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Have you heard much about this caliber before?

  • No i have not heard of it before this post.

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Discussion Starter #1
A few of us were talking the other day about the .338 Lapua vs the .50BMG... so ill fill you guys in on the other caliber that is not very "well known". Its called the .408 CheyTac and it is... ballistically speaking... superior to the .50BMG past 1,000 yards.

You can tell just by looking at the bullet in the .408 CheyTac caliber that its Ballistic Coefficiency is very high... and it will has much less drop than the .50BMG.


1: The purpose of this 3000-plus yard (transonic between 3300 and 3400 yards) cartridge is to deliver accurate (.25 MOA) fire to a target from a sniper platform. In a different configuration... it is intended to replace the 7.62X51mm NATO cartridge (.308 Winchester)... which is currently being used for the military's General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) the M-240. The mission for the sniper round is to selectively hit enemy targets located at great distances while at the same time... the sniper using the .408 CheyTac is "immune" to counter snipers using "conventional" sniper cartridges. It also has a limited anti-material role. The cartridge's advantage for a machine gun (intermediate between the M240 7.62X51mm and the M2 HB .50BMG) is that it provides greater kinetic energy and hitting distance over the 7.62X51mm NATO and the .50BMG, but does not have the weight disadvantage of the .50BMG cartridge. The cartridge out performs the external ballistic characteristics of the .50BMG cartridge at 1000 yards and beyond... but fired from a platform less in weight than the M-2 BMG. Contrasting weight by weight... the .408 CheyTac cartridge is a third lighter... which translates into a third more ammo carried by a Sniper. The parental cartridge case for the .408 CheyTac is the .505 Gibbs... necked to .408 and with a redesign of the web area. Solid nickel copper alloy projectiles for both sniping and GPMG are being designed by Lost River High Energy Technologies (Arco, ID) using PRODAS 2000 software.

2: The EDM M-96 .50BMG Windrunner... an extremely accurate... turn-bolt... take down rifle is being downsized by one-third... which will result in a new rifle called Intervention. A weight reduction from 32lbs for the Windrunner to 21 pounds for Intervention is anticipated. This weight would be ideal for Special Forces type units. The prototype rifle is completed. Testing was completed with a new projectile designed to remain supersonic between 3300 and 3400 yards. The production of the first 15 rifles started in June 2001. Three were reserved for Military testing.

All in all... this relativly new caliber and rifle combination is fully capable of 3,000 yard shots... 2,500 yards being a more "realistic" probability. Obviously... if the 25mm Barrett M-109 works as well as Barrett says it will... it will shoot much further and be just as accurate (even more accurate at extreme range) than the .408 CheyTac. Supposedly... the 25mm M-109 Barrett is capable of 4,500 yard shots on small car sized targets and 3,500 yard shots on personell sized targets. Ill keep my ear to the ground for info on the 25mm M-109 Barrett... but untill then it looks like the .408 CheyTac is supreme commander of the long range sniper caliber. However... dont count the .50BMG out... the .50BMG is better for anti meterial roles than the .408 CheyTac is (wider range of types of ammo as well).

BC
 

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My next gun is goin to be a mini cannon, I think I may have found my caliber! :twisted:
 

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You do realize that cheyanne tactical owns the rights to that caliber in such a way, that no one else is allowed to manufacture ammunition for it. And because of how the bullets are made, itd be damn near impossible for you to make your own. Each shot from a 408cheytac will run you around 4 dollars.

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We7det_el_qetal_ra3d said:
.50 BMG round necked down to 8mm to drive a 300 grain bullet at a speed of 3850 FPS :)
Using general knoledge and guestimation... more around 5,500 FPS... and another thing... have you ever heard of bullet blow up or barrel burning? Im guessing you'll get some where in the area of 75 to 100 rounds through a barrel with that caliber then need to replace the barrel. The twist would have to be so slow (so the bullet doesnt rip its self apart) that it wouldnt be any accurate. A standard .308 175gr bullet pulls over 40,000 G's when being fired from 0 to 2,650 FPS over the span of 24 inchs... imagine what that ".50BMG necked down to 8mm with a 300 grain bullet" would go through. It would simply rip its self apart. BULLET BLOWUP

BC
 

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BC, that .408 CheyTac seems sweet! Have you had a chance to fire it? If so, how was the recoil?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
spade said:
You do realize that cheyanne tactical owns the rights to that caliber in such a way, that no one else is allowed to manufacture ammunition for it. And because of how the bullets are made, itd be damn near impossible for you to make your own. Each shot from a 408cheytac will run you around 4 dollars.

Just a thought.
You can buy reloading dies and supplies from Cheyanne Tactical. And with how good they make there bullets and casings... i wouldnt buy them any other way. Also considering match ammo for .50BMG is more than .408CheyTac match ammo... and ballistically the .408 is superior... i think its a good deal at $4 a round. :)

BC
 

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Discussion Starter #8
lonewolf said:
BC, that .408 CheyTac seems sweet! Have you had a chance to fire it? If so, how was the recoil?
Yes i have fired one... i put 10 rounds through one. It was an EDM M-99 .408 CheyTac and it shot wonderfully. The reciol was managable considering the performance of the caliber. It kicked more than a .338 Lapua... noticeably... but not as much as a .50BMG in the same style rifle. The recoil of the .408 CheyTac is comparable to that of the .458 Win Mag i would say.

BC
 

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Anyone know if its true that the fastest you can usefully push a bullet is 5,000 fps? The problems BC mentioned with the 30 BMG hybrid thingy made me think of that old "rule".
 

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Damn, I wish I could afford a rifle like that M-99!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To better answer the recoil question i just weighed my .458 Win Mag and it weighs in at 8 pounds. The EDM M-99 "Intervension" weighs in at 21 pounds. The .408 CheyTac in a 21 pound rifle (with muzzle break) recoils about the same as the .458 Win Mag in a 8 pound rifle. So yea... it really kicks... not as much as the .50BMG in the same style rifle though.

BC
 

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Well, as far as max speed goes, according to an article I read recently, powder gasses exit the barrel at 5,300 fps. Given that you can't expel a projectile as fast as just the gas alone, we'll never see a cartridge than can shoot that fast.

High 4000s should be possible, but as mentioned before, barrel life would be VERY short. So, again according to the article, the best we'll see is cartridges that shoot in the low 4000s range.

I got the info here from the May 2005 Issue of Guns and Ammo, on page 66.

As far as recoil on the .408 goes..............no thanks. If you can handle it though, more power to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bead Drawer said:
Well, as far as max speed goes, according to an article I read recently, powder gasses exit the barrel at 5,300 fps. Given that you can't expel a projectile as fast as just the gas alone, we'll never see a cartridge than can shoot that fast.

High 4000s should be possible, but as mentioned before, barrel life would be VERY short. So, again according to the article, the best we'll see is cartridges that shoot in the low 4000s range.
There are a few calibers wich you can hand load to over 5,000 FPS... ranging from the 17 Remington with a 20gr projectile (solid copper) up to the 120mm SABOT ammo of the NATO tanks main gun.

Also... considering that most gun powders have a faster burn rate than JP5 fuel (used in military aircraft and the space shuttle)... and JP5 fuel can excelerate large objects well over 5,500 FPS... i would say that there should not be any problem pushing a bullet over 5,500 FPS (given that the casing design allows for this)

BC
 

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Actually when i posted about the necked down .50 BMG cartridge, I wasn't talking about an abstract idea, somebody tried that, and barrel life could be reasonable with military grade aluminum coated with chrome
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Where did you hear about a .50BMG necked down to 8mm?

BC
 

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I'm curious to see the cheytec compared to match 50 BMG ammo with say the hornady AMAX. All the comparisons I've seen was the 408 compared to 50 BMG ball. Unless there has been some new data released?

The .50 750 AMAX has a BC of 1.050
The .408 419gr (Lost River Ballistic) has a BC of .940

So the .50 has the advantage of BC which means it does better at longer ranges, so it comes down to muzzle velocity. The 419gr chey-tac launches at 3000 fps and the Hunting Shack Montana .50 BMG match ammo launches the 750gr AMAX at 2800fps. The cross over happens out past 2000 yards where the heavy 50 will catch up and pass the chey-tac.

of course, all these comparisons only work IF YOU BELIEVE both bullet manufacturers claims of BC. There has been more than one documented case of over optimistic BC's being claimed....

MEL
 

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Discussion Starter #18
mele said:
I'm curious to see the cheytec compared to match 50 BMG ammo with say the hornady AMAX. All the comparisons I've seen was the 408 compared to 50 BMG ball. Unless there has been some new data released?

MEL
From what i have heard... they tested the .50BMG with "combat issue ammunition". In other words... they tested the .50BMG with the Raufus rounds... that is what most sniper units get when deployed (from what ive seen and heard). The Silver tip 671gr "Match Ball" ammo is hard to come buy when deployed even for STA Sniper Platoons in the Marine Corps. I know the Sniper's in my Platoon (when using the .50's) are usually packing either civi ammo or Raufus rounds... a small % of the time they have access to the silver tip "match ball" ammo. Its basically the same thing as the M-118 for the .308 but for the .50bmg instead. Heck... your an Army Sniper im sure you have used the stuff before and know more than me about it...

BC
 

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Mele wrote
The .50 750 AMAX has a BC of 1.050
The .408 419gr (Lost River Ballistic) has a BC of .940
I didn't think you could have a BC greater than 1.00 for the BC of 1.00 would be 0 drag in flight and that perfect, in space not on earth, correct me if I'am wrong please.
Cliffy
 

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BC is actually subjective when compared to the perfect bullet that was designed a long time ago. I wrote a rather lengthy essay on the subject at one point. This is the most common way of viewing BC.
 
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