October 7th, 2008

30-338 Varmint Version hits 4300 FPS with Barnes 130

In our new article on the 30-338 Wildcat, you’ll find expert advice on forming the cases from .338 Lapua Magnum brass plus tips on selecting powder and bullets. The story also features some great photos of a 30-338 custom Richard Franklin built for a California client. That rifle is designed as an Elk Gun, shooting the 190gr Berger VLDs with Reloder 22 powder. The laminated stock is made from exhibition-grade Claro Crotch Walnut and Dennis Smith (aka the Stock Doctor) provided beautiful checkering and a hand-rubbed oil finish.

30-338 Elk Rifle

Ultimate Big Boomer for Varminters
Franklin has also pioneered an ultra-high-velocity varmint version of the 30-338. This cartidge achieves amazing 30-Cal velocities using long, very slow-twist barrels. Richard tells us: “I use 15- to 17-twist barrels with both the 300 WSM Varminter and the 30-338 Lapua Varminter. The 300 WSM easily gets 3900 fps with the Nosler 125 Ballistic Tip and the 30-338 Lapua will do 4150 fps easily with the same 125gr B-Tip. In the 30-338, the 130gr Barnes, a “ringed” bullet with grooves to reduce bearing surface, will get another 150 fps, topping out at 4300 fps. I find the 17-twist does a good job with the light bullets in the 30-338 but I’m going to try an 18-twist and a 19-twist to see if high velocity is a little more easier to obtain. I believe the 19-twist will beat any thing I’ve built to date for velocity and I also believe it’s going to be very accurate.”

The “Official” .300 Lapua Magnum
While nearly every 30-338 you see in the USA is a wildcat, manually formed by necking-down the .338 Lapua brass, there was an “official” version, the “.300 Lapua Magnum”. This was a factory 30-caliber cartridge based on the .338 Lapua Magnum parent case. Lapua produced enough factory ammo to get the .300 Lapua Magnum sanctioned as an official CIP-certified cartridge. QuickLOAD includes the .300 Lapua Magnum in its load database, and QuickDESIGN has complete CIP cartridge specifications. Unfortunately, the .300 Lapua Magnum is no longer in production. For you cartridge collectors, we’re not even sure if Lapua ever produced brass with a distinctive “300 Lapua Magnum” headstamp. However Vihtavuori does include .300 Lapua Magnum load data in the current Vihtavuori Load Manual. That reloading guide shows the .300 Lapua Magnum can drive a 220gr HPBT Sierra MatchKing at 2910 fps with a max charge of VV 20N29 powder. The .300 Lapua Magnum can push the 30-caliber 155gr Lapua Scenar at nearly 3500 fps with VV N170 powder. That’s impressive performance indeed!

CLICK HERE to download Current 2008 Vihtavuori RELOADING MANUAL (35-page .pdf file).

300 Lapua Magnum CIP

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October 7th, 2008

Smith & Wesson and T/C offer Rebates for Rifle Buyers

Smith & Wesson Corp., announced today that the company will offer new consumer promotions through the end of the year (12/31/2008). The new fall/winter promotions include product offerings and consumer rebates for Smith & Wesson, Thompson/Center Arms and Walther products. For rifle buyers, there are $50.00 rebates offered on both the Smith & Wesson i-Bolt™ and the Thompson/Center Arms ICON™ rifle. Under the Fall Spectacular Hunting Promo, purchasers of a new S&W i-Bolt rifle will get a $50.00 rebate. Likewise, under T/C’s Get in the Hunt Promo, buyers of a new T/C ICON™ qualify for a $50.00 rifle.

CLICK HERE to Download i-Bolt™ Rebate Form

CLICK HERE for T/C ICON™ Mail-In Rebate Form

Thompson Center Icon Rifle

We were impressed with the T/C ICON™ rifles we handled at SHOT Show earlier this year. The upper end ICONs had really nice Ultra Wood™ stocks made from three pieces of hand-selected walnut laminated together with two sheets of carbon fiber. The actions are smooth and very strong, with integral (milled) Weaver-type scope mounts. Modern CNC production methods are used to manufacture the action and aluminum bedding block. The three-lug bolt has a short, 60° throw, a handsome jeweled body, and is easy to disassemble. Every ICON is factory-tested and the button-rifled barrels are guaranteed to shoot sub-inch groups at 100 yards. If you are looking for a US-made hunting rifle with modern engineering and state-of-the-art construction, the ICON is a good choice. We love the looks of the standard ICON with blued metal and glossy wood, but if you prefer a more rugged field rifle, the ICON is also offered in stainless with a Hogue® over-molded composite stock in matte black or camo finish. The Hogue stocks have a rubberized external finish that is very “grippy” in wet conditions.

Thompson Center Icon Rifle

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