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.
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.