My Sako M995 (TRGs) in 338LM
I purchased my Sako TRGs used for $800 a few years ago. It did not have a muzzle brake. It was typically a 1" to 2" shooter, but would throw in the ocassional 1/2" group. At first, the recoil was brutal. I eventually got used to it. Switching to lighter bullets and slower burning powders also helped. I found out later that the Leupold VXIII scope on it was damaged (probably from recoil), not damaged so that it was completely non-functional, but to the extent that it likely shot lower recoil loads more accurately than the heavy (300 gr.) loads. After doing the Tubbs FF 'fire lapping' on the factory barrel, putting it in a McMillan A-5, adding an aftermarket recoil lug, and pillar bedding, it was shooting from 1/2" to 1 1/4", with an average of 3/4" (this with the scope issues that were discovered later).
Here's my summary of the Sako TRGs:
- I was not impressed with the skinny factory barrel. It fouled easily, heated up quickly, and I think limited the overall accuracy potential of the rifle. Hot lapping it with Tubbs FF bullets seemed to help.
- The factory stock was very stiff and brittle (good for accuracy, bad for recoil). My dad's factory stock (also a 338LM, Sako TRGs) cracked. I have heard reports of others also cracking. I went to a McMillan A-5, which was much better.
- The factory trigger is excellent (nearly perfect in my opinion).
- The factory detachable magazines are adequate.
- The factory recoil lug set-up is, in my opinion, is completely inadequate. It has the recoil lug in the stock (way too small for a cartridge like 338LM), and a recoil lug recess (groove) in the action. Bedding may help, but in my opinion the only way to go is to add an after-market recoil lug. GA Precision did a great job on this for me, at a reasonable price.
- The action is nice and smooth.
- The action has dovetails for mounting scope rings, but isn't drilled, or tapped for adding a 'screw-in' scope mount.