Earlier we had reported about the introduction of this rifle (MTs-343). TsKIB SOO has shown it again in the Arms & Hunting 2017 exhibition. We had a chance to talk to the designer and take some detailed pictures.
The MTs-343 is a competition rifle design for F-Class Open division. It is a single shot rifle chambered in .300 Lapua Magnum. The rifle features a “barrel block” bedding system where the barrel is clamped in the handguard and the receiver itself is free floated. The company officials told us that unlike the competitors, the clamped barrel portion of their rifle is much longer. They found that the longer clamping surface increases the accuracy.
Right where the handguard ends the barrel diameter increases. The thicker short portion of the barrel protruding over the handguard is less affected by the vibration. Also, the barrel/handguard contact point is the recoil shoulder which does the work of the recoil lug of traditional bolt action rifles.
Because of the barrel block layout, the handguard becomes the most stable platform in relation to the barrel. That’s why the Picatinny rail section for the scope is on the handguard extension rather than on the receiver.
This bedding system is good for competition shooting where the weight of the firearm is not something to be concerned about. It is less desirable for the military and tactical use because the higher accuracy is accomplished with the heavier action. MTs-343 weighs 10 kilograms (22 lbs). The barrel length is 800 mm (31.5″). It is advertised to have a sub 1/2 MOA accuracy.
The company is still experimenting with the length of the clamped barrel to find the most efficient length that will provide the most accurate results.