best 338 lapua based caliber

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 450matt, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. 450matt

    450matt Well-Known Member

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    i am looking for the best long range hunting caliber shots will be out to around 1200 on deer and elk. i already have a bat machine action i was originally going to build a 338 lapua. but have since been thinking that maybe some others would be better. i was thinking a 338 lapua improved, 338 allen express or maybe a 7mm allen mag. i was wondering if you guys can give me your thoughts. and the plan on the gun is to have around a 32 inch barrel and thats before the brake.
     
  2. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Kirby (don't want to put words in his mouth, but I've seen it in print many times here written by him) would reccomend the 338's for elk past 1K as would many others here, however, there's many opinions on that.

    The 338 Allen Xpress (AX) is a 338 Lap Imp--you probably realize that, just wanted to make sure--it's just Kirby's version, so my guess it he'd reccomend that. There's a number of these out there with virtually identical performance.

    Which BAT action did you get? HRPIC?
     

  3. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned you were originally going to build a 338 lapua. Just curious what changed your mind. The 338 Lapua in and of itself is fine for what your describing. With the 338 AX you'll need to fireform cases so if barrel life is a concern...it's something to consider and thought I'd mention it but, you may already know this. The 338 AX is very nice and Kirby is known for his excellent craftsmanship.
     
  4. sniperjwt

    sniperjwt Well-Known Member

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    my personal thoughts but i would just stay with the lapua. Although the other calibers may give you a little more i dont know that it is worth all the effort and shortened barrel life and if you are planning on shooting at 1000+ yards at game then you will need to practice a lot at that range so barrel life could become an issue.
     
  5. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    338 lap imp. Kirby's version is going to be a little hotter than the others.

    Steve
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    After putting about 700 rounds down my 338 Lapua I have no regrets and accuracy is still awesome. I have taken a WT doe at 1137 and a Bull Elk at 1130 yards. Both one shot kills and neither animals took a step nor did they complain.:D

    Jeff gun)gun)
     
  7. Tyler Kemp

    Tyler Kemp SPONSOR

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    My 338 Lapua Improved is 32"+brake, and just last weekend I was getting 2975 fps with 300 grain SMKs, and this is a relatively mild load of 100 grains Retumbo.
     
  8. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    On the fireforming/barrel life issue...this is one of several reason I went with Kirby. If you send him your new brass he'll fireform for you and send it on to you for a nominal fee. I don't have to deal with fireforming--no big deal, I'd just rather be doing something else and save barrel life in the process. Good luck.
     
  9. djbwow2008

    djbwow2008 Well-Known Member

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    I was in the same situation. I went with the 338 AX on a Bat HRPIC. The increased performance and the ability to get brass fireformed from Kirby, saving barrel life was a huge plus. Kirby is very helpful and I highly recommend him. If you don't mind fireforming your brass or paying a bit more to get it fireformed go with the 338 AX. If not go with the Lapua .

    Dan
     
  10. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    As already correctly mentioned, I recommend the 338 cal magnums for hunting elk at ranges over 1000 yards. Is it a requirement, certainly not but the larger caliber and heavier bullets will help get you out of a pinch in the event of a shot placement that lands on the fringes of the vitals.

    I do not know your specific situation but most that I talk with that want a deer and elk rifle for long range shooting generally hunt deer MUCH more often then elk. For deer at ranges even out to 1200 yards, you do not need a 338 cal magnum but it also does not hurt either but there are other options such as the 7-338 Lapua, 7mm AM, 30-338 Lapua, 30-338 Lapua Improved or 300 AX.

    Any of these will easily kill any bull elk on the planet out to 1200 yards if you put the bullet in the right place.

    Another advantage of the 338 bore however is barrel life. it will offer a longer throat love then the 7mm or 30 cal wildcats on the Lapua case.

    As far as which 338 would be best for elk at long range, hard to say because at these ranges any 338 magnum from the 338 RUM up to the 338 AX or 338 Kahn are all very much up to the challange.

    Decision comes down to if you want the option to shoot factory ammo or if your alright to pay for fireforming cases. As mentioned, the 338 Lapua is extremely accurate, very powerful and no fireforming needed.

    The improved versions of the 338 Lapua offer more velocity, up to 150 fps more which with a 300 gr bullet weight, very significant. All in all, take your pick. Have the built properly and all of them will make you very happy with the end results.
     
  11. 450matt

    450matt Well-Known Member

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    this gun will mostly be used for elk. i do remember reading once that the 7mm was not recomended for over a 1000 yards on elk. so i think the338 allen express is going to be my best bet. what could i expect for barrel life.
     
  12. 450matt

    450matt Well-Known Member

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    also can you guys recomened a good place to get a barrel. i planned on hart but they will not do barrels over 30 and i want 32
     
  13. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    There are probably no less than 10 that are excellent barrels.

    I am partial to Dan Lilja's barrels myself. Lilja makes a top shelf barrel and they have great customer service. Send Dan a email with any questions you may have and I'll be shocked if you don't receive a reply that day.
     
  14. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Kirby uses alot of Lilja barrels. Krieger is another excellent barrel maker.