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Thread: Living with a .338 LM - The first year.

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    jrs
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    Default Living with a .338 LM - The first year.

    One year with the Savage 110 FCP HS Precision .338LM


    Original thread is here:
    Newest member of the family


    There have been a few trials and tribulations along the way. Couldn't get reloading components and tooling took forever to come in.


    Bought 5 boxes of factory Lapua 250 gn Lockbase cause it was the only way to get brass then. I never want to do that again. $56.90 for a box of 10. Shot that up at the range day back in January I wrote about in the other thread.


    Got lucky and found a box of 1,000 Federal 215M primers along with 5 pounds of IMR-7828 SSC powder in February. Beginning of April my 2 boxes of 500 Sierra SMK's arrived from back order.


    Sierra's manual starts at 83.6 to max of 91.0 grains of 7828. So I loaded 5 @ 83.0, 5 @ 83.5, 5 @ 84.0, 5 @ 84.5 and 5 @ 85.0 grains of powder. I quit shooting when I finished the second string of five. Cases and primer were showing signs of over pressuring. Knocked down the rest and back to the drawing board. Talked to another Savage .338LM shooter I know and he recommended starting @ 80.0 working up to 83.0 grains max.


    Photo is the best group with 81.0 grain load @ 400 yards. Most people show heartbeat either vertical or horizontal. Mine always shows on the diagonal.


    Then it was time to find the seating depth. Did a coarse adjustment to start, going from the lands to 50/1000 off in increments of 10/1000. Photo shows 0, 10, 20, 40, and 50/1000 as the original loads were shot at factory OAL of 3.681 which just happened to be 30/1000 off lands. For those of you with eye sight as bad as mine I decided on 20/1000 off as no further improvement was gained by varying +- 5/1000.


    Had my load and it was fun time until I noticed it was wandering. Took it to an optics friend of mine and he found the factory aluminum rail was deforming. Pictures show the rail and close-ups of front and rear lugs. Replaced with a rail from MurphyPrecision.com and all is well again.


    At this time I've got just under 200 rounds down the barrel and I love it. We have a 12 inch steel target at 1000 yards that I generally hit 10 for 10. Finally found a 2000 yard range that is about 90 minutes away. It's on private land is more of a club. Haven't gotten out there yet, but soon.
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    jrs
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    "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.", Will Durant

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.", Edmund Burke

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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    WOW ! Is the recoil really that bad with them or was it just a really soft mount? There is some definite deformation showing for sure.

    I know on heavy kicking guns I always try to find a steel mount, but it's not always possible with all that's out there nowadays, to much aluminum stuff IMO, and I still look for steel rings and mounts whenever possible.

    The .0020 off the lands, depth, seems to be the load for sure, nice groups. Awful hard to find a place to shoot at those ranges around here now, at least close by it is. Ya, you can still zing one out across the South Forty, but far from a formal range where you can get serious about getting a gun set up for extreme accuracy.

    I still haven't gotten the chance to do any long range stuff with the Mauser I got from Bellson yet, 250 is about the longest so far. After a long break-in period it's cutting the same hole @ 100 now. What ever brand that barrel is, it took at least 5-6 box's through it to even start getting any good consistency with it. Once I did,, it's a tack driver at those ranges, after several box's through it now. I can't wait for a good long range work out to see what she'll do. I do expect good things though from what I've seen so far with it.

    The Ruger .308 stainless target rifle I have took forever to break in too, seems to be the norm for those bull barrel stainless guns and barrels it seems.

    Have you ever tried those barrel burnishing rounds jrs ? I've often wondered about them but haven't tried them yet, have you? Or anyone else tried them? I've got another project sitting in the wings that will have a stainless barrel and was wanting to cut down on break in. I've never really heard anyone mention them here before and was just wondering about them. A couple old timers have told me to put a small dash of valve grinding compound on the first 2-3 rounds and that will do a good job in removing any small machining flaws. Then follow it up with 2-3 with a dash of course auto buffing compound. Don't know if it works or not, but some swear by it, anyone tried it? I do polish my barrels some with compound but just with a hand rod and jag.

    I had a Ruger 10/22 target that shot like shit till I got at least a brick and a half through it, and I damn near moved it down the road it shot so bad, but now it's shooting penney's at 100 is child's play ,,,once it FINALLY broke in. I almost gave up on it,,1 1/2 groups were about the best I could get with it at first. I can't tell if the manufactures are just whipping them out fast with out a good final polishing or what. Not sure, but it sure seems that the last few barrels and guns I've gotten with stainless bull barrels,all seem to have taken a lot longer time to break in than in the past.

    Any one else noticed this, or is it just me, taking longer to settle into a good shooting stance with a new gun now that I'm older and decrepit ? I don't know, it seems that every new rifle I've gotten lately seems to take longer to break in and to shoot consistently than in the past.

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    jrs
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    Quote Originally Posted by twa2471 View Post
    WOW ! Is the recoil really that bad with them or was it just a really soft mount? There is some definite deformation showing for sure.

    I know on heavy kicking guns I always try to find a steel mount, but it's not always possible with all that's out there nowadays, to much aluminum stuff IMO, and I still look for steel rings and mounts whenever possible.
    It was explained to me that style of rail is normally used on rifles you want to mount a scope on and still be able to use the iron sights. Really stupid on a rifle like this. Normal rails have the slot all the way across. So this rail didn't have as much support. A contributing factor was the original mounter of the scope didn't insure it was all the way forward on the rail lugs. This contributed to the recoil wear. The recoil on the .338 with that big muzzle brake is less than on my .308 Mauser Bellson built for me.

    I still haven't gotten the chance to do any long range stuff with the Mauser I got from Bellson yet, 250 is about the longest so far. After a long break-in period it's cutting the same hole @ 100 now. What ever brand that barrel is, it took at least 5-6 box's through it to even start getting any good consistency with it. Once I did,, it's a tack driver at those ranges, after several box's through it now. I can't wait for a good long range work out to see what she'll do. I do expect good things though from what I've seen so far with it.
    I hear you TWA. Those Parker-Hale barrels are extremely hard steel. I think it took close to 200 rounds in mine before I could get a decent group at range. Just look at my avatar for what it does now at 400 yards.

    Have you ever tried those barrel burnishing rounds jrs ? I've often wondered about them but haven't tried them yet, have you? Or anyone else tried them? I've got another project sitting in the wings that will have a stainless barrel and was wanting to cut down on break in. I've never really heard anyone mention them here before and was just wondering about them. A couple old timers have told me to put a small dash of valve grinding compound on the first 2-3 rounds and that will do a good job in removing any small machining flaws. Then follow it up with 2-3 with a dash of course auto buffing compound. Don't know if it works or not, but some swear by it, anyone tried it? I do polish my barrels some with compound but just with a hand rod and jag.
    I've read about them and talked to two people that actually tried them. Both said it was the worst idea they ever had. David Tubbs has come up with some good stuff, but I think he missed it with those. I use a cleaning routine with KG-1 for carbon removal and polish with KG-2. The KG-2 does help smooth out the bore when new and sure helps make the cold bore shot consistent.
    jrs
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    "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.", Will Durant

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.", Edmund Burke

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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on those rounds, I hadn't heard one way or the other on them.

    Good to hear on the Parker Hale barrels too, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever break in, guess I've got a few rounds to go yet by the sounds. It does get better each time out, for sure but I do have to adjust it a titch each session out so far.

    I like using the "Never Dull" to really shine up barrels after cleaning when I've used corrosive ammo,or get guns that have, it cleans out even the most stubborn crud that even the best cleaning seems to leave behind after corrosive ammo. I just do a few pass's at the end before the final patches with oil, and they shine like chrome. I don't do it every time though, just when it's going to be put away for awhile and has been shot allot or I get something new that needs it.

    One of my buds didn't clean out his muzzle loader last year, possibly year before( he couldn't remember) and it was rusted all to hell, so he figured he'd just use a drill with course Scotch Brite pad pieces and bore cleaner,,you can't hit the broad side of a barn with that gun now, literally! He ruined that one,,Dumb Ass!! He asked me to check it out and I looked down it with my bore scope and he took the rifling out completely in some areas so it looks like a smooth bore now in some sections. He must have really scrubbed the crap out of it with that drill to do that much damage!! He said it took along time to clean!!! I believe it!!!!

    He said he'd take 50 bucks for it, but is it really worth putting a new barrel on,,,,who knows? Replacement ones are about 150 ish, depending on which one you get so it's really not all that worth it, sense you can buy a used one all day long for next to nothing. The action might make an interesting base for a single shot center fire rifle. I'll have to see what pressures those black powder CVA's will handle. They do offer some center fire barrels, just don't know if there for those frames, looks like it, I didn't see them say otherwise on the CVA Home sight where the barrels were being offered. I might be worth it then. I'll investigate further later on.

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    Citizen, Patriot, Ranger bellson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twa2471 View Post

    I still haven't gotten the chance to do any long range stuff with the Mauser I got from Bellson yet, 250 is about the longest so far. After a long break-in period it's cutting the same hole @ 100 now. What ever brand that barrel is, it took at least 5-6 box's through it to even start getting any good consistency with it. Once I did,, it's a tack driver at those ranges, after several box's through it now. I can't wait for a good long range work out to see what she'll do. I do expect good things though from what I've seen so far with it.
    Yup.....That barrel was a shilen. And they are hard as hell. 250-400 seems to be the number. JRS on the other hand has a Parker Hale barrel, which are among the finest and toughest in the world. A real bitch to work on, I can tell you...But once they are properly setup, they last and last. Hammer forged, very old school, and some of the best steel ever...
    Imagine whirled peas

    Peace, Love, And Superior Firepower






    Bellson

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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    I know for sure it's getting much more consistent each trip out, just been so damn busy lately I just haven't had a chance for a decent range trip to really break it in. pretty much cutting the same hole @ 100m with no issues right now with the occasional flyer(a minor one at that),I can't wait for a 6-800m work out, it may be spring at this rate though before any major shooting gets done,,,

    Ice Is On and the fish are too,,,Soooo,,,, busy , busy , busy,,,love it !!!!
    This retirement schedule is killing me I tell-ya!!! Be fishing right now but had to wait for a couple calls and had business to take care of. Going at 1 PM though, come Hell or High Water!!!!

    That 10/22 was ridiculous,,almost 2 bricks before I could even begin to start getting good groups with it. Now it's crazy accurate, it's shooting penney's @ 100 very consistently with cheap Remington Gold Bullet bulk pack stuff. If I wasn't so cheap I'd break out some match ammo to try, but that stuff is just fine for squirrels and penney's. I'll hang on to the match stuff for when I compete. Same as with the Mauser, I've got some GI match ammo I've been hanging on to that I only shoot occasionally in my other match guns,so once she's broke in proper, she'll be digesting some of that too. I've only got one case of that left so I'm quite sparing with that stuff. I'll shoot it some through out the winter with my regular ammo, but come spring there's a major day of shooting scheduled, it's been a while, and I'm due to cut loose,,neck and shoulder be damned!!!!

    It really gets the Ga Ga eye's when anyone see's it Bellson,,that's for Damn sure,,I love it too !! It looks great with the Millitt and bipod on it. I've always had a weakness for engraved guns,, and always will ! And it's just a plus that it already shoots so well before it's even broke in good. I'm very optimistic, 5-6 more box's should do the trick so I can get serious with it with some,, Good Ammo.

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    No Hope For Me 1biggun's Avatar
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    thanks for the range report . It good to see another savage shooting good . the rail deformation is surprise. Like you said it was not mounted correctly.
    I see some of those guns with three or even four rings on them sometimes .

    nice 400 yard group I need something that does that .

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