Going to build a .338 and have some questions.


Sep 19, 2007
So after shooting my first custom for over a year now , a .300 dakota, i am ready to go bigger and am looking toward the .338's. I am torn between the EDGE and the LAPUA. The advantage i see for the edge is that i can use a rem 700 action and the brass is cheaper and in the .300 rum form easier to find and i like shawns videos i figure i will like his cartridge as well. the advantage i see in the Lapua is the quality of the brass and the fact i can just buy it and load it with no forming involved my questions are:
1. can i safely shoot the .338 lapua out of a rem 700 action?
2. brass for the edge ? how do i get it ? where and how much ? if i must form it myself how much do the form dies cost ?
3. i have a great local smith in my area can i get a chamber reamer of the edge or do i have to use a smith on this site? ( not that i wouldnt love to have a rifle built by shawn i just have shipping everything and waiting)
4. whats the ETA on the 300 grain bergers ?
5. what is the suggested barrel contour , this will be a gun i walk in with that being said i am used to heavier guns but my dakota ended up at 16 lbs and i wold like this to end up no more than 12 lbs and i will probably go with a 28 inch barrel.
Yeah I know that it's .300 RUM necked up maybe I used the wrong term when I said formed what I was reffering to was necking up from .308 to .338. Thanks for the info on the lapua working on the 700 action tho so the consensus is that it safe to fire the lapua from the 700 then ?
Have you read up on the 338 Norma, it sounds like it may function better than the Lapua in a Rem 700 action with the longer bullets but the performance is still there with the Lapua.
I was ramped up about a 338 LM earlier this year but no smith close to me would do one and a Rem 700 or Savage action due to it being marginal on the safe factor. One of the smiths builds a considerable number of them and knows his way around the LM and knows of two Rem 700 actions failing. But there are a bunch of them out there :rolleyes: I'm not convinced either way.
I believe the problem with using a Rem 700 action is the "human error" element.

Everyone knows Lapua brass is the best brass available. That in itself is often the problem. Using safe, reasonable, pressure limits the 700 is fine but then we start pushing the limits and since Lapua brass will take alot of abuse without showing obvious signs of over pressure it is then that a Rem 700 action is considered marginal.
I think it is a pretty safe opinion that the 338 Norma/ Lapua can be done on a 700 action, if you go with an aftermarket bolt like PT&G. Having said that, I would look at spending alittle more and go with a custom action to be on the safe side. The EDGE is a great caliber, have owned one and was in the process of building another until some health issues came up. As we all know the EDGE does 2830-2850 w/300SMK and a 30" barrel.
It can easily be done in a 12.5-13.5 rifle with Nightforce scope. But if a 30" barrel is going to be a problem you should seriously concider the 338 Norma.
I had one built this past August by SSG, but sold it recently. Dumb move. It will get you 2730-2750 with the 300gr SMK with Retumbo out of a 26" barrel. It also does not require an extended magbox, as the COAL w/300SMK at the neck/ shoulder junction is 3.55-3.60. Might even have enough magbox length to use the 338 Berger's when they come out.
What I would do is run the #'s and see what will work best for you and what barrel length is acceptable.
One thing I will say is that the 338 Norma brass is unbelievable. I have 15 reloads on my 30cal version with this brass, and have only thrown away 3 pcs due to slightly loose primer pockets.
Personally, I would either go with the 338 EDGE and a 30" barrel, or a 338 Norma with a 26" barrel.
I don't see any advantage the Lapua brings to the table over the 338 Norma.
In my experience, the 338 brass quality of the Norma is as good if not better than the Lapua.
well thanks for the replies and the info it is much appreciated. my smith does my work for practically nothing i mean it might as well be free so the work needed to set up a remington action is basically no cash out of my pocket, making my issue wether to spend roughly 400 to get a rem action or 900+ on a custom action. if i go custom i see no reason why i can shoot the lapua or lapua improved round and have it set up to shoot the .300 smk and have it seated out where it should be. the advantage i saw to the lapua vs the Edge is simply brass quality nothing more. I dont want to end with something built on the 700 action that i cant trust though if i cant shoot the norma or the lapua from it and have them loaded up pretty hot without worries then i wont do it all. I really dont like long barrels by long i mean over 28 inches and i dont want to be under 2800fps. i guess what it boils down too is me wanting too much out of the 700 action because i dont spare any expense in stocks triggers or barrels and where i try to justify that is by using remington actions. i have researched the norma round too but seem to find it is in the 2700 fps range and im sure thats adaquate its hard to settle for when there are faster rounds out there in the same arena. sorry for the out of sequence rambling.
With all the above said is the chamber reamer available to all smiths for the Edge as well as the Norma. I'm from Canada so sending rifles and parts back and forth across the border can be a big problem. And is the Norma brass easy to make as the Edge brass.
Many of us here at LRH shoot proprietary calibers called Allen Magnums. Several of these magnums are based on the 338 Lapua cartridge/case and have been smithed by Kirby on REM 700 actions.
yeah i am familiar with the allens in that i have researched them, the only problem is that they have to be done by kirby only ( not really a problem ) i like to use the same local guy for all my builds but i have been tempted to ask kirby himself about chambering a .338 allen mag for me but im pretty sure i would have to use a custom action for that.
Don't get caught up in having to be at a certain velocity, as you stated wanting 2800+fps. Accuracy and tight velocity spreads would be the more important criteria. 100 fps make little difference at 1000yds with the 300gr SMK. Less than 3" difference in wind, and since I assume you will be dialing your drop, be more focused on your wind differences when comparing calibers. Pushing the 300gr SMK faster than 2700fps will do the job out to 1000yards and then some.. Having said that, when you jump up to the Chey-Tac based rounds there is a noticeable difference in performance.
with this .338 build i want the gun to be capable of making hits at a mile 1760 is my goal wether or not i can make the shot is doubtful but its what i want to try and that is the only reason for my 2800 fps criteria and to be honest i doubt i need it to go that fast to make hits at that distance i just want to give myself all the mechanical/ ballistic advantage i can afford.

Please understand: i wasn't trying to push the Allen magnums, or Kirby as a smith. I was just using them as an example to answer your first question: can you safely build a 338 Lapua using a Rem 700 action platform.
no i didnt think you were i like the allen mags the only that concerns me with those is barrel life and i think maybe your first reply was to the other person that was asking a question in this thread.