Barrel life on 338 RUM

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by D.Camilleri, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    Just kind of curious as to what some of you are seeing for barrel life out of you 338 rum. I was at the range today and my pet loads were shooting terrible. I went to see a local gunsmith who used to work for remington and he scoped my barrel. Time for a new barrel. One cracked land and some other bad stuff that he showed me that I don't remember the terminology for. He said we could send the gun back to Remington and they might warranty it, but it would take at least 9 weeks and that would be most of the way through my hunting season. I am having him look for a new barrel blank right now. He also told me that he has seen a lot of stainless barrels fail and that remington has warranteed 3 of them. My barrel is blued and I have shot less than 300 rounds through this gun. Worst case scenario I might have to hunt with my little 338 win mag. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. kidcoltoutlaw

    kidcoltoutlaw Well-Known Member

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    i talked to sierra bullets about it they said it would be better than the 7 mm mag. 300 rounds is a junk barrel the way i see it.the barrel on my sendero 338 RUM was held on with glue .i was told this by bob hart a top builder in accuracy rifles.if you need a new barrel you should talk to him .the price is great the work is even better www.rwhart.com
     

  3. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    I would expect accurate barrel life to be at least 1500rds, closer to 2000rds. 300rds is simply a defective barrel. Warranty it if you can wait.

    Jerry
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    D.Camilleri,

    I just rechambered and did a total accurizing job on a rifle for a customer that was a 700 in 22-250. I rechambered it to the hot 22-6mm AI and found that there was a flaw in the barrel that basically left one of the rifing totally missing for the last 1.5" of barrel.

    Seeing more flaws with Rem barrels these days. Obviously they are not looking their rifles over before they go out the door.

    300 rounds is just beginning for a quality barrel in the chambering. One thing that may be a problem is bore fouling. Often many shooters bring rifles into my shop that they say are shooting very poorly and that they have cleaned them very well and they still shoot bad.

    I generally swab the bore with Tetras copper remover and let it sit over night and it comes out bright blue in the morning.

    Check the bore for fouling first off.

    If it is clean then I would also recommend calling Remington as the barrel should still be in fine shape after 300 rounds as long as you did not shoot those 300 rounds in one weekemd and severely heated the barrel.

    If they give you the run around, send it up to my shop and I will get it rebarreled and back to you this hunting season depending on the barrel you decide to use.

    I jsut OK'ed the final reamer print for the custom 338 RUM reamer I designed so it should be here soon.

    It is basically a SAMMI dimensioned body with a semi-tight neck and a BR style throat. This system has been producing some extremely accurate big game rifles for me and stillare able to use factory ammo and brass without case modifications like neck turning.

    If your interested in price let me know. I could get the rifle rebarreled in a week once the barrel and reamer get here.

    There is a real problem with your rifle though if your at 300 rounds and its accuracy is gone.

    I get 1200 rounds on the 257 STW rifles I build if the owners take reasonably good care to not overheat them.

    Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)

    [ 08-24-2004: Message edited by: Fiftydriver ]
     
  5. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Kirby. At this point I am having a local gunsmith re-barrel my gun. He is going to blueprint the action and add a muzzle brake. After 50 rounds over the weekend, my shoulder hurts. It seems that remington's quality control is in the toilet. I have heard of several people that have returned guns to remington and when they got them back they still didn't shoot. One of my co-workers sent in a model 700 22-250 that was about 5 years old, had only seen factory ammo and only had less than 500 rounds. remington rebarreled the gun and installed and charged him for a new trigger(trigger had never been touched)they did not warrany his barrel and when he got the gun back it shot terrible. He sent it back again and they told him they could find nothing wrong, but when it returned for the second time it shot good. I wonder what remington would say or do if I just returned the barrel to them. Do you think I could get a replacement barrel from them? I am thinking of having my new barrel kept to maximum length, around 27 inches +-. Any thoughts? Should I consider changing to say a 225 grain bullet at around 3200 as a way to prolong barrel life? My local gunsmith says he is rebarreling 300 rum's on a constant basis because guys are severely shooting out the throats in 300 to 400 rounds. [​IMG]
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    D.Camilleri,

    Please understand that I in no way want to undermine your smiths comment to you but I have to respectfully disagree with quite a bit of what you have been told.

    I will start at the top.

    First off, Rem will do nothing if you just send them the barrel. They require that the entire rifle be sent back and then they will decide what to do. Generally, they will not contact youeither way, if they warrantee or charge for replace so your kind of at their will.

    Personally, as an extreme accuraacy gunsmith, I love Rem rifles but this is only because I am looking at the action as the componant I want to use in my rifles.

    27" is a great length for this round if you will be in relatively open country which is what this round is designed for. No point taking a 338 RUM into the dark timber after elk.

    That would be like taking a NASCAR down a gravel road.

    With a brake installed a 27" barrel makes for a long rifle, not overly long in my book but some do not like the length.

    Also, do yourself a favor and get a barrel with a muzzle diameter in the .700" range. At 27", in a round like this that can drive long bullets to high speeds, the added weight will help with the rigidity of the barrel and greatly increase accuracy over a #3 or #4 contour which is generally used on these rifles.

    YOu will be looking at around another 1/2 lb of weight but the accuracy benefits are well worth it.

    This is a big case, the 225 gr bullets are a VERY good balance of velocity and penetration for North American game, even the big stuff like elk and moose.

    If I were hunting Alaska for the big bears(browns, Polar or Grizzlies) go up to a 250 gr premium bullet but for everything else the 225 is a much better choice in my mind.

    I have several customers using the 225 gr Nosler Accubond with very impressive results.

    As far as this bullet weight saving on throat life, well, it has more to do with heat, pressure and time then it does with bullet weight and velocity.

    Generally the lighter bullets use heavier charges of faster burning powders then the heavy bullets,

    But then the heavier bullets use much slower burning powders which hold the temp higher in the bore for a longer period of time.

    In the end, it is really a wash as to which will erode the throat faster if both are loaded to correct pressures.

    IF you rebarrel with a custom barrel, make sure your throat is cut at no mor ethen 0.0005" over bullet diameter, this tight throat will save on your throat as much as anything because it greatly reduces the gas blow-by that acts as a blow torch on your throat.

    Just ask your smith for the dimensions of the throat on his reamer and if it is SAAMI spec, ask him to get a better dimensioned reamer.

    As for the 300 RUM, I had one of the very first Rem 700's that came to Montana and have put well over 1500 rounds through the barrel.

    After accuraizing the rifle it would hold three shots in the 1/2 to 5/8 moa range in the beginning.

    Now, the throat is severly eroded, in fact, I will be rebarreling the rifle here soon but all I have to do is seat the bullets out a little more to chase the erodong rifling and I still get 3/4 moa grouping.

    I will say that I have lost around 50-75 fps compared to the beginning but it still has more power then needed.

    I also load this rifle full tilt, 3400 fps with the 180 gr partitions.

    Throat erosion is a funny thing, in a big game rifle, it rarely means the barrel is ready for retirement, especially if your a handloader.

    It is generally a sales pitch that gunsmiths use to get a rebarreling job instead of getting all the useful big game hunting life accuracy out of a barrel.

    The difference you will see rechambering to a custom barrel has more to do with the barrel and custom throat then it does with the old barrel.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  7. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    Kirby,
    Thanks for the info. My gunsmith has told me that the 300rum in STAINLESS have been having bad throat erosion problems. Mine is the first blued ultra mag that he has dealt with. He is having a custom reamer built that should be here in several days. My original barrel has a cracked rifling about 1/3 way up the barrel and a chunk of rifling missing about 2/3rds up the barrel. I have contacted remington and they have given me the ok to return my barrel for inspection. I don't expect much from them however. Where in MT are you? I go to Billings quite often and I have a friend that lives there that is looking for a good gunsmith to build him a custom 300 rum(he has a 700 action)Dave
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    D.Camilleri,

    The Rum cases like any case with a 90-100 gr capacity are hard on throats, no way around that.

    The reason most throats go bad is because the shooters tend to let their barrels heat up during load testing or actually do to much load developement with these big rounds.

    I tell my customers that with rounds like this, they need to do their research before they get to the range.

    Trying every load that comes down the pike will result in very short barrel life. Shooters should use proven bullets that are know to be consistantly accurate over a wide array of guns such as teh Ballsitic Tips for deer hunting or the Partition bullets for serious critters.

    Tweaking a load is fine but if you put 400 rounds down your barrel playing with seating depth and powder charge weight you will eat your barrel up very quickly.

    Many will hammer me for this but I recommend that when someone is beginning load developement with these type of rounds, only load two loads of each load to accuracy test and velocity test.

    Most "experts" will tell you this will tell you nothing of the quality of the load, I disagree, I feel it will tell just enough so that you can either proceed with more testing or move on to another load.

    I also recommend testing these loads at a range of at least 200 yards and 300 yards is much better yet. Why?

    Well the farther you shoot the more deviation you will see in each load. At 100 yards youcan take three test loads and they could group all between 3/4 and 1 moa. Step back to 300 yards and you notice that the consistant loads will be dramatically better then the other loads, even with two rounds.

    Still most "experts" will say this is not good enough to get a good evaluation of a load.

    I agree. After you test ten or so different loads using 2 rounds of each, generlly at least 2 of these will stand out from the rest.

    I would take these two loads and load up 9 to 12 of each. Again at a range of at least 200 yards and again 300 would be better, shoot three or four 3 shot groups and average their group size along with the velocity reading you get from all the rounds.

    At least one of those will generally produce quality consistancy and accuracy and you only have 30-40 rounds down your barrel.

    Again most "experts" will say anything less then a 5 shot group is a waste of time when developing loads.

    I agree that with conventional rounds what are used for extreme accuracy work, this is true, 10 shot groups are even better but they serve no purpose when dealing with these large cases in factory barrels.

    These rounds produce far to much barrel heat and powder fouling to produce useful 10 shot groups and it take so long to let the barrel cool with a 5 shot string that you will be sitting much more then learning.

    In a sporter weight rifle chambered for the RUM rounds, after the third shot, the barrel is to hot to hold with a bare hand. THis means that the third shot is going down a bore that is very hot and throat erosion will start to be a problem even at this level.

    If you shoot another two rounds you will certainly burn your barrel out in 300-500 rounds.

    If your willing to give your barrel 20 minutes between shots to cool properly depending on the air temp and sun intensity, by all means use 5 shot groups.

    I use this testing technique on all of my big cased rounds and they all end up shooting extremely well and barrel life is up in the +1000 rounds at least, even woth rounds like the 257 STW.

    I have been seeing more and more problems with Rem barrels of late, just poor quality control. Thats what you get when you pay high school drop outs to run the machines, there is no pride left anymore.

    Still, the Rem 700 is still in my opinion the finest factory action to built extreme accuracy rifles on.

    If you send back a barrel that has a physical flaw in the rifling, I would hope they warrantee it but they will demand the complete rifle returned if they do anything for you.

    I am located about 15 miles west of Great Falls. Which is around 4 hours north west of Billings.

    Have your friend give me a call and we can talk about his 300 RUM project.

    Here is my information:

    Allen Precision Shooting
    (406) 264-5168

    Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  9. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    Well, my new douglas premium barrel, 4160 chrome moly,kryoed, is on the lathe getting the contour cut. We will be keeping a min. .700 and leaving it max length around 27 inches. Hope to be breaking in the barrel this weekend. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    New barrel is on and also a new scope(sightron 6-24) and a muzzle brake. My 210 grain barnes xlc bullets won't group. They are stringing left to right. Due to lack of time and patience, I loaded some hornady 225's in front of 92 gr. of rel 22 and they are shooting ok. Dropped two elk in 2 shots. Second bull was at 434 yrds. Need a little more time for load development. Might have to try some different powders. Have put quite a few rounds through and am still not real happy. Had a few problems, first the contoured muzzle brake sheared off while antelope hunting. Too thin. Next the scope kept slipping in the rings. Next couldn't get repeatability with the scope. Sightron had me a new scope in under a week. This heavy #5 contour is heavy to pack all day in elk country, but exercise it good right. [​IMG]
     
  11. Celt

    Celt Active Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>My local gunsmith says he is rebarreling 300 rum's on a constant basis because guys are severely shooting out the throats in 300 to 400 rounds. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is a very low round count.
    The only 300 RUM I built that has gotten shot out so far did it at 3450 rounds of hot handlaods. That was when the customer could no longer hold 3/4" at 100 with her by seating the bullet out a bit or anything else he did with loads.

    This was with a Walther barrel, which do last a very long time.

    FWIW
    Celt

    [ 11-03-2004: Message edited by: Celt ]
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>.i was told this by bob hart a top builder in accuracy rifles.if you need a new barrel you should talk to him .the price is great the work is even better www.rwhart.com <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>With a statement like that it is clear to me you never had a good gunsmith work on one of your guns.The first and only 300 Ultra Bob Hart ever rebarreled for me was shot out when I got it.He charged me 600.00 for a rebarrel job with a used barrel.He has done it to other BIG NAME people also.He has VERY FEW return customers.Watch yourself.....Back to the Ultra.....My last 3 300 Ultra barrels starting going at about 1500 rounds.I would expect the 338 to go to at least 2000 or 2500..

    [ 11-03-2004: Message edited by: The Long 1 ]
     
  13. kidcoltoutlaw

    kidcoltoutlaw Well-Known Member

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    Thats real funny