.50 peacemaker Vs .338 Lapua


Aug 14, 2004
Darwin Aust
Gday fellas, I am starting the build of a larger long range rifle at the moment and am looking for a cartridge to base it on.

I currently own .308WIN and .22/250 rifles and while they are good (use the .22/250 out to 400m on small varmints and the .308WIN out to 600m on feral boars but after that I am concerned about penetration and shot placement) I would like a larger cal to be able to take boars at 1000yds as I have recently discovered a property which will allow this unique oppertunity.

My question is this, the .338 Lapua is entranched as an excellent long range cartridge in the correct hands and would be suitable but the .50 peacemaker is something else, very different, and I would like any info you guys can provide on it. I would use a .50BMG but I cant have one where I live. Which one?

Also, I was thinking a 30+" barrel for the new rifle, what do you think? Weight is not a concern as it isn't carried around. I have made a stock for it and it already weighs 30lb!

If I were you I'd go with the .338 Lapua. It is more reasonable for the ranges you spoke of and is much much cheper. Still en insane amount of power. If your stock weights 30 pounds than barrel size shouldn't be that big of a problem. I would think a 33" should be good. Your choice.
Why not go for the 338 RUM. Approx. the same effect.

.50 Peacemaker??
Are you sure you dont mean Peacekeeper? (Based on the 460Wby.)Basicly a 500 A-Square with a long freebore, that makes it sutable for the use of 650-750grs bullets.

I have alot of customers looking to get into extreme range shooting and they always ask about the Lapua.

It is true it is a great long range round but in the last few years, it has gone from head and shoulders above everything else in the factory world to just another big magnum 338.

The 338 RUM, as mentioned earlier will do everything the Lapua will do as they have roughly the same case capacity, the Lapua has a few grains more capacity.

If you want to match the Lapua identically, build a 338-300 RUM wildcat with its .100" longer case and you will have it. The last Lapua brass I compared to my 300 RUM cases were almost identical with the RUM case holding 1.5 gr more then the Lapua.

The best thing about the RUM is that it can be chambered in any rifle action that is long enough to use it. The Lapua is very large in the head and will be limited to what actions you can use and still have a repeating rifle.

Also, RUM brass runs about 1/4 the price of Lapua brass. Sure the Lapua brass is very good stuff but so is the RUM brass if you sort it and BR prep it.

Aother option is the 338-378 Wby or the 338 Kahn(I am building my 2000 yard rifle as we speak using the Kahn)

THese rounds are serious hammers but will have the same personalities of the Lapua in brass cost and actions that can be used but you will get a solid 150 to 200 fps more velocity with these two rounds over the Lapua/RUM cases.

As far as a rifle goes, I would select at least a 30" barrel. I am using a 34" Lilja 1.350" straight cylinder fluted stainless barrel on my 338 Kahn.

I am also using one of my printed Rem 700 actions and because of this I will be converting it permanently to a single shot and using a Barrel bedding block system of my own design.

This will allow me to free float the action so that it will be a non stress componant of the rifle.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Sorry 460, I meant Peacekeeper!

Fiftydriver, excellent point, I didn't even think about that, the 300RUM would be a good choice pushing some 240 sierras. Cheap brass and avaliability of the action to handle it is another good point. Thanks.

BTW, the stock I made has a barrel bedding system too, just like a BR rail gun ( I coppied it from a friends rail) but with two clamps instead of one (I just have to machine the insides of the blocks when I get the barrel).

Thanks guys, I dunno if you have made the choice better or worse! Hehehe
Presently shooting a 240gr/300Rum, and working on my version of the 338-300RUM. I call it the 338 Mystic and is a maxed out improved RUM case. Similar to the 338 Tomahawk.

With these long bullets, you can forget about feeding from the mag unless you want to loose a lot of powder space. I have set mine up as single shots.

The biggest benefit over the Lapua is bolt face options. All manf will make a 'belted magnum' bolt face so will work with the RUM family. Very few make one big enough for the Rigby/Lapua/Wby case so options are greatly reduced.

I have built all my LR cannons on Enfield P14/17 actions and these worked superbly. Very strong and inexpensive to boot.

Go as long a barrel as you can handle. 35 to 36" does make a difference for these big case monsters.

Also, think heavy and/or muzzle brake. I don't enjoy recoil and these do give a very solid push. My 300RUM weighs 35lbs w/brake. My 338 Mystic will probably weigh around 45lbs w/brake. I can spot my own shots.

If the 338 Lapua ever becomes a NATO cartridge, then the story will change. There will be lots more options and brass will be cheap. For right now, the RUM is the best big case magnum when you balance performance and cost.

Don't forget the 7mm too. With 162/168 and the new 175gr MK, they can deliver a pretty powerful punch at 1000yds. Certainly alot cheaper to shoot. Would look at the 7WSM, Dakota, STW or RUM depending on how long a barrel and weight I wanted.


Most will tell you that you need certain actions for a case the size of the Lapua such as the Big Sako's, the Wby MkV and such.

TO be honest, this simply is not true. Lazzeroni has put out custom M700's chambered in his full length magnums for years and they have the same case head as the Lapua plus they are larger in the shoulder diameter.

The only problem can be when using the actions as repeaters, they need extensive modification and bullets must be seated very deep to fit in the magazine.

The good news is that these long range rifles are designed for single shot use so there is no problem at all using the 700 action if you want to pay for the bolt modifications.

Like I said, I am using a printed 700 for my 338 Kahn and it works great.

Others will tell you that the 700 is not strong enough for these large case head rounds. Again, I do not agree.

If you figure the bolt lug baring surface for the Wby Mk V's nine lugs and then for the Rem 700's two lugs, the Wby is not that much more. Then figure the fact that seldom do more then 6 or 7 of the Wby lugs actually bare on the receiver and the Rem has the advantage.

I would not recommend using any action based on the Mauser style bolt because with the extractor claw, it make it nessesary for the bolt lug under the claw to be much smaller then the opposite lug. This is not adiquate for the bolt trust these big rounds produce.

Just an example of what can be done to an action. I just built a 358 STA for a customer using a Ruger M77MkII action. Converting the Ruger action to accept the full length STA is really a simple matter with only minor milling of the receiver needed and a little touching upof the forward feed rails and loading ramp.

The conversion feeds like it was made for the round.

I still say the RUM is the best choice for your needs in the Rem action but that does not mean it is not possible to chamber the Lapua or the much larger 338 Kahn for that matter.

For this conversion, I do highly recommed getting a Rem 700 in 30-06 so that when the bolt face is opened up, you get more of the extractor groove cleaned out of the bolt face. Then a simple fitting of a quality Sako extractor and your good to go.

Fitting a Sako extractor on this large of a case head combined with the very tight bolt nose recess in the barrel that I put on my match rifles(0.001" over bolt nose diameter) take some precise fitting but it is definately possible to do, just takes time and patients to fit them properly.

It is also an easy job to increase the bolt throw of the M700 by .250" to allow ejection of live rounds.

For using in a single shot mode, the M700 is a hell of a round and much more accurate then most.

Good Shooting!!!

Kirby Allen(50)
I wouldn't recommend the 50 as its case is too small for the heavy bullets at reasonable velocities and this is what seperates the 50bmg from the rest of the pack.The 6.5-284 is a ballistic twin to the 50bmg shooting military ball ammo in everything except energy.I would opt for the 300 or 338 RUM and a 34 inch barrel and use readily available dies and heavy bullets.The 50 peacekeeper is a novelty cartridge without much use.
Randy in PA,

IT is built off the 338-378 Wby case except that the shoulder is a conventional 35 degree shoulder that has been moved forward slightly to allow the firing of 338-378 factory brass for fireforming.

It has a slight capacity advantage over the parent case, about 5-8 grains which in a case this size is relatively slight.

I will initially be testing the 300 gr Sierra Mk but will also try some of Richard Graves 300 gr and 350 gr ULD rebated boattail bullets when they arrive and I get my rifle finished.

The 350 gr ULD's are said to have a B.C. crowding the .900 level. I expect to be able to drive these to at least 2900 fps and the 300 gr pills to 3200 fps or so out of the 34" Lilja barrel.

With these B.C. numbers and this velocity, it places this round at least even with the 50 BMG top end match loads as far as drop and drift are concerned and far better then any military style 50 BMG round.

With half the recoil to boot.

Only thing it lacks compared to the 50 BMG will be terminal performance but it will have enough for anything I need.

When driven to full level, these bullets should stay super-sonic to a bit past 2000 yards. We will see.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Well, I decided to go with the 300RUM, its enough for my purposes and the action can be had easily. 240's behind a max charge will be ample to down boars at ranges past 600yds.

Thanks guys.

1. Recommend you reconsider your decision as it is based on the Sierra 240s which is no longer being made.

Not smart to build a gun for a bullet not being made and dwindling limited supply in field.

Several guys in PA were talking about trying to get up a 30,000 bullet order and see if Sierra would run them. Right now would not count on it.

2. Brass is the cheapest component of the system. Always buy the best brass that you can find IF you expect to use it LR or in competition. My last 338 Lapua brass cost $100 for 100. Quality is tops and have never seen any Rem come close. Now if time is nothing to you and you like sorting 200-300 pieces to get 50 then use Remington brass.

3. Time and money that goes into setting up a Rem action and bedding block, you can buy a 10" BAT action and hang any barrel on it you want. It will retain its value and it is made to handle the cartridge and pressures you want. The Rem is not designed for those pressures, even though some people stretch that limit and have not had anything happen to them yet.

338 Lapua Ack Improved will push 300 gr Sierra at 3100 fps with 34" barrel. No hog walking will stand up to that.

No one builds a repeating rifle for LR hunting with bullets seated into the lands and 30 lb stocks so that is not even an issue.

I just read your post about Sierra dropping the 240's.Are they planning a different bullet at a similar weight like the old 250 or just getting out completely? The reason i ask is i was going to have Mike Bryant set me up a fast twist barrel for my 300 Ackley heavy gun.
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