Well, I broke in the barrel today on my TRG-S in .338 Lapua Magnum and have a few observations.
First, whatever Sako did when they created the barrel, it keeps out the copper---there was zero copper fouling (especially surprising with Barnes X bullets). I mean absolutely zero detectable copper in the bore---very weird. My last barrel to be broken-in, a Lilja, collected so much copper per shot for the first 10 rounds, that I wondered how much bullet was left coming out of the barrel. I used Butch's Bore Shine for cleaning.
Next, my recoil impressions. I experimented a bit because a least one person was curious about the recoil. I left the scope and mounts off for this, so total gun weight was 8.125 lbs. Recoil while shooting offhand and wearing a heavy PAST shield was not bad at all. The stock recoils straight back---so no smacking your face even with the loosest of holds. Shooting while standing but without the PAST was painful, so no more of that except when hunting. Shooting rigidly from a bench but with the PAST was painful as well, but not as much so. I won't do that anymore either. However, I can happily shoot from the bench while on my knees to get back to an offhand-like stance and I'm in nirvana. When shot like this, the felt recoil is much less than that of than my lightweight .270 Winchester off the bench. The load was 97.2 grains of H1000 behind a Barnes 210 grain XBT (uncoated).
Now that I have some fire-formed brass, I'll have to work-up some loads. BTW, I'm using BeLL brass (at only a dollar a case, its a steal) and it is very uniform in weight (unlike my Norma brass), but average weight is the same as Norma's at about 340 grains. The Lapua brass that I have is much heavier (around 370 grains), is nicely annealed, has a drilled flash hole, and is already chamfered. However, it costs about twice as much as the BeLL brass.
Before I started my 'custom' project, I shot my unmodified TRG 338 lapua from the bench a few times. NOT a pleasure to shoot, nope. I don't see how anybody can get one of those things to group. Mine jumped clean off the front rest and onto the bench with each shot.
I just got my 338 Lapua brass from Bruno's Shooters Supply, much, much cheaper than any other place I looked. $1.29 a piece, $145 shipped to my door here in AK... how's that.
Never heard anything good about Bell brass, only bad.
You're right about the flash holes, they look completely different than the 308 and 243 brass that needed deburred. I think they give this 338 stuff the special treatment! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
A muzzle brake tames those 338's down to a toothless, declawed pussy cat!! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] My brothers is about like a 243 with his Holland brake! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I examined the inside of my barrel and it looks like a copper mine! Butch's Bore Shine is a very good copper solvent... I wonder what's going on! Maybe Barnes recently stopped using copper for X bullets [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] I thought that no copper fouling during break-in was too freaky to be true...
That is an incredible price for Lapua brass, thanks for sharing. I've heard numerous bad things about BeLL brass as well, usually involving Dakota cases. However, they are capable, when inclined, of making top-notch match quality brass like the Lazzeroni cases. The twenty dollar question is whether or not their new .338 Lapua cases are not-so-good like most of their stuff, or as-good-as-it-gets like the Lazzeroni cases. With $1.29 Lapua brass, I may not bother to invetigate any further [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
I am tempted to put on a OPSINC muzzle brake (no extra noise, but over 2.5" long). The muzzle of the rifle is only 0.620" while the smallest threading option for the OPSINC is 0.575", so it'll probably work.
Mine had no noticable tendancy to bounce upwards under recoil, but I always hold the forearm of my hunting rifles even when shooting off a bench so I'm cheating a bit [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Wayne just bought a box right after I did too, guess who had to pay more for shipping, tax and all though? [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] Wayne lives miles away and I thounsands of miles, no sales tax here though. I think he only paid a couple bucks more though. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I use SC, sweets and JB, gave up on CR10, never tried Butches yet. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]