I'm going to join the club soon.

Buck Fever

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2020
The bad bush
About 18 months ago I decided to build an ELR rig when i placed a pre-order for an American Rifle Company Archimedes long action and a matching Xylo chassis. Last fall the action shipped, this spring the chassis shipped and to complete it I ordered a barrel in 338 RUM from Lothar Walther. A few days ago the barrel finally arrived so it is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A sideline along the way is that I bought a Savage Axis when my Archimedes went through my FFL. I decided to make it my budget ELR rifle in 284 Winchester with a 31" barrel and less waiting. That was going along until it looked like my Xylo chassis was imminent, then I switched gears and shelved the 284 to focus on the 338. I'll finish the 284 when I can devote my focus to it...

I have been shooting 1,000 yards with 6.5 Creedmoor rifles when i can get to the range for about 5 years, so I'm not new to long range, i just need better ballistics and a longer range to step up. I don't have a convenient place to try 1,500 yards with my Creedmoors and I'm not going to try to shoot a 2,000+ yard match with one either which is the reason to step up to .284 and .338.

I hope to get the rifle final torqued soon, form my brass and start developing a load so that I can generate some DOPE at 1,000 yards to true up my Ballistics calculations before I try shooting a mile +.

To answer a question, I went with RUM because I'm hoping that I'll be able to make a 1,500 yard to 1 mile load that can be magazine fed in my action. I didn't go with a 338 Lapua because that bolt face is not offered in my action and many people say it creates a marginal safety factor due to hoop stress so you really need to step up to a larger action and if you do that, why not go bigger than 338?

As it is, with a 30" barrel, the self timing brake removed and the rear of the butt stock removed (loosen 1 set screw), it will fit in my SKB 4909 case with just enough space for padding. It's a pretty minimal package for an ELR capable gun and I think every bit of it is up to the task except maybe the scope which I hope to upgrade at some point. It is heavy with the Bench Rest Heavy Varmint profile (1.240" shank, 0.940" muzzle) 8.4 lb, 2.4 lb action, roughly 5 lb chassis and about 2.5 lbs of scope + rings and the total may be increasing.

My first load for the 338 is going to be 300 RUM Norma brass formed to 338 RUM and neck turned, with Federal 215M primers, Reloader 25 powder and Berger 250 grain Elite Hunter bullets. I'm looking for load data so I can design a safe OCW ladder test that's not starting too low or too high. I'll be using a magneto speed to measure velocity.

Once I have that figured out (and hopefully magazine fed), I'll step up to high B.C. solids for my 2,000+ yard single load ammo.