ELR rifle build: Single or Magazine?

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by Rockfish Dave, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Rockfish Dave

    Rockfish Dave Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    So I had thought everything was finalized for my latest wildcat build, but cannot get over the nagging fact that the CIP length magazines are going to hamstring the potential of the 375/338 Lapua improved case.

    I think that I have made up my mind to change the build to a single shot, but have never owned one. Can anyone offer up a reason to, or not to go, with the single shot over the magazine fed rifle?

    I originally was going to go Seekins bottom metal and magazine, but I'd probably have more luck bagging a unicorn than scoring that set-up.
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    99% of my long range shots are prone. One in the tube and one or two along side the gun ready to go for a follow up is all that is needed. In the last several years I have owned many repeaters that would feed just fine from the mags. But I only loaded one at a time. If a follow up is needed, and the difference in time between chambering a mag fed round, and tossing one next to the rifle in, makes a difference, you will probably not have time to execute a quality long range shot anyway. My newest long range rig is a single shot. I also just finished one for a friend with a stiller single feed Tac 338. We have no regrets and I don't see me ever going back for a long range rig.

    We were over a prairie dog town once. A friend was loading a bag box. I was pulling rounds one at a time from a ammo box of 50. I was sending just as many rounds as he was. While he stopped to load his mag, I was getting 2 or 3 shots off. In the end the mag box had nothing to offer for these situations.

    Not to mention the strength added to an single feed action.

  3. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    +1 for me on single-shot rifles. My 338LM Improved is a singleshot, as will be my very soon to be ordered LRKM.

    I had my 338 out at 1,900 yards yesterday. With flight times of over 3 seconds (300 gr. Lapua Scenar @ 3,000 fps - 100.0 gr VV 570), I had no problem placing the next round onto the tray before the first one arrived at the target.

    I too support the concept of single shot actions being more rigid, every scrap of which comes in handy when you are shooting at targets that are 1 MOA or less and sitting over a mile away.

  4. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Think about it, if you missed your first long range shot you should probably take at least a few seconds to figure out WHY, and make a correction. So being able to send another round very quickly is kind of like that old definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
    I to like the extra strength in single shot action, especially when you are hanging a big LONG heavy barrel off of it.

  5. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    I went with a single shot in my 338 LM and have no regrets whatsoever. I actually like it.
  6. ELR Researcher

    ELR Researcher Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2009

    If you seriously feel the need for a mag, consider going to an AI version of the 338 Norma Magnum.

    Find more discussion of "SS vs Mag" in one of the introductory Defensive Edge LRKM threads.
  7. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Plus 1 on the single shot. No need for a repeater
  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    While I have mostly repeaters, for serious long range work, I still load single. Insurance against damaged bullet tips, or bullet setback upon recoil of rounds loaded in the mag.
  9. cowboywhorses

    cowboywhorses Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    I have had enough probelms with mags. But when some work they are fine.

    Build one of each ! Just kidding.

    Would be interested in the gunsmith that has the reamer. I have a build for that type of gun. Got the action ,barrel being made. Pm me if you can.

    God Bless

  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    From way back in-the-day I was always told that single shot actions were stiffer than mag fed. Stiffer = more consistent thus more accurate.

    In my bench rest days it was single shot action on every thing. Even sleeved single shot actions. If the action had a mag feed it was sleeved.

    However, with modern materials and equipment good rifle smiths are turning out single shots and repeaters that one would be hard pressed to see any difference in accuracy.

    Thus accuracy wise would it make any difference which type of action were used?

    As it turns out the ability of the magazine to allow best COL and 100% confidence in feeding is the overriding issue.

    Therefore, all LRH rifles that I have, that have a mag slot, have that slot filled with alum.

    Seems to me a second shot is needed only when the first shot is off a bit. And how often does that happen.:D Every once in awhile, that's why Broz sets a couple right handy for a possible follow up shot.
  11. LR3

    LR3 Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    I have two 375s based on408 CT / Gibbs 505 cases. One single one magazine. I use the magazine one as single shot at long range. My next three builds are single shot.
  12. lhouston78

    lhouston78 Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2010
    Every gun I have and have made are mag fed, and I shoot them single shot 90 percent of the time at long range. Just cannot get my self to build a single shot even though it would make know difference.
  13. kristian55

    kristian55 Active Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    What mag. you use?

  14. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    A magazine has several advantages:

    1. safer unloading than running each round through the chamber
    2. different types of rounds in different magazines (for different game on same hunt)
    3. less chance of bullet damage when unloading mags by hand as opposed to running them through the chamber and ejecting with the bolt.
    4. Some custom magazine/trigger guard manufactures offer longer mags for longer handloads, such as with some VLD hunting bullets.
    5. A properly stiff chassis will not be affected by a mag cutout. (See SOCOM's Remington PSR in .338 LM. and aluminum chassis imbedded in fiberglass stocks, as in HS Precision. See also Remington's XM2010 .300 Win. mag chassis, Accuracy International and Sako sniper rifles, all sub MOA sticks.)

    Look at Accurat Mag products for the highest quality custom setups.

    'Nuff sed.