338 Lapua

KimbercoltKimbercolt Member Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2007 in Ask the Experts
Looking at buying one not sure what brand yet. Im not going to rush into anything yet since looking at what they cost and cost to shoot. So this is going to have to be a well thought out thing. Im just wondering if any one has any experience with the savage 110 ba that was on the cover of american rifleman. Ive had alot of people talk bad about savage. Never owned anything made by them so im not sure is to belive theyre not worth a poop. They are going for a quite abit cheaper than lets say a barret. So is this one of things where "you get what you pay for" or are they like the magaize says a good bargin.


  • KimbercoltKimbercolt Member Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    who makes rifles chambered in this round?
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,652 ******
    edited November -1

    Accuracy International

    Remington Model M24A3 Sniper Weapons System

    Sako TRG-42

    Prairie Gunworks Timber Wolf

    Erma SR-100

    AMP Technical Services DSR-1

    PGM Hecate II

    Cobb Manufacturing, Inc. MCR-400

    Armalite AR-30

    Barrett Firearms Model 98

    Anzio Ironworks Corp. Takedown Rifle

    EDM Windrunner

    Blaser R93 LSR2

    Several Custom Action Makers such as Lawton, Surgeon, BAT, Stiller.

    You can have a custom made on the CZ-550 and the Weatherby Mk5. The trick is that the action has to be long enough but more importantly, the bolt has to be big enough in diameter to handle the rim size (0.590").

    That should get you started.

  • KimbercoltKimbercolt Member Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I talked my cousin into getting an ar 50, but now I want to get a long range myself.
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,652 ******
    edited November -1

    I suggest that you check your budget first then start looking for a rifle. Everytime you mention .338 Lapua the price jumps exponentially just because of the name. In addition to that, in order to play at the longer distances, you really need superb glass to top off the rifle. Throw in cases that cost upwards of $1.50/ea. and dies that carry a premium charge for the name and you've got quite an investment before you start shooting.

    I shoot the .338 RUM and do just as well as the Lapua shooters even with Remington brass and my investment is probably 1/3 the cost of the Lapua chambered rifles. But peer pressure is a nasty thing to deal with and most folks give into the desire for the Lapua name and pay extra so they can say they shoot the .338 Lapua.

    The other three cartridges that you can consider are:

    .338 Snipe-Tac (.408 Chey-Tac necked down to .338)

    .338-378 Weatherby

    .338 Kahn (.300 RUM necked up to .338)

    Enjoy the process!

  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A friend of mine has an AR30 and an HS Precision Take Down, each in 338 Lapua Magnum. They're great fun to shoot but as mentioned reloading is pretty much a must. I do the reloading for them and brass is about $160.00 per 100, 338 dia bullets aren't cheap - and I'd put an average powder charge of about 90 grains per round. That means 1lb of powder is going to net you about 80 rounds of loaded ammo. Ouch!

    The 338 RUM is not as exotic, but brass is cheap as hell compared to the Lapua and there's not 100 fps difference between the two.
  • JustCJustC Member, Moderator Posts: 16,038 ******
    edited November -1
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,652 ******
    edited November -1
    I realize the importance of being proud and confident in the firearms that we hunt, shoot and compete with since it's an integral part of our individual success. Your topic about the .338 Lapua always creates a good discussion with regard to long distance shooting, accuracy and ultimately the cost of purchase and operation. I've spent a lot of time working with the Lapua and related cartridges for longer distance shooting and I wanted to add some other thoughts to expand on your original question.

    First of all I don't have a grudge against the .338 Lapua at all. It's a superb cartridge when loaded into a well-designed rifle/scope system. It has found a home with the counter-terrorist/military sniper groups for several good reasons but you don't have to have the .338 Lapua to shoot long range targets. There are some drawbacks to the cartridge and the platforms required to shoot it accurately. The size of the case automatically puts it in the same category of the largest Weatherby, Rigby, Gibbs and Jeffery cartridges that all need a much larger diameter bolt body as well as a longer action and magazine in order to accommodate the increased size of these cartridges. The exception, in this type of discussion though, is that the need for a magazine is precluded since many of the civilian rifle designs are based on single shot actions. These rifle actions are noticeably more expensive in the retail market and even more so when you have to buy a custom action in order to build a top quality rifle for shooting longer ranges.

    The case size and therefore volume presents two problems in particular; cost of powder per shot and ultimately the cost of barrels after shooting that much powder down the throat and bore. Sure, you can set the barrel back to refresh the throat and get a few hundred more shots, most shooters do to save the cost of a totally new barrel and installation but there is still the underlying cost of either the setback or the new barrel. The price of components is significantly higher than other long range cartridges as pointed out above. You also shouldn't avoid spending a significant amount of money on high quality glass, either. You need the quality in order to resolve the target and the target rings in order to place your shots. If you can't see and resolve the target, you don't score.

    What about choosing another cartridge equal to or even slightly better than the .338 Lapua in some instances? What about building a rifle that shoots a cartridge that is less expensive yet with similar performance capability, weighs less and has less recoil for the shooter to deal with? What about shooting for longer periods of time without being beaten to death by your rifle and costing a small fortune? You might be surprised at what you can accomplish with smaller cartridges and high quality bullets in typically top quality systems.

    I have suggested in the past that most shooters wanting to enter the longer range venues, need to consider working with the 6mmBR cartridge loaded with VLD bullets shot in fast twist barrels. Lots of records have been set with this combination and it's now a standard in the 600 yard F-Class competitions. It is mild in recoil, has the potential to be extremely accurate and doesn't require exotic, expensive custom actions. Most folks start out with a Remington M700 short action and build on it.

    If you want a little more oomph, I've been shooting a .240 Weatherby with the same VLD bullets used for the 6mmBR but launched at noticeably higher velocities. Yes, the cases are a little more expensive but not nearly what the .338 Lapua cases cost. When matched with a longer barrel and shooting at 1,000 yards, I have 32" LESS drop than the Lapua but I give up only 4" in drift. I just have to be a bit better with my wind reading. The same comparisons can be made if you choose to shoot the 6mm Remington or the Improved version.

    The next step up would obviously be one of the 6.5mm cartridges, many of which are being used currently in longer range shooting. The 6.5 x 284 Norma is probably the best known but followed closely by the 6.5 x 47 Lapua, the newest of the bunch. The high BCs of these arrow-like bullets makes all the difference in the world when choosing a case by capacity. You can use slightly less powder and achieve very similar performance from a particular combination. I shoot the plain jane 6.5 x 55 Swede case loaded with the 130 gr. Norma Gold bullets for 1,000 yard F-Class competitions but I've also tested the 6.5/6mm Remington which is similar to the 6.5 x 57 Mauser. The .260 Remington is proving its worth in many of the longer range competitions including long range benchrest out beyond 1,000 yards. It's easy to load for and has all the merits of this group of smaller cartridges. JustC is shooting the 6.5-06 Improved, which gets you a little more case capacity than the 6.5 x 284. One of the folks I know is shooting a wildcat based on the necked up .243 WSSM case, appropriately named after himself, the 6.5 Heaton. It has a case capacity in the same ballpark as the other smaller cases above.

    The 7mm is making a comeback with the best known and most used being the 7mm WSM or RSAUM. It has turned in some stellar performances because of a couple of the extra heavy and high BC bullets such as the 180 gr. Berger VLD. Folks looking to get away from the 6s and the 6.5s are heading for the 7mm cartridges. Some have been testing the standard .284 Winchester case, too and getting great results from that case. Nothing fancy.

    The .30 caliber cartridges need no hype as far as I'm concerned. The .308 Win. is still the best all around cartridge in my opinion. We use it for competition and hunting with the utmost of confidence and reasonable cost for a huge selection of components. The .308 Win. can be used by beginners as well as the most advanced Palma shooters with a high rate of success. It's still the standard by which other cartridges are compared.

    Good Luck with your investigation and the project!


    Correcting what WORD didn't translate...
  • pipes6pipes6 Member Posts: 33 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I shoot the lapua in a TRG-42, great round(better in my opinion than the RUM). I shoot without a brake and find recoil manageble in a 15 # gun, it is loud enough unbraked to make range sessions fairly short. It is easy to load for almost any load has been fairly accurate. It is expensive and you can expect short barrel life especially with top loads (which is where it excels). There are much better rounds for long range shooting at paper most mentioned above, the only real reason to get a big 338 is if you require lots of retained energy at distance. If you are not afraid of wildcats consider the 338 edge or 338 allen mag. of course I bought mine because I wanted it graham
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