These 2 long selection rifle calibers are hefty duty ring that accomplish a very specific purpose in the shoot world. When a shooter needs hefty stopping strength over too much long-distance ranges, that looks for cartridges such together these.

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Rather 보다 comparing these cartridges in a method that seeks to value one end the other, we space going to rather evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of each one and determine the an ideal purpose and situations because that each together well.

Although these cartridges are similar and often interchangeable for countless applications, we expect to find that countless other applications require the details advantages discovered in one of two people the .338 Lapua or .50 BMG.

.338 Lapua Magnum

The .338 Lapua Magnum (also known as the .338 LM) definitely has a lot shorter history than the .50 BMG. Designed in the 1980s, its breakthrough was intended because that long range snipers in the armed forces or regulation enforcement that needed solid terminal ballistics and could pass through various varieties and great of body armor, such as ceramic plates and ballistic mesh weaves, even at extremely long distances.

The .338 LM meets those specifications through amazing selection and heavy-hitting power at long distances. Field-tested and also proven top top the battlefield in both Afghanistan and Iraq, armed forces personnel continue to usage this ammunition and civilians have complied with their instance when it comes to hunting and also competition shooting.

The .338 Lapua is ideal for both long range competitions and for bringing down big game prefer moose, brown bear, and also elk.

The architecture specifications of this cartridge make it perfect for numerous civilian applications, together as large game hunting and also long range competitive shooting. The terminal ballistics the the .338 LM do it right for taking under elk and moose, and also the longer range makes it ideal for precision shoot in long selection competitions.

The boosted popularity that this cartridge has led to alternatives on the advertisement market, making the even an ext versatile because that a wide range of shooters. When hunting deer or elk, that can deliver an accurate, deadly shot at 1800 yards so lengthy as you usage a high quality scope.

The recoil on this ammunition is, the course, considerable. The is not feasible to get the distance, accuracy, and ballistic stamin without one equal and opposite reaction impacting the shoulder that the shooter.

As much as accuracy goes, it deserve to be a pretty spatu measurement sometimes. The .338 LM cartridge delivers wonderful accuracy in the hand of a trained operator. The flat trajectory is best for aiming quickly without significant adjustments. And although part shooters will claim that recoil go not affect their accuracy, this is a wild boast. You have the right to expect accuracy to damage after hefty shooting without adequate time for recovery making use of this cartridge.

The price of ammunition the this caliber is not going to make anyone happy but the market. These rounds frequently cost $5 every shot, and the platform compelled to shoot v these cartridges averages approximately $2000.

.50 Browning maker Gun

The .50 Browning device Gun (.50 BMG) was created in the late 1910s together the field placement the armored vehicles became an ext common in European nations during the develop up before WWI. The cartridge itself has been made v varying specifications, such as tracer rounds or armor-piercing, but the typical factory concern is the most available by civilian shooters today.

Although quite popular for military and also police applications, the .50 BMG is additionally chosen by plenty of non-military shooters and used in non-violent applications. It is mainly used in extreme distance target shooting, but large game hunters also appreciate the accuracy at these large distances, specifically when it can increase the standoff distance and also keep hunters in ~ a safe distance from danger game.

The .50 BMG is a very big round and as such, requires hefty weapons and supporting equipment in order to fire safely and also accurately. Civilians can purchase these rounds in factory loads varying from 650 come 750 grain.

In regards come ballistics, the .50 BMG has actually a bigger, heavier bullet the delivers a dependable killing shoot at varieties up to 3300 yards and also take down medium-sized video game at these incredible ranges. The bullet hangs in the air because that a full seven seconds at this selection and has actually a far-ranging drop in elevation.

Like the other cartridge in this article, you have to expect a severe recoil indigenous the .50 BMG. It’s simply a issue of physics. This cartridge is packed with powder and also kicks back with significant force. Given all other components are equal, such together training and also skill, a rifleman through this cartridge will present closer grouping, yet this advancement can be challenging to measure v certainty.

The .50 BMG is a pressure to be reckoned with at long range, yet it’s additionally expensive and packs extreme recoil.

Several rounds from the .50 BMG cartridge have the right to exceed the .9 mark, and the trajectory is nice and also flat. And also of course, the extreme recoil will influence even the accuracy that the most experienced shooters.

Additional devices can be added to the communication to stabilize the shots and also reduce the recoil, which many shooters will desire to consider.

The .50 BMG will really bite your wallet, however. Rounds can cost between $11 come $16 each from most stores, yet bargain hunting can potentially disclose wholesale prices as low as $5-$6. You can also save a small by making complement ammo, yet the bullets themselves can often price $5 each. Of course, the remaining components will add on peak of that price.

The full rifle communication to shoot the .50 BMG will commonly cost approximately $3000. Progressed models will of food be more expensive. If you really desire a great, customized option, inspect out ATRS in Canada – they understand their business.

Both cartridges have the velocity necessary for long range shooting despite the 50BMG appears to present slightly higher velocities and this gap between the cartridges widens together the rounds relocate downrange.

As much as the BCs go for these two cartridges, both display phenomenal numbers. The 50 BMG does have actually several rounds the break the .9 and also even 1.0 mark, however the 338LM is nothing to scoff at either. Trajectory complies with a similar trend wherein both show very flat trajectories, though the 50 BMG excels in this group as well.


Both of these cartridges absolutely have their purpose as sniper rifles or for competitive lengthy distance shooting. Most competitions will certainly not allow a .50 caliber round overall, however the .50 BMG will put out a beautiful arcing shot that deserve to put ring on target past 1000 yards.

Don’t discount the value of the .338 Lapua Magnum, though. It may seem choose an worse cartridge when every one of the specs are detailed side-by-side through the .50 BMG, however it deserve to deliver virtually equal power in almost every one of the very same scenarios. That accuracy at 1000 yards is conveniently equal to the .50 BMG, but farther shots will more than likely require an ext sight adjustment due to the slightly lower muzzle velocity and much more dramatic trajectories.

Both cartridges will additionally deliver good hunting performance. The .338 LM has much more options available. The trajectory, penetrating energy, and bullet design mix give the shooter a good advantage because that long range shooting and large game searching alike.

One reason why the .338 Lapua Magnum restrict the long variety competition human being is because it is more manageable than the .50 BMG.

Mid-range shoot or medium-sized video game hunting can be accomplished with a smaller cartridge. The rifles that have the right to chamber ring this huge can also be heavy and cumbersome for the sort of outdoor activity that accompanies hunting, yet generally the platforms for the .338 LM are an ext manageable 보다 those for the .50 BMG.

Some hunters room committed to utilizing the .50 BMG because that hunting, and also it’s true, it is really successful at bringing down huge game such together elk and also moose – even dangerous game.

The increased range is an dispute in favor of preserving standoff ranges from the game, and this cartridge definitely delivers the power and also velocity for it. But the 30 pounds the rifle that the hunter will certainly be carrying about through the wilderness or outback will likewise inevitably tire him out, possibly before he also gets his very first shot off.


As the reader can no doubt tell in ~ this point, it would be meaningless to recommend among these cartridges an ext than the other for every case or purpose. In specific aspects and details situations, one or the other can have the advantage, however each scenario requirements to be considered separately.

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Both of these cartridges are qualified of high accuracy at long distances, and both have too much stopping power. This post has hope highlighted both the similarities and differences so the the notified shooter deserve to make his decisions and buy the suitable ammunition because that his needs.