The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 1, 2012, 05:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 10, 2006
Location: Weekend cowboy
Posts: 542
Why is .338 Lapua ammunition so expensive?

I mainly thumb through the Cabelas catalogs for black powder hunting supplies but as I was looking in the ammunition section, I could not help but realize one curious thing, the black sheep in the flock so to speak...

All of the other cartridges with the exception of the custom built nitro express ones all fall into a certain price range, but then, the .338 Lapua just takes a rocket ride to the moon.

Case of 50 rounds of .308 Win: About $59.00
Case of 20 rounds of .338 Lapua: $82.00

Same thing with other price charts too. It seems like .338 Lapua is more expensive than other comparable types of rifle ammo by almost 200%

I wonder why though... The Lapua cases are not custom built like the ridiculously huge safari hunting cartridges. And they are a normal military chambering too.
Rachen is offline  
Old February 1, 2012, 05:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2008
Posts: 550
The .338 Lapua, due to it being Gecko45's favorite round, has tremendous popularity. It's a "supply and demand" thing, sort of like the price of the S&W .44 Magnun skyrocketing after the "Dirty Harry" movies.
pnac is offline  
Old February 1, 2012, 08:47 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: August 7, 2000
Location: Floating down the James River in VA
Posts: 2,599
It's the actual word "Lapua" that makes it pricey.
Check it out for yourself. Anything with "Lapua" on it will generally cost more than a similar item without that name.
Try it and see:
Any brass

I keeed (sort of)
[slides box of center-x out of view]
Poodleshooter is offline  
Old February 1, 2012, 08:57 PM   #4
Join Date: October 11, 2009
Posts: 41
For the sake of argument, assume that .338 LM is nothing but a scaled up .308 Winchester. The scale factor, taken from the the overall lengths is 93.5 / 71.12 = 1.315

Of course, when you scale an object, volume increases as the cube of the linear scaling. So a .338 LM would have a volume of 1.315^3 = 2.27 times that of the .308 Winchester. This means that all the materials involved, as well as the tools used for production have to be scaled similarly. Add in the enormous difference in production volume and I have to say I'm not all that surprised that .338 is so expensive.
flightline is offline  
Old February 1, 2012, 09:10 PM   #5
Don H
Senior Member
Join Date: May 8, 2000
Location: SLC,Utah
Posts: 2,704
Looks like Lapua also manufactures .308 Win cartridges--around $105/50 rounds.
The .338, in that context, isn't that overpriced in comparison, considering the popularity of the .308 and the no doubt greater production.
Don H is offline  
Old February 1, 2012, 09:16 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,930
For the Lapua ammo there is a lot of extra refinement that goes into it. The case prepreration is not matched by many, if any. The bullets are specialy produced, and pass a ballance test to assure they will stay stable at high velocity over extremely long ranges. (Or something like that from what I hear all of the long range guys say anyway.)

Ok seriously how much do you expect half mile plus ammo to cost. The stuff is well crafted, and very consitint from one shot to the next.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old February 1, 2012, 09:17 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: August 4, 2010
Posts: 820
Probably because it's a niche round that is not cost effective to produce, given the low demand.
hardworker is offline  
Old February 2, 2012, 02:12 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 2,727
I was in a new Bass Pro Shop just before Christmas and saw a single 20 round box of 7mmSTW with a price tag of $75 on it. I about fell over. Good thing I reload for it.
Mike38 is offline  
Old February 2, 2012, 10:50 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: November 5, 2008
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 1,347
It's the actual word "Lapua" that makes it pricey.
True, but Lapua is worth the money IMO.

Lapua is the best precision rifle brass i've found. Regarding the price of loaded ammo, supply and demand is the reason. Not many companies market .338 Lapua, primarily because of demand, and most shooters reload for it.

Although, the market has swelled with new .338 Lapua rifles in reasonable price ranges. I definitely think the .338 Lapua is here to stay on the civilian market.
golfnutrlv is offline  
Old February 2, 2012, 11:10 PM   #10
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 29,282
Why are you expected to pay more for a corvette than a chevette?

They're both cars, right?
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 4, 2012, 07:45 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 12,463
It's more expensive because there is less demand and it's a Lapua.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  

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 08:35 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Page generated in 0.04850 seconds with 7 queries