Short barreled 338s

backyardsniper

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I'm planning another 338 build and I'd like a little input here from any of.you guys with some experience in this matter. I have owned several 338s and I currently have two on hand, I have a AIAX and a Christensen Carbon Classic which is currently posted here in the classifieds.
To get down to business though I have been speaking with my Smith and I'm trying to build my perfect be all end all hunting rifle. My plan is to use a Defiance action which they will custom build with a CRF if.you ask for it which I plan to. Manners EH5 or EH5A. Hawkins 3.850 M5 pattern DBM or the manners mini chassis, trigger tech 2 stage.
My question is on the barrel length. I'm looking for 9lb to 10lb without scope. I'm wanting to go with the shortest barrel possible for maneuverability and weight savings and still be able to generate ample killing energy out to roughly 1200yds. Bullet will be a 285 led. How short can I go and still have a launch speed around 2650fps?
 

wildwilderness

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I’m not the one with much experience but from the shorter barrel research I’ve done you will waste a lot of powder trying to do that. Many more efficient cartridges in 338 for a short barrel- the 338 rcm, the new 338 SS or MAX, or make a 338 WSM all seem like better options for a shorter handier rifle. You will gain another 1/2” off the action as well, and still hit your velocity goals?
 

backyardsniper

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I have a ton of 338 Lapua brass and already have the dies and run a few.other rifles in 338 Lapua so I'm gonna try to stick with that cartridge even if it does cost a little wasted powder.
 

Wedgy

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Look for Cody's build thread for his 8lb (including scope) .338 Norma, it pushes the 270 grain bulldozer at 2,840 fps from a 24" tube.
 

WeiserBucks

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I'm way to dumb to post a link, but here's the results of a 338 Lapua barrel length test I read recently. Results for 250 and 300 grain bullets and the same loads used throughout the test.

20200913_011522.jpg
 

Rum Man

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I typically run 30" barrels in my 338's but want to do a light weight 26 " 338 after seeing this I'm excited to go with the 26" !

I have a 25 " 300 ultra and pushing the 230 [email protected] 3036 ft.per.sec with Nv570.
A 300gr berger @ 2800 ft.per.sec should be fine for my Hunting !

Rum Man
 

P7M13

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I have a ton of 338 Lapua brass and already have the dies and run a few.other rifles in 338 Lapua so I'm gonna try to stick with that cartridge even if it does cost a little wasted powder.
Don't hunt with it during fire danger season, you will have a flame thrower.
You gonna name your rifle? I nominate "Choada Stick" as one.
 

backyardsniper

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Pottsville, ky
I typically run 30" barrels in my 338's but want to do a light weight 26 " 338 after seeing this I'm excited to go with the 26" !

I have a 25 " 300 ultra and pushing the 230 [email protected] 3036 ft.per.sec with Nv570.
A 300gr berger @ 2800 ft.per.sec should be fine for my Hunting !

Rum Man
You'll be able to do 2800fps with a 26" no problem I believe. I have a 27" on my AI and I'm running 300 nosler custom comps at 2780fps and I'm not pushing it hard. 98gr of rl33. That sale load gets.me 2730fps from my 26" Christensen. I could bump it up pretty easily I believe if I wanted.to speed her up.
 

J E Custom

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I have built many 338's for different purposes and for the 338 Lapua you are going to be limited to 24 to 26'' barrels for any performance. The smallest and lightest 338 that is still a performer is the 338 RCM (A short mag that does well at 22" of barrel. The 338 rum is the ballistic equal to the Lapua using less powder but when you get to this level a 26" minimum barrel length is needed to get any real performance. I would recommend using 250 grain Bullets for this class of cartridge. Then there are the cartridges that consume 115 or more grains of powder and they need at least 28 to 30" barrels or as stated, they become flame throwers and not only waist lots of powder they also erode barrels fast from pushing un-burnt powder all the way through the barrel.

The 338 RCM will push a 225 grain to 2700 + with the 22" barrel. the 338 RUM will push a 250 grain to 3000 ft/sec in a 26" barrel and the Lapua will do 2900+.

The short mags use less faster burning powder to reach the max pressures in shorter barrels so you might consider an Improved short mag on a short action with a 24" barrel to save overall rifle length.

Big High velocity bullets need longer barrels to reach their potential unfortunately.

J E CUSTOM
 

wildwilderness

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I'm way to dumb to post a link, but here's the results of a 338 Lapua barrel length test I read recently. Results for 250 and 300 grain bullets and the same loads used throughout the test.

View attachment 213747
I don’t see where the actual brand/model bullet used for this test?

For the OP wanting to use the 285 eldm I would suspect the velocity to be more similar to the 300 gr in the test due to the long bearing surface of the eldm design
 

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