Several months ago I bought on line a Sako model 995 chambered for the Lazzeroni Warbird. The barrel is marked Lazzeroni and Beretta, so I do not know who actually made the barrel out of those three choices. But all three have good reputations, so I wasn't too worried about it. (As a side note here, I bought this from someone registered on a number of sites as Kiowa Driver. The rifle was as advertised, pristine, but his advertisement included a box and a half of ammo and a set of Talley rings. Those never arrived, even after I contacted him. So take that for what it is worth.) Anyway, the rifle is impressive, front to back. It shoots .5 MOA at 200 yds, and with a Vias brake on it, the recoil is so low that on a lead sled, you do not have to put both hands on the rifle.
I was so impressed by the cartridge that I decided that I wanted the real thing, a Lazzeroni in the same caliber. I sold off a few unused guns from my collection to come up with the money, then spent two months discussing every topic imaginable with John Lazzeroni just to get to know the guy who I was going to send
$7000 to. John Lazzeroni is an interesting individual. He has very definite opinions on almost everything and is willing to debate any topic you care to bring up. We went from being friends to doing everything except exchanging gunfire about ten times. I have a few opinions of my own, so the e-mails heated up a few times. My conclusion was that John is a very intelligent individual, well read, willing to admit he is wrong if you can prove it beyond any doubt, willing to help you with any shooting questions you might have, and really an all around good and very honest guy.
I promised him I would post my opinion of the rifle and how it shoots, which is the reason for this post. I received the rifle about two months ago, and it is a work of art. All parts are top of the line, everything fits perfectly, and the action is smooth as silk. The first thing I checked was the barrel to stock fit with the old dollar bill test, and the bill slid all the way to the action without touching a thing. The rifle comes with a pickatinny rail installed and a set of rings, the brand of which I do not remember and had not heard of. I suspect that is due to my ignorance. The trigger is a Jewel set at about a pound and a half with no creep. I set all my triggers at two pounds, so I will probably not change that. I put a Vortex Viper PST on it, and when I throw the rifle up to my shoulder, I am looking right down the middle of the scope. This rifle fits me like it is a part of my body. Plus, with the finish he puts on his rifles, it is just beautiful.
I have not shot the rifle yet. Unfortunately, I had to have knee replacement surgery with a second one coming up, so it will be awhile befor I will be able to get out on the range again, which is frustrating me to death. I have the Lazzeroni, a CZ in .338 Lapua, and a Remington .338 RUM I had built on a Sendero frame. I had to have that custom built since Remington makes a .300 RUM in a Sendero, but not the .338. And I love Senderos, which is why I have four of them
Anyway, I posted this much because I promised John that I would post my opiniion of the rifle on the forum, and he is probably wondering why I haven't done that yet. I will report on how the Lazzeroni shoots as soon as I am able to shoot it. Thanks for putting up with this long post. PS: there is an ad on various pages of this site for Benchmark Barrels. They live and operate a short drive from my home, and I take all my guns there for whatever they need. Benchmark is affordable, does outstanding work, and they are a nice bunch of guys. I highly recommend them for any rebarreliing, rechambering, etc. I have one rifle there now, and another that will go there as soon as the budget allows. They make an excellent muzzle brake that I would recommend over the Vais, and I never thought I would say that.
Thanks for the sympathy. I logged in, spent a half hour typing a reply to your question, and then when I went to post it, I was told that I was not logged in and the message was gone. I will not try to duplicate the reply. But, here is a short version. The Benchmark brake is slightly larger and heavier that the Vais, but not enough to matter. Instead of many little holes like the Vais and the brake that comes on the Weatherby Mark 5, The Benchmark has six, three per side, large slots that direct gases back and out at a slight angle, plus two holes directly in the front of the brake. I think it works better simply because it vents so much more gas backward than a Vais does. But it comes with a price. It is very LOUD. You need to have good ear protection and if you are at a range, you need to warn other shooters and you need to visually check to make sure that other shooters have their headgear on. But the reduction in recoil is well worth the increase in noise. The vais is a great brake; I have seven of them, but I will use the Benchmark's from now on. I hate recoil, and after shooting for 55 years, I will do whatever I have to do to make my guns shoot softer. My favorite rifle, a Sendero 300 Win mag, has a Vais on it, and you can literally see the bullet hit the target it shoots so softly.
Thank you very much for the compliments, and I too hope your knees get better sooner than later, so that you can try out the BIG LAZZ ! ,,,,,
It was a pleasure working with you to build your rifle as I know you appreciate the quality and performance offered by the Lazzeroni ,,,,,,
as for muzzle brakes, no question they work, some better than others, but as you know, we build hunting rifles, so I have to balance our selection between recoil reduction and noise level in the field
,,,, as even the Vais is way too loud for my comfort zone ,,,,
Let's all make sure that we VOTE on Tuesday, the future of our great country really does hang in the balance ,,,,,
My Sako TRG-S M995 in 7.82 Lazzeroni Warbird was a real pleasure to shoot and hunt with here in Alaska, It was the most accurate factory out of the box rifle I ever had and I dumped numerous moose, black bear and a 9 1/2 ft brown bear with it, the rifle/cartridge absolutely loved the Nosler Accubonds and Swift A-Frames,
unfortunately the brass wasn't as good as it should be for such a well designed and accurate cartridge, ......I had to deal with 2 firings per case at $50.00 per box of 20 pcs. but then the price went up but not the quality... I have since rebarreled my M995 to .338 Norma Magnum... simply because of brass quality and price.... the Norma brass lasts 10-12 firings and is $42.49 per box of 20 pcs at Midway compared to the Lazzeroni Warbird brass at $64.99 per box of 20 pcs (also at Midway) ($74.99 at Lazzeroni website) that only last 2 shots and primer pockets are busted loose.
Bottom line........If the brass quality issue were to be resolved, I would not hesitate to get my hands on a 7.82 Warbird or 8.59 Titan, which I feel are both very well designed cartridges and perform superbly in the accuracy and velocity departments,
maybe Mr. Lazzeroni could have Norma or Lapua manufacture his brass ? I'd pay $65- $75 a box for that stuff anyday !
Lazz: I am about as frustrated as a shooter can get right now. The knee is coming along nicely, but is taking longer than I expected, but it was a total reconstruction, so I should be happy that I can already walk without even a cane, but I am having trouble getting it flexible, which is typical I am told. What I am really frustrated about is that we lost our only shooting range. We had a decent range where we have shot for 20 years for $10 day. Two guys came in with AK's and shot up the whole range...the benches, the targets berms, the roof over the benches, everything, including a couple of houses several hundred yards down the terrain from the range.T he range owners shut everything down, got the NRA to come up and help them design a safer and more user friendly range. Even though my partner and I were well known at the range and were on their mailing list, we were not informed that the owners went to a membership system, 100 memberships at $200 a year. We arrived one day to shoot and discovered we were numbers 101 and 102 on the waiting list. The memberships fees are way out of line. It is a short (200 yd) range with mediocre facilities. There is only one other range within driving distance and it is a hot line. What is the point of shooting if you cannot get your targets to measure your groups? So we have been relegated to a local gravel pit. We have tried for years to get a first class facility on a piece of land within driving distance of all the local communities and far enough up in the boonies to not bother anyone or be dangerous to anyone. The committee working on this has gotten the go-ahead from the county, has the money and donations of heavy equipment, etc., but we have been stopped in the courts by an anti group of extremist tree huggers. Here is the argument that has us at a stand still. There is a stream in the "area" and the anti's claim that lead from the range will leach into the stream and pollute it. The stream is TEN MILES from the range site!!!!! So, I do not know what we and a lot of other people are going to do. Including the beauty that you built for me, I have another $10,000 in rifles that I have purchased in the last six months that I have yet to fire even once. The range we were trying to get built was going to be first class...trap and skeet, indoor and outdoor pistol and rifle, a thousand yard outdoor long distance rifle range, a beautiful clubhouse, etc. It was going to be built to provide a quality place for all of us to use and to draw local, state, and hopefully national competitions. I have not heard anything lately, so I do not know if the whole project is dead or if the people who were the driving force are still trying to find an answer to the court's decision. I do know one thing, we have a judge to replace.