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brando 01-03-2015 7:29 PM

New ELR Rig

Now that I'm back in New Zealand, I just picked up a new barrel conversion I had my local smith working on. It's a 36" Bartlein 5-R progressive twist 1-10/9 chambered for .338 LM Improved with a JDJ reamer.

I've been frustrated in the past couple of years here at ELR matches where I clean targets out to 1400m then get bested at 1600 and 2000 by guys with 32" barrels shooting 300s. My 26" barrel shoots 250s nicely but not 285s and is really picky with 300s and there's no way to match their velocity.

So this barrel started as a 37" non-tapered blank and is heavy as it looks. I'm not going to flute it just yet but I might contour it a bit more to bring the weight down. The goal with the improved chamber and barrel length is to push 300s at 3100+ fps which should stay supersonic to nearly 2100m.

Click Boom 01-04-2015 2:11 PM


postal 01-04-2015 2:37 PM


That things a monster.... What does it weigh? like 22-23 pounds?

Please keep us updated on your load development. Very curious just how fast you can push those...

hj_S14 01-04-2015 2:49 PM


bsumoba 01-04-2015 2:52 PM

Holy Smokes Batman!

brando 01-04-2015 4:13 PM

The barrel alone weighs 10lbs, so that should make the rifle close to 18lbs. I'll be fire forming brass and breaking in the barrel over the next couple of days, so I'll take pics of it in the field.

Mute 01-05-2015 8:27 AM


pvl925 01-05-2015 7:58 PM

what are you trying to do .. take down small aircraft that?

brando 01-05-2015 9:17 PM

I'm trying to keep a 300gr Scenar supersonic out to 2200 yards :)

Hk996 01-10-2015 2:16 PM

DTA covert?? NICE!! Imagine if that wasn't on a bullpup rifle!

Black Majik 01-10-2015 2:59 PM

That is very sweet. What type of powder/charge weight are you looking to use? Definitely looking for a range report on this. Way cool. :thumbsup:

GJC 01-10-2015 3:13 PM


brando 01-11-2015 1:55 PM

I just fireformed about forty cases and broke in the barrel. The heavy barrel weight combined with the old muzzle brake means it hardly moves - recoil feels like a .223 AR.

My plan is to start load development with N570 and I expect that the improved chamber will allow me to push past what was too hot in a standard chamber.

BillyGoatCrawler 01-11-2015 10:12 PM

Videos please..... please.....? :cool2:

iluvmycolt 01-19-2015 1:06 PM

Sweet rifle, OP.

brando 01-24-2015 8:31 PM

I've been busy lately, so I haven't made a whole lot of progress with this barrel, but I wanted to show you the difference between the standard .338LM cartridge and the .338LM Improved. I normally run about 92.7gr of N570 as my standard 300gr load, but with the extra room in the improved chamber, I expect to be able to get similar pressures with 98gr and therefor significantly more velocity (the 36" barrel will help with that too). I've made pressure testing loads up to 103gr (that's just shy of compressed), though we'll see where the pressure signs show up. If the cutoff is too early, I'll try RL33. The goal is to push 300gr Scenars to 3100+ fps.

bombadillo 01-24-2015 8:58 PM

What do you notice on the gain twist? Supersonic longer, velocity, bullet stability, or what? I've been curious about the theories on gain twist or T-Rifling as Bartlein calls it. What are your thoughts and observations on it since switching?

brando 01-25-2015 2:40 PM

Not enough data to come to a conclusion yet. Honestly, I didn't ask for the T-Rifling, it just so happens that the barrel I was looking for had everything I needed plus that.

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