Hunters who love the AR platform, but want to deliver a bit more whack, should take a look at the JP Enterprises LRP-07H chambered in .338 Federal. JP Enterprises made its name by building what many believe are the best AR rifles on the market. They are sought out by top competitive shooters, elite military and police units, and serious hunters. I have used a JP-15 in .223 Rem. for 3-gun competition for several years and can give firsthand testimony: It is one of the most accurate rifles I have ever shot, fully capable of sub-half-MOA groups, and it is 100 percent reliable. After working with several more JP rifles in multiple chamberings, I have seen that’s the norm.
The LRP-07H in .338 Federal is a good example. I am a big fan of that cartridge and have worked with it in multiple other rifles, testing them extensively. While all have been good shooters, the JP rifle is the most accurate .338 Federal I have tried, including a couple of high-end bolt-actions.
The .338 Federal cartridge was introduced in 2006 and is the first (and currently only) rifle cartridge to carry the Federal name. It is basically a .308 Win. case necked up to take a .338-diameter bullet. When it was first introduced, I was lucky enough to hunt with some engineering sample loads using the new 200-grain Fusion bullet. I took my best-ever black bear on that northern British Columbia hunt; one shot and done. He was so big we broke an Army surplus litter carrying him out. Since then I have seen the cartridge work for moose, caribou, elk, whitetail, hogs and several other critters. I have come to believe it is perhaps the best big-game cartridge in the .308-based, short-action cartridge family.
Factory .338 Federal ammo will push a 200-grain bullet to 2700 fps in a 24-inch test barrel, the same velocity the .308 Win. produces with a 165-grain bullet or the .30-06 achieves with a 180-grain bullet. The .338 Federal cartridge design is friendly to shorter barrels, and velocities hold up well in an AR. Federal currently offers seven loads for the cartridge, including four with 200-grain bullets and two with 185-grain bullets. The heavyweight is a 210-grain Nosler Partition load.
The LRP-07H is not inexpensive, but the price buys total reliability combined with superb accuracy. During testing, the best three-shot, 100-yard group with the Fusion ammo measured .30 inch, and the average was .71 inch. The JP rifle shoots almost any load nearly as well.
Key to the rifle’s accuracy is the 18-inch JP Supermatch 416R stainless steel barrel. Air-gauged, button-rifled and cryogenically treated, this is the same barrel used for the finest long-range sniper guns coveted by war fighters and competitors alike. The barrel is threaded at the muzzle and fitted with a JP Compensator. I suppose if I could change anything it would be the muzzle brake. A brake is a must on a competition rifle and it does reduce recoil by a large amount, but like all brakes, it’s loud. For a hunting rifle, I would prefer a clean barrel with no brake. I’ll deal with the modest recoil of the .338 Federal rather than risk further hearing loss. Of course, it’s easy enough to remove the brake and install a thread protector, or to order the gun without the JP Compensator.
The rifle’s receivers are machined from billets of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy. JP puts its unique left-side charging system on the upper receiver. This allows the shooter to manually cycle the rifle without removing it from the shoulder. The system is much easier and faster to use than a traditional, rear-mounted charging handle. It leaves the back of the upper clean and closed, with no path for dirt or water to enter the internal area of the receiver.
Instead of a standard bolt-carrier group, JP uses its Low Mass Operating System designed to reduce the impulse felt during cycling. Hidden under the rifle-length JP Modular Hand Guard System is the company’s minimized, adjustable gas block.
Hunters will appreciate the fixed-length Ace ARFX buttstock, which is lightweight and well-designed with a foam sleeve that fits over the buffer tube to provide a comfortable cheek weld. The LRP-07H has sling swivel studs mounted on the buttstock and handguard. The Magpul MIAD pistol grip has a removable core for storing batteries and small parts. In my rifle, the JP Fire Control System trigger breaks at 3 pounds, 14 ounces. The safety is ambidextrous.
The flattop upper receiver has an integral rail for mounting optics, and JP includes a scope mount with the rifle. I used a 6.5X-20X scope for accuracy testing and then installed a Zeiss Z-Point using a Weaver Flat Top Riser Rail to bring the sight up to the correct height.
The LRP-07H comes with a four-round magazine, but it will accept those made for any other .308-based JP rifle. Any magazine that works with the .308 Win. will also accommodate the .338 Federal, including the larger 20- or 25-round versions for hog extermination or home defense. It’s important to realize that unlike AR-15 rifles, large-frame guns chambered for the .308 Win. family of cartridges do not use a universal magazine design. The JP magazines also fit DPMS, Remington and other .308 Win. AR-style rifles, but they are different than the magazines used by Armalite AR-10 and similar rifles.
Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (Accuracy, Power, Speed) was Jeff Cooper’s motto for combat shooting, but it also sums up the LRP-07H in .338 Federal. Hunters looking for the ultimate big-game AR will find it in this rifle.
JP Enterprises LRP-07H Type: semi-automatic centerfire rifle Caliber: .308 Win., .338 Federal (tested) Barrel: 18"; 416R stainless steel; button rifling; 1:10" RH twist; threaded muzzle with JP Compensator Trigger: single-stage; 3.9-lb. pull weight Sights: none; railed receiver for mounting optics Safety: ambidextrous, 2-position, rotating lever Stock: fixed-length Ace ARFX; LOP 14.25" Handguard: rifle-length JP Modular Hand Guard System; tubular; aluminum Overall Length: 39.5" Weight: 8.3 lbs. Metal Finish: black anodizing on aluminum components; black Teflon on barrel Accessories: JPFTSM-30/1 scope mount, VT-SL2 sling, GasGunBasics DVD MSRP: $3,399 (base price)