Originally Posted by texasdave
I did talk with the smith about the changes. I was aware but now that I am working new brass I have become aware of the differences. I would not blame him at all. I also agree on the molly bullets. I did not like that Idea as I do not shoot them and had heard of the build up before. I like the fire forming Idea of using cornmeal as my other concern was barrel wear. I am not sure about max pressure but so far that has not been a problem. I am not shooting 300g bullets either. Most of my loads are on 180g to 200g bullets. My other concern was if I needed to replace the barrel I would not have his reamer available or hims so I wanted to not end up with lots of brass etc and then have to start over with a new chamber etc.
I like the Idea of Hornandy's new dies and want to check on that.
I really appreciate everyones suggestions and can not begin to thank everyone for their help !!
I guess I don't understand the concern.
You have one of the best .308 chamberings money can buy. I would say the best for a packalbe rifle. The 338 Lap case is one of the most consistent and strongest cases (if not the most) on the market. You have a 30-338 Lapua Magnum Improved (30-338 Lap Imp). Blowing out the body and sharpening the shoulder does a number of things for you, some already mentioned, but increasing case capacity is not the least of these. This will allow higher velocities than the standard case and with the improved configuration, you will have better case life as well.
One Canadian smith tha frequents here and has made many rifles from this improved case, has well over 15 firings on his 338 Lapua cases (pushing a .338 300g SMK at 3050-3090fps from 30" barrels) and he reports the cases are still going strong--increased performance and better case life. That's why people do what your smith has done to your rifle. More ummpphh and better case life. I'm doing the same thing, but in .338 for the same reasons. Many, many other smiths build on these cases as well. You can't go wrong using this case.
That case is probably the strongest case on the market for use in sporting rifles. It was initially rated at nearly 70000 psi and was initially designed in the 80's from the ground up as a sniper cartridge designed for use out to 1500 meters. It was and is designed to take more pressure than any other case on the market than I'm aware of.
To really take true long range advantage of that chambering (600-700yds or more), you should consider shooting either the 210g Berger or the 240g SMK. I shoot a 240g SMK under 104g US 869 in a 26" 300RUM (cold temp load) with 215M primer and have an average MV just under 3K fps. You should easily be able get another 100fps over that and probably be looking at about 3250fps or perhaps more with the 210 Berger. What is your current barrel length and load. Many on this site agree that a 180g bullet is a waste in the 300RUM and this would be even more the case in your larger capacity, stronger case. 200g at a minimum and look at the 210 Berger and 240 SMK.
You've got a great thing going. Many on this site and elsewhere would be very happy to have what you have. A little fireforming is a minor inconvience next to the many more firings you should get out of the very stout 338 Lap case vs. other brass. Use the cornmeal/toilet paper method to preserve barrel life if you want. It may be that your smith has a barrel chambered in this round just for fireforming. If so, he may charge you a small amount to fireform for you. I just sent 100 .338 Lap cases to Fiftydriver to have this done--one less thing I have to do and it saves barrel life. You might check with your smith.
Your smith got the reamer from a reamer supplier. Ask your smith who make the reamer. Whether or not it's your smith's proprietary design is another question you should ask you smith. Regardless, the reamer manufacturer will have the reamer specs if you want to buy the reamer to rebarrel, but I would think your smith would let you use his and why not have him chamber it again if the need arises anyway? You'll not want to chamber to a different dimension reamer anyway as then your dies won't work. You've got a great setup. Fireform and then enjoy!