Posted on: 2011-05-26 21:32:00 -0400

I stopped by Adventure Outdoors on the way home to check out a couple of rifles including a Remington 700 Milspec 5R, a Savage 10 PC, and a Sako TRG-42 (they didn’t have a TRG-22 in stock). The Savage pointed very well and the trim stock felt solid. The bolt cycled smoothly, the AccuTrigger felt manageable, and it included a detachable magazine that holds four rounds. The stock didn’t have an adjustable cheekpiece or length of pull, and the barrel wasn’t threaded for a suppressor. I liked its large bolt knob, but the 90-degree bolt lift felt long having gotten used to the 60-degree lift on my A-Bolt. The positive safety was right where it should be on the tang. Overall, an impressive package for $850.

The Remington action felt smooth with no grit in the bolt throw. Downsides were a tiny bolt knob and 90-degree lift. The barrel also came threaded. But I didn’t care for the stock. Among other things, the palm swell felt very large to me and it didn’t adjust in any way. I was handling the rifle thinking of the $1k+ in parts and work that it would need over time.

I liked the TRG stock quite a bit, not to mention the smooth-as-silk bolt with a 60-degree lift and the beautiful trigger. I did not care for the safety inside the trigger guard, but it did flip on and off with nary a sound. The rifle also seemed ready to go. With the Remington and Savage, I was immediately thinking about swapping out the stock, adding detachable bottom metal, installing a new trigger, and the like. In contrast, the Sako came ready to go. It also features a UIT rail on the stock fore-end for mounting a bipod, sling swivel, and other accessories.

We looked up TRG-22s, and it appears that Sako recently started shipping them with a scope rail for a $300 surcharge. Fortunately, there are still models floating around without the rail. They’ll hopefully still be available when I’m a position to make a purchase.

Having handled the Sako, laying out twice as much money for an AI AW seems difficult to justify. Perhaps the Sako is the best rifle for the money while the AI AW is the best rifle.