August 8th, 2009

New FN TSR XP — Great Deer Rifle in "Tactical" Guise

Tactical, Smacktical. FNH USA is trumpeting the “tacticality” of its new FN TSR “Tactical Sport Rifle”, but what we think they’ve created is a great hunting rifle for small deer, coyotes and other medium-sized game. The TSR comes in two versions — the TSR XP USA (.223, 7.62×39), and the TSR XP (.308 Win, .300 WSM). Both models feature a Win m70-type action with controlled feed, an olive drab Hogue over-molded stock with aluminum bedding block, and a one-piece steel MIL-STD Picatinny rail with built-in elevation. And yes, that nice rail is standard. The factory trigger adjusts from 3 to 5 pounds.

FNH TSR Tactical Sport Rifle

Compact 7.62×39 XP USA features 20″ Fluted Barrel
The smaller XP USA version, as chambered in 7.62×39, is most interesting to us. There are few other US-made bolt action rifles in this popular caliber. The XP USA features an ultra-short action and weighs 8 lbs., 11 ounces. (Why is that action based on the Model 70? Well, for starters, FNH now owns Winchester Arms and builds Model 70 actions in its South Carolina plant.) With a fluted, 1:12″ twist, hammer-forged 20″ barrel, this 7.62×39 looks to be a very handy, ergonomic, and versatile rifle.

FNH TSR Tactical Sport Rifle

We’ve used the Hogue over-molded stocks which feature a grippy, rubberized surface. Some folks don’t like the rubbery feel, but for field work, we’ve found the over-molded surface easy to hold and really secure in wet or snowy conditions. We like the idea of a very short action, combined with 5-round (7.62×39) or 6-round (.223) capacity, with hinged floorplate. We think the 7.62×39 is more than adequate for small deer. It’s hitting power rivals that of the classic 30/30, one of the most popular deer cartridges of all time.

If you prefer a bigger caliber, or detachable box magazine (DBM), you can order the medium-action TSR XP version in .308 with 4-round DBM, and either 20″ or 24″ barrel. Fitted with the longer barrel, the XP in .308 is a full pound heavier than the more compact 7.62×39 XP USA.

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August 8th, 2009

$688 Liberty Gun Safe from Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club is offering one of the best deals in gun safes right now — a 60″ H x 30″ W x 22″ L Liberty Centurian safe for $688.00. That is the store pick-up price. The safe weighs 520 lbs. and has 23 cubic feet of exterior volume. Walls are 12 gauge steel and the safe is fire-rated for 30 minutes at 1200° F. The lock is a Sargent & Greenleaf electronic, one of the best units in its price range. This very same safe is sold by Liberty Dealers for $999-$1099.00. If you’re able to get this safe home on your own, this is an excellent value from a respected safe-builder. I’ve got a friend who purchased one of these safes and I helped him install it and set up this interior. I can assure you that you’ll have trouble finding more safe for the money. I consider it better than a $1000.00 Canon I used to own.

Centurian Libery Safe

Note, you’ll have to call your local Sam’s Club for availability and exact price. If it’s not available at the closest outlet, try other nearby Sam’s Club stores (you can search for availability on the Sam’s Club website). Typically a Sam’s Club outlet will get a half-dozen of these and they’ll sell out in a few days. Also, we want to caution people that this safe, while far more secure than a typical “security cabinet” with a locking key, is a far cry from a serious 1500-lb commercial-grade safe. On the other hand this safe is just about the biggest size that can be easily handled by a couple non-professional guys working with a furniture dolly. The unit is delivered on a wood pallet — we recommend leaving the pallet on until you get the unit inside and positioned. Then remove the wood and bolt down the safe through the four holes are pre-drilled in the bottom (these are hidden by the carpet).

Here’s a review from a buyer who purchased this Liberty Safe at Sam’s Club: “We really shopped the competition prior to purchasing this safe. For the fire rating and the storage space, this was consistently $200-$600 less than many of the other membership retailers in addition to ALL sporting good stores (even the Mega stores.) The safe is packaged well and the instructions are pretty thorough also. The mechanics are as good as any gun-store-bought safe, better in most cases. The S&G lock is easy to program and use. Just be sure the lock handle is twisted all the way counterclockwise [after you close the door]. The modular interior is great. We store some paperwork, ammunition and of course firearms in the safe and there’s more than enough room. Sam’s Club is untouchable on the price of this safe. Do the homework yourself — it’s the best value for the money anywhere.”

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