October 7th, 2016

Vanguard Modular Chassis Rifle — Half-MOA with Factory Ammo

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Weatherby has a new modular rifle for PRS comps and other tactical disciplines. Called the Vanguard® Modular Chassis (VMC), this rifle features a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) aluminum stock, Luth AR MBA-1 buttstock, and 22″ heavy barrel. The Weatherby Vanguard action is fitted with an adjustable 2-stage trigger. Priced at $1519.00 MSRP, this rifle can be campaigned in the PRS “Production Class”, which limits complete rifles to $2000.00 without optics. The rifle is offered in three chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Weatherby says its Vanguard Modular Chassis tactical rifle is very accurate. To back that claim, Weatherby offers a SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee — Weatherby guarantees the rifle will shoot .99” or smaller 3-shot groups at 100 yards when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition.

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Near Half-MOA Accuracy with Factory Ammo
It turns out Weatherby’s accuracy claims are conservative. This tactical rifle is closer to a half-MOA rig than a 1-MOA gun. American Rifleman recently tested a .308 Win version of this rifle and recorded really stellar accuracy — close to half-MOA. What’s more, this rifle is not fussy — with a 1:10″-twist barrel it proved very accurate with six different types of factory ammo.

In fact, the rifle delivered near-half-inch 5-shot groups with two types of Hornady factory ammo, and the worst group (of six ammo types) was 0.76″, still very impressive for factory fodder. With good hand-loads this gun could go well under half-MOA (for five shots).

Vanguard Modular Chassis FIVE-SHOT Test Groups with Factory Ammo:

0.53 inches | Hornady 168gr Match BTHP (2718 fps)
0.55 inches | Hornady 155gr Steel Match (2612 fps)
0.57 inches | Black Hills 168gr BTHP (2608 fps)
0.66 inches | Federal Premium 168gr MatchKing BTHP (2659 fps)
0.70 inches | Hornady 155gr American Gunner (2697 fps)
0.76 inches | Black Hills 175gr BTHP (2603 fps)

NOTE: Group sizes are for 5-shot groups shot from bench at 100 yards with Caldwell pedestal rest and rear sandbag. Pentax Lightseeker 6-24x50mm scope. Velocities in FPS from PACT Chronograph.

READ American Rifleman’s FULL REVIEW of Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis Rifle

The accuracy testing was done by gunwriter Mike Detty, who notes: “My single best group was fired with Hornady’s Match 168-gr. BTHP ammunition. Five shots measured just slightly more than a half-inch. Hornady’s 155-gr. Steel Match ammo wasn’t far behind with a group of .55″. Also accounting for the small groups is the VMC’s wonderful trigger. It is a two-stage affair and the first stage has about 3/8” take up with about a pound of pressure until it reaches the second stage where another 1 ¾ lbs. was required to break the shot.”

Vanguard Modular Chassis FEATURES:

CNC-machined, hard-anodized, 6061 aluminum chassis
Fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-1 buttstock
Hogue Overmolded grip with finger grooves
Adjustable high-quality, Two-stage trigger
Fully Enclosed Bolt Sleeve
Integral Recoil Lug
3-Position Safety

PRS Production Class Cost Limits
Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD. [Editor: For example, you could have a $2,000 rifle with a $1000.00 scope or vice-versa. The total system cannot exceed $3000. Rifle alone cannot exceed $2000.00 retail sale price.]
Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 7th, 2016

Is the .284 Shehane Inherently Accurate? You Better Believe It

F-Class Reloading .284 Winchester Win Shehane Accuracy

If you look at that 5-round group you might think it was shot with a 6 PPC or maybe a 6mmBR. But no, this was done with heavy 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets and the .284 Shehane, an improved version of the .284 Winchester. In fact, this impressive sub-quarter MOA group was shot while fire-forming with a very well-worn barrel!

Gun builder Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles explains:

Here’s a 5-shot 0.191″ group at 100 yards with my .284 Shehane fireforming loads. This barrel has 2200 rounds through it. It had 2000 as a straight .284 Win and then I set it back to .284 Shehane to form brass with. This was the first five rounds through it after I cleaned it after the last match. [The load was] 180 Hybrids with 54.0 grains of H4831 SC.

Ya, I figured why not I had some old barrels laying around so I just chopped 2″ off the back and 1″ off the front and chambered it up as a Shehane. Had 1000 pieces to fireform and didn’t want to do all that on a brand new barrel.

My fireform loads are going 2765 FPS. I have a 29″ barrel also though since it’s a setback. Once you get it formed I would push it faster than that or I wouldn’t even bother with the Shehane. My old straight .284 load at 2890 fps had ES spread in single digits for 10 shots. I figured if I get it up to 2935-2950 fps that will be a point or two saved in a several day match.

.284 Winchester Shehane Reamer Print PT&G

Fellow .284 Shehane shooter Erik Cortina notes that the .284 Shehane has a velocity edge over the straight .284 Win because it holds more powder: “The Shehane has more capacity than the .284 Winchester. Ryan is using 54.0 grains simply as a fire-forming load. Typical load for a Shehane is around 57.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831 SC.” By blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc, with long barrels.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 5 Comments »
October 7th, 2016

New Bix’N Andy TacSport Trigger (1 Ounce to 5 Pounds)

TacSport Bix'N Andy Trigger two-stage tactical

Many folks think the ultra-smooth Bix’N Andy triggers are the best match triggers you can buy. But until now Bix’N Andy trigger units, with their light pull-weights, have been intended primarily for benchrest and F-Class disciplines, where light pull weights are favored by many competitors. Well, Bix’N Andy has just released a new TacSport trigger that can be adjusted to a pull-weight of up to five (5) pounds (combined first and second stages). But remarkably, the same new TacSport trigger can still go down to about one ounce — that way you can adjust the pull weight through a very wide range to suit the application. Length of trigger shoe travel can also be set from zero to 7mm.

This trigger can operate as a single stage or as a two-stage. Each stage can be adjusted independently. Set the trigger at a few ounces for load testing from the bench, then crank it up to 2.5 pounds for a tactical match. Run it as a single stage for the bench or a two-stage for field work. With this flexibility and wide pull-weight adjustment range, the new Bix’N Andy TacSport trigger is well-suited for tactical shooters, hunters, and LEO marksman. The TacSport trigger also comes with a right-side top safety.

The new Bix’N Andy TacSport trigger is now available from BulletCentral.com for $495.00. Yes, that’s pricey, but this trigger offers features and “feel” you can’t find anywhere else.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »