Am I alone when I name the Lapua round as the best all-around bet for sniping bullet of the century, lol. I say this because sometimes a fifty (the
rifle) can be too big and bulky to schlep around...and since that good old 8.6 is a nice niche filler between the 50bmg and the 7.62, I think it
serves it's purpose well...
Keep in mind, also, that the 7.62 has a maximun effective range of about 600 yards while the Lapua Magnum is more than double that at 1,500
yards...and the 50, though possesed of an incredible amount of energey when fired gives off a terrible muzzle flash and has a tendency to kick up
dust...both are are qualities that can easily give away positions.
Also, with a 50 or a 7.62, what you see is what you get...no variants that can be loaded and fired without swapping out the barrel...well not
many...maybe matchgrade for the 7.62 and slug for the 50, but thats it...the Lapua has both and also ELR capable variants as well as frangible and
even an experimental air burst frag round which can also explode from inside the target when performing light armor penetrating duty.
Assuming the thread was "aimed" towards anti-material or special-purpose snipng, I am very intrigued by the 25mm conversion of Barrett's M82 .50bmg
rifle, not just because it is from Tennessee, my home state. It has a variety of special purpose ammo and is essentially an extremely long range
grenade launcher. Information is kind of sparse, here is a good PDF on the project: 25mm "Payload Rifle"
...and from an article quite a while back: Basically, the new rifle will fill the military's need for a "dumb" weapon that can fire the same type of ammunition as the OCSW. Where the
OCSW's main round will be a "smart" airburst munition with PD (point detonating) backup, the Barrett Payload Rifle will employ a high explosive
round that uses only a simple point-detonating fuse, and a shaped-charge round that employs a PIBD (point initiating, base detonating) fuze. Barrett
is apparently currently involved in negotiations to develop these rounds with the help of an as yet unnamed independent ammunition design and
develpment company. Defense Review
All these massive calibers are theory and speculation for me. As much as I'd love to do some "research" with the big boys, the only long-range
rifle experience I have top out with the .308 Winchester and the .338 Winchester Magnum that that was liimited to firing on a 300 yard outdoor range.
DanD9...although I'm the biggest Lapua round fan, it's calculated effective range is 1,500 yards, but if you're real good, I can see it going
2,000...during Operation Enduring Freedom, I think it was an Australian, using a Lapua who hit a mark at 2,600 yards or so...breaking the previous
record of about 2,200, I believe.
.50 BMG and .338 Lapua share one huge advantage that other antimateriel rounds lack: match quality ammo!
Most snipers and sharpshooters will tell you it's not the power of the round, but consistency and reapeatability. One shot, one
Police and military sharpshooters have stuck with the trusty .308 for years because of the outstanding ammo available. However just looking at
ballistics tables the .308 is not particularly flat.
If somebody out there offered match quality loads for some other weapon system, then sure it could compete with .338 Lapua and .50 BMG. Both the
Lapua and BMG are overkill for most antipersonnel sniping. Cops can't use the Lapua for fear of overpenetration.
Since this thread started out by talking about the heavy stuff, let's stick with antimateriel weapons.
Thus, here is a short list of stuff that wouldbenefit from match quality ammo:
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