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TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

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Unread 01-23-2007, 11:00 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7
TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

Iím a newbie to the forum but an avid handgunner, handloader, and just the piano player. Therefore, donít shoot me!

My Dan Wesson Supermags worked great in Michigan, but the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is all cedar swamps. In southern Idaho, I found out what rifle country was all about. In Idaho I found elk, in Europe, wild boar, and when I get to school in Ontario, moose and bear; the .338 Lapua should handle any of these nicely.

Several months back I made inquiry regarding production of a .338 Lapua based on the Montana ďProfessional HunterĒ action and their staff stated it would work better than their magnum action, implying perhaps a better fit? Production was to begin in December of 2006, but they amended their website in December to indicate production would start in December of 2007. Now they indicate it is on indefinite suspension.

I just purchased a used SAKO TRG-S in .338 Lapua and am retrofitting it to my wants.
It shall use the factory barrel until it loses accuracy.
A Limbsaver recoil pad is being installed as they fit the stock.
I initially specified a BP-TEC muzzle brake but they indicated they had not developed one for the gas volume of the .338 Lapua; they could prototype one for me at double the cost. Therefore I am going with a David Gentry ďQuietĒ muzzle brake as they are marginally less noisy than others.
Bedding will be fiberglass in the factory stock, as my smith stated it wonít need pillar-post.
Rings will be either the Burris Pos-Align or Sako.
Scope will be Burris Euro Diamond 30mm, 2.5-10 with 50mm objective lens and illuminated ballistic-plex reticle.

Concerns remain.

How should I break-in the barrel? Sako hammer forges their barrels so they are relatively smooth to start with. Itís all being done back in the States, and I havenít seen the bore. What if I find corrosion?

Can anyone recommend a brake that doesnít significantly increase noise? Iím currently in Europe and can buy a suppressor without any hassles, but I canít use it in the field when I return to hunt in America. And of course we have the difficulty simply bringing it back to America.

My smith stated pillar-post bedding wonít be needed. Uh, I had a .300 RUM pillar-post bedded and it shot like a laser beam. It would seem to me the Lapua recoils significantly more and might benefit from pillar-post bedding.

I have read vague criticisms of the recoil lug in the TRG-S. What has anyone else heard of this?

Should I go with Burris or Sako rings?

As for the scope, well, it isnít a dedicated long-range scope now is it? Let me explain Ė Iím going back to school in Ontario to get another degree and hopefully make a good wage. I can only afford one rifle at this time, and to the best of my knowledge I canít bring my handguns into Canada for close range work in the bush. The rifle must perform a variety of tasks through many situations.

For reloading dies I intend to purchase Hornady with the micrometer seating stem.

Who makes the best brass? I know only about Lapua and Norma, but Black Hills makes loaded ammunition. Who makes their brass?

Iím familiar with the Federal 215 magnum rifle primers but read an article some years ago indicating another manufacturer produces a more potent magnum rifle primer, and for the life of me, I canít remember who.

Filson has a motto: ďMight as well get the bestĒ. Sadly, I canít afford the very best at this time and satisficing is the watchword of the day. Please guide me through this.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 11:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Riggins Idaho
Posts: 1,195
Re: TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

I cant help you out on you're setup but is it ontario oregon you are moving to.
I dont know who ever came up with the imaganary word of "Over Gunned"
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Unread 01-24-2007, 11:12 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Re: TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

Actually it will either be Thunder Bay or Sudbury Ontario, Canada.

I still need assistance and am troubled to receive such little response. Trying to find anyone with experience with the .338 Lapua is like trying to find a brain surgeon for a porpoise. I believe there is someone out there who has the knowledge, but it isn't as easy as looking in the Yellow Pages.

Can you recommend someplace where I can find the information I need to make decisions?
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Unread 01-24-2007, 06:25 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 507
Re: TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

I can help you with a couple things.
Lapua is the best brass.
I know of no Large Rifle primer more potent than the Fed 215 unless it's the 215M (match) primer.
My opinion is either get the supressor or get one of the loud brakes that are very effective in reducing recoil Holland, Defensive Edge etc. and only shoot with hearing protection or don't put any brake on it.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 09:06 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 139
Re: TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

Duffy, I can't help you on the 338 Lapua, but I do have some experiance with the Quiet brake. I had one installed on a Sako trg-s 30-378. I have only shot this rifle about 20 times with factory ammo, but the brake and slip-on limbsaver pad made recoil feel like 30-06 level. At first I was scared of the blast and noise, but my fears were not realized. The brake does a decent job of venting gas away from shooter and noise is supposed to be about 2db higher than unbraked rifle. I've shot a browning 300 win with a BOSS and would never repeat that experiance again. Gentry brake is much more quiet. That's all I know.
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Unread 01-25-2007, 11:53 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Re: TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

Thank-you for the feedback! The limbsaver recoil pad was recommended by my gunsmith as well. I had a David Gentry brake on my .300 Rem Ultramag and it seemed quieter than others, but certainly not modest in it's blast. The brake is for use in the field, so sound and blast abatement is of great concern. At the bench I'll be using plugs and muffs.
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Unread 01-25-2007, 08:53 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 42
Re: TRG-S .338 Lapua - lots of input needed

Talk to Zak Smith. He is a wealth of knowledge and he has some experience with the TRG. His contact information is at the bottom of this page:

Hope this helps.

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