Which is pretty impressive for the .338 LM to be so much heavier without falling that far behind in velocity.
Our first reaction from this graph should be that both of these cartridges produce a good deal of recoil. If you were to graph all of these rounds, you would see that there is quite a bit of overlap between the rounds.
In this section, we will take a look at several ballistic categories including the velocity, the ballistic coefficient, as well as the short and long range trajectory of the .300 Win Mag vs .338 Lapua Magnum. For anyone looking to decide between two cartridges, the ballistics are going to be their main source of comparison. Extended Ballistics: The .338 Lapua Magnum, 250-Grain BTHP Match Round. Our reasoning for this was to provide you with more information and it also let’s us double check the results we see with the smaller sample size and that the results reflect the cartridges actual performance. When we look at the cartridge specs for the .300 Win Mag vs .338 Lapua Magnum we see some immediate differences that will likely lead to differences in how these two cartridges perform. You also have the recoil to consider. The physics and math behind the ballistic coefficient and its implications, while interesting, is not something we are going to attempt to convey in this article, but we do urge you to check it out.
Both are also able to withstand large amounts of pressure when the powder is ignited, which is needed to push the heavier bullets down range with the proper terminal performances.
The .300 Win Mag vs .338 Lapua Magnum is an interesting comparison, and we think provides some interesting points of discussion. The .338 LM rounds have a much higher kinetic energy than the .300 Win Mag rounds throughout the 500-yard range except for the .338 LM Hornady SP-RP Interlock 250gr which falls into the .300 Win Mag range at the 400 and 500-yard mark. When thinking about the availability of these rounds, both can be difficult to come by unless you are at major retail stores that carry a large assortment of ammunition. While most competitive long range shooters are going to be using hand loaded rounds, we still wanted to discuss some our favorite factory loads for long range shooting. Ever since the advent of the first metallic cartridge (the 22 BB Cap in 1845,) hunters have demanded rifles, cartridges and bullets capable of terminating everything from ground squirrels to elephants. The average velocities, when we add in more rounds, are near identical to the trends we just looked at. But... pertaining to your question, with proper hand loads both can be souped up to much better ballistics. As we move out to the 300-yard mark, we see the different rounds begin to space themselves out.
This expansion also relies on velocity, but we will leave that topic for another time. We are looking at around 30lb/ft.s difference at each yard marker. What we are saying is that the differences in performance here will translate to differences in performance for you when using the same firearms, so the comparisons are still valid in our opinion. When picking out a round for use, it is important that you take into account all of the factors when determining the amount of penetration you will need from your round.
Compare up to 4 Winchester products and see how they compare. As you all know, the flight path of a bullet is not a straight line, and as the bullets move downrange, they are going to be bleed velocity and lose altitude. We think it all comes down to what you have the most practice and experience with. Due to wind the heavier bullet is therefore bucking any wind better which results in better accuracy. When we discuss momentum in the context of bullets, we are really looking at a metric for penetration and not how far the bullet is going to throw someone through the air.
This round maintains over 2,000fps throughout a 500-yard flight which is more than enough to cause proper expansion of the ballistic tip bullet. We always have a bit of an issue when talking about accuracy for two cartridges. The sectional density of the .200″ round is going to be higher, and it should penetrate deeper than the .300″ round. As with most factory loads, they do fall short of the maximal distance that you can obtain with hand loads.
We also saw much higher ballistic coefficients for the .338 LM rounds than the .300 Win Mag rounds, though both have high BCs when compared to other types of cartridges. We will come back to all of this in the application section, but we do want to note that in a lot of cases, either of these cartridges have more than enough momentum to drive a round through the target.
What is different is that with more rounds, the difference between the averages has gotten narrower by several inches. Flatter trajectories, less bullet drop, make it easier to adjust for long range shots and for two cartridges designed to give long range performance, it’s an important performance characteristic to examine closely.
It depends on what your hunting and if you are reloading. There are rounds with higher velocities from the muzzle out to 500 yards, but it is dependent on the specific round. Lately I've done a lot of firing with my Savage 110BA, .338 Lapua Magnum rifle, taking on targets up to 1400 yards away.
For time on the range looking to pop targets at long ranges, we like the .338 LM 285gr Hornady ELD Match. Obviously I am confident with either one. Buller design and their BCs influence the trajectories as well as velocity. We still see on average, less bullet drop from the .300 Win Mag rounds (-11.16″) versus the .338 LM rounds (-12.92″). I analyzed the trajectory differences between mounting it 2 inches above the bore, and 1-1/2 inches, and found the variances less than 1/2 MOA all the way to 1000 yards â€“ or less than 2/10ths of a mil. This is an extremely popular caliber for long-range shooters including those chasing big game and those in precision shooting competitions. And a lot of shooters out there will tell you that the .300 WM has some kick to it. 1 mile? Both bullets weigh 100gr, but one has a diameter of .300″ while the other has a diameter of .200″.
The amount of stopping power that is thought to bring down game effectively is debatable and shot placement is a key component to this baseline as well. Instead, we want to take an unbiased look at the performance of both and use that information to make better decisions of which cartridge will better serve you depending on the situation. We are looking at the bullet drop (in inches) over this range with the firearm zeroes in at 100 yards. The energy that is carried by the bullet is only one factor of a round’s stopping power, but it is an important one nonetheless. And while a lot of people associate these rounds with longer distance shots, we have to remember that these are hunting rounds as well, and with hunting, shots can present themselves at short range at any time. If I had a 338WM, I would go with the 225 and even the 250's. There are several components that go into how well a bullet will penetrate including velocity, the caliber of the bullet, the weight of the bullet, and the bullet’s design. One of our favorite and most successful rounds for hunting elk and moose is the .300 WM Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond Long Range 190gr. You also have to think about the type of game you are hunting. The .300 Win Mag can take a withstand a whopping 64,00psi according to SAAMI specifications. With both having well over 1,000 yards of supersonic flight, that’s a big advantage to long range marksman. At the 200 yard mark, all of the rounds are tightly clustered around the -3” mark though averages give a slight (.5”) advantage to the .300 Win Mag rounds.
We used a ballistics calculator to generate the recoil energy (ft.lb) generated from firing each of the ten factory loads that we have chosen for comparison. 338 Win Mag – the Ultimate Elk Round Many centerfire rifle cartridges are effective on elk. Calculations were corrected to standard temperature (59F/15C) and pressure … Get our PDF with 13 pistol & rifle targets (worth $48) including expert instructions for FREE! With enough hours on the range, you can do some pretty amazing things with both of these cartridges out to 1,000+ yard ranges. We have a 12lb rifle weight for the .338 rounds and a 10lb rifle weight for the .300 Win Mag round to better simulate the weight of firearms you would be using in the field. There are plenty of sites with this data that is generated by incredible marksmen and are valuable resources. We will first look at the short range trajectory out to 300 yards (Graph 5). And while the amount of momentum generated with these rounds might seem weak compared to the .338 LM, in reality, they have more than enough and sometimes way more for just about any hunting scenario. SO, for long range shooting where the wind might be more of a factor, a better ballistic coefficient is something you might be looking for. And as we stated earlier, while looking at the SD is perfectly fine for simply comparing two cartridges, it alone is not a full picture of the penetration the round will show in the field.
Wildcatters soon necked the .338 down to .30 caliber which became very popular and was eventually adopted by Norma as the .308 Norma Magnum in 1959.
Let’s take a look at the larger data sets and see if we still observe these same trends. At this point, all of the .300 Win Mag rounds show flatter trajectory than the .338 LM rounds with the exception of the .338 LM Federal MatchKing BTHP Gold Medal 250gr round. While this cartridge has been and is still used in sharp shooting corners of the military, the majority of its action is found in the hunting world.
We have seen that the .338LM has excellent ballistic coefficients and we also saw that it maintained its velocity at a higher rate than the .300 Win Mag rounds. Because of that, there is no harm in looking at the numbers within 400 yards. Understanding the limits of your cartridge will greatly increase your ability to put the animal down quick with one shot.
Stopping power is going to be more of interest for marksman in certain shooting circles than others and more specifically important to hunters since we are talking civilian factory loads. We see some clear trends from this data as well. Hope it helps. When averaging the rounds between the two cartridges, there is a .05 difference in SD between the .300 Win Mag vs .338 Lapua Magnum. My Millett LRS scope has 1-10th mil increment knobs, so I first worked up this data in mils. The author analyzed six .338 caliber magnum cartridges (.338 Winchester Magnum, .340 Weatherby, .338-378 Weatherby, .338 Remington Ultra Mag., 33 Nosler, and .338 Lapua) for trajectory, effective range, and recoil with modern ballistic software available free online from shooterscalculator.com. And recoil does play a role in choosing a cartridge, especially if you are dealing with a decision on cartridges that can be used for similar applications. I wouldn't even bother with anything less than 200grns.
If I was not planning on shooting past 800 yards I would definitely go with the 300 mag.
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