# Talk:.338 Lapua Magnum

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## Sniper Record

Francis - before we get into an undo war on this topic - I am happy to discuss this with you. I see that you have a long history on this subject and recognize your contributions. I completely disagree with your assesment that a notation that this round currently holds the worlds record for the longest sniper kill. That is extremely relevant to its military use and future use. I am not sure how you think that is irrelevant. I would be interested to hear third party input. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 1kn0wtruth (talkcontribs) 04:44, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

1kn0wtruth - I have no intentions of entering an edit war. I do have several reasons for thinking mentioning that a particular cartridge holds a record like the longest sniper kill is not very relevant. The most important component for extreme range shooting are the projectiles (bullets) and their aero ballistic behaviour, not the cartridge cases that helped launch the bullets. A cartridge case is primarily used to help accelerate the employed projectiles to an appropriate muzzle velocity, but the case does not interact with a target. Further a whole chain of rifle and other technical support components and the human operator(s) play very important roles in the determination of a correct aiming solution at extreme sniping ranges. Last but not least the holders of shooting records often had optimal shooting conditions and luck on their side. The public can never be certain if a published sniping record is really the record, since many sniping communities tend to be quite secretive about their capabilities and achievements. Many countries have a policy of keeping the identity of their snipers undisclosed to the general public and stick to that. The British obviously expose remarkable feats of their snipers in the media. Sadly these media reports generally do not demonstrate knowledge about external ballistics and long range shooting from the journalist(s) and lack (some of) the required information to determine the encountered external ballistic problems and employed solutions for these particular record shots.--Francis Flinch (talk) 11:41, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Getting into whether its a case or a projectile is a bit of splitting hairs for the average reader out there. I think we can all agree that you can fit a .50 BMG round in a 338 case so its really not valid imho to make that distinction. There is a reason these rounds are selected for sniper use and this illustrates its effectiveness. The 338 case was used in the system - period end of story and there are a few different projectiles that can be used that will work with this case. Maybe you can spend some time and find out which one was used and update more information on the article to make it even better so users will oahve even more information. The records are also listed and associated with other wiki's on ammunition systems / weapons etc and it is nice to know from a research standpoint which rounds are effective. Yes I realize conditions are always different but again a record is a record regardless and we can pontificate on all types of various technical issues that go into the overall combined makeup of the act of sending a projectile over a certain distance to kill a person in an effort to discredit / minimize etc the achivement but at the end of the day a wiki is about information and this is information that pertains to this system. The 338 lapua case / and associated round were used in setting this record with all its technical notations that you have mentioned above and as such it is factual supported and referenceable information that most imo will find useful and interesting. 1kn0wtruth (talk) 09:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The .510 Whisper mentioned in the article is a .50 wildcat based on the .338 Lapua Magnum. As also mentioned in the "final development" section the .338 Lapua Magnum (and alike rifle cartridges) offers some desirable qualities for military long-range anti-personnel sniping. The cartridges issued by the British military are non C.I.P. conform overpressure cartridges with a 3.6 in OAL, loaded with 16.2 g LockBase B408 very-low-drag bullets. There are better projectile options for extreme range shooting with the .338 Lapua Magnum around from Lapua and other manufactures as described in the "ballistic performance of the .338 Lapua Magnum" section. This section also points out how important the employed projectiles are. The 16.2 g Lapua Scenar is aero ballistically somewhat superior to the 16.2 g Lapua LockBase. Many armies restrict themselves to not using Scenars and similar projectiles in conflict or war situations, since they opt to avoid any chance of being accused for using illegal ammunition.
I suggest a text change which references to the Craig Harrison article and has lots of references like this:
+++++++++++
Non C.I.P. conform British military issue overpressure .338 Lapua Magnum cartridges with a 91.4 mm (3.6 in) overall length, loaded with 16.2 g (250 gr) LockBase B408 very-low-drag bullets were used in November 2009 by British sniper Corporal of Horse (CoH) Craig Harrison to establish a new record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat, at a range of 2,475 m (2,707 yd).[1][2][3][4][5][6]
+++++++++++
Such a short, factual and neutral text can remain unchanged if future reports emerge about new records etc. and it internally refernces to a longest recorded sniper kills article that also mentions another shot using a similar SWS and ammunition.--Francis Flinch (talk) 15:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Excellent suggestion - I like it a lot. edit away!1kn0wtruth (talk) 04:07, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

## Big-game hunting

I know the .338 Lapua can kill any animal in North America including a Polar Bear, but what about an Elephant ?? 65.94.114.117 00:22, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

It must be capable of that, since the 8.58 mm (.338) bullet diameter with 17.82 gram (275 grain) or heavier bullets results in a very high sectional density (over 30 gr/cm² / 0.3397 lbs/inch²). In combination with high muzzle velocities this results in a very high penetrating capability for practical spin stabilized rifle bullets (bullets up to about 5 to 5.5 calibers in length), even at for big game hunting rare longer ranges.
The actual challenge for Big five game bullet producers is to control bullet fragmentation and directional departures (induced by the massive bones and thick muscle layers found in big five game animals anatomy) before the bullet or bullet fragments can interact with the animals vital (organ) tissues. They solved this by making solid cilinder shaped bullets out of materials like copper or other mono-metal alloys. Here are some examples of special big five game hunting bullets. On that website you can also find an article on modern dangerous game bullets.* Another intresting article is Shooting Holes in Wounding Theories: The Mechanics of Terminal Ballistics.
A practical problem for all sub 9.53 mm (.375 in) caliber cartridges is that certain sub-Saharan Africa countries have an arbitrary 9.53 mm (.375 in) minimum caliber rule for hunting Big Five game - i.e. leopard, lion, cape buffalo, rhino and elephant. Francis Flinch 10:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Francis Flinch---I don't mean to start a undo-undo editing war. I agree that "stopping power" is a controversial subject. But so is this cartridge's suitability for some dangerous game.

The hunting of dangerous game is very different than the hunting of big game, and the distinction should not be blurred. It's fine if a good hit on big game causes the animal to "eventually" figure out it's dead--that's what tracking's for. With dangerous game, however, the goal is to have the animal down before it can kill you.
Experts can enlighten controversy, and I have provided an expert source (an experienced, well known African professional hunter and veterinarian) who opines that calibers under .375 (especially expanding bullets over 2500 ft per second) are notoriously undependable on pachyderms and cape buffalo (happy to provide the additional quotes, but I thought the short caution I provided was enough).
If you feel that this round is good for elephant and buffalo, please provide some sources--besides the company literature and terminal balistics--such as professional hunters who have used and prefer the cartridge for these animals. I'd appreciated (as always) the corrective information. Or, if the caveat is "it's fine for buffalo, but only on a frontal head-shot or perfect broadside heart shot," then add that (after all, buffalo are taken with bow and arrow: 90-lb draw bows and 1025 grain arrows, with a back-up rifle just in case).
But please don't simply delete a sourced addition, as if to say while stopping power is controversial, the .338 Lapua's suitability for all game on the planet is somehow not.
I do think it's a great cartridge (on lion and leopard it would be the cat's meow!) but having a bit of experience here, and having--alas!--more book-learning than experience, I haven't met or read someone whose first or second choice on the animals above would be the .338 Lapua. Let me know. Thanks.--Icammd (talk) 23:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi Icammd, - I am aware dangerous game animal can decide to avenge being shot at as long as its brain is able to order its body to attack the hunter or other bystanders. A main problem making this discussion academic is that the .338 Lapua Magnum is illegal for the kind of hunting discussed here and nobody will admit breaking laws. This high pressure cartridge case does however offer a good amount of case capacity compared to lots of dangerous game hunting legal .375 in to .458 big bore cartridges currently used for this kind of hunting. There are several schools of thought on how to shoot dangerous game efficiently. Believers of those schools of thought in their enthusiasm often forget that sufficient knowledge regarding game anatomy and correct shot placement are the most important factors when pleading their case. After the actual shot the hunter has no influence on the interaction between the projectile and animal of his choice anymore. Mr. W.D.M. Bell (1880-1951) shot around 1,000 elephants with 6.5x54mm Mannlicher and 7x57mm Mauser chambered rifles during the 1890s to 1920s. Mr. Bell relied on solid projectiles with high sectional density that do not expand very much to kill these large animals. The nowadays often awkward deemed methods employed by this prolific famous ivory hunter or notorious elephant slayer (that depends on your point of view) of bygone days do present a problem for the absolute right of the “exclusive use of large diameter projectiles school of thought”. Maybe ‘would be suspect’ in you addition can be changed to something more neutral like ‘is arguable or debatable’.--Francis Flinch (talk) 09:50, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good--have changed to "arguable," and from "most" to "some" re dangerous game. Have read on Karamojo Bell (reading is so much cheaper than hunting elephant, although I got a notice just this week that I could sign up in Botswana for a MERE \$24k); as you know he was the master of the elephant brain shot--his favorite was the (how's it even possible?) arm's-length upward-forward-sidelong raking angle standing at the animal's flank after the elephant had walked by--and most commenters say he had no equal, then or today. Still, things were different then, and today heart shots are probably better (see Boddington, http://www.sportsafield.com/FAQ/Boddingtonelephant.htm). Don't get me started on bullet types for dangerous animals and why/when/if they matter, or I'll happily write all day. By the way, Boddington mentions that Bell did not like the 6.5. Thanks.--Icammd (talk) 11:12, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Heart shooting is very ineffective, If it goes down after being shot in the heart, its usually due to the other damage. The heart being muscle and elastic, results in the actual hole being much smaller than the diameter of the bullet, resulting in very little blood loss, esp when compared to lung shots. Animals (including humans) can go on as if not shot after suffering heart shots that will eventually be fatal, but not before they run a long way or possibly decide they want to kill you.--Simon19800 (talk) 04:52, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

I realize this is an extremely old discussion, but I would largely concur with Francis Flinch here. If we are to assume a 300 grain .375 H&H flying at a velocity of 2650 FPS is adequate for cape buffalo, it stands to good reason that a well constructed 300 grain .338 Lapua hunting round with a velocity of 2850 FPS would be likewise effective. I am not a big game hunter, but I would also have to wonder whether there should be a distinction made between certain species of class 4 game. It seems an African elephant, capable of reaching T. rex weights, armed with multi-foot tusks, and boasting primate levels of intelligence would be a significantly more daunting adversary than a cape buffalo that reaches approximately a ton at most. I am well aware of the fact that the latter kills more hunters, but I would think this could be largely attributed to the sheer number of encounters between tourists and S. caffer rather than any inherent characteristic on the part of the buffalo. At any rate, it seems quite possible that .338 Lapua is adequate for cape buff but underpowered or disputable for much heavier animals. (Indeed, the Optimal Game Weight formula, while of questionable reliability in some aspects, gives a value of about 3100 lbs for the aforementioned 338 Lapua loading-about the weight of a black rhinoceros, significantly greater than a cape buffalo's average weight, and well below the range for Loxodonta africana.) --99.107.241.102 (talk) 04:25, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Sure you can even use a 22 to kill an elephant its been done, but if you talking about MINIMUM 375 H&H Magnum is it. Both in power and weight/Diameter. If you where going for African elephant, you should choose some thing bigger than 375H&H Mag!

Never underestimate Cape Buffalo, Even tho alot lighter than Elephant, they are very sturdy and grounding on first shot is the best bet. Cause things get a little harder when it doesnt go down and it charges you. 338 anything would be a dangerous/cruel choice. 375 H&H Mag a good choice or even go wider bullet with same energy to transfer more energy to the animal and not waste it on the thru.--Simon19800 (talk) 04:48, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

## Energy performance of the .338 Lapua Magnum

Hi im Brazilian police man, we use 7,62mmX51mm NATO. And i've a quastion! How Many joules .338 8.58mm X 70mm can to impactate on your shot? I think this caliber is used in animals but a little times hear peoples use in peoples or like police wepon. Some times i see it wepon like a military wepon for a sniper use. Is a Greate caliber for operational use and of your precision like AR15, M4A1 or FN FAL or other wepons caliber 7,62mm. 200.186.44.6 13:30, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

The .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6 x 70 mm) was designed from the start as a cartridge for long-range military sniping. It would be foolish for the police or military to choose such a cartridge for short to medium-range sniping, where normal service cartridges with considerably less recoil like your 7.62 x 51 mm NATO perform fine. At ranges under 500 m, the 8.6 x 70 mm would often be too powerful for anti-personnel use and cause overpenetration in most targets, unless deep material penetration is required. In police scenarios the 8.6 x 70 mm excessive penetration could even endanger hostages. The .338 Lapua Magnum starts to shine at 800+ m ranges in military anti-personnel scenarios or at shorter ranges when hunting big (dangerous) game animals that require deep penetration to obtain ample safety margins. The rifles you mention are assault rifles not sniper rifles. Typical high-end factory sniper rifles are the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare or Sako TRG rifle systems. The kinetic energy of a bullet can be calculated using the formula:
${\displaystyle E_{k}={\frac {1}{2}}mv^{2}}$
m = bullet weight in kg. v = bullet speed in m/s.
Kinetic energy is not a very good predictor of terminal performance. Some special police units actually use the 8.6 x 70 mm, but those anti terrorism orientated law enforcement units were not founded to oppose violent criminals like normal SWAT units.
This is how a 16.2 gram (250 gr) Lapua Scenar 8.6 x 70 mm load would perform from 0 m - 1400 m out of a Sako TRG-42 sniper rifle at 905 m/s muzzle velocity under ICAO Standard Atmosphere conditions at sea level (air density ρ = 1.225 kg/m³):
 Range (m) Velocity (m/s) Energy (J) 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 905 856 809 763 718 674 632 592 552 514 478 442 408 377 348 6635 5938 5297 4710 4173 3684 3238 2835 2470 2142 1847 1584 1351 1151 981
This is how a 10 gram (155 gr) Lapua Scenar 7.62 x 51 mm NATO / .308 Winchester load would perform from 0 m - 1400 m out of a Sako TRG-22 sniper rifle at 860 m/s muzzle velocity under ICAO Standard Atmosphere conditions at sea level (air density ρ = 1.225 kg/m³):
 Range (m) Velocity (m/s) Energy (J) 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 860 797 737 678 623 569 518 470 423 381 342 317 297 282 270 3698 3177 2712 2301 1938 1620 1343 1103 896 724 586 501 442 398 364
The 7.62 mm 10 gram Lapua Scenar is one of the best long-range high accuracy bullets available for 7.62 x 51 NATO rifles. The 8.6 mm Scenar has 981 J energy at 1400 m. The 7.62 mm Scenar has 981 J energy at 757 m. Francis Flinch 17:09, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I remember having read about a hostage situation (in Pakistan?) where the police snipers tried to take out some hijackers in an passenger airliner cockpit. However the bullets only ricocheted against the thick front windows. I don't remember the type of weapon or calibre used but I think those were "standard" police sniper rifles. Perhaps the .338 could have a place in the force in some special cases? --MoRsE (talk) 21:51, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

## Free Reload

I was recently told that some ammunitions can be reloaded for free, but the cartridges cost money, is that true for the .338 Lapua or just the .308? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thecutnut (talkcontribs) 00:57, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

The .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge and lots of other cartridges (including the .308 Winchester) can be acquired as factory ammunition or be hand(re)loaded. Handloading ammunition allways costs money. See the handloading article for more information.
Francis Flinch (talk) 10:22, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

## WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008

Article reassessed and graded as start class. Referencingand appropriate inline citation guidelines not met. --dashiellx (talk) 11:53, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

## Five Layers of Military Body Armor

Does this mean penetrating five ceramic plates that are commonly used in military body armor? --UnneededAplomb (talk) 18:32, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Probably not. The cartridge was designed to penetrate 5 layers of body armour at 1000 m (1094 yd) as used in 1983. You should think of layers of fabric designed to stop service projectiles with maybe one trauma plate, not a thick stack of ceramic plates that would get to heavy to wear for a soldier. The range, velocity and energy table above indicates a .338 Lapua Magnum sniper rifle bullet arrives with roughly the same energy at 1000 m as a 7.62 x 51 mm sniper rifle bullet round at 400 m for two roughly comparable long range bullets. Since the exact nature of the target medium or media (body armour, bone, flesh, soft tissues and in what order) and the interaction with employed projectile (parts) play an important role in terminal ballistics your question will always be hard to answer and highly dependant on a specific situation.--Francis Flinch (talk) 08:20, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

## Bullets and letters

About the bullets of this cartridge, there's things such as Lapua Scenar GB488 VLD.What material, shape, ect. means Lapua Scenar GB488 VLD? Agre22 (talk) 02:49, 20 September 2008 (UTC)agre22

The very-low-drag bullet article has an image of a VLD type bullet like the Lapua Scenar GB488. "Lapua Scenar GB488" is just a trade name + article number used by the ammunition and bullet manufacturer Lapua. Bullet manufacturers like Sierra, Berger, etc. use other brand names and article numbers for comparable products.--Francis Flinch (talk) 07:02, 20 September 2008 (UTC)