.338 Lapua Questions

m1a convert

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I bought a .338LM about 10 years ago along with 500 Lapua cases and 1,000 300gr SMKs. I got distracted and am not back to this. I am going to purchase a AXMC in .338LM. My understanding is the the Hornady 285gr is a much better bullet than the SMK.

I am trying to decide if I want to load for this rifle or shoot factory. I have all my reloading gear and can reload but time is valuable in my life so if I am not leaving significant performance on the table I would prefer to shoot factory loads. I know reloading is cheaper but cost savings aren't as big a concern to me.

Are their options in components etc that would make it a much better choice to reload vs shooting factory 285gr Hornady Match? I can get the Hornady for $72 a box of 20 unless someone knows a cheaper place. Is there a better factory load than the Hornady for ELR?

Out of curiosity I can get the S&B 300gr SMK loading for $52 for 20. How accurate/good of a load is this?

Thanks for the help.
 

W54/XM-388

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How far are you wanting to shoot?
That is probably going to make the biggest difference.
If you want really long distance, it might be worth it to you to go with the Warner Flatlines instead.

At shorter ranges the Lapua factory ammunition is very repeatable and accurate. (But not the best for longer distances).
 

Gohring65

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I like the 285 and h1000 in lapua case. I only have had it to 1500 and not thru transonic yet. I’m interested in some data from someone who has.
 

Bravo6niner

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I think for factory ammo the 285 Hornady is a good route. If your going to reload and get the 300 berger velocity above factory 300gr velocities the 300 is hard to beat for longer distances.
 

Lynn Jr

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100 rounds at $72 for a box of 20 comes out to $360 if my math is correct?
You already have the brass and gear so put 90-92 grains of H1000 under those 300 Sierras and outshoot those factory loads.
 

Howland

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My brother picked up a .338 LM and let me take it for a spin. I put up a .419 MOA at 200 yards and .333 MOA at 400 yards with factory Hornady 285 Match. In his rifle, this load sure shoots.

Pick up a few boxes. If it works for you, great. If not, you have the brass to work up something better.
 

Esoteric Junkie

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I bought a .338LM about 10 years ago along with 500 Lapua cases and 1,000 300gr SMKs. I got distracted and am not back to this. I am going to purchase a AXMC in .338LM. My understanding is the the Hornady 285gr is a much better bullet than the SMK.

I am trying to decide if I want to load for this rifle or shoot factory. I have all my reloading gear and can reload but time is valuable in my life so if I am not leaving significant performance on the table I would prefer to shoot factory loads. I know reloading is cheaper but cost savings aren't as big a concern to me.

Are their options in components etc that would make it a much better choice to reload vs shooting factory 285gr Hornady Match? I can get the Hornady for $72 a box of 20 unless someone knows a cheaper place. Is there a better factory load than the Hornady for ELR?

Out of curiosity I can get the S&B 300gr SMK loading for $52 for 20. How accurate/good of a load is this?

Thanks for the help.
"My understanding is the the Hornady 285gr is a much better bullet than the SMK."

Like Dave said use what is most precise in your rig. I have yet to see where the 285 Hornady offers any advantage over the 300gr SMK and I shoot a good bit of 338:).
 

m1a convert

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I will shoot the SMK's I have (reloading them) to build experience then decide what direction to go from there.

Esoteric: You said the 285gr doesn't have an advantage over the SMK. Doesn't the 285 have a higher BC?
 

Esoteric Junkie

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I will shoot the SMK's I have (reloading them) to build experience then decide what direction to go from there.

Esoteric: You said the 285gr doesn't have an advantage over the SMK. Doesn't the 285 have a higher BC?
BC does not equate to precision. Everyone is chasing the BC number game when the most important thing is to obtain the highest precision first then focus on accuracy. Contrary to popular belief, groups do not shrink the further out you go. I test all bullets at 1000 yards, on paper, with multiple ten shot groups. One ten shot group is not enough statistical data to determine which bullet is better than the next.
 

1clicktrick

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BC does not equate to precision. Everyone is chasing the BC number game when the most important thing is to obtain the highest precision first then focus on accuracy. Contrary to popular belief, groups do not shrink the further out you go. I test all bullets at 1000 yards, on paper, with multiple ten shot groups. One ten shot group is not enough statistical data to determine which bullet is better than the next.
The 285 has a big BC advantage, off memory .768 vs .829. I think he means BC make repeatability. I have a 338win mag in a target rifle. I push the 285 to 2740fps and the 300 to 2690fps. The BC off those the 285 will continue to run away and buck wind better. I just started using the 285 and in my rifle they seem promising. I will try to update this as weather gets better.
 

1clicktrick

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The 285 has a big BC advantage, off memory .768 vs .829. I think he means BC make repeatability. I have a 338win mag in a target rifle. I push the 285 to 2740fps and the 300 to 2690fps. The BC off those the 285 will continue to run away and buck wind better. I just started using the 285 and in my rifle they seem promising. I will try to update this as weather gets better.
***correction*** he means BC doesn't make repeatability.
 

wilson1911

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If your not reloading, the brand of brass will not matter. If you choose to reload, it lapua all the way. I shoot 300 smk’s out of mine, but Berger’s make better groups and run faster.

I don’t shoot mine much anymore tho, it just sits in the corner. If I were shooting more I seriously consider flatlines. Nothing about a 338 is cheap anyway.
 
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TripleBull

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Most of my 338 LM experience is with Lapua factory ammo, in about equal amounts for their 250 Gr and 300 Gr Scenar. I have an MPA bolt action rifle and an AX/MC and their performance has been remarkably similar with Lapua factory ammo. In easy wind conditions, they have shot about .5 MOA at 1000 yards. For handloads, thus far I have just shot 250 Gr Scenars out of Lapua brass. My handloads have been more precise than factory ammo (about 0.3 MOA) with much lower muzzle velocity extreme spread and standard deviation. Most factory Scenar boxes yield an SD on the order of 17 fps and an ES in the 40 to 60 fps range. Handload SDs have run in the 3 to 8 range with an ES under 20.

I've got 500 Berger 300 Gr OTM's and need to get off my butt to work up a load but I'm also tempted by the new 338 Flatline.

I've also shot a couple of boxes of S&B 250 Gr's out of the MPA and their performance was a small step down from the factory Scenars in SD, ES and shooting performance. They look to be the bargain of factory ammo for my MPA but I expect that I'll shoot mostly handloads in the future since we have 338 LMs specifically for ELR. ELR is a time sink so I don't see the handloading commitment to be that big of a deal.
 

wilson1911

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When I first got mine before my dies came in , I think I bought 3 Boxes of s&B. Bigger groups with fliers. And their brass gun is a bit in the crappy side. I learned to buy the blue box and call it a day.

One of my 338’s that I sold shot factory 250’s with an SD of 4ish. It’s good stuff.
 

GIXXER2000

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In my AI-PSR (same as the AXMC) i have shot 300SMK ,300 Nosler, 300 Lapua, 285 ELD-M, 277 Cutting edge and 300 Berger. For me and my rifle the Berger 300 was the best with the SMK and ELD-M a close 2nd. The Cutting Edge preformed better to about 2200 yards but the 300 berger was better out to 2600 yards.
 
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DIBBS

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I recently took delivery of a 338 LM Improved. To piggy back on this conversation, for those of you that are reloading for your 338 LM's what additional steps /techniques/tricks are you taking for shooting ELR, compared to what you would do for a precision rifle that is primarilly shot in the 300-1000 yards range. If the weather cooperates I hope to do some fireformng / barrel break in this weekend. Thanks
 

Hoffer

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I recently took delivery of a 338 LM Improved. To piggy back on this conversation, for those of you that are reloading for your 338 LM's what additional steps /techniques/tricks are you taking for shooting ELR, compared to what you would do for a precision rifle that is primarilly shot in the 300-1000 yards range. If the weather cooperates I hope to do some fireformng / barrel break in this weekend. Thanks
You can go as crazy as you want at any range.

Good scale +/- .001 gr
Weight everything including primers
Sort bullets and brass
H2O check brass after sorting
Insane specs on neck turning
Warner dies - insanely good quality
Ect...
 
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Lynn Jr

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You would have to use it before you know if you need to sort it right?
 

Bradu

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Hi,

Anyone running RCC 338LM brass yet, so they can skip the brass sorting and H2O checking?

Sincerely,
Theis
I would like to try some of their brass to see how long it will last compared to other brass.
 

Lynn Jr

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Until someone buys it and measures it it's all hype.
Ask Hoffer about buying high BC 338 solids.
 

Hoffer

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Hi,

I am referring in regards to sorting by H2O water volume since RCC states tolerances of .001 cm3 in regards to case capacity deviations and neck wall thickness held to .0002

Sincerely,
Theis
I did a quick calculation on just the main "straight" section of a 338LM

1.379 cm ID x 5.12 cm long

=/- .00025 cm" (.0001) ID total of .0005 cm or .0002"

1.379 to 1.3795 ID changes the inside volume from 7.6470 cu cm to 7.6525 cu cm = .0055 cu cm difference for .0005 cm or .0002" variation

So to achieve .001CuCm you would have to hold 1 micron tolerance or .00004" which could be possible, but the cartridge would cost around $500 each minimum

(Edit - apparently not good with metric - updated)
 
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Lynn Jr

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It looks like the H2O doesn't jive. I will get a few pieces and test it for myself.
If your who I think you are your not in the state's?
Over here you can claim anything without it being true.
Hoffer bought some 338 bullets that had a claimed 1.2 BC number and when he shot them at 2054 yards it turned out around 0.750 BC
That company went out of business but is now open under another name making the same claim.
 

THEIS

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Hi,

I am currently in the States....Trying to spend less time OCONUS this year.

BAGW and Swamplord were having RCC make brass for them to test in a couple new cartridge designs of theirs due to the tolerances achievable.

Projectile companies overstating BCs is as common as a bird shitting on your newly washed car.......

Sincerely,
Theis
 

Hoffer

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Hi,

What numbers are you saying they cannot keep tolerances to?
The .001cm3 case capacity deviations or the .0002 neck wall thickness tolerances?

Edited To Add:
@badassgunworks
What tolerances is your RCC cases holding? Are you even measuring H2O in them?

Sincerely,
Theis
Those specs are at +/- .0001 of an inch which is about the max unless grinding
 
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woodlandshooter

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I have run 300gr Berger OTMs at 2815, and 285 ELDs at 2860.

Both do well at a mile. However, i have had better luck at 2k with the ELDs.
 
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Shadow_Warrior

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With my AIMC .338 LM I have played with the 285 ELD, 300 SMK and 300 Berger with the H1000, Retumbo and N570.
I have found the 285 ELD and the N570 at 2900 FPS (work up to this) is my best LR choice. I shot a 2.18" 5 shot group with a 6-8 tail wind at 600y.
My SD was 4.8 fps.
Its a hammer out to 1760y but past 2000y your wind call will determine your hits more than anything else.
 

jonthomps

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With my AIMC .338 LM I have played with the 285 ELD, 300 SMK and 300 Berger with the H1000, Retumbo and N570.
I have found the 285 ELD and the N570 at 2900 FPS (work up to this) is my best LR choice. I shot a 2.18" 5 shot group with a 6-8 tail wind at 600y.
My SD was 4.8 fps.
Its a hammer out to 1760y but past 2000y your wind call will determine your hits more than anything else.
I have an AXMC too. What’s your load data for the 285?
 

badassgunworks

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You would have to use it before you know if you need to sort it right?
no there brass is perfect no need to sort turn necks or do any thing. h20 check of 1000 of there rounds will have less then 1/10 of a grain difference. in water the difference is measureable. guys should not speak of what thy know nothing about.
 
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Lynn Jr

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I fire my brass in the chamber before measuring it so a table top test does me know good.
 

badassgunworks

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so of the cases un fired are the same inside and out by measurement and h20 on all cases are the same once fired in your chamber they will also be the same with perhaps al little more h20 but will all still be the same.
think about it.
 

Lynn Jr

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I hear what your saying but have no way of confirming the internal volume consistency until after the brass has been fired once and trimmed to the same length.
How much variation are you seeing on unfired brass?