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Posted: 8/2/2009 2:14:29 PM EST
I am about to spring for either a 338 Lapua or 50 BMG. The cost of the rifle is not an issue for me but it must be a bolt action as I am left handed and ALL of the auto-loaders put my face too close to the ejection port. I will be reloading and know that components (brass and projectiles) will still be expensive but is there a big difference in the cost between the two? Can anyone recomend or tell me about their experiences with bolt action 50's and 338's. I have looked in the 50 BMG forum but I am sure they are biased when asking for a comparison between the two.

MadDog
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 2:58:36 PM EST
Price of reloading in terms of projectiles, I think the 50 is cheaper if using surplus components, with match grade components its probably cheaper with the .338 (midway shows match .338 hornady bullets at $35.99 for 50 and .50 Amaxes at $43.99 for 20)
You will use about half the amount of powder though with the 338, but there is a lot of surplus powder out there for the 50 that can balance that out.
and primers for the 50 are more expensive as well.
Brass should be cheaper and more available with the .50 though (surplus again)

hope that helps.

I reload for my .50
brass around .50 each
primers around .30 each
projectile (surplus) around .40 each
powder (surplus) .30 each
total with surplus $1.50 each, for match you can figure on at least double that.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:26:30 PM EST
Rotty: Can you send me an IM with details on "surplus" projectiles and powder? By surplus do you mean government surpluss? Where can I acquire surplus components?

MadDog
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:38:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By MadDogDan:
Rotty: Can you send me an IM with details on "surplus" projectiles and powder? By surplus do you mean government surpluss? Where can I acquire surplus components?

MadDog


I haven't seen surplus powder in a while, but its out there. Since Talon when TU, all the components and cheap 50 is gone

I have a AR50, nearly got a 338 but after looking at setting up for the 338 I decided 50

50 can be a plinker, if you want to reload for it. You can still get cheap stuff, there is nothing in the 338 class that is "cheap" (bullets/brass)

It does use less powder but you will more than spend in on 338 bullets

the 50 has surplus components available the 338 does not.

the 50 has APIT/AP/tracer/Raufass/FMJ/Sabots/marking rounds the 338 does not.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 8:08:31 PM EST
It really depends on what you are trying to do. The .338 was designed to fill the space between 7.62 NATO systems and .50 BMG systems. The purpose of the Barret/McMillian and other .50 BMG SASR's is to damage and disable sensitive equipment and great distance. For example, an SAS team with a Barret or AW .50 BMG rifle could damage/destroy a fueling TBM like a SCUD while it is being fueled. It could also severely damage or destroy highly technical and vulnerable communications and SAM radar and tracking gear. While it has been used against enemy personell, this is technically a violation of the laws of ground warfare. Clearly, the .50 BMG is a very lethal round.

While they offer an essentially unmatched capability, atleast until man-portible 20mm systems come online, they have several problems. Accuracy and hard-target penetration leaves much to be desired. .50 BMG ball ammo or projectiles from the 40's aren't going to set accuracy records. There have also been many reports of the .50 BMG failing to stop vehicles and disable other non-animant targets when using standard ball ammo. API or AP rounds solve both of these problems to an extent, however these rounds will be non existant in many civilian shooter's magazines. Weight is also a serious concern with .50 BMG systems. They are getting lighter and lighter, but they are still similar in weight to a GPMG.

So, if you aren't trying to disable a PAC-3 missile site from 1,000 yards, .338 is probably a better choice. For a man portible, anti-personel system .338 is very effective. It has great range and lethality, yet the rifles are generally easier to handle/carry. This caliber was purpose built by the USN, amongs others. They just happen to be at the cutting edge of small arms development.

My choice for the civilian sector or for anti-personel work would be the .338 Lapua Magnum.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 3:21:46 AM EST
Steve: Do you know anything about the 338 Extreme Tactical?

MadDog
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 8:02:19 AM EST
i would go with the 50. there are more options as far as ammo
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 8:49:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By Steve_Canyon:
While it has been used against enemy personell, this is technically a violation of the laws of ground warfare.
.


Bullshit, this is an actual question on the military LOAC "test" we have to take every year. It can be used against anything-including people.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 9:31:08 AM EST
I'd go with the 338 L.

But the 50 sure has the "cool" factor going for it. I just think the 338 has more going for it in a civilian role. Much more versatility imo.
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