.338 Lapua vs. 338 Lapua Improved

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by TLD338, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. TLD338

    TLD338 Well-Known Member

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    Recently picked up a Savage 110 fcp in 338 lapua and, after working up a satisfactory load, have droped it off at my gunsmith for an accurizing Job. (action bedding, trued action, lap bolt lugs etc.) While waiting on its return, I've been pondering the 338 lapua improved chambering. I could have my smith install a 28-30" Lilja barrel, ream it out for the improved 40 deg. sholder and fit it to the Savage receiver for a relitavely inexpensive "custom" rifle. He also has the capabilities to make dies using the same reamer and I could fire form my existing brass.

    I have never played with the Improved chambering and am only now starting to experiment with the lapua. I wounder if it would be worth the extra expence for the "improved" version. I like the numbers that Kirby Allen is getting out of the 338 allen xpress which, to my knowledge, is basically the same thing. Can any of you elaborate on these two chamberings? pros, cons, expence vs preformance gain etc.
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    The velocity pays off in less drift and drop. You will get 175 to 200 fps more velocity with 300 gr bullets. Those are the pro's. I like the AI once the brass is final fire formed. May take two firings depending on your process. That process does take time and components. Barrel life will be shorter, a small amount of powder per round, and custom dies would be the only negatives I see after using both.

    Jeff
     

  3. TLD338

    TLD338 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Broz.

    That's what my thinking was as well.

    What are your thoughts on the Savage action? Would a chambering like this be like puting lipstick on a pig? I mean, is it a quality enough action to match the performance level of the improved cartrage? Haven't seen to many people building off this platform.
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have very little experience with the Savages of today. So I really don't feel I should answer that. Let someone else that has done it answer. All I have noticed is there seems to be a lot of issues with savage 338 LM's. But most are chamber / extraction problems. So that does not count with a custom chamber.

    Jeff
     
  5. Bear Camp

    Bear Camp Well-Known Member

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    One thing I will would like to point out if you stay with the standard Lapua is that you may have to start over with load development. I have done that once and seen it many times from others where you worked up a load and then you have the gun accurized and it doesn't shot that accuracy load well. You may just have to re-find it that's all. Good luck.
     
  6. TLD338

    TLD338 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that's a good point and was curious about that. One of the main reasons for accurizing is that I've had one hell of a time finding this rifles sweet spot with the 280 grain LRX bullets. Finally got it down to about 1/2 moa at 200, but it was a challenge. Reason being, I think, is that in order to seat this bullet above the driving bands, I'm already at .057 off the lands. My best loads wind up at .065 off the lands with 85.5 grains of retumbo, but I I'm getting "flyers" every 6 or 8 rounds. I really don't think I've found the accuracy node I've been looking for.

    Anyway, anyone with experience with the savage action?
     
  7. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried .1" off the lands? That is where i found best accuracy, with 82.2 grains of retumbo.
     
  8. Bodywerks

    Bodywerks Well-Known Member

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    Who is your gunsmith and how is his familiarity with savages? I ask because savages don't need truing like a Remington does. It has a floating bolt head so truing and/or lapping the lug is useless. All a Savage action will benefit from is a ptg replacement bolt head, polishing of the cocking piece and cocking can, polishing and timing the extraction cam, installing a bolt lift kit, and replacing the POS accutrigger with a SSS competition trigger. All of this can be done by you.
    All the effort to go Ackley improved outweighs the benefits unless you will never shoot less than a mile, IMO. But id still go with that lija barrel. A precision reamed custom barrel will shoot noticeably better than that factory barrel.