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March 25th, 2014

1000-Yard Shooting with Surgeon Scalpel .243 Win

Forum member Stan from Northern California (aka BigBamBoo) has produced a cool video showing a 1000-yard shooting session with his Surgeon Rifles .243 Win. As he shot prone from bipod, Stan filmed with two cameras, one aimed at the shooter and the other zoomed way out at the target 1000 yards away. Using frame in frame editing, Stan combined the two camera viewpoints so you can watch his trigger-pulling and simultaneously see what’s happening downrange. Stan hits steel five times in a row.

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Surgeon RiflesIf you listen carefully, you can hear the steel ring about three seconds after each shot (it takes that long for the sound to travel back). On a couple shots you’ll see dust kick up at the side of the target — but that’s not a miss. Remember his bullet is impacting on steel and what you’re seeing is dust kicked up on ricochet by a bullet fragment.

The main purpose of Stan’s shooting session was to evaluate a new Badger FTE muzzle brake. Watch the video and you can see that the big brake dramatically reduces both rearward movement and bipod hop. Stan was very happy with the brake’s effectiveness, as it allows him to keep his scope on target, and cycle quickly for the next shot. Stan reports: “Just keep an eye on the rifle. Watch the recoil — it’s greatly reduced with the muzzle brake. Makes spotting my shots very easy.”

LOAD: Lapua .243 Winchester brass, Sierra 107gr MatchKings, Wolf LR primers, 40.1 grains of H4350 powder.

Stan posts: “I recently sent my Surgeon Scalpel in .243 back to Surgeon to have a Badger FTE muzzle brake installed. Got a chance between rain storms to get to the range and do some shooting. As you can hear in the video…the wind was blowing pretty hard. But that just adds to the fun of shooting at long range. Turn up the volume and you should be able to hear the five hits on steel. If you set the playback resolution to 480p or better and go ‘full screen’, you should be able to see most of the hits.”

Why is the Sound of the Hit Delayed So Long?
The speed of sound at sea level, in dry 59° air, is 1116 fps. With the steel target 3000 feet (1000 yards) away, it takes 3000/1116 or 2.69 seconds for the sound of each hit to reach the shooter.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 22 Comments »
January 21st, 2014

New Armalite and Surgeon Rifles from Strategic Armory Corps

In a relatively short time, Strategic Armory Corps, LLC (SAC) has become a major player in the American firearms business. SAC has acquired three highly respected firearms manufacturers: Armalite, Surgeon Rifles, and most recently, McMillan Firearms. All three companies have been industry leaders in their market segments.

At SHOT Show 2014, the “Product Spotlight Team” visited the SAC booth. The video below features new rifles from SAC’s Armalite and Surgeon divisions. First up is the new, short-action Armalite AR-31, a .308 Win tactical rifle that borrows important design features from its big brother, the Armalite AR-30A1 (which is offered in .300 WM and .338 Lapua Magnum).

Armalite AR31 AR-31 .308 Winchester

Surgeon’s New CSR and PSR Rifles on Accuracy Int’l Chassis Systems
At SHOT Show, Surgeon showcased new modular rifles built on Accuracy Int’l Chassis systems. The CSR (Concealable Sniper Rifle) is a .308 Win built with a Surgeon 591 action. The CSR is featured in the video above. Surgeon’s PSR is a .338 Lapua Magnum built around Surgeon’s beefy XL action.

Armalite AR31 AR-31 .308 Winchester

Armalite AR31 AR-31 .308 Winchester

Permalink - Videos, New Product 1 Comment »
November 27th, 2013

Strategic Armory Corps Acquires McMillan Firearms Mfg., LLC

McMillan will still be making stocks and other components. However, it is selling off its gun-building business. Strategic Armory Corps (SAC) announced it has acquired McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, LLC. McMillan produces quality hunting and tactical rifles including the highly-regarded TAC-50, TAC-416, TAC-308, TAC-300/338, and the new Alias modular rifle system. McMillan produces a full line of hunting rifles, including the Custom Collection, Mountain Extreme Series, and Long Range Hunting Series. McMillan also builds competition and target rifles.

McMillan Firearms Mfg acquired by Strategic Arms Corps

McMillan Firearms Mfg acquired by Strategic Arms Corps

The McMillan Firearms acquisition carries out Strategic Armory Corps’ strategy of acquiring premium firearms manufacturing companies (SAC has previously purchased ArmaLite Inc. and Surgeon Rifles). “The acquisition of McMillan Firearms is consistent with our focus on acquiring the highest quality manufacturers of premium firearms,” said Mark Johnson, Strategic Armory Corps CEO. “This transaction provides the perfect product line complement to the ArmaLite and Surgeon Rifles product lines and will allow us to more effectively serve the needs of the custom bolt action rifle enthusiast.”

Kelly McMillan stated, “Both Ryan and I will continue on as long term consultants with McMillan Firearms. We are proud of our heritage and are confident that Strategic Armory Corps will continue to build the highest quality firearms for our valued customers”.

Strategic Armory Corps is based in Phoenix, Arizona and is a fast-growing firearms and ammunition company that serves the needs of the high end firearms enthusiast. In July of 2013, the company acquired ArmaLite, Inc. one of the oldest names in the AR-style sporting rifle segment of the industry.

Story lead from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, News 1 Comment »
September 3rd, 2011

Surgeon Rifles Sold to Strategic Armory Corps

Surgeon RiflesSurgeon Rifles, the successful action and rifle manufacturer based in Prague, Oklahoma, has been sold to Strategic Armory Corps. The transaction closed on August 19, 2011.

“Both entities worked hard to construct a deal that would be beneficial to both parties and maintain the sterling reputation of Surgeon Rifles,” said Terry Mackin of Generational Equity, a mergers and acquisitions company that brokered the sale. “Surgeon Rifles was an excellent acquisition for Strategic Armory Corps,” added Generational Equity President Ryan Binkley. “Being able to capitalize on Surgeon’s reputation and services truly presents Strategic Armory with a competitive edge in the arms manufacturing industry.”

Preston Pritchett founded Surgeon Rifles near Prague, Oklahoma. Based on input from fellow shooters and friends, Surgeon Rifles manufactures a variety of the highest quality rifles, actions and other accessories for custom hunting and tactical rifle enthusiasts. All Surgeon Rifles and actions are built using the latest and most innovative equipment to ensure quality control and maintain specifications. Pritchett will remain with the Company and assist Strategic Armory in the expansion of its other products and services.

Surgeon Rifles: A Success Story Based on Commitment to Quality

Surgeon RiflesThe story of Surgeon is one of hard work, dedication, and commitment to quality. Surgeon was one of the very first sponsors of this website. This Editor recalls when, some six years ago, Surgeon founder Preston Pritchett called us on the phone and said: “I’ve been building some high quality new actions, and I need to get the word out… can you help?” Well over the next few years, Preston built his company into one of the elite manufacturers of custom actions and tactical rifles. Not willing to just build copies of factory actions, Preston “improved the breed” by including integral recoil lugs and Picatinny scope rails along with other innovative features.

Using state-of-the-art CNC manufacturing technologies, Surgeon actions are built to exacting tolerances, yet they are rugged and “dead nuts” reliable in adverse conditions. We are proud of what Preston and Surgeon Rifles has accomplished in such a short time. Surgeon actions have earned an enviable reputation for outstanding reliability, accuracy, and long-term durability. With Preston continuing as part of the Strategic Armory team, we’re confident that Surgeon Rifles will continue to produce outstanding products.

Surgeon 1581 actions

The 1581 XL Action, at 1.450” wide X 9.5” long, is the largest of the Surgeon line of actions. It features a full-length 30 MOA integral 1913 Picatinny rail, a huge .450″ integral recoil lug, and a large 1-1/8” X 16 tenon thread, which requires the use of a 1.350” diameter barrel.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
April 20th, 2011

Match Report: 2011 Sniper’s Hide Cup in Texas

The 2011 Snipers’ Hide Cup took place from April 7 to 9 at the Rifles Only facility in Kingsville, Texas. The popular three-day tactical competition, organized by, featured a rich prize table with thousands of dollars worth of scopes and tactical gear. The match drew 63 of the nation’s best tactical marksmen in the civilian, law enforcement and military communities. The multi-stage event places competitors in a number of tactical scenarios with shooting out to 1000 yards. The vast majority of the shooting is done with rifles, but there is some pistol action also. This year, the match format involved “a lot of run and gun, positional, and movers”. The wind played a major role this year, exceeding 24 mph on some stages.

Sniper's Hide Cup

CLICK HERE for More Photos from 2011 Snipers’ Hide Cup

Top Two Finishers Use 6.5 Creedmoor
The overall match winner was Geordie Richardson of Weatherford, TX (via Australia), with a score of 1385/2300. Geordie shot well on nearly every stage, staying in the top three throughout the competition. One fellow competitor remarked: “I was two spots down from [Richardson] and watched the magic happening. He couldn’t miss.” Geordie’s match-winning rifle was a Surgeon Rifles Scapel chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor in a Sentinel stock with Atlas bipod. On top was a S&B 5-25x56mm with Gen2 XR reticle. Geordie shot Hornady factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, as did runner-up Tate Moots, as well as the fourth place and seventh place finishers.

Sniper's Hide Cup

Charles “Tate” Moots (Team FNH) took second place overall with a score of 1305/2300 points. Moots used a FN SPR A5M bolt-action rifle, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and topped with a Leupold 6.5×20 ERT scope. Finishing third was John Sommers, fourth was Rob Ormond, and taking fifth was George Gardner of GA Precision.

Sniper's Hide Cup

Match runner-up Moots was top finisher in the exciting Helicopter Stage, which required each competitor to engage a ground target from a flying helicopter with an FN SCAR 17S, and upon landing exit the aircraft and fire a five shot group with their precision rifle. Shown below is a helicopter stage from the 2010 Snipers’ Hide Cup. (Turn sound volume down at work.)

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
January 22nd, 2011

SHOT Show Report: New Tactical Rigs from Surgeon Rifles, G.A. Precision, and Remington

For the past few years, tactical rifles have been a hot item at SHOT Show. While in the past ARs and AR variants grabbed the headlines, this year, tactical bolt-guns enjoyed the spotlight, with many manufacturers showcasing new tactical rigs built on modular stocks. The user-configurable chassis systems on these rifles provide myriad mounting options for scopes and accessories. Here are new offerings from Surgeon Rifles, G.A. Precision, and Remington.


Accuracy Int'l AX338At the Surgeon Rifles booth, Preston Pritchett (Surgeon’s owner), displayed an impressive rifle built on the all-new Accuracy International AX folding-stock chassis. The AX is completely different than previous AI chassis designs. Preston told us that only 11 of these AI AX modular stocks have been manufactured so far, and he received this example just two days before SHOT show. He immediately installed a Surgeon action and barrel — but the display rifle has not even been shot — that’s how new this design is. The AX chassis features an adjustable folding stock, and a forearm slotted for rails on all SIX sides.

There is a nice over-molded, polymer gripping piece forward of the magwell. The pistol grip is nicely designed — comfortable to hold. The hexagonal AX forearm, with slots for rail-attachment, is slimmer than the handguards found on some other “black rifles” which have multiple, heavy full-length rails permanently attached to the fore-arm. Having non-removable full-length rails really is overkill. The AI AX chassis lets you mount accessory rails on six surfaces if you really need that capacity. But otherwise, you can leave the rails off. We like that flexibility. When not in use, rails are just extra weight. These new-generation tactical rifles are heavy enough as it is.

April ETA for Complete AX-Chassis Rifles from Surgeon
So when can you get one, and how much will it cost? Preston expects to have chassis units ready for builds in “about two and a half months”. The AI AX chassis system will cost $1299.00 by itself. For a complete AX-equipped Surgeon custom rifle, in addition to the chassis cost, add the price of a Surgeon action ($1295.00 MSRP), a custom barrel, and chambering. That’ll put you close to $3200.00, depending on barrel and action choice.

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AX338 from Accuracy International
If you want to buy a turn-key factory rifle using the new AX chassis, Accuracy Int’l now produces the AX338, shown below. This features an Accuracy Int’l action fitted in the new AX chassis. Right now the AI-built gun is available ONLY in .338 Lapua Magnum. AI’s complete AX338, produced in the UK, will cost thousands more than a rifle built by Surgeon on the AX chassis.

Accuracy Int'l AX338

Download Accuracy Int’l AX338 Brochure PDF

G.A. Precision

G.A. Precision G.A.P.’s New Sabre-Stocked Rifle
Our friend George Gardner of G.A. Precision (G.A.P.) showed off his latest and greatest rifle for tac comps. The gun features a G.A.P. Templar action in the new Ashbury Int’l Sabre Chassis. The Sabre chassis has lots of trick parts to reduce overall weight. For example, the handguard is made from super-light carbon fiber. The central chassis (holding the action), is made from aluminum and there are many ultra-light titanium components.

GAP’s prototype rifle was chambered in .260 Rem, but other chamberings, including .308 Win, will be offered in the future. We were impressed with the Ashbury Int’l design — some smart thinking went into weight reduction. It is not brutally heavy like some other metal-stocked tactical rifles. We like that fact that the Sabre comes in two versions, the simple “Mod 0″ with minimal rails, and the “Mod 1″ for those guys who need to attach a full set of accessories.

Ashbury Int'l Sabre Chassis

George also showed us one of G.A.P.’s semi-automatic AR10s. These have shown outstanding accuracy, frequently delivering 1/2-MOA or smaller three-shot groups with premium factory ammo. While George still recommends that novice tactical shooters employ a bolt-gun, he remarked that a semi-auto can be very effective in timed, “target-rich” tactical matches.

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Remington Police/Military

Remington Shows Off New M24E1
Remington displayed its new XM2010 — the winner of the contract to replace the U.S. Army’s M24 Sniper Rifle. The gun, designated the M24E1, offers all the features the Army wanted… but it is a beast. The Army’s new M24E1 sniper rifle will share the Rem 700 long action (receiver) and trigger from the currently-fielded M24, but little else. (The Army specifically required that the M24E1 be built around the same 700 series long action and fire control system.) The M24E1 is considered a “total conversion upgrade”, by which the barrel, stock, magazines, muzzlebrake, suppressor, and even the optics will be changed. The M24E1 will carry a 6.5-20×50 variable power Leupold scope with a first focal plane (FFP) reticle that includes .300 Win Magnum bullet-drop compensation markings.

Remington m24e1

Accuracy Int'l AX338

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Leupold MK 4 ERT M24E1New Leupold Scope for M24E1
A key component of the M24E1 system is the new 6.5-20x50mm Leupold Mark 4 Extended Range/Tactical (ER/T) M5 riflescope (34mm locking version). This scope features First Focal Plane (FFP) Horus ranging reticles (H27 or H58), side parallax adjustment, and a beefy 34mm maintube.

Other notable features of the new ER/T include M5 windage and elevation adjustment dials with audible, tactile 1/10 (0.1) milrad clicks to match the mil-based Horus reticles. An elevation zero-stop helps prevent under-rotation in high-stress situations. The eyepiece offers long eye relief and it employs a “lockable” fast-focus design to ensure that the reticle remains in sharp focus. The scope has an auto-locking elevation adjustment.

Remington MSR Sniper Rifle on Display
At SHOT Show, Remington also showcased its new Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR), Remington’s entry into the competition for the new SOCOM Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR). Remington’s MSR competes directly with Barrett’s new MRAD, profiled earlier this week in the Daily Bulletin. The MSR features a beefy new titanium receiver with the ability to handle multiple chamberings up to .338 Lapua Magnum. The MSR was designed from the ground up as a switch-barrel rig, with a floating handguard, and folding, adjustable buttstock. The whole system is modular. By exchanging bolt-face, barrel, and magazine, the gun can switch from .308 Win (7.62×51), to 300 Win Mag, to .338 Norma Mag, and to .338 Lapua Mag.

Remington MSR

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
October 1st, 2010

Third Annual 4R Rifle Club’s Team Hunting Challenge

4R Hunter ChallengeThe 4R Rifle Club’s Team Hunting Challenge is one of the only matches in the country to mimic a long range hunting scenario. The match is held in central Oklahoma and has evolved over the last thee years to challenge not only the competitors’ marksmanship but also their ability to handle stress in the field.

A strict time limit puts pressure on the two-man shooter/spotter teams. In the 13-minute alloted time, the shooters attempt to find and range 12 wooden animal silhouettes and then score hits on the steel vital areas.

Shooters and spotters must work together and communicate well to get through all the targets in the given time. Plus, this year a Speed Shoot was added to the Hunting Challenge. This timed stage gave teams just 40 seconds to engage five (5) known-distance targets with one shot each. That works out to just 8 seconds per target, requiring the trigger pullers to be ultra-fast, AND accurate.

Surgeon Rifles Duo Tops Field
The Hunting Challenge was well-attended, with competitors coming from Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah, to join the usual group of shooters from Oklahoma and Texas. Small targets, improvised shooting positions, and constantly-switching winds made this a tough event, demanding high levels of skill and rifle accuracy. Preston Pritchett of Surgeon Rifles and his ace spotter Wade Stuteville came out on top with 65 out of 89 points. Preston and Wade put on a clinic, beating the second-place team, Dean Morris and Rick Jensen, by 15 points (equivalent to five first round hits). Finishing third was the team of Jeff Badly and Chase Tressler.

4R Hunter Challenge

Hunting Challenge Teams Snag $30K Worth of Gear
This year’s Hunting Challenge prize table held over $30,000 worth of merchandise. Preston and Wade were each awarded a fully-outfitted Savage 10 Precision Carbine rifle, complete with Harris bipod, and 3.5-15x50mm NightForce NXS scope. Dean and Rick each took home a Vortex Razor HD rifle scope with rings. Two Swarovski SLC HD 10×42 binos were handed out to the third-place team. There were prizes for 24 of the 30 teams and the top 15 teams received a prize with a value that equaled or exceeded the $400 match entry fee. Full results, photos, and a sponsor list are posted on the Snipers’ Hide Forum.

Credit B.J. Bailey for this match report and photos.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
July 2nd, 2010

Fierce Competition at Oklahoma Spring Balloon Shoot

Balloon Shoot OKOn June 19, the 4R Rifle Club in Alex, Oklahoma hosted its Spring Balloon Shoot. This challenging “fun shoot” drew nearly 50 competitors from five states. In this multi-yardage event, shooters try to break four balloons, one each at 100, 250, 400, and 500 yards. A total of 18 rounds were allowed. The balloons were worth 10, 20, 30, and 45 points respectively. Shooters attacked the balloons in 12 relays. Even with challenging winds, some impressive scores were fired. When the smoke cleared and all the competitors had tried their luck, only two had perfect scores of 420. Jim Fowler turned in a pair of 410s to win the Two-Gun award, youth winner Dalton Ernst shot a 390, and factory gun champ Don Johnson managed a 365 with his Savage 6BR.

Exciting Shoot-off Decides Match Winner
The top six shooters of the day returned to the bench with clean scorecards for the Shoot-off. They would repeat the same course as earlier in the day — one balloon each at 100, 250, 400, and 500 yards, with 18 rounds. Two competitors, Don Johnson and Rick Jensen, emerged from the Shoot-off tied, having both shot clean scores of 420. The balloons were set up again, only this time, Don and Rick were allowed just 8 rounds. Hard choices had to be made. Both men elected to start at 400 yards, breaking all four balloons before moving to 500, where both Don and Rick broke three. As a final tie-breaker, each man fired a single shot at a distance of 300 yards. When the targets were retrieved, Don Johnson prevailed as the Overall Champion, with Rick Jensen in second. Don was shooting a .243 Win, while Rick had a .284 Win; both guns featured Surgeon actions. Finishing 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively were: Shane Herman, Jim Fowler (2-Gun Champ), and Arthur McMeans.

Balloon Shoot OK
Top Ten Shooters’ Equipment List (in alphabetical order)
Balloon Shoot OK

Match organizers offer special thanks to the many match sponsors who filled a rich prize table, and thanks to the Reeves family for hosting yet another great match at the 4R Rifle Club.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »