Is .338 Lapua Mag overkill for 700 yard shooting?


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bryanZ06
June 5, 2009, 06:44 PM
I've been wanting a Sako TRG for awhile. I always thought that if I dropped the coin for one I'd go with the 22 since the only local range I know of is limited to 700 yards. I ran across a TRG 42 in .338 Lapua at a local shop today for a good price. Would I be better off going with a .308 since I'm not likely going to be able to shoot past 700 yards very often? The price of .338 ammo doesn't really scare me away from the rifle and shooting the big Lapua would be fun, but I almost feel like it would be like buying a Ferrari and never being able to take it out of a parking lot.

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cbrgator
June 5, 2009, 06:45 PM
It's probably overkill, but you have to factor in your enjoyment.

earplug
June 5, 2009, 06:57 PM
If you enjoy recoil and just want to go bang, check out a 45/70
I'd have as much fun with it as the .338 for paper.

dubbleA
June 5, 2009, 07:31 PM
I have a bunch of useless paper punchers myself, if you want one then get it. As you probably already know, its a bit spendy to shoot. I shoot more 308's by far though. Both the 42 and 22 are about the best rifles that you are going to encounter over the counter sans the AI's. It's only money brother:D:D:D

Earplug, I have both the Lapua and the 45/70 and the later is NO Lapua....not even close:what:

Boris Barowski
June 5, 2009, 07:43 PM
i've seen people use them at 100m (and they weren't just testing loads), so if you want one, get one :)

saturno_v
June 5, 2009, 09:08 PM
In a word.....yes way overkill...

If you want extreme long range performance for punching papers you would be served better by a 300 Win Mag or one of the new .30 hyper magnum (30-378, 300 RUM, etc...) flatter trajectory...

For a hunting thumper, the 300 gr. Sierra in 338 Lapua has only 200 fps, more or less, edge over the same bullet in a "regular" 338 Win Mag....if you ask me is not worth the extra money (brass, ammo and rifle)

But if you want one get it....

SpeedAKL
June 6, 2009, 02:11 AM
For 700 yards, .308 with proper bullet selection will do the trick every time and save you lots of money versus a .338LM.

1000 yards and up? 338LM starts looking pretty.

Sunray
June 6, 2009, 02:22 AM
"...for 700 yard shooting?..." Shooting what? Targets? Yes? Most matches, but not all, don't allow magnums of any kind. Shooting any .338 all day won't be fun either. Even a 11.25 lb rifle without the sights.
A .338 Mag anything is too much for anything.
"...Sako TRG..." Go with the model 22 and work up a load using 175 grain match bullets with IMR4064 or Varget. Don't bother with that rifle if you're not reloading and don't scrimp on the scope either.
"...1000 yards and up?..." At what?

Maverick223
June 6, 2009, 02:23 AM
I was very close to getting one about 4mo. ago. About a week after deciding to go with the 300WM instead I find that the 338LM went up an additional $1.00/round. Even if you reload it is not a cheap gun to load for, I would, and did go with something a bit lighter. I figure if I ever have the desire to reach out to over 1000yds I will spring for the .338LM conversion kit and drop it in my rifle. The .338LM is a great powerhouse, and rivals a .50BMG IMO, but the cost of ammo is prohibitive for me right now.

If you are like me and want a great rifle system with the ability to change calibers as your skill improves/need arises then give the Desert Tactical Arms SRS a look, not cheap but a very well designed weapons system with the capability to convert calibers in about 1min. time.

MTMilitiaman
June 6, 2009, 06:01 AM
You don't need a .338 Lapua for 700 yards, but it isn't going to do any harm, assuming you're willing to pay the price in terms of cost and recoil. The paper will be just as dead with a 300 gr Sierra as it would with a hit from anything else.

And in the future if you find access to longer ranges or have the opportunity to shoot on steel, I think you'll find the extra thump from the .338 to be well worth it. Watching a 250 gr SMK leave the muzzle at over 3000 fps and cross 800 yards of canyon almost faster that the mind can comprehend the recoil is almost as impressive as turning big rocks into small rocks with a .50 cal.

You're already aware of the only disadvantages that accompany the Lapua. If you are willing to accept them, then I think it makes a lot more sense to do the .308's job with a .338 than possibly end up trying to do the .338's job with the .308. That's my $.02.

blackops
June 6, 2009, 07:16 AM
A 308 is more suitable for 700 yds, but hey if you have the money buy it. Why not? Yeah, maybe your range doesn't provide the range of the 338 Lapua, but I'm sure you can find some place to shoot over 1k. If you have the type of money to spend on these rounds though personally, I would spend more on the rifle. Let me tell you the 338 will rock you. Be ready for some serious recoil you've never felt before and if you thread it and get a muzzle, purchase some serious ear protection because a 338 with a muzzle is going to be very very very very loud.

berettashotgun
June 6, 2009, 07:29 AM
If you have been looking - GET IT.
If you want one - GET IT.
Sounds more like women looking at curtains than MEN buying guns.:neener:
Remember Chief Dan George in "The Outlaw Josie Wells" ?
That red piece of glass he had? "It's not good for much - except maybe looking thru....."
That is about how a rifle is - no matter the caliber.:p

I have been wanting to build up a bench rifle - 6mm something or other - and everytime I get kinda close on the money.....I just WASTE it on another ...Ruger #1 or a Beretta 686 Onyx or a quail shotgun or a scope or a remmy ultramag (338 or 375)....
Get what you want to own and don't be trying to justify it to yourself.
dubbleA - lobbing a 45-70/90/110 400+gr homemade:cool:hardcast is a lot of fun, and it can get REAL competitive in those leagues. Don't knock it till you try it. Those bullets hit with more than a little punch.

Medusa
June 6, 2009, 07:55 AM
You don't need a .338 Lapua for 700 yards, but it isn't going to do any harm, assuming you're willing to pay the price in terms of cost and recoil. The paper will be just as dead with a 300 gr Sierra as it would with a hit from anything else.

And in the future if you find access to longer ranges or have the opportunity to shoot on steel, I think you'll find the extra thump from the .338 to be well worth it. Watching a 250 gr SMK leave the muzzle at over 3000 fps and cross 800 yards of canyon almost faster that the mind can comprehend the recoil is almost as impressive as turning big rocks into small rocks with a .50 cal.

You're already aware of the only disadvantages that accompany the Lapua. If you are willing to accept them, then I think it makes a lot more sense to do the .308's job with a .338 than possibly end up trying to do the .338's job with the .308. That's my $.02.

What I wanted to say. Theoretically it is overkill for 700 yards, but think it this way - the bullet has better ballistics and is handling better in the wind, making it more like "keep it little to the left to compensate for fair wind" round. Besides, look up to the future, .308 will start to run out of oomph at these ranges (700 plus, effective 7.62x51 range is considered here in the military to be 500m - a sure hit range), while .338LM will go well over a whole Klick.

I always remember when a supressed TRG-42, .338LM cal, fired and the sound of the bullet going downrange was like a locomotive express -whoooooosshhh- and I'm sure if hit by the bullet it does feel like one. And shooting one muzzle-braked TRG-42, same cal, from inside the van was a whole new experience (3 rounds @500m, 5 inch group).

cat_IT_guy
June 6, 2009, 09:36 AM
well lets see.....
I have a bike that will double the speed limit on any road in America - is that overkill? Yep.
I have a lifted jeep with big tires that rarely sees any terrain worse than a dirt road - overkill? Probably.
I have a Rem 700 SPS varmint .308 for killing paper at 100 yards - overkill? Yep.

But who cares if they are overkill - I enjoy them, that is what matters. Buy what you want and dont worry about what everyone else thinks. If I could afford a .338 I would buy one, even if I could not shoot it past 100 yards!

cortez kid
June 6, 2009, 10:08 AM
Was watching The Mil. Channel, and they had the top ten in sniper rifles. Three were in Lapua. I didn't see all that much recoil. Actually looked kind of mild. Never shot one, but I'm familiar with kicking rifles and the Lapua didn't look all that much. By the way, I'd get one, if I wanted one. It's what gun fun is all about.:D
kid

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 6, 2009, 11:38 AM
In my non-expert opinion, yes, but if you can afford the ammo and tame the recoil, go for it - you'll get extremely small winddrift and a heck of a loud ring off of steel.

My custom rifle that I'm working on having made for very very long range (600-1250) will be chambered in 6.5mm-'06. I was going to go with 6.5-284 Norma, but changed my mind after reading up on the 6.5-'06. That was my original choice and I'm sticking with it now.

gunnie
June 6, 2009, 12:00 PM
with the 300gr SMK, the blackhills 338LM has close to 308/7.62x51 retained energy @ 600yds.

overkill for what? hunting or paper punching? oughtta work fine for either. as noted by others, the paper will not know the difference. also, a 7.62x51 isn't too much for game. actually more logical than many harder hitting "hunting" caliber magnums at the usual/average hunting ranges.

the blackhills load mentioned will drift about 1/2 as much as a 168gr SMK .308 federal gold match in wind @ 600yds.

all the caliber info i have that pertains.

many posters mention recoil. i would also note that with a good muzzle break, they DO NOT recoil bad at all. my AR30M + 2lb scope weighs in at approx 14lbs, and feels lighter than a heavy (11 lb) 308 recoil without a muzzle break, since that is what we have been comparing it against.

THE DESTRUCTIONS THAT COME WITH THE ARMALITE SAY NOT TO SHOOT IT WITH THE MUZZLE BREAK REMOVED!

as you have mentioned shooting it at a range (public?), you will not be very popular with a good break there. the book also advises bystanders should NOT be alongside the shooter.

the end equation has to factor in your own desires. you may have guessed my own.

gunnie

freakshow10mm
June 6, 2009, 12:17 PM
I would go with the .408 CheyTac, but that's just me.

The .338 Lapua would be fun.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 6, 2009, 12:55 PM
Which is better, .408 cheytac or .416 Barrett, if I may be indulged with a sidebar?

RugerOldArmy
June 6, 2009, 01:03 PM
Way overkill for 700 yards. It i$ al$0 expen$ive to feed. But if you have to have it, you have to have it.

Personally, I'd much prefer shooting .260, .308, or 6.5x284 at that range. Even .243 would do fine at 700. I'd bet you would get a lot more practice, with the more affordable cartridges, and not have to get beat up with recoil.

wad
June 6, 2009, 01:05 PM
Shooting any .338 all day won't be fun either.

Unless it's a 338 chambered 34lb EDM Arms Windrunner!

mljdeckard
June 6, 2009, 01:06 PM
Interestingly enough, the other day I was in the equipment shop for the 19th group, and they had several cartridges out on a display, they were impressed that I could pick the Chey-Tac out of the lineup. I asked them why they went with the Chey-Tac and not the Barrett, and they said that in their case, at the time, they had just trained with the Chey-Tac, and that's where the trend was leaning, with the software that comes with it. For preference they said they really didn't care.

If I weren't shooting past 700 yards I would keep the .308.

WC145
June 6, 2009, 01:08 PM
Since when does need enter into a gun purchase? I didn't need a .45-70 but I bought two a couple of weeks ago. I haven't shot either of them and I sure don't need another but I was bidding on one yesterday.

If you can afford the gun, the optics, and the ammo I say buy it. Why be like everybody else? You could have bought a regular vette but I assume by your handle you drive a Z06, same thing with this gun. Everybody's got a .308, they're a dime a dozen, but a .338 Lapua.... MMMmmmm.... Lapuuuaaaaaa....:evil:

SaxonPig
June 6, 2009, 01:10 PM
What the Hell are you shooting at 700 yards?

And you think this isn't enough range to justify a 338 rifle?

I guess I am the only one who sees the entire premise as less than realistic?

WC145
June 6, 2009, 01:13 PM
What the Hell are you shooting at 700 yards?

Anything he wants, it won't even know he's there until it's too late!

Maverick223
June 6, 2009, 01:28 PM
if you thread it and get a muzzle, purchase some serious ear protection because a 338 with a muzzle is going to be very very very very loud.First welcome to THR, blackops; now that was an interesting statement...I personally wouldn't have a gun without a muzzle (not to be confused with a muzzle brake)...where would you aim? :neener:
Which is better, .408 cheytac or .416 Barrett, if I may be indulged with a sidebar?Doc, I have heard that the .408 Cheytac performs better at longer ranges, but dang if I can afford to play with either, so it is just heresay.

RugerOldArmy
June 6, 2009, 01:40 PM
Well, he can but it. Learn to regret it. Then some masochist can buy it more cheaply. :neener:

freakshow10mm
June 6, 2009, 02:26 PM
.408 CT stays supersonic for longer ranges, has less drop than the .416, and retains more energy than the .416.

The .338 Lapua, 416 Barrett, and 50 BMG are fine and dandy but the 408 CT is definitely up and coming as the long range performer.

saturno_v
June 6, 2009, 03:09 PM
There is one huge difference between the 338 Lapua (ore any of the hyper 338s like the 338-378 and the 338 RUM) and the 408 Chey Tac, 416, and 50 BMG.

The super 338s are still chambered in rifles that you can really put on a shoulder sling and light enough that you can log them around like any other hunting rifle.

And they all can be had in sub $2000 guns (the 338 RUM for under $1000).


The 408, 416 and 50 is an entire different category; rifles chambered for these rounds cannot really be considered shoulder fired weapons, basically you can only shoot from the bench with support, they are very heavy and there is nothing even remotely around 2K in price other than some single shot AR based conversion, as far as I know....not to mention the cost of the optics able to take that kind of beating....

This is where I personally draw the line.....I stop at shoulder fired rifles that you can hike with and you do not need a mortgage to buy them...

noob_shooter
June 6, 2009, 04:35 PM
7mm ultra mag is probably better in my opinion

bryanZ06
June 6, 2009, 05:05 PM
Thanks for all the insight guys. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, but keep the info coming.

MTMilitiaman
June 6, 2009, 05:13 PM
Actually, the 7mm RUM is probably the least useful and the most specialized of the Ultra Mags.

The .338 RUM is probably the best matched in terms of capacity to bore diameter. The .300 is useful for those looking for a .300 Magnum, but anything it can do, the .338 can do better, whether it be hunting or long range shooting. The 7mm is very overbore, which typically leads to finicky cartridges that are hard to load accurately for, can show larger standard deviations in velocities, have lower brass and barrel life, ect. While I don't doubt that a 180 gr .284 caliber Berger VLD at the velocities the 7mm RUM could push it at would be an outstanding long range performer, I don't see it beating a 300 gr Sierra out of the .338, at least at any real distance.

freakshow10mm
June 6, 2009, 05:24 PM
I'd opt for the 7mm STW if going to a 7mm cartridge.

blackops
June 6, 2009, 08:07 PM
Was watching The Mil. Channel, and they had the top ten in sniper rifles. Three were in Lapua. I didn't see all that much recoil. Actually looked kind of mild.

Your most likely right. When they shoot recoil doesn't seem bad. Also when you watched them shoot the 408 cheytac, 416 barret, and the 50 bmg it seriously doesn't look that bad either. Remember the average cost of a military sniper rifle is 8k-12k$ I think that plays a part as far as recoil goes. If you watch them they can shoot the M107 50 bmg and still keep their eye in the scope, something tells me not all 50 cals are capable of being that smooth.

blackops
June 7, 2009, 04:32 AM
First welcome to THR, blackops; now that was an interesting statement...I personally wouldn't have a gun without a muzzle (not to be confused with a muzzle brake)...where would you aim?

I haven't even made six post and already a moderator has to play king of knowledge and of the forum. Notice how everybody understood my statement, but the only person to comment directly to that point is a moderator. Always pointing out the most unimportant flaws as if they are perfect. I guess because its their job they have nothing better to do then nit pick peoples threads and the vocabulary. neener: Anyways MUZZLE BRAKE for those who were confused.

Maverick223
June 9, 2009, 12:50 AM
Was watching The Mil. Channel, and they had the top ten in sniper rifles. Three were in Lapua. I didn't see all that much recoil. Actually looked kind of mild.My new rifle made no. 6, but I don't agree with the decision. I don't think it should have made the list because it isn't proven in battle...or in any military/LE Agency to date. It is still in testing.

Wes Janson
June 9, 2009, 03:22 AM
It's absolutely not overkill. At that distance you're starting to push .308, whereas .338 is still going strong. If you want to shoot small groups, and that's the distance you plan on shooting, then the .338 will definitely serve you better.

Cohibra45
June 9, 2009, 09:53 AM
I'll have to throw in the 338-06 and the 338-06 AI for those that are looking at the 338 caliber!!!

Not much more thump than the ol' 30-06 and much less than the 338 Mags. Good bullet performance out to the yardage you are shooting!!!;)

The only downside, if you can call it a downside, is they are a handloading proposition. But then you get the benefit of getting the load just right for the rifle you are shooting!!!:D:D:D

Maverick223
June 9, 2009, 07:21 PM
I don't think the .338-06 is nearly fast enough to be a viable long range cartridge, fine for hunting though. :)

Arkel23
June 9, 2009, 08:38 PM
No gun is overkill for big game.

gvnwst
June 9, 2009, 09:30 PM
The .338 Lapua, 416 Barrett, and 50 BMG are fine and dandy but the 408 CT is definitely up and coming as the long range performer.

I beg to differ, the REALLY upcoming performer is the .375 CT. Better all around ballistics and a more commen bullet size, less recoil, ect.

Kind of Blued
June 9, 2009, 10:40 PM
'Overkill' is a term invented by wussies.

That said, I'd get the .308. :)

bryanZ06
June 9, 2009, 10:54 PM
Thanks for all the advice, but as of today the TRG is on hold since I have a new Steyr AUG on the way. It's one of those things that I just happened to find and had to have. I'm REALLY bad about doing that sometimes.

I'll make sure to post a thread once it gets here and I have a chance to run some rounds through it.

Maverick223
June 9, 2009, 11:08 PM
new Steyr AUG?:confused:? A new made by Steyr AUG?, a new to me made by Steyr AUG?, or a AUG Clone?

Either way better decision I would say...at least for right now. :)

bryanZ06
June 9, 2009, 11:40 PM
It's a Steyr branded AUG made here by Sabre Defense to get around the nonsense import laws. I figured I'd get this while I could and leave the bolt action rifles for later.

Maverick223
June 9, 2009, 11:52 PM
I figured I'd get this while I could and leave the bolt action rifles for later.Good choice...and from all accounts a pretty decent rifle. :)

xm21
June 9, 2009, 11:57 PM
To answer the OP's question,yes,yes it is.

DAN CARROLL
June 10, 2009, 12:15 AM
Get it. Im purchasing a wby 338/378 mag and everyone laughs at me but thats what I want and I'm going to be shoot well over 700 yards with mine. I bought a 300 wby and I shoot it at 1000 yards and it holds its own. But if you want that caliber get it. And who cares about ammo price. A box of wby 338/378 is 130.00 for a box of 20.

MTMilitiaman
June 10, 2009, 01:44 AM
Who cares about ammo price?

Those of us who can't afford $130 for 20 rounds!

And for the record, you're getting hosed. My dad reloads .50 BMG for well under $130/20. Same with his .338 RUM.

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