Anyone going to try out the .408 CheyTac?

Lee Owens

Well-Known Member
May 28, 2001
McKinney, TX, USA
I'm really fascinated by that one. I read on another board that they'll be making a .398CheyTac that will be legal for competition at the 1kBR ranges with a caliber limit of .40 and below. That could convince me to buy a rifle built for it. I don't have access to land for extreme-range shots so I'm limited to 1,000 yards for now.

I've read that Sierra will make a bullet for the .408. I really hope that they will also make one in .398. I think that once it's legal for 1kBR many more shooters will want to try it out.

Any thoughts?
I'll stick with my 338/416 Rigby IMP using 122 grs of powder, the 300 gr Sierra MK with a BC of .800 (measured by Oehler) coming out of my 37" barrel at 3300 FPS if I don't care about loading my brass more then 2X. Backing it down to 3150 FPS if I want to continue to load the brass several times.

What could be better???

The above combination is the best Ultra longrange hunting round i have found plus I did shoot a 7" (10 shot) group at Williamsport with it.


[ 05-28-2001: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
I really respect Darryl's comments about the .338/.416 Imp! That SOB is a real f*@#er! The thing is, the bloody rig is scarcely man portable, while that .408 Cheyenne-Tactical is with a barrel over half a foot shorter and weighing only 22 lbs. w/o a scope and rings (maybe 24 with a scope and rings)! So if and when EDM Arms decides to do one in a left-handed configuration, I'll be the first in line . . . . . foaming at the mouth to boot!!!


[ 05-29-2001: Message edited by: David P. Herne ]

[ 05-29-2001: Message edited by: David P. Herne ]

Yes, my rifle is 67# and NOT portable however, I have a friend at Williamsport that has the same set up (338/416 IMP) with a 36" tapored barrel that weighs 22#. It also has a BIG muzzle brake and that rifle killed their elk 3 yrs ago at 2890 yds from a bi-pod attached to the rifle and with three witnesses from the Williamsport club.

I question GOOD bullet availability for anything bigger then the 338 Cal. at this time.
We are accustomed to high BC bullets in a Match type and boat tail design.

If the new bullet had the features that we want, I also would be looking into it but, with a real long barrel to utilize the potential of the powder, larger diameter and heavier weight bullet.

Until such time comes, I am well pleased with what I have seen my 338/416 Imp do on game out to 2100 yds.

Darryl Cassel

Was that the sound of a gauntlet being thrown down?

Contact me after we get back from Yuma Proving Grounds on the 18th of June with the doppler data on the .408 CheyTac. I may be ready to make a .398 then. It will be every bit a match type bullet, with boat tail, and a BC above .900.

As we are probably the only outfit currently interested in making bullets in that diameter, bullet availability will be a simple matter of calling up and making a purchase. That is until, when and if,it wins some matches. Then I suspect others will get interested.

I do not need to explain the physics to you. Bigger,heavier bullets with the corresponding high BCs will have advantages at long range, especially in wind.

The .408 is a tactical round, in a tactical rifle, with a tactical purpose. The .408 is also not legal for 1000 yd. competition as the rule states that no caliber larger the .40 may be used. A .398 would be legal and it would be an easy neck down from the .408 CheyTac brass. I have not designed it yet, but just for something to mull over, figure a 400 or so grain bullet, .900+ something BC, in front of a case with 145 or so grains of powder capacity. Figure velocities at 3000+ fps. with <30 in barrels. With barrels the length that you use, plus some knowledgeable load development, well who knows. Western Powders and VihtaVuori both have powders in the right burnrate that they have not issued yet. We might even get Federal to break loose with some more 216s let alone some 216Ms. EDM or Gilkes make receivers that would handle it. The Gilkes has a very nice three lug bolt system. A number of high quality barrel makers could make the barrel. Some of the standard rules as to twist and land and groove width and depth will not apply so I could helpful in this area. If everything is done correctly you could end up with a system that starts at Mach 2.5+ is stable and accurate through transonic, to subsonic, and that would have a range that is somewhat further than you are shooting now. Like the .408 is doing to 3500+ yds.

Think of the possibilities. But then this is all conjecture, isn't it?
Hello Warren

Yes, I'm interested especially since it is you on the developement side of this new bullet.

Keep me posted as it sounds intereasting especially in a 36 to 37" barrel

How about Rock McMillen actions? Is he still in business?

I like the sound of a 400 Gr bullet, less then 40 cal and in a match configuration with a .900 BC. It would be legal at 1000 yd matches if kept under 40 cal.

I'd be glad to try it.

Let me know the results.

Thanks for the response.

Darryl Cassel
Do you have any figures available on .408 performance out of a 36inch (or longer) barrel?

Do you have a projected cost on the .398/.408 bullets?

No long barrels on the .408. With a 27" barrel on the tactical rifle we get 2900 fps. and that is with a load that has to meet military temperature extremes and repetetive fire requirements. It can be pushed above that with no trouble. I have had it considerably higher. What it's potential is in 36" and longer barrels I cannot say. I think that 3100-3300 fps would be a safe estimate for a 400 gr. bullet. There are a number of powders in the correct range and as I said above I know of at least two powder companies with unissued powders in that range. If you get a powder that is right at optimum for the bullet and cartridge the performance will be increased. Darryl's getting 3300 fps with a cartridge and bullet that 15 years ago I would have said would limit out at 3100 fps., but they've improved it, pushed it, tweaked it and after awhile it's performance has really improved.

The bullet we are using in the .408 is made from a material that gives it certain terminal qualities. In the .398 we would use a material that has the same accuracy potential but not the same terminal qualities, and it will be less expensive. I have not completed a design for the .398 so I can't give you an exact cost. It will be in the neighborhood of $.90 each for the initial short runs with the price coming down to about $.70 fairly quickly if there appears to be a demand. On long runs I think the price will settle in at about $.60-.65 each. I think if you look at what other manufacturers charge for lead core bullets, match grade, and if you get them to make a run, their cost would be above $.50 each. But that is a guess on my part. The cost is a function of demand, and demand will depend on how it performs. I can tell you that the potential is there to meet or exceed all of the long range records. Whether somebody puts it all together and does that is yet to be seen.

As it stands now, I would get my raw stock from a wholesaler, as I do not have to purchase as much. With a larger demand, I would go straight to the mill and have a run made. The cost is less per lb., but I have to buy quite a bit, and it takes about 3 months lead time.

The brass is costing less than $2.00 ea., now, and as larger runs of it are made that will come down. There are a number of premium cases of smaller capacity that cost more than that. The brass is very high quality, and is as good as I have seen. With the military requirements load I have cases that I have reloaded 10 times and are still going.

[ 06-01-2001: Message edited by: Warren Jensen ]
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