Steyr Arms has introduced a .338 Lapua Magnum version of its SSG 08 long-range tactical rifle, according to the company.

A prototype of the new rifle made its public debut at the 2010 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits earlier this month. The display of the prototype coincides with the conclusion of the 10,000-round endurance and reliability testing of the new chambering in the SSG 08 at the Austrian factory. The rifles are currently in route to the U.S. and will be available this summer.

Introduced to the American long-range shooting market in 2009, the SSG 08 was designed to the specifications of Austria's EKO COBRA anti-terrorism unit.

The SSG 08 is based on Steyr's unique Safe Bolt System (SBS) action, which is bedded in a high-grade aluminum stock and mated to Steyr's direct trigger. The skeletonized stock includes a UIT rail along the length of the fore end, a built-in bipod post, multiple mounting points for user-customized Picatinny rail combinations and a fully enclosed detachable-box magazine. The butt of the stock folds for transport and features an adjustable cheek piece, an adjustable butt plate, and an integrated, finely adjustable rear-elevation pod.

The cold-hammer-forged barrel measures 27.17 inches to maximize the potential of the .338 cartridge, and its 1:9 twist rate will stabilize bullets up to and including the increasingly popular 300-grain HPBT Secnar projectile.

The action, magazines and stock were lengthened to accommodate the dimensions of the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. Due to the SSG 08's extreme accuracy potential and ability to maintain supersonic speeds at distances in excess of 1,500 meters with the .338 Lapua chambering, a 20-MOA declination scope base will also be included to make use of a long-range optic. The .338 Lapua Magnum version of the SSG 08 also includes a newly designed heavy duty bipod.

The new Steyr .338 Lapua Magnum version of the SSG O8 will be available at retailers nationwide by the end of the summer. The suggested retail price is $6,795.

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