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Taming the Barrett


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Zeroed in my new (to me) Barrett 98B chambered in .338 Lapua last night. I was shooting on a bench using a Tier One FTR BiPod. The scope is a 12-50 x 56 S&B which has the flaw IMHO that one needs to get the Mk i eyeball pretty close to the scope to see a full picture. On my Sabatti .300WM, with my own home brewed muzzle brake, this wasn't an issue as there wasn't a whole load of recoil. I did talk to one of the sales lizards on the Schmidt stand about this oddity and asked what could be done and they seemed totally disinterested. It's my only posh scope and if funds ever permit I'm not sure I would be falling over myself to be passing my hard earned to a company with so little interest in customer issues.

The Barrett however seems to want to step back outside the range rapidly every time I squeeze the trigger. My grouping was non-existent as I was trying to protect myself from a dose of 'scope eye'. The brake is stock Barrett. I was surprised how light the rifle is, which I can only conclude is going to add to the recoil. I saw a chap at a shoot once who had extra weight attached to his chassis. There do seem to weights available, for  a pretty penny or three, but none see to have suitable fixings for the 98B. The ones I have seen said that they're made from nitrated mild steel, so it wouldn't be byond my wit to make some, though I would be more inclined to zinc plate with black passivate for longevity. 

There doesn't seem to much to the stock brake and I can't help thinking that it could be better. I have fired .338s before that did recoil anything like a strongly as this one. Any thoughts? 

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1 hour ago, Ralpharama said:

Zeroed in my new (to me) Barrett 98B chambered in .338 Lapua last night. I was shooting on a bench using a Tier One FTR BiPod. The scope is a 12-50 x 56 S&B which has the flaw IMHO that one needs to get the Mk i eyeball pretty close to the scope to see a full picture. On my Sabatti .300WM, with my own home brewed muzzle brake, this wasn't an issue as there wasn't a whole load of recoil. I did talk to one of the sales lizards on the Schmidt stand about this oddity and asked what could be done and they seemed totally disinterested. It's my only posh scope and if funds ever permit I'm not sure I would be falling over myself to be passing my hard earned to a company with so little interest in customer issues.

The Barrett however seems to want to step back outside the range rapidly every time I squeeze the trigger. My grouping was non-existent as I was trying to protect myself from a dose of 'scope eye'. The brake is stock Barrett. I was surprised how light the rifle is, which I can only conclude is going to add to the recoil. I saw a chap at a shoot once who had extra weight attached to his chassis. There do seem to weights available, for  a pretty penny or three, but none see to have suitable fixings for the 98B. The ones I have seen said that they're made from nitrated mild steel, so it wouldn't be byond my wit to make some, though I would be more inclined to zinc plate with black passivate for longevity. 

There doesn't seem to much to the stock brake and I can't help thinking that it could be better. I have fired .338s before that did recoil anything like a strongly as this one. Any thoughts? 

My Dolphin chassis Barnard .338 seems tame enough, I have a Dolphin muzzle brake.  I too use a skid footed bipod and shoot off a board.  I do you want a 50x scope?  I think you may struggle to see hits or indeed misses at any extended range as the recoil will knock you off target and getting back on with high mag is a bugger.  I use a S&B PM2 FFP but at a maximum 26x mag.  I have absolutely no problem hitting out to 2000yds (all else being in control).  FFP also allows a quick and easy measure of my misses with a no-brain adjustment.  I love my S&B.

Any scope at 50x is going to have a micro eye-box, my Nightforce comp has as does my Delta Stryka.  No problems though as they're on .308 & 6.5 respectively. 

BTW, I would suggest zeroing at 200 if you can, it'll give you a better 'reading' of your groups.

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4 minutes ago, No i deer said:

.....I'd agree with pops...

Turn the mag down to 25

Problem is the eye relief on a high power scope is still comparatively poor on a lower mag setting. If it was me, I'd sell the S&B (plenty of takers) and get a ~ 25x FFP scope

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I also have a 50x Delta Stryker on my 6.5CM and I don't have to get my face right into it, not that it would matter if I did cos the STR, with another of my home brewed brakes, barely moves. I shot out to 1400yards with the S&B on the 30WM and it was fine. I don't necessarily need all the mag, but I like having it on tap. 

I may look at changing scopes at some point, but initially I want to try and tame the beast. I'll defo take a look at some other brakes. Maybe make one, maybe buy one. 

Does size make a big difference? A friend has Ruger precision which has brake that looks as though it was swiped off a tank, and to be fair it doesn't kick anything like as much as my Barrett. Is big beautiful or is it in the design? 

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My .338 Norma Magnum wears an Area 419 Sidewinder brake. 4 ports, all varying degrees of reward rake.

It has as much recoil as my 6.5x47 without brake.

Also, you just need to learn how to handle an increase in recoil, like preloading the bipod etc. Just something you need to get used too.

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IMG_5749.thumb.jpg.ba9e27b63032dbcaff19556a9213e515.jpg

Being very mean (poor) I knocked up a brake using my own design. I usually make them in Stainless, but given this is a big mutha I thought I make a tester in alloy first. I tested it the other night and it makes a massive difference. I'll see about anodising it next. Milling the ports on my 'ickle mill was hard work, but would be twice five times as time consuming in stainless! I could take 2.5mm depth cuts in the ports in aly, but probably pushing my luck at 0.5 in 316SS . I'm hoping anodise will protect it sufficiently to get a good life out of it 😃

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31 minutes ago, Ralpharama said:

IMG_5749.thumb.jpg.ba9e27b63032dbcaff19556a9213e515.jpg

Being very mean (poor) I knocked up a brake using my own design. I usually make them in Stainless, but given this is a big mutha I thought I make a tester in alloy first. I tested it the other night and it makes a massive difference. I'll see about anodising it next. Milling the ports on my 'ickle mill was hard work, but would be twice five times as time consuming in stainless! I could take 2.5mm depth cuts in the ports in aly, but probably pushing my luck at 0.5 in 316SS . I'm hoping anodise will protect it sufficiently to get a good life out of it 😃

nice job

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  • 2 weeks later...

Following advice from a friend, I have replaced the rear pod with a bag runner, which I made in stainless, rather than alloy to add weight to what I see as a too light rifle. I re-zeroed last night as I have changed the rings, again! and found that this made a great improvement.

I now want to add more weight and will try and make some weights to the chassis where the side pic rails attach. I never attach anything to them so they are purely decorative. Any thoughts or advice?

As the brake worked so well I have had it anodised for longevity. 
 

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