338 Lapua vs 300 Norma

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by TC338, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. TC338

    TC338 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    335
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    looking for opinions of those who have first hand experience with these two chamberings. I'm wanting opinions on which one is the better long range hunting round and why. Both would be hand loads run through a single shot rifle.
     
  2. longrangehunterII

    longrangehunterII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    612
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Less recoil = more on target hits!
     
  3. TC338

    TC338 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    335
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    I've shot Lapua's before and recoil was not an issue with that rifle, a Barrett 98B
     
  4. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Messages:
    4,173
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    A lot of apples to oranges.

    Bigger dia bullets kill better than smaller ones.

    Steve
     
  5. sable tireur

    sable tireur Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    I'll go you one better and include the .338 Norma Mag as well.

    Working with the uppermost accuracy node for each, there is only nickels and dimes difference between the remaining energy and remaining velocity, including out to 1,000 yards, based on my velocities. Even drop and drift are reasonably similar, so unless you're trying to pick nits, I will take any one one of three. I use the Berger 215 gr. for the .300 Norma Mag and either the Berger 250 gr. or 300 gr. for the .338's, all three with 27" barrels.

    Flip a coin but go out and have a great time in the field!

    I'm fairly sure this comment was meant to be disarmingly concise.

    And just exactly how do you delineate the term 'kill better'?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative. :)

    I'm a meat hunter, I don't often hunt horns... It seems to me that hitting the heart, neck or head (cow elk or does only...) will result in an instantaneous kill no matter which caliber of bullet is used. These are the shots I use because of the results. I've done it a dozen and more times. I'm also sure that you could create a set of circumstances where your statement might hold true but the reality is that it won't.

    Regards.
     
  6. TC338

    TC338 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    335
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Sable,
    Thanks for the response. I'm contemplating a future build and have come to the same conclusion as you have described. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    I recently had a 338 Lapua built! Every time I shoot it, I smile! Love the round. Great performer. Looking forward to testing it out this deer season. Easy to load for. I went the 338 Lapua moreso because of the Lapua Brass.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  8. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Messages:
    4,173
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    No argument necessary. Speaking in generality the larger dia bullet makes larger dia holes in tissue. Larger dia holes have less chance of missing the necessary tissue that causes death quickly. Or when hit well the bigger hole works more quickly than the smaller hole.

    Using your theory on killing ability of one caliber compared to another there is no point in using anything larger than a 22 caliber bullet. For that matter nothing more than a .22lr is necessary to kill any animal in the North American Continent. I am pretty sure you don't think that is the case and you must draw a line at some point.

    So all things being pretty equal for drop and drift with the selected bullets and cartridges I stand by my original statement that larger dia bullets kill better than smaller dia bullets. I will also add to that and say that there is no such thing as being over gunned when hunting. The only way one could be over gunned would be if they can not physically handle the chosen weapon.

    Sorry if I irritated you with an overly simple statement.

    Steve
     
  9. TC338

    TC338 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    335
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    You are good Steve. I understood your point. Larger bullet, more energy. May make up for a less than perfect shot. Thanks for the reply.
     
  10. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,791
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Since I tried a .223 on deer clear up to a wildcat .375 I have not seen a faster drop at the shot than with the .223 firing Nosler 60 grain solid base. I used a .308 Win one year and killed a doe and a buck. The doe was bedded and fell over. The buck turned and ran TOWARD me since it did not know I was there. After traveling about twenty-five yards it dropped. When I was using a 7-.300 Weatherby firing Nosler 175 Partitions at 3,150 feet per second I had the second largest deer body wise run about a quarter mile after being hit right above the heart. Others dropped at the shot.

    My fastest elk died from a Barnes TSX 130 at 3,330 feet per second with a frontal chest shot. It died faster than one hit through the shoulders with a .375 firing a Nosler 260 grain Partition right at 3,000 feet per second.

    All these were good hits. Maybe bigger is better if you hit broadside right behind the diaphragm.
     
  11. longrangehunterII

    longrangehunterII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    612
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    The math is a 300 gr. bullet going 2900 fps vs. a 230 gr. bullet going the same speed. Any 300 grain bullet generates more recoil no matter how you look at it or put it in.

    Besides as the OP, wasn't your question as a hunting round, or are you willing to tote around a 16 lb. plus rifle in the field up/down the mountains? Or is this for a ground blind or high tower like in Texas? Or like the 50 BMG's Dan Lilja use to hunt from his truck with a shooting bench mounted in the back of the pick up?

    My Sako TRG-42 started life as a 338 LM, even at 16.5 lbs. w/a TBAC Can the recoil shooting prone was considerable, which convinced me to re-barrel the TRG to a 300 NM years later. I put a lot of rounds down range with that gun as a 338 LM, and with the 300 NM I have a higher percentage of 1st round hits even at ELR. Same gun, same weight, different cartridge, better results IMO, but that's just my two cents. The cost is less too come to think of it! Which is no different then the 300 WM vs. the 338 LM, the 300 WM when fed heavy high BC bullets will compete and suddenly the 300 Win Mag just got more attractive. The 338 LM will eventually beat the hell out of you after 50 rounds, even in a heavy gun, period!

    The truth is most individuals will shoot better with less recoil, that's a given. In a hunting weight rifle, recoil comes into play with every shot. Less recoil is more hits even if you could say bigger is better? A clean kill is prefered, and dead is dead no matter how much extra energy was tossed at it IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  12. gdztoyz

    gdztoyz New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    I changed the muzzle brake to a Terminator T3 on my rifle and it recoils like my 308.
     
  13. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,791
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    I had a T3 on my 6.5RUMLN. It fired 140 grainers at 3,419 and I could watch the impact even at 300 yards.
     
  14. jonthomps

    jonthomps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,558
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    I've owned several 338LM and three 300NM. Recoil on the 300NM is significantly less. ("But Jon, I have a ____ brake on my 338 and it recoils like a .22 short.") Great, but that's a poor argument - I can put the same brake on a 300NM. True, a 300gr bullet will carry more energy than a 215, 225, or 230gr bullet. And that would be the end of the matter if that were the only variable to consider.

    Unfortunately it's not. I am significantly more confident with my 300NM than I was with any of my 338's because - I believe - the 300NM is inherently more efficient and accurate. What "accuracy" claim am I talking about? I could routinely hold 1 moa or a little better at distance (beyond 700y) with my 338's. I can routinely shoot 1/2-3/4 moa with my 300NM. Inside of 700y it's absolutely stupid accurate. My wife, who rarely shoots, shot a 1" 4-shot group at 404y cold. She was reading a book and said, "hey, can I shoot that?" And just like that she puts a group like that together. A 230gr Berger moving at 2970fps with an SD of 9 holding that level of accuracy is hard to beat. My 215gr load has the same accuracy, an SD of 8, and is moving at 3150fps!

    Anyway, the differences aren't monumental but the differences are certainly there, and for me most of those differences favor of the 300NM.