338 Optium Barrel Lenght

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bjlooper, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. bjlooper

    bjlooper Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2006
    I'm planning a 338 RU
    M or 338 Edge, a Rem 700 action. I'm not sure which barrel I'm going to use, probly a Lilja since my last two barrels were Rock Creek. Any way which ever barrel, I need some in put on length, I think between 26" and 30" is the range I'm locking at. The only objective data I have seen was on a 338-378WBY that Dan Lilja started with a 46" barrel and cut in 2" increments down to 26". The diffrence in velocities adjusted for temp was suprisingly small. dans findings are below with Velocities adjusted to 73d. (2 fps per degree)

    Weight---250 gr -------300 gr

    26"------3105fps------ 2928fps

    Is it worth going a extra 4" for these modest gains. I'm assuming that the diff per inch for the 338 RUM and the 338 Edge will be close to Dans findings for the 338-378.
    DR B
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    Actually the drop in fps per inch of barrel under 30" will be significantly less then it would be even for the 338-378.

    The 338 RUM or 338 Edge are extremely efficent chamberings, as is the 338-378 for its case capacity that is.

    It would depend what the rifle would be used for. If you were building a portable big game rifle I would go with 26" max.

    If you are building a hunting rifle for fixed location hunting styles then I would say 26 to 28" is what I would recommend.

    If you are building a heavy rifle then I would say anything between 26 and 30"

    To be honest the difference in velocity potential between 26 adn 30" will not be worth considering in the field in any way. The real determining factor would be the use of the rifle.

    The 338 cal magnums are not wedded to really long barrels for top performance, in fact, the 338 Lapua and 338 RUM will do suprisingly well in a 24" class barrel. I think this is getting pretty short but they do better then you would expect.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)

  3. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Several friends and I have 30" barrel .338/300 that get good velocity.Longer length = more speed probably just a personal preference as to what length...