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Old June 12, 2018, 03:36 PM   #1
stagpanther
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338 fed, anyone?

I found this 18" Wilson combat SS fluted barrel on my porch today Fortunately I have a spare upper and BCG lying around so....

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Old June 12, 2018, 08:51 PM   #2
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An OK deal if you actually have a need for (or just "want")something of that nature. I bought a .308 upper/lower, pinned it together , and then back in a case and on the shelf.
My shoulder injury takes all the desire for shooting a 308 away.
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Old June 13, 2018, 06:13 AM   #3
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Never had a Wilson combat barrel--this is obviously a hunter barrel and comes with target crown. It is also the last "308 child cartridge" to add to my collection--I now have rifles chambered in all the basic 308 derivations. All up weight with a red dot is just over eight lbs--that put's it into the "real world woods carry" category for me that'--about the same weight as a long-barreled AR15 cat with scope.

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Old June 13, 2018, 07:59 AM   #4
Wyosmith
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That would be right at home in North Western Wyoming.
Let us know how it shoots.

I have only built 1 338 Fed. It was made around the idea of the 210 grain Nosler Partition. The man that owns it loves it and has killed 2 elk and a bunch of antelope with it.
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Old June 13, 2018, 08:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
That would be right at home in North Western Wyoming.
Let us know how it shoots.

I have only built 1 338 Fed. It was made around the idea of the 210 grain Nosler Partition. The man that owns it loves it and has killed 2 elk and a bunch of antelope with it.
I built a 358 win AR but it is way too heavy for long distance carry--the fluting mid profile barrel and target crown on this rig go along way to reducing weight--I could probably trim some more but am happy with the way it is for the time being. Here in Maine I don't think I'll get the opportunity to shoot much past 100 yds--if that, so I'll see how good results I can get with just a reddot. I don't have the all the components yet so I'm working on necking-up brass at the moment.
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Old June 13, 2018, 10:06 AM   #6
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PSA's MOE EPT PA10 lower goes on sale often--in fact I'm picking up another one today--with a swap out of springs and Kaw's adjustable grip screw it makes the perfect hunting lower IMO--consistent smooth pull at 5lbs.
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Old June 14, 2018, 02:17 PM   #7
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Most of my used 308 brass is quite old and has been reused many times--so I decided to go ahead and order new 338 fed brass. While awaiting it's arrival--I did some reloads anyway--the softer stuff tended to compress down and form a donut at the base of the neck. The exception to this--not surprisingly--is the lapua brass I have--none of it did that.

210 sciroccos driven by H335--straight out of Lyman's manual. They look like bad news for whatever they hit.

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Old June 18, 2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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Rifle is down--the intermediate gastube that I ordered from midway--a lantac--is configured to Noveske specs of 13.75"--Wilson uses the Knight's Armament spec for intermediate of 13.25." I called Wilson and they said they would send me the proper tube and update product description as well. Gonna be another week maybe before I can shoot her.
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Old June 19, 2018, 11:51 PM   #9
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.338

When the .338 Fed came out, I thought it was an interesting cartridge,and had an urge to buy something so chambered, but I did not (I've also had an itch to do a .338-06), I just can't come up with a use for it on game in my area. The gun writers all pumped it hard as more than a "woods cartridge", and a step above its closest relative, the .358 Win, in terms of reach (trajectory) and variety of projectiles available.

I'd say its reception has been luke warm at best. The cartridges ability to run in the AR platform has given it a degree of new life, I hope it hangs on.
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Old June 20, 2018, 12:06 AM   #10
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It has very similar numbers to the 358 win--but supposedly remains more effective energy-wise out further than the 358. I built a 358 AR it it shoots wonderfully--but unfortunately is so heavy it's not a realistic woods carry. Wilson Combat did their homework and made a nice hunting barrel (albeit an oddball gas system) and that makes it possible to have a realistic woods-carry AR hunter--which in fact they make. Since this has no muzzle device I don't see it as an extended session gun, supposedly it doesn't deliver the thump the 358 does (although with a good muzzle brake I thought he 358 was hardly more than a plain Jane 308 in recoil). WC sent me a proper gas tube expedited and free of charge--that was very nice of them--and it should be here today, so I should at last get to test it soon.
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Old June 20, 2018, 06:03 PM   #11
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heavy

Weight has been the issue with any AR10 based rifle I've handled.....the dang things are heavy, and a variety of bolt rifles in similar calibers are out there at less cost and considerable less weight.

As a hunter/sporting rifle, that matters if one intends to carry the gun very far at all.
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Old June 20, 2018, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Weight has been the issue with any AR10 based rifle I've handled.....the dang things are heavy, and a variety of bolt rifles in similar calibers are out there at less cost and considerable less weight.

As a hunter/sporting rifle, that matters if one intends to carry the gun very far at all.
Absolutely--I know this better than you might think having built a dozen or so AR10 type AR's with the hope they could be used as carry hunters--alas--once you put good scope rings and a good long range scope on--that hope disappears for me as the all up weight goes to 10 pounds--or more.

This one is different. Without the weight of a full-on long range scope set-up it is very reasonable--weighing about the same or just slightly more than my longer barreled bolt and lever guns with scopes. The trade-off is in long-range optics capability, but this is a very easy carry and quick handling AR 10 type AR. Wilson Combat did their homework--my only reservation is the gas system probably should have been pushed to full rifle length maybe and the barrel maybe a tad longer to adjust the dwell time (KAK's 19" 358 win works perfectly)--this is a tricky one to tune. I just took the very first shots after installing the funky intermediate length gas tube--VERY impressive bang and recoil, though I guess that's to be expected with a target crown AR barrel. With a good shoulder weld though entirely manageable and "pain-free."
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Old June 21, 2018, 07:38 PM   #13
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Fired a few more cartridges today--a couple of "issues" popped up: 1) the gas hit is so hard I had to turn the SAR block screw almost all the way out to get a failure in bolt lock-back as a reference point. Those bullets sure throw up a big dust cloud when they hit the bank behind the target. I like that.

2) use of a red-dot hits an obvious limitation in bright sunlight--turning it all the way up to full power brings it to 6MOA. I gave up and put a loopy scope on--but it and the mount boosted the weight by another 1.25 lbs. Still marginally woods carryable though not as quick handling. Oh well, the pipe dream was good while it lasted.
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Old June 26, 2018, 06:16 PM   #14
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pic

I just took a 2nd look at the pic of your rifle and it is sharp. You could loose the BUIS and the full length handguard, and shed some weight. Too, you didn't mention what scope you settled on..........but something like a 2-7x shouldn't be too cumbersome.

Curious....what scope did you use?
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Old June 26, 2018, 07:04 PM   #15
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Thanks--I really like it a lot--the full-length guard actually makes free hand shooting easier and more balanced the front site is off since I was co-witnessing it with the reddot which is now gone. I put a simple 3 x 9 loopy rifleman scope on held by aAR Stoner mount. weight is just over 9 lbs but still reasonable compared to my other AR10/LR308 builds.

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Old June 27, 2018, 09:09 PM   #16
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I’m jealous.

I’ve got an assembled lower waiting for a .338 Federal barrel.

Was going to build a .358, but already have one of those in a bolt gun, and liked the numbers of the .338 Fed...............and I don’t know anybody else that has one.

I’m building mine on a Tennessee Arms “composite” lower (not my first choice, but it was free), which should shave a bit of weight.
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Old June 27, 2018, 11:00 PM   #17
Azureoval
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Nice Rifle STAG,
My Dad bought himself a 16" Wilson and after I shot it I bought myself a 16" Wilson. Then my friend liked mine so much he bought himself a 18". I have no practical use for it but it sure is fun to shoot.

Josh
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Old June 28, 2018, 05:51 PM   #18
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Thanks--here are some 225 prohunters I just put together. The 225 PH performs very well in my 358win AR--I figure it should do well in the 338 fed as well.

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Old June 28, 2018, 06:03 PM   #19
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.338 Federal... perhaps the best "do-all" cartridge that never caught on. Savage is keeping it alive for the cult followers or guys who have to try everything once... which I will someday.
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Old June 28, 2018, 06:13 PM   #20
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I think Wilson Combat found a sweet spot for it. My attitude is--if you already have thousands of 308 cases, can't go wrong with yet another child.
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Old July 7, 2018, 01:51 PM   #21
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A brief check back on this project--I've shot several different loads through the gun with several different powders and projectile weights--so far the gun is showing no inclination towards shooting accurately with anything I've conjured up--haven't come close to even MOA at 100 yet. I just tried some 185 GMX's seated to 2.9 and there was still room before engaging the lands.

I have had no issues with the gun's functioning other than tuning down the high pressure gas system.
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Old July 7, 2018, 02:56 PM   #22
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Hate to hear you are having accuracy issues. I've got the same problem with one of mine. After 5 or 6 different bullets and 4 different powders I've decided the barrel is garbage and will just get tossed. I'll just turn it into a 223 wylde as I've got a new barrel sitting in the closet.
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Old July 7, 2018, 03:26 PM   #23
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I'm pretty stumped--being a match grade target crowned barrel and all. I also have a 358 win build I did with a 19" KAK barrel--I figured the ballistics are so close this one would be at least as good--but so far not even close to what I can get out of the 358 win.
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Old July 7, 2018, 04:39 PM   #24
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This is the best result I could get so far--and that was by running the load up into the highly compressed hot-zone (though there were no pressure signs). This will remain a 100 yd rifle until I can find a way to make it shoot better.

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Old July 9, 2018, 05:09 PM   #25
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I remembered I had some good loads from my 358 win--so I tried some 215 game kings driven by IMR 4320. I generally managed 3 shots at or slightly under MOA--but would always have 1 flier that threw the group.

Shooting this gun with a target crown and no muzzle device is pretty heady stuff--it throws a healthy recoil back at you and is hard to keep steady, I'd say it's comparable to that of a 30-06 and a muzzle blast straight out--shooting from a table I was getting dust clouds kicked up off the ground at about 15 ft out.
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