Help on Building Custom .338

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by kc0pph, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I am in the planning stages of building a .338 1000m + rifle. I have hit a barrier with my .270 Win Mag and have decided to get a custom rifle built.

    I watched a video from AGI (a while back) where a custom rifle was built from start to finish using a 700 action and a Pac-Nor barrel.

    I have heard only great things about Pac-Nor and saw on their site a barrel is around $300. I also saw that the action can be trued and lapped for about $300 more. I contacted Pac-Nor and they told me that a 700 Long Action wont fit a .338 LM (I may go with edge not sure yet but thats down the road).

    I really love the 700 feel and action and want to have it but not sure how to do it other than buying a 700 in .338 LM for 1600 (or so).

    What i need to work out still is:
    Can a 700 action be modified to fit a .338?
    Is a Pac-Nor barrel what i want?
    Does Pac-Nor do good Lapping and Trueing?
    What is a good stock? There are so many reviews that all say the same thing. Id like a Pistol Grip or thumbhole.

    Now on to bedding.

    In the video the smith did a "V Block Beddng" Where he moved the Recoil Lug 4" on the barrel and made a free floating action and barrel. I have yet to find a smith who can bed in this manner, So when/if i do it will be much more expensive. Is it worth the extra money? Who might be able to do this?

    My goal would be to
    Visit my local Pawn Shop and buy a '06 that is beat up for $100 (Ive seen them). Take off the barrel and trigger and send the action to a company. Have the company return the Action and barrel, then send to a gunsmith to have bedded.

    So far unless there are some expenses im not thinking about it can boil down to a pretty cheap rifle.

    $100 - Action
    $300 - Barrel
    $300 - Trueing and Lapping
    $200 - Stock
    $ ?? - Bedding

    So for around $1000 or so a nice custom rifle.

    As for the trigger im pretty good about adjusting them, as i dissasemble and polish them. Ive done a few and each one comes out feeling Perfect :)

    Also I was wondering about the .338-408. It looks really nice. 300gn VLD at 3500 FPS (if i remember reading it right).
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  2. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

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    I became a member of this site for the sole purpose of educating myself well enough to build a 1000 yd 338. I think building a nice custom 1000 yd 338 for $1000 is wishful thinking. I have figured it using many combinations. One of them was using a 700 action that I already have. I can't get below about $2000 for a budget build and for something I like, $3-4000. I can't even find an action I like for $1000. In fact, I can't find an action I like for any price.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011

  3. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldnt use a Remington 700 action to build a Lapua, nor will alot of smiths. You can get Lapua preformance from a .338 RUM or .338 Edge and the work very well on a reminton 700 action. are you planning on making this rifle a repeater? Because all the big .338's require some modifacations to feed the long bullets.

    to go into the .338-.408 Cheytac your looking at a heavy custom action for a build and I think that you'd be lucky to have one for under $4K. But YES! they are truly impressive.

    I shoot a .338 RUM and yes it can be done around 1K... up here in Canada where everything firearms is twice as much!
     
  4. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    Don't see cost for finishing metal or magazine modification. If your going for a repeater an extended box will make life easier.
     
  5. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    @Angus: I see your point i just read that its the bolt face that needs adjusting. I also read that for about $50 i can get it refaced. From what i hear about the .338 Edge its a poor mans version with the same preformance. I also read that i need a new extractor and a Sako is the way to go. Any comment on this? Im honnestly thinking the edge is the way to go, but would like some more input. And the 338-408 would be amazing to have!

    @Lazylabs: I currently shoot .270 and its painful to place a loaded round out of my box of precision rounds and into the magazene. I spend so much time and patience on making them perfect i would not want a repeater. (maybe for hunting but then i still have my trusty .270 that will always be my hunting rifle).


    Will a .338-378 work as well as the Edge in the action?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    For a budget sensitive build the 338 RUM is the way to go and since your single sledding them have it throated accordingly to get the most out of it.
    You can have a nice laminate stock with a bedding block from Stockys Stocks http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet/the-537/*NEW!*-Bobby-Hart-AccuBlock/Detail and if needed you can skim bed it yourself.

    I'm on my second build of similar design and I'm doing my own truing and chambering, everything, and I'm still in them $1200-$1400. Using a Rem700 or Savage action with Brux barrels, Muscle Brakes, recoil lugs, stocks, bases and rings and metal finish. The actions are in reality costing my around 300 ish, I've never seen a $100 usable action even an old crapped out Mauser will be $125, if you can find them then it would be a great build!!
     
  7. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    Do you know anything about the "V-Block" Bedding vs a "skim" or "pillar" bedding. Sorry if i messed up the names.

    I saw i can get a muzzle break built on to the barrel (it looks like a bunch of holes drilled in it, but not bigger than the actual barrel). Do they really work well, or should i go for one of these Muscle breaks that i see everyone talking about? Monday ill go to the pawn shop and see if that 700 that does not work any more is still there. Its stock is glued back together and barrel is scratched but the action looks good if i can get a smith to give it some tlc.
     
  8. highridge1

    highridge1 Well-Known Member

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    I look at a guns a pawn shops, gunshows, where ever all the time and I don't see $100 remington 700's........ I think you are looking at least $275 and up for a decent remington 700 action and thats if you get a really good buy. If I saw them for $100, I would buy a semi full. You are leaving out things too like the cost to chamber and crown, finish, Brake etc. It's not just $300 for a barrel and your done. Barrel,chamber,brake you are looking at $500-$700
     
  9. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Maybe ill just forget about the .338 and move to another caliber? Is the 950 JDJ a practicle round. Its a wildcat (i think and is on wikipedia) :D gun)

    If any Gunsmith or someone who is really up on this is willing to give me a call i would love to spend some time talking with you.

    Im not trying to get away with only blowing $1000, but i want an affordable mans rifle and would really like it on a 700 action. I am trying to get away with doing this as cheap as possible with still retaining quality. I never got the idea of going out and blowing $5000 for a bare rifle If i can get one to shoot much better for cheaper. Im of the oppinion (now im an uneducated (in custom weapons) so if im wrong i am here to learn as id rather learn and be educated than talk up a big line that is not supported.) that someone can come away with a VERY nice weapon that will shoot as good as the best shooter can shoot it for much cheaper than $5000.

    I recently saw a TRG-42 and it had a pricetag of $3700. I have heard that the Rem 700P will shoot just as good as it. I have also talked with a gentleman at a gun store "Specialty Sports in Colorado Springs" who tells me that the Savage 110BA shoots better than the TRG-42 and has a price tag of only $2000.

    Ohh and one more question. Will a RCBS rockchucker from the 1800's (its really old but not that old) load a .338 EDGE? My .270 i have to put the bullet up in the die before i place the brass in the shell holder.

    Im sorry all if i am being a pain, i really want to learn and would love to have a good rifle that is economical on a 700 action. It does not have to be TOP of the line but it has to be worth the investment for LRH. :)
     
  10. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

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    A good 700 factory action is worth about $300. It will cost about $600 to have it accurized and refinished.
     
  11. pressman

    pressman Well-Known Member

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    one thing i can tell you for sure not all muzzles brakes are the same. and you will need a good one on a 338 if you are going to shoot it a lot. their are several members on here that can recommend the right brake.. Listen to them.. A muzzle brake will stop 25-30 % of recoil as a guess. Their is some truly wonderful gun smiths on the site. Shawn or Kirby are two that comes to mind quickly. but i know their is some more. Good luck on the build... i have one custom built gun and i love it so much i would not take what i have in it... MY next build will be the 338 edge more then likely.
     
  12. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    What contour of barrel are you going with? If it's sendero or that class and smaller I would skip the bedding of a barrel shank and floating the action business. It will take several inches of straight barrel shank and quite a bit of additional cost. If your going single shot then you can get a laminate stock with no magazine cutout(very rigid) glue in a single shot follower and then pillar and glass the action and you will have plenty of rigidity.

    Muzzle brakes, surface area is what makes it all work. If you go with something less than 3/4 of a inch in dia with a 338 bore you are losing most of the surface area the gasses have to work against. If you angle the ports back you get more effective brake and also more noise at the shooter.

    The LM and 338/378 can be done on the rem action but I would skip it(have one). It adds cost and possible risk if you decide to hotrod them. The RUM and EDGE will get you very acceptable performance to well past 1000 and when that gets boring you can go wild on something else.

    Read some of the post made by long time long ranger about the CE bullets and then consider the standard RUM case and you get very good performance.

    If you really want to beat your head against the wall start running the numbers on the 300 WSM and RUM with heavy bullets and the 338 with 250-275gr bullets and consider the that you get less recoil with the 30 cal. How much knockdown are you looking for?
     
  13. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    Well im not sure but i want to go with a heavier barrel but not a straight barrel. It needs a little contour for astetic appeal :D (truthfully weight).

    Do they Sell Good Quality Laminate stocks with a Pistol Grip. Ive seen thumbhole but not sure ive seen Pistol Grip. (I work so much i get on at work and browse the internet, well im a security guard and have lots of time, but a lot of sites are blocked so when i get time ill look at my house.)

    As for a Muzzle Break i saw one that was ported back and was the dia. of the barrel. Do you think this would give enough to make it worth it. Ive shot the LM with a Muzzle break that i was told had 50% recoil reduction and would love that as well.

    As for caliber .338 is just interesting and i was never much for a .30 cal. I want way more gun than my skill is at so i can grow into it over time.
     
  14. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    Stocks

    Target-Bench Styles
    Stocky's New Rifle Stocks - America's Gunstock Specialist!
    MASTER CLASS Stocks and Shooting Accessories, Inc.

    What are you planning for game and what's your max distance?

    I doubt you would find yourself limited by a 30 cal unless your ready to make first round shots past 1200. It's more fun for me to practice shooting a 7 WSM than a 338/378. The muzzle brakes are good but your still lighting over 100 grains of powder under a 300gr bullet. This site really pushes the 338's but thats mostly people trying to hit heavy game well past 1000. I really like shooting my 300 RUM more than the 338's.

    I think most people would agree the baffle style brakes are more effective than the radial style ported brakes .