delemma...what 338 chambered rifle to start with?

Dr. John

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2002
I WAS looking to pick up a Sendero 338 ultra mag and eventually build on it. I have been reading alot lately (maybe I should stop reading)and became interested in the Armalite AR30 in 338 lapua and the Weatherby Accumark "sub-minute" in 338-378. the sendero seems like a good point to start with and eventually add a mcmillan stock, brake, and as it wears out, a new longer/heavier barrel. but the armalite is already pretty much built up. and the 338-378 weatherby is the king of the hill, someday put on a heavier barrel. what to do? I will be shooting the heavy sierra match king 300grain bullet. long range 600-1000+ target and some hunting (deer,moose)once I am proficient. what would you do?
That was my delema, I went with the Sendero. Beautiful rifle by the way, 338-378 Wby may be king of the 338's but the Sendero I have will hang with the best of them. Plus I can by factory ammo if I have to. I like the idea that I have alternatives to ammo selection. I love my Sendero in the 338 RUM!!
Either one.
700 has unlimited options, so what your ultimate goal is with it should be a good guide.

If you really like the AR30 and it's what you want just the way it is, it would certainly be a good choice. It's very well built, has a 5rd drop magazine, floating bolthead, very accurate, my Dads clean super easy, comfortable to shoot, adjustable trigger, large recoil lug and other nice things. It's definitely worth the money if it's near what you want the way it is.

Downfall is, possibly, the magazine will not fit anything with a shoulder longer than 338 Ultra Mag, a 300 Ultra won't fit in it, neither will the longer Weatherby cases. Single shot would have to do, just so you know now.
Then again, the 700 won't fit the big Weatherby cases unless bullets are seated way deeper than optimal.

What I would consider if it were me:

1) What stock do I like better?

2) What does a 5rd drop magazing mean to me?

3) Ultimate goal with the rifle?

4) How much do I want a stainless steel rifle, or chro-mo steel?

5) Brass cost, and ready to reload for it?

6) Do I like Remington brass, it is cheaper?

7) One has a muzzle break, the other is an extra cost?

8) One leaves me money for scope base, rings, bullets, brass and powder, immediate rerbarrel and or rechamber to what I want before I lay out cash for dies and brass?

10) Do I plan on rebarreling and chambering in a custom right away?

11) Anything Else?

Good luck, should be an easy decision.
Don't stop reading because you can never know to much!!I have both rifles and I think you have to look at what you really want to do with it.The Remington Sendero is an excellent rifle and will do pretty much what you want but it will never have what the Weatherby has.There are alot of after market parts for the Remington and just as many gunsmiths to install them.If your really looking for Weatherby power go with the Accumark and it will everything you expected and more!!Brass is cheaper for the Ultra, but I think it is a small price to pay for what the 338-378 has to offer.I know some people chamber their Remingtons for the big cartridges but it is not a safe chambering in that action.The Remington action was never made to handle those rounds!!!I don't care what people tell you,you're asking for trouble and trouble will find you!!!So if the Remington fits your needs for now,get it.You could always have it rechambered to a 338/300 ULTRA or Tomahawk or whatever they call it and get more power if you think you need it.If you want to start at the top,go with the Accumark and don't look down because nothing under it comes close.Well thats all have to say,it's really about what you want.Good luck with your decision.Which ever one you choose,it won't be a bad choise.

[ 01-05-2004: Message edited by: 338thunder ]
The Remington action was never made to handle those rounds!!!
Why, did you know Remington chambered one in a 338 Lapua sniper rifle at one time?

You know Sierra uses the Savage in 338 Lapua?

One more, can you point me to one that has every failed?

Lug strength is rated at 36,000 lbs force, the BIG Weatherby or Lapua case at 70k psi produces... 15,000
The safety margin is STILL over double.

I never have liked Weatherby's, wouldn't own one. Love his cartridges tho. I've got a 416 WBY, but it's a Ruger Magnum.

My brothers 338/378 WBY - Rem 700 32" Pac-Nor Holland brake, Tubb lug, CUS stock


The load: 300gr SMK 118gr H870 at 4.1" OAL

[ 01-06-2004: Message edited by: Brent ]
Reading over at sniper's hide I just read this here, the SR-8 I was refering to...

George posted:
Who said a Remington was not strong enough?? We do them all the time, The Lapua is not any higher pressure than the 300 Ultra Mag and they do those at the factory, In fact early in the 338 Lapua game, Boots Obermeyer and Fred Martin at Remington built prototype rifles "SR-8" in 338 Lapua on the 700 actions in an HS Stock with a Remington built detactable mag.

Remington Long actions in the New Long AICS Chasis with the 338 Lapua AWSM Mags make a great rifle in 338 Lapua, there are a few on the site with rifles like these.

On the Savage, It is strong enough but the Savage bolthead and its extractor make it a terrible canadate for conversion.

George Gardner, G.A. Precision

Here's the link...;f=4;t=002267

[ 01-06-2004: Message edited by: Brent ]
George pretty much summed it up, but I'll add a little more.
I have a Remmy in Lapua, Marty at Badger has a Rem. Lapua.
George had one that went through 2 barrels. Thats over 4000 rounds of 338 Lapua in an action that can't handle it.
Remington scratched the idea because of tooling costs FWIW.
Like he mentioned and Brent also, there are a bunch of other cartridges that operate at same or higher pressures than the Lapua.
So would you please be kind enough to tell me why you think a Remmy can't handle the Lapua?
I'm interested in finding me a rifle in 338LM I own a 300 win mag and a 50bmg. i think this would be an exellant addition to my collection of long range tools. Which gunmaker should I look to for a reasonable priced (no frills) 338 lapua mag?

Maybe someone can shed light on the fact that, "well known", "very successful", 1000 yard BR and ultra longrange smiths won't touch a Remington action if the customer wants a 338/378 Weatherby, a 30/378 or the 338/416 Rigby improved or the 338 Lapua.
The only thing you get from them is a big laugh.

They simply have stated that they will not take the responsibilty of using that action for those calibers.

Would you chamber those calibers on a Remington action when someone wants to get the "Most" velocity he can from the cartridge?
Lets say 122.5 grs of WC872 behind a 300 gr bullet in the 338/416 Rigby Imp. with a 37" barrel? That's the load I use in mine.
With a load like that, I would want a 3 lug custom action or a custom action with much larger lugs then the Remington has, like the Hall and Geskie Actions I have on my 338/416 LR guns.

Ultra LR hunters are a breed of their own. They push for velocity and most times are over the specs of the case but not to the level of bolt lockup.

Would I "trust" a Remington action on my big stuff and the loads that have been successful for me-------Never.

Just a thought

[ 01-06-2004: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
I would go with a big action like a 8.5" Bat ( I have one on order for a 338 lapua Imp ) or a 10"x2" Bat ( I am currently using for a 338 Lapua Imp) buy the best and cry once Just My 2 cents worth on this

Crow Mag
I have a Rem 700 LA in 338 Lapua. Built my one of the smith's from Quantico in M40A4. It shoots fine. But I'm only pushing 87 gr of power in it. I would not realy go any bigger then that. And no way would I go with any like what DC is pushing 122.5 gr in a rem action. I like to shoot more then I would want to end up hurt or hurting someone on the ranger like my spoter. Does Rem make a 700 LA in 416 for hunting in Africa?

Darryl, My guess is that these Custom Smiths you are refering to dont want the extra hasstle of the conversion on the Remington action. Like I said in an Earlier post Remington built 338 Lapua rifles in this caliber themselves. I personally have pushed the 300 grain Sierras to 3000 FPS in a 28" rifle on a Remington action. No lug setback sticky extraction only.

Im not flaming these other smiths but if they have not actully done the conversions then their words are opinion only. We will continue to build 338 Lapuas on 700's and I will be the first to reports any problems.

G.A. Precision
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