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  • New US Military sniper rifle

    Sorry if this has been answered in other places, but I've had at least two people mention to me that the US military is using a wildcat for a new sniper rifle. Something like a RUM case necked to 338. Am I the last to know??

  • #2
    338 Lapua. Built on a modified 416 Rigby case.

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    • #3
      Here are some published loads from a 24 inch barrel. A 26 inch works much better.
      Since Norma makes ammo for this cartridge now, I guess it is no longer a wildcat.


      250 GR. HDY SP (Maximum Loads)
      DIA. .338"
      COL: 3.550"

      US 869108.02879
      51,100 CUP


      RETUMBO98.0C2853
      52,000 CUP


      H100098.0C2838
      52,800 CUP


      H483185.02740
      52,200 CUP


      H435078.02742
      52,300 CUP




      The 8.6 x 70mm also known as the .338 LAPUA Magnum, was developed around 1982-1983 as a long-range sniper cartridge for the U.S. Navy and other spec ops folks. The original design was supposed to propell a 250 grain bullet at @ 3,000 fps. The Research Armament Company in the U.S. designed a round based on a shortened and necked-down .416 Rigby case. The Navy is reported to have used Hornady bullets and cases from Brass Extrusion Labs. The cartridge went from wildcat to production status when Lapua Ltd. in Finland refined the design.
      The standard .416 case was not tough enough to contain the pressures generated by this round, so Lapua kept the outside dimensions the same but beefed up the web and head of the case.
      Muzzle velocity of production ammunition is less than the original concept cartridge.
      Sako makes the TRG rifle, Erma makes the Sr100, and the Brits make the Accuracy International Arctic warefare rifle in this caliber.

      For dangerous game, Lapua recently introduced the FOREX soft point hollow base rotating bands bullet. It features a hollow base area, which moves the projectile's center of gravity forward. Supposedly this gives the SPHBR projectile much better stability while punching through brush. The FOREX projectile features CNC-machined construction with narrow driving bands to engage the rifling like a naval 5 inch round. This is supposed to reduce bore errosion.


      I have fired one ( custom Mcmillan or Robar back when they were first getting into the spec units. It knocked the ammo box off the table next to us with the muzzle blast. Not something I would want to shoot all day long.

      XX
      Last edited by Float Pilot; 11-23-2006, 16:19.
      Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
      Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours

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      • #4
        I'm not in the military so this is only based on what I've read or seen on TV (dangerous I know) but I thought that the military was using all kinds of different cartridges for sniper rifles these days. Anything from .300 Win mag to .338 Lapua to .408 Chey-TAC to .50 BMG

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        • #5
          FYI comments

          The most common bolt action precision rifle the US military uses is chambered in the 308 Winchester. 300 Win Mag is the next most common bigger caliber distantly followed by the 338 Lapua. In the past year or so there has been an increase of the production and delivery of the 300 Win Mag precision rifles to troops overseas.

          Whether it's released to the public or not, the US military, governmental employees, and/or commercial interests are always looking for a better "widget" for the most critical military needs. Once they find the better "widget" then there is the consideration of funding and the ability to produce enough "widgets" to fill the needs. Look at the 6.8 SPC cartridge that was developed with the input by US Army Special Forces Soldiers and you'll see what I'm writing about. The 6.8 SPC is a better man-stopper than the 5.56. The 6.8mm SPC would require a different upper for the M4 rifle, new 25-round magazines, would require carrying a heavier load (ammo), would require production of the new parts, and it would cost the government a lot of cash. Would it be more effective, YES! Did we adopt this more effective option, NO. But back to my point, really smart people made a better "widget" but development and proven effectiveness do not make it a gimmie in troops hands.

          The 338 Lapua is being used by the US but it is not the predominant sniper rifle.

          There are other people out there on this forum that can add a lot to this conversation so hopefully we will hear from them.

          MyTime
          MyTime

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          • #6
            Lots of new gear in use of or being tested all the time.

            Here's a link to some info on the XM2010

            http://peosoldier.armylive.dodlive.m...4/m24-release/

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            • #7
              I'm waiting for the 416 Barrett to come on strong with the military.
              :cool: Life is too important to be taken seriously. :cool:

              Chinese proverb

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              • #8
                Yes the 338 Lapua is a U. S. Sniper cartridge. I had the unique pleasure of shooting one of the first six rifles made in the caliber about 1981.

                I own a couple of them. A longbow rifle and a TRG-42. I still shoot it some.

                The case is essentially a necked down and shortened 416 Rigby case but made much stronger. The original Rigby case is weak, designed for about 45,000 psi. The Lapua hits 65,000 psi. The Finland company, Lapua finalized the design and made the first bullets and ammo.
                Float Pilot has the whole story. The U. S. Navy bought the first rifles.
                Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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                • #9
                  I sold a nice AR and a motocross bike that I was no longer in need of. I converted the funds into a McMillan TAC338LM that turned out to be a pleasure to shoot. It brings lots of joy to an occasional afternoon of long range shooting.

                  I've hooked up with current and past military snipers and instructors in the Phoenix area for long range training. Their guidance has been excellent and they're a pleasure to shoot with.

                  I've developed three very accurate loads for this rifle. The best for 1000 plus yards has been the 300gr Berger Hybrid over Retumbo. I've been successful to 1800 yards with a 20 moa rail and the Leupold MK4 8.5-25x50mm TMR scope. That distance is max range for my elevation limits with the 20 moa base and a 10 moa hold over shooting the Berger. The lesser weight and BC of the other loads will not reach this far with my set up.

                  A 250gr Lapua Scenar over RL-25 is a close second on targets under 1000 yards. For a hunting quality bullet the Barnes TSX 285gr over Retumbo has been very accurate. The TSX lacks the BC of the others but is very reliable at ranges under 1000 yards. I've shot my best 500 yard groups with the TSX.

                  The rifle finished at 15 pounds an has an optional suppressor. It's quite pleasant to shoot at that weight. The recoil is light enough when suppressed that my wife and a few early teen neighbors have shot it without discomfort. The braked rifle is very loud and puts a little strain on the shoulder with long strings of prone fire.


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                  • #10
                    This Caliber actually holds the longest confirmed kill as well. Shot with a British Accuracy International 115LA3.
                    Here is s link.

                    http://www.gizmag.com/worlds-longest...l-247km/14992/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by marshall View Post
                      That distance is max range for my elevation limits with the 20 moa base and a 10 moa hold over shooting the Berger.
                      I meant to say 10 mil hold over, big difference...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 4Claws creek View Post
                        This Caliber actually holds the longest confirmed kill as well. Shot with a British Accuracy International 115LA3.
                        Here is s link.

                        http://www.gizmag.com/worlds-longest...l-247km/14992/

                        That will be the longest 2 kills and a machine gun receiver!! Not bad shooting really..........from 2.5km!!

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