January 30th, 2016

Behold January’s Pride and Joy Rifles

pride joy blue UK 7mm WSM
Here’s a bit of Britain in blue — a 270-7mm WSM F-Classer belonging to Elwood in the UK.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your gun to the list.

1. Dasher LowBoy. CigarCop just completed a lovely 6mm Dasher in a yellow/gray laminated PR&T LowBoy stock. CigarCop did the stock inletting and finish work himself. Very nice work indeed.

pride joy low boy gray yellow Dasher
pride joy low boy gray yellow Dasher

2. Varmint Special. Here’s a handsome varminter with a beautifully-figured walnut stock. This is one of three rifles Forum Member Dan Hall posted this month.

pride joy low boy gray yellow Dasher

3. 6mm Trifecta. DixiePPC served up not one but THREE pretty rifles, all with pearlescent paint jobs. Details of the three rigs are provided below. Click the image to see a full-screen version.

pride joy blue UK 7mm WSM

Top: 6 PPC for 10.5-lb NBRSA LV Class, 1:14″, .262″-necked SS Hart Barrel chambered and fitted by Doug Pascal, Pearl Black Kelbly Stock, RB/RP Blueprint & Trued 40X Short Action (Glued) with a Doug Pascal Bolt Release. This gun is a 1994 build by Doug Pascal of Craftsmith.

Middle: 6 PPC 13.5lb NBRSA HV Class, 1:14″, .262″-necked SS straight-countour Hart Barrel, Pearl White Kelbly Stock/Aluminum Butt Plate, RB/RP Stolle Panda Action (Glued). Kelbly Double Screw Rings. 1994 Vintage Leupold/Premier BR 36X. This gun is a 1992-vintage Kelbly build for NBRSA Unlimited Class.

Bottom: 6mmBR 17-lb IBS Light Gun Class, 28″, 1:8″, .268″-necked SS Bartlein 5R Barrel tipped with a SS Harrell Spiral Muzzle Brake, Pearl Rust Orange 90s-vintage Lee Six Stock with home made Aluminum Butt Plate, RB/RP Blueprinted and Trued 1995-Vintage 700 Short Action.

4. Simple Elegance. This is Chopper Duke’s handsome 6mm PPC. It features a Remington action in a classic older-style benchrest stock. We like the flawless pale-green finish. Subtle but nice.

pride joy Remington 6PPC custom green rifle

5. (Nearly) Identical Duo. Here are a matching pair of customs from Forum member NHM16. He tells us: “I sold my two Savages I was using for F-Open, and had these two built in their place. One reason I upgraded was so I could have two (nearly) identical rifles. The nice thing about these rifles is that most everything interchanges, including the barrels.”

pride joy Savage .284 Walker Shehand Bartlein

Here Are Specs for Both Guns:
— Panda F-Class action (LRBP, no ejector, 20 MOA dovetail scope base, one action is polished, the other unpolished so I could easily tell them apart).
— PR&T LowBoy stocks with adjustable buttplates, with vents on the side and the bottom.
— Both have Bartlein 32″ 7mm, 1:8″-twist, 5R barrels, chambered in 7mm Walker (basically a .284 Shehane with the addition of a 40 degree shoulder).
— Rifles were built by Richard King (“Kings X” in Forum) in Arlington, Texas, though I did the clear coating myself.

6. First Custom. Here is Forum member Barrys’s very first custom rifle, and it’s a nice one. It features a BAT Machine VR action, Krieger #17 heavy varmint contour, chambered for the 6mmBR Norma with 0.272″ neck. The stock is a Shehane Varmint Tracker with a Walnut-color laminated Obeche stock. On top is a Sightron SIII 8-32x56mm scope in BAT Machine rings.

Shehane Tracker pride joy rifle 6mmBR 6BR Krieger barrel

7. Basic Black. David P. offered this F-TR rig: “A buddy of mine just finished up new rifle for NRA F-TR competition. This rifle is built on a Kelbly action, chambered in .308 Win with a custom, tight-neck match chamber. It’s sitting in a PR&T stock, with a Broughton 32″, 1:11″-twist 5C barrel. The rifle was chambered and built by Brian at Plainfield Precision in Shelby, NC.

pride joy F-TR Black Kelbly

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
October 14th, 2015

Compact Varmint Rig — Howa Mini Action

Howa Mini Varmint Rifle bolt action HACT trigger 2-stage .222 Rem barreled action

Looking for an affordable “Truck Gun”, or a light-weight, “carry-around” varmint rifle? Consider the Howa Mini Action series. With receiver (and bolt) that are nearly an inch shorter than regular short actions, these Mini Action rigs weigh just 5.7 pounds without optics. This makes for a nice, compact (and very shootable) varmint package.

Howa Mini Varmint Rifle bolt action HACT trigger 2-stage .222 Rem barreled action

The Howa Mini Action rifles come with 10-rd detachable box magazines and an adjustable HACT 2-stage trigger. Synthetic stocks are offered in black, OD green, and Kryptek Highlander camo colors. You can buy a complete Mini Action rifle package, including 3-9x40mm Nikko scope, for under $590.00.

Barreled Actions Available from Howa
If you are looking to build your own project rifle, you can purchase Howa Mini Barreled Actions separately. When fitted with a #1 contour lightweight barrel, the Mini Barreled action weighs just 3.77 pounds. Barreled actions are currently offered in .223 Rem and .204 Ruger chamberings. Lightweight and heavy barrels measure 20 inches, while standard barrels are 22 inches long.

Howa Mini Varmint Rifle bolt action HACT trigger 2-stage .222 Rem barreled action

Video Shows Features of Howa Mini Action Rifle:

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
January 11th, 2015

Master Gun-Maker (with CNC Mill) Builds a 22-250 Varminter

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRiflesJust another YouTube video … NOT. This video is a winner. If you want to see state-of-the-art 21st Century rifle-building, with advanced CNC milling operations, watch this clip. It shows how man and machine combine to create a fine custom rifle.

One of the best short features of its kind, this video shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the build are covered. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).

Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting.

For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.

Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
June 13th, 2014

Review of Ruger American Rifle — New Varmint Version

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.

Ruger American Rifle  RAR Predator .223 Rem 5.56

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.”

Ruger American Rifle  RAR Predator .223 Rem 5.56

CLICK HERE To Read Full Review of Ruger American Rifle Predator

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.”

Rifle Features

  • 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.

Ruger American Rifle  RAR Predator .223 Rem 5.56

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 5 Comments »
March 26th, 2014

Recall of .22 WMR and .17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire Rifles

Ouch. The Ruger American Rimfire (RAR) rifle has only been on the market for a few months, and now some of the .22 WMR and .17 HMR versions are already being recalled. Some of these RARs left the factory without the necessary gas venting port.


CLICK HERE for Full Ruger American Rimfire Recall Notice

Reason for Recall
Ruger American Rimfire rifles chambered in .22 WMR and .17 HMR manufactured between November 17, 2013 and January 8, 2014 were manufactured without a vent hole. This hole should appear just below and behind the serial number on the left-hand side of the receiver. The hole does not serve any function during normal operation of the rifle, but is a safety feature and may help vent gas in the event of a problem such as a ruptured case head or bore obstruction. Rifles are being recalled to add the vent hole to the action.

Which Particular Rifles Are Being Recalled?
Only Ruger American Rimfire rifles chambered in .22 WMR and .17 HMR within the serial number range 830-34831 to 830-43880 are subject to the recall. If your rifle is chambered in .22 LR or falls outside this serial number range, it is not subject to the recall. If you do have a RAR chambered in .22 WMR or .17 HMR, examine the left side of the receiver, just below and behind the serial number. If there is a hole there (Figure 1), then you do not need to return the rifle. If there is no hole (Figure 2), then the rifle should be returned.

If you own a RAR chambered in .22 WMR or .17 HMR that is subject to the recall, contact Ruger. Call (603) 865-3100 or send email to: recall@ruger.com. After verifying that the recall applies to your rifle, Ruger will send out a packing container, detailed instructions, and shipping label so you can send in your rifle FREE of charge. Ruger will then retrofit your rifle and return it to you within one week of the day Ruger receives it.

For RAR owners affected by the recall, Ruger will pay all costs of shipping (both ways). Ruger will also include a free magazine, a $24.95 value, when Ruger returns the rifle. Connecticut residents will receive a ShopRuger.com gift certificate in lieu of the magazine.

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March 11th, 2014

Great Review of Straight-Pull Anschutz 1727 by Steven Boelter

If you like sweet-shooting .17 HMR rimfire rifles, and appreciate fine German engineering, then you’ll love the Anschutz model 1727. Rarely seen on American shores, this is the only varmint rifle in the world using the super-fast, straight-pull Fortner action. Developed for Olympic Biathlon competitions, the Fortner action can be cycled in the blink of an eye. Just pull back the side-lever with your forefinger and then snick the bolt back with your thumb. This slick-cycling action has been used for many years in biathlon rifles, but the model 1727 is the first example of a Fortner varminter.

Our friend Steven Boelter, author of the Rifleman’s Guide to Rimfire Ammunition, has been able to test the Anschutz model 1727 extensively, both from the bench and in the field. Steven has published an outstanding online review of the model 1727, lavishly illustrated with great photos that show all the details of this unique firearm. We strongly recommend you visit Boelter’s Rimfire Research & Development Website (RRDVegas.com) and read his Anschutz 1727 Review.

Click Photo to Read Anschutz 1727 Review by Steven Boelter
Anschutz model 1727 17 HMR varmint rifle

After bench-testing the model 1727 for accuracy, and then using it on a ground squirrel safari, Boelter came away hugely impressed with this unique .17 HMR rifle:

The 1727 is truly a masterpiece; there really is no other way to look at it. I can’t think of any other rimfire action which remotely comes close in design or function, and executed at this level of precision.

The 1727 combines the accuracy of a single-shot match rifle, provides the convenience of a four-shot repeater, and cycles with nearly the speed of a semi-auto without fear of a dreaded case failure or “Ka-boom”. There’s really nothing else to say about the rifle. With virtually no short-comings in design or function, superb field performance and overall accuracy, it’s to be considered a 10 out of 10.

The only downside, Boelter explains, is the price: “The rifle alone has a suggested retail price of $3,500. When you add a nice set of Talley rings and bases along with a sharp Leupold scope, you’re approaching $5,000 USD. It’s completely out of reach for the majority of varmint hunters, and that is a shame.”

Anschutz 1727 Video Review from Australia. Amazing 50-yd accuracy at 12:00 time-mark.

Story tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 6 Comments »
January 9th, 2014

Building a Great Varmint Rifle

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRiflesHere’s a great YouTube video that shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).

Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting. This is one of the best short videos of its kind on YouTube.

For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.

Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 7 Comments »
January 15th, 2013

New Anschutz 17 HMR Hunter with Straight-Pull Fortner Action

After shooting the new Anschutz model 1727 hunter, three simple words came to mind: “I want one”. This slick little rifle was this editor’s favorite new firearm at the 2013 Media Day at the range. At first glance, it’s just a simple hunting rifle with a European-style walnut stock. But a close look reveals something very special. This little sporting rifle, chambered in 17 HMR, features an advanced, straight-pull Fortner action. This is the same action design found on Anschutz’s top of the line $5000+ Biathlon Rifles. This new model 1727 was revealed for the first time in the world at Media Day.

The nickel-plated action is very smooth and easy to operate. You can flick the action open and closed with a quick movement of thumb and fore-finger (or you can use index finger alone). The adjustable trigger is light and smooth — as you would expect on an Anschutz. This trigger is light years ahead of what you’ll find on a typical factory varmint rifle — it’s that good.

While visiting the Anschutz booth at Media Day, we got to meet young Max Anschutz, who represents the sixth generation of rifle makers in the Anschutz family. Max demo’d the new model 1727 for us and then gave a “shout-out” (in both English and German) to fans of his family’s rifles on both sides of the Atlantic. For this editor, it was interesting to meet this young man as I have now interviewed Dieter Anschutz, his son Jochen, and now Dieter’s grandson, Max.

Watch Straight-Pull Anschutz 17HMR Rifle in Video

The new model 1727 should be available in the USA by mid-April. In the video, the Anschutz rep says the rifle would cost “around $2,000.00″. However, it appears he didn’t convert to U.S. currency correctly. Expect the actual price in the USA to be $3800.00 or higher. Initially, the model 1727 will be released in 17 HMR only. However, Anschutz reps stated that, sometime down the road, Anschutz might produce versions of this gun chambered for the 17 Hornet or new 17 Win Super Mag.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 12 Comments »
January 28th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: McMillan’s New A3 Sporter Stock

McMillan unveiled a new stock that should appeal to readers who like McMillan tactical stocks but want something with greater versatility for sitting, kneeling, and standing shots. The new McMillan A3 Sporter combines the popular features of the A3 tactical stock with a redesigned fore-arm, plus a buttstock with more drop at the rear. For a tactical shooter, the feel of the handgrip and comb will be familiar. However, the buttstock will fit the shoulder better when standing. Also a flared beavertail has been added along the fore-end to provide more secure placement for your front hand.

McMillan A3 Stock, Cloud Peak Gunworks
Photo Courtesy Cloud Peak Gunworks. Custom Hydro-Dip Finish.

McMillan’s Dick Davis explained: “Our tactical stocks — the A2, A3, A4, A5 — are designed as prone stocks. The comb is very high and very straight, and they have very little drop at heel. They’re made to shoot when laying down on the ground. They don’t shoot well standing up offhand as a hunting stock”. Davis added: “The tactical shooters have been bugging [us] for years for a hunting stock they can shoot offhand”. For its new A3 Sporter, McMillan has modified the butt and the fore-arm to create a better platform for hunters. Now, Davis says: “We have a good off-hand stock with a vertical, tactical-style pistol grip that the tactical guys are used to shooting”.

YouTube Preview Image

Benchrest Stocks — Good for Varminters As Well
In addition to the A3 Sporter, Dick Davis explained some of the differences between the older style McMillan Benchrest stock design, and the more modern Edge stock. Both stocks can work very well in a competitive benchrest gun, but they can also function very well for a varmint rifle shot from a front sandbag or pedestal rest. For a varmint gun, we actually really like the older benchrest stock. It has a comfortable hand grip and the round toe on the buttstock works well for bag-squeezers. Davis confirmed that this stock is quite popular with varminters: “Over 1/3 of McMillan benchrest stocks are used in field varmint rifles”. Shown below is the original McMillan benchrest stock.

McMillan classic Benchrest Stock

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
May 30th, 2008

Rare Tikka 595 with Select Wood on Auction Arms

Most of the Tikka 595s that made it to the States came with a synthetic stock or rather ordinary wood stock. Right now, on Auction Arms, there’s a very clean Tikka 595 with a really nice stock in highly-figured walnut with contrasting forearm tip. Chambered in 22-250, it’s a very handsome rifle, and the 595 action is slick and strong. We’re hoping one of our regular readers snags this gem. Current bid price is $625.00. Forum member Fireball tells us the Tikka 595 22-250 magazines will also feed 6BR and 22BR cartridges well if you plan to re-barrel this rifle and chamber a different cartridge. We’d just shoot it “as is”, at least until the barrel wore out.

Tikka 595 Walnut

Tikka 595 Walnut

Tikka 595 Walnut

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »