The Elite Iron TRG-42 .338 Lapua Mag package gives long-range shooters a highly precise, suppressed bolt-action rifle ready for action. It is topped off with a Nightforce 5.5-22x50mm scope that is part of the kit.
The .338 Lapua Mag is the current go to cartridge for long range snipers, delivering outstanding accuracy at ranges to 1,500 meters and beyond. Sending a 250-grain projectile out at 3,000 fps (feet per second), it’s obvious that there is a considerable amount of both recoil and muzzle blast.
Harnessing the power of this amazing cartridge is the Sako TRG-42 Package from Elite Iron, a custom maker renowned for its suppressor and custom firearms work. The kit is packed in a Pelican case and is made up of a modified compact variant of the excellent Sako TRG-42 rifle, complete with a Night Force scope and the company’s excellent Sierra suppressor. I recently had a chance to test one these excellent kits for myself.
The heart of the system is the suppressor. Elite Iron’s Sierra suppressors not only reduce the blast signature by a whopping 30 to 33 dB (decibels), but also act as a very efficient muzzle brake. There are two versions of the Sierra suppressor. The new small version delivered for this test is 30.5 ounces and 9.5 inches in overall length, while the original weighs in at 38 ounces and is 11 inches long. Construction starts with a 300 series stainless and 17-4pH steel tube. All internal components are made from 300 series stainless, machined via CNC and 100% TIG welded. Final finish is NIC Industries Cerakote, a ceramic based coating that is extremely tough and heat resistant or a matte sandblast at customer request. Maintenance consists of an occasional wash in hot soapy water, then blow dry with some compressed air. Elite Iron has a high tech steam cleaning system and any suppressor purchased can be returned for one free inspection and steam cleaning.
Elite Iron publishes sound pressure test results for all their suppressors. Testing is done using the B&K 2209 sound meter, long the industry standard for such tests. Most other meters lack the rapid response required to accurately measure short high-pressure events like gunshot noise. Mil-Std 1474D specifies 10 unsuppressed shots averaged to provide the baseline sound pressure level. The microphone is placed one meter to the side of the muzzle at 90 degrees and 1.6 meters above the ground. All readings are taken in open areas with non-reflecting surfaces. The difference between the unsuppressed shots and the suppressed shots is then expressed as the sound reduction level. The 30 dB reduction provided by the 9.5-inch Sierra reduces the sound pressure level to hearing safe levels.
The sturdy steel Sako bipod plugs into a socket at the front of the stock providing the shooter with a rock-solid, stable shooting platform.
The suppressor came as part of a custom Sako TRG-42 package. Dale Poling of Elite Iron removes the stock Sako barrel with its 1-in-10-inch twist and fits a new Broughton match grade 21-inch barrel with a twist rate of 1-in-9.5 inches. This improves accuracy with the heavier 300-grain bullets that many shooters like for their higher BC / lower wind drift characteristics. Reducing the overall length of the barrel by 6 inches and using a folding stock allows the whole system to fit in a short 30-inch hardcase. Sako’s own 5-round double column single-position feed magazines are employed with the system, which work very well. With a short 60 degrees bolt lift, feeding is very smooth and positive, and no malfunctions of any kind were experienced during the testing process.
The folding stock is provided by McCree’s Multi Services. It is adjustable for length of pull, cheekpiece height and buttpad position. The butt is equipped with an integral monopod, and the forend has a socket for the TRG bipod. This bipod actually places the barrel slightly below the pivot point of the legs, making the system quite a bit more stable than the conventional setup where the rifle rests on top of the bipod, well above the leg pivot points. While many folding stocks end up feeling a little flimsy, this one locks up solid and the flat steel bars that compose the buttstock show no movement at all.
The Elite Iron TRG-42 .338 Lapua Mag package gives long-range shooters a highly precise, suppressed…
by Dave Bahde / Jun 3, 2010