To begin with this is going to probably be an ongoing 6 month review in total.
To provide some insight as to some of the caliber specifics.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.338_Lapua_Magnum
Also to note this is my opionon and research and experience, so I may be very blunt and I am not intending for a caliber war.
So why the 338 for me, TBH the 30-06 is the most versatile rifle one could really use for normal ranges in game and target shooting. Why jump up to just a touch higher caliber for just a little bit more distance, MBR or bigger game capability and this is the case for most bigger calibers. If your going to jump then actually jump, plus its the most versatile for anti-personel, game & target shooting at a reach out and touch someone distance. Why not the 50 Cal then? Becuase again not as versatile I would like some meat left on my animal and becuase @ 1000 yards the 50 cal has a 1300 inch bullet drop where as the 338 @ 1000 yards is a 300 inch drop. Again for me the 30-06 is the most versatile and then the 338 lapua, everything else in between is just niche here and there doesnt hit all the markers I look for.
I know the ammo costs are up there roughly 3.50 a round brand new, but if you reload and balance the cost over say 10 rounds reloaded 10 times your looking at more like 90 cents a pop. I still have more work to do to completly confirm this and it is a high estimate tbh I can still probably get it lower by about 10-15 cents a round. But it is also not like a .223, I am not going to shoot 100 rounds in 10 mins, more like 10 rounds an hour.
For the scope I know we all want one the nightforce 5x25x50 which will cost you roughly 2k, but I instead went with the lowest cost highest quility scope that will handle the beating this guy will give ya.
Vortex Viper 6x24x50 for 750.00, still on backorder though.
I looked at a lot of rifle systems for this, The one I wanted the most was the Sako TRG 42, but it would cost me 3 times as much and is more of a target rifle then hunting rifle imho. I need to be able to lug it around still. I also looked at the tactical rifles like AIG etc but I am just turned off by them. I took a close look at Zel's custom upper convertions still kinda of tactical though and twice as much. I really liked the remington 700 police but it didnt not come with everything I needed and I would end up putting almost twice as much to get it where I wanted it, probably 800 more. Also the savage 110 BA is just god ugly and heavy not interested at all and still 800 more.
Thus I got he Savage 111 LRH 338 Lapua Magnum, it came stock with the accustock free floating barrel, accutrigger that is adjustable & adjustable cheek Riser. I Also got the picatanni bi-pod rail & bipod plus FFL and shipping. All said and done out the door for 1k.
Add the cost of the scope & scope mounts 1,800.00. Plus all my optics are quick detach interchangable for all my rifles. You are not going to get in to this sort of system for any less. I gotta say very pleased thus far.
Lastly and sadly, I will not get out to go shoot this guy for 6 weeks, I got to get reloading materials secured still and I have an upcoming hog hunt with a different rifle I need to spend time with to be ready. Plus waiting on my scope, thus give me some time and I will update this as my experience continues.
Yes I was very close to just getting the 50 cal to say look and listen to me go boom I own a 50 cal, but I found it very lacking minus bragging rights. To me the 338 lapua is the premier distance target & game rifle out there.
I know I know pics or it didnt happenhttp://postimage.org/image/qobfusj5d/http://postimage.org/image/4nv3e60hd/
Update: I was able to take her out the other day and shoot ten rounds through her. First off I have really got to put my new vortex scope through its paces and I must say I absolutetly love it. Now that I have been hands on it I am more impressed then I thought I would be. Heck I doubt I will get another scope beyond this ever really expecially with the lifetime warranty.
I was able to dial it in dead on robin hood bulls by the third shot. Every shot after that was just perfect, definatly a tight sub moa rifle. I was actually suprised how much more I prefer shooting it over my 30-06, the kick isnt bad at all, its more like shooting a 357 snubby. Its not the kick its the shockware that gets ya. Definatly hits you right in the heart making you skip a beat. Everytime I pull the trigger I want to bust out an evily long laugh.
Anyhoot I have a lot more paces to put it through before I give a final review some real distance shooting, but I love this rifle and I am starting to think my 30-06 is going to start to collect some dust.