Or more accurately, for the .338 Lapua magnum cartridge and the various rifles which have been designed to fire it. If you haven't heard of it before the .338 magnum is one of the truest flying, hardest hitting, deadliest rifle rounds currently available for war or peace. And yet, for many years it was a cartridge in search of a rifle and a buyer.
Origins dated to 1982 when the US Military issued a request for a purpose built sniper rifle, not necessarily a cartridge. Lethality at 1000 yards was specified, but more was desired. As time passed neither existing rifles or ammunition would prove satisfactory. A Lapua ammunition manufacturer came up with the current cartridge, available in 250 and 300 grains, the downrange statistics are impressive.
A typical 250 grain round exits the barrel at 3000 feet per second, and with 4996 foot pounds of energy. At 1200 yards it is still moving at a respectable 1682 fps and packing 1741 of energy. High manufacturing standards and a super clean boat tail design make for remarkable accuracy. Fired from Accuracy Internationals AIAW purpose built bolt action rifle the .338 magnum is lethal to 1500 yards in the hands of a competent sniping team.
In 2008 British sniper Corporal Craig Harrison and his spotter pulled off an almost unbelievable shooting feat when, after 8 or 9 nine ranging shots on a two man Taliban machine gun team Harrison fired 3 rounds "on target". The first killed the gunner, the second killed the loader, and the third disabled the gun itself.
The range? A paltry 2700 yards. That is 1.54 miles, folks.
Almost all major manufacturers have jumped on the .338 band wagon and while the cartridge is an effective hunting round, it is too much gun for many commonly hunted species like white tailed deer. Faced with a polar bear or a cape buffalo on the other hand the brute force of the round can be mighty comforting.
The .338 also rules the long range competition shooting roost, even the famed Barret light, firing 50 calibre Browning machine gun ammo cannot match the precision of a good shooter wielding a .338 long gun.
Lapua is working on refining manufacturing techniques to make the .338 round even more accurate than it is today. Bad guys around the globe, take heed!
In fiction, the .338 AIAW is the long gun of choice for
widely read, occasionally read, unknown action-thriller heroine Lacey Delacroix.
For the present and for the foreseeable future, in fact and in fiction, the partnership of the Lapua .338 magnum and precision long gun will be the ultimate option when you feel the need to reach out and touch someone.
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