To go Improved or not on 338 Lapua

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ltrbuck, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. ltrbuck

    ltrbuck Well-Known Member

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    Like the title reads, pros and cons of either going standard 338 Lapua or an Ackley Improved type version. On a custom build. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    The AI will definatly give you a little more velocity (100 fps with 300gr bullets). It is simply a matter of whether or not you want to fireform brass. And the process of getting dies that will perfectly match the degree of shoulder angle on your AI, or if shelf dies are more appealing to you. Also a slight reduction in barrel life will come with the velocity but that is probably a minute amount.

    I went with the standard 338 LM and shoot to past a mile with 300 gr bullets. close to 1900 yards before I go sub-sonic at my altitude. I am very pleased with my choice and when I rebarrel I doubt I would change for 100 fps. Espcially now that I have dies and all.

    Jeff
     

  3. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Broz is right. Either one will kill anything as far as you can hit it. Back in the 90's when I did all the work on improving the lapua case the best we could do was about 150 fps by pushing the shoulder forward and using minimum taper. I would not AI the lapua. If i improved it the one i mentioned is best. Not worth the trouble and better off with the standard. One of the several problems you get into is ejection problems at times where the sloped lapua case is made to military specs for easy ejection.

    Or an idea would be just get the 338 Lazzeroni if you want more performance. I don't remember what John calls that one but it will outperform either.
     
  4. ltrbuck

    ltrbuck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so far for the info, I've been leaning on staying with the standard but some have been nudging me to improve it.......
     
  5. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy Well-Known Member

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    Sub-sonic? What does this mean? I might need to meet up with you some time to talk about the ol lapua!
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    The bullet is super sonic when it is above the speed of sound (768 MPH) or 1125 feet per sec. As the bullet falls through the transition to below the speed of sound (sub-Sonic) it is in most cases affected by a wobble or interruption of some sort. Some bullets are affected more than others. Also altitude and air density come into play. I have found the Berger 300 OTM Hybrids to be less affected a 4100 ft. than the 300 SMK when going into sub-sonic velocities. In some cases I have seen 1 moa groups still possible even at 2000 plus yards.

    Jeff
     
  7. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. Do you have a pretty good area to shoot these distances in townsand?

    Thanks, Eric
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    The club range in townsend only has targets to 1000 yards.

    But Helena National forest has places as far as you can see. My personal range I can get over a mile.

    jeff
     
  9. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy Well-Known Member

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    Id sure like to find a place to shoot over a mile around helena.
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Maybe we can shoot one day. Places are pretty easy to shoot a mile around this neck of the woods.

    Jeff
     
  11. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy Well-Known Member

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    Ya i have a back yard full of miles i can shoot but i have to hike there to set up. Probably the same for you.
     
  12. bowstryder

    bowstryder Well-Known Member

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    It's funny this popped up. I just received an email from Kirby about doing his Xpress to my lapua. Like it's all stated, the barrel life really won't suffer too much, and is the 150 fps really worth it?? I dunno. Kirby said that with some of his recipes that the brass and barrel will be just fine. Do we need to improve the lapua, probably not. But like the OP stated the nudge is growing stronger........ and I have no place to shoot even near the transonic range....... yet. IF I do end up going this route it will be the Allan Xpress.
     
  13. MT4XFore

    MT4XFore Well-Known Member

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    I have an AX or Allen Express and I love it. It's wonderfully accurate and a joy to shoot. It also does a great imitation of "Thor's Hammer" on critters. Is it any better than a straight Lapua, in reality I doubt it, in MY mind and in my ego it is better. Since I reload and have an easy way to fireform the brass, I like to think it is special. This is probably just one of my personality flaws or I may be compensating, I dont know, but I had my choice and I got what I thought was best for me, so far, I'm very happy.
     
  14. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    I am gonna go against the grain with the guys saying don't improve. After having my Edge (what I call my poor man's Lapua) the only performance plus of having the Lapua is the ability to improve it. I know that the brass is supposed to be better but I get the same velocity, low ES, and great accuracy with my Remington brass (that I usually get for $0.50 per). If I didn't load my own it might not even be my best bet, those things are ridiculously expensive! Plus until recently the Lapua wasn't built on standard factory like the Rem or Savage. I know they were but when half the guys building rifles seem to discourage it... Seems things change. Not saying that it's not an outstanding cartridge, wish we would keep up with the rest of the world and our new issued rifles were .338Lapua instead of .300Win.
    This is just one man's opinion. To each his own. I would like to have the .338AX, wonder if Kirby would improve the chamber on a factory 700 .338Lapua? A 300 grainer at 3,000fps is appealing.