Discontinued 338 Federal Rifle

338BearHunter

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I'm considering (pending approval from The Boss) getting my hands on one of the now-discontinued .338 Federal bolt-action hunting rifles if possible. I already own two, but they've both rather heavy, mitigating one of the advantages of the cartridge.

I don't know the entire list, but I know that Ruger, Sako, and Kimber all made these.
 

TN2shot07

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It’d be nice to come across one of those Kimbers. Looks like they have several of the savages on GB, pretty cheap rifles for such expensive factory ammo tho
 

Doublegunner

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I think a kimber montana in that cartridge would be super cool. It's unfortunate that the cartridge didn't take off.
 

338BearHunter

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You lookin for a collectors item or a hunting rifle? If it were me I’d grab a tikka 308 and have JES rebore it
Hunting rifle. I should have made that clear. I'm certainly open to building something (or actually, paying someone else to do so).

Savage has a custom shop, so I called them to inquire about building me a Lightweight Storm in .338 Federal. As I had feared, they would use their "Heavy Sporter Barrel" on the chambering, which kinda negates the point as I already have heavy versions. As they mate Proof Research barrels to their actions in their Ultralite line, maybe I should ask about that.

I believe Kimber DID make a Montana in .338 Fed some years ago, which is why I keep looking for them.

So let me rephrase the question. If I were to rebarrel an existing firearm in .338 Federal, which would anyone recommend? It has to be weatherproof (stainless or cerakote) and I'd like it to come in under 7.5 lbs (ideally under 7) with a typical ~1 lb scope.
 

brockel

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Hunting rifle. I should have made that clear. I'm certainly open to building something (or actually, paying someone else to do so).

Savage has a custom shop, so I called them to inquire about building me a Lightweight Storm in .338 Federal. As I had feared, they would use their "Heavy Sporter Barrel" on the chambering, which kinda negates the point as I already have heavy versions. As they mate Proof Research barrels to their actions in their Ultralite line, maybe I should ask about that.

I believe Kimber DID make a Montana in .338 Fed some years ago, which is why I keep looking for them.

So let me rephrase the question. If I were to rebarrel an existing firearm in .338 Federal, which would anyone recommend? It has to be weatherproof (stainless or cerakote) and I'd like it to come in under 7.5 lbs (ideally under 7) with a typical ~1 lb scope.

I’d do just like I said. Get a Stainless tikka 308 and have JES rebore it to 338. Would be cheaper than building and would be under 7lbs. Could grind bolt stop down and run long action magazines in it and seat those 338 bullets out farther and not eat up case capacity
 

EastTNHunter

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If you’re a Savage guy then you could get a prefit Criterion or EABCO and rebarrel it yourself pretty easily
 

Jasher

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I can get you one of these
 

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338BearHunter

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If you’re a Savage guy then you could get a prefit Criterion or EABCO and rebarrel it yourself pretty easily
Good point. If my 110 Storm wasn't bedded, I'd consider rebarrelling that, but since it would still be heavy even with a new barrel, I think I'll leave it alone. If Criterion or EABCO .338 barrels are light and short (22" ideally), I could buy a Lightweight Storm and rebarrel that.
 

Gunner46

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I don't know if this fits into your criteria, but I went the re-bore route about 5 years ago. Bought a Ruger American Predator .308 for $289 and had JES re-bore it ($250). Topped it off with a Leupold 2X7X32 ($199). Came out cheaper, total, than an off the shelf anything plain rifle I could find anywhere! Bulls, Bears, & Boars. 7 pounds on the dot and a pleasure to shoot.
 

338BearHunter

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I don't know if this fits into your criteria, but I went the re-bore route about 5 years ago. Bought a Ruger American Predator .308 for $289 and had JES re-bore it ($250). Topped it off with a Leupold 2X7X32 ($199). Came out cheaper, total, than an off the shelf anything plain rifle I could find anywhere! Bulls, Bears, & Boars. 7 pounds on the dot and a pleasure to shoot.
It sure does, thanks. This is why I was wondering what base rifle I should choose to start from. I don't own many brands, at least not in centerfire, so I'd like to hear whether people like the Rugers, Tikkas, etc.

They used to make the Ruger Hawkeye in .338 Federal, so I look for that from time-to-time.
 

Gunner46

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I still own a Rem, but retired it due to a sloppy safety. Sold my Win 70 cuz of stock configuration & recoil. Next up was Howa, Great rifle, but I out grew the use of a 7RM. Now it's a Ruger 7mm/08 or the 338 Fed. It's been BANG, Tag & drag 'em ever since.
 

turbobrick

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I’d do just like I said. Get a Stainless tikka 308 and have JES rebore it to 338. Would be cheaper than building and would be under 7lbs. Could grind bolt stop down and run long action magazines in it and seat those 338 bullets out farther and not eat up case capacity
I did almost this, but its a blued Tikka in 30-06 that JES punched out to 338-06. I've been really pleased with the performance and groups, and if I wanted one in Fed I'd do it all over again.
 

338BearHunter

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Maybe it depends on the caliber, but would JES replace the barrel or just rebore it? Whatever barrel blanks Savage uses, they seem committed to stepping up in outer diameter when they go from .308 to .338. That's why my two Savage .338s are so heavy. I suspect the other manufacturers didn't do that.
 

turbobrick

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Maybe it depends on the caliber, but would JES replace the barrel or just rebore it? Whatever barrel blanks Savage uses, they seem committed to stepping up in outer diameter when they go from .308 to .338. That's why my two Savage .338s are so heavy. I suspect the other manufacturers didn't do that.
He just rebores what you already have, I don't think he does any other kind of work. I asked if he could thread the muzzle, but he said no, reboring is all he does.
 

D4570

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My son has a mountain ascent in 6.5 Creemore and hates it.
Loves the gun but you only get one maybe two shots and the pencil barrel moves, a LOT from the heat. He has it in for a caliber change and a different barrel. YUP 338 Federal. When it gets finished we will post up the testing and final load.
 

brockel

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If the kimber montana route is the way you want to go then find a donor rifle that wouldn’t shoot for someone. They can be found for around $850. Lilja will copy the Montana contour. They also have a IMO better contour than the Montana. It starts out like the Montana but holds a little extra diameter towards the muzzle compared to the factory montana

Probably be cheaper than looking for the 338 federal kimber unicorn
 

stk

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I have a Tikka in .338 Federal. I have no intention of selling. It was a popular caliber for Tikkas and Sakos but only for a few years. I recommend either if you can find one.
 
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