short barreled 338

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by shortshooter, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. shortshooter

    shortshooter Well-Known Member

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    At this point all I own are heavy, long barreled rifles. I'm tired of packing really heavy rifles and am needing thoughts or information on making an rifle with an 18" barrel. I'm thinking of 338 EDGE as I already am set up for loading this one.

    Is it feasable to use an short barreled 338 that is also much lighter in weight, or is this thing going to recoil like crazy even with an brake.

    I've checked out the 338 Edge pistol threads, but I am looking for an lighter shorter 338 that is kind to backpacking and is in rifle/not pistol form.

    Am I looking for the impossible or are there solutions?

    Maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist.
     
  2. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    I think you would be looking at tremendous muzzle blast, even without a brake. You could still build a light weight rig without the super short barrel. There are many ways to shave off weight from a rifle such as slabbing the action, fluting the bolt body and skeletonizing the bolt handle, very light weight synthetic stock, smaller barrel contour and/or fluting plus aluminum one piece scope base/ring combo like Talley's. The last thing I would do would be to shorten the barrel that far. Not trying to criticize, just throwing out some things you might not have thought of.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010

  3. novaman64

    novaman64 Well-Known Member

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    In a barrel that short you might be better suited looking at a 338 norma mag. I think people were saying these cases do better with shorter barrel than the lapua or EDGE does....
     
  4. Ray Prager

    Ray Prager Well-Known Member

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    Howdy , I know there are alot of folks here ... that have Lots of Shooting / Hunting Experience ....But , Please don't underestimate the shorter barrels , in these Large Calibers . A 338 Norma would be Great .
    I understand these Shorter Barrels are Not the Norm and are Not what is Promoted for getting the Best Performance with these types of cartridges .But....
    A few of us have built Pistols in the larger calibers . Calibers from the Standard Magnums to Edges and Lapua Improved cases . Although we do loose some speed with our shorter barrels , these are still very accurate and useful as Target and Hunting Guns. Many of these are shot past 1500 yds... and soon ... I'm sure , will be shot at a Mile or more ...
    I think if a short barreled Rifle in one of these calibers fits your wants or needs ... Then Build It.
    And Enjoy it ...

    Just my thoughts

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  5. shortshooter

    shortshooter Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to look into the 338 Norma some more and see what the costs are for components.

    It just seems to me that if folks are now using heavy pistols in the 338 cals, why not an handy short/carbine style rifle? An 18"-20" tube would be nice to carry and should provide slightly more or equal velocity as the pistol versions.


    Ruger makes an 338 rcm with an 20" tube but I'm not inclined toward Ruger rifle products.
     
  6. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    If you get the time call Tim North @ broughton rifle barrels . Last I talked to him he said someone was shooting a short barreled .338 and nocking elk down waaay out yonder.

    BigBuck
     
  7. 406pat

    406pat Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to rag but it sounds like you're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole with this one. The .338 EDGE was designed to be a long range round throwing big pills out of long barrels. It kind of negates the purpose out of a shorter barrel and it's almost a waste.

    I think the first question I would have would be what do you want to hunt with it and at what range? Depending on that you may be more suited to building a climbing rifle in something traditional like a .270, .280 or .30-06. There's plenty of wildcat options for those too if you want something that's a little different.

    Now that the practical stuff is out of the way, it would be pretty sweet to feel the blast from that thumper!:D
     
  8. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to jump into this thread also. Here are some thoughts. In my opinion, the guys suggesting the 338 Norma is a great plan. It was developed to be used in a normal long action with short barrels. When talking with a guy on this sight, he said a 23.5" barrel is an optimal length for this caliber and still retaining 2750fps with a 300grn SMK.

    So here are my thoughts. Either Remington or Tikka make a Titanium action. This will be ultra strong and really light compared to a typical chromoly or stainless steel action. Couple that with a stainless recoil lug, Manners ultra light stock and a 23.5" ABS carbon fiber wrapped barrel and you are going to have a light very accurate rifle. I would expect this rifle to come in somewhere around 7.5 to 8lbs scoped. I could be wrong, but those numbers sound about right. Using a muscle break or Kirby's APS break will tame that thing to about a 30-06 or less in recoil. Using that same cartridge you could push a 250 BTHP of some type well into the 3000fps range I would imagine. If you want to go down to 20" I would think that would be a good length as well.

    I currently own a .308 in an 18" and get 2550 using RL17 under a 168 A-max. The powders made today in the right combination can really add horsepower to a short barreled rifle.

    Tank
     
  9. novaman64

    novaman64 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what carbon barrel weights are... but if you did a 22" Lilja #5 contour tha twas flutted, according to there weight calculator you running around 3.15lbs, you can get a stock (Lone Wolf, B&C, McM Edge or High Tech Specialties) weighing around 1.5lbs....
     
  10. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    The 338 Norma review on this site is very interesting, and has my interest for a light weight build for LR
     
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Of all the big boomer 338's I know the 338 norma would be the best with a short barrel. It is the shortest and most efficient design of the big ones which would utilize a faster burning powder getting more burn out of the short barrel therefore retaining top velocity.

    The 338 win mag does well in short barrels. The 338-06 AI and 338 Gibbs also does very well in short barrels. I have a 338 gibbs with a 20" lightweight barrel for mountain backpacking and it will easily take elk size game at 600 yards. So I guess it just depends on the range you want to shoot. The gibbs is all you can get out of an '06 case.
     
  12. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i have a 338 edge that comes in around 8.5 lbs depending on what scope you use. it's a bolt action with a 28" finished barrel. the entire gun, including the brake is less than 36" long. it is one sweet hunting rifle. doesn't kick much with the holland radial brake, but it will tickle your hair a little!
     
  13. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I just thought of another option. Don't know what kind of money you have to spend, but the Desert Tactical is a switch barrel bullpup design. It has a .308 barrel and a .338 Lapua barrel that is 28" long and is a total length of 39 inches. Just a thought.

    Here is the web site.
    Versatile Sniper Systems | Desert Tactical Arms

    Tank

    P.S. It is a 12.25# rifle though.
     
  14. Topshot

    Topshot Well-Known Member

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    Been thinking along the same lines myself.
    I have a Sako L691 in .338 win mag that has a 24.5" barrel.
    I have been looking at reaming it out to .338RUM as I don't want to mess with the bolt face like I would have to with a .338 Norma mag.
    This rifle would weigh about 9.5lb all up and be a handy carry rifle.

    What velocity do you think I could achieve with a 24.5" barrel chambered in .338RUM and loaded with 250gn bullets? and 300gn Bullets?