January 18th, 2017

SHOT Show Day One — New Products

Kelbly Rimfire Anschutz  PRS F-TR trainer

Here are new Rimfire Cross-Trainer Rifles from Kelbly’s. These feature Anschutz .22LR rimfire actions in full-size, competition stocks. This is a great offering for F-TR, prone, and long-range competitors looking to train with less expensive rimfire ammo. Kelbly’s will sell these as complete rifles with rimfire actions bedded in fiberglass stocks.

SHOT Show, held every year in Las Vegas, is the largest gun show in North America. Thousands of exhibitors showcase hosts of new products — rifles, pistols, shotguns, optics, stocks, reloading tools, bullets, brass, powders, hunting accessories and much more. This is the ultimate “candy store” for gun guys, with literally “miles of aisles” and countless products on display. Here are some of the more interesting items we saw during Day One of SHOT Show.

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle
All decked out in a Camo Cerakote finish, the new Howa HCR Chassis rifle was an eye-catcher. Designed for PRS-type competition, the HCR features a modular aluminum stock with a separate buttstock section with adjustable comb and adjustable length of pull. The HCR will be offered in four chamberings: .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. There will be standard and heavy barrel options with 20″, 22″, and 24″ lengths. The rear of the stock accepts AR-type furniture (for those guys who need to customize). This new rifle will be sold in Black or Multicam Cerakote finishes. A package will be offered with Nikko Stirling 4-16x50mm scope and EGW 20-MOA, one-piece base and rings.

Howa HCR Tactical PRS Rifle Modular 6.5 Creedmoor

New Viper PST Gen II Scopes from Vortex
The versatile Viper PST series can work for many disciplines — Target Shooting, 3-Gun, Hunting, or Precision Long Range. The new second generation PSTs offer many improvements, with four new models for 2017: 1-6x24mm, 2-10×32mm, 3-15×44mm, and 5-25×50mm: Vortex offers a wide magnification range with its 2017 line-up of Viper PSTs. These new scopes offer tall tactical turrets and side-focus parallax adjustment with integrated illumination. To ensure reliable return-to-zero, all new models feature the patented RZR Zero Stop from the Razor HD 5-20×50 riflescope. Reticles include Vortex’s new EBR-4 and EBR-2C with MOA or MRAD stadia to match your turrets. First Focal Plane reticles are available on select models.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II Optics Scope

Savage AR10-Type MSR in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win
Our friends Ed and Steve (aka the 6.5 Guys) visited the Savage booth to take a look at the new Savage MSR Long-Range model, an AR10-type modular semi-auto rifle with a Magpul PRS Gen3 buttstock. The 6.5 Guys report: “Savage’s new MSR 10 Long Range Rifle is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Win. It appears to be a terrific option for those wanted to compete in the new PRS Gas Gun Series. It is built on a compact frame with a non-reciprocating side-charging handle that is particularly useful for left-handed shooters. The Blackhawk AR Blaze™ two-stage target trigger was light and crisp. It features an upgraded Savage barrel, with 5R rifling and a Melonite QPQ finish. Read more new practical/tactical product reports at www.65guys.com.

Savage MSR Long Range AR10 PRS Gas Gun

New Accurate No. 11FS Low-Flash Pistol Powder
Western Powders showcased a new Accurate powder that delivers 90% less muzzle flash, while still offering good consistency and accuracy. Accurate No. 11FS (for Flash Suppressed) is designed for magnum pistols, and small rifle rounds such as the Hornet. The advanced flash-suppressing formula dramatically reduces muzzle flash in many large pistol cartridges. Notably, this Accurate 11FS was specifically designed to work with the .300 Blackout cartridge.

Accurate No. 11FS Powder Pistol Low Flash Suppressed Magnum

Enhanced Bluetooth Connectivity for Kestrel
At the Kestrel booth, we learned that Kestrel will be offering an enhanced LiNK Bluetooth low-energy enabled protocol that will allow wireless connections with a greater variety of devices. This will allow Kestrels to share data with Bushnell, Wilcox, and Vectronix Laser Rangefinders, Steiner LRF Binoculars and many other devices. This kind of connectivity allows Kestrel windmeters to be more versatile than ever.

Kestrel LiNK Low Energy Bluetooth LRF connectivity wireless

Big Boomer Brass from Peterson Cartridge
For those who shoot the .408 or .375 Cheytac, sourcing top-quality brass has been a challenge in the past. That’s changed with the introduction of premium Cheytac brass from Peterson Cartridge Company. Along with the new Cheytac brass, Peterson produces quality casings for other large rifle cartridges including: .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, and 7mm Rem Magnum. Peterson’s brass offerings for smaller match cartridges include: 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, .308 Win Palma (Small Primer Pocket), and .308 Win Match.

Peterson Cartridge Brass Cheytac .338 .408 .375 Magnum

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 17th, 2017

Media Day at the Range 2017 — Highlights

Media Day Range 2017 IWI .338 LM
Shown is a new .338 Lapua Magnum rifle from Israel’s IWI. Impressively beefy rig.

For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Media Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very interesting new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Media Day at the Range 2017 on January 16th.

Most Innovative — “The FIX” Rifle from Q

The star of Media Day, at least in the rifle category, was “The FIX”, a new modular rifle from the Q Team. This innovative rig features a totally unique bolt system with a 45° lift and a bolt housing that runs on rails (literally). This thing cycles fast and smoothly.

q rifle the fix modular tactical

The trigger, set at 2.5 pounds, was one of the best we’ve ever tried on a centerfire factory rifle. One has to admire the engineering on “The FIX”. This new rifle has definitely “raised the bar” for tactical-style rifles. It’s different, it works, and it offers real advantages for both hunters and tactical style shooters.

Savage 10 with Ergonomic GRS Stock

Perhaps the most ergonomic rifle we shot all day was the new Savage GRS-10 in a stiff, composite GRS stock. European-crafted GRS stocks feature a very comfortable hand-grip, plus fully adjustable cheek-piece and adjustable length of pull. As shown this rifle is very affordable for PRS production-class competition.

Savage GRS-10 Norway PRS Stock

To be frank, this Editor liked this rifle more than the Ruger Precision Rifle. A lot more. The GRS stock fit better, the Savage bolt cycled much more smoothly, the trigger was better, and the magazine seated more easily. If you don’t have to be “tacticool” with a metal stock, you should definitely consider this Savage. The new Savage GRS-10 will be offered in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win chamberings. Here’s a video review by Guns America.

Blacktical Bolt-Action Rifles — The PRS Influence

We saw many new (or upgraded) PRS-style bolt action rifles in modular aluminum frames. There were offerings from Savage, Bergara, Tikka, and more. We’ll provide a more thorough run-down on these new guns next week. We really liked the new Tikka T3x TAC A1, while tactical shooters Ed and Steve (aka the 6.5 Guys) were impressed with the new Bergara: “Bergara has in-sourced chassis and triggers to produce very high quality offerings at a very competitive price. Handling, shooting and cycling the bolt on the $1150 MSRP Hunting and Match Rifle would lead one to believe the price tag was a mistake (maybe the first digit should have been a 2). We felt the same when we got behind the $1,699 Bergara Match Precision Rifle.”

Tikka T3x TAC A1
tikka T3x TA
C tactical rifle

Bergara Match Precision
bergara match precision PRS

Pistols — The Sounds of Silence

The most interesting handgun on display was SilencerCo’s Maxim 9, which features an integral suppressor. It looks bulky but it felt relatively normal in the hand. The silencer did tame muzzle lift as well as reduce sound levels dramatically. This is an impressive piece of engineering.

silencerco maxim 9 9mm suppressed pistol

There were many other pistols equipped with more conventional screw-on silencers. Here is a special edition Smith & Wesson M&P model.

S&W suppressor Can

Optics — High-End Models from Schmidt and Bender

There were many new optics on display at Media Day, none more impressive than the new 5-45x56mm PMII from Schidmt & Bender. Led by our good friend Kyle Brown, Schmidt & Bender USA had a strong presence at Range Day, with many optics models fitted to high-end tactical rifles. Jason Baney (shown below with Kyle), used one of these rifle/scope combos to make 5 of 5 hits on steel at 960 yards.

Jason Baney checks out the new 5-45x56mm PM II with help from Kyle Brown (left).
Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm PM II Media Day Jason Baney Kyle Brown

Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm PM II Media Day Jason Baney Kyle Brown

Meeting Old Friends

One of the great things about Media Day is the chance to re-connect with old friends. At the Winchester booth, it was great to see Kim Rhode, a six-time Olympic medalist (including three golds). She is the first Summer Olympian to win an individual medal at six consecutive summer games. Kim, a Californian, is leading efforts to challenge draconian new California laws that will severely restrict how ammo is distributed and sold in California. Kim said that, under the new ammo laws, she will not be able to obtain the special “International Loads” she shoots in competition. We wish Kim well in her efforts. We believe that California’s new laws restricting the purchase of ammunition are unconstitutional and, hopefully, will be challenged successfully in court.

Kim Rhode Olympic Skeet Trap Medalist California

Along with Kim we met with our friends Steve (L) and Ed (R), aka the 6.5 Guys, along with past Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann (in middle below).

6.5 Guys Ed Steve Dustin Ellermann Media Day

World Record AR Speed-Shooting by Jerry Miculek

At the Smith & Wesson shooting bay, we watched the legendary Jerry Miculek set a world speed record for 10 rifle rounds total on three targets. Before a cheering gallery of fans, Jerry drilled multiple sub-two second runs using his S&W M&P 15T semi-auto rifle. The fastest split was a 1.59 (but we’re waiting for final confirmation on that). We’re told that’s definitely a new world record. Jerry may not be getting any younger, but he’s still blazing fast. Jerry calls this 10-shot drill “STL” or Share the Love.

jerry miculek world record speed smith wesson

Ammunition — Polymer Jacketed Pistol Bullets

One of the more notable, recent developments in pistol ammo has been synthetic jacketed bullets. With a total polymer shell over a lead core, these are safer when shooting steel targets because they do not fragment like conventional, jacketed bullets. With no exposed lead or copper, there’s minimal contact between these materials and the barrel, so there’s less copper and lead fouling. Moreover, according to Federal’s test engineers, the red Syntech coating produced 12% less friction in the barrel. Here is the American Eagle 9mm Luger 115gr Total Syntec Jacketed ammo provided by Beretta at Media Day.

Synthetic Ammo Syntec Beretta Media Day Range

And that’s a wrap… now on to SHOT Show.

Media Day at Range

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 16th, 2017

Sierra Offers New Ultra-High-BC 197gr 7mm (.284) MatchKing

Sierra 197gr MatchKing High BC F-Open Closed Meplat

Get ready for a revolution in the F-Open, ELR, and Long-Range Benchrest games. Sierra just introduced a new 7mm bullet with a stunning 0.780 G1 BC. This new 197-grain HPBT MatchKing is one of the highest-BC, jacketed .284-caliber projectiles ever offered to the public. By comparison, Sierra’s own advanced 183-grain 7mm Matchking has a .707 G1 BC. That means the new 197-grainer has a 10% higher BC than the already slippery 183-grainer. That’s an impressive achievement by Sierra.

We expect top F-Open and long-range shooters will be trying the new 197-grainer as soon as they can get their hands on this new projectile. They may need new barrels however, as Sierra states: “This bullet requires a barrel twist rate of 1:7.5″ or faster”. Sierra expects to start shipping these slippery 7mm 197s very soon. You can order directly from Sierra’s website, stock code #1997, $54.20 for 100 bullets.

Sierra 197gr MatchKing

Factory Uniformed Bullet Tips
Sierra has officially announced that the 197gr SMK will come “pointed” from the factory. These impressive new 197s will have a “final meplat reducing operation” (pointing). This creates a higher BC (for less drag) and also makes the BC more uniform (reducing vertical spread at long range). Our tests of other factory-pointed Sierra MKs have demonstrated that Sierra does a very good job with this pointing operation. The “pointed” MatchKings we’ve shot recently had very nice tips, and did hold extremely “tight waterline” at 1000 yards, indicating that the pointing process does seem to enhance BC uniformity. Morever, radar-derived “real-world” BCs have been impressively uniform with the latest generation of pointed Sierra MKs (such as the new 110gr 6mm MatchKing).

Here is the statement from Sierra about the new bullets:

Shooters around the world will appreciate the accuracy and extreme long range performance of our new 7mm 197 grain HPBT (#1997). A sleek 27-caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats.

While they are recognized around the world for record-setting accuracy, MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications. Although MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are commonly used for varmint hunting, their design will not provide the same reliable explosive expansion at equivalent velocities in varmints compared to their lightly jacketed Hornet, Blitz BlitzKing, or Varminter counterparts.

New product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 11 Comments »
January 16th, 2017

Brownells Offers SHOT Show Coverage

SHOT Show 2017 Brownells

Brownells is providing real-time coverage of SHOT Show on its SHOT Show Web Page. Starting Tuesday, January 17th, you can tune in to see videos filmed at the SHOT Show Convention Center. Brownells will spotlight new products and interview firearms industry experts.

All during SHOT Show week, Brownells will unveil new products. In addition, Brownells will interview industry notables such as Larry Vickers, Taran Butler, Bill Gieselle, and Frank Brownell. Along with video demos, dozens of new-for-2017 products will be spotlighted in a photo showcase.

Watch New Product Demos from the Brownells Booth at SHOT Show.

Brownells Shot show

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January 15th, 2017

New Fury HD Laser Rangefinding Binoculars from Vortex

Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Rangefinding Binoculars Leica Zeiss Swarovkski

We like binoculars with built-in Laser Rangefinding capability. With rangefinding binoculars, you can carry one less piece of gear, and a binocular optic is much more effective in the field than the monocular on a typical dedicated laser rangefinder (LRF). The stereo view gives better definition and depth perception, and the larger, binocular lenses give better low-light performance than the smaller-diameter monocular optic found in a conventional LRF.

Leica and Swarovski make excellent rangefinding binoculars, with great glass and impressive laser performance. But these European LRF Binoculars are very expensive — the latest Leica 10×42 Geovid is $2600.00 and the Swarovski 10×42 EL hits the three grand ($3000.00) mark. Frankly, that’s just too expensive for the vast majority of consumers.

New Vortex Rangefinding Binoculars at $1199.00 Street Price
Enter Vortex into the HD rangefinding binoculars marketplace with a quality, life-time “unconditional” guaranteed product at less than HALF the price of the Leica Geovid. MSRP of the Vortex’s new Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Binoculars is $1599.00, but “street price” will be hundreds less. Vortex says “expect to pay about $1199.00 at dealers for the Fury HD”. A lot more guys can afford $1200.00 than $2600.00, that’s for sure.

Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Rangefinding Binoculars Leica Zeiss Swarovkski

The Vortex Fury has some very cool features. It offers angle compensation as well as line-of-site modes. Scan mode gives readings as you pan or track a moving animal. You can set the distance output to yards or meters. All the controls are on the right side so you can operate the Fury HD easily with one hand. Check out the Fury’s features in the promo video below:

The Fury HD has good glass — fully multicoated HD lenses with good lowlight performance. The armored housing seems pretty tough. We like the fact that Vortex has provided a left eye diopter adjustment so users can fine-tune image focus for their vision.

Vortex Fury HD laser rangefinder rangefinder binculars

Vortex says the Fury HD will range “reflective targets to 1600 yards with an ultra-fast readout”. That may be a bit generous. In the real world, we expect the hand-held Fury HD to range deer-sized objects out to 800 yards or so, and larger objects (such as vehicles) out to 1200. This is based on our testing of other similar rangefinding binoculars.

Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 14th, 2017

New BAT Tactical Action Debuts at SHOT Show

Bullet Central BAT Machine Bruce Thom tactical action rem clone remington AI magazine

A beefy, new BAT action will debut at SHOT Show 2017. The new BAT TR Tactical action will be showcased by BulletCentral.com at Booth #2963. Notably, Bruce Thom, founder of BAT Machine, will be at the booth on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Stop by to meet Bruce and learn more about this action.

Designed from the ground up for tactical and PRS shooters, the new TR action features a very stiff, robust body that still fits a Remington 700 inlet. The TR’s bolt is different than on BAT’s benchrest actions, so the TR runs better in dusty conditions and with extended strings of fire. This new action is fully compatible with Accuracy International double-stack magazines.

Bullet Central BAT Machine Bruce Thom tactical action rem clone remington AI magazine

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tactical 2 Comments »
January 13th, 2017

March Unveils Impressive New High Master Series of Scopes

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

At SHOT Show in Las Vegas, March Optics will unveil its new “High Master” series scopes. These top-of-the line optics are designed for Benchrest and Long-Range Competition. We’ve always been impressed with the clarity and sharpness of March optics, and now they are even better. The High Master line of scopes boast class-leading, state-of-the-art ED glass that delivers outstanding sharpness with near-zero chromatic aberration.

The March engineers tell us: “We’ve found a way to improve upon perfection with our new High Master™ line. Meticulously designed and individually hand-assembled by the expert engineers at March, these scopes feature our new Super-ED, high-refractive glass for unparalleled quality and exceptional clarity. This high-tech glass greatly reduces chromatic aberration for a previously unheard-of level of sharpness and brilliance.”

New March High Master Scopes

March 10-60x56mm Zoom Scopes for Ultimate Long Range
(Five Versions: MAR1078 3⁄32 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1079 1⁄8 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1080 MTR-1 Reticle, MAR1081 MTR-3 Reticle, MAR1082 MTR-4 Reticle)

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

NOTE: The new 10-60x56mm scope features the same mechanical precision and user-friendly design as March’s match-winning 10-60x52mm zoom scope, but with a larger 56mm objective lens and enhanced glass.

March 40–60x52mm EP Zoom Scopes for Benchrest Competition
(Three Versions: MAR1083 CH Reticle, MAR1084 3⁄32 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1085 1⁄8 MOA DOT Reticle)

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

NOTE: For shooters seeking “one-hole” accuracy in the Benchrest game, this is the scope. The new High Master 40-60x52mm EP Zoom scope gives serious Benchrest shooters an ultra-sharp, high-magnification variable scope with zero POI shift when changing magnification.

March 48 x 52mm Fixed Power Scopes for Benchrest Competition
(Three versions: MAR1075 Cross-Hair Reticle, MAR1076 3⁄32 MOA DOT Reticle, MAR1075 1⁄8 MOA DOT Reticle)

March High Master Benchrest Longrange scope optic zoom ED glass Super-ED

NOTE: These new March 48-power scopes look to set new quality standards among high-magnification, fixed power scopes for benchrest competition. Fixed-power scopes are lighter and simpler than variable scopes of equal magnification. In weight-limited Benchrest classes this fixed 48X will be a top choice.

Permalink New Product, Optics 8 Comments »
January 11th, 2017

Leupold Offers VX-3i “Long Range Precision” Optics

Leupold Scope VX-3i LRP Precision PRS Vortex

Leupold has released three new VX-3i scopes for precision shooters. The new VX-3i LRP (“Long Range Precision”) series of scopes offer impressive features at affordable price points. There are three new LRP models: 4.5-14x50mm, 6.5-20x50mm, and 8.5-25x50mm. The “3i” in the model names indicates a three-times zoom ratio.

Both front focal plane (FFP) and rear focal plane VX-3i LRP models will be offered. All VX-3i LRP scopes come with a removable throw lever on the zoom ring. The big, knurled turrets are easy to manipulate and feature an elevation zero stop. You can choose either quarter-MOA or 1/10th MIL clicks, and the reticles are matched to the click values — MOA/MOA or mil/mil.

Leupold Scope VX-3i LRP Precision PRS Vortex

Several popular reticle options are available, including MOA-based Impact-29 MOA, Impact-32 MOA and T-MOA®; or the mil-based TMR® and the new Leupold CCH (Combat Competition Hunter) reticle. The Leupold CCH is a grid-based reticle providing holdovers and wind holds in mils. That should prove popular with tactical marksmen and PRS competitors.

For target work at 400+ yards we like the 8.5-25x50mm LRP:
Leupold Scope VX-3i LRP Precision PRS Vortex

Competing with Vortex and Bushnell for the Tactical Market
We see these VX-3i scopes as direct competition for the Vortex and Bushnell scopes now favored by many tactical and PRS shooters. Leupold’s goal was to build a scope with the features customers want at affordable prices. Tim Lesser, Leupold’s VP of product development, explains: “The VX-3i LRP [optics line] is a high-end, long-range riflescope that’s within most people’s budget, be it for PRS, long-range target shooting or even hunting.”

Permalink New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
January 10th, 2017

New SEND iT Electronic Level Device

Send it level leveling

Here’s the latest leveling technology for shooters. The innovative “SEND iT” device is an electronic level featuring five colored LEDs along with a conventional bubble level. When the rifle is level, a single green LED lights in the middle. If you are off-kilter, blue or red warning LEDs alert you. There are five sensitivity levels (from 0.2° to 1.0° between lights). The Send iT level can be mounted vertically as well as horizontally and the electronics will auto-sense the correct position.

Send it level leveling

The makers of the SEND iT claim it is the “most accurate and fastest shooting level made”. The system mounts to a Picatinny-style scope rail, extending out to the left side. There are multiple modes, including leveling, battery check, and sleep mode. The LEDs can be dimmed for night use.

This Video Shows the SEND iT Level Sensitivity Settings:

Send it level leveling

The SEND iT level, offered by Long Range Arms (LRA), will debut at SHOT Show 2017. Price and Pre-Order info will be available in late January on the Long Range Arms Facebook Page.

Permalink - Videos, New Product 4 Comments »
January 7th, 2017

Get FREE 2017 SHOT Show Mobile App

SHOT Show 2016 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

Headed to SHOT Show in ten days? Then you should download the FREE SHOT Show Mobile App. Available for all mobile devices, this App really makes it easier to plan your SHOT Show schedule, and navigate the floor of the Sands Convention Center. The 2017 SHOT Show Mobile App is now available for download on Apple, Android, and Windows smartphones and devices. Apple users will find the app in the App Store, Android users will find their version in the Google Play Store. Windows users can access via the WEB Dashboard. Learn more about the SHOT Show 2017 App at SHOTmobile.com.

Visit SHOTmobile.com | GET FREE Apple (iOS) App | GET FREE Android OS App

Handy Interactive Map
The App includes an interactive map that can direct you from your current location to your next destination. Arrange your meetings with a handy scheduling calendar. And you can search for any SHOT exhibitor by name or product category. In addition, the App lists major show events as well as important new products.

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

The Free SHOT Show App lets you do some very cool things with your smartphone. You can contact exhibitors directly through the App to request appointments or callbacks. You can take notes while visiting a vendor’s booth or attending a seminar. Of course you can schedule your agenda, and see an entire day’s events in a glance. But perhaps the best function of all is the “Smart Route”. This allows you to create the most efficient point to point route from one booth location to another.

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
January 6th, 2017

Savage Turns to the Dark Side — Introduces AR-Type Rifles

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

Savage Arms has joined the black rifle bandwagon with its new MSR Series of gas guns. Savage will offer four AR-style semi-automatic rifles in 2017. Savage will offer a variety of buttstock configurations, barrel lengths, along with some interesting chambering options. The MSR 15 Patrol and Recon feature a .223 Wylde target chamber for use with 223 Rem. or 5.56x45mm. The MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range models are AR-10 platform rigs offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win chamberings. The top-of-the-line MSR 10 Long Range model carries a hefty $2284 MSRP price-tag, but it does include a two-stage AR Blaze target trigger, adjustable gas block, and a genuine Magpul® PRS Gen3 buttstock.

While most of the engineering of the MSR series is classic AR, there are some interesting features and notable upgrades. The MSR 10 Long Range offers a non-reciprocating, left-side charging handle (along with conventional rear charging handle). All the MSR rifles have high-quality barrels with a durable surface hardening treatment known as Melonite QPQ. This should make the rifles run longer (with higher round count) before needing replacement barrels. Bill Dermody of Savage states: “These are high-performance barrels you’d have to buy as an upgrade with standard AR-15s.”

Savage MSR Notable Features:
Non-reciprocating SIDE charging handle on MSR 10 LR (plus normal charging handle)
1:8″-twist Barrels, Melonite QPQ hardening, 5R rifling (MSR 15 Patrol and Recon)
1:8″ or 1:10″-twist Barrels, Melonite QPQ hardening, 5R rifling (MSR 10 Hunter and LR)
Conventional AR-Type Gas System (No Op Rod)
Adjustable Gas Block (MSR 10 Hunter and LR)
Modular-Style Fore-end/Handguard
Flip-up Front and Rear Sights

Field Test of Savage MSR 15 Patrol
YouTube ace .22 Plinkster got his hands on one of the very first Savage MSR 15 Patrol M4 models. In this video, he tests it for function and accuracy, finding the MSR 15 to be “a good shooter”. He adds: “The Patrol is Savage’s entry-level M4. Because this rifle is brand new … you may want to check out Savage’s website at www.SavageArms.com.”

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

This Twang ‘N Bang video explains the key features of the MSR 10 Long Range, including the side charging handle and QPQ-treated barrel. It also describes the specs of the other three models.

Savage’s new MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range are purpose-built modern sporting rifles for game hunting and long-range shooting. Both are available in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor chamberings. Both models are built on compact, lightweight frames and feature adjustable gas blocks, plus the MSR 10 Long Range is equipped with a non-reciprocating, side-charging handle (see below).

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

On the AR-15 platform, the new MSR 15 Patrol and MSR 15 Recon are chambered in .223 Wylde for safe, reliable function with both 223 Rem. and 5.56x45mm ammo. All Savage MSRs offer premium features such as 5R button-rifled barrels with Melonite QPQ surface hardening, new BLACKHAWK! furniture, upgraded sights and more. To learn more about Savage’s new line of MSR rifles, visit www.Savagearms.com/msr.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 5 Comments »
January 6th, 2017

New-for-2017 Products Featured in Shooting Industry Magazine

SHOT Show 2016 December Product Showcase

Want a preview of the hot new products of 2017? Then check out the January 2016 Digital Edition of Shooting Industry Magazine. This free, digital eZine contains a 32-page Product Showcase with dozens of new products — rifles, pistols, optics, reloading tools, hunting gear and more. The product showcase article reveals many new-for-2017 firearms, including new guns from Bergara, Colt, Savage, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Weatherby (and more). Along with the product guide, the January issue includes a complete listing of 2017 SHOT Show Exhibitors, with booth numbers.

SHOT Show 2017 January Product Showcase

SHOT Show 2017 January Product Showcase

Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide Lists Thousands of Companies
Shooting Industry Magazine also offers a very comprehensive Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide. This searchable, online resource lists 2500+ companies, complete with address, phone number(s), email, and website link. All the major precision shooting suppliers, such as Berger Bullets, Lapua, Hodgdon, McMillan, Nightforce, Redding, Sierra etc. are listed. Access this comprehensive directory gun industry companies at http://sibuyersguide.com/.

SHOT Show 2017 Product Showcase

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January 3rd, 2017

New Bergara B14 HMR Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

Bergera Rifles has introduced a new rifle designed for the tactical, PRS, and long-range hunting markets. Bergara’s new B14 Series Hunting and Match Rifle (HMR) features an ergonomic, adjustable stock fitted with an internal aluminum sub-chassis. Initially, the HMR will be offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win chamberings, fed with AICS-compatible box magazines. We’re pleased that all HMRs are guaranteed to produce sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using factory match-grade ammunition. Weight, without optics, is 9.15 lbs, about one pound less than the Ruger Precision Rifle. MSRP is $1,150.00.

The Spanish-made HMR boasts a molded synthetic stock with built-in machined aluminum mini-chassis. This mini-chassis allows secure, repeatable bedding for Bergara’s B14 action, which features two-lug bolt wtih coned bolt-head. The Chrome-Moly Bergara barrels are threaded 5/8″ x 24 at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors. The HMR uses a precision-machined bottom metal and is designed to accept AICS-style magazines.

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

The stock has a multi-stage textured finish, which looks good. Designed for both righties and lefties, the ambidextrous stock features an adjustable cheekpiece, and length of pull is adjustable with simple spacers. For slings and accessories, the HMR stock offers multiple flush cup QD mounts as well as multiple swivel studs for bipods and/or slings.

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

This should be an interesting addition to the line-up of factory rifles suitable for the PRS Series Production Class. But frankly, we think Bergara went too short with the barrels (or at least should offer longer barrels as options). In 6.5 Creedmoor, at 22″ you’re giving up 90 FPS or so compared to a 27″ (See Barrel Cut-Down Test). Additionally, we think most PRS competitors would prefer a different profile on the fore-end. Nonetheless for tactical guys who don’t like modular metal stocks, this is an interesting (and pretty affordable) new offering.

Bergara B14 HMR Rifle Specifications:

Chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester
Action Type: 2-lug action, sliding plate extractor, cone bolt nose and breech
Magazine: AICS style mag compatible – Includes one Magpul® PMAG AICS Magazine
Barrel Specs: 6.5 Creedmoor (1:8″ Twist, 22″); .308 Win (1:10″ twist; 20″)
Mini-Chassis Material: 7075 T6 aluminum
Weight without scope: 9.15 pounds
MSRP: $1,150.00

Learn more about Bergara rifles in this SHOT Show Video by the 6.5 Guys

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
December 26th, 2016

Cutaway Ammo Samples for Training — AmVIEWnition

Amviewnition cutaway ammo samples cartridge shotshell

Ever wondered what pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammo really looks like on the inside? Well, thanks to two clever friends, you can NOW see exactly what’s on the inside. Bernard Martinage and David Swanson, fellow NRA-certified firearms instructors, have created a new kind of training tool — cutaway ammo samples. The two men call their line of cutaways, AmVIEWnition. The sliced cartridges and shotshells are employed as visual/tactile training aids. These cutaways help new shooters understand ammo components and how cartridges and shotshells are engineered.

Amviewnition cutaway ammo samples cartridge shotshell
Bernard Martinage (L) and David Swanson (R) are the inventors of AmVIEWnition products — cutaway ammo samples for training.

Bernard told the NRA Blog: “In order to make teaching easier and increase trainee comprehension, I simply decided to cut bullets lengthwise and show them [students] what’s inside. It certainly sped up their understanding and it was cool to look at! I always liked inventing and creating things that solved problems or made life easier. So, doing it with firearm training was no different.” To learn more about the history of AmVIEWnition, read the NRA Blog’s Interview with Bernard Martinage.

Amviewnition cutaway ammo samples cartridge shotshell

Bernard and David also produce Barrel Cutaways and “Solo-Blast” 3-D Ballistics Models of projectile wound channels. Visit www.AmVIEWnition.com to see these products as well as the full line of pistol, rifle, and shotgun AmVIEWnition cutaways.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
December 23rd, 2016

New Products in Review — Brownells

Brownells new products load manual Hornady Magpul

Some interesting products were featured in Brownell’s New Product Review this week. Brownells Merchandise Manager Paul Levy looks at a new Rem 700 Magwell system from Magpul, along with Hornady’s impressive new Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, 10th Edition. For a quick look at these and other new products, check out the Video below:

Brownells new products load manual Hornady Magpul

Magpul Magnum Long Action MagWell — This fits Long-Action Rem 700 and Rem clone actions. Priced at just $75.95, this composite “bottom metal” is light-weight polymer, with a handy ambidextrous magazine release on either side of the trigger guard. Designed to work with AICS-pattern long action magazines, this kit also includes one Magpul PMAG® 5ACL magnum magazine for .300 WM-based family of cartridges.

Hornady 10th Edition Reloading Manual — This was just released, so it is one of the most up-to-date load manuals in print. Hornady’s new Manual is very comprehensive. It includes new information for the 6.5 Creedmoor and other modern cartridge type.

Smith Tactics Battle Bar — For Black Rifle fans, this slick extension that makes it easier to operate an AR’s bolt release.

Nowlin Drop-In 1911 Pistol Barrels — Upgrade your 1911 with a new barrel in .40 SW or .45 ACP. If you have an older pistol with many thousands of rounds this can be a “drop-in” accuracy fix.

Note: If you are interested in these or other Brownells products, you can get free ground shipping for orders over $99.00. Use Code LYH at checkout.

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
December 16th, 2016

Accuracy Int’l-Style .22 LR for Rimfire Cross-Training and Plinking

Keystone Arms Crickett CPR Precision Rifle AICS Accuracy International Int'l Tactical Chassis Rifle Rimfire .22 LR 22LR

Keystone Sporting Arms has created a new rimfire rifle that shares the looks and ergonomics of the Accuracy International AICS. Keystone’s new Crickett Precision Rifle (CPR) is a single-shot .22 LR bolt action rifle that uses the barreled action from the Crickett series of rifles. Trigger pull weight is 2.5-3.0 pounds. The AICS Classic-style stock is ambidextrous, but only a right bolt, right port version of the CPR is offered at this time, model KSA2150. Stock length of pull is adjustable (via spacers) from 11.5 to 13.5 inches, and there is an adjustable cheek-piece.

The Crickett Precision Rifle should be available in January 2017 and retail for approximately $310.00. This small .22 LR bolt action should appeal to Accuracy International fans who want a rimfire rifle for low-cost cross-training. This could also be a good first rifle for a young shooter. And if Dad owns a real Accuracy Int’l AICS rifle, the little AI clone would be a fun rimfire rig for son or daughter. That way the youngster(s) could shoot a smaller version of their parent’s rifle. Like father, like son (or daughter)!

Reader Boyd Allen likes this little rifle, which has a length of pull suitable for younger shooters: “I like seeing parents taking their kid(s) to the range, developing the next generation of shooters. For the price of what some guys spend on a set of fancy rings, you can purchase this little rifle and a youngster can enjoy shooting a rimfire that looks like the real-deal tactical rigs used by the ‘Big Boys’. That’s how you capture a kid’s interest.”

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
December 13th, 2016

Unique Holiday Gift — Coloring Book for Firearms Fans

Here’s a cool Christmas Gift item — a high-quality 70-page coloring book featuring firearms. If you have kids or grandkids that enjoy shooting or hunting, this could be a fun, interactive gift. (Heck we know some adults who would enjoy it too.) Offered by Top Shot Champ Dustin Ellermann, Full Metal Coloring features quotes from famous people and shooting tips from ace shooters such as Jerry Miculek and Bryan Zins. The WideOpenSpaces Blog says: “Forget abstract designs or run-of-the-mill shapes. Instead, get your hands on this cool coloring book full of guns.” The price is $11.99.

Product Description: Filled with humor, history and iconic images, Full Metal Coloring appeals to military, veterans, shooting sports athletes and hunters. Amusing quotes by Aristotle, Walter Cronkite, Wyatt Earp and more. Shooting tips by Jerry Miculek, Brian Zins, Jim Henderson and more!

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
December 11th, 2016

The Patented Triangular Pyramid Patch — Tried One Yet?

Rigel BoreSmith Brush Patch Jag Pyramid Triangle patches

Product innovation is all about “building a better mousetrap”, or in this case, building a better bore-cleaning patch. A real smart guy, Shane Smith, has invented a triangular patch that earned a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a utility patent for BoreSmith’s triangular Pyramid Patch™. This unique cleaning patch was designed by Shane Smith, a mathematician/physicist who employed his scientific and firearms knowledge to create innovative bore-cleaning products.

BoreSmith’s clever Triangle Patch™ (aka Pyramid Patch) presents more cleaning surface area to the bore wall than does a conventional square or round patch (of equivalent size). At the same time, the unique geometry makes Triangle Patches much less likely to jam in the barrel. This is because the notches in the sides of the triangle allow the patch to sit more uniformly on the jag (without bunching up). In addition, the Pyramid patch is must less likely to jam due to pleating. One reason conventional patches get stuck is unwanted 5-layer pleating. The special notches in the Pyramid patch remove all or most 5-layer pleating. As a result the patch does not bunch up and this also reduces rod bowing.

The Triangle patch can be used with a standard jag but works best when paired with BoreSmith’s patented dual-diameter JagBrush. Order Triangle Patches HERE.

Triangle Patch Function and Geometry Explained (See 1:18 time-mark):

NOTE: Despite what you may see in this video, you should ALWAYS insert brushes and patches from the chamber end first, using a fitted cleaning rod bore guide. With bolt-action rifles, NEVER insert a cleaning rod (with brush or jag) in through the muzzle. This may damage the delicate crown of your barrel.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
December 10th, 2016

Beast in the Works — New ELR Stock from McMillan

Kelly McMillan ELR fiberglass stock gunstock KO2M 50 BMG Cheytac
Kelly McMillan with his lastest creation — the “ELR Beast”.

The design team at McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is working on a new heavy-duty stock for the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game. This beefy gunstock is designed to handle the heavy torque and recoil of big-caliber cartridges such as the .408 Cheytac and .50 BMG. The stock is also designed to balance the ultra-long barrels favored by ELR shooters and King of 2 Mile competitors. Shown above is the boss-man himself, Kelly McMillan, with the new ELR stock prototype. Kelly calls this “the ELR Beast”. Note how the cheekpiece is slotted to allow unimpeded movement of the extra-long bolt.

Kelly McMillan ELR fiberglass stock gunstock KO2M 50 BMG Cheytac

Kelly tells us: “Making headway on the ELR Beast. Using Paul Phillips’s barrel and action we have been able to make some progress in both the design and the cosmetics of the stock. I am pleased with where we are at this time. As is, this set up weighs 46 pounds, I suspect we can get this stock to weigh between 8 and 9 pounds maximum, and maybe 5 pounds minimum.”

Kelly McMillan ELR fiberglass stock gunstock KO2M 50 BMG Cheytac

Permalink New Product, Tactical 4 Comments »
December 8th, 2016

New Vortex Optics Products for 2017

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

Vortex Optics has offered a Sneak Peak at new products for 2017. On the Vortex Blog, new scopes and a new Laser Rangefinding Binocular were revealed. For next year, Vortex will offer four new PST Gen II scopes, an affordable “tactical” Diamondback optic, and the new Fury LRF binocular.

Viper PST Gen II Riflescopes

The versatile Viper PST series can work for many disciplines — Target Shooting, 3-Gun, Hunting, or Precision Long Range. The new second generation PSTs offer many improvements, with four new models for 2017.

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

NEW 2-10×32, 3-15×44, and 5-25×50: Vortex offers a wide magnification range with these three new PSTs. Each offers tall tactical turrets and side-focus parallax adjustment with integrated illumination. To ensure reliable return-to-zero, all new models feature the patented RZR Zero Stop from the Razor HD 5-20×50 riflescope. Reticles include Vortex’s new EBR-4 and EBR-2C with MOA or MRAD stadia to match your turrets. First Focal Plane reticles are available on select models.

NEW 1-6×24: Now even more versatile, the new PST Gen II 1-6×24 picks up right where the venerable 1-4X left off. With a true one-power on its low end and a large eyebox for rapid acquisition, shooters can easily engage close targets. On the high end of its zoom spectrum, the full 6X facilitates accurate mid to long-range engagements. This scope offers side illumination adjustment, plus low-profile capped turrets. Inside, the same VMR-2 reticle from the Razor Gen II 1-6, with its daylight-bright center illuminated dot, is standard and available in MOA or MRAD.

Available Spring 2017


Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

Vortex’s Diamondback series has been known for toughness and high performance for the price. The new Diamondback Tactical offers important features for practical/tactical shooters in an affordable package. This new-for-2017 scope features taller turrets with easy-to-grip knobs. The Diamondback offers generous eye relief and a new, hashmark-style reticle offering reference points for ranging, holdover, and wind calls.

Available Spring 2017


Fury Laser Rangefinding Binocular

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

The new Vortex Fury Laser Rangefinding Binocular combines two functions in a single, compact package. Notably, the Fury LRF offers HD glass and an industry-leading warranty. This product has a 10×42 optic plus claimed 1600-yard ranging capability. The Fury offers a light-weight, compact design with good performance at a fraction of the price of some European-made LRF binoculars. Last but not least, the Fury laser rangefinding binocular is the only of its kind backed 100% by a lifetime warranty, including electronics.

Available Summer 2017

[Editor’s Note: Don’t expect reliable 1600-yard ranging on small objects with any sub-$2400 product on the market. Most humans simply cannot hold steady enough to allow this. And there are issues of ground scatter and beam divergence. You may be able to range a house or water tower, but not something small, such as a deer.]

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »