.300 WinMag or .338 Lapua

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by davidflies, Sep 22, 2010.

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  1. davidflies

    davidflies War Hero Book Reviewer

    The new US sniper rifle is to fire - guess what - the .300 WinMag round - see KitUp! I am not entirely surprised as no doubt Winchester have a large stock sitting around waiting for the US Army to buy at (inflated) prices. On the same page is a link to a report that a Corporal of Horse recently took out 2 machine gunners and the gun at (I think) 1,800 yards or more with 3 rounds.
    Can any US contributors suggest why the US Army always goes back to .300 calibre ammunition despite the adoption of the 5.56mm round of recent diminishing popularity? Is it a traditon in the US that a) we will never use anything
    gf the Brits prove works, and b) we always used to use .300 and we'll go on going so?
    I once wrote a book for an American publisher on this very subject and was allowed to make some very disparaging comments about US rifle manufacture and weapon choice - seems the same is happening again. No doubt the new US all-in-one assault rifle will have to be up-calibered - I wonder to which calibre in the end?
    The blogs are abuzz over the Army’s new contract for rebuilds of the venerable, bolt-action M24 sniper rifle after PEO Soldier requested radical changes last year.

    Quote from KitUp!:
    "Our friends at Soldier Systems and The Firearms Blog had the details first, but we want to make sure to reacquaint our readers with the debate and the requirements as put forth by the PEO for Soldier Weapons, Lt. Col. Dough Tamilio, when we spoke with him back in March.

    Indeed the new “rebuild” — which basically looks like a whole new rifle — puts on an AR-style forearm, an EBR-like adjustable stock, a Mk-25-esque lower (but with a collapsable bolt handle) and a new “reach out and touch you” caliber of the .300 WinMag.

    The Army signed a $28 million contract on Sept. 20 for Remington to rebuild 3,600 M24s into the new M24E1 standard.

    Our good friends at Tactical-Life.com have some inside gouge on why the Army made its shift.

    The need for the M24E1 was first identified by in 2006 by 10th Mountain Division soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Once the military identified the need, Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Michael Arcuri led the effort in Congress to ensure that the program received crucial funding in 09 and 10.

    Trials for award of the contract began with an open competition in January of this year and lasted nine months. With Remington winning the award, the upgrading process will now begin in earnest.

    Tamilio said back in March that the range of the 7.62/308 M24 was a concern in the Afghan fight, and that the service had decided on the .300 WinMag after some close evaluations. That’ll raise the hackles of .338 Lapua fans (and their British allies) who say that’s the record-shot holding round, after all…

    But Remington has preempted that debate by allowing the “Modular Sniper Rifle” to transform easily from a .300 WinMag to a .338 Lapua or a 7.62 shooter.

    And I’m sure we’ll hear lots of “what’s wrong with the good ‘ole M-14″ banter as well."
     

  2. Am i reading this correctly that you think that 1800 yard shot was done with 5.56mm? It was done with 8.59mm out of an L115A3.
     
  3. davidflies

    davidflies War Hero Book Reviewer

    No, said CofH was using the L115A3 and .338 Lapua ammunition - sorry the link in the pasted quote did not come out live. CofH s of course a British rank.
     
  4. Sorry about that, brain going off, proof i need another cop of tea!
     
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    You know that it doesnt matter a jot what calibre they choose as long as it does the job. Now real men would use something esoteric like a 585 Nyata!
     
  6. davidflies

    davidflies War Hero Book Reviewer

    Well the septics do of course use the real man's round - .50 cal and I think I saw somewhere a 20mm semi-auto rifle too!
     
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Admittedly we dropped the ball when we stopped deploying the 1 pound maxim gun and its naval friends! That said we didnt need such a big gun again until Boyes!
     
  8. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    300 Win Mag is a perfectly respectable round and lends itself rather nicely to sniping, as does a .308, 30-06, or .338 or a .408 CheyTac or a .50. Nothing wrong with any of them, and the only variable is the effective range and penetration. .308 being the least of them, but it's been perfectly alright for 50 odd years all around the world. It's only the long-range environment of Iraq and Afghan that calls for something bigger.

    Don't see a problem.
     
  9. davidflies

    davidflies War Hero Book Reviewer

    But hence my argument - Afghanistan needs the heavier round so why go .300? I know that not all conflicts will be in similar country, but a) Afghanistan is what we've got at the moment, and b) snipers operate at long range (comparatively) anyway by their job spec. So you answer my query when you say "the long-range environment of Iraq and Afghanistan ... calls for something bigger."
     
  10. Believe it or not the .338 was originally developed in the USA.

    They are replacing everything but the action and trigger. I reckon that they are doing this because a 'Mid Life Upgrade' attracts less bureaucracy in the tortuous DoD acquisition process than a new 'Program of Record'. I suspect that they chose the .300 Win Mag because .338 would probably push that skinny Remington action to its limits.
     
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I suspect that may be the case but I have seen 700's in a .338, not as beefy as a Barnard agreed but sufficient for Stickledown. I agree that an operational environment would possibly push it to its limit!
     
  12. What he said.

    It's probably the best long-range performer that can be fitted into a Remington 700 long action using essentially off-the-shelf bits (they do the 700 commercially in 300 WM as an off-the-shelf item).

    Simple -- quick -- proven -- cheap