Deer taken with a 338 Lapua at 1080 yards .The .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70mm or 8.58x70mm) is a specialized rimless bottlenecked centerfire cartridge developed for military long-range sniper rifles. The Afghanistan War and Iraq War made it a combat-proven round with ready and substantial ammunition availability. The .338 Lapua is a dual-purpose anti-personnel and anti-materiel round; however, its anti-materiel potential is limited, due to the bullet's lower kinetic energy compared with that of the .50 BMG's 35.64 to 55.08 gram (550 to 850 grain) projectiles. The loaded cartridge is 14.93 mm (0.5878 in) in diameter (rim) and 93.5 mm long. It can penetrate better-than-standard military body armour at ranges up to 1000 meters (1094 yd) and has a maximum effective range of about 1750 meters (1914 yards). Muzzle velocity is dependent on load and powder temperature and varies from 880 to 915 m/s (2887 to 3002 ft/s) for commercial loads with 16.2 gram (250 grain) bullets, which results in about 6525 joules (4813 ft·lbf) of muzzle energy.
In addition to its military role, it is increasingly used by hunters and civilian long-range shooting enthusiasts. The .338 Lapua Magnum is capable of taking down any game animal, though its suitability for some dangerous game (Cape buffalo, hippopotamus, white rhinoceros and elephant) is arguable, unless accompanied by a larger "backup" caliber: "There is a huge difference between calibers that will kill an elephant and those that can be relied upon to stop one." Certain sub-Saharan Africa countries have a 9.53 mm (.375 in) minimum caliber rule for hunting the Big Five. It also cannot be used in countries which ban civil use of former or current military rifle cartridges.
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