Accuracy International’s new generation AX338 bolt action sniper rifle is highly advanced in every sense. It has been manufactured on the basis of the battle proven features of the AW series rifles. Therefore, this is new highly advanced AX338 has inherited extreme accuracy, reliability, amazing toughness, and ease of maintenance from the AW series. Just like its predecessor, AX Magnum action comes with flat bottom design. However, here its bottom is longer (CIP/SAAMI) as well as wider, thereby helping you to use double stack 10-round magazine, which is again reliable and compact.
AX .338 Lapua of Accuracy International has already made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for firing the longest successful rifle shot. The shots were taken by a British sniper named Craig Harrison during a field operation. Though we know that the effective range of this advanced machinery is anywhere from 600 yards to 1,600 yards, the accurate shots taken by Harrison left everyone with awe. One of the three shots the British sniper took was measured (through GPS system) to be 2,707 yards (equivalent to 1.54 miles or 8,120 feet). If available reports are to be believed, it took the bullet 3 seconds to hit the target. Therefore, you can have an idea how far the target was from Harrison.
AI AX 338 Lapua is by no means a small rifle. Its overall length is 49.2 inches or 1250mm. It is not a lightweight rifle too and weighs over 17 pounds (17.6 lb or 7.8kg to be precise). AX .338 Lapua has been machined from a single price high grade steel, where the caliber is 0.338 Lapua Magnum (CIP). Barrel of this rifle is stainless steel match grade whose length is 27 inches or 686mm. For matching specific ammunition types, there are multiple twist rates available. Barrel of this rifle comes with a high efficiency muzzle brake. Shooters will get suppressor as well as tactical muzzle brake options.
Chassis of Accuracy International AX .338 Lapua comes with adjustable cheekpiece, forward accessory rails that are moveable, sight rail extensions to MIL-STD 1913, support leg at the rear end, and sling loops. The rear support leg, present in the chassis, has a height adjustable design that features both fine adjustment and quick adjustment.
Trigger in this new advanced rifle is 2-stage adjustable, which is set at 1.5kg to 2kg (equivalent to 3.3lbs to 4.4lbs). Shooters will get adjustable trigger shoe option here. When it comes to safety level, Accuracy International has ensured inclusion of 3-position safety lever. The firing pin is blocked in the first position and also locks the bolt. The middle or the second position still blocks the firing pin but here bolt is removed. In the third safety lever position, which is also the forward position, firing is allowed as firing pin is not blocked in this final stage.
Magazine in AI AX338 Bolt Action sniper rifle is a detachable box type that contains 10 rounds. For making it easier for the shooters to carry this heavy rifle, manufacturer has included 4 sling attachment points that include two adjustable forward mounts.
A Few Words on Accuracy International to understand Genesis of Advanced AX338 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle
Before we go into detailed analysis of AX .338 Lapua and its components, first it is important to get a few words about Accuracy International, the company which has made its name for being able to manufacture world class rifles. They say, these devices have been designed for the shooters by the shooters themselves.
It was back in 1978, a group of national as well as international level (including an Olympic Gold Medalist) target shooters started Accuracy International. The first rifle manufactured by the company ensured incorporation of two distinct factors. They are performance enhancing factors (which those shooters learned during the international events) and a rifle with military level ruggedness. Designs of the rifles manufactured by the company are based on these two original features. However, they have developed over the last 30 years of their existence and incorporated the improvements in their rifles they have learned over the years.
When we say, the improvements are made on the basis of their learning we don’t mean cosmetic changes but important ones, which they have learned by closely going through user experience. Reports say that engineers and experts go through the user experience of police and military units of more than sixty countries all over the world on a regular basis to learn the improvements they have to make in their rifles. To achieve first shot accuracy, the advanced rifles, including AI AX .338 Lapua, are subjected to real tactical situations with all possible demanding environments. With all their “live” experiences in place, Accuracy International ensures that all the components are designed to perfection so that they always deliver the best.
AI AX338 bolt action rifle comes with a 27 inch match grade free floating barrel that uses unique large diameter thread for threading deep in the barrel. The thread used here is unique for this rifle type. Shooters can also get optional barrel lengths, calibers, and twists.
2. Butt Spike
Accuracy International has included an extendable spike that helps users in observing target area for longer period of time without any kind of additional fatigue. Manufacturer has designed this rifle with both fine and quick adjustments for a maximum extended length of 4.5 inches and 115mm.
AI has incorporated a new external stock design, which leverages shooters’ capability of carrying and moving with the AX .338 Lapua easily. This new advanced rifle comes with shorter rear stock, which helps in easier shooting even with bulky body armor. Two configurations are available and they are new pistol grip and thumbhole.
Design of the magazine and chassis has been improved to enable faster loading. In fact, the improvement makes the loading more positive and you can do it without even lifting the rifle. The magazine is made from military grade steel, where the surface has been toughened and the finishing is done through application of anti-friction coating. Magazine in AX .338 Lapua comes with 10-round double row.
5. Picatinny Rail
This comes as a standard fitting with AI AX 338 rifle and the best part is that almost all riflescopes or optical sights can be attached on this because of the internationally accepted interface. Accuracy International has also arranged for alternate fittings where alternative angle and height options are available.
6. Trigger Assembly
As mentioned before, AX .338 Lapua has a 2-stage mechanism that is battle proven as well as reliable. AX 338 has inherited this feature from its predecessor AW series. Shooters will get new trigger shoe in the front and after adjustment up to 13mm or 0.5 inch. Pull weights can be adjusted from 1.5kg to 2kg or 3.3lb to 4.4lb. If you want to clean the trigger assembly, you can do it easily by removing the two socket head cap screws.
7. Modular Bolt
The new modular bolt is larger in size (0.87 inch or 22mm). The significantly stronger construction helps in withstanding higher pressure as well as temperature. The manufacturer has also improved the leaf-spring style extractor that helps in removing and replacing the same in an easy manner.
8. Bonded Action
You will get a new strengthened design, thereby ensuring safety even in the most difficult situations and environmental conditions. For ensuring all time maintenance of zero and eliminate any kind of movement, it has been bonded as well as bolted permanently to the strong chassis, made up of military grade aluminum.
9. Forend Rail System
Free floating tube system comes with a slot system that attaches forend rail sections securely as well as quickly. This gives shooters much more flexibility in attaching optical and ranging devices. In fact, almost all kinds of varieties can be attached with this rail system in place.
10. Sling Points
As standard, you will find mounting of two sling attachment points. In accordance with the preference of the shooter, movement of the two forward sling points can be done.
Besides these standard components, shooters will also get multiple optional components with Accuracy International AX 338 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle and they are Butt Pad, Adjustable Cheekpiece, Pistol Grip, and Folding Chassis.