25 March 2021 – The Swiss subsidiary of RUAG Ammotec based in Thun is launching a new sniper rifle calibre onto the market, which, despite a significantly better performance compared to the popular .338 Lapua Magnum, is still compatible with the commonly-used .338 LM weapons systems, requiring only a barrel change. The .375 SWISS P will be available loaded with a full metal jacket projectile in April, and is expected to be available loaded with hard core projectiles in late 2021.
The .375 Swiss P fills the gap in ballistic performance between the .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6×70 mm) and the .50 Browning Machine Gun (12.7×99 mm). Rifle enthusiasts will correctly note that cartridges have already been developed in this caliber, such as the .375 CheyTac (9.5×77 mm), for example. However, this American calibre has not yet become commonplace in Europe. Also, the C.I.P. excluded the .375 CheyTac from certification in Europe last year, meaning that weapons chambered for it are no longer being used here. Most .338 LM weapon systems require only a barrel change to be reconfigured for the .375 Swiss P. .338 LM magazines and bolts are already compatible.
The external and terminal performance of the .375 Swiss P is up to 40% better than the .338 Lapua Magnum (LM). The 350 gr. (22.7 g) full metal jacket loading achieves a muzzle energy of 8,500 joules from a 30 inch (76 cm) barrel at a muzzle velocity of 865 m/s, compared to 6,100 joules on the .338 LM. This increase in performance, without any change in the envelope of the cartridge, was realised through an adapted high-performance propellant, as well as through the shape of the cartridge with a rebated rim. In this design, the case diameter forward of the extractor groove is larger than the diameter of the case head, increasing the volume of the powder chamber. The maximum permissible gas pressure for the .375 Swiss P is 4,200 bar (61,000 psi).
When optimizing a projectile for long range precision, the position of the centre of gravity is key. It is also critically important to design the tip of the projectile for maximum aerodynamic performance, and keep manufacturing tolerances to an absolute minimum. In order to shift the centre of gravity of the projectile as far towards the rear as possible, the newly-developed .375 Swiss P full metal jacket projectile features a metal sphere in the tip, which creates an empty volume and also has a lower density than the lead core. As a result, the new Swiss P full metal jacket projectile has a higher ballistic coefficient than traditional long-range hollow point boat tail projectiles. The .375 Swiss P has a supersonic operational range of more than 1,500 metres, and, at 1,500 joules, the full metal jacket projectile produces more than twice as much energy at this distance than the .338 LM with a 250 gr. (16.3 g) full metal jacket. The .375 Swiss P hard core projectile features a tungsten carbide penetrator in a cobalt alloy core, a closed base, and small open tip. Its efficient structure is designed for maximum penetration, even on hard targets. This loading makes it possible to reliably breach an SK4 class protective vest under standard conditions up to approximately 600 metres.
RUAG Ammotec has developed the new .375 Swiss P based on the latest requirements from public authorities. This powerful cartridge allows the user to continue working with their familiar weapon system and retain the same handling properties, while benefitting from greatly improved external and terminal ballistics.
Photos courtesy RUAG Ammotec