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Another New Sniper Rifle on the Block

by Ward Carroll on October 9, 2007

trg-42.jpg

It is described by its manufacturer as a middle option between the range and power of a .50cal Barrett and a 308 Remington. And forget the SR-25/Mk11/XM-110 (but well get to that in later posts).

Say hello to the Sako TRG-42, a new sniper rifle offered by the folks at Beretta.

It seems that with the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan still at a simmer, theres been a lot of attention paid to sniper rifles and some rethinking of how the military should equip them.

The Marine Corps built on the traditions of bolt-action aficionado Gunny Carlos Hathcock reluctantly dipped its toe into the semi-auto world with an experimental introduction of the Knights Armament SR-25 to sniper teams in Iraq. Many loved it, but sometimes a bolt-action rifle is what you want for long shots.

The current M40 barreled for the .308 round is dependable and can reach out and touch someone at about 1,000 meters. But the TRG-42 is designed for the sniper who wants a little more range like 2,300 meters, says Beretta firearms instructor, Corey Gumbert without having to carry the heavy .50 Barrett rifle.

Gumbert said his company has handed over a few of the .338 Lapua-chambered TRG-42s to the Marine Corps and so far they like them.

The rifle holds a five-round magazine, has a collapsible and adjustable composite stock and has been configured for the Marines with a 20 barrel. That short barrel, combined with the collapsible stock, allows the TRG-42 to be easily packed on a snipers back without announcing to the enemy his specialized mission.

Christian

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

BWJones October 9, 2007 at 10:41 am

Might I mention that the folks at Accuracy International have been shipping a 338 Lapua chambered platform for years now and I’ve always been impressed by it.

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chs October 9, 2007 at 10:58 am

Please, this is defensetech, can we get something straight? It’s a magazine, not a clip. “clip” is a term used for magazines by gang bangers and Hollywood.
Defensetech should know what a magazine is.

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Christian Lowe October 9, 2007 at 11:04 am

Duly noted ‘chs’ and fixed. But I’m wondering, you read the whole article and that’s ALL you have to say about it? Hmmm…

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22lr October 9, 2007 at 11:21 am

This is a gun is a real killer (literary). To bad it ain’t American, o wait there is one, by Barret in .338 lapua, it even looks suspiciously like this one. Anyway a good gun, good caliper, and by a good company. I have always called my Mags, Clips, its a lot easier to say. O well maybe it just me.

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Christian Lowe October 9, 2007 at 11:53 am

Thanks for the backup ’22lr’…That’s how I heard ‘em called pretty often in the sandbox. Maybe ‘chs’ is a range instructor or something.

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Camp October 9, 2007 at 12:15 pm

The TRG-42 & TRG-22 are nice, but they’re not all that new.
http://www.sako.fi/trg_42.php?#

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Chuck October 9, 2007 at 12:33 pm

I’ve always objected to the pedantic view that “its a magazine, not a clip”.
First, words change meaning over time. If people generally refer to it as a clip, then, guess what… its a clip.
Second, if you want to be pedantic, the term “magazine” really only refers to the box with a spring in it that the cartridges go in while a clip only refers to the metal thing that holds a group of bullets together. Neither one refers to the entire assemblage.
Third, in many repeating firearms, the magazine is non-removable and the bullets are either inserted one-at-a-time, or are connected in a clip, which is pressed down into the magazine. So a clip is what holds multiple bullets when they are not in the gun, while the magazine is merely the spring loaded box the bullets are in when they are in the gun. So it is not illogical to me to continue to refer to the thing that holds multiple bullets when they are not in the gun as a “clip”.
It wouldn’t be the first time in English that the underlying object changed design, but we still use the word for it that no longer applies literally:
- Anyone “dialed” a phone recently?
- We still refer to it as “filming” a movie, even though digital cameras are often used now.

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Christian Lowe October 9, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Camp…what is new is the fact that the Corps is taking a serious look at it…

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Camp October 9, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Christian… Sorry about that. The ’42′ has been on my ‘to get list’ for a while now, so I was surprised to see the word ‘New’ next to it. Maybe this is just a sign to unass the AO and pick one up. :) Cheers!

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elizzar October 9, 2007 at 5:26 pm

strategypage had some news of this, but from a british angle …
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/articles/20071009.aspx
guess defensetech has to be yee-haa america rules only, eh?
:-)

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Roy Smith October 9, 2007 at 5:32 pm

I was looking up on the internet rifles that chamber the .338 Lapua round after reading about it on Strategypage.com.Could somebody put up a complete list of rifles that fire the .338 Lapua Round? I couldn’t find the Barrett rifle on the internet,at least not on the Barrett website.

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22lr October 9, 2007 at 8:46 pm

The Barret rifle is the M98 it is Semi auto gas operated. Just Google, Barret M98, you should get a lot of results.

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BT October 9, 2007 at 9:11 pm

8.6mm x 70mm! I am in love. I’d take that round over the 7.62mm anyday. I have fired the .338 and it is has some recoil, for sure. The ballistic charts on the 8.6 x 70mm are amazing, especially over a 1000m.
It is a much more practical and accurate round for ‘human’ targets than the .50 cal. I guess one could make a case for the .408 or .416, but those are not proven rounds like the .338.
I hope the USMC adpots them en masse.
BTW-I wonder however, if L4 body armor can stop a 8.6mmAP? Something tells me it does not. Nasty round.

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ear October 9, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I don’t believe there is a such thing as an M98 Barrett, but rather an M82A1, which is the semi-auto version…

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22lr October 9, 2007 at 9:34 pm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett_M98
I hate giving Wiki as a reference but o well. Funny thing is Barret dosnt mention the rifle on their website, not sure what to think of that. And i was thinking of a different weapon that looked similar to the 42, my bad. Barret makes a good one, and im not sure if anyone else even makes a semi one.

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Robert Robinson October 9, 2007 at 10:49 pm

If a magazine on a destroyer blows up, what part of
the ship is that in? All these years I thought the
magazine was the end of the barrel you put the bullet in.

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Xavier October 10, 2007 at 12:34 am

Accuracy International has several systems in .338 Lapua. These are in fact the standard sniper rifles of the British Army, and are the best in the world. Period. Yes, even better than the M40. .338 is the ultimate soft target round and I’d love to see our forces adopt it and turn aside the .308 which I think is kept around simply for logistical reasons. A more pressing need, however, would be to upgrade the .223 to something with more stopping power. Hopefully such a caliber will be considered once the M16 is laid to rest or refined ala HK416. I’ve shot an SR-25 albeit not a milspec but it is a fine piece of kit regardless. A designated marksman rifle such as the SR25 should be standard for every infantry squad out there.

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Razorskarr October 10, 2007 at 3:04 am

Roy Smith,
I don’t think I could give you a complete list but I think there may be some big game rifles that have the option of being chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. IIRC the .338LM is based on a .416 Rigby case so some of the larger Mauser &/or Enfield action rifles. Voere’s XXL Safari Rifle being one example.
http://www.voere.com/html/modell_xxl.html#Seitenbeginn
Empire Rifles can also supply you with one.
http://www.empirerifles.com/Cartridges.htm
I think Unique Alpine’s TPG-1 is a bit sportier (I hear the young people spurn the classic “white hunter” look).
http://www.unique-alpine.com/index2.html
I’d imagine if you’re getting a rifle custom made any platform that will take .416+ rounds will have the option to take .338 Lapua Magnum.
If the budget is tighter than that, I think for the average shooter an off-the-shelf rifle in .338-378 Weatherby Magnum would be near-as-dammit.
That’s what I’d Do.

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john a tucker jr. October 10, 2007 at 4:00 am

sako TRGS in 338 lapua has ben around for about 10 years or more stroger imporated them in 80- 90 es

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Tom Meyer October 10, 2007 at 7:09 am

The magazine holds ammunition, Robert. The end of the barrel where the round goes is the chamber.

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glen October 10, 2007 at 7:30 am

thought you might find this article interesting
pete

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JOHN IBRAHIM October 10, 2007 at 8:50 am

Giving the terrorist marines and terrorist invading army the .338 rifle will increase terrorism.

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martin October 10, 2007 at 9:31 am

what an idiot

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Wes October 10, 2007 at 9:55 am

You don’t have to go bigger to get good ballistics.
Take a look at the 6.5-284
For a light rifle good past 1000 meters, it can’t be beat.

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Roy Smith October 10, 2007 at 10:05 am

How about the Bushmaster copy of the AR-15 rifle that fires .45-caliber rounds,or how about .45-caliber rounds in general? Would those be considered “elephant gun” rounds? Just curious & wondering how they would be used?

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Tacmedic October 10, 2007 at 10:17 am

Funny, Its’ been my experience that the British sniping community is a source to be consulted and listened to… Is that not a program that the U.S. has consulted for going on a century? And how long have they been employing .338 Lapua??
Give our triggers the tool for the job…Not simply a system to use what 7.62×51 we have left over or can get at any surplus outlet…
Believe me, as a field medic, you don’t want to be on the business end of this round. Not in FMJ, or any other configuration….

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John Cone October 10, 2007 at 11:07 am

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but Armalite has offered their AR-30 rifle in .338 Lapua for quite some time. I don’t think I’d like to carry one in the field, but for police snipers who can drive to their place of duty, not too bad…

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Carl Trimble October 10, 2007 at 12:46 pm

As a former Navy destroyerman whose battle station was in the magazine of a destroyer loading ammunition, the magazine is deep within the hull of the ship. It is below the gun mount. Ammunition is fed upward into the gun. If the magazine blows, the ship is history. The magazine is the store house for the ammunition until it is needed in the gun. Our gun on the USS Somers (DD947) was the 5″54caliber which could put out over 40 rounds per minute if I remember correctly.That was from 1959 to 1963.

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Phil L. October 10, 2007 at 1:22 pm

The Marines have stressed marksmanship since they were organized. There are a number of manufacturers of the .338 Lapua, Dakota Arms offers the “Longbow”, Accuracy International offers the AW. I amnot sure if Tactical Operations offers a .338 Lapua in any of their Rem. 700 based sniper rifles, but I would not be surprised. Information on the .338 Lapua can be had at Lapua’s website. The 7.62 Nato round in the hands of Marine Sniper Scouts is deadly even out to those extreme ranges od 1000 yds. but the holdover is enormous, something like 17′ if the rifle is zeroed at 600 yds. The Lapua has better trajectory w/less hold over. But of course you need the Schmidt-Bender PM II 8x-25×56 Rifle Scope for that kind of shooting. Semper Fi!

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R.Riordan October 10, 2007 at 1:37 pm

I was a Gunnersmate 3rd class in Vietnam(NSA DaNang)on the U-Boats up in Hue”. I would gladly trade my M-60′s for a MG42 anyday. What a machine gun those Krauts engineered and is just as deadly today for belted 7.62.

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Roy Smith October 10, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Remington has the M24A3 Sniper Weapon System that fires the .338 Lapua Round.

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3Tanker33 October 10, 2007 at 5:29 pm

I can attest to the stopping power of the .338 [Magnum] having seen a 500lb bull elk dropped in its tracks with one round in the neck. Bigger and faster is always better!

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Jeff October 11, 2007 at 1:45 am

Magazine, clip. Who cares? It’s a box-that-makes-bullets-come-out-of-barrel-faster-thingy.

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jeager October 11, 2007 at 2:33 am

A 20 inch barrel?!?!?!?
why bother?!?!?

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Andy October 11, 2007 at 9:28 am

Could someone please explain to an ignorant novice like me about distances.
In the article, the mentioned range is 2300m, yet on the Lapua website, it says “Our much-copied paragon of quality and accuracy has an effective range up to 1500 meters”

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Gary October 11, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Finland’s Sako company probably invented the modern military sniping rifle in their war with the Soviets before WW2.

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norther October 13, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Looking for a long range rifle??
I do have a new Sako Trg in cal 300 wm, and I can tell you this: loaded with the high bc 155 grs Scenar bullets, it sure is a hard hitting even at 1000 yds, and the accuracy is outstanding!!!!!

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SGM E PANTANO October 29, 2007 at 6:57 pm

Back a few years – we tried the 30-338 Cartridge as a Sniper Rifle..
It went over well with us Shooters..and was a 1500 meter rifle with no problem..
But – the Powers at the time said no…
I have built many of them – and still have mine…
I’d put it up against ANY sniper on the market today..
top

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SGM E PANTANO October 29, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Back a few years – we tried the 30-338 Cartridge as a Sniper Rifle..
It went over well with us Shooters..and was a 1500 meter rifle with no problem..
But – the Powers at the time said no…
I have built many of them – and still have mine…
I’d put it up against ANY sniper on the market today..
top

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m. backes November 30, 2007 at 10:08 pm

The best you can have, and you would know this if you have used it AS-50 cal.

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J Stewart December 12, 2007 at 3:53 am

The 20″ tube will preclude 2000+meter shots, but if you are that far away call in Arty or air support, or stalk closer! Clip-goes in a Garand, also known as an enbloc clip, magazine, a multiplicity of meanings, is also the 20 rd device that snaps into the mag well of an m-14. As always in long range marksmanship, it’s the shooter, not the delivery system. An earlier comment on the 6.5×284, the same traj as a 300 Win Mag/WSM with 1/2 the recoil is a guarantee for more hits and greater precision and if it’s head shots who cares what body armour they are wearing.

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Saigonjohn December 12, 2007 at 3:55 am

The 20″ tube will preclude 2000+meter shots, but if you are that far away call in Arty or air support, or stalk closer! Clip-goes in a Garand, also known as an enbloc clip, magazine, a multiplicity of meanings, is also the 20 rd device that snaps into the mag well of an m-14. As always in long range marksmanship, it’s the shooter, not the delivery system. An earlier comment on the 6.5×284, the same traj as a 300 Win Mag/WSM with 1/2 the recoil is a guarantee for more hits and greater precision and if it’s head shots who cares what body armour they are wearing.

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fmJK-47 December 16, 2007 at 10:49 pm

It looks nice but what are the production costs? is it really worth the amount it takes to manufacture it?
I don’t see whats wrong with using the current rifles we have in the field. The M40A3 in 7.62 and the Barrett M82A3 in .50 BMG have proven themselves in the field as accurate reliable weapons that have their own niche on the battlefield and achieves it very well. Why improve something that doesn’t need improvement.

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P.J. Busche August 4, 2008 at 8:07 am

Outstanding weapon! But I have two questions:
1. Does the 338 Lapua Magnum really offer any significant performance over other more common 338 calibers such as the 340 Weatherby Magnum and 338 Winchester Magnum?
2. Is a 20-inch barrel really enough to gain the increased potential of the 338 Lapua Magnum? Most comercially sold magnum-caliber rifles are usually sold with 24 or 26-inch barrels.

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delphi October 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Tactical Warfighter did an interesting piece on sniper craft at http://www.TacticalWarfighterGear.com

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R December 14, 2008 at 5:25 am

“Barret in .338 lapua, it even looks suspiciously like this one”
Post a link.
The TRG design dates back to the 80s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sako_TRG

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Rhyno327 May 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

Looks like something the Brits use. RM’s in mountain warfare school were using a .338 Lapua rnd with thier rifle. Looks familiar.

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Albert June 6, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Looks like a hunters gun rather than a new “rifle.”

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rhacker February 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Today’s sandbox snipers want/neet a gas gun, not a bolt gun. The need for quick follow-up shots far exceeds the need for a 2300 meter bolt gun. Come on guys, how about designing a sub-moa gas gun for our snipers that can reach out there and touch the bad guys!!

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RONIN McCLOUD June 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

Why are we still buying Beretta made equipment when we have people right here in the states that make perfectly good .338 Lapua magnams for sale.and they are semi-auto.Bad News Arms makes one of the best .338's I've shot. And I've shot the the TRG it's a bear. Coming from and experinced sniper "Try It You'll Like IT". send it!

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tiger September 29, 2012 at 6:43 am

SAKO makes the rifle. Beretta has ownership of the firm. Before you start knocking Beretta, they have been making guns long before there was even a USA. They know how make a firearm…..

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Woody September 29, 2012 at 2:50 am

All these "new" calibres are no better than whats been out there for 100 years….the 338 Lapua is not worth the effort, unless they're new…just get a 50cal and a Match Grade M-14 for the need of a semi-auto. The 40 year old M-14 is just as good if not better than 90% of the rifles out there in the market and at half the cost…

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