French SCI Member Likes .338 Lapua

I’m an SCI Member from France, writing in answer to your question about what kind of rifles, scopes and types of bullets I am currently using when hunting. I have now done 38 hunting trips since 1985 when I first hunted in Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean. There I was lent a .300 Savage for the first wild boar I shot and it worked fine.


I started to hunt in Western Africa (Burkina Faso) in 1989, 1990 and 1991. I used at the time a .375 H&H Heym rifle topped with a 2.2-9x42mm Swarovski scope and Nosler Partition or Trophy Bonded bullets. That combination worked fine on all kind of animals, including western buffalo.

Since 1998, I’ve shifted to a .416 Rigby–a bespoke rifle based on a Mauser action. With it, I took my first lion using Woodleigh bullets. The performance was devastating. As a second rifle, I had a .338 Lapua Magnum—a Sako model TRGS that is now discontinued. It is a great caliber and rifle, and I personally handload my cartridges using Vithuaori N165 powder and 250-grain Nosler Partition bullets.

The Rigby is scoped with a 2.5x20mm Kahles; the Sako with a 1.1-4x24mm Schmidt & Bender.


In 2000 in Burkina Faso, I used only the .338 Lapua Magnum Sako, as the stock of the .416 Rigby was broken when I arrived in the country. Using 250-grain Nosler Partition bullets, I took a buffalo, a lion and various antelope including (at that time) the SCI World Record western bushbuck that scored 39 6/8 (it now ranks 7th).

In 1997 (in Benin), and 2004 (in Burkina Faso), I did most of my hunting using a .458 Win. Mag. Brno rifle and A-Frame 500-grain bullets along with my .338 Lapua Magnum Sako rifle. I shot a buffalo with the .458.

Mountain Hunting

For this kind of hunting (Scotland, Kazakhstan, Azerbajan, also France where I hunt the Corsican sheep with shots up to 270 meters), I currently use a 7mm Rem. Mag. Prohunter Steyr Mannlicher, using handloaded 150-grain Ballistic Tip bullets, or factory-loaded 162 KS RWS bullets. All of them are extremely accurate (three bullets in a 2-inch circle at 300 meters). The recoil of the 7mm Rem. Mag. is mild and allows very long, accurate shots. The rifle is scoped with a Multi-Zero CS 2.5-10x50mm Kahles that allows me to sight up to 500 meters.

Eastern Countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary) And Driven Hunts In France

I now use a bespoke .300 Win. Mag. rifle based on a 1924 Mauser action made by a French master gunsmtih, Joel Doreac, from Perpignan.  I stuck with the .300 Win. Mag. as I use mainly 200-grain Norma Oryx bullets when stalking wild boar (from 100 to 350 pounds) or red deer, and 220-grain Sako Hammerhead bullets when on driven hunts in France. I use a 3-12x56mm Multi-Zero CS Kahles scope for stalking and a red dot Docter for driven hunts.

Buffalo Hunting

I’ve shot three buffalo using three different calibers. With a .375 H&H, the buffalo walked 80 meters after being shot; with the .458 Win. Mag., the buffalo fell in its tracks; with the .338 Lapua, it walked 30 meters and fell, but I had to reshoot three times to kill him.

I personally think that the caliber in Africa will depend on the territory you hunt. In open field, a .375 H&H will be enough for buffalo when using 350-grain bullets, but you will be safer in very heavy brush with a larger caliber. –Christian S.  Limoges, France


2 thoughts on “French SCI Member Likes .338 Lapua”

  1. Woodleigh makes some 300 grain .338 bullets, so do North Fork , Barnes, Swift have a 275 grain also.There is several others makers also of heavier than normal bullet weights also. The last few years medium calibers like .338 and .358 have gotten more versatile .

  2. I used a Woodleigh 250 Grain P-P to brain shoot a 14 ft 1 inch Crocodile from 404 yards …..I have used the .338 Lapua exclusively as my medium caliber Hunting round for about 14 years on all medium and small game.It is an excellent Hunting Cartridge.One advice avoid the Nosler Partition in Africa because of bullet failure on superficial heavy bone at high velocities.I experienced this in 2004 .Since then Woodleigh p-p,Sierra Game King 250 Grain and Lapua Lock Base are quite adequate to get the job done especially when power and penetration are desired at distances you may not be expecting.Also use the best optics Swarovsky with Ballistic reticles and Kahles .

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