Peek on Chinese new .338LM bolt action made by Hunan Ordnance Industries Group

    It may still be a news for some who are not familiar with Chinese firearms to know that China has been testing and producing .338Lapua Magnum (called 8.6×70) for several years.

    Yesterday, a group of the picture first look of a new look of .338LM bolt action sniper rifle made by Hunan Ordnance Industries Group Co has been posted on the social media account of the Chinese defense magazine《Ordnance Knowledge》

    The rifle so far still named after “new 8.6mm high accuracy sniper rifle”, and is confirmed will be displayed at November 6 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong.

    The new image of the Chinese .338LM has the unique looking with the aluminum alloy tip and is likely to have the similar structure of the Hornady .50BMG A-MAX.

    This isn’t the only Chinese .338LM rounds, at 8th China International Exhibition on Police Equipment in 2016, Hunan has already displayed several other Chinese made .338Lapua product including steel case .338LM.

    notice the coated steel case down below

    At the same expo, Hunan also displayed another of their 8.6mm bolt action, although the panel says the rifle is an 8.6mm sniper rifle, judging by the size of the magazine it clearly isn’t. In that case, some info could be hidden for some reason, or simply just a mistake. The bolt action rifle they displayed is more likely chambered in 5.8x42mm.

    Even we ignore the difference of the magazine, the new picture of the legit Hunan 8.6mm bolt action still has very significant visual difference compared to this old one. The new rifle removed the flash hider and the full-length top rail also replaced its adjustable stock with a new design.

    the detail on fold adjustable stock

    Here is a picture of the ergonomics adjustable stock of the new Hunan .338LM rifle, we can see the cheek rest height and LOP are both adjustable, although it may look like a finished product, some other details show that this item is not yet complete.

    notice when the buttstock folded it interfere with the bolt handle

    It still has a strong “showpiece” feel instead of a complete product

    The magazine likely hold 10 rounds of ammunition, by the looking of the ribbed gripping surface it could be just the 10 round version of the same .338LM magazine that Hunan displayed early this year.

    The 5 round magazine with unique ribbed gripping surface


    you can see the polymer-metal structure

    One more thing we‘ve noticed is the primer on the Chinese made .338LM is pretty small, it matches the feature of some early leak image of the ammunition

    way over pressured…

    As we can see here, the Chinese small arms industry is paying more attention to building high accuracy sniper rifle in recent years.  Although they are specifically designed for the police force now, will we see PLA adopt their own 8.6×70 and possibly new automatic weapon system based on the ammunition or its variant in the future?

    What is your opinion on the future of Chinese made .338 Lapua? Let us know in the comments section.

    Anthony J

    Focusing on Eastern Asia and Eastern Europe firearm news、history、development and usage.