Savage bolt head question

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by goose, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    I have posted this question on a savage specific site but didn't get details I want.

    I would like to build a 338 norma on a savage 116 that I have. With the larger diameter bolt face required, can my magnum bolt face be opened up easily. Savage now chambers 338 Lapua, does that use the same size bolt face? If so, I might be able to order a factory bolt head and use that. Any thoughts?
     
  2. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    Opening a bolthead won't be difficult. Finding a gunsmith that knows what he is doing and be comfortable making the modification might be difficult.

    There aren't enough people with the 338 Lapua yet, and fewer yet that bought one for swapping barrels. I haven't heard yet if they will be interchangeable with regular 110 bolts.

    Why go to all that trouble? Why not a 338 Edge or 338-375Ruger? Those are just simple barrel swaps.
     

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    It shouldn't be a problem to open up the bolt face a little, I would need to open my WSM bolt face up .037 to load the Norma or Lapua. I really like the idea of the 338 Norma, from what I can find it should have .185 shorter OAL than a 338 Edge.
    It may make it easier to make a repeater with than the Edge or allow a longer bullet to be seated better.

    The only reservations I have about that size of case is safety, some say yes some say nay on going over RUM size cases in the standard Savage or Rem 700 action. If only we could get the action Savage is using for the 110BA.

    Keep us posted on your build, I'm looking at options for building a 338 chambering also.
     
  4. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    I like the norma for the same reasons. Others suggested the Edge or 338-375 ruger, there are several over on the savageshooters that have built 338 edge, some even repeaters. One who built a repeater said it was not worth all the work. I've also seen a 338-378 savage.

    When it comes down to it, I like the Norma cartridge enough to start with a different platform. Since I have a savage now, that would be the most reasonably priced. Otherwise I might look for a remington or weatherby donor rifle. I'm looking for more of a hunting weight repeater. A weatherby mark V in 30-378 or 338-378 would be a pretty easy barrel swap, or you could possibly shorten and rechamber the 338-378 to Norma. Then again a RUM chambered Remington would be a natural choice. Both of the above could be shot until enough funds or barrel wear is achieved to swap our for the norma.
     
  5. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that was me. I've built two on Savage actions. One single shot, the other was heavily modified to be a repeater.

    I suspect you might come to the same conclusion once you do everything to get the Norma to work.
     
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Geargrinder, what do you think would cause the most problem in getting the Norma to cycle through a mag? I was wondering if tweeking a CDI DBM might be a good way to go, the Norma being shorter should help but it is a fatty!
     
  7. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    Getting the Savage magazine to work will be really tough since the older ones are stagger feed and not meant to work with the fatter cartriges. The feed lips will need to have a major overhaul. I really had a tough time getting an Edge sized case to work. I got it to work ok using it as a centerfeed with a single shot follower to keep it centered.

    The newer centerfeed mags might work. I would worry that once the feed lips open enough to allow the bolt to engage the rim they won't be enough angle left to keep the cartridge from popping out.

    As for the CDI. You might want to talk to Jeff, but it uses an AI-AW 300win magazine. I don't think it will feed the bigger brass either.
     
  8. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks geargrinder, I have a rifle that was tweeked to feed a 45-70 and it got a little of and man that is frustrating, it'll spit 2 rounds out on your toes in the heat of battle.

    I was thinking about getting a new center feed long action to try this build with, advoiding the machine work to the bottom of the action and maybe being able to tweek the CF lips. I need to get my hands on a 338 LM case and just go down to the store and play with it. :cool:
     
  9. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    I've got two centerfeed rifles, would build with one of them. Anyone know of a good way to make up a couple of dummy rounds of 338 norma without buying whole lots of brass or bullets? I think some places sell brass by the piece, but I have no bullets, would be looking for 300 SMKs.