July 16th, 2017

Tactical .260 Rem from Short Action Customs in Ohio

260 rem tactical rifle

260 rem tactical rifleA popular feature of our Shooters’ Forum is the long-running Pride and Joy thread. There you’ll find photos and descriptions of dozens of interesting rifles — from rimfire rigs to big-bore boomers. Forum member Ryan M. (aka “Dieselgeek”) posted a handsome .260 Remington tactical rifle built by Short Action Customs in Wellington, Ohio. The rifle features top-of-the-line hardware. The coated, stainless Alpha 11 action (from Defiance Machine) carries a Bartlein M24-contour 26″ barrel with muzzle brake. The stock is a thumbhole T5A from Manners Composites, fitted with APA bottom metal for AW magazines. On top is a Bushnell ERS 3-21x50mm scope with G2 reticle. Riding on an under-mounted rail is an Atlas bipod with quick-release lever.

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Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical 3 Comments »
September 26th, 2013

Colt Offers Precision Bolt-Action Rifles with Cooper Actions

Colt Mfg. Co. (Colt) is bringing out two new bolt-action rifles with actions from Cooper Firearms of Montana. (So maybe we should call these “Colpers” or “Coolts”?) Two different versions of the new Colt M2012 solid-stocked bolt-action rifles have been announced: a .308 Win with a Manners composite stock (MT308T), and a laminated stock version chambered in either .308 Win (LT308G) or .260 Remington (LT260G). All versions feature fluted barrels, detachable box magazines, and single-stage Timney triggers. All new M2012 MTs and LTs ship with signed, numbered, and dated Colt test targets.

These rifles will be pricey for a factory rifle. The M2012MT308T in .308 Winchester carries a $3,195.00 MSRP. That puts you pretty close to the cost of a custom tactical build. The laminated-stock LT versions list for $2,795.00, making those considerably more affordable. So what do you get for your money with a M2012 bolt-action “Coolt”?

The M2012MT308T features a 1:10″-twist, 22″ fluted stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. All-up weight, even with the lightweight Manners carbon/fiberglass composite stock, is 10.25 pounds. Overall length is 44″, making the rifle fairly compact, good for tactical games and hunting.

The laminated LT models (offered in .308 Win or .260 Rem), weigh just 8.5 pounds, making them nearly two pounds lighter than the Manners-stocked models. We presume the weight saving comes from the use of lighter-contour barrels. The LT308G features a 22″ chrome-moly 1:10″-twist fluted barrel, while the LT260G sports a 22″ chrome-moly 1:8″-twist fluted barrel. This enables the .260 version to shoot popular 138-142 grain 6.5mm match bullets. Again, muzzle brakes come fitted to the laminated guns, just like the composite-stock variant.

Will these new Cooper-actioned rifles find favor with shooters? We think that depends on how well they shoot. Given the asking prices ($2,795 for Laminated, $3,195.00 for Composite) these rifles are close in price to a gunsmith-built, custom rig with a super-premium barrel. Such a custom should deliver 1/2-MOA or better. Can the M2012 “Coolts” match that? Hard to say…

These new Colt M2012s might be a decent starter platform for an F-TR rifle, but the fore-arm is pretty short (for optimal bipod use) and the shooter might need to retro-fit some kind of raised cheekpiece for prone shooting. It may be that the real market for these rifles will be hunters who want the security of a factory warranty, in a product that is a step-up from a basic Remington 700, Howa, or Savage.

Permalink New Product, News 3 Comments »
March 12th, 2013

CZ Offers New CZ-455 Varmint ‘Tacticool’ Rifle

CZ has introduced a new version of the CZ-455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This new gun, dubbed the Varmint Tacticool by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. The new CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as a affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and “feel” of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $899.00 MSRP while the new ‘Tacticool’ model lists for just $522.00 MSRP. The $377.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
February 25th, 2011

Manners Stocks Now Offers Molded-in Camo Finishes

Manners Composite StocksTom Manners of Manners Composite Stocks, makes very high-quality, stiff rifle stocks. Tom has designs for hunters, varminters, F-Class Shooters, and tactical shooters. All his stocks are strong for their weight, and you can count on a Manners stock to have correct geometry and first-rate build quality.

However, until recently, if you wanted a Manners stock with a molded-in finished, you had to settle for a solid color, in some variation of tan, green, gray, or black. That has changed. Manners Composite Stocks now offers molded-in camo, multi-color stock finishes. You can get these molded-in MSC Camo finishes for no extra charge over the regular price of the stock.

Manners’ MCS Camo color schemes consist of three colors: a base, which is usually 40%, and two lesser colors that usually are 30% each of the total finish. Tom reports: “We do our best to maintain the color balance of the Camo, but each one is done by hand and two stocks are never the same. There are 5 different molded-in versions of our MCS-Camo and 2 solid colors (OD Green and Coyote Tan).” The molded-in finishes are currently offered for the following stock models: MCS-T, TA, T2, T3, T4, T4quad, T5 and T5A; Special Order: Mcs-T4A and T2A.

Tom tells us: “The molded-in finishes are smooth compared to our painted finishes. For the guys that like the textured feel of our painted stock but want the durability of a molded-in finish, for $35.00 extra, we offer the ArmourGrip option — a textured dead flat clear finish that is applied to the stock.”

Custom Painted Finishes Offered Also
In addition to the new line of molded-in finishes, for an extra fee, you can order a custom, painted finish. This can be applied to either the stock, or to the complete rifle (more coverage is more money). Samples of custom paint jobs are shown below. All colors are a dead flat finish to minimize light reflection and have a non-slip pebble finish. The polyurethane enamel paint used is very durable. But, like all paints, it will scratch if dragged over rocks, limbs, and other sharp surfaces.

Manners Composite Stocks PAINTED FINISH Samples (other styles offered.)

Permalink New Product No Comments »