Accuracy International AXMC .338 Lapua Magnum by Phillip Hayes

  • Friday, 11 January 2019 10:22
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Accuracy International AXMC .338 Lapua Magnum by Phillip Hayes: A long-range specialist tool.

When a specialist task must be completed, your equipment plays a vital role. With shooting it is no different. A good rifle will not necessarily make you shoot better, but if you do your part, and every aspect of the rifle is near-perfect in engineering and execution, it makes it a lot easier to get lead on steel over long distances. Accuracy International’s AXMC (multi-calibre) is just such a rifle. These rifles have a long history of excellent performance under extreme military conditions and are the choice of several countries for equipping their snipers and specialised military and law enforcement units.

The test rifle we received was chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, and instead of the standard 27-inch barrel, was fitted with the shorter 20-inch version with a 1:9.35 twist. The multi-­calibre system means that this rifle can easily be converted to .300 Win Mag or .308 Win, provided you buy the necessary conversion kit. It involves changing the barrel, bolt, magazine and magazine insert (if needed).

The action is AI’s proven six-lug design with a 60°bolt-throw and a leaf-spring extractor. The rifle has quick-changeable, cup-style attachments for rapid sling repositioning. Three points are located on the main chassis, and removable/repositionable points are located on the fore-end rail. The butt-pad has a friction locking mechanism for quick, tool-free adjustment of height and angle. Length-of-pull is adjustable by 40mm and extra 10mm and 20mm spacers can be added. The pistol-grip can be configured to different hand sizes with interchangeable back-straps. The cheek-piece is adjustable laterally and for height and has a fixture to store a 4mm Hex-key for removing the barrel and re-positioning the accessory rails. The adjustable trigger is a two-stage design with an adjustable shoe enabling you to shift the finger-­contact surface forward or back for best fit. The corrosion-resistant 10-round steel magazine has a low-friction coating to further enhance reliability. Interestingly, rounds can be fed into the double stack magazine through the ejection port, and the left-side magazine port is cut out to allow you to insert the magazine from various positions without having to lift the rifle, e.g. with the rifle on a bipod on the ground. The rail on the action is 30MOA for magnum calibres (20MOA for smaller calibres) and the barrel is enclosed in an accessory rail with AI’s patented KeySlot mounting system to attach accessories. The rail can be removed in roughly 30 seconds with the supplied 4mm Hex-key. 

The test-rifle was fitted with the muzzle-brake and suppressor. The brake has thread at the front end, allowing you to fit an AI suppressor which has been engineered to fit over the brake – more on this later.

The two-stage trigger (adjustable between 1.5 and 2kg) is not made for precision target work but for practical field shooting, and breaks cleanly. It works well under these conditions, enhancing practical accuracy, yet is heavy enough to ensure that I experienced no surprise shots going off before I was ready, as I sometimes find with competition triggers set too light for my taste.

The rifles have a Cerakote ceramic polymer coating. The High Performance coatings are available in green, pale brown and dark earth. The Elite Ultra High Performance coatings come in elite sand and elite midnight.

Read the full article in the February 2019 issue of Magnum.

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On Sale from 15 May