338 Raptor Magnum Teaser from APS


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Jun 12, 2004
Fort Shaw, Montana
Well, here is a very limited amount of information for you guys to read over on the new 338 Raptor Magnum wildcat from ALLEN PRECISION. This is a completely new case design. As many of you will remember, the original 300 and 338 Raptor design was based off the 338 Excalibur parent case. Those cases went the same was as Jamison International when they closed their doors so I have been working with Bruce Bertrem in Austraila on a completely new case design for my 300 and 338 Raptors.

Basically, its the same diameter as a 338 lapua but the same length as a 408 Chey tac with my Allen Magnum shoulder and body taper design. It will work in any custom receiver suitable for a 338 Lapua but the 338 Raptor will be a single shot only option because of its length (4.220" to 4.350" OAL). The 300 Raptor may be usible in the Seekins 3.990" DM system but still have to develope that round after the 338 version. Anyway, spent the holiday weekend burning powder and throwing lead. Here are the velocities I got from 32" barrel length with Retumbo, H-50BMG and WC860

225 gr Accubond............................3550-3600 fps
250 gr Accubond............................3395-3420 fps
265 gr LRX TTSX.............................3300-3325 fps
300 gr Berger hybrid......................3200-3225 fps

Now, these are very EARLY results. I need to get my reamer tweaked a bit better for this production brass as its to tight right now which I beleive is limiting what the Raptor will really do. When I get my correct reamer back I suspect that I will see 25-50 fps increase on all of these velocites.

Again, these velocities are out of a 32" Lilja, 1-10 twist with relatively SHORT 0.090" conventional 1-30-00 leade angle. No special throats here, just old fashion HORSEPOWER with the longest barrel life possible.

I will be testing RL-50 and US869 next. With the 300 gr bullet weights Retumbo is a bit to fast burning, H-50BMG is about idea but its to bulky to get usible load densities with top working pressures. WC860 is very usible and produced the best velocity with the 300 gr Berger but its burning a bit on the slow and dirty side. Not a problem, just need to clean out the carbon fouling every 35-40 shots but something a bit faster may be ideal, thats why I am hoping US869 works out.

With the 225 gr Accubond, I was thinking it would be to light for this case capacity but with Retumbo, around 120 grains, it is averaging 3580 fps and has been running in the teens for ES numbers. I tested my rifle sunday and zeroed it at 250 yards. Took a few shots to get it close and then shot three shots for group. I was frankly suprised when I saw what appeared to be a single bullet hole. Those three shots went into a 0.046" CTC group. Now I am not saying this will be the norm for this rifle but I am very happy with how it is shooting so far. Did some limited drop chart testing out to 1100 yards and it was pretty much dead on. Working with the 300 gr Bergers now and hope to test them at long range with a couple customer rifles tomorrow at the range.

I was hoping to split the difference between my 338 AX and 338 AM in performance and it looks like it will do a bit better then that and do it with conventional throats as well which can only help with barrel life, especially once I get the 30 cal version of the Raptor up and running.

Will post some pics very soon, photobucket was down today so will try again later or tomorrow at lunch.

At least this is a bit of a teaser for you though.

Not to bad for a big game rifle with a chambering of this class. Pretty sure one of the better three shot 100 yard groups I have shot. Will be putting the 300 gr Berger Hybrid down range tomorrow and see what happens.
I will get some pics of the rifle today. Heading up to the range with a customer to get his new 300 AX drops tested and have a couple customer rifles to test as well plus test the drops on the 300 gr Berger Hybrid.

Just some prelim numbers on the drop chart. I zero most of my rifles at 300 yards, at least those rifles that will be used for 1000 yards and under and as most of you know I use the reticle for hold over out to 1000 yards for big game hunting. For my rifles set up for dedicated extreme range shooting I will zero at 100 and dial up for each shot.

I am setting this rifle up for hold over for this season of use just because I will probably limit my range to around 1K with the limited time I have on the rifle before big game season this year. Anyway, here are some drop numbers with a 300 yard zero in a 10 mph cross wind. Drop and drift in MOA.


These numbers are made using a BC of .850 with the Berger Hybrid. I will probably switch to the G7 BC but for now just using the G1 to get close. Berger lists this bullet with a BC of .819 I believe. In using this bullet in my 338 Allen Xpress(3000 fps) and 338 Allen Magnum(3350 fps) I have found that I had to use a BC of .880 and .860 respectively for these two chamberings to get predicted trajectory to match up with actual trajectory. I suspect I will be increasing the BC of the 338 Raptor drops as well as it lands right between these two but will start at .850 for now and tweak on the range today.

Being VERY used to the performance numbers of the 338 Allen Magnum, you get pretty spoiled with ballistic performance so to me, at first glance, these numbers seem GOOD but nothing Amazing. But when I sit back and realize this is a wildcat chambering thats housed in a Conventional(if you can call teh Raptor receiver conventional) 1.350" diameter receiver with conventional barrel contours and conventional stocks and conventional rifle weights, it is most impressive for sure.

She is putting down numbers at 300 yards that fully match the 338 Edge and 338 Lapua at the muzzle!!!

Load specs being tested today are:

300 gr berger hybrid
124.0 gr RL50
Fed-215 primer
Bertram 338 Raptor production brass
4.210" OAL
3170 fps average with 14 ES for 5 round string

Again, this is with a relatively short 0.090" throat length. AS mentioned earlier, I have a new reamer submitted that will be a MUCH better match for this brass and as the 338 Raptor is really to long for any repeating DM system we have available today, I will have that reamer cut with a 0.200-0.250" throat length. This alone will add 8-10 grains powder capacity to the 338 Raptors boiler room and hopefully will bring H-50BMG back into play allowing us to reach top working pressures with sub 100% load densities.

Last night I tested RL50 and was VERY impressed with its velocity results. Its significantly denser by volume then H-50BMG while being similiar in kernal size. It also produced 25-30 fps more velocity for any given powder charge showing that it is slightly faster in burn rate. Higher density with slightly faster burn rate, almost ideal for this chambering and the 300 gr bullet weights.

With H50BMG, the 338 Raptor topped out at 125.0 gr and 3178 fps with around a 103-105% load density. RL50 on the other hand, with 124.0 grains averaged 3170 fps with a load density of around 98-99% with no powder crunching at all when seating bullets which I much prefer. I was also able to go up to 126.0 grains of RL50 which produced 3244 fps but pressures were a bit higher then I wanted to see so I dropped the load back a couple grains. If I were using this rifle here for big game hunting I would go with 125.0 gr which was right at 3200 fps. I am heading to Nebraska in the black hills area for an early season private ground elk hunt this weekend and it may be much warmer then here at home so I decided it would be best to give up a few FPS for more cushion if the temps are hotter. Its nice to have the horsepower to take a reduced load and still get 3170 fps!!!

That has always been one of the great features of the Allen Magnums and Allen Xpress wildcats, you do not have to run them to red line pressures to get amazing ballistic performance. Just as with high performance automotive engines, its easier to make big power with larger displacement engines. Its also easier on the engine to make that higher power then with a smaller displacement engine.

Will get some pics of rifle and some long range reports on the 300 gr Berger. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get some long range field testing results to report on with a good bull on the ground.
Kirby if you do shoot a bull with the 300 grain Berger, if possible, would you mind taking some pics of the exit wound and/or a couple pics of the organs that the bullet hit?
I will offer a complete report with as many pics as possible.

Hopefully things go well. The ranch owner says he has been watching a very large, very mature bull coming to one specific meadow nearly every evening for the past several weeks. Since this will be a pre rut hunt, hopefully his habits will not change and he will be pretty easy to pattern and put down with some long range shooting.

Got my customer set up and taken care of with his 300 Allen Xpress. Shot it VERY well and his drops were dead on out to 1K.

Started shooting my 338 Raptor. dialed it in at +2.5" at 100 yards. Ran the numbers and then turned out to 1040 yards. First shot was about 1/2 moa low, tweaked the BC a bit and next shot took out the target rock.

Moved to 885 yards. Two shots landed on top of each other but were 1/4 moa high, no biggy. Moved to 600 yards and these two shots were again VERY consistant but this time around 1/2 moa high......

Decided to check the rifle at 1300 yards. First shot was 3 moa high??? What the HELL is what I believe I said. Took three moa out, hit the rock.

Moved to 1040 yards. First shot 2 moa low........ Second shot hit bottom of target rock........

Moved to 885 yards. First shot landed 3 moa low and FOV went blurry. Adjusted the parallax and it cleared up. Knew something was not right at this point. Second shot landed WAY low and image went totally blurry and could not be adjusted back into focus.

Scope took a dive on me. I have NEVER had a NF go south on me. I have had several other brands retire to my Allen Magnums but NEVER a NF. At this point I was a bit annoyed to be honest.

Ran home, dropped off my customer and started trying to figure out what I could do on such short notice to correct the problem. Remembered I had a Leupold Mk4 6.5-20x 50mm FFP scope on my old 300 AX so I pulled her out of the safe and pulled the scope. Ran to the shop, switched scopes, loaded up another round of ammo. Cleaned the rifle which was pretty darn dirty by now and headed back up to the range.

It was pretty darn windy by this time but I at least wanted to get the scope zeroed and test some ranges. Only took three rounds to get her dead on at +2.5" high at 100 yards. Ran the numbers again and took a 1040 yard shot. Landed 1/4 moa high. Took an 885 yard shot, height was perfect. Took a 600 yard shot and busted the 1/4 moa target rock I was shooting at. Went back to 1040 yards and put a round 2" to the right of a 1/2 moa sized target rock. height was perfect. Wind was a bit tricky so I packed it up and will head back up first thing in the morning.

Want to check tajectory in the cool temps anyway and compare the drops that I got today at 80 degrees with drops when its 50 degrees out to see how the RL50 does with temp changes.

All and all, I ended up where I wanted to be at the end of today but it took alot longer then I had expected it to. Anyway, here are some pics:





Obviously these pics were from the morning shooting session with the NF in the saddles.

On that topic. I shot an e-mail to NF before I headed back to the range and when I got home I had an e-mail and phone message from Mark at NF saying to get ahold of them. They said they would try to get a new scope out to me by mid day tomorrow but that just would not be practical. Would then need to mount it, get to the range and dial everything in and do so in just a few hours. If everything went perfect it would be doable but I told them no need and that is not a great idea anyway for a long range hunting rifle.

The Leupold should serve very well on this hunt and I will send the NF back and thinking about getting it upgraded with zero stop, HST and their new MOAR reticle.

All I can say is NF is a great company and they wanted to do everything they could to get me a NF on the rifle for my hunt but timing was just to short to get ready. This rifle WILL have a NF back on it for the Montana general big game season no doubt. Just wanted to point out that NF offered everything possible to help me out in time and I thank them for that. Great company.

Leupold will just get the call on this hunt.
Its a McMillan Lazzeroni Thumbhole Sporter. I had a customer back out of a project 3 years ago and its just been sitting on the rack waiting for something to do. I would have preffered an A-5 but this one is working out well and as mentioned, it was there and already paid for!!
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