I am trying to figure out which rout I should take. Here is the situation. My "shootin shack" is baisicly an enclosed 2 man benchrest built from bridge planks 25 feet in the air on a 200 foot cliff. It is set up in such a way that I can use my 1000 yard bench equipment if I so choose. We usually bait different spots out to 600 yards. After that the spots available to bait are not very good. I have kills out to a little past 1000 yards. I now have access to 3 great spots at 1000, 1100, and 1375. These areas are unhuntable from anywhere except from where we are at. We see deer moving around, but it has been fairly wooded. Each of these areas have had some beaver activity which has cleared out all of the bigger trees and most of the under brush in these spots. Also there is a trail near all three spots, making it possible to bait them. We can and do see deer all over the place, but they usualy are very active chasing does. Also, getting precise ranging is tough at best. With these feed plots we will have known distances and be able to set up some steel to practice on.
I have a dedicated LR hunting rig that I WILL NOT use for this project. It is a custom 300 wby/210 berger combo that I have actually won relays with in 1 k br. Very accurate and very repeatable, and I haven't changed it now for 12 years other that upgradeing the glass. Besides, I am thinkin that I will simply not have enough "poop" left at the 1370 yard plot. I plan on using one of my 1000 yard comp rigs....either my LG (17 Lb) BAT mod M or my HG (50 Lb) BAT mod L 10" x 2".
Here are the options I am considering:
Option 1) Use the LG or HG, get an Edge BBL and be done.......by far the cheapest.
Option 2) Use either the Lg or HG, buy a $575.00 bolt and get a 338 Lapua, 338 AX, or 338-378.
Option 3) Use the HG only, Buy a bolt and get either a 338 Allen Mag or Bruce Baer's big 338.
I think I would use a muzzle brake on all three options. I would use a strait taper 1.25 on the LG and a 1.45" on the HG...both as long as they need be. My thinking is that option 2 wouldn't gain much preformence over option 1 (Edge)...at least not $600.00 worth. If I spend the extra for the bolt I may as well go with the big dogs. But then again, BBL life and components may play a factor. BBl life on the edge/Lapua are probably the same, but my guess is that the big Allen mag or Baer's big dog are bbl eaters and the brass is pricy.
I keep telling myself that there is no rush, but Kirby says he is 7 to 8 months out AFTER he has the components in house!! So, I need to make up my mind.
I brouse the net quite a bit. If I need 1000 yard BR advice I go to the Benchrest Central sight....If I need LR hunting advice....I come here. A bunch of you guys are 338 shooters and the best in the bizz!!! My only experiance with the 338 is doing some load development for 2 differant Lapuas and a 338-378. I was VERY impressed with the Lapuas. A little guidence from you guys may help me make an educated decision.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: Advice on LR Hammer
My opinion is that the Lapua is equal to the edge except for brass quality. Much of the brass quality benefits are consistency and tight primer pockets after the occasional hot round. That said, I have yet to ruin an edge case. If resized properly with the right chamber, they last quite a while. Also, with Es's in the upper single to lower double digits, the consistency is obviously adequete. The Lapua will also cost more to build AND to operate. The edge offers just as good accuracy, consistency and tunability as the Lapua (IMHO)
With Wildcat bullets up again under new ownership, hopefully bullets will be available sometime in the next year or so. You might consider a 7mm like the 7mm Allen Magnum. It is based on a necked down improved 338 Lapua case. Wildcat when owned by Richard up in Canada offered a 7mm 200 grain ULD RBBT bullet with a BC off the charts (maybe .900+?). That bullet driven at 3200 fps+/- would have plenty of retained velocity and energy at 1400 yards to put down a deer.
The critters have to win every time, I only have to win once.
I vote Lapua. I have shot one and the velocities seem to be able to top the edges from what I have seen. 32" barrel in a 1:10 will get you up over 2950fps with 92.2grns of H1000. This thing is a heck of a shooter to boot. First three shots at 1050 put it in about a 5" group using 250grn Lapua Scenars over 3150fps.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger
Friends don't let friends develop canonitis!-chucknbach
arguing over the internet is like the special Olympics....even if you win, you are still...special!
I know the Lapua and the improved version are AWSOME. But.....My thoughts are that if I am going to spend the money on a bbl AND a bolt I may as well move all the way up to the Chytec based 338's. I would be moving WAY, WAY, WAY up from an EDGE in terms of performance. No comparison. But is it worth paying $600.00 for the extra 100 FPS I would gain from the Lapua. I am sure some of you would say "HELL YES".
No mater what I do I need to get dies and brass. But , do I want to spend the extra $$ for a bolt for a Lapua or Lapua Improved when I can simply buy a new bbl and shoot the edge. I was hoping to hear from some guys who shoot the Chytac based 338s. They must all still be hunting!!!