Re: Anyone going to try out the .408 CheyTac?
No long barrels on the .408. With a 27" barrel on the tactical rifle we get 2900 fps. and that is with a load that has to meet military temperature extremes and repetetive fire requirements. It can be pushed above that with no trouble. I have had it considerably higher. What it's potential is in 36" and longer barrels I cannot say. I think that 3100-3300 fps would be a safe estimate for a 400 gr. bullet. There are a number of powders in the correct range and as I said above I know of at least two powder companies with unissued powders in that range. If you get a powder that is right at optimum for the bullet and cartridge the performance will be increased. Darryl's getting 3300 fps with a cartridge and bullet that 15 years ago I would have said would limit out at 3100 fps., but they've improved it, pushed it, tweaked it and after awhile it's performance has really improved.
The bullet we are using in the .408 is made from a material that gives it certain terminal qualities. In the .398 we would use a material that has the same accuracy potential but not the same terminal qualities, and it will be less expensive. I have not completed a design for the .398 so I can't give you an exact cost. It will be in the neighborhood of $.90 each for the initial short runs with the price coming down to about $.70 fairly quickly if there appears to be a demand. On long runs I think the price will settle in at about $.60-.65 each. I think if you look at what other manufacturers charge for lead core bullets, match grade, and if you get them to make a run, their cost would be above $.50 each. But that is a guess on my part. The cost is a function of demand, and demand will depend on how it performs. I can tell you that the potential is there to meet or exceed all of the long range records. Whether somebody puts it all together and does that is yet to be seen.
As it stands now, I would get my raw stock from a wholesaler, as I do not have to purchase as much. With a larger demand, I would go straight to the mill and have a run made. The cost is less per lb., but I have to buy quite a bit, and it takes about 3 months lead time.
The brass is costing less than $2.00 ea., now, and as larger runs of it are made that will come down. There are a number of premium cases of smaller capacity that cost more than that. The brass is very high quality, and is as good as I have seen. With the military requirements load I have cases that I have reloaded 10 times and are still going.
[ 06-01-2001: Message edited by: Warren Jensen ]