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Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by TC338, Sep 10, 2017.
I'm questioning my .338 Lapua build now. Lol
Well mines bigger than yours so ha!
The real truth is we aren't talking about a military round for military applications, a non-fatal wound just means someone has to go fetch the poor bastard and in that case it's more than one person, another poor bastard to catch a bullet, and a Doctor soon enough, or not to patch them up! But that's not the case here since a Big Game Animal deserves more respect than that in my opinion! No Game animal desires that!
OK, Bigger is better when we're talking Tractors vs. those little toys they sell home owners something to play with until they realize it's so small it's actually dangerous in some cases! Yes dangerous, a bigger Tractor can lift more, pull more and frankly do more work day in and day out then those little toys they call tractors with under 35-40 HP.
Which brings me back to a military round vs. a hunting round, bigger is not always better, and the same thing could be said with what's between your legs...... you're better off knowing how to use what you've got vs. thinking bigger is better!
Funny how those two thing come together, and why in reality any bullet if properly placed, at distance with a reasonable amount of energy and velocity to open the bullet up will work. But to each is to own..... and we can all own, and shoot whatever we want! It's all good in my book, but there are limits to what work and what doesn't fly.
Gents I put it in my ballistic advanced edition calculator. It's not scientific, I got it, 0 wind, different style bullets, etc, just trying to get a similar manufacture for their highest grain offering for each caliber. This is what I got:
300 Norma mag 230 grain Berger match hybrid at 2950 FPS (Berger reloading data)
338 Lapua 300 grain Berger elite hunter at 2725 FPS (Berger reloading data)
The Lapua is 29.09 inches (2.77 MOA) lower than the Norma mag at 1000 yards, but the Lapua has 390 ft lbs of energy left. Once again I'm kind of comparing apples to oranges here but the drop alone on the Norma mag is impressive with more than enough energy to kill an elk at that distance. Just something to think about...and im a Lapua guy. I have a .338 at the smith right now.
338 with 300gr drops in tracks
The chart above is why i chose the 300NM for a 700-1000 yard hunting rifle.
If we are just talking 1000 yard hunting rifle.
It's pretty much a wash. If drop concerns you with the big 300 grain bullet, then push a 250 grain bullet to 3000 fps.
Sorry to not have the exact response you are looking for but American Rifleman mag had a very interesting article on 300 vs 338 L as a sniper round recently
See May 2017 AR "Unsung Hero"
But while performance wise on game they maybe close to a wash there are other differences that may matter to a perspective owner:
The receiver they fit in. Lapua really need the x-LA receiver and longer mags,if they are wanting mag feed that is. The two NMs both will fit in LA and both loaded out to ideal COALs can be feed via mag.
The 300 is the hardest on the throat and therefore barrel life. Not a major consideration for a hunting only rig but still. The 338NM will win that easily and LM next.
Barrel length to get the most all the potential of the cartridge. The 338NM wins here with IMO the 300nm and LM about tied together.
The best and easiest to get brass. This goes to the LM hands down. While Norma is at the top rung its not the very top and its the only provider so far. If someone wants to use lapua brass in a NM they are going to be needing a few dies and trimming and turning.
I ended up going with the 300nm first (in the process of building). I like the flatter shooting and for target shooting some of the solids its a screaming lazer beam. Recoil is a bit less although that never really an issue with a good brake.
With that said if I had to have one hunting only setup out of the 3 and it had to cover most all conditions i.e backpacking in, brush, long shoots etc. I would be going for the 338nm and plan to build one within a year. It works great with a 24" barrel. Has almost 3x barrel life from the reports I have seen than the LM. Has the larger diameter bullet from the 300 just in case that little bit of extra surface area may help. It can fit in a mag feed LA setup. Of all of them is the easiest to tune loads for. Thus it could be made into RELATIVELY speaking lighter shorter over all setup and cover lots of hunting uses from 0-1200+ yards for anything in the Americas and most the globe.
Jumping in late on the conversation now that I have some data on my 338 NM.
300 gr VLD, 2770 fps
285 gr ELDM, 2880 fps
With this real world speed and a ballistics program, 100 yard zero and @ 1000 yards
300 gr, 1841 fps, 24.62 MOA drop, 2.07 MOA drift, 2256 ft*lbs
285 gr, 1944 fps, 22.76 MOA drop, 3.05 MOA drift, 2389 ft*lbs
Basically, The 285 gr gets 100 yards more speed, energy, and less drop than the 300 grain bullet.
Now that I have a 338 and am playing around, seems to me that the NM or lapua may benefit more from a lighter weight bullet for hunting purposes. FPS at minimum expansion seems to control the effective range of most high powered guns, not ft*lbs. Thus, it seems to me, with 200+ gr bullets, speed is more valuable than weight. You can get 1800 fps and 1800 ft*lbs of energy shooting a lighter bullet faster and would have less recoil. 28 Nosler comes to mind.
Bingo over there, lol
Stop reading labels and watch them fly instead. Velocity rules at least to a point.
really late to the conversation, solely to say that Lapua has publicly stated that i will be making 300 Norma Brass. If that happens anytime soon, then the 300NM gets a lot nicer looking from my view. I love my .338L.M. Improved using Lapua brass (124.6 gr. H2O). I'm just looking for a big 30 to give the .338 some rest in the desert.
338 Lapua beats any cartridge, at any time, at any distance. Get some.