With a rifle built from premium parts and materials, Phoenix Weaponry quietly sneaks the .338-06 back into the spotlight.
What to know about the new integrally suppressed .338-06 rifle:
- The integrally suppressed .338-06 is built as a medium- and large-game hunting rifle.
- The rifle is outfitted with a custom-tapered 21-inch Douglas Barrel.
- The suppressor core and sleeve are made of lightweight titanium.
- The custom Bell and Carlson stock is inlet and glass bedded.
- The .338-06 is built around a Remington 700 action and has a $4,600 price tag.
Despite the regulatory hurdles, the suppressor market has been running red hot for some time. Cans of every shape, size, caliber and color dot gun store shelves, virtual and brick-and-mortar alike. And, as is typical when a gun or accessory heats up passions, more and more twists come about catering to every possible shooter and shooting style — no matter how niche they might be.
Along these lines, integrally suppressed firearms have gained a foothold, particularly with more traditional segments of shooters. There is a distinct advantage totting, say a rifle, on a hunt that doesn’t have the extra inches at the end of the barrel and is inherently more tightly constructed. The latter facet is particularly important when a gunsmith is miles (maybe hundreds of them) away.
Phoenix Weaponry certainly had this style of shooter in mind with its latest creation — an integrally suppressed rifle meant to tackle some of the globe’s biggest game. And like most of the Colorado gunmaker’s handy-works, this one has quite a twist, even aside from its suppression system. Namely its chambering — .338-06 A-Square.
The almost-famous round has been around almost since the .338 Winchester Magnum made its debut in 1958. Simply a .30-06 Sprg. necked up to accept a .338 projectile, the one-time wildcat offers the best of both medium-caliber worlds. It’s a solid downrange performer, capable of tackling everything up to moose and similar large game. But it’s much more forgiving than its belted-magnum brethren, allowing the recoil sensitive a shot at more competently pitching heavier bullets downrange.
While rarer than .308 Win. to be sure, the chambering is not so uncommon as to make it a quest for the Holy Grail when ammo runs low. A number of notable manufacturers produce factory loads, though namely the premium brands — Nosler, Weatherby, Norma. And home brewing the .338-06 is a snap. Dies are available from nearly every reloading company, and .338 bullets are legion. And it almost seems like .30-06 brass actually grows on trees.
Without the worry of having to fiddle with custom ammunition — the case for some other Phoenix firearms — the company zeroed in on the .338-06’s overall engineering. And, as expected with the Centennial-State concern, it executed the rifle with a flare it has become known for.
The heart of the hunting rifle’s system is its custom tapered 21-inch Douglas barrel mated with a titanium suppressor core and sleeve. While certainly adding to the final price tag, the use of the lightweight metal keeps the rifle highly manageable and easy to maneuver — exactly what a hunter would want out of his gun. And it endows the gun with some highly desirable qualities, such as superior heat and corrosion resistance.
Overall, the .338-06 weighs in at a very practical 8 pounds — more than reasonable, even for those who push deep into the backwoods. Along with the titanium, Phoenix’s use of a custom Bell and Carlson stock helps keep the rifle svelte slung on a shoulder. Furthermore, the featherweight composite stock is inherently rigid and is inlet and glass bedded to free float the barrel, a process that ensures a nearly seamless mating between barrel and stock.
Built around the tried-and-true Remington 700 action, the rifle will prove very familiar to a majority of shooters, as well as strong. But even there Phoenix couldn’t leave well enough alone. The integrally suppressed .338-06 comes with a PTG fluted bolt with an oversized tactical knob and custom Remington 700 trigger standard.
Other notables on the rifle are a Warne 20 MOA rail and single and multi-colored paint and graphic options for the finish. Additionally, while the integrally suppressed rifle off the shelf (or as close as you can get at a custom shop) is .338-06, it is available in any chambering upon request. Have a yen for 8x60mm S or a .318 Westley Richards with a toned down report? Phoenix will build it for you, and that goes for any other tweak on the rifle — action, trigger, etc. The sky, your imagination and your wallet are the limit.
That last limit — wallet — might be the only point of contention for most shooters intrigued by the integrally suppressed .338-06 A-Square. With a hefty $4,600 starting point on a stock rifle, Phoenix Weaponry isn’t exactly giving them away. On top of this, there is the paperwork and a tax stamp to consider, since the rifle is NFA regulated. In turn, unless you’re a Silicon Valley oligarch, the rife is not exactly an impulse buy. But like most of Phoenix’s wares, all heavy on customized features, its .338-06 wasn’t built on a whim and most likely was not meant to be bought that way either.