338 (norma) build question

mindcrime

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My .416 Rigby was 10.6 lbs, non-braked, 4.5-14×50 Vari-X 3, and I practiced prone from a Harris bipod....."If" I would have seen an elk 600 yards or under, it would have been toast. That CZ550 Safari is now a 17.6 lb. .338 Allen Express---built by Kirby Himself. :cool: I STILL have another Rigby though, a Ruger RSM.
 
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highdrum

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I don't have a 338 nm, but a 338 rum, rifle weighs 9# before optics. It's a 28" proof carbon, terminus helios with 4" mag box, in an ag composites thumbhole. The rifle has a 5 port beast brake and makes it very manageable however muzzle blast. Is intense. I shot the rifle with a thunderbeast 338 ultra and recoil increased substantially. Good luck spotting hits. I also put one round through it without any muzzle devices and it was punishing. I'm shooting 300 bergers at 2830fps w/ N570.
 

jrock

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I have a Muscle brake and I can't even feel a blast as a shooter or standing next to it. Thought I should note that since several others have.

It will be interesting to see what the recoil impulse feels like with a suppressor. I didn't choose a dedicated 338 suppressor as I have other hunting guns I want to use it on. I didn't want the extra weight and length on those platforms. The Thunderbeast 338 is the gold standard from what I hear. Its also worth its weight in gold.
 

338Rules

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The Norma magnum is very interesting option, I would look at the CZ 550 / Brno 602 action to house it though. Same thoughts for the 338 Lapua. Natural fit in an action designed for the 416 Rigby.

i’m also curious why no one is mentioning, or suggesting the Nosler 33 in this discussion.
Great factory ammo choices, and less stringent magazine requirements
 

RH300UM

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Thank you guys. This is very informative. Codyadams I think outlined very well why I would like to go with the 338 Norma. I would like to use the 300 grain bullets and still be able to magazine fed the rifle.
Anyone has a 338 Norma with a carbon wrapped barrel? I know it is rather odd but I just like the looks of carbon barrels and never had one. If I decide to go ahead With this build, which is a giant IF, then I would like to check all my dreams. Thank you, and please keep the opinions coming.
4ECE3BCE-79D1-47D7-BDF8-D6DD478087D9.jpeg

338 RBH (338 NM Improved) is second from the top in the picture.
I’ll second that with the heavy bullets it is stout recoil.
Weight of rile as pictured is 9.2 lbs
 

adamjp

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i’m also curious why no one is mentioning, or suggesting the Nosler 33 in this discussion.
Great factory ammo choices, and less stringent magazine requirements
Because the 33 Nosler is little better than the 338 Winchester Mag an roughly equivalent to a 340 Roy. Moving the the much larger capacity of the Norma/Lapua/RUM makes a change to abilities with the long heavy bullets above 270gn.

Like Cody I built my rifle to be a long term carry rifle that could be shot out as far as I am comfortable with my own ability. It is intended to supplant my 338/06 and 338 Win Mag. It can't be 12lb, with a 26in barrel (plus brake) and it needed to work in close as much as 'out there'.

My experience is that deer will stick their heads up in some unexpected places and a dead deer is meat in the freezer no matter if it was shot within range of the car, or after a days hike into the backcountry (I really do like carry outs where I can pull the car up to the hanging carcass).
 

John 264

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Thank you guys. The recoil indeed looks very stout in that video. I usually shoot all my rifles without muzzle breaks or suppressors and these include a 375 H&H, a 300 Weatherby, And a 338 win. They all weigh less than 9 1/2 pound scoped. Now, I also Must admit that I rarely shoot more than a box of ammo in each setting. However, I really like to preserve my hearing and be able to take the odd unexpected shot, so I hope to go in the direction of a suppressor for this rifle. Also if it becomes unbearable the treads for the suppressor can also support a muzzle break later.
I was wondering what you meant the carbon raft barrel doesn’t come close to Magnum contour sporting barrel?
lastly is there any disadvantage having the rifle chambered in an AI chamber considering that I will most likely shoot factory ammo from it.
a#4 contour za 26" barrel witch is a magnum contour weighs 8 oz less than a 24" carbon wrapped barrels I just weighed them last week I have a 300 norma with a #4 stainless and fluted 28" it weighs in at 11 1/2 lbs I shoot 230 Berger's at 3070 ftp and with out a break you might get 2 shots before you quit with the suppressor it's manageable I am going to build a 338 norma but I am going to build it heavy to shoot steel the 300 norma will do anything you want to do if you build it that lite it will break the stock and your shoulder good luck
 

Alex Wheeler

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A 338 Norma Improved is the utimate repeater 338. You cant throat it properly and it fits in a magazine. 26" barrels are pushing 300 Bergers 2800-2900 fps. But it takes a dedicated action and theres only a couple I consider, you wont meet your budget. My advice, especially given you want it light and without a brake, is 338 RUM with 250s. You can push those bullets very fast and they kill well. You can also fit them in a wyatts box and use a 700 action. I wont own a rifle I cant spot my own hits with, I place a lot of value on that, so thats something to think about.
 

Ftothfadd

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Thank you guys, this is really a lot of useful information. Assuming that I’m still considering the 338 normal what action would you use if money was not a concern. On the other hand, I would also like to know what would you consider best bang for the buck action for 338norma. All of you who have these rifles how would you build it if you could do it again?
 

Alex Wheeler

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Bat HR
Borden big foot
Both designed to handle the increase in bolt thrust from the larger case head.
338s pushing 300s really need some weight to them. If the recoil is so bad you cant spot hits and they dont shoot as well as they can theres no point in doing a 338. Your talking about a cartridge capable of killing well past 1k, but your going to reduce its ability by building it so light. Thats my opinion and Id say most of my customers would agree. A 338 pushing 300s really needs to be about 10lbs minimum with a good brake to make use of its potential IMO. If 6.5-7lbs is the weight your after, Id look at a 7mm and I think you would have a more capable rifle.
 
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RH300UM

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Thank you guys, this is really a lot of useful information. Assuming that I’m still considering the 338 normal what action would you use if money was not a concern. On the other hand, I would also like to know what would you consider best bang for the buck action for 338norma. All of you who have these rifles how would you build it if you could do it again?
View attachment 195065
338 RBH (338 NM Improved) is second from the top in the picture.
I’ll second that with the heavy bullets it is stout recoil.
Weight of rile as pictured is 9.2 lbs
If I did it all over again it wouldn’t change for me
RBROS rifle. Travis’s action.
24 inch barrel pushing 300’s @ 2850 from a 9.2 lbs rig
Nope I’d go the same way
 

codyadams

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As for the recoil is concerned, it is pretty impressive to see the bottom metal popping open in the video Cody Adams posted about shooting his gun... makes you wonder.
The initial recoil impulse is very violent, but is tamed down immediately by the brake, and is not felt. However, another thing to consider is the affect this type of heavy recoil has on optics. Solid mounts with #8 screws and pinned bases are required in my opinion, as well as lapping and/or bedding the rings, especially with heavy scopes. To fix the bottom metal issue, I increased the spring length by half again, and it still did it every 2 or 3 rounds. Doubled the spring length, and it stopped it.
 

HARPERC

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Spokane, WA
.....The initial recoil impulse is very violent, but is tamed down immediately by the brake, and is not felt. However, another thing to consider is the affect this type of heavy recoil has on optics. Solid mounts with #8 screws and pinned bases are required in my opinion, as well as lapping and/or bedding the rings, especially with heavy scopes. To fix the bottom metal issue, I increased the spring length by half again, and it still did it every 2 or 3 rounds. Doubled the spring length, and it stopped it.......
We don't address scope mounting enough.

The taming of recoil impulse is energy being re directed, while beneficial to the shooter, it still has an effect on equipment.
 

Aoudad shooter1975

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Blanco, Texas
I did a lightweight 338 Norma...yes you will need a brake. If I were to do mine over I would have went with a lighter weight action and a BDL bottom metal to save a few more ounces, but would never have it without a brake...my rifle is crazy accurate specs:
Iota kremlin
Stiller TAC 338
M5 Hawkins BM
Accurate CIP mag
Jewell trigger
24 sendero CF proof barrel
SAMMI spec Manson reamer
Little bastard brake (gen 2)
Bushnell 4.5x18 LRHS scope

10 lbs 6oz scoped and loaded with 3 rounds. Little under 11 lbs with a sling.

If you want a unbraked option look at a 33 Nosler, I built a 33 Nosler it was extreamly accurate. If I built another--it would have 22 in barrel (would be great with a suppressor), and I would try some of the lighter high BC options now CEB 225 lazerhead, 240 bulldozers ...it would be all you want though--a 340 weatherby I had once was all I wanted...
 

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