.338 Norma Magnum Custom Action VS. Remington 700 ???


Dec 10, 2008
Casper, Wyoming
I am looking into building a .338 Norma Magnum, so I have been looking at actions. So I have looked at Lawton, Bat Machine, Stiller and others. They all offer similar specs and options. The tighter tolerances the faster locking time, beefier components, better extractors. All the good stuff, but the time it takes to get one and the price are way out there. Your looking at $900.00 to $1200.00 and a wait time of at least 9 to 16 weeks if your lucky. I don’t know about every one else but when I decide to build something 9 to 16 weeks seems like forever! I might talk my self out of building it buy then.
When it comes to building a good long-range hunter on a budget, how much can be said for using a Remington 700 action. You can always go buy a new rifle and strip it down for $400.00 to $500.00 bucks depending on the finish plus you now have a pretty decant trigger with it. I have shot many of custom guns built of this action with great success. I would go so far to say that most of the custom rifles that the every day working man has built is with this action. The group is divided on weather you can build a .338 Norma Magnum on a Remington 700 action and make it a accurate shooter.
I would really like to know what every ones opinion is on this! I don’t need the heavy action to support a long barrel because I am going with a 26 inch barrel with a Holland Radius break. How much accuracy is gained and lost in the action Custom or Standard Remington?
Thanks, Brian
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I think that a 700 all thats been worked over by a good smith can shoot jsut as accurate. Tactical Ops makes some of the most desired and accurate rifles, and they are all produced using a Remington 700 receiver...
I would use a Savage action. Less expensive, you can change barrels and head space yourself, time and true can be performed relatively quickly, lots of trigger options, etc. Did I mention you can change the barrels yourself?
The base diameter of the cartridge is bigger than what most people feel is a good idea to build on a standard 700. I think there is a pretty good article on lilja's web site about lug shear strength and bolt thrust. I had a 338 titan built on a 700 action and it works but I wouldn't do it now after all the reading I've done. When you increase base diameter on a cartridge you increase bolt thrust. Get ahold of a good gunsmith or Dan lilja and ask them their thoughts on it as they will have a better concept of it than I do.
The guy, Ward Brien that did the 338NM review shot something like 8000 rnds out of a m700. I had 2 smiths advise me to go custom for that cartridge, or might modify a Mark V. Im glad I WENT custom, still have a nice Mark V RIFLE. 2WEEKS after I started my build, saw basic same for sale in this sites classifieds, less money no wait. There are alot of nice rifles that come up for sale their, kind of luck for your choice of specs.I was advised against Mark v and went Defiance, fluted one piece bolt.
my opinion of factory vs custom actions goes only one way now. spend the extra cash now and get a custom. after building a couple guns off factory actions i really don't think it is worth the time and money to blueprint and true a factory action... so if you buy a donor gun for $400-$550, then lets say you another $250 into getting it squared up; you're into it for $650-800. after all that you still have factory tolerences which are nothing compared to a precision quality custom. you can get into a Stiller predator for around $800.

If you ever happen to make the choice to sell this gun or action that you've built up, then you are stuck with a (ie. REM 700) factory action that is worth $400-500. Now that custom action that you have is still worth close to what you paid for it, unless you have absolutely trashed it
What action you choose can depend on many things but if money wasn't a problem i would go custom action as there is more flex in a Rem action because they are softer than a good custom action as well as a custom action being made well giving very good chance of grouping extremely well. Nesika M hunter is a good option but there are many others. Custom actions also have a beter after market value than a Rem that you spent to much on making good to shoot.
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The cartridge was designed to be built off a 700 action. When a badger extractor is used there is as much or more material left around the bolt face as compared to the factory RUM bolt face with Rem extractor. As for lug shear many custom actions used for the 338 NM have the same lug design as the rem. Run it where it is designed to run and you will have no problem, same as with any cartridge that can be used in the Rem action.
Mine is built on a rem action that I had around and got a tight fit PTG bot for it that was set up with the correct bolt face and extractor.
It is one of the most accurate rifles I have ever owned and easy to load for. It is hard to make the rifle shootl over 1/2 MOA even during load development. It shoots in the .2's and 3's on a reguar basis with two powders.

I am having a 2nd one built on a Pierce action and would go custom if I have the choice, But would not hesitate to build on the Rem.
Good to here your Rem 338 norma is working well, the Rem action can work well.
But on the subject of custom or Rem action, target shooters for many years sleeved the Rem action to stiffen them up to work like a good custom action as well as giving beter bedding area.
As far as lug shear goes yes alot of custom actions are designed around the Rem but most of the time have a larger lug area for greater shear strength.
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