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Thread: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

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    .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    I thought that we should share at least the basics of our .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" ammunition development program with forum members as we work towards a 2000 meter effective ammuntion capability since 1993 in a truly man portable, "marksman/infantry mobile" package.

    You might learn something, but we might also and welcome comments and imput that could help other users and ourselves.

    .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Link.

    http://cainalongbranch.com/OrdnanaceDevelopements

    We hope you find this both informative and thought provoking


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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: lapua001
    I thought that we should share at leat the basics of our .338 Lapua Magnum "Gerneration II" ammunition development program with forum members as we work towards a 2000 meter effective ammuntion capability since 1993 in a truly man portable, "marksman/infantry mobile" package.

    You might learn something, but we might also and welcome commnets and imput that could help other users and ourselves.

    .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Link.





    They have all sorts of neat stuff!
    http://cainalongbranch.com/OrdnanaceDevelopements

    We hope you find this both informative and thought provoking

    Now I have this big gun, better figure out how to point it.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Just wondering if the .338 Norma Mag has ever crossed your mind. I know Jimmie designed it around the 300 gr.SMK. Sometimes less is more. If the new propellant you have under development has the pressure trace you describe, would it not work in the Norma? Smaller action, lower weight, and designed with 300 gr. Projos in mind. It wouldn't take much to change the throat...

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    +1 to saojao I have seen great accuracy with equivalent speeds. as far as .338's go I do believe the 300gn bullets are the way to go no matter the case behind them. Berger bullets have served me well.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: saojao
    Just wondering if the .338 Norma Mag has ever crossed your mind. I know Jimmie designed it around the 300 gr.SMK. Sometimes less is more. If the new propellant you have under development has the pressure trace you describe, would it not work in the Norma? Smaller action, lower weight, and designed with 300 gr. Projos in mind. It wouldn't take much to change the throat...


    By all accounts .338 Norma Mag is a good cartridge and could benefit from the new propellants, as will many other calibers. For us and our aggressive 2000 meter goal, .338 Norma Mag simply isn’t a big enough case to meet those long range sniper/match and API/anti-material objectives which has been the foundation of our ammunition program. Again, it’s a matter of application and what we have been looking for as an end result

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: Lodi
    +1 to saojao I have seen great accuracy with equivalent speeds. as far as .338's go I do believe the 300gn bullets are the way to go no matter the case behind them. Berger bullets have served me well.



    With .338 Lapua Mag, we believe that the 300gr wight projectile is the “sweet spot” for optimal performance using this cartridge case and pushing to our aggressive objective range of 2000 meters. 325 gr seems appealing but we are then going into the “law of diminishing returns” as there is only so much case capacity no matter how good the new propellants prove to be. After almost 19 years we will be quite happy if the big 300gr API accurately reaches out to 2,000 meters and consistently penetrates and “lights up” targets at this range in truly practical man portable form that .338 Lapua Mag can provide as a true intermediate caliber/rifle package. We have consistently resisted the urge for the program to need a larger caliber for what is effectively a unwieldy 1930s anti tank rifle with a “gun crew”, and that is why we settled on .338 Lapua Mag which is also receiving further growing international acceptance

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    You mention that seating bullets out to some maximum possible COAL is the key to achieving your goals for accuracy and penetration. I can understand that more powder capacity due to extreme shallow seating is theoretically leading to more kinetic energy at every distance.

    In my limited and short experience of a year, I found that seating deeper gave me a more accurate and consistent MV round than at or close (meaning 0.010") to the lands, muzzle velocity staying the same roughly.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    From my experience anytime you can seat the bullets max full caliber dimension(above the boattail) beyond the neck shoulder junction of the case that keeps you away from loading into the "donut" which is a benefit for accuracy and SD of velocity. So if the chamber is reamed to this capability where you can set the bullet jump appropriately, that is a good thing.
    Savage 110FCP H&S precision .338 Lapua Mag.
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Lapua,
    What are your velocity requirements at 2000 meters? Energy? The Lapua mag has a 6.5% greater powder capacity. How much more capacity are you actually gaining by just seating the bullet out longer? The Norma mag pushes a 300 gr. Projo at 2750-2800 fps +, this is with commercially available propellant. If my memory serves me right I believe OBP-715, will get 3000 fps.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    The obp715 will not get you 3000fps in a 338 norma mag. Could 3000fps be done in a standard barrel safely within the rated max pressure for this cartridge? NO.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Chad,
    What will OBP yield velocity wise on a top load?

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Within the cartridges pressure rating 2850. Now it will go to a little over 2900 before the web expands. For these guys to be getting 3000 with the lapua are getting it with more than just a new powder. Optimized powders don't get you 250fps. They probably have a low engraving pressure barrel in conjunction with a new powder and running at max loads to get these #.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    wouldnt you be able to use a longer barrel to help with the powder burn to get closer to 3000fps?

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    We haven't heard back to see what velocity Lapua is talking about. I guess we are all assuming 3000 fps.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Just back from the Shot Show. As a general plan I will try to answer most of the questions and then comment were I have not covered other posters comments/question. I am sometimes also limited to get on this form due to workload but will try to make it reasonable regular. Also a defence contractor in a development program some things are evolving as one would expect with a developmental program and some we may not be able to publicly talk about at the moment, but will say so if this comes up, and this can also be as a result of agreements with some subcontractors and joint developers. Please also keep in mind that we realize we are on the very “frontier” of propellant development and some new projectiles, so some traditional data or answers may not apply.

    The propellant is an interesting case because we are really working to “split the atom” so to speak here. It ranges from developing a propellant with a “pressure plateau” rather then a traditional pressure curve so what we traditionally expect about velocities and how they are sustained could go right out the window (or so some of us think). The propellent may also be advanced by different grain size or shape. How that effects surface area, burn rate, pressures. Good Question. We are not necessarily going to find traditional answers.

    This includes our anticipated velocities to achieve our 2000 meters/yards (to each his own) long range objectives. Simply put, the ideal velocities for the new projectiles with new propellants have not been established yet

    Regarding barrel length, very good question. Due to the long range goals of 2000 meters/yards we are beginning to work with 30" barrels and then cut back in 1" increments. Having said this there are also at least 2 -3 other creative ways to also shorten the overall firearm not including the barrel. This is also a matter of application. As the former chief Balistician say to me: 30" is long for a .338 Lapua Magnum, and I responded, no its actually short for a “baby Browning .50cal” If our 300 rds API projectile in the anti material role is able to reach out to 2000 and with 300grs of API payload able to consistently hit, penetrate and light up targets at these extreme ranges, then even a 30" barrel in a shorter overall firearms is well worth it. Again, it’s a matter of application. Are you confined to 1200-1500 yards in a true rifle size package or can our Generation II accurately project a 300 gr API projectile, then the package is worth it. At 2000 meters/Yards a 300 gr API projectile in a approx 14lb rifle (before optics) is not an incremental improvement, but a generational one. If successful we are in a situation like 1946 where the P-51Ds and MK-V Spitfires are being replaced, and Hawker Hunters, and F-86 Sabres are being rolled out .

    More to follow

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    I understand what you getting at...anyone looking at pressure traces would agree a "plateau" or elongated trace of peak pressure is best, not just for accuracy, but for velocity. Powder is only as good as the cartridge case, and application it was designed for. I know you said there aren't "traditional answers", but you must have an expectation for velocity etc.?

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    At the moment, we anticipate that the new propellent may provide a velocity somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 feet per second using an advanced 300gr projectile within standard pressures; however, this is only an estimate at this stage. The propellent and a number of other factors will give us the end result when finalized. Please keep in mind that this is a development program so there are no definitive results at the moment.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Got it. Im all for new developments, just look at some of my threads! I just think that there are some cartridges out there in .338 that can already achieve the goals you are trying to attain in a smaller weight package.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    If you would like to send a PM I can send you PDFs of the chamber print of the CIP chamber and also the one we produced in 2005 for the Sierra 300 gr Proj seated out to the optimal length. It creates a 3.99 / 3.98 inch OAL cartridge length but we were never interested in standard action lengths anyway when one considers that the goal is to a generational leap, not an incremental one. For those who want to try this "Sierra chamber" we can provide chamber reamers at cost (roughing & finishing with rotating pilot head).

    When the advanced projectile is in production, we will produce another chamber just for it also. OAL cartridge length estimated at 4.2 inch, again using the standard .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge case and using standard pressures

    I am technically challenged in web forum postings at the moment or would be happy to post the PDFs of the above two chamber prints here ! )

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: cali_tz
    You mention that seating bullets out to some maximum possible COAL is the key to achieving your goals for accuracy and penetration. I can understand that more powder capacity due to extreme shallow seating is theoretically leading to more kinetic energy at every distance.

    In my limited and short experience of a year, I found that seating deeper gave me a more accurate and consistent MV round than at or close (meaning 0.010") to the lands, muzzle velocity staying the same roughly.


    If you would like to send a PM I can send you PDFs of the chamber print of the CIP chamber and also the one we produced in 2005 for the Sierra 300 gr Proj seated out to the optimal length. It creates a 3.99 / 3.98 inch OAL cartridge length but we were never interested in standard action lengths anyway when one considers that the goal is to a generational leap, not an incremental one. For those who want to try this "Sierra chamber" we can provide chamber reamers at cost (roughing & finishing with rotating pilot head).

    When the advanced projectile is in production, we will produce another chamber just for it also. OAL cartridge length estimated at 4.2 inch, again using the standard .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge case and using standard pressures

    I am technically challenged in web forum postings at the moment or would be happy to post the PDFs of the above two chamber prints here ! [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: saojao
    Got it. Im all for new developments, just look at some of my threads! I just think that there are some cartridges out there in .338 that can already achieve the goals you are trying to attain in a smaller weight package.


    We are open to suggestion, and while we are not “married” to the .338 Lapua Magnum , for our 2000 meter objective of a 300gr API projectile that will reach out there accurately, penetrate and have enough API payload to be a truly man portable “baby Browning”, we have not found a better cartridge since 1993. Again it is a matter of application, but we are open to suggestion. More and more NATO countries are slowly but surely are also adopting .338 Lapua

    P.S. I always enjoyed what one of engineers said about finally getting equipment into production. First step: Shoot the engineers! [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: wPAShooter
    wouldnt you be able to use a longer barrel to help with the powder burn to get closer to 3000fps?


    This could be part of the solution

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    lapua001:

    Have you had a chance to test Alliant's new RL33? If so, how closely does it match your target powder requirements?

    Thank you.
    ELR Researcher
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: ELR Researcher
    lapua001:

    Have you had a chance to test Alliant's new RL33? If so, how closely does it match your target powder requirements?

    Thank you.


    We haven't tried the Alliant RL 33 yet, but sounds like something we should take a look at

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: lapua001
    Originally Posted By: ELR Researcher
    lapua001:

    Have you had a chance to test Alliant's new RL33? If so, how closely does it match your target powder requirements?

    Thank you.


    We haven't tried the Alliant RL 33 yet, but sounds like something we should take a look at


    R33 looks interesting but I wonder how temp stable it is as its smaller brother R17 dosn't do to well in high low temps

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: Rocky Mountain
    Originally Posted By: lapua001
    Originally Posted By: ELR Researcher
    lapua001:

    Have you had a chance to test Alliant's new RL33? If so, how closely does it match your target powder requirements?

    Thank you.


    We haven't tried the Alliant RL 33 yet, but sounds like something we should take a look at


    R33 looks interesting but I wonder how temp stable it is as its smaller brother R17 dosn't do to well in high low temps


    Temperature stability is an important factor and this will have to be verified with RL-33. Maybe an improvement over RL-17 ??, but extensive testing will tell and we will have to get powder samples first

    For example, one propellant that was pointed out is Hodgdon’s Retumbo with negligible variation between -40 degrees Fahrenheit to +165 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be good to see if RL-33 or others can match that stability. Please keep in mind that we are still trying to accurately and consistently reach 2,000 meters with a 300gr Proj and that hasn’t happened yet with any current propellant the way we want to see it

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    If anyone has come across any further propellant development possibilities we would be very interested in taking a look at them for our ammunition program if they show some potential

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    The only other powder that comes to mind for your ammo project "might" be VV 570 or potentially RL-50. I have been steered to VV 570 by some 338LM shooters who said it gives a good velocity bump at the same pressures (not tested it yet). I have a bit of experience with VV powder and it can be temp sensitive (at least compared with H1000 or Retumbo - my standard 338 LM Imp. powders).

    I am using an improved version of the 338LM (121.2 gr. h2o capacity), and get the 300 gr smks to 3000 fps from my 32" barrel (using Retumbo). The resulting performance is very impressive, at my home range and local areas in the desert. So far I have only taken it to 1,963 yards but its a hammer. Next step 2K, and then beyond until it runs out of steam.

    Good luck with your project and keep us posted.

    Jeffvn
    AA, its true I admit it [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Thank you Jeffvn for the powder input. I am sending your comment over to our powder people for their comment. It is these type of incremental improvements here and there that help projects such as this and we are also happy to share at least some of our improvements as they come about

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Additionally, while we work on perfecting the new 300gr projectile, for those using the excellent Sierra 300gr MK , to support rifle and ammuntion development we are happy to offer at cost ($195.00 each plus shipping), the high quality roughing & finishing chamber reamers with rotating pilot heads to properly seat the Sierra 300gr #9300 Match King for the first time in over 20 years (chamber prints shared upon request free of charge). The Sierra is still and excellent projectile and something that you can use right now for your own developments

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    lapua001:

    Thanks for your offer!

    Please advise more about the offer.

    1. Who built the reamers?

    2. Please post the reamer drawings (both). I'd also like to post them on my site.

    3. Please clarify your statement, "for the first time in over 20 years". Are you talking about a reamer (or a pair of reamers) that support 338 LM throated for SMK 300s? Such reamers, I suspect, have been available from multiple sources for many years.

    4. Also please clarify "properly seats" - jump (by how much), just touching, or jam (by how much)?

    Thanks.
    ELR Researcher
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    A 338 throating reamer with a 1 1/2 degree lead is but a phone call away. Turns any 338LM chamber into one throated longer to move the bullet out as described in the OP.
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    9H Cracka:

    It appears the poster is offering chambering reamers, not a throating reamer.

    For those interested in the throating reamer you mention, price and source contact, please.
    ELR Researcher
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    PTG/JGS. Call and ask for a price.

    So in summary, there is no magic/voodoo in needing a custom reamer to push the bullet out, and the magical powder is unobtainium, so I'm still challenged in having any ah-hah moments based on this thread.
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    So, step back from the 2k objective (whatever that is - if it were me, I'd be looking at the same 80% hit factor that other systems are measured by), the proposed concept here is identical to what Crane did with the Mk 248 in the 300 WM - longer COAL, special powder matched to an existing SMK projectile. They picked up a few hundred yards this way. Cool. Not so cool is watching people blow up their rifles trying to achieve the same velocity but without lengthening their freebore or having the secret sauce non-cannister powder.

    We keep circling back around to the possibility that a special non-cannister powder will soup it up more, or waiting until something hits the commercial market.

    That leads us back to the throating reamer point. Something you can buy today and experiment with a tad more of the available powders in the case.

    I would disregard the input of ANYONE that says they are trying to do development in this area unless said person(s) had a strain gauge system or test barrel system and is posting documented pressure results.
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    The reamers were made for us by JGS (The print name is “338 CLB LAPUA”, as opposed to their print # 4637 which is the CIP reamer print for comparison ) . The reamer seats the juncture/ the start of the boat tail at the case neck chamber juncture where we believe that it should have been in the first place for proper case capacity and proper bullet retention). A PDF will be posted on our website but if you want one now just send a PM..

    The reamer was developed in 2005 when we had Kevin Thomas, the former Sierra Chief Ballistician, when he was still with Sierra, seat the 300gr Sierra # 9300 MK as described above and then 10 samples were sent to JGS to be made into what we consider to be the “perfect chamber” in 338 Lapua, using Sierra’s 300gr #9300 MK

    If you have other reamers you may get the same or similar result for the Sierra bullet; a bullet which is well regarded and available now in quantity. The reamers were offered at cost as a courtesy, and you are welcome to take advantage of them, or not. We don’t see too many people offered a reamers or anything else at cost for what is a competing projectile. As we offer the reamer at cost we have “no dog in this fight”, and we have been the only ones so far that have been willing to spring for the production cost of the reamer and then give it away at cost to support ammunition development and the small army of people out there that want to experiment. JGS doesn’t stock them, we do and at cost

    For years people would shove the projectile down in the cartridge case or use a CIP print reamer. Our reamer design was meant to avoid reduced capacity and needlessly higher pressures with reduced performance. Albeit in most actions with the 3.99" or 3.98" OAL cartridge length you will be loading single shot. This chamber reamer was meant to address and correct what we see at as problem, using the Sierra projectile.

    Everyone is free to make their own path. This is part of what a developmental program is all about and there are no perfect answers at this stage, only a solid effort since 1993

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Looks like you did what I did with my 338 LM Improved (120+ gr. H2O). The boat tail bearing / surface junction of a 300 grain SMK sits at or slightly above the neck / shoulder junction. Mine is a customer reamer, snug in the neck - meaning no turn, but also pretty tight to my lot of Lapua Brass - and yes it is also from JGS. [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    lapua001:

    On 1/31 I inquired whether you had tired Alliant's new RL 33. You replied, "We haven't tried the Alliant RL 33 yet, but sounds like something we should take a look at."

    Its been three months now, have you been able to engage with Alliant to test that powder? Tested it?
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    mmm so you guys are going the blended powder route for more fps at near standard pressures. oh blended powders or as we used to call them back when i was young -duplex load. hornady has been doing this with there superformance ammo. they got it from us guys shooting smokeless powder muzzsleloaders. we were having problems getting single powders to get to optimum pressures before the projectile moved down the barrel. we found that by adding faster burning powder in amounts of 5 to 20 grains by weight to the overall load we accomplished this. well of course we were talking alot to hornady about bullet performance because of the velocities we were achieving and they caught on to what we were doing. and well you guys know the rest of the story.
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: ELR Researcher
    lapua001:

    On 1/31 I inquired whether you had tired Alliant's new RL 33. You replied, "We haven't tried the Alliant RL 33 yet, but sounds like something we should take a look at."

    Its been three months now, have you been able to engage with Alliant to test that powder? Tested it?


    Regret that we have been focusing on perfecting the projectile first and it is a busy time of year. Hope to get to the Alliant propellant as soon as the Proj is sorted out but we have a really "full deck" at the moment.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: savage338lapua
    mmm so you guys are going the blended powder route for more fps at near standard pressures. oh blended powders or as we used to call them back when i was young -duplex load. hornady has been doing this with there superformance ammo. they got it from us guys shooting smokeless powder muzzsleloaders. we were having problems getting single powders to get to optimum pressures before the projectile moved down the barrel. we found that by adding faster burning powder in amounts of 5 to 20 grains by weight to the overall load we accomplished this. well of course we were talking alot to hornady about bullet performance because of the velocities we were achieving and they caught on to what we were doing. and well you guys know the rest of the story.


    Blended powders could be one option, but there are also some pretty creative developments out there including coated propellants and new propellant grain shapes. What the final end result will be or if there will be a number of suitable end results is honestly a very good question. It is truly a “work in progress”, like Sir Frank Whittle who is credited with independently developing the turbojet engine. Right now we are trying to get the damm prop off! Hooah!

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Originally Posted By: ELR Researcher
    lapua001:

    Have you had a chance to test Alliant's new RL33? If so, how closely does it match your target powder requirements?

    Thank you.


    Sent an email in regards to the availability of RL33 & here is their response as of today, 22 June 2012; "We hope RL 33 will be out this summer. We have the powder ready to go but are waiting on DOT approval before we can start shipping."
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    [quote=_9H_Cracka]So, step back from the 2k objective (whatever that is - if it were me, I'd be looking at the same 80% hit factor that other systems are measured by), the proposed concept here is identical to what Crane did with the Mk 248 in the 300 WM - longer COAL, special powder matched to an existing SMK projectile. They picked up a few hundred yards this way. Cool. Not so cool is watching people blow up their rifles trying to achieve the same velocity but without lengthening their freebore or having the secret sauce non-cannister powder.

    Worse yet is Crane locking up there own rifles with there secrete sauce.

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    The spec sheet that Crane released did not spec a "Secret Sauce" propellant. They specifically stated that H1000 was to be used.
    I have a copy of the document for the Mk248 if anyone wants to look at it, I will have to find where I have the PDF file at though..

    The scary part thouggh, was that the upper pressure limit allowed was up at 70,000 psi! No wonder the last class at Atterbury had problems with it. Apparently not all lots of the ammo are the same, as they got a different lot, and it worked OK. Almost had to cancel the class though!
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    Not sure I can add a lot to this thread in terms of technical knowledge but I would like to say I thoroughly enjoy reading the posts.

    Lapua001: Thanks for the link to your Gen II eval. Learned a lot.
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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    + 1 on that. Please keep us posted on the RL33

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    Re: .338 Lapua Magnum "Generation II" Development

    As a question, not a suggestion so please excuse my ignorance as I am not a reloader but back in the day of building APCP motors for experimental rocketry, I would build what was called a bimodal and trimodal motors. These motors would have oxidizers of different sizes blended into the forumalation to create different burn profiles with different pressure levels.

    Is it possible or has it been done with reloading in terms of mixing different burn profile powders to achieve a desired burn rate/case pressure load?