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Help on Building Custom .338

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:18 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 326
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

Well Id like to eventually hit large game out pretty far but i need to build up the skill first. In colorado ive seen a lot of nice areas where "in the off season" i have watched elk at well over 1,000M and it would just tickle me to death if i could hit one that far.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:21 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fredericksburg VA
Posts: 4,109
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

Originally Posted by kc0pph View Post
I understand the total cost of the barrel, what im a little concerned about right now is the action. I need to talk to a smith and see how rough of an action he can transform into a darn good action. From my understanding of the Trueing and lapping process it makes even a horrible abused bolt into a pristine perfectly fitting bolt.

Wrong!!! Only replacing the bolt will do that close but still not all way. Cost $200 Dave Kiff PTG bolt fitted. You will find you will spend way more money "trying' to make 700 as smooth as a custom and never achieve it. Plus you have to change to a sako/M16 extractor (another $150). bottom line is you will never have a "darn good action" for all the money. It will be OK at best.

Go to Dave Tooley at tooleyrifles@carolina.rr.com (704) 864-7525 and look at his 700 clone Orion action for $900 with recoil lug. Comes with fitted bolt, fluted, sako or m16 extractor, melonite coated, exended bolt handle threaded with replacable knob. You can search here for several of builds on his action. You will be money ahead versus tweaking a 700 and have 3x the gun when done. Same with stiller predator, pierce and several other 700 clone actions at are very good, but do not equal the Orion for the money.

As for caliber choice, you will be much better served with the 338 Edge or the 338 Norma. I would go with the Edge, it will give you standard Lapua ballistics basically and off the shelf dies, good loads already out there. Same with the 338 Norma.

Tooley action $900 or similar custom such as Predator

Chambering will cost ~$200

Bedding ~$150-200

Stock $200-800 My bet for the money is the Stockeys LR Bobby Hart model at $297.50 and it has the V block so you can eliminated the bedding costs. Plus it comes with recoil pad and sling swivels ready to go. Got one and love it. For the money cannot be beat.


Trigger (used 700 is $60 and another $75 for tweaking, Rifle Basix is $125, Jewell is $240)

Bottom metal is (used $50 with another $25 for extended Wyatts mag box)

Barrel from any good mftr is ~$350

Muzzle brake is another ~$150-250 installed depending. I like the Holland Radial

That puts you at $1825 for custom action, stockys stock in edge or 338 Norma.

Cheap 700 used will cost ~$300-400

Anything selling cheap will need rebluing or coating another $75-200 depending on what.

truing rcvr, bolt, lugs is $150-400 depending on who and what is done

changing extractor is $200

so you are into a used 700 for around $600-900 anyway and have way less action!!


Last edited by BountyHunter; 08-14-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:34 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 326
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

I never even thought of a 700 clone. I will have to look into that after i get off of work tonight.

You mentioned that the Stockeys LR Bobby Hart model comes with the v-block so then i would just have to get the barrel mfg to thread the the barrel and leave the 4" to mount the v-block? And i guess i will need the cap to hold on the Recoil Lug.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fredericksburg VA
Posts: 4,109
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

When you thread the barrel onto the action, that holds the recoil lug on.

The Holland Radial brake is a baffel brake by the way. that is just its name.

I would order a barrel blank or send my action to the barrel make IF they offer to chamber and thread. Not all do.

As this is your first build I would pick a good smith, work out the details with him and have him build it in total.

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Old 08-14-2011, 11:55 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 326
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

I watched a video from AGI about them building a custom rifle. What the smith said was V Block bedding required to have the barrel threaded to go into the action, then have about 4" of straight barrel and then threads past that. The Recoil lug goes on and then a custom made nut holds the recoil lug about 4" infront of the action. There is then a block that gets bedded into the stock, and from there the action is screwed onto the block.

***==== |--------------

If the *** is the action the === is the flat part on the barrel (and the bedded block) and the ------ is the taper. The | is the block. (and the screw on the lower part) This means the Recoil lug contacts the V-Block and not the stock. (ignore the ....)

I was thinking about using Pac-Nor and have them chamber and thread the barrel.

Last edited by kc0pph; 08-14-2011 at 11:56 AM. Reason: added the ..... so the lovely diagram looks right
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:42 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 143
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

I started with a Rem 700 action. I decided to build a 338RUM. My smith installed a 4" Wyatt extended box, after market recoil lug, and a 30" rock creek barrel. I used a holland quick discharge brake. I had him throat it for the berger 300 hybrids. It shoots better than I can. So far it has held at or under 1/2 moa to 700 yards. It is capable of 1,000 yards plus, the only thing holding me back is the amount of adjustment on my scope, I run out around 1375-1400 yards with my vx3 6.5-20 target. I think it will do everything you are looking to do.
Good luck
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:56 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,398
Re: Help on Building Custom .338

I think your getting yourself confused, the use of a bedding block on the barrel is something that they have done in bench rest shooting which requires a stock that you can inlet the huge block into. The bedding block in the Bobby Hart stocks at Stockys stocks is a CNC cut block that is fitted into a normal stock that the action sets in, some will then skim bed these to give it that final perfect fit, these are what you want for this application.
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