I come from a tactical background as well. Since finding this sight I'd really like to get up to the cutting edge of whats available. I'm new to hunting the 4 legged variety of mammal and the more I've read the more I've realized what a different animal (no pun intended) it is. I really don't mind carrying a 20lb rifle I actually didn't realize that what be considered absurd in the hunting community until reading this sight. I guess different strokes for different folks. Anyway I've decided to go with one of the big .338's, originally before I found this sight I was certain I was gonna go with a .338 Lapua, When I got to shoot one over seas I immediatly thought I had to get one when I got back home. I've been a big believer in the .300WM as the best and easiest improvement to the .308 but since I can have anything I want now I want a big .338. however I don't want to sacrifice reliability and ruggedness in my rig just to be hunting "pc" if you will. Also I want a sub .5 gun and thats pushing it for me as I have a few friends with consistent .25 or less accuracy in their tactical rigs. I some good Ideas about which way to go but if given a blank slate with no budget and the requirements being consistent accuracy out to 1 mile+ with enough power to get the job done at those ranges, reliable, reliable, reliable, say 20 + or - lbs and detachable mag repeater. What would you recommend?
The .300 Win Mag is what I use. My Tactical Rifle wieghs 19 lbs and I shoot the Berger 210 VLD's at 2849 FPS. With the Tactical Hunter in the article, I shoot the 185 grain Berger VLD's, which move at 3129 fps. If you wanted to go with a .300 win mag, I recommend either purchasing the SAKO TRG 42, or having someone such as Shawn Carlock, GA Precision, or Terry Cross build one for you based on a Remington 700 action. Custom actions such as "Surgeon" are awesome, however will not shoot any better than a Remington action that is blueprinted, with a squared bolt face, trued bolt and lapped lugs.
If you want to go with a .338 Lapua, my feelings are the same. Either a SAKO TRG 42 or a custom built by the builders that I recommended above. If I wasn't instructing "hunters" I wouldn't have purchased the Tactical Hunter and would have used one of my Tactical Rifles to hunt with last year. A 15 - 19 lb weapon system Slung up flat on my chest is just fine for me... The SAKO TRG 42 weighs as much as my Tactical Hunter; 12 lbs.
Now, there is a new cartridge that I shot this last year, and also took and shot at the International Sniper Comp at Ft. Benning last November. It was a custom built .338 NORMA, and it shot awesome.
The build consisted of a Phoenix Action with a 21" Kreiger SS barrel with a 9.5 twist rate. It was threaded and I did use a can on it. The velocity generated was 2690 fps with a .300 grain SMK and it was extremely comfortable to shoot and extremely accurate. I have heard that others are getting close to 2800 fps out of it with a 24 inch barrel. I would look into that. Badger Ordnance is now manufacturing an upper receiver that will work well with this or any .338 cartridge. IF I were to build a .338, it would be a Norma based on Badger's action.
I'll definely look into that norma. thanks for the info. I like the TRG 42 alot and it is alot more cost effective than the AIAW and is pretty much its equal in quality from what I understand and in some ways better. thanks again
Your artical was great. I liked how you keep taking a bad situation and making into a good situation. You stated about your rifle, "At 19 lbs, this may be heavy to some, however it is considered to be a “mid-weight” rifle."; I say carry what you want. I get strange looked at by my hunting buddies because I use an AR-10, .308 or an AR-15 6.8mm that has tactical paint to match my hunting areas. I say who cares I think it is part of the fun of shooting/hunting. I have not gotten into long range shooting yet. I like the tip you gave your friend to change his scope. I will take that advise too.
I sold the Tactical hunter, and am in the process of gathering components to build a .338 NORMA.
Those components are as follows:
Badger Ordnance M2008 Long Action
Badger Ordnance Bottom Metal
Probably a Jewel Trigger unless I can locate an old Remington 40X
Mike Rock Barrel with a Heavy Palma Contour, and a twist rate of 1: 9.4 that will be finish cut at 26"
Night Force 5.5-22 Mil dot with turret click value at .01 Mils per click
The .338 NORMA's design was driven by the 300 grain SMK, so that is what the cartridge is designed around. If you take a look at the ballistics of this cartridge you will see that it greatly surpasses the 250 grain Lapua Scenar and still has a good edge over the 300 SMK out of the Lapua Cartridge. In addition, it is a very forgiving round. waht this means is that if you were to goof up your powder charge in either direction of center, the poi shift is minimal and pressure signs unnoticeable. Hard to imagine, however the cartridge is balanced with the bullet so well, that it is hard to shoot out of a hole.
Velocity out of the 26" barrel is expected to be at or above 2800 fps and it is a SMOOTH shooter.
A man by the name of "Jimmy Sloan" developed this cartridge and he deserves more than a couple of atta-boys or a pat on the back for this. He really did a phenomenal job.