The .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge is a purpose-designed round for long-range sniper shooting.
It started its life as an experimental .338/416 round, developed in around 1983 in USA by Research Armament Industries. It was based on the .416 Rigby case, necked down to .338 caliber and loaded with a low-drag bullet.
In 1984 RAI contracted finnish company Lapua to make production ammunition, and it soon caught up as a long-range sniper round with effective range against human targets of up to 1500 meters.
Today this round is widely used in the long range sniping role by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide, with many rifles being built for it (not surprisingly, most are bolt-action repeaters).
There are also a few long-range target and hunting rifles in this caliber. Ammunition in this caliber is manufactured in several countries and wildey available, although it is a bit expensive.
|Designation||Bullet weight, g||Muzzle velocity, m/s||Muzzle energy, J||Comments|
|Swiss P Tactical||16.2||860||5990||with solid tombak FMJ boat-tailed bullet|
|Swiss P AP||16.8||830||5790||with armor-piercing bullet|
|Sierra MK||19.44||826||6535||with commerical long-range boat-tailed bullet|