Re: Which .338 should I have built?
I have been watching this thread for awhile and have not made any recommendations simply because it was going basically the same direction I would recommend.
I do want to however talk about the 338 Edge a bit even though I am positive Shawn gave you the complete low down on his round.
Basically it is getting a pretty hard rap on this post. Well, better said, the 338 Lapua is getting made out to be a VASTLY superior design for several reasons and I do not nessesarily agree with all of them.
It has been said that the 338 Lapua case is vastly stronger then the RUM. That may be true as far as looking at the case itself is concerned but the strength of a case is overwhelmingly dependent on the dimensions of the chamber. If you have a loose chamber and you load the 338 Lapua hot you will loosen primer pockets just as fast as the RUM brass.
Conversely, if you have a very quality tight speced chamber for either the Lapua or the Edge, you will be able to hit 65,000-68,000 psi with no problem at all and long case life with both rounds.
So for case live, its more dependant on chamber then brass used in the final result.
As far as brass quality, yes I will give the Lapua its fair comings and say that for out of the box brass, the Lapua hulls are superior. That said, with a little bench time you can turn the Rem RUM cases into extremely consistant lots of brass that will run toe to toe with the Lapua cases. Just more time involved.
It has been said that another advantage of the 338 Lapua is the fact that there is no fireforming needed compared to the 338 Edge. If I am not mistaken, the 338 Edge is the 338-300 RUM with a name change for safety issues. There is no more fireforming needed with this round then there is with Lapua rounds.
The 338 Edge can be cold formed. Which means you run a 300 RUM case throught the 338 Edge Full Length die which I would assume Shawn recommend the Redding with its tapered expander which makes this neck up process so easy its hard to believe its actually necking the neck up. And your done. Trim to length and your ready to roll with full tilt loads from the start, no major case transformation needed.
I am also pretty sure the dies would be pretty easy to get through Shawn for the 338 Edge. As a side note, I have actually used the 338 RUM dies to load for the 338-300 RUM with great results but I would recommend getting 338 Edge dies from Shawn if you have a rifle built.
With both rounds to get top accuracy you will fireform the case and then go from there. I do not know to many extreme range shooters that when the time comes for serious shooting use virgin cases????? May just be me.
There is no advantage with either design as far as ballisstic performance goes, they are ballistic twins. If you use the Lapua Imp you get a bit more but not much.
This post was not to promote or detract from either round. Only to state that some of the reasons for using the Lapua over the Edge are not as significant as many would lead you to believe.
The end result, hitting the target at whatever range you choose has much more to do with the rifle then what round you are putting in the magazine box to be honest.
Another thing to remember comparing the 338 Lapua to the 338 Edge. IF you want a repeating rifle, the Lapua based on the Rem 700 will require an H-S Precision Detachable magazine system which will add from $220 to $250 to the finished rifle price compared to the Edge which can use the factory RUM mag box and BDL floorplate.
For extreme accuracy I actually prefer to use the RUM mag box in an ADL stock with this level of recoil it greatly stiffens the stock.
Either way you look at it both are great rounds. The 338 Lapua is the established round but it will depend on the rifle as to which would actually perform better. I know from the rifles I have built in both chamberings (338-300 RUM) They have both been very impressive.
Just my two cents worth.
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