SAKO-TRG Rifle

< 1999
By Claus Gregor
Sako TRG



TRG-21

Our use of the gun is purely civic; therefore, tactical considerations don't play a role here nor is it necessary to take military or police requirements into consideration.

Three friends had bought SAKO TRG 21's in .308Win, all black, with muzzle brake, bipod, and scope. Nice looking guns! Now - a nice looking gun is not what we were looking for; we wanted performance. To make a long story short, the TRG21 delivered what was promised: one-hole accuracy at 100m (8mm spread!). That's good! Everybody was impressed by the clean and excellent build of everything. The action was smoooth, no rattling, just perfect. Technical details follow below. Since our guns were that precise, we decided to practice 300m shooting. We did this with the gun rested on sand-bags. Kind of bench rest shooting, but not quite that serious.

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TRG-41

I decided to buy the TRG-41 in .300WinMag. I wanted to have a magnum gun. I thought, if the TRG 21 in .308Win is that precise, the .300WinMag would be similar, but results from other brands were generally worse, according to the data available to me.

However, my pleasure about my new gun didn't last very long. My first test at the range was less than satisfying, with groups ranging from 2MOA to worse. After a lot of testing, I could verify that my scope was faulty indeed and so I had it fixed.

With the fixed scope newly mounted, again I went to the range. I had prepared a bunch of handloads with different bullet-weights (190gr, 200gr, 220gr), and different powder-measures. I intended to find my very best handload.

Surprise: around 1 MOA and worse (up to 2MOA), whatever load I shot with. This was UNEXPECTED. Talking things over with different people, the phenomenon was attributed to the .300WinMag cartridge, as this cartridge was considered less precise than the .308Win. My reasoning was different. I thought that SAKO would not sell a precision rifle that can easily be upped by any other type of gun.

So I decided to have the gun checked by my dealer. He would test the gun with various factory loads, and, if not satisfied, would send the gun back to SAKO. The first test proved my findings; however, we decided to give it another try, this time without the muzzle-break.

Meanwhile, I surfed the 'Net and found a table with SAKO cartridges on the SAKO homepage. Luckily, there was a cartridge in .300WinMag, and - surprise - this cartridge sported a 168gr-bullet.

Okay. I quickly handloaded some cartridges with that bullet (also with 180gr) and took that ammo to my gunsmith.

Just 2 days before the second test was performed, I also talked with a SAKO representative, and he suggested I send the gun back, and they check it and replace the barrel if it shoots that badly.

SURPRISE! After the second test, with the 168gr-bullet, the gunsmith produced ONE hole at 100m with 5 rounds!! I could have saved me lots of desperation and thinking and cursing had I experimented with a variety of bullet weights OR had looked at the ammunitions table earlier. And - if I wouldn't insist on having a really tight group, 1MOA is not bad. But my expectations were around 1/4MOA, and this I finally could achieve :-)) As I see it now, the gun is excellent, as expected. What remains to be seen is: how will the gun perform if numerous rounds are fired and the barrel really heats up?


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Technical data

Let me now stick to the facts and give you some technical data as shown in the manual:
(?) indicate that this data was not taken from the manual. Unfortunately, the manual gives the data for all calibers except the .300WinMag. Some I could verify with a vendor, others not, but the given numbers are equal to the TRG-21 for all other calibers, so they are probably valid for the .300WinMag, too.

Model TRG 21 TRG 41
Caliber :
.308Win
.300WinMag
Weight :
4,7kg
5,1kg
Overall length without butt spacers :
1150mm
1200mm
Barrel length :
660mm
690mm
Twist :
280mm
305mm RH
Number of grooves :
4
4
Groove diameter :
7,81mm
Same (?)
Land diameter :
7,60mm
Same (?)
Bolt lift angle :
60°
60°
Bolt throw :
98mm
118mm (?)
Firing pin travel :
6,5mm
6,5mm(?)
Firing pin protrusion :
1,65mm
1,65mm(?)
Trigger pull weight :
1-2N
1-2N
Magazine capacity :
10
5
Max. length of cartridge :
75mm
95mm
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Additional features
Cheek piece :
fully adjustable horizontally and in height
Butt plate :
adjustable in height and pitch
Use of Anschütz-butt-plate possible :
yes
Safety :
Located in trigger guard. It clicks when activated. It can only be activated, after the bold has been cocked. An engaged safety prevents the bolt from opening.
Muzzle break :
Possibly used to decrease the kick to the side. It is asymmetrical.
Match sights :
available
Military iron sights :
Possible; front sight is constructed with range estimation features
Scope :
Scope mounting dovetail (17mm) on receiver. There are 4 holes in the dovetail for use of a permanent mount of the scope
Scope mount :
Quick detachable one piece mount available. This is put from behind onto the dovetail. A recoil stop is provided and insures a repeatable fit
Bipod :
Can be slided onto the forend of the stock. Made of aluminium, 5 positions. If folded, it rests below the barrel, not the forend of the stock
Sling :
Can be fastened to the right or left side of the rifle, and the forend can be fastened either below the forend or to its side
Sound supressor :
Screwed onto the muzzle break
Magazine :
Steel with a plastic piece supporting the cartridges. Cartridges are stored zig-zag. Cartridges are centerfeeded
Tools :
Provided. Sufficient to change all settings
Bolt :
3 lugs. The head of the cartridge fits into the bolt. Locking area ca. 75mm^2
Trigger unit :
Can be removed. The trigger itself can be adjusted in every direction. No creep, just a clean break!
Available calibers :
.308Win, .300WinMag, .338LapuaMag, 6,5x55 SE
Stock :
3 parts, made of polyurethane/fiberglass. The gun itself is mounted on aluminum rails. These rails again rest in the stock. The butt is reinforced with aluminium. The stock is designed to be used as: sniper-rifle, UIT-Standard rifle, CISM Military rapid fire rifle
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Cartridges

I give data I found in publications. I have included it only, when the spread was given too, or, in the case of SAKO to show its factory cartridges available.

Description Caliber Bullet-weight Result (spread)
Mira EB431 [1] :
.338Lapua Mag
250gr
29mm
Lock Base B408 [1] :
.338 Lapua Mag
250gr
18mm
Federal Nosler Partition :
.300WinMag
180gr
40mm
Federal Trophy bonded :
.300WinMag
180gr
48mm
Federal Sierra Game King :
.300WinMag
200gr
30mm
Federal Premium :
.300WinMag
200gr
28mm
PMP: ProAmm :
.300WinMag
220gr
25mm
PMP: Softpoint :
.300WinMag
180gr
36mm
Winchester Power Point, w/o Muzzle break :
.300WinMag
150gr
30mm
Winchester Power Point :
.300WinMag
150gr
45mm
Sako HPBT Match :
.300WinMag
168gr
Not tested
Sako HPBT Match :
.308Win
168gr
Not tested
Sako HPBT Match :
.308Win
180gr
Not tested


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Handloads

Handloads taken from different sources, or worked up by me and other handloaders of our club. These data are for information only. Use at your own peril!
For reference I have included some data of the factory load of Sako. Sako gives the powder it uses!

Caliber Bullet Bullet weight Brass Primer Powder Quantity Spread V0
.308Win :
HPBT Sierra MK
180gr
MEN
CCI BR2
N140 Kemira
41,0gr
8mm
 
.308Win :
HPBT Sierra MK
168gr
MEN
CCI BR2
2460 Accurate
41,0gr
9mm
 
.308Win [3] :
HPBT Sierra MK
168gr
Norma
Federal
Wasag AS0300
38,5gr
8mm!
 
.308Win :
Sako 141A
Factory!
168gr
Sako
 
N140
43,1gr
Not tested
820m/s
.308Win :
Sako 142A
Factory!
190gr
Sako
 
N140
41,6gr
Not tested
770m/s
.300WinMag :
HPBT Sierra MK
168gr
PMP/ FD
CCI 250
N160
72,9gr
8mm!
920m/s, calculated
.300WinMag :
Sako 141A
Factory!
168gr
Sako
 
N160
74,1gr
Not tested
920m/s


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  • [1] Handfeuerwaffen, 1/97, S.80
  • [3] Visier Spezial #10, Präzisionsgewehre, S.59


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