Today I’m going to show you the best .338 Lapua Rifle on the market today.
I’ve hand-tested over 10 .338 Lapua rifles alone for this review.
The best part?
I’ve sorted them by use. So whether you’re on a budget or looking for the most premium rifle, you’ll find it here.
Let’s get started!
Best .338 Lapua Rifles on the Market
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick list of the best .338 Lapua Rifles:
- Ruger Precision Rifle .338
- Barrett MRAD Rifle .338
- AR-30A1 .338 Lapua
- Savage Arms 110BA Stealth 338 LAP
1. Ruger Precision Rifle .338
In the precision rifle market, accuracy, reliability, and customization are the name of the game.
With the introduction of the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), Ruger put its name on the board for long-range precision shooting.
The .338 Lapua model with a 26-inch barrel can be almost totally customized with any AR-15 or AR-10 component.
That, along with its notable accuracy and reliability, makes it a force to be reckoned with in any competitive shooting arena.
Let’s take a closer look…
Accuracy is crucial in a precision rifle, and the overall consensus on this RPR is that it hits the mark.
Averaging around .8-inch groupings at 100 yards, the .338 Lapua features four ports in the muzzle brake that allow the user to fine tune their weapon for the least amount of muzzle jump.
Most marksmen can achieve fairly consistent accuracy with this rifle up to 1,800 yards, though Ruger suggests it can do the job at distances up to 2,500 yards.
One flaw in the design is that the handguard generally comes off-center, which does impact accuracy the further out you go.
Perfect for long-range targets, this gun packs a whopping 4,700-foot pounds of muzzle energy and has just a small amount of droppage at the 500-yard mark.
Overall, the average precision shooter can expect high accuracy from this rifle at 300 yards right out of the box.
The chassis-style stock for this weapon has long been known for its excellent build and sturdiness, and its design allows for the unimpeded free-floating motion of the barrel.
Speaking of the barrel, it has been constructed from cold-forged chrome-moly steel and threaded specifically for each model.
With the addition of the M-Lok handguard, the Gen III is relatively stronger than the older models. Most Ruger consumers equate Ruger to reliability, and, for the most part, this rifle certainly seems to strengthen that opinion.
The only notable complaint in the reliability category seems to be that the finish wears off easily.
While the factory standard RPR .338 Lapua has smooth action and well-placed components, the real advantage in the handling of this gun comes from its ability to be customized.
The left-folding stock can be adjusted with up to 3-inch length of pull and 1-inch comb height.
Be careful when making adjustments to the stock, however, as some users found that rough machining caused the stock to freeze when they tried to change things around.
Nearly every component of this gun can be upgraded, and it is recommended that one of the first changes to make is upgrading the less-than-spectacular pistol grip.
The 45-degree safety does the job but has been noted to be stiff and rattles when firing.
Like basically every other component of this rifle, the Ruger Marksman trigger system can be adjusted or replaced.
This trigger has a safety blade that feels more like a dual trigger system with a range of 2 to 5 pounds. It comes out of the box at around 3 and a half pounds, which most marksmen find comfortable.
One cool design feature is that the Allen wrench used to adjust the trigger is stored in the extended bolt shroud. Props to the efficient designer who came up with the idea to use that normally wasted space!
Magazine & Reloading
Like most models in the RPR line, the .338 Lapua comes with two 5-round Magpul box magazines.
The paten-pending design of the magazine chamber allows for any AICS pattern boxes to be used as long as they are rear-latching and single stack.
When empty, the magazine is dropped and the bolt is locked back, which can be annoying if you wanted to single load.
To release a non-empty mag, you can use the pivoting release lever in front of the trigger guard.
Length & Weight
Since we are talking about the 26-inch barrel model, the overall length of the firearm comes out to be somewhere between 49 and 53 inches, depending on how the length of pull is adjusted.
Length of pull ranges from 12.7 to 16.2 inches and the rifle, if the stock is folded, ends up at 40.35 inches.
If we look at the weight of this gun compared to other shorter RPRs, this thing is heavy. Right out of the box, it clocks in around 15.2 pounds. And that’s without any accessories.
With a sighting system and other add-ons, you can expect a 20 plus pound gun.
That being said, this rifle comes with QD sling attachment points. Use them!
The streamlined chassis makes it so that most of the firing energy is streamlined directly back and out through the butt, so the recoil of the .338 Lapua is minimal.
As mentioned above, the muzzle brake of this model makes for easy tuning and absorbs a ton of shock, but the oversized monster is not pretty to look at.
Hey, if it saves your shoulder, it’s well worth it, right?
Because of the larger cartridges, the RPR .338 Lapua model is slightly more expensive than the Creedmoor models.
It’s still very reasonably priced, though, retailing at $2,099.
Ruger Precision .338 Lapua Review: Is It Worth It?
The RPR .338 Lapua would make a great choice for a beginning competitive precision marksman who is just starting in long-range shooting.
It’s affordable and can be easily customized to fit the shooter’s preferences as they develop their unique shooting style.
This weapon would also make an inexpensive and dependable rifle for military snipers.
2. Barrett MRAD Rifle .338
Since the request from the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in 2009, Barrett built a precision rifle called the MRAD (multi-role adaptive design).
This rifle has more portability than its previous models, has better accuracy than its predecessor, and instead of only shooting big targets, the MRAD now allows for shooting smaller targets.
What makes it so versatile?
Let’s find out…
The MRAD has been determined to shoot quite accurate, and accurate and far — which is a plus for a sniper position.
Snipers have said that prior to using the MRAD, their previous rifles were just out of reach, resulting in other tactics used to take out the enemy.
With the MRAD, head shots and chest shots were being hit easily at 800 yards, and even non-shooters are able to comfortably and accurately hit a target 500 yards out after some time and practice with the rifle.
Another great upgrade for the long-range shooter is the 60 degree throw of the bolt.
All this means is the bolt rotates 60 degrees to unlock.
For those who like to attach optics on their rifle, this will allow even more room for optics. And if you’re a fan of no scope interference, a 60 degree bolt throw is a better suit than the 90 degree bolt throw.
Speaking of room for optics, the MRAD has a top rail that is about 22 inches long, which is a plenty of room for accessories.
The MRAD has easily accessible nooks and cranny’s — perfect for those who like to maintain their rifle’s cleanliness and performance in the field.
Because of this, you can take it anywhere:
Rain, snow, sleet, sand or any other climate region you can think of.
Even the trigger takes less than 30 seconds to remove, clean or adjust if needed, and put back on. Easily accessible cleaning means better weapon function and performance — a must in those dire and quick thinking situations (like home defense).
Speaking of which, if you’re looking for a home defense rifle, check out my best .45 ACP Carbine rifle.
With operations in the Middle East, we all know that sand can get everywhere.
I mean everywhere.
The MRAD has a polymer bolt guide that acts as a dust cover, therefore reducing debris (or sand in this matter) going into the action, and creating a smooth action.
Along with easy access of the rifle, the MRAD lives up to its ability to handle well with experienced shooters and non-experienced shooters.
It provides comfort in that the stock is adjustable, a nice little feature for different arm-size shooters, and has a polymer cheek plate.
The cheek plate can be flipped 180 degrees to go on either side of the stock, providing a nice cheek cushion for left and right handed shooters.
The safety can also be switched from side to side, making sure than you’re not fumbling or turning the rifle on its side to make sure the safety is switched on.
The MRAD’s trigger is a cassette type trigger that is located in the lower receiver of the rifle.
As mentioned above, the trigger can easily be taken apart easily and requires minimal, if any tools used at all for adjusting. The only tool that has been mentioned is a 1/16 Allen wrench to make a small adjustment.
This is especially useful in case a quick change of a trigger is needed during the middle of operations.
Luckily, triggers are reliable enough to sustain themselves during abuse. But over time, wear and tear will make a trigger fail, and the MRAD has this unique feature to make this swap fast and easy.
An uneasy, difficult trigger pull can affect every aspect of your perfect shot. Fortunately, the MRAD has a smooth, crisp and light trigger with factory settings of 2-2.5 lbs, although some have claimed it feels like 1 lb.
Magazine and Reloading
The MRAD has both a magazine feature and bolt action.
It is multi-caliber convertible and easy enough to change out in the field.
All you do is loosen two screws in the receiver, change the bolt face, and you have a new caliber. The switch takes less than five minutes. The shooter can fire a .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and a .338 Lapua Magnum out of this rifle.
The MRAD also uses a double stacked detachable magazine. Magazine changes are easy since there is an ambidextrous paddle release, and the mag-well is partially cut away.
This is great since you don’t have to turn the rifle to its side or come out of position to change the magazine. But be careful:
Since the magazine release is a bit small, make sure you know where to position your finger to push.
Length and Weight
The barrel length can range from 24 inches to 26 inches.
The stock is adjustable, giving the overall length of the MRAD anywhere from 30.9 inches to 40.9 inches.
The weight is considerable at 14.8 pounds. Make sure to do some arm strength training if you’re not used to hauling this much weight around.
The MRAD does kick.
So make sure to shoulder well.
The MRAD costs around $6,000.
Yep, that’s a hefty amount.
So it’s not for everyone. But if you’re looking for a solid long range rifle, then the Barrett is the way to go…if you have the dollars.
Barrett MRAD Review: Is It Worth It?
The .338 Lapua Magnum MRAD is for anyone who wants a comfortable, accurate, and smooth long range shooting experience.
The MRAD is a wonderful rifle for snipers and military who are constantly looking to hit long range targets.
If you’re looking an effective and reliable long-range sniper, the Barrett MRAD is for you.
3. AR-30A1 .338 Lapua
Is the Armalite AR-30A1 .338 Lapua Rifle an improvement on the previous Armalite AR-30?
With enough updates that could be argued state-of-the-art, and with plenty of the features you loved about the previous model, it’s up to you to make the decision.
Without further ado, let’s dig right in…
If you’re willing to put aesthetics aside, the AR-30A1 has the accuracy you’ve been waiting for in a sniper rifle.
With a solid, yet lightweight stock, this is the perfect rifle for prone-position shooting.
If you’ve handled the AR-30 before, this is where you’re going to see some design updates.
Where similar rifles might feature a magazine made of aluminum or polymer, you’re going to get a single-stacked steel magazine with the AR-30A1.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty firearm to last you for years, this is what you’re looking for.
The AR-30A1 features a smooth single-stage trigger pull, with a break at 4.5 – 5 lbs.
Magazine and Reloading
The magazine and reloading capacity of the AR-30A1 is where this firearm really shines.
The AR-30A1 comes with a five-round detachable magazine. With this rifle, you have a deep well under the receiver. This is going to make feeding simple and speedy.
The magazine catch is ambidextrous. You can release and catch it with one hand.
Length and Weight
The AR-30A1 measures anywhere from 48.1 – 50.1 inches and weighs 15.3 pounds.
If you’re familiar with the previous model, you might not notice much difference in recoil.
If you’re new to the AR-30A1, you’re likely to appreciate the manageable recoil. This is thanks to the muzzle break…
…and the free-floating barrel:
The Armalite AR-30A1 comes in at around $3,600.
Armalite AR-30A1 .338 Lapua Rifle Review: Is It Worth It?
If you’re an experienced marksman looking to get a lot of bang for the buck, the AR-30A1 is definitely worth the purchase.
The AR-30A1 would also be a great option for anyone who owned its predecessor — the AR-30 — but is looking for an upgrade.
You’d be familiar with how the rifle handles, and also appreciate the updates and changes in the new design.
4. Savage Arms 110BA Stealth 338 LAP
In the 1980s and late 90s, the .338 Lapua bullet was designed for military snipers.
Savage Arms designed a rifle to use this specialized round for the civilian market.
Enter: Savage Arms 110BA Stealth 338 LAP Rifle.
Let’s break down the specifics.
The 110 BA comes with a free-floating heavy barrel with flutes cut into the barrel to assist with heat dissipation.
A free-floating barrel means that the barrel doesn’t touch any other part of the gun except the receiver itself.
This prevents a host of small problems that can lead to inaccurate shots at the immense ranges this gun shoots at. The barrel boasts a twist rate of 1 in 9. This makes the bullet rotate quickly to stabilize the bullet as it flies through the air.
When put to the test at the range, the gun performed amazingly well. At 500 yards, I got 0.89 MOA groups with Winchester 140 grain Match.
MOA stands for “minute of angle.” Here’s a quick explainer video:
The lower the MOA, the more accurate the gun. Less than 1 MOA is excellent accuracy.
One reviewer managed to hit a 3 shot group of 4.5 inches on paper at 1,100 meters with this rifle well below 1 MOA accuracy.
In short: the 110BA Stealth 338 Lapua has stunning accuracy.
In my testing, I experienced no jams.
Some have reported brass extraction problems. Others reported that they only had jamming issues when using softer rounds.
However, when using factory ammunition, they experienced no problems.
All in all, the 110 BA Stealth has demonstrated the rock-solid reliability Savage Arms is known for.
The 110 BA has both good and bad when it comes to handling.
For the good, the BA comes available for lefties, with the gun being able to switch the bolt to the left side.
The ergonomics of the gun were good.
The bolt was a bit sticky and tight out of the box, but loosened after the first hundred rounds.
As for the bad, the butt-stock was terrible. The FAB Defense GLR-16 Buttstock looks like the sole of a boot, and felt like one too.
The teeth (supposedly to prevent slipping on wet armor) dug into my shoulder. The rubber was hard, and the recoil of this gun was concentrated on just a few teeth.
Savage uses other buttstocks for this gun now, so try to avoid the version that uses the GLR-16. Or substitute your own.
The 110 BA uses Savage Arms’ proprietary Accu-Trigger.
While the trigger performed well right out of the box, it’s also adjustable. The trigger can be adjusted from 1.5 to 6 pounds.
It doesn’t creep and breaks well — making it ideal for the long-range accuracy shooting.
Magazine & Reloading
The 110 BA can come with two magazines:
Either a 10 round polymer box magazine from MDT or an Accuracy International detachable 5 round box magazine.
The version I tested used the MDT 10 round magazine. The magazine seated smoothly and demonstrated good, positive release.
I encountered no feeding issues.
Length & Weight
The 110 BA has a barrel length of 24” with an overall length of 45 3⁄8-inches to 48 1⁄2-inches.
The variable nature of the length owes to the adjustable buttstock. You’ll almost always use this rifle from a seated or prone position, so its size and weight will only be an issue if you plan to carry it long distances.
The large muzzle brake installed on the front of the barrel does a fantastic job reducing the recoil.
The force generated by the rifle felt no stronger than a .308 Winchester, despite firing a much larger bullet.
Due to the way the muzzle brake works, people next to you on the range will feel a blast when you shoot. While the gun did a great job of dissipating the recoil, it was still painful to shoot due to the terrible buttstock.
The 110 BA mechanically does a good job of recoil management but the poor buttstock leads to more felt recoil than needed.
I recommend using Federal Gold Medal Match 250 grain.
The 110 BA costs between $1900-$2,200.
Compared to the rest of the market for .338 Lapua rifles, this price is cheap. Most Lapua round guns retail for between $4,000-6,000.
The 110 BA performs comparably with those guns at a fraction of the cost.
If you want to get into the world of extreme long-distance shooting, this is a better option for your bank than most other rifles.
The 110 BA does not come with a scope or a bipod, so you’ll need to get both. I would also recommend getting a new buttstock (if you’re getting the GLR-16 version).
That said, I’d recommend buying a Bushnell DMR II 3.5-21×50 and the Accu-Tac SR-5 bipod.
Is the Savage Arms 110BA Stealth 338 LAP Rifle Worth It?
The Savage Arms 110 BA Stealth .338 LAP offers incredible value for those interested in the world of extreme long distance shooting.
With accuracy that rivals guns two to three times as expensive, you’re getting a bargain deal for a very solid weapon.
While the buttstock was bad, the gun was reliable and performed in all other areas:
- Blistering accuracy
- Chambered for .338 Lapua
- Great value
If you’re interested in being able to hit targets a mile away, be sure to pick up the Savage Arms 110 BA Stealth 338 LAP Rifle!
Now I’d Like To Hear From You
I hope you enjoyed my .338 Lapua Rifle guide.
Now I’d like to turn it over to you:
Which .338 rifle are planning to buy? Or perhaps you already own one and would like to share your thoughts.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment down below.
49 thoughts on “The Best .338 Lapua Rifles [Hands-On Tested]”
I own a Savage 110 BA Stealth. Probably the best 338 lapua rifle on the list.
Accurate to 0.5″ at 100 yards with proper worked up handloads.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Hesske!
I used 300gr lellier & Bellot at 1000 yards and had no problems. 4″ group with 10 rounds
I have never owned a savage so I’m curios to here what you have to say. I just bought my daughter a Savage 308 target barrel. Thought it might be to much Any thoughts?
Recently picked up the savage 110ba and I enjoy taking it to the range. The only problem i had so far was the bipod that was on it. Busted the mount twice. The only complaint I have is the price of ammo. I have a Vortex 6-24 sitting on top and a nock off bipod underneath that will be upgraded soon.
My ruger precision 338 lapua does that all day long bullets in the same hole at 500 yards all day long
What scope your using on the RPR an is it good beyond 500 yards?
You stated in your review of the RPR that it comes with 2 Magpul 10 round mags and it in fact comes with 2 5rnd aics mags. Just a heads up.
Oops, typo. Fixed it. Thanks for the heads up William! I really appreciate 🙂
I own and hunt with a Sako TRG42 in 338 Lapua! I have taken animals at 1500 plus yards with it! I harvested a coyote two days ago at the other end the valley that is my farm! A measured mile plus 30 yards.
At that distance! That coyote was probably turned inside out…lol
What scope you use?
Why SAKO TRG is not on the list? Have you tried it? As far as I know, it is most commonly used sniper gun in armies.
I’ve been looking at the 338 for about a year now and the price for a couple of them are kind of hard to justify the purchase. But recently I had gone into what I would call a mom and pop gun shop shop here in Ohio. We talked for awhile about the 338 from ruger and he informed me of what he had found. He would be able to offer me the ruger 338 lapua for 1299.99, yes , that’s no lie. He ordered mine and after my shooting group saw, felt and shot for themselves, they had their own ordered. It’s an amazing weapon and even at 2,000 it would be a great price.
Can he still get them at that price?Terry
when my son graduated from bootcamp and went to his first duty station he made arrangements to purchase a savage 110 BA stealth evolution in 338 LM for his dear old dad… Me. The rifle as a whole is an absolutely awesome value. In your article you mentioned a problem with the butt stock… Mine came with a Magpul PRS stock which was absolutely fabulous I have no complaints whatsoever. For a Great Budget Scope on top…. Check out Athlon Argos Btr 8-34 x56mm for A little under $400 with a great warranty.
as for Ammo seems to be a bit scarce right now with the elections coming up… But check out Selier &Bellot match grade HP ammo at about $3.00 a round (box of 10) available in 250 or 300 grain bullets. For that price save the brass and you can reload them later.
another thought the weight of the bullet you said you were using at 500 yards? Is that a typo? 140 grain bullet?? I’m thinking you meant 240 grain because the usual data starts about 200 grain and works its way up to 300 or so
With the (RPR)What Scope do you recommend
I have a RPR, I put a vortex scope on it is up to 27 power so I can dial it down if I choose, im ex military and I believe and was taut it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have. Remember having a good rifle is the start, but its no good with out great optics. Happy shooting !
I live in the uk i am new to range shooting had to give up stalking the old legs aint what they used to be .i currently have a rpr 6.5 creed and a . 22 wmr ruger
value for money they can’t be bettererd .the .22wmr is the sweetest little beast ever to shoot .i am next going for a rpr 338 ruger lapua keep in the same family i also love the reloadig side of this adictive hobby of ours.gardners guns has a fab new new 2 k range with targets every 100 meters .cant wait till next year when corvid is over .happy xmas to all target shooters.
Half the weight of those
And twice the recoil.
Have fun with that gun and Ammo!!
Have the 338 lapua RPR and love it. Only fired a few rounds so far. [ 20-25 ] live in a wooded area so need a trip to get more then 500 yards ..
What is the optics set up on the Ruger.338
What optics set up is on the Ruger .338
I have on my Rpr .338LM a Viper Vortex 6-24x.
Remember that .338LM comes with a 30 moa rail.
Curios as to why you did not test the Steyr Mannlicher SSG 08 A1 ?
He probably had only so much space.
I bought a Savage rifle in 338 Lapua several years ago, went the 110 fcp. All I can say is “Junk” period! The aluminum block molded in the stock was not center, just put a little layout I on it you can see the high points. The lug lug was stamped and .080” thicker on one side, and the rifling was rough by any standards. I’m a retired machinist so I know what looking at! Savage might be good for a fancy pry bar but that’s it. I would not recommend a Savage and to avoid them at all cost
Would it be possible for you to do a test comparing semi-auto 338 Lapua Mag rifles (Sword, Alexander Arms , DRD Kivaari , Bad News ) ?
Steel Core Designs’ Cyclone MSR. Absolutely awesome. Try one, and you will be amazed at the quality and accuracy out of the box. I test fired one today and after 50 rounds it’s sold itself.
Have a Fierce .338 LM with excellent scope. Have shot diff bullet weights, different powders. Everything works well, accuracy around .5 at 100 yards. Love the cartridge and gun. First hunting trip will be Oct. ’21. Elk in Utah.
I’ve owned most and shot virtually all of them.
In the end, my choice was the Blaser Tactical 2.
Unique straight-pull bolt-action is super fast.
Quick take down can take less than a minute
for barrel changes.
And that barrel… rock solid with extreme quality.
Barrett MRAD has long been a destination, doublinepg the $6k price with a Schmitt Bender or Leopold is hard to justify.
That said, BA110 is an easy play + another $5k+ for said optics.
Great, great review.
$5k scope from Leopold? You thinking the Mk8? That is only $3000 and their best scope. You could be fine with a Mk5 on a .338 Lapua. I run a Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 F2 Zerostop 0.1 Mrad and it is overkill for my 6.5 Creedmore. My buddy runs a Mk5 HD on his Savage 110 Elite Precision .338 Lapua and it is great.
Savage for the win. No need for the lapua level of performance for me yet, but I own their 111 “Long Range Hunter” (with the heavy barrel, muzzle brake, adjustable cheek riser) in .300 win mag and it’s my most accurate rifle no question. Have printed legit “one ragged hole” groups at a hundred on numerous occasions. at present it loves my single-feed length handload with the hornady 225 eld-m over a compressed charge of imr 8133.
What is the whole optic system on the RPR, and is the hand guard movement problem been fixed? What would you recommend that I add to the RPR to to make it a better rifle?
If so what do you recommend as a suppressor?
One word: CADEX
this guy knows…..
I own a MRAD and it is a very accurate rifle 300 Berger’s make 1500 pretty easy. My brother has a Savage and to be honest it’s just as nice and accurate at 1/3 the price. Also you don’t have the Kydex on this list and it is a amazing rifle. I say this only because if the QC are phenomenal!
Shooting a 338 and putting the bullet in the same hole I can’t do that with a 1,000.00 dollar scope. The rifle shoots good with a 300gr bullet it’s a little heavy but it fly’s good.
Just curious as to any thoughts available regarding Noreen’s Bad News in .338 LM.
It’s pricey, but not unreasonably so for precision rifles in this caliber. They’re made to order, so…?
I would be grateful for any opinions offered
Besides weapon what is the price would like to get one
have a new savage 112 target 338lapua first 18 factory hornady round must fight to get the bolt open and extract fired case with digs in side of case from chamber will this go a way with shooting time?
While you picked a few nice ones you difinetly missed a few.The Savage 110 Elite is by far a much better and nice gun.Its about $2,000.00 and then there is the Savage 112 Target Model in 338 Lapua Magnum.Its inder $1,000.00and has a bigger stouter action, I shot mine for a while and rechambered it to a 33XC which is the Top Dog in King of 1 Mile and King of 2 Mile Light Gun Division.