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Old December 1, 2008, 08:12 AM   #1
shoop66
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.50 BMG vs. .338 Lapua

Which one does more damage, which one costs more, what's more popular, how hard is it to find, etc.
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Old December 1, 2008, 10:42 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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The .50BMG will do more damage and will cost more.
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Old December 1, 2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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on live targets, you probably wont be able to tell the difference in damage on anything you can feasibly hit. dead is dead. for hard targets, the .50 has an edge in all respects
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Old December 1, 2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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I did a little researching on this a while back when i was trying to decide over the Ar-50, or Ar30. This was a few years back but, the 50 BMG prices where actually cheaper than the 338 per cartridge. I know, it doesnt make sense. I guess for a handloader it would not mean much. I eventually got a Ar-30 in 300 Win as it will kill anything i want killed and shoot plenty far enough for me. Besides, who hunts with a 50 BMG , In west Texas?
A 50 BMG will turn a large hog into a pile of Hog relish on the fence. Been there .. EWE!
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Old December 1, 2008, 02:02 PM   #5
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I understand that the .338 is more accurate than the .50.
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Old December 1, 2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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One way to look at it is this: A .50 BMG rifle is an anti-materiel rifle that is also usable for anti-personnel work. .338 Lapua is intended as a long-range anti-personnel round that can also be used as a light anti-materiel round in a pinch.
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Old December 1, 2008, 07:06 PM   #7
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I agree with the dead is dead...and the .50 is one bad ma'ama ja'ama.
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Old December 1, 2008, 10:11 PM   #8
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We (we being my wife and me) have both the 338 Lapua Mag and 50 BMG conversion kits (barrel and bolt) for our EDM Arms Windrunner rifle. We are sill working up hand loads for both rounds. So far the 338 Lapua has been a real pleasure to shoot. The 50 BMG is fun but the recoil will get to you after 10 to 15 rounds. The Windrunner weighs about 35 pounds and has efficient muzzle brakes on both barrels. Also, the muzzle blast from the 50 is incredible. Target shooting is our only intended use of this rifle

The 338 Lapua is cheaper to hand load then 50 BMG; much more so when match grade components are used.

You can also go with 408 Cheytac...
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Old December 1, 2008, 10:21 PM   #9
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ONLY researching the internet (you know where that gets you) and talking to friends that own both:

Damage: 50BMG by a mile.
Cost: 50BMG by light years
Popular: 50BMG....subjectively
Availability: Depends on what you mean...reloading components, milsurp ammo, guns chambered in it....

One's you didn't ask but I have to be a smart aleck:

Accuracy definitely goes to .338Lapua in the target arena, especially if you're heading out in the realm of 1200+

The .416 Barrett has been getting accolades for being supreme in accuracy at looong distances...
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Old December 1, 2008, 10:39 PM   #10
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Oh comeon guys, Oerlikon is the only way to go. As in 20mm.
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Old December 1, 2008, 11:21 PM   #11
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.75 T-REX? lol

ive shot both. the .50 from a barrett semi auto carbine. the .338 lm from a custom break action.

the .338lm had way more recoil of course(cant beat that barrett!)

the .50 is like lobbing a football in on the target.

the .338lm is quite a bit flatter shooting.

if you are by a military instalation you can usualy find .50bmg api/apit pretty cheap.

theres no cheap in .338lm
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Old December 2, 2008, 02:10 AM   #12
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I wouldnt want to be in front of either.....
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Old December 2, 2008, 02:45 AM   #13
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Sounds like a fun dilemna.
One question to consider,what sort of places do you have to shoot?
Just a thought.
The .338 Lapua was pretty much designed to throw the 250 gr Scenar,I think(I'm not real expert on it)The typical twist is 1 in 12.Myself,I would be interested in the 300 gr matchking from Sierra.Sierra recommends a 1 in 10 twist.However,I know Black Hills sells 300 gr Lapua loads.So,maybe someone with experience with these can say if they stabilize well at very long range.
While the Lapua is chambered in more way cool rifles,the .338 Rem Ultra mag is very close for ballistics.I think it is some cheaper.However someone domestic,maybe Hornady,is making Lapua brass.
I might be concerned about the continuing availability of .50 components.One freak tries to do evil with a .50 and media and politicians will pump it.
.50 primers are unique,.338 primers are common
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Old December 2, 2008, 06:02 AM   #14
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I have to take exception to the essertion that the 338 Lapua is more accurate than the 50 BMG. If the 338 Lapua is more accurate, then why does Skip Talbot hold the worlds record for heavy rifle and World absolute record, with a 2.602" five shot 1000 yd group, with a 50 BMG? This is information found in Barnes reloading manual, see 50BMG.
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Old February 13, 2011, 12:01 AM   #15
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if you are looking to put a "heavy" bullet on a target at over 1500 yds... CONSISTENTLY.....AND relatively cheaply,... the new savage .338 lapua is a good pik for a rifle. (less than 2 grand if you are a dealer) otherwise, the .416 is the way to go for LONG, LONG, LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG RANGE ACCURACY. (416 BARRETT HAS GOOD RESULTS WITH FRIENDS) anyway, .338 lapua mag is great........ but the .416 stuff now-a-days is better..... if you have a good reloading shop/mild gunsmithing,.... my opinion.
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Old February 13, 2011, 12:10 AM   #16
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The 50 is cheaper to reload for, as there are a lot more cheap componants available. I looked at selling my 50 and getting a Savage 338, but I decided I couldn't afford to feed the 338. I can't recall seeing ammo for less than $6 a round, where as I have seen 50 ammo for $2.50.
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Old February 13, 2011, 01:39 AM   #17
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but if you have to ask you really can't afford ether

A 338 Lapua is the ballistic twin of the old 340 Weatherby. Yes the brass is better...

50 cal, 100 year old war horse still carrying the mail in war zone aroung the world.

Which one to buy is really just a pride thing.

Swagger at the firing range would go to the 50 cal.

Usefulness it the real world? 338 Lapua if chambered in a rifle you can hunt with.

Ether way both are cool toys,

but if you have to ask you really can't afford ether.
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Old February 13, 2011, 03:41 AM   #18
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I own and shoot both AR-50 BMG and 338 BAR w/boss, and I can tell you that both are potent, accurate and head and shoulders above a 308. But the 338 is totally outclassed by the 50 BMG in power, energy, reach and destructive capability, and 338 ammo actually cost more and much harder to find (much harder!). The 338 BAR out classes the 50 BMG in light-weight gun/ammo portability, and user endurance. You could probubly out crawl someone perusing you with a heavy 50 BMG if out of sight, but a 338 is about average rifle weight and will stay one your tale. Both of mine have muzzle brakes so the recoil on both are nothing, far less kick then that of a riot shotgun. Its the pressure-wave of the 50 BMG that wears on you after a while and anyone sitting next to you shooting LOL.

Last edited by CWO4GUNNER; February 13, 2011 at 03:49 AM.
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Old February 13, 2011, 10:21 AM   #19
Art Eatman
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After two years, shoop66 has probably gone on to other things...
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