View Full Version : Looking for .338 - 74R Keith Dies

03-10-2012, 12:35 PM
I'm about to build, or maybe have built, a new rifle on a spare Ruger #1 action. Thought maybe I'd do something a bit different using a tapered octagon barrel about 27 or 28 inches long with integral quarter rib and front sight. Since the Ruger #1 is well suited to a rimmed case the .338 -74R Keith came to mind. It's virtually identical to the .338 Win. Mag. It's not too practical 'cause I don't yet have a barrel, reamer, or dies. The barrel and reamer are easy, but the dies may be a problem. The cost from RCBS will be right at $300. Youch! I already have a .338 Win Mag reamer and dies so unless I can come up with a reasonably priced set of dies the gun may just be a rather ordinary .338 Mag except for the octagon barrel. But that's no fun, I want something a bit out of the ordinary. I've always been a bit of an oddball and would like this new rifle to match my personality. Has anyone out there got a line on a set of dies for this old Wildcat?

03-10-2012, 05:04 PM
Hey John,

I have no idea where to find that reamer :)

but I had to say hey, I haven't used my Kokopelli bars since

ohhhh, yesterday or so...

Thanks for providing the best product for it's intended purpose.


03-10-2012, 06:14 PM
Cant they make a resizing die when they cut the chamber?

Charles E
03-10-2012, 09:29 PM
My understanding is Hornady will make custom dies fairly cheaply -- they need only fired cases. I'm too lazy to do all the searching. If you know Dave Tooley, he can both confirm this & give you the number of the guy at Hornady. I believe his name is Joe Thielen.

Oh, hell. went & looked up one of the Hornady references on the web:


You can get a custom bushing die from JLC for less than $300... He too needs fired cases.

Other option -- PT&G was running a special on a chamber + resize reamer. If that's still on, it's a lot cheaper then the Redding price & you get both reamers. I'm sure you know where to get die blanks, & you can surface treat them rather than harden -- or just get in on somebody else's hardening when the send a batch off. IIRC, the whole bit would run less than $300, including the chamber reamer.

You can get cases? Oddly enough, I was looking at that chambering today in Howell's book, trying to find the .338 Dakota for someone.

Easier would probably be a .338/348 Winchester wildcat. Close to the same capacity. Just neck it down .010 & cobble together a set of dies for Fl sizing -- one for the case, one for the neck. An Ackley version on the .348 would have a bit bigger capacity, I believe.

Lots of ways to do this, thinking on it.


BTW, I *think* we met at an IBS National at Hawks Ridge some years back -- when Roadway Express lost your rifles?...

03-10-2012, 09:35 PM
I had Ben Syring of Hornady Custom shop as my contact for die-making. He made me a good die. Former contact was Lonnie Hummel IIRC. Still almost 250 bucks but if you're not as picky as me you can knock 75.00 off that for a total of around 175.00.

I just recently took advantage of that PT&G die-reamer special. They nailed mine working from yr-old specs. But this in't a cheap way to go either.


Charles E
03-10-2012, 09:56 PM
Ouch, Al.

Hornady's going to make my .338/375 FL die. IIRC, their prce use to be $80, then $140, now you say it's gone up more?

With the PTG special, didn't the price include the chamber reamer? Still higher than a reamer plus a custom Redding die?

I guess that leaves Carstensen, if he's still making dies. Last time I got one, they had gone up to $200, & that was a while ago.


Here's another reference, but it may not include wildcats...


03-10-2012, 11:36 PM
Try dave@ch4d.com for a quote on dies .

I just purchased a .240 Weatherby belt forming die that was in stock.



03-14-2012, 07:05 PM
Hey guys,
Thanks for the input. I found a set of in stock dies (can you believe It!) at CH 4D, with shipping under $127. They were made from a fired case and measurements show they may be a tiny bit tight at the shoulder, but the reamer hasn't been make yet so a cast of the sizing die to the reamer maker should cover it just in case. CH4D quoted $145 plus shipping to make from a drawing or fired case. Got a quote from Hornady also: $165 plus shipping, not bad at all. Now to get a barrel and all that other stuff! I'm getting excited!