.338 Lapua Magnum


July 20, 2007, 07:40 PM
there's a write-up of this caliber in Combat Arms currently (or maybe it was last month's issue - I'm not sure).

It looks impressive. Could be really good for hunting, not necessarily because of range, but it's fairly powerful and I feel something like it would be a solid immediate lights-out caliber (assuming it's a good shot of course). It's also supposedly quite accurate.

What do you guys know about it, and what is the availability of ammo with it?

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July 20, 2007, 08:10 PM
I believe that if you want a .338 ( & I had to have one too) that brass and ammo availability is much better with the .338 Win Mag, the .338 Rem Ultra, or even the .340 Weatherby. I have the .338 Win Mag with a 26" barrel & I'm getting (chronographed) velocities of: 210 gr Barns Triple Shock @ 3025 ave. fps & with a 225 gr Hornady @ 2984 ave. I used Reloader 19 powder with WLRM primers & Remington brass. Costs are also MUCH cheaper with the .338 Win Mag over something like the Lapua. Brass is much harder to get & you'll never find loaded ammo in an emergency if needed. Also, there isn't anything in North America that can stand up to even the .338 Win Mag & the other two, the Remingto & Weatherby are even more powerful. You'll also need to consider recoil. It's quite a bit more than even my .300 Win Mag.

General Geoff
July 20, 2007, 08:18 PM
From what I understand, .338 Lapua is capable of taking any game on earth, including elephants. However, any who would actually go on safari would most likely need to take something of a larger caliber because of some nonsense minimum .375 caliber rule for their larger animals.

.338 Lapua is more powerful than any of the other commercial .338 cartridges (handloading notwithstanding). If you absolutely, positively must drop that animal where it stands, .338 Lapua is a fine choice indeed.

Just make sure you have a thick wallet. :)

July 20, 2007, 09:47 PM
Geoff, you missed one. The 338/378 Weatherby is bigger. :D

.cheese., the 338 Lapua is a hell of a round. The snipers in Britain use them in Accuracy International bolt actions. It's a darn good 1000 (and beyond) round. As the others have said though, it's not without it's drawbacks. The guns chambered in it are generally pricey and so is the ammo (or even just the components). It's louder, more recoil (a brake will negate this) and gulps down more powder. It's in a whole different class from the 338 Win Mag though. The 338 Win Mag is a good cartrige, but the newer 338 Mags like the 340 Wby (not so new), 338 RUM, 338 Lapua, and 338/378 increase the range and capabilities of the 338 diameter bullet tremendously.

Do some internet searches, there's a wealth of information out there about the 338 Lapua, it's beginnings, guns that shoot it, etc.

Zak Smith
July 20, 2007, 09:54 PM
Here's the deal-- .338 Lapua Magnum was designed as a multi-purpose long- and ultra-long-range sniper round, to fit in rifles more or less the same size and weight as a long action (like the 300 Win Mag). That kind of long-range performance is realized only in very high BC bullets. The primary trade-offs for its long-range ballistic advantage are recoil and cost. If what you really want is short and medium-range whollap for game, there are choices (some already listed) with much less recoil and cost.

If you have other questions about 338LM not covered in the article, I can answer them here.

July 20, 2007, 10:14 PM
.338 Lapua is awesome and I have seriously considered it. A good production rifle is not too bad ($3000 or so) but the bullets are astronomical in price. The brass to load comes in around .75-$1 a shell when I priced it last. Its just too much to shoot and I enjoy shooting too much! :D

July 20, 2007, 10:22 PM
i have a question, because i was just thinking about buying a 338 LM myself...

Zak, what's it cost you to load per round

July 20, 2007, 10:38 PM
Go with 338 Edge (300 RUM Necked up to 338) 4% increase in case capacity, and brass is 1/3 the cost.

Zak Smith
July 20, 2007, 10:45 PM
Brass is up to $1.60/case now, but you can still load for around 0.80/each

July 21, 2007, 12:04 AM
Taliv, my 338/378 which is comparable, runs $1.00-$1.50 a round for handloads depending on which bullets you're loading. This is after you depreciate the cost of the brass over 4-5 reloads. If you just did it for the first time it'd be between $3.00-$3.50 a round.

As mentioned above, if you wanted to build something big in the 300 - 338 class and you're on a budget, the RUM case is a much better starting point.

July 21, 2007, 05:00 PM
i'm not particularly on a budget, but i've gotten pretty tired of paying 50bmg prices, and was thinking i could shoot more if i scaled down a bit. i don't want to get one if it's going to cost the same as my 50.

July 21, 2007, 05:38 PM
zak, looks like midway is up to $1.95 ea.

Zak Smith
July 21, 2007, 08:11 PM
Midway is great for service and having things in stock, but isn't where I go for the lowest price. (Try Powder Valley or Gunstop.)

July 21, 2007, 09:41 PM
yeah, i usually use powder valley, but their website was down then.

interestingly, eabco has the brass for $156/100

best prices if found though were exactly what you said... .78/shot

what powder do you use? ever try retumbo?

July 28, 2007, 01:11 PM
Ever see a Thompson Encore barrel for the 338 LM? I've looked around a bit and haven't seen any. Is it even practical? Thanks for any comments.

July 29, 2007, 07:28 AM
I had a 338 lapua that was ackley improved( as if it didn't eat enough powder stock) the only issues I ever had was trying to load light bullets in it. They seemed to want to evaporate about 50 yards downrange. It was a cool round and I still have the reamer floating around some where. I will spool up another one some day and try it all over. I hear they are making a new 350 grain bullet that I would like to try. I think it would still be less than feeding a 50 cal.

July 29, 2007, 07:51 AM
.338LM is the calibre chosen for our new 'long range' sniper platform from AI, not a replacement for the 7.62 AI but more of an addition to the armoury.
doubt I'll get to play with it, its mainly for the marines

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