I am contemplating whether or not I should build a custom 338 Lapua. I would like to get an idea of the cost (without optics) of all the major components as well as the average cost of the smith work. I'm not looking for anything extremely fancy, just a good quality hunting rifle with exceptional long range accuracy. I am also open to suggestions with regards to the proper action...Mark 5, Rem 700, ect. Thanks for your input!
Savage Target action Sporter LA=$400
Aftermarket Barrel+chambering (subject to length, taper, chromoly or SS)=$350-$550
Stock=$180(choate)- $675 (McMillian A5, PDC, Manners T4) Bell & Carlson, McMillian, Choate, and H-S Precision have stocks with various pricing.
My cousin built a 338 Lapua on a Single Shot Savage Target Action that shoots very well. His total build cost was around $1400. He needed to have some custom machining done to his Choate Super Sniper to handle the Target Action. It's my opinion that the Savage action is the most affordable action requiring the least amount of work necessary to be accurate. Most other actions require machining after purchase to make sure everything is squared and true.
Yes the short action will work. It just has to be shot as a single shot. It will eject fired casings fine. You do have to pull the bolt to eject a loaded round.
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Bottom metal & magazine $250-400, (IMO for hunting waste of money)
Bottom line lower end is right at $3000 with no scope, brass or dies to tops of whatever the smith thinks he can get in some cases and they are real proud of their when you break it out like this. They will not give it broken out, rather "package price" which is rarely cheaper. That is also assuming not an improved version with custom dies that will be $200-400
You have two options to minimize costs.
1. Watch here and Snipers Hide for good used 338. Lot of them available.
2. Start assembling parts as you can find them. Be careful of the barrel specs as you will want a min of 1.250 IF not more on the shank. If using a custom action 1.350 straight for 5 inches to allow one setback. Min length of 28 to max of probably 32.
IMO custom action is the ONLY way to go. No work, usually readily available. Stiller and Defiance right now two of the best for delivery and money.
If you want to go custom go custom all the way with BountyHunters advice. Custom action (unless you have a Mark 5 kickin around) is the way to go with the lapua. You can get very similar results from an RUM or an edge and they work good on the Rem 700 and Savage actions. LilTank had some good advice on the Savage but I would go to an edge or RUM if your on a budget instead of the Lapua. I have a RUM on a 700 and love it.