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Desert Tactical SRS .338 Lapua

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Maverick223, Mar 5, 2009.

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  1. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Any thoughts on this or any other [somewhat] reasonably priced .338 LM? I always have liked "big-boy-guns" and have wanted a truly long range rifle for awhile and think this might fit the bill. I really like the idea of this rifle, but the AR-30 is soooo cheap @ <$2k.
     
  2. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Any thoughts...

    Anyone even heard of it?...know what a .338 LM is? :confused:
     
  3. TRGRHPY

    TRGRHPY Member

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    Looks like a nice rifle from what I've seen of it. I have an AR10 right now and I have a strong feeling that a 338LM may be my next long gun. I just read an article on that rifle and it looked fairly decent. I also read an article on the Barrett as well...I know I have some time until I have to decide so I'll have to keep my eyes open...and if you get one in the meantime, please keep us informed on how things go.

    What are you shooting for a long gun right now?
     
  4. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Only long range rifle I currently own is a Browning A-Bolt in .270WSM. It is reasonably accurate at the ranges it was intended for (pretty good out to about 600M), but not at the kind of range that I would like to achieve (1k +). :D Will likely trade the rifle after buying a .338, and get another A-bolt in .308 (cheaper to shoot and equally effective for deer) or possibly even .243. I will certainly put together a range report if I purchase either of the aforementioned .338s or if I find another within my budget (AI isn't really an option). If you find one please do the same.
     
  5. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    The Sako TRG-42 looks pretty good, but what about the price? I like it a bit better than the AR-30. It has much better lines.
     
  6. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Do you already have a proper long-range rifle? If not, I strongly, strongly recommend getting something in a cheaper, more manageable, easier-to-learn-on caliber than .338LM (or any "magnum" caliber).

    D100_3368_img.jpg
    article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part I - Rifle & Equipment extwh3.png

    I don't know anything about your background, so don't take this the wrong way. Skill is much, much more important in making long-range hits than caliber or rifle or equipment (provided they are just merely adequate). The way to get skill and experience is through a lot of proper practice and training. Calibers such as .308, .260, 6.5x47, 6XC, etc, and much better for this than magnum calibers. They have small fractions of the recoil, are cheaper to shoot by usually a 2x+ margin, are "legal" in many more matches, etc. If you just want to hit stuff really, really far away (say 1250 plus), you can do that with 6XC, 243, 6.5-284, 7RM, 7WSM, etc.

    I did a review of the TRG-42 here

    03_icon.jpg
    article | Military .338 Lapua Magnum Rifles: the Sako TRG-42 and the AI-AWSM extwh3.png

    The .338LM is a great round (and I've shot thousands of rounds of it), but realistically, I replicate the 300gr SMK .338LM load using my 7mm RM, and if I could own only one or two proper long-range rifles, neither of them would likely be the 338LM (maybe #3 ;) )

    I have no experience with the DT SRS, other than handling it a little bit at SHOT show '08. I haven't seen one used at any of our matches out here.

    The AR-30 is a very economical gun (as is its big brother the AR-50), but I would not characterize it as very "field-use friendly." For shooting from a fixed range, it's a fine gun and reportedly (from a shooting buddy) is more accurate than one might believe from its skinny barrel.

    The TRG-42 is a great deal value/price wise, just watch the accessories' prices! For a serious and proven factory 338LM rifle, it's probably the cheapest way into a very high quality gun.

    Don't overlook the .338RUM as the "poor man's .338 Lapua". It duplicates the Lapua ballistics, and you should be able to buy an off the shelf Remington 700 in this caliber.

    Hope this helps,
    Zak
     
  7. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    No, the best I have is the Browning in 270WSM, although accurate I want something that surpasses it's accuracy (especially in range), and with a bit more long range energy (the .270 drops below 1k ft/lbs after about 600M).
    They are not available until "Mid-Summer this Year" IIRC. However, they do guarantee 0.5MOA groups.
     
  8. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Even the .260 has over 1000 ftlbs at 750 yards. The problem with the .270 is BC, not caliber or "power."
     
  9. TRGRHPY

    TRGRHPY Member

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    When I say it may be the next long gun I get, I'm talking years from now...I have a lot of learning to do in the meantime.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  10. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Zak makes very good points.

    You could easily get things out to 1000 yards, while learning a lot more with any number of more economical cartridges. If you're planning on reloading for this gun, you'll only save more money while learning even more. :)
     
  11. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Thanks for the replies...

    I certainly do, both to lower the cost and achieve the best performance out of the firearm.

    Also I am a bit picky...I must have a 60 degree bolt handle (no Rem 700s) and would prefer a bullpup configuration due to its superior handling characteristics IMHO. While the SRS does meet both, it is not terribly cheap (although not terribly expensive), with little variability in price due to caliber (it is also available in .243, .308, and .300 WM).

    The .308 has far too short a barrel (only 22", if they made it in 26"+ I would be all over it) and the .243 is far too light a cartridge if I decide to take it long range Elk hunting. I wouldnt mind also having the .243 bbl, however I have not decided if it is worth the additional $1200.00 USD. The .300 WM would also be a viable option if it were appreciably cheaper than the .338, but at $100 less, I will pay the difference, even with the exhorbitant cost of ammo. I fear that if I start out with a lighter version, the one I really want (.338LM) will become unavailable, and therefore I don't want to start with a lighter cartridge.

    While possibly not the best platform to fine tune my shooting skill I can handle the recoil, even without a brake (although one will be added). I have shot .375 H&H and .416 Rigby and rather like the cartridges (Enough so that I think I may purchase a .458 Lott which I have never fired). Also, the more I study other platforms the more reasons I come up with to go back to the SRS, I simply like the gun.
     
  12. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    Take a look at the 338-378 weatherby, 60 degree bolt lift, accumark with factory brake is a pussy cat to shoot and they are pretty accurate. We have shot my little bros out to 800 yds with factory 250 noslers and its fun. IMHO...IF you have the skill to shoot at elk at extended range this is an outstanding round. I highly reccomend NOT shooting elk any farther than you can make a good solid hit on the first shot. For some thats about 200 yds. For some who practice alot and in good conditions hitting an elk at 500 yards is doable.

    the 338-378 with out the brake installed KICKS. It is much worse than my 375 HnH. Infact shooting the 338-378 with no brake is only the second rifle ever to bounce a scope off my face. First was a light weight 30-06 with healthy hand loads that had the stock cut down for a midgit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  13. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Looked at it...don't like it :neener:
    Other than complete unavailability it is a fine cartridge. Don't get me wrong I very much intend to reload for this rifle, I just don't want to be tethered to the press. I don't know of any local gunshops that have .338 LM, but at least I can order the stuff. Also brass for the Lapua is very strong, especially if Lapua brass. Also to my knowledge no manufacturer produces a rifle chambered for the .338-378. The .338-378 must be necked down (unless you know where the custom brass can be purchased). That is the bad thing about wildcats, if I could have any cartridge, it would be a .300 LM, but it has the same issues.

    Also just because I am able to shoot the cartridge, doesn't mean I can accurately, or even want to. A brake will be on this rifle (if in .338). Thanks for the reply, carry on [insert saluting smilie here :D].
     
  14. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Update

    I have since decided on the gun...unless I find something better real quick...it will be the Desert Tactical SRS. Now I think I have changed my mind on the caliber. :banghead: I am now leaning towards the .300WM. Any thoughts? Please keep in mind that the rifle is only available in .243, .308, .300WM, and .338LM. I don't too much care for the .308 due to the short bbl (22"). Thanks to all who has replied, thanks in advance to all who will. :D
     
  15. RedNoma

    RedNoma Member

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    A 22" barrel will be plenty in .308. A longer barrel would go against your handling needs as well.
     
  16. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I like the price of the .308 ammunition, however match grade .300WM comes pretty close, and it goes without saying the long range ballistics are much better. On the other hand I have been told that a barrel extension is available for the .308 (making it 26" in length), I just don't know what effect this extension will have on the accuracy. I refuse to add a extension for the additional velocity if it is at the cost of accuracy.
     
  17. RonE

    RonE Member

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    It is good that you were able to make a decision. Zac is in the long range shooting business and is extremely knowledgeable.

    Educating yourself is a great thing, by reading some of the reloading manuals you will find that certain easy to make wildcat cartridges will outperform certain factory rounds with heavier bullets and less powder. You will also find that there are cartridges (factory and wildcat) that use a lot more powder to gain very little. Take a look at some of the Ackley Improved rounds, the STW rounds and the .30-338 Win Mag, the .30-378 Wby Mag and perhaps the .300 Pegasus and the .416 Barret (shooting solid bullets with very high BC's)

    As for the .338LM, take a look and compare it to the .340 Weatherby Mag.
     
  18. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Thanks for the reply, unfortunately, none of the above are available in that particular platform, perhaps a .30-338 or a .30-378 will be available for it when I get ready for the second bbl. That would be ideal, as I feel certain that as my long range skills improve, I will find the .300WM's ballistics to be too constricting and search for a better long range cartridge (at the moment the .338LM). But for now it is looking like a .300WM will be the winner. It will certainly be MUCH cheaper to shoot, and while the gun may be purdy to look at, I don't buy art to hang on the wall. :D This gun (as well as any that I own or will own) will be shot as frequently as I can afford the time and ammunition to do so. ;)
     
  19. Albert A Rasch

    Albert A Rasch Member

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    Hey there fellows,

    I've fired the DT SRS in 308 and 338LM.

    The targets where set at 500 meters and I swept them. Now I want to clarify that I do a fair bit of shooting, it was from the bench, and it wore a Schmidt and Bender that cost as much as the rifle system if not more.

    The recoil on the 338 was very well managed by the stock design, and on the 308 it was negligible.

    Ammo cost on the 338 runs about $4 per round (commercial loads from Lapua)

    I am told that the 300 WM is an excellent choice in the rifle. Don't know as I didn't try it, but if the 308 could smack steel targets at 500M, the 300WM should do fine also. The system is well thought out, and as accurate as the person behind it.

    I would behoove a purchaser to seriously think about the glass he puts on it. If you are going to use it for its intended purpose, don't skimp on the glass!

    Regards,
    Albert A Rasch
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
    The Range Reviews: Tactical
     
  20. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Thank you very much for the review; I am excited to see someone that has actually used the weapon system. What are your recommendations on the caliber? My requirements: It must be able to achieve 500M (glad to know that it can), It should be able to reach out 1000M+ and buck the wind well. I will use it to shoot about 500M regularly and want it to have the capacity to go out to 1000M+ as my skill improves. Also, it would be great if I could afford to shoot it, although $4.00US for Lapua brass isn't sounding that bad. If I go that route I will have to consider buying the commercial loads and saving the casings for reload (P.S.: where do you get Lapua .338LM that cheap?). :D
     
  21. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    You better not behoove me! :neener: I have put a great deal of thought into glass and decided, not to listen to most of the "knowledgeable people" I have spoken to, as I have gotten some pretty screwy answers. Everything from Simmons :barf: , Burris :scrutiny: , and Millett :uhoh: to Swarovski and Leupold (when someone recommends leo-pold in concerns me :eek: ). I won't say that all of the above are bad (although IMHO most are), some are just bad for the money.

    To end my tirade, I have decided to go with what I like. I have always thought Zeiss/Hensoldt had the best glass, so I have elected to go with IOR (they are cheaper and use the same glass) in a 6-24x50mm or 9-36x56mm (leaning towards the 6-24 due to the smaller objective). Any opinions that do not include Leupold or glass in the sub-$800 range is welcome. Also, I can't afford the rifle and S&B, so we know who wins... :D
     
  22. RedNoma

    RedNoma Member

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    Just out of curiousity what are the actual distances you'll be realisticly shooting? A 300WM should get you to 1200-1500yds.
     
  23. RedNoma

    RedNoma Member

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    Also in the broad >$800 scope range I have no experience, but have heard great things from Nightforce and USoptics, along with your mentioned choices.
     
  24. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Member

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    I like the 300 and it reaches out there just fine.
     
  25. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Sorry for the slow response...I have to work occasionally :neener:. After putting alot of thought into I am still a bit indecisive. The .300WM is a fine cartridge and performs well, but the .338LM is likely the type of performance that I will end up wanting in the future. I will begin shooting at 500M, and will likely continue at that distance until I gain enough proficiency to start moving out further. I will likely end up moving up to the sub-sunic range of whatever round I choose (and at about a mile the .338 is very tempting). On the other hand I am currently not good enough for the .338LM. I the conversion was priced more affordably it would be a no-brainer...get the .300WM then move up to the .338LM at a later date (or even buy both now). At the moment the .300WM is looking like my starter cartridge. :D
     
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