A well-made long-range rifle in .338 Lapua.

Even in boom times, with money no object, there can’t be a big market for a rifle/scope combo retailing at close to $5,000, shooting ammunition at $6 per shot. We’re all after value these days—I know I am—but even when we drive secondhand economy cars it can still be fun to read about the latest Ferrari or Maserati on occasion.

Recently my friend Chris put together a very impressive long-range shooting package, and was kind enough to let me borrow it (provided I supplied my own ammunition!). The rifle is a Sako TRG-42 in .338 Lapua, with the optional muzzlebrake and factory bipod. The scope is a Nightforce 5.5-22×56.

The TRG-42 is built around the Sako long action with three locking lugs. Bolt lift is just 60 degrees, giving lots of clearance between bolt handle and scope. The action feeds from a detachable 5-shot magazine, double stack tapering to a single feed. The straight-line design provides exceptionally smooth feeding. Cycling is so smooth and effortless; I checked a couple of times to see if a round had in fact been fed into the chamber (it had).

The barrel is 27-1/8″ long (not including the muzzlebrake), hammer forged and with a 1:10″ twist in .338 Lapua. The barreled action is bolted to a very strong, rigid aluminum/polyurethane stock. The barrel is free floated with lots of space under the barrel. Forget the old sporting-rifle test of passing a dollar bill under the barrel to see if it is floating freely. There’s enough space for this whole magazine to fit.

The rifle is made for military and police duty, and for long-range competition shooters, with adjustments in just about every conceivable way to fit the individual. The cheekpiece is adjustable both vertically and horizontally. The buttplate can be adjusted for length of pull, height and pitch.

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