Which 338???Who to build it?.

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Terry Scott, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Terry Scott

    Terry Scott Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Ok,
    So you have just about every long range caliber there is....less than a 338 magnum of some sort.
    You want an EXTREMELY accurate,well made rifle that is not too heavy to carry,and still enjoyable to spend a day at the range....and doesn't need a lot of work with brass
    Budget ...$4000 or less for rifle,planning on
    Nightforce optics...
    First: who would you have build it.?
    Second, since 1000 yds is the minimum range requirement
    Which chambering?
    338 Allen?
    338 edge?
    338 lapua?
    Any other 338?
    Thanks for your input:)
     
  2. Nimrod1203

    Nimrod1203 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Well, i don't have a 338, but if I were to put one together, I'd have Kevin over at MCR, or defensive edge throw together a 338 edge, 28 inch medium palma with muzzlebrake and try to keep the weight under 14 lbs. Remmy action is fine, but you could do a custom with that budget. Flush cups on the left side with a two shouldered sling to help with carrying. As far as the brass, it'd be easy enough to form the brass, and it'd be cheaper than any of the alternatives and easier to make your own out of the wildcat options. Ballistically you'd lose nothing to the lapua and would have plenty of gas. To me, the Edge is the best ballanced round for the money out of the 338s. Now if you want the biggest one, do the AX....but be prepaired to pay for that one too. Best of luck.
    Nimrod
     

  3. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,042
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    There is a Defensive Edge-338 RUM for sale in classifieds here,shoots bug holes, light low round count,price is great w/300 brass.More $$ same place a APS 338 ax,BUILD NOT QUITE FINISHED YET, for sale,full blown custom. First is custom on trued action I think.NO WAIT
     
  4. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,042
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    The 338 AX IS A IMPROVED Lapua, AP'S big dog is the 338 AM,based off the 408 chey tac.3500 vel. with 265-275 bullets.
     
  5. webs

    webs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    291
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Do you reload? Are you fine with a wildcat or would you prefer a more common chambering that might allow for you to buy ammunition somewhere?
     
  6. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    if you dont want to do much brass prep you are left with the .338 RUM, .338 Lapua, Norma, .338-.378 Wby, the Lazzeroni's(crazy pricey though). The .338 Edge is easy, just need custom dies.
    When you step up to the improved cases most of the time you only need fire forming, which isnt a real big deal. My preffrence if I were to go improved would be the .338 AX. It is the biggest configuration of the .338 Lapua case, which means fireform once and your brass can be good for 20+ fireings if your good to it.
    The .338 Allen Mag is the top dog. It (apperantly) makes 1k shooting easy, but comes at a cost. That cost being wieght, $$$ and barrel life. but so sweet. it'll get you to 2000 yards if its well set up. That being said I believe that Kirby (owns APS and the creator of the Allen Mags) has headstamped, ready to go brass. just load em up.

    All that out of the way, if I had your budget I would go for a .338 AX. I would talk to my smith about components that he likes.
     
  7. Terry Scott

    Terry Scott Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Is it the 338rUm in the classifieds?
     
  8. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,375
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    The 338 Norma is my favorite. The case works very well in standard length actions. The performance is on par with the Lapua, with much better barrel life, and great brass. The efficient cartridge works great with 26-28" barrels. All things considered, this is a superb round for a mid weight (10-14 lb.) hunting rig.

    As for the smith, I wholeheartedly recommend me :D. Top notch work, great customer service, and short lead times. Talk to "RoyinIdaho, or Tikkalover" for references.
     
  9. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    The 338 Norma is hard to beat in a hunting weight long range rifle.

    If you are looking at a custom and custom dollars then do a chambering worth the custom price tag. The RUM's are great cartridges. What makes them great is good performance on a laymens budget using a standard magnum action. That is why I spent so much time developing a top 338-300 RUM design in 1998 and 99. They get you into the low end big 338's the cheapest. If you are looking to spend custom dollars I would go for more performance. After the introduction of the 338 RUM in 2001 that did the same thing performance wise as the 338-300 RUM with over the counter cheap components and a better fit on the standard magnum action it became the better choice in my opinion. If you do a wildcat choose a parent case that is already a 338 to avoid the problems associated with necking cases.

    The Lapua case is a good one to improve. Great brass in good supply and no necking up or down. Look at one of the designs that pushes the shoulder forward and not the standard AI improved. Back in the 90's when I spent so much time testing various designs and comparing notes with smiths and 1000 yard competitors around the country the best we came up with was around a 37.5 degree neck with minimum body taper and the shoulder bumped forward a little. It does very well in barrels 26" and longer and gives you more performance than the 338 Norma. Either give adequate performance for extreme accuracy well beyond 1000 yards. The beauty of the Norma is the performance is near the lapua in a shortenned version that allows you to seat long vld bullets out further and still work easily through the action.

    Talk to Kirby Allen about his progress with the Excalibur improved. That would be the top end performance in a hunting weight rifle. I like working with the big excalibur case because it is beltless with slightly more powder capacity than the improved 416 Rigby or the 338-378 Wby. With the Jamison situation I am not sure what the brass situation is going to be in the future with this cartridge but A-square will always have brass although very expensive.

    Talk to John Lazzeroni about his big 338. It is also a beltless design that will perform with the improved lapua and John provides over the counter components for all his cartridges. John is a wealth of information and a good scource to talk to. I spent quite a bit of time with him at the SHOT show and will be bringing out more info about John and his product line in the future. He is similar to a modern day Roy Weatherby with a top high performance line of cartridges that improves on the Weatherby's by being all beltless and more modern designs. John offers some beautiful lightweight hunting rifles that are at the top end of performance in any caliber. I was very impressed with his rifles at the SHOT show.

    Personally I shoot the standard 338-378 Weatherby since I have been wildcatting it well before it became a standard cartridge. I have so much experience with it through all the years. I can get cartridges for it in a pinch if needed and it is at the top of performance in 338. It is an extremely accurate cartridge out of my 28" barrels. I get mid 3000's fps with the 300 grainers and 3510 fps out of the new 225 grain Cutting Edge bullets at .64 bc. It weighs 10.75 pounds scoped out and is a pleasure to hunt with at that velocity with a .64 BC.

    You just have to custom a rifle to fit your particular needs the best.
     
  10. Terry Scott

    Terry Scott Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Very Sound Advice, I am interested in the AX, Just not interested in waiting years to get one. Thank you very much for the time you put into my question.
     
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Then give John Lazzeroni a call and I bet he can have you a big 338 quickly. He has some beautiful light rifles. Grit says he can get you a 338 Norma quickly. Ask SP 6x6 how he likes his 338 Norma. It is a good choice for a lightweight long range performer.
     
  12. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,375
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    I've got an Xcalibur reamer on the way too :D.
     
  13. Terry Scott

    Terry Scott Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Tell me more:)
     
  14. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,375
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    I believe the 338's are extreme range calibers. They really offer little advantage over 7's and 30's until we approach the mile mark. At this point, the 300's seem to hit cruise control, and seemingly carry forever.

    Aside from the the already mentioned reasons, the Norma is a favorite because it is capable of superb extreme range accuracy. Several factors contribute. The first is efficient, consistent powder burn. Single digit Extreme Spreads are achievable and common. A look at case capacity vs velocity quickly illustrates some cartridges simply don't burn powder effectively. When you have a 15% increase in powder and a 4% increase in velocity you have to ask, where is all the extra powder going? Most likely, down the bore, unburned, eroding the throat, and wreaking havoc with your velocity. The Norma cartridge is also ready to go, no forming required, and the brass is excellent.

    The overbore cartridges are much more difficult to achieve tight velocity spreads. Fire forming, necking down etc introduces more challenges to pinpoint accuracy and tight velocity spreads. The Norma delivers pinpoint extreme range precision with ease.

    The bigger cartridges are fun. They have more wow factor, more cool, and more velocity. Do they sacrifice pinpoint extreme range precision for a little more velocity? Some of them do. What good is an extreme range round if it scatters bullets everywhere but on target?

    This is my thinking. I've shot many of the 338's. I've done load work for a few. I freely admit my experience with the 338's is somewhat limited and these opinions are carried over from much experience with smaller calibers. Of course, as a gunsmith, my job is to build what interests you, what gets you excited. I build 'em all, enjoy 'em all!