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Both Sako and AI provide single-piece scope mounts to connect the scope directly to the receiver without a separate rail and rings. Unfortunately, neither company offers a 35 mm ring option, and a separate rail is a notorious failure point which affected the Sako in our trials.

Which rifle is better? There is no definitive answer. Both rifles shoot so well at extreme ranges that their accuracy is limited only by the shooter's data-book, wind-call, and ability to hold the cross-hairs steady while pressing the trigger. The TRG-42 is lighter and easier to carry, however, if both rifles were run over by a truck and I had to make a critical shot, I would choose the AWSM; it's the tougher rifle. For the money, the TRG-42 is cheaper at $4018 for the rifle with bipod and muzzle brake, compared to $5530 for an AWSM configured the same way.

* The author would like to thank Janne Pohjoispaa and Ray Sanchez for assistance with this article.


		AI-AWSM		         TRG-42

Caliber	        .338 Lapua Magnum        .338 Lapua Magnum

Weight		15.1 lbs		 11.25 lbs

Overall Length  48.5 inches		 47.25 inches    

Barrel Type	Stainless,		 Cold-hammer forged
		Cut-rifled 5R		 

Barrel Length	27 inches		 27.125 inches

Twist		1:11			 1:12

Magazine	5-round single-stack     5-round double-stack
		single-feed		 single-feed

Action		60-degree bolt		 60-degree bolt

Although the two rifles have stark cosmetic differences, their designs are remarkably similar.

The .338 Lapua splits the difference between .50 BMG and .308 Winchester. Left to right: .50 BMG, .338 Lapua, .308 Winchester, 5.56 NATO.