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Catch-22

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    Newport - sunny South Wales

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  1. Chanonry - I completely agree with you. It would always be great to have as wide a sample size as possible to ensure the data is as rock solid as possible. I guess in the absence of such testing conducted by anyone with vast data on which we can base concrete findings (as far as I'm aware), I'm simply going on what I've come across when asking the same question as the OP myself. I guess that's all we can do, rest on the shoulders of people (with vast professional industry experience - even though it may sometimes come across as informal 'chatter') who have taken the time and expense to conduct the experiments we haven't or can't and interpret their findings to apply to our own thinking and testing. As we're all here to learn something new, i'd welcome any concrete data or experience from learned industry experts who categorically recommend using 32"+ barrels in .338cal over the 26"-28" flavour and whether doing so makes such a significant gain that it outweighs the cost and effort to do so. I'd happily go with a longer barrel myself if the gains were significant, but I've not read anything to suggest it is. If anything, everything I've read suggests that longer barrels are less ridgid and will if anything aid the 'whipping' effect when fired. Shorter, fatter barrels are more rigid which aid accuracy. But again, that's based on what I've read - I'm no industry expert and I'm completely open to being corrected.
  2. All very good points above by Duey. I'd also raise a question about weight. Tactical type rifles are usually big heavy buggers, with large thick barrels and heavy chassis/stocks. Plus large high magnification scopes also weigh a fair bit. This does make them quite difficult to lug around on a stalk, especially so in the African plains. Many people here have traded in their Accuracy Int'l AW's, Sako TRGs etc because they are simply too big and bulky for long stalks. They're generally far too heavy for off hand woodland shooting too. I did read of the Precision Rifle Blog author's experience of shooting African game with a large Sako TRG 42 setup (.338Lapua) - yes it's possible, but is it the best setup for the job? It seems his guide and host were geared up for long range hunts...others may not be. Just some thoughts to maybe think about. best of luck to you!
  3. And it was this exact thinking that led me to the .338 Norma Mag. It was designed specifically around the long 300gn SMK, seat the boat tail junction to the optimum neck/shoulder all whilst allowing you to seat within AICS mags. I have heard of US shooters pushing the 300gn bullets in the 338 Norma to up around 2900+ (as the Norma is about 80 to 100fps slower than the Lapua when its bullets are out of the powder column). BUT I think that's pushing things too far - too far for me anyway. Barrels will be toast fairly quickly due to the use of the very high energy Vhit powders. My ballistic solvers tell me that launching a 300gn Scenar at 2770-2800fps will reach the transonic zone at around 1550m.
  4. Catch-22

    How do You prep Your brass? UKV survey.

    1. Deprime 2. Tumble in walnut media 3. Brush necks out with nylon brush & check flasholes 4. Anneal (usually every time) 5. Full length size (FL Whidden die has a neck bushing inside it) 6. Use Sinclair Expander Mandrel on necks 7. Trim & deburr 8. Prime 9. Charge & seat In addition, keeping reloading notes and tying it all in with your range notes, chronograph readings and targets are all key imho.
  5. I don't know yet...too early to tell. I'm using Norma brass for the .338 Norma Mag. I too anneal every time, so we shall see. I think a big thing to note is that with RS powders, I've found they operate at a lower pressure whilst delivering a higher velocity. I have found with Vhit N140 in my 6.5x47 barrel, I can get good velocity but it is at the top end of pressure. Many here on the forum who are using RS52 in the same cartridge experience higher velocity than me, but for lower pressure. What would be interesting is to see whether barrel life is more detrementally affected by heat of explosion (so the Joules of energy imparted by the powders ignition) or the amount of pressure developed. One would naturally assume it's both, but I wonder if one is worse for barrels than the other. If, hypothetically, pressure was worse than just heat, the RS powders (which seem to produce lower pressure) could be the key...despite their higher energy ratings than say a cooler burning powder (e.g. I'm thinking RS80 compared to Vhit 165).
  6. Catch-22

    swiss reload, velocity consistency, primers

    I had these issues with my previous 6.5x47. Original load was N140 ignited by a CCI450 primer. ES/SD were shocking, all over the place - though accuracy was fairly good! As soon as I switched from the CCI450 to the Murom KVB223m primer, both my ES & SD shrank to single digits and stayed there. I changed nothing else in my reloading procedure.
  7. Fair enough - I too prefer consistent accuracy over pure velocity. Even at 2750fps you should still remain supersonic out to around 1200-1250m. Mild load, mild(ish) recoil & better barrel life. Happy days! 😎
  8. In reference to your load, I would say that 85gn of N165 is fairly anaemic. I assume you're shooting 250gn Scenars or lockbases? Really, you should be up around 2900fps fairly easily with the 250s. My Norma Mag runs the 300gn Scenars at 2780fps with Ramshot Mag. I'm keen to give RS80 a go, which should boost them to around 2830fps or so. If your AW uses a non CIP mag, you'll have to seat them fairly deep, thus reducing charge weight but increasing pressure. In addition, N165 has a relatively low energy rating too. Switching to something like RS80 / Reloader 33 or even possibly N170 will see your velocity increase 150fps or so - but possibly at the expense of some barrel life if shooting long strings. If you do have the longer CIP mags and can seat longer (to lands) then you'll see even more velocity switching to a mildly higher energy powder (but be warned of the Vhit N560 and N570 powders...they burn Scorchio hot. There is the new N565 which may be suitable but I have zero experience with it).
  9. When the military were testing the .338 Norma Mag (based off the same 416 rigby case, just a little shorter and practically is 80fps slower with both 250g and 300g projectiles) they found 26"-28" to be optimum. When Norma were testing, they used predominantly 26" tubes and noted that full burn was easily achieved before 26". Anything over 30" and you're gaining little velocity. Some chatter from chaps at Norma as well as Dave Tooley, who has a ton of experience with .338s and larger. http://forum.snipershide.com/threads/338-norma-mag-barrel-length.51872/ Another source who cut down a .338 barrel is here: https://rifleshooter.com/2017/03/338-lapua-magnum-barrel-length-versus-muzzle-velocity-30-17-inches/
  10. Umm, why hasn't this sold already?? What a complete steal! Have a bump.
  11. Catch-22

    Fairford 2018

    I love Fairford - it's always a fantastic event. i haven't been for years but used to go regularly with my dad as a child. This year I bought him surprise tickets as a Father's Day present and we both had a wonderful time. Despite an hour of mild rain, the weather was perfect. I thought parking and gaining entry were great, quite slick. the best bit was of course the flying displays. Personally I thought the French Rafale's (both C and M versions) along with the Italian Tricolore, Finnish F/A-18, Turkish F-16C and the RAF Typhoon all put on a stunning show. The Red Arrows were, as usual, just perfect. And I must confess the F35a lightning really demonstrated some serious power and agility - quite impressive. And it was so great to see the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster all flying together. Great these aircraft are still up and running. A fab day. A big thank you to RIAT, everyone involved in putting it on, and to all the pilots!
  12. As with all setups, it's quite down to your barrel and how it was chambered. Yours may have a long or short throat and will likely differ from everyone else's. To start, especially with a new powder/bullet combination, do the OCW load method to settle on the most consistent loads. Don't focus/look for the smallest groups, but look for a node where several different charge weights group in the same-ish area. And use a good chronograph to check velocities are stable & consistent. Once done, now fine tune your most consistent load by altering seating depth to get the best accuracy from it. First, find your lands and once done load a 3 or 5 bullets that start from your lands (so touching), then another 3-5 but 10tho off the lands, and another 3-5 20thou off. Shoot the above to determine whether your rifle prefers the Scenars to be touching (or even jammed into the lands - but watch out for increased pressure if jamming, so best to reduce the charge a bit) or jumped.
  13. My previous 6.5x47 with 24" 1-8" twist barrel loved N140 & 123g Scenars. Load was; 123g Scenars, 38.4gn N140, Morum KVB223m (Magnum primers!). 2930fps, ES-9fps, SD-5, accuracy 0.25-0.3MOA No pressure signs at 38.4gn, but 38.7gn did start to show some. I found N140 to be consistent & nice to work with. However I do think with N140s lower energy rating, one finds oneself stoking the charge up to hit the magical 2930+ nodes. I do think RS52 would produce a bit more velocity for a bit less pressure. I didn't try RS52 myself as I was deterred due to it being a high energy powder & wasn't sure how drastically it might shorten barrel life. But I understand Re-Pete (above) has had a good experience with it. If you have some N140, give it a go! If you have RS52, give that a go too. See what the rifle likes! If you're near South Wales, you're welcome to take a 1/3 tub of N140 I have kicking about and give it a go.
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