January 29th, 2018

Carbon Fiber for the Latest Generation of Rifles and Barrels

Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

Gun-makers and barrel builders have adopted aerospace technology, using carbon fiber in their stocks and composite barrels. At SHOT Show 2018, we saw carbon applications on dozens of rifle brands. Some rifles sported full carbon stocks AND carbon-wrapped barrels. Others sported a carbon stock with steel barrel, or a carbon-wrapped barrel in a conventional stock. Carbon is definitely here to stay. This advanced material allows rifles to be lighter yet stronger. The advantages for the hunter in the field are real — a carbon-wrapped barrel can save quite a few pounds. Here are some of the most notable carbon applications we saw at SHOT Show.

Sako 85 Carbon Wolf

Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

Possibly the best-looking carbon-stocked rifle at SHOT Show was the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf, featured in our Top Photo. New for 2018, this rifle features a full carbon composite stock, with the signature carbon fiber weave visible throughout. We found this new-for-2018 rig very ergonomic and nice to handle. The advanced-design RTW carbon fiber stock offers quick, push-button adjustments for comb height and LOP. Though not carbon-wrapped, the conventional 24″ blued steel barrel is fluted, reducing the overall weight of the rifle. Without optics, this rifle weighs well under 8 pounds. We were impressed by the Carbon Wolf, but choked on the steep $3600.00 MSRP. Street price will be lower — EuroOptic.com is listing a $3148.00 price for the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf.

The Firearm Blog says: “The stock features Soft Touch coating. Is is not at all slippery or loud like some carbon stocks can be. The barrels are factory threaded as well. Both the weight and the balance of the Carbon Wolf rifle felt perfect. I may have to add one to my Finnish rifle collection.” This is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, 7mm Mag, and .300 Win Mag.

Nosler M48 Long-Range Carbon Rifle

Nosler M48 Long Range Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

Nosler recently introduced the M48 Long-Range Carbon rifle with the addition of a PROOF Research, carbon fiber-wrapped, match-grade barrel that significantly reduces the overall weight of the rifle. The carbon-wrapped Proof barrel is mated to a trued M48 receiver and bedded in a Manners MCS-T carbon fiber-strengthened stock. Nosler says: “The Model 48 Long-Range Carbon is an excellent choice for mountain hunting, backcountry excursions and long range competition where weight is a concern.” Initially, this rifle will be offered for 6.5 Creedmoor, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler, .300 Win Mag, and 33 Nosler.

Christensen Arms TFM — Carbon Galore for 7.3-lb Rifle

Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle
Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

As you can see there’s a whole lot of carbon fiber in the Christensen Arms TFM rifle. With a carbon-wrapped barrel and full carbon-fiber stock, this handsome rig weighs just 7.3 pounds (short action) or 7.8 pounds (long action). The carbon-wrapped stainless barrel and fully-adjustable Aerograde carbon-fiber stock are mated to a precision-machined action via integrated carbon fiber pillars. In addition, the TFM includes an integrated, 20-MOA optics rail, detachable magazine, and a titanium side-port brake. Impressively, Christensen Arms guarantees 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy.

Manners Full-Carbon F-Class Stock

Manners F-Class Stock
Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

For many years now, Manners Composite Stocks has offered an ultra-stiff, Low-Profile ‘Fish Belly’ F-Class Stock. The shell is 100% carbon fiber with a very long, stiff fore-end. From the back of the action to the tip of the fore-end the stock measures 27″ long which is around 7 1/2″ longer than the Manners T4 stock. The idea is to provide a longer wheelbase to better balance the long, 30-32″ barrels favored by many F-Class competitors. The front half of the fore-end is very thin (from top to bottom) to achieve a low profile on the bags. Much thought has gone into controlling fore-end flex. The stock achieves greater vertical rigidity (less deflection under load) through an innovative “fish belly” design. The rounded undersection, like a canoe hull, strengthens the fore-end considerably.

Weatherby Mark V with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Weatherby Proof Research Carbon Barrel
Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Weatherby now offers rifles with Proof Research carbon fiber-wrapped barrels. The aerospace-grade carbon fiber in the Mark V Carbon barrel makes the barrel up to 64% lighter than traditional steel barrels of the same contour. Weatherby claims the carbon-fiber technology improves heat dissipation — so the barrel does not heat up as quickly with extended strings of fire. The 26” #4 contour carbon-wrapped barrel has a cut-rifled, hand-lapped 416R grade stainless steel core with a flush thread cap and 5/8-24 muzzle threads. It’s finished in tactical grey Cerakote. The Mark V Carbon carries Weatherby’s SUB-MOA (at 100 yards) accuracy guarantee when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.

Carbon Edge from Fierce Firearms

Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Fierce Firearms also offers a long-range hunting rig with a carbon-wrapped barrel. This is an extremely light rig. Without scope or optional muzzle brake, the short-action version weighs just 6.4 pounds. It is available in Black/gray, Green/black and a variety of Camo finishes including Kryptec Highlander and Typhon patterns. All this lightweight tech doesn’t come cheap. The Carbon Edge retails for $3250.00 and a left-hand version is $250.00 more. Fierce does offer a 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy guarantee, which is something.

How Good Are Proof Research Barrels? — Commentary by Mike Davis

Over the past 15 years Davis Custom Rifle has installed barrels from most major barrel manufacturers. We are very fortunate to have such quality barrel makers. I think Proof Research falls into that top-of-the-line category. Proof Research carbon-wrapped steel barrels are super light-weight, yet offer rigidity and superb accuracy. I have used them for 22-250, 6mm/6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win builds and multiple long range hunting rifles in .280, .280 AI, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, 28 Nosler, and 30 Nosler. These builds with Proof Research barrels typically deliver quarter-MOA accuracy or better.

Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

The Proof Research technology allows us to build lighter rifles with outstanding accuracy, easy cleaning, and the ability to shoot long strings without point of impact shift. It’s not hard to understand why hunting rifles with these capabilities are in high demand. Combined with other light-weight components (such as Titanium actions), it’s not difficult to get these rifles down to 6.25 to 7 pounds total weight before optics.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 29th, 2018

Bargain Finder 123: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99 (unpainted), order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

2. CDNN — Noreen 34″ Barrel .50 BMG Long Range Rifle

CDNN 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

No personal rifle collection is complete without a .50 BMG — the big boy. The single-shot, bolt-action Noreen is one of the most affordable Fifties. This 32-pound beast boasts a 34″ barrel with a massive muzzle brake. The Noreen’s bolt is stout, sporting a large diameter bolt body. This jumbo-sized rifle comes with Timney trigger and AR-type pistol grip (which can be exchanged by purchaser). The wide bipod is included with the rifle. CDNN now offers the Noreen .50 BMG in either Matte Black or Desert Camo for the same $2049.99 price. You can also purchase this rig directly from Noreen Firearms, with a choice of four calibers: .338 Lapua Magnum, .408 CheyTac, .416 Barrett, and .50 BMG.

3. Midsouth — New Western Powders Reloading Manual, $27.99

Midsouth Reloading Manual Western Ramshot Powders New Discount

Midsouth Reloading Manual Western Ramshot Powders New DiscountThis is a very impressive new resource book, which we perused at length at SHOT Show. We were very impressed. Western’s new Reloading Manual is richly illustrated, with large clear diagrams, and hundreds of color photos. There are many well-written, informative articles on reloading tasks by knowledgeable experts. The reloading data tables are easier to read than most other reloading manuals. The “how-to” section of this new reloading manual is probably the best we’ve seen in terms of layout and organization. Western has a real winner here in our opinion. With up-to-date info on modern cartridges, it is a great combination of Numbers (load data) and Knowledge (how-to articles) for users of Western powders.

4. EuroOptic — Free $100 Gift Card with $559 Leica 2000-B

EuroOptic Leica CRF 2000 B rangefinder $100 Gift Card Free

Leica has long been a leader in the Laser RangeFinder market and the model CRF 2000-B is highly regarded among hunters. Now you can get this popular model for just $559.00 at EuroOptic.com, a very good value ($69 cheaper than Amazon). And, when you buy from EuroOptic you’ll get a $100.00 gift card. This lowers your effective price to just $459.00 — a heck of a deal for the “gold standard” in super compact laser rangefinders. The Leica 2000-B is small enough to carry in your pocket.

5. Natchez — Weaver V-Series 6-24x42mm (1″ Tube), $259.99

Weaver classic series front parallax 6-24x42 V Series Scope

Sometimes less is more. In this case, if you are looking for a good basic zoom optic for a varmint rifle, the 6-24x42mm Weaver fits the bill. You have plenty of power to see small varmints at long range. The 1″ tube allows you to fit less expensive rings. The front objective parallax is more fool-proof than many side-focus systems. And the Ballistic-X reticle gives you multiple hold points — helpful when you are moving near to far and back again in a P-Dog field. At $259.99 this is an exceptional bargain. We wouldn’t hesitate to run this scope on a varmint rig.

6. Brownells — Lyman Case Prep Express, $94.99

Brownells Lyman Case Prep Express

We’ve always liked Lyman’s Case Prep Express. It has five powered stations, allowing you to do all important case prep operations: Primer Pocket Cleaning, Primer Pocket Uniforming, Inside Chamfering, Outside Chamfering, Inside Neck Cleaning. The unit is easy to clean, with a removable tray to hold brass shavings. Brownells has the Case Prep Express on sale now for $94.99. Very good price — that’s $24 cheaper than Amazon. Plus Brownells is now offering free shipping with Checkout CODE M7R.

7. MidwayUSA — Norma Match-22 500 Rounds, $39.99

MidwayUSA Norma Match-22 22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition
MidwayUSA Norma Match-22 22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition

This Norma Match-22 ammunition is good stuff. In many rifles it shoots as well as $8/box products from other makers. But now you can get Match-22 for the equivalent of $4 per 50-ct box when you buy 500 rounds. MidwayUSA is selling a 500-round case (10 boxes) of Norma Match-22 for just $39.99. That works out to just 8 cents per round. Or you can get 1500 rounds (three 500-round cases) plus an ammo can for just $124.99. We think you’ll be happy with this ammo. It is a good choice for tactical cross-training, rimfire silhouette, and fun shooting.

8. Sportsman’s Guide — Stevens 320 12 GA Shotgun, $179.99

Savage Stevens 320 security pump shotgun

Every ranch, farm, or household can use a defensive 12 Gauge shotgun. We like ghost ring sights on our self-defense scatterguns, and this Stevens 320 Security model has that feature. This shotgun is a steal — get one now for the amazingly low price of $179.99 ($170.99 Buyer’s Club price). You won’t find a quality, American-made, ghost-ring 12 gauge pump for less money. At this price you can afford to buy two or three. This Stevens 320 Security shotgun is made by Savage Arms.

9. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for just $14.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »