What 338 LM Bolt Action??

sierracharlie338

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Mar 12, 2013
    1,212
    649
    Republic of Texas (Houston)
    I am in the beginning stages of planning out a 338 LM build. I can't decide what action to build on is my main problem. So with that being said, give me pros or cons about the available LM actions. I am open to anything with the exception of the AIAX price range. If I had the cash I would just buy an AX, but I don't so I will have to piece this beast together as I have done with every rifle I have had built. I have 700s, a Stiller, and have shot a couple others here and there but want a top quality action to start this build off right. For those that want "intended uses" mainly long range steel with a very rare but occasional hunt tossed in.

    What say the old Hide??


    Sierracharlie out. . . .
     

    Steel+Killer

    Killing one steel plate at a time!
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • May 27, 2014
    3,175
    7,685
    47
    32.752325 -79.867804
    Wow you are exactly where I am right now in my desire for a 338 LM I like you would love a AX, but just can't drop that kind of coin right now. So in my own research I narrowed it down to
    Savage 110FCP comes with a H-S Precision Black Stock. $1,300.00
    Remington Model 700 XCR Tactical comes with a Tactical Bell & Carlson stock in OD Green w/black webbing $1,870.00
    Euro Optics has a poor man's AX it is a 338LM Remington 700 barreled action dropped in a AX Chassis for $2,600.00 probably the route I will go and modify from there.
     

    sierracharlie338

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 12, 2013
    1,212
    649
    Republic of Texas (Houston)
    That MRAD is nice. What's the barrel change cost/procedure like?


    Ultimately I guess I'm looking for something a little more modular. That I can modify when and where I see fit. The barreled action from eurooptic is an option I'll have to look at.


    Any suggestions on custom actions??









    Sierracharlie338....
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    I don't think it is quite as easy to change over as an AI, and the kits to change over cost a bit more. But it is probably easier to change over than a custom action and while on sale it costs less than an AI.
     

    IanHusaberg

    Bad Actor
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 19, 2017
    1,234
    155
    Rocky Mountains
    I 2nd the MRAD from EuroOptic. I bought a Multi-role brown 20" 300 Win Mag.. Sold the barrel bought a 308 22" fluted, bought a 24" carbon barrel. Trying to sell the 308 barrel now and pick up a carbon version in that caliber. I'm looking at a 24" fluted 260 to replace the Ruger RPR 6.5 I sold this winter. I'm pretty sold on the MRAD. If i where you I'd buy the tungsten 338 they have for sale @$4,350. Its what I should have done from the beginning!
     

    Fursniper

    Captain, USMM (retired)
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    2,172
    52
    Arizona
    The best value in a custom action for a LM would be the Stiller TAC 338 IMHO.
     

    ZiaHunter

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 25, 2012
    1,862
    2,601
    67
    Southern NM
    Had a 338LM built on a Deviant action with Bartlein 26" Heavy Palma barrel and McM A5 stock. Great rifle.
     

    MJB13SRT8

    Chief U.S.N Ret
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2017
    137
    52
    Memphis, TN
    Since I have a Badger M2013 LA for my .300wm and really like the action, I would say the Badger M2013 for the 338LM.

    Montrose
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    I am surprised I have not heard the singings of the Defiance 338 action or the Surgeon for that matter. Thanks for the input so far guys. Lets see if anyone else wants to chime in.

    It's hard to see how you could start with one of these, add a premium barrel, break, trigger, stock and gunsmithing and not go over the price of the MRAD. Would you be happy with a rifle built from less than premium components?
     

    canuckistaninia

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 23, 2017
    128
    49
    I don't think it is quite as easy to change over as an AI, and the kits to change over cost a bit more. But it is probably easier to change over than a custom action and while on sale it costs less than an AI.

    I haven't seen firsthand how the AX changes caliber (only online videos I'm afraid), but the MRAD is pretty simple. here's a video that shows it's at most 90 seconds, if he didn't do any "show and tell" he would have been close to 1 minute all in....

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/diOxGTBaPRU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    For the AX, you have less screws to lossen, but you have to un-thread, and re-thread the barrel. For this reason, I feel the actual barrel conversion is quicker and simpler on the MRAD, but with the AX, my understanding is that you get a whole new bolt for each caliber, so you get to skip the bolt disassembly/re-assembly step the MRAD has to do.
     
    Last edited:

    Hondo1

    Sergeant USMC
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Jun 2, 2014
    1,488
    485
    Colorado
    I have the Desert Tech and absolutely love it. 30" .338 Barrel and it's still shorter than your average bolt gun.
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    I haven't seen how the AX changes caliber, but the MRAD is pretty simple. here's a video that shows it's at most 90 secondse, if he didn't do any "show and tell" he would have been close to 1 minute all in....

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/diOxGTBaPRU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    I am not as fast as the guy in your video. I store my torque set at zero, and I have to fumble with it for about as long as this video takes to get it set to 140 inlbs. My Snapon TDI torque wrench sucks to read I need both my reading glasses and a magnifer to be sure it is right. Your torque wrench may be better, but I'll bet that it takes longer than saying "set to 140 inlbs." The button on the bottom of the reciver that you press to break the action takes more force than I can get with the one finger I can fit on it, so I have to have a peice of wood that I put on the button and press the wood with the palm of my hand. My button may be stiffer than most.

    But, I do agree that it is easy enough to changeover the MRAD (and I hope that is what I said). Perhaps I should practise until I am as good as the guy in your video, and get a torque limiter that stays set to 140 inlbs.
     

    vh20

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2012
    3,209
    2,918
    57
    I am surprised I have not heard the singings of the Defiance 338 action or the Surgeon for that matter. Thanks for the input so far guys. Lets see if anyone else wants to chime in.

    Well, I was getting to it. I have two Defiance Deviants, one is a .338. Both are outstanding, and I would definitely choose one again for the next build.
     

    vh20

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2012
    3,209
    2,918
    57
    It's hard to see how you could start with one of these, add a premium barrel, break, trigger, stock and gunsmithing and not go over the price of the MRAD. Would you be happy with a rifle built from less than premium components?

    Are you saying that a rifle built from a Defiance or Surgeon would not be built from premium components?

    Or, maybe that you'd have to go cheaper than that to not go over the price of the MRAD?
     

    IanHusaberg

    Bad Actor
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 19, 2017
    1,234
    155
    Rocky Mountains
    I already chimed in earlier. With that being said, I did own a Savage FCP-HS before the MRAD and it was a great value option. It shot well from the beginning, I added a T3 Terminator break and it made it even better. I only move to the MRAD because I was wanting to have a Modular system. When I looked at my collection, It was hard to stomach three Spuhr mounts, three 1st focal plane scopes. My nicest scope was the Razor gen2 sitting on top of the 338, which didn't get shoot a lot. I thought it was a shame that such a nice piece of glass to just sit there. Thats when I started looking into change barrel systems. I was also trying to upgrade all my systems in general this winter while I had down time. No regrets looking back! EuroOptic did try to sell me on the AI 700 338, I didn't think that was much of an upgrade over the Savage. They also tried to sell me on the AXMC 338, budget didn't allow. I think the MRAD is the simplest of the modular systems. If you don't want the modular aspect, check out the 98B fieldcraft?
     

    sierracharlie338

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 12, 2013
    1,212
    649
    Republic of Texas (Houston)
    Are you saying that a rifle built from a Defiance or Surgeon would not be built from premium components?

    Or, maybe that you'd have to go cheaper than that to not go over the price of the MRAD?


    I wasn't quite sure either. For me building in that manner is preferable since I can't afford to drop the price of the whole gun up front unless I sell a few guns and if that were the case the AX would come back into the equation.



    For purposes of this thread I was looking for opinions on customs build components (stiller, defiance, surgeon etc)



    Thanks for all the input guys but I feel I'm even more torn cause of the damn Barrett that's on sale.











    Sierracharlie338....
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    Are you saying that a rifle built from a Defiance or Surgeon would not be built from premium components?

    Or, maybe that you'd have to go cheaper than that to not go over the price of the MRAD?

    Any time I built a rifle up from an action it ended up costing me more than that. For example: 1,600 action, 424 trigger 1,800 stock, 400 barrel, 125 brake, 150 mags 800 for the smith-- Your numbers will be different but his is what I spent on my last-- So I was $5,300 into it and that's not counting the UPS charges back and forth to the Smith. I'm not trying to say that those things cannot be bought for less, I'm just saying that when you can get an MRAD that does pretty much the same thing already built for a thousand bucks less it seems like the value is there. As far as I know Defiance or Surgeon are premium actions, and there may be reasons to go that way. I do not own a .338 on either so I could not tell the OP about those reasons. I do own a MRAD and at todays sale price were I looking for a .338 I would consider it. As to the OP he should buy the rifle he wants.

    I can see how I could have saved up to 1,000 off what I spent, but if you know how to trim two grand off it and still be using the best of everything I would love to read about how you did it.
     
    Last edited:

    fdkay

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 27, 2009
    6,716
    3,715
    60
    Ingleside, Tx
    I don't know why a guy who wants a .338 LM should get a .338 Norma instead, can you exlaine your reasoning.

    Better, more efficient case design, also specifically designed to handle the 300 grain bullets without encroaching on the case.
    Think .260 vs 6.5CM.
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    Better, more efficient case design, also specifically designed to handle the 300 grain bullets without encroaching on the case.
    Think .260 vs 6.5CM.

    In the .338 LM with 94 grains of Retumbo I get 2650 fps. What load do you use to get dramatically better than that with your .338 Norma? If I run short of my handloads I can walk into most well stocked gunstores and choose between several .338 LM rounds including the excellent 285 grain Horanady. If you run out of hand loads, do most gun stores stock fodder for the .338 Norma?

    But then I'm sticking with my .260 Rem too so perhaps I'm just missing out, though I'm not quite sure what I'm missing.
     

    thrusty

    Patriot
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 14, 2012
    1,500
    12
    Hedgesville, WV
    Area 419 built my 338 Norma mag from a Defiance long action in a AX chassis and have been totally happy with it. Sticking your action in an AX chassis might give you that AI feel that you dream of...

    338 Norma is more efficient than the Lapua and as long as you get CIP length mags/chassis you can easily set them 300gr pills where they should be. The 338Norma reminds you of a 6.5x47L cartridge on steroids. That being said...If your heart is set on the 338 Lapua, by all means, go for it - it's a very great cartridge as well.

    I'm shooting 89grs of H1000 out of a 27" Hawk Hill 9.3tw and getting a 2825FPS (SD of 3) with a 300gr Berger Hybrid. No pressure...not even a flat primer and just hammers steel with authority.

     

    Attachments

    • photo53277.jpg
      photo53277.jpg
      44.6 KB · Views: 16

    thrusty

    Patriot
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 14, 2012
    1,500
    12
    Hedgesville, WV
    In the .338 LM with 94 grains of Retumbo I get 2650 fps. What load do you use to get dramatically better than that with your .338 Norma? If I run short of my handloads I can walk into most well stocked gunstores and choose between several .338 LM rounds including the excellent 285 grain Horanady. If you run out of hand loads, do most gun stores stock fodder for the .338 Norma?

    But then I'm sticking with my .260 Rem too so perhaps I'm just missing out, though I'm not quite sure what I'm missing.

    I wouldn't say most gun stores would have factory 338 Norma ammo....just like most gun stores wouldn't have factory 338 ammo. But, Norma does make very decent factory 300 and 338 Norma ammo with match bullets.
     

    vh20

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2012
    3,209
    2,918
    57
    Any time I built a rifle up from an action it ended up costing me more than that. For example: 1,600 action, 424 trigger 1,800 stock, 400 barrel, 125 brake, 150 mags 800 for the smith-- Your numbers will be different but his is what I spent on my last-- So I was $5,300 into it and that's not counting the UPS charges back and forth to the Smith. I'm not trying to say that those things cannot be bought for less, I'm just saying that when you can get an MRAD that does pretty much the same thing already built for a thousand bucks less it seems like the value is there. As far as I know Defiance or Surgeon are premium actions, and there may be reasons to go that way. I do not own a .338 on either so I could not tell the OP about those reasons. I do own a MRAD and at todays sale price were I looking for a .338 I would consider it. As to the OP he should buy the rifle he wants.

    I can see how I could have saved up to 1,000 off what I spent, but if you know how to trim two grand off it and still be using the best of everything I would love to read about how you did it.

    Ah. Yeah, I get that. It sounded like you were saying that a custom-built rifle with a Defiance or Surgeon was going to be inferior in some way to the MRAD. FWIW, I just took delivery of a 6.5 CM, Defiance action, Krieger, AX chassis, Jewell trigger, Little Bastard brake, all spec'd by me but smith-supplied, for 4300.

    I agree with Thrusty and fdkay on the 338 NM. I have both, but the Norma is the better cartridge for me, assuming you stick with the 300gr bullets it was designed around. I never would shoot factory ammo in them beyond that first box to verify function, so that's not an issue to me. Norma does make quality ammo for it though. There's nothing wrong with the Lapua, however, it's just that most people who have both seem to prefer the Norma. For reference, with 300 SMK, 88.5 gr. Retumbo, 215 primer, 26 in. Rock Creek gives 2704 fps. Can push a lot harder, but that's where it seems to be most accurate.
     
    Last edited:

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    VH20, Unlike me it seems you can resist going with the latest Manners folder, all tricked out with mini chassis, picatinny rail for the bipod, and flush cupd everywhere I might ever want one, damm that shit added up.
     

    sierracharlie338

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 12, 2013
    1,212
    649
    Republic of Texas (Houston)
    While stock wasn't initially a topic of this thread I'm torn there as well. I'm thinking a Manners T2A but not against the new AX chassis either.

    I really love that T2 thoughÂ… why must these decisions be so hard.








    Sierracharlie338....
     

    schmi015

    Rogue
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 8, 2012
    1,052
    591
    The Swamp AKA DC
    Have you given any thought to a 300 norma? Still need the same size bolt face of a lapua or norma .338 but you'd be launching 230 grain bergers just shy of 3000fps.
     

    TheGerman

    Oberleutnant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2010
    10,342
    28,889
    the Westside
    Barrett MRAD.

    Why? It's awesome.

    No more custom build for each caliber. No more different scope for each rifle. No more different setup, different stock, different trigger every time you grab another gun.

    Sick of shooting 6.5CM for a while? Fuck it, drop the barrel and switch the bolt, get happy with your 140 in/lb wrench and presto, its a fucking 338LM lady pleaser.

    When you factor all of it in, unless you just want a rifle you'll shoot 4 rounds through a year to go deer hunting, the MRAD turns into a fucking bargain.
     

    sierracharlie338

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 12, 2013
    1,212
    649
    Republic of Texas (Houston)
    Barrett MRAD.

    Why? It's awesome.

    No more custom build for each caliber. No more different scope for each rifle. No more different setup, different stock, different trigger every time you grab another gun.

    Sick of shooting 6.5CM for a while? Fuck it, drop the barrel and switch the bolt, get happy with your 140 in/lb wrench and presto, its a fucking 338LM lady pleaser.

    When you factor all of it in, unless you just want a rifle you'll shoot 4 rounds through a year to go deer hunting, the MRAD turns into a fucking bargain.

    I sorta hate you a little bit and love you at the same time. No gay though......
     

    tndonor

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 14, 2017
    31
    31
    I had a 338LM built last year. I went with a Defiance Tactical, a Bartlien MTU barrel, badger M5 DBM, Calvin elite trigger all sitting in a bedded McMillan A5. All spun up by a quality smith.

    No here is what I have to say about making a choice in components. If you go with quality and hand it to someone who can precisely machine said components...... you will have a shooter. I could have just as easily went with a Bighorn, Stiller, etc and my end results would likely be the same. In stock and available was my driving factor, not what guys on the forum were raving about because they read this action was being used on a PRS circuit. I tend to put more weight in the assembly and machining than I do the components themselves. The individual components are proven time and time again. To me that says getting the components to work together is where more of the rubber meets the road. Take said components and have your local smith would just bought a lathe with no formal machining education and experience...... you will not have a shooter, be out $$$$$$, and be very upset. Take a factory untouched 700 action, send it to someone to be trued...... shoots better. Only thing that changed are tolerances. Start with good stuff, dont get sucked into the ford vs chevy..... this action vs that barrel, and send it to a good smith and you will be happy.

    That is my concise recipe for happiness in getting a shooter. My father in law watching me bust clay pigeons at 520 yards was the icing on the cake.
     

    surgeon260

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 26, 2014
    603
    479
    Colorado
    Not much love in this thread for the Surgeon XL, so I will chime in for it. This action was designed from the ground up for the Lapua class cartridges. I have a Gradous 338 Norma IMP built on the Surgeon and I absolutely love it. It is the most accurate rifle I own. With 300 grain Bergers, 0.2 MOA is the norm, with plenty of groups in the 0.1 and 0.0 range.

    Pros:
    -Extreme accuracy potential
    -Strength
    -Ultra-reliable function in the field
    -Uses CIP mags for optimal bullet seating
    -Smooth as butter
    -Integral 30 MOA rail
    -Huge integral recoil lug = longer tenon thread length = better barrel stability

    Cons:
    -Heavy
    -1.45" action diameter won't fit every stock/chassis platform (but fits most)
    -1.125" diameter tenon threads require the use of a 1.35" barrel breech diameter (i.e. even more weight)
    -Not customizable like, say, a Defiance
     

    Pro517

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 22, 2017
    52
    14
    +1 for the MRAD. buy ONE gun and have a choice of 8 different calibers. ~1500 bucks for a new barrel kit vs. 3-6 grand for a whole new similar quality rifle, not including optics and accessories. Easy math.
    I have 2 MRADs and a FN Ballista and the FN is a safe queen. Nuff said.
    To be fair, I have no experience with AI or others.
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    Pro517 your arguments are well reasoned but I'm getting the impression that the OP has a strong desire to move in a different direction.
     

    TheGerman

    Oberleutnant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 25, 2010
    10,342
    28,889
    the Westside
    Pro517 your arguments are well reasoned but I'm getting the impression that the OP has a strong desire to move in a different direction.

    The hilarious thing is, OP could consolidate calibers and sell off some of his Remington 700s and whatnot in the calibers an MRAD would shoot, get all the caliber kits, and a S&B or TT optic and still come out ahead.

    The fact that every caliber you shoot will be with the same optic, same rifle setup, same everything is a huge bonus.

    If you're worried about accuracy on a factory rifle versus a custom gun, my MRAD outshoots the 308 and 300WM full blown bells and whistles custom rifles I have.
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,764
    6,704
    WNY
    The hilarious thing is, OP could consolidate calibers and sell off some of his Remington 700s and whatnot in the calibers an MRAD would shoot, get all the caliber kits, and a S&B or TT optic and still come out ahead.

    The fact that every caliber you shoot will be with the same optic, same rifle setup, same everything is a huge bonus.

    If you're worried about accuracy on a factory rifle versus a custom gun, my MRAD outshoots the 308 and 300WM full blown bells and whistles custom rifles I have.

    The other thing that people tend to miss is that even though is is not that overweight the MRAD in .338 LM is very pleasant for most to shoot. The Brake works well enough with the weight and design of the rifle. The MRAD is a system designed to limit recoil to something most rifle men can tolerate. I don't consider myself in the Elmer Keith recoil resistant category but I can put a few boxes of .338 through the MRAD with no problem. I've seen some .338 that seem to kick much harder. The percieved recoil with my MRAD .338 is about like a sportster weight scoped .308. While from what I have seen some "custom smiths" are sending out rifles that kick like a feather weight .300 WM, and that is something that most shooters arn't ready for. None-the-less the OP needs to figure out what will make him happy.

    The above is my perception of the recoil, other more knowledgeable might have different perceptions.
     

    jonthomps

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 9, 2009
    2,214
    251
    Kansas City
    As was mentioned earlier, the Surgeon XL was built from the ground up as for the 338LM. Everything on it is oversized. The recoil lug is ridiculous. In addition, you get enough play (not slop) between the action body and the bolt to run it under pretty dirty conditions without any problems. It's an awesome action.
     

    Pro517

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 22, 2017
    52
    14
    I am obviously a MRAD fan, but if I were to build a dedicated gun for a specific purpose, or I wanted a caliber not offered by Barrett, (I.e. Competition shoots, pack hunting, etc.) then I would most likely use a Surgeon action and build from there. HOW you intend to use the gun will determine the build using the following factors:

    1. Weight. Is it an issue and what is the max weight you can live with
    2. Recoil. Obviously related to weight in a 338, depends on how many shots you will routinely fire in a normal session
    3. Caliber choice. Would you like to change calibers without building an entirely new gun?
    4. Looks. Usually a bigger deal than most would like to admit, do you want a military style look or more of a hunting rifle look?
    5. Cost. This is a tricky one and deserves special consideration. Depending on above factors, a quick change barrel gun has several advantages as mentioned in previous posts, but the initial price can be the down side. However, setting up one gun with optics and accessories to shoot multiple calibers is a huge deal. You can buy new barrels for 1500 or less and collect them over time.
    6. Accuracy. I personally consider this a non issue. Both a custom build and an MRAD will shoot more accurately than probably 99% of are capable of, so to me the difference between 1/2 MOA and 3/8 MOA is not an issue unless you are trying to shoot ELR distances. Even then, the gun is usually less of an issue than the shooter, IMO.


    in the end, just try to objectively analyze your shooting goals and the choice will make itself! Good luck!

    *edit...I am by NO means any sort of expert, the above is just my personal experience!
     
    Last edited:

    sierracharlie338

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 12, 2013
    1,212
    649
    Republic of Texas (Houston)
    I don't have any real plans for this rifle other than to be laying down and murdering steel from a long ways off. I am young enough that weight isn't a problem if I decide to take it on an elk hunt I will just pack it regardless. I am working a few angles of my current situation and seeing what options are available. I will report back once the decision has been made.

    On a side note I am really enjoying the discussion so far. I didn't realize there was as big of a following for the MRAD as there is.

    And one last thing, I appreciate the advice of the guys saying shoot the 338 Norma or whatever other caliber they feel they get more out of but, call me whatever you want, there is just something about that 338 Lapua round that I can't let go of. So again I appreciate the advice but it will be a 338 Lapua build, no question.
     

    IanHusaberg

    Bad Actor
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 19, 2017
    1,234
    155
    Rocky Mountains
    I thought i'd add my $.02 here. I'm in the MRAD camp now. I sold 5 firearms this winter and bought a gen 1 on closeout demo rifle from EuroOptic. Like some of my fellow Masterrace compadres here I'm ahead($$$$$) after selling rifles and glass, trimming the heard down and upgrading my shooting systems all around. I never thought I'd be a Barrett MRAD owner, ever. I thought I might have a desert tech at some point in my life and I could have made that happen this winter. The only thing in my opinion that the MRAD lacks is a 223 conversion and I can live without that. After owning a Ruger RPR 6.5 creed last year that was the gateway drug to the MRAD. The modularity that AR-15 ergonomics lend a system is huge. The weight of the gen 1 rifle is lending itself to reduced recoil. I really liking the fact that Barrett has really engineered the rifle so you can't put it back together wrong when converting to other calibers. The newer Gen 2 MRAD with the lightening cuts in the foregrip and with a proof carbon barrel installed I could see how you could feasibly hunt with it. It would just come down to a scope choice that was weight concess? Vortex AMG????

    I don't really see the need for any other calibers out there that Barrett doesn't offer, unless you feel the need to own odd ball cartridges/rifles that shoot them. I do think the conversions are a little over priced, but it seems like prices are starting to fall along with the rest of the gun community.

    I was just breaking in my 3rd barrel yesterday and I haven't owned the rifle that many months yet. I see a lot of re-zeroing my scope in my future and wearing out the set screws in the future. Thank goodness for vortex. I called Barrett and asked about a second upper gen2 for my short action conversion, they said call back in the fall. I might go that route if its possible. I'll have to buy another scope and mount, but it would be nice to just switch the upper and be able to go back and forth between SA & LA.

    SA- 260 REM 24" fluted, 308 WIN Carbon 22" LA- 300 Norma 24" heavy, 338 Lapua Carbon 24"
     
    Last edited:

    Fursniper

    Captain, USMM (retired)
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    2,172
    52
    Arizona
    I don't have any real plans for this rifle other than to be laying down and murdering steel from a long ways off. I am young enough that weight isn't a problem if I decide to take it on an elk hunt I will just pack it regardless. I am working a few angles of my current situation and seeing what options are available. I will report back once the decision has been made.

    On a side note I am really enjoying the discussion so far. I didn't realize there was as big of a following for the MRAD as there is.

    And one last thing, I appreciate the advice of the guys saying shoot the 338 Norma or whatever other caliber they feel they get more out of but, call me whatever you want, there is just something about that 338 Lapua round that I can't let go of. So again I appreciate the advice but it will be a 338 Lapua build, no question.

    I totally get the MRAD thing, but I'm with you Sierracharlie, stick to your guns and build the gun of your dreams! I'm currently in the same process as you, ie, a custom to the max 338LM, the only difference being I'm going with an AI version (more speed, more distance, oohhh yeahhh, lol!). There's nothing like a gun that is "totally yours" from concept to completion. Yeah, the resale on an MRAD is undoubtedly better than a full custom rig but frankly when I get out to shoot, I take other rifles too, I just want to grab them & shoot while the previous rifle is cooling down & not have to screw around with trying to get scopes dialed in every time I shoot a different caliber, but that's just me. Good luck with your build...
     

    Long Range 338

    Professional Ammo Waster
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Jul 10, 2012
    2,194
    2,020
    Out West
    Ok so I've shot a few different 338LM rifles and one that hasn't been mentioned is the good old Sako TRG42, it is a serious ass kicker and the price is right at under $3k used. The AX is awesome, nobody would deny that. I bought a used MRAD in 338LM and it is a great gun - the only thing pissing me off is that they went on sale about 3 weeks later! Luckily I got a bunch of mags and reloading stuff that it still turned out to be a great deal. If you want a one of a kind gem of your own then the custom route is the way to go as you have total control of how it looks, feels, and functions. I think there is a lot of love out there for the Surgeon and Defiance actions for 338s. Personally I liked the modular idea and the MRAD just turned me on!