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fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:52 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dixie, WV
Posts: 148
Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

If someone wanted some trully unbaised results, just send me a 338AM, some hat bullets and send me elk hunting I will get back to you with my results
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:16 PM
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Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

I am not sure about others but I have worked with several custom bullet makers that had the exact same money back garantee on their bullets. Hell, Richard Graves would not even charge for the bullets until they arrived and the customers were happy with them.

As far as custom rifle makers...... I have to take a bit of offense to your comments about us in general. 95% of my customers are out of state. I would say 50-60% of those I never speak to over the phone just because of my lack of time to spend on the phone. That said, I have gained a reputation as having very good customer service.

The notion that you have to shake the hand of your gunsmith to be able to trust him and get a world class rifle made is simply 100% false, in fact it has little to do with anything.

Point is, there are those in all professions that are less then ethical, I have and I am sure you have shaken hands with some "professionals" that turned out to be very unethical.

My personal policy is that I will do everything humanly possible to make my customer 100% happy with rifles that I build for them. If in the end they are not happy with the rifles, I will certainly refund every penny they have into it as long as their issues are based in fact. That is why I take so much time during the rifle design process to make sure that I am building the rifle rifle that the customer really wants.

I would certainly hope you do not class all out of town smiths as not worthy of your trust or that they are not 100% ethical in their business dealings.....

Most bullet makers will offer some form of load data as most have shot their own bullets before they begin selling them. May not be included on the package but a simple phone call or e-mail will generally get you all the information and tips you may want for a product.

As far as getting a twist rate wrong, or barrel recommendation wrong. These things do happen, especially when your pushing the envelope. Hell, when I came out with the 270 AM and 7mm AM using the very long Wildcat bullets, I contacted Lilja barrels and asked them what barrels they would recommend for these new bullets which noone else had worked with to our knowledge. I even sent them bullets to take dimensions on to make the perfect, we thought, rifle twist and design for these bullets specifically.

I trusted the expert barrel makers recommendations and we had custom barrel tooling made for the barrels he recommended, 1-8, 3 groove in 270 and 1-7, 3 groove in 7mm. I would do the same thing today, trust others that know more then you.

Turned out, after a few hundred rounds, the 195 gr 270 and 200 gr 7mm bullets were coming apart. Why, to much barrel compression. We all gave it our best go and we did extensive testing, in fact I had three test barrels for each caliber made and sent to me long before I made any customer rifles. I had well over 200 rounds down each barrel in ballistic testing, load development and field testing. Everything went perfectly, accuracy, load development and those barrels even killed well over a dozen head of big game in terminal field testing.

Started building rifles, customers were all happy as can be until they started getting over 300rounds down the barrel and the problem started rearing its head. We were all at a loss as to why this was happening. It was like someone flicked a switch and the barrels just started tearing the bullets apart. In the 7mm, it was the 200 gr ULD that was having problems, and the Berger bullets. IT was clear that the problem was in the very thin J-4 jackets used in both bullets. From extensive testing, it was found that the 1-7 twist was more then needed and the 3 groove wide land rifling had far to much baring surface compression.

Ordered in four new test barrels in to test these problems, Lilja 1-9, 6 groove, groove, 1-9 4 groove, Pac Nor 1-8 and a Rock 1-8.7 5R barrel.

It was proven that these bullets needed less then 20% baring surface compression or they would have problems after the barrels got a bit of wear to them. IT was also found that the Lilja 1-9, 4 groove and a specially designed 1-8.7 thin land 5R Rock barrel worked the best.

In the end, every customer was contacted that had a 7mm AM and the offer was simple, get the barrels to me and they would be replaced on my dime no questions asked.

The 270 AM was a bit trickier. While the 195 gr ULD RBBT would not handle the 1-8, 3 groove Lilja barrels, it would still shoot the 169.5 gr ULD RBBTs very well which was the standard bullet when I designed that wildcat. Why did it survive, it used a much thicker jacket.

I did not contact those customers that owned the 270 AM for one reason, most were already shooting the 169.5 gr ULD RBBT which was the bullet this wildcat was designed around. Some did contact me when they tried the 195 gr ULD RBBT and again we did some testing to see if this was the same problem. It was and for those that contacted me, I made the same offer to them if they were not happy shooting the 169.5 gr ULD RBBT.

I did have one customer that never made contact with me again until I was contacted by a guy that bought the rifle second hand and was told this rifle was designed to shoot the 195 gr ULD RBBT but when he took posession of the rifle it did not shoot them well. I told this second had buyer that I could not tell how many rounds had been down the barrel but that was likely the reason for the pour results with the 195 gr pills. I did not offer to replace this barrel on my dime for a couple reasons, 1. It was not the original owner and 2. I had no accurate means of telling how many rounds were down that barrel. As these chamberings are not terribly barrel friendly, I could not stand behind that one example. I believe that made the second hand buyer unhappy but I did offer to replace the barrel for a reduced price. Never head back from him but did see that he put that used barrel on the market for sale which in my opinion is not overly ethical as it was a barrel with ALOT of rounds down it.

Later I asked the original owner why he did not contact me and he said he had been using the 140 gr Accubonds with good results so did not have any real complaints and just needed to sell some rifles.

Had he contacted me, he would have also been given a new barrel for his rifle.

Point being, when you start something that is this extreme, not only do the customers have some risk, the gunsmiths do as well, at times much more then the customers themselves. Perhaps some down time is a real risk but other then that there really is no risk if they use an ethical smith which most of us are.

In total, I replaced 21 Lilja fluted barrels and installation plus return shipping on my dime. This nearly put my small business under at the time and for nearly a year later but it was the right thing to do no matter what the cost. The smiths I know here on LRH would do the same thing.

You can see why I take offense to someone making a general comment about this. My customers are not risking anything. In the beginning, all were informed we were doing brand new things and that they had not been proven long term and that I was with them to the end. Anyone else that puts out a quality product and backs it up will also be very successful. If you are not ethical, you will not last.

You may not have ment to offend, you may have, hard to tell from a post on a chat board but you really directed your comments toward rifle builders and I must stand up to that and say that not only are your general comments about rifle builders offensive, they are flat out wrong.
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Old 01-05-2009, 04:59 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

the risk of using them is far, far, far less than buying say a custom gun from a custom gunsmith that does not live in your locale or even region of the country.
Light Varmint, you just can't get through the day without insulting someone can you. Every thread you are up on ends up with some insult from you. You just really thrive on animosity and antagonism.

I stood in Clay Spencer's shop and discussed exactly what I wanted done and gave him a sheet of paper with everything printed on it. Joel Russo had to bail me out because Clay wouldn't do the stock work and still I paid full price for the rifle work to Clay. At the same time, I had Kirby building me a rifle and it was all by email. The rifle was built as promised and was ready when it was promised by Kirby and nobody had get to me out of a jam with him.

In fact me and a couple of guys sent Kirby money for a prototype barrel to be built and Kirby had it built and the barrel didn't work. Kirby refunded our money even though I told him to keep it that I had known the risk before hand and had knowingly taken it.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:35 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 3,351
Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Interesting stuff here in this thread. Yes a little bit of back and forth but this thread is pretty informational in many ways, no matter the angle the posters are coming from. Glad to hear Kirby provide some of the development issues he has encountered in the past and particularly the manner in which he handled/resolved them. Also interesting to read of the evolution of the HAT bullets and their performance potential. I hope LV and Greyghostt stick with it. I'd also like to see the purchasers of the Wildcat Bullets manufacturing dies/equipment get into production. If anyone in-the-know learns of where that business is, I'd sure appreciate reading about it on this Forum.

Keep-em coming. It's winter time in Alaska, the daylight hours are limited, and there's much more time for reading and posting now than during the summer months. Been getting down to -30 F on a regular basis here for the past couple weeks (and no end in sight), and I could use some more interesting threads/posts to keep me warm.

Last edited by phorwath; 01-05-2009 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:58 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,796
Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

I also hope that Greyghostt continues working to bring us more high BC options.

I honestly do not know what to think about LV. I can not tell if he has an invested interest with Greyghostts company or if he is just an enthusiastic patron of his. Either way I really do not mind at all. Push whatever product you want as long as you are honest in your reporting of results.

What bothers me is how he managed to make it sound like dealing with a bullet maker was now risk at all while dealing with an out of town gunsmith was a huge risk for anyone and that they should only deal with local smiths they could trust...........

What is the motive to even bring that up???

Whats the angle?

Why would someone even make a comment like that if they did not have some reason for making it?

We have been through this before with LV, I was thinking we might be past it but we always seem to come back to this type of strange subtle jabs.......

I do not see a reason for it but I am sure there is one.
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Old 01-05-2009, 06:15 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,796
Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Just to get back on topic. I believe the question was what is the fastest 338 out there. Well, to compare all the different chamberings, we need to use a standard which would be the same bullet in all with the same length barrels so lets do that. Lets say 30" barrel length in all, even the 408 CT based wildcats. This does put the really large 338s at a disadvantage but all things will be equal.

These are velocity tests from rifles I have built in each chambering, all using #8 contour Lilja 1-10 twist, SS fluted barrels. Velocity is an average of 5 shot string in 50-60 degree temps

338 RUM............................2745 fps
338 Edge...........................2865 fps
338 Lapua.........................2870 fps
338 Ultra Maxx...................2945 fps
338 Kahn............................3004 fps
338 Allen Xpress................3010 fps
338 Allen Magnum..............3315 fps **

** Just wanted to make the point to make this clear that these velocities are from a 30" barrel, not my standard 33-35" lengths. Just so we do not get confused that 3315 fps is the max velocity in a 338 AM.

Would also like to add that these are examples of one rifle per caliber using Lilja barrels and they tend to run a bit lower in velocity because the bore diameters tend to be a bit tighter then average.

But with same bullets and same barrel lengths, you at least have some idea the difference in velocity.

Maybe some day I will be able to do this list with the new Wildcat bullets but not yet. No hints yet on the new owners as its not solidly set in stone that the sell will go through so out of respect for the potential owners and Richard, I will not say anything until its a done deal.

I will however say it would be a US based company if the current interested group gets it and in my opinion, they would do a very good job making bullets. Hopefully for both parties and all of us, it goes through soon.
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Old 01-05-2009, 08:06 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: fastest 338 caliber?Build advice?

Some of these posts have nothing to do with the topic and certainly not anything to do with bullets, barrels, rifles and ballistics and frankly I cannot fathom why they are here. I have always found it better to ask questions to clarify understanding than to have a misunderstanding and start shooting in all directions...... It really cuts down on fratracide and friendly fire incidents and keeps bloody messes to a minimum.........................

In an attempt to clarify a statement that is obviously misunderstood here is the point stated in a different way to hopefully increase the understanding of the intent.

Conducting business with Mr Henson is very simple and without risk, period! He is even setting up a merchant account to take credit cards as payment. We all know how to reverse charges when product issues are not handled correctly. So, again, conducting business with him is without risk. He understands this process.......

Shipping guns out of state and/or your region is risky in my opinion.... I have been an interenet and shotgun news/gunlist trader of guns and gun related material for over twenty-five years and I have heard all the horror stories and complaints of shady behavior from customers who have had bad experiences with unscrupulous folks... When these types of situations occur, we all take it on the chin.....

The comparison in my last post was not aimed at anyone in particular or even as a group as a whole. It was just a simple example that fits well in the rifles, bullets, barrels, and ballistics forum section and line of thinking. The point is that you are at greater risk shipping your gun out of state or region to get work done on it than conducting business with Mr Henson. Specifically, when any shipper handles your weapons you are at risk of not getting it returned as it was shipped. Another point is that sometimes the barrel you ship does not get installed for whatever reason and this was reported on this website by one of our contributors.....

Finally, always check the recommendations you recieve with another source to ensure you get what you are expecting (specifically barrel twist recommendations). Mr Henson and I both go the extra mile to ensure potential customers understand the proper twist for the bullets that get shipped and we also include helpful tips on how we have gotten the best accuracy out of them... This is all in an effort to foster a pleasant and fruitful shooting experience. So, if you have the mindset to feel comfortable shipping your guns out of state to get them worked on, then you should not have reservations about dealing with RG Henson. Afterall, he has a money back satisfaction guarantee.

Finally, we as individuals have to ensure that we do not hold others to higher standards than we hold ourselves in the areas of posting topic responses, testing bullets, building guns, testing guns, building bullets, and any other situations we encounter...... Jumping to conclusions has never been a solution to any issue and more times than not jumping to conclusions makes the situation much larger than the initial issue and makes the one doing the jumping look very, very, very silly.....

The point I initially made on this thread was to select the bullet first and then do some research on how to accelerate it to your desired velocity...... All this other stuff was because the new technology we used in the same length barrels with a smaller case yeilded significantly better results than the older technology using more powder..... It obviously ruffled some feathers, but believe me the hundreds of hours of testing, talking, designing and building these bullets were not aimed at ruffling any feathers, it was aimed at contributing to bullet improvement for those with both large and smaller chamberings in their guns.... To me this is a win-win situation for everyone even the ones shooting the bigger cases.... But it really helps out the shooter that does not want to go GIANT on his cases and chamberings to get the same high performance that was the standard in a 30" barrel less than 12 months ago. Again, I feel this is significant and the feedback we are getting indicates that the readership thinks it is both significant and beneficial.

Lightvarmint (Bullet tester)
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