anything between the 338 Edge and the 338 AM?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by JeffVN, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    I'm in need of some help and input.

    I'm looking for something to consistently launch a .338 300 grain SMK (or other high BC .338 pill like the LM-105) to roughly 2,950fps. I've been told that the 338 Lapua Mag can't get there (quickload confirms this result), and I've been given the impression in my reading on several forums that the 338 Edge will potentially get there but it is puching the pressure envelope and is likely to be over pressure doing so in Las Vegas during the summer months - so that is a no go since I live in sin city. I know the 338AM gets there and beyond. Is there something between the 338 Edge and the 338AM that I don't know about? I'm not looking to personally wildcat anything too exotic...

    If the answer is "no" to the question, then I gues I'll be looking at the various .375 chamberings.

    JeffVN
     

  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    The Edge is a 300 RUM mag case and the 338 Allen is a 408 case necked blown and blown out , Kirby has a 338AX I think he calls it and unless I'm mistaken its a 338 lapua case improved and blown out for more capacity.

    The lapua brass will last alot longer if you plan to load to max pressures , I have been told that 3000fps with a 300gr bullet in a 338 ackley improved lapua is doable.

    PS on the rest , I'll likely be choking sombody at the UPS store tomorrow if I can't find out where my boxes are. I'll ship you my rest if their not still at the store , not as pretty but just as functional.
     

  3. WAMBO

    WAMBO Well-Known Member

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    What about the 338/378 or the 338/416 Rigby?
    With all the wildcatting Kirby has done he should know if it's possible.
    Hopefully he'll see this and give some of his information.

    Wayne aka WAMBO
     
  4. long ranger

    long ranger Well-Known Member

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    YES there IS!! I have built and own several 338 Lapua Ackley Improved versions that spit 300 gr SMKs at 3000 fps. Also have built several 338 Edge AIs that will also do this.
    I took my 338LAI to Africa last (their summer) and had no issues at all in the plus 100 degrees we encountered while on the hunt.
    I have built a 408 necked to 338 but found barrel life was short, so far I have well over 1000 rnds through my 338LAI and no signs of firecracking or throat erosion yet.

    WAMBO 338/416 Rigby is the same as 338 Lapua, the only difference is that the Lapua has a thicker web in brass. The 416 Rigby was initially the parent cartridge for the 338 Lapua but being designed for a lower pressure round case head seperations were high until Lapua altered the internal dimensions of the case thickening the web area.
     
  5. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    Now we are talking! While I'm not a cheapo by any stretch, I would prefer to get something between 900 - 1,000 rounds of useful life from a barrel if that is possible with one of these ELR cartridges. If not, I guess I'll need two barrels when I take delivery of the rifle. :)

    What is the water capacity of the 338LAI ? Is it obtaining the performance because it is that much more efficient and capable of withstanding the pressure (as in new 6.5x47 Lapua) or is the case capacity that much greater then the 338/300/Edge? How much capacity is gained in the EdgeAI?

    If memory serves (lately that is a big if), the capacity for the 338 Edge is running about 118 grains.

    JeffVN
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  6. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    James

    No problem on the rest; I can wait to find out what is going on.

    I'm happy to choke UPS with you - they have destroyed two of my rifles while in transit.
    Including this rifle:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If we need to consider replacement, lets talk about the dimensions and weight. PM me at 6mmbr.com.

    JeffVN
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  7. long ranger

    long ranger Well-Known Member

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    338LAI has 126 gr water capacity, I have found 111.5 gr of US869 works REALLY well and no pressure.
    Not sure why it works but it truly does. So far in 1 of my own rifles the original brass has 11 reloading and is still not showing any signs of growth or weakening.
    The Edge if memory serves has 115 grains of water capacity and the Edge AI has 127.
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    The 338 AI or my 338 Allen Xpress will match or exceed anything the 338-378 will offer with a bit less powder. THe reason is because the Lapua case will handle much more chamber pressure and still offer longer case life then the WBY/Norma case.

    If you are not worried about case life, the 338-378 will out perform the Lapua Improved and Allen Xpress simply because of its larger case capacity but the primer pockets will generally let loose on the first or second firing at levels up where the Allen Xpress runs.

    I would agree with most said about the 338 AI but from my testing, I feel that 3000 fps with a 300 gr SMK is pushing things pretty hard in this class of chambering as far as pressure is concerned. The Edge and standard Lapua will get you 2800 to 2850 fps. SOme will hit 2900 fps on the extreme.

    The Improved Lapua will on average add around 100 fps to this. Around 2900 to 2950 fps on average. I am not saying some rifles will not hit 3000 fps but I would say this would be a relatively limited thing in this class of chambering.

    The reason I say this is because, in most cases, even in a 36" barrel, the 338 AI will only hit around 3050 fps with max loads, about the same as the 338-378 Wby.

    SO basically, you have the Edge and Lapua at 2850 fps with the 300 gr SMK. The 338 Allen Xpress in the 2950 fps on average with same bullet and then jumping up to the 338 AM at 3250 fps, all in 30" barrels. There is still a big jump from the Allen Xpress to the Allen Magnum but there are options between the two.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  9. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Not trying to start anything but the comment about having 1000 rounds down a 338 AI barrel with no heat cracking or throat erosion is simply laughable in my opinion.

    You will see heat cracking in half that many rounds no matter what barrel you use. This does not mean it will effect accuracy all that much but it will be there, no way around it.

    At 1000 rounds in this class of chambering, you WILL have heat cracking and you will also have throat erosion, again, no way around it. Not flaming but this comment is a bit silly in my opinion and not a realistic way to look at barrel life and this class of chambering.

    I have chambered big 338 rifles from the 340 Wby, 338 Jarrett, 338 Lapua, 338 Edge, 338-378 Wby, 338 Kahn and 338 Allen Magnum.

    There is not one of them that will not at least some amount of heat cracking after as few as 300 rounds in most brands of 338 barrels. That holds true from the softest which are the button rifled barrels up to the very hardest barrels which will be the cut rifled barrels.

    THEY ALL will have heat cracking after as few as 300 rounds. At 1000 rounds, there will most certainly be heat cracking and it will be significant with any of these chamberings.

    Just want to throw a bit of reality out there for some that do not know better. There is no way to avoid heat cracking and the 338 AI certainly will not prevent it in any way.

    JMHO,

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  10. 260shooter

    260shooter Well-Known Member

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    Kirby??

    Kirby

    What kind of barrel life are we realistically looking at with the .338 LM IMP class of cartridges? Would a barrel set back at 1000 or so rounds get more accurate barrel life, or will the cracking be to extensive?
     
  11. long ranger

    long ranger Well-Known Member

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    Kirby If you are finished laughing and throwing a bit of your reality around, could you point out to me WHERE the erosion and fire cracking is in my barrel.
    I appreciate that the photos through my borescope are not the greatest, but I am only a rifle manufacturer not a photographer, none the less I can not see any sign or erosion or cracking here. CAN YOU?? This 338LAI barrel has a round count of 1147 rnds. It is my own personal rifle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This is extreme firecracking I found in a 6x300RUM with just over 100 rnds, just so you are cognizant that I can identify firecracking
    My partner who is far better with a camera took this 1 and photo-shopped it to make it readily visible.

    [​IMG]

    I agree that firecracking and throat erosion is inevitable, but there are steps 1 can take to help prolong this inevitability, ie using high grade barrels, Cryo treating them and the religious use of Gun Juice I have found makes a significant delay in the erosion and cracking.
    I was never suggesting that the 338s are immune to firecracking, just posting my experience with this particular caliber with the barrels, powders, etc I have used with great results.

    Opinions are ofcourse like anus's, everyone has 1. The opinions and experiences of others may not agree with your experience, but that does not necessarily make them laughable or unrealistic

    Not intending to flame you, BUT maybe you could have asked some questions regarding my post, via PM before shooting your off on your keyboard rather than calling me out on the forum as you chose to. I have been building custom precision rifles for only 35 years now as a full time occupation, so obviously am fairly new at it.
    Nowhere have I found any wriiten in stone rules that proclaim firecrackin or throat erosion will always occur at X number of rounds.
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Well, obviosuly from those pictures your barrel is as pollished as a brand new Lilja that has been taken right out of the shipping bag.

    That is truely amazing my friend. Being as we are on the web, I have no way of confirming or disproving that these pictures are taken off a barrel with any where near this many rounds down the tube. Hell, from the pictures, Can not even say they are pics of a barrel that is even on a receiver and if it is on a receiver, hard to tell what section of barrel the pics are taken from. A wider view of the origins of the lands where you could actually tell it was the origins would be much better. You would also be able to get a better idea of rounds down the bore inspecting the throat condition and origins.

    That said, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe what your saying.

    What I will add to this, I have set barrels back on many 338 rifles in this class and rebarreled many times more with many of then having similiar rounds down the barrel as your barrel. Heat cracking has always been present in barrels with more then 400-500 rounds down the bore. Some are still shooting fine at 1000 rounds but there is obvious heat cracking none the less.

    There are very few top end smiths in the country, this or yours that would hear your comments and not raise their eye brows a bit at least.

    Again, no way to prove or disprove your statements so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe what you say, it is however extraordinary results and I have never seen this before with any barrels, even the very hard ones such as Rock and Kreiger.

    Whos barrels do you use to get this kind of barrel life or are we only allowed the knowledge that you use only High Grade barrels. Thanks for that tip, I have only been using Lilja, Kreiger, Rocks and Broughtons. I want new barrels that will get me that kind of barrel life with no heat cracking at all, they would be of great use with my larger Allen Magnums.

    As far as cryo treating, I have tested that idea. It does seem to make a barrel clean easier but I have never seen where it prevents heat cracking in any measurable way, new one to me. But again, I am new at this compared to some out there.;)

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  13. long ranger

    long ranger Well-Known Member

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    Kirby I can asure you the photos ARE of the barrel on my rifle. And in fact the bore is rather carbon fouled having not been cleaned since last weekend at the range.
    The 1st photo is of the lead/throat area the 2nd about 3 inches past it.
    When my partner gets back to work we will try to get better photos, he is a far better camera man that I will ever be. The 1s I posted are from the breach end, through the action.
    If you can believe Richard Graves, I should be seeing him shortly, so will stick his eye behind the borescope.
    I too have seen many barrels over the years with cracking starting at 300 rounds or less. Many still shoot very well as you mention, you will not get any argument from me in that regard.
    The barrel I used on my 338LAI was 1 of Mike Rocks, being the Cdn distributor for Rock Creek I use them extensively. No secrets in that dept.
    Please note I am not claiming that these barrels are any better than Kriegers or any other brand, I have just had exceptionally good results with them so use them when ever possible. I am sure you have preferences in the parts that you have found great success with also. When I find a combination that works for me I stick with it, I suspect you are the same..
    Many of my clients for whom I have built 338LAIs using Mikes barrels also are reporting better than normal barrel life, after the cryo and Juice treatments that are SOP in my shop.
    I can not claim that cryoing a barrel IS making a huge difference as I have no scientific basis to base a comment like that on. However I cryo nearly all of my barrelled actions and every 1 I do cryo seems to last up better than those I do not cryo. Hence my comment to that effect. This may strictly be a coincidence I am not sure, but this is my experience.
    I also cryo all my tooling, it tends to keep an edge longer and also seems to help the tooling cut better, this too may be a myth, but it is a possible myth that works for me.
    Gun Juice is another thing I swear by, others swear at it, but again in MY personal experience, does make a barrel last considerably longer, it does considerably reduce copper fouling and it does increase bullet velocity a little. Others have not had results as positive, but 99% of my clientele swear by it.

    You have apparently had different results with various powders in the various calibers than I have, again it does not make 1 of us right or wrong, just 2 guys in the same trade with different experiences.
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Fair enough, thanks for explaining.

    Interested in the Gun Juice. Richard and I have talked about this some. Could you explain what this is and how it is applied to the bore. I am generally not a fan of putting anything in a barrel other then clean bullets unless I am shooting a 50 cal where I will do anything possible to control copper fouling with these huge baring surface bullets.

    Anyway, if you could offer some information on Gun Juice, I would be very interested to hear more about it. I am sure many others would be interested also.

    I will also admit that cut rifled barrels tend to heat crack sooner then cut rifled barrels. I am fully convinced this is simply because the button rifled barrels are made from softer barrel steel then cut rifled, simply because that is needed because of the way they are made. I would never say a cut rifled barrel is more accurate then a button pulled barrel. I have never seen that. I will say though that for extreme chamberings, the harder cut rifled barrels will offer longer throat life. That said, I have never seen one offer 1000 rounds of life and look like your barrel.

    Maybe its a combo of all the things you are doing, that is truely amazing barrel condition for 1000 rounds of barrel life.

    Kirby Allen(50)