Hanno Snyman is a firearms enthusiast and designer from South Africa. Back in 2012, we reported about his first steps in the ambitious project of creating a completely new bolt action rifle. Since then, he faced a number of failures and disappointments that would make most people give up. But Hanno kept pursuing his dream and eventually formed his own company called Drakenburg and brought his ideas to life in the form of Genesis 338 bolt action rifle. To make this happen, he even moved to another country, New Zealand, where after acquiring the proper license he was able to make the rifle.
Let’s first read the story of Genesis 338 rifle’s creation as told by Hanno.
Genesis 338 is a practical long range precision rifle with all the features you expect from a modern rifle, but in order for this rifle to make sense, you first need to understand where it comes from.
It was conceptualized during my rebellious youth when I had more brawn than brains, driven by pure passion, anger and arrogance. After all my job applications at rifle companies got rejected, I decided that I will just build my own rifle despite having no experience. And so the journey began.
For most companies, the most important goal is cost. I decided from the get go, I don’t care about cost. The purpose of the rifle was not to go into production, it was to learn as much as possible. It’s a summary of my early career as a young passionate, but naïve, firearm designer. Since starting the project, I have gained a ton of experience working as a design engineer in other industries and also matured a little bit (my colleagues will strongly disagree).
My current designs are lot more sensible and market orientated. If I had to redesign Genesis 338 today, it would look a whole lot different, but I decided to go ahead with manufacturing it despite the ridiculous nature of it. I have already sacrificed thousands of hours, dollars and having to emigrating half way around the world in order to make my dream come true. Not building it would have been a bigger mistake than building it. Genesis 338 is a token of my past and a guide to my future.
Genesis 338 is a bolt action rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. The receiver of this rifle is 3D printed out of titanium which makes it very robust and at the same time very lightweight. The receiver has an integrated top Picatinny rail. The length of pull, as well as the cheekpiece height, are adjustable. The stock is folding and interestingly, the grip folds with the stock making the folded rifle as compact as possible.
The Drakenburg Genesis 338 rifle has a three-lug bolt with a 60-degree bolt throw angle. The safety is integrated into the bolt and engages the firing pin. The bolt can be completely disassembled (including the bolt head and extractor) without use of tools. The adjustable single stage trigger assembly can also be removed without tools. The barrel of Genesis 338 rifle can be changed in less than a minute. The rifle is fed from double stack ten round magazines. All the parts are specially designed for this rifle and nothing is borrowed from other weapon systems like the AR-15 or Remington 700. As Hanno says, it doesn’t even take Glock mags.
Here is also a video where Hanno tells about the main features of Genesis 338 rifle.
Right now Genesis 338 is still a project in progress and will be further refined. Currently, Hanno doesn’t have a definite plan concerning the future of the project. He may make the rifle on his own or in cooperation with other companies in the industry. Hanno considers the USA to be the primary market for his rifle and may even end up making it in the USA. The best way to stay informed about the progress of this project is to subscribe to Drakenburg’s YouTube channel and read TFB as we’ll gladly publish followup articles telling about any significant development in the Genesis 338 project.
Images by Hanno Snyman