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Old 01-08-2008, 10:37 PM
Jericho Jericho is offline
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Default Which? .338 Lapua? .300 WinMag? Other?



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While .308 /7.62 can do quite a few things, and our plans call for the MBRs and scoped bolt action to share the same .308 round, (for stocking uniformity), I'm wondering about something with more punch, decent trajectory and good energy retention down range. This line of thinking is for just one rifle, to be used by one member of the family for putting holes in whatever might need holes. I guess you could call it our "hole punch". I'd be happy to stock specialty ammo for this one rifle.

What comes to mind is the .338 Lapua and .300 WinMag. Not well versed on big bores in general, and frankly, I'm looking to short circuit the learning curve and follow a few good leads.... hint hint

Snipercentral.com has this to say about the .338. http://www.snipercentral.com/338.htm

"The .338 is fairly new to the sniper community, but it does bear the distinction as being the first and only caliber designed specifically for sniping. While this round was actually developed back in 1983, it wasn't until the last few years that it has gained in popularity. The caliber was designed to arrive at 1000 meters with enough energy to penetrate 5 layers of military body armor and still make the kill. The effective range of this caliber is about 1 mile (1600meters) and in the right shooting conditions, it could come very close to the 2000 meter mark, provided you have the right rifle/ammo/optics/shooter/spotter combination. Realistically, 1200 meters is well within the average sniper. This caliber is designed primarily as a military extreme range anti-personnel round, there really is no Law Enforcement applications, unless you need a super penetrating round for either armored vehicles, or for barricaded suspects. There is not a lot of rifles chambered for the .338, but the list is growing with the likes of Sako, AI, and others producing .338 sniping rifles. Ammo is another problem, match ammo is sometimes difficult to find, but it is becomming more available as time passes. We all know the legal liability of using hand loads, so that is out of the question. Another concern is the recoil of this caliber, even with a good muzzle brake, its brisk. So don't try a rifle without one. Be sure to practice the fundamentals of shooting to try and prevent a flinch from developing.

Recommendations: For military extreme long-range anti-personnel purposes, the .338 Lapua is king. Even the .50BMG falls short (Do to accuracy problems with current ammo). This caliber is not recommended for Law Enforcement."


Regarding the .300 WinMag, snipercentral says...

"The 300 is an outstanding sniping round for military applications! But as you might imagine, it offers a lot of power and penetration, which limits its role in Law Enforcement. I am aware that the Secret Service uses the .300, but they're situation is rare, they don't have to be too concerned with hostages. They just need to insure that the possible assassin is stopped, and the .300 is a good caliber to do that. The .300 is also a great round for going through media in order to hit the target. The .300 is very capable of extending out past 1000 meters reliably, reaching 1200meters on a nice calm day without much effort. One big criticism of the .300 is the amount of recoil that the round produces. To be honest, it really does punish the shooter, making long sessions at the range a very grueling situation. If you are not careful, you can easily develop a flinch in your shooting cycle, this could be very bad. But with proper training, and a gradual migration into the .300, you can overcome this problem.

Recommendation: The .300 gets my highest recommendation for military use, but not my recommendation for Law Enforcement use. If you could find a suitable round that limits over-penetration, the .300 could be a very flexible caliber, offering good armor penetration with the change of ammo."

I'd like to hear what you guys think about various hole punching calibers that are effective at range, and your preferred rifle from which to launch them. What about .338 Win Mag and the Remington version?

One last question. The .338 article says "We all know the legal liability of using hand loads, so that is out of the question." Which liability do you think the author is referencing?
Old 01-08-2008, 11:04 PM
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I say the 300 winchester magnum. There is a VAST selection of .308 diameter bullets on the market. If you get into reloading, you should have no problems finding bullets that will fit the job you need.

The 300 winchester magnum I saw in action, and had a chance to shoot was a Ruger Model 77. The rifle and the guy who owns it could make 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:09 PM
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Thnx, Kev,

You wouldn't happen to know how much muzzle energy is safe to produce from hand loads in that setup, would you?
Old 01-08-2008, 11:13 PM
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Thnx, Kev,

You wouldn't happen to know how much muzzle energy is safe to produce from hand loads in that setup, would you?
I would have to look that up in one of my reloading manuals and right now they are put up. If someone else does not answer that question by tomorrow evening I will dig one of my manuals out.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
The .338 is fairly new to the sniper community,
Having had a TRG 42 in 338 , all I can say is WOW , I miss this rifle . It is one step below the 50 BMG . Like a big 30-06 , it is perfect , case size verses bore size , perfect . Compared to the 300 Win Mag ( no slouch ) which head spaces off the belt , I would go with the 338 lapua . BUT money is a problem , a TRG is 2500+ for a NAKED gun . mags are 125 a pop . SSSOOOOOO

Lack of $$ 300 Win mag
Lots of $$$ 338 Lapua . ( 91.5 GRS. VIT N-165 with a 250 SMK = 2950 fps)



OR a 338 win mag , give it a look .
Old 01-08-2008, 11:51 PM
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Having had a TRG 42 in 338 , all I can say is WOW , I miss this rifle . It is one step below the 50 BMG . Like a big 30-06 , it is perfect , case size verses bore size , perfect . Compared to the 300 Win Mag ( no slouch ) which head spaces off the belt , I would go with the 338 lapua . BUT money is a problem , a TRG is 2500+ for a NAKED gun . mags are 125 a pop . SSSOOOOOO

Lack of $$ 300 Win mag
Lots of $$$ 338 Lapua . ( 91.5 GRS. VIT N-165 with a 250 SMK = 2950 fps)



OR a 338 win mag , give it a look .
Yeah.... I "just saw" the .338 WinMag tonight. Not sure how they compare.
Old 01-09-2008, 12:07 AM
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Yeah.... I "just saw" the .338 WinMag tonight. Not sure how they compare.

Remember , carts with belts , head space off the belt . They are not known for being super accurate . but they are minute of badguy .
Old 01-14-2008, 01:56 AM
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I own a Sako TRG 41 in .338 Lapua Magnum and I can say that there is not a finer weapon made.

I have a friend with a Weatherby 338-378 that is amazing, but the recoil is amazing also.
Another friend owns a 50cal that is ferociously capable but it too heavy to be transported for far/easily.

I am a large individual and I will not shoot more than about 5-9 shots from my .338 Lapua. My rifle is seriously tricked out with all the gadgets including a muzzle brake and it recoils viciously. As a result you must have serious decipline to not develop a flinch. I would recommend the 300 mag for most people. It recoils less, the ammo is more avaliable and cheaper and you can build it up for less. All said and done my rifle is a $6000 system (the newer model TRG42 is cheaper). For that kind of money you can build several 300Mags. Also the further a rifle can shoot the better the optics must be. The hard recoil also limits what optic can be placed on top. There are only 2 brands of optics I would put on top of a serious sniper setup. US Optics and IOR. Both are military optics and both are built to handle the abuse. Most other optics can handle lighter calibers but not the sharp jab of the big guns.
Old 01-14-2008, 02:29 AM
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haveing a sniper weapon like that is all well and fine if there is a real use for it but my question is are you sniper trained? do you have the skills to use it to its potential? will the weapon out perform you? can you afford to spend the money on ammo to keep your skills up?

for me i would answer no to all those questions.so i would just choose a weapon remmbering K.I.S.S. system of chooseing a weapon. if i had that kind of cash i would put my cash into a night vision scope that takes AA/AAA batteries.remmber now days the enemy will not be holding a flag telling you who they are.so extreme ranged weapons to me are more for assasinateing some1 not def. but in war they are needed.you just got to beable to use the weapon right or its a waste of cash.

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:57 PM
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Crypt: You are absolutely correct. I am fortunate that I have the training to use my various weapon systems to a high level of their capability, and I have resources to further hone my skills. Most people are not as fortunate.
It costs me about $4 every time I pull the trigger on my .338. That is an expensive way to shoot.

In my personal experience most people can not achieve the level of skill necessary to push the .308 to the limits of its potential.
Old 01-15-2008, 12:04 AM
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I appreciate your input, guys, all of you. This really has been an excellent exchange of what you consider to be the most important pro and cons, even to the point of questioning the need for it at all.

After seeing a page that demonstrated various calibers' effectiveness against steel plate, and considering one of my potential applications for hard penetration, I'm thinking that the .300 WinMag will fill the bill and do what I want over the range of scenarios (including cash flow). That being said, the .308 will put me at ease if I never end up with the .300. You see, we're focussed on the .308 as the major player. Until we are outfitted to plan in that arena, the other will not happen. When the bread and butter have been taken into hand, we'll go to the next level.

Thanks, guys. I appreciate your thoughts and advice on this.
Old 03-01-2008, 12:20 AM
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If you want an "anti-materiel" (read: car killer), then .338LM is the way to go...if you are looking to "begin and end relationships long-distance" with your unwanted guests, then get a rifle you can afford to shoot a LOT, and spare parts, and a decent optic, then go shoot...our "wall guns" here at the Duck Farm are all converted military Mausers, 7.62x51, with (I believe) Adams & Bennett barrels, monkey-engineered magazine/floorplates (I'm the head monkey), Choate stocks, and Shepherd scopes...about $350/ rifle, before the scope...I got these at a going out of business sale...nice glass, but I'm not sure I could swallow the 6 Benjie pricetag otherwise...they all shoot great (3" clays all day @ 300 yards, w/ good wind conditions and at a known distance; not as well as my 6.5 WSM Improved antelope gun, but at about a quarter the price...)The limiting factor, as with all my rifles' accuracy, seems to be the loose nut at the end of the trigger...
Old 03-01-2008, 12:39 AM
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That Shepherd caught my eye a while back. I'm guessing you've used it quite a bit by now.

How well does it perform?
Old 03-01-2008, 01:00 AM
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As easy as nodding off during a Presidential debate! Recticle is circles on vertical beam of crosshairs, along a rangefinder scale for other known-sized objects. Circles measure 18" (or 24" on "E" Series) which conveniently is about:a) the length of an elk head from nose to neck;b)the height of a deer torso from brisket to back;c) the width of a human torso, from armpit to armpit. Since the circles are on the first focal plane, they get bigger or smaller, depending on magnification: in other words, they do not change in relationship to the objects in field of view...See something, let's say, that unwanted guest we mentioned earlier... move the reticle to the circle that fits from pit-to-pit, and BRASS (Breathe, Release,Aim, Squeeze, and SURPRISE!), no more problems with those unwanted, extended, and uninvited stays in the guest room. If it's too small for one and too big for the next, line up between, and "BANG"...it really is that simple. Clarity is EXCELLENT, no perceptible distortion, and the brightest 1" tube scope I have seen... my only comment on price is that these are going on rack rifles that will be fired at known distances (marked on the backside of every firing position around the "garden wall")... In fact, I put one on my antelope gun, and last year bagged two at over 600 yards (laser rangefinder verified) with single shots each. I was on target and had fired before my parnter with his Euro-snob Multi-thousand dollar optic had a range. :DI love it when someone's there to see me do that!:D FWIW, BH
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:44 PM
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In reloading manuals the pages for the 300 mag are long because in it you can use any .30 caliber bullet. You could go from a 120grain to anything (within means)
Old 03-14-2008, 01:23 AM
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Sounds like you got your basic weaponry set. So I would say go for the 300 win mag,

And Get some 308 AP bullets while you can. These bullets are more of a specialty round for when you really need them, but it sounds like you got your basics covered.

You could also buy some .30 cal sabots. Then if you run across any 5.56 with the steel penetrators you could reload them to give you another option. This wouldn't really be an "anti-mater" setup but it is a possibility.

Lots of bullets for the .30 cal..... It's a good thing and another reason to go with the win mag.
Old 03-16-2008, 08:35 AM
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I say go with the 300 win mag. But that is what I am building next so I am bias. Like said above you can use .308 bullets that is one of the reasons for me. Also ammunition cost and avaliblity. Most Army sniper rifles are going to 300 win mag. or .338L. The .338 ammo cost a mint but the .300 win mag is decent enough. I am using a Remington Model 700 XCR Tactical Long Range as the base to begin my build with. I have no decided on optics but it is between a US Optic and Leupold Mk4 at this time. I will be making alot of modifications to the weapon. So I will prolly do a write up on it. This will be the 5th "sniper" rifle I have built. If I build another it will be something with alot of power like a .50 BMG to stop vehicles. Although with AP bullets the .300 win mag shouldn't have a bit of problem in the world stopping any civilan vehicle and quite a few military ones.
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