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Reloading Berger Bullets


Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

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Unread 04-16-2012, 11:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 28
Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

Loading is getting a little frustrating with the new lapua. Right now I'm using Federal 215 primers, RL-25 and norma brass. I've been through a couple of boxes of Berger's bullets and getting ready to start my second box of Hornady 285 bthp's.

I've tried about every powder charge and bullet seating dept with these and can not get any consistancy. I try to shoot in the mornings around 35-45 degrees and keep everything else equal.

The berger's were not consistant at all. There was always a flyer and the groups would range from 5/8" at 400 one day and 3" the next with all else being equal. The Hornady bullets are more consistant but still having similar issues.

Could it be as simple as the powder. I'm hearing good things about Retumbo and a few others. (Temp sensitive)

I know the gun is capable of 1/4" MOA or better at 400 and maybe beyond. My last best group was 3 shots at 1.5" at 400, then a flyer 2" to the left. This was 89 gr RL-25 with the Hornady bullet. My goal is to keep it under 3" at 600.

Am I being anal about a factory rifle? Any tips or suggestions are welcome. Thanks.......
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Unread 04-16-2012, 12:17 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DEEP south TX
Posts: 1,640
Re: Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

I have Retumbo and H-1000 and I get .44 inches at 100 yards with Barnes 265 gr bullets.. I am still finalizing the load because, like you, I get a flyer and I am trying to load it at 100 to get the spread where I want it and then move out to further distances... Also, don't have a place with more than 200 where I am now..... But I have not tried the powder you name and I am new at this too so just my experience to the date.... In fact, went to go shoot this morning and the range was closed!!! DAMN!!!
Good luck
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Unread 04-16-2012, 04:53 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Mount vernon, OH
Posts: 681
Re: Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

Google OCW load development.

"Let glorious acts more glorious acts inspire,
And catch from breast to breast the noble fire!
On valour's side the odds of combat lie,
The brave live glorious, or lamented die;" - Iliad, Book V
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Unread 04-16-2012, 05:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: ND
Posts: 2,805
Re: Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

Retumbo works good for me. i would try that or h1000

I'm 18
"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
~George Washington

"The only advantage a light rifle has is weight, all other advantages go to the heavy rifle."
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My guess on W3P .308 230 Grain Bullet: G1 .740-.755
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Unread 04-16-2012, 06:26 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 563
Re: Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

It sounds like it's already doing very well. Flyers 2 inches to the left of a 1.5 inch group at 400 yards can easily be explained by a tiny amount of wind you didn't see (about a 3 mph wind would do it)... or just the trigger pull or bi-pod loading (pushing harder against one leg than the other) could do it... it's hard to say for sure. Seating depth adjustments can reel in flyers in many cases too.

I've used Retumbo in my 110BA, and it has done well. I've shot the 300 grain Sierra Matchkings as fast as 2800 fps (with 92 grains of Retumbo), and that was a very accurate load. But due to pressure signs (flat primer, ejector swipe) I decided to drop the charge to 89.3 grains in Lapua brass, and it works very well also. That gives 2700 fps.

I tried that load at 600 yards just yesterday...

This was the load with a cold clean bore shot. My rifle is at around 120 rounds as of now, still breaking in... and it likes at least 2 fouler shots before it starts 1/2 MOA accuracy. My first fouler shot from a cold clean bore goes about 1/3 MOA low, and slightly right. (see 100 yard target below). I had 3 to 5 mph winds on the 600 yard target, and the low shot in that group was the second shot from a cold clean bore. I don't know why it printed left (wind, or just me)... but low for that shot is the norm in my rifle.

The guys reporting that Retumbo is temperature sensitive are just running their loads too hot. They switch to another powder that won't let them run so fast and they say "voila, this powder isn't as temp sensitive." But Retumbo isn't all that temp sensitive either if you're running sane pressures...

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Unread 04-16-2012, 08:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 3,042
Re: Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

Are you annealing or bushing die the necks for consistent necks?Sounds like you have shot a few.That may help w fliers.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 09:00 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 563
Re: Reloading suggestions for .338 Lapua

I haven't annealed... I'm still on the first firing of 100 Lapua cases, plus I've shot several Hornady factory loads and used that brass, once fired.

I use standard FL dies (Lyman in this case).
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