JE Custom and Lone Wolf 30-338 Lapua Improved Weatherby Mark V

Discussion in 'Gun Photos' started by Autorotate, Mar 13, 2010.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. Autorotate

    Autorotate Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    The purpose behind the post was to put a thread together that put all the elements of a 30-338 Lapua Improved sporter type build in one spot, as a potential resource for others to reference.

    I’d like to also say Thanks! to bunch of folks here on LRH that not only guided me through this build, but assisted me in gaining knowledge and perspective that led ultimately to this rifle being built. You know who you sure to smile in your success as you read this thread in afflicting yet another able bodied strong of mind person with the LR sickness!

    There are some great minds on this board, and as LRH’ers we’re lucky to have this as a resource.

    I am in no way one of the smart guys on this board….just looking to share, and assist others like they helped me. I’d like to encourage other 30-338 Lapua shooters to post up on their builds….take some of the mystery out of this great 30 caliber.

    Weight-11.9 lbs as depicted with optics and bipod w/podloc
    Smith-JE Custom
    Stock maker- Carbon Fiber Lone Wolf California Sporter
    Action-9 lug Weatherby Mark V
    Bottom Metal-Weatherby Custom Shop “Drop Box Kit” +1 capacity PN# CBA2038
    Barrel-Lilja SS 10 twist #6 contour 26.25” finish
    Muzzle Brake-Kirby Allen’s APS Painkiller 3 port brake
    Base-Farrell 20 MOA G-Force skim bedded
    Rings-Farrell Standard height .835 30 mm
    Dies-Neil Jones custom bushing FL sizer and Micro seating die
    Reamer-PTG print #18649 37.5 degree, .342 NK, .067 Body TPI, throated for the 210 Berger VLD w/Wby mag box at 3.815 COAL
    Optic-Leupold MK4 4.5-14x50mm Mildot reticle

    Build objective/Experience
    Rifle was purpose built to be the max weight carry rifle one could tolerate (that weight is subjective of course), and be able to take any NA big game, but also a rifle that would lend itself that if a LR shot presented itself, you could get in the prone and get 'er done. Basically wanted a ½ mile hunting rifle with no questions left to ask. I don’t think I’ll shoot anything that can bite back that far though.....

    Can’t say enough about the build experience working with JE Custom, Mr. Bob Culbertson at Lone Wolf, Mr. Dave Kiff, and Mr. Neil Jones.

    Accuracy/Load Development
    The rifle shoots lights out, and likely won’t realize it’s full accuracy potential with me as the shooter and reloader. But I’m working on it.

    Results of initial load development will likely create some controversy regarding pressures (I'd like to avoid that if at possible), and I admit, the velocities are even over the top for me. I, like many others, usually load a string of loads at one grain increments, in order to establish where pressure signs will begin, and then back off this some percentage, and call that reduced load my new “max ceiling”. I haven’t seen that yet even with 108 grains of Retumbo and the 210 Berger at 3436 fps……and ain’t in that big of rush to with this performance thus far.

    I settled on a “lower performance” load of based on the experience of some of the sages here on LRH that have a lot of history with the Lapua case. Using Norma cases to determine pressure tolerant velocities, and then fine tuning using the Lapua brass, seemed to be sure fire way to make sure I didn’t get in trouble with the tough Lapua brass.

    The load recipe:
    Lapua brass
    103 grains Retumbo
    .334 NK bushing (approx .0015 tension)
    210 Berger VLD
    3.085 Ogive (approx .030 from lands)(approx COAL of 3.805)
    3284, 3284, 3274 fps are what I have written down for the last three over the chrono

    Velocities “confirmed” over several chronos, and with “come up” to a 1000 yd target from a 300 yard zero. Working up the courage to shoot over a chrono at distance.

    This load is like lugging a turbo diesel truck in overdrive at 40 MPH…very easy on the brass, and the push at the back of the gun is very manageable when shooting these loads. This rifle does “wake up” recoil wise when pressed harder, but I see no need to push things, as this loading has all the performance I’ll need for this rifle.

    For those on the fence about a wildcat like this….the Lapua brass makes the extra effort worth it.

    And its worth repeating…enough can’t be said about working with JE Custom, Lone Wolf, PTG and Neil Jones…who are the brains/muscle behind this build.

    Now everyone pester Paul at Wildcat Bullets to start making 30 caliber 200-220 grain Aluminum tipped bullets with a G1 BC of .750+/G7 BC of .400!

    The Pics!


    Lone Wolf was sent the scope base, some cheek weld pics of me on similar stock/rifle/optic, and built up the comb to facilitate a good cheek weld.


    49" in length with a 14" LOP, so it still fits/slides in/out of a Trail Max scabbard for the horse hunts.


    30-338 Lapua Improved 210 VLD @ 3.805, 30-338 Lapua Improved 168 grain NBT, virgin 338 Lapua brass hull, Neil Jones dies.


    PTG Reamer print


    Hope this helps someone get started on a 30-338 Lapua build! Other 30-338 Lapua folks need to post up as well...I know Kirby has to have built a few 300 AXs over the winter!
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010

    ROBSTER Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Re: JE Custom and Lone Wolf 30-338 Improved Lapua Weatherby Mark V

    Nice looking rifle thanks for sharing
  3. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Re: JE Custom and Lone Wolf 30-338 Improved Lapua Weatherby Mark V

    Very nice write up. Enjoyed reading the specs.
    How was Lone Wolf to work with on turn around time ?
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Very good post.

    A lot of your character shows through.

    Very nice shootin' rig.

    I just some kinda knew that J.E. knows what he's about. Nice work.

    I especially liked seeing that ancient hand wringer in the background!

    Didja ever get your tit caught in that thing.:)
  5. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Great write up, and nice build Tim.
    J.E. is top notch.
  6. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2003

    Thanks for taking the time to fill us in on this great build. Keep us in the loop about how it's doing!

  7. elkthumper

    elkthumper Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    That's funny, sure can tell Auto's a pilot can't you. Sorry for poking fun Auto.
    Awesome, awesome, rifle sir, my new favorite by far. Love the caliber, good looking stock, you have put together one fine piece of work there. If my construction company ever comes around and I could afford a custom like this I'd definatley be stealing some idas from you. Congradulations.
  8. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2007
    I have the same caliber rifle, thanks to guys here at LRH. I had mine built in '07 right after joining LRH. I was in the process of re barreling a Sako 30-378 and asked here what I should do it in. Kirby chimed in and said to go with the Lapua wildcat. I took the friendly fellows advice and told the smith what I wanted. That was the extent of my knowledge when I did it. I can say now that this is a wildcat that is well worth the effort. I have run it pretty hard, and the Lapua brass just keeps going.

    My rifle is not nearly as pretty as yours. Just looks like a Sako with a fluted 30" Lilja #7. The only other thing I had done to the rifle was shorten the length of pull and install a good recoil pad. I run with out a brake (for now).

    Congrats on your new rifle, it is a beauty.

  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I don't know If I can respond to this in words but I will try.

    We all hear about the great gunsmiths on this site and I don't consider my self one of these
    but I try to do my very best.

    But we hardly ever hear about the recipient of one of these rifles and maybe that needs
    to change because they should get half the credit for a good build for there ability to work
    with the smith to get the "Perfect" rifle for them.

    It realy goes a long way to having a great experience when having a custom rifle built knowing
    what you want and expect, having a plan and not changing it in the middle of the build and
    feeling free to ask questions when need be.

    It is always a pleasure to build for a person that is interested in your opinion but is not afraid
    to speak his mind.

    AutoRotate is one of these guys and a pleasure to work with so maybe we need to talk about
    the shooter more and let others know who is realy great to work with after all they have a big
    impact on the finished product.

    I once knew a master smith that would not build a bench rest rifle for anyone that was not
    known to be a great shot because he said (The best smith in the world cant make a rifle
    that will shoot in the hands of a pilgrim) Those were his words not mine.

    But it nice when someone appreciates what we do and the pains we take to hand them the
    best we can do.

    I'm Just saying it goes both ways.

    Thanks TIM

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  10. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Great write up! I like that you took the time to share all of this, and that you gave credit to the folks who were in on it. I hope you enjoy your new rig. Its a beauty. Posts like these realy give a guy the bug. I gotta get enough $ scraped togather to start talkin serious to a smith. Congrats again!
  11. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    Wow, what a rifle build!!!! It was a great write up with great picutres and detail. Thanks, I really enjoyed reviewing it.
  12. Autorotate

    Autorotate Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Re: JE Custom and Lone Wolf 30-338 Improved Lapua Weatherby Mark V

    Trueblue-Very quick. Fraction of the wait associated with the industry leaders. I did hemhaw getting them a barreled action, so I was in their que for a bit... that may have assisted in the quick turn.

    royinidaho-I'll take the character comment as a compliment I think....:)

    About tit catching....I had no idea I was in competition with that thing, as I'm in charge of that around here. It has to go now.

    Thanks Joel....that says a lot, considering all the fine rifles you come across and have been a part of. And you're right....J.E. is as good as they get in my book.

    elkthumper-Thank you, and if we ever share a range line, it's yours to shoot, as long as the target is way out there! As far as the comes with the occupation for most....I'm actually fairly laid back, and consider myself a "big picture" guy....but the details do matter of course:)

    (Humor infused paragraph here) And with all this talk of my behavior/focus of detail, I must bring up this board is chock full of the biggest nervous nellies on the planet that sweat the most minuscule details (and it rocks) pot and kettle black and that whole thing. Sheez.....Some of the bedding threads Chad Dixon has posted has me doing laundry twice now before I wear it. Doesn't bother me a bit...bring it on:)

    Just ask J.E Custom if details matter......gun).....Ha!
  13. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Congratulations, very nice looking rig and a excellent write up. Always nice to see who was involved in the build. Enjoy.
  14. gunman123

    gunman123 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Very cool rifle Tim!!! Well balanced !

    Wildcat bullets.....Us 30 cal shooters could use some high BC 220 grain projectiles.