What Are The Main Differences Between 338 RUM vs 338 Lapua

338 RUM vs 338 Lapua

When it comes to long-range accuracy shooting and big-game hunting, the world of magnum cartridges offers a plethora of options. Among these, the .338 caliber cartridges stand out prominently, with the 338 RUM (Remington Ultra Magnum) and the 338 Lapua (Lapua Magnum) leading the pack. In this comprehensive guide, we will analyze the main differences between these two powerhouse cartridges, delving into aspects such as ballistics, recoil, and real-world performance. So, buckle up as we embark on a journey through the fascinating realm of 338 lapua vs 338 rum.

The Basics Of 338 RUM vs 338 Lapua

Before we dive into the details, let’s establish a foundational understanding of the two cartridges.

338 RUM – The Remington Ultra Magnum

338 Remington Ultra Magnum

The 338 RUM is a product of Remington Arms Company, designed to deliver exceptional long-range accuracy and power. It was introduced in 2000 and is based on the unbelted, fat-bodied 338 ultra magnum case. The cartridge is known for its significant powder capacity, making it a favorite among shooters who require extended reach and hard-hitting energy.

338 Lapua – The Lapua Magnum

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the 338 Lapua, developed by the Finnish company Lapua. This cartridge has gained worldwide recognition for its superior ballistics and performance at extreme distances. Officially designated as the 8.6×70mm, the 338 Lapua is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge with a reputation for accuracy and lethality.

Let The Ballistics Begin

One of the primary considerations for any shooter is the ballistic performance of a cartridge. The 338 RUM and 338 Lapua each bring unique characteristics to the table.

338 RUM Ballistics

The 338 RUM boasts impressive ballistics, propelled by its large powder capacity. Bullets can achieve high velocities, translating to a flat trajectory and retained energy at extended ranges. Common bullet weights for the 338 RUM range from 200 to 300 grains, providing versatility for various applications, from target shooting to big-game hunting.

338 Lapua Ballistics

The 338 Lapua takes the ballistics game to the next level. With a sleek, aerodynamic design and efficient case capacity, this cartridge is a ballistic marvel. It is capable of pushing heavy bullets at exceptional speeds, resulting in minimal drop and wind drift. Bullet weights for the 338 Lapua typically range from 250 to 300 grains, catering to precision shooters and military applications alike.

Comparing The Ballistics

Firstly, the 338 Lapua often outpaces the 338 RUM in terms of muzzle velocity. This higher initial speed can contribute to better downrange performance, especially when engaging targets or games at extended distances.

However, the 338 RUM compensates with its substantial powder capacity, allowing it to launch heavier bullets with impressive energy retention. The choice between the two depends on the shooter’s preference for speed or kinetic energy.

Real-World Performance

To truly understand these cartridges’ capabilities, we need to explore their real-world performance, examining factors like accuracy, terminal ballistics, and versatility.

Accuracy Matters: Christensen Arms MPR 338 Lapua Review

For those seeking pinpoint accuracy with the 338 Lapua, the Christensen Arms MPR (Modern Precision Rifle) in 338 Lapua provides a compelling option. This rifle combines a precision-engineered chassis with the renowned accuracy of the 338 Lapua cartridge. Shooters can expect consistent groupings at long distances, making it a favorite among competitive sharpshooters and long-range enthusiasts.

338 RUM vs 338 Edge: The Versatility Battle

When it comes to versatility, the 338 RUM often finds a formidable competitor in the 338 Edge. The latter is a wildcat cartridge based on the 300 Remington Ultra Magnum case, necked up to accommodate .338 caliber bullets. Shooters who prefer customizing their loads and exploring alternative cartridges may find the 338 edge ballistics an intriguing option.

Terminal Ballistics: 338 Rem Ultra Mag vs 338 Lapua

For big-game hunters, the terminal ballistics of a cartridge are paramount. Both the 338 RUM and 338 Lapua deliver substantial energy to the target, resulting in impressive stopping power. However, the choice between the two may come down to personal preference, as some hunters may favor the additional speed of the 338 Lapua. In contrast, others appreciate the sheer kinetic energy of the 338 RUM.

Recoil Considerations

Recoil can be a deciding factor for many shooters, especially those who value consistent shot placement and follow-up shots. Let’s explore how the 338 RUM and 338 Lapua stack up in the recoil department.

338 RUM Recoil

Given its larger powder capacity, the 338 RUM tends to generate more recoil than its Lapua counterpart. While experienced shooters may handle the kick with ease, those new to magnum cartridges might find it challenging. Proper rifle fit, recoil pads, and muzzle devices can help mitigate the impacts of recoil and enhance the overall shooting experience.

338 Lapua Recoil

338 Lapua Magnum

While the 338 Lapua is not lightweight in the recoil department, it often exhibits slightly less kick than the 338 RUM. Shooters who prioritize manageable recoil without sacrificing performance may lean towards the Lapua Magnum. Recoil reduction accessories, such as muzzle brakes and well-designed stocks, can further enhance the shootability of rifles chambered in 338 Lapua. 6.5 x47 lapua reloading data.

When comparing the recoil of these cartridges, shooters need to consider their individual preferences, physical condition, and shooting goals. A comfortable and controlled shooting experience contributes to improved accuracy and overall enjoyment on the range or in the field.

Beyond the 338 Caliber: 338 Win Mag vs 375 Ruger

While we’ve delved into the nuances of the 338 RUM and 338 Lapua, it’s worth briefly exploring how these cartridges compare to others in the magnum family.

338 Win Mag: A Classic Magnum

The .338 Winchester Magnum, a classic in the magnum lineup, offers a balance of power and recoil. It provides a step up from standard cartridges without reaching the extreme levels of the 338 RUM or 338 Lapua. Shooters seeking versatility for both big-game hunting and long-range shooting may find the 338 Win Mag a compelling option.

375 Ruger: The Big Bore Alternative

For those desiring even more stopping power, the 375 Ruger enters the scene. With a larger caliber and heavier bullets, the 375 Ruger excels in taking down the toughest game. While not directly comparable to the .338 cartridges, it represents an alternative for shooters prioritizing maximum energy transfer on target.


As we conclude our exploration of the 338 RUM vs 338 Lapua, it’s evident that both cartridges offer unique strengths and applications. The 338 RUM impresses with its substantial powder capacity and energy delivery, making it a force to be reckoned with in various shooting scenarios. On the other hand, the 338 Lapua showcases unparalleled ballistics and precision, earning its reputation as a favorite among long-range enthusiasts and military snipers.

Ultimately, the choice between the 338 RUM and 338 Lapua comes down to individual preferences, shooting goals, and the intended application. Whether you’re a seasoned marksman, 338 Remington, a competitive shooter, or a big-game hunter, 300 rum vs 300 Weatherby, the 338 caliber cartridges provide a powerful platform for achieving success at extended ranges.

So, as you embark on your journey into the world of magnum cartridges, consider the nuances, weigh the options, and choose the cartridge that aligns with your shooting aspirations. Whether it’s the authoritative 338 RUM or the ballistic marvel that is the 338 Lapua, you’re sure to experience the thrill of pushing the boundaries of precision and power. Happy shooting!

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