.338 Norma....track record?

tylerw02

Gunny Sergeant
May 16, 2011
2,208
1
0
Advance, MO
#1
Have the initial claims of the .338 Norma crowd proven to be true?

What I've read and been told was:

-.338 Norma matches .338 Lapua loaded to mag-length with 300 gr projectiles. Is this true, especially with CIP-length magazines for the .338 Lapua?

-Barrel life is double if not triple for the .338 Norma over the .338 Lapua magnum when loaded to equal velocities. Has this been proven true from first-hand experience? That sounds almost too good to be true. Who here has worn out both barrels?

-Has there been a steady, constant supply of .338 Norma brass? It appears there are good die options, but not as plentiful (or economical) as the Lapua.

-How well is the Norma brass holding up compared to Lapua brass? I've run both Norma brass and Lapua brass in the past and found both to be of excellent quality.

I have a Stiller Tac-338 coming from the group buy. Initially, I was dead-set on the Lapua, but I've had a few people tell me the merits of the Norma, which led me to digging up the old 12-page thread. The 12-page thread still lacked any real long-term information.

Thanks in advance for your help and insight.
 
Jul 10, 2011
431
1
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PA
#2
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

Same spot your in ordered the same action.same as you trying to figure out which way to go with it.Hope this thread sheds some light.
 

DAVETOOLEY

Gunny Sergeant
Jun 14, 2009
1,146
59
48
68
Oriental, North Carolina
#3
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

"-.338 Norma matches .338 Lapua loaded to mag-length with 300 gr projectiles."

Not quite the same velocity. The Norma is very slightly slower when considering brass life.

"Barrel life is double if not triple for the .338 Norma over the .338 Lapua magnum when loaded to equal velocities."

Again about the same. You can't fool Mother Nature.

Accuracy edge goes to the Norma. Only thing better is a 300 Norma.

Brass supply- I don't know as I've had a good supply here for the last two years. I would think that 100 pieces treated reasonably would wear a barrel out.

Cost of dies, not relevant when compared to everything else.
 

CoryT

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 5, 2004
1,154
9
38
60
Paulden, AZ
www.gunsite.com
#4
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

I'll mostly agree with Dave here. There is very little practical differance between the two. If you are length limited, the the Norma would have an advantage. Given the newer CIP + length mags for the Lapua, that's mostly a non-issue.

Barrel life is going to be identical and is far more dependent on how you treat it than what the chamber is.

I'm not sure that there is any measureable differance in accuracy, given equal quality and care.

Brass quality is no problem, though the Norma cases are not quite as widespread and available as he Lapua. The Lapua has a fair number of factories loading, the Norma does not.

More or less a coin flip unless the magazine length is actually an issue. I've gone Lapua and I'm not regretting it.
 

sinister

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 16, 2002
1,570
9
38
Park City, Utah
#5
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

In the DTA SRS the Norma has a slight accuracy edge and uses slightly less powder.

At 1500 Meters and farther the Lapua beats the Norma (pushing 300-grain Scenars) for velocity and energy.

Barrel life -- comparable.

Advantage? Slightly better precision. Over the life of the barrel? 2 rounds more per pound of powder if loading for the Norma over the Lapua.
 
#7
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

I have owned a 338 Lapua and I burned the barrel out in about 800 rounds. That was in no way heavy service, or rapid firing.

I now have 2 338 Norma rifles. I know for sure that one gun has well over 1500 rounds on it, and it's still shooting bug holes. The second gun I made, and I'm monitoring its life.
 
Aug 6, 2011
169
0
16
59
Mad city, Wisconsin
#8
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

I have one 338 Norma in short barrel rig ,that I want to suppress. I too have looked at the 338 laupa for the same reason. It is good to hear all the comments from the gunsmiths out there. Yes the oal length was my concern. It does not matter so much for my short barrel rig. But it was my thoughts for the next build.So I will let the cat out of the bag.

Next build in the works. 338 Norma 40 degree Improved.

Snowy Mountian Action opened up for long length, with a Seekins bottom. With a PDC stock ,folder inletted for the action. The barrel a Benchmark 32 inch tube 1-9.3 Throated for 300 grs. This lets me use any cmobo on any bullet out there. Plus this should get me to the laupa speed at any level. I have 400 pieces of brass. This was built for a repeater.

Now if you want any thing better you could make it a long throat single shot then length will never be a probelm.

Just my 2 cents. This is what I was going to do.


Crazy Cowboy in Wisconsin
 
Jul 6, 2011
37
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Abingdon Va
#9
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

Just got my 338 norma finished, built by Vestals Gunsmithing. Built on a trued mod 700 with a 28in Mcgowen barrel, oversized PTG bolt, Rifle Basics trigger, and Viase muzzle break. 5.5x22x50 Nightforce with NPR 1 reticle. Been working on some loads and there isn't much data out there on this cal. Had pressure issues at first, but have those worked out. Got 2743fps with 87g retumbo and no preessure, with less than 1/2 MOA at 200 yards, now I feel like I have a good starting point as this was all with Virgin brass. Learned something very important, just because someone elses gun does something doesn't mean yours will, reduce those loads and use the chrony. Hope to have pics soon, have a custom Ken Ferell base with 60 MOA, and Seecan rings.
 
Jul 6, 2011
37
0
0
47
Abingdon Va
#10
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

My first choice of powder was Ramshot mag, then H1000, and I had pressure issues and low velocity. I know have decent velocity without pressure so I feel good about fine tuning my load.
 
Oct 14, 2005
607
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Houston
#11
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1SMALLJOHNSON</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have owned a 338 Lapua and I burned the barrel out in about 800 rounds. That was in no way heavy service, or rapid firing.

I now have 2 338 Norma rifles. I know for sure that one gun has well over 1500 rounds on it, and it's still shooting bug holes. The second gun I made, and I'm monitoring its life.



</div></div>

I've never seen anyone else claim such a short life. Most claim 3,000 and the TRG-42 in military service has a barrel change interval of 4-5,000.
 

Donald

Sergeant
Jul 8, 2011
209
0
0
52
#12
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: holdthatcow</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have one 338 Norma in short barrel rig ,that I want to suppress. I too have looked at the 338 laupa for the same reason. It is good to hear all the comments from the gunsmiths out there. Yes the oal length was my concern. It does not matter so much for my short barrel rig. But it was my thoughts for the next build.So I will let the cat out of the bag.

Next build in the works. 338 Norma 40 degree Improved.

Snowy Mountian Action opened up for long length, with a Seekins bottom. With a PDC stock ,folder inletted for the action. The barrel a Benchmark 32 inch tube 1-9.3 Throated for 300 grs. This lets me use any cmobo on any bullet out there. Plus this should get me to the laupa speed at any level. I have 400 pieces of brass. This was built for a repeater.

Now if you want any thing better you could make it a long throat single shot then length will never be a probelm.

Just my 2 cents. This is what I was going to do.


Crazy Cowboy in Wisconsin </div></div>

40 degree, long throated 338 norma now that would be interesting.
 
Jul 6, 2011
37
0
0
47
Abingdon Va
#13
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

Hit out to 2038 last weekend, very consistant, and a pleasure to shoot! Hoping to stretch it to the limit next weekend, going for 2600 or so! Im getting 2800 avg from 86.5 of Retumbo, with 300g 2nd gen Bergers. Having a ball in southwest Va, with Vestals Custom Rifles. Thanks Rob, and Richard!
 

Donald

Sergeant
Jul 8, 2011
209
0
0
52
#15
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave Tooley</div><div class="ubbcode-body">"-.338 Norma matches .338 Lapua loaded to mag-length with 300 gr projectiles."

Not quite the same velocity. The Norma is very slightly slower when considering brass life.

"Barrel life is double if not triple for the .338 Norma over the .338 Lapua magnum when loaded to equal velocities."

Again about the same. You can't fool Mother Nature.

Accuracy edge goes to the Norma. Only thing better is a 300 Norma.

Brass supply- I don't know as I've had a good supply here for the last two years. I would think that 100 pieces treated reasonably would wear a barrel out.

Cost of dies, not relevant when compared to everything else. </div></div>

Some good advise.
 
Aug 6, 2011
169
0
16
59
Mad city, Wisconsin
#16
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

I have looked at them. I think they call them XR. If I recall they are a 30 degree but thoarted long. This was off the PTG reamer I found. This is who made the reamer for Robert. I like this design over the 40 degree. It shows a better taper in the case, for a better extraction of the case.

This is I think the way i want to go for my switch barrel rig. 1 in 338 and the other in 7mm.

Dies are getting built by Whidden.

This should give you speeds close to Laupa speed in the smaller case. Also with more OAL for magizines.
 

BowPredator85

New Hide Member
Mar 9, 2018
14
1
3
#17
I know this is an old post but wondering if you guys have any insight. I have a 338 Norma Mag running AI, CIP length mags. Under recoil, with a brake the bullets are seating deeper into the case. Put a suppressor on and it mushrooms the tips. I have tried 2k and 4k neck tension with no luck. I’ve tried stretching magazine spring, also no luck. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks
 
Dec 3, 2017
93
9
8
#18
I know this is an old post but wondering if you guys have any insight. I have a 338 Norma Mag running AI, CIP length mags. Under recoil, with a brake the bullets are seating deeper into the case. Put a suppressor on and it mushrooms the tips. I have tried 2k and 4k neck tension with no luck. I’ve tried stretching magazine spring, also no luck. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks
Following
 

BowPredator85

New Hide Member
Mar 9, 2018
14
1
3
#20
I haven’t tried crimping. These are berger eh and aren't meant for crimping. I see that some people have done this however. I’m concerned about increased pressure. I’m loading with 91.5 grains and have noticed with sizing oil still on the case it shows signs of slight pressure from the extractor pin on the bottom of the case. It was an accident leaving the oil on it. I was loading and shooting over and over at the time and forgot. When the cases are clean I’ve never had an issue. Could taper crimping it put me over on pressure?
 

BowPredator85

New Hide Member
Mar 9, 2018
14
1
3
#21
I’m leaning more towards modifying the magazine to hold the rounds in place. I prefer to shoot suppressed and this is when it’s the worst. It not only sets back the round but flattens the tip. This is where I believe crimping won’t make any difference. I’ll still have flattened tips at the very least. I have seen some ideas in a couple threads. One is putting a triangular piece vertically in the mag that contacts the datum and holds the round in place. Not sure how’s this would work though without being in the way of the spring. The other is putting something in front of the tips to cushion them. Have you guys seen this done or know of any products out there for sale to do this?
 
May 4, 2013
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#22
Crimp does increase pressure, by how much? I have no idea. If your load is on the hot side , don’t crimp it. Give Berger a call , address your concern and see what their tech guy say.
 
Likes: BowPredator85
Jul 11, 2017
59
6
8
Ft. Benning
#23
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

I have owned a 338 Lapua and I burned the barrel out in about 800 rounds. That was in no way heavy service, or rapid firing.

I now have 2 338 Norma rifles. I know for sure that one gun has well over 1500 rounds on it, and it's still shooting bug holes. The second gun I made, and I'm monitoring its life.
Dang Ken, barrel was gone in 800 rds. ? I am about 150 rds. fired thru mine and the throat looks like new. Mike
 

BowPredator85

New Hide Member
Mar 9, 2018
14
1
3
#25
Shooting berger EH 250’s, not lubing the necks. I actually think I found a solution. The issue was that I’m running lapua mags and the crimps in the mags are too far forward in the mag and allowing the rounds to move too far. It doesn’t appear that anyone makes a 338 CIP length Norma mag. I ended up soldering some metal rods vertically in the mag to stop the case from moving at the shoulder. The spring doesn’t bind up and it feeds perfectly. A friend used a 3D printer to make me a new follower that has a ramp on it to hold the round a little better. It’s working so far for all the rounds that are touching the metal rods but noting can really be done I guess about that top round as it it still hitting the bottom of the feed ramp of the rifle. I ran a couple mags and the last round in the mag only seated the projectile .003 deeper in the case. It seems like this may be the best it’s going to get. Thoughts?
 
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BowPredator85

New Hide Member
Mar 9, 2018
14
1
3
#26
Re: .338 Norma....track record?

I have owned a 338 Lapua and I burned the barrel out in about 800 rounds. That was in no way heavy service, or rapid firing.

I now have 2 338 Norma rifles. I know for sure that one gun has well over 1500 rounds on it, and it's still shooting bug holes. The second gun I made, and I'm monitoring its life.
I’d be interested to know what magazines you are using in that 338 Norma and if they are for a Norma or lapua.
 

waveslayer

Full Member
Mar 6, 2012
884
50
28
37
CA
#28
I’m leaning more towards modifying the magazine to hold the rounds in place. I prefer to shoot suppressed and this is when it’s the worst. It not only sets back the round but flattens the tip. This is where I believe crimping won’t make any difference. I’ll still have flattened tips at the very least. I have seen some ideas in a couple threads. One is putting a triangular piece vertically in the mag that contacts the datum and holds the round in place. Not sure how’s this would work though without being in the way of the spring. The other is putting something in front of the tips to cushion them. Have you guys seen this done or know of any products out there for sale to do this?
Yes, I use thick adhesive 3M electrical tape, it has helped me so far.

It would be nice to see more mags like Desert Tech 's that index off the shoulder of the round . They would eliminate smashing bullet tips
 
Likes: goin_long
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