Accuracy International Super-Magnum AWSM 338 (PICS)


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Zak Smith
December 15, 2005, 07:43 PM
Just picked up an Accuracy International Super-Magnum (AWSM) in 338 Lapua Magnum.

Scope is a US Optics SN-3 3.8-22x44mm 35mm tube metric knobs with mil-scale reticle.

This is the "big brother" to the 308 Arctic Warfare (AW) (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWP/), with the same proprietary action (but 338-sized), permanently bonded-subframe, user-changeable barrels, etc.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/small/A100_1678_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1678_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1678_img.jpg)

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/small/A100_1658_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1658_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1658_img.jpg)

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/small/A100_1672_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1672_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1672_img.jpg)

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/small/A100_1663_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1663_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1663_img.jpg)

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Chris Rhines
December 15, 2005, 07:51 PM
Addict. :D

- Chris

jerkface11
December 15, 2005, 07:56 PM
:what: good lord! you gonna hunt with that? Or is it just an expensive paper puncher?

Buzztail
December 15, 2005, 08:00 PM
Nice!! Real nice!! I wish I lived closer so you could invite me over to shoot it:D

444
December 15, 2005, 11:44 PM
You have some nice guns, but they don't impress me anywhere near the way your scopes do.

Dance&Sting
December 16, 2005, 12:17 AM
Nice Rifle... Ever heard of CounterStrike??

Zak Smith
December 16, 2005, 01:03 AM
Chris,

It was just a matter of time. :D

jerkface11,

The name of the game is first round hits on UKD targets. This will give me some additional effective range over 308. Not sure what I'd need it to hunt-- last deer I took was with an AR15 @ 30 yards-- but I figure it'd be at home hunting in the Western Plains.

444,

Good optics are always worthwhile. I've been extremely happy with the 17x SN3 on my 308. This 22x has only seen about 250 rounds of 50BMG so far.

Dance&Sting,

I blame CS for the widespread error of thinking that the AWP is chambered in 338. :uhoh:

-z

swingset
December 16, 2005, 02:11 AM
I would own most of the guns you do, except I'm living off mortal human income.

:banghead:

That's a seriously fine rifle, I've shot one and loved it. Quite nice.

Stinkyshoe
December 16, 2005, 03:38 AM
Zak
What's the best way you've found to get your cross hairs lined up square?

Sweet rifle man....what's the max range for it?
Ss

dfaugh
December 16, 2005, 08:52 AM
I want one of these S-O-O-O bad...but they are currently WAY outa my price range...Oh well, maybe I'll win the lottery....

Zak Smith
December 16, 2005, 11:45 AM
What's the best way you've found to get your cross hairs lined up square?

The eye is actually pretty good at determining if two lines are parallel. The best way I've found is to:

1. level the gun on a solid bench.

2. find some perfectly vertical post in the distance (verify with a level if you want to)

3. look through the scope at a point on the post the same height as the optic (to reduce perspective error), then rotate the scope until the reticle is straight

This of course does not work if the reticle is not aligned inside the scope correctly!

what's the max range for it?
The bullet should be 20% over trans-sonic at 1800 yards, and I'll still have 4-5 mils of elevation left in my scope at that distance. The max range will be limited by me and not the ballistics of the cartridge or the accuracy of the gun.

50 Shooter
December 16, 2005, 12:10 PM
Zak,
Is that a Level Grouse that you have attached to your scope? How do you like it?

I'm surprised that I haven't seen anything posted here about them. www.levelgrouse.com

Zak Smith
December 16, 2005, 12:16 PM
Zak,
Is that a Level Grouse that you have attached to your scope? How do you like it?

Good eye.

I still have to wring it out. The one I have is very sensitive, probably less than 1/2*. A friend of mine said his long range groups decreased noticably when he started using the USO bubble level.

USSR
December 16, 2005, 12:17 PM
Zak,

Nice! Let me know what the brake makes it feel like (.308, .30-06, etc.).

Don

Dr.Rob
December 16, 2005, 12:25 PM
OK That's cool.

Gonna bring it to show and tell next time?

50 Shooter
December 16, 2005, 12:26 PM
I like the bubble levels that you can attach to your scope or rail. The only problem that I can see with these is everything has to be level to begin with. I saw a rail attached bubble level that showed level but everything was canted when looking through the scope. When the scope was straight the bubble was off, only thing we could think of was either the rail was machined slightly off or the bubble level was.:scrutiny:

After you wring out the Level Grouse post one of your very good reviews please.

hartzpad
December 16, 2005, 07:26 PM
"If you have to ask, you can't afford it"

Just thought I would add that in case anyone is wondering.

Justin
December 16, 2005, 07:34 PM
Zak, as always, brings the hotness.

Zak Smith
December 18, 2005, 12:50 AM
OK That's cool.
Gonna bring it to show and tell next time?
Sure, if I can make it in '06. August is terrible for me-- it's the busiest month of the year for major 3Gun/tac matches.

Alternatively, come shoot our monthly Sporting Rifle match down in Raton. We're also workong on some long range "clinics" this spring.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/PNCLS-2005.08.06/small/169_6954_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/PNCLS-2005.08.06/?medium=169_6954_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/PNCLS-2005.08.06/?medium=169_6954_img.jpg)


With regard to cost.. if someone is going to learn to shoot long range and maintain/improve his skills over a period of years, an investment in a good base rifle and optics pays off easily. For example, over a period of 5 years, the cost of merely ammo and new barrels will eclipse the cost of even a high-end custom or factory rifle and a USO/S&B-class scope by 2-4x. That's not counting travel, lodgding, training, match entry fees, etc.

-z

artherd
December 18, 2005, 03:39 AM
Zak- you are an EVIL EVIL MAN!

What's she weigh? (and can I have her number? ;)

P0832177
December 18, 2005, 03:47 AM
Zak,
You have to have the nicest collection of firearms! Man!!

Zak Smith
December 18, 2005, 02:39 PM
Zak- you are an EVIL EVIL MAN!

What's she weigh? (and can I have her number? ;)
I thought a gentleman didn't ask ? ;)

Using the very scientific bathroom scale method, it's about 18 lbs with scope, bipod, and magazine. The rifle itself is 15.1 lbs.

losangeles
December 18, 2005, 08:45 PM
Wow, I congratulate you on your new acquisition! It's truly a masterpiece.

So that's how the other half lives! Isn't the cost in the 5-figures? And you have a few? I'm truly envious. I have to cobble a few hundred dollars and get my stuff a little at a time. I really need to succeed more in business.

Zak Smith
December 18, 2005, 09:23 PM
Not quite that bad. The price list is here:
http://www.tacproshootingcenter.com/AI_rifles.html

NMshooter
December 18, 2005, 09:35 PM
Another way to stick the scope on level is after sticking the rifle in a vise with a small level on a flat spot on the receiver to aim it at a brightly colored piece of yarn with a weight on the end hanging on the wall opposite your rifle.

I must admit Zak, covetousness is a sin, and I need a drool resistant keyboard, but I should know better by now...:evil:

Zak Smith
December 23, 2005, 02:07 AM
FINALLY got out and did some break-in this morning. Shot ahout 30 rounds over a 2 hour period.

Recoil was so mild with the 2-chamber brake, I wondered if I was really shooting 338 after the first shot. Subjectively, it feels pretty close to 308. It's a pussycat. (Without the brake, it is a little brutal.)

Accuracy is excellent (1 hole @ 100), however the barrel fouls a lot more than my 308.

Most accurate load shot was 95.0gr H1000 with the Scenar, at 2910fps. 96-97gr got me up to 3000fps, but started to develop some pressure signs around 2950. Might have to try a slower powder-- maybe N170.

Plan to stretch its legs this weekend..

chickenfried
December 23, 2005, 02:52 AM
i r s0 1337, b3c4us3 i r b3 t3h t4lkz0r 1337, i r pwn t3h j00, kthnxz0rs

cz75bdneos22
December 23, 2005, 02:54 AM
i like...

Mute
December 23, 2005, 12:51 PM
Recoil was so mild with the 2-chamber brake, I wondered if I was really shooting 338 after the first shot. Subjectively, it feels pretty close to 308. It's a pussycat. (Without the brake, it is a little brutal.)

You actually tried shooting that thing without the muzzle brake!? :what:

Zak Smith
December 23, 2005, 01:02 PM
I had to do it once... :uhoh:

Mute
December 24, 2005, 10:27 AM
I had to do it once... :uhoh:

Heh. Must be a guy thing. I shot a .460 Weatherby Magnum without brakes, once. Everything turned out ok after they re-attached my retinas.

brandyspaw
January 5, 2006, 12:49 AM
Zak,
For the long range shooting you've been practicing lately, do you use the 338 as a supplement to the 50 BMG? Or have you given up on the 50 for any of your long range shooting? Thanks in advance for your opinion.
Bill

Zak Smith
January 5, 2006, 01:32 AM
Hi Bill,

The main difference I see is that the 338 is practical as a regular field rifle - something you can actually carry around. The rifles are the same size as a 300WM. Typical long-range setup 338's weigh between 13 and 18 lbs and are the same length as the regular magnums-- about 44-50". For a 50BMG, you have a rifle that is typically 55" or longer and 30 lbs or heavier.

The second difference is recoil and blast. A 338 with a brake is much more less punishing and the it has a regular "report" instead of the brutal concussion of 50BMG. 338 with a good brake feels like a light 308 or 3006. A 30# 50BMG with a good brake still has a lot of recoil.

The third difference is the cost to reload. Ignoring the special equipment needed to reload 50BMG, match bullets for 338LM are in the 0.30 - 0.44 range, while 50BMG match bullets are about $1.20 each (750gr AMAX).

The trajectories of 338LM and 50BMG are similar. Drop and wind are within 1/2 mil out to 1400 yards.

The advantage of 50BMG is the surplus "fun" bullets available, which are peerless in their terminal effects.



I've just got another scope to test out on this rifle-- see the thread over in the optics forum for its review.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/small/A100_1904_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1904_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/AI-AWSM/?medium=A100_1904_img.jpg)


As an update, I now have just over 200 rounds through the rifle, only 35 of those factory. I have two loads that give 2950fps with no pressure issues with the 250 Scenar (H1000 and H4831SC), and one with the 300SMK @ 2725fps (RL25).

brandyspaw
January 5, 2006, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the reply, Zak.
The biggest reason I asked the question was quite some time back I had contacted you about buying the Barrett 50 that you were selling.
I wasn't sure if you were upgrading to different 50 at the time or if
you found the 338s a better alternative.

I didn't get the 50 from you at the time because I wound up buying an Armalite AR-30 in 338 LM instead. I have been impressed with the cartridge but not with the gun. The AR-30s quality was lacking in several areas (accuracy, trigger,and poor ergonomics for me) so I sold it off.

I'm looking for another 338 and while your recent pick is over my budget it is
not much worse than a lot of 50s. Good food for thought!

I appreciate this and all your reviews,
Bill

Zak Smith
January 5, 2006, 01:57 PM
Thanks for the reply, Zak.
I have been impressed with the cartridge but not with the gun. The AR-30s quality was lacking in several areas (accuracy, trigger,and poor ergonomics for me) so I sold it off.

I know several people with AR-30's who have got them to shoot well, granted most of them do not use factory ammunition. I have seen consistent hits on a 12" plate at 1000 yards. It is a good rifle.

Zak Smith
January 16, 2006, 03:55 PM
In the last couple weeks, I've shot it to 1000 yards several times (along with my buddy shooting a TRG42), and done a lot of load development.

Depending on load and env conditions, it's between 5.9 and 6.8 mils elevation to 1000, from a 100 yard zero. There are multiple loads that give good 100 yard accuracy, but 91.0gr H4831SC is giving SD's under 5fps (!!!), around 1/4 MOA 3-shot groups at 100, and consistent 1000 yard performance.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/PAWNEE-2006.01.07/small/A100_2008_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/PAWNEE-2006.01.07/?medium=A100_2008_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/PAWNEE-2006.01.07/?medium=A100_2008_img.jpg)

If you enjoyed reading about "Accuracy International Super-Magnum AWSM 338 (PICS)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!