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Advice required on which 338.

 
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  #1  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:31 AM
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Advice required on which 338.

HI Guys, seems abit silly asking but Im causing myself to ageing quicker about either 338 Lapua or 338 AM/Snipetac/Cheytac (however you wanna call it)
Now my problem is Im in NZ, to build a 338 LM piece of cake all the quality reloading bits are here, dies, brass etc as is reamers Barnard is an hours drive for me,True Flite barrels a day, all very easy.
Now the bad ass 338 is a different kettle of fish, to my knowledge the only thing that is in NZ is the action and barrel,EVERYTHING else is going to be custom made and/or got from the US, brass,dies,reamers ETC, to bulid one in this chambering its going to be at least another $500-600 on top of the build + the on going problem of having to get in brass from the US.

To make matters even worse I heard my self say "HMMM may be it too much gun for NZ", we dont have bears, moose, we have Elk but not really,our goats a pretty tough!!LOL

The 338 LM is proven,easy supply good components,Lapua Brass, etc and it will be enough gun for anything in NZ 1000+ yrds.

BUT I keep being brought back to Balistics of the other, OMG!! FLAT, LAZER however you put it it smashes the Lapua in to next week, and it will polverise anything here 1500+ yrds.

How far do I want to shoot? Dunno As far as the bullet will go to still mantain a quick kill on game.


Any advice, words of wisdom, personal experience please!!
Im sure Im not the only one out there with this terrible problem.

Thanks Heaps in advance

300WSMMAD
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2008, 05:59 AM
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G'day mate !

I too seriously looked at the AM, but in the end decided against this because of the following reasons.
1- Vastly more expensive to build. You could almost get a completely outfitted system in a LAp or edge for the same money as just the rifle in AM.

2. Feeding the rifle is far more expensive. With any outfit to be used at extreme ranges you have to be able to afford to shoot it heaps !

3. Shorter barrel life.

4. Many people told me that if most of the shots being taken are usually under 1000 then the AM is overkill. MAny of the more affordable 338's will kill as well.

5. Most of the AM's currently are being built on the BAT action that is single shot and wont eject a live round. I would assume that if your sniping sika or needing quick follow up shots or Tahr you might need a magazine ? Dave Viers 338 Snipe tac is being built off a custom action that is a repeater. Big bucks though ?

6. They generally get set up at between 16-20 lbs. this may not be practical for what you do ? It sure was not for me. A rifle at 14 lbs is plently heavy to pack in steep country !

7. The cost of all the add ons , especially for reloading , dies, brass, giant powder charges etc is all adds up. I am betting by the time you had everything including your exbal softwear, pda, kestrel, top end scope etc you wont have much out of 10000 bucks.

However there is the status of owning the AM ! Not to be underestimated ! It is one hell of a round. No doubt the king of the 338's currently. It hits harder than anything I have ever seen ! But then again you can only kill them dead ?

Personally I went with the EDGE and didn't look back.

Cheers

DUH
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2008, 10:49 AM
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DUH brings up some valid points but exaggerates a bit on others. Let me go over his comments which all have some degree of truth to them but just want to clearify some things.

1- Vastly more expensive to build. You could almost get a completely outfitted system in a LAp or edge for the same money as just the rifle in AM.

My full custom 338 AMs will start at around $3500 for the rifle, that is not overly expensive for any full custom rifle using a custom receiver, especially using a receiver such as the BAT and certainly not a Nesika. Yes, there are many rifles out there that can be made less expensive, generally using a Rem 700 receiver but in the end you still have a Rem 700 receiver which can not compare to what you get in a top quality custom receiver. Yes, they are more expensive on average then a conventional chambered rifle but its not as dramatic as many would have you believe. Top end would be more then this but the most expensive rifle I have ever shipped did not break $4500 for the rifle.

2. Feeding the rifle is far more expensive. With any outfit to be used at extreme ranges you have to be able to afford to shoot it heaps !

Again, some degree of truth here but sounds much worse then it really is. THe Edge uses roughly 92-95 grains of powder under the 300 gr SMK, the AM uses 140-144 grains under same bullet. Thats roughly 50% more powder which seems like a big amount, but when put into $$, I can get a lb of Retumbo and H-50BMG for basically the same price, around $22 per lb. For the same number of rounds, the AM would cost $33 compared to $22. Yes more but not dramatic. Bullets are the same, brass will run around $1.00 more each for the AM, considering that you reuse this componant as much as possible, hardly much of a consideration.

But again, there is trueth to the comments.

3. Shorter barrel life.

No denying this, no way to get performance for a free lunch but in a serious big game rifle which is not overly hard to develop loads for and easy to shoot, 1000 rounds of barrel life will last a big game hunter a LONG time. IF you want to put 500 rounds down a rifle every year in practice, either get a smaller caliber for practice or replace your barrels, even an Edge will need new barrels in a few seasons with this level of shooting. The 338 AM is a precision long range tool designed for one purpose, deliever huge amounts of energy precisely at long range. It does this very well and there is no way to do this without the drawbacks it has, at least for the time being!!!

4. Many people told me that if most of the shots being taken are usually under 1000 then the AM is overkill. MAny of the more affordable 338's will kill as well.

This is another true statement, IF your going to be hunting out to 1000 yards occasionally but for the most part under 1/2 mile, your wasting your time with the AM. An Edge or Lapua or my AX would be much more practical choices.

5. Most of the AM's currently are being built on the BAT action that is single shot and wont eject a live round. I would assume that if your sniping sika or needing quick follow up shots or Tahr you might need a magazine ? Dave Viers 338 Snipe tac is being built off a custom action that is a repeater. Big bucks though ?

We can use Lawton M8000 repeating receivers if you want. Or the Lawton M8000 LA single shot if you want to be able to eject a live round. I use the BAT single shots because they are as good as any receiver out there and they are compact in dimension and weight. A repeating set up will add around $800-$900 to a rifle cost depending on how many extra mags you want but they are easily available. Have a rifle in the shop now that will be a repeating 338 AM and other then the extra cost of the mags and floorplates, its no different then the standard BAT based 338 AM. McMillan also inlets for the repeating Lawton M8000.

6. They generally get set up at between 16-20 lbs. this may not be practical for what you do ? It sure was not for me. A rifle at 14 lbs is plently heavy to pack in steep country !

Again, a true comment. I can get down close to 14 lbs on a 338 AM depending on what scope you want to use. NF NXS, probably not but with a Leupold Mk4 its much more possible to get close to this weight. I like a 19 lb 338 AM in my area because its huge but mostly flat. In steep country there would be much less weight on my rifles as well. Still, 14 lbs would be a lightweight for my 338 AM, again a true comment.

7. The cost of all the add ons , especially for reloading , dies, brass, giant powder charges etc is all adds up. I am betting by the time you had everything including your exbal softwear, pda, kestrel, top end scope etc you wont have much out of 10000 bucks.

Some truth to this but you can not add on all these accessaries to the cost of an AM and not the Edge, they are standard equipment you will need with any rifle. Even my very most expensive rifles would be in the $7500 range including scope, rings and complete rifle with dies. I could charge $10K, many out there are doing this but I do not feel that is what I need to do. Again, reloading dies are around $100 more then standard dies, brass around $1 more each, powder 50% more but in the end that does not amount to alot, bullets same price and rifles very similiar to most other top end complete custom rifles. All the accessary items will cost you the same weither your shooting an Edge or AM.....

Not looking to ruffle any feathers but just wanted to clearify some points. Again, there is some truth in all the comments DUH has made but some are a bit less extreme then he made them sound.

THe Edge is a great round, no question, easy to load for , great performance and it easily fits into a Rem 700 or any true long action magnum receiver. I probably build more of them then my AMs but thats only because for most hunters purposes, its a more practical chambering.

But, if you can get a complete custom 338 Edge including optics and accessary gear for $3800, I would be amazed.

I take great pains to keep my rifles as reasonable in price as possible and have been told time and again I need to charge more for them for what they actually can do. Guess I would rather keep it the way it is so more could afford to get this level of performance but again, I will always, ALWAYS, recommend away from the AM if it does not fit the purpose of the project at hand and in most cases it is more then needed but for those special situations, there is no real comparision to it and its hard to understand its level of performance until you pull the trigger on one a couple times.


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  #4  
Old 08-04-2008, 05:38 PM
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Thanks DUH & Kirby,

Yeah seems like were all on the same page about it, just kant get past that 3300 FPS though .
Ive spoken to a guy here who has recently decomissioned(typo) his 338LM because he felt it was too much gun for NZ game, and is ironicly considering a 300WSM instead, great round I love it but, IMHO it has its limits out to about 700 yrds on light skined game, with a very well placed shot!

Kirby, I sent you a email, did you get it? my emails sometimes get sent to the trash automatically because it comes from my job, Im guessing,picked up as spam.
If you didnt get it could you PM me please got some questions for you.

Thanks 300WSMMAD
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:54 PM
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Just got back from visiting Kirby on Sat.

He took four of us out to play with three of his rifles. Started shooting at just under 800yrds and finished shooting at nearly 1200yrds. With some inconsistent winds, all four of us were able to shoot very well at all yardages and with all three rifles. Keep in mind that all four guys were of very different body types ranging from 5'6" to 6'3". With Kirby's 30cal we all hit a milk jug at 900yrds give or take. With his .375 We all shot inside an 18" group. This includes changing moa for inconsistent wind throughout the shooting session.

None of the four of us had ever really shot at anything much past 500yrds.

After shooting Kirby's rifles, I now know that I am able to shoot much farther. May never have known this had I not shot Kirby's rifles.

My opinion, I don't care what caliber you have built, if Kirby builds it, you can't go wrong. It will show you how well you can shoot. The only limiting factors in your long shots will be the bullet you choose, and YOU. You can not ask for more than that.

I have not met a business man that is less assuming than Kirby. He has earned my business from here on out.

JMO, Steve
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2008, 09:08 PM
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50,

No feathers ruffled my friend.

DUH
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2008, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Posts: 156
I was with Steve on that shoot last Saturday with Kirby. Everything he says is true, except that I am 6' 4" tall not 6'3" LOL. Anyway, Kirby's rifles are top notch, but, more importantly, so is Kirby. He has my business now also, and my respect. mtmuley

Last edited by mtmuley; 08-06-2008 at 07:27 PM.
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