Accuracy International AIAW vs. Sako TRG-22 - My Experience with Both

redneckbmxer24

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    Mine doesn't feel plastic at all. Mine has a shiny almost glossy finish on it and doesn't attract a magnet. I can take a picture later if you would like to compare.
     

    XOR

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    Attached pic of ax bipod , have one here and it seems good for the money. Fairly solid feature set.

    Thanks for the pic. Don't know if this is available in the U.S. yet or not. I'll look out for it. It looks like a bit of the TRG bipod styling to it from the top. I'm glad they kept the spigot.
     

    XOR

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    Please pardon my ignorance, what is a "covered action"?

    Covered action/Closed action - Basically only the ejection port is exposed. The rest of the action/bolt is covered to keep out debris/elements.

    I was in a rifle shoot in a snow storm several years back and of the four Remington 700s present (all with open actions), two of them had their bolts freeze shut due to entry of water into the lug area. Another had the trigger malfunction in an AICS stock if I recall when water seeped in and re-froze. So that was around 75% failure rate. The TRG I was shooting and the AI another was shooting worked fine the entire time. I attribute a lot of that to the fact that the action was covered so the snow/water couldn't enter it and freeze.
     
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    XOR

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    You really should try the Atlas, even if it's the Atlas with the AI spigot mount. It's 100% a better bipod than the AI. The legs won't fold back unless you want them to, they have better feet, and it cants and pans just like the AI bipod, it actually pans a bit further than the AI bipod. The legs also lock at 45 degrees forward or back which comes in handy sometimes. I've never needed to quickly detach a bipod on any rifle before, I've taken them off but I've never needed to do it quickly. The Atlas spigot mount will detach just as quickly and easily as your AI bipod though and the Atlas picatinny attachment with the ADM QD mount also releases just as fast. I bought mine with the ADM mount so I could move it to another rifle if I wanted without using tools.

    I'll check it out closer on a friend's rifle.

    I like the QD because I've used it in competitions. It's handy to be able to have no bipod for sling/unsupported shooting and then quickly slap it in to drop to prone (or vice versa). I will sometimes pull it off and stow it in my pack when hiking with the rifle to save weight on the shoulder when carrying.

    As far as the weight, AI may be able to knock a little bit off of the AW and AX but it's not going to be 3-4lbs, there is no way. The chassis is what it is, there is really no place on it to save weight and not weaken the design. The weight saving areas would be the barrel and action. The action could be lightened up a bit but not much to justify it IMO. The barrel would be the easiest place to save weight, especially yours being 26". You could knock at least a pound off of that between shortening it and contouring it. It's going to come at a cost of balance, velocity, and the barrel heating faster. Personally I hunt with my precision rifles and carry them in the field all day and the weight has never bothered me even on my AE 24" with a S&B 5-25 and a 32oz suppressor that weighed 20lbs total.


    My rifle is about 17.1lbs with scope, magazine, sling and bipod. The parker hale bipod alone is 1lbs. 8.9ozs.

    I could carry that fine most of the day. It would be a problem if doing a lot of hunting in the mountains. Which I've not done yet, but plan on doing in the near future. So I don't think this is a good sheep rifle!

    I had a plan to mod the rifle (Accuracy International Arctic Hunter (AIAH) or Accuracy International Arctic Light (AIAL)??). The idea would be to skeletonize the chassis and not lose strength. Replace steel hardware with Titanium/Aluminum if suitably strong. Get a lighter mil/mil scope (I run a Nightforce which is very heavy). Then probably put on a much thinner profile or carbon fiber wrapped barrel with shorter length.

    The problem with the above is I just don't have the guts to do that to such an expensive piece of gear! Plus don't have the knowledge in terms of machining so I'd have to find someone that was really competent to do it and not cause a dangerous disaster. Plus, I don't think it would bring the weight down nearly as much as what you can find in some of these lightweight hunting rifles out now that clock in around 5-6lbs. But I think it could slim it up some and bring it more in line with the TRG. If anything, the thinner profile barrel is an easy mod that I may try in the future.
     
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    redneckbmxer24

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    17.1lbs is what my AX weighs with 24" barrel, NF F1, Spuhr mount, and Atlas bipod. 2" of barrel length is negligible so they are right there together in weight.

    I personally wouldn't hack at a rifle that has a action bonded to the chassis. If anything buy an AE to experiment with. The AE is about 1lbs lighter to start with for the 24" barrel. A 20" AE with a contoured barrel would probably get you down to the weight you want. Keep in mind the folding option also adds a few ounces too.

    Another thing I forgot to mention about your concerns as to the AX scope height is that you can remove the rail on the forend and get the scope a touch lower. It's not going to be a huge difference but it would be lower.
     

    XOR

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    Yeah I won't hack on the action. It's more of a thought experiment. The much thinner barrel contour would be the best step. It just needs to balance the rifle. FWIW. I have the 20" UK barrel for the AW and it's actually heavier than the UK 26" profile barrel!

    Realistically, I just accept that the rifle was designed for a certain purpose and I like it for those reasons. It's very tough and reliable. It's the one rifle I shoot the most by far. It always performs (assuming I'm performing). I think at one time Lowlight said when the aliens land and he retreats to the Rockies he will take his AI. I have to say that the same thought has crossed my mind as well.
     
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    S12A

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    The legs lock on the ax bipod too
     

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    Jrb572

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    Dammit guys. Stop posting shit like the new AX bipod. Now I want one.
     

    S12A

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    Will plug into old AI's but i have been told the old AI bipods wont plug into the new mount
     

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    Armiger

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    This is a very informative write up . As someone new to this forum it enlightened me in a number of ways. Looks like this will be an expensive place to hang out but I guess I already knew that!
     

    tylerw02

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    I checked my trigger last night and you are right, definitely not plastic. It seems to be the same material as the bolt knob.
     

    bohem

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    Exceptionally well done write-up, very nice job!

    To expound on the heat treat relic marks:

    The tip of the firing pin needs to be heat treated to a high hardness because of the way it works (constant impact). The rest of the pin doesn't need to be hardened because it just slides inside a spring. Therefore, it is induction hardened at the tip only.

    In many manufacturing lines, especially with high volume stuff like brass cases, the HT marks are left on there for evidence of process compliance... aka "The job was done". It has absolutely no effect on the functionality and it provides a verifiable witness mark showing that the hardening was done.

    The pin is made from O-series tool steel I'm told, however I have not taken a pin and gotten it checked at a metallurgy lab because I don't own a TRG and I wasn't going to jack around with a friend's rifle in such a manner.

    The AI pin is black oxide treated, this does nothing in terms of performance of an oil/grease coated object it just makes the thing look pretty. You also loose any ability to visually inspect for heat treat process compliance. I'd personally leave the heat affect zone on there if it was my choice for the stated process verification reasons.



    ETA:

    The reason that you would induction harden a pin like that is so that it doesn't need post-HT grinding and in some machines you could actually feed it with wire, whirl-cut the tip, IHT the tip, pass to the sub-spindle and cut the ass end, spit it into the parts bin completed without any touching by human hands. If it was my line, I'd be doing it that way.

    Also, on the bipods. Take a hard look at LRA's offerings, I have had a bunch of time on pretty much everything including the AI and Sako 'pods. I won't shoot anything else.
     
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    JL

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    http://tinyurl.com/2m9yv3
    Have seen one TRG bolt handle giving up.

    Case was completely jammed in chamber with sand. Solution was birchwood log, approximately 16" long.
    Handle took multiple hits before braking. Still, didnt believe that it could be hitted that hard before actually braking it- so I guess its still pretty sturdy.

    And yes, case was ejected from chamber. No other parts broken. And as handle is with threaded, it can be replaced without gunsmith.
     

    Komok

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    Great writeup!
    I own both a AI AW & TRG22.
    TRG 22 for me more comfortable.
    I like the trigger on the TRG more.
     

    Black-X

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    Nice post! I've had both (AI AE MK III and TRG-22) at the same time and decided I only needed one. I still have the AE and have zero regrets. I even told the gentleman who ended up buying my TRG when he asked what I would do, "honestly if it were me, I'd go AE or AW." Both are phenomenal rifles but the AI gets my vote 100%.
     

    ScudMarket

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    Gotta love highly detailed descriptions of each rifles. Makes me want to reload some more ammo and hit the range with my AI.
     

    Prophet78

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    Very nice write up! If I had the cash to simply buy an AI straight out, I would have done that, rather than building up my m700. But dropping $3500 in one shot is pretty hard on a budget.
     

    long range newbie

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    love the review, best I've seen in a while and where in oregon you located? not trying to stalk you or anything. Also where do you shoot 1k? I can't find anywhere thats not full or that I don't like.
     

    MosesTheTank

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    Thanks for taking the time and effort on a great write up. AIAW is on my list.
     

    snipe10

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    I have them both and also have the 2013 TRG with the new bolt handle and a couple other small upgrades. I just prefer the TRG, probably because to me that extra 2 pounds feels like 10 for some reason. I'll keep my AW but find myself taking the TRG out more (have 3 of them)
     

    mmcmah

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    Fantastic post and the most complete review I've read. Hoes me tremendously with a purchase decision.
     

    Finnhunter

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    Excellent review. I have some experience with the TRG 22 and I'd definitely like to have one. The AI is undoubtly an outstanding rifle but they are really hard to get here in Finland. There is no importer. You can import a rifle by yourself, but considering the steep price it's just not worth the trouble. I could buy two TRGs for the price of an AI. The new AT does look interesting, though.

    The TRG is AFAIK pretty much a problem-free precision tool. I think the bipod is great, compared to a Harris. And an added bonus: living 50 miles from Sako factory, I don't need to worry about Beretta USA customer service, should I need spare parts or other factory services ;)
     
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    immelmann

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    Great write-up XOR! An excellent read.

    Some observations from shooting (approx 3300 hot rounds) my TRG22 in .308WIN:

    Bi-pod:
    I have been quite competitive shooting F-Class here in Australia with the factory bi-pod.
    It likes to be loaded heavily (I sewed a grooved door mat onto my shooting mat) and I love the 'floppiness', which goes away when loaded properly.
    The bi-pod grips very well on many field surfaces. I have shot it in dust, ice, all different types of grass and rocky areas. It isn't very good on concrete or the bench without something not so hard under the feet.
    I also like and use the rear folding capability, especially putting the rifle muzzle down into my Eberlestock Gunslinger 2 pack.
    I have used a KRG spigot mount and 3in square aluminium plate for use on adjustable rest in F-Class and went back to using the factory bi-pod.
    I had a bi-pod leg rivet half come out once (after about 2000 rounds). The rivet is a special semi 'threaded' type that would be difficult to get and completely remove and then shop-end the tail. I knocked it back in with some Loctite flange sealant and it has remained firm since.
    The bi-pod is quite expensive but worth every cent. I think mine is the narrower stance one not for night vision devices.

    Magazine:
    I had one removal lug fall off and get lost. I used a pop rivet and small nut to fill out the lug and it has remained firm since. This quick repair doesn't affect function.
    If you load to max overall length close to the lands the fully 10 round bombed magazine is difficult to feed and sometimes needs a little bit of hand pressure underneath the bottom of the magazine. I love being able to feed ammo 10 thou off the lands from the magazine with a few different projectiles.
    I have a KRG magazine release and it works very well. It is nice to push a finger forward and have the magazine drop out.
    There is a 'floating' aluminium lug just forward of the magazine that is very sensitive to being positioned. If it is too far forward the magazine tilts forward when feeding and doesn't work smoothly. If it is too far rearward the magazine is hard to fit. The KRG magazine release does offer a bit more positive feel and retention.
    I have two TRG magazines and they are expensive but excellent.

    Stock:
    The paint is slightly susceptible to chipping, especially around the butt plate flange from a cleaning rod handle but can be overcome by just flushing-up the butt before putting the bore guide in.
    I have used the stock in very sweaty and very cold conditions and it has a good finish and tactile enough in every situation I have encountered.
    I have cracked one butt spacer (lots or repetition in moving the butt up and down to clean) but it comes with a spare which I have used.
    Cheek height spacer/s are easily made from timber and getting a longer bolt screw is easy.
    I have made a twisting lock-up foregrip to go in my fore-end accessory rail, which is a nice convenience, especially for modified Hawkins shooting. It is also nice to be able to slide sling points up and down the fore-end.
    It is very easy to adjust the stock to fit you. I have a high scope mount to put the centre of the butt axis closer to the bore line and it easily adjusts to fit me.
    The stock is very light weight for its adjustability.

    I have the phosphatised version (about AUD $1100 more) and have not seen any rust on it from all weather extremes, but I look after it. The magazines need to be kept oiled however.

    It is very accurate and can handle hot loads well. It fits me and does everything asked of it. The Sako TRG is expensive in Australia, as are the accessories and wait times on ordering are high.

    I have had limited exposure to AI platforms but the TRG fits me better, is slicker but I am a little biased as a TRG owner. I like the lightweight stock of the TRG. I don't think you can go wrong with either the AI or TRG.

    Again, great write-up!
     
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    rope

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    Great job on the write, up. It answered a few questions that I have wondered about.
     

    jp67

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    Accuracy International AIAW vs. Sako TRG-22 - My Experience with Both

    Hi immelmann,
    Do you have a picture of your set up?
    Thanks
     

    vitalemj

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    Ran into this old thread while looking around on here. Always have been interested in both but never actually saw a head to head comparison and it answered a lot of questions. Good job XOR thanks for the write-up.
     

    XOR

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    Since I wrote this thread I still own both rifles. However I got tired of the weight of the AIAW and switched to the TRG with a carbon fiber barrel to .260 caliber. The TRG was always lighter than the AI, but the new barrel took about 2lbs. off the rifle and made it more manageable to carry in the field vs. the AI.

    Most of my observations about these rifles in the initial post still stand. Although Beretta/Brownells support has gotten better for the TRG since I first wrote about it. You can buy spare parts more easily now, although honestly I've never needed any for the TRG. However I do own a spare firing pin for my rifles just in case.

    I also have a TRG-42 with the new trigger. The new trigger is probably more rugged for field use, but the older style trigger feels more precise for target and competition use. But saying that, the TRG-42 trigger is still really good and turns in 5 shot groups that are 0.25MOA (or better) at times. That's a .338LM which is not a sissy caliber so it's excellent performance. The TRG platform is consistently accurate for me.

    Sako also beefed up the bolt handle a bit on the newer models, but again my older style handle never gave me any problems. The TRG has always been about small refinements on an already great rifle. The design is about 30 years old now and the small improvements have made an already great rifle that much better.

    AI has done some things with rapid change barrels and of course the AX style stock. I have not used an AX style rifle enough to comment on them. Since I really dislike metal foreends and exposed metal in general (too cold to hold in hand when walking) I doubt I'll be getting one. In all fairness, Sako did the same with the TRG M10. I just hope they don't discontinue the older TRG in lieu of the M10.

    My TRG and AI continue to function at 100% reliability outside of operator error induced malfunctions. They are both still accurate. The .260 TRG in fact has given me groups in the 0.1-0.2 MOA range.
     
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    Oh-eight

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    I went with a TRG 42 in 300 WM. Loving it..! Thanks for a great & very informative write up!
     

    bgolf92

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    I went with the AW. The thing is a tank but it’s got the “cool” factor I’ve always loved.
     

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    Sako man

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    The TRG is my first true love. I worked my way up the slow and steady way from several 700 builds, but always pined for the TRG, and have had a few of them since. I found that when loading for my TRG 22 I could get amazing accuracy especially with 155 Scenars. That said I now have an AIAX and with heavier bullets find it to be slightly more accurate, but as well it's much heavier. You can't go wrong with either one. I do think the TRG trigger is better and offers more feel and adjustability. Either way fantastic write up! Thanks for that!
     
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    DetroitRearView

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    Great review. I own an AXMC, and it is excellent; but had a TRG42 some years back and really wanted to get another. This rifle showed up in our FS section and I should get it next week. new unfired rifle and NF ATACR 2 mags , Always been a sucker for TRG green. Thanks for the excellent write up!

     

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    XOR

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    You can't go wrong with a TRG. I have done 5 shot one hole groups in 338LM with my TRG-42. It's at least as accurate as my TRG-22, and perhaps even slightly better.

    And yeah, I think the TRG green color is awesome. I should paint my house that color.
     
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    ACK

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    Excellent writeup and pictures. I have a black TRG22 and an old AE MK1. AW just felt more substantial. Trigger on the 22 has an exquisite pull. TRG22 was derived from a match rifle. AW were designed by an olympian. I've been debating between AT AX and old school AW. Most likely it will be the later. The hunt continues...
     
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