Sako TRG: Ideal sniper rifle for special operations

Author: Eric Sof


The Sako TRG is one of the most popular sniper rifles among special forces operatives. It is an accuracy concept designed to accomplish a single-minded mission: hit the target – whatever it takes. It is considered one of the most trusted sniper rifles on the market.


Sako TRG is a series of sniper rifles developed by the Finnish firearm manufacturer SAKO of Riihimäki (Finland). First rifles were designed in 1989 (TRG-21/41), while the TRG-22/42 was manufactured in 1999—one of the best bolt action rifles you’ll ever use.

The Sako rifles are available with olive drab green, desert tan/coyote brown, dark earth, or black stocks and are also available with a folding stock.


The Sako gives you performance that surpasses the highest demands for accuracy, reliability, and versatility. It is one of the most accurate rifles out of the box. Today, SAKO TRG rifles are part of armories worldwide, military or law enforcement. The TRG series is more of a ‘budget’ military precision rifle for militaries that want a rugged precision rifle but those who are not willing to fork over the dough for an Accuracy International.

Sako TRG rifles
Sako TRG sniper rifle (Photo: XY)

Any bolt-action centerfire rifle – which is what Sako makes – will put a full magazine into a circle the size of a quarter at 250 yards if you’re willing to spend time tuning it. Experts pre-tuned Sako rifles at the factory; they come out of the box shooting well. Plus, they are beautiful to look at and hold. They used to be priced much higher than other guns but no longer – Sako didn’t get cheaper, everyone else got more expensive.

Ruggedness and long-term durability are, in my opinion, where the TRG lacks. It’s a rugged rifle, no doubt. I’ve seen it take quite a lot of abuse in a military context, but I’ve also seen and heard Accuracy International rifles take more abuse. It’s just the nature of the rifle’s design; you could throw my TRG off the side of a hill, I’d gasp and pray that it still functions. More than likely, it does, but with an AI rifle, I have no such concern. Throw it off the side of a cliff; I expect it to survive and function business as usual.

SAKO TRG 21/22 and SAKO TRG 41/42

The SAKO TRG-21 and TRG-22 are designed to fire standard .308 Winchester ammunition. In contrast, the SAKO TRG-41 and TRG-42 versions are designed to fire more powerful .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition and therefore have a larger action and barrel as standard. Those calibers are at the very top of the list for rifle calibers. They pack a lot of velocity and energy.

Sako TRG-42 sniper rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum
Sako TRG-42 sniper rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum used by an Italian soldier in a helicopter (Photo: Wikipedia)

SAKO M10 Sniper Weapon System

The company also offers the Sako M10 Sniper Weapon System. The Sako TRG M10 was designed as a user-configurable multi-caliber modular system and did not share its receiver and other technical features with the rest of the TRG line.

The M10 is a purpose-built precision rifle. The Finns valued the importance of machining precision early in WWII. The Finnish copy of the Mosin Nagant was one of the most accurate weapons.

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Technical specifications for SAKO TRG sniper rifle

Caliber: .260 Remington (TRG-22)
6.5mm Creedmoor (TRG-22 A1)
.308 Winchester (TRG-21, TRG-22)
7.62×51mm NATO (TRG-21, TRG-22)
.300 Winchester Magnum(TRG-41, TRG-42)
.338 Lapua Magnum (TRG-41, TRG-42)
Action: bolt-action
Overall length: 1,000 mm (39.37 in) (TRG-22 510 mm barrel)
1,150 mm (45.28 in) (TRG-22)
1,020 mm (40.16 in) (TRG-42 folded stock 510 mm barrel)
1,200 mm (47.24 in) (TRG-42)
Barrel length: 10 mm (20.08 in) (TRG-22 and TRG-42 folded stock)
660 mm (25.98 in) (TRG-22)
690 mm (27.17 in) (TRG-42)
Weight: 4.7 kg (10.4 lb) empty (TRG-22 black)
4.9 kg (10.8 lb) empty (TRG-22 green/tan/dark earth)
5.2 kg (11.5 lb) empty (TRG-22 fold. stock 510 mm barrel)
5.4 kg (11.9 lb) empty (TRG-22 fold. stock 660 mm barrel)
5.1 kg (11.2 lb) empty (TRG-42 black)
5.3 kg (11.7 lb) empty (TRG-42 green/tan/dark earth)
5.8 kg (12.8 lb) empty (TRG-42 fold. stock 690 mm barrel)
Effective firing range: 800 m (875 yd) (TRG-22 .308 Winchester)
1,100 m (1,203 yd) (TRG-42 .300 Winchester Magnum)
1,500 m (1,640 yd) (TRG-42 .338 Lapua Magnum)
Capacity: 5-round detachable box magazine (.338 Lapua Magnum)
7-round detachable box magazine (.300 Winchester Magnum)
10-round detachable box magazine (.308 Winchester)
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