Sako TRG 42 338LM, what do you think of that possible deal?

Arnianor

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Apr 28, 2021
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Hi guys,
I've got a possible deal on a used Sako TRG 42 in 338LM, coming with trg 30moa 34mm mount, trg bipod, trg muzzle break, sling and case like in the picture below. The rifle shot about 150 rounds. That's for the great part.
For the "short comings":
  • The riffle is a pre-2009 model, which means:
    • Barrel with 1:12 twist rate (so bullets are limited to 250 grains, it won't stabilize heavier ones) / changing the barrel would cost me approx $2500 USD at brownells
      EDIT: I'd especially like comment on this point, for people with much more experience than mine, how much is the inability to stabilize heavy weight bullet going to affect my goals? Is this point sufficient to make this riffle a pass, or should I take it anyway?
    • old trigger (here's what they changed in 2013: "This new mechanism ensures improved safety measures in case the rifle is accidentally dropped. It also features a new safety lever, which is ergonomically positioned and designed to make it faster and more convenient to use. The TRG 22/42 bolt handle attachment has been improved to withstand even the roughest handling")
    • single ejector on the action (change in 2013 : "The TRG 42 2013 update introduced new double plungers. These make frequent cartridge ejection even more seamless.")
    • Old recoil pads on the stock (change in 2013: "...2013 update introduced an improved recoil pad. This updated pad has refined material to reduce the feel of recoil, allowing for better control and recovery.")
  • The bipod doesn't hold very well (it seems like a known issue, I've found other thread where this happens brand new. I've checked the base rail and a little bit of paint gone but it's otherwise not damaged / used)
  • It's the black stock (non-stealth), blued barrel with no surface treatment on the stock version. My country's military use the green stock with phosphated metal finish (so the barrel and some other parts, such as the bolt) and blued action.
    Of course, I would have much preferred the green phosphated version, and so do most persons interested in a TRG 42 where I live, so if at some point I want to sell this one just the color will be a handicap.
The price for everything: the equivalent to $3025 USD tax included in local currency (the naked riffle, new with green stock phosphated metal parts, no accessories comes at about $6500 USD, tax included here)

The planned usage: long range shooting (from 800 yards to ideally, on occasion, past a mile, where the 300gr would have been very welcome), and on use for game where something bigger than 308 is usually advised, such as elk.

What do you guys think, should I take it, or should I pass and save up for a brand new one?

Regards

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Last edited:

ElectricFuneral

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Sounds like you want the green one. Wait for one to pop up for sale so that you won't have regrets.

PS: I have a green phosphatized TRG 22 and love it.

Cheers
 

CerebralDistortion

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The pre -13 trigger is considered better than the post. Just don't adjust it too light.

The color is just paint.

The phosphated barrel is just only that and it has an notch for peep sights.

The action is phosphated on both.

The bolt handle should not be a problem unless you intend to break it.

The but pad is thicker, yes. But replacements are available as sako original part or from a Tikka Tac A1. Same shape. Same hole spacing.

Dual plunger is possible to install but IMHO not needed for civilian use.

So. Ceracote the things you want black and paint the stock green. The rifle will perform regardless.

As for price.
The scope mount is kind of meh compared to a Spuhr, but good enough. Brake and bipod is worth about $400 used where I live (I'm not in the US). If it is a Sako case it is quite pricey too.
You will use a lot of money on ammo so what you pay for the rifle is kind of secondary.

Oh, and I have a black (so far) 22. And I've found no fault in that...
 
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sinister

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It's the same as my rifle except I have green plastic.

I'd say that's a VERY fair price considering the entire package and such little use. I think I bought mine off this sight maybe 15 years ago.

I typically shoot Lapua and Sierra 250s (by choice) but have also shot 300-grain Sierra, Berger, and Lapua Scenars with no problem.

Balance how much you're going to shoot it by how much you want to spend.
 

M4guru

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    If I could get the color I didn't want for $3500 off I would totally do that.
     

    stefan73

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    BLUF: I would buy that.


    I have a TRG-42 in .338L and a TRG-22 in .308.

    You could put a Bartlein or Krieger barrel in there for roughly $1000 it might be more now but not by much.
    You can paint or have it painted and it doesn't cost that much.
    The trigger isn't an issue or I have not had any issues with it and I have used it packing in Alaska TRG-42. Only issue I can think of is that the factory did not Loctite the trigger set screws. On my TRG-22 those walked a little and I lost my 1st stage. I reset the trigger and haven't had any issues.
    Both my TRG-22 and 42 have the old triggers and some people do not like the newer triggers.
    I have no extraction problems on my TRG-42, the TRG-22 is a little light but works just fine and at the range drops the brass on the table so I am not looking everywhere to find my brass.

    I really like the factory bipod, I bought an improved role pin (I believe the heat treat was off on the factory bipod role pin) to replace the factory one which is what broke with my TRG-42 use. Cost me about $5 with shipping and a giant baggy of role pins. If you are in need I can try to find my big ass bag of role pins and send you one or two.
     
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    lte82

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    What about the 1:12 barrel twist rate which won't stabilize heavy bullets?

    Have a Bartlein 9.3 twist chambered and use that. Otherwise, you'll need to use the sierra / lapua / nosler 250 gr bullets with the 1:12. I believe the 1:12 is even too slow for the 250 hybrids.
     
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    GrumpyOleFart

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    I have an older TRG, and love it.
    If you are wanting more than what that one offers, don't buy it.
    There is nothing that you have mentioned, that isn't fixable, for under the price of a new one.
    Check the barrel and bolt.
    150 rounds?
    I know how much I enjoy pumping rounds through my 338 Lapua.😈
     
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    Wannashootit

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    What about the 1:12 barrel twist rate which won't stabilize heavy bullets?

    A lot of factors affect stabilization- simple enough for you to use a stabilization calculator to find out based on your environmental conditions and bullet selection.


     

    sinister

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    Again, a 1-12 will stabilize 300s. I don't know what altitude you are shooting, but consider the 1-12 twist will stabilize 250s to a greater distance given lower air pressure (drag) above sea level.

    I see you are in Switzerland. Is it difficult to find gunsmith-machinists to re-barrel rifles?
     

    Arnianor

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    Again, a 1-12 will stabilize 300s. I don't know what altitude you are shooting, but consider the 1-12 twist will stabilize 250s to a greater distance given lower air pressure (drag) above sea level.

    I see you are in Switzerland. Is it difficult to find gunsmith-machinists to re-barrel rifles?
    Difficult I don't know, but unless the barrel is in stock somewhere, likely very long (it took a year to an armorer to import a scope mount + rail that isn't usually available here, it's even more long for a private) and expansive (both the hardware and manual labor).
    Things here usually cost at least 1.5-2x more than in the US. One of my favorite example to illustrate this is a plain pair of Levi's, 30-40$ in the US, the same one will cost over a hundred dollars more here (which makes it worth to pay for shipping from the states + customs, as it'll still be cheaper).
    Thanks for the stabilizing calculators guys.
     

    athanasios23

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    How much does it cost to fly to the US? Bring nothing and fly back with as many Levi's as you can fit in two suite cases and make some money. That rifle can be free with only 35 pairs of jeans.

    In all seriousness. Saving 3k is always great. Thats a really nice scope to top this rifle. Saving up for a new one and adding a scope fitting for that rifle will be much more. Also how long will it take you to save the extra $3000. Are we talking a month maybe two or a year. That's a long time of not enjoying a trg.
     

    GrumpyOleFart

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    Your concerns about projectile stability are all able to be ironed out with load adjustment, type of bullet, etc.
    Heavy isn't always better.
    There are some outrageous distance hits being recorded with lighter, smaller projectiles.
    Hope you are happy with whatever decision you make.
    I will share with you, that both my TRG and AI rifles are older variants, but they in no way diminish my enjoyment of using them.
    Quality is timeless.
     

    cjs88

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    Difficult I don't know, but unless the barrel is in stock somewhere, likely very long (it took a year to an armorer to import a scope mount + rail that isn't usually available here, it's even more long for a private) and expansive (both the hardware and manual labor).
    Things here usually cost at least 1.5-2x more than in the US. One of my favorite example to illustrate this is a plain pair of Levi's, 30-40$ in the US, the same one will cost over a hundred dollars more here (which makes it worth to pay for shipping from the states + customs, as it'll still be cheaper).
    Thanks for the stabilizing calculators guys.
    What size pants? I will buy you some and ship them and you can pay me 10% over total price.
     

    Strykervet

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    That is a screaming deal! :)
    That's what I thought.

    And if that's what they're asking then they'll probably take a little less. Can't hurt to ask. Just tell 'em you talked to experts in the 'States.

    What size pants? I will buy you some and ship them and you can pay me 10% over total price.
    I also ship panties international! New or used?
     
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    Arnianor

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    Haha guys, thanks for the advice and regarding the pants, my wife has family in the states ;)
    It's just a tiny little bit easier to export pants than a barrel :D
     

    CerebralDistortion

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    How difficult is it to get a barrel direct from Sako shipped to Switzerland?
    Impossible.

    Sako only accept rebarreling at the factory and there you'll get stuck in a queue for a barrel. Then another queue for fitting.

    And, unless the Sako agent in Switzerland has signed a small arms export agreement with the Finnish government, all TRG spare parts are considered war material and export is prohibited.
    I can't buy a spare bolt handle due to these reasons... Well I could, through Brownells, but then it's double toll and export licenses.
     

    918v

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    300gr bullets are too heavy for the 338LM TRG42. The mag is too short which restricts coal which limits case capacity. You can’t get enough velocity to perform as well as old school 250’s doing 2950 FPS. That rifle was designed around that combo and works very well.

    I have both pre and post 2013 rifles and the triggers on both are very nice. You can set the pre 2013 trigger lighter but both designs are excellent. The post 2013 trigger is a true 2-stage with a cam-over design. The pre 2013 trigger is basically a single stage trigger with a lot of take-up.

    The recoil pad is a non issue. Just buy the updated part. Sell the bipod and get an Atlas.