise me though as top brass seem to be very conservative and against change. I just read that it took many years (over a decade) for the AR 15/M16 to be accepted.
From the available info on the .408, it certainly appears like it would make an unbeatable long range sniper round. Lighter and far more efficient than the .50 and uses modern technology and theories in its design. Hopefully one of you has some information on the status of this cartridge.
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Unread 08-07-2002, 12:13 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Central Minnesota
Posts: 429
Re: .408 Status???

Don't listen to rumors, that is completly not true. Go to http://www.theis408cheytac.com/ http://www.cheyennetactical.com/index2.htm
a whisper from this little friend of mine goes a lot way.
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Unread 08-08-2002, 06:12 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Prince George British Columbia
Posts: 128
Re: .408 Status???

The only reason the military went from the M-14, 7.62 round. Which was a huge mistake I think. Was that tricky dicky wanted to take the contract from Rock Island and give it to Colt which is owned by the Morman church of which he was a devout member. Going from the tried and true M-14 to the .223 cut back a grunts effective range by several hundred yards and gave him a projectile that would bounce all over hell in the bush. Plus, how many versions did they have to go through before they came up with one that didnt foul up after a mag or two. Maybe Im talking out my ho-ho but thats the way I see it. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Unread 08-09-2002, 05:14 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 30
Re: .408 Status???

Here is the status of a 408 we shipped out
today. LRT-2, 30" Pac Nor, A-2 Stock, 5
round magazine and the best part is the
weight is under 13lbs.
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Unread 08-09-2002, 07:47 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: North, Texas
Posts: 613
Re: .408 Status???

As usual Ross nice work think I might like something along those lines but, not that color.
Courage,Spirit and Honor
Pass It On
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Unread 08-10-2002, 08:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Windham, CT - in Moo-Cow country
Posts: 1,033
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 ]
Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is? Here, kitty kitty kitty.

LRH member #23

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Unread 08-10-2002, 09:30 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 256
Re: .408 Status???

First off, my question pertains to military use only. To be more difinitive, its use as a sniper round. I do believe most of the published data on the 408. It would seem that for a sniper cartridge, the advantage would favor the .408 over the 50bmg for several reasons. First, the availability of a high quality bullet. Second, having high quality brass to launch these bullets. You also have less recoil and can carry more more ammo due to the smaller size and weight. If I were a sniper, those things would be important to me. I shoot in 1,000 yard competition and spend hours of my time and almost embarassing amounts of money trying to achieve long range accuracy. I have seen military ammunition for the 50bmg and I cringe at the thought of using it for sniping. Maybe the snipers have their own better quality ammo, I hope so.
I am certainly no expert on either of these cartridges but it seems to me that the 408 would be a better round for long range accuracy.
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