A Comparative Analysis: 340 Weatherby vs 338 Lapua

340 Weatherby vs 338 Lapua

When it comes to high-powered, long-range cartridges, the 340 Weatherby and 338 Lapua are two contenders that often find themselves in the spotlight. Both cartridges are renowned for their impressive ballistics and have gained a solid reputation among long-range shooters and big-game hunters alike. In this comprehensive analysis, we’ll delve into the key characteristics, performance, and real-world applications of the 340 Weatherby and 338 Lapua, helping you make an informed conclusion based on your specific needs and preferences.

The Basics Of 340 Weatherby

Let’s start our journey by exploring the 340 Weatherby Magnum. Developed by Roy Weatherby in the mid-20th century, this cartridge is based on a modified version of the 300 H&H Magnum case. Designed for long-range accuracy and substantial stopping power, the 340 Weatherby is a favorite among hunters pursuing large and dangerous games.

340 Weatherby

Key Features of the 340 Weatherby:

Caliber and Ballistics:

The 340 Weatherby boasts a .338-inch caliber, providing a good balance between bullet weight and velocity. With a case capacity that allows for impressive powder loads, this cartridge delivers high muzzle velocities and flat trajectories, making it ideal for extended-range shooting.

Weatherby 340 Ballistics:

The ballistic chart of the 340 Weatherby ballistics shows its ability to maintain velocity over long distances, resulting in flatter trajectories and greater retained energy downrange. This characteristic is particularly advantageous for hunters facing variable and challenging conditions.

Real-World Applications:

The 340 Weatherby is a versatile cartridge suitable for a range of hunting scenarios, from open plains to thick forests. Its stopping power and accuracy make it a perfect choice for hunting big game such as elk, moose and bear.

The Challenger: 338 Lapua Magnum

Moving on to the 338 Lapua Magnum, this cartridge has gained widespread recognition for its exceptional long-range performance and accuracy. Originally developed for military snipers, the 338 Lapua has found its way into the hands of civilian shooters and hunters seeking unmatched precision at extended distances.

338 Lapua

Key Features of the 338 Lapua:

Caliber and Ballistics:

The 338 Lapua, with its .338-inch caliber, shares the same bullet diameter as the 340 Weatherby. However, its case design and powder capacity contribute to slightly different ballistic characteristics. The 338 Lapua is known for its high muzzle velocity and impressive energy retention, making it a force to be reckoned with at extreme distances.

Best Powder for 338 Lapua:

Choosing the right powder is crucial for optimizing the performance of the 338 Lapua. Reloaders often experiment with various powders to find the perfect balance between velocity, accuracy, and barrel life. Some popular choices include Hodgdon H1000, Retumbo, and Vihtavuori N560.

Real-World Applications:

The 338 Lapua excels in long-range precision shooting and is favored by competitive marksmen and military snipers. Its ability to deliver consistent accuracy and terminal ballistics makes it suitable for taking down targets at extended ranges.

Comparative Analysis

Now that we have explored the individual characteristics of the 340 Weatherby and 338 Lapua, let’s compare them head-to-head to help you make an educated decision based on your specific needs.

Ballistic Chart Comparison:

Examining the ballistic charts of both cartridges reveals interesting insights into their performance. While the 340 Weatherby delivers flatter trajectories at shorter distances, the 338 Lapua’s superior ballistic coefficient allows it to maintain velocity and energy over longer ranges. Transitioning from one chart to the other highlights the trade-offs between speed and stability, ruger super wrangler 22 lr, emphasizing the importance of selecting a cartridge that aligns with your intended shooting distances.

30-378 Weatherby vs 338 Lapua:

A common point of consideration for shooters is the comparison between the 30-378 Weatherby and 338 Lapua. While the 30-378 Weatherby offers a larger case capacity and potentially higher velocities, the 338 Lapua’s well-established reputation for precision and accuracy gives it a competitive edge. The choice between these two cartridges depends on your specific shooting requirements and preferences.

338 Weatherby RPM vs 338 Lapua:

The rotational stability of a bullet, often measured in revolutions per minute (RPM), is a critical factor in ensuring accuracy at long distances. Both the 340 Weatherby and 338 Lapua can achieve optimal RPM, but the specific bullet and barrel twist rates play crucial roles. Transitioning from the theoretical aspects to real-world results will help you gauge the practical significance of RPM in your shooting endeavors.

Choosing the Right Cartridge: Factors to Consider

As you weigh the pros and cons of the 340 Weatherby vs 338 Lapua, consider the following factors to make a well-informed decision tailored to your shooting preferences:

  1. Intended Use:
    • For big-game hunting in diverse terrains, the 340 Weatherby’s versatility may be the deciding factor.
    • If you prioritize long-range precision shooting or plan to engage targets at extended distances, the 338 Lapua’s ballistic advantages could sway your choice.

Ammunition Availability and Cost:

    • Assess the availability and cost of ammunition for each cartridge in your region. Consider whether you plan to reload your cartridges and the associated costs.

Recoil Sensitivity:

    • Recoil can significantly impact shooter comfort and follow-up shot accuracy. Assess your recoil sensitivity and choose a cartridge that aligns with your comfort level.

Powder Selection and Reloading:

    • If you enjoy reloading and optimizing your ammunition, consider the availability and performance of powders suitable for each cartridge.


In conclusion, the choice between the 340 Weatherby and 338 Lapua ultimately depends on your specific shooting needs and preferences. Both cartridges offer impressive ballistics, and their real-world applications showcase their capabilities in diverse scenarios. Whether you prioritize versatility for big-game hunting or demand unmatched precision at extreme distances. This comparative analysis has provided valuable insights to guide your decision-making process.

As you embark on your journey into the world of high-powered cartridges, remember that the best choice is the one that aligns with your shooting style, intended use, and personal preferences. Whether you find yourself behind a 340 Weatherby or a 338 Lapua. The key to success lies in understanding the nuances of each cartridge and harnessing its strengths to achieve your shooting goals. Happy shooting!

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