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Discussion Starter #1
It is reported in today's Jane's Defence Weekly that the British Army has decided to replace all of its 7.62x51 L96A1 sniper rifles with a .338 Lapua Magnum calibre gun made by Accuracy International. The calibre change is due to a need for longer engagement distances identified in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the .338 has an effective range about 50% greater than the 7.62mm.

An interesting move; I don't know of any other army which has decided to abandon 7.62mm sniper rifles altogether.
 

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Though it may be policy, I'd be surprised if they didn't keep a few 7.62X51s around...:)
 

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I know the US army uses the Model 700 in .308 (but with a long action,so they could be modified to .300 win mag in so desired) so I guess some others have thought about it.I recall firing a friends new Win model 70 in .300 win magnum on his farm a few years back (quite a few years actually),it had very mild recoil I thought.He then handed me a nearly indentical model 70,but this time in .338 win mag,what a difference the shell did not really look a whole lot bigger but the recoil and muzzle blast certainly was.I imagine the Lapua .338 is a step up from the winchester round.He has since sold them and now uses a semi-automatic .270 for his hunting (deer) as thats all he really needs,even for the longer shots.
 

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This EXCELLENT article from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.338_Lapua_Magnum - details the substantial difference between the .300 Win mag and the .338LM.

My very first shot with the .338LM was at an old target Landrover with three dummies in it. The shot went through the windshield, the front seat passenger, the 'radio' equipment and the radio operator, finally burying itself in the floor.

At 1400 metres.

Sadly, here in UK I COULD buy it, but would have no nearby range on which to shoot it...[glum].

tac
 

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That information is several years old. I have been told by several sources that Accuracy International folded its doors some time ago following the death of the principal owner/inventor, Malcom Cooper. Is there a successor company or is the ordnance system converting the .308s to .338?
 

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That information is several years old. I have been told by several sources that Accuracy International folded its doors some time ago following the death of the principal owner/inventor, Malcom Cooper. Is there a successor company or is the ordnance system converting the .308s to .338?
Your information is also several years old.

Accuracy International was the subject of a buy-out by Sporting Services UK, who have not only held on to the UK and other international contracts, but carried out innumerable improvements to the product line.

See - http://www.sportingservices.co.uk/accuracy.asp.

By the way, the .338LM, with a cartridge almost 2" longer than the 7.62x51, does not lend itself to being converted from a .308-length action. Unlike the US Armed Forces, we do not have an 'ordnance system' that converts our weapons, or even one that makes any. Private companies like Sporting Services make our sniping rifles, not armourers.

I recall that the Barrett and MacMillan are also made by private companies, as is every chain gun in use by all of us in our Bradley or Warrior MICVs.

tac
 

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7.62 NATO L96 rifle isnt abandoned, it has just been supplemented with the large calibre sniping rifle!
As said above a few years ago at that!
I am lucky enough to shoot with the guy that heavily influenced the calibre choice!
 

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hard to see where they are going to practise with them. It outdistances the danger zones on most ranges here.
 

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Kingsbury is cleared for them as is an awful lot of the Brecon Beacons!:)
I have fire one at Kingsbury!
 

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One of our club members had one of the.338LM rifles. a Sako sporter I think. It was a bit overpowered for our 300 yard range, I thought, but he enjoyed shooting it. The same chap had a Ruger in .458 Win Mag so he likes rifles with a bit of poke. He has since sold both rifles though. I think our range works on a no danger area principle as it is in a valley bottom with the butt stop at the bottom of a steep hill and steep sides to the left and right. To get a round to go outside the confines of the range, the rifle would have to be pointing up at quite a steep angle. I don't know if the .338LM would be legal on our range now or not, but no-one uses one now anyway.
Regards
Peter.
 

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In the UK the onus has changed from the range being passed by the MOD range inspection team for that class of firearm and your FAc's if renewed in the last 2 or 3 years should read "Shall be used fo XXXXX as a member of XXXXX on ranges suitable for that class of firearm and with adequate financial arrangements in place to meet any injury or damage claim"
So if you can afford to insure or not you can set up a range pretty much anywhere suitable! No more MV limits from Pam 21.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
7.62 NATO L96 rifle isnt abandoned, it has just been supplemented with the large calibre sniping rifle!
As said above a few years ago at that!
I am lucky enough to shoot with the guy that heavily influenced the calibre choice!
I'm afraid you are STILL out of date.

The .338 Lapua was chosen to _supplement_ the 7.62mm sniper rifles a few years ago. What I reported at the start of this thread was a very recent decision to entirely _replace_ the 7.62mms with .338s.
 

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Still not replaced, the L96 in 7.62 is still an issue item and well thought of. No point in a 1600 yard weapon in 300 yard streets!
You can trust me on that!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Still not replaced, the L96 in 7.62 is still an issue item and well thought of.
Of course it's still in service: they've only just decided to replace it!

I will quote from the article in Jane's Defence Weekly, published on 3rd October 2007 (that's yesterday!):

"The UK MoD has selected British company Accuracy International to supply its next-generation sniper rifle...as a part of the UK's Sniper System Improvement programme to replace around 1,200 outgoing L96A1 systems...following calls for a 'greater capability' than that offered by the L96A1. The selection of the .338 (8.6mm) cal weapon will see maximum ranges extended from 1,000m to 1,500m."
 

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If you work out how many L96 kits are on issue then factor in the number of .338 or large calibre 8mm+ AI kits to be ordered it works out at less than a third of the British Army's total Infantry issue! even if all of the current .338 are counted it wont exceed 50%. there is still room for the 7.62mm L42A1 ammo in a sniping role!
It is another weapon in the arsenal and has moved from the experimental role held during TELIC1 in 2003 into the position held by the old L42 in 1988. The .5 AI rifle is under evaluation and has been operationally trialled in the last 3 years. Not long then before that is adopted to supplement the .338!
The .338 swas run over the mounds at Bisley over 10 years ago with my close friend assisting the RM sniper school.
 

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338 sniper rifles

They are being made by a company in Canada. Cannot tell you who or as they say, "we'd have to **** you."
The intrigue of international sniping...
 

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I think this was covered in a thread on CGN last year! Good rifles come from Kanuckistan! They also seem to be able to use them properly nowadays!
 

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Not sure if it was or not, as I get to this sight so seldom. Must drop in a bit more often, as I see a lot of the "old suspects" from some of the other boards that have deteriorated over the years.
 
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