20” 338 RCM

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Apr 2, 2018
Messages
22
Location
Kansas
I’m hoping to build a 338 RCM soon. I think it will be just about the perfect backcountry pack rifle. I know some of the Ruger rifles had 20” barrels and I would like to do the same. Ive seen articles advertising 2750 FPS with a 225 grain bullet out of a 20” barrel. CAn anybody verify this? Seems to good to be true.

Thanks

PS if it says im a new member I’m not. Been on here since 08. Lost my account due to an email account issue.
 

AZShooter

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Dec 12, 2005
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Tucson Az
I got 2770 fps with a 22" barrel with 225 gr bullets using RL-17. Not sure if it can be done with a 20" barrel.

If a 225 is only going 2650 instead of 2750 it would most likely bounce off the animal. Ha ha. I wouldn't worry about the velocity it will be plenty lethal regardless.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
22
Location
Kansas
I got 2770 fps with a 22" barrel with 225 gr bullets using RL-17. Not sure if it can be done with a 20" barrel.

If a 225 is only going 2650 instead of 2750 it would most likely bounce off the animal. Ha ha. I wouldn't worry about the velocity it will be plenty lethal regardless.

LOL, very true! I just had 2750 as a mark I’d like to hit. A 22” barrel wouldn’t be the end of the world. Still pretty short and handy.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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10,725
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Texas
The one I built for myself, (For bear) has a 22" barrel and without over loading it will do 2938 Avg with the 200 grain accubond, and just Over 2800 ft/sec with the 225 grain bullet. I purposely seat the bullets deep
and crimp the case mouths because of its intended use (Dangerous game) the added free bore allows for a little more velocity without pressure.

It is a great little rifle and a very powerful cartridge in a fully dressed rifle (6.3 lbs).

The down side is the recoil. it is/was very harsh and wanted to climb when shot with the 225s. I would recommend a good muzzle brake for control (Quick follow up shots are almost impossible) and I tried one of the best brakes with top ports hoping to control the muzzle rise and got the opposite results (The barrel was pushed downward and all I could see was the ground).

I did not want a muzzle brake on this rifle because of its use and planed on not using ear protection because of the need to hear the surrounding sounds to avoid danger. After shooting it, a brake without top ports or unaposing ports became the obvious choice for control and recoil. and electronic ear protection solved the issue of hearing and ear damage.

It is a very powerful cartridge in a small package and is perfect for its intended use, But I would not hesitate to take it Elk hunting. the farthest i have tested it was 400 yards (I know it will do well beyond that) With my most accurate load using the 200 grain load. I have used this load on everything from coyotes to pigs and can find no faults.

Velocities will vary from rifle to rifle but 2750 with a 225 grain bullet is very possible, and with proper loading, it will come very close to the 338 Win Mag in performance.

J E CUSTOM
 

Aoudad shooter1975

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Sep 4, 2017
Messages
1,176
Location
Blanco, Texas
Got all my stuff for my 338 RCM build...I am going to do a hawkeye first. I am taking a 375 ruger I had setting around. put a RCM barrel on it--standard action so I can play with seating the bullet and OAL. Ordered a 20 inch barrel but will probably be around 19.5 when finished. looking at the 2600 fps mark with 225/230 grain bullets. it will wear a brake. if I like it a lot...will continue with my other build...if not then my other components will become something in the 6mm family.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
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Location
Kansas
Based on previous comments about muzzle brakes, maybe we should discuss which model is best for this kind of build. What brake will prevent muzzle rise but not push the muzzle downward too much?
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
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Location
Kansas
I’m also not certain on who I should contact for a barrel. I really wanted a Proof Research carbon fiber barrel, but their website doesn’t show that they offer a 20 or even 22” .338 barrel. Thoughts?
 

Edd

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Jan 26, 2011
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Tulsa
You might contact them. Their caliber chart doesn't show one but their weight chart shows a 22 inch barrel. They might even make you a 20 inch one.

Their 338 barrels are heavy. It is easy to get a steel barrel in a contour that weighs less.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
22
Location
Kansas
You might contact them. Their caliber chart doesn't show one but their weight chart shows a 22 inch barrel. They might even make you a 20 inch one.

Their 338 barrels are heavy. It is easy to get a steel barrel in a contour that weighs less.

Are you saying the Proof Carbon Fiber .338 barrels are heavier than a standard contour steel barrel?
 

Edd

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Jan 26, 2011
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Tulsa
Are you saying the Proof Carbon Fiber .338 barrels are heavier than a standard contour steel barrel?
Depends on what you are calling a standard contour. They weigh about the same as a Krieger #4.

Krieger will make a 338 barrel from Chromoly in a #2 contour. If you can talk them into swamping it for you, it would weigh about 1/2 pound less than a Proof.
 
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J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,725
Location
Texas
Did the yote remain in one piece? Wish you had pics.

Actually, they held up well. The heavier bullets hold up well when used on soft targets because of jacket thickness and bullet design.

One reason I like bonded core bullets is that they seem to expand consistently based on the hit or the toughness of the game. they expand more on hogs than on coyotes and fox.

Some bullets don't have this controlled expansion feature and don't do as well on some game. I personally don't like huge exit wounds on game, just looking for 1" to 2" exit wounds on average . I realize that this is not the prefered cartridge for coyotes and fox but if I am caught
with a rifle/cartridge that is "Over Kill" I at least like to know that the choice of bullet will offset the energy delivered.

J E CUSTOM
 

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