338 Lapua build - opinions wanted


Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
This is my first post here but I have been floating around the site for some time now and learning a ton. I have decided to have a 338 Lapua built, and I am basically starting from scratch in terms of my knowledge of the process (I've never had a custom built). So, I am looking for a ton of opinions and experiences from the members here: Actions, Stocks, Barrels, Gunsmiths, etc.

I am looking for a tactical/target type set-up, so weight is not a concern. My budget is in the $3K range (w/o optics), and I want very good (but not match) accuracy.

I am in Michigan but am not at all adverse to having a gun built/shipped from elsewhere if the shop is highly recommended.

Let fly with opinions! Thanks for the help.
Minimum for action is Remington 700, but by the time you get after market bolt, or open up the face and install a sako or m16 extractor, have threads recut, blue printed, etc, custom action is not much more expensive. I run a 338 lap AI on 700 with Tubb bolt, and it is fine, but only because I already had the action. Any high end barrel will be fine, but Kreiger seems to be really good at 338s. Don't try to save a hundred bucks for cheap barrel. If you want magazine, longer is always better. More options. I like the seekins, and think it is longest available. Good stock is must for heavy rifle. McMillan is my preference, but Manners is right with them in quality, I think. I personally cannot shoot a big scope mounted high without high cheek rest, so I think adjustable cheek is best route, especially if you change scopes, rings, or adjust your form. Even on heavy rifle, I prefer very light trigger, so I use 8oz Jewell on mine. Most high end triggers are good, and most for 700 work on custom actions. I'd avoid those without safeties, but I consider all my rifles hunting rifles. Just try to flesh it all out with your builder before you start, and do a complete build list. Look at all contingencies, such as threading for suppressor, if that may happen later. And enjoy your rifle. It's always fun to have one built.
If your a reloader 338 Lapua Improved cost no more if your doing a custom build and has alot better performance.

I would start with

Stiller 338 action
Barrel from your choice manufacturer
Jewell Trigger
Mcmillian or Manners Stocks
Bottom Metal BDL type

Could put a pretty nice rifle together for maybe 3000.00

Good Luck
Sincere thanks to both of you for the replies - great information as I get my education on this caliber and the process of having a rifle built. I do reload and will definately research 338 LM improved

To the forum at large: any other ideas or recommended gunsmiths for the build?
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