This is among the best go anywhere solve any problem rifles. READ MORE
For most of my life I have kept a lever action rifle handy for all around use. I have taken more game with the lever action than with any other type. During my time as a peace officer I kept a Winchester Model 94 .30-30 WCF lever action rifle in the trunk on more than one occasion. Such a rifle is capable of solving most of the problems encountered. I have the greatest respect for the AR 15 rifle and enjoy firing and using my .223 rifles. Few rifles are as versatile, accurate, and reliable as a good AR 15. Few rifles may be used for varmints and deer by simply changing loads- and then fired in a competitive match that weekend! I simply like the lever action and value its simplicity and ruggedness. I have seen lever actions in the hands of outdoorsmen, scouts and working cowboys that were beaten, battered, and even muddy. These things happen after a decade or two of use. But the rifles always work. When the likely profile is that you may need only a shot or two but that the rifle needs to hit hard, a powerful lever action rifle is a viable choice.
Recently I was in the market for a short handy lever action rifle. I did not seriously consider a Trapper model in .30-30 but sought out a pistol caliber carbine. There are many reasons for this choice. First, it is easier to find a range that allows pistol caliber carbines and this is a real consideration in many areas. Second, I am an enthusiastic handloader. As long as the brass holds out and I am able to obtain lead, primers and powder I will be shooting. I don’t hoard ammunition; I simply keep a reasonable supply. Ammunition is for practice, training, hunting and personal defense. My retirement portfolio contains other choices! While I like the pistol caliber carbine I am not sold on the carbine and handgun combination. When carrying the Rossi lever action rifle I am as likely to be carrying a .357 Magnum revolver as a .45, and more likely to carry my everyday 1911 .45 automatic. A long gun and a handgun are for different duties and compromise is evident.
The lever action carbine slips behind the seat of a truck easily. It is flat, light, and may be made ready by quickly working the lever action. Once ready it may be made safe by simply lowering the hammer. Accuracy isn’t the long suit of the short pistol caliber carbine but it is accurate enough for most chores to 100 yards. Versatility is the long suit. It is a bonus that a good example isn’t expensive. I somehow found myself in the possession of Winchester 95 and Savage 99 high power rifles and a good Henry .22 rifle but no short powerful carbine. I addressed this deficit in the battery by purchasing a Rossi 92 carbine. These rifles are available in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt and .454 Casull, and I have seen examples in .44-40 as well. The .357 is economical and the best choice for Cowboy Action. With Magnum loads it is a fine defense caliber and will do for deer. The .44 Magnum is a great caliber. I have used it to drop large boar hogs and it hits like Thor’s hammer. The .44-40 is a handloading proposition for real power. I happened along a .45 Colt example. The rifle looked good, with nice Brazilian wood and the popular large ring lever. Since I had plenty of .45 Colt brass the choice wasn’t difficult. I have reached that pleasant stage in life when every firearm doesn’t have to have a well defined mission to earn its keep, and where a specialized firearm that does a few things well is good to have. The Rossi was destined to serve as a go anywhere do anything rifle. For short range hunting, probably an opportunity rather than a planned hunt, to dispatch predators, pests and dangerous animals, and for personal defense on the road, the Rossi seemed a good fit.
Despite my Scot blood I am not the cheapest guy in the world but the rifle set me back less than four hundred dollars and I like that. This is the first example I have owned in .45 Colt, but the particulars of the rifle are familiar to me. The sights are pretty basic. There is a front post with a small brass bead and an open sight in the rear. The front post is adjustable for windage — with the proper punch — and the rear sight may be adjusted for elevation by use of the sight ladder. You have to know how to use these sights. I have heard more than a little grumbling concerning the difficulty of sighting in similar rifles. The front post must be set in the bottom of the rear notch for the proper point of aim. You do not hold it in the upper part of the rear leaf or you will shoot impossibly high. A tubular under the barrel magazine holds eight rounds. The lever action rifle was once referred to as a bolt gun — period literature is hard to read sometimes but interesting. The bolt is locked by rear locking wedges. The rifle is unlocked by working the lever. As the lever travels downward, the bolt moves to the rear and the extractor pulls the spent case from the chamber. The fresh round is fed from the magazine into a shell carrier. As the lever is closed the carrier feeds a fresh round into the chamber. Rearward travel of the bolt cocks the hammer.
This is a generally reliable and trouble free system. However, be certain you learn to properly use the lever action. The lever is pressed forward, not down, and a certain cadence of fire comes with practice. I have witnessed the occasional malfunction in which a cartridge jumps from the magazine and under the carrier. This is devilishly hard to clear. A pistol caliber carbine such as the Rossi 92 has more leverage than a .30-30 rifle and the action may be manipulated more quickly. If need be you may put out a lot of lead with the Rossi 92. If you keep extra rounds on the belt the Rossi may be topped off one round at a time. The rifle weighs about five pounds loaded. It is only about 34 inches long — that’s compact. With the 16 inch barrel this rifle handles quickly and tracks between targets well. It is no trick to keep steel gongs moving at 50 yards. To test the rifle, firing at the 50 yard line, I set up an Innovative Targets steel target. This target is a great training aid. Using the steel insert rated for pistol calibers I was able to ring the target on demand.
As far as ammunition, the Rossi was fired for the most part with my personal handloads using a 255 grain cast SWC. With the .44 Magnum carbine I have had to crimp over the bullet shoulder in order to assure feed reliability- loads intended for use in a revolver sometimes did not feed correctly in the carbine. This wasn’t the case with the .45 Colt carbine. Most of these loads generate about 800 fps from a revolver. At 25 yards the handloads struck a bit right and low but this was easily adjusted. In factory ammunition there are several distinct classes of ammunition. These include cowboy action loads that are lighter than standard, standard pressure lead loads, and standard pressure personal defense loads. There are heavy hunting loads such as the ones offered by Buffalo Bore. I fired a representative sample of each class of load. I fired a quantity of the Winchester 225 gr. PDX JHP defense load and also the Speer 250 gr. Gold Dot JHP load. Each was mild to fire and accurate. The bonded bullets should be excellent for personal defense. I also fired a quantity of the Hornady Critical Defense. This 185 grain bullet struck below the point of aim but gave good feed reliability. It would have easy to adjust the sights if I wished to deploy this loading. I also fired a small quantity of the Buffalo Bore 225 grain all copper bullet. What struck me is that these loads are practically indistinguishable as far as recoil. Each was mild, with no more recoil than a .410 bore shotgun. Only the Buffalo Bore load was noticeably hotter. But you are getting serious horsepower.
Here are a few velocity figures — Winchester 225 grain PDX, 1090 fps Hornady FTX 185 grain Critical Defense, 1180 fps Buffalo Bore 225 grain Barnes, 1310 fps
The .45 Colt was designed for black powder way back in 1873. As such it is sometimes smoky and not as efficient as more modern calibers when loaded with smokeless powder. However a good quantity of the Black Hills cowboy action load gave both good accuracy and a full powder burn. A tight chamber and 16 inch barrel increases ballistic efficiency. As an example the Black Hills cowboy action loading breaks about 780 fps from a 4 ¾ inch barrel revolver, but over 1,000 fps from the Rossi carbine. While the bullet doesn’t expand it will do whatever the .45 Colt has ever done. The cartridge enjoys an excellent reputation as a manstopper. As for the gain in velocity over a handgun when ammunition is fired in the carbine, the average is a 100 fps gain with standard loads while heavier loads may gain 140-160 fps. This is a useful increase in power over the revolver but the real advantage is in accuracy. It is much easier to quickly get a hit with a carbine than with the handgun.
The action of the Rossi is easily the smoothest lever action I have used including original Winchester carbines. Pistol caliber carbines have plenty of leverage. The action is both smooth and reliable. The wood to metal fit is good, if not flawless. A point of contention is the L shaped safety found on the bolt. I simply ignore it. I would not remove it, some may wish to use it. Another source of some discussion was the large loop lever. This large loop is a great addition for use with gloved hands, but otherwise it isn’t more efficient than the standard loop. It may be slower to use than a standard loop. Still, it is the same large loop that Lucas McCain and Josh Randall used in the cinema and some like the looks. It is fast enough but in the final analysis serves no useful purpose and makes the light and flat carbine more difficult to store. I would not have sought out a big ring carbine, it was simply what was on the shelf. I did not feel strongly enough about the large ring to let it interfere with my decision to purchase the rifle. The same goes for caliber. Much could be said for the .44 Magnum version. However, the .45 Colt is a proven defense loading. At moderate range it will take deer sized game cleanly. I had the ammo. As for the buckskin tong around the saddle ring, ditch it. It sometimes interferes with handling.
Another option with the Rossi 92 is the availability of shot loads. I used a handful of Speer/CCI shot loads in the carbine with good results. I did not cycle the rounds in the action more than one at a time. I would load a single shot cartridge in the magazine, feed it into the chamber, then load another. You feel the cartridge crunch a little as it chambers. I have the impression that the shot capsule might crack and crumble in the magazine from the force of a metal cartridge head under spring pressure butting into the plastic shot carrier. You would have a mess! The shot pattern is useful to 5 yards or so in dealing with vermin and reptiles. I like the option in a go anywhere carbine.
When the Rossi is taken as a whole it is a capable carbine for many situations. It isn’t particularly accurate but it is accurate enough. It is inexpensive and fires a proven cartridge, with a good reserve of ammunition. If saddle rings and the big lever appeal to you the Rossi has much to recommend. But it is also a good performer and this is an attractive combination. When you look past the cinema depiction of the rifleman you realize that Lucas McCain was pretty smart to deploy a rifle and it gave him an advantage.
Interested in a genuinely capable long-range, hard-hitting, and lightweight rifle? Here you go… Read more!
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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
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 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 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
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 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
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 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
We have been waiting a long time for Springfield’s AR15 and it is worth the wait, and worth the money. Here’s why…
by Bob Campbell
Springfield’s ads had been teasing us with the introduction of a new product and very recently we learned that the SAINT was an AR15-type rifle. This is the first-ever AR15 with the proud Springfield Armory stamp. The rifle had been described as entry level but this isn’t really true. There are more expensive rifles but the Springfield isn’t cheap — it is simply below the $900 threshold. That is a pretty important price point. The rifle has good features and is built for reliability. The SAINT is intended to appeal to the young and adventurous and to those serious about taking responsibility for their own safety. I agree but older shooters such as myself who are able to discern quality at a fair price will also appreciate the SAINT. As a Springfield fan, the SAINT will take its place beside my 1903 Springfield and the modern 1911 Operator handgun, but there is more to the puzzle than the name. At present I have fewer than 600 rounds fired through the SAINT but the experience has been good. (I fire the rifles I test for real on the range, and not with the typewriter. I know the difficulty in firing one thousand rounds or more in an economic and physical sense.)
Let’s look at the particulars. The SAINT features the A2-style front sight/gas block and a folding rear sight. The rear sight is stamped with the Springfield “crossed cannons” emblem. The rear sight isn’t target grade but it is useful for short-range defense work and snagging predators to perhaps 100 yards, the use I will put this 6-pound, 11-ounce rifle to. The gas system is a mid-length architecture. Without getting into a discussion that would fill these pages all its own, the mid-length system is ideal for use with common bullet weights. The SAINT has a 16-inch barrel chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. This means you can fire .223 Remington or 5.56mm cartridges without a hint of trouble. Its 1-in-8 inch barrel twist is increasingly popular. Midway between the 7- and 9-inch twist this barrel twist rate has proven accurate with the majority of loads I have tested. So far this includes loads of 52 to 77 grain bullet weights.
The trigger is a GI-type that breaks in my example at 6.7 pounds. This is in the middle-ground for an AR trigger and it is clean and crisp. There is also a special coating that allows the trigger group to ride smoothly. The receivers are anodized aluminum, no surprises there, but the bolt carrier group is also specially coated, and stamped with the Springfield logo. I like that a lot. Springfield has added a new design with the Accu-Tite Tension system. This is a set screw located in the lower receiver that allows the user to tighten the receivers together. I like this feature and I probably will not add any other tightening measures to the SAINT. The furniture is Bravo Company and the handguard is a Springfield exclusive. The three-piece handguard features a heat shield in the lower base, and allows for accessory mounting via a keylock system. The handguard offers excellent grip when firing but doesn’t abrade the hand when firing in long practice sessions. I like the stub on the end of the handguard that prevents the hand from running forward onto the gas block. Optics are not optimally mounted on the handguard since it isn’t free-floated, so the receiver rail is available for mounting optics. The six-position stock utilizes a squeeze lever for six-point adjustment. The grip handle is the famous BCM Gunfighter.
To begin the evaluation I filled several magazines with Federal Cartridge Company American Eagle cartridges. The rifle had several hundred rounds through it and I expected the same performance for this Shooters Log test. These 55-grain FMJ cartridges burn clean, are affordable, and offer excellent accuracy in a practice load. I loaded the supplied MagPul magazine and a number of other various magazines I had on hand. The bolt was lubricated. AR15 rifles will run dirty but they will not run dry. I addressed man-sized targets at 25 and 50 yards, firing as quickly as I could get on target and align the sights. Keeping the hand forward on the handguard (and avoiding the gas block!) and controlling the rifle fast and accurate hits came easily. The rifle is controllable in rapid fire but then it is an AR15… The sights are adequate for the purpose. The Gunfighter grip is particularly ergonomic allowing excellent control. As for absolute accuracy with the iron sights, it isn’t difficult to secure 3-shot groups of two inches at 50 yards, par for the course with an iron-sighted carbine.
For a complete evaluation, you have to go further with accuracy testing and this means mounting a quality optic. I settled down with a mounted Lucid 6x1x24 rifle scope. This optic provides a good clear sight picture and has many advantages a trained rifleman can exploit. I settled down on the bench and attempted to find the best possible accuracy from the SAINT. Hornady has introduced a new line of AR15 ammunition. Since black rifles run on black ammunition the new loads should prove popular. My test samples of Hornady Black Ammunition featured the proven 75-grain BTHP. This is a good bullet weight for longer-range accuracy and it proved to give good results in the SAINT. I also tested a good number of popular .233 loads including a handload of my own, using the 60-grain Hornady A-Max bullet.
I have also mounted a MeoRed red dot with excellent results. For use to 50 yards this red dot offers good hit probability and gets the Springfield up and rolling for 3-Gun Competition.
I like the Springfield SAINT. I drove in the rain to get the rifle and was at the door at my FFL source when they opened. I had to wait to hit the range! I am not disappointed and the SAINT is going to find an important place in my shooting battery.
Bob Campbell is an established and well-respected outdoors writer, contributing regularly to many publications ranging from SWAT Magazine to Knifeworld. Bob has also authored three books: Holsters For Combat and Concealed Carry (Paladin Press), The 1911 Semi Auto (Stoeger Publishing), and The Handgun In Personal Defense (The Second Amendment Foundation).
One of the challenges with picking up a “new” cartridge to reload is finding the right dies at the right price. .25-45 Sharps is becoming more popular with AR-15 shooter and reloaders, and the industry is responding with new products that give reloaders more options. One such example is the new .25-45 Sharps dies from LEE. This “Pacesetter” die set includes a full-length sizer/de-primer, a dead-length bullet seater, and a Factory Crimp Die- everything you need to form .25-45 Sharps brass and reload .25-45 Sharps ammunition for your AR-15. These dies are “Very Limited Production” – but I’ll note that Midsouth Shooters Supply has these dies for ~$35. and they are in stock as of today! That’s about 1/2 what other .25-45 Sharps die sets cost!
If you are curious about LEE rifle dies, I posted an in-depth write-up that covers pretty much every detail you can think of. I also posted the following in-depth write-up that covers .25-45 Sharps precision reloading from start to finish, a great resource if you are going to use these LEE dies to load .25-45 Sharps:
By Richard Mann:
Though the 6.5 Creedmoor still gets a lot of attention, there’s a
whole lot more going on this year for hunters and target shooters.
The tale of the tape with regard to rifles in 2017 has more to do with a single cartridge. The 6.5 Creedmoor seems to have taken the rifle world by storm, and more and more rifles are now available for that cartridge. However, that’s not the only news. Although new MSRs do not dominate this year, a major manufacturer has entered that
playing field. You should find plenty new to like in the rifle world for 2017, with new rimfire offerings, new youth offerings, and plenty of threaded muzzles.
➤ The Barrett Lightweight Rifle
is a bolt-action rifle designed to
be carried farther on long days in
the field and perform like a
Barrett at critical moments. The
stock is crafted from carbon fiber
to provide an ultralight yet stiff
platform. The actions are scaled
for their specific caliber, and precision
barrels are contoured for
their application. There’s nothing
one-size-fits-all about this rifle.
SRP: $1,799. Booth #11371.
➤ The MkW ANVIL XBE, an all-new mid-sized AR-rifle platform, is
chambered in .458 SOCOM. The most defining feature of the new
MkW ANVIL is that the rifle utilizes CMMG’s unique Powerbolt
design, which allows the rifle to use a modified AR10-sized bolt for
increased durability. The rifle is also built on an AR10-sized frame,
with the upper receiver shortened by ¾ inch to minimize weight and
increase ergonomics. It comes with a 1:14 twist 16-inch barrel, a billet upper and lower receiver, and a single-stage mil-spec trigger, and weighs 7.5 pounds. SRP: $1,849.95.
For Marlin collectors, the limited-edition 1894 is sure to
be a hit. Available in .357, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt, these
American-made rifles feature a straight-grip American black walnut
stock, a polished 20-inch octagonal barrel, and Marble sights.
For 2017, Marlin has announced the return of
one of its most popular rifles, the 1894
Cowboy. Available in .357, .44 Magnum, and .45
Colt, these 100 percent American-made rifles
feature a straight grip American black walnut
stock, a receiver and bolt machined from solid
steel, a polished 20-inch octagonal barrel, and
Marble sights. SRP: $1,041. The standard 1894
with a round barrel is also available for $789.
To further celebrate the reintroduction of
the 1894, Marlin is offering a limited-edition
version in .45 Colt with B-grade American
black walnut stock, highly polished metalwork,
and an engraved gold-inlaid receiver.
Only 1,500 rifles will be offered. SRP: $1,349.
Another lever-action that has been missing
from the Marlin line for some time is the 444.
Chambered for the .444 Marlin and built on
the 1895 action, this rifle has an American
black walnut pistol grip stock, 22-inch round
barrel, and Marble sights. SRP: $789. Booth
➤ The FN M249S is a semi-auto version of the M249 SAW light
machine gun, which was originally developed by FN Herstal as the
FN MINIMI and adopted by the U.S. military in 1988. The rifle features the signature 18.5-inch FN cold-hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel and operates from a closed-bolt position. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the rifle will accept a magazine
or a linked ammunition belt and offers a 4- to 6.5-pound trigger.
The rifle weighs 16 pounds, is 40.7 inches long, and has an 18.5-
inch barrel. SRP: $8,799 to $9,499. The FN 15 DMR II has been
re-engineeredfor enhanced performance and features the all-new FN proprietary rail system with M-LOK, which provides extreme
rigidity and less deflection, ensuring that all mounted accessories remain affixed without shift. Like its predecessor, the rifle offers an 18-inch match-grade cold-hammer-forged barrel with a 1:7 twist, a Surefire Pro Comp muzzle device, and an upgraded mil-spec lower with a Timney trigger and Magpul MOE grip and buttstock. SRP: $1,999. The FN 15 Tactical Carbine chambered for the popular 300
AAC Blackout is duty-ready straight out of the box. Equipped with the new FN proprietary rail system, the carbine provides exceptional strength and durability, and offers a stronger, more rigid platform for accessories and optics. In addition, the FN 15 Tactical Carbine 300 BLK II, like its rifle and carbine siblings, features a 16-inch alloy steel cold-hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrel, a carbine-length gas system, a low-profile gas block, a Surefire ProComp muzzle brake, and Magpul MOE furniture.
SRP: $1,599. Improving upon the existing platform with the addition of FN’s proprietary rail system, enhanced mil-spec lower receiver, and legendary match-grade free-floating chrome-lined, cold-hammer-forged barrel, the second-generation FN 15 Tactical Carbine offers extreme durability and performance. Features include the three-prong flash hider, the mid-length gas system, and the H1 buffer to decrease recoil. It’s fitted with a Magpul grip and buttstock and the M-LOK accessory-mounting system. SRP: $1,599. Booth #13662. (fnamerica.com)
➤ Mossberg has added two new MMRs to its line. The Tactical
Optics Ready MMR is offered with or without a Vortex
StrikeFire II red/green dot sight. This is an optics-ready AR15 that
is shipped without open sights. It has a six-position stock, a forward-assist M-Lok handguard, a 1:8 twist barrel, and the new Mossberg JM Pro drop-in 4-pound trigger. SRP: $1,253 to $1,399.
The other new MMR from Mossberg is the MMR PRO.
This rifle is similar to the optics-ready MMR but comes with an
18-inch, 1:8 twist 416 stainless barrel with a Silencerco ASR
muzzle brake. SRP: $1,393. Mossberg has several additions to the Patriot line. First is the Patriot Predator, which comes in a synthetic, flat dark earth stock with a 22-inch barrel and threaded muzzle. It is available in .223, .243, .308, and 6.5 Creedmoor. SRP: $441. Two additional Patriots are available in .223: the Patriot Synthetic and Super Bantam. Both retail for $396. For those who love the value and performance of the Mossberg Patriot but would like a higher-end, dressed-up version, Mossberg is offering a Patriot Revere with high-grade walnut stock, rosewood grip and forend caps, and an upgraded blue finish. Finally, in addition to the Patriot
Predator, four more Patriots will now be chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Booth #12734.
NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre has released a new video commentary titled “Our Time is Now,” which applauds NRA members and gun owners who achieved the historic accomplishment of electing Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States and sending HRC on permanent political vacation. Continue reading NRA CEO to members “Our Time is Now”→
We’ve all felt the tension in the air as this election cycle winds up to it’s climax. Folks, especially those of us in this sector, are keenly aware of what’s happening in the industry, and the country, when it comes to everything involving our Second Amendment.
Gavin, at Ultimate Reloader, recently started an epic series on the much beloved AK-47. Follow his series right here, and check out the video below!
“After much preparation and experimenting with some new storytelling techniques (see the video below), with this post I’m kicking off a long-term series that will celebrate the AK-47, and go into many aspects of the 7.62x39mm cartridge, including a bunch of content and detail related to reloading 7.62x39mm ammunition for the AK-47 and the SKS. It’s going to be both educational and FUN!”
Conservative pundit and comedian Steven Crowder wanted to see how easy it is to purchase automatic rifles, which some liberal politicians and celebrities have claimed is a walk in the park. Also, he tried to buy semi-auto rifles without a background check, which anti-gun forces have said is possible. He then featured the undercover stunt on his web-based series Louder With Crowder. Click the video below to see how he failed spectacularly:
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.