January 15th, 2013

New Anschutz 17 HMR Hunter with Straight-Pull Fortner Action

After shooting the new Anschutz model 1727 hunter, three simple words came to mind: “I want one”. This slick little rifle was this editor’s favorite new firearm at the 2013 Media Day at the range. At first glance, it’s just a simple hunting rifle with a European-style walnut stock. But a close look reveals something very special. This little sporting rifle, chambered in 17 HMR, features an advanced, straight-pull Fortner action. This is the same action design found on Anschutz’s top of the line $5000+ Biathlon Rifles. This new model 1727 was revealed for the first time in the world at Media Day.

The nickel-plated action is very smooth and easy to operate. You can flick the action open and closed with a quick movement of thumb and fore-finger (or you can use index finger alone). The adjustable trigger is light and smooth — as you would expect on an Anschutz. This trigger is light years ahead of what you’ll find on a typical factory varmint rifle — it’s that good.

While visiting the Anschutz booth at Media Day, we got to meet young Max Anschutz, who represents the sixth generation of rifle makers in the Anschutz family. Max demo’d the new model 1727 for us and then gave a “shout-out” (in both English and German) to fans of his family’s rifles on both sides of the Atlantic. For this editor, it was interesting to meet this young man as I have now interviewed Dieter Anschutz, his son Jochen, and now Dieter’s grandson, Max.

Watch Straight-Pull Anschutz 17HMR Rifle in Video

The new model 1727 should be available in the USA by mid-April. In the video, the Anschutz rep says the rifle would cost “around $2,000.00″. However, it appears he didn’t convert to U.S. currency correctly. Expect the actual price in the USA to be $3800.00 or higher. Initially, the model 1727 will be released in 17 HMR only. However, Anschutz reps stated that, sometime down the road, Anschutz might produce versions of this gun chambered for the 17 Hornet or new 17 Win Super Mag.

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January 15th, 2013

Kestrel Shooter’s Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics Software

Shooter's Weather Meter Bryan LitzBryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting, told us that Kestrel will unveil a new “Shooter’s Weather Meter” this week at SHOT Show. The brand-new Kestrel Shooter’s Weather Meter will feature Bryan’s sophisticated Applied Ballistics software inside. This allows shooters to calculate very accurate trajectories while measuring up to 15 environmental parameters. This is a big step forward, according to Bryan.

When can you get your hands on one? The new Shooter’s Weather Meter will be available for pre-order for spring 2013 production. [Bryan hosted a demonstration at the Kestrel SHOT Show Booth Thursday at 2:00 pm.]

With integrated Applied Ballistics software, Kestrel users are now able to select from either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients (BC) when calculating a trajectory. The new Ballistics Kestrel also offers the very extensive “Litz”-measured BC library of over 225 bullets. In addition to these features, users can “train” the software to match a specific rifle based on observed impacts at long range with the ballistics calibration feature. With more accurate BC data, shooters are empowered to make more precise trajectory calculations.

Watch Video about Kestrel Shooters’ Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics Software

New Kestrel Can Communicate with Remote Wind Sensors
The new Kestrel Shooter’s Weather Meter can receive data from wind sensor arrays designed and sold by Applied Ballistics. The use of remote sensors allows actual wind data from various distances down-range to be factored into the ballistics solution. Kestrel says that no other handheld weather meter has offered this kid of multi-array “remote sensing” capability before. Like all Kestrels, the Shooter’s Weather Meter is IP67 waterproof and ruggedized to MIL-STD-810F standards.

Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters are manufactured by Nielsen-Kellerman, which has produced advanced environmental instruments for more than 15 years. Every Kestrel meter is pocket-sized, rugged, accurate, waterproof, easy-to-use, and backed by an industry-leading five-year warranty.

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January 15th, 2013

Smith & Wesson M&P C.O.R.E. Pistol Set-up for Optics

At Media Day, we had a chance to try out a new Smith & Wesson Pro Series C.O.R.E. pistol in 9mm. Despite the wicked cold weather, we enjoyed shooting this pistol. It is accurate, comfortable, and has a decent trigger.

This M&P variant features a slide that has been milled to fit modern, compact red-dot optics. Six optic types will fit: Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point, Jpoint, Doctor, C-More STS, Insight MRDS The slide cut positions the red dot optic (a Trijicon on our test gun) so that the conventional iron sites are still usable below the red-dot. That’s smart, because the front blade sight can still be used to steer the gun towards the target, and then, as you bring the muzzle down on target, the red dot appears. This is a very fast, efficient system.

smith wesson core pistol

This C.O.R.E. model, like other M&P series pistols, has a comfortable, ergonomic grip-shape that is far superior to the grip on Glock handguns in this reporter’s opinion. I also like the grip better than the blocky grip on my older H&K polymer .45 ACP. Grip angle feels “just right” (unlike the Glock), and the corners are rounded (an improvement on the blocky HK). Plus the M&P has three (3) optional backstraps, so the user can “fine-tune” the grip to his or her hand. For 2013 the stipling on the backstraps has been modified for better grip and comfort.

smith wesson core pistol

This is a nice, intelligent upgrade on a gun which was already very good. And even with the special “optics ready” slide, the gun remains affordable with a $729.00 MSRP (not counting optics).

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