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Is .338 Lapua Mag overkill for 700 yard shooting?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bryanZ06, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. bryanZ06

    bryanZ06 New Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    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.
  2. cbrgator

    cbrgator Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    It's probably overkill, but you have to factor in your enjoyment.
  3. earplug

    earplug Participating Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Colorado Springs
    Over Kill for punching paper

    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.
  4. dubbleA

    dubbleA Participating Member

    May 23, 2009
    Tejas del sur
    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:
  5. Boris Barowski

    Boris Barowski Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    i've seen people use them at 100m (and they weren't just testing loads), so if you want one, get one :)
  6. saturno_v

    saturno_v Senior Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    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....
  7. SpeedAKL

    SpeedAKL Participating Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    McLean, VA
    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.
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Elder

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    "...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?
  9. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Elder

    Dec 19, 2008
    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.
  10. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    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.
  11. blackops

    blackops Participating Member

    Jun 6, 2009
    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.
  12. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Participating Member

    May 8, 2005
    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.
  13. Medusa

    Medusa Active Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    EE, Europe
    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).
  14. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Participating Member

    May 9, 2007
    Metamora Illinois
    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!
  15. cortez kid

    cortez kid Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    Scranton, Pa
    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
  16. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    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.
  17. gunnie

    gunnie Active Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    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.


    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.

  18. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

    Apr 20, 2008
    I would go with the .408 CheyTac, but that's just me.

    The .338 Lapua would be fun.
  19. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Which is better, .408 cheytac or .416 Barrett, if I may be indulged with a sidebar?
  20. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Active Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    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.

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