IT is based on the same specs as the 408 CT case. It has a slightly sharper shoulder, VERY similiar to the 338 Sniper Tac and 338 Big Baer chamberings. The 338 AM differs from it in several areas, same basic case used but the shoulder on the AM is relocated forward for a longer case body section, slightly shorter neck but still plenty adiquate.
The brass is made for Xtreme Machining by Bertram brass in Austrailia. It is quality brass but not as strong as you would see from TTI which we can no longer get so who cares!!!
Compared to the Jamison brass, I would say they are very similiar, if not the same as far as strength. The cases are headstamped with 338 Xtreme but that can be had for the 338 AM as well.
The real key to their long case life is the bullet they are using. Its a double diameter design with a relatively thin driving band at the rear of the bullet. Basically a bore rider design but with some minor changes. This means that there is only a very small amount of full depth engraving occuring with these solid bullets. This dramatically reduces pressure and can increase top velocity potential.
That said, in my experience testing bullets very similiar to this, they shoot very well up to around 3300 fps but anything over that, accuracy drops off dramatically, I am sure this is also why they are loaded to the specs they are from Xtreme Machine which is very mild in pressure for a 266 gr bullet weight, even solid design.
Back to the brass, you can not get it. Unless you get a 338 Xtreme rifle and most of the brass is now going into loaded ammo that they will be selling to customers only. They are also focusing on military and security customers now above all else. I tried to order some brass for my 338 customers several months ago. They told me that they were not offering it to anyone but their customers. Fair enough, brass is hard to come by.
As far as the bullet again, not sure but many western states prohibit the use of any solid bullet for big game with a few exceptions, which are those specifically designed for big game hunting and have a large flat nose on them for some degree of energy transfer. In Montana, these bullets would not be legal to hunt big game with.
Its the throat design more then anything that would effect bullets other then the solids the rifle is designed for. Other then that, I am sure the barrels would shoot the conventional 338 bullets just fine.
The rifles are good products for sure. Lightweight, accurate and powerful but I would have to agree with Shawn, nothing that the Sniper Tac, Big Baer or AM can not do.
The 338 Xtreme is designed for use in all conditions, mainly the worst possible conditions as its focused toward the mil type crowd. As such, they have to make sure that the ammo is loaded to a level that is well below any area that may cause problems. The three other 338 wildcats on the 408 case are focused much more toward big game hunters who can load these up to much higher pressures for a significant boost in performance.
For example, in same length barrels, the 338 AM will easily drive the 265 gr AT RBBT to 3450 fps which is noticably faster then the 338 Xtreme with its bullet and the AT RBBT has a much higher BC as well so top performance will significantly favor the AM because they can be loaded to higher pressures.
In fairness to Xtreme Machining, because of their focus group, they are not able to push things like we as big game hunters can.
Its a great rifle and chambering no doubt, very neat idea on the bullet as well. Never a bad thing to have another potent long range option!!!
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