The Hunter's Life

The Hunter's Life (
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Hunterbug 11-17-2020 10:33 AM

338 Federal project
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A while ago a friend gave me a bunch of random gun stuff including some hard to find brass a bunch of which went to Gitano, bullets, loading dies, and a barreled FN Mauser action and bolt with a 19" 7x57 barrel.

My daughter started looking at the action and trying to figure out what to do with it. Her first thought was to build a long range target gun with it but that Mauser action isn't the best choice for that. So I suggested a light weight hunting rifle for deer and elk. She has a nice 270 but it's pretty heavy. A lighter and more weather resistant hunting rifle really got her interest.

So I started looking at cartridges to chamber it in. Although she does handload I wanted something that factory ammo is available for. I also didn't want something similar or duplicated by her 270. I started looking at the 338 Federal and I really liked what I saw. It has a good selection of bullets, available factory ammo, and retains 1500FPE to almost 400 yards.

I took my action to the gunsmith to talk to him about the project. He said that he could do it no problem but for what it would cost for him to alter the bolt and drill and tap the action I should look around for a cheap 700 to strip down for the action. I went to a lot of shops looking at used guns and it's slim pickins right now. The selection is small and they want all the money for what they have. I am actually okay with that as I have never been a fan of Remington rifles. I like my Mausers and their clones. So I instead turned to eBay. I managed to pick up a modified bolt along with a bunch of other random parts and a trigger guard with a hinged floor plate for $240 with shipping. Now I just need the trigger, magazine spring and follower. Then I'll take it back to him and wait.

Paul Hoskins 11-17-2020 06:04 PM

Re: 338 Federal project
Goferit, HB. ..... To build a good bolt gun (or any gun) these days ain't cheap unless you get a few freebies. You buy a decent Mauser action it's 200 dollars or more. To get it modified to look something like a commercial action is another 200 minimum. A good barrel blank from Douglas is 300 more. Getting it fitted, chambered & blued is another 200. Add the stock & you're already at the 1,000 dollar mark. You still need a scope & Timney trigger. You can save a lot by doing all you can yourself. In the end you have something you can't buy anywhere. It won't be a mass produced piece of junk either. You'll be happier with it too. ......Paul H

j0e_bl0ggs 11-18-2020 03:36 AM

Re: 338 Federal project
Echo Paul's sentiment, do as much as you can!

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