Re: .338 lapua
I am not aware of "Main Line" makers selling 338 Lapua.
Mine is Armalite and do NOT consider it a hunting round-first off it weighs in at around 14# with a NF scope on top-not what I call a carry through the woods rifle.
Second, unless you are taking 500 yard shots you better be very cognizant of what is behind that deer because the bullet will still be going strong. The muzzle energy is in excess of 5 thousand pounds and the Optimum Game Weight is upwards of 3000 #.
Also, you better reload as factory ammo is $5.00 a round.
I get mine down to about a buck a pull reloading and buying components in bulk.
Here is a quote from Cartridges of the World----
.338 Lapua Magnum
The 338 Lapua Magnum was developed in 1983 by Research Armament Co. It was based on a 416 Rigby case necked down to .338 caliber. Later Lapua and Norma have put this cartridge into production. The caliber was designed to arrive at 1000 meters with enough energy to penetrate 5 layers of military body armor and still make the kill. The effective range of this caliber is about 1 mile (1600meters) and in the right shooting conditions, it could come very close to the 2000 meter mark, provided you have the right rifle/ammo/optics/shooter/spotter combination. This caliber is designed primarily as a military extreme range anti-personnel round. There really are no Law Enforcement applications, unless you need a super penetrating round for either armored vehicles, or for barricaded suspects. There are not a lot of rifles chambered for the .338, but the list is growing with the likes of Sako, AI, and others producing .338 sniping rifles.
This text is based on information from “Cartridges of the World”, Hodgdon reloading manual, the cartridge designer and/or own resources.
Lastly, for me anyway, is that mine is wearing a factory muzzle brake which makes it easier to tolerate the recoil but without 2 sets of ear protection you will go deaf is short order.
There has to be other choices for you--I would look at 338 Federal or 338 WinMag for hunting or better yet, the venerable 35 Whelen.
Just my 2 cents.