.338 Lapua Review: Pros and cons of the .338 Lapua

The .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70mm or 8.58x70mm) is a popular long-range rifle cartridge developed in the late 1980s. It was originally designed for military snipers and has since found a place in the civilian market for long-range shooting and hunting. In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of the .338 Lapua.


  1. Long-range capabilities: The .338 Lapua is a potent long-range cartridge, capable of accurate shots beyond 1,500 meters. It has a high ballistic coefficient and retains energy over long distances, making it ideal for extreme long-range shooting.

  2. Excellent stopping power: The .338 Lapua has a large bullet diameter of .338 inches, which gives it excellent stopping power. It is a popular cartridge for big game hunting and can take down large animals such as elk, moose, and bear.

  3. Relatively flat trajectory: The .338 Lapua has a relatively flat trajectory, meaning it doesn't drop as much over long distances compared to other cartridges. This makes it easier for shooters to make accurate shots at longer ranges.

  4. Good selection of ammunition: There is a good selection of factory ammunition available for the .338 Lapua, including match-grade loads, hunting loads, and military surplus ammunition. This makes it easier for shooters to find the right ammunition for their specific needs.

  5. Recoil management: Despite being a powerful cartridge, the .338 Lapua has manageable recoil. With the right rifle and recoil management techniques, shooters can shoot this cartridge comfortably for extended periods.


  1. Expensive ammunition: The .338 Lapua is an expensive cartridge to shoot. Factory ammunition can cost upwards of $5 per round, and handloading can also be expensive due to the cost of components.

  2. Rifle cost: Rifles chambered in .338 Lapua are expensive. A high-quality rifle capable of shooting this cartridge can cost thousands of dollars, which puts it out of reach for many shooters.

  3. Heavy recoil: While the .338 Lapua has manageable recoil, it is still a powerful cartridge that produces significant recoil. Shooters need to use proper recoil management techniques and equipment to shoot this cartridge comfortably.

  4. Barrel life: The .338 Lapua has a relatively short barrel life compared to other cartridges. The high pressure and heat generated by this cartridge can quickly wear out a barrel, which can be costly to replace.

  5. Limited availability: The .338 Lapua is not as widely available as some other cartridges. While it has gained popularity in recent years, it may be difficult to find rifles, ammunition, and reloading components in some areas.

The .338 Lapua is an excellent cartridge for long-range shooting and hunting. It has long-range capabilities, excellent stopping power, and a relatively flat trajectory. However, it is expensive to shoot, has a short barrel life, and can be difficult to find in some areas. Shooters need to carefully consider their needs and budget before investing in a rifle chambered in .338 Lapua.

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 .338 Lapua Review: Pros and cons of the .338 Lapua