Cost/Reward worth it? 338 lapua vs 338-06

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SVTOhio, Apr 8, 2015.

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  1. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    While looking through my hornady reloading manual I noticed some interesting numbers. I noticed the 338LM launches a 250gr match bullets from 2600-2800fps, vs the 2400-2500 fps in the 338-06 with the same bullet. This all with only using around 60% of the powder. These specs really got me into thinking about making a 338-06, since it can be done for extremely cheap. Now I understand that speed is going to make a HUGE difference at extreme long ranges but for the hobby long range shooter (shoots 300-600 yards on occasion for fun) will the difference really be worth the giant price difference? Seems this could be a interesting conversation if the right people chime in. So thoughts?
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I probably don't know much about long range shooting, but I do not see why you'd choose 338 anything to shoot 300-600 yards on occasion for fun.
     
  3. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    For fun of course ?!?! And also I can see some hunting implications as well.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've gone down the 338-06 path and don't recommend it. You get 300 WM recoil with no gain in performance over 30-06. If you want long range performance with long range punch one of the 300 mags is your answer. Even the military gave up on the 338 Lapua and went with 300 WM. if you want to do it on a budget 30-06 is your answer, and with the right loads is pretty effective. If you just want to punch paper at longer ranges one of the 6mm or 6.5 mm's is your answer.

    You can shoot some very aerodynamic 190-215 gr bullets from either a 30-06 or 300 WM that will not only shoot flatter, but hit harder on game at longer ranges. Do it cheaper too.

    I'm not a long range shooter, but here is a write up on 30-06 from someone on another forum who is.

    http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/9704870/1/215_gr_Berger_in_the_30-06
     
  5. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    Very interesting thankyou.
     
  6. mohican

    mohican Member

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    When did this happen? It seems very quiet and unheralded to me.
     
  7. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    For a maximum of 600 yards, you'd do fine with a .243... The cost/reward of any .338 is rarely worth it. They are, however, immensely fun.
     
  8. mohican

    mohican Member

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    The biggest advantage to me for a 300 mag versus 338 Lapua is price. Locally, 338 loaded ammo is in the same ballpark as 50 bmg. Brass is very expensive also.
     
  9. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    I already own a 25-06 and 223 ar so this gun would be for a fun factor and possibly some big game hunting in the future. Seems handing loading won't cost much more then the 25-06 which I currently do. Same primers and same amount of powder. With brass seemingly easy to make and bullets being slightly more expensive then .257 and certainly a huge savings over any kind of factory ammo. Plus the gun can be built off any 30-06 which can be had used and cheap locally.
     
  10. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I assume you are talking about for long range "shooting" performance, because there's certainly a big difference between these two in bigger big game performance! I say this from my own personal experience on big bears and moose.

    DM
     
  11. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    The 338-06 gains nearly 200 fps over the 30-06 with 180 gr bullets.That,to me is a pretty decent increase in performance.Looking in a reload manual,the 300 mag only bests the 338-06 by just over 100 fps but needs quite a bit more powder to do so.
     
  12. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    SVTOhio;

    Why not split the difference and go with the .338 Winchester magnum? I'm here in "Outer Montana", where I'm now typing at a mile high, and that's the choice I made several years before. It's an absolute proven performer, with ammo available virtually everywhere. If you handload, it can be stunningly accurate. It's about as exotic as a PB&J, and the entry costs prove it.

    I simply got to where I wanted a dedicated elk, moose, bear, and buffalo gun. Something with a heavier bullet than the common .30, and therefore the ability to leave the ought-6 alone and dedicated to it's duties. I think I chose well, no regrets. I'm launching a 225 grain bullet at just under 2900 fps, which indeed is not fun on the bench. But, once the bench work got done, you never feel it in the field. It's very effective in it's niche, and yes Virginia, it can reach out and touch something. Very, very, effectively.

    900F
     
  13. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    Maybe that's what I'm trying to avoid is a common caliber. The 338-06 is different, but still simply to build the gun and make ammo for.
     
  14. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    SVTOhio;

    This is totally tongue-in-cheek you understand, but if you want uncommon, well become the 43rd person in the country to buy a Winchester 325WSM! If it t'were me, and I'm glad it's not, get all your brass now, 'cause the future is a big black hole concerning that offering from Winchester. It has as much "uncommon" on it as a cartridge can bear to have!

    :D 900F
     
  15. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    but you lose ballistic coefficient and sectional density, so by 300 yards, the .308 caliber bullet has overtaken the .338 caliber bullet, and higher sectional density gives better penetration.

    Moving up in caliber is usually best for moving up in bullet weight.
     
  16. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    Are you saying the 338-06 brass is going to be hard to find? Your losing me here.
     
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The .338LM launches a 250gr match bullet from 2600-2800 fps for about $10 per shot(also why the military doesn't use it). Vs about $7.50 per shot for the .338-06. Both based on Midway's prices.
    "...300-600 yards..." Wouldn't buy or build a rifle for occasional short to medium range shooting. Certainly would not want any .338 or any other magnum myself.
    "...2400-2500 fps in the 338-06..." Those velocities are max loads. Only a few powders give over 2500. The Lapua, excessive cost aside, starts faster than 2600 with all but one powder. According to Hodgdon. Still don't see paying $10 or more each though.
    "...and moose..." No magnums of any kind needed. Not needed for big bears either.
     
  18. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    Factory ammo cost are not a factor. Since the 338-06 can be reloaded for roughly 50-60 cents a piece.
     
  19. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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  20. .338-06

    .338-06 Member

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    Horses for courses. You might guess that I'm a .338-06 fan. I live in Alaska and wanted something with a heavier bullet. I really liked the range of weights available for the .338. Like the thought of having a custom gun, got mine in 1986. I've always thought of it as an under 300yd round.
     
  21. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    If Anchorage is Gods country send me straight to Hell:evil:
     
  22. HankB

    HankB Member

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    Why you didn't recommend the immensely popular and nearly ubiquitous 338 Ruger Compact Magnum I don't know . . .




    :neener:
     
  23. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Hank;

    Because I didn't want to prevent the next guy who thought of it from posting. No sense in being a hog about these things. See, I didn't cut you out of your opportunity to post in this thead.

    Now where's the raspberry icon?! Cain't never find the dang thing when I need it!!

    :D 900F
     
  24. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Boy am I pleased that I didn't pay any attention to the .338 Lapua Magnum naysayers when I bought an AI AWM about four years ago. Count me as a fan of the .338 LM. Not only is it affordable to shoot at about $1.10 per round for reloads that surpass any factory ammunition, it is also a laser beam at long range compared to many other options. I have an AI in .300 Win Mag too and it's no match for the .338 LM. Put on a suppressor such as the TiTAN QD and it takes the fun to a whole new level. As for the military not wanting a .338 LM, the MSR is a done deal ... and I got to shoot this one a couple of years ago, and yes, it came in .338 LM.

    msr01.jpg
     
  25. .338-06

    .338-06 Member

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    Anchorage is a little slice of Hell in God's Country!
     
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