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6 pound .338 Lapua, am I nuts?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by braindead0, Jul 30, 2003.

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  1. patentnonsense

    patentnonsense Member

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    Besides retinal damage, I believe you can also get nerve problems in your cervical vertebrae which will end your shooting career. I'm not sure of the medical details, but Donald Hamilton was one notable example.

    Typical 50BMG rifle weights run around 30 lbs for anything that's going to be carried - the Marine Corps sniper rifle (from some company whose name I can never remember, KMT or some such) actually has a detachable barrel, so the spotter can hump half the load.

    There are "funsie 50s" which are lighter, but you'll notice they tend to have really short barrels - less bullet energy hence less recoil energy. (I've heard that 50BMG cartridge and loadings were originally developed for the 45" barrel length, so lengths below 36 mean that a huge amount of energy is wasted.)

    Recoil energy is nearly proportional to muzzle energy times the ratio of bullet weight to total gun weight. (I say nearly proportional because this ignores any disproportion between propellant mass and muzzle energy.) This rule of thumb isn't precise, but lets you get a quick idea.

    Just for fun I ran my own recoil tables with some military rounds which have been shoulder-fired at one time or another -

    If we take a 55-grain load in .223 as a baseline (ME=1280 ft-lb), then we get the following rough numbers for how kick scales up with bigger and/or hotter rounds:

    .308: 7 times as much, for equal weight guns;

    .338 Lapua: 17 times as much, for equal weight guns;

    .458 Win Mag: 36 times as much;

    and then it gets fun: taking ME and bullet weights for some military cartridges, we get

    for a sample ball load in 50 BMG, 117 times as much; (i.e. a 50BMG rifle would have to weigh 120 pounds to kick as little as a 7-pound .308);

    Steyr's 15.2 AMR was a proposed NATO anti-material rifle which would have fired a tungsten dart, and I think was planned as a two-man weapon of some sort: >200 times as much;

    the Russian 14.5x114 (a WW2 antitank-rifle round): >300 times as much:

    for 20x82 (the MG151 cartridge, which I think is the 20mm round the Lahti and Solothurn rifles fired): >500 times as much;

    and, just to be totally outrageous: somebody has offered reloading dies for 23x115NS, which is an aircraft cannon round, and if anybody were insane enough to put this into a rifle it would kick more than 1300 times as much as the 223!

    Following are the bullet and ME values I used to figure this:

    cartridge grains ME kick energy (scaled to .223)
    223 55 1280 1
    308 180 2745 7
    338L 250 5007 18
    458 510 4945 36
    50 BMG 662 12488 117
    14.5x114 980 22360 311
    15.2 AMR 540 27225 209
    20x82 1698 21090 509
    23x115NS 2699 35446 1359

    Thinking about these big rounds is entertaining - but firing a 6-lb .338 Lapua prone - now that's scary!
    ----------------------------------------------
     
  2. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    MLC,

    I thought that might be the case, it's everyones favorite. In case anyone out there doesn't know the videos above and a hundred more can be found at accuratereloading.com They once had a thriving forum, but now you have to fight the trolls of with a stick.


    david
     
  3. braindead0

    braindead0 Member

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    I'll not be firing it prone, that's for sure. I can't wait.. but it's snowy and nasty.. and nobody wants to shoot ;-)..

    Like I said, this will be videotaped (even if I don't get to take the first shot, the owner may get crazy.. he is a base-jumper after all.. what's a widdle boom boom)
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Yeah, all else aside, there's no way in HELL I'd be the first to shoot it. :D

    Let the owner take the first few shots, then maybe another guy. If they are both still looking straight ahead and their eyes haven't turned compeltely red with blood, I might take the next shot.
     
  5. SunBear

    SunBear member

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    Anybody got a ballistic table handy? I wa thinking the 338 Lapua was roughly equivalent to the 340 Weatherby in velocity. Happy trails.
     
  6. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    The 338 Lapua has more usable case capacity than the 340 weatherby. Weatherby factory numbers have some air in them. The 340 will do an honest 2825-2875 with a 250 grainer the Laupa will pick up another 100-150 fps in a 26" barrel.

    The recoil will be nothing to sneeze at, but I don't think it will detach retinas. It may cause an nasty flinch. I think I'd rather shoot a 9lb 458 Winchester.

    David
     
  7. artherd

    artherd member

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    .338 Lapua was designed to, and achives, 3000fps from a 250grain bullet. (I belive from a 26" barrel)
     
  8. Wryfox

    Wryfox Member

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    Had my fun with big magnums (300wthby, 30-378wthby, 50bmg) and in last year have gone back to 308 for all manner of fun, particularly competition. BIg guns are fun for a while but they do wear on you. Got tired of my shoulder being sore all the time.

    Got over the big magnum handgun thing too, that was by necessity after permenently damaging my right wrist with a 454 revolver. Thank goodness it's only big bores that aggravate it (unfortunately includes 45ACP), so I'm just dandy happy with my new fun in 38 super.
     
  9. Balog

    Balog Member

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    So, have you shot that bugger yet braindead0?
     
  10. braindead0

    braindead0 Member

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    I wish, I think they were just teasing... :banghead:

    I know the rifle is done, ammo is ready.. I'm ready.. Perhaps one of our thursday night shoots I'll have a chance to rip a few...

    gotta remember to bring the video camera.. for sure...
     
  11. mimikamimi

    mimikamimi Member

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    load?

    Just curious, what is the load? I shoot a custom Rem. 700 .30-.338
    with a load of 73 grains of reloader22 pushing a 180 grain nosler ballistic tip. it has a break, but is not that bad to shoot. Don,t get me wrong I don't take it to the range to shoot 50 rounds, but it is awesome. The bear I hit last year not only never knew what hit him, but the rounds energy also knocked every drop of water off of him. It is nice when a rifle not only kills the animal, but dries the coat for you also. Just make sure you plant that thing in your shoulder good. Have him put a mercury switch in it, or at least a limbsaver pad on it. :uhoh: :uhoh: :uhoh:
     
  12. braindead0

    braindead0 Member

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    Not sure about the loads, if I remember correctly they're about 10-15% shy of full power.
     
  13. p8riot

    p8riot Member

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    I fired a 45/70 Derringer ........................once.
     
  14. braindead0

    braindead0 Member

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    Turns out Bill (the owner) and a couple of friends shot it a few weeks ago, so much for me getting first shot.

    He claimed it wasn't as bad as shooting a .308.. if that was the case I'd guess the loads were very light.

    Oh well, it was fun anticipating the fun, perhaps sometime he'll want to crank out some full-power loads ;-)
     
  15. falconer

    falconer Member

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    Why am I not surprised to find out Bill was the one who had that rifle built. He seems to be a pretty cool guy, and he sure doesn't slouch when it comes to building a range!
     
  16. braindead0

    braindead0 Member

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    So true, just wait until we get Steel-Rain all in order, things outta be hopping ;-)

    the Lapua was actually his brothers I think, never completed.. so he had Dave L. finish it up for him.
     
  17. artherd

    artherd member

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    If the rifle has a good brake, I belive it.

    My Armalite AR-30 .338LM recoils kind of like a light .243, thanks to the huge brake.
     
  18. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    I believe somebody built a 6 lb .375 H&H a few years ago. I don't think it actually matches the LM, but it should be close...

    My .375 weighs about 8.5 lbs with scope, and with full power loads, 285's at 2600 fps, it's all I care to handle from the bench.
     
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