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GUNS Magazine April 2010 - Page 18

RANGING SHOTS • CLINT SMITH • TImBERwOlF .338 lAPUA RIFlE Filling the gap between the .300 Win Mag and .50 BMG. ecently I had the unique opportunity to shoot a Timberwolf boltR action, magazine-fed rifle built by Prairie Gun Works Defense Technologies Inc. or PGWDTI for short. The rifle platform uses the expressly made—theoretically for the middle ground of long ranges—.338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. The .338 Lapua falls between the .300 Winchester and the .50 BMG calibers used by long-range rifle shooters to access targets most of us can’t see with the naked eye. Although it sounds odd, this “middle” ground of long ranges can create problems for the .300 Winchester where it can be a bit overworked, and the .50 BMG, which is accurate but requires a solid working platform to get its big projectile out to range with repeatability. The Canadian based PGWDTI people build high dollar, high-quality rifles and weapons systems across a broad spectrum of calibers and end users to address “access” to this middle ground of ranges. If you ask the “Maple Leafs,” they are closed mouth; extending courtesy to their end users and enforcing their ideology of “loose lips sink ships,” a concept very unusual in today’s world. This “quiet mode” has earned them welldeserved sales and better yet the respect of customers (including me). I am not going to get into the mystery mode over which Canadian special operations-type units use the PGWDTI .338 Lapua rifle. If such “Secret Squirrel” stuff interests you then dig into and research all the who, what, why and when. Specifications show there is a McMillan solid-type version, but my copy was the folding stock model. Should you be leery of folding stocks— like I am most of the time—this stock locked open solid as a bank vault door with no play whatsoever. Hands on, the nominal rifle Thestockoftherifle(above)foldsfor movementortransport.Itisrocksolidwhen opened.Themuzzlebrake(below)iswellmade andeffective. Bolt,safetyleverand40-minutebase(above) arewellconstructedasistherestoftherifle. TheCanadianTimberwolfrifleisawell-built piece of gear chambered in the far-reaching .338LapuaMagnum. measurements are: 26" on the barrel, 48" overall length. With the stock folded for transport the piece comes in at 38". The rifle with scope and bipod weighs in around 16 pounds. It is big and to some it may seem a bit heavy and I leave it at that. The Rifle The rifle is built with a 1-piece bolt bearing two ejectors and a hook or claw extractor. The bolt handle is oversized the way they all seem to be built nowadays, and the bolt itself has three locking lugs—two fore and one aft. As a point of safety, the bolt has a 3-position safety lever placed at 3 o’clock on the bolt body. One last different thing is the bolt is cut with helical fluting the length of the bolt which might scrape debris away from the ejection port and off the bolt while rotating it to load in very hostile environments. It bears thought, I guess, but I would probably try and be more protective of my gear in field 18 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2010

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