Which 338 to build?

jrock

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Mar 12, 2014
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JE, you took the words right out of my mouth. With a Rem 700 action on the table already, I would toss out the Lapua and Norma, unless you wanted to dive into the discussion of a lapua bolt face on a remington action. It would be added cost for bolt work or replacement. RUM and Edge are faster than the Norma anyways.
I went Norma as I liked the internal ballistic profile with the 300 grain bullets, I built on a custom action, and wanted an DBM.
 

Mark L

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Jun 28, 2019
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I went Norma. Feeds out of the mag flawlessly with plenty of room to seat close to the lands. Lapua just put some brass on the market (finally).
 

jkwright

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Jan 22, 2017
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Starting with a remington rum action i would stick with a rum or edge. Not all smiths will open the bolt face to lapua because of safety concerns. It might be fine but if you can get the very similar performance without opening the bolt face that seems like a winner.
 

Blacktail63

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Dec 29, 2013
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I run a 338x28 Nosler at 3.6” in a Win 70. Shooting the 265 ABLR. Doing well so far!
 

Sanford338

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Mar 5, 2017
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San Antonio
I’m filling a big hole in my cartridge line up with a big boomer. I’ve been set on the 338 edge, but shopping around for dies and brass has been a little frustrating. This has got me thinking about opening up my options. I’m now debating between the 338 Rum, 338 Edge, 338 lapua and the 338 Norma. I will not be doing an improved chamber of any kind because I don’t have time or a desire to fire form. Lapua brass and dies seem to be everywhere and no more expensive than any other. I was going to use a 300 Rum donor action so the bolt change for the lapua and NM factor in a little. What would you build?
My vote the 338 RUM... had one built years ago and absolutely love it. You didn’t say what purpose for .. hunting, steel or just punching paper. All mentioned will do most jobs, the 338 is a elk thumper, that was my reason for the build. But have since built others.. but the RUM is one of my most favorites...loves the 250 grain nosler accubonds..1/2” or better when I do my job! Good Luck!
 

David Lindler

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Jun 11, 2018
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south carloina
I’m filling a big hole in my cartridge line up with a big boomer. I’ve been set on the 338 edge, but shopping around for dies and brass has been a little frustrating. This has got me thinking about opening up my options. I’m now debating between the 338 Rum, 338 Edge, 338 lapua and the 338 Norma. I will not be doing an improved chamber of any kind because I don’t have time or a desire to fire form. Lapua brass and dies seem to be everywhere and no more expensive than any other. I was going to use a 300 Rum donor action so the bolt change for the lapua and NM factor in a little. What would you build?
I have had the lapua and the edge.
I recently built a 338 norma mag Imp
The edge and lapua can run out of magazine well space even with enlarged wyatt boxes with the heavier bullets. The hammer and cutting edge bullets are the cream of the crop but are longer because they are monolithic in structure. I like and have shot berger.
The 338 norma is known for its accuracy.
The norma case is shorter allowing you to seat the heavier bullets out further so that the don't extend down in the powder collum. This increases case capacity and cuts down in doughnut rings on brass necks.
The norma will produce velocities equal to the lapua and edge in a shorter case. The shortened case gives you almost 300th thousands more wiggle from for long heavy bullets. My lapua with 300 grain berger c.o.a.l 3.990. This is onto the powder colum. 338 norma same bullet can seat at 3.683.
Increase your volicity with the 338Imp.
Fire forming is simple
Quality brass from norma is available. Widdeon will make the dies.
My 338 norma has 24" barrel with carbon fiber barrel and stock with Ti action. Only weighs 5 .14 lbs. 6.89lbs with night force scope.
T-3 terminator muzzle break cuts recoil to less than 30-06
All three will shoot one ragged hole at 100 yards.
The edge was hardest to set up to shoot accurate
338 lapua easier to set up. Brass is good and available
Pics
1. Edge
2. Lapua
3. Norma
4. Exit wound splatter from 260grain hammer hunter bullet on mule deer at 490yards. Lungs in the ground.
 

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David Lindler

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Jun 11, 2018
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south carloina
The Smith will adjust your throat based on a dummy round.
Moving the COAL out 3 tenths of an inch is huge for powder capacity. My 26" barrel shoots as fast as some longer barrels because of this.
I have accuracy loads for the 300 Berger + Accubond and the 260 hammer bullets. I'm going to hunt with the 260 because it's an honest sub .5 moa and 3K fps. Nothing will walk away from the any of the bullets with decent placement.
I went with the edge due to brass. You can neck up 300 rum or buy original 338 edge brass. 338 rum is basically stuck with original headstamp brass. In fact, my edge started off as a factory 338 rum, but the crappy thin barrel and lack of brass made the decision easy. It now wears a HCA CF barrel/mcmillan thumbhole/trigger tech. Its my most expensive build yet.
260 hammers are accurate and massive exit wounds
Exit splatter from 260 grain hammer. Lungs on the ground.
You wouldn't be running it as a repeater with a 270 Badlands SBD. It is 1.980" long, even in my Norma at .050 off it is 3.800" OAL, throw that in an edge and it ain't happening unless you jump a mile, even then the bearing surface is going to be right at the case neck, if not possibly below it.

L to R, 265 ABLR, 300 Berger, 270 SBD, 285 Hammer Hunter.View attachment 217075
260 grain hammers are accurate and produce massive exit wounds
Lungs on the ground
 

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anwahs

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Nov 19, 2007
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260 hammers are accurate and massive exit wounds
Exit splatter from 260 grain hammer. Lungs on the ground.

260 grain hammers are accurate and produce massive exit wounds
Lungs on the ground
Do you shoot the 260 Hammer in your edge? What is your load, if you don't mind sharing.
 

ATH

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Oct 7, 2003
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Lizton, IN
I went through this same exercise and built an Edge on a Stiller Predator action using a McGowen barrel and a Remage setup. Using the 4" Wyatt's box I milled the mag opening in the bottom of the action back with a dremel to fit the box and modified the bolt stop to allow more rearward travel to pick up rounds. 285-300gr loaded rounds eject fine. Feed well too. 2970fps from a 30" barrel with 285gr ELD-M, Re33.
 

Slibey

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Feb 23, 2020
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Location
Idaho
I started a 338lapua build off old 721 300hh, but Ran into bolt face problems so switched to rum. Rum does run higher pressures though. Rum supposed to abit faster. The rum is not picky about jump. Plenty of gun, so not worth going for the others.
 

Alex Wheeler

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Jul 5, 2017
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Montana
I like the 338 Lapua improved for single shots and 338 Norma imp for mag feed. Do not worry about fire forming. The first 100 rounds of barrel life are not worth much for tuning and fire forming is easy just load and shoot 100 rounds.
 
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