300 RUM vs 338 Lapua Ballistic Performance with 7 Additional Factors

300 RUM vs. 338 Lapua Ballistic Performance with 7 Additional Factors

The 300 RUM vs 338 LAPUA cartridges is a relevant topic of discussion. Both are popular cartridges among hunters and shooters who demand accuracy and power at extended ranges.

In this article, We will compare the similarities and differences between the 300 Rum and 338 Lapua cartridges using the following parameters: size and weight, muzzle energy, velocity, accuracy, recoil, and ballistic performance.

Whether you are a seasoned hunter, or an enthusiast looking to expand your knowledge, this article will provide valuable insights into these two popular hunting rifle cartridges.

300 RUM vs. 338 Lapua Ballistic Performance with 7 Additional Factors

A Quick Comparison Between 300 RUM and 338 Lapua

Features

300 RUM

338 Lapua

Release date:

300 RUM
338 Lapua

Release date:

1999

1989

Parent case:

404 Jeffery

416 Rigby

Bullet diameter:

0.308 Inch (7.8 mm)

0.339 in (8.61 mm)

Neck diameter:

0.344 in (8.7 mm)

0.372 in (9.46 mm)

Shoulder diameter:

.525 in (13.3 mm)

13.82 mm (0.544 in)

Rim diameter:

.534 in (13.6 mm)

14.93 mm (0.588 in)

Casing length:

2.850 in (72.4 mm)

2.724 in (69.20 mm)

Overall length:

3.600 in (91.4 mm)

3.681 in (93.50 mm)

Case capacity:

110.2 gr H2O (7.14 cm3)

116.24 gr H2O (7.532 cm3)

Maximum pressure:

65,000 psi

60,916 psi

Muzzle velocity:

1050 m/s (by using a 150 grains bullet)

920 m/s (231 grains bullet)

Muzzle energy:

5,723 J (200 gr bullet) 6348 J (231 gr bullet)

6696 J (300 gr bullet)

300 RUM vs. 338 Lapua

Both cartridges are popular among hunters, precision shooters, and military personnel for their ability to deliver exceptional accuracy and impressive long-range shooting performance.

  • 300 RUM: Remington Arms introduced the 300 RUM as a magnum hunting rifle cartridge in 1999. It is ideal for long-range hunting as it can propel heavy bullets with high sectional densities at high velocities while retaining energy.
  • 338 Lapua: Originally developed as a long-range sniper round, the .338 Lapua was designed to be more powerful and have a longer effective range than the 7.62x51mm NATO, but without requiring a heavy rifle like the .50 BMG.
300 RUM vs. 338 Lapua

300 RUM Features

Here are the key specs of the 300 RUM.

  • Case length: 2.85 inches and a bullet diameter of .308 inches, compatible with most standard long-action rifles.
  • Overall length: The 300 RUM has a maximum overall length of 3.60 inches, making it slightly longer than most other magnum cartridges.
  • Grain capacity: 150 to 220 grains, with the most common bullet weight being 180.
  • Muzzle velocities: Up to 3,500 feet per second. This makes it one of the fastest magnum cartridges available. It can generate muzzle energies of up to 4,800 foot-pounds.
  • The maximum effective range: Is approximately 1000 yards. However, this can vary depending on the rifle and ammunition used.
300 Rum VS 338 Lapua. 300 RUM Features

338 Lapua Features

Here are the key specs of a 338 Lapua.

  • Manufacture date: The .338 Lapua Magnum was developed in the 1980s In Finland by Lapua.
  • Case length: 2.724 inches and a bullet diameter of .338 inches,
  • Overall length: The 338 Lapua has a maximum overall length of 3.681 inches, slightly longer than the 300 RUM.
  • Grain capacity: The cartridge can fire bullets weighing between 200 and 300 grains, with the most common bullet weight being 250 grains.
  • Muzzle velocities: Up to 3,000 feet per second, slightly slower than the 300 RUM.
  • The maximum effective range: 1,500 yards, significantly longer than the 300 RUM.
338 Lapua Features

Comparison of the 300 RUM and 338 Lapua

While both cartridges can deliver excellent long-range performance, they differ in several key areas. Here are some factors to consider when comparing the 300 RUM and 338 Lapua:

Shape and Size

There are several factors to consider regarding shape and size. Here are some of the critical elements:

  • Cartridge Length: The .338 Lapua is longer than the .300 RUM. The .338 Lapua has an overall length of 3.681 inches, while the .300 RUM has an overall length of 2.85 inches.
  • Bullet Diameter: The .338 Lapua fires a larger diameter bullet than the .300 RUM. The .338 Lapua uses a .338-inch diameter bullet, while the .300 RUM uses a .308-inch diameter bullet.

Winner: 338 Lapua

Weight

Both cartridges are intended for use with large rifles and long-range shooting. Therefore they have a substantial weight.

  • The bullets used in the .300 RUM are lighter than those used in the .338 Lapua.
  • The .300 RUM uses 150 and 200-grain bullets, while the .338 Lapua uses bullets weighing 250 and 300 grains.
  • The smaller and lighter bullets of the .300 RUM make them more convenient to carry during activities such as mountain hunting.
  • In contrast, the heavier weight of the .338 Lapua bullets ensures minimal wind deflection and a straighter trajectory.
  • The higher sectional density of the Lapua cartridge, resulting from the heavy bullet weight, provides better expansion and penetration than the 300 RUM cartridge.
Weight

Winner: 300 RUM

Muzzle Velocity

Muzzle velocity refers to the speed of a bullet as it leaves the muzzle of the gun.

A bullet with a higher muzzle velocity will likely have a flatter trajectory with minimal deflection.

  • The 300 RUM typically achieves a muzzle velocity of around 3000 feet per second (fps) with a 180-grain bullet and up to 3300 fps with a 150-grain shot.
  • The maximum muzzle velocity achieved with a 150-grain bullet is around 1050 meters per second.
  • The 338 Lapua typically achieves a lower muzzle velocity than the 300 RUM, with a maximum of around 920 m/s when using a 250-grain bullet.

However, it is essential to note that: the Lapua cartridge’s larger bullet diameter and higher bullet weight provide excellent sectional density, resulting in better penetration and terminal ballistics.

Winner: 300 RUM

Muzzle Energy

The muzzle energy of a firearm is the amount of kinetic energy transferred from the bullet to the target at the moment it is fired.

This energy is measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs) or joules (J) and is a function of several factors, including the caliber of the bullet, weight, and velocity at which it is fired.

The .338 Lapua typically outperforms the .300 RUM in muzzle energy due to its heavier bullets.

  • The heaviest bullet available for the .300 RUM (200 gr bullet) generates a maximum muzzle energy of 5,723 J.
  • The lightest bullet for the .338 Lapua (231 gr) can generate 6,348 J of energy.
  • The maximum energy the .338 Lapua can generate is 6,696 J, achieved with a 300-gr bullet.
Muzzle Energy

Winner: 338 Lapua

Recoil

While both cartridges are commonly used for long-range hunting, there is a slight difference in recoil.

  • The .300 RUM has a lower recoil due to its lighter bullets with lower energy. At 500 yards, a 300 RUM with 200-grain nosler partitions will have a less bullet drop and about 400-600 fewer foot-pounds of energy than the 338 Lapua in 250 grain.
  • The .338 Lapua has a higher recoil, and the shooter may experience a sharp backward “kick” due to its larger case capacity and heavier bullets. The .338 Lapua has more free recoil energy than the .300 Win Mag.

To mitigate the effects of recoil, it is recommended to use a good recoil pad and a well-designed stock. Additionally, a muzzle brake can be attached to the barrel or muzzle of the firearm to counter the recoil.

Winner: 300 RUM

Accuracy

The accuracy of a bullet is determined by several factors, including its velocity, recoil, trajectory, and propellant.

  • The .300 RUM bullet is known for its high accuracy in the 700-1000 meters range.
  • This is primarily due to its higher muzzle velocity and flatter trajectory, contributing to a consistent shot.
  • The .338 Lapua performs better at long-range shooting, with good accuracy and precision up to a distance of approximately 1500 meters.
  • The Lapua larger diameter incurs minimal wind deflection, which helps to maintain consistency even in extreme weather conditions.
Accuracy

Winner: 300 RUM

Cartridge Options

The 300 RUM and 338 Lapua cartridges are highly popular in the ammunition industry, with many options available to choose from.

The 300 RUM’s bullet size is similar to the following rounds.

  • 308 Winchester,
  • 30-06 Springfield,
  • 300 PRC.

This gives reloaders access to various quality rounds for multiple purposes.

Similarly, the .338 Lapua cartridge bullet size is comparable to these rounds.

  • 338 Federal,
  • 340 Weatherby Magnum, and
  • 338-378 Weatherby Magnum

Winner: Draw

Ballistic Performance

Ballistic performance refers to the ability of a cartridge and rifle combination to deliver consistent and accurate shots at various distances. It considers several factors, including muzzle velocity, ballistic coefficient, wind drift, and energy transfer.

Cartridges with high muzzle velocity and a high ballistic coefficient tend to have better ballistic performance.

  • The 338 Lapua Magnum is a powerful cartridge known for its excellent long-range performance. Its high ballistic coefficient and higher muzzle velocity allow it to maintain energy and accuracy at long distances.
  • It can deliver high energy transfer and has excellent penetration capabilities, making it a popular choice for long-range shooting and big-game hunting.
  • On the other hand, the 300 RUM is also capable of impressive ballistic performance, with a high muzzle velocity and flat trajectory that makes it a favorite among precision shooters.
Ballistic Performance

Winner: Draw

Magnum Compression

The 338 Lapua Magnum has a larger case capacity and can hold more powder than the 300 RUM, giving it a significant advantage in muzzle velocity and long-range performance.

  • The increased powder capacity also allows the 338 Lapua Magnum to generate more energy and maintain its velocity at longer distances, making it a popular choice for long-range shooting and big-game hunting.
  • The 300 RUM still delivers impressive performance and can generate high muzzle velocities and energy transfer. While it may not be as powerful as the 338 Lapua Magnum, it is still a highly capable cartridge.

Winner: 300 RUM

Performance characteristics

Let’s take a look at the performance characteristics:

300 RUM Cartridge Premier Scirocco Bonded 180 grains PR300UM3

Criteria

Velocity/ Energy

Muzzle:

990 m/s /5723 J

100-yard (91 m):

930 m/s /5042 J

200-yard (180 m):

816 m/s /3883 J

300-yard (270 m):

870 m/s /4431 J

400-yard (370 m):

763 m/s /3391 J

500-yard (460 m):

711 m/s /2952 J

338 Lapua Cartridge Armour piercing 248 Grain

Criteria

Velocity/ Energy

Muzzle:

905 m/s / 6593 J

100 m:

848 m/s /5794 J

300 m:

741 m/s /4417 J

600 m:

595 m/s /2851 J

How Hard Does a 300 RUM and 338 Lapua Kick

The felt recoil depends on several factors, including the rifle’s weight, the bullet’s velocity, and the amount of gunpowder used. The 338 Lapua has more recoil than the 300 RUM due to its larger caliber and greater powder charge.

Here are some approximate recoil numbers for each caliber, using a 10-pound precision rifle and standard factory loads:

  • The 300 RUM has a Recoil energy of 35-40 ft-lbs.
  • 338 Lapua has a Recoil energy of 50-60 ft-lbs.

It is important to note that the subjective experience of recoil can vary widely from person to person and can be affected by factors such as physical fitness, shooting technique, and tolerance for recoil.

How Hard Does a 300 RUM and 338 Lapua Kick

Trajectory: 300 RUM vs 338 Lapua

A bullet’s path after being fired is referred to as its trajectory. Several factors, such as the muzzle velocity, the shape of the bullet, air resistance, firing angle, and the temperature and pressure of the air, influence it. These elements collectively impact the accuracy of the bullet.

300 RUM 180 gr

Trajectories

Energies

Muzzle Velocity & Energy:

3250 fps /4222 ft-lb

100 yards:

1.1" 3,722 ft-lb

200 yards:

0" 3,274 ft-lb

300 yards:

5.4" 2872 ft-lb

400 yards:

15.6" 2510 ft-lb

500 yards:

31.4" 2185 ft-lb

338 Lapua 270 gr

Trajectories

Energies

Muzzle Velocity & Energy:

2800 fps 4700 ft-lb

100 yards:

+1.7" 4303 ft-lb

200 yards:

0" 3943 ft-lb

300 yards:

-7" 3591 ft-lb

400 yards:

19.7" 3271 ft-lb

500 yards:

38.9" 2973 ft-lb

Winner: 338 Lapua

The Best Pick: 338 Lapua Vs 300 RUM

The 300 RUM and the 338 Lapua are outstanding cartridges. We have outlined the key features above. However, the 338 Lapua stood out due to its:

  • Higher muzzle energy
  • The 338 Lapua fires heavier bullets, typically more streamlined than the 300 RUM.
  • Higher energy retention compared to the 300 Rum and the 300 win mag.
  • Accuracy and precision in long-range shooting.
  • Versatility – It can be used in different rifles.

FAQ

What is the effective range of a 300 RUM?

The 300 RUM has a maximum effective range of around 1000 yards for hunting and 1500 for long-range shooting. The compelling content depends on various factors, including the bullet’s ballistic coefficient, wind conditions, and altitude.

What’s more prominent, 300 or 338?

Regarding caliber, the .338 has a long-range cartridge than the .300. The .338 Lapua Magnum has a bullet diameter of .338 inches (8.6 mm). In contrast, the .300 Remington Ultra Magnum has a bullet diameter of .308 inches (7.8 mm).

How hard does a 300 RUM kick?

The felt recoil of a 300 RUM can range from around 25 to 35 foot-pounds of force (ft-lbs), depending on the rifle and ammunition used.

It’s essential to practice proper shooting techniques and use appropriate equipment, such as a recoil pad, to help manage the recoil and improve accuracy.

How far can .338 Lapua shoot?

The .338 Lapua cartridge can shoot on targets at 1600 meters (1740 yards) or more. However, the effective range of a .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge depends on the specific load used, the rifle and scope, and the shooter’s skill.

Is 300 RUM short or long action?

The 300 RUM is a long-action cartridge. The overall size of the case determines the length of a cartridge, and the 300 RUM has a case length of 2.850 inches. This length requires a long-action rifle receiver to accommodate it.

Conclusion

The 300 RUM and the 338 Lapua are impressive cartridges best suited for target shooting in various shooting scenarios.

The 300 RUM offers excellent accuracy, high muzzle velocity, and flat trajectory, making it a perfect choice for long-range and target shooting. While the 338 Lapua has a larger projectile, making it more effective against a larger game and at extended ranges.

Which feature did you love about either cartridge? Feel free to comment below, and remember to share the post with your friends.

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Tyler Purol is a professional Bowhunter. He has professional training in hunting. For many years he hunts regularly.