2016 marks our first venture into action pistol, and it was an amazing experience, filled with great people. Action pistol is a sport, in every sense of the word. It takes a ridiculous amount of dedication, discipline, and attention in order to be a competitor.
Our group arrived in Lake Charles, LA to a torrential downpour. Thankfully, the clouds parted shortly after our arrival. In 2015, the competition, as well as the competitors, weren’t so lucky…
This year was blessedly cooperative weather-wise. The wide field of 87 competitors, ranging in all ages, and pistol varieties, were eager to get their feet wet on the course of fire, so to speak. Greeted by the range master, as well as the lead range officer, George Mowbray, and Gary Yantis, the heart and soul of the match. Their experience and expertise are only matched by their hospitality, and their willingness to impart any knowledge one wishes to gain about anything Crawfish Cup.
Gary and George, both pro pistol shooters with decades of experience between them, have built an amazing match thus far. In 2015, the match saw 70 competitors, with Bruce Piatt taking home the cup. 2014 had a similar field of competitors, with the Midsouth sponsored shooter, Kevin Angstadt raising the cup. 2013 had world class shooter Doug Koenig adding the Crawfish Cup to his trophy case. Every year saw outstanding competitors, and George and Gary making sure every competitor had a safe, fair, and fun competition. Having them to work with in preparation for 2017 only fuels our desire to exceed the progress we made this year in providing the best experience for every competitor on the road to the prestigious Bianchi Cup.
Something that makes the Crawfish Cup special is the field of competition. We had the immense pleasure of meeting great people at every turn. Please head over to the competitor profile section to meet a few shooters from all over the U.S. Each one brought something special to the match. Also attending this year were the three members of the Yackley 5ive, Tim and Sean Yackley, and their mom, competitor Becky Yackley. These bright young men are the future of action pistol. We got the chance to bounce a few questions off them prior to the match:
Tim and Sean Yackley are not only involved in every aspect of action pistol, they take their dedication beyond Crawfish and Bianchi Cup, and into long range shooting, 3-gun, all the way down to working the reloading bench. When asked about their level of commitment to the shooting sports, they said, “One of the things that really makes us love shooting is seeing what we’ve been able to do with all the little things we’ve done: we don’t have anyone training us, it’s a lot of our own work, over years. As kids, it’s neat to see the tiny bits of work we do with each other turn into a great performance – stuff like working on particular skills and seeing that help each other in a match, or taking a small piece of advice someone gave us on say, shooting barricades, and seeing it play a role in something we figure out and can grow from – those things really make the little parts of everything we’ve done, with help from lots of people come into play.”
These Lucas Oil Outdoor sponsored shooters are already making a name for themselves. Tim Yackley took home first place in the Master Category, at age 13! Proof positive of a stellar career in shooting sports, and a definite presence at The Crawfish Cup.
Team Cerino stands out, and it’s not just because of Michelle’s tiara. Chris and Michelle are fierce competitors, and have a great rapport with every other shooter they encounter, adding a level of fun to each section of the match that we had no idea could exist in such a regimented structure.
Vera Koo is not only a shooter of legend, she’s a true ambassador to the sport. Earning High Lady, and Grand High Lady this year at the cup was a great achievement. Beyond that, she donated $300 of her own money to be divided up, and given as door prizes to other shooters.
See, it’s the elements that lie underneath the surface of the competition. These acts of comeradery, generosity, and respect are what propel The Crawfish Cup to the next level.
Check out part 2 for more on the individual matches, competitor interactions, and information on the 2016 Crawfish Cup and their sponsors!
Have you participated in Action Pistol, or any other shooting competition? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Guest post by Richard Mann, courtesy of SHOT Daily.
For 2016, we have survival rifles, utility rifles, anniversary rifles, and a mixture of new hunting rifles from which to choose. There are rifles for subsonic shooting and even one for speeds greater than Mach 3.3. On the tactical side, you’ll find everything from close-quarters carbines to long-range sniper platforms. With new offerings in every category, the only consistent trend seems to be continued inclusion of threaded muzzles for suppressor-ready rifles. It is quietly becoming the new standard.
Ashbury Precision Ordnance
Ashbury Precision Ordnance Manufacturing has added the .408 and .375 CheyTac cartridges to the Asymmetric Warrior precision tactical rifles, which are based on the new SABER VX bolt-action receiver. The SABER VX is Ashbury’s octagonal geometry-precision-manufactured bolt-action receiver for super magnum calibers. The ASW-408 uses the latest innovation in the patented SABER-FORSST modular rifle chassis system, which is an interlocking action/chassis design precision machined from aerospace-grade aluminum alloy. For exceptional bullet stability and accuracy, the .408CT uses a 1-in-13-inch twist, and the .375CT uses a 1-in-10.5-inch twist. (ashburyprecisionordnance.com)
Bergara USA has a new player in the tactical rifle field. The Premier Series Tactical Rifle was designed to meet the accuracy and performance standards required by professional shooters. It’s built with the Bergara Premier action, which features a coned bolt nose and breech to ensure consistently smooth feeding. The Bergara 416 stainless-steel barrel has a Dead Air suppressor-ready Key Mount Brake and is Cerakote finished in matte black. The custom chassis stock by XLR features an adjustable length of pull (12 to 15 inches) and changeable cheek height. The lightweight chassis buttstock features QD flush cups on both sides, an ambidextrous cheek rest, and a monopod provision. The rifle is available in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor. SRP: $2,200.
The Woodsman rifle is also new from Bergara. This bolt-action hunting rifle weighs 7.4 pounds in long action and 7.1 pounds in short action. It has a hinged floor plate and comes with a 22- or 24-inch, No. 3 contour barrel. The stock is American walnut, and available chamberings include 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm Rem. Mag., .308 Win., .30/06, and .300 Win. Mag. All chamberings utilize suitable twist rates for high BC bullets. (bergarausa.com)
Browning has introduced the new X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed bolt-action rifle, which features a composite stock with A-TACS AU Camo and a Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish on the barrel and action. The barrel is fluted and includes a threaded muzzle brake. Chamberings include .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win., 7mm-08, .270 Win., and .30/06, all with a 22-inch barrel. Rifles chambered for the .270 WSM and .300 WSM will have a 23-inch barrel; those chambered for the 26 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., and .300 Win. Mag. will have a 26-inch tube. Additional features include an adjustable Feather Trigger, detachable rotary magazine, bolt unlock button, and the X-Lock scope-mounting system. Weight ranges from 6 pounds 5ounces to 6 pounds 13 ounces. SRP: $1,199.99 for standard calibers, $1,239.99 for magnums.
The Long Range Hunter is also new from Browning. It features a composite stock with carbon-fiber finish, stainless-steel receiver in matte finish, and a 26-inch matte-finish fluted barrel. It comes with a threaded muzzle brake that is easily removed for suppressor installation. The new X-Bolt Long Range Hunter is designed to maximize accuracy at extended ranges, yet still be light and maneuverable enough to carry. Weight ranges from 7 pounds 3 ounces to 7 pounds 8 ounces. It will be available in 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 WSM, .300 WSM, 26 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., and .300 Win. Mag. SRP: $1,429.99 to $1,469.99.
Browning also will introduce a new updated BAR semi-auto rifle for 2016 called the BAR MK 3 that features a new receiver profile, engraving, and a new stock and forearm design. The lightweight alloy receiver has a satin-nickel finish with high-relief engraving and is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. The stock and forearm are Grade II walnut with cut checkering in oil finish. Barrel lengths are 22, 24, or 26 inches, depending on chambering. (browning.com)
The Winchester Model 71 was introduced in 1935 and discontinued in 1958. A slightly modified version of the Browning-designed Model 1886, the Model 71 still has a loyal following. The Cimarron Model 71 in .45/70 is equal to the original in strength and reliability. For 2016, Cimarron has three to choose from. The Model 71 Premium 24 is chambered in .45-70, has a case-hardened receiver, checkered walnut stock, sling-swivel studs, and a 24-inch barrel. SRP: $1,940.21. The Model 71 Classic 24 is similar to the Premium but with a blued steel receiver.
Cimarron’s Model 71 Hogzilla Killa is a bit of a departure from its cowboy roots. It has a 19-inch barrel and is chambered for the .45/70. But, this carbine is fitted with a barrel-mounted rail to allow for the mounting of an extended-eye-relief scout-style scope. Advertised as a feral hog slayer, this rifle has a plethora of uses worldwide. SRP: $1,846.48.
More in line with its old Western firearms heritage, Cimarron is also offering an exquisite side-lock muzzleloader. The Santa Fe Hawken, made by D. Pedersoli, is perfect for target shooters and hunters. Cimarron offers this model with a fancy maple stock, and the rifle features a custom shallow-groove fast-twist, Sharps-style barrel for making long shots or a more traditional deep-grooved and slow-twist barrel for round or mini-ball shooting. Available in .50 caliber only. SRP: $1,418.
Speaking of long shots, the legendary Billy Dixon carried an 1873 Springfield Trapdoor U.S. Model Officers Rifle while serving as civilian scout for the U.S. Army during the Red River Indian Wars. The Cimarron Officers Model is a faithful reproduction of Dixon’s original rifle, which is on display at the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon, Texas. It comes in .45/70 only. SRP: $2,403.70. (cimarron-firearms.com)
CMMG has unveiled the Mk47 lineup featuring a KRINK muzzle device. Similar to the original Mk47 MUTANT design, these new rifles are built around the 7.62x39mm cartridge and feature a shortened AR-10-size bolt-carrier group that is paired with a unique upper and lower receiver to minimize weight and increase ergonomics. One of the primary benefits of the Mk47 design is its ability to accept existing AK magazines and drums. Three models are available. SRP: $1,550 to $1,750. (cmmginc.com)
CZ has no shortage of new rifles for 2016. Its rimfire category has 10 new entries alone. The model 455 bolt-action additions include four Varmint Evolution variants, two in .17 HMR and two in .22 LR. Both sport the radically shaped laminated stock available with either a coyote or gloss pink finish. There are also two Varmint Precision Trainer Camo Suppressor Ready models in .22 LR. One has a 16.5-inch barrel, the other a 24-inch tube. Both come with a five-round detachable magazine and a Manners stock. The semi-automatic 512 series has four additions, two in .22 LR and two in .22 Magnum. The carbine version—available in both chamberings—has a black beechwood stock, a five-round detachable magazine, and tangent rear sights, and is suppressor ready with a 1/2×28 thread pattern. The semi-auto 512 American comes with a walnut stock and a five-round detachable magazine.
New centerfire rifle introductions in the compact 527 line include a 527 American in .221 Remington Fireball with a detachable five-round magazine. The second new 527 is in the Varmint configuration and is chambered for the .17 Remington. In the 557 Sporter line, CZ has added two short-action offerings. Both have walnut stocks and four-round detachable magazines. New chamberings are the .243 and .308 Winchester. There is also a new model 557 Varmint in .308 Winchester. For the tactical minded or law enforcement, CZ’s new model 557 Urban Counter Sniper should turn some heads. Its compact build is designed to excel at engaging targets within 400 yards. Chambered in .308 Winchester, the short 16-inch barrel only sacrifices 150 fps compared to a standard barrel, and its three-prong flash hider serves as a QD for a suppressor. The carbon-fiber composite Manners stock provides a rock-solid platform without weighing the rifle down, and it comes with a detachable box magazine and oversize bolt handle.
The Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine line from CZ has five additions. All are chambered for the 9mm Luger and come with a threaded muzzle in the 1/2×28 pattern. Two come with a faux suppressor and two with a muzzle brake. The Scorpion EVO S1 Pistol has a flat dark earth finish. It has a threaded muzzle, too, but is shipped without a faux suppressor or brake.
The CZ model 805 Bren S1 Carbine has four additions to the lineup. All are chambered for the .223 Remington/5.56×45 NATO and come with a threaded muzzle in the 1/2 x 28 thread pattern. These carbines are shipped with either a 10- or 30-round magazine, and two come in basic black and two in flat dark earth. (cz-usa.com)
Daniel Defense has released its much-anticipated rifle for the 7.62x51mm NATO (.308) cartridge. The new DD5V1 incorporates more than a decade of expertise from industry-leading engineers and designers. With innovative features such as a four-bolt connection system, an optimized upper receiver, an improved bolt carrier group, ambidextrous controls, a configurable modular charging handle, and a cold-hammer-forged barrel, the DD5V1—though built around a traditional AR platform—establishes a new tradition in 7.62 rifles. It also features a Geissele SSA two-stage trigger. SRP: $2,899.
Daniel Defense has also added the Daniel Defense Tornado and Mil Spec+ Cerakote colors to its best-selling DDM4V11 SLW rifle lineup. (daniel defense.com)
The new Webley & Scott Empire bolt-action rifle is built by Howa Machinery and boasts the same exquisite fit and finish that Webley & Scott is known for. Each rifle comes with a high-quality Minelli walnut stock, three-position safety and two-stage trigger, jeweled bolt, knurled bolt knob, and 22-inch, No. 2 contour, deep-blued gloss barrel and receiver. The Empire rifle also comes standard with a five-round, metal flush-fit detachable magazine. It will initially be available in .270 and .30/06. SRP: $899, rifle only; $1,049, rifle and scope package. (legacysports.com)
FNH USA has expanded its FN 15 modern sporting rifle accessory line to include upper assembly units. FN 15 upper assemblies are now available in popular configurations like the FN 15 Carbine, Rifle, Tactical Carbine, and DMR. FN 15 upper receiver assemblies are supplied with M16-style bolt-carrier assemblies and charging handles. Barrels are cold-hammer-forged, individually high-pressure tested, and magnetic particle inspected (MPI). SRP: $799 to $1,299. (fnhusa.com)
New from Howa is the Alpine Mountain Rifle with a Nikko Stirling Panamax 3-9×40 riflescope. The Panamax scope was designed to be lightweight yet durable, with the mobile shooter in mind. The Alpine Mountain Rifle is available in .243 Win., .308 Win., 7mm-08, and 6.5 Creedmoor. It features a HACT two-stage trigger, Cerakote Gray barreled action, Pachmeyer Decelerator recoil pad, and the Ammo Boost detachable-magazine system. This rifle was made for high-altitude steep/rugged terrain hunting, yet its light weight does not produce heavy recoil. SRP: $1,221, rifle only; $1,188, with the Mag Kit; $1,477, for rifle, Mag Kit, and scope package.
Howa is also offering a new chambering for its Mini-Action short-action rifle. It’s now available in .222 Remington. Scoped packages, using the new Nikko Stirling Panamax riflescope, are also available. SRP: $608 to $782. Stock colors include black, OD green, or Kryptek Highlander. (howarifles.com)
If vintage firearms are your thing, you’ll want to get in line for the new Thompson T1-14. Recently approved for civilian sale by the ATF, the Thompson T1-14 offers a 14.5-inch barrel with a permanently affixed Cutts Compensator, putting the total barrel length at 16 inches. This rifle is chambered for the .45 ACP, weighs 13 pounds, and has a walnut fixed stock and a vertical foregrip. It comes with one 20-round stick magazine. SRP: $1,461. (kahr.com)
Legacy Sports International
Ammo Boost detachable magazine kits and spare magazines now fit Remington Model 700 rifles in short- and long-action chamberings. These magazine conversion kits will work in all Remington Model 700 rifles except the ADL model. SRP: $98. (legacysports.com)
The DI rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO was built from the ground up as a completely new direct-impingement rifle featuring many of the same high-performance attributes found in its popular Gas Piston-Luxury AR lineup. Features include a Monoforge upper, modular one-piece free-float rail, and a LWRC cold-hammer-forged spiral-fluted barrel. The rifle also has fully ambidextrous lower controls. Barrel length is 16 inches with a 1-in-7 twist. The rifles weighs 5.9 pounds. (lwrc.com)
The R15 is a new bolt-action rifle designed to specifically meet the expectations of American hunters and shooters. It features a newly designed receiver with three lugs for maximum strength and safety, and a 60-degree bolt throw for fast follow-up shots. The receiver is mated to a cold-hammer-forged barrel and the R15 utilizes a direct trigger with a pull weight of less than 3 pounds. Two models will be offered: a Grade 1 walnut-stocked version and a fiberglass-reinforced black synthetic-stocked version. Both are available for standard and magnum cartridges: .243 Win., 6.5×55, .270 Win., .308 Win., .30/06, 9.3×62, .300 Win. Mag., and 7 Rem. Mag. The walnut R15 weighs 7 pounds 4.4 ounces, the synthetic R15 weighs 6 pounds 9.8 ounces. SRP: $799, walnut; $699, synthetic. (steyrarms.com)
Last year Mossberg introduced the MVP Scout rifle. It was available in two versions, with or without a scout scope. Mossberg has upgraded the MVP Scout scope package with a new scout scope from Vortex. This new Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope features extended eye-relief for forward mounting on the MVP Scout rifle for quick target acquisition. Vortex Viper rings are provided in the package.
Mossberg’s very popular Patriot rifle is now available in 11 of the most popular cartridges with more than 60 models to choose from. It combines the most-desired features from previous Mossberg centerfire rifles in a re-engineered platform with streamlined bolt handle, redesigned bolt knob, and classic hunting-style stock. New for 2016 are five Patriot bolt-action rifles that feature Kryptek Highlander camo stocks with matte blue metal finishes in .243, .270, .308 Win., .30/06, and .300 Win. Mag. Mossberg has also updated its MMR AR 15 platform rifles to include a Magpul M-LOK forend, MOE grip, and removable and adjustable rail-mounted target sights and a muzzle brake. (mossberg.com)
To celebrate its 200th anniversary, Remington is offering a new Model 700 and special versions of the Model 7600 with celebratory engraving. There will be a limited number of only 2,016 units offered in each model and special features will include high-polished carbon steel, engraving with gold inlays, and C-grade American black walnut stocks with a special laser engraving pattern.
For the popular and affordable Model 783 line of bolt-action rifles, Remington has added a scoped combo package. These rifles will have a pillar-bedded Mossy Oak Break Up synthetic stock, the standard CrossFire adjustable trigger, and a Super Cell recoil pad and come with a 3-9X riflescope. Available chamberings include .223 Rem., .243 Win, .270 Win., .308 Win., .30/06, and 7mm Rem. Mag. SRP: $451.
The Limited Edition Model 700 for 2016 comes in the CDL Model which has a satin stainless action, a 24-inch barrel, a satin-finished American walnut stock, a laser-engraved floor plate, and “LIMITED” etched on the left side of the receiver. It also has the X-Mark Pro trigger. It will be chambered for the .35 Whelen. (remington.com)
Rock River Arms
The Rock River IRS Series represents further growth in its expanding line of high-performance tactical, personal defense, competitive, and hunting firearms. The IRS Series conveniently integrates low-profile folding sights, which can be used as a primary or backup sighting system. The series also features a new tuned and ported muzzle brake that helps reduce muzzle climb and is equipped with either a 16- or 18-inch barrel. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, it weighs between 7.6 to 8.4 pounds. SRP: $1,540 to $1,620. (rockriver arms.com)
As a mid-year introduction in 2015, Ruger added a wood-stocked model to the affordable American Rimfire line of rifles. This was in direct response to customer requests. The stock is made from a hardwood blank in Newport, New Hampshire, and is mated to the popular .22 LR bolt-action in Mayodan, North Carolina, resulting in a rifle with classic good looks and modern performance. This stock is still host to the same integral bedding-block system and free-floated barrel that have made the Ruger American Rimfire rifle family outstandingly accurate. It has front and rear sling-swivel studs, a metal trigger guard, checkering on the grip and forend, and rubber butt pad. Length of pull is 13.75 inches. SRP: $449.
Another late-year introduction from Ruger was the Ruger Precision Rifle. An all-new inline recoil-path bolt-action rifle, the Ruger Precision Rifle is highly configurable and offers outstanding accuracy and long-range capability. The Ruger Precision MSR stock is adjustable for length of pull and comb height, offering a proper fit over a wide range of shooter sizes, outerwear, and shooting positions. The rifle also features a Multi-Magazine Interface, a patent-pending system that functions interchangeably with side latching. The Ruger Precision Rifle is available in three models: .308 Win. (1:10 twist, 20-inch barrel), 6.5 Creedmoor (1:8 twist, 24-inch barrel), and .243 Win. (1:7.7 twist, 26-inch barrel). SRP: $1,399. (ruger.com)
Savage continues its innovation and response to shooter demand with several new rifles for 2016. First is the Model 16/116 Lightweight Hunter. Depending on the situation, a hunter might need to haul a rifle up a steep mountainside or quickly get it on target in a cramped blind. Whatever the demand, the compact and flyweight design of the new Lightweight Hunter offers the maneuverability needed, without sacrificing performance. This rifle tips the scales at a mere 5.65 to 5.8 pounds. It comes with a synthetic stock and a 20-inch barrel. Available in .223 Rem., .243 Win., .270 Win, .308 Win., and 7-08 Rem. SRP: $729.
Stainless barrels and hardwood stock options now come to the Axis II package line. All Axis rifles sport the legendary adjustable AccuTrigger and the package Axis II models include a premium quality, mounted and bore sighted Weaver Kaspa 3–9x40mm riflescope. A full selection of big-game chamberings are available. SRP: $600.
For magnum rimfire enthusiasts, Savage has added three new models to the B-MAG line. They include a Target Beavertail model ($548), a Heavy Barrel model ($402), and a Sporter model ($506.) The B-MAG was built around the .17 Win. Super Magnum cartridge, which creates unprecedented rimfire velocities of up to 3,000 feet per second.
More rimfire news from Savage includes new models in the A17 line. The Savage A17 is the first high-performance semi-automatic rimfire specifically designed for the .17 HMR. The rifle’s unique delayed-blowback action provides safe, reliable operation. Standard features include a hard-chrome bolt, a case-hardened receiver, a 10-round rotary magazine, and a button-rifled barrel. The new target models feature heavy barrels and gray wood-laminate stocks. SRP: $571, Target Sporter; $631,Target Sporter Thumbhole.
Way more than just a novelty, the new Model 42 Takedown shotgun-rifle combo gun is a must-have survival, truck, and camping gun. The firearm breaks down with a simple push of one button and includes an Uncle Mike’s Go Bag so you can easily transport it. The Model 42 fires rimfire rounds from the top barrel and .410 shotgun shells from the bottom. The short length-of-pull and light recoil make it a perfect starter gun for young shooters. The barrels are matte black to prevent glare, and the sleek synthetic stock is weatherproof. The 42 is available in .22 LR over .410 or .22 WMR over .410. SRP: $500. (savagearms.com)
SIG SAUER changed the way the world looked at the submachine gun platform with the introduction of the SIG MPX. That same innovative technology is available in the semi-automatic SIG MPX Carbine. The modular 9mm SIG MPX Carbine maintains all of the ergonomic superiority of the short-barrel rifle and pistol variants, but now with a 16-inch hammer-forged barrel. A full-length aluminum KeyMod handguard provides ample room for mounting lights, lasers, and grips. This carbine can be turned into an SBR with a simple conversion kit and is completely ambidextrous. SRP: $2,055.
SIG also has a redesigned SIGM400 Predator hunting rifle. Based off the direct-impingement SIGM400 action, the new Predator offers a series of enhanced features optimized for hunters. In its 5.56mm offering, the SIGM400 is perfect for small game, such as prairie dogs, or predators like coyotes. The versatile 300BLK cartridge can be used on game up to whitetail deer and is a popular option with feral hog hunters. The hammer-forged stainless-steel barrel is 18 inches for the 5.56 NATO and 16 inches in 300BLK. Barrels come threaded for the addition of muzzle devices or silencers. A top Picatinny rail allows for optics to be mounted, and the ALG aluminum free-floating handguard features M-Lok attachment points. (sigsauer.com)
Traditions Performance Firearms
The Crackshot is a new rimfire rifle available in .22 or .17 HMR. It has a 16.5-inch barrel and weighs just over 4 pounds. Lightweight and easy to carry, it’s great for plinking and small-game hunting. The easy takedown feature makes for quick disassembly and easy transport. The Dual Safety System includes a hammer block and manual trigger block safety.
Traditions also has two new muzzleloading rifles. The Pursuit G4 Northwest and Buckstalker Northwest rifles feature an exposed-breech magnum musket ignition, Accelerator Breech Plug, and fiber-optic sights. Both are available in .50 caliber only. The Pursuit G4 has a 26-inch Cerakote barrel with Williams metal fiber-optic sights, and the Buckstalker has a 24-inch barrel with Truglo fiber-optic sights. Black synthetic stocks are standard, but camo versions are offered for each model. Traditions has also upped the ante by coating select muzzleloader models with a Tenifer finish. (traditionsperformance.com)
The news from Weatherby is quite extensive and starts with the renovation of the Mark V rifle, which marks the first significant refinements of this classic rifle since its original introduction in 1958. All new Mark Vs will feature the new LXX trigger, a highly refined, ergonomically enhanced stock, a hand-lapped barrel, and a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee. The new Mark V stocks now have a slimmer forearm and sharper, more distinctive lines and contours. The grip diameter has been reduced, a slight right-hand palm swell has been added, and overall weight has decreased. The new Weatherby LXX trigger has a new, wider trigger face, and all surfaces have been precision ground. It is adjustable down to 2.5 pounds. These features can be found on all Mark V rifles, including the AccuMark ($2,300), Ultra Lightweight ($ 2.300), and Weathermark ($1,700).
The Weatherby Custom Shop has new introductions, too. They include the TacMark ($3,600) and TacMark Elite ($5,000) rifles. Both are teeming with features necessary to consistently connect at extended ranges. They have 28-inch, No. 3 contour barrels to extract the top velocities that their .30-378 Wby. Mag., .338 Lapua Mag., and .338-378 Wby. Mag. chamberings are capable of delivering. The cut-rifled barrels are also hand-lapped, fluted, and free-floated. They are guaranteed to shoot 0.99-inch or smaller three-shot groups at 100 yards. Muzzle brakes on both rifles greatly reduce felt recoil and muzzle flip, and both are fitted with the new LXX trigger.
The Custom Shop is also building a refined and interesting Vanguard rifle for dangerous game. The new DGR eschews frills for functionality. The rugged, reliable Vanguard action is attached to a full-length bedding plate, secured to a hand-laminated, composite stock with spiderweb accents that enhance purchase. It comes with a three-shot sub-MOA accuracy guarantee and has a cold-hammer-forged 24-inch No. 2-contour barrel. To ensure perfect shot placement in a host of lighting conditions, the barrel is topped with the field-proven New England Custom Gun (NECG) rear sight and a Williams hooded front sight. The DGR is equipped with a match-quality, hand-honed, two-stage trigger that’s user adjustable.
With its new Laminate H-Bar rifle, Weatherby combines the best attributes of the Vanguard with features deemed nonnegotiable by the benchrest and varmint-hunting community. The Vanguard Laminate H-Bar rifle comes with a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee and is fitted with a cold-hammer-forged 22-inch, No. 3-contour barrel, measuring 0.740-inch at the muzzle. The renowned Vanguard action is affixed to a uniquely configured, oil-finished birch-laminate stock that has a quick-and-easy locking system for adjusting both length of pull and the height of the comb. It can easily be customized to your exact shooting style and physical dimensions. SRP: $1,449.
Weatherby has teamed up with Leupold to step into the package rifle market. The Vanguard Leupold Package Rifle is available in a wide array of calibers and includes a Vanguard Synthetic rifle and a Leupold VX-2 3–9x40mm riflescope. It is a rugged, reliable duo capable of pursuing all game the world over. SRP: $1,049.
The Vanguard Accuguard now offers Accumark accuracy at a much more affordable price. The Accuguard rifle is accompanied with an accuracy guarantee; with premium ammunition, it will produce a three-shot group measuring 0.99-inch or less from a cold barrel. The heart of the Accuguard, the renowned Vanguard action, is affixed to a hand-laminated raised-comb Monte Carlo composite stock with a full-length aluminum bedding plate, matte gel-coat finish, and spiderweb accents. It includes a match-quality two-stage trigger, user adjustable for pull weight. SRP: $1,099.
Weatherby also has a new introduction on the tactical side. The Modular Chassis Rifle is yet another iteration of the Vanguard series that debuted in the early 1970s. It is fitted with a cold-hammer-forged, No. 3-contour barrel that has a bead-blasted matte-blue finish to minimize glare. It comes with a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee, but the action is fitted to a unique CNC-machined 6061 aluminum chassis, which has a black hard-anodized finish. The svelte minimalist forend features hole spacing for Magpul MOE L5 and L3 accessory rails for true customization. The rifle feeds from a detachable MDT-pattern staggered-column polymer box magazine that holds 10 rounds of .223 Rem. or .308 Win. SRP: $1,449.
Still more additions to the Weatherby Vanguard include the Vanguard Realtree Xtra rifle, the synthetic stock of which is finished in Realtree Xtra camo. SRP: $749. The Vanguard Select rifle is an entry-level rifle with all the Weatherby guarantees and performance. SRP: $599. The Vanguard Weatherguard also comes with an accuracy guarantee and all the metalwork is protected with Tactical Grey Cerakote. And finally, there is the Vanguard Wilderness. This is a 6.5-pound rifle with a detachable box magazine and a 24-inch bead-blasted matte-finished fluted barrel. SRP: $999. (weatherby.com)
In 2016, Winchester Repeating Arms will celebrate its 150th anniversary. To commemorate this historic milestone, five special firearms will be offered, highlighted by a Commemorative Model 1866 “Yellow Boy” lever-action rifle. This polished brass beauty is faithful to the original and is embellished with some of the most authentic Ulrich-style engraving ever offered on a factory Model 1866. The Model 1866 150th Commemorative Custom Grade will be offered in .44/40 Win. and comes with a custom-grade V/VI walnut straight-grip stock with a satin oil finish. Its deeply polished full-octagon 24-inch barrel features a gold barrel band and special script and scroll engraving. The ladder-style carbine rear sight with blade front sight emulates the original. It is also drilled and tapped for a tang-mounted rear sight. SRP: $3,329.99.
Two more commemoratives include the 1873 and 94 rifles. The Model 1873 Commemorative will be offered in .44/40 Win. and will feature Fancy Grade V/VI walnut straight-grip stock and rifle-style forearm with classic cut checkering and deep-relief scroll engraving. The full-octagon 24-inch barrel is deeply polished with gold band, and a tang-mounted Marble Arms rear peep sight and adjustable rear semi-buckhorn sight with Marble Arms gold bead front sight are included. SRP: $3,329.99.
The Model 94 150th Commemorative lever-action rifle will have the same embellishments and engravings as the Model 1873 Commemorative. It will be offered in .30/30 Win., with 24-inch full-octagon barrel. The stock and forearm feature classic cut spade-style checkering, and the rifle includes an adjustable rear-semi-buckhorn sight with a Marble Arms gold bead front sight. SRP: $2,669.99.
A 150th Commemorative Model 70 bolt-action rifle will be offered in .270 Win. It will feature the pre-’64-style controlled-round-feed with claw-extractor bolt design. The high-grade V/VI American black walnut stock has cut checkering and a deluxe shadow-line cheekpiece. There’s also a black forend tip and recessed steel sling-swivel studs. Deep-relief scroll engraving with gold embellishments accent the rifle, and the bolt body and extractor are jeweled. A steel trigger guard and one-piece bottom metal add rigidity for better accuracy. Offered with a 24-inch cold-hammer-forged free-floated barrel, the overall length is 44¾ inches and weight is 8¼ pounds. SRP: $2,069.99.
Aside from the celebratory introductions, there is a new XPR Hunter rifle that will feature a polymer stock in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo, with textured panels for a firm grip in wet weather. Other features include the M.O.A. trigger system, matte-blued metal surfaces to minimize glare, a two-position thumb safety, and a bolt-release button. The new XPR Hunter will be offered in many popular cartridges, from .243 Win. to .338 Win. Mag. Short-action chamberings will have a 22-inch barrel; short-magnum and standard long-action chamberings will have a 24-inch barrel. Long-action magnum chamberings will be fitted with a 26-inch tube. Average weight is 6¾ to 7¼ pounds. SRP: $599.99. (winchesterguns.com)
Reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. Click here to see full issues. Product pricing and availability are at of time of publication and subject to change without notice.