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338 lapua question

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Unread 12-18-2012, 12:17 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DEEP south TX
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338 lapua question

I know there is a bunch of loads here about the 338Lapua. My question is more pointed at thoughts. When I purchased my gun, the load given to me by Mcwhorter was 225 accubond and at 100 yards, it is .33 inch groups.
I have been toying with the thought of Bergers or SMK and following some of the loads on this website. However, should I just use the load he made for me and that shoots very well? Should I give up the Barnes bullets I have been chasing and trying to get them to shoot well? The other thing is he loaded with N560 Vita Vuri (sorry if I misspelled it) I have been using H1000 and Retumbo but Can not seem to get the Barnes to group under .5 inches at 100 yards, Came very close today.

On the load idea, will the OAL change between bullets? I ask because when I use my Hornady measuring device to see how long my OAL is at the lands, the length changes if I change bullets. I think it makes sense since the Ogive differs in each but I wanted to check. Also, should I go back to N560 since my gun seems to like it?

Thanks for the help in advance. Heading to TX after Xmas for some hogs with my bow and I want to try some long range pig kills...... I will keep yall posted!!!!
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Unread 12-18-2012, 12:41 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: GSP, SC, USA
Posts: 643
Re: 338 lapua question

Might just be a cleaning problem. Barnes will lay copper down quicker than your average jacked bullet. I would have 25 of the Mcwhorter loads in stock as a bench mark and when my group opened up while testing pop a couple of them bad boys in and see if its the new stuff, or a dirty barrel. Keep us posted. It is always nice to have something that is absolute. And, .33 inch groups is bad mojo on hogzilla and the pigletts.
Good luck.
"I'm better when it's breathing" Chris Kyle
NRA Life Member 1970
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Unread 12-18-2012, 06:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
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Re: 338 lapua question

The OAL will change when switching bullets, since the contact band is different between different bullet types and brands. Additionally, your load development will likely involve changing the distance to the lands/seating depth in order to maximize accuracy for a given bullet. Similarly, different weight, or brand bullets can show a preference for a particular powder. I'm not sure from your post if you have tried playing with seating depth with your Barnes loadwork, but this may make a difference in your groups. Overall, changing your current Accubond load largely depends on your shooting requirements. The heavier VLD and match bullets will give a significant improvement in ballistic performance and energy at the extended ranges compared to your current load.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
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Unread 12-22-2012, 12:28 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: La Plata NM
Posts: 639
Re: 338 lapua question

Don't be afraid to jump Barnes bullets, they like it. Also don't seat them closer than .040" to the lands. Solids will have a pressure spike if seated closer than this as these bullets do not obdurate. My 7STW 145 LRX load jumps .110" and groups in .5's in a factory barrel. I don't shoot the Barnes in my 338L. I only shoot Berger 300 Hybrids.

Also, I don't agree with the opinion that Barnes bullets are softer. The original X was softer but the new ones do not have fouling issues in any of my rifles. This being said I don't shoot one type of bullet and then shoot another without cleaning the bore. Different jacket materials are not compatible and a harder one will tear up a softer one.
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