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January 15th, 2023

Sunday GunDay: Savage Straight-Pull Impulse Elite Precision

Savage 110 Impulse elite precision chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 300 PRC shot show tactical

This Sunday we showcase a top choice for PRS/NRL Production Division competition. Savage Arms has adapted its Impulse straight-pull action for the tactical market. Savage’s Impulse Elite Precision combines the award-winning* Savage Impulse straight-pull action with a precision MDT aluminum alloy chassis. The ability to shoot faster, with less rifle movement, is potentially a game-changer for the tactical/precision rifle competitions where stages run “on the clock” and fast follow-up shots are very important. And with a $2499.00 MSRP (for 6mm Creedmoor and .308 Win), and $2719.00 for 6.5 Creedmoor, the Impulse Elite Precision qualifies for the PRS Production Division, which is now capped at $3000 for rifle and $2500 for optic under 2023 PRS Rules (2.3.1). The 2022 PRS Production rifle max price was $2500.00.

Savage 110 Impulse elite precision chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 300 PRC shot show tactical

The Savage Impulse Elite Precision in the Field
This Savage Arms video shows an Impulse Elite Precision rifle being fired in the field, shooting off a tripod at steel targets. There are good close-ups showing the rifle being shot and cycled rapidly. Starting at 00:19, watch how quickly the operator can cycle the action in just about 1 second. If you are considering purchasing an Impulse Elite Precision, definitely watch this video:

The new Impulse Elite Precision features a straight-pull action fitted in a ACC (adjustable core competition) chassis from Modular Driven Technologies (MDT). With a full-length ARCA rail, the Impulse Elite Precision can be easily customized for individual balance preferences. You can add weight and accessories on the fore-arm easily through the ARCA mounts. And the rear section offers adjustable length of pull and cheekpiece height. The ambidextrous bolt can be fitted on either right or left sides.

Savage 110 Impulse elite precision chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 300 PRC shot show tactical
Savage 110 Impulse elite precision chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 300 PRC shot show tactical
Savage 110 Impulse elite precision chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 300 PRC shot show tactical

Savage 110 Impulse elite precision chassis rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 300 PRC shot show tacticalThis Impulse straight-pull action is bedded in an Adjustable Core Competition chassis from Modular Driven Technologies (MDT). From its full-length ARCA rail to its nitride coatings, the Impulse Elite Precision is optimized for the PRS/NRL game.

Seven Chamberings Offered for Impulse Elite Precision
The Impulse Elite Precision is offered in seven chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, .300 PRC, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua Magnum. MSRP for the rifle in 6mm Creedmoor and .308 Win (both with 26″ barrels) is $2499.00. In 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC, also with 26″ barrels, the rifle retails for $2719.00. For the bigger chamberings, .300 PRC, .300 Win Mag, and .338 LM, which have 30″ barrels, MSRP is $2799.00. Effective January 1, 2023, the max allowed price for PRS Production Class is $3000.00 (Rule 2.3.1 update).

“The Elite Precision has changed the way Savage shooters think about long-range capability,” said Jessica Treglia, Senior Brand Manager for Savage Arms. “The addition of the Impulse straight-pull action is going to add a new element of speed to an already efficient rifle. When split times are an important aspect of the competition, Impulse Elite Precision will be a game-changer.”

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Action — Overview

Savage’s Impulse series of straight-pull bolt rifles is the first American-designed and crafted straight-pull centerfire rifle. The new Impulse features an innovative Hexlock bolt-locking mechanism with six spherical bearings that move radially outward into a ring in the barrel extension, thereby locking the bolt in place. That barrel extension is held in the receiver assembly by four cross-bolts on the lower front section. Ahead of the barrel extension is a conventional recoil lug and a familiar Savage barrel nut.

Innovative Hexlock Bolt System in New Savage Impulse

When the bolt is closed, the Hexlock system holds it in place instead of conventional lugs. With the Hexlock, six (6) hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. Savage says “As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, ensuring that there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the straight pull of the bolt handle.”

Savage Impulse — Hexlock System (Bolt Locks in Barrel Extension)

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

* Hunting Version of Impulse Named 2021 Rifle of the Year — The Savage Impulse straight-pull hunting rifle won the coveted NRA American Hunter 2022 Golden Bullseye Award as Rifle of the Year. Previously, Guns & Ammo magazine editors also named Savage’s Impulse the 2021 Rifle of the Year.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
January 15th, 2023

Sand Bag Tuning for Best Results — Fill Type, Levels, Mixing

This discussion of rear bag designs and fill levels may offer some new insights for many readers. By “tuning” your rear bag you can reduce hop on shot-firing and help your rifle track better. All that can translate to better scores, particularly with large-caliber rifles.

Tuning Your Rear Sand Bags

Over the years, noted gunsmith and a Benchrest Hall-of-Fame inductee Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez has learned a few things about “tuning” rear sandbags for best performance. On his Facebook page, Speedy recently discussed how sand bag fill levels (hard vs. soft) can affect accuracy. Speedy says you don’t want to have both your front and rear sandbags filled up ultra-hard. One or the other bag needs to have some “give” to provide a shock-absorbing function (and prevent stock jump). And you want to tune your fill arrangements to match your shooting style. Free recoil shooters may need a different fill levels than bag squeezers (who a softer bag but harder ears).

SAND BAGS & HOW TO FILL THEM by Speedy Gonzalez

I was asked several times by competitors at the S.O.A. Matches and F-Class Nationals as to how I fill my sand bags for benchrest competition. Here is a copy of a reply I gave several years ago:

Back in the old days, Pat McMillan told me: “You can not have two bags filled so hard that you gun bounces on them in the process of firing round at your target, especially if you have a rig with a very flexible stock. The bags must be set up in a manner for them to absorb the initial shock of the firing pin moving forward and igniting the primer.

Then [they must] maintain their shape and absorb the second shock wave as well the rearward thrust and torque of the rifle. What happens to the rifle when this is not done? Well let me tell you. The rifles have a very bad tendency to jump and roll in the bags. This causes many of those wild, lost shots that one can’t explain.”

Here’s some Good General Advice for Bag Set-up:

1. You should not have TWO hard bags [i.e. both front AND rear] in your set-up.

2. Heavy sand magnifies these phenomena.

3. If you are a bag squeezer, pack ears hard and leave bag pliable enough to squeeze for the movement required. You may pack front bag as hard as rules permit.

4. Free recoil shooters pack both bags firm, but not so hard as to allow stock jump. Especially if you have a stock with a very flexible forearm.

5. We use play-ground sand, also know as silica sand. I sift mine to get any large impurities out then mix it with 25% to 50% with Harts parakeet gravel to the desired hardness that I am looking for. The bird gravel keeps the sand from packing itself into that solid as a brick state.

Speaking of bricks — another thing that happens when shooters employ that heavy zircon sand is the ears form a low spot under them from recoil and then tend to rock back and forth with the rifle causing many low shots to crop up. Edgewood makes an Edgewood/Speedy rear bag specially reinforced under the ears to eliminate this scenario.

Shown below are the latest SEB Bigfoot Bags. Note that the bags sit perfectly flat — there is no bulge on the bottom even though the bags are “packed to the brim with sand”.

SEB Bigfoot Rear Bag sandbag Sebastian Lambang

General Thoughts about Bag Construction and Ear Materials
I do not like the solid double-stitched leather bottoms. While this seems like a good idea, I see more shooters have problems because of them. They tend to slide around the bench and or slide with the rifle on recoil. The standard Protektor with Cordura rabbit ears and an Otto ring bag with a Cordura front would be what I would suggest to the new shooter or one of the Edgewood / Speedy rear bags, these mimic the “Donut” and feature a ring of leather around the bottom circumference that keep the bottom from rocking on the bench or ground[.]

One last note –If you use the Cordura bags, keep them sprayed with a good silicon spray or “Rain-Ex”. This keeps them from getting sticky. — Speedy

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 15th, 2023

Lapua Offers New Long Range .22 LR Ammo with Tight ES/SD

lapua super long range rimfire 22LR .22 LR ammunition ammo

lapua super long range rimfire 22LR .22 LR ammunition ammoLapua just introduced two new Long Range Rimfire ammo offerings. New for 2023, Lapua’s Super Long Range and Long Range rimfire ammunition are optimized for long range accuracy and consistency. The goal was to have extremely low extreme spread (ES) and standard deviation (SD), to yield the highest precision down range. Shooters competing in disciplines such as NRL22X and Rimfire ELR where targets are routinely placed beyond 250 yards, will benefit from Lapua’s new ultra-consistent Long Range rimfire ammo. Both the new Long Range and the Super Long Range have a 1106 FPS muzzle velocity (from 26″ barrel) and a 0.172 G1 Ballistic Coefficient.*

Introducing Lapua Super Long Range and Long Range .22 LR Ammo
Lapua’s two new .22 LR cartridges are designed for use at distances of 100 yards and beyond. The result of extensive product development and extremely advanced production processes, Lapua Super Long Range and Long Range rimfire ammunition offer ultra-consistent velocities and BC values for every shot. These new ammo types are designed for those competing in .22 LR rimfire disciplines at longer ranges. Those disciplines include: NRL22X, PRS 22, Rimfire Long Range, rimfire benchrest, and Field Target shooting. These new ammo types provide excellent performance on targets at 100 yards and beyond. With a 1106 FPS muzzle velocity, Lapua Long Range and Super Long Range provide a flat trajectory and improved wind performance. Both rimfire ammo types bring a competitive advantage with the Super Long Range offering the very best group accuracy.

Lapua states: “With a flat trajectory and improved wind performance, Lapua Super Long Range provides the very best accuracy for any top .22 LR shooter looking to beat the competition at longer distances.” The new Lapua Long Range ammo offers similar performance with the same 1106 FPS MV.

lapua super long range rimfire 22LR .22 LR ammunition ammo

lapua super long range rimfire 22LR .22 LR ammunition ammo
lapua super long range rimfire 22LR .22 LR ammunition ammo

“Lapua’s new Long Range offerings are a game-changer for shooters seeking a competitive advantage in today’s most popular rimfire disciplines”, stated Jeff Knowles, Lapua U.S. Sales Director. “Lapua’s product innovation and manufacturing capabilities are unprecedented”.

Ammo Availability: Lapua’s new Long Range rimfire offerings will soon be available at authorized Lapua retailers for delivery by the end of the first quarter of 2023. Learn more about new Lapua Long Range rimfire ammunition at

About Lapua: For 100 years, Lapua has been producing the highest-quality small caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Lapua is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products.

*Ballistic coefficients are calculated by Quick Target Unlimited Lapua Edition from V0 to V75 BC. G1 BC for all rimfire .22 LR bullets = 0.172.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 2 Comments »