Hello. this is my first post. i have lurked for a while and done a good bit of reading here and finally joined up.
A little background. I live and hunt, fish and trap in Alaska. been hunting for a long time and have harvested my "share" of game. I also work part time at the local sportsmans warehouse for my FUN money....
This fall on a goat hunt on kodiak island my hunting partner and I had several opportunities at some longer range 400-600 yds shots on goats. However, I had my 338 along and did not take those shots. I haven't handloaded and was not comfortable shooting that distance with that gun. It is a custom gun, but I didn't have much involvement in it. i paid the gunsmith and he built it.
anyways, i had planned on building an UL gun for hunting, but after that hunt, I changed my mind. i would rather lug around a 9lb rifle and come back with a full pack, then have a lighter weight gun and come home empty handed.
I do not think i will shoot over 500yds. with most being 3-400yds for a "long" shot. I also am going to start reloading. I am looking to end up with a same hole gun at 100yds, so that those "longer" shots will be easier.
I do not plan on using the gun for bears. mostly goat, sheep, caribou and an elk hunt this fall. i have been looking at the VLD in 185 and 190 gr. or accubonds
I am looking for input. here is what I have sort of come up with for a game plan so far.
A remington 700 action
a pac-nor 28" super match grade stainless barrel (I am unsure of twist, 1 in 11 or 1 in 10" ???)
I was going to have pac-nor do the fitting and chambering, and fluting.
mpi stock, pillar bedded, alum bedding block , perch bellied with a 378 wthby box.
and a cerrakote job.
I was then thinking of topping it with a a swarovski Z5, 3.5-18 with the ballistic turret.
I want to have a very accurate hunting rifle, ideally 1/2 moa at 400yds.
the scope sounds a bit large for magnification...but then with your specs on the rifle your considering , I bet with some practice and a good rangefinder that gives you the cosine figure for angled shots you will probably be streatching the capable legs of the combo you have built.
I shoot a 24 inch Kimber Montana, 325 WSM with 200 accubonds and 220 powerpoints with a Leupold VX3"L" 4.5-14 , with the Boone and Crocket reticle.
killed my "share" of Elk and Deer, Speedgoats and such , and its very light and is awesome in the mountains of Montana....so I appreciate the lightness, but its good out to 500 yards with that scope and bullet combo. best its done has been 1.5 inch 3 shot group at 458 yards on a calm day...so a VERY light rifle doesnt need to be inaccurate or wimpy.
BUT all that said I think you rig will be great...I just prefer a lighter rifle for all that up and down.(especially as I get older )
Well, frankly you don't need any custom build to shoot 400 yards, even 500. But I'm not one to tell you not to do it. Looks like you have all the right components. I have a PacNor bbl. on a 30.06 and it is a great bbl. But if you want to increase your chances of a 1/2 MOA rifle, there is good evidence that there are better barrels out there.
Hart will flute and fit a barrel on your action and true the action too. Bartlien will do it. I don't know if Krieger will.
I think you should consider Hart, Krieger, Bartlien, or Lilja barrels, in my opinion, first. You may even consider Rock and Broughton barrels.
I'm reading very good things about Schneider barrels, their polygonal rifling, and I'm anxious to try one. I like the canted or Russian style lands (5R and 5C) and for Schneider, (5P)
I'm sure someone else will chime in but PacNor, although they make a fine barrel, is not on the top of my list for a top of the line tube.
As to bullets, for what you are hunting, I've had excellent luck with a 180 Scirocco and Re25. 10T or 11T will serve you well.
Oh, by the way, if you can get your hands on an Obermeyer cut rifled 5R barrel, you won't be sorry. I got 2. Boots does not make a bad barrel. Period.
What's the hesitation in reloading for the 338? That gun is more than enough if not the same as a RUM at 500.... for that matter 800yds. If you start loading, you open up options in bullets and powder that will really make that rifle a game slayer. That's the direction I would go.... unless you just want another rifle! In that case, I'm all in. Your scope option is fine.
"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!
Welcome Alaska Hunter.
If your max range is 500 yards, the rifle you have will serve quite well. Even if will only hold 1 MOA at 500 it will still work great. I would suggest before you try make yourself a longer range shooter through a rifle purchase, use what you have to learn with first. You will probably be surprised what your rifle is capable of.
Learn to reload, get a chronograph and ballistic software, do you have a rangefinder that will get you out to 500? What are you using for a scope?
It's all things you will want to learn even with a new rifle anyway.
thanks for the input. Keep it coming. I am not set on anything at this point.
the 338 I have currently is built on a winchester action
it has a 26" shilen barrel, a jewell trigger. It is in an mpi thumbhole stock, with a full length alum block and is pillar bedded. It has a 378 wtby box, and is perch bellied as well, with a pachmeyer pad.
I have hutning scopes on all my rifles, either Zeiss or swarovski. I have a nikon Monarch 800 for a range finder, but just ordered a Leica.
I appreciate the comments, I am interested in hearing from everybody willing to offer advise.
Trued Remington 700 Action (by Shilen)
28" #4 SS with break (by Shilen)
HS Precision stock
1 pound Jewel trigger
180 Scirocco with Re25, Fed215M primers
200 AB with Retumbo, Fed215M primers
If I built another today:
Custom action (likely a Borden, BAT, or Stiller)
27" #4 Hart or Schneider (5P) if button barrel
27" #5 Krieger, or #4 Rock or Bartlien if cut-rifled
McMillan stock bedded with marine tex
1 pound Jewel
208 Amax, 180 Scirocco, 210 Berger Hunting, or 230 Berger Hybrid
H1000, Retumbo, Re25, US869 or Magnum