Category Archives: New Product

REVIEW: Auto Ordnance Deluxe Titanium Gold Thompson Tommy Gun

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Is this the ultimate Chicago Typewriter? The venerable Tommy Gun gets a brand new look. READ MORE HERE

gold tommy gun

by Major Pandemic

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
Auto-Ordnance was the original manufacturer of the “Tommy Gun.” The current reformed company is now owned by the same company as Magnum Research and Kahr Arms — all of which are delivering high quality firearms. The current Auto-Ordnance Thompson Tommy Guns are actually higher quality and higher toleranced versions of the 1927A-1 originals, but fire from a closed bolt and in semi-auto only. If you want a full auto Tommy Machine Gun even as a LEO or Military you have to look into the extremely expensive old pre-ban options. Auto Ordnance does offer NFA registrable factory made short barreled rifle models and also non-functioning display models as well.

gold finish
With the Gold Nickel Boron finish this is a finish that will take plenty of punishment and still look good.

The Tommy Gun represents a timeless style which harkens back to the Roaring 20s, mobsters, and WWII. The Thompson design ran a long hard used course through history as one of the most heavily purchased and issued submachine guns in history by civilians, law enforcement, and military. It was a gun that helped empower the big New York and Chicago mobs, provided law enforcement and military with reliable firepower for fighting crime and in the trenches, and was also a favorite ranch/truck gun as well. It was pretty accurate, fired the effective .45 ACP round, and the weight and design delivers almost insignificant recoil even with the heaviest .45 ACP loads.

tommy gun muzzle
Although the 45ACP has negligible recoil in a 13-lb rifle the brake take all recoil out of the rifle.

This titanium gold nitride plated version is the same 1927A-1 Auto-Ordnance sells in a variety of configurations. The difference among the many versions is finish quality and slight variations through the years of production.

The 1927A-1 version is the most popular in the line, so Auto Ordnance decided to offer a special Deluxe edition. This Deluxe model features a mirror polished finish which is then coated with Titanium Gold Nitride. Auto-Ordnance offers this limited edition Deluxe model in this Ti-Gold finish and polished chrome. The Ti-Nitride-Gold finish is the same coating used on top end drill bits so it can take a beating and still look beautiful. Magnum Research uses the same finish on some of the limited edition Desert Eagle pistols and it has proven itself durable over the years. Once your friends find out you own one, it is hard to keep the Gold Tommy in the safe.

tommy gun case
Who would not want one of these? And get the case… Both you and the gun deserve it!

The T150TG includes both a 20-round stick and 50-round drum magazine, each titanium gold plated. Now, if you are going to drop $3000+ on this limited edition gun, then you really should go all the way and order the custom “Violin Case” available in either cello or guitar profiles. The case delivers a luxurious foam interior which can accommodate your Chicago Typewriter, a stick mag and round drum magazine.

WHEN MEN WERE MEN
As I hoisted the 13-pound (not a typo), muzzle heavy 1927A-1 Tommy Gun to my shoulder I was reminded that in the old days men were not wimps. If you fill and attach the 50-round drum, the Tommy Gun can easily top the 20-pound mark when it’s ready to rumble. It’s a beast of a gun!

tommy gun patents
The twelve patents are listed on the gun — on this gun the added numbers are part of history.

With its smallish charging knob and wicked-strong recoil spring, charging the Thompson is difficult.

FUNCTIONAL FUN WITH GOOD ACCURACY
Though this Thompson 1927A-1 is equipped with a ladder-style rear sight, which is in theory calibrated to 600-yards, it’s not a tack driving gun. The Tommy delivers practical accuracy of around 1.5-inch groups at 25-yards which equated to 5-7-inch groups at the 100-yard range. At 200-yards I was still able to ring a standard steel silhouette and usually ring it eight out of ten times at 300 yards. Defensive accuracy? Absolutely, and a whole bucket of fun in the process. During the hundred of rounds I had zero issues with feeding and functioning.

tommy gun magazines
This model comes with both polished twenty and fifty round magazines.

$400 IN AMMO GONE IN NO TIME
Well, the T150TDG Thompson 1927A-1 “Deluxe Semi-Auto” Titanium Gold Plated Tommy Gun may not shoot rounds quite as fast as an AR15, however the case of .45 ACP rounds seemed to evaporate stunningly fast. This is a blast to shoot, it delivers zero recoil to the shooter, and is way more accurate than it should be for a 1927 design.

tommy gun rear sight
If you want to mortar rounds at distance the Auto Ordnance is equipped with flip up leaf sight.

FINAL THOUGHTS
With all this discussion about outlawing deadly AR15s, I have not heard anyone say peep about Tommy Guns…at least that was my justification to my wife. This was the defensive carbine of the 1920s, 1940s, and all the way to the 1970s when the AR15 started to get into civilian hands.

These are limited editions and will not be around forever. If you want something special, something unique and something that brings a wow factor to any range session you had better get one on order. This is not only a unique collector piece which Tommy gun fans will value highly down the line, but it delivers a huge fun factor. I cannot recommend this wonderful gun enough. Suck it up and whip out the Amex, it is worth it.

CHECK IT OUT HERE

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

REVIEW: Ruger Precision Rifle .223/5.56 NATO

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Following the success of its bigger brothers, this new package from Ruger is sure to find a host of fans. Read alll about it HERE

RPR review
The V2 Ruger Precision Rifles now include a lower profile handguard and a few extras.

by Major Pandemic

Ruger shocked and stunned everyone when they introduced the Ruger Precision Rifle dubbed RPR for short. It was a rifle that featured loaded top end upgrades all in a rifle that can actually print tiny groups and retails for around $1500 on the street…and now they offer this great gun in .223/5.56 NATO.

The Ruger Precision Rifle is competition killer in the factory precision rifle market from a number of perspectives. It includes everything you could possibly want on a custom target rifle and if you do want to upgrade the design the grip, buttstock, forend, and selector are all AR15-compatible items. Swapping out triggers is easy as well and rebarreling to one of the many aftermarket options only requires a barrel block and some leverage.

It is all included — billet precision chassis, fully adjustable buttstock, folding stock adapter, outstanding factory trigger, tri-lug style bolt, free floated AR15-compatible forend, and AICS compatible box-fed magazine. Ruger offered the RPR in .308 and .243 (now discontinued), but they have also kept up with the competitive precision shooting markets demand for 6.5mm Creedmore and 6mm Creedmore. Now of course Ruger has the RPR in the insanely cheap to shoot .223/5.56 NATO chambering.

RPR stock
A folding fully adjustbable stock make this one of the most comfortable out-of-the box rifles.

FINALLY… ALL THE RPR OWNERS SAID
Sure the .308, .243, and Creedmore rounds are fun to shoot, but there are a lot of us who want a “trainer” gun that feels and shoots like our precision gun, but does it at greatly reduced per round price. Maybe there are even a few of us that just want a really accurate .223 bolt action that still feels like a full sized rifle. Now we have the .223/5.56 NATO Ruger Precision Rifle which is a delightful duplicate of the other models that you can shoot all day long without a sore shoulder or emptying your wallet.

RPR mounts
Included in the box are a QD and picatinny mount.

Without question, varmint hunters are going to love the exceptionally accurate .223 RPR, however I believe this is going to become a hit with two other types of customers — customers who want a trainer for their larger bore guns, and customers who want a precision rifle that “feels” like their AR15 and shoots the same caliber.

RPR feel
Just like the big brother, the .223 has the same size and feel.

As a trainer, even if the Ruger .223 Precision Rifle is only used to practice trigger pull, grip, shooting position, general marksmanship tactics, and perhaps hammer a few critters in the process, the gun would pay for itself in ammo savings in only a few thousand rounds. Really, I have to tell you those insanely accurate Hornady 6.5 Creedmore ELD Match rounds are not cheap. The Hornady .223 equivalent are half the price of 6.5CM and a good reload recipe could deliver further savings. This is the category I fall into: wanting a training gun that will allow me to fiddle around with shots and shooting positions to find my sweet spot all without blasting $2 rounds down range.

I have a lot of friends in the other category of potential .223 RPR owner who do not want to add managing yet another caliber to their firearm inventory. For them the huge selection of .223 ammo for match, plinking, hogs, and other game is enough. The price point, precision, and user friendly nature of the .223 RPR makes it a perfect fit for these shooters.

RPR brake
The Included brake on the .223 is extremely effective in negating any recoil of the little round.

FEATURES OF NOTE
Most would expect that the .223/5.56 NATO Ruger Precision Rifle would duplicate the larger calibers in size, length and weight and it does. In fact this rifle is exactly the same weight as the .308 model. Ruger did go with a .223/5.56 NATO chambering presumably some type of .223 Wylde chamber which Ruger notes is completely cross compatible between the calibers. Ruger has really set up this smaller caliber RPR to extend the precision range with a 5 gove 1:7 rifling to stabilize heavy longer bullets better. One feature which I really liked on the original larger caliber rifles was that they were cross compatible between Magpul LR20 and AICS magazines.

The .223 is not, and is only compatible with Remington Short Action .223 AICS size magazines. Personally this is disappointing that I cannot run any of the hundreds of GI spec AR 15 magazines on this gun. There would be some real cross compatibility advantages to that in the field, but alas the Ruger only feeds from AICS mags. The reason Ruger went with the much more expensive AICS sized magazines was to allow round with 77gr or heavier .223 bullets to fit, function and feed. If you are going to create a precision rifle, then I suppose the compromise you should be able to shoot the best heavy bullet you want.

The trigger on this unit was not as good as previous RPR triggers I have tested. Our primary tester jokingly noted that the trigger felt like Ruger’s three stage trigger. There was a noticeable second stage before the third stage break. In this case, I would say a Timney trigger upgrade is in order.

Bushnell Elite
A Bushnell Elite helped deliver crystal clear images downrange.

ACCURACY TEST
As with all the other Ruger Precision Rifles, the .223 model is also a tack driving 1/2-MOA gun with the right match ammo. We tested a number of .223 Hornady and Federal rounds including Hornady 68gr, 75gr, and TAP 55gr, PMC Bronze 55gr, Federal Match 68gr Sierra Match King, and standard M855 steel core penetrator rounds. The Ruger Precision Rifle performs its best with high-grade match ammo. The best two 100-yard groups were Federal SMK 68gr .383-in., and Hornady Match 75gr. at .375-in.. Notable the Federal SMK 68gr round was the clear accuracy favorite in our test averaging .453-in. across all three of the three-round groups.

Sure were were able to punch some plinking grade groups with PMC Bronze and the M855 Steel Core rounds were about the same, but feed the RPR the right high grade match ammo and suddenly you are greeted with considerably better than 1/2-in. groups at 100-yards. The Federal 69gr Sierra Match King rounds consistently delivered the best groups. Unfortunately we did not have any 77gr rounds to test with.

RPR TARGET

RPR TARGET

RPR TARGET

RPR accuracy test

FINAL THOUGHTS
In my reviews of the first RPR, I asked where my .223 version was and Ruger delivered. The total Ruger Precision Rifle package adds up to a gun which shoots extremely well, is stunningly accurate for the price and is loaded with pretty much everything you could want in a precision rifle for far less than any other offering on the market. Ruger…simply amazing gun for the price…now where is my rimfire variant?

RPR specs

LEARN MORE HERE

Check out ammo HERE

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

Leupold Debuts the VX-Freedom

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VX-Freedom-Warm_BannerAds300x250

Relentless Reliability: The Leupold VX-Freedom

Innovation is in the very core of the American spirit – we aspire to be independent, to build our own solutions, to constantly improve. It was that core trait that drove Marcus Leupold – son of Fred, the legendary co-founder of Leupold & Stevens, Inc. – to throw aside a riflescope that failed him and build something better. More than 70 years later, that spirit still thrives at Leupold, and it’s embodied tenfold in the new VX-Freedom line of riflescopes.

You want relentless reliability? The VX-Freedom delivers it. You want elite optical performance at a price you can’t ignore? Consider that box checked. You want to unleash your rimfire rifle, dominate from any tree stand, or tag out across an open draw? The VX-Freedom’s got you covered.

The entire VX-Freedom line is designed, machined, and assembled right here in the U.S.A. with one purpose in mind – to give you the freedom to put a Leupold on any long gun you own, knowing it will perform for a lifetime.

VX-Freedom_3-9x40-CD

Elite Optical Performance
Only a company with Leupold’s history and engineering expertise can deliver an American-made optic that boasts performance and affordability like the VX-Freedom. You’re looking at best-in-class optics – crisp, clear images with unmatched edge-to-edge clarity. It’s complete with military-spec lens coatings that provide abrasion resistance, protecting the riflescope in the most challenging terrain. As Tim Lesser, vice president of product development for Leupold & Stevens, Inc., explained, the new line has been built from the ground up to deliver on the promise of the Leupold brand.

“The VX-Freedom is built to deliver the versatility and performance hunters and shooters have come to expect from our brand,” Lesser said. “Whether you’re looking for your first scope or your fortieth, there will be a VX-Freedom that’s purpose-built to suit your needs.”

VX-Freedom_Hunting

Rugged Reliability
Every scope line that comes out of the Leupold factory is “punisher tested and verified” – a relentless process of pounding the optic in a way that replicates a lifetime of abuse. On top of that, it’s engineered to disperse energy during every shot, which adds to its rugged nature. Finally, the VX-Freedom’s new, ergonomically advanced power selector ring is low-profile but provides exceptional grip, making it easy to use even in the cold, wet, or while wearing gloves.

Let There Be Light
It’s no secret that the first and last 20 minutes of any big game hunt are often the most crucial – it’s when the animals are most likely to be up and moving and when you’re most likely to get a shot. Thing is, that’s also when there’s not much light to work with, and you can’t hit what you and your optic can’t see. That’s why the VX-Freedom line incorporates Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System, a proprietary lens coating system that increases the amount of usable light that reaches your eye.

VX-Freedom_Power_Selector

Translation: Your optic will still be able see Bullwinkle during those last five minutes of legal light, even if your naked eye can’t. That means you’re more likely to be calling buddies to help you pack out a kill under the stars.

Unparalleled Versatility
At launch, the VX-Freedom will be available in some of the industry’s most popular magnification ranges: 1.5-4×20, 2-7×33, 3-9×40, 3-9×50, and 4-12×40 – all featuring second focal plane reticles and 1-inch maintubes. They’re great for muzzleloaders, rimfire rifles, and centerfire rifles. But Leupold didn’t stop with just improving the riflescope design, they also decided to offer three brand-new reticles with the VX-Freedom. Alongside the standard Duplex and Pig-Plex offerings, the Freedom is available with a Tri-MOA, Rimfire MOA, or UltimateSlam reticle.

VX-Freedom_Gold_Ring

The Tri-MOA reticle is designed to fill tags – hash marks in 1-MOA increments give you precise reference points for quick, accurate shots, and the upper portion is clear, making it easy to keep an eye on the game animal in your sights. The Rimfire MOA reticle stretches your favorite plinking rifle’s legs out to 200 yards and beyond. The vertical hash marks are set for rimfire rifle ballistics at 1-MOA increments. The UltimateSlam, meanwhile, offers hold points from 50 to 300 yards for muzzleloaders and shotguns.

Built to Last
The VX-Freedom series is everything you’ve come to expect from a Leupold optic. It’s tested to the very same ruggedness standards as the company’s top-tier riflescopes. It’s also backed by the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee – you’ll be able to put it through its paces and not have to worry about it holding up.

VX-Freedom_Dials

“We’re relentless because we know our consumers are relentless,” Lesser said. “At the end of the day, you don’t quit, and you don’t back down. Our products won’t, either.”

Click Here to check out the new Leupold VX-Freedom at Midsouth Shooters Supply!

Federal Premium Launches All-New Hydra-Shok Deep Personal Defense Load

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New for 2018, a proven self-defense handgun load gets a performance boost! Read all about it HERE

Hydra-Shok Deep

Federal Premium Ammunition announced  a new high-performance self-defense load: Hydra-Shok Deep. This new offering builds off the time-tested Hydra-Shok platform with design improvements that better meet modern performance measurements. Shipments are being delivered to dealers.

Federal Premium Hydra-Shok ammunition has proven itself for self-defense since 1989. Hydra-Shok Deep’s redesigned bullet features a more robust center post and a core design that provides as much as 50 percent deeper penetration than classic Hydra-Shok.

 

Larry Head, director and chief engineer of handgun ammunition: “Hydra-Shok Deep offers consumers a round that results in consistent, reliable performance through typical defensive barriers and penetrates to the depth deemed optimum by the leading law-enforcement agency in the United States.”

Hydra-Shok has been a self-defense staple since its debut in 1989. At that time, the FBI had requested a projectile with better terminal ballistics than traditional cup-and-core bullets, and Federal responded with Hydra-Shok, which uses an expanding bullet with a notched jacket, non-bonded lead core and unique center-post hollow-point design. That provided better penetration and more consistent threat-stopping expansion than other bullets at the time.

 

The new Hydra-Shok Deep bullet features a core design that provides up to 50 percent deeper penetration than original Hydra-Shok and similar loads from competitors, and the center post has been improved so it’s more robust, which provides better integrity and performance through barriers. Testing shows that Hydra-Shok Deep penetrates 15 inches in bare ballistics gelatin, which is the optimal depth, according to FBI standards.

“The primary goal of Hydra-Shok Deep was to penetrate to the FBI’s optimum depth of 14 to 16 inches and at the same time provide more consistent performance though the intermediate barriers,” Head said. “We also wanted to develop a round that would score significantly better through the FBI protocol testing than standard Hydra-Shok. Hydra-Shok Deep does all of this with a 70-percent improvement in FBI protocol score.”

Hydra-Shok deep bullet

Although the bullet’s performance in ballistic gelatin is impressive, many shooters might wonder how Hydra-Shok Deep will boost their real-world performance. Head explained why the remarkable improvements in expansion, penetration and integrity through defensive barriers are especially important to self-defense.

 

Hydra-Shok Deep will initially be offered in a 135-grain 9mm Luger, with other loads coming soon.

Check out Federal Hydra-Shok at Midsouth HERE

2018’s Best Bang for Your Buck: Precision Bolt-Action Rifle Round-Up

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Displayed among the many trending firearms at this year’s SHOT Show were new “precision rifle” offerings. Read all about them!

SOURCE: NRA Publications, by Kevin Reese

As big shots go, NSSF’s SHOT Show has ruled our industry roost for 40 years, and the 2018 event did not disappoint. SHOT Show spans more than 650,000 square feet of floor space; 12 grueling miles of aisles; 1,600 vendors; 2,500 of us media types and, while the data isn’t out yet, I suspect attendance was well over 65,000. While no better place on Earth exists from which to read the industry’s pulse, gathering intel to share with inquiring minds can be downright brutal — not because it’s hard to find, rather, there’s simply too much to cover.

So we pick and choose, walk, and talk, seemingly until we are effectively hobbled by a mercilessly busy and unending show floor and shoes that clearly do not fit as well as we originally believed, bent solely on unveiling jaw-dropping products sure to get your trigger finger twitching. One trend continuing to rise and worthy of note is the tactical-inspired precision bolt-gun world. Well before the AR slump in the first half of 2017, these aggressively styled modern sporting rifles picked up major steam, and SHOT Show 2018 only underscored the trend. With respect to industry trends, check out this handful of ultra-cool tactical bolt-guns well-worth the buzz and your hard-earned bucks.

Bergara Premier HMR Pro

Bergara Premier HMR Pro
Never one to slow their roll, Bergara had a banner year, winning a couple of awards, including the NASGW-POMA Caliber Award for Best New Rifle in 2017 with the B-14 HMR (hunting and match rifle). While Bergara could have stopped advancing award-winning HMR efforts then, they forged on to bring consumers an even better iteration in the Premier HMR Pro.

It should come as no surprise that the core of Bergara’s Premier HMR Pro precision performance is the world-class 416 stainless steel, No. 5 tapered, threaded barrel. HMR barrels are produced in Bergara, Spain, utilizing a proprietary honing process, then sent to the U.S. for a top-shelf Cerakote finish. Second to world-renowned barrels, Premier HMR Pro rifles also boast a proprietary, Nitride-coated Bergara Premier two-lug action, incorporating a sliding plate extractor and coned bolt nose for seriously reliable cycling.

Of course, the efforts invested in precision barrel and action machining would all be for not had the HMR not come standard with a top-shelf trigger or practical yet comfortable stock system. Bergara’s Premier HMR Pro rifles feature a TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology Trigger while the composite stock encapsulates a full-length aluminum mini-chassis designed to house a free-floating barrel with repeatable bedding, as well as flush cups for a sling system. The stock also includes robust comb and length-of-pull adjustability.

The Bergara Premier HMR Pro uses detachable AICS-style magazines and is available with 20-, 24-, and 26-inch barrels. Calibers include.223 Rem. (20-in. with 1:8 twist), 6mm CM (26-in. with 1:8 twist), 6.5mm CM (24-in. with 1:8 twist) and .308 Win. (20-in. with 1:10 twist). MSRP: $1,715.

Read more HERE

Remington 700 Chassis System

Remington Model 700 PCR
Reeling from a major slump in the first three quarters of 2017, Remington’s future after 200 years has been questioned by many; however, if the company’s new Model 700 PCR offers any insight as to what lies ahead, I think a bright future is certainly attainable.

The Remington Model 700 PCR plays a smart hand when it comes to next level shooting. Where precision shooting has long been regarded as a rich man’s sport heavily laden in ridiculously expensive systems, some easily topping $10,000, the industry has seen much more appetizing price points over the past few years with match-grade production rifles under $2,000 — Ruger’s RPR and Bergarga’s B-14 BMP have been perfect examples of this trend and now the Remington 700 PRC fits in this affordable precision product category perfectly with an MSRP of $1,199.

At first blush, the Model 700 PRC appears to be a heck of a winner for Remington. This aggressively styled buzzworthy rifle guarantees sub-MOA accuracy right out of the box from a 24-in. stainless steel barrel with 5R rifling (based on Remington’s Computer Aided Targeting System) and delivers these goods in three calibers: .260 Rem., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win.

The chassis is lightweight, constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and coated with Teflon, a rugged protective finish Remington touts as “impervious to weather and atmospheric conditions.” A free-floating handguard, compatible with both SquareDrop and KeyMod accessories, offers a wealth of real estate to handle all your extra must-haves and is removed easily for detailed rifle cleaning. Built from the ground up specifically for precision shooting, Remington’s Model 700 PCR also includes the popular Magpul Gen 3 PRS stock, complete with micro-adjustable cant, length-of-pull, buttpad height and comb height.

Read more HERE

Savage 110

Savage 10/110 BA Stealth Evolution
Hot on the heels of Savage’s insanely accurate MSR-10 Long Range launch, a rifle I recently completed work with and consistently hammered sub 1/2-MOA groups, Savage unleashed its jaw-dropping 10/110 BA Stealth Evolution Tactical Bolt-Action Rifle. Set in a precision-machined monolithic aluminum chassis finished in bronze Cerakote, the 10/110 BA Stealth Evolution promises “pinpoint” accuracy from a heavy, fluted, matte black, carbon steel, match-grade barrel with 5R rifling and Savage’s popular AccuTrigger.

If you’re not up to speed on the AccuTrigger, the system allows fine weight adjustments from 1.5 to 6 lbs. without requiring the services of a gunsmith. The trigger also features an additional safety mechanism to effectively eliminate the potential for a jarring accidental discharge.

The chassis includes a full top rail with additional rail sections at 3 and 9 o’clock to attach your favorite accessories. The Magpul Gen 3 PRS stock affords cant, buttpad, length-of-pull, and comb height adjustments for a perfect fit and is a popular choice among precision long-range shooters. A Magpul grip rounds out the Evolution chassis’ aesthetic and comfort features.

Savage’s 10/110 BA Stealth Evolution is available in six calibers in 20-in., 24-in. and 26-in. barrel lengths and an MSRP range of $1,799 – $2,149. Calibers include: .223 Rem., 6mm CM, 6.5mm CM, .300 Win. Mag., .308 Win., and .338 Lapua. If the Evolution performs as well as it looks on the range, it’ll be hard to wipe the smile off my face; after all, I’m still seriously impressed with the MSR-10 Long Range’s performance. Savage is definitely on its A-game.

Read more HERE

McRees Precision Chassis
While heads turned, voices buzzed, and ears perked around scores of amazing, some even affordable, precision bolt guns, others clamored to the handful of booths showcasing precision bolt-gun chassis. Whether their interests were in catering to DIY customers or jumping into projects themselves, they poured into booths like McRees Precision, focused sharply on resurrecting tired, old bolt-action rifles or erecting new ones. They know that the building and restoring segment of our industry is growing, as is precision long-range shooting and today’s chassis, like McRees Precision’s BR-15, have quite a bit to offer both attendees and end consumers.

New for 2018, the McRees Precision BR-15 chassis, designed to fit many short and long Remington and Kimber actions, epitomizes what happens when a world-class marksman tires of shortcomings of other competition systems and sets out to design his own … then shares it with fellow enthusiasts and even makes it affordable. One of the greatest attributes of the BR-15 is its simple drop-in design; a builder simply drops in the barreled action and uses the included tools to finish out the rifle without the need of a gunsmith. Scott McRee developed the BR-15 as a multi-use chassis system for competition, hunting, tactical applications, or just plain banging steel. The BR-15 is available with a fixed or side-folding stock. Serious shooters also should appreciate the patented M-LEV bubble-style cant indicator embedded in the stock.

Indeed, in the next-level shooting landscape, chassis may cost thousands while complete rifle systems can and sometimes do top $10,000 before you ever add an optic, but the BR-15 currently sells for between $650 and $800. So, what’s the takeaway? Those willing to take on the challenge of building a world-class match-grade rifle, can get it done without breaking the bank or compromising on quality.

Read more HERE

 

New for 2018: Hornady Adds Nine New Calibers to Precision Hunter Line

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Following its great success with its exclusive Precision Hunter ammo, Hornady is offering even more calibers and loadings. Read more!

Hornady Precision Hunter

SOURCE: NRA Publications, by Philip Massaro

Making a gigantic splash with the ELD-X bullet, Hornady followed suit with the Precision Hunter line, offering that sleek hunting bullet in their loaded ammunition line. Based upon the success of the initial developments, Hornady has expanded that line for 2018.

With a very high Ballistic Coefficient, and bullets that run on the heavier side of average for a given caliber, the ELD-X bullet will get the job done in a multitude of different hunting situations, from near to far.

This year’s new offerings include nine new calibers. Included are 6mm Creedmoor (103-grain), .25-06 Remington (110-grain), .257 Weatherby Magnum (110-grain), 6.5 PRC (143-grain), .270 WSM (145-grain), .280 Ackley Improved (162-grain), 7mm WSM (162-grain), .338 Winchester Magnum (230-grain) and .338 Lapua (270-grain).

As it usually is with Hornady, they’re thinking about not just those newer, long-range cartridges, but of the hunter with a rifle that he or she has loved for some time, and wants to extend the capabilities of that rifle by feeding it modern bullets. I especially like that they’ve decided to give the .270 and 7mm WSM cartridges a breath of life — I know many owners of rifles in those calibers who’ve complained (and rightfully so) about ammunition availability. The Precision Hunter line has been very accurate in my own rifles, as well as those of friends and colleagues, and I’m excited to see how the new offerings will perform.

Hornady Precision Hunter

Check it out HERE at Midsouth!

New for 2018: Nosler M48 Long-Range Carbon Rifle

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Interested in a genuinely capable long-range, hard-hitting, and lightweight rifle? Here you go… Read more!

Nosler Carbon

SOURCE: Shooting Illustrated, by Brad Fitzpatrick

Nosler’s line of unbelted magnum-class cartridges — which started with the .26 Nosler and now include the .28, .30, and .33 Nosler — have been a major success with long-range shooters and hunters. For 2018, Nosler is offering a hunting rifle that may be the perfect complement to their cartridge lineup — the new M48 Long-Range Carbon.

Proof Research supplies the 26-inch Light Sendero-contour carbon fiber-wrapped match-grade barrels, with 5/8×24 threaded muzzles for these rifles — and those barrels are mated to a trued and faced M48 action. The Manners MCS-T carbon fiber Elite Midnight camo stock with high Monte Carlo cheekpiece allows for the use of large-objective scopes and reduces neck pain when shooting from a prone position.

The M48 Long-Range Carbon’s action and lightweight aluminum floorplate feature a durable Cerakote finish in Sniper Gray. The aluminum pillar and glass-bedded stock and Timney trigger further enhance accuracy potential, and Nosler guarantees these guns to shot MOA or better with prescribed ammunition.

In addition to all of its high-tech features, the M48 Long-Range Carbon has a number of other practical design elements that serious hunters will appreciate, like a comfortable textured surfaces, palm swells on the grip and fore-end, dual front ling studs to simplify bipod mounting and a receiver that’s drilled and tapped to accept Remington Model 700 two-piece bases. The push-feed action comes with a dual-lug bolt with plunder-type ejector, and there’s a two-position safety that’s conveniently mounted on the right side of the receiver.

With that beefy target stock and heavy-contour barrel, these guns loom heavy, but the abundance of carbon fiber materials used in the construction of this rifle helps keep overall weight around 7 pounds, depending upon caliber. Speaking of caliber, optional chamberings include 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win. Mag., as well as .26, .28, .30, or .33 Nosler.

If you need a long-range rifle that’s light enough to serve as a practical hunting rifle, this is a solid option. The M48 Long-Range Carbon has an MSRP of $2,995.

Read more about this new rifle HERE

New for 2018: Smith & Wesson Introduces M&P380 Shield EZ Pistol

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Here’s a first look at a brand-new addition to the Smith & Wesson lineup: a new CCW designed and engineered to be super-easy to operate. Read more!

S&W M&P EZ
Smith & Wesson M&P380 EZ (shown here with thumb safety)

SOURCE: American Rifleman Staff

In the past when a pistol manufacturer touted a new gun entry as having easy slide manipulation — even with a .380-cal. — we have taken the assertion with a grain of salt until we’ve had some hands-on experience. In the case of the just-announced Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ, we can attest that indeed, the pistol lives up to its claims.

The pistol, which offers an 8+1 round capacity, ships with two 8-round magazines that include a load-assist button, as well as a Picatinny-style rail for accessories. Barrel length is 3.675-in., and the pistol is outfitted with white-dot front and adjustable white-dot rear sights. Along with tapped rear slide serrations, a one-piece single-action trigger and audible trigger reset, it also features an 18-degree grip angle for a natural point of aim, as well as enhanced, textured grips. A tactile loaded-chamber indicator, a reversible magazine release, and available ambidextrous thumb safety round out its many ergonomically friendly features. The pistol will be available nationwide at the end of Feb. 2018 at an MSRP of $399.

“When we set out to design the M&P380 Shield EZ pistol, our goal was to deliver an all-around, easy to use personal protection pistol — from loading and carrying, to shooting and cleaning,” said Jan Mladek, General Manager of M&P and S&W Brands. “… We focused on key areas that customers told us were important — the ease of racking the slide and loading the magazine,” he said, “allowing consumers of all statures and strengths the opportunity to own, comfortably practice with, and effectively utilize this exciting new pistol“ for both first-time shooters and experienced handgunners alike.

More about this new pistol coming soon…

Read more HERE

M&P EZ specs 2

 

A First Look at 2018’s New Guns

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With the SHOT Show at hand, here are a few brand new for 2018 firearms. Keep going…

SOURCE: NRA Publications, by B. Gil Horman

With national firearm sales leveling off, thanks to a gun-friendly administration taking office this year, manufacturers are dusting off some new and interesting models that have been tucked away for a time such as this. Here is a quick look at just some of the new guns for 2018:

BERSA PISTOLS

Bersa TPR Pistols
Eagle Imports is introducing the double action/single action Bersa TPR line of pistols to the U.S. market this next year. These pistols represent the next evolution of the Thunder Pro HC series originally developed for law enforcement and military applications. Available in Standard 4.25″ barrel and Compact 3.25″ barrel configurations, these semi-automatic pistols feature interchangeable SIG Sauer-type sights, an improved Browning Petter locking system, lightweight aluminum alloy frames, Picatinny accessory rails and loaded chamber indicators. The elegantly designed ambidextrous slide catch and thumb safety, along with a reversible magazine release, makes the pistol accessible to right and left handed shooters. Caliber options will include 9 mm (TPR9), .40 S&W (TPR40) and .45 ACP (TPR45). MSRP: $508-$528

caracal

Caracal USA Enhanced F Pistols
When the 4″ barrel striker-fired Caracal F 9 mm pistol first arrived on the U.S. market from the United Emirates in 2012, I was glad to be one of the writers who had an opportunity to review it. The pistol’s design seemed ahead of its time with its sleek reduced mass slide, lowered bore axis for reduced felt recoil and comfortable grip that fit a wide range of hand sizes. Just as Caracal was poised to give Glock, Springfield and Smith & Wesson a run for their money, the company enacted a voluntary safety recall that caused the pistol, much like its namesake, to slip quietly out of sight and off the market until now.

A new American-made series of Caracal USA Enhanced F pistols, with the safety issues resolved, will be shipping soon. These pistols maintain the positive qualities of the original models with three different sight system options, including the company’s proprietary Quick Sight System, 3-Dot and night sights. Customers will have a selection of new polymer frame colors to choose from including black, tan and OD green (shown). MSRP: $599-$699

Charter Arms XL

Charter Arms Bulldog XL
Charter Arms flagship five-shot Bulldog .44 Spl. series will be joined by the new Bulldog XL. The XL’s frame has been enlarged to handle bigger and more powerful cartridges. The Bulldog XL chambered in the popular .45 Colt offers customers a broad ammunition selection ranging from soft shooting cowboy loads to high-quality defensive hollow points. The real surprise of the show was the Bulldog XL chambered in .41 Rem. Mag. (shown). Considering what a handful the Bulldog can be when loaded with .44 Spl., it will be interesting to see how the XL handles when stocked full of magnum cartridges. MSRP: TBA

FIGHTLITE RAIDER

FightLite Industries SRC Raider Pistols
This year’s enthusiasm for Mossberg’s pump-action Shockwave 12-ga. has encouraged other manufacturers (like Remington) to look for ways to install a Shockwave-type grip on its guns. But who would have guessed that FightLite Industries would find a way to use this grip configuration on an AR pistol?

With an appearance reminiscent of a Star Wars movie blaster, the new Raider pistols are possible because they are based on the company’s SRC action system which was originally designed as the foundation for a 50-state’s legal AR platform. This configuration eliminates the typical AR buffer tube by attaching a hinged extension to the bolt carrier group, much like those found in some semi-automatic shotguns, that moves down at an angle into the shoulder stock. So, the same system that allows an AR lower to sport a traditional fixed hunting stock also works with an abbreviated Shockwave-style grip.

Raider pistols ship with a 7.25″ barrel chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. or .300 BLK with an overall length of 20.25″, an unloaded weight of 3.9 lbs. and the customer’s choice of a Keymod or M-Lok handguard. It will be interesting to see how these guns handle. I’m guessing a single point sling, attached to the grip’s QD sling port for added stability, will make a difference when shooting off the bench. MSRP: $865

HEIZER

Heizer PKO9 Pistol
Although we are still waiting to get our hands on the super slim 0.80″ thick Heizer Defense PK0-.45 semi-automatic pistol chambered in .45 ACP (which was announced last year), the company is preparing to launch a 9 mm version called the PKO-9. Featuring a proprietary aerospace-grade aluminum frame and a stainless steel slide, the recoil assembly is set above the barrel to lower the bore axis for reduced felt recoil. Other features include a single-action trigger, drift adjustable sights and a grip safety. These pistols will ship with a flush-fit seven-round magazine and an extended 10-round magazine. Color options will include all black, two tone and custom Hedy Jane finish options. MSRP: $699

IWI TAVOR

IWI TAVOR 7 Rifle
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), has launched the newest member of the Tavor bullpup rifle family, the TAVOR 7 chambered in 7.62 NATO/.308 Win. with an overall length of 28.4″ and an unloaded weight of 9 lbs. The rifle’s body is built from high-strength, impact-modified polymer and has a hammer-forged, chrome-lined, free-floating barrel for enhanced accuracy and life cycle. Designed for military and law enforcement markets, this rifle is a fully ambidextrous platform. The ejection side and the charging handle can be switched from one side to the other quickly and easily by the user. Additional ambidextrous features include the safety lever, magazine release, and a bolt catch similar to that of the X95.

Two M-LOK slots are located at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions along with a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail at the 6 o’clock position for the use of multiple devices and accessories. Other features include a short-stroke gas piston with a four-position variable gas regulator, a rotating bolt system, and an interchangeable pistol grip. The Tavor 7 will be available in four colors: Sniper Gray, OD Green, Black, and Flat Dark Earth, with replaceable barrels available in 17″ and 20″ lengths. This rifle is slated to ship the first quarter of 2018. MSRP: TBA

JRC 9MM

Just Right Carbines JRC 9 mm Pistol
Just Right Carbines is known for its blow-back operated pistol-caliber takedown carbines and rifles designed to accept popular double and single-stack magazines produced for Glocks and 1911s. This year the company is expanding its line-up to include pistol versions of its platform that offer the same modularity and takedown features as the rifles. The Model 1 version of the pistol (shown) features a foam padded Gearheadworks Mod1 Tail Hook buffer assembly and takedown fore-end. Model 2 is dressed up a bit more with a Gearheadworks Mod2 adjustable arm brace and a quad rail fore-end. MSRP: Starting at $699

KEYSTONE CPR W

Keystone Sporting Arms PT Rimfire Rifle
Keystone Sporting Arms has blended the best features of a precision rifle chassis and an enjoyable .22 Long Rifle bolt-action rimfire into the new PT rimfire rifle platform. The Keystone 722 action is paired with the customer’s choice of a 16.5 inch or 20 inch threaded heavy bull barrel. The action is tucked into an American Built Arms (A*B Arms) MOD*X PTTM aluminum chassis. The chassis is made from 6061 T6 aluminum and treated with a Class 3 hard-coat anodized finish. The A*B Arms Urban Sniper shoulder stock provides an adjustable length of pull ranging from 10.5” to 13.75″ while the A*B Arms P*Grip is compact and comfortable to work with. The PT rifle ships with one seven-round Keystone 722 magazine. MSRP: $599.96

mossberg shockwave

Mossberg 20-ga. Shockwave Pump-Action
Released in January 2017, Mossberg’s non-NFA 14″ barrel Shockwave 12-ga. pump-action has been one of the hottest selling guns of the year. So much so, that it garnered the company two NASGW/POMA Caliber Awards at the NASGW Expo this year, including the “Innovator of the Year” and “Best New Overall Product.” So it shouldn’t come as much of a shock (pun intended) that Mossberg is expanding the Shockwave line up for 2018. Along with new finish (Flat Dark Earth) and package (JIC water resistant storage tube) options for the 12-ga. model, the company has developed a new 20-ga. 590 version.

The 20-ga. Shockwave is a more important release than some folks may realize. This is the first time the company has offered a 20-ga. in a tactical 590 configuration. All of the components have been properly scaled down to fit the smaller cartridge while preserving important features like the drilled and tapped receiver and the removable magazine tube cap. This makes the overall package slimmer and lighter than the 12-ga. model while providing a lower level of felt recoil. With all the hard work of resizing the 590 platform already complete, it’s likely that we’ll see long gun versions before too long. As for a .410 Bore Shockwave, we’ll just have to wait and see. MSRP: $455

desert eagle

Magnum Research Desert Eagle L5 .50 AE Pistol
I’m not sure why Magnum Research customers have been chomping at the bit for a Desert Eagle L5 lightweight pistol chambered in .50 AE. Trust me when I say the Standard XIX model, which weighs about a pound more, has a level of felt recoil that will still blow your hair back when chambered in this cartridge. Nevertheless, since the arrival of the .357 Mag. L5 about two years ago and the .44 Mag. version, folks have been asking for a .50-cal. option. This model sports the same reduced-weight aluminum frame, 5″ barrel, integral muzzle brake and accessory rail as the other two calibers. MSRP: TBA

troy slide fire

Troy Industries SideAction Rifle
In order to help shooting enthusiasts keep running their preferred AR-type platforms in as many states as possible, Troy Industries released the 223 National Sporting Pump-Action rifle a couple of years ago. Many of the state regulations that ban certain rifle features on semi-automatic platforms do not apply those same restrictions to pump-actions. This year the company is adding the SideAction rifle to the lineup which employs a bolt action instead of a pump. An A2 flash hider is pinned and welded to the 16″ 1:7 twist RH rifled barrel. The 10.5″ SOCC handguard features M-Lok accessory slots. The side-charging bolt handle is topped with a target knob. The pistol grip, controls and trigger are all mil-spec. The folding shoulder stock is machined from aluminum billet. MSRP: $899

WALTHER PPQ

Walther PPQ M2 Q4 TAC Pistol

Building on the award-winning PPQ platform, Walther Arms has announced the arrival of the new PPQ M2 Q4 TAC which is both optics and suppressor ready from the factory. “The Q5 Match has been very popular and we have had a lot of interest in a 4″ more tactical version. We are excited to combine a suppressor-ready and optics-ready pistol into a best-of-both worlds platform,” said Luke Thorkildsen, vice president of marketing & product development of Fort Smith-based Walther Arms, Inc.

The 9 mm Q4 TAC arrives with a 4.6 inch 1/10 twist polygonal rifled barrel and a muzzle threaded at ½x28 TPI. The gun arrives with a second recoil spring weighted specifically for use with sound suppressors, one 15-round magazine and two 17-round magazines. The optics-ready slide features an LPA sight system with a fiber optic in the front and competition iron sight at the rear. The Q4 TAC shares the same optics mounting plate system as the Q5 Match. The plates are compatible with a variety of popular optics including options from Trijicon, Leupold, and Doctor. The PPQ Quick Defense trigger provides a smooth 5.6-lb. trigger pull and a short 0.1″ reset. The Q4 TAC is backed by Walther’s lifetime warranty. MSRP: $799

winchester

Winchester XPR Sporter Rifle
Winchester Repeating Arms is challenging the modern-day manufacturing practice of producing moderately priced bolt-action hunting rifles with polymer shoulder stocks as the only option. The latest version of the XPR rifle line up, called the Sporter, is fitted with a classically styled checkered close-grain Grade I walnut stock that only costs $50 more than its polymer stocked compatriots. Offered in barrel lengths ranging from 22″ to 26″ (depending on the caliber), this rifle’s Perma-Cote treated milled steel receiver houses a nickel Teflon coated bolt body. The MOA trigger system provides zero creep and no over travel for a crisp, clean trigger pull. The three-round magazines are detachable. The XPR Sporter’s twelve caliber options include .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 7 mm-08 Rem., .30-06 Sprg., 7 mm Rem. Mag. and 300 Win. Mag. MSRP: $599

REVIEW: LWRCI Diadem AR-15

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The AR-15 has evolved to become one of the most variously configured guns in firearms history. Here’s yet another step… READ MORE

SOURCE: NRA Publications, by Barbara Baird

LWRCI Diadem AR-15

Guns come with stories. These stories create history, and history is being made with the first AR-15 built for women — per what women told engineers at LWRCI that they wanted in this type of popular rifle platform. The LWRCI Diadem is a limited-edition run of a direct-impingement (DI) rifle, produced because two guys from LWRCI met Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman (TWAW), a non-profit organization with a mission to educate, equip and empower female firearm owners. The organization boasts more than 335 chapters in 49 states, with approximately 11,500 members.

David Golladay and David Ridley of LWRCI heard Lightfoot speak on a women’s industry panel at a National Shooting Sports Foundation summit two years ago. They said they were impressed by TWAW and its impressive reach, as well as Lightfoot’s articulate and passionate methods for moving the organization forward. She is a go-to person in the industry for the women’s gun movement and has been featured in national media — including Time, “NBC Nightly News,” USA Today, Fox News, and NRA News.

Further conversations ensued between the two Davids and Lightfoot. She reached out to at least 140 women within the TWAW organization, asking them for their recommendations, and the wheels for the perfect woman’s AR started turning. LWRCI became involved with the women’s rifle movement, supporting TWAW and its chapter leaders by sponsoring and attending conferences. At these events, they talked to women on the range about what they wanted in an AR. The result was the LWRCI Diadem.

To build the LWRCI Diadem, Lightfoot and her team compiled a spreadsheet with the results and sent it to LWRCI to use as part of the design process. Lightfoot understood that LWRCI told its engineers to “give the women what they want.” The first gun rolled off the line in July 2017, with a run of 1,000 units and only available for a short time at a discount to TWAW chapter members across the country. The LWRCI Diadem now is available to the public.

I attended a media event in July 2017 at the LWRCI plant in Cambridge, MD, along with Lightfoot. For the first time, she met the team of engineers face-to-face and found out that the guys learned a few things about female gun owners throughout the process. One of the most surprising things to them was the fact that the women didn’t want any color on the LWRCI Diadem, except for the trigger — which is a Cerakote-applied purple, TWAW’s signature color. They did want, however, the TWAW logo embossed on the lower. Women also wanted grooves on the grip, a specially designed, slimmer compact rail, LWRCI rail panels, and a hand stop.

Lightfoot said they worked on the grip for a few iterations, and particularly wanted to get the feel and balance right. “The balance is remarkable; it almost becomes weightless because it’s balanced so well. And the handguard — it’s been designed for a woman’s hand, so that our hands can wrap the guard and control the gun. We wanted that feature,” she said. Other features requested by TWAW and included on the LWRCI Diadem include fully ambidextrous controls, an enhanced padded buttpad for recoil absorption, an H2 buffer to ensure reliable cycling, an ambidextrous charging handle, and LWRCI’s advanced trigger guard.

The name LWRCI Diadem is a play on the LWRCI DI line of rifles, and adds a touch of royalty. “The name is a DI rifle and also is a crown jewel. It’s a crown jewel of the AR-15 line,” Lightfoot said.

After the plant tour, we headed out to LWRCI’s private shooting range on Ragged Island. We shot a few thousand rounds through the present Diadems (as well as other LWRCI guns) on steel at 100 yards. Lightfoot was right. The handguard worked with my hand size, and the balance felt right. We sent hundreds of rounds downrange, mostly offhand, and at times rapidly. The LWRCI Diadem continued to deliver, pinging the gongs with no malfunctions. The only drawback for me was the trigger. I wanted to work with this gun more to see what it delivered.

LWRCI Diadem AR-15
(l.) LWRCI’s commitment to ambidextrous operation is evident in the safety selector and bolt-catch release. (ctr.) All controls, including the magazine release, are duplicated on each side of the Diadem. (r.) Engraving on the magazine well and the purple ALG trigger further define this LWRCI DI rifle as the Diadem.

After receiving a test model to try, I took it to my range, and was illuminated. Spending some quality time with the LWRCI Diadem, I saw the rifle, as with all mechanical contraptions, was not perfect. Nevertheless, it came very close to meeting the TWAW requirements as they were explained to me. That said, guess what? All women (like all men) are different and we have our own preferences that might not perfectly match up with those of even a large group of other women.

Part of the difficulties I experienced in testing the rifle came from elements of the design, which, although they were features that satisfied the apparent desires for competition-based furniture, hindered quick and consistent medium- to long-range accuracy testing. For example, the trigger seemed similar to the much-maligned triggers on other LWRCI DI rifles in that it didn’t break consistently, was a little creepy and had a pull weight too heavy for accuracy testing at 100 yards.

LWRCI Diadem AR-15
Both front and rear sights can be used as stand-alone iron sights, or folded down if an optic is installed, and both are adjustable using simple tools.

The angle of the specially designed pistol grip on the LWRCI Diadem was too extreme for comfortable and consistent benchrest shooting, and its finger grooves were poorly spaced for my hand when shooting from the bench. The combination of a lightweight, small-diameter fore-end and heavy fluted barrel resulted in slow barrel heat dissipation, causing shot groups at 100 yards to open up unless I allowed at least 3 minutes from shot-to-shot. Once the barrel got hot (difficult to touch with my bare hand), it stayed hot much longer (of course) than a “pencil-barrel” AR-15 I was also testing.

The included back-up iron sights (BUIS) have a rotating drum peep system in the rear sight, and a front post with Heckler & Koch-type “ears” in the front sight. I like how it’s like a ghost ring at its most-open setting. I didn’t use the BUIS for accuracy testing, but did use them for chronograph work. Since the LWRCI Diadem did not come with a scope or mounts, I borrowed my Leupold Mark 4 8.5-25x50mm from another rifle for accuracy testing.

LWRCI Diadem AR-15
(l.) Proprietary rail mounts allow accessories to be added to the handguard at the 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions. (r.) The bolt-carrier group is nickel-boron coated and contains an integral gas key.

The LWRCI Diadem showed a preference for certain loads during accuracy testing. I shot both .223 Rem. and 5.56 NATO commercial ammunition. With a 1:7-inch twist rate, one might expect heavier, longer projectiles to stabilize better than lighter, shorter ones, and this generally held true. The gun may have shown better accuracy if I had some ammo with 77-grain projectiles, but, alas, I did not and had to make do with bullets ranging from 52 to 69 grains.

The only operational failures during the LWRCI Diadem range time were occasional failures of the bolt to lock rearward when I was using 20-round Magpul PMags and a couple of 10-round sheet-metal variants. There were no lock-back failures with the 30-round PMag supplied with the gun. Admittedly, the smaller mags have already seen several thousand rounds each and may be a bit worn, but since only one mag came with the gun I had to dip into my stockpile for more. That brings up another point: gun manufacturers (I’m not aware of more than a few that are not guilty in this area) need to include more than one magazine with each gun, since failures with semi-automatic firearms of all types often begin with a faulty magazine.

According to my Lyman electronic trigger-pull gauge, the average pull weight over five hammer drops was 7 pounds, 2 ounces. That doesn’t tell the whole story, though; the pull weight spread was nearly a pound, showing the inconsistency I noticed during accuracy testing. I shoot better when the pull is consistent and averaging at least 3 pounds less than the trigger on this rifle. I have heard and read that companies building ARs are intentionally sacrificing consistent and lighter trigger weights to the gods of safety and reliability — and, the triggers smooth-out with use. I suspect LWRCI is trying to keep the price of the rifle down since “everybody installs aftermarket triggers, anyway.”

LWRCI Diadem AR-15
(l.) The Magpul CTR stock is equipped with an enhanced buttpad for comfort. (ctr.) ErgoGrip’s pistol grip is designed with a subtle texture and a palm-filling shape. (r.) Magpul’s 30-round, standard-capacity magazines keep the Diadem fed.

I don’t know if any of these thoughts crossed the minds of the designers, but just in case, I’d like to address these concerns. First, call me an idealist, but I don’t think the lawyers for the aftermarket trigger makers that produce consistent, lighter triggers are going to knowingly allow unsafe and unreliable products to ship. Next, this LWRCI Diadem came to me with more than 1,500 rounds on its odometer, so if the trigger was going to get better with use, it should have already done so. Last, I’m one of those who have replaced stock triggers in ARs, but not in all of them. At last count, of the nine AR-pattern rifles in my stable, I’ve seen the need to replace the triggers in two of them.

Some of my ARs have two-stage triggers, some are single-stage, but none are creepy, all are consistent and their drop points range from slightly more than 3 pounds to a little more than 6 pounds. This last argument for mediocre stock triggers certainly should not have been in the manufacturer’s plan for this design, since TWAW members specifically requested purple-colored triggers — it is doubtful they had any intentions to replace what came with the gun. That said, aftermarket options abound.

LWRCI did not create this rifle from whole cloth, as several of the LWRCI Diadem’s features are the same or similar to other rifles from the company’s DI line, including the integrated gas key on the rifle’s nickel-boron-coated bolt-carrier group, a spiral-fluted NiCorr-treated barrel and LWRCI’s Monoforge upper receiver. It did, however, meet the requirements for a group of women who knew what they wanted. To date, Lightfoot says feedback about the Diadem has been extremely positive. “The women appreciate that the gun is not ‘girly,’ and that it’s in black,” added Lightfoot.

LWRCI Diadem AR-15

LWRCI Diadem AR-15

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