Modern Firearms - RAI / RAP model 300
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RAP / RAI Model 300 (USA)

Research Armament Model 300 rifle.
Research Armament Model 300 rifle.

 

Model 300 rifle stripped into major components.
Model 300 rifle stripped into major components.

 

Comparision drawing: 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win) and 8.58x71mm (.416-.338).
Comparision drawing: 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win) and 8.58x71mm (.416-.338).

 

Caliber(s): 7.62mm NATO (.308Win) and 8.58x71mm (.338-.416)
Operation: bolt action, magazine fed
Barrel: 610 mm (24")
Weight: 5.7 kg w/o magazine and scope base
Length: ? mm
Feed Mechanism: 5 (7.62) or 4 (8.58) rounds detachable box magazine

 

The model 300 rifle was developed by team lead by J.Haskins in the 1981 and 1982 as a long-range sniper rifle for US military. It was probably one of the first of purposefully designed sniper weapons, not a rework from existing military, hunting or sporting rifle. Model 300 also served as a testbed for development of the new long-range sniping ammunition, initially known as .416-.338 (metric designation 8.58x71 mm), which latter was refined by Finnish company Lapua-Nammo Oy and one day became the now-famous .338 Lapua (8.6x70mm Lapua), a true long-range number. About 1983, US Military issued a contract for some 125 model 300 rifles (along with the same number of Model 500 .50 caliber rifles). Model 300 rifle did not appear in large numbers, but it must be noted as a forerunner of many modern designs of sniper weapons, an also as a "parent" rifle for a .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.

The development team of the model 300 (and model 500) during the time worked under the many "labels" - they began the development as a RAP - Research Armament Prototypes company. Latter RAP became RAI - Research Armament Industries. Next it was purchased by the Daisy and became a Daisy Defence Systems, and finally it was bought by the Iver Johnson.

The model 300 rifle is a manually operated, bolt action, magazine fed precision rifle. It uses steel receiver with a rotating bolt. Bolt has three long lugs that locks into receiver walls. Model 300 rifle can use two different cartridges, .308 winchester and .416-.338. To do switch from one caliber to another one must replace the barrel and a bolt head. Heavy, precision barrel is externally fluted and free floated. The stock is fully ajustable and can be easily removed along with the pistol grip to made the rifle more compact for carry and storage. Trigger is also fully ajustable, and rifle required no disassembly to ajust it. Model 300 featured no open sights. Instead, a quick-detachable scope mount was developed, which required no re-zeroing after it was reinstalled. The scope base also featured a range-ajustable mechanism. Model 300 had no forearm and was intended to be used from folding bipod, which was attached to the forward receiver extension, which also contained a "tuning rod", which was used to ajust the point of impact.

Special thanks to Ed Dillon (USA) for information and images