SWORD International will be demonstrating this all-new Mark 18 Mod 0 semi-automatic .338 Lapua at the SHOT Show Media Day At The Range, and we’d like to take an informal poll: should we shoot it? This isn’t a scientific survey, but keep in mind that there is only one correct answer . . .
The Mark 18 Mod 0 is based on the AR-15 platform design, although I’d be surprised if parts commonality extends beyond the buttstock and pistol grip. The immense size and power of the .338 Lapua cartridge require a truly massive operating system; even the buffer spring has to be much stronger than anything you’d ever stuff into an AR-15 or AR-10.
This rifle features a free-floated Lothar Walther barrel, a proprietary piston-driven operating system, and a 10-round double-stack magazine that must be the size of a small telephone book.
The MSRP hasn’t been announced, but the similar Noreen ‘Bad News’ .338 semi-auto will set you back six grand if that’s any guide. Whatever its MSRP, this is a rifle I probably couldn’t afford even if it were free: .338 Lapua runs three to five dollars per round.