Teach me about 338LM

hydro556

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I have never loaded for anything bigger than 308. I am getting ready to order a set of dies for 338 Lapua and am wondering what factors to consider (I attempted to search).

I have neck sized a very small amount for 308 but then went back to FL sizing. Should I consider neck sizing for 338 or is FL sizing fine. Is this basically the same debate as neck vs FL sizing for 308 or any other round?

Basically, is reloading for 338LM basically the same as what I am used to with 308/223 or are there other factors to consider, inherent to 338LM?

I have always used RCBS competition seating dies with a micrometer and RCBS FL sizing dies. My first thought was to just order a similar set of RCBS dies for the 338, but I am wondering if paying well over $200 for a set of Redding bushing dies is a good idea. I have also never messed with bushings and dont really want to start messing with them unless there is undeniable advantage in doing so.

Basically, I am wanting help deciding which dies to get. The rifle will be a Desert Tactical and will be used for LR precision shooting. (fun)
 

Coleb338

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

Your best option would be a gold series match 2die neck sizer set with the 363 neck sizer bushing, if your loading lapua. If the brass is for just one gun, neck sizing is always the best answer bc it has already formed to its chamber, only if already fired through that gun once before tho. I have had great luck with this combo.
 

hydro556

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

Can anyone who has used all three give me a quick rundown of the following 3 dies?

Redding competition 3 die set (high dollar)

RCBS competition

Forster Ultra

The bottom 2 are much cheaper, but as is usually the case, the guys who pay the coin for the higher dollar Reddings say they are worth it.
 

asbestosglove

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

For a multi-thousand dollar rifle/scope/all the tools & doo-dads DT offers to go with it system...should one scrimp on the most important aspect of all...what you feed it? False economy to go with less than the Redding and the correct bushing. The old "Buy once, cry once" applies here.

AG in NC
 

psinclair

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

+1 for the Redding comp dies...owning and feeding a .338LM is like having a high maintanence girl friend...if spending money on them bothers you, you better not have one.
 

desertHK

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

I just have a regular dies (RCBS) and a neck sizer (RCBS). Do the same way that I would do with any other caliber. My 338 LM shoots just fine.
Here are some groupings while working up the loads for both 250 scenars and 300 SMK.

250 scenars.
IMG_3509.jpg


300 SMK

IMG_3508.jpg
 

hydro556

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: asbestosglove</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For a multi-thousand dollar rifle/scope/all the tools & doo-dads DT offers to go with it system...should one scrimp on the most important aspect of all...what you feed it? False economy to go with less than the Redding and the correct bushing. The old "Buy once, cry once" applies here.

AG in NC </div></div>

So, you are agreeing with me then, LOL.

I fully agree with buying once and crying once. I just want to make sure that most people think the Reddings are worth almost double the RCBS comp dies. I really like the RCBS comps I have for my 308 and 223. Someone I trust told me to go with the Reddings though and I think I will.

Does anyone know who has the 3 pc bushing die set in stock for cheaper than Midways $300?

My first call was to Adam but he is currently out of stock.
 

Ramius

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

It's just like loading for a 308 except every mistake is a Lincoln
wink.gif


Seriously: I started using Redding dies when I was shooting 308, haven't used anything else since. For 338 I haven't had any complaints other than having to rig up a bullet puller to pull bullets on mistakes when I first started.

I always FL size my rounds because I want every round to feed reliably. I know I sacrifice some on brass life but that's okay by me.

I do use a bushing for my sizing die, but that's pretty much it. Nothing too fancy, just trim to length, chamfer/deburr, uniform primer pocket, ream the flash hole. Other than that go out and shoot.
 

hydro556

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: asbestosglove</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Order the dies now. There is a wait on the rifle, right?

AG </div></div>

I should have the complete rifle in 308 pretty quick but it may take a little longer for the 338 conversion. I will try and get the dies ordered tomorrow. I may actually get lucky and find some in stock tomorrow when I go pick up some powder.
 

468shot

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

I was recently in the same situation and after lots of research I went with the Redding Type S match dies. As has been stated already buy once and cry once. Thankfully Adam had a set when I was looking and hooked me up, great guy to do business with.

Grafs has the competition set and the regular bushing set in stock. They don't list the set I have though (38594). Hope that helps.
 

hydro556

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

I went with Adams recommendations and ordered the Redding dies(58594) and the bushings he suggested (76364, 76365) and a shellholder.

I have 100 250 grain SMKs on the way already and just added 100 more of the same as well as 100 Lapua 300 grain Scenars. I am getting ready to go to a couple local reloading shops and try to find some Retumbo and Hodg. 4831sc. If they dont have the SC, the regular 4831 should work fine, right? If I understand correctly the SC is the same stuff but cut shorter to meter better, right?

I use an RCBS Chargemaster combo, so hopefully the 4831 will work just as well as the 4831SC, if I cant find the SC.

So, once I get all my orders in, I should be good to go, at least for a while. As expensive as loading the LM is, I would hate to have to actually buy loaded ammo. Even as few rounds as I will put through the 338 would be really expensive.
 

BountyHunter

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Re: Teach me about 338LM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: asbestosglove</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For a multi-thousand dollar rifle/scope/all the tools & doo-dads DT offers to go with it system...should one scrimp on the most important aspect of all...what you feed it? False economy to go with less than the Redding and the correct bushing. The old "Buy once, cry once" applies here.

AG in NC </div></div>

Not really, if you are serious buy the Forester Bonanza. They are are as precise as the redding and much cheaper. Moreover, send the Forester FL die to JLC Precision (6mmbr.com under Tools) and for $45 Jim Carstenson will convert it to Bushings.

Now if you really want to do it right, buy the Redding body bump die for $27, send it with $80 to JLC and five cases fired 3x. He will convert it to a custom honed to your chamber FL size die with bushings in about a week. You are still way under the Redding prices for a true custom fitted FL bushing die, which the Redding is not.

Now if money is not the issue and you really want the rolls royce of dies instead of a maybe close off the shelf set, get the Neil Jones custom die set (www.neiljonescustomproducts.com). Send him a reamer print or 5 cases again fired 3x and he will build a custom FL size die that is not only bushing but a shoulder bump bushing which no one else has and micro seater that is a true BR quality die set. They are the absolute best custom dies made. Cost for the 338 is about $360 for the set with shoulder bump bushings.

BH