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Thread: .338 Lapua side folder vs bull pup options?

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    .338 Lapua side folder vs bull pup options?

    So I have been wanting a 338 Lapua for quite a while now since shooting a few different setups. I like bullpup setups but a side folder would be acceptable as well. The problem is it appears the price of entry for either is more than my Barrett 50 BMG which is more than I feel is appropriate! =) Desert Tactical is almost as proud as AI and im not convinced they are worth what they think they are. The next best option I see would be an R700 with AICS stock(pistol grip side folder). That puts me in the $2300-$2500 range which is about the limit of what im willing to pay. Are there any options out there that im missing for this price point? I have shot and like the Savage but I cant find any side folder (like the AICS) type stock for it. =(

    I need compact and portable first and for most. This rig will be carried through tough terrain, not a bench rest range queen...

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    McRee has to be one of the most affordable folding chassis out there. That and the barreled action of your choice will get you there.
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    May I ask why you think a DTA is overpriced? Their design is 100% unique! Every piece of hardware in that weapon was 100% machined and designed by themselves. Have you felt the fully adjustable trigger? For a mere $1200 you can have a different caliber, same scope, and same accuracy as the original purchased caliber. To guys that shoot even 2 calibers, the DTA saves you money, and will be just as accurate as anything else you can spend 10k on. To top it off, you use far less space in your safe that allows you to fill with high end 1911s.

    The only downfall is the wait...

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    Sako TRG42 and a KRG Whiskey 3 folding stock will be about $4,200 or so.

    To stay within your budget I would go the AICS, Remington 700 route.

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    - DTA SRS w/ 26" 338 LM is ~39"
    - DTA Covert w/ 18" 338 LM is ~29"
    - AI AX 338 w/ 27" is 49.2" and 40" folded
    - Remington 700 SPS Tactical in 308 w/ 20" barrel is 39-5/8"
    - AR15 w/ 16" barrel is 36"

    That's why I went with the DTA Covert; even running a 26" barrel the DTA is roughly the same length as a folded AX 338 (1" difference due to difference in barrel lengths). And if you really want to go short, use the 18" 338 LM and you have a rifle that is shorter than a 16" AR15 Carbine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeltee View Post
    May I ask why you think a DTA is overpriced? Their design is 100% unique! Every piece of hardware in that weapon was 100% machined and designed by themselves. Have you felt the fully adjustable trigger? For a mere $1200 you can have a different caliber, same scope, and same accuracy as the original purchased caliber. To guys that shoot even 2 calibers, the DTA saves you money, and will be just as accurate as anything else you can spend 10k on. To top it off, you use far less space in your safe that allows you to fill with high end 1911s.

    The only downfall is the wait...
    This thread has me thinking they may be overkill...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeltee View Post
    May I ask why you think a DTA is overpriced? Their design is 100% unique! Every piece of hardware in that weapon was 100% machined and designed by themselves. Have you felt the fully adjustable trigger? For a mere $1200 you can have a different caliber, same scope, and same accuracy as the original purchased caliber. To guys that shoot even 2 calibers, the DTA saves you money, and will be just as accurate as anything else you can spend 10k on. To top it off, you use far less space in your safe that allows you to fill with high end 1911s.

    The only downfall is the wait...
    No doubt they are awesome machines, the problem is I feel they ask a significant royalty for the interchangeable calibers. I can buy a new barrel for my Barrett 50 BMG for $600 retail. Why does DT think theirs are worth TWICE what Barrett wants (i understand its not JUST a barrel but very close)? Are they TWICE as good as Krieger or FJ Federson? $3000+ just for a "chassis" is unreal to me and I have a $6000 rifle! =) I look at any rig that entry cost is in the thousands of dollars as an "investment". For it to be a legitimate investment in my "book" I would have to be able to get a large portion of my investment back upon re-sale. Just like I can on my Barrett, but I doubt that I could get anywhere close to that re-sale on the DT. I think they are way to new to the game to be asking for that kind of coin, its nothing personal. It would not cost that much more to step up to a Barrett MRAD and have the same interchangeability, and not worry about re-sale value. Do you disagree?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhart89 View Post
    Sako TRG42 and a KRG Whiskey 3 folding stock will be about $4,200 or so.

    To stay within your budget I would go the AICS, Remington 700 route.
    Actually I think that price is for the non-folding Sako. From wat I have seen its $6000 range for the TRG42 side folder. In that case I would also go MRAD. BUT if I could get a brand new TRG42 side folder in the $4K that would be a much better investment in my opinion than a DT!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mall Ninja308556 View Post
    No doubt they are awesome machines, the problem is I feel they ask a significant royalty for the interchangeable calibers. I can buy a new barrel for my Barrett 50 BMG for $600 retail. Why does DT think theirs are worth TWICE what Barrett wants (i understand its not JUST a barrel but very close)? Are they TWICE as good as Krieger or FJ Federson? $3000+ just for a "chassis" is unreal to me and I have a $6000 rifle! =) I look at any rig that entry cost is in the thousands of dollars as an "investment". For it to be a legitimate investment in my "book" I would have to be able to get a large portion of my investment back upon re-sale. Just like I can on my Barrett, but I doubt that I could get anywhere close to that re-sale on the DT. I think they are way to new to the game to be asking for that kind of coin, its nothing personal. It would not cost that much more to step up to a Barrett MRAD and have the same interchangeability, and not worry about re-sale value. Do you disagree?



    Actually I think that price is for the non-folding Sako. From wat I have seen its $6000 range for the TRG42 side folder. In that case I would also go MRAD. BUT if I could get a brand new TRG42 side folder in the $4K that would be a much better investment in my opinion than a DT!
    The MRAD is only a 1 caliber rifle as of now maybe in the future the will have others but don't hold your breath..there are several caliber options out for the DTA

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    Quote Originally Posted by hlee View Post
    This thread has me thinking they may be overkill...

    960 Yards, 5 Shot group
    I would have to say that his gun is 1 in a 10,000 build. Also, he is probably one of the best shots on these boards. I couldn't make that shot. Could you?

    For a man wanting a single caliber, the DTA isn't going to save you any money. No one stops at one caliber though. No One...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mall Ninja308556 View Post
    No doubt they are awesome machines, the problem is I feel they ask a significant royalty for the interchangeable calibers. I can buy a new barrel for my Barrett 50 BMG for $600 retail. Why does DT think theirs are worth TWICE what Barrett wants (i understand its not JUST a barrel but very close)? Are they TWICE as good as Krieger or FJ Federson? $3000+ just for a "chassis" is unreal to me and I have a $6000 rifle! =) I look at any rig that entry cost is in the thousands of dollars as an "investment". For it to be a legitimate investment in my "book" I would have to be able to get a large portion of my investment back upon re-sale. Just like I can on my Barrett, but I doubt that I could get anywhere close to that re-sale on the DT. I think they are way to new to the game to be asking for that kind of coin, its nothing personal. It would not cost that much more to step up to a Barrett MRAD and have the same interchangeability, and not worry about re-sale value. Do you disagree?



    Actually I think that price is for the non-folding Sako. From wat I have seen its $6000 range for the TRG42 side folder. In that case I would also go MRAD. BUT if I could get a brand new TRG42 side folder in the $4K that would be a much better investment in my opinion than a DT!
    I understand your point. You are paying the premium for the R&D, and because the market can bare it. I bet they could raise their price 15% and they would still be looking at a year backlog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeltee View Post
    I would have to say that his gun is 1 in a 10,000 build. Also, he is probably one of the best shots on these boards. I couldn't make that shot. Could you?
    I know this question wasnt directed at me but I can say I would be very confident about making that shot, depending mostly on weather.

    The best rifle in the world isnt worth a dam without a good shooter.

    The best shooter in the world wont hit crap with a bad rig. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeltee View Post
    a man wanting a single caliber, the DTA isn't going to save you any money. No one stops at one caliber though. No One...
    Although I agree, in my case I already have all the NATO rifle caliber stuff I want MINUS the 338:
    5.56, 7.62, 50 BMG

    If their "barrel kits" were not also so over priced than it would make more sense. But like you said, if you DONT buy a few different calibers than you are paying that huge "royalty" for nothing...

    I wouldnt "mind" a 300 WM but its not real important especially once I get the 338, being I already have reached way out there with 7.62 SMK 175 gr.

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    Mall Ninja,
    The MRAD is $6000 and doesn't have any other caliber options than .338LM, and I don't see where you are getting the $600 price tag for the barrels because Barrett doesn't even list MRAD barrels for sale on their website. The SRS 338LM is less than $5,000 and has 10 different options available today so I don't see where there is more value in the MRAD, what am I missing here? DTA rifles hold their resale value very well FYI.

    Saying that new rifle technology shouldn't cost more than 50 year old technology just plain doesn't make sense. With the Remington 700 you have mass production on machines that are older than most people on this forum. Yes you get a good handful of rifles that shoot pretty good out of this waterfall of rifles but it is common knowledge that 700 rifles can be greatly improved by throwing out most of the stock components (barrel, stock, trigger) and reworking the action and bolt. So in the end after you build a rifle from scratch you can get the accuracy and reliability guarantee that you hoped you would be lucky enough to draw when you entered the lottery.

    With new rifle technology you have design, development, and production expenses that are just not going to be there with the Remington 700. What you are paying for in the SRS is innovation and versatility. Every one of our rifles shoot lights out and all of our barrels are guaranteed to headspace with any DTA bolt. The rifles length is shorter than any other system on the planet and it's weight is exceptional. The ergonomics are built into the rifles and not a cheap afterthought.

    So you see in the end then the real question is if a person is willing to pay for guaranteed performance and utility that is not offered anywhere else or do they want to enter the lottery and hope to get lucky and when they don't they end up spending as much as the DTA with months of hassle and frustration during their journey.

    Some people like to tinker but some people just plain want it to work.
    Last edited by ney1; 05-31-2013 at 03:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockfish Dave View Post
    McRee has to be one of the most affordable folding chassis out there. That and the barreled action of your choice will get you there.
    I can't find where to get a McRee for long action Savage. I've been trying to help a friend who has a Savage .338 LM find a chassis for less than $1000, so far with no luck. Of course, I'm new at this LR game so may not be looking in the right places.

    Does anyone know where to find a chassis for a LA Savage?

    Edit: Sorry for the slight thread detour...

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    Although it would exceed your price point, why not consider buying a custom action and go the barrel nut route? You can get it any way you want except bullpup and for a lower cost as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ney1 View Post
    Mall Ninja,
    The MRAD is $6000 and doesn't have any other caliber options than .338LM, and I don't see where you are getting the $600 price tag for the barrels because Barrett doesn't even list MRAD barrels for sale on their website. The SRS 338LM is less than $5,000 and has 10 different options available today so I don't see where there is more value in the MRAD, what am I missing here? DTA rifles hold their resale value very well FYI.
    You mis-read what I said. The barrel for my 50 BMG Barrett is $600, I wasnt saying MRAD barrels are. I know the MRAD is a $6000 retail rifle, so im lucky that I only pay dealer cost so that puts the MRAD and your rifle neck and neck. Since side folder or bulpup is what I really want. I dont really care much about multi caliber at this point since I already have 7.62 NATO and 50 BMG rifles. 338 fills my last gap nicely! =)

    Quote Originally Posted by ney1 View Post
    that new rifle technology shouldn't cost more than 50 year old technology just plain doesn't make sense. With the Remington 700 you have mass production on machines that are older than most people on this forum.
    Yeah Ive pretty much ruled out R700's at this point. The Savage is a much better deal, just less aftermarket and resale. Since the XLR chassis in Carbon wont be available in long action for Savage till the end of year, I may look else where for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ney1 View Post
    new rifle technology you have design, development, and production expenses that are just not going to be there with the Remington 700. What you are paying for in the SRS is innovation and versatility. Every one of our rifles shoot lights out and all of our barrels are guaranteed to headspace with any DTA bolt. The rifles length is shorter than any other system on the planet and it's weight is exceptional. The ergonomics are built into the rifles and not a cheap afterthought.
    Where you guys at the last Shot Shoot here in Vegas? Im pretty sure I shot one of your rigs in 338 at the 1100 yard targets? I was talking to the Misses tonight a little more about it. I have a buddy who really wants my 7.62 rifle, we were doing the math and it makes more sense to go your route if I sell that rifle and get your chassis and both 338 and 7.62 kits. It makes the up front chunk a little less painful and better justifies the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by ney1 View Post
    you see in the end then the real question is if a person is willing to pay for guaranteed performance and utility that is not offered anywhere else or do they want to enter the lottery and hope to get lucky and when they don't they end up spending as much as the DTA with months of hassle and frustration during their journey.

    Some people like to tinker but some people just plain want it to work.
    Im not afraid to tinker as I build all my rifles from scratch (well 97.5% of the time) and I have been researching actions and barrel options if I decide to go that route. But I'm an AR platform guy and bolt guns are Spanish to me. Im trying to talk myself into thinking that the $2000+ my 7.62 rifle is going to net makes economic sense to go the DTA route. But the rest of me realizes its smoke and mirrors as I could build 2 separate rifles instead. That means in a bad situation I actually have 2 rifles to use and not one rifle and a barrel and bolt on the side! =)

    If I dont go the DTA route I will most likely go the Savage for now and wait for the XLR Carbon...


    Quote Originally Posted by meyersa88 View Post
    Although it would exceed your price point, why not consider buying a custom action and go the barrel nut route? You can get it any way you want except bullpup and for a lower cost as well.
    Currently looking at this option, whos stuff do you suggest? Im very green when it comes to building bolt guns!

    Quote Originally Posted by lash View Post
    Edit: Sorry for the slight thread detour...
    No worries here man.. =)
    Last edited by Mall Ninja308556; 06-01-2013 at 03:16 AM.

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    This is the thread I started inquiring about a barrel nut build. This could be a good starting point.

    Rem/Age Barrel nut system on a custom build thoughts

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    Quote Originally Posted by meyersa88 View Post
    This is the thread I started inquiring about a barrel nut build. This could be a good starting point.

    Rem/Age Barrel nut system on a custom build thoughts
    Im am a bolt gun noob for sure, but why go through all the trouble converting a Remmy and not just run the Savage? Most agree that 338 in the R700 action is a "shoe horn" job. The Savage is also a floating bolt which is a better design, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mall Ninja308556 View Post
    Im am a bolt gun noob for sure, but why go through all the trouble converting a Remmy and not just run the Savage? Most agree that 338 in the R700 action is a "shoe horn" job. The Savage is also a floating bolt which is a better design, no?
    Well I'm a noob as well. Only started shooting just shy of 5 years ago and only started long range/competition shooting last year. I went that route because I want a custom action which happens to be a Remmy style. You could go savage like one of my friends intends on doing, but I've just been reading a lot and decided to stop "wasting" my money on factory build rifles and jump into the deep end. This also seemed like the most cost effective and versatile option available to me. At the end of the day, it's your gun and it's going to be how you wanted it. so just take whatever any one says with as much merit as you like.

    Best of luck to you.

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    No part of owning a 338LM is cheap, I certainly wouldn't half ass it with a Remington or Savage. The TRG42 with a KRG folding stock upgrade is a great suggestion if you want to have two rifles. If you don't mind selling your 308 and having a switch barrel 308/338 the DTA isn't a bad option. I personally don't like swapping barrels back and forth to switch, having two rifles to shoot side by side is nice.

    After shooting the DTA and 98B, and owning a TRG42, a AR30, and a AWSM, if/when I buy another 338 it will be an AWSM or AX. They're second to none.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckbmxer24 View Post
    No part of owning a 338LM is cheap, I certainly wouldn't half ass it with a Remington or Savage. The TRG42 with a KRG folding stock upgrade is a great suggestion if you want to have two rifles. If you don't mind selling your 308 and having a switch barrel 308/338 the DTA isn't a bad option. I personally don't like swapping barrels back and forth to switch, having two rifles to shoot side by side is nice.

    After shooting the DTA and 98B, and owning a TRG42, a AR30, and a AWSM, if/when I buy another 338 it will be an AWSM or AX. They're second to none.
    Im surprised to see that the AI is thousands more than a side folding TRG-42! You have owned both, at the same time? I agree having 2 rifles is better than one multi caliber, I doubt anyone would disagree. Now realizing I have handled and shot the DTA (Shot Shoot 2013) and in the past I have handled and shot a Sako in 7.62 I have a tough time justifying thousands of dollars more. But then again, I have never ever SEEN an AI much less handled or shot one. You seem to have the most experience in this category than anyone else im aware of? The Mrs. is on board for the DTA or TRG-42 no side folder ($2K price difference!) or the MRAD (Same price as a TRG-42 side folder, but with the Barrett name a more comfortable pill to swallow). I doubt I could convince her of the AI being "that" much better! =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mall Ninja308556 View Post
    Im surprised to see that the AI is thousands more than a side folding TRG-42! You have owned both, at the same time? I agree having 2 rifles is better than one multi caliber, I doubt anyone would disagree. Now realizing I have handled and shot the DTA (Shot Shoot 2013) and in the past I have handled and shot a Sako in 7.62 I have a tough time justifying thousands of dollars more. But then again, I have never ever SEEN an AI much less handled or shot one. You seem to have the most experience in this category than anyone else im aware of? The Mrs. is on board for the DTA or TRG-42 no side folder ($2K price difference!) or the MRAD (Same price as a TRG-42 side folder, but with the Barrett name a more comfortable pill to swallow). I doubt I could convince her of the AI being "that" much better! =)
    I wouldn't say I have the most experience or even close to it, but I have experienced all of those platforms and have a good bit of use behind them. Most of my 338 shooting was with the TRG and the AWSM. I didn't own them both at the same time but I did shoot an AWSM while I had my TRG which is what made me switch.

    They are both top notch guns but the AI just stands out for me. They both have an excellent 2 stage trigger, an ergonomic stock, 60 degree bolt throw, slick actions, and just all around excellent quality. The first and foremost reason I switch was because I liked the way the AI shot more. It recoils less (weighs slightly more too), I prefer the ergonomics of the AI stock, and the barrel held its accuracy longer for more shots. My TRG opened up a little after 3 shots, still well under MOA, but it didn't hold it's accuracy like the AI does.

    The AI only has one possible downside to the TRG, and that's weight. Not a bad thing in my book though and its not like its 5lbs heavier. The next is the cost of acc's for the TRG. It seems like everything is $300-500 for it. The mount is $500, the bipod is $600, the spare mags are $400 (for one fucking magazine!), the brake is $300. So assuming you buy their stuff you're looking at an extra $3k for parts (I like to have at least 5 mags total). That is on top of the $4000 you're going to spend on the TRG with the KRG folder upgrade.

    Two more reasons I strayed away from the Sako is support and the stock. A buddy of mine dropped his TRG22 and cracked the stock right at the grip (shouldn't be an issue with the KRG) so its definitely nowhere near as robust as the AI's chassis. Sako was a nightmare to deal with and took months to complete the warranty service. We both live within about 30 miles of both Sako USA and AINA so we can drop anything off if need be. 3 months for a simple stock replacement was ridiculous and they offered no loaner rifle of any sort. I've heard of similar stories from others regarding their service. Shit can go wrong so it's just something to think about.

    AI on the other hand warranties two mags for me in person within 10 minutes of walking through their door. My guess a repair on a rifle would have been no different as long as they had the part, or had the same rifle sitting there they could take it from.

    Just a couple things to think about. Especially the extras you'll need and the prices Sako charges, their are aftermarket options for a lot of them (some not really any cheaper) but as far as I know you're stuck paying their prices for the mags. AI mags will run you about $80-90 each, their mounts are $180, the bipod is $200 or the plug and play atlas is $270, and the brake is included with the rifle.

    I would suggest giving Mile High a call and see what they can do for you. They also have a good deal going for a couple demo AX units with less than 200 rounds for $6850 with a $450 spuhr mount.

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    Two things I forgot to note about that DTA that bugs me.

    1. I'm 5-6 and don't have long arms by any means and the bolt is awkward, it is nowhere near as comfortable for me to work as a conventional bolt action with a properly fitting stock.

    2. As a reloader I know shit could happen no matter how careful you are. During a catastrophic failure you're face is right at the chamber and the only thing between it and you is a little bit of plasic and aluminum. IF you experienced a catastrophic failure, you would be very fucked up, no getting around it. You're likely to get fucked up if a regular bolt gun pops but distance is your friend when metal is flying. I'm sure the DTA is built as tough as anything else, but it's just something that bugs me with bullpups.

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    Yeah the bullpup is a double edged sword. Being I have a Barrett M99-A1 I know first hand, plus it keeps me from buying questionable ammo! =) Small pipe bomb going off by your cheek is a little disconcerting...

    I dont recall having any complaints about the DTA ergos as I was able to put 3 rounds on target at 1100 yds. in about 15 seconds. But im also 6'4" with a 79" reach! =)