The .338 Lapua Mag is popular among agencies that need some serious range and penetration. The cartridge rather nicely bridges the gap between the standard .308 and the .50 BMG. The .308 can certainly be used at very long range, but such distances are not its sweet spot. And the “Big 50” is great for anti-materiel use but is heavy, expensive and not always a joy to shoot—for some agencies it is a must, but for most, it is just too much.
While the .338 Lapua is not best suited to typical deployments, under such circumstances the caliber will not suffer many of the issues that the .50 BMG will. And unlike the .308, the .338 Lapua shows impressive results against car engines and other hard barriers, and at ranges between 300 and 500 yards, such as at an airport or in the backcountry, the .338 Lapua is superb.
Now let’s talk cost. Ammunition in .338 Lapua Mag is expensive. Luckily, .338 Lapua rifles cost a bit less than typical .308s while being only slightly larger, with manageable recoil, good suppression and easier carry. Still, .338 Lapua rifles, while nothing like those chambered for .50 BMG, aren’t cheap. Many start at about $7,500, and you’ll be hard-pressed to get a hold of a custom rifle for much less than $5,000. Add optics and everything else, and you can easily get to $10,000 or more. Such costs take many agencies, operators and units right out of the .338 Lapua game. For the LEO, custom rifles are great but not a necessity; he or she needs a rifle that is accurate, rugged, reliable and able to tackle deployments. One such rifle is the Savage Arms 110 BA.
Savage Arms has been offering the 110 BA for a while now. It is very popular among those needing a larger caliber and available in either .300 Win Mag or .338 Lapua. The 110 BA is built with the operator in mind, providing all you really need for some long-range deployments. The aluminum chassis supports a free-floated, match-grade, fluted barrel. Regardless of caliber, the rifle features a 26-inch barrel topped off with a muzzle brake. (The muzzle device can be removed and replaced by a suppressor or other device that is threaded at 5/8×24.) Rifles chambered in .338 Lapua use 1-in-9-inch twist rates, while the .300s use 1-in-10-inch twists.
The 110 BA employs an AICS-style single-feed magazine system, which holds five rounds. The bolt uses an oversized knurled knob, which makes for reliable manipulation no matter the weather. The safety is behind the bolt like those of most Savage rifles, with a bolt release on the right side of the receiver. The 20-MOA scope rail accommodates large scopes and night vision, and two side rails allow for lights or other devices. Savage’s excellent AccuTrigger is present and covered by an oversized triggerguard.