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Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

 
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2011, 12:21 PM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

I just wanted to make it clear this post is just an explanation of why I do what I do from all the questions I recieved about my post in another thread. Doesn't mean it is right, wrong or indifferent and others I am sure have other opinions. In no way am I trying to be a guru on the subject. I am a retired engineer and been a hobby gunsmith shooting game long range since the 70's. Not a proffesional in any way.

I am not saying throw away your 338-300 RUM's and 338 Lapuas because they are fantastic long range hunting cartridges. Just explaining why I shoot what I do. Either of these will kill elk size animals as far as you can hit one with a 300 SMK. I have quite a few rifles and able to load each one to acheive a specific purpose and be the best within that niche. For a guy with a one rifle do it all, load to be the best at the distance you expect to shoot the most game at. I think JEcustom was getting at this point. His rifle is loaded to be the best killer at the distance he expects to shoot the most.

Broz, I worked quite a bit with the 338 Lapua and several improved designs for it back in the 90's when it came out and begin to get so popular. The improved designs that worked best for me and several other shops at the time pushed the shoulder forward and about everyone settled on a shoulder angle between 35-40 degrees. Left a minimum body taper for extraction and the one I shot left the neck length about .3 inches. The old standard was keep your neck as long as your caliber but what many of us found is that once you get to 308-323 caliber all the larger ones will shoot pretty well with this length neck. I shot the Gibbs quite a bit and my 338 Gibbs shoots great with the .25" Gibbs neck length.

Out of a 30" barrel the best designs could expect 2950 fps with the 300 SMK and brass life. Some say they get 3000 fps and I could see that happening with Lapua brass at five shots or less or a fast barrel. With the 338 Excaliber or 338-378 wby imp with the shoulder pushed forward you could possibly see 3100 fps which would give you that few extra precious yards at long range if you were not dead on with the range. I have a standard 338-378 wby with a 28" Hart barrel that shoots 3065 fps with best accuracy and a 300 SMK. Another decision would be possibly making it a single shot even with the long wby action. The Lapua fits beautiful in the wby action. The Excaliber case is longer than the 378 or 416 and with a 300 SMK seated out to the lands would be a single shot in all likelyhood. My personal 338 Lapua improved that I designed shot between 2950-3000 fps out of a 28" barrel and was probably the most accurate 338 I ever owned. A guy offered me enough for it after seeing it shoot that I couldn't keep it anymore. Always was going to do another but that day never came as I retired.

You just have to decide if it is worth all the trouble. I think your lapua still has quite a bit of life remaining because I know you have taken care of it. The Lapua is not hard on barrels and I have seen 1500 accurate shots with them. The main thing is not that your lapua is inadequate because it will take an elk at 1500 yards just as dead as anything. Personally I have seen a 300 SMK kill an elk efficiently at 1300 fps. The decision is how much trouble is it worth to give you that few extra yards through the kill zone for the best opportunity at a first shot kill considering it is hard to get an exact range way out there.
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2011, 02:44 PM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Time Long Ranger View Post
Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

I just wanted to make it clear this post is just an explanation of why I do what I do from all the questions I recieved about my post in another thread. Doesn't mean it is right, wrong or indifferent and others I am sure have other opinions. In no way am I trying to be a guru on the subject. I am a retired engineer and been a hobby gunsmith shooting game long range since the 70's. Not a proffesional in any way.

I am not saying throw away your 338-300 RUM's and 338 Lapuas because they are fantastic long range hunting cartridges. Just explaining why I shoot what I do. Either of these will kill elk size animals as far as you can hit one with a 300 SMK. I have quite a few rifles and able to load each one to acheive a specific purpose and be the best within that niche. For a guy with a one rifle do it all, load to be the best at the distance you expect to shoot the most game at. I think JEcustom was getting at this point. His rifle is loaded to be the best killer at the distance he expects to shoot the most.

Broz, I worked quite a bit with the 338 Lapua and several improved designs for it back in the 90's when it came out and begin to get so popular. The improved designs that worked best for me and several other shops at the time pushed the shoulder forward and about everyone settled on a shoulder angle between 35-40 degrees. Left a minimum body taper for extraction and the one I shot left the neck length about .3 inches. The old standard was keep your neck as long as your caliber but what many of us found is that once you get to 308-323 caliber all the larger ones will shoot pretty well with this length neck. I shot the Gibbs quite a bit and my 338 Gibbs shoots great with the .25" Gibbs neck length.

Out of a 30" barrel the best designs could expect 2950 fps with the 300 SMK and brass life. Some say they get 3000 fps and I could see that happening with Lapua brass at five shots or less or a fast barrel. With the 338 Excaliber or 338-378 wby imp with the shoulder pushed forward you could possibly see 3100 fps which would give you that few extra precious yards at long range if you were not dead on with the range. I have a standard 338-378 wby with a 28" Hart barrel that shoots 3065 fps with best accuracy and a 300 SMK. Another decision would be possibly making it a single shot even with the long wby action. The Lapua fits beautiful in the wby action. The Excaliber case is longer than the 378 or 416 and with a 300 SMK seated out to the lands would be a single shot in all likelyhood. My personal 338 Lapua improved that I designed shot between 2950-3000 fps out of a 28" barrel and was probably the most accurate 338 I ever owned. A guy offered me enough for it after seeing it shoot that I couldn't keep it anymore. Always was going to do another but that day never came as I retired.

You just have to decide if it is worth all the trouble. I think your lapua still has quite a bit of life remaining because I know you have taken care of it. The Lapua is not hard on barrels and I have seen 1500 accurate shots with them. The main thing is not that your lapua is inadequate because it will take an elk at 1500 yards just as dead as anything. Personally I have seen a 300 SMK kill an elk efficiently at 1300 fps. The decision is how much trouble is it worth to give you that few extra yards through the kill zone for the best opportunity at a first shot kill considering it is hard to get an exact range way out there.
Very well said, the reason I like the medium (excaliber,416imp,338-378imp) 338s at 3100fps over the 408 imp versions is rifle build weight and still being able to climb high with the medium 338s making them very effective high in our rocky mountains at long range.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2011, 03:35 PM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

Very well said and I didn't go into that. The lightest big ones I have seen off the chey-tac come in at 16.5-18.5 pounds. Kirby's Raptor may knock a little weight off that. But the long range 338's I shoot stay in that 10-12 pound range.
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2011, 03:56 PM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

Thanks LTLR, I could squeeze a little more out of my std. LM. The brass has 11+ firings on it now and still looks good. So I guess I need to study the numbers and see just what 100 to 150 fps has to offer in my application. You are right about how hard it is to get the "exact range way out there" but since I bucked up for the Vectronix PLRF10 I feel very confident on my ranges to 2500 yards.

Thanks again.

Jeff
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2011, 04:22 PM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

I have just got to buck up like you did. Everytime I start saving up the money and decide to do it I spend it hunting or fishing. I tested several Lapuas at my range out of a 28" barrel and got good accuracy around 2900 fps but at the sacrifice of the brass. I figured brass was cheap next to the hunt so went hot.
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  #20  
Old 04-28-2011, 04:35 PM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

Yeah, I never thought I would complain about brass lasting to long. But the primer pockets even after 11 firings are still so tight the primers make a "pop" sound wen coming out and all are the same. I know Lapua is awesome brass but I am begining to feel I could hop em up a bit and get to 2850 and still be ok. I am sure you know what the 378 based extractor on a Mark V does when you load em hot. I fdo carry a spare though. I plan to do some load work starting very soon for it with the new Bergers. Now that I have my 300 WM I don't shoot the 338 LM quite as much, so maybe I need to rev her up and finish off this brass.

I know you have a few rifles that got to have some dust on them. Do what I did and sell off a few to fund the PLRF10. I sure don't regret it. One of my better choices for sure.

Jeff
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2011, 06:04 AM
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Re: Medium 338's vs. Big 338's

LTLR, please post the information on the Cutting Edge 225 and 250 after you test them. I too would also like to try them.
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