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Large .338s... potential accuracy?

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Unread 06-17-2010, 12:24 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Large .338s... potential accuracy?

I'm new here and still searching all the forums for info. If this has already been discussed, please point me to it.

Of the .338s that will fit in a Weatherby MkV action with the 378 boltface, is one known as the best for accuracy? I know the .mil uses the Lapua. I also read here in LRH that the rebated .338 RUM is a good shooter.

It looks like the Excaliber or the Kahn are about as 'big' as I could go with this action.. how are they with the high BC bullets?

And.. there is a suspicion that the Weatherby offerings, with the long freebores, may not do well in the accuracy arena when using the long-nosed, short-bodied high BC bullets?

And... I'll be single feeding, so OAL is not a problem.

Last edited by GMBshootingclubM60; 06-17-2010 at 12:26 PM. Reason: add a sentance
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Unread 06-17-2010, 11:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,612
Re: Large .338s... potential accuracy?

I have done most all of them and they all are very accurate. I couldn't pick one over the other. The key is get a gunsmith who is very familiar with doing the particular cartridge you decide on and knows the wby mk 5 action and has a lot of experience with it.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
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Unread 06-18-2010, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Re: Large .338s... potential accuracy?

Anyone of them you mentioned is very accurate so long as the rifle is built very well and you do your part, so I'd pick the one you feel best meets your needs/criteria and as LTLR said find a reputable smith who's built more than a few in that cartridge with that action.

IMHO I can't stress enough how important it is to define your criteria as the better you define it the clearer your choices may become. You may be surprised to find out that the 338's aren't actually what you need or maybe you do so I'd first define criteria.
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Unread 06-18-2010, 10:54 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Re: Large .338s... potential accuracy?

So, if cost of shooting is not a factor, the Excaliber could be made as accurate as a .mil Lapua? It would be able to push heavier bullets, too.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 12:22 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LaPine Or.
Posts: 2,541
Re: Large .338s... potential accuracy?

Cost is one issue, so youve got that covered, but I think what Chas was saying was; in order to narrow down the choices what do you plan on doing with it, and what is your definition of accuracy? Will it be a L/R hunting rifle or a B/R comp rifle, is it gonna weigh around 12-15+lbs or do you want something lighter, Are you up to the challenge of fireforming cases and using brass with another headstamp, or do you want readily available brass, Custom dies or off the shelf, what velocity and what wt. bullet are you wanting to use, and the list goes on for ever......The real neat thing about a custom is all the choices, but its also part of the aggrevation. Whittleing it down little by little by defining your criteria, or intended use only helps make your decision easier. I think thats what Chas was getting at.
I only own 1 338, and its a 338win mag. so I dont have hands on experience with the big boys. Sorry.
You may wanna check out J E Custom and see what he has to say about the bolt face. He did a post on bolt face diameters a while back that got turned into a ''sticky'' in one of the threads.
Im goin out on a limb here and gonna say the first 4 guys Id talk to about 338 wildcating, in this case, would be; LongTimeLongRanger(for his wby knowledge and 338wildcatting), J E Custom (for his smithing and knowledge), Shawn Carlock(highly respected L/R 338 shooter and wildcater),and Kirby-AKA-Fiftydriver (for his smithing and reputation as king of 338 wildcats).
LTLR already chimed in so that leaves 3. Good luck, hope you find what your lookin for.
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'

"I have No idea why that cop made me ride in the back seat, when I Clearly called Shotgun!"
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Unread 06-19-2010, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: IOWA
Posts: 2,123
Re: Large .338s... potential accuracy?

If you already have the M5 action, I would build either the 338 Norma or Lapua on it. Both of those have excellent brass.
The 338 Norma brass is as good as it gets.
If you don't have any experience with 338's, no need in going any bigger than that.
Only other thing to do is get a custom barrel and find a smith to put it together for you.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 07:56 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 870
Re: Large .338s... potential accuracy?

I have a 338/378 and I am happy with it. It has a shilen barrel and shorter throated than factory but no changes to the case shape. It will shoot under 1/2" with several bullets. It's on a rem action so I have no experience with the weatherby.

I have a 338 rum and a 338/408 in the works. If you are looking for a single all around gun the lapua or one of the improved lapua designs would be very hard to beat. Having the best off the shelf readily available brass is a great advantage.

Like it was mentioned before defining exactly what you want is the first thing to get solidified. I had the 338/378 first and while it's fun to shoot with a 30" heavy barrel it's not very portable and can't really be shot without any setup time. That was the reason to then get a 338 rum. Its the light portable sporter gun that is for shorter range but can be shot off hand or "setup" for a little longer shot. The 338/408 is going to be for over 1K experimentation and with a 36" barrel it I don't see it getting very far from the truck. There is just a trade off for every choice.
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