300 Norma Improved. Load testing, info, and builds

highdrum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
2,503
Location
Montana
At this time I do not know what version of improved I will be getting. I am still waiting on my barrel from Bartlein and when I get that and send it off then I will discuss that with the gunsmith, Alex Wheeler, who will be chambering my barrel and joining it with my action. I have full confidence in Mr. Wheelers's recommendations.
Alex runs a 35° shoulder, not a lot of taper, his chamber to die fitment is great. Alex is a top shelf rifle builder. I've always wanted to have him do a build for me.
 

rpierce

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
427
Location
Waucoma, IA
Haven't had time to post it but I spun up a 338 Norma Improved for myself. I did it in a heavy setup as I plan on taking it to a couple matches next year. The load I settled on for this rifle is a pretty mild one with this 32" barrel. 88 gr of h1000 is pushing a 300 gr berger at a mild 2850. Didn't see pressure until 3000 fps. With N570 I didn't see pressure until 3100 fps. However this load of h1000 has a SD of 6.5 fps for 61 shots on the labradar. Its also only getting like .003 throat erosion every 100 rounds. Barrel will last a very long time with this load.

Info on groups in post.
First 3 shots down the rifle measured .247"@100 yds. Random Starting load.
3 shot 100 yd group measured .153"@100 with h1000 load
580 yd group measured 1.145"/.188 moa at 580 yds. Had .502"/.082moa vertical.
1000 yd group measured 3.708" with 2.502" vertical.
Second 1000 yd group on steel measured 4.988".

Rifle has the following components:
Surgeon 1581 XLR Evolution HD chassis with a sick paint job by Grant Gillespie at Viking Armament
Cadex Defense Bipod
Brux 32" 9.3 tw with 1.350 shank
Aaron Hipp tuner Self timing 5 port "Muscle" brake with 3/4x24 threads
Triggertech Diamond Trigger set at 8 oz and timed to action
Tangent Theta 5-25 GEN3XR scope bedded into a set of NF rings
Long Range Arms level
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100 yd group.jpg
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codyadams

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Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,365
Location
Southwest Wyoming
Tag. I have a soft spot for the 338 Norma and similar chamberings, my favorite lr elk cartridges. When I rebuild my .338nm I plan on using a Borden action.
 

rpierce

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
427
Location
Waucoma, IA
Tag. I have a soft spot for the 338 Norma and similar chamberings, my favorite lr elk cartridges. When I rebuild my .338nm I plan on using a Borden action.
Give me a shout when your ready. I have the actions, barrels, stocks, triggers, scopes and bottom metal etc available for sale even if I don't build the rifle. Take the parts to your local gunsmith and have him build it for you. I cut a deal on it along with free shipping. Saves several hundred dollars over the customer ordering all the parts seperately and waiting 6+ months for all of them to arrive.
 

Corvalliscory

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Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
271
Give me a shout when your ready. I have the actions, barrels, stocks, triggers, scopes and bottom metal etc available for sale even if I don't build the rifle. Take the parts to your local gunsmith and have him build it for you. I cut a deal on it along with free shipping. Saves several hundred dollars over the customer ordering all the parts seperately and waiting 6+ months for all of them to arrive.

Yup I’ve ordered Kelbly actions, manners stock, bottom metal, brake, etc and it’s always a good deal and I love that you stock everything for a good price too.
 

codyadams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,365
Location
Southwest Wyoming
Give me a shout when your ready. I have the actions, barrels, stocks, triggers, scopes and bottom metal etc available for sale even if I don't build the rifle. Take the parts to your local gunsmith and have him build it for you. I cut a deal on it along with free shipping. Saves several hundred dollars over the customer ordering all the parts seperately and waiting 6+ months for all of them to arrive.
Thanks Ryan, I'll probably hit you up for that. I live 30 minutes from Evanston Wyoming, so I will probably have Nick at Straitjacket do the action, barrel and brake assembly, it's nice being able to pick up a rifle after a trip to the grocery store ha ha. Right now I'm using a Remington action for the .338 Norma, and just keeping my loads very conservative. Hindsight, I very likely would have got more performance from a rum, I could easily run full pressure loads without the concern for lug set back, but I had the dies for another 338 NM built on a Stiller tac 338, the Norma runs better as a repeater, and I just like the Norma. So when this barrel is toast (have around 350 rounds through it now) I'll get another 24" tube and a Borden action and open up the stock and redo the bedding.
 

rpierce

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
427
Location
Waucoma, IA
Thanks Ryan, I'll probably hit you up for that. I live 30 minutes from Evanston Wyoming, so I will probably have Nick at Straitjacket do the action, barrel and brake assembly, it's nice being able to pick up a rifle after a trip to the grocery store ha ha. Right now I'm using a Remington action for the .338 Norma, and just keeping my loads very conservative. Hindsight, I very likely would have got more performance from a rum, I could easily run full pressure loads without the concern for lug set back, but I had the dies for another 338 NM built on a Stiller tac 338, the Norma runs better as a repeater, and I just like the Norma. So when this barrel is toast (have around 350 rounds through it now) I'll get another 24" tube and a Borden action and open up the stock and redo the bedding.
Sounds great. Just give me a shout if you have any questions in the meantime.
 

rpierce

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
427
Location
Waucoma, IA
So I got some new 300 Norma Improved dies in from Bullet Central and decided to try them out on a brand new INSTOCK rifle with my new longer freebore reamer and a 26" barrel. I grabbed a pound of N570 off the shelf. I grabbed some brass that has been fired atleast 5 times. Just deprimed it, annealed it, trimmed it and ran a brush through the neck. Used imperial lube and ran it through the new die. I started out at 86 gr of N570 with 245 bergers. I did the powder charge test at 100 yds since it was too late in the day to go set my target camera and targets up at 580 yds. This was the first shots down the rifle. I didn't hit pressure until 93.5 gr of n570 which was 3127 fps. I had a slight ejector mark and a slight bolt click. I figured this was about max. I noticed there was a node 2 gr below max at 91.5 gr. 91-92 gr had an ES of 10 fps and was 3065 fps average. So I loaded the last 4 rounds up at 91.5 gr. Went out this morning and setup on my 580 yd steel plate. Had a little bit of a left to right wind. First shot went over the plate so I came down a minute and shot the next 3 shots into probably the tightest group Ive ever shot at 580 yds. It was on steel so I couldn't get an exact measurement of the group but it appeared that they all hit the same exact spot. When I got down there I couldn't differentiate any shots on the gray splat on the plate. 3065 fps with a 245 grain berger and its 2 grains under pressure. Punch the numbers in on that combo and its a straight up freight train.

Rifle has the following components:
Kelbly Atlas
Manners EH1
Proof carbon with 1.250 shank
Titanium self timing 5 port "Muscle" brake
Hawkins BDL with wyatts box
Triggertech Primary
Nightforce NX8 F2 4-32 MOA bedded and leveled into a set of 6 screw NF rings with NF level cap.

Rifle weighs 10 lbs 1 oz with optics.
I was able to spot hits no problem while shooting off the bipod with the scope at 26x. 245 grain @3065 fps

100 yd powder charge test.jpg
580 yd group with 245 bergers.jpg
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rpierce

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
427
Location
Waucoma, IA
Check out the awesome 600 yd groups a customer sent me while fireforming brass with hydro formed brass for his 300 Norma improved. He was testing different charges of Retumbo with 230 a tips. Awesome shooting.

I’m offering hydro forming as a service for customers now also. Blows the shoulder forward and out without wasting Bullets. You can use full form loads on the first firing. Your first firing will sharpen the shoulder up to final dimensions.
forming brass.jpg
 

rpierce

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
427
Location
Waucoma, IA
Just a heads up to customers. Recent batches of Lapua 300 NORMA brass have thicker necks than previous lots. Loaded neck diameters are .002-.0025 thicker than before. I have an IDOD neck turner that will be here very soon. If your loaded neck diameters are .339-.340 send brass thats fired and NOT sized. Itll only need turned once and 100 pieces of brass will last several barrels so its not a big deal. Itll be fairly cheap and a very quick turnaround. Get ahold of me for more info.
 

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