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 1 Comment »
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 27 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 »
March 5th, 2013

Once-Fired Lapua-Made .338 Lapua Magnum Brass at Graf’s

These days, quality .338 Lapua Magnum brass is hard to locate — and expensive when you can find it. Here’s a money-saving solution for you .338 LM shooters. Grafs.com has acquired a large quantity of once-fired .338 Lapua Mag cartridge brass. This brass bears the “NT” headstamp, but Graf’s says this brass is “manufactured by Lapua, to Lapua specs”. Cost is $159.99 for one hundred (100) cases. That price includes shipping charges, but there is one $6.95 handling fee per order. This .338 LM brass is IN-STOCK as of March 5, 2013.

How does that price compare to brand-new Lapua-made .338 LM brass? MidwayUSA sells a box of 100 Lapua-made .338 LM cases for $257.99, but MidwayUSA is “out of stock” with no back-orders being taken. Elsewhere we’ve seen Lapua-made .338 LM brass sell for up to $289.00 per hundred.

.338 lapua magnum once-fired brass

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 7 Comments »
January 21st, 2013

SHOT Show Report: Accuracy International PSR Rifle System

Accuracy International PSR sniper system

How would you like a modular precision rifle that can shoot .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Win rounds — all from the same action and chassis? And how would you like to be able to swap calibers in the field (with barrel and bolt change-outs) with just a couple simple hand tools? This kind of rifle system is not just a pipe-dream. Accuracy International’s PSR Rifle system is truly three guns in one, and it’s now in production. Watch the video to see the features of this advanced modular rifle.

Scott Seigmund, V.P. of Accuracy International (North America), gave us a run-down on the features of AI’s new PSR (Precision Sniper Rifle) modular system. By changing barrels, bolts, and magazines, the gun can shoot three different cartridge types. All the equipment (including bipod, optics, extra bolts, barrels, and mags) are carried in AI’s fitted “deployment” box.


If the full $17,200 three-barrel system is not enough for you, and you need something even more exotic — AI offers a special take-down version of the PSR rifle. Scott showed us a complete .338 LM rifle (with 20″ barrel) stowed in a transport box smaller than a typical carry-on case. Scott said the price on the take-down system has not yet been set.

Accuracy International PSR sniper system

Permalink - Videos, New Product 13 Comments »
November 7th, 2012

Mark Dalzell Does it Again — at 2300 Yards this Time

Forum member Mark Dalzell (aka “MDSlammer”) is an avid long-range shooter and talented movie-maker. Some months ago, he produced a great video about shooting his Savage 110 BA at 1200 yards. That video was a hit with readers, and now Mark has come up with a new video, with the range pushed out to 2300 yards (that’s 1.3 miles!). Mark and his compatriots Dale Jorgensen and Gio Valdez headed out to their “secret spot” in the high desert, near Jean, Nevada, armed with a pair of 7mm RSAUMs and Mark’s .338 Lapua Magnum Savage 110 BA. Given the degree of difficulty, it’s not surprising that Mark’s gang had more misses than hits this time out, but they did produce an entertaining video that shows the challenges of shooting at Extreme Long Range.

Watch HD Video — Extreme Long-Range Shooting at 2300 Yards

Shooting 2300 Yards with the 7mm RSAUM and .338 Lapua Magnum
Target Cam Spotter: Wally Krusee
Film By Mark Dalzell – Sin City Productions / All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2012

Dalzell Target Cam 2300 yards

Dalzell Target Cam 2300 yardsMark was shooting a Savage 110 BA .338 Lapua Magnum, the same gun he used for his previous 1200-yard high desert shooting safari. The elevation required to get on target at 2300 yards was mind-boggling. Elevation for Mark’s .338 LM was 96.5 MOA (on top of a +40MOA rail). Mark’s buddy Dale was running a full 30.5 MILs of elevation with his 7mm RSAUM with milrad optic.

Mark set up a wireless remote camera near the target, so you can see where the shots impacted. A second camera was behind the trigger-pullers, giving a “shooters’-eye view”. The target was a full-sized steel silhouette with an orange square painted in the middle.

Dalzell Target Cam 2300 yards

Mark reports: “I was out this past Monday with a couple of buddies. We tried our luck shooting at 2300 yards. I had one hit out of 30. Very poor marksmanship. But I did learn a few things about shooting at this distance for the next time. I have nothing but admiration for those shooters who are consistent at this distance. [It was] pretty amazing.”

Equipment List and Load Specifications
Mark Dalzell Dale Jorgensen Gio Valdez
Savage BA110 .338 Lapua Magnum
Murphy +40MOA Titanium Rail
Harris bipod
Nightforce 5.5-22x50mm NXS Speed Turret
7mm RSAUM
Krieger 30″, 1:8.75″ twist Barrel with Ross Brake
McRees Folder Chassis
Harris Bipod
Bushnell HDMR Scope
7mm RSAUM
Krieger 28″, 1:9″ twist 5R Barrel with Ross Brake
McRees Folder Chassis
GG&G Bipod
Bushnell H2DMR Scope
Berger 300gr OTM Hybrid
Lapua Brass
92grains H-1000
.010″ Off Lands
Berger 180gr VLD
Nosler Brass
62.6 grains H-1000
0.020″ Off Lands
Berger 180gr Hybrid
Remington Brass
64.5 grains H-1000
.005″ Off Lands

Dalzell Target Cam 2300 yards

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
October 19th, 2012

Remington Recalls Rem-Brand .338 Lapua Magnum Ammunition

Remington .338 Recall

Remington has announced that it is recalling four (4) lots of Remington .338 Lapua Magnum ‘Express Rifle’ Ammunition. The recalled lots are: L13SA29L, L13SA29R, L13SB29L, and L13SB29R. The reason for the recall is that the listed lots “may have been improperly loaded. Improper loading may cause malfunctions which may result in damage to the firearm, serious personal injury or death.” CLICK HERE for more information, and to download PDF Recall Notice from Remington.

Remington .338 Recall

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
May 3rd, 2012

Salazar Spotlights Lapua Rimfire Service Center and .338 LM Plant


Lapua Rimfire Test CenterRecently, an AccurateShooter team including contributing writer German Salazar visited the Nammo Talley facility in Mesa, Arizona. We were given access to the new Rimfire Service Center and the .338 Lapua Magnum loading facility. The Rimfire Service Center is a brand new facility dedicated to supporting top-level rimfire shooters in all disciplines, including Prone, 3-Position, Silhouette, Benchrest and more. Lapua has over 2 million rounds of various grades of match ammunition on hand for shooters to test and purchase. The RSC has a 100-meter test tunnel where groups are measured under ideal conditions with electronic sensor-equipped “paperless” target frames placed at 50 meters and 100 meters. Shooters can make appointments to visit the center and test ammo in their own rifles. A detailed report on the RSC has just been released on German’s Rifleman’s Journal website.

CLICK HERE for Rimfire TEST CENTER ARTICLE.

.338 Lapua Manufacturing and Testing
The .338 Lapua Magnum facility is a super-sized version of the rimfire facility. With a 300-meter tunnel and pressure testing equipment on hand, Nammo’s engineering and loading staff have the ability to develop perfect loads for government clients with a variety of specific requirements. The loading facility has equally impressive technology and is well worth reading about. CLICK HERE to read German’s article about the .338 LM facility.

Lapua Rimfire Test Center .338 magnum

AccurateShooter.com will have more information on these two state-of-the-art facilitites, including video footage in the coming weeks. So stay tuned!

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
April 19th, 2012

Taking and Making One-Mile Shots with Savage 110 BA in .338 LM

Savage BA110 .338 Lapua magnum 1 mile

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.

— CLICK 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.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
April 4th, 2012

Kelly Bachand Returns to Top Shot as 1500-yard Shooting Coach

AccurateShooter.com field tester Kelly Bachand returns to Top Shot on the History Channel next week. Kelly is one of two “alumni experts” tasked with helping competitors attempt a 1500-yard shot. Along with fellow Top Shot alumnus George Reinas, Kelly guides Season 4 competitors through the longest-range marksmanship challenge ever undertaken on the Top Shot series. The show will air Tuesday, April 10th at 10:00 pm. Kelly tells us: “OK — I can finally talk about it! I’ll be on Top Shot again [next week]. I’ll be there trying to teach the shooters how to read wind so they can make a 1500-yard shot.” We asked Kelly if he was going to get one of those $2K Bass Pro gift cards for his efforts. Unfortunately the answer was ‘no': “No gift cards….Yeah I wish they gave me four of them to make up for all the elimination challenges in Season One!”

Kelly instructs this season’s competitors in the skills needed to make a hit at 1500 yards. At right, you’ll see Kelly doing something he’s becoming very familiar with — looking through a spotting scope. At the World Long Range Championships in Australia, Kelly’s spotting skills helped keep the USA Young Eagles in the center to win both Gold and Silver. The teaser for next week’s Top Shot episode shows competitors using an Accuracy Int’l AX 338 to engage a target 1500 yards away. To make shots at that distance successfully, you need to have rock-solid fundamentals, wind-reading abilities, and ballistics info. Tune in next Tuesday to see how Kelly works with competitors trying to make the longest shot ever attempted on Top Shot.

AI AX338 Bachand

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 14th, 2012

Nosler Discounts “Over-Run” Brass and Bullets

Nosler is offering deeply discounted pricing on Over-Run brass in these calibers: 6.5×55 Swede, .338 Lapua Magnum, 30-378 Weatherby, and 340 Weatherby. You can save up to 33% on the single-box price. Nosler puts 50 cases in a box of 6.5×55 brass. However, there are only 25 cases per box for the other, larger cartridges.

Nosler Sale Products

In addition to the bargain brass, Nosler is also offering big discounts on select Custom Competition bullets, and Nosler Custom Ammunition. For example, a 250-count box of Nosler’s 190gr .308-Cal Custom Comp bullets is marked down to $69.95 from $91.00, a 23% savings. Visit Nosler’s Over-Run Sales Page to see all the discounted products.

Nosler Sale tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
January 25th, 2012

SHOT Show: Savage Smallbore & Big Bore Highlights

Correspondent Kelly Bachand visited the Savage booth at SHOT Show 2012. As always we were impressed with the wide range of affordable, rimfire rifles marketed by Savage. The popular Mark II BTVS is a good choice for rimifire tactical games, and it is also a nice carry-around varminter for squirrels and other small critters. The model 93 ‘Package Series’ rifles are real bargains. MSRP on the model 93R17 XP Camo package (which includes 3-9x40mm scope) is $456.00, while the “street price” is around $385.00.

What really caught Kelly’s eye was the impressive Model 110 FCP chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. This rifle features a stiff, high-quality HS Precision fiberglass tactical stock with V-block insert. New for 2012 is the .300 Win Mag chambering. (Other chamberings are .338 LM and .308 Win, both introduced last year). The Model 110 FCP HS Precision features a 5-round detachable box magazine, 26″ heavy fluted barrel, muzzle brake, and AccuTrigger. It even comes with scope rail.

In .338 Lapua Magnum, the m110 FCP weighs 10.7 lbs. The .300 WM and .300 Win are somewhat lighter, tipping the scales at 9 lbs. without optics. MSRP for the .300 WM version is $1192.00 — a good value, considering what the stock would cost by itself. The big .338 Lapua Magnum version has a $1549.00 MSRP on Savage’s website.

If you’re on a tight budget, Savage also offers a long-range big-caliber rifle in a polyethylene (tupperware) Accustock. The Model 11/111 Long Range Hunter is a lighter hunting variant that features a composite AccuStock with 3D bedding and a Karsten adjustable cheekpiece. It also has a 5-round detachable magazine, heavy fluted barrel, muzzle brake and AccuTrigger. MSRP for a Long Range Hunter in .300 Win Magnum, is $989.00.

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »