January 20th, 2015

Industry Day at the Range — First Report

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevadaMeeting old friends, and shooting new guns. That’s what Monday was all about at the annual Industry Day at the Range, a “hands-on” preview the day before SHOT Show opens in Las Vegas. Your editor met with old buddy Jason Baney at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Boulder City (NV) range.

We were not disappointed — there was plenty to see this year. On display were a bunch of new precision rifles, a slew of new handguns, and some very exotic optics. But Jason and I both felt that the star of this 2015 Industry Range Day was a modestly-priced little Savage — the new A17 in 17 HMR. Both of us wanted to own one of these compact new rifles. With a strong steel action, the A17 is accurate, fun, and ultra-reliable.

There were big rifles on display. Here’s the new Barrett 98B Fieldcraft, a lighter-weight version of the 98B. The Fieldcraft weighs just over 9 pounds. This is definitely an accurate rifle — shooting a 7mm magnum version from bench with bipod support, Jason managed 5 straight hits at 960 yards.

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

Among the many new precision rifles, there was one particularly patriotic model. Dolled up in Stars and Stripes livery is Ashbury Precision Ordnance’s new competition rifle. This is designed for F-TR and PRS competition.

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

We saw small pistols, big pistols, and pretty pistols. Here’s a fashionable pair of 1911-style semi-autos from Kimber. Jason said he’s bought one of these for Mrs. Baney.

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

This editor is a fan of big, accurate revolvers, and you won’t find many that are bigger, or more accurate, than the new Korth competition revolver. This prototype features a 4-position quick-adjusting rear sight, plus a slick system that allows the cylinder to be completely removed from the gun in seconds. (Note the little lever to the right of the hammer). The production version of this wheelgun is guaranteed to shoot 1.5″ or better at 50 yards.

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

Kimber displayed an impressive tactical rifle featuring a folding Manners Composite stock. This was a nice piece of kit. The Kimber action is a Mauser style with controlled feed. The rifle is offered in three chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .300 Win Mag.

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

Last but certainly not least, we got a look at the final production version of the Leupold VX-6, 7-42x56mm scope. This is a winner folks. It has a nice, clear reticle with MOA-type hash marks on both cross-hairs. We zoomed it up to full 42X power and it was bright and sharp (all the way out to the edges). The main tube is 34mm allowing plenty of elevation adjustment. All controls worked smoothly. We think, once the word gets out about this scope (now at dealers), it will be very popular with F-Class shooters and long-range benchrest competitors. Street price is around $1900.00.

media day industry SHOT Show boulder city nevada

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
January 20th, 2015

New Semi-Auto 17 HMR Savage A17 Rifle is a Winner

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Semi-auto 17 HMR — could this be the perfect light-recoiling fun gun and squirrel slayer? With its new A17, Savage has created a gun that should be hugely popular. If you like the Ruger 10/22, you’ll love the A17. It shoots a more powerful cartridge, and has a stronger action and a better trigger. With a beefy steel action that looks like it belongs on a centerfire, this gun is strong. With quality barrels (fitted, as you’d expect, with a barrel nut), the A17 is accurate. And with the capability to launch 17 HMR rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger this gun is a hoot to shoot. The ability to get a quick second shot (without disturbing the rifle by working the bolt) will be a game-changer in the varmint fields.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Watch Us Shoot the New A17 (Rapid-Fire at 1:50):

Star of the Show
Jason and I both felt that the star of this 2015 Industry Range Day was this modestly-priced little Savage A17 in 17 HMR. MSRP is $469.00 we were told. No one knows the “street price” yet but we expect that to be about $370.00. Both of us wanted to own one of these compact new rifles (Jason tried to buy one on the spot) — what does that tell you? With a strong steel action, the A17 is accurate, fun, and ultra-reliable.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Jason put the gun through three rapid fire drills — firing as fast as he could pull the trigger. We could not get the A17 to malfunction in any way. It just ripped through magazines like a sewing machine. Flawless operation. Bill Dermody of ATK says “this is one of the most thoroughly tested Savage rifles ever. We put over half a million test rounds through the rifle during development. That’s why it’s so reliable.”

The Magic Chicklet
Look below at the A17 bolt. The little black hardened metal piece (called a “chicklet” by the Savage engineers) is the secret ingredient. It works like a retracting lug, allowing the A17 to operate in delayed blow-back mode. That permits the A17 to function flawlessly with the energetic 17 HMR cartridge.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Optimized 17 HMR Ammo That’s 100 FPS Faster
CCI has developed new, higher-velocity 17 HMR ammo for the A17. Because Savage is now part of the ATK conglomerate, CCI is now Savage’s sister company. So, CCI and Savage cooperated during the development of the A17. CCI found a way to get more speed from the 17 HMR and Savage engineered an action and bolt that are strong enough to handle the new 17 HMR ammo, which runs 100 fps faster than other 17 HMR ammo on the market.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 46 Comments »