August 8th, 2009

New FN TSR XP — Great Deer Rifle in "Tactical" Guise

Tactical, Smacktical. FNH USA is trumpeting the “tacticality” of its new FN TSR “Tactical Sport Rifle”, but what we think they’ve created is a great hunting rifle for small deer, coyotes and other medium-sized game. The TSR comes in two versions — the TSR XP USA (.223, 7.62×39), and the TSR XP (.308 Win, .300 WSM). Both models feature a Win m70-type action with controlled feed, an olive drab Hogue over-molded stock with aluminum bedding block, and a one-piece steel MIL-STD Picatinny rail with built-in elevation. And yes, that nice rail is standard. The factory trigger adjusts from 3 to 5 pounds.

FNH TSR Tactical Sport Rifle

Compact 7.62×39 XP USA features 20″ Fluted Barrel
The smaller XP USA version, as chambered in 7.62×39, is most interesting to us. There are few other US-made bolt action rifles in this popular caliber. The XP USA features an ultra-short action and weighs 8 lbs., 11 ounces. (Why is that action based on the Model 70? Well, for starters, FNH now owns Winchester Arms and builds Model 70 actions in its South Carolina plant.) With a fluted, 1:12″ twist, hammer-forged 20″ barrel, this 7.62×39 looks to be a very handy, ergonomic, and versatile rifle.

FNH TSR Tactical Sport Rifle

We’ve used the Hogue over-molded stocks which feature a grippy, rubberized surface. Some folks don’t like the rubbery feel, but for field work, we’ve found the over-molded surface easy to hold and really secure in wet or snowy conditions. We like the idea of a very short action, combined with 5-round (7.62×39) or 6-round (.223) capacity, with hinged floorplate. We think the 7.62×39 is more than adequate for small deer. It’s hitting power rivals that of the classic 30/30, one of the most popular deer cartridges of all time.

If you prefer a bigger caliber, or detachable box magazine (DBM), you can order the medium-action TSR XP version in .308 with 4-round DBM, and either 20″ or 24″ barrel. Fitted with the longer barrel, the XP in .308 is a full pound heavier than the more compact 7.62×39 XP USA.

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