Love the .338 Lapua mag... but...

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by green 788, May 1, 2012.

  1. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    I got a great deal on a Savage 110BA from a friend who wanted to unload it so he could finance a 3000 dollar bicycle. I had no idea you could drop 3 grand on a bicycle, but apparently you can drop a lot more than that, even. :eek:

    Anyway, I got the rifle, a Starlight case, Harris S bi-pod with notched legs... a set of Lyman dies, 100 virgin Lapua cases... and 80 rounds of Hornady factory match ammo (which was 90+ dollars per box of 20)... and I almost forgot, a Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25, ER/T (with the front focal plane)... for 3000 dollars. That's close to 2000 cheaper than he paid, but he does that sort of thing often. :eek:

    Anyway, I'm happy with the rifle, the scope... everything. It shoots great, can't complain.

    However, I think if I were going to finance another extreme range project, I'd go with the 300 Remington Ultra Magnum, mainly for the cost of brass, and the availability of bullets. I think 30 cal bullets are available that can fly as well as the majority of the .338 stuff available.

    And the RUM brass is only around a buck a case, verses close to 3 dollars per case for the Lapua magnum. :eek:

    I've just ran into issues procuring the 300 grain SMK's I've been shooting as well... Sierra is apparently 2 months behind on production, and all the major distributors are fresh out. I've got about 120 bullets to do me for the next 6 weeks... :(

    So consider it, guys... if you're studying on a .338LM, take all this into consideration... and ask yourself, what can it really do that a 300 RUM pushing 240's can't?

    Dan
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Well Dan, please consider this. The 300 Rum will have the throat erroding in 500 to 700 rounds. If you want to keep it in top shape you will rebarrel at or before 1000 rounds.

    I have owned many long range rigs from 6mm , 6.5 , 30 cals , 340's and 338 edge and 338 Lapua. The 338 Lapua headstamped brass is some of the cheapest I have bought. And for sure it is for the 340, 338 edge, 300 rum, 300 win and 30-378 wby.

    My 338 LM brass is going in for its 15 loading, all with 300 gr bullets and not one case from the first 100 lot has been culled yet. My 300 rum brass, when I had one for a short time, lasted 2 to 5 firings then it was toast. Same with the 338-300 rum brass. When you start tossing them for scrap you realize how cheap good brass really is.

    As for production, I buy both my powder and bullets in large quantities all of the same lot number. To get the best possible preformance from your new rifle you may want to consider doing this. I have over 500 of the 300 SMK's and 850 of the 300 Bergers onthe shelf. My last order of H-1000 was 40 lbs. I am good for a year or so.

    There are many things to consider as far as expese of a certain round goes. And as far as a Rum and a 338 LM going for ELR..., well you just need to see them side by side at a mile in a little wind to know the difference.

    Jeff
     

  3. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    the 300 rum factory loads that i had were so hot and hard on the brass that after that initial firing i couldnt reload them because the primer pockets were too loose. just bought a bag of remington brass in 300 rum. ill see how that goes

    BTW: Broz do you fl size every time or just ns?
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    That is my experience with most of the brass that has a lower purchase price. The primer pockets go away quickly. I seat my primers by use of a hand primer tool. After even 14 loadings all the primers go in with the same feel and same amount of pressure.

    I size the necks with bushing dies so I can control neck tension. The bodies and shoulders I do with stepped shell holders to control the amount of set back to the shoulder with a body die. I do the bodies every 1 to 2 frings. So all my cases are sized in two seperate steps.

    Jeff
     
  5. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Do you anneal?
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I find it a must to maintain consistant neck tension when only using a .002 interference fit.

    Jeff
     
  7. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    Okay Broz... you've got me feeling persuaded that I haven't done that badly after all. :)

    Thanks for bringing out some points that I had not really thought about. I didn't realize the Remington brass was that weak...

    Nor did I consider the difference in barrel life between the two cartridges, as I had not heard that discussed by anyone who had used both chamberings.

    I'll keep in mind the things you've pointed out. :)

    Dan
     
  8. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    Dan

    Broz offers some good advice, but there is a magnum boltface alternative to the 338LM, its the 338 Edge.

    I don't own one personally so I can't speak directly to barrel or brass life but the folks that I know that own one rarely shift over to the 338LM. Granted you will still be using Remington or Winchester brass, but the rest of what Jeff said is applicable to the Edge. If Agustus will jump in he'll tell you how much he loves his Edge.

    I LOVE my 338LM improved, and it does everything that I wanted it to do when shooting at and beyone 1,900 yards here in the Nevada desert. The Lapua brass has many firingings through it and is tilll going strong (I too anneal the brass often and run 0.002 neck tension).

    But if I didn't have a 338 boltface action, I would be looking hard at the 338 Edge before I changed actions to build a 338.

    Just my $0.02.... YMMV

    Jeffvn
     
  9. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    JeffVN, no argument there. I too believe the Edge is a great choice in the 338. I have seen them preform side by side with my 338 LM many times in the field to well past subsonic transitions. You stated it well, if your action will not accept the Lapua case then the Edge is a great choice, but the brass (300 Rum) simply will not hold up as long as the Lapua brass. So the purchase price is a short lived savings.

    Dan, you have a great rifle there for it's intended purposes. I encourage you to stretch her leggs with some 300 Bergers and watch her shine among others.

    Congrats of a great rifle.

    Jeff
     
  10. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    How often do each of you reload? Dont mean to change the subject of the thread but i want my brass to last as long as possible
     
  11. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    sorry i meant how often do each of you anneal. it wont let me edit it
     
  12. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    My set up is so easy I do it every time or at least every two firings. Just makes sense to me.

    Jeff
     
  13. XMC

    XMC Well-Known Member

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    Anyone ever use a Giraud annealer??? just wondering cause I'm looking to buy one in the next month or so and still trying to decide on a brand/model...
     
  14. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I started with the Ken Light, then upgraded to the "Bench Source" annealer. After owning the Bench Source I am totally sold on it. It is fast, easy and totally adjustble. The finished product is perfect.

    Jeff