February 26th, 2020

New Sako S20 Hybrid Rifle with Interchangeable Stocks

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

Sako has a new S20 line of “hybrid” rifles. These feature an internal aluminum chassis, adjustable trigger, and integral Picatinny rail on top. Users can change fore-ends and rear sections to suit different disciplines. Use the rifle for a PRS match one weekend and hunt with it the next. Sako states: “The user will be able to switch between the stocks and fore-ends quickly and easily and can change the rifle from a tactical to a hunting rifle or vice versa in a matter of minutes with no need to re-zero optics after assembly. The stocks can be taken down easily by loosening up two screws between the rear stock and fore-end.” Both 20″ and 24″ barrel versions will be offered, with a wide variety of chamberings: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, .300 Win Mag.

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle
Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

Unboxing Video of New S20 with Thumbhole Hunter Stock
This S20 “first look” video was created by the UK Fieldsports channel. The reviewer was impressed with the S20’s interchangeable stock system: “The modularity allows the rifle to be configured to the shooter’s preferences with different rear stocks and fore-ends. At launch, Sako introduced both the tactical precision stock and the ergonomic hunting stock, the latter being an improved version of a traditional thumbhole stock more like a pistol grip. Switching between rear stocks is fast and easy, virtually changing the rifle from a target rifle to a hunting rifle, or vice versa, with the correct grip, in a matter of minutes.”

The S20’s aluminum chassis is covered by a strong but comfortable outer shell material that Sako calls H.I.R. – High Impact Resistant. The same H.I.R. material is used on car dashboards. The outer shell is currently offered in two styles — a thumbhole hunter (photo below) and a more tactical style with straight toe and conventional grip.

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

The Picatinny rail is machined directly on the receiver. The S20 action features a 3-lug bolt with 60° bolt throw. Sako says the “high locking-lug surface area increases both safety and performance.” The full length of the action mates with a matching V-bed in the aluminum chassis.

Full Adjustability — Even Trigger Position
Adjustable ergonomics are a big part of the S20 design. The multi-adjustable trigger (available in both single-stage and two-stage variants) can be moved backwards or forwards to better fit different hand sizes. An adjustable cheek piece and LOP spacers help provide a proper fit.

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

M-Lok System Allows Easy Mounting of Accessories
The new Sako S20 can accept a wide range of accessories, attached via aluminum M-LOK placements. Sako-made accessories include Rear Mono-Pod, Barricade Stop, and Thumbrest. And yes Sako threads the muzzles 5/8×24 for use with brakes and suppressors. This video shows how accessories mount:

The Sako S20 features a full aluminum chassis under a comfortable composite exterior. Watch this video to see how the S20’s barreled action fits in the chassis.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
February 26th, 2020

Spring Reminders — Pre-Season Rifle Maintenance Checks

Spring pre-season gun maintenance safety

March is just four days away. That means the spring shooting season will soon be starting. Before you head to the range for the first time, we recommend you do some basic tasks with your firearms. Here’s some good advice on readying your rifles for the 2020 shooting season.

by Ron Dague, Sinclair International
Firearms SafetyI give my rifles a pre-season check before the shooting season starts. This starts with a general inspection starting with the butt-plate or recoil pad and making sure that all the screws and adjustable parts (on an adjustable butt-plate) move freely up or down and side to side. If you got caught in rain some of these screws and adjustable parts may not move when needed. I disassemble parts as needed and put rust preventative or a light oil and/or grease on threads and sliding parts. On rifles with recoil pads and fixed butt-plates, make sure the screws are tight and that holes in the stock aren’t stripped out. Make sure there are no cracks in the stock and around the butt-plate. If the recoil pad is glued-on, just make sure it hasn’t come loose.

Next I take the action out of the stock and check for cracks and wear marks. I look at the bedding to make sure that oils and cleaning solvents have not damaged the bedding. While the action is out of the stock, I look for any surface rust or dirt/dust in the recoil lug area and magazine well. Clean as needed and repair or re-bed if needed.

Trigger Assembly and Action
Jewell trigger Remington 700With the barreled action out of the stock, it is a good time to spray out the trigger with cleaner. I use Ronson oil or lighter fluid. [Editor’s Note: Some trigger-makers advise against using any kind of lubricant, grease or oil — so plain lighter fluid is preferred.] After the trigger is cleaned you may want to check the trigger pull weight. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, take it to a gun smith and have it checked. It is worth every penny to not have a trigger issue and/or a safety malfunction. I also take the bolt apart and clean the firing pin spring and bolt housing with Gun Scrubber or automotive brake cleaner. Then lube the firing pin-spring and firing pin with light oil. I use Kel Lube and/or Butch’s gun oil. Put a small dab of gun grease on the [bolt locking lugs] and cocking ramp.

I will also spray the outside of the action and barrel and give that a light coating of oil for rust prevention. I clean the action with Sinclair’s action cleaning tool. Don’t forget to clean the bore. Even though you didn’t fire the rifle, this makes sure nothing obstructs your barrel.

Checking Metal Fixtures and Fasteners
rifle scope ringsNext I look at the trigger guard and hinged floor plate and make sure it works as designed. Make sure there are no cracks in the trigger guard from an accidental drop. Check guard screws and /or action screws for tightness and tighten to proper spec. There are torque specs for this, but on wood stocks the wood can crush and this should be checked throughout the year as weather change can affect this. My entire collection of rifles are bedded and I just tighten them just snug with screw driver or Allen wrench. The rimfire rifles have a spec of 55 to 74 inch/lbs and I think would carry over to center fire as well. I would caution you about torque wrenches as you need a good quality wrench, and read the directions on how to use it. You can over torque if not careful. Check the swivel studs and bipod to make sure there tight as well. You may want to take scope off and check the base screws and check the rings.

Test Fire the Rifle After Maintenance
After all cleaning and is done and everything is reassembled, take a few rounds out to the range and test fire to make sure everything works as it should. Don’t forget to run 3-5 rounds through the magazine at least two times for function. I look at this as preventive maintenance on the rifle. If you give it a look over you shouldn’t have any trouble during the rifle matches or hunting trip.

Ron Dague
Certified Reloading Instructor
Certified Range Safety Officer
Email: rond [at] sinclairintl.com
Phone: 800-717-8211

This Article Originally Appeared in Sinclair International’s The Reloading Press.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 26th, 2020

History of The Gun Video Series

history of the gun flintlock breechlock repeating rifles
Matchlocks, Wheellocks, Flintlocks, Breechloaders, Lever Actions — All these historically significant firearms designs (and more) are featured in a fascinating series of videos produced by Ruger.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below.

Flintlock mechanism
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »