Re: Where to start with building a 338?
I do not know how much money you want to spend, but I will tell you how I built my .338. I am a big fan of Remington Senderos. They have a full length aluminum bedding block and are extremely accurate right out of the box. They also have a long action which gives you all kinds of versatility with bullet weights and bullet seating. I like to seat bullets very close to the lands, and when I bought my Mark V 30-378 I did not do my homework, and I am very disappointed in the short action, short clip, and the long throat, making it difficult to load for. It makes a great single shot, though, and I have been told that it shoots Weatherby ammo very well if you want to mortgage your house to buy a box. Anyway, back to the Sendero. I have built two wildcats and a .338 RUM by buying a Sendero, then just having it rebarreled to the caliber I want. This has produced three tackdriving rifles at a minimum of cost. Be sure you do your homework on the bolt...make sure the bolt will fit the cartridge head of the caliber you want. The .338 is easy. Just buy a .300 RUM and put on a new barrel of your choice and you are ready to go. No other work is necessary. I built my .338 RUM, my .257 STW, and my .22-.243 Middlestead this way. A Sendero runs about $1200, and you could probably find a used one much cheaper, and since you are going to rebarrel it, you would only have to be concerned about the condition of the stock and action. The barrel wouldn't matter. I have Benchmark do all my work. They do excellent work for average market prices, plus, for me, their operation is only a half an hour away so I can go over and talk to them about all the details of what I want. I picked up my Middlestead yesterday after they corrected another smith's shabby work on reaming the chamber, and dropped off a 25-06 AI to have their proprietary brake put on it. But there are all kinds of barrel makers all over the country to choose from. I have about $2500 in my .338 including the price of the new Sendero, the new 26" fluted barrel with the flutes painted black and the Benchmark muzzle brake. If you really want to get a top-of-the line rifle, check into Lazzeroni's. They are pricey (about $6000 to $7000), but worth every penny. That's about all the advice I have, and as usual, I had to write a book to say it. Sorry guys. I am retired, and this is one of my rainy day hobbies, and it rains every day.