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Old March 27, 2010, 05:00 AM   #1
erlltroll2002
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Proper .338 lapua reload

I am new to reloading and new to my Barrett 98B. I was looking for a couple of good handloads for ranges out to 1000m's. Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old March 29, 2010, 11:41 AM   #2
Adrian
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It's not polite to post about a new rifle like that and not include pictures.

I'm teasing! Welcome to the forum.

Does your reloading manual have an entry for .338 Lapua? My Lyman 49th Edition does, and I imagine it's pretty standard by now. If you don't have a reloading manual, get one before you load anything. All the manuals I've seen have suggestions for "accuracy loads" - good places to start, if nothing else. Naturally you should start at the starting load for that powder/bullet combination and work up from there. Starting at the maximum load is asking for a faceful of boom.

Lapua posts their load data for free (using Vihtavuori powder only - gotta pay for it somehow). You'll probably want to use their brass or Norma's, just because it's really good brass. The brass reclaimed from shooting Federal Gold Medal is also pretty nice, in my experience.

There's more data over at Reloader's Nest, and I understand that the Sierra MatchKing and Lapua Scenar are the standards for accuracy.

Check anything you find there against a manual. For example, this load claims just under 2.5" at 1000 yards. I'm not sure I believe .018" at 100 yards, but even if you knock off a zero, that sounds really awesome, doesn't it? Well... Lyman built up their loads using the same 300-grain MatchKing, and they decided that 89 grains of Alliant #25 is two grains more than you should ever put in a .338 Lapua case (Sierra may disagree; I don't have their manual; the load data may be slightly different and 89 grains may be a regular "max load" somewhere). Barrett makes a sturdy rifle, but are you willing to bet your fingers and eyes on it? You may well be playing outside of the design specifications at that point, and once you are, you're gambling on Barrett's safety factors. Tread lightly.

On a lighter note, no matter what load you use, there's going to be a little fiddling around trying to tailor it to your particular rifle. Some rifles like a particular brand of brass; some like bullets a little on the heavy side, some a little on the light side; some like to be loaded a little hotter than others (be careful as you get near the max).

Good luck!
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Old March 29, 2010, 11:53 AM   #3
mrawesome22
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