Brass Wars-338 Lapua

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Ludicrous, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Ludicrous

    Ludicrous Well-Known Member

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    So I'm picking up my 338 Lapua rifle tomorrow. Figured I'd try a lot of Lapua, Nosler, Norma and Hornady brass. Gonna load 10 rounds of each and document it here to see which lasts the longest. Might have already been done but I thought it might be interesting. Anyone already been through this exercise? Bullet will be the 300 gr Berger OTM. Gonna shoot 10 round groups of each. I am going to assume 40 rounds can be shot from a healthy 43 yr old shoulder in about an hour or so? This is my first big bore rifle so I really have no idea. Just want to see for myself which brass lasts the longest. The Lapua brass was out of stock so that first batch will be factory loads with 300 Scenars. Gotta pick up primers and powder. H1000 or Retumbo? Which primers do you all like?
     
  2. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    H1000 powder and Federal 215 M primers
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    This seems like an expensive experiment of marginal value.

    You could randomly pick the one with the shortest life, but at least you'd have one consistent lot of brass.

    Shoot moderate loads and periodically anneal if you must to extend the life.

    Is it safe to assume that case capacity will be equal for all brands?

    Will you develop the best load for each case without respect to pressure?

    Or, will you simply run the same load which may be higher/lower pressure and possibly more or less accurate for one make than another?

    My guess is you can get acceptable results with all of them and Lapua is the safe bet. I chose Hornady because it's available locally, the price was right, and I won't be shooting high volume like I do with 6br and such.

    Interested nonetheless... Let us know how it goes.

    Thanks,
    Richard
     
  4. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I think you will be able to shoot forty rounds in one session. I am 4'10" 95 lbs 13 years old and I can shoot 15 full power loads outta my dads Savage 338 Lapua without a sore shoulder the next day. The only ill effects I get is from when I shoot it from the back of the truck I get really bad nosebleeds.
     
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's not as bad as whatever's on the receiving end. gun)
     
  6. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Heck ya!!!! gun)---------------------------- Elk
     
  7. Ludicrous

    Ludicrous Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to do any load testing initially. Just want to see for myself what brass will last the longest. All initial loads will be moderate. I've just read too much about how great one brass is over the other for the 338 Lapua. Since this is my first magnum rifle I want to put rounds downrange to get used to it first. While I do that I figured testing brass life would be interesting. Unfortunately I gotta go back to work early so range time has to wait till next month.
     
  8. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Do you plan to neck size or full length size?

    I might suggest you neck turn to a consistent thickness so that you don't work one case brand harder than the others.

    I would think you could do load development along the way so long as you give consistent treatment to each brand of brass.

    You will expend significant barrel life on 40+ pieces of brass. ...especially if you shoot moderate loads, have a good die setup, and anneal periodically.

    The question can be put forth from various perspectives...
    i.e.
    How quickly will each brand fail if I stress them?
    vs
    How long can I make each brand last if I take care of them?

    Keep us posted.
    Richard
     
  9. Ludicrous

    Ludicrous Well-Known Member

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    Update: Shot 60 rounds yesterday. 30 Berger 300 OTM and 30 Hornady 285's. Berger's velocity with 90.0 H1000 was 2640 FPS and the Hornady 285's were 2700 FPS with the same charge. Best group with the Berger's was 1" at 100 yards. Hornady average was 1/2 moa with two groups at .250. Think I'm going to stick with the 285's from here. The Hornady brass after the second reload is now NOT STICKING at all. I have been full length resizing and annealing every time. The Lapua brass has the best ES and SD though. So far I have played with seating depth and charges from 90.0 to 92.0. Not enough testing yet but I'm probably going to charge the next batch of 40 with 88gr H1000, and 88-89.5 gr on my others. Gonna lose velocity but hopefully gain on accuracy. Maybe, hopefully. Getting very used to the magnum recoil. It helps to let the 338 cool down and shoot the 223 and 308. Made a rear rest squeeze bag out of a old Army sock filled with 6mm airsoft BB's, works extremely well.

    Question, I have some H4831 laying around, is it worth it to try that out or stick with the H1000? I've got two pounds of H1000 left and plan on trying some Retumbo when the 1000 is gone but the 4831 is just sitting there...
     
  10. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Either of the 4831s are actually a bit on the fast side for best performance in the 338 LM. You're going to bump into pressures before you reach the same top end velocities you're getting with either the H1000 or Retumbo. I'd say stick with the original game plan, and I'm sure there's something else in the safe that'll make better use of that 4831.
     
  11. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    Slight bit of exposure to over pressure.........gun)
     
  12. Ludicrous

    Ludicrous Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Won't use the 4831. It is listed in reloading manuals for lighter 338 bullets but wanted to ask first. I'll get some Retumbo and play with that but I'm just guessing that 1/2 moa with the 285's and H1000 might be ticket. Not much to improve on there. This 338 magnum is really fun to shoot. Might have to get a custom stick made in 338 LM!
     
  13. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Interesting test!
     
  14. JeffP40

    JeffP40 Well-Known Member

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    With moderate loads, I'm thinking the brass will last longer than you would like. Way longer.