New TRG-22 and First Day Range Report

adamwade

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Apr 6, 2009
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Hi guys,

I finally did it. I've spent the last 2 months spending way too much of my money diving head first into precision shooting and I would like to share my first experience with shooting my new TRG-22. I hope sharing this first impression will help other beginners with their decisions. I also have some questions for you experienced guys at the end of my post. The gear I chose was all based on what I liked and based on all the information gathered from Sniper'shide over the last few years. It's overkill considering I haven't done this kind of shooting before, but I have always liked knowing that I'm the limitation, not the equipment.

Here's my kit:

TRG-22, 26in barrel (wanted the 20in, but was tired of waiting), Steiner 5-25 (MSR), Sphur mount (6mil), KRG folding stock Gen 4 (= smaller case for my small car), KRG spigot with Atlas bipod. Also, I purchased a MagnetoSpeed V2 chronograph for acquiring more accurate data and potentially reloading in the future (and perhaps re barreling to a 6.5). I decided to try a Windhawk 350 weather meter I found on Amazon for $179.

myTRG_02.jpg

myTRG_03.jpg

myTRG_06.jpg


The TRG is definitely a great shooting rifle, not to mention I've always loved its European aesthetics. Mine is the current generation with the new safety and aluminum trigger guard. I was surprised that the safety is not a silent mechanism, although it can be manipulated slowly and quietly. Out of the box, the action is slightly rough from the phosphate finish, but quickly wore in after a single night of cycling. The initial upward bolt lift for cocking the firing pin remained stiff though, until the first actual 50 rounds were fired and now is dramatically smoother and lighter. I think the feeding smoothed out as well once the feed ramp got some wear. The trigger is just as good as man of you have reported, but mine may be set a bit heavy from the factory. I traded shots with someone at the range using a Savage 10 FR-SR and found that trigger to be much lighter, but not as predictable.

The KRG stock (gen4) is really a nice piece of CNC art. The gen 4 is cleaner and I believe has less parts and various improvements. The new standard "small" grips are way too thin for me and I prefer the original TRG grip diameter, because it puts my finger tip right on the trigger shoe. The small grips place the trigger at my second finger joint. I will be receiving the KRG large grip set soon (in green). The stock adjusts nicely and locks down solid. The butt pad is very comfortable. The cheek rest stays in place, but is very hard on your face after a couple hours of shooting. I will be upgrading this to a padded version, or I may try fitting the original Sako cheek rest to the KRG stock (it almost fits right over it). My only complaint about the KRG folder is that when folded it is not locked solid and can wiggle quite a bit. It's easy to see how the smaller independent lock mechanism for the folded position has this limitation, but perhaps it will be remedied in future designs. This in no way affects how rock solid the open position functions which is awesome.

After removing and installing the KRG folder I realized that simply removing the original modular Sako TRG stock is very quick and could be another alternative to packing the TRG in a small case. It would be similar to a "take down" rifle and allow me to keep the "furniture comfort" ergonomics of the Sako stock. You would loose the ability to quick adjust the stock (good for various shooting positions?, seasonal clothing, different shooters, etc.), like the KRG, but save $900. I'm hoping once I get the larger KRG grips and fix the "pressure point" cheek rest I won't be thinking about it anymore.

I won't talk about the Steiner scope since there are plenty of opinions posted already, and I'm very happy with it.

I'm really happy with the MagnetoSpeed chronograph. The night before shooting I fitted the correct spacer to align the sensor with the TRG's barrel, made sure it turned on and then packed it up. When it came time to chrono my three factory loads at the range I took out the magnetoSpeed, mounted it on my gun and plugged it in - this took less than 60 seconds! I shot about 20 rounds total with different loads, took my readings, removed the unit - all in about 5 to 10 minutes. And all of this was done during the "hot" session without setting up during the cease fire. A guy a few rows down was setting up his standard chrono during the cease fire, moving the tripod around, running back to the bench to check alignment, then back again….and so on. I finally walked out to help him move it around while he stayed at the bench viewing his target. Since the cease fire time is fixed, I could feel the time pressure for getting it set up. Expensive or not, the MagnetoSpeed is worth it. Remember, I'm just sharing my first hand experience as someone who has never used a chrono before. Side note: yes, there is definitely a change of impact with the MagnetoSpeed attached. For the loads I used, it was 2in low at 100yrds. There was no accuracy issues and my best groups happen to be with the MagnetoSpeed on. Personally, I think this was because I told myself these shots are just for velocity readings and not to concern myself with groupings. I guess it took the pressure off.

A quick opinion on the WindHawk 350 weather meter: It works well, but it's a pain. The buttons are really stiff to push and since there aren't may of them so the UI is tedious. At times, some buttons must be held for 3 seconds, or 7 seconds, depending on the function desired. Less buttons in this case mean more combinations to remember. If you use it regularly, then no problem. Yes, it saved me money, but I would now buy the Kestrel for the more direct interface. The Kestrel also has the rotating head I think, which means you could have the screen facing you while the wind meter is pointed into a crosswind. From the test report I read here on the hide I think the WindHawk will serve me just fine though. Feel free to correct me, again just my rookie's opinion.

OK, so here's my targets………Loads were FGMM 175gr, Federal XM118LR 175gr and Hornady 155gr OTM W/G. The range was limited to 100 and 200 yards due to fire hazard warnings. Perfect day 85 degrees, no wind. Best group was 5 shots into 0.4in ! On two others I managed 4 shots into 0.4in again with one flyer in each opening them up to around an inch.

TRG_100yrd_10262013.jpg

TRG_200yrd_10262013.jpg



What I learned:

1) My gun hated the Hornady 155's. The XM118LR are dirty looking, but shoot great and are equal to FGMM 175gr. - in this TRG anyway.
2) The TRG can shoot under 1/2moa with factory loads ! by an amateur.
3) Shooting 5 shot groups is hard ! Even though the rifle can easily do it (as my targets proved). I only achieved a single true 5 shot "bughole" after 100 rounds.
4) 10 shots groups are totally ridiculous to try and hold. Notice though that 5 out of 10 shots are in 0.3in - kind of cool. It's extremely difficult to concentrate that long (No, its not ADD). If you can do it then you are a master.
5) I generally shot better shooting faster, staying in the groove of things. Too much thinking, breathing and pausing just made it worse.
6) My TRG liked a few shots to warm up the barrel and then it sang. Every cease fire meant "wasting" a couple shots to warm it up again. Good time to note cold bore POI shifts - of course, I forgot to do this !
7) Ringing a 4in steel plate at 200 yards as fast as I can is way too easy for this gun - never misses.
8) Shooting off hand with this beast is not fun.
9) Shooting 100 rounds through a bolt gun your first day is a lot of pounding.

Problems:

Scope mounting: I have some experience and feel confident, but here's my issue: My Sphur base is a 6 mil tilt, but my 100 yrd sight in required close to 7 mils of upward adjustment. I expected this to be the opposite - maybe 4 mils down, and I now have only 21 mils of vertical adjustment instead of 26mils. This doesn't matter for my .308, but it just does't seam right. Is my TRG factory rail not aligned well from the factory? Should I removed everything and start over? I was even concerned for a moment that the mount was on backwards!

TRG: 1) The safety works very smooth when dry firing, but is binding and rough when a live round is chambered. Is this normal with the new TRG's? WIll it ware in or is there an problem. The trigger group was removed to install the KRG stock, but there doesn't seam to be any wiggle room for miss alignment on reinstalling.
2) The bolt lever is digging a small notch into the extruded chassis (see photo). Is this normal ?

BoltContact_1.jpg


Thanks to all the fantastic vendors that handled my gear purchases - often with great discounts: EuroOptics, MileHighShooting, Rifles Only, MidWay, Camera Land.
 

farmerbrown

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Oct 23, 2013
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Spuhr looks ok.
What about that Piccatinny rail - where did that come from?

Ok - reread - from Sako.

My Spuhr mounts directly onto the TRG mount without the Piccatinny rail.

But is that P-rail too far forward? - does it have an engagement detent to mesh with the recoil lugs in the TRG mounting rail?
 
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turbo54

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Nice writeup, sounds like you're having a lot of fun.

Your bolt handle should not be contacting the chassis like that. It really ougghta be fixed, either by a little cautious dremeling, or better, by KRG.

Your mounting arrangement is as it should be. Did you expect to get your scope mounted/zeroed, and have ALL 26mrad of scope travel available to you? As it stands, the 21mrad you've got now will take a typical 308 to ~1400 yards, far beyond it's effective range.

Keep in mind:

You don't want to use your scope primarily on the outer limits of it's adjustment range. If you got a custom scope mount that gave you a perfect zero at 100 yards, with the full 26mrad of upward adjustment available to you, your scope would essentially be living on the far bottom end of it's range. That is not ideal for a number of reasons.
 
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Massoud

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Good writeup, I don't think we've seen something as thorough on the TRG for awhile. The bolt contacting the chassis backbone like that is not ordinary (also that's not our chassis, we only make the buttstock part of that for the TRG). You might try taking a pic of the bolt fully closed and show the gap between the bolt handle and the receiver along the edge that creates the camming effect when you open the bolt. If the bolt handle is set too far back then this could cause the issue you are seeing. With a TRG that would mean the body was too long, the bolt handle mount hole was misplaced, or the locking lug abutments in the action were cut too far rearward. Of all those, it is more likely that they missed cutting the correct position or size of the bolt clearance in the chassis.

That rail fits on there weird, I'm assuming you had to shift the rail forward because of the Steiner/Spuhr combo? We couldn't get the Steiners (4-16) to go into the correct position on our TRG-22's using rings, let alone a Sphurh mount. It may be that the rail is not seated properly.

You might try pulling that trigger and checking the movement of the safety out of the gun/chassis. If there was action had some parts out of position then that could maybe affect the passage of the little safety stop that sticks up through the action. If the bolt cannot fully close then this could also cause interference as the safety stop tries to go up into the bolt body. When there is no round in the chamber, the bolt can float forward a bit maybe and have better clearance in relation to the chassis, the a round in the chamber the bolt will naturally be forced back against the lugs and then maybe that's where the chassis interference is coming into play which leads to safety interference. Just conjecture without seeing it in person.

You didn't mention if this is a 2013 TRG or not, did you get it new? Personally I would suggest contacting Sako about the bolt handle clearance thing. If you send it back, make sure and put the Sako buttstock back on though, haha.
Justin

P.S. the new cheekpiece is coming in about a month and a half or so, we think you'll find it vastly improved, the latest batch of green panels proved to be too light to match however.
 
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adamwade

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Thanks for chiming in everyone. My TRG is the 2013 model and the rail is how it came from the factory. All the recent photos of TRG,s have the rail mounted forward. Perhaps to have the standard LOP fit more users with newer larger scopes? When I close the bolt on a live round you can see the bolt move backwards a little. I will measure this and report back. As Massoud mentioned, it makes sense that this would be causing the safety to bind which all adds up - also explains the chassis contact which I didn't notice until returning from an actual shoot.

As far as my scope mounting issue goes, I figured the sight height is 2.1in, .308 drop is 2-3 in at 100yrds all totals about 1-1.5 mils. 6mil angled mount should put me about 4 mils under impact. This keeps me closer to the optical sweet spot at most ranges. So when I dialed UP almost 7 mils I was a bit surprised. That seems more than a speck of dust under my ring or a miss torque. Could the Sphur mount have been machined backwards? I seriously doubt it. I'm pretty sure it looked tilted forward when I had it on a table with the scope resting in place. Most likely the Sako factory rail??? Maybe my whole gun was built by the new guy in Finland.
 

turbo54

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Dude, the scope mount is working as designed. It allows you zero @ 100 yards while not placing the erector at the very bottom of its travel, while also providing tons of upwards adjustment.
 

drjjl

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Thanks for chiming in everyone. My TRG is the 2013 model and the rail is how it came from the factory. All the recent photos of TRG,s have the rail mounted forward. Perhaps to have the standard LOP fit more users with newer larger scopes? When I close the bolt on a live round you can see the bolt move backwards a little. I will measure this and report back. As Massoud mentioned, it makes sense that this would be causing the safety to bind which all adds up - also explains the chassis contact which I didn't notice until returning from an actual shoot.

As far as my scope mounting issue goes, I figured the sight height is 2.1in, .308 drop is 2-3 in at 100yrds all totals about 1-1.5 mils. 6mil angled mount should put me about 4 mils under impact. This keeps me closer to the optical sweet spot at most ranges. So when I dialed UP almost 7 mils I was a bit surprised. That seems more than a speck of dust under my ring or a miss torque. Could the Sphur mount have been machined backwards? I seriously doubt it. I'm pretty sure it looked tilted forward when I had it on a table with the scope resting in place. Most likely the Sako factory rail??? Maybe my whole gun was built by the new guy in Finland.

I have 20moa/6mil rails on both my surgeon and fn spr rifles. With seekins rings, my 100 yard zero on both guns requires ~7mils up from the elevation turret bottomed out. With a spuhr 6mil mount, I'm now 1 mil from the bottom of my elevation on my kahles 6-24. So, to me, if the the spuhr mount is the only thing providing a slope in your mounting, your 100 yard zero sounds about right.
 

oinco

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Great write up! You will never need any other gear no matter what comes out. I thought I could get around the initial expense of a TRG, but ended up spending lots of money on Remingtons/Savages/clones/etc. only to finally "need" a couple TRG's. The other rifles pretty much just sit, as it is nearly impossible to beat that trigger and the ergos for me.

I ditched the factory scope bases and would highly recommend the direct mount Spuhrs...one less link in the chain. I went with the 44.4moa + S&B and the mechanical zero stop that nets me is simply perfect.

enjoy!
 

adamwade

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Turbo54,

I like it when you say everything is good, but let me clarify to make sure we're on the same page. If my scope is roughly 2in above the bore axis and the .308 drops 3in at 100yrds, that means the bullet impact should be about 5in/1.5 mil low (assuming the erector is centered and mounts are parallel). If the Sphur mount is now angled down 6 mil, then the impact should now be above the crosshairs by about 4.5 mils. @ 100yrds. That means I should have turned the elevation knob in the DOWN direction to align. Instead, I had to turn the knob in the UP direction almost 7 mils. This still doesn't sound right to me. If I didn't have the 6mil mount then I would have had to dial UP 13 mils at 100 yrds! That's almost half the elevation.
 

adamwade

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Oinco, Thanks for cheering me up man! I'm still in a daze over the money. I need to get into a good long range class and join a local match. Even if I suck it will be more fun then shooting at the bench.
 

Rotortuner

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If you dont like the trigger take it out and adjust it per the manual. its pretty easy. When i got mine i sat there and played with it for about an hour to get it how i like it, pretty light, I havent touched it since and its been a 1k rounds, hasnt changed at all. I am with you on trying to fit the TRG factory cheek piece to the KRG. I have a KRG and want to get the old cheek piece on there. more comfortable. Just a data point for you, but i only use a bore snake after each session and only clean every 400-600 rounds. Accuracy has always been the same. shoorts great with 44.5 varget in a lapua case and 175 SMK. Good luck and congrats on getting into shooting precision. BTW I love my magnetospeed too :) I wasted years with other crap chronos, your lucky you got a good product first time.

CJG
 

adamwade

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Thanks Rototuner. BTW, KRG is now working on their own rubberized cheek piece. They sell an adapted rubber version from another maker, but this new one is an original KRG design - so they tell me. I hope to reload eventually, but I sprang for the MagnetoSpeed now just as an excuse to calculate an optimum range card. I may adjust my trigger. I have the unfortunate luck of being right handed, left eye dominant. This may explain my challenge for groups? If I change to left handed shooting, then the trigger feel totally different.
 

adamwade

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Update to my bolt problem: Apparently, the safety works OK now and got worn in. I noticed that standard military 762 was fine, but the longer OAL of 175 FGMM was sticking. I didn't use the safety much at the range, and only in the beginning due to the thing being rough. Now that I tested it again after 100 rds, it seams OK. The back of the bolt lugs have good wear marks now, so perhaps it was just too tight. Not so sure I want to send it off, but I will contact Sako just in case. Would this be considered a headspace issue?