How would you like a modular precision rifle that can shoot .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Win rounds — all from the same action and chassis? And how would you like to be able to swap calibers in the field (with barrel and bolt change-outs) with just a couple simple hand tools? This kind of rifle system is not just a pipe-dream. Accuracy International’s PSR Rifle system is truly three guns in one, and it’s now in production. Watch the video to see the features of this advanced modular rifle.
Scott Seigmund, V.P. of Accuracy International (North America), gave us a run-down on the features of AI’s new PSR (Precision Sniper Rifle) modular system. By changing barrels, bolts, and magazines, the gun can shoot three different cartridge types. All the equipment (including bipod, optics, extra bolts, barrels, and mags) are carried in AI’s fitted “deployment” box.
If the full $17,200 three-barrel system is not enough for you, and you need something even more exotic — AI offers a special take-down version of the PSR rifle. Scott showed us a complete .338 LM rifle (with 20″ barrel) stowed in a transport box smaller than a typical carry-on case. Scott said the price on the take-down system has not yet been set.
SHOT Show 2013 has been underway since Monday. This show seems bigger than ever, and the sheer number of noteworthy products on display is mind-boggling. We’ve seen some remarkable new scopes from Nightforce, Kahles, and IOR-Valdada. Dave Kiff at PT&G has some “game-changing” new products. Winchester’s new 17 Win Super Mag rimfire cartridge has generated lots of interest, and Savage showed off its new B.MAG bolt action chambered for the new cartridge.
Here’s a quick sample of some cool or interesting products we saw in action on Media Day or on display inside the Sands Convention Center. We’ll do more complete write-ups/reviews once we “back to the office” and have a change to digest spec sheets and edit video. But please enjoy this photo “sampler” from SHOT Show 2013.
New Kahles 10-50X Competition Scope, with Central (big wheel) Parallax Adjustment
New Savage B.MAG Rifle Chambered in 17 Win Super Mag Rimfire
Prototype “Tinkertoy” Benchrest Rifle from McMillan Built on “Alias” Action
New Datum Dial Ammunition Measurement System from Forster Products
New .338 Lapua Magnum Action and Complete .338 LM Rifles from Kelbly’s
New Savage Bolt from PT&G with User-Adjustable Spring Tension
Futuristic $22K Tracking-Point Rifle System with Automatic Ranging, Ballistic Calculation, and Aiming Solution
New .375 Caliber, 350 grain, ultra-high-BC Match-King Bullet from Sierra
Vectronix Laser Rangefinder Units ($1995.00 – $8510.00)
Air Arms S400 Multi-Purpose Rifles (Regular and Biathlon Models)
Accuracy Int’l PSR Multi-Caliber Rifle System — ‘Takedown Edition’ in .338 LM
Accuracy International (AI) announced that its widely-respected AW 338 rifles will be “phased out” and replaced by AI’s more modern line of AX 338 rifles. AI explains that the AW-338 (chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum) will go out of production because “the new AX 338 model of rifle has far more versatility and modularity.” However, please note the AW 308 chambered for .308 Winchester will continue to be produced, and it is still available to order.
News tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
AccurateShooter.com field tester Kelly Bachand returns to Top Shot on the History Channel next week. Kelly is one of two “alumni experts” tasked with helping competitors attempt a 1500-yard shot. Along with fellow Top Shot alumnus George Reinas, Kelly guides Season 4 competitors through the longest-range marksmanship challenge ever undertaken on the Top Shot series. The show will air Tuesday, April 10th at 10:00 pm. Kelly tells us: “OK — I can finally talk about it! I’ll be on Top Shot again [next week]. I’ll be there trying to teach the shooters how to read wind so they can make a 1500-yard shot.” We asked Kelly if he was going to get one of those $2K Bass Pro gift cards for his efforts. Unfortunately the answer was ‘no’: “No gift cards….Yeah I wish they gave me four of them to make up for all the elimination challenges in Season One!”
Kelly instructs this season’s competitors in the skills needed to make a hit at 1500 yards. At right, you’ll see Kelly doing something he’s becoming very familiar with — looking through a spotting scope. At the World Long Range Championships in Australia, Kelly’s spotting skills helped keep the USA Young Eagles in the center to win both Gold and Silver. The teaser for next week’s Top Shot episode shows competitors using an Accuracy Int’l AX 338 to engage a target 1500 yards away. To make shots at that distance successfully, you need to have rock-solid fundamentals, wind-reading abilities, and ballistics info. Tune in next Tuesday to see how Kelly works with competitors trying to make the longest shot ever attempted on Top Shot.
Noted gunsmith Dave Tooley saw our coverage of Accuracy International (AI) “Skins” in the Daily Bulletin, and he wanted to inform our readers about updates to AI’s AX line of rifles.
Updated 2012 AI AX Rifle for PSRII
Dave wrote: “As you know I do AI’s smithing in this country. Attached is a picture of the latest version of the AX rifle. This is what was submitted to SOCOM for PSRII the first of January. AI has incorporated a right-hand hinge to make the rifle more compact when folded. There are some other major improvements. First, the way the rails lock up on the tube now completely eliminates any chance of movement (that’s important for lasers and other things). The buttstock is now considerably lighter than the older version, and it now uses simple knobs on the cheekpiece, the LOP adjustment, and the adjustable recoil pad. I think the knobs are more user-friendly than push-buttons.”
CLICK for FULL-SCREEN Photo
New Barrel Swap Kit
The most significant improvement to the AX, according to Tooley, is the ability for the operator to change barrels with minimal tools. Tooley explains: “The complete barrel change tool-kit is one 4mm Allen wrench stored in the cheek piece. If you look at the picture you will see a screw about midway under the receiver. Loosen two captured screws under the forearm and the tube comes off. Then loosen the screw under the receiver and unscrew the barrel. This is dead simple and it works. I’ve tested six rifles with a total of 10 barrels and there were no issues. This is a great precision sniper rifle.”
At SHOT Show, Accuracy International (AI) unveiled a new line of pistol-grip skins that will allow owners of the AE and AW rifles to match the ergonomics of the pistol grip on AI’s new AX rifles. This “skins” bolt on to the underlying AI chassis system, providing a new look from fore-arm to buttplate. We expect these new skins will be hugely popular among AI shooters, many of whom will ditch their old thumbhole skins and bolt on the new pistol grip models. Availability is unknown at this point, but pricing will be in line with AI’s other skins.
Stiller Precision Firearms is now offering hard-anodized, billet aluminum bottom metal systems that work with Accuracy International (AI) magazines in Rem-style actions. Currently a short-action version is offered (for both .223 Rem and .308 Win cartridge sizes) and a long-action unit is in the works. Bottom metal for the .223 Rem fits a 10-round magazine. For the .308 Win, there are three mag options: 5-round centerfeed, 10-round centerfeed, and a 10-round, .308 double-column mag. The double-column magazines won’t work in the standard Remington action, but are perfectly suited for dedicated actions such as Stiller’s new TAC30 A/W. Current MSRP for Stiller’s DBM Bottom Metal is $295.00 with one (1) 5-round magazine.
Jerry Stiller consulted many tactical shooters before finalized the design of his new bottom metal. It contains many smart features that enhance reliability/function and simplify the installation process:
Strong, billet aluminum construction with Mil-Spec Type 3 hard anodizing.
Flared magwell allows fast, positive insertion of Accuracy International magazines.
Computer-optimized truss pattern reduces weight while retaining strength and stiffness.
Works with all commonly-available triggers for Rem and Rem-clone actions.
“Exact-Fit” pillars and screws included to ensure a perfect fit and easy installation.
NO SPECIAL INLET is required on the tang ends. Stiller Bottom Metal will fit into a standard BDL bottom inlet in most stocks (must meet Remington specified depths). The only cutting needed is around the magazine box. Stiller has beefed up the material in this area so that a high-precision cut is not needed.
Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
The kickoff of the 2011 Steel Safari is just a week away, and things are heating up! Temperatures at this long-range field match are always right around 100-degrees, but this year there will be more competitors than ever (38) and a better prize table than ever before. Match organizers expect strong competition this year, as there will be many seasoned Steel Safari “alumni” competing, including recent Steel Safari Top-5 finishers. The Steel Safari takes place this year on June 3rd, 4th, and 5th at the Blue Steel Ranch located near Logan, NM. Zak Smith is the match director. You can learn more about match details and courses of fire at www.SteelSafari.com.
A true field match with no “square-range” in sight, competitors may need to use improvised and non-standard shoot positions to make shots.
The match showcases practical rifle shooting in the field. Competitors locate small and medium-sized steel targets (often hidden), range them, and engage with one shot only, under a challenging time limit. Some movement on the clock is required, and shoot positions are always improvised, the best you can do while on a reverse incline, over a rock face, shooting down a gully, or leaning out the side of a truck. To add to the challenge, these shooting stations are distributed over two different 3-mile courses in rugged desert terrain. Despite this simple general description, there are a host of individual skills that a competitor must master to place well at this match.
Besides being a test of rifle shooting skill, it also stresses rifle and gear setup and reliability, and individual concentration and mettle. After hiking around in the desert for six hours, it takes talent, determination, and good field skills to find six targets out in the terrain, range them accurately, and then quickly make the shot from sometimes very difficult shooting positions.
Rugged precision bolt rifles such as this Accuracy International are typical at the Steel Safari. The .260 Remington is one of the most common cartridges in the Winner’s Circle.
A variety of rifles, calibers, and scopes will be used at the match, but most competitors employ more or less similar gear. First, an accurate rifle is critical. Bench-rest accuracy is not required; one MOA is sufficient, but one-half-MOA is preferred. Almost everyone shoots their own hand-loads with premium bullets from Sierra, Berger, or Lapua. Ballistic data, or “dope,” completes the triad with the rifle and ammunition. Most shooters laminate a small card and tie it to their rifle or scope, or use a retractable “pathfinder” available from Allison Machine Tool or Leupold. Long-range ballistic data isn’t useful unless the target distances can be determined, and the best tool for that is a laser range-finder. Since many laser range-finders are monocular units with limited field of view, a good set of binoculars can be a life-saver when trying to find that hidden target.
X-Treme Shooting Products now has its new Titanium Short Actions and Long Actions in production. Made from Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V Titanium, these are the only custom Titanium actions currently manufactured in the USA. The long and short X-Treme Ti actions are available with +20 MOA Taper Titanium Picatinny Scope rails and Titanium Recoil Lugs. The .338 Actions will be coming soon, and will be offered with +20, +25, and +30 MOA Taper rails and integral recoil lugs.
We thought you’d enjoy some views of the short and long Ti actions, fitted in tactical rifles. Shown below is and X-Treme Titanium Short Action in the regular Accuracy International AICS 2.0 chassis stock. This rifle features a Krieger fluted barrel (chambered in .260 Rem), withe an X-Treme 2-stage trigger, and Nightforce 5.5-22×56 NXS scope.
The slide show below features the X-Treme Titanium Long Action in the new Accuracy International AX chassis stock. This impressive beast also has a Krieger barrel, but chambered for the 6.5×284 cartridge. The gun also has an X-Treme 2 stage trigger, and a Nightforce 5.5-22×56 NXS scope.
Story Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
Disclosure: X-Treme Shooting Products advertises with AccurateShooter.com.
by Zak Smith
The simple and well-made rifle cases my dad and I used when I was a kid are hard to find and don’t fit the kinds of long-guns I shoot most these days: long-range precision rifles and AR-15s. There are plenty of “tactical” rifle cases on the market, but between poor construction and bad design features, it’s hard to really like most of them. One notable poor design feature is putting the zip opening on the bottom of the case (opposite the carry handle). The use of junky, low-quality zippers is another all-too-common defect.
MidwayUSA’s new “Pro Series” tactical rifle cases happily do not have those problems. The cases work well and have some good features. You can select between “tactical” black or a handsome OD green. Three sizes are offered, giving buyers a choice of 35″, 43″, or 47″ overall case lengths. Right now through the end of September, 2010, both colors and all three sizes are on sale.
I am not a fan of overloading rifle cases with a lot of extra junk, or bulky pockets that encourage it. The MidwayUSA case has plenty of internal compartments, and a large external pocket that may fit a compact M4/AR-15. Inside the main compartment, there are Velcro retention straps to hold your gun in place. The case also has angled, internal slash pockets on both ends. These help protect the muzzle on one end and help secure the buttstock on the other end.
Although the case is designed more for an AR-15 (with a half-dozen magazine pouches on the outside), I threw my Accuracy International AW — chambered in .260 Remington — into the case and took it down to the Sporting Rifle Match held at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Although the bolt rifle wouldn’t normally fit in an AR case, with the AW’s stock folded, it fit perfectly with room to spare.
Editor’s Note: The 47″ version of the case can swallow fixed-stock rifles with barrels up to about 25.5 inches. In the 43″ Pro Series case, a non-folding Accuracy International AW with 20″ barrel plus factory muzzle brake fit fine, with no clearance problems.
I don’t use a thread protector on the rifle’s muzzle when the suppressor is removed, so the muzzle “pocket” in the MidwayUSA case was nice. My suppressor, rear shooting bag, and some ammo went in the outer pocket. The top zipper opening is reminiscent of the full-on sniper drag bags, or more pertinently, easy to pull the rifle out with the bag set on the ground or in the bed of my truck.
With a glut of rifle cases on the market, the MidwayUSA Pro Series is built well and has pricing that cannot be beat. Now through September 30, 2010, the Pro Series Cases are on sale at MidwayUSA. 35″ models are $38.99, the 43″ case is $42.99, and the largest 47″ case is $44.99.
Zak Smith, an experienced practical/tactical shooter and 3-gun competitor, has prepared a video of the 2008 Steel Safari. This match is a unique test of practical shooting skills, conducted in “wild” field environments. Competitors must range and make shots at unknown distances, and sometimes at extreme angles. As you have to cover significant distances carrying rifle and gear, the match can also be a physical challenge. This is certainly no Benchrest match!
The Steel Safari demands a variety of practical rifle skills, including target recognition, range estimation, wind doping, trail skills, and marksmanship. Competitors must navigate through rugged terrain, then locate and range targets, and make first-round hits in often difficult field conditions. To learn more about the Steel Safari, visit Zak’s website, www.DemigodLLC.com, and read his MATCH REPORT.
Steel Safari Bloopers (Rifle Reliability) Video
If you enjoyed the match highlights video, you’ll also enjoy Zak’s “Bloopers” video. In this compilation from the Steel Safari, you’ll see a variety of firearm malfunctions in the field. Thankfully, none of the problems caused injury, but in this video you’ll see bolt actions that refused to feed or eject, or simply wouldn’t go bang. If you think bolt action rifles are fool-proof, this “bloopers reel” may change your opinion. Watch the video and you’ll see that even $4,000+ rifles sometimes give their owners fits.