Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 27

incendiary tip, along with a loud pop from the
PETN explosive and heat from the zirconium
powder contained in the bullet. All confirmed
the bullet hit to the shooter in reduced light
conditions and also caused further incendiary
and particulate damage to internal equipment
when hit. The round's .30-cal. tungsten penetrator then punched a hole through the thick steel
so clean it looked as if it had been precision
drilled. This particular U.S. load with its light
green and white stripe .50-cal. Browning round
(12.7mm) is now made under license in Sweden for our military and is rumored to cause
about the same damage as a conventional
20mm round-I can vouch for that.
Now about that .338 Lapua Magnum
thingy many are now in love with-until they
shoot it. Back in the day, Haskins took a Bell
brand .416 Rigby Mag. case, necked it down
to .338 and created a rifle round that would
toss a 250-grain .338-cal. bullet at about
3,000 fps. Recoil from one of these beautiful
10-pound rifles wacked a bit quicker than his
.50, but what fun. A dozen of these .338-416
chambered futuristic looking rifles were quietly
housed in a 7th Special Forces armory at Fort
Bragg for Delta use. For a few weeks, two of
them and one of the .50s were at my house
with plenty of ammunition to play with.
That particular Jerry Haskins wildcat would
become the .338 Lapua Mag. This round is used
in extreme long-range competition. It's a serious long-range sniper round that supersedes
the .300 Win. Mag. in velocity, drift, trajectory,
etc.; and it's used in some competitions by
those who can take the thumping.
As a hunting round the .338 Lapua Mag.
round is tops for dangerous game (think bear
and African hunting) though some that like
to "over gun" use it on elk and moose. The

expense of rifles and ammunition, the heavy
recoil, noise and ammunition available all say
this is not a casual "fun gun" round for the
average shooter or his or her wallet.
In the 1970s, the civilian cousin of .223 Rem.,
the 5.56x47mm NATO was worming its way
quickly into military competition "rattle battle"
matches. Now the black gun (both AR-15
and military model) is used for the National
Match course to good effect-especially when
a military-issued 4.5x telescopic sight (rule
change about three years ago) is used.
The 5.56x45mm NATO round is a marginally
powerful military round originally intended for
issue to Air Force base guards and military police in the 1960s due to its ease of training and
light weight. All of that was dandy until Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered it
be used for conventional combat warfare in all
services. His reasoning was that it was easier
to handle and train with over the heavier and
harder-hitting M14; both the M16 and its ammunition were much lighter than the more
powerful battle rifle in the jungles of Vietnam.
It may come as a shock to learn that 5.56 NATO
(like its civilian cousin .223 Rem.) is NOT legal for
big-game hunting in various states, as it's judged
not powerful enough for big game like deer
or elk. For comparison purposes, the humble
.30-30 Win., the same one snickered at in today's
magnum-manic world, is still both very legal and
lethal; and will hit with the same velocity and
energy at 275 yards as the .44 Mag. at one inch.
However, the 5.56mm is legal for rabbits and
coyotes in these restricted states, but so is a
.22 rimfire. The 5.56mm NATO and .223 Rem.
are slightly different due to a technical pressure change and minor dimensional changes,
but shooters across the country ignore this and
safely shoot them interchangeably. As for avail-

SSUSA.ORG | MARCH 2020

27


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Shooting Sports USA - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - March 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - Cover2
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 4
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 8
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 10
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 11
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 12
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 13
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 14
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 15
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 16
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Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 18
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 21
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Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 27
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Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 42
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Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 50
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