July 11th, 2013
If you missed Top Shot All-Stars last night on the History Channel, don’t fret — you can watch the latest full episode online HERE. This week competitors faced the ultimate long-range challenge — shooting a 40″ exploding target at ONE MILE — the longest distance ever attempted on Top Shot. The rifle was a Barrett MRAD chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum. Whoever hit the target the quickest (and with the least number of shots) won a prize (an Oculus rifle scope). The top seven shooters were “safe” from the elimination round. The four who faltered faced possible elimination. This wasn’t easy. At one mile (1760 yards) a 10 mph wind shift can move the bullet nearly twenty FEET laterally. And a lot can happen in the 3+ seconds it takes the bullet to hit the target. (Ballistics based on a 250gr Lapua Scenar launched at 2900 fps, with full value wind vector. Lapua factory .338 LM ammo was used during this episode.)
CLICK to watch Mile Shot Full Episode on History.com
Some competitors did remarkably well — hitting the one-mile target with ease. However, challenging winds sent others to elimination, where they faced off using a prehistoric weapon, the Atlatl. To see who did well and who was eliminated, visit the Top Shot All Stars Video Archive.
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May 4th, 2012
Berger Bullets has released a new, 250-grain .338 caliber Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet. This is a slippery projectile, with an impressive .349 G7-model Ballistic Coefficient (.682 G1 BC). This new bullet gives Berger TWO heavyweight .338-cal bullets in its line-up — Berger already offered a 300gr OTM Tactical Hybrid with a .419 G7 BC, and a whopping .818 G1 BC. Berger tells us: “The .338-Cal 250gr and 300gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets were optimized for use in the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge, but will work great in other cartridges as well.”
The new .338 cal, 250gr Hybrid was designed by Bryan Litz. The new 250-grainer’s Hybrid design blends a tangent ogive with a secant ogive. These blended shapes yield outstanding ballistic performance, yet the blended Hybrid design is normally less “finicky” about seating depth position than are secant-ogive, VLD-style bullets. Hence less load tuning should be required with the Hybrids compared to VLD designs. According to Bryan, these thick-jacket OTM Tactical bullets have been optimized for specific cartridges. They should be successful at either magazine-feedable lengths or loaded long for single-shot firing situations, which can allow for more powder capacity and higher velocities.
.338 Cal Hybrids for Long-Range Hunting?
While Berger officially says that the new 250gr Hybrid and its larger 300gr cousin are “not recommended for hunting”, large .338-caliber bullets with similar construction, such as the Sierra 300gr Match King, have been used successfully by long-range hunters for many years. One experienced hunting guide told us: “This combination of bullet diameter and bullet weight has proven to be a very effective on elk and other large game.” Berger’s 250gr and 300gr OTM Hybrids offer a higher BC option than other bullets in this caliber and weight ranges. Berger does plan, in the future, to offer .338 caliber 250-grain and 300-grain Hybrid Hunting bullets.
Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Loaded Ammo with new .338 Hybrids Available from Bryan Litz
Bryan Litz’s ammunition business, Applied Ballistics Munitions, now offers loaded .338-caliber ammo for two cartridges: .338 Edge and .338 Lapua Magnum. This ammo (for both cartridge types) is offered with your choice of either the 300gr OTM Hybrid or the new 250gr and 300gr OTM hybrid. If you’re not familiar with the .338 Edge, this is a 300 Remington Ultra Magnum necked-up for the .338 bullet. The .338 Edge has become popular with long-range hunters.
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September 19th, 2011
Last week, at the DSEi trade show in London, UK, Sako unveiled an all-new tactical rifle, designed from the ground up as a modular system, which can be user-configured in the field to shoot multiple calibers. By changing bolts and barrels, Sako’s new TRG M10 can be switched from a 7.62×51 NATO round to the .300 Win Mag, or the even larger .338 Lapua Magnum. With the capability of the TRG M10 to shoot both standard and magnum cartridges, Sako now has a product that can compete with other multi-caliber sniper rifles such as the Barrett MRAD, released last year. CLICK HERE for TRG M10 Spec Sheet.
Sako Breaks TRG Mold with New M10
The TRG M10 represents quite a departure from Sako’s current TRG models which use a composite shell over a metal chassis which holds the barreled action. There is no outer shell or “skin” on the TRG M10. The action bolts into a rigid, exposed metal chassis to which a rail-equipped metal forearm/handguard is attached. Bipods can mount directly to a bottom Picatinny-style rail or to a metal block clamped to the rail on the underside of the forearm (See Photos).
TRG M10 Previewed in London
CLICK HERE to view more photos of the new TRG M10. These images, taken at DSEi in London, show the rifle both fully assembled as well as pulled apart into its major sections: action/barrel, folding stock, forearm, bolt assemblies, magazines. As the TRG M10 is designed to shoot multiple calibers, it employs two different bolt assemblies to fit both standard and magnum cases (of course this requires a barrel interchange as well).
For Military and Law Enforcement Only — for Now
Currently, the TRG M10 is marketed for “military and law enforcement only.” It will be interesting to see if Sako eventually decides to sell the TRG M10 to American civilian shooters. If Sako changes its mind about the civilian market, we would not be surprised if an announcement to that effect would be made at SHOT Show 2012 (to be held Las Vegas, NV, January 17-20, 2012). The TRG M10 system will next be displayed at the Milipol trade show in Paris, France on October 18-21, 2011.
There is an extensive discussion of the new Sako TRG M10 on the Snipers’ Hide Forum. Overall, the initial reaction of ‘Hide members has been positive. Quite a few of those who commented on the rifle stated they would purchase a TRG M10 if it was offered to civilians. Hopefully Beretta, Sako’s parent company, will recognize that popular demand for the TRG M10 would be sufficient to justify its release to the civilian market. Only time will tell….
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April 4th, 2011
X-Treme Shooting Products has announced that its new line of Titanium actions is in full production, with short and long receivers ready to ship. The .338 receivers should be ready by the time of the NRA Annual meeting in late April. X-Treme Shooting is currently the only manufacturer of Titanium rifle receivers in the USA. Titanium construction offers significant weight savings, without compromising durability. On a long-action build, using a Titanium action could save up to 10 ounces. The short and long Titanium receivers both have a Rem 700 footprint, but with enhancements for improved function and accuracy. These are custom-grade actions, “absolutely true and dimensionally correct.”
Benefits of Titanium Construction
Why Titanium? In addition to being much lighter than steel (by volume), Titanium is extremely strong, and very corrosion-resistant. That is why it is used for critical parts in jet airplanes and spacecraft. Titanium is as strong as steel, but 45% lighter. It is 60% heavier than aluminum, but twice as strong. Titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any common metal. Titanium does requires special milling tools and techniques for production. However, it is otherwise a highly-desirable material for rifle actions because it is light, strong, and corrosion-resistant.
New CG INCH Action Available
X-Treme Shooting sells a variety of other precision products, including the CG X-Treme Mod22 two-stage trigger, the Centra Goliath Front Sight, and the CG INCH target action from Australia shown below. The new INCH action, designed by Robert Chombart, are offered with either .308 or .223 bolt faces, for $1075.00. This is an excellent action for F-Class and Fullbore shooters. Call for finish options and other details.
For more information or to place an order, email ctmyers [at] x-tremeshooting.com, or call (513) 313-3464, or visit X-TremeShooting.com.
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January 18th, 2011
Media Day at the Boulder City, Nevada range was a blast — literally. We had a chance to sample some big .338 Lapua Magnum rifles from Barrett and Sako. The recoil on the Sako TRG42 was epic, as it lacked a muzzle brake, and the front sandbag did nothing to tame rearward movement. We’ll provide more info on the TRG42 (and its new folding stock) later this week.
New Tikka T3 Sporter — Master Sporter Reborn
Tikka unveiled an interesting new T3 Sporter, fitted out in a handsome laminated position stock. This seems to be the successor to Tikka’s popular (but long since discontinued) Master Sporter series. We only hope Beretta, Tikka’s parent company, will eventually offer a wider selection of calibers — right now Beretta only plans to sell .223 Rem and 22-250 versions in the USA.
New Tikka T3 Sporter
MRAD is Impressive — and Brutally Expensive
Barrett’s new MRAD “adaptible” rifle was an impressive beast — as it should be at $6000.00 per unit. It did display some very clever engineering that allows a user to switch barrels and even change calibers with no gunsmithing. Check out the video for a review of the many unique features of the MRAD.
Crosman’s Computer-Controlled Airgun
Perhaps the most innovative (or at least technologically advanced) rifle on display wasn’t officially a “firearm” at all. Crosman’s new Benjamin Rogue, pneumatic varmint rifle actually has a microprocessor-controlled “fire control” system. Yes this state-of-the-art airgun actually has an internal computer that monitors the available air pressure, and sets the output level according to the bullet weight and desired velocity. This is no Daisy B-B gun — the Rogue is big and bulky. But it also delivers the hitting power of a 38 Special, all without a single kernel of gunpowder. Crosman’s Rogue will launch a 145gr polymer-tipped Nosler bullet at 850 fps. Just run the numbers and you’ll find the Rogue delivers as much terminal energy as many centerfire pistol cartridges.
Polymer Cartridge Casings from PCP
A Florida-based company, PCP Ammunition, unveiled a truly revolutionary product — polymer-cased ammo. The “cartridges” have a metal rim/base section (like shotgun shells) but nearly all the cartridge body is a tan-colored high-strength polymer. No, this product won’t do reloders much good, but it could be a huge “hit” with the military, as a polymer case is at least 25% lighter than brass. PCP Reps claimed that PCP’s plastic-bodied ammo can withstand loads that would be considered “full presure” in conventional brass. Stay tuned for further updates.
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May 3rd, 2010
IMPORTANT UPDATE: In a subsequent BBC Interview, Harrison reported it took about NINE shots for he and his spotter to initially range the target successfully. Then, he reported, his first shot “on target” was a killing shot. That makes the story more plausible.
In a stunning display of marksmanship, and the ultra-long-range capability of the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge, a British sniper killed two Taliban machine-gunners at a confirmed range of 1.54 miles. The distance to the target was GPS-ranged at 8,120 feet or 2,706.6 yards — well over a mile and a half. According to Britain’s Times Online, this successful engagement was the longest ever: “The previous record for a sniper kill is 7,972 feet, set by a Canadian soldier [in Afghanistan] in March 2002.” (Canadian Cpl. Rob Furlong used a McMillan Tac 50 in his 2002 engagement.)
The amazing shots were made by Corporal Craig Harrison of the Household Cavalry using an Accuracy International L115A3 rifle, chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. L115A3 rifles, part of the British Army’s Sniper System Improvement Programme (SSIP), were first deployed to Afghanistan in May 2008. Corporal Harrison, with the assistance of his spotter, Trooper Cliff O’Farrell, dropped two Taliban machine-gunners with successive shots while providing covering fire for an Afghan national army patrol south of Musa Qala last November. Harrison told the Times that: “We saw two insurgents running through [a] courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, one in green. They came forward carrying a PKM machine-gun, set it up and opened fire on the commander’s wagon. I rested the bipod of my weapon on a compound wall and aimed for the gunner firing the machine-gun.” Harrison fired three rounds, the first killing one machine-gunner, the second killing the other (who had taken over the weapon), and a third to disable the enemy gun.
A shot at this ultra-long-range requires a superbly accurate rifle, a highly-skilled marksman, and favorable conditions. Harrison said: “Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility.”
Corporal Harrison is a brave soldier. During an ambush later in his Afghan tour of duty, a bullet pierced his helmet but failed to penetrate his skull. Some weeks after that, he broke both arms when a road-side bomb exploded under his vehicle. After recovering from his wounds, Harrison volunteered to return to Afghan duty.
READ MORE: Daily Star Story | TimesOnline Story | N.Y. Post Story.
Photo and illustration courtesy The British Army website.
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February 22nd, 2010
We had fun testing the new Barrett Model 98B (Ninety-Eight Bravo) at Media Day before SHOT Show last month. In the video below, Jason shoots a 98B, after trying its bigger brother, the Barrett model 82A1. The new 98B, chambered in .338 Lapua, has some very nice features and it certainly is a sturdy beast. We predicted this gun would be popular, and attract considerable media attention.
That prediction was right on. Barrett’s 98B rifle in .338 Lapua Magnum has been named the American Rifleman magazine “Rifle of the Year”, earning a coveted Golden Bullseye® Award. This year the Barrett Model 98B was selected by a seven-member committee who considered a variety of factors including reliability, accuracy, design innovation, styling, and “perceived value” to the purchaser. As the “Rifle of the Year”, the 98B was chosen over other recently introduced long-gun offerings from major manufacturers.
Barrett will be presented with the Golden Bullseye Award for 2010′s Rifle of the Year at the 2010 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Charlotte, North Carolina. There Barrett CEO and founder Ronnie Barrett will also be personally honored as the NRA’s 2010 Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award winner. In addition, the Barrett Model 98B will be featured in the NRA’s print magazines, in the May issue of American Rifleman and American Hunter®, and the June issue of Shooting Illustrated.
In the video below, Barrett engineers explain the technical features of the Model 98B and show how to field-strip the rifle.
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January 31st, 2010
On Media Day, just prior to SHOT Show 2010, our Assistant Editor Jason Baney headed straight to the biggest, baddest rifles he could find — a pair of serious-looking tactical rigs from Barrett Rifles. First off was the mighty semi-auto Barrett 82A1, chambered in .416 Barrett. a “beast of a cartridge” according to Jason. The .416 is a very powerful chambering, and you can see the recoil pushed Jason pretty hard. That’s serious energy — Jason’s a big boy, and the Barrett 82A1 weighs nearly 31 pounds. Want one? You may have to liquidate some investments. MSRP on the Barrett 82A1 is a whopping $9345.00.
Ninety-Eight Bravo in .338 Lapua Magnum
Next up was Barrett’s bolt-action model 98B (“Ninety-Eight Bravo”), chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. At less than half the weight of the Barrett 82A1, the 98B was much easier to steer on the bench and the ergonomics were generally better according to Jason.
While recoil from the .338 Lapua Mag was stout, you can see in the video that the .338 LM kicked much less than the .416 Barrett, even in a gun with less than half the mass. The 98B gives you a good solid thump to the shoulder when firing. By contrast, the .416 Barrett in the 82A1 shakes your whole body. The 98B weighs 12.4-13.5 pounds (depending on configuration) and starts at $5039.99 without optics. Speaking of optics, the hooded display on top of the 98B is a Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS). This $1500.00 gadget provides a digital read-out of your actual ballistics settings. It doesn’t control windage and elevation — that is still done manually with the scope knobs. BORS is an integrated electronic ballistic computer that mounts directly on the riflescope and couples to the elevation knob. Just turn the elevation knob until the LCD displays the target’s actual range (which must be pre-determined). The BORS’ three internal sensors automatically calculate a ballistic solution, compensating for up/down angle, temperature, and barometric pressure changes. It even tells you if the rifle is canted. It’s a handy device that eliminates the possibility that you loose track of your turret settings.
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January 28th, 2010
Savage Arms caused quite a stir at Media Day when it unveiled its new 110 BA big-bore tactical rifle. The 110 BA is initially available in two chamberings: 300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua Magnum. The .338 version of this rifle is Savage’s first-ever .338 Lapua Magnum, and it is VERY affordable compared to .338 LM tactical rifles from other manufacturers. We predict this gun will be a big hit with shooters who want the long-range capability of the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge but who don’t want to sell the farm to acquire a capable rifle. Once the initial demand settles down, you should be able to find a 110 BA for around $2000 (not including optics).
NOTE: Jason removed his eye protection for this photo. We recommend that shooters ALWAYS wear ANSI-certified eye protection.
The 110 BA gun comes complete with a detachable box magazine (DBM), target grip with base, a +20 MOA scope rail, and Picatinny accessory rails ahead of the action and on the side of the chassis. The stock has a comfortable cheekpiece that adjusts for height using a handy rotary knob. A similar knob controls the buttpad position, allowing you to “dial in” length of pull. As you’d expect, the 110 BA features a Savage Accutrigger.
CLICK HERE for large photo of Savage 110 BA (shows buttstock details)
On the gun we tested, the AccuTrigger broke clean and crisp under 2.5 pounds, with little overtravel. Fitted with an oversize bolt handle from the factory, the action was smooth in operation and effortlessly fed and extracted the big .338 LM cartridges. The gun demonstrated good accuracy with Hornady .338 Lapua Mag factory ammo, allowing Jason to make a first-round hit at about 800 yards. Jason liked the gun, telling us it “feels solid and well-balanced”. Jason did note that the large muzzle brake creates quite a side-blast. When this Editor was taking video, Jason warned me to get out of the way of the blast. I moved back behind the shooter, but even there, the brake’s blast could be felt.
Quality Big-Bore Tactical for under Two Grand
The 110 BA establishes a new, affordable price point for a true big-bore tactical rifle. Both the 300 Win Mag and the 338 Lapua Mag versions have an MSRP of just $2267.00. We expect to see the “street price” on these rifles peg below $2000.00. That makes the .338 LM version of the 110 BA one of the most affordable .338 Lapua magnum tactical rifles yet offered to the public.
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