August 27th, 2019

Cutting .338 LM Barrel from 30″ to 17″ — Velocity Loss Revealed!

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

With Randy Wise’s recent record-setting ELR performance with a .338 Lapua Magnum Savage rifle, we thought our readers might be interested in a .338 LM velocity test conducted by our friend Bill Marr, Editor of Rifleshooter.com.

READ FULL .338 Lapua Magnum Barrel Cut-down Velocity TEST »

782 custom gunworks ltdA couple seasons back, Bill did a fascinating barrel cut-down test on a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle. Bill, a skilled gunsmith who runs 782 Custom Gunworks, cut down the barrel from 30″ to 17″ in one-inch increments. During the cut-down process, Marr measured velocities at each barrel length, shooting four rounds after each cut. As you’d expect, there was a huge change in velocity from long to short. Speeds were measured at the muzzle with a Magnetospeed barrel-mounted chronograph.

If you’re looking for max velocity with the .338 LM, go long. With 250-grain Sierra MK bullets, the peak velocity Bill measured was 2942 FPS at the full, 30-inch length. This decreased pretty steadily down to 2547 GPS at the shortest 17″ length. That’s an average decrease of 30.4 FPS per inch from 30″ to 17″.

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

Bill also tested 300-grain Sierra MatchKings. This is interesting because Randy Wise ran 300-grain bullets (Berger Hybrids) in a 26″ factory barrel for his ELR record. Peak velocity was 2833 FPS at 30″, 2799 FPS at 26″, and 2492 FPS at the shortest 17″ length. Interestingly, velocity at 29″ was higher than at 30″ for the 300-grainers. Bill notes: “The 300 SMK load showed a slight increase from 30 to 29″. I’ve recorded this in other tests and it seems to be more common with a heavier load. I suspect it is primarily due to the small sample sizes being used along with the relative proximity of muzzle velocities in adjacent lengths.”

At each new (shorter) barrel length, velocity was measured with a MagnetoSpeed chronograph using two different loads, 250gr SMKs with H4831sc and 300gr SMKs with Retumbo. Four shots were fired at each length with each load, a total of 112 rounds.

Load #1: 250gr Sierra MK, Lapua brass, CCI #250 primer, H4831SC, OAL 3.720″.
Load #2: 300gr Sierra MK, Lapua brass, Win WLRM primer, Retumbo, OAL 3.720″.

.338 LM Barrel Cut-Down Test Results Summary

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

.338 Lapua Magnum with 250gr Sierra MatchKings
After shortening the barrel from 30″ to 17″, total velocity reduction for the 250-grainers was 395 FPS, an average loss of 30.4 FPS per 1″ cut. The amount of velocity loss per inch rose as the barrel got shorter, with the biggest speed reduction, a loss of 55 FPS, coming with the cut from 18″ to 17″.

Start Velocity: 2942 FPS | End Velocity: 2547 FPS | Average Loss Per Inch: 30.4 FPS

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 24th, 2019

Ray Gross & David Tubb Win ELR Titles — Wise Sets New Record

Ray Gross Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan ELR Central world record cold bore 33 XC David Tubb 33XC LM Camp Atterbury Indiana
Ray Gross (left) was humbled to take the stage with David Tubb (right), a living legend: “The first time that I ever made it up on to the stage at a National Championship was in 1997. Dave Tubb had already won about a dozen Nationals by that time and I was so nervous going up on stage with him[.] It was a huge honor to get to share the stage with him again this year.”

Two notable shooters took the stage at the end of the NRA ELR Championship at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. David Tubb, 11-time NRA Nat’l High Power Champion and 6-time NRA Nat’l Long Range Champion, won the Heavy Gun Division, while the talented Ray Gross won the 25-lb (and under) Division. Ray, 8-time Nat’l Championship coach and captain, coach, or shooter on five USA Rifle Teams, was shooting Paul Phillips’s new 33XC rifle. AccurateShooter featured this impressive rig in last week’s Sunday GunDay story. David was shooting an ELR TubbGun of his own design, chambered for the 37XC cartridge.

Ray Gross Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan ELR Central world record cold bore 33 XC David Tubb 33XC LM Camp Atterbury Indiana
L to R: Paul Phillips, Dan Pohlabel, Ray Gross, John Droelle, and Kelly McMillan

Ray won the Light Gun ELR National Championship with help from his McMillan/GPG teammates John Droelle and Daniel Pohlabel. Ray noted: “We shot targets from 1600 to 1950 yards and finished with the highest overall score of 88699. Paul Phillips of Global Precision Group, loaned me his 33XC rifle and ammo to compete with. The rifle shot outstanding and that is a tribute to Paul’s load development and expertise.” Ray also thanked Kelly McMillan for attending the event and supporting the competitors.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision
CLICK Image for full-screen version.

Randy Wise Sets New NRA ELR World Record

At the 2019 NRA ELR Nationals at Camp Atterbury, there were many impressive displays of Extreme Long Range marksmanship, but none better than Randy Wise’s remarkable three-shot string at 2158 yards that set a new ELR Central world record. Randy made a COLD BORE HIT and two follow-up hits on a steel target at 2158 yards. Remarkably, Randy set the new ELR record using a stock Savage action and Savage factory barrel chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. The Savage barreled action was mounted in an Accurate Rifles Systems chassis with Rempel bipod. Wise was shooting 300 grain Berger Hybrid bullets. Congrats to Randy on his new ELR World Record!

Randy Wise ELR Central world record cold bore .338 Lapua Magnum LM Camp Atterbury Indiana

Randy’s rifle had a factory stock 26″ 1:9″-twist barrel chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. His load featured Lapua .338 LM brass, Berger 300gr Hybrid bullets, Federal 215M primers, and a stout charge of Hodgdon Retumbo powder. Ballistics solution by Applied Ballistics LLC. For optics, Randy used a Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle. The match was officiated by Clay Rhoden of TARGETVISION.

About the 33XC (eXtra Capacity) Cartridge

David Tubb invented the 33XC cartridge because he thought the CheyTac cases were too much trouble — requiring a larger action, oversize presses, and ultra-expensive dies. The 33XC was designed to fit .338 Lapua Magnum-size actions and use normal reloading presses.

The 33XC (eXtra Capacity) has 137.5 grains of H2O capacity with over 125 grains of usable powder capacity while leaving the 0.393″ neck unfilled for bullet seating.

The 33XC has a .338 Lapua Magnum lineage. Think of it as a better, 35°-shoulder .338 LM. David explains: “The 33XC uses standard reloading dies along with a 7/8″ x 14 TPI reloading press. There is no fire-forming — all case ‘improving’ has already been done with a production case that has 20 grains more powder capacity, 35-degree shoulder, and longer neck compared to a .338 Lapua Magnum. This puts the various .338 Lapua wildcats and the Rem Ultra Mag Improved into the ‘also ran’ category. They simply can’t compete with the velocities attainable with the 33XC.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

The 33XC is based off of a .580″ bolt head. Tubb states that “A fired case will extract with little effort when using a properly-polished chamber with a maximum powder charge after resizing with the Superior Shooting Systems FL sizing die.” Tubb’s 33XC die reaches the case head which is important for accuracy. Peterson Cartridge produces the 33XC brass for Superior Shooting Systems. This high-quality brass costs $115 for 50 cases (or $2.30 per case), and can be purchased directly from Superior Shooting Systems.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 18th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: New 33XC Rifle for Reigning King of 2 Miles

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global PrecisionNew Cartridge, New Rifle for the King
Paul Phillips is the reigning King of 2 Miles. The founder of the Global Precision Group, Paul is one of the top ELR marksmen on the planet. He has also been a team-mate of past K02M winners.

Paul recently put together a new rifle for the 25-lb max, .338 caliber-or-under ELR Class. This is chambered for the 33XC, an efficient new cartridge devised by 11-time National HP Champion David Tubb. With promising initial testing at 500 yards, it looks like Paul’s 33XC project will be a success. The rifle’s first match will be the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship, to be held August 21-23, 2019 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Paul reports: “The 33XC is ready for the NRA ELR Nationals. I have tested loads from 3100-3450 FPS and and will settle on a load around 3250 FPS [which is] my most accurate load so far. The Peterson Cartridge brass is really working well.”

Paul states he would like to look for a higher node from 3300-3400 GPS: “Next stop is with the Applied Ballistics LLC mobile labratory and radar testing with a PDM for the Nationals.” Paul cautions: “I encourage everyone to start low and work up. Every chamber, barrel, and components are a little different.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

During initial testing, Paul’s 33XC put three shots in 0.27″ at 100. Then, at 500 yards, the rifle produced a 3-shot group around 1/3-MOA with just 1.22 inches of vertical. That’s pretty impressive for early testing. Paul will also be trying some Berger bullets soon. When he determines the most accurate load, Phillips will stretch the rifle’s legs, shooting out to 2500 yards and beyond.

Quote: “The Cutting Edge Bullets are not the highest BC but they are very stable and consistent at ELR (sub-sonic) ranges and that’s the most important factor in finding the best ELR bullet. I actually test all my bullets at sub-sonic speeds to make sure they are consistent and stable. Finding a good load at 500 yards is just the first part. The real test is shooting them at sub-sonic speeds and see how consistently they group. This is what gives you the highest percentage to impact at 2 miles and beyond.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision
CLICK Image for full-screen version.

This rifle features a BAT action mated to a 34″ Bartlein barrel chambered for David Tubb’s new 33XC cartridge. Paul Phillips is currently running Cutting Edge 275gr Lazer solid bullets. Paul notes: “I also have a .338 Lapua Magnum barrel and 300gr Berger bullets for the restricted class in France.” Paul gave special thanks to Alex Wheeler for doing the metal work and Alex Sitman for doing the bedding.

Rifle Component List
Action: BAT Machine CTH dual-port action
Trigger: Bullet Central Bix’N Andy
Barrel: Bartlein 1:8″-twist barrel (34″)
Chambering: 33XC for Peterson brass
Stock: McMillan A6 Super Mag, Bedding Alex Sitman
Scope: Nightforce Optics 7-35x56mm F1 ATACR.
Bipod: Duplin Rifles

33XC Load Components
Cartridge Brass: 33XC by Peterson Cartridge
Bullets: Cutting Edge 275gr Lazer Bullets
Powder: Vihtavuori

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Paul Phillips notes: “Alex Sitman has been bedding rifles stocks for most of his life. I believe that [bedding] is a very important … to keep consistent accuracy and repeatable zeros after traveling all over the globe.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Even with the TacomHQ Charlie Tarac scope prism in place, the rifle makes the 25-pound weight limit with Duplin Rifles bipod. Paul says: “I love it when a plan comes together!! I’m under by 2 ounces!”

About the 33XC (eXtra Capacity) Cartridge
David Tubb invented the 33XC cartridge because he thought the CheyTac cases were too much trouble — requiring a larger action, oversize presses, and ultra-expensive dies. The 33XC was designed to fit .338 Lapua Magnum-size actions and use normal reloading presses.

The 33XC (eXtra Capacity) has 137.5 grains of H2O capacity with over 125 grains of usable powder capacity while leaving the 0.393″ neck unfilled for bullet seating.

The 33XC has a .338 Lapua Magnum lineage. Think of it as a better, 35°-shoulder .338 LM. David explains: “The 33XC uses standard reloading dies along with a 7/8″ x 14 TPI reloading press. There is no fire-forming — all case ‘improving’ has already been done with a production case that has 20 grains more powder capacity, 35-degree shoulder, and longer neck compared to a .338 Lapua Magnum. This puts the various .338 Lapua wildcats and the Rem Ultra Mag Improved into the ‘also ran’ category. They simply can’t compete with the velocities attainable with the 33XC.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

The 33XC is based off of a .580″ bolt head. Tubb states that “A fired case will extract with little effort when using a properly-polished chamber with a maximum powder charge after resizing with the Superior Shooting Systems FL sizing die.” Tubb’s 33XC die reaches the case head which is important for accuracy. Peterson Cartridge produces the 33XC brass for Superior Shooting Systems. This high-quality brass costs $115 for 50 cases (or $2.30 per case), and can be purchased directly from Superior Shooting Systems.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
July 5th, 2019

ELR on a Budget — Shooting One Mile with .338 LM Savage

Savage BA110 .338 Lapua magnum 1 mile

After the 2019 King of 2 Miles competition last weekend, some readers asked whether it’s possible to shoot Extreme Long Range with a regular factory rifle — a rig that costs thousandths less than the full custom 40-lb ELR beasts used by top KO2M teams. The answer is a definite yes. Here’s a story from Forum member Mark Dalzell. A few seasons back, Mark showed what can be done with a factory Savage 110 BA at extreme long range — 1760 yards (one mile). Mark did a great job with the video, which features multiple camera views so you can see the shooter and the target at the same time. Enjoy!

This video by Mark Dalzell demonstrates the long-range capabilities of the Savage 110 BA chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. Mark took his “BadAss” rig out to the southwest Nevada desert just north of Jean Dry Lakes. He placed a 2’x3′ target way, way out there — a full mile (1760 yards) away. At that range, flight time to target was 3.75 seconds! Sighting with a Nightforce 5-22x50mm NXS scope, Mark needed a few shots to get on target, but eventually made multiple hits, using 67 MOA of elevation and 2.25 MOA left windage. You can view the hits starting at 1:56 time-mark on the video. (Mark had a second camera set up closer to the target — this displays frame in frame in the video, and if you watch carefully you can see the strikes.) The ammo was HSM 250gr HPBT match with a 3.600″ COAL. The shooting was done at 8:13 in the morning, with clear conditions, very light winds. Temp was 57°, humidity 24.5, Density Altitude 3666. Video soundtrack is La Grange by ZZ Top.

PLAY BUTTON
LISTEN TO MARK TALK about One Mile Shooting:
CLICK Play Button to hear Mark Dalzell TALK about his .338 LM Savage 110 BA and how he scored hits at 1760 yards.

Good Shooting Mark. That’s darn good for a factory rifle. You also had the elevation dialed in real close before the firing started! That shows a good knowledge of your ammo’s long-range ballistics. We also noticed how effective that muzzle brake was. Recoil looked about the same as an un-braked .308 Win.

.338 LM Lapua Magnum cartridge diagram

If you thought Mark’s 1760-yard shooting was impressive, Mark has produced another video that shows a session at even greater distances — out to 2300 yards. Watch Mark Dalzell Shoot at 2300 Yards.

Mark Dalzell 1760 yards mile shooting video Nevada Accurateshooter

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical 3 Comments »
March 4th, 2019

Long-Range Shooting Goes Mainstream — Industry Trends

shooting industry magazine long range shooting Ruger Precision rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 6.5 Grendel

According to Shooting Industry magazine, a large segment of gun buyers are now gravitating toward long-range shooting. Short carbines with red dots are OUT. Precision rifles with high-power optics are IN. Interest in long-range shooting has driven sales of modular bolt guns and upgraded ARs in .224 Valkyrie or 6.5 Grendel. Shooting Industry states: “Dealers around the country report interest in long-range shooting has ignited over the past 12+ months”. In fact, “long-range shooting has become a passion for a larger number of shooters, leading to increased potential for sales of guns, ammo, and accessories[.]”

shooting industry magazine long range shooting Ruger Precision rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 6.5 Grendel

Doug Gifford of CORE Rifle Systems and GTO Guns in Florida observes: “For the past 12 months or so, I’ve seen a huge move toward interest in long-range accuracy.” Modern bolt-action rifles in popular chamberings such as 6.5 Creedmoor “are probably the fastest-moving modular sporting guns at the moment”.

Howa 6.5 Creedmoor barrel action tactical rifle Sierra RifleShooter.com
RifleShooter.com built this rig with Howa 1500 barreled action and MDT ESS chassis. READ TEST HERE.

Ruger Precision Rifle Leads the Way
Vikram Mookerajee of Pinnacle Firearms in Indiana says the introduction of the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) several years ago really “opened up the market” to a broader spectrum of customers. The RPR created a whole new market segment for modular chassis rifles. With “street price” under $1250 (and under $1000 during sales), the RPR delivered a modern-looking, modular rifle system at an affordable price. This was not your grand-pappy’s deer rifle — the modular look appealed to a younger market segment. RPR accuracy out of the box was pretty good too.

Ruger Precision Rifle long range

Following the success of the basic RPR, offered in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win, Ruger has introduced a big Magnum version in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Magnum. This is a large rifle, weighing 15.2 lbs. without optics. And, with a $2099 MSRP ($1700 street price) it is considerably more expensive than the original RPR.

Ruger Precision Rifle long range

Long-Range Interest Drives Sales of Expensive Optics
The increasing interest in long-range shooting has driven sales of higher-magnification optics, particularly First Focal Plane (FFP) scopes with Mil-type reticles. Core’s Gifford notes: “The long-range trend is moving into real science. Shooters are looking at parallax and focal plane; they’re getting into the science of optics.” The latest generation of scopes aren’t cheap. For example, the 7-35x56mm FFP Nightforce ATACR, one of the most popular optics with PRS shooters, retails for $3600.00! You can buy a pretty nice used motorcycle or bass-boat for that kind of money.

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
December 4th, 2018

Ruger Precision Rifle in .338 Lapua Magnum Field Tested

Ruger Precision Rifle .338 Lapua .300 Winchester Magnum

The Ruger Precision Rifle goes big — major Magnum-size big. Back in October we revealed that Ruger was releasing new .338 Lapua Magnum and .300 WinMag versions of the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). These Magnum RPRs feature longer, stronger actions, and some key upgrades, such as a +30 MOA rail and beefy muzzle brakes on the end of the 26″ 5R Barrels. These are pretty impressive rigs for the money — $2099 MSRP, with the “street price” well under $1700.00.

READ .338 Lapua Magnum RPR GunsAmerica Test »

So how do these Big Rigs shoot? GunsAmerica.com recently answered that question, testing a .338 Lapua Magnum RPR with a variety of factory ammo types. GunsAmerica’s tester Clay Martin, a skilled former military sniper (retired from 3rd Special Forces group), shot the rifle from prone off bipod. With Hornady 285gr Match Ammo, Martin drilled two 3-round groups that both measured right around a half-inch. With some other ammo, results were ugly, but the 285-grainers showed that the gun could shoot. (Five-shot 100-yard groups with Federal 300gr ammo were around 1.3 MOA — see photo below).

Ruger Precision Rifle .338 Lapua .300 Winchester Magnum

Overall Martin came away impressed: “My respect for the RPR in .338 Lapua Magnum is high. If it will shoot ½ MOA at 100, there is no reason to think it won’t at any range a match bullet will fly [provided you call the wind right]. Despite the uber-manly caliber, the gun was fun to shoot. The muzzle brake and weight do a great job of taming recoil[.] For a .338 Lapua-caliber rifle, I can’t think of a single better option below $5,000. If you have been waiting to step into the big boy rounds, this is a golden opportunity.”

Watch Field Test of .338 Lapua Magnum Ruger Precision Rifle:

RPR Magnums Boast 5R Barrels with Big Brakes
The new RPR magnums feature hammer-forged, chrome-moly heavy-contour 5R barrels fitted with tunable muzzle brakes. Those fat, large-port brakes will certainly reduce recoil and muzzle jump but we wouldn’t like to be shooting beside the .338 LM RPR — expect lots of side-blast. The new RPR magnums feature 18″ free-float anodized handguards with M-LOK accessory attachment slots on all four sides. Integral QD sling attachment points eliminate the need for additional adaptors and a flat-bottom 1.50″ dovetail is compatible with RRS S.O.A.R. and similar QD systems.

ruger precision rifle rpr .300 Winchester magnum lapua mag .338 rifle long range

The .338 Lapua Magnum RPR features a 1:9.375″ twist rate while the .300 Winchester Magnum model features a 1:9″ twist rate, both of which stabilize long-for-caliber projectiles. These rifles ship with two, 5-round AI-style magazines. As with all RPRs, the bolt is a 3-lug design with 70-degree bolt lift.

Angled +30 MOA Rail and Adjustable Stock Standard
ELR shooters will be pleased that the new, magnum-caliber RPRs ship with a +30 MOA Picatinny rail. That will help give shooters enough elevation to shoot out to 1500 yards and beyond. As with other Ruger Precision Rifle models, the magnums feature a folding stock with adjustable comb height and length of pull. The Ruger Marksman trigger is user-adjustable between 2.25 and 5 pounds.

ruger precision rifle rpr .300 Winchester magnum lapua mag .338 rifle long range

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Tactical 16 Comments »
October 12th, 2018

New .338 Lapua Magnum and .300 WinMag Ruger Precision Rifles

ruger precision rifle rpr .300 Winchester magnum lapua mag .338 rifle long range

Ruger has gone big — very big — with its popular Ruger Precision Rifle platform. The RPR is now offered in .338 Lapua Magnum (LM) and .300 Winchester Magnum (WinMag). That’s good news for ELR fans and shooters looking for serious energy transfer at long range. Ruger states: “These new magnum caliber models pair exceptional long-range accuracy potential with tremendous down-range energy, broadening the appeal of an already very popular rifle. These new chambering options broaden the Ruger Precision Rifle’s utility across a wide range of readily-available ammunition.”

New .338 Lapua Magnum RPR Tested by Gun Talk Media

“When the 6.5 and .308 RPRs came out everyone loved them, but they automatically asked ‘Hey, can we have a magnum?’. So we [at Ruger] started working on it right away. We blew the gun up physically larger… to have this in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua. The Lapua is fun, I’ll tell you.” Mark Gurney, Ruger Director of Product Management.

RPR Magnums Boast 5R Barrels with Big Brakes
The new RPR magnums feature hammer-forged, chrome-moly heavy-contour 5R barrels fitted with tunable muzzle brakes. Those fat, large-port brakes will certainly reduce recoil and muzzle jump but we wouldn’t like to be shooting beside the .338 LM RPR — expect lots of side-blast. The new RPR magnums feature 18″ free-float anodized handguards with M-LOK accessory attachment slots on all four sides. Integral QD sling attachment points eliminate the need for additional adaptors and a flat-bottom 1.50″ dovetail is compatible with RRS S.O.A.R. and similar QD systems.

ruger precision rifle rpr .300 Winchester magnum lapua mag .338 rifle long range

The .338 Lapua Magnum RPR features a 1:9.375″ twist rate while the .300 Winchester Magnum model features a 1:9″ twist rate, both of which stabilize long-for-caliber projectiles. These rifles ship with two, 5-round AI-style magazines. As with all RPRs, the bolt is a 3-lug design with 70-degree bolt lift.

Angled +30 MOA Rail and Adjustable Stock Standard
ELR shooters will be pleased that the new, magnum-caliber RPRs ship with a +30 MOA Picatinny rail. That will help give shooters enough elevation to shoot out to 1500 yards and beyond. As with other Ruger Precision Rifle models, the magnums feature a folding stock with adjustable comb height and length of pull. The Ruger Marksman trigger is user-adjustable between 2.25 and 5 pounds.

ruger precision rifle rpr .300 Winchester magnum lapua mag .338 rifle long range

ruger precision rifle rpr .300 Winchester magnum lapua mag .338 rifle long range

To view full specifications for the Ruger Precision Rifle in Magnum chamberings, visit Ruger.com. To find accessories for the Ruger Precision Rifle and other Ruger firearms, visit ShopRuger.com

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News, Tactical 7 Comments »
May 15th, 2018

New Ramshot Long Range Tactical (LRT) Powder

Ramshot LRT Long Range Tactical powder propellant spherical load data

Western Powders has introduced a new spherical powder designed for large magnum cartridges such as the .338 Lapua Magnum. This new powder, Ramshot LRT, has an extremely slow burn rate. Being a spherical (ball) powder it meters well. It also offers very good velocities. The manufacturer states:

“As one of the slowest spherical powders ever developed, Ramshot LRT (Long Range Tactical) was created for high performance at extreme ranges. Designed specifically for the .338 Lapua Magnum using heavy, high ballistic coefficient bullets, LRT offers high load densities and low standard deviations for superior accuracy. Hunters who prefer the advantages of overbore magnums like the .257 Weatherby or 30 Nosler will find that LTR meters more easily and produces flatter trajectories than rival propellants.”

Though Ramshot LRT has just started to ship to retailers, Western Powders has compiled some initial load data for a variety of cartridges. Shown below is official load data for four large cartridge types (this is a partial list). Additional load data for Ramshot powders is found on the Ramshot Load Data Page. As with all load data, start conservatively, and stick to the exact components listed:

Ramshot LRT Long Range Tactical powder propellant spherical load data

Permalink New Product, Reloading No Comments »
March 12th, 2018

Peterson Cartridge Brass Distributed through Grafs.com

Peterson Brass Grafs.com Graf Sons Cartridge Company cheytac creedmoor .308 winchester 6.5

If you’re looking for Peterson cartridge brass, there’s now one place to find it — Grafs.com. Graf & Sons has been appointed sole distributor for Peterson Cartridge Company. Peterson produces high-quality USA-made brass that holds up well through extended loading cycles (See TEST). Grafs.com currently has Peterson brass in stock for the following cartridge types:

6.5 Creedmoor (Sm Primer)
6.5 Creedmoor (Lrg Primer)
.260 Remington (Sm Primer)
.260 Remington (Lrg Primer)
7mm-08 Remington (Lrg Primer)
.308 Winchester (Sm Primer)
.308 Winchester (Lrg Primer)
.338 Lapua Magnum (Lrg Primer)
.375 CheyTac (Lrg Primer)
.408 CheyTac (Lrg Primer)

Coming Soon: In addition, Grafs.com is waiting for delivery of Peterson brass in 6mm Creedmoor (sm/lrg), .243 Winchester (sm/lrg), and .300 Winchester Magnum (lrg).

Peterson Brass Grafs.com Graf Sons Cartridge Company cheytac creedmoor .308 winchester 6.5

Big Brass for ELR: If you are thinking about an ELR build, consider going with the .375 CheyTac with Peterson brass. Derek Rodgers used that combination (with Cutting Edge bullets) to win the 2017 King of 2 Miles Event. Derek told us: The “Peterson brass worked well right out of the box”.

About Peterson Cartridge Company
Pennsylvania-based Peterson Cartridge Company is an American owned and operated company founded in 2014. It specializes in the creation of match-grade brass for precision and long-range shooters. Peterson Cartridge was founded by Derek Peterson and his two business partners. Unlike most of its competitors, Peterson Cartridge has devoted its entire facility, machinery, and laboratory to producing only brass rifle casings. Specialization is the driving principle behind Peterson Cartridge.

Graf & Sons is dedicated to bringing the highest quality products at a great price for the best reloading experience. Graf’s tells us: “This USA-made, Match-Grade brass from Peterson is very high quality and comparable with several industry-leading brands.”

Peterson Brass Grafs.com Graf Sons Cartridge Company cheytac creedmoor .308 winchester 6.5

.375 CheyTac — K02M-Winning, World-Beating Cartridge

Derek Rodgers is the 2017 King of 2 Miles. He is also the only human to ever hit the maximum distance target target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). His cartridge choice? The .375 CheyTac. Derek ran Cutting Edge Bullets in Peterson brass with Hodgdon H50BMG powder.

Q: Why did you choose the .375 CheyTac cartridge?

Derek: When I was asked to join the Applied Ballistics Team, I needed to get an ELR rifle built in a short period of time. I was under a very tight time schedule to get the project complete. In an effort to eliminate variables, I decided to keep things standard and as simple as possible. I chose the .375 CheyTac for the ease of getting components. The larger rifles are more difficult to get components quickly and I felt like the .375 CheyTac had enough attributes to be competitive at ELR distances.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 3 Comments »
May 16th, 2017

Big Rig — .338 Lapua Magnum Improved for King of 2 Miles Match


Click Image above for full-screen version

There’s a talented new team getting ready for the 2017 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) Competition in Raton, NM next month. The team features ace F-Class shooters Ian Klemm and Dan Pohlabel. Here’s a build report from X-Treme Shooting Products, which supplied the impressive XTSP action and two-stage trigger.

Big Gun for King of 2 Miles Event at Raton
XTSP: “It’s exciting — we’re getting closer to the 2017 King of 2 Miles match next month. Here are a few pictures of one of the rifles we will be shooting. Owned and built by Dan Pohlabel, it’s a .338 Lapua Magnum Improved. It has a 40° shoulder and we plan on shooting .338 Caliber 300 grain Berger OTM projectiles at around 3,100 fps.”

XTSP X-Treme Shooting Products .338 Lapua Magnum Improved king 2 miles ELR

“We started off with an XTSP .338 Magnum receiver, custom-built as a single shot with a solid bottom for stiffness. We built +60 MOA rails for each of the rifles. Of course we’re using the XTSP two-stage trigger! We added a 34″-long Bartlein gain-twist barrel which is 1.450″ at the shank tapering to 1.2″ at the muzzle. At the end we added Piercision Rifles’ 3/4 x 24 slabbed 5-Port ‘Muscle Brake’. The action is bedded in a McMillan Super Magnum stock. On top sits a Vortex Optics HD Razor in Vortex 35mm rings. We’ll have another rifle just like it shortly with the machine work by Dan Pohlabel again. That second rifle will be finished up and shot by Ian Klemm of Vortex Optics.”

XTSP X-Treme Shooting Products .338 Lapua Magnum Improved king 2 miles ELR

Here’s a file photo of a .338 Lapua Magnum Improved, alongside a standard .338 Lapua Magnum. We’re not sure about the shoulder angle on this particular example. For the XTSP project, the angle is 40 degrees (40°). Photo Courtesy LongRangeHunting.com.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 12 Comments »
May 7th, 2017

Your Worst Nightmare: Catastrophic .338 Lapua Magnum Kaboom

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction
Click to zoom image

We first ran this story a couple years back. We’re republishing it today as a reminder to our readers that safety should be their paramount concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom …

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin. CLICK HERE for more Kaboom info on the ‘Hide.

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Kaboom at Manatee!
Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg recently published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

To learn more about this incident, go to the original Snipers Hide Forum Thread. There you’ll find more details and over four pages of related discussions.

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 11th, 2017

Extreme Long Range — .338 Lapua Magnum at 2160 Yards

2160 yards 1.3 miles long range ELR .338 Lapua Magnum Ed Connors Speeded Gonzales
Ed Connors placed three consecutive shots all on target at 2160 yards for a sub-3/8 MOA group. Wow.

Amazing shooting — that’s how we’d describe what Ed Connors accomplished recently with his Speedy-built .338 Lapua Magnum LR rifle. Ed nailed a 3-shot group at 2160 yards that would be great at 1000 yards. Check out the target above. Now consider that the shooter was a full mile PLUS 400 yards away. That is truly remarkable accuracy.

At this distance, 2160 yards, one MOA is 22.61″. This three-consecutive-shot group, measuring about 8 inches, works out to less than 3/8 MOA. Think about that — most guys would be elated to shoot 3/8 MOA at two hundred yards. Ed did that at over two thousand yards!

That takes a great rifle, as well as great ammo. Ed says: “I believe in loading like a benchrest shooter to achieve these ultra long-range shots”.

Ed Connors 2160 yards steel shooting .338 Lapua Magnum

Rifle Specifications:
– .338 LM Rifle built by SG Rifles, LLC
– Surgeon Rifles Action (blueprinted by Speedy)
– Jewell Trigger (blueprinted by Speedy)
– McMillan Fiberglass Stock
– Nightforce 5-25x56mm ATACR Scope
– Bartlein 1:9″-twist 32″ Barrel, Speedy contour
– Amer. Prec. Arms “Fat Bastard” Muzzle Brake

Ammunition Specifications:
– Lapua .338 LM Brass turned with Nielsen “Pumpkin” turner.
– Hodgdon H1000 Powder, 90.8 Grains
– Remington 9 1/2 Magnum Primers
– Berger .338 Cal 300 grain Hybrid OTM Tactical Bullets seated .005″ off lands.
– Velocity: 2875 fps / SD 5.0

Ed Connors 2160 yards steel shooting .338 Lapua Magnum

Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez writes: “Anytime you build a customer a rifle to work out beyond the 1000-yard mark you must work hand-in-hand with your customer and explain everything you are doing to ensure performance at distances most shooters never even contemplate (except in their dreams).

Ed was involved in all aspects of the projects from the reamer print to what we needed for both single-shot work and mag-fed function in timed competition. This was Ed’s very first work-out with his reborn Surgeon-actioned .338 Lapua Magnum. He did great to say the least!”

Pretty Darn Good at One Mile as Well…
While “tuning up” for his 2160-yard session. Ed also produced some very impressive results at one mile (1760 yards). Once he got “dialed in” he delivered three shots you can cover with the palm of your hand. That’s spectacular consistency at one mile.

2160 yards 1.3 miles long range ELR .338 Lapua Magnum Ed Connors Speeded Gonzales

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 6 Comments »
March 7th, 2017

.338 Lapua Magnum Barrel Cut-Down Velocity Test

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com
Shooters contemplating purchase of a .338 LM rifle often ask: “What length barrel should I get?” Rifleshooter.com recently performed a test that provides interesting answers…

Our friends at RifleShooter.com like to slice and dice — barrels that is. They have done barrel length cut-down tests for popular calibers like the .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. But now they’ve tackled something way bigger — the .338 Lapua Magnum, a true “Big Boomer”. Starting with a beefy 30″-long Pac-Nor Barrel, RifleShooter.com chopped the tube down in one-inch increments all the way down to 17 inches (that’s 14 different lengths). At each new (shorter) barrel length, velocity was measured with a MagnetoSpeed chronograph using two different loads, 250gr SMKs with H4831sc and 300gr SMKs with Retumbo. Four shots were fired at each length with each load, a total of 112 rounds.

Load #1: 250gr Sierra MK, Lapua brass, CCI #250 primer, H4831SC, OAL 3.720″.
Load #2: 300gr Sierra MK, Lapua brass, Win WLRM primer, Retumbo, OAL 3.720″.

READ FULL .338 Lapua Magnum Barrel Cut-down Velocity TEST >>

The .338 Lapua Magnum is a jumbo-sized cartridge, that’s for sure…
.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

Donor Barrel Sacrificed for Science
Rifleshooter.com’s Editor explains: “Brandon from Precision Addiction offered to send us his .338 barrel for our .338 Lapua Mag test. I took him up on his offer and he sent me his used Pac-Nor chrome-moly barrel with about 600 rounds though it. This thing was a beast! A heavy 1.350″ shank that ran straight for 6″, until tapering to 1″ at 30″ in length.”

.338 Lapua Magnum LM barrel length vs velocity cut down test chrono rifleshooter.com

Results Summary

.338 Lapua Magnum with 250gr Sierra MatchKings
After shortening the barrel from 30″ to 17″, total velocity reduction for the 250-grainers was 395 FPS, an average loss of 30.4 FPS per 1″ cut. The amount of velocity loss per inch rose as the barrel got shorter, with the biggest speed reduction, a loss of 55 FPS, coming with the cut from 18″ to 17″.

Start Velocity: 2942 FPS | End Velocity: 2547 FPS | Average Loss Per Inch: 30.4 FPS

.338 Lapua Magnum with 300gr Sierra MatchKings
Shooting the 300-grainers, total velocity reduction was 341 fps, an average of 26.2 FPS loss per 1″ cut (30″ down to 17″). However, the speed actually increased with the first cut from 30 inches to 29 inches. The tester noted: “The 300 SMK load showed a slight increase from 30″ to 29″. I’ve recorded this in other tests and it seems to be more common with a heavier load. I suspect it is primarily due to the small sample sizes being used along with the relative proximity of muzzle velocities in adjacent lengths.”

Start Velocity: 2833 FPS | End Velocity: 2492 FPS | Average Loss Per Inch: 26.2 FPS*

*Velocity rose with first cut. Velocities ranged from 2,871 FPS (29″) to 2,492 FPS (17″) for a total velocity loss of 341 FPS.

RifleShooter.com crunched the velocity numbers in some interesting ways. For example they analyzed rate of velocity loss, concluding that: “after the initial rate change, the rate of the change in velocity is fairly consistent.” (View Rate of Change Graph)

How Velocity Loss Alters Long-Range Ballistics
The testers wanted to determine how the velocity reductions “affect our ability to hit targets downrange”. So, Rifleshooter.com plotted changes in elevation and wind drift at all barrel lengths. This revealed something interesting — drift increased significantly below 26″ barrel length: “Above 26″ things look pretty good, below 22″ they change quickly.”

We highly recommend you read the whole story. Rifleshooter.com put in serious time and effort, resulting in solid, thought-provoking results. The data is presented in multiple tables and graphs, revealing inch-by-inch velocities, change “deltas”, and SDs at each length.

READ .338 LM Barrel Cut-down FULL TEST REPORT >>>

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
November 25th, 2016

Norway Adventure with .338 Lapua Magnum

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

As a holiday treat for our readers, we are reprising a video feature about hunting in Norway. After watching this video, you may want to head off to Vesterålen in northern Norway…

This is one of the finest shooting videos we’ve ever seen. Set in the scenic Vesterålen archipelago of northern Norway, this high-quality 15-minute video is part Nat Geo travelog, part ballistics lesson, part gear review. We wish we had the opportunity to join Ulf Lindroth and Thomas Haugland on their remarkable shooting adventure. This video was originally created for Great Britain’s Fieldsports TV Channel.

This is an outstanding video, recommended for anyone interested in long-range hunting.

Long range shooters Lindroth and Haugland traveled to the Arctic Circle to field test a new .338 LM Blaser R8 (in GRS stock) fitted with a Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm scope. (Ammo is Norma-brand .338 Lapua Magnum). The video shows how they confirm the ballistics of the Norma factory ammo in the Blaser R8 rifle system.

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Ulf and Thomas initially test out the system confirming drop at multiple yardages, and then use the rifle for practical accuracy. Ulf says: “If you know your hunting will demand a long shot, and you want to push the limit but still be sure to make the first-shot kill… If you want to do an ethical hunt, if you want to push that limit, you have to do [this kind of testing].”

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Ulf Lindroth (above) observed: “We shot [at 808 meters] observed the misses, clicked our way into the target, and now we have the true drop at that distance… in this air pressure, in this temperature. From there we can start working to find our TRUE trajectory. And when we have THAT… we can get serious about some target shooting.”

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 2 Comments »
October 28th, 2016

New 33 Nosler Rivals .338 Lapua Magnum in Smaller Package

nosler 33 .338 404 Jeffrey Magnum cartridge

Nosler has just introduced a new SAAMI-spec .338-caliber cartridge, the 33 Nosler, which is based on the 404 Jeffrey parent case. This efficient new cartridge rivals the velocity and energy of the proven .338 Lapua Magnum while using significantly less powder. AND, the Nosler 33 fits in a standard, long action receiver. Accordingly the 33 Nosler should be popular with extreme long range (ELR) shooters and big game hunters. The 33 Nosler fires .338-caliber bullets which are tough on big game and typically boast high Ballistic Coefficients and sectional densities. For long-range target work, Nosler will offer 33 Nosler match ammo with a high-BC 300gr bullet.

nosler 33 .338 404 Jeffrey Magnum cartridge

Notably, the 33 Nosler will fit in a standard-length Long Action. That’s a big deal because it means you can now achieve .338 LM performance in a rifle that is lighter and less costly to build. Nosler lists a 3.340″ COAL for the 33 Nosler. Compare that to 3.681″ for the .338 LM. Nosler will offer loaded ammunition as well as 33 Nosler brass.

nosler 33 .338 404 Jeffrey Magnum cartridge

The above chart was created by Nosler. It shows the 33 Nosler can push a 225gr AccuBond at 3025 fps and the 265gr AccuBond at 2775 fps. That’s 275 fps faster (with 20% more energy) than the .338 Winchester Magnum using the same length action. According to the chart, the 33 Nosler is also 25 fps faster than the .338 Lapua Magnum at the muzzle while burning 18% less powder. However, the numbers quoted by Nosler for the .338 LM are conservative.

nosler 33 .338 404 Jeffrey Magnum cartridge

The 33 Nosler® is SAAMI-standardized for consistent industry-wide brass and chamber dimensions. Nosler will be supporting this new cartridge with Nosler Brass, factory ammunition, and Nosler factory rifles. Expect 33 Nosler products to be available in early 2017.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 31 Comments »
October 16th, 2016

Mark’s Milestone — Shooting a Savage at 1760 Yards

Savage BA110 .338 Lapua magnum 1 mile

When we first ran this story a couple years ago, it proved immensely popular with our readers. In case you missed it the first time around, check out what can be done with a factory Savage 110 BA at extreme long range — 1760 yards (one mile). Shooter Mark Dalzell did a great job with the video, which features multiple camera views so you can see the shooter and the target at the same time. Enjoy!

This video by Mark Dalzell demonstrates the long-range capabilities of the Savage 110 BA chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. Mark took his “BadAss” rig out to the southwest Nevada desert just north of Jean Dry Lakes. He placed a 2’x3′ target way, way out there — a full mile (1760 yards) away. At that range, flight time to target was 3.75 seconds! Sighting with a Nightforce 5-22x50mm NXS scope, Mark needed a few shots to get on target, but eventually made multiple hits, using 67 MOA of elevation and 2.25 MOA left windage. You can view the hits starting at 1:56 time-mark on the video. (Mark had a second camera set up closer to the target — this displays frame in frame in the video, and if you watch carefully you can see the strikes.) The ammo was HSM 250gr HPBT match with a 3.600″ COAL. The shooting was done at 8:13 in the morning, with clear conditions, very light winds. Temp was 57°, humidity 24.5, Density Altitude 3666. Video soundtrack is La Grange by ZZ Top.

PLAY BUTTON
LISTEN TO MARK TALK about One Mile Shooting:
CLICK Play Button to hear Mark Dalzell TALK about his .338 LM Savage 110 BA and how he scored hits at 1760 yards.

Good Shooting Mark. That’s darn good for a factory rifle. You also had the elevation dialed in real close before the firing started! That shows a good knowledge of your ammo’s long-range ballistics. We also noticed how effective that muzzle brake was. Recoil looked about the same as an un-braked .308 Win.

If you thought Mark’s 1760-yard shooting was impressive, Mark has produced another video that shows a session at even greater distances — out to 2300 yards. Watch Mark Dalzell Shoot at 2300 Yards.

Mark Dalzell 1760 yards mile shooting video Nevada Accurateshooter

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 2 Comments »
September 16th, 2016

High-Tech Tactical Rifle from Austria’s Ritter & Stark

Ritter & Stark Austria tactical modular SX-1 rifle .300 Win Mag .338 LM Lapua Magnum

Ritter & Stark Austria tactical modular SX-1 rifle .300 Win Mag .338 LM Lapua Magnum

There’s a new long-range precision tactical rifle from Ritter & Stark (R&S) of Austria. The new SX-1 Modular Tactical Rifle (MTR) is designed to allow rapid barrel changes for three chamberings: .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum.

Notably, the scope rail is mounted on the barrel itself, and the bolt locks directly into the barrel. This patented system allows scope, rail, and barrel to be swapped out as one integrated assembly, which should definitely help maintain zero when barrels are exchanged.

Ritter & Stark Austria tactical modular SX-1 rifle .300 Win Mag .338 LM Lapua Magnum

Ritter & Stark Austria tactical modular SX-1 rifle .300 Win Mag .338 LM Lapua Magnum

Ritter & Stark explains: “The MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail is installed directly on the barrel, allowing barrel interchangeability with pre-set scopes for no shift of impact when changing calibers. Easily and quickly done in the field, the patented caliber conversion system allows the barrel to be precisely positioned in the machined aluminum receiver with a greater area of contact allowing for more stability. The bolt is locked directly into the barrel breech[.]”

Video Shows Barrel Swap System, and Bolt Locking in Barrel Breech:

Ritter & Stark Austria tactical modular SX-1 rifle .300 Win Mag .338 LM Lapua Magnum

CNC-Controlled Rifling Process
Ritter & Stark states: “The rifling is processed in a CNC-controlled electrochemical machine. This avoids the transmission of thermal effects and mechanical stress to the material. Furthermore, this process allows us to produce barrels with unique uniformity and within tolerance zones that were not possible in a serial production before.” This is very interesting technology, and we’d like to learn more about it.

Accuracy Guarantee and Barrel Life Guarantee
Apparently the CNC-controlled rifling process works well as Ritter & Stark guarantees that its barrels maintain accuracy for a long time. The Austrian company states: “Our barrels are guaranteed to at least 5,000 rounds for .308 Win and .338 LM, and 2,000 rounds for .300 WM before noticing any degradation in accuracy.” That kind of claim certainly invites a long-term test. Who’s got enough ammo? Ritter & Stark also claims that “every rifle we manufacture can achieve 0.5 MOA 3-­round groups or better with factory match-grade ammunition.”

The Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR is designed for adaptability. It will accept third-party Rem 700-compatible triggers as well as a variety of AR-type grips. In addition, the SX-1, in standard configuration, will accept other manufacturers’ AI, SR25, or AR10 magazines. The rifle can also accept other buttstock assemblies compatible with Ritter & Stark’s folding mechanism which, interestingly, can be set to fold to either side.

Ritter & Stark Austria tactical modular SX-1 rifle .300 Win Mag .338 LM Lapua Magnum

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tactical 7 Comments »
May 7th, 2016

A Look Inside Sierra’s 300m Underground Test Tunnel

Sierra Bullets Test Tunnel Barrels

Ever wonder how (and where) Sierra tests its bullets? The answer is underground, in a 300-meter test tunnel located under Sierra’s factory in Sedalia, Missouri. The photo above shows the construction of the tunnel back in May, 1990. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing to ensure that Sierra projectiles perform as promised, with repeatable accuracy. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, privately-owned underground bullet test facility in the world. Sierra offers free tours of the test tunnel as part of Sierra’s Factory Tour Program.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Sierra Bullets tests every new bullet design and each lot of bullets. Sierra tells us: “When [we] change to a new bullet they are continually shooting them until they get the bullet properly set up and running and the range releases them to run (meaning the bullets shoot to spec). [Testers] are required to shoot at any lot change and periodically throughout the lot … even if it is just a press operator change. Lot sizes can vary from 5,000 to over 100,000 thousand. If anything changes — it is a new lot. When a new operator comes on — it is a new lot.”

Bevy of Barreled Actions for Bullet Testing
Sierra Bullets uses dozens of barreled actions for testing bullets. These barreled actions are clamped in stout, return-to-battery test fixtures. These heavy test fixtures provide near-perfect repeatability (with no human-induced holding or aiming errors). Each barrel has its own logbook to track the barrel’s usage. Interestingly, Sierra does not have a specific round count for barrel life. When a barrel starts “opening up”, i.e. showing a decline in accuracy, then the barrel is replaced, whether it has 800 rounds through it or 5,000.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels
Click Photo to Zoom

Sierra Bullets 10-Shot Groups at 200 yards
What kind of 200-yard accuracy can you get in an enclosed, underground test range? Would you believe 0.162 MOA at 200 yards with a .338? Check out these 10-shot test groups shot at the Sierra Test Range at 200 yards. Note that the numbers listed on each sample are actual measurements in inches. To convert to MOA, cut those numbers in half (to be more precise, divide by 2.094, which is 1 MOA at 200 yards). For example, the 0.340″ middle group works out to 0.162 MOA at 200 yards.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 11 Comments »
April 8th, 2016

Big-Bore Blast: .338 Lapua Magnum Cleaning Rod Kaboom

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

We first ran this eye-opening story two years ago. We’re republishing it today as a reminder that safety should always be a shooter’s #1 concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom …

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin.

This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom at Manatee!
A while back, Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 3rd, 2015

.338 Lapua Magnum at 1.43 Miles — Video Shows Hits on Steel

Savage 110 BA .338 Lapua Magnum Berger Hybrid Bullets

Here’s a report posted by long-range shooter Grizzman on the LiveLeak video hosting site. Grizzman engaged an 18″x24″ steel target at the distance of 2530 yards — 1.43 miles. Grizzman produced a great video that really gives you a sense of the distance (see the zoom footage at the 0:30 time mark). At this distance, the ballistics are remarkable. Grizzman’s .338-cal, 300gr Berger Hybrid bullets went transonic at 2400 yards and dropped 228 feet (69.5 meters) over their 2530-yard trajectory.

WATCH Video — Second camera at target records bullet impacts (see and hear the hits):

You can see more Long-Range Shooting Videos on Grizzman’s Live Leak Channel. Among the interesting videos is a 1K Cinder Block Shoot: .338 LM Shoot Cinder Blocks at 1000 Yards.

(more…)

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 3 Comments »