Re: 338 long range questions?
Bubbagodkin, My appologies for letting someone sidetrack me on your post and get off topic. Your question is a very good one. What I was getting at originally is that some guys start off with a 700 remington 338 ultramag which will get you virtually the same performance as the 338-300 ultramag or if they want more velocity and want to go straight to the top end get a 338-378 weatherby Accumark. There is a good chance with just a little tweeking either of these rifles will give you the long range capability you are looking for saving you quite a bit of money. If they do not then you have the perfect platform for a rebarrel to the rifle you want. With the remington you could have a smith make an excellent long range rifle with either the 338 ultramag or the 338-300 ultramag. With the Weatherby you have one of the best actions in the business to go well beyond the ultramags and ready for the 338 Lapua IMP, 338-378 wby, 338-416 Rigby IMP, etc.
If you wanted to go straight custom right off I would go with a custom action and all the rest. You will be well satisfied. If you do that I would go for all the velocity I could get. The 338-300 ultramag or edge is a great round for a rebarrel job on a standard magnum action. If you go custom I would definitely step up to one of the chamberings off the 378 or 416 rigby case and get top velocity. Why spend that kind of money and not have the top dawg out there. All are extremely accurate so that is not a factor. But you are looking at up to 200 fps difference and when you start shooting at extreme range every fps matters to help eliminate the most critical of variables which is wind drift. The fastest time of flight to target is critical to eliminate as much of that variable as possible. The 338 lapua imp is a good choice which is a shortenned 416 rigby case and feeds better through the magazine with the long high BC bullets. The full length Rigby imp is probably about the top velocity before the chey- tac wildcats. The 338-378 wby is right there with it in a standard cartridge so in a tight when the airlines lose your bullets on a remote hunt you can buy bullets. That has happenned to me and was a savior.
Good luck with your choice.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future