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338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

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Unread 03-31-2009, 07:50 AM
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Location: SC
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

Matthew do you reload? I have been toying with getting into the hobby and building another work bench specifically for that. Have you considered the 375 RUM something about that cartridge intrigues me.

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Unread 04-01-2009, 03:37 AM
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

Yes, I reload for all my Centerfire rifle, it's A lot cheaper than factory loads and i have found with a little load work the accuracy is much better than the factory stuff. I have also considered the .375 RUM, it's the last caliber in the series i dont have but i will probablty buy that one in something i can hunt with like a stainless BDL or XCR
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Unread 04-01-2009, 05:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Youngsville, NC
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

Both the Savage and Remington actions are 1.350 OD. With special modifications both can be made to accomodate a 338 Lapua. But is it safe, practical or foolish? Several aftermarket Custom actions are available most offer slightly larger OD actions, larger and longer bolts, magwells, and ejection ports. There are several you tube videos out there of Savage and Remington actions being fired in slow motion in the larger magnums. It is amazing the action flex. It destroys scope base screws bases, and scope tubes etc.

Not telling you it can't be done because it has. Is it a wise thing to do, again that is your opinion. I know of several very reputable smiths who recomend against it.

If you shear a bolt lug it might kill you or someone you love.

Nat Lambeth
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Unread 04-24-2009, 01:59 PM
NFG NFG is offline
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

First...I am doing a 510 AR right now...a .510 cal using a shortened to 2.65" Rigby case...Lapua and Rigby both have the same size rim and base...within 0.002". I'm using an older F111NS, 1.345" OD, 1.055" x 20 tpi action. It has been at various times a 25-06, 7mm RM, 30-06, 300 WM, 375 H&H, 416 Taylor and now(soon to be) a 500 AR...and the '06, WM barrels are still swappable along with the various box mags...the 375 H&H is on a newer Savage LA and the 416 Taylor barrel is now on an old Tang model Ruger M77.

Second...ANY action can be destroyed if you get stupid with the pressures...ANY action will flex...some more than others...ANY mauser action is flexible because of the construction...I keep seeing this cautionary statement "something's gonna happen IF..." scattered all over the net...it's like saying a car will kill you IF you get run over...stay off the street... or use your eyes...EVERYTHING in this sport is inherently dangerous, you just have to play it safe every chance you get...and keep your head when all others are loosing theirs. Besides in todays litigous atmosphere NO ONE is giving advice without all the wiggle words...

Third...it is a fairly simple, straight forward barrel/chamber job...DON'T USE A NUT...you get the full size of the barrel that way...before you jump on me, do some pressure calculations...you will see even with the smaller barrel OD and even with a nut there is plenty of strength as long as you stay below 65KPSI.

All that need be done is the following;

Have ANY 'smith or machine shop grind a magnum bolt head face rim out to 0.600" ID(leave a little wiggle room for the case head)...I did my with a lathe(1000rpm), air grinder(20Krpm) and 1/4" carbide safe end burr...it left a nice ring so the case won't slip off the bolthead.

I did all the other mods taking about a weeks time futzing around and also doing other projects...it shouldn't take a real machinist more than about two hours at the most to do all the other mods...INCLUDING installing the barrel.

Using a standard 300WM box mag...cut off the two small bottom bends to allow the spring to set on the bottom of the cutout...cut back the top notch 1/8"and re-contour - needed so the larger case will release right...bend the lips slightly so the case will feed - can be done with a pair of pliers, a small cresent wrench etc, and a small brass hammer. You are only changing the dimensions about 0.030'" per side.

You need to make a new follower if you want 3 down, otherwise the OEM mag follower works great for 2 down....3 rnd follower (ALUM) - 0.850" wide, 0 .300" thick, milled 0.080" deep on the bottom for the spring to seat, an 8-32 hole drilled and tapped for the spring screw, and a 0.110" deep groove slightly offset to the left and 0.590" wide for the case to sit in. YOu also need the box 2.00" deep from the top of the right frame rail plus 'Z' kink the mag box a bit about 3/4" from the bottom so it is 1" wide for the lowest round.

I've done all your work for you.... I have a end view of the mag box profile including the follower, but that will cost you MONEY... hahahahaha..

McGowen is the goto barrel maker...$250 - $500 depending on how fancy you get...and a couple weeks wait...much faster than any other barrel maker I've used. My barrel, using a 1.5" blank to get the full 1.345" receiver OD, is 33", chambered, contoured #7, fitted and crowned will be $350-400, not sure which yet...but close...CM barrel alone is only $155, but they have the reamer so I will let them do the rest otherwise I would to all the work...33" bbl - add $45, contour - add $30, chamber - add $72, thread - add $60, fit - add$45. Interested...goto McGowen Precision Barrels Home

For those that want a full 3.60" mag, you will have to go to the 375H&H mag box and have your action milled to fit, plus a screw hold-on conversion added to the back of the box...if you're smart.

I can't comment on the Stevens...I've never worked with one, but I've done a bunch of Sav's LA and SA since the early '60's...also a bunch of Rem's and Rugers.

The REAL DEAL with ANY conversion or ANY rifle/cartridge is not being a DUMAZZ with the pressure...the rest is straight forward reloading samo-samo...YOU ALWAYS have to option download!!!

Been doing this wildcat "stuff" for a very long time...wish people would keep their faces out of the apple barrel when they don't have any teeth to bite with, but it is human nature to jaw flap and say nothing with a lot of words...even worse on the net.

I emailed one of the 'smiths mentioned in one of the threads for the cost of doing the bolt head and maybe some of the other work...but got no reply...guess he was too busy or didn't care...or???

To anyone wanting to do this conversion...be safe with the reloading...REMEMBER dropping the pressure 10% only looses 5% velocity, usually is 100% more accurate, 1000% more safe and you brass and rifle will last a whole lot longer. not to mention keeping your hide OEM.

This is NOT a DGR rifle, but as long as you don't short stroke or mess up jacking a round it is as safe as any other push fee. It will make a humongous pig/elk/moose/brush/T-Rex whacker with 400-600 gr bullets...hard cast OR jacketed...and you DON'T have to load it to the gills to get the whackadoodledoo.

A 338 Lapua case is built a lot stonger than most other brands of brass which will give you a smaller case volume so if you use one be cognizant of this fact...otherwise just be cognizant of ALL the associated problems inherent in reloading.

Luck on your projects.

Last edited by NFG; 04-24-2009 at 04:44 PM.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 08:45 PM
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

Go to www.savageshooters.com and search "338 Lapua"

Think you will find that southernfriedyankee alreay asked that question was given info recently on why not especially for a small shank. Pretty good advice too.

If you want a Lapua, get an action designed for it. It is not just pressure you need to worry about.

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Unread 04-25-2009, 03:04 AM
NFG NFG is offline
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200

I went there...spent 45 minutes trying to find something specific...all I found was a lot of references to "You can't do it..." something about the bolt lugs...something about the magazine length...some "dire results" warnings...a lot of he said/she said, go here, go there and repeats...and not much else...I didn't find anything concrete and/or specific to a problem area.

I also emailed Sharp Shooters Supply for some specifics and Fred just replied he didn't recommend it. I been at this business for a very long time and need more than that to be convinced.

If you could reference a specific link/thread/post concerning WHERE the danger/problem lies I would appreciate it.

I don't want to get argumentative here, but some of the "stuff" about a "small shank" just doesn't compute...the OD of the receiver is the same on both "large shank" and "small shank" as far as I understand although I haven't actually measured a WSM chambered receiver...if someone has or can point to the reference I would appreciate that information also.

That means there is the SAME amount of steel surrounding the chamber...the barrel and receiver act as a solid...not as two pieces...the pressures are transmitted through the threads.

The 10.57 Lazzaroni was chambered in one iteration of the Savage, and that case is only slightly smaller in OD than a Lapua/Rigby by 0.010"...my 375 H&H magazine will handle 3.60" COAL's and the action will certainly handle the pressure of the Lazzaroni cartridge. The cartridge base only extends 0.110" from the chamber face and is basically enclosed...albeit a small ring of steel and the cartridge brass at that point will handle all the pressure generated by a 338 Lapua WITHOUT being supported by ANY ring of steel.

I'm NOT TRYING TO TALK ANYONE INTO ANYTHING HERE...just pointing out a few facts.

I ran some calculations for the barrel alone at 1.055" OD and 0.590" ID, 0.2325" walls and the burst pressure was 98KPSI...NOT counting the receiver...if the 1.345 receiver OD is calculated the burst pressure is 136KPSI...using a working pressure of 60KPSI...even using 0.990" OD at the bottom of the threads, the calculated burst pressure is 88KPSI.

I can see there is always a safety issue and if I were a paid gunsmith I would pressure test a Lapua cartridge before I did any mods because there is always someone doing something wrong, and lawyers like to eat high on the hog.

There was a problem with the cross pin holding the bolt head on cracking with the large dia firing pin...I've had a couple break, but not since I switched to the small OD firing pin...that was with 7mm RM, 300 WM, 375 H&H and 416 Taylor barrels on one receiver.

If length is an issue the bullet can be seated to a COAL that will work in the mag and not cause a lot of velocity loss.

So where's the specific problem area??? I would REALLY appreciate the information for a number of reasons. I've done a lot of wildcatting and have some strange combinations of receivers and barrels and SAFETY is always first when I do a project...I don't see anything unsafe here and I think I have looked at the project pretty hard from many angles.

The 500 AR I'm doing will run about 3.4" COAL, 500-600 gr bullets at about 2200fs and below 50KPSI...that's about all the recoil I want to handle...I can't see any reason a 338 Lapua with 300 gr bullets at 2600fs wouldn't work just as well...

Of course if you want to seat out to near 4" you need to single load or use a magnum length action.


Enjoy your toys

Last edited by NFG; 04-25-2009 at 03:11 AM.
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Unread 04-25-2009, 04:02 AM
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Re: 338 lapua Build advice sav 110/stevens 200


You asked for opinions. Others opinions don't agree with yours, that is life and the rest of us get on with it. I don't wish to provoke an argument.

I would like to ask you a couple of questions.

Are you a licensed and insured Gunsmith (Type 01 FFL) or Manufacture (Type 07 FFL)?

Do you carry liability insurance policies with either Joseph Chiarello & Co,. Inc or Lloyds of London, as these are the only two Firearms Insurer in North America. Neither companies policies would allow for modifing and chambering a 338 Lapua on a Savage action.

Are you a licensed (PE) mechanical engineer?

Have you ever experienced or observed as catistrophic rifle failure?

This forum is provided to us by Len to share our wealth of knowledge and experience.

You might build a 338 Lapua on a Savage 110 or Stevens 200 action and have many years of wonderful shooting experience.

I can tell you that Savage has not offered this rifle in this chambering. I suspect that is for a reason. You might call Ron Colburn or Joe Degrande at Savage an ask them why Savage does not offer the 338 Lapua in their line-up.

I know Jerry Stiller, John Pierce, Jim Borden all make Custom actions that are clones of the Remington 700. The OD of both the action and bolt are simular in the Savage. None of these makers recomend building 338s on their 1.350 actions with bolts that are .701. All make beefer actions for the .338 Lapua.

NFG if you build or find someone else to build a .338 Lapua on a Savage action and you have a catistrophic failure and someone else is injured or killed there will be law suits. Having posted and been warned of the possibility of catistrophic failure will make the plantiffs case for them.

Why put yourself in that position when it can be avoided by using a properly engineered action from the get go.

This will be my last post regarding this subject. I have made my opinion known. It is supported both by the industry and many very reputable gunsmiths. I am confident you can find others who will agree and/or disagree with my post.

I wish you many years of safe shooting.

Nat Lambeth
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