Re: Help me buld a big .338......
I would spend what ever extra there is to get the 338-408 over the 338-378wby imp 40deg.
Ive built many of them in the past and wont do them any more, the brass is not very good for the high pressures your looking at running. The guys that have them wby's ive built are getting 2750 in a 27" barrel, most accurate load. long barreled rifles are are in the 2900fps range. Most end up backing the loads down to save brass life.
If your spending mucho bucks for a custom rig the price of custom dies and brass are a small factor. Barrels are considered a consumable part of the whole rifle, you can load a 338-408imp to 3000fps and that would be a light load, barrel life would be as good or better than a 338-378 using the faster burn powders to achieve anything close to 3000fps.
In the end its all about accuracy first, most guys ive talked to with the hotrod 338-408's
tell me they have settled for 3200-3300fps for the most accurate loads with the 300smk bullets. I seen the article where Joel Russo fired the group from his 338Bigbear, 3.8" at 1650yds, (if i remember right) His load was 3250fps. Ive ran my personal rifle up into the high 3400's, it still shot great but the brass didnt like it. I have backed my loads to 3300ave speed and shoots lights out for a lighter hunting type repeater rifle.
I push the 338snipe tac when ever i can to the guys who want the ultimate in the Big 338's
Kirby's 338am is another choice for the hotrods. There is only two 338's i will build, the Lapua and its wildcats, or the 408 case and its wildcats, i want nothing to do with the belted mag cases, ie Wby.