October 9th, 2019

New Toy for PRS Boys — MPA Matrix Chassis

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has a new chassis system — the “MPA Matrix”. Derived from the MPA BA Chassis, the MPA Matrix Chassis offers a “multitude of configurations in grips, thumb rests, and trigger finger supports”. MPA claims the grip and hand area has over 100 different variations. The MPA Matrix has a fore-end two inches longer than the standard BA or BA Competition Chassis. Overall, the Matrix is fairly heavy, at 6.4 pounds, and pretty expensive, with a $1250-$1450 MSRP (depending on options). By contrast the MPA BA Hybrid Chassis costs $925.00 and weighs 3.5 pounds (without recoil pad).

CLICK Image for large MPA Matrix Photo:
MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

There are significant design differences between the MPA Matrix and MPA BA Hybrid (below). The Matrix, at 6.4 pounds, is also much heavier than the 3.5-lb BA Hybrid. Given that many PRS/NRL competitors favor heavier rifles for greater stability (and less felt recoil), the Matrix’s extra mass is probably a good thing.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The MPA Matrix features five different grip options (3 swept and 2 vertical), three different thumb-rest designs and four different trigger finger supports. That’s great for shooters who like to keep their thumb forward on the bolt side of the action. However, looking at the chassis, we’re really not sure we like the way the Matrix encircles the grip area. You’ve got hard metal behind the grip. The Matrix appears set up for resting the thumb of the trigger hand alongside the action. That can work for sure, but we think some shooters will prefer a more conventional vertical grip you can wrap your thumb around. A conventional grip will also have recoil cushioning for the web of the hand. See the BA Hybrid chassis for comparison. This Matrix is really VERY different in the grip area. But if you don’t like the Matrix, there are certainly other stock options available.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The new Matrix Chassis is designed for Remington Short Actions and Rem clones. The Matrix does offer good adjustability — the buttstock has an adjustable cheek riser and length of pull adjusts from 13.5 to 14.75 inches. Plus, the recoil pad adjusts for height and cant. You can get either an adjustable rear monopod or a bag-rider configuration. As you’d expect, the MPA Matrix has M-LOK slots along the fore-end sides and barricade stop holes along the bottom.

What was the concept behind the Matrix chassis? MPA’s President, Phil Cashin, states: “One of the things that we have seen in precision rifle shooting over the past couple of years is how many different methods a shooter used to engage a stock or chassis. Due to variations in hand size, finger thickness and length, as well as shooter preference on how they want to engage the chassis or stock, we’ve seen a lot of inconsistencies among the shooters in how they engage the rifle and where they position the pad of the trigger finger with the shoe of the trigger. This inspired us to create a system that would provide a more custom fit procedure for our customers by creating a chassis with more customized configurations.”

The MPA Matrix Chassis (MSRP $1250-$1450) is available in eight Cerakote colors: Graphite Black, Flat Dark Earth, Burnt Bronze, Tungsten, Gunmetal, Sniper Green, NRA Blue, and USMC Red. Custom H Series Cerakote colors are an additional $135, while camo patterns are $450 extra.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
January 26th, 2018

Shooters Who Drive You Nuts — The Seven Insufferables

EDITOR: Given the flood of SHOT Show product reporting this week, we thought a little comic relief was in order this Friday, the last day of SHOT Show 2018. This clever video pokes fun of some of the oddballs you’ll find at shooting ranges. Crack open a cold one and have a laugh…

This very funny video that should put a smile on your face — especially if you’ve ever competed in action shooting events. This tongue-in-cheek video from the SuperSetCA team identifies seven (7) annoying/insufferable types of shooters you’ll find at shooting matches. You can’t help but chuckle watching this video. The satire is “dead on” — we’ve all met these kind of clowns at one time or another.

Seven Types Shooters Comedy spoof lampoon

Among the personality types lampooned by the video are the “way too serious” type, the completely unprepared type, the “Hollywood” show-off, the “always an excuse” type, and of course the “I’m too old for this” competitor. As a shooter past age sixty, this Editor might even fall into that category — at least when it comes to “run and gun” games. When I’m asked to gallop around a range carrying heavy gear, yes I’ve been known to mutter: “I’m too [insert swear word] old for this….”

Seven Types Shooters Comedy spoof lampoon

Here’s an extra challenge for you. According to the video’s producers, there are several TV and/or Movie references sprinkled throughout. Can you name them all (with run-times)? (Hint, look for Lethal Weapon and Matrix spoofs).

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
March 12th, 2016

Are Polymer-Copper Matrix Bullets the Future for Pistol Ammo?

Ruger ARX polymer copper matrix Bullet Cheaper than Dirt
Photo from Ruger ARX Ammo Review in Cheaper Than Dirt Shooter’s Log.

Take a good look at this unusual ammunition. We think you are looking at the future of handgun ammo — at least for range and practice work. This patent-pending ammunition features a 100% lead-free bullet blended from polymer (plastic) and copper powder. The polymer-copper matrix (PCM) composition offers three major benefits: 1. the bullets do not ricochet; 2. the bullets are lighter and therefore faster than conventional projectiles; and 3. the bullets are environmentally friendly. We think this is a big deal — we predict matrix pistol bullets will become extremely popular in the years to come.

At the 2016 SHOT Show Media Day, we shot ammo with PCM bullets in a half-dozen handguns. The ammo performed flawlessly, without a hitch. In .40 SW and .45 ACP pistols, the felt recoil was considerably less than with conventional lead-core ammo (the difference was less noticeable with .380 ACP and 9mm Luger).

Ruger is now offering Ruger-branded ARX ammo with polymer-copper matrix bullets. This ammo will be produced under a licensing agreement with PolyCase Ammunition, the Georgia-based business that originally developed this bullet technology.

While Ruger is touting this ammo as a self-defense solution, we think the most common use of this new ammo will be for indoor practice, plinking, gun games such as IDPA, and use on steel and reactive targets. If you like to shoot steel, matrix bullets make sense. The polymer-copper matrix bullet basically disintegrates into very small fragments when it hits metal.

This video includes extensive tests of Ruger 9mm ARX ammo:

Ruger ARX Ammo with Injection-Molded Matrix Bullets
The fluted projectiles are injection-molded from a polymer-copper matrix. This offers many advantages. First, being completely lead-free, these bullets can be used at indoor facilities that prohibit lead-based ammo. Second, because the composite bullets weigh 30% less than comparable lead-based projectiles, shooters experience less recoil (even though velocities are higher). Third, the composite matrix bullet has low-ricochet properties. When these bullets strike metal, they are designed to disintegrate, rather than ricochet. This makes them well-suited for indoor use, or use with metal plates.

Ruger ARX Ammunition Ammo Injection Molded Matrix Composite Copper Nylon Polymer

Ruger’s new ARX line of lead-free ammo features injection-molded bullets that are much lighter than conventional projectiles, caliber by caliber: 56 grains for .380 ACP, 74 grains for 9x19mm, 107 grains for .40 SW, and 114 grains for .45 ACP. The lighter bullets fly faster, but ARX ammo still offers reduced perceived recoil.

ARX Ammo for SALE
.380 ACP
9mm Luger
.40 SW
.45 ACP

Shooting Wire Editor Jim Shepherd reports that ARX ammo delivers on its low-recoil promise: “Having spent time testing the PolyCase ammunition (largely in Ruger firearms), I know the reduction in felt recoil isn’t just hype. While firing PolyCase ARX ammunition in calibers ranging from .380 in small concealed carry pistols (including a Ruger’s LCP) up to .458 SOCOM in modern sporting rifles, the lessened felt recoil was noticeable.”

Polymer-Copper Matrix Bullets Show Good Penetration
Despite their lighter-than-average weight, ARX bullets show good penetration in ballistics gelatin, thanks to their unique, fluted-tip design. This video shows penetration tests:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 8 Comments »
October 2nd, 2015

NEW Ruger Handgun Ammo Features Molded Bullet Technology

Ruger ARX Ammunition Ammo Injection Molded Matrix Composite Copper Nylon Polymer

BIG news in the shooting sports industry — Ruger has entered the ammo business. Ruger now offers high-tech handgun ammunition, using licensed polymer-composite, lead-free bullet technology. According to the Shooting Wire: “Ruger’s new lead-free ammunition will be produced under a licensing agreement with Savannah, Georgia-based PolyCase Ammunition.”

Ruger’s new ARX line of lead-free ammo features injection-molded bullets that are much lighter than conventional projectiles, caliber by caliber: 56 grains for .380 ACP, 74 grains for 9x19mm, 107 grains for .40 SW, and 114 grains for .45 ACP. The lighter bullets fly faster, but ARX ammo still offers reduced perceived recoil.

ARX Ammo for SALE
.380 ACP
9mm Luger
.40 SW
.45 ACP

Ruger ARX Ammo with Injection-Molded Matrix Bullets
The fluted projectiles are injection-molded from a copper/polymer matrix. This offers many advantages. First, being completing lead-free, these bullets can be used at indoor facilities that prohibit lead-based ammo. Second, because the composite bullets weigh 30% less than comparable lead-based projectiles, shooters experience noticeably less recoil (even though velocities are higher). Third, the composite matrix bullet has low-ricochet properties. When these bullets strike metal, they are designed to disintegrate (into a powder), rather than ricochet. This makes them well-suited for indoor use, or use with metal plates.

Shooting Wire Editor Jim Shepherd reports that ARX ammo delivers on its low-recoil promise: “Having spent time testing the PolyCase ammunition (largely in Ruger firearms), I know the reduction in felt recoil isn’t just hype. While firing PolyCase ARX ammunition in calibers ranging from .380 in small concealed carry pistols (including a Ruger’s LCP) up to .458 SOCOM in modern sporting rifles, the lessened felt recoil was noticeable.”

Ruger Ammunition pistol ammo PolyCase

PolyCase Molded Bullet Design Technology
For over a century most bullets have been mass-produced with a process called cold-forming. Lead and copper were shaped with brute force in punches and dies to create projectiles. While this is still a viable and effective way to produce bullets, other manufacturing methods are now available. By applying injection-molding technology, Polycase has developed a new type of bullet that has many advantages, as least for handgun applications. Bullets weigh approximately 70% as much as lead bullets with similar profiles. Lighter weight means higher velocities and less recoil. In addition, PolyCase bullets are lead-free, and low-ricochet — two qualities important for indoor and close-range training. The injection-molding process also reduces weight variations (compared to cast lead bullets), and ensures excellent concentricity. Molding also allows unique shapes that are impossible to produce with conventional bullet-making methods (see photo).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »