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Reloading .300 or .338 Lapua - Anyone with experience ?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by geokoppmann, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. geokoppmann

    geokoppmann Santa Fe, New Mexico / Sand Point, Idaho New Member

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    the other day I checked prices of .338 Lapua ammo at Sportsmen's Warehouse = $99.99/ 20 - OUCH ! So, reloading seems to be the only option. I am not new to reloading.

    The .338 will be fired in two new Stainless Steel barrels and the .300 will be fired in a rechambered 300 H&H steel barrel.

    Any suggestions; comments or watch words would be appreciated.
     
  2. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    I have load data using AA Magpro Powder for the Berger 300 grain and SMK 300 grain. If interested, let me know.
     
  3. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I love this round. Loaded a lot of 338. Depends on what you want to do with it, and how tight your chambers are. Mine was for a Savage 110BA. Too much powder = stuck case. Starts with a heavy bolt lift, and 2 gr. past that, you're hammering the brass out with a brass rod.

    For >1000m I'd do the Berger OTM II or Lapua Scenars at 300gr. Retumbo, H870, RL33, VV N570.
    You CAN plink with this gun. For that I'd use Hornady or Sierra SP in 225 or 250gr. Using H870 with great results (1moa, repeatable @ 850m), my loaded round cost was ~35¢ excluding brass. (EDIT: brain fart here, total cost for plinking round ~95¢, forgot to add the cost of the powder). Berger OTM or Scenars with Retumbo cost ~$1.25 - $1.40 each.
    If I had to rank the powders in preference, it would be Retumbo / N570 / H870 and far behind, RL33. Fortunately every time I would stop by Fisherman's, they would have Retumbo in stock for <$30/lb.

    The 338 round loads just fine on a RC II, but you do have to tip the bullet to get it in for seating. No biggie. I use a Forester Micrometer for seating, love how it works. It IS sensitive to lube -- I found lanolin/alcohol to work the best (imperial sizing wax a close second) and very lightly applied at that. Otherwise you get the tell-tale dent in the shoulder. Never found that the dent made a difference though. At 200 yards with the right load (93.1gr H870, H SP 250gr), the holes would be clover leafed, dent or not. Couldn't find my wax once, before I dabbled in lanolin, so tried Pam. What junk.

    Don't have my measurements for reference, but basically I'd trim if needed, then FL size and seat for 5-10 mil setback off the lands using base to ogive measurements. For the Berger OTMs because of their LONG point, you will be doing single shot bolt loads unless you have an oversized box magazine.

    As far as Brass, I load Lapua, Hornady, BHA and Ruag. Ruag and Lapua stand out when you examine the brass, but once in the chamber, I cannot tell the accuracy difference between them, and they would ALL get stuck with too much powder.

    I'm not on here much lately, but PM me if you have questions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I'm confused... did you already purchase this or are you simply doing your homework?

    If you havn't pulled the financial trigger... I would suggest looking at the .338RUM, as you're going to be getting an extra 200ft/s at the muzzle, brass is half the price.

    The other option is, if you want to go bigger, there are some pretty powerful .375's that have been on the market for a long time, along with a few newcomers... The RUM, Ruger, H&H, Weatherby (also .378 weatherby mag).

    I've been building a overbore custom .375 Ruger, I was doing some calculations earlier, and with the sierra 375-350gr, the bullet will still be supersonic at 2000 yards, and will be at about 900 ft-lbs of energy. That's more energy than .44 mag at the muzzle.

    For me, what it really comes down to is price for performance. The .338 Lapua is all sexy with all kinds of governments and snipers using it, but it's price tag always runs at >$5 per round. Some time ago, I put together a quote for a customer, and even buying in all the components and loading new it came out to nearly $8/rd for what he wanted.

    .375 ruger brass are about $1 each brand new from hornady... No thanks lapua.
     
  5. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    Completely agree with AMProducts above. I used to shoot with a well to do gentleman who purchased quite a .338 lapua. I went the "Johnny Cash" .338 RUM route and couldn't be happier. Accuracy and reach are extraordinary, brass is 1/2 price. An old Remington 7MM Mag action, PACNOR barrel, HS Precision Stock, ROBAR NP3 plating, still cost less than an Accuracy International .338 Lapua
     
  6. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I have built and shot both. Found good deals on the Lapua brass and will be sticking with it.

    After reloading the rum brass 5-6 times I was having all kinds of case failures. I have a batch Norma 338 lapua brass that I am up to 16 reloads, and all I've needed to do is trim.
    I shoot Sierra 300gr smk and they run about $29 per 50 and if I recall the brass was close to $1.50 each....
     
  7. cookie

    cookie THE SOCIALIST STATE OF KALI - FORNIA Well-Known Member

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    Nothing special to reloading your calibers.
     
  8. Zeus77

    Zeus77 Pinal Peak, AZ New Member

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    Hello, Zeus in AZ here...I was wanting to see your data with magpro and the 300 gr Berger and smk. I cant find h-1000 or Retumbo at all in the phx area but have several pouns of magpro. I have been using H4831SC with fantastic accuracy but I'm down to my last two pounds and want to give magpro a try. I also have tried rx22, rx25, & imr 7831. my best accuracy has been with H4831SC with both the 285AMAX and 300SMK and 300 otm hybrid tactical although speed is down a little. rifle is savage 110ba. thank in advance! Zeus
     
  9. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    Hello Zeus, here you go!

    I am using AA MagPro, 3.8 OAL and ran from test loads for accuracy from 88.5 grns to get on paper, and then ran from 89 - 92.5 grains.......

    91.5 grains was my best grouping at 600 yards (zero). I am using a Remington 700 action with a PACNOR barrel.

    Enjoy
     
  10. Zeus77

    Zeus77 Pinal Peak, AZ New Member

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    91.5 grains was my best grouping at 600 yards (zero). I am using a Remington 700 action with a PACNOR barrel.
    Enjoy[/QUOTE]

    Thanks! I will try working some loads up this weekend! what velocities were you getting? what length is the pacnor barrel? thanks again! zeus
     
  11. Zeus77

    Zeus77 Pinal Peak, AZ New Member

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    I forgot to verify...was this magpro data for your 338 RUM or 338 Lapua? thanks again!
     
  12. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    I am running a 26in barrel. Sorry my velocities are only computed, I don't have a chronograph.

    Best of luck to you, my poor man's .338 Lapua suits me nicely, I wouldn't trade it.

    This is for a Remington .338 Ultra Mag brass cartridge
     
  13. Zeus77

    Zeus77 Pinal Peak, AZ New Member

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  14. Zeus77

    Zeus77 Pinal Peak, AZ New Member

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    Thanks! I am building a 338 RUM on a 700 action myself and have been buying brass for it since before the shortage hit. It will be wearing a benchmark 28" barrel with a mini-X-treme brake. I cant wait!! I fully agree that this is the way to go if you want to find component brass a little more affordable. Right now, my son is shooting the Savage 110BA and for the price he picked it up, its money well spent. It is pretty much stock issue with the addition of his bipod on the front and his adjustable mono pad on the butt an shoots < 1/2 moa out to 634 yards (as far as our desert shooting spot lets us shoot). We have also successfully engaged multiple menacing rocks and dirt clods at 1000-1100 yards and have been having a blast with it! Brass is high priced and hard to find here so we've been ordering nosler factory rounds and hornady brass as they go on sale at midwayusa and now have 100 rounds. At first, I contemplated building my rifle in the lapua or Edge but have since changed my mine due to the cost and difficulty in finding brass. I have noticed that the nosler brass seems to grow much more on each firing than the hornady. Now I neck size only and its helping but I think brass life will be shorter than we expected. I agree with others in this old thread that its not a bad alternative. I just wish I could get my hands on some retumbo powder to try with the lapua. on a side note, just for plinking fun, we loaded a few rounds of 220 grain cast from a lee mold and slowed them way down with 40 grains of rx15. the hit pretty hard at 100yds and was some good cheap fun. once they were pushed past 2100fps, they started lose stability. at 18-2000, they were great! NOT exactly what most folks do with a lapua, but fun nonetheless and since we were only at a 100yd range, we decided to save the smk and bergers for later...
    thanks again and good shooting!!

    Zeus
     
  15. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    Mine is built on a Rem700/ 7Mag action and a Midway /Jewel trigger. I have two bolt guns and move the bipod between them. Get you and your son a piece of el cheapo sleeping bag mat for under the legs of the bipod to minimize heartbeat bounce. I zero the RUM at 600 yards and my .308 at 300 yards. I shoot the RUM out to 1700 yards across a few pastures and rolling hills, and keep the .308 under 1000 yards (175 gr SMK, much like the Berger). In either case shoot M&M's at 100 yards and ping pong balls at 300 yards for practice. Using a Leupold 6.5 - 20 scope on the RUM, they are a few blocks away (what a thrill) they did custom scope work for a song. And a 4-10 generic MIL DOT on the 308. I do notice OAL demands trimming on occasion but it doesn't get out as much as it likes to. Enjoy and if you never see the AZ PGR group, say hello to Mr David Strasshofer from me