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Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by grit, Jan 7, 2009.
Wikipedia says that a 338 Lapua started out as a necked down 416 Rigby.
.338 Lapua Magnum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That's funny. Shows what I know. I was thinking it'd be in the range of the Lapua improved. I just read the Nosler dope on the Lapua. It said the Rigby brass was too soft.
First time I've really looked at the 338's. With the bullets coming out from Berger, figured it might be time.
By the way, I like your signature line!
Basically what the 338-416 Rigby is is an older version of the 338-378 Wby. Capacity wise they are nearly identical, the Wby just has a belt which some poo-poo on.
Worst thing with Wby brass is it tends to be a bit soft and its spendy as hell. The Rigby brass is even worse in both areas.
A 338 Lapua Improved will do anything the 338-416 Rigby will do even though its slightly smaller in capacity for the simple reason that the Lapua case will handle much higher chamber pressures then the Rigby or Wby case will handle. Plus, its extremely high quality brass and if you can believe it, its much cheaper then the Wby or Rigby case.
In my opinion, for the top performance level, I would not look any farther then the Lapua case either in standard factory form or improved form. If you want more performance then that, the next worthwhile step up would be going all the way to the 338-408 Chey Tac class wildcats.
Do not bother with going with the 338-416 Rigby.
Just my opinion.
Thanks Kirby. What kind of cost difference are we talking between the Lapua and the Chey tac based rounds. Brass, dies, action, barrel life?
We'll have to have a more serious chat after the Dakota is done.
Actual brass cost is pretty much the same, but I do charge more for fireforming of the big 408 case for componant cost and labor. In the end, you will pay around $2.5 for a Lapua case and then you need to fireform it, unless its a 338 AX.
For my 338 AM, they are right around $3.50 each fully formed with correct headstamp.
Dies are around $100 more for the 408 CT based wildcats simply because the FL sizing die needs to be a 1" diameter die. You will also need a press bushing adapter which most press manufacturers make for the 1" diameter dies.
Actions are nearly identical in price. In fact if you compare a repeating Lapua receiver to a single shot 408 receiver, the 408 receiver will be less because of the cost of mag box system on the repeater. Stocks are the same, barrels are within $50 of each other.
Chambering is a bit more for the big 408 based rounds, just more time involved.
Barrel life, I would say the 408 based rounds have about 1/2 the life as the same caliber rounds based on the Lapua. No free ride for performance.....
A 338 Lapua firing the 300 grain SMK is a very impressive long range combo.. Seeing is believing..
Seems I recall reading the AX was basically necked down, improved 375RUM brass. Please tell me about the AX.
I believe that the 338 AX is an improved version od the Lapua.
I think that Norma has a few new cartridges comming out. One of them is called the .338 Norma Magnum. I think it is the .338-416 Rigby? Some brass is already available from Norma I hear.
They also have one in 30 cal and .375 on the drawing books.
Download the catelogue from Norna and have a look.
The 338-416 Rigby improved is an excellent round that will easily outperform the Lapua or ultramag case without reaching unsafe pressures. The rigby brass is also much cheaper. The Lapua is a shortenned version and will not approach the full length rigby case in performance in any improved form. It is by far the most you can get out of a hunting weight rifle.
Plus one on the above statement. And the brass is awesome!! Here is a group of 3 .
at 2100 yards gun)gun)
Gong is 36"
The Allen Xpress(AX) is a 338 Lapua that has been improved with sharper shoulder angle and less body taper. Not quite as sharp as the AI version but same performance. The idea is better feeding characteristics with same performance.
You are thinking of the 338 Ultra Maxx which was designed by the request of one of my good friends and customer who frequents LRH under the call sign of JOECOOL.
Its a 270 Allen Magnum necked up to 338 basically. Because the shoulder location is moved forward compared to a 338-300 RUM, its easiest to get 375 RUM brass and neck it down for fireforming as you can position the shoulder properly to hold the case solidly against the bolt face when fireforming.
338 Norma=106 grains of water to case overflow.
95-96 grains with 300 SMK seated with base of bullet at neck/shoulder junction.