Opinions please on adding weight to my 338

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by aardvaark, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. aardvaark

    aardvaark Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm not a prolific poster, but I thot I'd share this as the administrator wants me to post something. I mostly shoot a 25-06 Rem in a Tikka and recently bought a Tikka Tactical in 204 Ruger.

    I was at the range a few days ago. I took my Sako which is chambered in 338 Imperial Magnum cuz I haven't shot it for quite a while. I'd forgotten what a vicious kick it's got. For those that don't know what this is, it's comparable to a 338 RUM. 88 grains of IMR 4831 pushes a 250 gr at about 2900 FPS. The way I make brass for it is to neck resize 375 RUM brass which has identical specs except for the neck diameter.

    I've got a muzzle brake for it, but I don't like using the brake cuz I don't like hunting with it on. I shot it once without ear protection while hunting, and I could hear the ringing for about 48 hrs after that. I then took the brake off at the range, but it impacts totally different with and without the brake. I use a strap-on shoulder pad and the stock has a nice recoil pad on it. But it's a composite stock, really light, and I think it would make a big difference if I put some weight in it.

    So for those of you that have used these large-brass 338's more than I have, what would be your preferred way to add weight to this thing? In it's present form, it's really quite light - my 25-06 with a wood stock is noticeably heavier - I'm guessing the Sako weighs around 8 lbs. How much weight should I add? What kind of a difference can I expect?

    Thanks in advance for your collective advice. Art
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    You don't mention the scope, maybe improve your system, and add weight with a scope change would be a starting place.
     

  3. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Weight is everything and changes the recoil from a sharp wack to more of a thud and the thud is more bearable IMO. Weight won't lessen the recoil. It will however change the 'felt' recoil

    My Savage is a tank at over 12 pounds and kicks like a kitten because it is a tank. It does the thud thing not the wack thing.

    I too would start with an abnormally heavy optic, heavy steel rings and steel rail. You can't go wrong with steel. It's rigid and heavy. Not sure how it would effect gun balance but inside the buttstock would be a good place to add more weight. I suspect being a snotstock, it's hollow inside. Might be an ideal place to 'hide' some weight.
     
  4. aardvaark

    aardvaark Member

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    I'm using a Leupold Rifleman scope, 3-9 x 40. Didn't want to change the scope, am real happy with it.
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Recoil reducers work well epoxied in the butt stock. I like the Edwards recoil reducer, really takes the edge of and when combined with a brake makes a rifle insanely easy going!!
     
  6. aardvaark

    aardvaark Member

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    Correction: I should have said felt recoil; the part that gives me the sharp whack. A thud would be bearable but I hesitate to shoot this thing much cuz I'm afraid of developing a flinch.

    The buttstock is definitely hollow, so I'll figure out how to get the pad off (there's no screw holes so I'm guessing it's glued on) and start adding weight till I get to about 12 pounds. Hopefully that changes it from a whack to a thud.
     
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I suspect it will (make a marked difference in felt recoil), however, don't mess up the rifle's balance getting it too heavy in the stern in your quest to increase the weight....... A 3-9x40 is a pretty light weight (magnification wise) scope on a 3 series rifle but I can understand it if you shoot offhand.

    A Pachymar Decellerator Butt Pad would help as well, or one of those marshmallow types like Savage likes to put on their shoulder breakers.....

    I'd be looking at functional weight as well. Your 3-9 is way light. You could easily add a half pound in optics and hang some gee-gaw like a scope level or a shell catcher or an I-Pod (excuse me, carried away) for added weight along the axis of the action.

    Lots of people think higher magnification is better and it is, if you shoot from a rest or a bi-pod but offhand, it's hard to beat a 3-9. You have to have nerves of steel and rock steady posture (I don't BTW) to deal with even a 4-16 cranked up.

    I have that same scope on my .22 Ruger... and a 308, a trusty Leupy 3-9 Rifleman. In the scheme of things, it's very light in weight. It's also a very good optic IMO.

    Even if you develop a flinch, once the rifle is tamed a bit, you'll work through any presumption your mind has after a time.

    I heavily anticipated the recoil of my 338 and correspondingly flinched. After my subconcious figured out there was no violent recoil, my body said, 'oh well, pull the trigger'. No more flinch.
     
  8. chip cochran

    chip cochran Member

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    Adding weight to the hollow stock will help but it will also change the balance. addtional weight can then be addded to the barrel or even better, the forestock which will counter the barrel lift extra weight in the butt will induce. Since you state you don't like to use it, leave the brake off.
     
  9. aardvaark

    aardvaark Member

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    Thank you so much for the reply's. You've been most helpful.

    Here's what I propose to do: I'll get the recoil pad off, and start adding weight. I'll use lead birdshot and silicone it in place. That way, if I want to remove it, it's doable. I'll lay the stock 'trigger side up' to try to keep the weight as 'high' as possible hopefully to reduce muzzle jump. Get the weight up to about 7 lbs.

    That'll also help with the balance. Right now, it's very muzzle heavy. I can also drill a hole in the front of the forestock and put some weight in there too.

    One more question: at what point of the gun do you guys like to have your balance?
     
  10. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    With your current set up, I'm not sure you will be able to add enough weight to make a big difference, You have a heavy duty caliber in a fairly light rig. Adding a "heavy" scope will only add a pound of addl weight, which won't change felt recoil substantially. What it will do is make the rifle feel top heavy and out of balance. (I'm speaking from personal experience here).

    If you want to manage recoil through weight, go with a different configuration of stock with added weight. Any A-5 style from McMillan, Joe Russo, Manners are designed to manage recoil. Adding weight is the next step with heavy scope coming after that.

    Most of us just use the muzzle brake, with weight being an added bonus for shot stability - and not for recoil management.
     
  11. chip cochran

    chip cochran Member

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    I agree with this assessment.

    If this were my rifle, I would first re-stock, using one with a wide forearm and more of a pistol grip, an adjustable cheek pad and free floated barrel, the action should be solid block or pillar bedded for best accuracy. I would also have the muzzel brake in place or replace it with a can (suppressor).

    Once your action is bedded well, mount the scope of your choice, don't think of using the scope for added weight to the weapon. From that point I would get the weight set up to balance just infront of the action for an easy horizontal hand carry. I use side mount slings because if you have to crawl to get into position, this set up makes it easy to hold the weapon on top of your arm with a single hand hold.
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    the most effective thing I've done in the same quest as yours if install a Limbsaver grind to fit recoil pad. I've found the Limbsaver to be much more spongy than the Decelerator.

    The secret is when grinding to fit, do not grind on the rear end, the end that touches the shoulder. This maintains a large surface area which seems to spread the impact.

    Watch for the toe of the pad though. It will end up long an pointed which catches on any loose clothing. A real pain. Grind the toe to fit your needs. Its a compromise between looks and useability.

    I previously added weight to 11.5 pounds then added a brake. After the brake I removed the weigh and got it back to 9 lbs all up. Still gives a good push but pleasant to shoot. Even for my lightweight grandsons.

    Good luck on you quest.