Aiming to optimize the performance of an already impressive long-range precision round, the new .338 Lapua M40 is built around Tactical Rifles’ stainless steel Chimera bolt action.
Two years ago at the close of an industry trade show, I was left with several impressions. As far as cartridges went, it seemed to be the year of the .338 Lapua. Specifically cataloged as the .338 Lapua Mag or 8.6x70mm, at that 2009 trade show it seemed that all the Military/LE rifle makers either had a gun chambered in that cartridge or one in the works.
There is a very valid and practical reason for this trend. Rifles launching the extra-large .338 (8.6mm) projectiles were getting the job done in-theatre, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. The shooting world stood up and took notice—the long-range lethality of the .338 Lapua is unquestionable. Naturally the demand for these rifles shot up dramatically, and it didn’t hurt either when a British Army Sniper set the world record for longest sniper shot, not once, but twice, with a .338 Lapua rifle.
It is actually quite fitting that the .338 Lapua would be chambered in an M40 platform. The original impetus for this magnum rifle cartridge came from a request by the U.S. Marine Corps back in the 1980’s. The Corps wanted a round that could reach out beyond the .308 and provide precise power at long ranges. While it took over two decades to reach the limelight, this is certainly the time for the .338 powerhouse to shine.
Tactical Rifles of Zephyrhills, Florida, has been building seriously accurate and robust M40 rifle for some time now. They have applied their precision magic to the .338 Lapua Mag and come up with something special.