Ammo Opinion Needed Please

Discussion in 'Ballistics & Bullets Board' started by Amsdorf, May 9, 2017.

  1. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    What's the consensus on 338 Lapua 300gr SCENAR cartridges? Good to go? Best in class? I'm looking to buy some for my AI AW .338 Lapua with a 30" Broughton Barrel in 1-9.3 Twist Is this or would this be a good choice?

    I know it is pricey stuff, but I am looking to get it for $4.50 a round.
     
  2. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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  3. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Site $$ Contributor

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    Do you not reload? If not, you won't know what factory ammo your rifle likes until you try it. Having said that, the full potential of ANY rifle will only be realized with reloads.
     
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  4. johnfred1965

    johnfred1965

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    I have no experience with the 338, but Lapua makes excellent ammo. If you reload, factory Lapua will give you a good baseline for your rifle, and terrific brass for reloading. If you don't reload, you are still shooting some of the best on the market.
     
  5. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    Thanks for the helpful and useful response!
     
  6. rkittine

    rkittine Site $$ Contributor

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    I purchased Lapua ammo for each of my custom built precision rifles so I would have a starting point and also have some additional brass. I was VERY surprised at how well their factor ammo shot in my rifles. No 338, but 6mmBR Norma, 6.5x47 Lapua and .308.

    Bob
     
  7. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    Thanks for the helpful reply.
     
  8. johnfred1965

    johnfred1965

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    I built a 6.5x47 early on and built up a load on the bits and pieces I could devine from the guns of the week articles. I shoot it about 1/2 MOA and it's gone as small as .3 so far! When I compared my 123 and 139grain scenar loads with Lapua factory ammo, they were within .005 COAL. Lapua does their homework.
     
  9. ebb

    ebb

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    What would be a better factory load? None that I know of. That being said save your brass and start looking for reloading gear. You will eventually learn to build a better load yourself, and paying $4.50 per shot will get old fast.
     
  10. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    I'm definitely thinking hard now about reloading given the cost of this ammo.

    What kind of "unit cost" can I expect if I reload and get as good, no doubt better, perfomance to boot, than this commercially loaded Lapua 300gr scenar ammo?
     
  11. ebb

    ebb

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    You can figure out bullets, primers, and powder, but he cases are another matter. You have to figure out how many times they can be reloaded and divide. But only you know how hot you are going to load them. On a 338Lap mag Ive got a friend that has 20 cycles on some of his Lapua brass. He experiments with loads and uses the same 20 over and over and saves the bulk of his brass to shoot with. I bought a 500 count box of Sierra 300 grain match kings when they were the only game in town, Bergers are much more money. Do the math !!
     
  12. ebb

    ebb

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    Do your self a favor use magnum primers from the start and do not mess with large rifle primers. The case holds a lot of powder and it needs proper ignition.
     
  13. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    Just looking to get some idea of what my "unit cost" on reloading 338 Lapua's with the 300 grain Lapua Scenar bullet. I'll have 550 cases to reload...eventually.

    :)
     
  14. rkittine

    rkittine Site $$ Contributor

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    A lot depends on how much shooting you are going to be doing and how much reloading equipment you already own. Then how precision do you want your loads? I only ask this as after I went to the Williamsport 1,000 Bench Rest School I came home and bought about $3,500 of reloading equipment to replace all the old time stuff that I already had. For some reloading is a great hobby and past time and for others it is needed to get the accuracy you want and then for others it tiresome.

    So there are 7,000 grains of powder in a pound of pounder. 338 Lapua loads for 300 grain projectiles seam to have loads ranging from 75 grains to about 100, thought they are not always what you will end up loading. So if you figure on the high side, 100 grains, you will get around 70 rounds out of a pound of powder. You might get less from spillage or more from lower charge weights. Then pick a powder and see what container size you can buy and at what price ALL IN with shipping and HazMet or local sales tax. Do the math. If you get 70 rounds from a pound of powder that costs $35.00 all in, then the powder will cost you $.50. Buy an 8 pounder of powder and it will be less. Etc. You should be able to get some more reloading data on the home page of this site.

    Go to MidwayUSA, Grafs or other supplies that sell brass and take the cost of the brass and divide it by 10 reloadings to be on the safe side. Maybe with the 550 pieces you have you will not need brass for a long time.

    On the same site you can get prices for Primers and Projectiles. It is funny that Berger's Loading Manual, doesn't show any loads for the .338 Lapua, but I would bet it will be in the second addition. Usually a case of 5,000 primers will be less cost than a box or 1,000 or a sleeve of 100, but if you are going to try different ones, you need some of each. Same thing on the price of projectiles.

    In looking at Midway (you can shop for better prices). 1,000 Magnum Large Rifle Primers are $37.00. 100 Lapua .338 300 grain projectiles are $84.00, H4831 is $29.00 a pound and Lapua Brass is $289.99 for 100. Then add $28.00 HazMet and Shipping. for H4831 more like 80 grains according to the manual I have.

    So now depending on how you want to go about this, just do the math. If buy 8 pounds of powder and allocate 50% of the HazMet fee to it and shipping, then you are looking at about $33 per pound. 80 grains 87 rounds or $.38 per round.
    Primers with the other 50% of the HazMet Fee and Shipping would run around $.06 or less. And projectiles with shipping at around $.90.

    NO BRASS
    Powder $.38
    Projectile $.90
    Primer $.06
    TOTAL $1.34

    Brass $.15 per use (at 20 reloads) to $.30 per use for 10 reloads.

    Now add your labor or NOT and the cost of all the reloading equipment. Shoot a lot, still much less than factory rounds and SHOULD be better if you are going to have the right equipment and know how to load.

    Enjoy, Bob
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  15. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    Awesome post, Bob.

    At this point I have absolutely no reloading equipment. Obviously, I'd have to make a big upfront capital investment, but I would also assume I'd be using it for other cartridges, so this "overhead" would be spread across more than simply 338.

    Your analysis and breakdown was and is extremely helpful.

    Thanks for taking the time to provide this information!
     
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  16. ebb

    ebb

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    Bob gave you some real good information, and it is all spot on. I even liked the brass cost, but don't buy H4831. I isn't near fast enough to load a 338 with. All my powders are old school Retumbo, US869, WC872, but until I use them up I cant get the best. The best is RL33, it was designed to work with the 338. That would be my only choice today.
     
  17. shortthroat

    shortthroat

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    Here is how I purchase .338 components: I put what I want onto the "wish" list that most vendors have and then wait for a sale. Most recently I got 300 gr. SMK for about $0.65 each in 500 quantity and Lapua brass for about $2.50 with free shipping. About once a year you will find some vendors waive the Hazmat fine and sometimes give free shipping to boot. For .338 you will need to buy powder in 8# kegs and think about buying more than one. Candidate powders are H1000, Retumbo, Ramshot Magnum, and now RL-33. Don't even consider anything other than Federal 215M GM primers and plan on amortizing brass costs over about 10 loads. This will give you a loaded cost in the neighborhood of $1.50. If you pay the going rate for components, your cost will be more like $2.50, or about half the cost for factory ammo. Mainly you will find that you will shoot in order to reload, not the other way 'round.
     
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  18. Amsdorf

    Amsdorf

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    Thanks for the great information guys.
     
  19. rkittine

    rkittine Site $$ Contributor

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    Find yourself a mentor. In the end, it will save you a lot of money for buying the wrong stuff or paying too high a price. Waiting for sales like free shipping or free HazMet is great. I am just o impatient to do that, and figured you might want to look at worst case. I only used that powder because it was one of the less expensive ones with the lowest recommended starting charge weight.

    Bob
     
  20. nakneker

    nakneker Site $$ Contributor

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    If your new to reloading and your starting with the 338lapua a mentor would save you money, teach you the basics (why your doing this or that), and help start you to reload safely. I was lucky, my Father is a reloading nut. I've helped several guys learn and typically there is someone close to you that would help teach you the Dos and Dont's of reloading. The web is full of information, just make sure your watching a video that is credible and not some goofball that has no idea what he talking about. Some gun shops offer reloading classes or can be a good source of finding one. I started reloading to save money, lol, now it's a rabbit hole without and one of my favorite pastimes.
     

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