The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 1, 2008, 08:12 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: August 28, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 128
.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.
"There is no spoone." -The Matricks
shoop66 is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 10:42 AM   #2
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,122
The .50BMG will do more damage and will cost more.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 01:21 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 17, 2001
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 420
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
Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.
scouter27 is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 01:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: October 3, 2005
Location: podunk, Texas
Posts: 1,610
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!
armedtotheteeth is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 02:02 PM   #5
Junior member
Join Date: October 2, 2002
Posts: 170
I understand that the .338 is more accurate than the .50.
BeCoole is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 03:39 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 25, 2008
Posts: 731
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.
TheManHimself is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 07:06 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: November 10, 2008
Location: SE USA
Posts: 250
I agree with the dead is dead...and the .50 is one bad ma'ama ja'ama.

"Be polite and courteous to everyone, but always have a plan to kill them."
ThreeStepsAhead is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 10:11 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: November 27, 2005
Location: Houston, TX.
Posts: 439
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...
wdelack is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 10:21 PM   #9
Shane Tuttle
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 8,825
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...
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

Posting and YOU:
Shane Tuttle is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 10:39 PM   #10
Deaf Smith
Senior Member
Join Date: October 31, 2000
Location: Texican!
Posts: 4,397
Oh comeon guys, Oerlikon is the only way to go. As in 20mm.
“To you who call yourselves ‘men of peace,’ I say, you are not safe without men of action by your side” Thucydides
Deaf Smith is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 11:21 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: November 17, 2008
Location: gulf of mexico
Posts: 2,716
.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
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
troy_mclure is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 02:10 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: June 29, 2008
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 692
I wouldnt want to be in front of either.....
Knowledge is Power!
butta9999 is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 02:45 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 5,239
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
HiBC is offline  
Old December 2, 2008, 06:02 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: October 5, 2007
Location: Billings,MT
Posts: 277
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.
handlerer is offline  
Old February 13, 2011, 12:01 AM   #15
Join Date: January 29, 2011
Location: Montana backwoods
Posts: 22
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.
MauiMontana is offline  
Old February 13, 2011, 12:10 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2009
Location: Lampasas, TX
Posts: 326
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.
dawico is offline  
Old February 13, 2011, 01:39 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 333
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.
Superman, you are a mean drunk
lefteyedom is offline  
Old February 13, 2011, 03:41 AM   #18
Junior Member
Join Date: February 11, 2011
Posts: 11
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.
CWO4GUNNER is offline  
Old February 13, 2011, 10:21 AM   #19
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,122
After two years, shoop66 has probably gone on to other things...
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10830 seconds with 7 queries