I was weighing the same decision about a year ago (338 RUM vs 338 EDGE). When I really sat down and looked at the arguments some make against the Edge, only one really made sense... factory ammunition available. For me, this didn't matter, and I would never use factory ammo in this role anyhow. I'm having a 338 built for long range shooting, which requires precise and consistent ammo, knowledge of exact velocity, etc. I am never going to walk into Jimbo's Corner Market near my hunting grounds and need ammo. Load your own, load it well, and go prepared... my 2 cents.
Some other arguments against Edge:
- In order to fit mag length with 300 SMKs, you lose the extra capacity advantage, so you might as well go 338 RUM anyway.
--- Get a Seekins DBM, or Wyatt's extended box mag, problem solved. Seekins offers 3.94" COAL, Wyatt's offers 3.82" COAL. Some minor gunsmithing of the action required (cost me $75 to have installed from my smith, big deal).
- There's extra work required to form the brass.
--- BS. Every bag of Remington brass I get has dinged necks and needs to be run through a sizing die anyway before loading. It takes no extra effort to put in the tapered expander ball and size the necks up to 338 during this step. THERE IS NO FIREFORMING. Run it through the die with expander ball one time, and then it's done for the life of that case.
- The RUM will do everything the EDGE will do.
--- Sure it will... 100 FPS slower. Slower is slower is slower, Period. 100 FPS more (general consensus) is an advantage. However small I'll take it. To argue that is kind of silly to me. Following that line of logic, you could talk yourself right into a 338 Federal.
I don't contend my Edge will be able to do everything a Lapua Improved will do. It won't. It's slower. At some point that comes into play. Edge, FOR ME, was the best compromise of cost / barrel life / velocity / energy / etc.
It also does seem to me that 338 RUM is slowly being scaled back by Remington. If you look at their product line, not much available in it anymore. Whether brass availability could be an issue in the future... who knows. But it doesn't hurt to be on the right side of that issue if it ever does come up.
I would recommend 338 RUM for anyone who wanted to buy a factory rifle and not reload. For anyone else, the Edge has the edge ;-) . ***EDIT*** In that case though, I would probably recommend a R700 MLR in 338 Lapua... so I guess I would never recommend the 338 RUM.