new to reloading, suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by revturbo9967, May 18, 2015.


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  1. revturbo9967

    revturbo9967 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Good morning everyone

    Im starting my quest to build a reloading set up. The main reason for my reloading is for my new .338 lapua weatherby mark V. I got this rifle for a few reasons, one because I wanted it, 2 because I wanted it for long range hunting. I have other rifle’s well suited for long range hunting but just wanted something different. Also there seems to be plenty of info on the web regarding the 338 so it was helpful in choosing it as a long range caliber. I have other calibers id want to reload for as well, but this is where I’m starting . I’ve only got about 50 rounds through the rifle with sellier and bellot 250gr factory ammo. I do believe my barrel is still breaking in as well as coppering up quickly. My last range session had some pretty nasty 3 inch groups toward the end of shooting. I’m going to give it a good cleaning and not shoot it again until I get some quality ammo though it.

    Anyways, I first purchased the cartridge components needed for the .338 lapua. I’m starting off with new lapua brass, federal 215 primers, and 300 gr sierra match kings. I picked up a pound of retumbo at my local gun shop and will start with that as well. So far I feel like I’ve got decent components even though I know powder may change. As far as reloading equipment , I have already bought a rcbs chargemaster 1500 . I have a forster co-ax press as well as forster full length die and mic die on order. Hopefully they will be here this week. I intend to buy a l.e. Wilson mic case trimmer as well to complete my basic set up along with a tumbler for cleaning brass.

    Now , I feel like ive got a decent equipment list and somewhat basic understanding of what Im doing, but confused a little about actual load dimensions and where to start. I haven’t checked this but I’ve read that weatherbys have a large freebore to deal with pressure on big magnums. Ive also read that a lot of these .338 LM like a .02 freebore give or take some. I understand that if I was to try and set my freebore to those dimensions I could possibly have a magazine/cartridge issue. If in fact the is the case , what are my options? Does the barrel need to be re machined and set to a specific freebore and headspace? Or am I just thinking into this too much ? I’ve never reloaded so I’m trying to figure is it possible to get accurate loads out of a rifle without the perfect freebore and COL length . Where exactly should I start?

    Also if someone could explained a little about the pressures and how freebore effects the rifle , that would be greatly appreciated.

    As a matter a fact, any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jpd676

    jpd676 Well-Known Member

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    Nice set up. I would load to where the rifle is accurate, even if you make it a single shot by doing so. In long range hunting a fast follow up shot usually isn't in the game. My 300wm is a single shot due to long bullets but it is very accurate. If you push the bullet into the rifling of the barrel it can cause pressure. This can also happen when the bullet is inserted into the cause too deeply (as well as other problems). When you seat the bullet out of the case and close to the rifling you can get more case capacity and a reduction in pressure, which can translate into better accuracy, less pressure and increased velocity due to increased case capacity. For me, it's all about making a first round hit at long range.
     
  3. revturbo9967

    revturbo9967 Well-Known Member

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    I was reading that some guys go the single shot route with their rifles . It's just hard to swallow not having a back up shot . Thank you for your information
     
  4. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Bullet choice will dictate coal. I would load at mag length and start there. I would be willing to bet that your barrel doesn't have as much free bore as Weatherby cartridges, some bullets like jump and some like jammed,
     
  5. revturbo9967

    revturbo9967 Well-Known Member

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    thats refreshing to hear. again i haven't checked it as i don't have a gauge yet. any suggestions as far as which gauge to get?
     
  6. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about it if you have to load your rifle as a single shot to get the accuracy you need. Just have another round close like in a wrist band that you can put in quickly if needed. At long range you are not going to be hitting anything with a "quick" second shot anyway. As a kid growing up my first rifle was a single shot 22 and I would keep a spare round in my left hand that I could flip into the action quickly if needed. I did a lot of squirrel hunting back then and my Dad would give me 3 bullets. He taught me to bring back meat for each or bring back the unfired rounds. I learned to be a really good shot and be patient and wait for the shot I knew I could make before firing.
     
  7. revturbo9967

    revturbo9967 Well-Known Member

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    i guess my only concern would be when id be in a situation where im shooting at short range and may need a quick second shot
     
  8. scrmblr1982cj8

    scrmblr1982cj8 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Don't miss! :)

    One of the guys I know has the same issue with a 300 WSM. He found a recipe that works very well for him, but is too long to fit in the magazine. He has practiced enough that he can eject a spent round and feed another into the chamber just about as fast as he can chamber a second round on a different gun that he uses.
     
  9. Fishkat

    Fishkat Well-Known Member

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    Feb 3, 2015
    Might I suggest that you hand load your chamber with the longer COAL cartridge and your magazine with others that fit.
     
  10. revturbo9967

    revturbo9967 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 25, 2015
    after a bunch of time and some more equipment i was able to figure out my jump to lands and OAL.

    I've read about using the cleaning rod method to check over all length but i didn't have anything to attach to my rod to measure too so i did a little bit of a hack method. i set a 300 gr SMK bullet very long in a sized case. i pushed it into my chamber until it touched the lands. i then pushed the bolt up to the case and measured the distance between the bolt and the action. then i pushed the bulled into the case .020 at a time till i got closer, then .010 and then .001 until the bolt would close nicely. i ended up with a OAL of 3.800 while touching the lands. i then pushed the bullet in .020 more to reach a starting length of 3.780.

    after finding my length i put the cartridge in the mag and it fit perfectly with room to spare. seeing that i can achieve a repeating rifle at that length made me very happy until i realized i couldn't eject a loaded cartridge made to that length. the bullet just catches the inside of the action.

    what should i do? should i push the bullet in and start with a OAL that can eject while loaded? i don't feel conforatble pulling the trigger to remove my bolt to eject the cartridge. also my adjustable cheek piece on my stock is in the way of my bolt anyways so i have to remove that to remove the bolt from the action.

    any suggestions would be great