Big custom guns

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Booney, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Booney

    Booney Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting really serious about getting a 338-408. and I'm looking for Ideas I'm leaning toward a repeater but not for sure I would love input, spects and pics of any custom you have had built. Thanks
     
  2. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    I am having Bruce Baer and Joel Russo build a 338-408 on a new Stiller 408 action.

    Jerry is making them in a 1.450 and 1.60 diameter and in single shot or repeater. I got a 1.60 single shot action.

    IMO a repeater in that case is definitely not needed. You are not in a tactical world where sustained fire is a requirement so why add $500 Plus to the cost of the build when you can reload just as fast for two shots with a single shot.

    Big actions require big stocks, Joel Russo has an A5L (large diameter actions) what can accommodate what you want. Pick any kind of wood or laminate you want.

    I went with a 32" Bartlein barrel that is 1.350 for five inches (gives me one setback and rechamber) and tapered to .950 at the muzzle and fluted. Cost was $611 shipped.

    Brake was the new Holland Radial. Cost is either $100 or $110 and the one on my Lapua AI is absolutely the best brake I have seen, bar none., especially for big bores.

    40 MOA base and Jewell trigger set at 1.5 lbs.

    Stock will be exhibition grade bubinga with modified A5L. removabel sling studs front and rear in metal bushings.

    Bruce is doing the chambering now and Joel is working the stock, hopefully can pick up in early sept at latest.

    I believe Bruce had the first 5-6 Stiller 408 actions shipped and might have one or two left. www.baercustomrifles.com

    Bruce also has a resize reamer to match the chamber reamer and can make a set of dies for you.

    BH
     

  3. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Here is one of mine. I built it as a repeater because I thought I should have at least on in that configuration. My others are single shot.
    This is a .338-.408 Improved, built by Baer. Although I built this one on the Lawton 8000 action, I would not recommend it.
    33", 10 tw Krieger.
    Someday I'll have time to make a stock for it.:)

    The repeater will add approximately $500.00 to the total cost.

    This is the rifle that shot the 3.806" group at 1,680 yards last year at Thunder Valley Range in Ohio.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 338 Kahn built by Kirby Allen (not quite as "big" as what you are thinking about). This was my first "single shot" built on a Nesika action with a Lilja barrel and McMillan stock. I was a little apprehensive about the single shot but after having hunting with it for several years I have yet to find it a handicap. As a general rule, if I miss with the first shot it is because I did something wrong. Misread the wind, or some other factor, so it is necessary to first figure out what went wrong, make the necessary compensation, etc before it is time for the follow up shot. The time required to drop in another round is not a big factor in my opinion.

    In a combat situation where you would be engaging multiple targets a repeater would certainly be called for, but for a hunting rifle I don't think it is that big of a deal.

    On the plus side, I like being able to mess with seating my bullets anywhere I want without having to worry about if they will fit in the magazine.

    Part of my setup for a long range shot is to have my spare ammo laid out next to me..........The actual time it takes me to pick a round and drop it in is pretty minimal if I am trying to do it in a hurry. I have never had a call to get in a big hurry in a hunting situation, but I do practice, just in case :)
     
  5. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Just buy the one Kirby has for sale
     
  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    In these chamberings, I don't feel there is any hindrance to a single shot.
    1)It doesn't take long (like 1 second) to drop a second round in if you need it in a hunting situation.
    2)You don't want to heat up the throat and shorten the barrel life.

    Here is a pic of my 338 Allen Mag.

    Bat Action
    32" Lilja fluted barrel Kirby Allen Muzzle Brake
    McMilan A5 with adjustable cheekpiece
    Nightforce NXS 3.5x15x50 with NP-R1 reticle
    Jewel Trigger

    3 Elk shot at, 3 Elk taken

    Weighs 18lbs with Bipod attached.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    AJ
     
  7. Booney

    Booney Well-Known Member

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    Hey Joel why would you not go with the lawton action again.
     
  8. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    RDM416,

    What velocities are you getting with the Kahn and what length barrel do you have?
     
  9. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Long Time Long Ranger,

    My Kahn has a 30" barrel + a brake. I have had the rifle for about 4 years now, and after trying several bullets, I settled on the 250 SMK. I am loading 108 grains of RL25 and I get 3340 fps. I like the load and have been shooting it for a while now, but RL25 is too temperature sensitive to suit me, so I am planning to work up a new load one of these days. I have kinda been waiting on the 338 Berger, but I am about to give up on that. I don't have my loading book handy and I don't remember what I was getting with the 300 SMKs. I had some trouble with pencil hole pass throughs on deer with the 300s, is why I went back to the 250s. I have heard the 300s have a thicker jacket, but I really don't know. What I do know is that everything I shoot with a 250 drops in it's tracks with a serious hole.....
     
  10. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Although I can't complain about the performance of this rifle, I had a few issues to resolve with the action. I spent a considerable amount of time stoning the bolt to get the majority of milling marks, read groves, out of it. Then a bit of time with the wheel to finish it up. I had an extraction issue to resolve. Fortunately, I have the resources to address such issues. I dare to think what would transpire,, or not transpire if it was addressed with the Lawton shop.

    That being said, here's my suggestions for actions that I have experience with Viersco, BAT, Stiller, Hall.
     
  11. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    For single shots, my recommended receiver is the BAT model M 1.55"x8.5" with the stainless steel 40 moa rail base which I modify the receiver and rail to accept 4, 10-32 tapered head mounting bolts.

    I have to do this with my PK brakes or the rail WILL work loose when shooting. I have also had to use two sets of scope rings, one to control recoil energy, one to control the extreme deceleration caused by the muzzle brake. I am fine dealing with that to have the very low recoil.

    Stocks, my preferred stock is the McMillan A-5 if going for a lighter rifle weight, if weight is not a real issue, I really like the new A-5 SuperMag stocks as well. Joel makes a great stock as well if you like a top end laminate stock.

    Barrels. I have used alot of Lilja barrels. THey shoot amazingly well. They are pretty tight bored so they will limited velocity slightly but accuracy is great. Kreigers are also performing very well and they stand up to this extreme chambering a bit longer then the softer button pulled barrels.

    Muzzle brakes. Simply put, I feel my 5 port PK brake is the best there is but I designed it specifically for this class of chambering. In a 16 lb rifle, recoil is about like a 270 Win in a sporter weight rifle and thats driving a 300 gr SMK to nearly 3400 fps.

    If you want a repeater, THe Lawton is a good choice but as mentioned, it is what it is and there will be some issues with it. Mainly cosmetic. It works, it works well. I just sold my personal 375 AM repeater that used the Lawton and Chey Tac DM system. McMillan Super Mag stock and Lilja 33" barrel. She punched a 4.4" ctc group at 1780 yards driving the 350 gr SMK to 3300 fps.

    [​IMG]

    The 4.4" group is the top triangle. The bottom hit is from earlier in the day in intense mirage and its the only hit I got on steel until the mirage went away, they it was in trouble.

    Weight wise, I like a rifle in the 18-19 lb range for serious long range shooting. That is where my standard Xtreme Heavy Sporters come in at with NF scope and Harris bipod.

    I also make a lightweight version of my Xtreme Heavy Sporter that uses conventional stocks, all steel barrels and the BAT single shot that comes in at 16 lbs with scope and bipod. Here is a pic of this rifle. This is a customers rifle, just got a report from him that he was finally able to get out and test it and shot some sub 1" three shot groups at 400 yards. He was really itching to stretch things out.

    [​IMG]

    This rifle has the standard A-5 stock but has the adjustable CP. IF you went with a 50mm or smaller objective scope and mounted it as low as possible you could get away without the adj. cp and cut even more weight off the rifle.
     
  12. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Good info Kirby.

    That looks like it about sums it all up..... Time to start the build:D
     
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Hey Joel,

    Would you be willing to give us the details on the Stiller 408 CT receiver and your professional opinion. Sounds like a great choice for a lighter weight rifle but I have only gotten the standard sales pitch overview, would like to hear your thoughts on this receiver if you have time.

    Thanks
     
  14. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Kirby,

    I agree with you that the 1.450" would be a fine choice for a lighter weight rifle.

    I had the opportunity to play with one before Jerry made the last few modifications and put them in production. The one I had was the 1.450" single shot.

    I now have two single shot actions. The 1.450" and the 1.600", as the repeaters are not out yet. I gave them a quick look, and stuck them back in the box. Really haven't had time to paw over them.

    I have two personal builds going on at the moment, and the one I'm trying like hell to get done to take to Alaska in a few weeks. When I get these two finished, I'm going to have Baer barrel up another .338-.408 with one of the TAC 408 actions.

    If this action follows suit with his others, I'm sure it will be a good value for the dollar.

    I'll be better suited to give you my personal opinion as soon as I get one operational.