Living with a .338 LM - The first year.
One year with the Savage 110 FCP HS Precision .338LM
Original thread is here:
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.