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January 5th, 2016

Innovative Over-The-Top Phoenix Bipod Reviewed

Phoenix Bipod Vince Bottomley Target Shooter UK England Tactical

Our friend Vince Bottomley of recently reviewed the new Phoenix “over-the-top” tactical bipod. The innovative Phoenix bipod fits to a Picatinny-type rail on the TOP of a handguard. A cross-over bridge carries the legs out wide to the sides. This suspends the rifle’s weight BELOW the bipod mount for a lower perceived center of gravity. The “suspension” design really works. With this low COG system, according to Vince, the suspended rifle sort of acts like a “pendulum”, making for a steadier hold. You can rotate (cant) the rifle slightly to match the horizon line without having the rifle flop from side to side as with conventional bottom-mounted or spigot-mounted bipods.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Phoenix Bipod Review by Vince Bottomley

The Phoenix is very stable according to Vince. That comes from the wide wheelbase as well as the oversized, skid-type feet on the Phoenix. Take a look at this photo below. This shows an Atlas bipod mounted on the Lower Pic-rail, with the big Phoenix mounted forward, on the top Pic-rail. Notice the vast difference in span. The legs of the Phoenix extend out much further, for true “wide-track stability”.

Compare the Wide-Track Phoenix with the Atlas Bipod — Quite a Difference!:
Phoenix Bipod Vince Bottomley Target Shooter UK England Tactical

Vince was impressed with the Phoenix Bipod in use: “It’s just so solid…The large feet swivel to conform with the ground you’re shooting off and the two-part sliding legs will add another three inches to the height and a further four inches to the span, making 16 inches in total. At the lowest height, with the bi-pod mounted on my AX chassis top Pic-rail, the barrel is a mere six inches off the ground – lower than my Atlas, though of course I can swivel the legs forward on the Atlas to make it a similar height. The sliding leg arrangement is nicely done, offering very positive push-button ‘lock-steps’ every half an inch or so.” The Phoenix Bipod costs £220 (about $293.00 USD) including the adapter. For more information, visit

Vince Compares Phoenix with with Four Other Bipod Types
Vince’s review is well worth reading because he compares the Phoenix with a variety of other tactical bipods including the Atlas bipod, LRA bipod, Mystic Precision bipod, and the SAKO TRG-rifle accessory bipod. Vince identifies the key features a field bipod should provide and then explains how the Phoenix stacks up compared to these other designs.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 11 Comments »
January 18th, 2012

SHOT Show: Kelbly’s Atlas Custom Rifle and 40th Super Shoot

Each year, at SHOT Show, we get a chance to meet up with the Kelbly clan. Jim Kelbly and his family-run operation always have something new and interesting on display, and this year was no exception. Jim explained to us that 2012 marks the historic 40th Anniversary of the Firearms Industry Super Shoot. Jim is expecting the largest turn-out ever for the short-range benchrest event, held annually at the Kelbly Range. And Jim said that 50-60 foreign shooters may join the fun in 2012. The Super Shoot already has the highest attendance of any 100/200-yard benchrest match on the planet — even more than the World Championships. Jim said he is planning some extra surprises to help celebrate the 40th Super Shoot anniversary.

On the hardware side, Kelbly’s had some some new March scope options on display and Jim noted that Kelbly’s now produces 30mm and 34mm scope rings for both Davidson and Picatinny-type scope rails. These new rings have an improved clamping design with a floating side clamp piece providing direct lateral tension. This strong design replaces the squeezing-type ring base found on Kelbly’s older rings. This provides more positive clamping force and it also allows more repeatable tensioning.

$2,300.00 Kelbly Atlas Custom Rifle
Ian Kelbly provided the big news — Kelbly’s is now offering a “factory custom” rifle. The Kelbly Atlas Custom Rifle features a Stolle Atlas action in a bedded Bell & Carlson T-1000 stock with aluminum chassis. Each gun will feature a precision-chambered, Krieger cut-rifled barrel. (You won’t find those on other “factory customs”). You have a wide choice of chamberings including: .223 Rem, 22-250, .243 Win, .308 Win, 300 WSM and 7mm WSM. The Atlas rifles come with a crisp, Rifle Basix two-pound trigger.

kelbly atlas Krieger rifle

The good news is that this complete package — with your choice of stock finish — is just $2,300.00 complete. That’s a good price considering the quality of the components. We’ve seen other vendors asking $3,500.00 or more for rifles with “plane Jane” Remington actions and “no-name” barrels. And we were pleased to hear that you don’t have to wait a year or more for a Kelbly Atlas Custom Rifle. Kelbly’s has over two dozen rifles in stock, ready to ship right now.

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January 30th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: Kelbly's Offers New Products for 2010, including 80-power Zoom Scope

We had a chance to visit with Jim Kelbly of Kelbly’s Inc., at SHOT Show 2010. Jim had all the new March scopes on display, including the amazing 8-80x56mm long-range scope, part of March’s ground-breaking 10 times zoom range series. Jim reviewed the March line-up, explaining the many high-magnification models available for precision shooters.

YouTube Preview Image

Jim also showed us the stainless Grizzly II action and the new Atlas series of stainless actions. The Atlas actions are designed for varminters, tactical shooters, and long-range shooters who want an affordable stainless action with a Remington 700 action footprint. The Atlas actions should be a simple drop-in installation for stocks inletted for Rem 700s. At the close of the interview, we asked Jim about the future of benchrest competition. Jim believes that we will see more cross-over of short-range shooters into the long-range disciplines (and vice-versa), along with growth in the F-Class and tactical disciplines.

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November 15th, 2009

New Tactical and Hunting Rifles from Kelbly's Inc.

Kelblys Inc., long-respected as a producer of benchrest actions and rifles, has expanded its product line. Now Kelbly’s will be offering complete tactical and tactical/hunting rifles. Produced in a wide variety of chamberings from 6.5×47 Lapua all the way up to 300 Win Magnum, these new Kelbly rifles are available as either single shots or as repeaters. To learn more about the new Kelbly rifles, visit Kelbly’s enhanced website.

Kelbly's Atlas

Shown above is Kelbly’s new Atlas rifle. This rifle’s$2800.00 base price includes premium components: Single-shot Atlas action with 20 MOA or Flat integral scope base, Jewell or Shilen trigger, Krieger or Bartlein Barrel, Kelbly’s HCFB or Hunting stock (with recoil pad and swivels), Double screw rings (30mm or 1″). Available options include: McMillan A5 stock, CDI Magazine w/ 5 round AICS Magazine ($260), 3-Round Blind Mag ($150), Kemper or Vais Muzzlebrake ($185 Installed), Karsten Adjustable Cheek Piece ($75), Barrel Fluting ($120), Long-Action Upgrade ($70), Painted stock ($300), CeraKote Barreled Action ($200).

Kelbly's Grizzly II

Kelbly’s new Grizzly II Tactical/Hunting rifle costs $3300.00 before options. Shown above in wood thumbhole stock, this rifle features a single-shot Grizzly II Action with 20 MOA or Flat integral scope base, Krieger or Bartlein Barrel, Jewell or Shilen Trigger, Kelbly HCFB or Hunting stock (with recoil pad and swivels), Double screw rings (30mm or 1″ scope tube). Grizzly II options are the same as for the Atlas model, except that a detachable box magazine is not offered with the Grizzly II. NOTE: The stock in the photo is a prototype wood thumbhole. The production Grizzly IIS will use a Kelbly fiberglass HCFB stock (standard), or McMillan A5 stock (optional at extra cost).

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September 22nd, 2009

Kelbly's New Atlas Rem 700-clone Action

Kelbly’s Inc., just annouced that it will produce a new, stainless Rem-clone “Atlas” action that will sell for $700.00 (before options). Notably, it is available with a cone bolt and a trigger hanger. The latter feature means that glue-in installation is feasible. Additionally, a headspace adapter will be offered so you can use chambered barrels that have been headspaced for Kelbly Panda actions. Currently, only two configurations will be offered: right bolt, right port (RBRP), or left bolt, left port (LBLP). The first run of Atlas actions are slated for release at end of October 2009. The new action is named after the Atlas Bear, once found in Morocco’s Atlas mountains. To learn more about the new Atlas action, call Kelbly’s at (330) 683-4674.

Kelbly's Atlas Action Rem 700

Kelbly's Atlas Action Rem 700Kelbly’s reports: “The new Atlas action is a Remington 700 clone made to benchrest standards. The action body is made of 416RS stainless steel. Bolts are made of 4140 alloy steel on the body and stainless steel on bolt handle. The Atlas action will come standard as a single-shot with trigger bracket for Rem-style triggers, aluminum bolt shroud, cone bolt on 222, PPC, and 308, flat bolt on .532 bolt face, and top safety cutout. The headspace is .692 without recoil lug. The thread will be 1 1/16 x 18 tpi.”

Options available
Fluted bolt – $60.00
Magazine (extended, requires flat bolt) – $60.00
Ejector – $75.00
Recoil Lug .250 – $35.00
Cera-Kote action body and bolt handle – $100.00
Polish action and bolt handle – $120.00
Stolle 1.115 Headspace washer – $30.00 (Allows installation of Panda-spec barrels on the Atlas action without rechambering.)

Forum Member Al Nyhus observes: “This new action is going to be a winner. One of the big things it has going for it is the use of a hanger for the trigger mounting. Add to that an innovative way to use barrels already chambered for the ‘standard’ headspace Kelbly actions and you’ve pretty much covered all the bases. — Well done.”

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