This image shows a barrel in the process of hammer forging. Watch this operation starting at 1:15 in the video linked below.
You have probably heard the term “hammer-forged barrel”. But do you know how the cold hammer-forging process works? In this interesting video from Ruger, you can see the full barrel making process, including cold hammer-forging on a massive machine. Watch long rods of steel barrel material get cut to length, then drilled. After that Ruger uses CNC machines to contour the barrels before hammer forging.
Anyone with an interest in barrel-making should watch this video:
As the barrel is cold hammer-forged, a giant machine literally pounds the barrel from all sides around an internal carbide mandrel, which forms the rifling inside the bore. The actual hammer-forging is illustrated starting at 1:15 in this video. Through the process of cold-working the barrel around the mandrel, the barrel ends up with a longer length, a smaller outside diameter, and a higher hardness.
Before hammer forging, the barrels are deep-hole drilled, four at a time, with a bit that is slightly larger diameter than the caliber planned for the barrel.
Following the drilling, the barrel rod is placed in CNC machines to be turned down to the correct outside shape and size and both ends are trimmed.
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Story based on report in the Midsouth Shot Report Blog, MSSBlog.com.
Ruger (aka Sturm, Ruger & Co.) has just announced the new, full-size Ruger American Pistol (RAP), available in 9mm Luger and .45 ACP. The new RAP handgun is an well-thought-out, ergonomic design with many advanced features. Yet this new handgun is very affordable — both 9mm and .45 ACP models list for $579.00 MSRP. (Guns should be available at retailers very soon, with “street price” around $530.)
The new Ruger American Pistol features a pre-tensioned striker system, which allows for a short takeup trigger with positive reset.
The Ruger American Pistol is built on a one-piece, stainless-steel chassis with integral frame rails. It features a stainless slide with black-nitrided finish, Novak LoMount Carry three-dot sights, and a one-piece, glass-filled nylon grip frame with interchangeable backstraps. Up front is a mil-standard 1913 rail. Controls are fully ambidextrous. Importantly, unlike the Glock, you can field strip the Ruger American Pistol without pulling the trigger.
“The Ruger American Pistol is the most advanced semi-auto pistol we have ever produced,” noted Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. See other comments from Ruger’s CEO in this NRA-produced Video:
Ruger CEO Demonstrates New Ruger American Pistol:
The 9mm weighs in at 30 ounces with a 4.2-inch barrel and the .45 weighs in at 31.5 ounces with a 4.50-inch barrel. Both ship in a hard case with replaceable grip modules and two, nickel-Teflon plated steel magazines. Capacities are 17+1 rounds for 9mm and 10+1 rounds for .45 Auto. (There is also a 10-round version of the 9mm for states which restrict magazine capacity).
While developing RAP prototypes, Ruger polled law enforcement and military trainers throughout the country. Based on feedback from these LEO/military trainers, Ruger’s engineers worked to tame perceived recoil and reduce muzzle flip. The new pistol employs a barrel cam to spread recoil over time, a low-mass slide, and a low bore axis. All these elements work together to control muzzle rise and lessen felt recoil. The trigger is pretty smooth reports one early tester, who measured pull weight at just under six (6) pounds.
Ruger American Pistol Quick Review
One of the nice features of the Ruger American Pistol is the modular grip system. Three interchangeable wrap-around backstraps allow the RAP to fit a wide range of hand sizes.
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At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain Selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
2. Southern Shooters — 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire Rifle
With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for Prairie Dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for under $250.00. That’s right, Southern Shooters is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire, with 22″ barrel, for just $244.21. FFL required. For other vendors with this rifle, CLICK HERE.
3. Bruno’s — 5% Off In-Stock Inventory and FREE Shipping
Here’s an awesome end-of-year special from Bruno Shooters Supply. Right now, Bruno’s is offering 5% off nearly all in-stock items. On top of that, through the end of the year you can get FREE ground shipping in the mainland US (Hazmat charges still apply). If you need hardware (barrels, stocks, actions), optics (scopes, LRFs, spotters), or reloading supplies (powder, primers, bullets, brass), you can find it at Bruno’s.
4. Midsouth — Hornady L-N-L Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser
The RCBS ChargeMaster is more widely used than the Hornady Auto Charge, but the Hornady unit works fine and is quite a bit more affordable. Now, with this Midsouth special, you can grab an Auto Charge for less than HALF what an RCBS ChargeMaster costs these days. That’s a bargain in our book.
5. Bullets.com — Handgun Safe $49.95
This pistol safe keeps your handguns secure while still permitting instant “push-button” access. The three-button lock can be personalized with 3- to 8-digit codes, and there is a key override. This safe will hold two (2) full-sized pistols and can also store passports, cash, or other valuables. The spring-loaded door gives you near-instant response. The all-steel case also includes mounting holes for fixing the safe to floor or shelf.
6. Sinclair International — Last Chance for 2015 RCBS Rebates
Get $50 back on $300 through December 31, 2015. Customers who purchase $50 of RCBS tools and accessories can receive a $10 rebate, or those who buy $300 in RCBS products will receive a $50.00 rebate. All RCBS products qualify for this rebate program. But you have to act quickly– qualifying purchases must be made before midnight on December 31, 2015. LINK: RCBS Products at Sinclair International.
6. GTD Distributors — Ruger LC9S Pro Carry Pistol $339.95
The Ruger LC9s Pro is a compact 9mm carry pistol that weighs just 17.2 ounces. It is one of Hickok 45’s favorite CCW guns, and he’s tried just about everything. The LC9s was a striker-fired upgrade of the original LC9. It has a smooth, short-travel trigger that breaks at about 5.5 pounds (compared to 8 pounds for the original LC9). This latest LC9s “Pro” model has the same enhanced trigger as the LC9s plus a simpler manual of arms. The LC9s Pro dispenses with the thumb safety and annoying magazine disconnect. LINK: Hickok 45 LC9s Pro Review.
8. Amazon — $4.95 Handgun Hangers 4-Pack
Save shelf space with these handy Handgun Hangers. These hangers provide the most efficient way to store a large handgun collection. Pistols hang below the shelf, opening up all the space above the shelf for other items. A four-pack of hangers costs just $4.95. WARNING: Before putting pistols on hangers, make sure your handguns are UNLOADED, with no round in the chamber.
9. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs (Best Seller)
Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs — they are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $39.86. These NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category. NOTE: For regular, sustained shooting we recommend muffs and/or earplugs with a higher NRR rating.
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Ruger has been on a roll lately. The Ruger Precision Rifle has been a big hit, selling out at dealers across the country. Now Ruger has unveiled its new “tactical blacK” take-down version of the 10/22 with a suppressor-ready threaded bull barrel and modular stock. Ruger has offered 10/22 take-downs before but those previous models all had relatively skinny barrels. This version is more macho, and we expect it will be very popular. It’s just the thing for tactical rimfire games. The ability of the threaded barrel to take a suppressor will be attractive to potential buyers. A suppressed .22 LR is a very, very quiet tool.
This new Ruger 10/22 Takedown with Target Barrel features a hammer-forged .920″-diameter, 16.10″-long, fluted “target” barrel. The muzzle is threaded ½”-28 and fitted with a thread cap. Those threads ain’t just for a muzzle brake — Ruger knows buyers will be attaching suppressors. This new target barrel takedown model also incorporates the Ruger Modular Stock System which offers interchangeable low and high comb modules.
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown with Target Barrel is lightweight and compact. Weight (before optics) is just 5.5 pounds. Total length, assembled, is 34.6 inches, but each sub-assembly is under 20.25 inches. The two sections (barrel assembly and action/buttstock assembly) fit in a convenient black nylon carrying case, which provides ample storage with extra pockets and mag pouches. As it employs Ruger’s standard 10/22 action and standard 10-round rotary magazine, this gun should be very reliable. We’re anxious to test one of these bull barrel Rugers to assess its accuracy. It certainly makes for a compact and portable package. Is a take-down 10/22 (with suppressor of course) the ultimate “truck gun”?
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Based on NICS data, a record number of firearms were sold on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. More background checks were recorded on Friday, November 27th, 2015 than on any day in American history. And for the 4-day period, 26-29 November (2015), a total of 368,774 NICS background checks were completed — nearly 10% more than the year before.
Black Friday 2015 Was Biggest Single Day Ever for Gun Sales
Thanks to attractive promotions from many vendors such as Brownells and Cabelas, all types of firearms flew off the shelves last week, which was the highest Black Friday period in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The FBI, which administers NICS, reports that NICS processed 185,345 transactions on November 27, Black Friday, making the day the highest Black Friday ever and the highest day in NICS history. The highest previous day was December 21, 2012 with 177,170 background checks. For the entire November 26-29, 2015 four-day Black Friday period 368,774 checks were completed, a 9.9% increase over the 335,555 checks conducted over the corresponding 2014 4-day period.
Background Checks Vs. Actual Sales
NICS statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.
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If you’re thinking about acquiring a 17 HMR rifle, you should read the 17 HMR Two-Gun Comparison in our Gun of the Week Archives. This two-gun shoot-out compares the performance of a Volquartsen 17 HMR semi-auto and a Ruger 77/17 bolt-action. Glen Robinson, the owner of both rifles, has done some serious comparison testing with both guns, trying out a half-dozen varieties of 17 HMR ammo. The overall results may surprise you. The semi-auto out-shot the bolt gun by a significant margin, with all types of ammo tested.
Comparing the Qualities of the Two 17 HMR Rifles
By Glen Robinson
While the Volquartsen proved to be the more accurate of my pair of 17 HMRs, I still enjoy owning both rifles. Each gun has its strong points and weak points.
Ruger Strong Points: From any angle, the Ruger 77/17 is a nice-looking rifle with classic lines. I like the gray-finish stainless barrel — it goes well with the gray laminated stock. With the addition of the aftermarket sear, the trigger is crisp and the bolt function is smooth. The action is strong and dependable. The conventional “open rear” action allows you to clean “normally” with a bore guide, cleaning rod, and patches/brushes. I feel I can do a better job of cleaning with the Ruger than with the boresnake on the Volquartsen.
Ruger Weak Points: Accuracy is somewhat disappointing. The best 100-yard group the Ruger has shot was about 0.82″ and the gun averages well over 1.25″ for 5 shots. In fairness, I haven’t done anything exotic in terms of bedding the action/barrel, and I would expect that an aftermarket barrel, perhaps combined with a barrel pre-load (up-pressure) pad, could improve the accuracy.
Volquartsen Strong Points: The Volquartsen is a well-made, accurate, dependable rifle. The gun cycles very reliably and requires very little maintenance. To clean it, just pull a boresnake through the bore. The gun exhibits very nice machining, and the VX-5000 stock rides steady on a front sand-bag, even though it’s only about 1.75″ wide. Even without any tweaking the trigger is very good, and the pull weight is fine for varminting.
Volquartsen Weak Points: The VX-5000 stock is not ideal for bench work — the comb is a bit too high, though I like the feel of the vertical grip. This stock profile is really more suited for silhouette shooting, but this stock seemed to be the best option offered by Volquartsen that could be used for both paper-punching and varminting. The receiver design limits your options for barrel cleaning.
Conclusion — The Volquartsen Takes the Prize
Having shot both rifles extensively, if I had to pick one gun, it would be the Volquartsen. The Volquartsen is much more accurate and it offers much faster follow-up shots. For varminting the Volquartsen would be superior, no question about it. I’m happy I bought the Volquartsen and the VX-5000 stock. It is a fun, versatile gun that lives up to the accuracy claims.
If you own a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), or are considering purchasing one, you should watch this short video from Sniper’s Hide. The Hide’s head honcho, Frank Galli (aka “LowLight”), added some upgrades to his RPR, to enhance looks and ergonomics. Frankly we think the RPR is pretty good right out of the box. Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com is seeing near-half-MOA accuracy with his “box-stock” RPR in .243 Winchester. Nonetheless we know some RPR owners will want to swap barrels or otherwise “hot rod” their rifle. Here’s how it’s done…
Video Shows New Barrel, Stock, Grip and Handguards Installed on Ruger Precision Rifle:
Galli unbolted quite a few factory parts, replacing them with proven aftermarket components. That’s one of the advantages of the RPR — it’s modular nature allows the owner to make changes with simple tools. Off came the handguards, stock, and grip. While we’ve been fairly impressed with the accuracy of some RPR factory barrels, Galli decided to fit a custom barrel, courtesy Chad Dixon of LongRifles Inc. (LRI). All totaled, the new components cost more than the original rifle. Galli figures he now has about $2400 in the gun. A new RPR (if you can find one) will run you about $1100-$1200.00.
The new barrel was a good investment, but the other items could be considered indulgences. But we like the fact that Galli demonstrated how easily the RPR can be modified by anyone with basic mechanical skills. (The Ruger’s barrel-mounting system allows you to run a “Pre-fit” barrel with headspace set by clamping nuts.) CLICK HERE for details of the build.
New Components for LowLight’s Ruger Precision Rifle
Magpul MOE Grip
Magpul PRS Stock
Seekins Precision “Triangle” Handguards
LongRifles Inc. (LRI) Aluminum Bolt Shroud
Custom K&P “Pre-Fit” Barrel from LRI (chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor)
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Here’s a feel-good story about a talented young man from Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Kolby Pavlock of Kuna, Idaho, won the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held October 9-11 at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In winning the overall title (not just the junior class) Kolby out-shot many seasoned adult competitors, proving that youth and skill can in fact overcome “old age and treachery”, at least in this fun rimfire discipline. Kolby is blazing fast, as you can see in this video from the 2015 Idaho NSSF Rimfire Challenge Match. Check out the jaw-dropping speed at 1:20 time-mark.
Watch 16-year-old Kolby Pavlock in NSSF Rimfire Competition:
The 2015 Rimfire Challenge Championship was a great success. A record 200 competitors of all ages and skill levels took part. (By comparison only 150 or so shooters competed in the much-ballyhooed “NRA World Shooting Championship”). For many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.
Fun and very affordable, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge appeals to all ages and skill levels. Here are youth competitors from last year’s Championship at the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas:
NSSF took over the Rimfire Challenge in 2014, replacing Ruger as the sponsoring organization. This popular competition is growing fast — in 2015, more than 400 Rimfire Challenge events were held across the country. The matches are designed to encourage family participation in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Complete results from the world championship event will be posted at www.nssf.org/rimfire/championship.
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A while back, RifleShooter online magazine published a list of the purported Ten Best Bolt-Action Rifles of All Time. Ten classic rifle designs (including the Remington 700 and Winchester Model 70) were featured with a paragraph or two explaining their notable features.
These Top 10 lists are always controversial. While most readers might approve of half the entries, there are always some items on the Top 10 list that some readers would challenge. Here is RifleShooter’s Top 10 list. What do you think? Are there some other bolt-actions that are more deserving?
1. Springfield M1903
2. Mauser 98
3. Winchester Model 70
4. Remington Model 700
5. Weatherby V
6. Sako L61/AV
7. Savage Model 110
8. Ruger M77
9. Tikka T3
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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.
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.”
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).
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Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. has pledged to donate $2.00 to the NRA for each new Ruger firearm sold between the 2015 and 2016 NRA Annual Meetings, with the goal of giving $4,000,000. Ruger’s donation will benefit the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).
“We’re bringing back the One Million Gun Challenge with a twist,” said Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. “Our goal is to sell two million firearms in a 12-month period. With that, we pledge to donate not one, but two dollars to the NRA for every new firearm sold. We accomplished our goals to support the NRA in 2012, and … we believe we can do it again.”
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said, “Ruger’s 2 Million Gun Challenge is a model of good corporate citizenship in defense of American freedom. By supporting the NRA’s fight to defend the right to keep and bear arms, Ruger … advances the rights of American gun owners and hunters.”
Ruger 10/22 fans rejoice. Ruger has just released a $89.95 drop-in trigger upgrade that should fit all 10/22 rifles as well as 22 Charger pistols. The affordable trigger upgrade completely transforms the 10/22. Pull weight is reduced from a hefty 6.5 pounds to 2.5-3.0 pounds, and Ruger claims the new trigger offers a “light, crisp” break with “minimal overtravel and a positive reset.” Packaged as a self-contained module, the new BX Trigger is easy to install (no gunsmithing required).
“We have made continuous improvements to the 10/22 over the years, but the BX-Trigger is an exciting performance advancement,” said Ruger President and COO, Chris Killoy. “The BX-Trigger was designed for easy installation, superior performance, and legendary Ruger reliability.” Rugger will sell the BX-Trigger as a complete “en bloc” unit that will replace the existing trigger assembly. No additional fitting should be required. Simply install the BX-Trigger into your rifle and go shooting.
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Ernie Paull from California was an active competition shooter for many years. However, his eyesight has declined so he has turned his attention to providing components for shooters and gunsmiths. Through his Ernie the Gunsmith website, Paull sells a variety of useful products including gun trigger springs, pillar-bedding kits, Accu-Risers, and pillar installation tools. This Bulletin post focuses on Ernie’s trigger springs. Ernie offers springs for a wide variety of rifles: Browning (A-Bolt, A-Bolt 22), CZ (m452), Kimber, Remington (XR100, XCR, 7, 700, 722, 788, 7600 and more), Ruger (77, 77-22, LC6), Tikka (T-3), Weatherby (MK-V), and Winchester (M-70).
Springs start at just $6.95. Ernie also sells springs for the Rem-compatible Shilen Benchrest trigger, as well as Rem 700 ejector springs and trigger alignment springs. For Rem 700 rifles, Paull makes a spring that fits all Remington M-7 and M-700 triggers including the 2007-vintage X Mark-PRO trigger (but not the newer X Mark-PRO trigger introduced in 2009). Ernie says: “on average, installation of his Model-700 spring will reduce factory triggers’ weight of pull by 1½ to 2½ lbs with no other changes. The exact amount of creep, over-travel, and weight of pull are dependent upon the type and amount of tuning accomplished by your gunsmith.”
We often hear requests from Tikka T-3 owners asking how they can reduce their trigger pull weight. Paull offers a Tikka T-3 varmint trigger spring which can reduce the pull weight significantly. The photo at left shows the Tikka T-3 trigger assembly.
While there is more to a good trigger job (in most cases) than just a spring swap, you need to have the proper rate spring when adjusting trigger pull weight downwards. NOTE: For safety reasons, we recommend you consult a competent gunsmith before modifying factory triggers. We stress the word competent…
Ernie has observed that some gunsmiths try to lighten trigger pulls by modifying factory springs in questionable ways: “I have worked with gunsmiths in the past who, when the subject turned to trigger springs, preferred to clip them, grind them, heat them, bend them, smash them, or simply back out the weight of pull screw until there was no or almost no pressure on the spring. With any of these methods, you get a spring whose rate is rapidly rising as the trigger is pulled. As the trigger is released, the spring rate rapidly decreases as it approaches full or near-full extension. A more uniform weight of pull will be achieved when the trigger spring is compressed within its normal working range throughout the entire movement of the trigger. In the long run, the benefits of saved time, plus more uniform and reliable results, will more than offset the cost of these [replacement] springs. If you want a lighter trigger pull, you need a lighter trigger spring.”
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One of our favorite Ruger bolt-action rifles is now available in a caliber better suited for varmint hunting. The versatile Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, previously offered in .308 Winchester only, is now chambered in .223 Rem / 5.56 NATO. This newest version of the Gunsite Scout Rifle features a hybrid chamber that shoots both 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington. This rifle is light and compact. With a 16.1″ barrel, it weighs just 7.1 pounds without optics.
The .223 Scout Rifle is offered in both right- and left-hand versions, both with a 10-round detachable box magazine. You can choose either an all-stainless version ($1099.00 MSRP), with SS receiver and SS barrel, or a dark version ($1039.00 MSRP) with matte black alloy steel action and barrel. The bolt offers Mauser-style controlled round feed, with a lever-style safety on the rear of the bolt shroud. The rifle features a 16.1″, 1:8″-twist rate, barrel fitted with flash hider which can be removed to attach other 1/2-28 threaded barrel accessories. Interestingly, the magazine for .223/5.56 Scout Rifle is dimensionally the same as the mag for the .308 Scout Rifle. The .223/5.56 mag employs a plastic insert to feed the smaller cartridge properly.
American Rifleman Field Test of .223 Rem Scout Rifle
Adjustable Length of Pull Through Buttpad Spacers
The black laminate stock is fitted with sling swivel studs and features checkered grip and forearm. A soft rubber recoil pad with three 1/2″ spacers allows the length of pull (LOP) to be adjusted.
Ruger Scout Rifles feature a Mini-14-style protected, non-glare, post front sight and receiver-mounted, adjustable, ghost ring rear sight. The forward-mounted Picatinny rail lets you use a variety of optics including LER scout scopes that allow “both eyes open” target acquisition. Ruger provides scope rings for mounting conventional scopes on the integral M77-style mounts built into the Scout Rifle receivers.
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Hunting season is right around the corner. If you don’t own a worthy deer-hunting rig, there are many affordable options available. You can often save yourself $100.00 or more by purchasing a “turn-key” deer rifle package — a hunting rifle combo complete with rings and rifle-scope.
The American Hunter magazine website recently published a guide to affordable package hunting rigs. Jon Draper spotlights Four Off-The-Rack Deer Rifle Combos from Howa, Mossberg, Ruger, and Savage. Two of the four rigs, the Mossberg and Savage entries, come in at under $500 including scope/rings. Next up is the Ruger American Rifle, priced at $679.00 MSRP with 3-9x40mm Redfield Revolution scope.
The priciest entry is Howa’s Hunter Zeiss Walnut Package. MSRP is a not insubtantial $1103.00 for the Howa package, but this includes a premium-quality Zeiss Terra 3-9x42mm optic. The Howa also has a very nice two-stage 2.5 to 3.8-lb HACT trigger* that we prefer to the triggers on the other three, lesser-priced rifles.
To learn more, CLICK HERE to read the American Hunter Deer Rifle Combo article.
* HACT stands for Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger. Howa’s HACT assembly is a trigger and sear unit that works like a two-stage trigger. This allows the shooter to take up trigger creep before squeezing through. HACT trigger pull weight adjusts from 2.5 to 3.8 pounds. We like the lower weight for varmint rifles shot from prone or portable benches, while we prefer the heavier pull weight for a carry rifle.
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Are you a gun-loving number cruncher? Then you need to read a new Shooting Industry Magazine Report. This report, filled with reams of hard data from the past two decades, reveals the state of the gun-making industry. You may be stunned to see how firearm production has skyrocketed in the past few years. In fact, total U.S. firearm production rose to 8,872,456 units in 2012, compared to 6,351,479 in 2011. That’s a 39.7% increase. SEE MORE STATS.
U.S. Gun-Makers Set Production Records
The top three firearm manufacturers all increased production substantially in 2012 compared to 2011, setting new production records. In 2012, the #1 American gun-maker, Ruger, boosted production 48% over 2011 levels. The #2 company, Remington Arms, raised production 13% in 2012, while #3 Smith and Wesson increased production 31% in 2012 compared to the year before. What’s more, in 2012, each one of these three U.S. manufacturers built more than a million firearms. That’s an historic first according to Shooting Industry Magazine.
More Guns = Higher Demand for Ammo and Reloading Components
If you have been wondering “Where did all the powder and .22 LR ammo go?”, take a good look at the chart above. There has been an enormous boost in production in recent years. Unquestionably, many of the buyers of all those new guns are looking for ammo to shoot. This helps explain why ammo and reloading components are in short supply.
Gun Sales Are Below Record 2013 Levels, But Are Still Very High
Gun sales peaked in 2013, and there has been a slow-down in 2014. However, it does look like 2014 sales will outpace 2012. The Shooting Industry Magazine report declares: “During May 2014, NICS conducted 877,655 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks. While this was a 9.9% decrease, compared to May 2013, it was the second highest May in NICS history. More importantly, it was a 4% increase over May 2012. This trend — a decrease in background checks compared to 2013, but an increase compared to 2012 — is reflected in the early months of 2014.”
Report Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Everyone needs a few good .22 LR firearms for fun shooting, target practice, and cross-training. We found two exceptional deals right now at CDNN Sports, a large wholesaler that specializes in inventory close-outs. CDNN acquires products at low cost, so they can sell well below MSRP.
The first item that caught our eye was a nice 1911-style target pistol. These full-size, German-made GSG rimfire 1911s often sell for $400.00 or more (MSRP is $427.95). This item is currently on sale for just $279.99. Plus a $30.00 distributor’s rebate is available for purchases made through July 31, 2014 (so you’ve got a few more days to grab one for $249.99 after rebate). Because the GSG is the same size as a centerfire 1911 pistol, the GSG is great for cross-training. The GSG is also compatible with many full-size 1911 parts.
German Sport Guns (GSG) M1911 Target — Same Look And Feel As Full-Size M1911
Ruger 10/22 with Synthetic Stock or Wood Stock for $189.99
If you own a ranch or farm, or have some kids (or grand-kids) who enjoy plinking, a Ruger 10/22 should be part of your gun collection. For 50 years, the Ruger 10/22 has been America’s favorite .22 LR rifle. Durable and simple, the Ruger® 10/22® rifle is well-suited for informal target shooting, “plinking”, and eradicating small varmints. And now you can get one for under $200.00.
CDNN currently has the 10/22 with synthetic stock on sale for $189.99. Weighing just 5 pounds, this rifle features an 18.5″ barrel, 13.50″ Length Of Pull, and a 10-round rotary magazine. MSRP is MSRP $279.00, so this is a very good deal. A wood-stocked version is also offered for just $189.99.
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Victor Company USA, manufacturer of tactical “skins” for AI rifle chassis, has introduced a new tactical stock for Ruger’s popular 10/22. Victor Company’s new Titan 1022 Precision Rimfire Stock features a vertical-style grip and a wide, beavertail forearm with molded nibs for enhanced grip. In the rear, the buttstock features a cut-out for the user’s off hand with a deeper “keel” for riding the bags. This stock should work well for the Tactical Rimfire game. We also bet many varmint shooters will order these stocks — a Ruger 10/22 never looked so good. This product, set for release in July, 2014, is so new we don’t have pricing yet. Visit www.victorcompanyusa.com for more details in a week or two.
Victor Company 1022 Precision Rimfire Stock (CLICK photo for full-size image.)
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This month Ruger is introducing a new varmint version of its popular Ruger American Rifle (RAR). The RAR “Predator” model is offered in six (6) different chamberings: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. All have 22″ free-floated, medium-contour barrels except the .308 Win, which has an 18″ tube, making it a very handy truck gun.
Gun writer Ed Head got his hands on one of the new RAR Predator rifles, chambered in .223 Remington. He reviewed the Predator for the DownRange.TV blog. The reviewer liked the compact 6.62-pound rifle, which features a molded polymer stock and hammer-forged 1:8″ twist barrel. Ed Head liked the short-throw bolt, and he praised the crisp trigger. Accuracy, as tested, was not that impressive — 1.224″ on average at 100 yards. But the tester noted that some types of ammo shot much better than others. So, conceivably, with handloads, this gun could shoot well under 1 MOA. Shooting at steel targets, the tester “managed to shoot 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards, 2.5-inch groups at 200 yards, and 7-inch groups at 300 yards, all with the Lake City ammunition.”
Overall, reviewer Ed Head liked the Predator enough that he decided to purchase his test rifle: “I like this rifle and I’m going to buy it from Ruger. It will shoot ‘minute of squirrel’ at reasonable ranges and should do well on bigger critters — predators — out to 400 yards or more.”
One-piece, 3-Lug 70° bolt with full-diameter bolt body and dual cocking cams.
Integral bedding block system that positively locates the receiver.
Action comes with factory-installed aluminum Weaver-style scope rail.
Two-position safety can lock trigger (but not bolt) to allow safe unloading.
Adjustable 3.5-lb Ruger Marksman trigger with Savage-style inner safety blade.
Barrel factory-threaded at muzzle for muzzle brakes, flash hiders, and/or suppressors.
Rotary magazines with 4- or 5-round capacity (depending on caliber). These magazines are a little tough to load correctly.
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Texas-based CDNN Investments, a large vendor of firearms and accessories, regularly offers great deals on guns and shooting gear. CDNN acquires overstock and discontinued inventory from major manufacturers and then sells this merchandise at a deep discount (way below MSRP). Over the years, CDNN has also specialized in law enforcement “buy-backs”, acquiring large quantities of “previously owned” police handguns, many of which have fired very few rounds. In addition to the overstock and trade-in firearms, CDNN maintains a huge inventory of new magazines and other gun accessories.
Great Prices at CDNN on Ruger 10/22 Rifles and Ruger 22/45 Pistols
The latest CDNN 14-1 Catalog has been released, and we found some great deals on Ruger rimfire firearms. If you are looking for an inexpensive, reliable .22 LR rifle and pistol for plinking with the kids (or dispatching furry pests on the farm), here are some great deals. The Ruger 10/22 is a classic that can easily be upgraded with aftermarket stocks, barrels, optics, and even triggers.
CDNN Launches All-New, Easy-To-Navigate Webstore
For 2014, CDNN has completely updated its website. At CDNNSports.com you’ll now find a modern, secure shopping cart system, with user-friendly navigation. Up top are tabs for Firearms, Optics, Accessories, Gun Parts, Magazines, Ammunition, and Current Specials. You can search by brand or keyword, so it’s now much easier to find specific products, such as grips and magazines for particular brands of pistols.