June 27th, 2017

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved Barrel Block Beast for K02M

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Report by Corbin Shell
Not long ago, I learned of the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) shoot held in Raton, NM and was fortunate enough to get an entry slot. I will be shooting with David Tubb, multi-time High Power and Long Range National Champion, on a team we call the “Second Amendment Cowboys”. Given such short notice, I scrambled to find the necessary components to build a suitable rifle for the event. I turned to longtime friend and owner of X-Treme Shooting Products (XTSP), Tom Myers, to see if he might have a suitable action. XTSP is known for its premium titanium rifle receivers, however XTSP also manufactures stainless actions. As luck would have it, Tom was completing a small run of .338 Lapua Magnum-sized stainless steel single-shot actions. Other components were sourced as quickly as possible and the building began in earnest.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Before acquiring the first component for this build I already knew who was going to perform the work, Doyle Anglin at Dixie Guns, inc.. Doyle’s attention to detail and rifle building knowledge is second to none! I came to Doyle with the idea of building a rifle to shoot in the King of 2 Miles match and his ears perked up. Once all the components were in hand Doyle began construction. Doyle was given free liberty to build whatever he felt best for the job given the time constraints and components that were readily available on such short notice. I cannot thank Doyle Anglin enough for the stellar job he did!

Rifle Builder: Doyle Anglin, Dixie Guns, doylebbang@windstream.net
1010 Hancock Bridge Road | Winder, GA 30680 | 706-654-8400 phone

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

KO2M .338 Lapua Magnum Improved — Rifle Components

— Custom laminated stock Doyle Anglin designed and created from scratch
— 10″-long aluminum barrel block designed and made by Doyle Anglin
— XTSP (X-Treme Shooting Products) PH420 stainless single shot receiver 1.450” diameter. PVD-coated receiver body. FNC-coated one piece bolt.
— XTSP +35 MOA and +60 MOA tapered Picatinny rails, PH420 stainless, PVD-coated
— XTSP two-stage trigger with safety
— Krieger 1:9.3″-twist barrel. 1.450” for 6.5” tapering to 1.100” at the muzzle. 33.5″ finished length
— Piercision Rifles 3/4×24 slab-sided, 5-port muzzle brake
— BAT stainless trigger guard
— Masterclass cheek piece with extended rods
— Masterclass butt plate hardware
— Duplin Bipod
— Spuhr +20.6 MOA one piece scope mount
— Ivey +175 MOA adjustable scope mount
— Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA-value scope (100 MOA of total travel)
— Geier & Bluhm 10 minute precision bubble level mounted to barrel block via extension rod
— Manson .338 Lapua Magnum Improved 30-degree reamer, .375” neck diameter

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Load Information
— Sierra 300 grain MatchKing, meplats trimmed and pointed, seated .010″ into lands*
— Hodgdon Retumbo Powder, 101 grains
— Peterson .338 Lapua Magnum brass
— Federal 215 primers
— Jim Carstenson custom reloading dies: inline seater, full-length bushing, neck bushing and threaded micrometer seating die

This load has achieved 3050fps with low single-digit SDs

Given the 12-pound barrel weight, Doyle strongly suggested a barrel block to offer additional support and increase rigidity. Doyle created a split ten-inch aluminum barrel block and mating steel plate that is inletted into the forend of the custom laminated stock. The 1:9.3″-twist Krieger barrel is epoxied into the barrel block as well as being held in place by the ten socket head cap screws. Two hardened and ground pins locate and index the barrel block onto the steel mating plate. The steel mating plate acts as the recoil lug which mates up to the cut on the reward section of the barrel block. The Krieger barrel is chambered with a 30-degree Lapua Magnum Improved reamer and throated accordingly, yielding a loaded round of approximately 4.000 inches.

The barrel is capped with a very effective Piercision Rifles 3/4×24 slab-sided, five port muzzle brake. The size proportions of the muzzle brake work well with the 1.100” muzzle diameter, however it will work on barrels up to 1.450″ in diameter.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Doyle Anglin worked his creative magic and constructed the multi-color laminated stock from a blank. The five inch fore-end allows the rifle to be utilized in a dual role — either benchrest or prone with bipod. The cheek piece hardware is from Master Class Stocks and is adjustable for cast on/off with preset elevation settings via half-moon shaped clips. The two-way adjustable butt plate hardware also comes from Alex Sitman at Master Class Stocks. The multi-colored laminate stock is clear-coated with special marine UV inhibitor paint. The glass smooth finish makes the wood appear wet and is extremely smooth to the touch.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Lots of Elevation on Tap with Angled Rails, Spuhr and Ivey Mounts
Topping off the rifle is either a +35 or +60 MOA X-Treme Shooting Products Picatinny scope rail. The receiver and scope rails are pinned for accurate repeatability when interchanging. Five 8×40 socket head cap screws firmly hold the scope rail in place. A SPUHR +20.6 MOA tapered, one-piece scope mount securely grasps the Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA scope. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of the SPUHR scope mount! This is the only fixed scope mount that I will use going forward and a special thanks goes out to Ulf at SPUHR! The 35 MOA rail and 20.6 MOA SPUHR mount setup allows full utilization of the Sightron’s 100 MOA of internal travel. The second scope setup is comprised of an Ivey +175 MOA adjustable scope base and Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm optic.

Scope in SPUHR mount shown below:
.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

Scope in IVEY Mount with barrel block-mounted precision bubble level:
.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

When shooting extended long range (ELR) it is important that the scope’s crosshairs remains level. Should the crosshairs be canted it will induce impact shift which increases with the angle of cant and distance. The decision was made not to use any of the lesser quality/precision bubble levels that currently flood the market. These levels have poor resolution usually between one and two and a half (1-2.5) degrees. It must be noted that not all levels are created equal. The fine folks at Geier & Bluhm offered up a solution with a precision glass vial horizontal level with an accuracy of ten minutes. As a refresher, one degree is comprised of 60 minutes of angle. The level setup we chose for this rifle is, at minimum, six times more accurate than the best scope or picatinny level on the market. The 10 MOA bubble level sensitivity is just about perfect and does not create a situation of having to “chase” the bubble left and right when in position.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

A portable 150 MOA tall target was created to test both scope tracking and crosshair alignment. When testing at the local 100-yard range I got a lot of strange looks and a few inquiries as to why in the world was I shooting thirteen FEET above the aiming bullseye.

As the F-TR shooters have learned, it is very important that the rifle travel freely and repeatable under recoil. I turned to Ray Gross who custom made a rubber and Cordura shooting mat which the bipod rides on. This mat is of the same material and construction that most of the F-TR team is utilizing. The rubber durometer is correct so the rifle does not bounce or hop when fired. The bipod skis slide very easy on the Cordura-topped mat. A big thanks goes to Ray Gross for assisting with the mat setup. In addition, high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE) tape was applied to the butt stock of the rifle. The HMWPE tape allows for extremely low friction between the butt stock and rear sand bag. This configuration tracks very well and slides rearward like it is on rails.

.338 Lapua Magnum Improved KO2M David Tubb Corbin Shell Tall Target

As load development progressed I tested three different brands of projectiles. A ladder test was performed at 300 yards to determine where the node was with my barrel and powder combination. The rifle liked between 99-101 grains of Hodgdon Retumbo. I then proceeded to shooting ten shot groups at 1000 yards. In this rifle the Sierra 300gr Matchking was hands down the winner for smallest groups and the best elevation at 1000 yards. The load settled on is 101 grains of Retumbo and 300 grain Sierra Matchking. 500 Sierra bullets were measured base to ogive and the spread over the entire 500pc measured .003” with 490pc varying by .001”. Keep up the good work Sierra Bullets! A special thank you goes to John Whidden for generously allowing me to come to his shop and repoint the Sierra .338 projectiles and allowing me to test at his 1000 yard range.

Preparation for the King of 2 Miles match has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun! Next year’s rifle design is already in the works and should be an over the top build. Stay tuned to AccurateShooter.com for further details!


* The Sierra 300gr MatchKings were meplat-trimmed and pointed using the original pointing system made by Ferris Pendell for Jim Hardy. A big thank you goes out to John Whidden for allowing me to come to his shop and use the original bullet pointing system.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
June 6th, 2017

Extreme Long Range Training — Rockin’ Two Miles at Raton

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum
Shooter behind the .375 Lethal Magnum. Check out the size of that suppressor!

Two-Mile ELR Training
ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal MagnumThe Applied Ballistics ELR Team spent the weekend at the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico training for the upcoming King of 2 Miles event. Former USAMU coach Emil Praslick III was on hand to help with wind calls. The results were impressive — all team members had confirmed hits at 2.05 miles on a 36″x36″ steel target. Bryan Litz even had a 3-shot group that measured 17.5″ x 22″. That’s under 0.6 MOA!

Most guys would be happy with 0.6 MOA at 300 yards. Bryan did it at 3611 yards, shooting Paul Phillips’s .375 Lethal Magnum. When you consider all the variables involved (bullet BC variance, shot velocity variance, wind changes during flight, Coriolis effect etc.), that’s phenomenal.

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Paul Phillips
Just got done shooting two days in New Mexico with Recoil Magazine and the Applied Ballistics ELR team. We learned a lot and had great success. Every team member made impacts on target at 2 miles. The best 3-shot group at 3611 yards (2.05 miles) was shot by Bryan Litz with my 375 Lethal Mag. The group measured 17.5 inches tall by 22 inches wide with Cutting Edge bullets. We also had Recoil’s David Merrill shoot at two miles and was laying them in there like a true pro. We had three team members make impacts on the 36-inch plate at two miles within just three attempts in a mock competition. I also increased my personal longest shot by hitting only 15 inches right of center at 3611 yards. 2.05 miles. I did it with a GSL Technology Copperhead Silencer.

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Emil Praslick
I participated in the Extreme Long Range training with the Applied Ballistics team at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. All team members had confirmed hits at 2.1 miles. Components and hardware suppliers included: Berger Bullets, Cutting Edge Bullets, Nightforce Optics, Kestrel, FLIR Systems.

Q: At that distance (2.1 miles), how much do spin drift and the Coriolis effect impact bullet trajectories?

Praslick: At 3613 yards we had to adjust about 1.5 MOA/56″ of Coriolis (up), and 5 MOA/~190″ of right spin drift adjustment. You’d have to come down if facing East. The planet rotates counter-clockwise (from above), so your target would be falling away from you.

Here is a 3-round group at 1898 yards (1.08 Miles) shot with factory ABM Ammo .338 Lapua Magnum loaded with 300 grain Berger Bullets Hybrids. That’s sub-MOA elevation. (The guy calling wind didn’t do too bad, either.)

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Bryan Litz
Learning is my favorite part of new ventures and we learned a LOT this weekend shooting extreme range in New Mexico. I connected on a second round hit on a 3-foot square target at 2 miles in simulated match conditions under coaches Emil Praslick and Paul Phillips. In fact all five of our team shooters got on at 2 miles. The Applied Ballistics Extreme Long Range team is in good shape for the King of 2 Miles match later this month, and there is still so much to LEARN!

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

You need serious equipment for shooting beyond two miles. Who can identify this high-tech hardware?
ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 11 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 3 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 24 Comments »
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 »
February 24th, 2014

Cleaning Rod in Barrel Causes Catastrophic .338 LM 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.

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!

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

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

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 News, Shooting Skills 14 Comments »
October 29th, 2013

Extreme Long-Range Accuracy — Making the Mile Shot

As a member of the World Champion Team USA F/TR squad, Paul Phillips regularly competes (and wins) at 1000 yards. Paul is also a long-range hunter. Here’s his story about developing his ultimate long-range hunting rifle. Chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum, this rig is accurate out to 1800 yards.

The Long-Range Challenge By Paul Phillips
Being an avid big game rifle hunter, my goal was to build the most accurate long-range hunting rifle possible that would still be light enough to carry. My thought was to use the same type of high-quality components as what I used on my US F/TR Team Rifle, except in a bigger caliber — a caliber that would have plenty of knock-down power at very long ranges. After extensive research, including both ballistic data analysis, as well as discussion with top gunsmiths and champion long-range shooters, I chose the .338 Lapua Magnum. My past experience from being a member of a USMC Scout Sniper Platoon and a shooting member of two World Champion U.S. F-Class F/TR teams, I knew that this rifle was more than capable of performing the task. After establishing that the rifle had half-MOA accuracy at 600 yards, we wanted to see how far the rifle could maintain sub-MOA accuracy, to see what the cartridge and rifle could achieve. Could this gun shoot sub-MOA at a mile? That was our challenge.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

Rifle Components and Gunsmithing
My rifle was built on a Stiller Tac-338 single-shot action. It has a 30″, 1:10″-twist Brux barrel, a McMillan A-5 stock with Magnum fill, a Sinclair Bipod, and a Remington X-Mark trigger set at two pounds. The rifle wears a Nightforce NXS 8-32x56mm scope in Nightforce rings on a +40 MOA rail. I chose David Tooley to install the barrel, custom brake, apply a Cerakote dark earth finish and bed the stock. After speaking with Mr. Tooley in great length, I chose his no-neck-turn match .338 Lapua chamber specifically designed for the 300 grain Berger Bullet. This rifle weighs 17 pounds and, with the muzzle brake, it recoils like a standard .308 Winchester.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

Load Development and Accuracy Testing
I used the 600-yard range at the Midland County Sportsman’s Club. If I was going to have any chance of hitting small targets at a mile, I would need to find a load that could produce half-minute (0.5 MOA) or better accuracy. I found an accurate load that gave me consistent half-minute groups that chronographed at 2825 FPS. My load consisted of Lapua brass, Federal 215M Primer, Alliant Reloder 25, and Berger 300gr Hybrid OTM bullet. With the Berger 300-grainer’s listed 0.419 G7 BC, this load would be good enough to reach 1880 yards before going subsonic. This load’s calculated energy at one mile is 960 ft/pounds. This is similar to a .44 magnum pistol round at point-blank range.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

With my +40 MOA scope rail, my 100-yard zero ended up with the elevation at the bottom of the tube and the windage just 2 MOA left of center. This left a full 65 Minutes of Elevation — enough to get out to 1800 yards. This gave me the capability to aim and shoot from 100 yards to 1800 yards with a projectile that is still supersonic at 1800.

Hitting a 10″ Balloon at One Mile
For a one-mile target, I chose a balloon inflated to 10″ in diameter. The balloon would be a challenging, reactive target that would show up well on video. I teamed up with a fellow long-range shooter, John Droelle and friend Justin Fargo to attempt this feat. Using my known 600-yard Zero, my ballistics program showed my come-up for 1783 yards to be 53 MOA. After two sighters that measured 4 inches apart, I adjusted up one minute from my spotter shot and nailed my 10″ balloon at one mile. This video was recorded with my iPhone attached to my 25-power Kowa spotting scope, so it may seem a lot closer than it really is. Below is a video of the shot. Needless to say I achieved my goal and was very excited.

Watch Hit on 10″-Diameter Balloon at One Mile with .338 Lapua Magnum

After my balloon shot, I let my friend Justin Fargo, a novice shooter, try his skills. Justin told me that he had never shot past 100 yards using a common deer rifle. Surprisingly, Justin not only kept all his shots under 1 MOA, he hit the 9-inch white circle in the middle of the target. This bullet hole measured only 4.3 inches from the center of where he was aiming. Truly amazing! The target below shows Justin’s shots at one mile. Note that All the hits are located within the 24-inch black circle.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

What I Learned — With the Right Equipment, Even a Novice Can Make Hits at a Mile
The above results demonstrate that even a novice shooter with a high-quality, custom rifle and match-grade ammo can make extreme long range shots with great accuracy. It is very important to understand the ballistics of the bullet and the effect of wind drift to make precision, first-shot hits on your target. It is also important that you know your target, backstop and beyond when making these shots. To date, I have shot approximately 40 shots at a mile in calm conditions while averaging 3-shot groups between ½ to 1 MOA (1 MOA is about 18.5″ at that distance). My next experiment is to see how well these bullets perform traveling at subsonic speeds out to 1.5 – 2 miles. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to the following people that helped out with this project: Geoff Esterline, David Tooley, Dick Davis, John Droelle, Ray Gross and Bryan Litz.

Editor’s Comment: The point of this article is to show the kind of accuracy a precision rifle system can achieve, consistently, at extreme long range. Though this rifle will do duty as a hunting arm, Phillips is not advocating that a .338 LM be used to harvest animals at the full limit of its supersonic range. Because winds are hard to predict at extreme long range in a hunting situation, Phillips cautions that the practical distance at which he would shoot game with a rig like this is much, much shorter.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 9 Comments »
July 11th, 2013

Top Shot Does It at One Mile with .338 Lapua Magnum Barrett

If you missed Top Shot All-Stars last night on the History Channel, don’t fret — you can watch the latest full episode online HERE. This week competitors faced the ultimate long-range challenge — shooting a 40″ exploding target at ONE MILE — the longest distance ever attempted on Top Shot. The rifle was a Barrett MRAD chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum. Whoever hit the target the quickest (and with the least number of shots) won a prize (an Oculus rifle scope). The top seven shooters were “safe” from the elimination round. The four who faltered faced possible elimination. This wasn’t easy. At one mile (1760 yards) a 10 mph wind shift can move the bullet nearly twenty FEET laterally. And a lot can happen in the 3+ seconds it takes the bullet to hit the target. (Ballistics based on a 250gr Lapua Scenar launched at 2900 fps, with full value wind vector. Lapua factory .338 LM ammo was used during this episode.)

CLICK to watch Mile Shot Full Episode on History.com
Top Shot All-Stars Mile Shot epsode .338 Lapua Magnum accurateshooter.com

Some competitors did remarkably well — hitting the one-mile target with ease. However, challenging winds sent others to elimination, where they faced off using a prehistoric weapon, the Atlatl. To see who did well and who was eliminated, visit the Top Shot All Stars Video Archive.

Top Shot All-Stars Mile Shot epsode .338 Lapua Magnum accurateshooter.com

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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 »
May 4th, 2012

New 250gr Berger .338-Caliber OTM ‘Tactical’ Hybrid Bullets

Berger OTM tactical 338 caliber 250 grain bulletBerger Bullets has released a new, 250-grain .338 caliber Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet. This is a slippery projectile, with an impressive .349 G7-model Ballistic Coefficient (.682 G1 BC). This new bullet gives Berger TWO heavyweight .338-cal bullets in its line-up — Berger already offered a 300gr OTM Tactical Hybrid with a .419 G7 BC, and a whopping .818 G1 BC. Berger tells us: “The .338-Cal 250gr and 300gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets were optimized for use in the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge, but will work great in other cartridges as well.”

The new .338 cal, 250gr Hybrid was designed by Bryan Litz. The new 250-grainer’s Hybrid design blends a tangent ogive with a secant ogive. These blended shapes yield outstanding ballistic performance, yet the blended Hybrid design is normally less “finicky” about seating depth position than are secant-ogive, VLD-style bullets. Hence less load tuning should be required with the Hybrids compared to VLD designs. According to Bryan, these thick-jacket OTM Tactical bullets have been optimized for specific cartridges. They should be successful at either magazine-feedable lengths or loaded long for single-shot firing situations, which can allow for more powder capacity and higher velocities.

Berger OTM tactical 338 caliber 250 grain bullet.338 Cal Hybrids for Long-Range Hunting?
While Berger officially says that the new 250gr Hybrid and its larger 300gr cousin are “not recommended for hunting”, large .338-caliber bullets with similar construction, such as the Sierra 300gr Match King, have been used successfully by long-range hunters for many years. One experienced hunting guide told us: “This combination of bullet diameter and bullet weight has proven to be a very effective on elk and other large game.” Berger’s 250gr and 300gr OTM Hybrids offer a higher BC option than other bullets in this caliber and weight ranges. Berger does plan, in the future, to offer .338 caliber 250-grain and 300-grain Hybrid Hunting bullets.

Loaded Ammo with new .338 Hybrids Available from Bryan Litz
Bryan Litz’s ammunition business, Applied Ballistics Munitions, now offers loaded .338-caliber ammo for two cartridges: .338 Edge and .338 Lapua Magnum. This ammo (for both cartridge types) is offered with your choice of either the 300gr OTM Hybrid or the new 250gr and 300gr OTM hybrid. If you’re not familiar with the .338 Edge, this is a 300 Remington Ultra Magnum necked-up for the .338 bullet. The .338 Edge has become popular with long-range hunters.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 5 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 »
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.

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July 20th, 2011

EuroOptic’s Super Deal on SAKO TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum

If you’ve ever lusted for a SAKO TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum, now’s the time to break out the checkbook. This could be the deal of the decade. EuroOptic.com is selling brand new, .338 LM SAKO TRG42s for just $2250.00. That is not a misprint. For a limited time (while supplies last), EuroOptic is offering AccurateShooter.com readers new TRG42s in .338 Lapua Magnum for just $2250.00 — that’s over $1000.00 cheaper than the price at some other gun vendors. This was a special purchase, and inventory is limited, so don’t delay. The TRG42s have black furniture with a matte black barrel finish (not phosphate), and no Picatinny rail. The $2250.00 price applies only to black-stock models, chambered in .338 LM. Shop around and you’ll see you can’t come close to this price on a new TRG42 anywhere else. If you order, mention AccurateShooter.com to get the $2250.00 special price.

SAKO TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum for $2250.00
Sako TRG 42 338 Lapua Magnum

EuroOptic Exclusive: .260 Remington TRG22s
Want a SAKO TRG22 chambered in .260 Remington? Well you won’t find one at your local gunstore. EuroOptic.com commissioned a special run of .260 Rem TRG22s, SNs 0XX-200, and they are now in stock. These are fitted with 26″, 1:8″ twist, black phosphate-coated barrels. Actions come with milspec Picatinny rails pre-installed. Four different stock finishes are currently available: Matte Black, Remington Green, Desert Digital Camo, and Woodland Digital Camo. The Camo stock sets are an Eurooptic exclusive — not available anywhere else. These are very special rifles, and with the high interest in the .260 Rem cartridge (which won the National High Power Championship in the hands of SGT Sherri Gallagher), you can expect the rifles to sell out quickly. Price for the .260 Rem TRG22s in black and green is $3100.00. The Digital Camo versions are priced somewhat higher, at $3350.00. Shown below is a the TRG22 in Desert Digital. If you have questions, call (570) 220-3159 and ask for Jason Baney. CLICK HERE for sale info and rifle specs.

Sako .260 Rem Remington TRG 22

SAKO TRG 22 Rifle Technical Data (Factory flyer)

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