By David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
December 8, 2008
Back in September, DefenseReview published an article on the Barrett M98B .338 Lapua Magnum bolt-action anti-materiel/sniper rifle. Well, it looks like Barrett may have some competition in the form of the Sniper Weapon System (SWS) .338 Lapua Magnum bolt-action rifle made by H-S Precision, Inc. The SWS became the "very first American-designed and manufactured .338 Lapua sniper rifle adopted by any military in the world," when it was adopted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) a.k.a. Israeli Defense Forces last year, according to gunwriter Charles Karwan a.k.a Chuck Karwan, who reviewed the rifle for Tactical Weapons.
The IDF SWS is basically a modified/enhanced and militarized H-S Precision Pro-Series 2000 semi-custom bolt-action rifle, a military/tactical-config version of the Pro-Series 2000 .338 Lapua Magnum, if you will. The SWS’ action is marked "Pro-Series 2000 LA", and…
utilizes a push feed with a plunger ejector. In the article, Karwan states that he would "prefer a controlled-round feed on a combat rifle like this so as to remove the chance of a double-round feed jam [a.k.a. double feed] when shooting under the pressure and confusion of combat. However, as long as the operator cycles the action smartly and deliberately, the chances of a double-round feed jam occurring with this rifle is minimal."
The IDF SWS anti-materiel/sniper rifle has a crisp, single-stage 2-pound (2-lb) trigger, and utilizes 7-round detachable magazines, so total on-board ammo capacity is 7+1. The heavy fluted barrel is 29.75 inches (29.75") with the muzzle brake attached, and OA weapon length is 49.75". Fully loaded (7-round magazine) with sling and bipod attached, the SWS comes in at approx. 20 pounds (20 lbs), which is only a couple of pounds heavier than a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) M40A3 7.62x51mm NATO (7.62mm NATO) sniper rifle. The IDF SWS weighs only 12.5 lbs empty, due to the lightweight fiberglass/kevlar/carbon-fiber stock with aluminum bedding block.
For his shoot test, Karwan utilzed either a NightForce 5.5-22×50 NXS or 5.5-22×56 NXS tactical scope mounted with what appears to be a McCann Industries S.I.R.S. (Stock Imbedded Rail System) Mil-Std-1913 "Picatinny" rail scope mount.
Karwan used two Black Hills .338 Lapua Magnum loads: one with a 250-grain Sierra Match King bullet at a velocity of 2,950 fps (feet-per-second) and muzzle energy of 4,831 fpe (foot-pounds of energy), and the other with a 300-grain Sierra Match King bullet at 2,800 fps and 5,223 fpe.
The IDF Sniper Weapon System (SWS) typically grouped under 1 MOA for a series of five cold-barrel shots, with 3 out of the 5 shots typically under 1/2 MOA (.5 MOA). Hot-barrel-shot groups opened up a bit or hit to a slightly different zero for Karwan, but this phonemenon dissipated as the rifle underwent the normal breaking in period. Karwan pointed out that "in combat, almost nothing happens ‘normally’, and it is entirely possible the sniper may have to fire five or more shots in a rapid fashion, so it is important that that the cold-barrel zero and the hot-barrel zero be as close to the same as possible."
The IDF SWS sports a matte black teflon coating/finish.
The IDF SWS came to Karwan in a Hardigg Storm Case iM3300 heavy-duty foam-lined polymer hard case/trunk. This case is airtight, watertight and padlockable, and is the toughest case Karwan’s ever examined.
Company Contact Info:
Hornady Manufacturing Company (Hornady Mfg. Co.)
3625 Old Potash Hwy
Grand Island, NE 68802-1848
800-338-3220 Toll Free
Hardigg Storm Case
147 North Main Street
South Deerfield, MA 01373-0201
800-542-7344 (800-JHardig) Toll Free
http://www.hardigg.com Hardigg Cases Main Website
http://www.stormcase.com Hardigg Storm Case Website
http://www.militarycases.com Hardigg Military Case Solutions Website