Can't decide. 338 Lapua or 338 Edge

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BMcKell, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. BMcKell

    BMcKell Well-Known Member

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    Hello shooters,

    I have a 30" Broughton that I was going to build an Edge with but the Lapua brass would be really nice to use. Is the velocity difference a big enough factor to go with the edge or would it be better to go with the better brass? Please help me decide.
     
  2. 406pat

    406pat Well-Known Member

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    How about the .338 Norma Mag? If you're going with a standard magnum action, this one can be hard to beat. If you're going with an extended length custom magnum action I'd go with the Lapua.
     

  3. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    My advice would be to base your decision on your needs and the ballistic performance that best matches those needs.
     
  4. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    I was at this same cross road last winter. Do I go 338 edge or 338LM.

    I first set out to have the edge built since there was little to no difference in FPS over the Lapua. The brass was much cheaper and Shawn Carlock has the edge pretty dialed in. Seemed like a no brainer at the time. Then I started reading more about the capabilites of the Lapua brass and what could be done by going with and improved version.

    Long story short. I ended up with a 338LM ackley improved w/40 degree shoulder on a BAT reciever and a 30in 1-10 Lilja. Hoping for 3000fps with a 300gr pill most likely wishful thinking though :)

    IMHO if you are going to use a Rem. 700 reciever go with Shawns 338 edge. If you don't want to mess with any kind of improved version of the 338LM, again, go with the edge. For me, there seemed to be no point in going with a standard 338LM over the edge. If you plan on using a custom reciever anyway and are looking for a little more in terms of FPS then an improved version of the 338LM is the obvious choice and if you are looking for one stop shopping Kirby Allen is your man. You can get your brass preformed right from him and save on barrel life.
     
  5. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    +1. Well said.

    Been there and doing that. Went back and forth for months. Finally went with the 338 LM Imp that Kirby makes--the 338 AX (Allen Xpress) with 30" Rock Creek barrel on a BAT HRPIC (highly recommended by Kirby, BTW, and I finally agreed he was right when I really got to research the various actions available) custom milled for the 4" Wyatt's box and the integral 20 MOA rail and recoil lug. This action is also quite lightweight compared to many others and as my rifle is packed many miles by me in the wilderness, every ounce is an issue. This action costs a bit more, but by the time you factor cost for separate lug and rail, and the fact that these are integral on this action, the cost seems to 'go down' a bit. Kirby is routinely getting 3k fps + with the 300SMK out of this setup. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to essentially zero brass prep and much better brass to begin with. The poor neck thickness consistency on the REM brass continues to amaze me every time I go to turn the necks.

    My understanding is that Carlock will build the 338 LM Imp on a REM 700 action if you pick up an aftermarket one piece CM bolt as availabe from PTG, for instance. The stock bolt being the 'weak link' and main reason many smiths won't build a LM on a Rem 700 action. I plan on making my current Rem 700 300RUM into an 338 EDGE built by Shawn, of course, at some point in the future.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  6. BMcKell

    BMcKell Well-Known Member

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    Hello B23,

    If you don't mind me asking, what is the price of preformed Ackley improved Lapua brass? That sounds like the best way to go.

    Also, what do you all think of the Stiller tac 338 action for building the 338 AI?
     
  7. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    My 338Lapua AI is going to have a 40degree Ackley shoulder which is different from what Kirby Allen has. I won't have the luxury of buying preformed brass I'm going to have to fireform my own. This is obviously IMHO is a huge advantage to going with Kirby's 338AX.
     
  8. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    BMcKell,

    I'm not B23, but have done quite a bit of work, as has he, in figuring this stuff out. You will need to fireform your own Lap Imp brass, unless your smith will do that for you. Not to say that others won't, but I haven't heard of any smiths doing this for customers, except Kirby. This is one reason I went with Kirby, because I can send him Lap brass, and for a reasonable fee, he will get the brass fireformed to fit the 338 AX chamber. One less thing I have to mess around with. Alternatively, fireforming using the COW method, or just filling up your case around 60-70% with a pistol/shotgun powder, sticking a wad of TP or kleenex in the case neck (no TP can protrude to the exterior of the neck), holding the rifle vertically and touching them off, is pretty straightforward--this is the method Boss Hoss mentions here that Speedy Gonzales using and I've found that it's very straightforward and simple.

    Just an fyi--I specifically did not go with the TAC 338 action as Jerry said that it would not accomodate a 4" Wyatt's mag box. I'm not sure if it would accomodate the 3.9" Seekins box--you'd have to ask Jerry. I've got a 338 AX case with a 300 SMK seated for max case capacity right in front of me. Kirby shipped it to me at no cost. It measures 3.875" OAL. The 300g Berger that's supposed to be coming out sometime this century is longer than that at about 1.9" and the 265g WC ULD RBBT AL tip is 1.92". The long secant ogives of the latter two make for a very long round if seated for max case capacity. Not even the 4" Wyatt's box will allow that--close though.

    One of my hangups is to be able to use mag fed rounds that will touch the lands, WHILE maximizing available case capacity and the 4" Wyatt's box is still the longest box for these actions out there, giving you the best chance to achieve that objective. Why cram/seat a bullet way down into the case because you have to accommodate a 3.6" or 3.7" mag box, when one of the points of (my build anyway) is to maximize performance? A 1/10 of an inch or two may not make that much difference overall, but just like in an engine where cubic inches equals torque and HP, case capacity equals fps in the shooting world, which equals extending usable range when it comes to LRH in particular. My view is that every accurate fps counts. I'm about to slip off my soap box, so I'll get down. :rolleyes:
     
  9. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    And this is exactly why mine was built on a single shot BAT reciever. :)
     
  10. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Point well taken... :rolleyes:
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Ballistically they are the same. All being equal of course. The LM is shorter than the Edge yet larger in diameter. Brass is better on the LM than the Edge.

    IMHO, the Edge is where it is at. There is an inherent sweet spot associated with the Edge. There are too many users out there getting the same results (myself included) with the same load within 1-3 grains AND single digit extreme spreads and phenominal accuracy. Anywhere between 90-93 grains of H1000 under the 300 SMK and you're in buisness. There seems to be a caliber specific sweet spot there. It is super easy to tune and is not sensitive to temp changes, seating depth changes and the like. There just isnt much need to work up a load for it. Sure start low and see where the velocity falls and adjust accordingly but you dont have to try different powders and bullets. This saves much barrel life on a caliber that is somewhat short to begin with. Cheaper brass or not, the ES says it all.
     
  12. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    This is great! Like you, I am also debating which to build, 338 LM or the 338 Edge. I am leaning toward the LM, as the brass is better. I understand they are both just as accurate and basically the same, as far as ballistics go. Brass cost is not a factor. I just want a super accurate 338 about the weight of 10-10.5lbs without a scope if it is possible. I have spoken to Kirby and he has provided some really good info on both.
     
  13. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    If you'd like, PM me and we can chat a bit. I've spent quite a bit of time over the past couple of years talking to Kirby and gathering info here for the 338AX LM IMP build. The intent being to build a 30" barreled rifle as light as possible, yet keeping it very accurate. As I figure it, without pusing 300g SMK or Berger at 3000fps +. Jon
     
  14. gahlizard

    gahlizard Well-Known Member

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    i must admit that i am having some of the same struggles. i currently have an edge, running a 30" ABS carbon barrel on a Phoenix action with a seekins DBM.
    accuracy is amazing at distance. But, i am in the same boat with putting a bullet deep into powder capacity and when the bergers or heavy hornadys come out, it would be nice to run a shorter fatter case with a repeater. i believe the AX or improved Lapua is the way to go. i don't know how long it would take to spin on and chamber an AX from kirby and how much he charges to form brass either. does anyone know if the AX is any more finicky than the Edge? thank you for any info
    greg