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Thread: Ideas on a 338

  1. #1
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    Ideas on a 338

    All I'm looking for some thoughts on a 338 caliber. I have just been informed by my wife that she is taking over my 338 lapua and that I should find something else. I was looking to build something off a long action short shank savage. My I intial thought is a 338 norma. Is this possible? Anyone have any additional ideas to get me to the lapua performance off the savage?
    Thanks

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    The 338lp savage 110 long action was built a little beefier than a regular 110 magnum long action. The bolt lugs are .550" thick instead of the regular .500", and the action had a little more material in it to beef it up for the 338lp cartridge. This might have changed with the 112 target model and others. Barrel tenon for magnums or the 338lp are usually 1.120" vs the 1.055" small shank. Building anything with the same case head dimension and volume of powder as the 338lp and 300norma in a smaller action and barrel tenon is a really bad idea. Its like putting your head on a pipe bomb with very little protection. Even the savage 338lp action and 1.120 barrel tenon is pushing it. Go with a custom action built for the larger cartridges with the .588" case head, or stick with cartridges with the regular (.532") magnum sized case head. I converted my 110 fcp hs 338lp to a 300wsm and kept the .550 bolt lug dimension for safety reasons noted above.

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    Donnie is right. If you're going to have a regular long action small shank, something on the RUM case is about as big as you want to go safely. That being said, a 338 RUM or 338 Edge are just fine for that action and shank size and as fast or a tad faster than the Lapua.

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    Orrr...., go 7mm RUM throated for 195gr billets, which will out distance & carry higher BC than the 300 or 338. In sticking with this case size, just under the 338 Lapua, the 7mm RUM is the most powerful(long distance) cartridge there is. To get any more power, you must step up to something using the 416 Rigby parent case.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I was not intending to build another lapua round off the standard savage action just looking for some ideas that would get the same results in a hunting situation as I have had with the 338 lapua. The ultra mags sound good but will the feed out of a normal magnum savage action?

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    Yes they will. Savage already makes the long action in 300 RUM. Savage only has 3 actions, Long Short & 338 Lapua(well, 4 if you include the 2nd size short)

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    I will definitely look into that. Thanks

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    Remember with something like this, you would need to throat the barrel. Otherwise these super heavy bullets would need seated very deep in the case....well below the shoulder. This would undoubtedly raise chamber pressures to unsafe levels.

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    Savage made RUM's in the past but currently they do not. A current long action will be a single shot proposition only unless you make some modifications to the magazine box. The action is long enough but the boxes they use are not. Now it would be costly, but you could start with their Lapua action or possibly the 300 win mag model of the 110BA that's made on the same action and have a magazine that's already long enough.

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    Easy to find used 300 RUM’s for sale. Honestly, modifying a standard long action is not all that difficult. Only need to open up the action for stagger feed. Single feed you simply require the mag box modded. Cut the tabs and such. Would need to look up to refresh my memory completely. Or..long action a& go with something like the Accurate Mag BM & AICS Mag. Capable of 3.850” OAL. It’s been done over...., and over, & over..., & etc..

    That said, starting with a single shot Target action would make for the most robust, & highest accuracy potential. Every single person I have ever heard from on their single shot target rifles are absolutely satisfied. But their are options, and yes, the 110BA is also a great one!

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    Didn't say it couldn't be done. Just that it couldn't without modifications to the magazine box. The newer centerfeed's openings in the bottom of the receiver are actually long enough (I've checked them with full length Weatherby rounds). Just the magazine box would need to be cut and modified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by efm77 View Post
    Didn't say it couldn't be done. Just that it couldn't without modifications to the magazine box. The newer centerfeed's openings in the bottom of the receiver are actually long enough (I've checked them with full length Weatherby rounds). Just the magazine box would need to be cut and modified.

    You are absolutely correct efm77. I apologize if you misunderstood I was implying that. No, I was supporting your position, and giving further support to the different options. Thank you for bringing it up to begin, as I did not. Sometimes I am too literal, and don’t think to expound on things unless asked. Because I know, I sometimes make the mistake of “assume”. And we all know about “assume”. I am human and make mistakes....plenty!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hoback View Post
    Orrr...., go 7mm RUM throated for 195gr billets, which will out distance & carry higher BC than the 300 or 338. In sticking with this case size, just under the 338 Lapua, the 7mm RUM is the most powerful(long distance) cartridge there is. To get any more power, you must step up to something using the 416 Rigby parent case.
    Dave, no disrespect intended, but you really need to put the books down and go someplace and shoot these things.
    B C is wonderfull when coupled with velocity, which you wont get enough of using 190s in any large 7mm including the Rum.
    From the standpoint of performance, the introduction of the Rum cartridges didn't bring anything to long range that hadn't been there for decades already in wildcat form. Velocities of 34 to 35 hundred fps with 7mm 162 gr Hornady match bullets in necked down 300 Wby cases has been taking place since about 1970. When the 180 gr 7mm bullets were introduced the same thing was heard, but we found we needed more clicks at 1200 yds with those than we did with 162s from the same guns, and that was due to the velocity difference.
    At 1000 yds many cartridges will perform pretty well. Move the distance out to 1500 yds and "most" of them, including many magnums are eliminated from the even "decent" accuracy standpoint.
    Without checking, you will probably be pretty close if you add 90 1/4 min clicks to get from a 100 yd zero to 1000 yds with a 190 fired from a 7 mm Rum. Probably about the same from a 300 Win Mag. But at 1500, you would probably be doubling that, and if we add 260 more yards guess what? You might hit a VW mini van, but probably not a VW beetle, assuming the conditions are pretty decent. lol
    Im not entirely joking, as those who have done it would know.
    This is where the very heavy bullets fired from guns allowing for using huge amounts of powder will have the advantage.
    In other words Win Mag velocity and higher, with 300 gr and heavier bullets.
    And, you wont fully appreciate that fact unless you see it happen with your own eyes.
    But guess what? that still requires hitting the target, and its far easier for all of us to talk about that than it is to actually do.
    Which helps explain why very few animals are killed beyond 1000 yds.
    Even by the top dog shooters and record holders.

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    Uhh...ok. That was a fantastic answer to a question that no one asked. But awesome, I guess.. Bye now.

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    No worries Dave. No offense taken and none was meant toward you either.

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    Before the Lapua was being produced in factory rifles the .338 edge seemed to be the big bully on the block.
    Most of the Savages with this conversion that I read about were built using 300RUMs and the only thing necessary was a barrel change as it had the right mag cutout length and magazine to run the cartridge.
    Of course most guys took the upgrades a lot further but the most economical way I know to do it would be to buy one someone has already built or find a 300RUM to start with and have a barrel built.
    There are a few Savages in .300RUM that show up on the big auction site from time to time that would be great donors.
    As for me I parked my lefty 116 in RUM long ago. Just waaay too much rifle for my purposes.
    Good luck
    A good wife and a steady job has ruined many a great hunter.

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    Good info coming in for sure. I'm not looking for a 1000 yard paper puncher (I already have those) what I'm looking for is an honest hunting round for longer ranges. I have had a bit of love affair for the last several years with the lapua. It has been enough gun to help offset a few shots that missed the mark but the round still had plenty of punch to get the job done. I would, and still might, buy another lapua but would like to find something different just to aid in keeping brass separate between the wife's gun and whatever I end up with. I have been looking over the 300prc and wondering if it has the horsepower needed to replace my old rifle.

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    Really love my 338-06
    Shoots honest clover leads at 200 yds with 215 grn sierras and 4350.
    Easy on the shoulder
    Steven's action with A&B barrel
    Good luck
    Let him grow, Shoot a doe !

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    Shooting is one thing, and hunting including long range hunting, is yet another.
    For sure it can be fun and informative to be able to shoot various cartridges at long and extreme distances.
    And it can be very easy getting caught up in all the talk on the internet especially regarding cartridges.
    Last year was my 72nd hunting season hunting PA, all of which has been done in the N C region.
    The area I hunt in PA is as good as it gets for hunting long range in the East and even many parts of the west.
    The population of long range hunters in the immediate area around our camp is large and I know many of them personally.
    You wont go anywhere in the world and find a better equipted group of hunters for that type of hunting, or ones having more knowledge on the subject.
    Over the past 40 years or so there have been many improvements in every facet of long range shooting and hunting.
    That would be all except one, which hasent changed or improved in all the years ive been involved, regardless of the guns, scopes, bullets etc we now have.
    And that would be the distance at which most animals get killed by long range hunters.
    Fact is if we cant get it done with cartridges like a 300 Rum, we wont be getting it done with larger ones either.
    Mind you now the hunting part at extreme distances can go pretty well with the right equiptment.
    Its the hitting part that usually causes things to fall apart. lol

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    From an economic standpoint, relatively speaking, the 110 LRH is a good option in 338 lapua. It can be had for less than $1k (cheap for a rifle made for a cartridge that size). It’s light enough to carry hunting and if you wanted to try another round it would be an easy platform to start from in that it already has a magazine and mag cutout long enough for other full length rounds. It would require a bolt head and magazine swap depending on the cartridge.

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    Yobuck.
    I couldn't agree more. I have shot quite a few game animals in the 5 to 7 hundred yard range with a variety of different calibers. That's not even considered long range anymore buy some standards but its a pretty far piece for me. The lapua was probably overkill for that yardage but it definitely gives you a but more confidence shooting. With that said I have also shot those distances with a 6.5-284 and the results have been great. I'm currently working with a 240 incinerator and the 115 Berger's. It would also probably do fine but I personally think it's a little small to shoot animals with at that range. That's why I was getting some ideas on what calibers were out there that might be a little less known and provide me with a bit more "thump"
    I appreciate everyone's comments and ideas. Yobuck, what would you think of a 308 norma mag out to say 800 on game?
    Last edited by bc160; 05-27-2019 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Dang spelling!!

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    Have you looked at the 300 PRC as an alternative? It doesn't have the horsepower of the 338LM or the 300NM, but it should perform close if not edge out the 300WM without the belt. Also, it won't require a specialized action.
    They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

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    That's a good idea. I will check into that since I have some actions laying around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bc160 View Post
    Yobuck.
    I couldn't agree more. I have shot quite a few game animals in the 5 to 7 hundred yard range with a variety of different calibers. That's not even considered long range anymore buy some standards but its a pretty far piece for me. The lapua was probably overkill for that yardage but it definitely gives you a but more confidence shooting. With that said I have also shot those distances with a 6.5-284 and the results have been great. I'm currently working with a 240 incinerator and the 115 Berger's. It would also probably do fine but I personally think it's a little small to shoot animals with at that range. That's why I was getting some ideas on what calibers were out there that might be a little less known and provide me with a bit more "thump"
    I appreciate everyone's comments and ideas. Yobuck, what would you think of a 308 norma mag out to say 800 on game?
    I think there are quite a few very good cartridges today for taking game at long distances.
    I would personally rule out anything less than .284 because of bullet weight.
    When you can achieve equal or more velocity with a 160 gr class bullet over a 140 gr class its a no brainer for l/r hunting.
    Likewise when you can do the same with a 30 cal over a 7mm.
    That said if all your shots are under 1000 yds which most are, pretty much any will work well.
    I feel how well we shoot is more important than what we shoot to a large degree.
    All l/r hunters in PA shoot from some type of bench mostly due to terrain conditions.
    No doubt that can improve the shooting of marginal shooters of any age.
    As for my personal preference, it's a pretty easy call for where I hunt, If I hunted elsewhere, it might be different.
    Currently I own 7x300 wby, 300 Norma, and 338 Cheytac.
    If I were starting over today I would own just one, and that would be the 300 Norma.
    We have killed one deer in about 7 years with the Cheytac that we could have just as easily killed with the 300 Norma or a 300 Ultra.
    With all the b s talk about distance, one thing is always left out. You have to find them first, and in places like PA that can be very difficult due the conditions we encounter for the most part.

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    Only thing about the PRC is that, just like the RUM, you will have to modify the magazine to make it a repeater. The case isn't as long but the bullet is seated so far out that it requires a full length magnum magazine.

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