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New rifle for target work, help me decide.


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Hi all, just looking for some opinions. I’ve got a slot for a 6.5 creed or which I intend to fill with a rifle primarily for target work which I am new to. I’ve joined bisley and also have ground to shoot over all around the country so I might buy a few gongs and stretch it out a bit when I become accustomed as to what’s required skill wise! The two rifles I have narrowed it down to are as follows. Accuracy international AX or sako trg 22 a1. I know a lot of you shoot the AI but does anyone have first hand experience of the Sako. What would be your choice and why? Thanks in advance, I look forward to receiving your opinion.

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I have a TRG 22A1 in 6.5 Creedmoor.

I chose that because I'm a big fan of the TRG platform and liked the look of the A1, that's about it really.

I've not shot a AX so can't help you with for or against points between the two I'm afraid. So far I'm really liking the A1, it adjusts a lot so fits well and is really nice to shoot. It's a very accurate rifle but I'm sure it's on par with the AX. 

I suppose my only gripe with it would be the cost of the magazines but that's it. 

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AX here  for the reasons Sean likes his TRG  really 

 best thing is to shoot both then decide    if you can ..  were do you shoot ?

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AI AT owner here 

have shot both rifles and in hindsight I prefer the sako grip . Changed my AT to the thumbhole stock and am happy with that but it’s very squared ish and works best when using gloves . Needed to get length of pull near 15” to feel comfy . There is a trg  with folding adjustable stock which looks very good . Really need to try them to see how your hand fits . Steyr ssg ??  Not sure if they do your calibre  . Cheers 

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Having shot (but not owned) both I would go for the new AT-X , you can change the 'grip' bit of the stock for whatever you want.

T

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1 hour ago, terryh said:

Having shot (but not owned) both I would go for the new AT-X , you can change the 'grip' bit of the stock for whatever you want.

T

6.5 CM allows a choice of LRP and SRP brass.  Small primers are favoured for increased accuracy potential.  I understand that the AI firing pin is not suitable for SRP (others can confirm).  Can't speak to the TRG22 firing pin.  Maybe worth investigating further.

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27 minutes ago, Popsbengo said:

6.5 CM allows a choice of LRP and SRP brass.  Small primers are favoured for increased accuracy potential.  I understand that the AI firing pin is not suitable for SRP (others can confirm).  Can't speak to the TRG22 firing pin.  Maybe worth investigating further.

The sako firing pins work fine with the small primer brass

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Sako uses the small firing pin for TRG Creedmoors , this was confirmed to me by Sako 7 months ago when I had mine built . And so will shoot both SRP and LRP with no problems at all 

I only use large primers . 

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Not on the list, but  close cousin, I bought the Tikka TACA1 in CM. I'm pretty tickled with it though I only use it prone on steel plates.~Andrew

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I am an AI AT owner and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I have 308 and 6.5CM barrels and they are easy to swop. I use it in a variety of different competitions (out to a 1000 yards), which is one of the main reasons I bought it. Although, as mentioned above you may wish to consider the new AI AT-X. For reference my son shoots an RPR (6.5CM) with a 24 inch barrel to 1000  yards, which is the same barrel length as the new AI AT-X.

What benefit do you consider the AI AX gives over the AT, obviously other than the ability to change to .338 (or similar). Is this something you really need?

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Thanks everyone for taking the effort to respond, it’s very much appreciated. The reason for the AX over the AT is I already shoot a custom .223 in an AICS stock which shoots well but I’ve got giant hands and find the thumbhole stock a bit strange and I’m a tart and it’s a bit samey! Even with the new pistol grip the at doesn’t appeal.

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7 hours ago, Popsbengo said:

6.5 CM allows a choice of LRP and SRP brass.  Small primers are favoured for increased accuracy potential.  I understand that the AI firing pin is not suitable for SRP (others can confirm).  Can't speak to the TRG22 firing pin.  Maybe worth investigating further.

From 2014 AI short action went to 1.6mm firing pin, however 6.5CM is fine with the older 2mm pins. 6.5x47 is however a bit marginal.

 (Higher pressures seem to be more common although if your careful you should get away with it).

Apparently the mk111 MC is now 1.6 for all bolt faces.

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For pure target work I don't rate any AI or Sako over a good custom rifle (a fair comparison considering the purchase price).

My 6.5CM Dolphin is magnificent.  Mik bakes exceedingly good rifles !

Don't know the attraction for AI myself unless considering a hard life needing a robust tool.  For sure if I was 'contracting' an AI would be top of the list followed by a TRG Sako, or Orsis.  As a target shooter with no expectation of shooting in sh1t or snow I don't see the attraction.

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Agree with pops on this , and as stated have a look at a custom build for what you thinking of spending, I only have TRGs because there used for hunting most of the time . My 6.5 is my main stalking and steel rifle And a few range days with mates 

the rifle I more than capable of holding it own at 1000/1200 same as the AI’s but neither are pretty compared to others on range days 😂

and yes pops mik does make a good rifle . I was over there last week dropping a rifle off for a spot of mik magic .

he’s only down the road from me , 

He was not a happy bunny as he had just had his second jab . 

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  • 4 weeks later...

im in there boat too , id spend that sort of money on a custom build to suit what you need , the one thing that could affect what you choose is if you end up selling ? as the AI or other one would sell easier with more appeal to buyers . iv seen alot of rifles up for sale without even being used by the customers . its a crying shame really . But id def prefer a smith build an awsome rifle with some really tasty bits . atb 

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AI, AT / ATX . Reasons being: AIs tend to hold value better than a custom rifle which is your harts desire but rarely anyone else’s and desires tend to change over time; AIs have a very easy user replaceable barrel system - so easy to change calibers for application; great U.K. support from AI authorised service centre - Baldie at Valkyrie rifles.

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Having made into the hundreds of Creedmoor barrels for AI rifles, I can confirm that they work just fine with large or small primers. There have only ever been issues with 6.5 x 47 etc.

All AI AX/AT  rifles post, 2017 have the small diameter [1.6 mm ] firing pin anyway, so the primer choice is yours.

The AXMC has the large pin as standard, but a small diameter conversion bolt is readily available.

The primer size makes no difference to the creed's accuracy, just its speed.

Choice of sako or AI ?

I like them both personally, especially the M10.

Have had to replace the TRG triggers 3 or 4 times though, they were a known fault, and expensive.

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On 6/14/2021 at 8:28 PM, Popsbengo said:

For pure target work I don't rate any AI or Sako over a good custom rifle (a fair comparison considering the purchase price).

Don't know the attraction for AI myself unless considering a hard life needing a robust tool. 

And I think that's the split isn't it. Custom lets you get exactly what you want from a craftsman but you are potentially in a queue for parts. Resale value is determined by how "attractive" your spec is to the shooting community.

With AI or Sako it is factory, so fully engineered product with service and spares on tap, designed to be easily reconfigured so potentially more of a platform. Volume production also helps iron out design and manufacturing issues. There is a resale market for these brands but it is probably thinner than people think.

Pay your money, take your choice

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Thank you all again for your varied opinions, they make an interesting read. I know the AI and Sako are both up there in terms of cost and I could build a full custom for around the same money, but, and it’s a big but! Will a custom action sat in a PSE, McMillan or nice chassis really be much better for an average shooter like me? Or will time behind an AI or sako with a box full of ammunition and some further training improve me quicker.

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Obviously the choice is yours, but a custom rifle if you every wish to sell it is very bespoke (and may be very specific to one competition: i.e. FTR), whereas in my opinion a secondhand AI would always be worth a reasonable amount since there always seems to be someone looking for a secondhanmd AI.

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11 minutes ago, Jet flint said:

Thank you all again for your varied opinions, they make an interesting read. I know the AI and Sako are both up there in terms of cost and I could build a full custom for around the same money, but, and it’s a big but! Will a custom action sat in a PSE, McMillan or nice chassis really be much better for an average shooter like me? Or will time behind an AI or sako with a box full of ammunition and some further training improve me quicker.

i bought an AIAX it will always shoot better than me , I asked Baldie on here loads of stuff (probably some stupid questions  my specialised subject) . I shot DS1 338  in Czech loved it ...

But i talked myself out of it  the price mainly  , then i shot one at Bisley owned by a complete stranger  after my mate asked him if i could , the rest is history . Love it  cant see me selling it  might get it refinished to match my AK Russian bride  (rescued from the clutches of the North) 

Whatever you choose  just enjoy it qs long as you possibly can ..

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We've shot both TRGs and AIs in 6.5 Creedmoor, and ended up with something else instead, in our case a DTA chassis that was barrelled in 6.5 x 55 Swedish by Mik at Dolphin Guns. The ergonomics suited us better, and allowed a very long barrel in a reasonable length rifle. The 6.5 x 55 Swedish cartridge allows us to use all the bullets available to the Creedmoor, but to propel them with slower burning powders to enhance barrel life. 

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Owning several full custom/switch barrel builds in .338 Norma Magnum, 6.5x47, .223AI and .30-06, plus an AI AWM in .300wm, I personally don’t think any misplaced shot will be attributable to any gun you choose to buy, whether that’s custom or other.

All the guns are as accurate as each other, regardless of being custom or not. All have top components and will all shoot very well once I’ve found the right load that suits them.

All the guns have been flawless in operation, regardless of rain or shine - they just keep going.

Personally, my advise would be to choose a gun with an adjustable stock or chassis so that you can fit the gun to your body shape and style of shooting. Other than that, I think just choose whatever makes you feel happy, you are comfortable with (eg weight of carrying for stalking etc) and have at it - regardless of factory, custom or semi-custom.

But regardless of how nice ones kit is, there is no substitute for practice. Just get out there and practice. 

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