super .338's

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Dzaw, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Dzaw

    Dzaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    super .338\'s

    Looking into the possibility of doing a hi-po .338. I want to get 3100 FPS or better with a good 300gr pill. As I see it, my only real options are as follows:

    .338/300 ultra improved - most likely lacking in enough umph to get me ther, but I may be wrong.

    .338 LM improved - sounds promising, but may not have quite enough horsepower

    .338/.378 weatherby - I HATE belted cases, even more so the double radius shoulder!. If this is my only option, I'll go with less HP thanks.

    .338/416 Rigby improved - this sounds quite promising, but good brass may be a problem.

    I am currently working on some experiments in extending barrel life to help improve the outlook for overbore fever. If things work out well, barrel life may become of significantly secondary performance.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Re: super .338\'s

    The 338-300 RUM and 338 Lapua Imp will not get you 3100 fps even in extremely long barrels.

    The only two you have listed that will get you what you want or close to it are the 338-378 and the 338-416.

    If you are not a fan of the 338-378 double Rad shoulder, go with the 338 Kahn. This is baically the 338-378 Wby with a conventional 35 degree shoulder angle. Simply load standard loads in the 338-378 cases and shoot, out pops a 338 Kahn case. Holds about 7 grains more then the standard 338-378.

    There is no way in hell I would put up with the work needed to neck down the 416 Rigby to 338 with the availability of the 338-378 case we have now. The two are identical in capacity on average and the Norma 338-378 case is good quality but a bit on the soft side.

    This may limit you to less then 3100 fps with the 300 gr SMK in anything but very long barrels.

    I have built several 338 Kahns and all perform very well. I think you may be expecting a bit much in velocity even with this case size in a portable barrel length.

    If your going to go through the trouble of necking down the 416 to 338 you might as well go with one of the 338-408 Chey Tac wildcats such as my 338 AM. That will get you 3350 fps in 32" barrel length pretty easily.

    All depends on what barrel length you want to use.

    The smaller 338 magnums, anything 338-378 Wby and smaller are really very efficent for their case capacity. I would not be terribly worried about their barrel life unless you plan on alot of high volume shooting.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. Dzaw

    Dzaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Re: super .338\'s

    Dear God! A 338/408!!! Yikes!

    The Kahn sounds like the way to go. Thanks for that!

    Personally, I do a lot of shooting on my own. I like to challenge myself, and get no end of thrill from seeing improvement in my own ability. I thought about getting into the BR scene for awhile, but don't have any time to travel. I live not far (5-10 minutes) from several places I can shoot quite happily at some pretty serious range, and so whenever I have the spare time, I throw the gear in the back seat and puch some paper.

    It's kind of funny. When I first started shooting, it was just an extension of Whitetail hunting. None of the family and friends I used to shot with have put as many rounds downrange in their lifetimes as I did just last summer. Most of them think I'm nuts, chasing smaller groups when the groups I was turning out three years ago were more than adequate to kill deer. At that time, I was doing 1.5 to 3 inch 5 shot groups from a marlin lever gun at 100 yards. Since we rarely ever see, let alone shoot whitetail in the thick forests where I live past 50 yards, this is more than adequate for a good clean kill. I just went off the deep end once I started understanding accuracy and marksmanship, and havn't hit bottom yet!
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Re: super .338\'s

    It is a slippery slope for sure, but a fun one!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  5. 358sta

    358sta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    187
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Re: super .338\'s

    If you want to stay away from a belted case and don't want to go through the trouble of necking down Rigby brass to 338 caliber, you could do what my Dad and I did. We went with A-Square's 338 Excalibur. Good quality brass and dies only cost $98 for a FL set (very similar to Hornady type dies). We had intended to use the 338-416 Rigby IMP but once we found out what a pain making the brass would be, we opted for the Excalibur which is essentially the same thing. Our cases have an unfired case capacity of 137.4 gr. where as an unfired 338-378 Weatherby is 128.1 gr. My Dad shoots 250 gr. Nosler Partitions at 3200 fps from a 26" barrel (near max). I plan on shooting 300 gr. Sierra MK out of mine and believe 3100+ fps is possible from my 37" barrel. Obtaining 3100+ fps with the Sierra may prove difficult unless you are using at least a 30" barrel with any of the cartridges listed including the 338-408 CheyTac. Getting to the 3100+ fps mark with a 300 Sierra requires burning lots of powder which needs barrel length to achieve high velocities. I hope to have my 338 Excalibur up and shooting by the summer. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  6. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Re: super .338\'s

    Considering the price of the brass for the Excaliber, over $4 each at Midway, I think I would go with the 338AM or 338 Snipe Tac over the Excaliber.
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Re: super .338\'s

    The 338 AM should easily push the 3300 fps level with a 30" barrel length. Very high 3200 fps levels as least as it will do 3350 fps in a 32" pipe.

    The 408 case is still ALOT bigger then the Excalibur. The A-sqaure round is a great round, no doubt about it but its to bad they are so proud of their brass!!! It may be far more popular if you could get brass cheaper then it is currently running.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  8. Black Diamond 408

    Black Diamond 408 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    810
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Re: super .338\'s

    Yes i believe the 30" barrel will push the 300MK bullet 3300 fps... 338AM or my 338 Snipe-Tac chamber. The 408 case is very versitile to build from, case prices are pretty good for such a large piece of brass. If you don't over pressure the case it will last for quite a while. I have some that have 8 loadings on them, still working fine. With any big magnum case life will be shorter with top loads. 3400 fps loads is about top with the 300MK bullet, or the cases will suffer. I have pushed them to 3500 fps! Imagine a 250grn bullet @ 3650 fps! 200grn Nosler 3900fps, no pressure signs, But not practical.

    I am just finishing up a rifle with a 30" ABS carbon bbl. Full length Stainless single shot action, carbon stock, 30" carbon bbl, 4 port Ti muzzle brake. 11.5# rifle weight. I will post some pics later.
    The rifle will have a Nightforce 5.5-22x56 scope sitting on top. Total weight should be around 14# I will post the chrono results, i doubt if the 2 inch shorter bbl will result in 50fps drop in speed. I think a 28" barrel can be done and still get very good results. 36" barrel will produce the maximum velocity for this case to bore size ratio. If you want a hot rod 338, then these are it, for a shoulder fired weapon that can meet the weight restrictions for some western states big game hunting regs. Just shy of 9,000# muzzle energy, it is a true long range rig. They are a hoot to shoot as well!

    Dave
     
  9. Dzaw

    Dzaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Hoot to shoot!

    That's really the effect I'm after!

    When I was a boy of four, my dad took a picture of me in my plastic camo "army guy" helmet holding his kit built .50 caliber muzzleloading pistol across my lap. I remember quite vividlythat this thing was so heavy I could barely pick it up.

    Later that year, in the summer (soon after my fifth birthday, in fact) my dad took me out to a sandpit where he did most of his shooting. He samt me on his lap, and haled the gun for me, allowing me to take grip with him and touch the trigger off.

    I had a grin on my face for the next month that all of the rain and boredome in the world couldn't wipe off! I was permanently hooked on BIG guns!

    In more recent years, I have tried my darndest to remain "reasonable". My first deer gun was a marlin 336C in .30-.30. A more "reasonable" New Hampshire Whitetail gun couldn't be imagined. More recently, I traded in the ol marlin and shelled out some extra cash. My wife has shown an interest in hunting. We've been out in the woods together on several occaisions, and she's always listed aptly when I got overexcited about tracking and stalking whitetails. She's put in more homework than she realizes, and will probably make a rather decent hunter in time. First, I gotta teach her to shoot!

    I took her to the Kittery Trading Post, and went through the beginners primer on rifles. Action types, their operation, and some basic pro's and con's. She fell in LOVE with the synthetic NEF handi rifle. She never even got to see the price tag. As a reward for being so patient with her and walking her through dozens of rifles, she said I could get a gun (that day, at that store) too. I bought my Ruger #1B chambered in the same .243 Win as her handi rifle. I figured if I was going to be loading for my own rifle, we may as well share components and dies, as she has no interest in loading for herself.

    Thus far, I have firelapped the bore, floated the barrel, and done a bit of tweaking with the quarter rib to eliminate scope movement. Out to 500 or so yards, I can usually maintain groups between 3 and 5 inches, with most (admittadly not all) fliers being shots I call off before checking. I could be wrong, but I think I'm begginning to push this factory built rifle to its limits, and I want to step it up!

    Since I'm stepping it up a few notches, I really am less inclined to be so "reasonable" about it this time. Now, I'm not a rich man. Far from it, but I figure, I can afford bits and peices. Very soon, I'll be buying an unchambered barrel blank (for a 32" finished length) in .338. I'll oil that down and put it away somewhere cool and dry, cleaning it out and reoiling occaisionally until I can finish the project. Once I have the barrel, action (I won't settle for less than a borden or bat, or similar for this project)and stock, I will of course need dies. Then I need to save my last payment for gunsmithing, so this project can be a reality!

    The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards the Allen Mag or snipe tac. I've done a bot of background readin, and both sound like superb cart's. I'm not so sure about the neccessity to improve the already huge 408 case for a 338 bore, but hell, if I'm not being quite so "reasonable"...

    In the meantime, I hope to be doing some much less expensive research into radically improving barrel life! I have some very promising leads in that direction, but no conclusive evidence yet.
     
  10. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Re: Hoot to shoot!

    dzaw, how does that nef shoot?
     
  11. Black Diamond 408

    Black Diamond 408 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    810
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Re: Hoot to shoot!

    Dzaw,

    The straight neck down of the 408 to 338 has been done, you will loose about 150 fps over the improved case designs. Improved cases will burn the powder more efficently. I would recomend a Lawton 8000 action for any 408 type build.

    Keep thinking,

    Dave
     
  12. Dzaw

    Dzaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Still thinkin

    Screech - I'm not sure how it shoots, she won't let me shoot it. Every time I ask she tells me "you got your own... This is MY gun..." She shoots 6-7" at 100 Yds (most of the time) with it. She is getting better though.

    BD408 - Thanks for the tips! Always thinking, but it can get me in over my head sometimes! Any particular reason for the Lawton over say, a borden, bat, or even your own?
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Re: Still thinkin

    The Lawton M8000 is a solid receiver. Big however at 10" in length. There are also only a couple stock options available for this receiver unless you have a stock custom inletted, $$$$!!

    That is not all bad however because Manner stocks offers the MCS-T1 which is an A-5/A-3 hybrid I think he told me. I have a couple of these on order for M8000 receivers.

    Juel Russo also inlets his big A-5 style laminated wood stock for the M8000. Great products but heavy. Great for bench shooting.

    BAT offers several receivers that would work very well ranging from the HUGE 10"long by 2" diameter receiver down to the very compact 8.5"x1.55" diameter receivers. If you want to build a lighter weight rifle in this type of chambering, the BAT 8.5 is a very good choice.

    If you want to build a heavy rifle like my Black Sunshine, the big 10"x2" diameter is the way to go as it will handle any barrel up to a 40", 1.750" diameter straight cylinder barrel.

    The Lawton however will probably get to you much sooner then the BAT but both are good receivers for such a project.

    The nice thing about the BAT receivers is that McMillan inlets many of their stocks for these receivers.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  14. Dzaw

    Dzaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Re: Still thinkin

    Thank you ever so much!

    The information people here have been willing to share at the drop of a pin has been incredible! I really have stumbled onto the nicest people on the internet anywhere!

    That being said, I'm looking to do a rifle in the 18-20 ish pound catagory, scope included. Naturally, as light an action as I can get means a heavier barrel, but I don't want to compromise rigidity either.

    Hmmm. That MCS T-1 is a decent looking stock. How's the comb? Is it to narrow or sharp? (I hate that!)

    I was looking at these folks quite seriously:
    http://www.robertsoncomposites.com/htmlfiles800/RobertsonComposites800.html

    as one of the services they offer is gound up custom mold design for even as few as 1 stock... A bit pricy, but I'll only ever be able to do this once (if that) and so it doesn't make sense to settle for less than perfect.

    Of course McMillan has a great product as well, lending some decent credence to the BAT idea...

    I never knew food for thought could be so nutritious!