IDF Sniper Weapon System (SWS) .338 Lapua Magnum Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle

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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:

H-S Precision, Inc.
1301 Turbine Drive
Rapid City, SD 57703
605-341-3006 Office
605-342-8964 Fax Email Website

Lightforce USA, Inc. (NightForce Optics)
1040 Hazen Lane
Orofino, ID 83544
tel 208.476.9814
fax 208.476.9817 Email Website

McCann Industries, Inc.
132 South 162nd
Spanaway, WA 98387
253-537-6919 Office
253-537-6993 Fax Email Website

Hornady Manufacturing Company (Hornady Mfg. Co.)
3625 Old Potash Hwy
Grand Island, NE 68802-1848
800-338-3220 Toll Free
308-382-1390 Office
308-382-5761 Fax Website

Hardigg Storm Case
147 North Main Street
South Deerfield, MA 01373-0201
800-542-7344 (800-JHardig) Toll Free
413-665-2163 Office Hardigg Cases Main Website Hardigg Storm Case Website Hardigg Military Case Solutions Website

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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