Please help me with my hunting weight, 338 Edge Build.

TX mountain hunter

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2010
West Texas
I’m in the process of putting together what I hope to one day be my ultimate extreme long range hunting / carry rifle. I would like to have something in the ~ 10 pound overall range so that I can pack it, or just sling it over my shoulder for 5-10 miles. I would like to have the knockdown to take an elk size animal out beyond 1200 yards, as well as the ability to one day reach a mile or 2000 +. I don’t have the money to be building multiple rifles, so I’d like to do my best to get it all in one.

As you could tell by the title, I’m thinking the .338 Edge would be the caliber to fit these parameters and not shatter my teeth on every shot, though “most” of my shooting will be with bags or a lead sled. I will be using my 6.5-280AI to further practice my shooting skills once I learn the new rifle. In addition, my local gunsmith has produced excellent results in this caliber in heavier versions.

Price is definitely a factor, but I don’t want to short myself on something I would regret and want to change at a later date. Here is what I’m thinking as well as what I am looking for help on. I’M LOOKING FOR ANY ADVICE ON ALL SECTIONS. If you see I’m going on the wrong path, please don’t be afraid to steer me on the right path, but please help with the why portion.

ACTION: I would like for the magazine to accept 3.800” OAL, but not if it will require an extraordinary amount of extra weight or cost. I’m pretty unfamiliar with what all actions are available and most likely with go with the gunsmiths recommendation (TBD) unless I hear strong reasoning for something else to bring forward. The only build I’ve done previously was based off of an old Remington Model 700.

STOCK: I’ve never been picky on stock type, about the only thing I’m looking for here is a very light weight, yet recoil reducing stock. I’ve shot mostly Rem 700 type models, with decent accuracy (low .2s prior to fine tuning a load), but would be open to anything. My smith recommended McMillan. If possible, I would like to do the stock in KUIU Vias colors. I’m thinking that if I provide the correct colors & ratios (light tan, med brown, med grey, light grey, black) in the “McMillan Camo” pattern, this might look pretty close.

TRIGGER: I’m sure I’ll get the spelling wrong, but I really like the Kepplinger single set trigger. I like to shoot at 8-10 oz. (pushed forward setting), but this also gives me the option for my wife or kids to shoot at 2.5-3 lbs.

BARREL: I’m looking towards Lilja here, simply because that’s what my smith recommended for a previous build and it shoots great. I don’t have a problem with a light barrel, as I have no problem waiting for it to cool between shots. I’d be over my head if I started talking in contour / length combinations. From what I’ve read, I should go with at least a 28” barrel in this caliber. At what point will the length start getting too awkward to carry, or too long for the lighter barrel’s? I’m looking at a 1-9.3 twist to stabilize the 300s, see bullet section below for more details.

BULLETS: I would like to shoot the 300 Berger for their high BC and game performance; however, the few people I know that shoot the 338 Edge have given up on these and gone to the SMK 300s for the best accuracy (.1s). My only knocks against the SMK is if an elk or muley steps out at 200 yards instead of 500+; and it’s BC isn’t quite as high as the Berger. I would like to keep this build with the idea that one day I may need to shoot some A-Frames for dangerous game or lead free for the condors and tree huggers. Has anyone shot the 252 grain MTH_D59 Cutting Edge STD bullet with a 0.700 BC? If so, how did it perform (terminal and accuracy)?

SCOPE: I’m currently focused on the March F 3-24x42 with the FML-1 reticle:
Likes=> 3-24 range, supposedly this scope is very clear compared to Leupold & NF, nearly 100 MOA of elevation adjust will help me get to and beyond 2000 yards (28 mil), $2200 is way cheaper than S&B, ~20 oz tops NF & USO, oversized dials, 0-set.
Questions=> Can I get flip open scope covers with this scope? Is there a bubble scope level that will fit this?
Concerns=> Mil elevation dials and Mil marked reticles (I guess JBM give’s Mil results too so it wouldn’t be that bad to learn Mil if the rest of the world can handle it), 0.1 Mil click adjustment (is this fine enough?). I don’t see myself being able to justify the ~$800 for the illuminated reticle. Could someone please tell me why I need it?

RAIL: I’m new to rails, I guess what I’d look for would be, light weight, “good enough” quality, low price.

RINGS AND BASE: Same as above: light weight, “good enough” quality, low price.

BALLISTICS PROGRAM & WIND METER: For extreme LR shooting, which I-Phone App is best, the Ballistics FTE program or Bullet Flight? Would I need to go with the more expensive option with earth rotation and other factors? Also, I’ve been just borrowing a wind meter, what is the best deal on one that you would trust to be accurate at all times?

Sorry for being so long winded, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any key components. Thanks in advance for the all advice, suggestions and mentoring!


Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2008
Spokane, Wa.
If you're serious about building a 338 Edge give Shawn Carlock W/Defensive Edge 1-208-687-2659 a call. Shawn is kinda the "Godfather" of the 338 Edge and probably has built more of them and spent more time workng with it than anyone else.