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fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

 
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  #43  
Old 01-03-2009, 06:26 PM
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Nothing to get wrong Kirby: I take all donations of Weatherby brass. Rather have the Norma brass, though Norma makes the Weatherby brass it appears to be of better quality. Plus it is a buck a piece cheaper! This project started when some gave me 30-378 brass. Sure glad they didn't check the price!

I will p.m. you.

Neal
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  #44  
Old 01-04-2009, 02:06 AM
Lightvarmint
 
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Kirby,

The number (3250 fps for 300 SMK) I used was the one that you quoted on 2-11-08 in a discussion about .338 caliber comparisons...... I merely used your number from that exact post as a standard for comparison during our testing of the HATS and the post I made in the above comparison...... If you run the numbers you quoted back then with what I posted from our testing, you will see what I am saying.......... All of our .338 test guns had the same 30" barrel length that you referenced in your 2-11-08 posting so getting a good comparison was just a simple task of developing loads and testing them against your 2-11-08 published data......

You may have missed it in my original post, but I understand and did mention that if one used the larger cheytac-based case with the HATS, that it would then again jump ahead in the comparison....... But, it takes much more powder to do it with the larger chamberings and I don't think it will help extend barrel life in the long run and it may even shorten it to some extent. Hopefully for the folks that have the bigger cased guns, it will not be an issue. We live in interesting ballistic times in that the standard that was in place on 2-11-08 can now be eclipsed by a smaller case using a new style bullet and less powder....

On the 265 grain Gen I bullets that you shot, the advertised chronographed instrumental BC from us was only a mere .770 or specifically almost the same as a 300 SMK at .768. However, if you got .88-.89 with the Gen I 265s from drop tests then that is a good indication of how rough and inaccurate the drop tests are for deriving accurate BC values since the atmospheric conditions and the accuracy of the gun are all equal factors in the final BC value when calculated by measuring drops. But, since the Gen I .338s will not be manufactured again due to a new and more BC friendly die being placed into service, those numbers are history. Even the expansion testing you performed with them is of no use now since the Gen IIs are completely different in geometry but the same in components.... BTW, how did you test the expansion characteristics of the Gen I 265s?

However, the Gen IIs are much more impressive and at least one of your shooting sticks was used to help prove it..... Specifically, at least one of your guns that you built did quite well on paper and on live game with them when shot by your customer at 800+ yards. I believe that they were launching at 3440 and at 800 yards the groups were very small. I was not there to witness it, but I believe the gent and the groups looked to be in the range of 2" give or take. As a matter of fact, your customer was so impressed he asked me if the insane BCs were real or not. I assured him that his results were real. Like we have stated before, we will get some chronographed instrumental BCs performed when the next batch of test bullets arrive. We do have a rough idea of the ranges where they should fall and those are the rough numbers I posted earlier..... We have developed some rules of thumb that are quite accurate in predicting BCs when comparing different bullet weights and configurations of the same ogive design.... Again, those are the rough numbers I posted earlier above..... FWIW, we are sort of in a quandry deciding if pursuing a 325 grain offering would be viable or in demand since the planned 300 grainer should come in very close to 1.100 and probably even exceed it. Do you think there would be a large enough market for a 325 grain .338 with a BC north of 1.100 to justify fooling around with it?

As far as expansion is concerned, all the results we have on live animals and the results that customers have gotten on live animals even out past 800 yards, indicate deadly energy transfer, excellent expansion with large exit wounds and best of all, each animal was dropped with one shot. Specifically, less drift, less drop and more pop. Most were with the Gen II configuration, but one Elk was killed with the Gen I configuration bullet launched from a Snipe-Tac built by Mr Dave Viers who I believe was the originator of the Cheytac-based case for a .338 chambering.

Again, thanks for taking your time away from your business, family and other "interests" as well as for confirming my point about the HATS when the same length barrels are used. Specifically, if the bigger cheytac-based chamberings are not using them, then the smaller Lapua Improved chamberings can use the HATS and equal or surpass the performance of the larger cheytac-based chamberings shooting standard conventional bullets such as the 300 grain SMK......... That was the whole intent and gist of my original post.....

In these progressive ballistic times in which we live, it seems to make more sense to first choose the bullet and then decide how much powder one wishes to burn and THEN select the case.

Good luck in 2009.

Lightvarmint
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  #45  
Old 01-04-2009, 08:10 AM
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

LV

That's the second post you suggested selecting a bullet to build a rifle around. I see where you are coming from but that seems dangerous to me. I would bet there are a few people here that built guns around Wildcat bullets that are not very happy right now. Say I chose to build a 338 for the 265 HAT bullet and picked the lapua case.

#1 I throat it long to allow the AL tipped bullets to seat to the bottom of the neck. Then after shooting I find it just won't shoot well enough what then? It's setup wrong for the the 250 SMK and the 300 will be slower than I wanted and have a lower BC

#2 It shoots great I get real excited and then the one maker either changes the bullet design or stops making it all together?

I know it's the price you pay for being on the cutting edge. I think you just have to consider the number of bullet options and a fall back plan when investing in a rifle.
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  #46  
Old 01-04-2009, 04:12 PM
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

LV,

You are correct, at that time, that was my standard load. It was however because of the brass we were using, not because that is the limit of the rifle or chambering. Let me explain.

When I designed my 338 AM, we had access to the amazing TTI brass. That brass was very strong, in fact, I would honestly say it was as strong as the current 338 Lapua brass, amazing stuff. With that brass, I was driving the 300 gr SMK to 3500 fps out of my heavy rifle. My XHS rifles were getting 3400 fps easily with the same bullet with that brass.

Within a year, TTI brass went away, no way to get it anymore, very sad. Jamison international had just started making this brass. They were already using the 505 Gibbs so they just took that same case and necked it down to 408 CT. For Chey Tac standards of pressure, these worked acceptably well as they had no intent to reload the brass.

For handloaders. Even light loads for the 338 AM were opening primer pockets prematurely, sometimes on the first firing. That was the start of Jamison trying to get the brass made to higher standards. They worked with many of us using the 408 CT for a parent case for wildcat rounds. They took some of our advice and some they did not. In the end, they beefed up the case head thickness, tightened the primer pocket a bit and also changed the alloy in the brass to help support higher pressures.

This made a big difference. Now we were able to get back to around 3300 fps with max loads. It was at this time that I posted the numbers you list and it is true, at that time, I felt 3250 fps was a very comfortable load level with this bullet weight.

I then started working with Jamison to make my own brass with my correct headstamp. I was not willing to invest the money though on a case that would not take more pressure. The standard Jamison 408 CT brass would allow 3-4 firings at 3300 fps max. I wanted more and wanted more velocity if possible. I asked that they tighten the primer pockets up so they were 2 thou smaller then even their newly designed primer pocket just to get as many firings as possible from the cases.

I will be honest, those new cases that I had made, have all gone to customers. I have yet to do any serious load development with them as I am sending them all out to customers and letting them report on the results. They are telling me 3400 fps is practical and 3350 fps is very comfortable with the new brass which makes me very happy. Case life is not as long as the TTI cases were but its usible for what we want to do and much better then is has been since we lost the TTI brass.

So, yes, you are correct, I said those were my numbers but those numbers were limited to the brass we had to use, not the max performance of this chambering. As you can see, with current brass, the numbers I list are accurate and practical and still higher performance then the smaller 338s with the super bullets. Its a moot point, put the high BC bullets in the big 338s and the discussion is over again.

In my numbers, I was using the BC that you offered for the HAT bullets as you had tested them much more then I have. IF the bullets are structurally the same but just have a different Ogive, for the most part, velocity potential will be the same so in my numbers I just used your .91 BC value to give you the benefit of the doubt.

From your own words, one of my rifles is already getting good results with the Gen II Hats loading them to 3440 fps.

How does a 338 AI compare to that???? It does not in any way and to my knowledge, that load in the 338 AM was a relatively mild load. Mild pressure and 200 fps more velocity with same bullet weight......

As far as a 325 gr HAT with a BC in the 1.1 range. On paper, it sounds great, only problem in the real world is that a bullet of this length will cause some problems unless a non conventional bullet design is used. Baring surface is huge, fast twist barrels are needed for this length barrel. The combination of these two will result in larger variations because of temp changes and other environmental changes then a more conventional bullet length and weight.

I am not saying they would not be extremely accurate and amazing ballistically. The only problem is you will see dramatically wider variations from environmental shifts.

To solve this, if you could do something unconventional, such as a double diameter bullet(bore rider like) or wasp waist the bullet to reduce baring surface, this would help alot but it would also complicate bullet manufacturing and final bullet cost. That is why solid bullets are best for this extreme high BC bullet because its easy to cut relief cuts or band the baring surface to reduce baring surface.

Other problems, when you take a lead core bullet that is that long, you will run into a problem I have nicknamed "bullet wringing". This is when you take a very long lead core bullet and drive it into a barrel with a very fast twist. My theory, what happens is that when the bullet engraves the land, the front portion of the bullet begins to rotate but the rear section of the bullet has enough length and mass to resist this rotation and while the front begins to rotate, the rear does not and the section in the middle will weaken the bond between the jacket and core.

This probably happens to some degree with all longer conventional bullets but at the velocities we are working at and the extreme length of the bullet and fast twist, its much more dramatic. In worst cases, the bullet will fail in flight, in best case, accuracy will suffer to some degree.

How to cure that, well, really only two ways. One way that really helps is to seat the bullets hard into the lands which gets the bullet rotating the very instant it starts down the bore which will greatly reduce "bullet Wringing".

Number 2 is to use a very heavy jacket that can help support these forces. Only problem there is that unless you use a tapered jacket, expansion will be very limted. You can also bond the core to the jacket which will help some but is not a real cure and it costs alot more to do. Just my opinion on such matters.

When I tested the HATs, I shot into a line of media consisting of a water soaked phone book, followed by a sheet of 3/4" oak backed with 4 water filled milk jugs and then backed by soft sand.

First couple shots were at 500 yards. First shot was stopped in the first water jug and fraged severely. Second shot went through all four of the milk jugs. Third shot did not make it to target.

Fourth and fifth were very similiar to the second shot. Full penetration with little expansion.

I then moved to longer range. It was roughly 950 yards. All shots fired, 6 total except one showed very little penetration if any and one shot did not land on target.

Accuracy wise, they held 1/2 moa easily at 950 yards. No problem there. I read your results on the Gen II results and it sounds like the bugs are getting worked out. There are always bugs to work with and work out. ANytime you are pushing things past the current established max performance you are in new ground and speed bumps are to be expected. I think the main issue with the HAT bullets is that they were pushed pretty hard really before any serious testing had been done. Had their release been held up until the Gen II bullets had been tested, I the end result would have been in much more bullet sales and less heated discussions on the board.

I can not say who the first was that necked the 408 CT down to 338. To be honest I would bet it was no one here on LRH. I do not know if Dave did it before Bruce Baer but I do know both of them played with it long before I did and I have always given them credit for that. I just took a good thing and added more volume to push things a bit harder in velocity, that is all. I have never and will never claim to be the originator of this idea, that would be silly, I do feel I have added to the relm of big 338 magnums with the 338 AM, 338 AX and now the 338 Ultra Maxx which was designed by the urging of Joecool here on LRH.
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  #47  
Old 01-04-2009, 05:40 PM
Lightvarmint
 
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazylabs View Post
LV

That's the second post you suggested selecting a bullet to build a rifle around. I see where you are coming from but that seems dangerous to me. I would bet there are a few people here that built guns around Wildcat bullets that are not very happy right now. Say I chose to build a 338 for the 265 HAT bullet and picked the lapua case.

#1 I throat it long to allow the AL tipped bullets to seat to the bottom of the neck. Then after shooting I find it just won't shoot well enough what then? It's setup wrong for the the 250 SMK and the 300 will be slower than I wanted and have a lower BC

#2 It shoots great I get real excited and then the one maker either changes the bullet design or stops making it all together?

I know it's the price you pay for being on the cutting edge. I think you just have to consider the number of bullet options and a fall back plan when investing in a rifle.
LL,

I realize where you are coming from and your concerns. I also realize that this thread is about pushing the envelope to the limit and my above comments are based on doing just that.

With that said, when one finds something that works well and pushes the envelope that is the time to stock up on components to ensure that you have a barrel life supply or enough to supply all of your barrels that you use.

For instance.

When I decided to get into benchrest, I noticed that everyone was scratching for good brass back in the mid 1990s...... As soon as the brass became available, I purchased 7000 pieces..... Now I don't have to worry about brass.

Next, I got the 600 yard bug and purchased a new 6mm Dasher bench gun. Since the original purchase, I have added three new additional barrels to my barrel inventory. So when Obama got elected and I got concerned about supply of shooting components, I then purchased an addtitional 70,000 primers and 144 lbs of powder..... Also, when copper started moving up in price this last year, I got concerned and purchased 8000 bullets on sale for the 600 yard gun and now I don't have to worry about barrel supply, bullet supply, primer supply or powder supply .

I can only give you the advice that I am willing to follow myself and that is to stock up when you find something that works. I am sure there are folks out there like Buffalo Bob who stocked up on components when he found something he liked in the Wildcat bullet line.

Finally, as Kirby has said on many occassions, just because you have the barrel throated for a specific bullet, it does not mean it will not work with others. For instance in my 338 Lapua Improved, the 300 grain SMK only requires 4 clicks vertical and 2 clicks windage to adjust the scope from the HAT 400 yard zero to the 300 SMK 400 yard zero using the same barrel.

Lightvarmint
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  #48  
Old 01-04-2009, 06:08 PM
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Lots of good advice on this thread!

LV, what do the 338 HATs cost? I originally wanted a 338 Lapua improved, but a 30-338 Lapua improved is looking pretty good, I could use 208 Amaxes for practice and your 210 HATs for hunting, and practice would be much cheaper with the Amaxes over 300 grain SMK's for the 338. What do you think?
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  #49  
Old 01-04-2009, 06:28 PM
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler kemp View Post
lots of good advice on this thread!

Lv, what do the 338 hats cost? I originally wanted a 338 lapua improved, but a 30-338 lapua improved is looking pretty good, i could use 208 amaxes for practice and your 210 hats for hunting, and practice would be much cheaper with the amaxes over 300 grain smk's for the 338. What do you think?

touchdown !!!!!!!!!!
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