338 build

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by tyfo, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. tyfo

    tyfo Well-Known Member

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    I know, I know... there has already been a million questions on which 338 someone should build. I have done my research and shot the different ones I could get my paws on, but I still need a little advice and maybe even a gentle push in the right direction. I would like to push a 300gr bullet at 2800+ from a 26" barrel. To accomplish that I have narrowed my choices down to the edge, Norma, rum, and lapua. There are many others but these are the four that seem most readily available and have lots of loading data for me to go off of. My delimas with each are this.
    The edge is perfect in almost all aspects, but it is the longest case in my selection and I don't want to run out of room in my mag if I decide to shoot some of those long copper bullets. No offense to the guys that shoot them, but it seems like everyone has one now a day and it would be nice to have something a little different. The rum has the same length issue as the edge and doesn't have quality brass offerings. It does have easy to acquire brass though and if I ever needed it in a pinch I could buy factory ammo. The lapua is also almost perfect for my application since its a little shorter and will work with my mag no problem. The only issue there is being able to get a hold of lapua brass and I would have to open up my bolt face. The Norma is the most interesting chambering to me and it seems to be the least picky for what its getting fed. Although I worry about it getting to 2800 on a bolt face that has been opened up.
    Here is what I have to work with
    Rem700 LA trued with mag bolt face
    9.3 twist 27" blank
    Seekins lapua dbm

    All that being said. I would love some input or suggestions on those rounds for what I am trying to do. Thank you.
     
  2. jpd676

    jpd676 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a big 338 yet. I think the edge is the way to go for what you want. I would not open up a Remington 700 to make it a Lapua. I know people do it, but that isn't the safest thing to do.
     

  3. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I agree. If you are starting with a non-custom 700 action, go EDGE. My personal experience says that 2800 will be your very upper end with a 26" barrel. Some guys are getting some extra oomph out of RL33... But if you want to ensure 2800, good brass life, and an accuracy node at that velocity you may have to step up a bit...
     
  4. highridge1

    highridge1 Well-Known Member

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    I have comfortably gotten 2775 fps out of the 338 RUM with a 26 inch barrell and 300 gr SMK. That was without trying the RL 33 in it. Over 25 fps I wouldn't go edge.In fact a edge may be running neck to neck with it and really doesn't make sense in a 26 inch barrel.
     
  5. tyfo

    tyfo Well-Known Member

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    step up how? Chambering, action, or barrell length? I can always buy another barrel and I also have a stiller predator with a mag bolt face on another rifle I would be willing to use. if I use that do you think I could open that one up to shoot the lapua or Norma safely or should I just try to find another custom action?
     
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    What are you really looking to use this rifle for?
     
  7. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I would say if 2800 is your bottom-line number, and you have that kind of flexibity in what you chamber, give yourself some cushion. For example:

    I can get 2825fps out of my 338LM with a 28" barrel at Hodgdon's max book load for Retumbo/300SMK (always work up). Through load development, I found it shot best at about 2750. The 75fps is worth less to me than the accuracy, and I am being easier on brass.

    If my shooting requirements dictated that I NEEEDED 2800fps, I would go up to a 338LM improved (or any of the many other wildcat 338s that safely run faster). That way, I don't max at 2800fps, I fail at 2800fps. Basically, I know with pretty high certainty that I will find a load that shoots great at 2800, and that I may find a load that shoots great at an even higher velocity. I don't need to find the magic load that maxes the velocity potential of my rifle and hope that it also is the most accurate.

    This is just my philosophy, YMMV
     
  8. tyfo

    tyfo Well-Known Member

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    what I am really looking to do with this gun is to have a gun that is of decent weight that I can feel confident in shooting an elk at 1000+. I have no problem shooting 1000 accurately and I have rifles that will kill an elk at that distance. I would like the added peace of mind in throwing a 300 gr bullet at those distances. I know I can go with a long heavy barrel and get to where I want, but some of the places I hunt have about an 8 mile up hill hike to get to and I don't want to pack a gun that is of that size. Its not only the weight but a barrel of that length is more cumbersome to get around in some of the thick brush I have to deal with.
    The 2800 fps requirement should have come across as more of a wish. I am the type of person that needs set numbers or I will talk myself out of needing such a big round. If you can't already tell I am indesicive and I need things to be perfect for me to go all in. An uber accurate loading at 2750 is more than enough speed to kill a big animal far away. I just need to do better at accepting that it is good enough. I will give up some speed if the top end accuracy dictates it. thank you for the replies and help.
     
  9. farmer103

    farmer103 Well-Known Member

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    Tyfo, I elk hunt the blue mountains and wouldn't even consider lugging my 338 LM around down there unless I drew a big bull tag. I'm going to look into building a lighter weight long range .30 cal to shoot the berger 230's for next season. Just something to think about.
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Your build requirements just really fit the 338 Norma, sp6x6 on here has a 338 Norma Mag set up in a very, very light platform for whackn high country bulls you could search and find his set up.
     
  11. tyfo

    tyfo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. After a lot of debate I have narrowed it down to the norma. I found a place to get my hands on a custom action with the lapua bolt face for a good price so I'm going to jump on that. I'm still not sure about the barrel. I wish I would have got a little longer blank. I might just have my smith take as little as he can to finish it with my brake. so that might make it about a 26.5" tube. I might also buy another blank and save this barrel for something else.
    On a separate note I can't stand the spike only rules on the east side of the state. That's why I hunt elk in Oregon and Idaho. I've got a good line on a good spot in one of the eastern any bull areas though so I might be heading that way next year...