Cadex Defence CDX-33 Patriot Lite 338LM Sniper Rifle

Cadex Defence is a company on the move. For years I have been running their Dual Strike Chassis on a couple of rifles, everything from an 18” 6.5CM to a Bergara 308. The Chassis is well designed, better made than most, and very comfortable to shoot. More adjustability gives the shooter better flexibility and that helps with marksmanship if you ask me.
When I had the chance to visit the Cadex Factory in Canada last December I jumped on it. The factor tour was super helpful in reviewing their rifles because you get to see behind the scenes. This understanding into production helps explain the “Why” when talking about the CDX-33.

R7 Sheepdog
R7 Sheepdog at Cadex Defence

To review, the Cadex Defence factory is much bigger than you’d imagine and where I think it really shines is in the R&D department. Don’t me wrong, the new HAAS machines, the attention detail, all start and stop in production. But R&D gives them the flexibility to adjust. That flexibility can be seen in the new R7 Sheepdog Rifle that will be available very soon.

The Dual Strike Chassis is a proven design, we know this. The rifles are not as well known outside of Canada. So I took my time reviewing this rifle because I wanted to make sure nothing showed 1000 round into it that might be missed by only shooting 250, or 500 rounds. I am not known for getting any product on a Monday and have a review a week later. In many cases I am probably too slow for most people. But I don’t want my members to get hurt because I rushed a review out. Not for a scope, not for a rifle, not anything I talk about. A lot the products Sniper’s Hide reviews are too expensive to take the risk.

CDX-33

Cadex Sniper Rifle
CDX-33 Patriot Lite Sniper Rifle

Make no mistake the CDX-33 is a sniper rifle that defines the word precision.
The CDX-33 incorporates the Patriot Lite action. As noted in the video, everything Cadex offers is done in house. This allows them to control the quality, as well as adjust as necessary. A lot more hand finishing goes into these rifles than one might expect. The Stainless Steel action is beauty to watch manufactured. I mean heck, all the components are done in a way you have to admire. They are CNC wizards at Cadex Defence.

Cadex Patriot Action
Cadex Patriot Action in the Raw

Attached to the Patriot Action is a Bartlein barrel. Super smart choice to run a Bartlein as they are the top of the barrel pyramid when it comes to accuracy. The highly profiled barrel is hand spun in house by Cadex and their barrel maker is dedicated to that cause. His job is to chamber, and contour the Bartlein barrels to fit their system. The twist rate on the CDX-33 is pretty standard, 1-9.5. That means it can shoot the 250s or the 300s and everything in-between. I personally had awesome results with the Prime Ammo 300s but I have seen groups from 250 Scenars that are amazing, .25 MOA accuracy with this bullet.

Don’t fall for the 338LM Hype, you don’t need to shoot 300s and in fact most people cannot push them fast enough to exploit the benefits. I always recommend a bit lighter, the Hornady 285s, or the Lapua 250s. You’ll never go wrong shooting Lapua 250s. I was on the edge of acceptable muzzle velocity with the factory Prime Ammo, as it was a tick slower than I wanted, but because my range is at 5000ft, I knew the slower speed would not hurt my extended range accuracy. The 300gr Factory Prime Ammo ran about 2765fps as configured. My goal is usually 2800fps to 2850fps for running 300s.

CDX-33 Group
CDX-33 Group shot by Shawn Bevins as witnessed by the Mile High Shooting Crew

I started out mounting my S&B 5-25x PMII into the Cadex Scope mount. Awesome design, very well made featuring a rear scope ring level and front scope ring picatinney rail. As always I use a 100 yard zero knowing the S&B has more than enough elevation to get me to 1 mile and even a bit beyond from 100 yards. No real need to shoot to a mile, but since the cartridge is capable, we will test it at 1 mile. (1778 yards to be precise)

Cadex Scope Mount
Cadex Scope Mount
Cadex Muzzle Brake
Cadex Muzzle Brake

Accuracy at 100 yards with factory 300gr Prime Ammo was sub 1/2 MOA on every occasion. No issues what so ever, and I made sure to give the rifle 3 cleanings between the 1000 rounds + fired over the few months with the CDX-33. I then doped the rifle to distance, and that distance went to 1778 yards on my range. I have steel target every 100 yards to a mile and I made sure I hit every one of them. 

The Cadex Defence muzzle brake, is not only good looking but very effective. If you pay attention in the video, you can see just how little the rifle recoils with my 130lbs body behind it. I know guys 2x my size who get knocked around more with a 308. The Muzzle brake is a 3 chamber brake made in house.

Falcon Bipod

Cadex Falcon Bipod
Cadex Falcon Bipod

After my trip to the Cadex Factory I replaced the Atlas 5H bipod with a Cadex Falcon bipod. This was their answer to the standard Atlas bipod which many find a bit small for the larger magnums. Especially their Tremor .50 caliber tactical rifle.

The Falcon bipod is a very good design that is focused right around the 388LM caliber and larger. Since the model I have is meant specifically for the Cadex Chassis I also tried it on my Tikka T3x with Cadex Competition chassis. It was super stable but definitely a bit heavier than what I am used to on a smaller rifle like the Tikka. The Tikka was made further lighter by adding a Hardy Carbon Fiber Barrel to it, so the Falcon was noticeably heavier. Switching to the CDX-33 I felt it fit this size rifle perfectly. Use and accuracy with the Falcon was top notch with no issues.

The Falcon bipod has some great features and once the model that is designed for other rifles is out, I can see it becoming very popular. You have options for the feet, you can reverse the legs to place the buttons where you need them, as well you can deploy the legs without having to press the buttons. All smart features.

Cadex Trigger

Cadex Trigger
Cadex Trigger

The CDX-33 features the Cadex Built trigger. There are Remington style replacement triggers and I am using the 2 Stage version. You can get a single or 2 stage from Cadex to drop into your 700 clone.

I liked the trigger and found it to be crisp and clean breaking. I have heard of others not liking it so much, but I am not sure if they are comparing it to your typical single stage ? This is always a question for people who dance between single and two stage triggers. Many like single stage triggers to be very light, as in, 1LBS or less, but for me, especially with a Sniper Rifle I am more of a 2.5LBS fan.

Two stage triggers are my preferred and I think the Cadex does a very good job at it. If your results vary, you can switch it out easily enough, but for me, I had no issue using the trigger in the CDX 33.

Overall Thoughts

Cadex CDX-33 Sniper Rifle
Cadex CDX-33 Sniper Rifle

I am not going to get into the endless debate of Accuracy International vs Cadex Defence. I think there is room for both and let’s face, I am certified AI fanboy. That said, I would not hesitate to pick up any product from Cadex and run it. I see them as addressing a similar market in a very effective way. Design, Quality, Accuracy, are all top notch from Cadex Defence.

The CDX-33 is not a switch barrel rifle, it’s a dedicated 338LM much like the AWSM. So you have put that into context. The Kraken which is being introduced as we speak is the switch barrel variant much like the AXMC. So if you want to compare Apples to Apples, you have to turn towards the Kraken.

Cadex Kraken Action
Cadex Kraken Action

Rifles in this class are not cheap, but the CDX-33 is not overpriced by any means. It falls right in line with its competition and is actually a tiny bit cheaper in some cases. Give Mile High Shooting a call as they are now carrying Cadex Sniper Rifles and chassis here in the US. Cadex is signing up new dealers every week and a lot of well known gunsmiths are building on the Cadex Chassis.

Where Cadex Defence shines compared to the competition is the differences they address. Their chassis fits a lot more actions than most. It’s not just a Remington Footprint that works, take my Tikka T3x as an example. Also Cadex manages the Law Enforcement community very well. They offer tools and equipment for LE that most do not. So you get a much broader space to work in from a single source. The R7 is their answer to PRS Style competition shooting where a lighter, more standard design was being asked for. I am patenting waiting to try out the R7.

Cadex Chassis
Cadex Chassis

I am a fan, there is no doubt I respect innovation and quality when I see it, and Cadex has both. Their products are well designed and well made. For a military class sniper rifle they paid attention to details far beyond what is required. As someone smarter than me said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting”, well Cadex stepped up to respond.

Cadex Specs

Cadex Specs
Cadex Specs

 

Cadex Specs
Cadex Specs

Cadex Defence Website

USA Sales via Mile High Shooting