October 4th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: New Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle

We’re in the thick of hunting season now, so we’re featuring an impressive new hunting rig from Springfield Armory. The new Model 2020 Waypoint rifles feature advanced carbon-wrapped barrels*, TriggerTech triggers, and carbon-fiber, hand-painted camo stocks. The actions are pretty impressive too — with precision machining, enlarged ejection port, and integral recoil lug. These Waypoint rifles rival full-custom hunting rigs, yet are reasonably affordable. Starting price is $1699.00 with stainless barrel, while the deluxe model with carbon-wrapped barrel and adjustable cheekpiece is still under $2,400.00.

Handsome Hand-Painted Carbon-Fiber Stocks

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle
Minimum gun weight with carbon-wrapped barrel and fixed cheek is just 6.6 pounds.

All Model 2020 Waypoint rifles feature strong, light-weight, carbon-fiber-reinforced stocks with hand-painted camouflage finishes. Springfield Armory worked with AG Composites to develop these handsome stocks. You could easily pay $700-$800 just for an equivalent camo-painted stock from McMillan or Manners Composite Stocks.

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Four Chambering Choices
The Model 2020 Waypoint is offered in four popular chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Winchester. Those are all desirable options. However, because this is a hunting rifle, we would also like to see a 7mm option, and a larger .30-caliber option. At least the barrel twist rates will allow modern, high-BC bullets: 1:7.5″ for the 6mm Creedmoor, 1:8″ for the 6.5 Creedmoor, and 1:10″ for the .308 Win. All barrels are threaded 5/8-24 for the included SA Radial Muzzle Brake.

TriggerTech Adjustable Trigger and Fast Lock Time

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

We were pleased to see the Model 2020 Waypoint comes with a very good TriggerTech trigger that easily adjusts from 2.5 to 5.0 pounds. This trigger, as combined with a modern fire control system, achieves a very good 19 millisecond lock time — that rivals some custom benchrest actions, and is up to 45% faster than some other factory actions. FYI, “lock time” is measured from the break of the trigger until the firing pin strikes the primer.

Modern Coated Action with Big Ejection Port — Takes AICS-Compatible Mags

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Springfield Armory did a nice job with the action. There is a large ejection port and EDM-crafted raceways. The fluted bolt and the action body are coated for corrosion resistance and smooth operation. Additionally, the bolt features dual cocking cams for ease of operation and tool-less disassembly for maintenance.

Factory 3/4-MOA Accuracy Guarantee

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Springfield offers an impressive 0.75 MOA three-shot accuracy guarantee with “with quality match-grade factory ammunition, in the hands of a skilled shooter.” That is actually pretty inpressive for a hunting rifle that weighs in under 7 pounds before options (carbon bbl version). You could spent a LOT more on a custom rig and not do much better accuracy wise.

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Bottom Line — How Does It Feel and How Does It Shoot?
Respected gun writer and hunter Wayne Van Zwoll tested a carbon-barrel Model 2020 Waypoint for Hunting Digital Magazine. He was impressed with the feel of the rifle, the quality of the components, the crispness of the trigger, the smooth mag-feeding, and the demonstrated accuracy:

“This rifle balances well. Running this rifle is a delight! It slurps cartridges seamlessly from the box and is easy to top-feed with single rounds. The magazine is a cinch to release and easily inserted. Springfield Armory’s Waypoint Model 2020 is notable for its relatively modest price — under $2,400 for even the most expensive version, and a starting price of $1,699 — [and] the quality of its parts and workmanship.

Accuracy — My first three shots, after bore-sighting and two to zero, cut a 0.62″ knot. I printed some more groups, which measured .63″ and .70″. Such accuracy from a rifle that, stripped, scales under 6¾ pounds should please any shooter! It’s also a credit to Hornady’s excellent ammunition.

In sum, the Waypoint offers features and performance now expected of top-rung multi-purpose rifles, without bleeding budgets. It should impress hunters as well as shooters scrambling in cross-terrain rifle competition[.] The first new Springfield Armory bolt rifle in a century has impressed me!”

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle

* The base Model 2020 Waypoint has a fluted stainless barrel. The carbon-wrapped barrel is an extra-cost option, as is the adjustable cheekpiece.

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October 4th, 2020

TECH TIP: Turn Case-Necks Better with Optimal Cutter Angle

neck turning lathe cutter tip sinclair pma 21st Century

When neck-turning cases, it’s a good idea to extend the cut slightly below the neck-shoulder junction. This helps keep neck tension more uniform after repeated firings, by preventing a build-up of brass where the neck meets the shoulder. One of our Forum members, Craig from Ireland, a self-declared “neck-turning novice”, was having some problems turning brass for his 20 Tactical cases. He was correctly attempting to continue the cut slightly past the neck-shoulder junction, but he was concerned that brass was being removed too far down the shoulder.

Craig writes: “Everywhere I have read about neck turning, [it says] you need to cut slightly into the neck/shoulder junction to stop doughnutting. I completely understand this but I cant seem to get my neck-turning tool set-up to just touch the neck/shoulder junction. It either just doesn’t touch [the shoulder] or cuts nearly the whole shoulder and that just looks very messy. No matter how I adjust the mandrel to set how far down the neck it cuts, it either doesn’t touch it or it cuts far too much. I think it may relate to the bevel on the cutter in my neck-turning tool…”

Looking at Craig’s pictures, we’d agree that he didn’t need to cut so far down into the shoulder. There is a simple solution for this situation. Craig is using a neck-turning tool with a rather shallow cutter bevel angle. This 20-degree angle is set up as “universal geometry” that will work with any shoulder angle. Unfortunately, as you work the cutter down the neck, a shallow angled-cutter tip such as this will remove brass fairly far down. You only want to extend the cut about 1/32 of an inch past the neck-shoulder junction. This is enough to eliminate brass build-up at the base of the neck that can cause doughnuts to form.

K&M neck-turning tool

The answer here is simply to use a cutter tip with a wider angle — 30 to 40 degrees. The cutter for the K&M neck-turning tool (above) has a shorter bevel that better matches a 30° shoulder. There is also a 40° tip available. PMA Tool and 21st Century Shooting also offer carbide cutters with a variety of bevel angles to exactly match your case shoulder angle*. WalkerTexasRanger reports: “I went to a 40-degree cutter head just to address this same issue, and I have been much happier with the results. The 40-degree heads are available from Sinclair Int’l for $15 or so.” Forum Member CBonner concurs: “I had the same problem with my 7WSM… The 40-degree cutter was the answer.” Below is Sinclair’s 40° Cutter for its NT-series neck-turning tools. Item NT3140, this 40° Cutter sells for $14.99. For the same price, Sinclair also sells the conventional 30° Cutter, item NT3100.

Al Nyhus has another clever solution: “The best way I’ve found to get around this problem is to get an extra shell holder and face it off .020-.025 and then run the cases into the sizing die. This will push the shoulder back .020-.025. Then you neck turn down to the ‘new’ neck/shoulder junction and simply stop there. Fireforming the cases by seating the bullets hard into the lands will blow the shoulder forward and the extra neck length you turned by having the shoulder set back will now be blended perfectly into the shoulder. The results are a case that perfectly fits the chamber and zero donuts.”

* 21st Century sells carbide cutters in: 15, 17, 20, 21.5, 23, 25, 28, 30, 35, 40, and 46 degrees. PMA Tool sells carbide cutters in: 17.5, 20, 21.5, 23, 25, 28, 30, and 40 degrees, plus special short-neck cutters.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
October 4th, 2020

Hang Your Cleaning Rods with Fishing Rod Racks

Fishing Rod Rack Cleaning RodsForum member Nodak7mm has discovered an ideal way to store your rifle cleaning rods in your garage or loading room. Using inexpensive Berkley Horizontal Fishing Rod Racks, Nodak7mm has secured a half-dozen Dewey rods on the back of a door. You could also mount the racks along a wall or on the side of a storage cabinet. This installation takes up minimal space and the Berkley Racks cost just $11.96 at Amazon (select “6 Rod Rack”) or $16.50 per set at Walmart. If you prefer wood, Amazon also sells a pine 6-rod wall rack for $22.45.

Nodak7mm explains: “I was moving some fishing poles around and ended up with an extra pair of Fishing Rod wall racks. I said to myself, ‘I bet this would hold my Dewey cleaning rods’. I mounted the pair on the inside of a closet door in my man cave and put my cleaning rods in it. It works like a charm and is far cheaper than a specially-made rack that only lets the rods hang. One can even slam the door with the rods mounted and they stay put. This rod rack set… is made by a nationally recognized name and does a great job of holding the cleaning rods securely and safely.” These are inexpensive and are easy to mount to a door or wood cabinet.

Stow Your Cleaning Rods on Your Gun Safe
Another option is to make a rod set with a magnetic backing strip. This can be affixed to the sides of your gun safe or steel storage cabinet. Here is a home-made, magnet-affixed cleaning rod holder made by Forum Member “BobM”. This smart installation works great. CLICK HERE for more information.

magnetic rack gun cleaning rod gun safe

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