Part of the challenge of extreme long-range shooting is getting a good sight picture. The standard silhouette is visible 3.5 mils right and 1 mil below the reticle center ranges at 1520 yards.
I equipped the AWSM with a Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56mm Precision Marksman II scope, using the 28-MOA single-piece AI scope mount. The S&B has a first focal plane P4-Fine reticle, which provides hash marks every one-half mil. The knobs have 0.1-mil clicks, and the elevation knob can be dialed up 26 mils (or 260 clicks) from its zero-stop at 100 yards. Depending on atmospheric conditions such as pressure and temperature, the .338 Lapua needs anywhere from 12 to 16 mils dialed to get to 1500 yards, so this scope setup gets the job done for the Lapua.
Ray's TRG-42 is set up with a 20 MOA Picatinny base from Warne Manufacturing, upon which is mounted a U.S. Optics (USO) SN3 3.8-22x44 mm scope, in beefy 34 mm USO rings. Its elevation knob provides about 70 minutes up from a 100-yard zero, with 0.5-MOA clicks. The S&B has 20 minutes more elevation than the SN3, but both scopes can take the .338 Lapua to 1700 yards without running out of clicks.
The most common military ammunition for the .338 Lapua is the B408 "Lock Base" 250-grain FMJ load from Lapua. Armor-piercing (AP) and armor-piercing incendiary (API) loads are also available. Lapua's other 250-grain bullet is
Both rifles are capable of fantastic long-range performance. The bottom group comprised five rounds from the AWSM in four inches at 940 yards. The TRG-42 shot three rounds into three inches in the top group at the same distance before the scope base came loose.
For the last year, we have been shooting these rifles side by side at targets out to 1600 yards, with a keen interest to determine which rifle is more accurate. The summary is that they shoot basically the same. Both will shoot one-hole groups at 100 yards, and both can shoot sub-half-MOA at 1000 yards if the shooter knows what he's doing and conditions are favorable. The same long-range drop-data can be used interchangeably with both rifles. Even the same reloads shoot about the same in both rifles. In working up a recipe to duplicate the factory Lapua 250-grain Scenar, we both eschewed H1000 due to dispersion at 1000 yards and gravitated towards using H4831SC or Retumbo. Ray shoots a little better than I do, and his groups show it with either rifle, but it's hard to argue with five shots into four inches at just over half a mile.
The TRG-42's bipod connects to the stock much closer to the bore axis and its feet spread wider, but it is slower to deploy and adjust than the AI bipod.
The TRG bipod is without question more stable than the AI bipod; it connects to the stock much closer to the bore axis and its feet spread wider. The AI bipod produces a more "floppy" rifle, but it is quicker to stow, deploy, and adjust, and all of those can be done one-handed versus two-handed with the TRG bipod. A .338 Lapua shooter can afford to take a few extra seconds to produce a stable shooting position, so this is a clear advantage of the TRG.
The trigger on the TRG is a little crisper than the AI trigger. The magazine release on the AI is a little easier to operate. The barrel on the AI is end-user switchable with the factory barrel-change kit. The AI has less recoil than the TRG because it weighs more than the TRG. This is especially noticeable when the suppressor is mounted. The TRG cannot reliably stabilize the 300-grain SMK, which is a better bullet for ultra-long-range shooting than the 250-grain Scenar; the AWSM can.