Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Long Range Hunting & Shooting

Long Range Hunting & Shooting Nightforce Optics


Where to start with building a 338?

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 01-15-2013, 10:26 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Where to start with building a 338?

I've been reading this forum for a while and now have decided to build a rifle. I have decided to build a 338. I've noticd that several of the options given havd websites that are down or could possibly be not making parts any longer. I have access to a great gunsmith who builds high quality hunting rifles. I will be using the gun for hunting as well as long range shooting.

My questions-

What receiver/action is good to start with?
What barrell?

Anything else someone wants to throw in?

Reply With Quote

Unread 01-15-2013, 03:46 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 995
Re: Where to start with building a 338?

So, which 338 are you going to build?

338 win
340 wby
338 rum
338 norma
338 lapua
338-378 wby
338-416 imp
somethin . somthinsompthin lazeroni

If we know What you want to build, we can help you out.

Let us know!!

Reply With Quote
Unread 01-15-2013, 04:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,108
Re: Where to start with building a 338?

The first question is which .338 do you want to build? The answer to that question will go a long way toward deciding what action to use as a base action.

The second question is what is your budget?

A good third question to ask yourself is how much you want your rifle to weigh. That will control component selection and barrel contour and may have a large impact on whether or not you want to use a muzzle brake.

Another question to ask yourself is what bullets do you want to shoot? The answer to that question may have an impact on the twist rate you choose.

The budget question will go a long way toward deciding which barrel maker and style to go with.

Though I am not personally a fan of them, a Remington 700 long action, or one of its custom clones, will give you enough length to accomodate 338 RUM length cartridges or a 340 Weatherby.

338 Lapua is available in both Remington and Savage actions, but there are those who say the cartridge case diameter of the Lapua is pushing the safety margins a bit in both actions. There are custom actions that are purpose built for the Lapua, however. The Stiller TAC 338 is a good example of that.

If you are after a 338-378, a Weatherby Mark V of the appropriate action size would be a good choice.

If you want to build a 338 WM, you have a pretty broad choice of actions.

If you want to use a factory rifle as a base gun for a build, I would recommend that you make sure a Wyatt's Extended Mag Box is available for the action you are considering. You are likely to want the extra OAL to get the best performance from the high bc bullets available in 338.

Where the barrel is concerned, price and desired twist rate will have the most effect on your choice. Desired rifling type also plays into this as well. Button rifled barrels tend to be less expensive. Cut rifled barrels tend to be more expensive.

If you don't have a big budget to build your 338, there are some pretty good factory options out there. For instance, I am not normally a Savage guy, but the 111 Long Range Hunter in 338 Lapua definitely has my attention. It may very well go on my wish list.
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-15-2013, 07:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 2,861
Re: Where to start with building a 338?

Not trying to talk you out of a build.But 2 weeks after I started mine I saw one for sale here that was $1000 less than I spent, and I did most of the gopher work and only had a barreled action done.I have seen many great customs in the classifieds,with low round count and by good smiths.My eye is on one now.My build took a good part of a year.
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-16-2013, 12:40 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Re: Where to start with building a 338?

I'm looking at the 338 Lapua. I want the bolt action and my budget is $4-5000. I would like to have it 20 lb or less but I am not real concerned about the weight. I have thought about buying a rifle and using that for a base but I am the type that would change it all anyway so that is why I am considering the build. I will be hunting elk and deer and maybe moose.

Thanks for all the input so far.

The gunsmith (my neighbor) works for D'Arcy Echols here in Utah and knows a ton and is great at what he does. Here is the website in case anyone is interested Echols Rifles

I know this is a whole other topic but I plan on putting a Nightforce scope on it. Mainly because I can't afford a Scmidt & Bender.
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-16-2013, 10:19 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Lake Fork, ID
Posts: 285
Re: Where to start with building a 338?

With that budget
-stiller action 1000$
-hart barrel #7 contour or sendero contour 1 in 10 twist finished @ 30" 375$
-A-5 575$
-NF 5.5-22x56 1800$
-rings/bases/jewell trigger 500$
-338 lapua brass/dies 500$
-APS medium PK 200$
total weight around 15 lbs

338 lapua improved sending 300 bergers at 3000fps= GOOD TIMES
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-16-2013, 08:45 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 152
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.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:18 AM.

Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC