Shooting Long Range With Ashbury Precision
Ordnance’s .338 Lapua Rifle.
Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) is an upscale, highly technical and innovative company that, among other things, manufactures the SABER-FORSST modular rifle chassis system. They are also the main distributer of the Vector series of rangefinder equipment.
Some people shoot beyond the crowd who “sight in 2 inches above the bull at 100 yards, and it is good for 250 yards.” In fact, at the ranges people are shooting these days the kit requires a decent rangefinder, ballistic software, great optics, and the gun itself must shoot better than very well.
But what if your rangefinder would reliably range objects as far away 6 miles, your ballistic software could take instructions from the rangefinder, and the rifle could make a 1,500-yard shot?
APO markets one. I tested it over a 3-month period here on the coast at 75 degrees and in Montana at 7,000 feet and 35 degrees. The rifle is APO’s .338 Lapua Magnum mounted in their modular chassis system stock and sporting a 5-25x56mm PM II Schmidt & Bender scope, a Surgeon action, and a hand-lapped, match-grade barrel.
The Surgeon action is smooth and up to the task for the big cartridge, and the 2-stage trigger was reasonably light with no creep and very slight overtravel. The action is bedded to the modular stock as-is with no bedding compounds. The rail is one piece from the action to the front of the carbon-fiber forearm, to which a bottom rail had also been added. Rails can also be added to the sides for lights or other gear.
The rifle weighs in at about 15 pounds without the scope, rings, sling and loaded magazine. The mag took 10 rounds. The folding buttstock is easily removed and so is the forearm and barrel. The chassis system is also available for other action configurations.
APO sent several rounds of RUAG’s 300-grain ammo. I spent some time on several occasions shooting at 100, 600, 1,000 yards and points in between. The ammo printed less than 1 inch at 100 yards, but I had a bit of difficulty at longer ranges. I could not determine why. Jacob Bynum of Rifles Only loaned me some Lapua 250-grain Scenar ammo, which solved whatever problem I was having. I had good luck as well with Black Hills 300-grain Match ammo. The Lapua 250-grain Scenars printed 3.7 inches at 600 yards, which is little more than 0.5 MOA. We shot at 600, 700, 800 and 1,000 yards at steel, hitting them reasonably well in about 0.8 mils of wind at 1,000 yards.
The temperature was about 80 degrees and the elevation approximately 75 feet. The Surgeon action continued to work flawlessly. The edges of the barrel’s lands are the sloped variety, and looking through my borescope, they are a little worn. I assume this rifle is one used for demonstration and consignment to writers. Still, the rifle shot well.
This A2 model carries a 10-round magazine and an adjustable field monopod in the
front with a tactical bipod up front. The white paper on the side, just above the
magazine, is a quick guide if the decision is made to use the S&B hashmarks instead
of dialing the elevation turret.
Jacob (standing, middle) and fellow shooters getting their dope figured out at 1,000
yards in the hills of Montana, having just arrived from the coast of Texas. APO’s
.338 Lapua Magnum Asymmetric Warrior is out front. Photo: Bruce Smetana.
Waiting for the long shot, APO’s Asymmetric Warrior in .338 Lapua Magnum is up
to the task. The Vector 21 long-range rangefinder is an able companion, offering
ranging capabilities out to 7+ miles.
It was mid-November, and temperatures were running from about 30 to 45 degrees with some brisk winds. I had made a guess on my ballistic software of 30 degrees and 7,000 feet prior to leaving Texas, which turned out to be right on the money.
My spotter called low and gave me a 1-mil come-up. I shot high, came down a bit for the second and then a bit more on the third shot, finally hitting the steel at 1,000 yards. I looked at the dial and then the software. Identical.
I left the setting as-is and let two other guys in the party shoot the rifle. All were hits after that on the 1,000-yard steel. At 7,000 feet and 3,000 fps velocity, it took 6 mils to make the hit at 1,000 yards. The software read 22.9 barometric pressure, whereas it was 29.92 in Texas. In Texas at 60 feet elevation and about 80 degrees it took 6.5 mils to hit. That is an 18-inch difference. Enough for a substantial miss. There is another interesting point to be made. Many use a lethality factor for elk of about 3,000 if adding velocity and energy together. In Texas that would be around 1,150 yards. However, in Montana the range would be extended to 1,400 yards. The velocity in Texas at 1,150 yards is 1,600 fps. In Montana at 1,400 yards it is 1,600 fps. That is, the lethality factor is much extended at the higher altitude.
The rifle is heavy enough and the muzzlebrake works well enough to see splash. That is a big plus with a 250- to 300-grain bullet moving out of the muzzle at about 3,000 fps. When shooting long range, you need a rifle that moves straight to the rear and without muzzle rise, giving you the opportunity to see where the bullet hits. If not, you need a very experienced spotter to do that for you.
You also need a lot of practice to make hits. Try that with a light thunderboomer. If a fellow shooting a 7-pound rifle in the big magnum class shoots more than 20 to 30 rounds per year, I would be surprised. If you have a friend with one who says the rifle does not shoot well, try this: Offer to load single rounds on the loading ramp while he is shooting. After doing a few like that, put a fired case in the chamber without his knowledge. You may see immediately why the rifle does not shoot well.
The Ashbury Precision Ordnance Asymmetric Warrior is an extraordinary rifle. It was designed and built with long-range precision shooting foremost in mind. It took many long years of thought, input and trial and error machining until it is the rifle of today. APO only uses very high quality products in and on their modular chassis.
The forearm of the chassis system uses carbon fiber to reduce mirage off the barrel
and dissipate heat. Rails ride the top and bottom. Rails can also be added to the
sides to accommodate lights, NVD, infrared or the like. Note also the several holes
in the both the rear and the front of the rifle to accommodate a sling. In this
view there are three in the bottom rail and one just behind the carbon fiber.
The butt folds forward to reduce length. This feature is employed with the press
of a button. The button is very secure, making it nearly impossible to fold without
meaning to do so.
Here, the foldable stock has been rotated into the firing position. The cheekpiece is
lowered or raised by turning the screw shown in the detent of the cheekpiece.
The bolt handle side of the rifle is where the buttons are located to raise the
heekpiece and change the engagement height of the buttplate. The rail has a
slope of 40-MOA for long-range shooting.
The buttplate is raised and extended using the two buttons in gray. The monopod
folds up nicely when not in use. This system is extremely flexible, fitting
almost any body size or shooting technique.
ASW Precision Tactical Rifle
Maker: Ashbury Precision Ordnance Mfg.
P.O. Box 8024
Charlottesville, VA 22906
Action: Bolt action, Surgeon XL-II Repeater
Caliber: .338 Lapua Mag (tested), .223, 6.5 CM, .308 Win, .300 WM, .338 NM, and .50 BMG
Barrel: 27 inches, integrated muzzlebrake and suppressor system
Trigger: Huber Tactical 2-Stage
Scope rings: SABER EO
Scope rail: 30 MOA Standard, 0, 20, 40, and 60 MOA optional
Hand grip: ErgoGrip, Magpul M1AD
Grip angle Adaptors: 17.5 degrees standard, 11 and 27 degrees optional
Surface coatings: MIL-STD 810G Corrosion Resistant, Dull and Non-reflective
Color: OD chassis & barreled action (tested, other colors available)
Weight: 15.5 pounds, 27-inch barrel (approx.)
Price: $8,550 (base), $8,750 (A2 Model tested)
Black Hills Ammunition
3050 Eglin St., Rapid City, SD 57703
Graf & Sons, Inc.
4050 S. Clark, Mexico, MO 65265
19775 Belmont Executive Plaza
Suite 550 Ashburn, VA 20147