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A Introduction to the 338 Lapua Magnum
The .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6×70mm or 8.58×70mm) is a Finnish developed rimless, bottlenecked, centerfire cartridge developed for military long-range sniper rifles. (The designation is based on the calibre 0.338 inches, the Finnish company Lapua, which contributed the major development, and Magnum as indicator for an increased charge).The United States used it in the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. As a result of this, it is now widely available. The .338 Lapua is a dual-purpose, anti-personnel and anti-materiel round, but its anti-materiel potential is limited, due to the bullet's lower kinetic energy compared with that of the .50 BMG's 35.64-to-55.08-gram (550.0 to 850.0 gr) projectiles. The loaded cartridge is 14.93 mm (0.588 in) in diameter (rim) and 93.5 mm (3.68 in) long. It can penetrate better-than-standard military body armour at ranges up to 1,000 metres (1,090 yd) and has a maximum effective range of about 1,750 metres (1,910 yd). Muzzle velocity is dependent on load and powder temperature, and varies from 880 to 915 m/s (2,890 to 3,000 ft/s) for commercial loads with 16.2-gram (250 gr) bullets, which corresponds to about 6,525 J (4,813 ft·lbf) of muzzle energy.