It is recent news that the Beretta Group has been awarded the supply of Sako TRG M10 sniper rifles for the New York Police, multi-caliber weapons among which the .338 Lapua Mag obviously stands out for a combination of rare effectiveness thanks also to the wide range of accessories available. Together we offer a cartridge in this caliber created a few years ago by RWS, a brand of absolute value that recently entered, together with Geco, Norma and Rottweil (Ruag Group) in the holding company of the centuries-old company from Gardone.
Today long-range shooting contemplates formidable cartridges such as the .375 Chey Tac or the .408 with the same denomination, but taking a step back we will be able to observe a project that gave rise to these loads designed above all for military use at distances that today we define intermediate. Having established that 2 miles (3218 meters) today are a basic element for the discipline of long-range shooting, and 2000 meters another focal point, underneath there is much more to engage with cartridges in which the balance of ballistic factors and cost often proves to be the culmination of a very well thought-out project.
In 1989 the Finnish company Lapua presents its new cartridge, after many experiments in the military sector for which this charge has been studied: it is immediately a touchstone and other manufacturers apply themselves to similar products such as for example the Weatherby, as d' habit prone to doting, but this time the Lapua boasts a better balance and asserts itself on the market, especially as already mentioned, the military one where the exploit they are not as functional and beneficial as a constant, repetitive and reliable average. The cartridge sees its shell derive from a backbone of British ammunition from the early 900s designed for big game hunting: the .416 Rigby still remains a shrewd and excellently functional choice in its field.
The new .338 Lapua Mag. combines several positive factors including the length of the cartridge case equal to 69,2 mm and above all a shoulder of just under 40° which together allow adequate combustion for the considerable powder load, containing the pressure involved and the feeling of recoil. The expected weights of the projectiles range from 200/250/300 gr with different speeds among which a 1005 m/sec of the lightest stands out while the most used one of 250 gr currently travels around 915 m/sec with an energy close to 700 kgm.
The use in an anti-materials key is feasible up to a distance of 1750 meters where the ball maintains sufficient energy to devastate, for example, an electronic firing control unit for artillery or missile batteries, making these armaments unusable. In the specific field of range shooting one enjoys beating 1.000 meters with ease and in hunting a lot depends on the weapon chosen, therefore leaving aside the legendary Sako TRG in its various versions with the demanding weight to be transported on and down the mountains, you can switch to an elegant Sako Mod. 85 with which everything becomes more accessible.
The RWS .338 Lapua with ST
This RWS packaging dated 2017 stands out for the colors used with an eye-catching and pleasant golden yellow combined with black. The wordings appear in the upper center line with the logo and the writing Ultimate performance cartridges while in the lower one, in white characters on a black background that are very legible thanks also to the right dimensions, those of the caliber and specifications relating to the special bullet created by the company, called Speed Points. Lastly, at the bottom, the inscription underlining the German manufacture, therefore not entrusted to extra-national processes. Returning to the bullet used, we point out the weight of 250 gr (16,2 g), the intermediate one for the caliber, observing the line well highlighted on the package with the secant profile of the ogive and rear apex tapered according to the shape commonly called boat tail in its variant called V Tail decalibrated, i.e. the best that technology offers today for maintaining speed together with grazing and precision.
It should be emphasized that this profile was already present on the Western-Winchester bullets created for its own .264 Win cartridge. Mag. in the second half of the 50s. A small red rib on the box does not fail to attract attention, highlighting the structural derivation of this recent ST bullet from the historic H-Mantel, widely used in intermediate hunting calibers such as 7 and the 8mm: Has been the preferred adoption for many for decades for deer hunting with Schuler's specific 8x68S cartridge. The structure sees a hollow rim in the intermediate area of the bullet designed to favor the separation between the front part, structurally destined to deform and fragment, and the much harder rear part which is entrusted with the task of maintaining energy by creating a substantial link until it comes out of the wild. In the present situation, the hollow copper ogive of the H-Mantel, shown on the projectile, is replaced by a more performing (ballistically speaking) synthetic tip that is less delicate on accidental impacts and guarantees better performance in terms of speed, precision and shooting power. stop, with the task of penetrating the front of the ball, favoring its expansion and fragmentation. The body of the bullet is covered in nickel-plated tombacco, excellent for passing through the rifling and with an anti-oxidation function; finally there is the circular groove, just below the recess of the H structure, for crimping the ball.
By entering the data in the Quickload simulator, the ballistic coefficient of 0.566 comes to the eye, therefore not a stratospheric value as it happens to observe in some specific bullets for very long range shooting, but decidedly effective for what the ST bullet has to accomplish. The ballistic data then see with the hypothesized optics calibration at 200 meters and a V/0 equal to 915 m/sec a V/300 equal to 756, V/600 of 614 and V/1000 of 454 m/sec: in practice at one km from the sprint the speed loses 50% remaining still well above the minimum of about 320 m/sec of the supersonic speed which is reached at about 1750 meters. As for the energy developed, one passes from an E/0 of 6782 J to the following values with identical speed steps: therefore E/300 of 4628, E/600 of 3053 and E/1000 of 1668 J. The trajectory with the aforementioned 200 m calibration gives these decreases in centimetres: at 300 – 19,7, at 600 -197,9, at 1000 -865,5. Definitely positive values for all the uses to which this cartridge will be destined.