Recently, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) awarded a contract for a new .338 Lapua-chambered, bolt-action sniper weapon system (SWS) to H-S Precision (HS) of Rapid City, South Dakota, with an option of buying more. These rifles are intended for issue to the Israeli infantry and airborne forces. HS will deliver the complete SWS including the rifle, Leupold Mark IV rings, a McCann rail mount system, a Hardigg hard case, an infrared target illuminator, five seven round mags, a Harris bipod, a detachable muzzle brake, a cleaning/maintenance kit, and a Tripod Data Systems PDA running the Horus Vision ballistic software. The kit will also include a noise suppressor and a night- vision system, both of which have not been identified yet. As tested this SWS uses a superb NightForce scope sight but both Leupold and S&B mil-dot reticle scopes are still in the running for adoption in this SWS.
Tactical Weapons was fortunate to get the loan of an early example of this SWS for test and evaluation. While I have considerable experience with a wide variety of military and police sniper rifles, including in combat, this is the first .338 Lapua-chambered sniper rifle I have had an opportunity to evaluate. I was impressed!
It is important to realize that.338 Lapua-chambered SWSs are designed and intended to give military commanders a point-target anti-personnel sniping capability at ranges well beyond the effectiveness of conventional anti-personnel sniper systems (about 800 yards).
To test this rifle, .338 Lapua ammo was procured from Black Hills. Past experience with Black Hill’s ammo has proven their products to be among the most accurate available, bar none, and this proved to be the same. Black Hills offers two loads in .338 Lapua. The one I used is loaded with a 250-grain Sierra Match King bullet at a velocity 2,950 fps and energy of 4,831 fpe. The other load offered is loaded with a 300-grain Sierra Match King at a velocity of 2,800 fps and energy of 5,223 fpe.
Starting with the Right Rifle
The new H-S Precision Pro-series 2000 line of semi-custom bolt-action rifles, which the IDF SWS is based on, are easily some of the best firearms values of their type on the market today. Many of the standard features in the Pro-Series 2000 firearms are only found as optional features on much higher-priced, but not higher-quality. An important fact to remember is that HS manufactures every component of the Pro-Series 2000 rifles including their actions, bedding blocks, triggers, match grade barrels and composite synthetic stocks.
Every Pro-Series 2000 firearm is thoroughly tested for accuracy in a state-of-the-art underground 100-yard range. All Pro-Series 2000 firearms, .30-caliber and smaller, are guaranteed to shoot 1/2 minute of angle at 100 yards and a target (with load data) is provided with each firearm. They guarantee at least one MOA for their larger caliber rifles like the .338 Lapua.