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January 20th, 2013

Kelbly’s Unveils KTS Stock, 1-8x24mm March, and GRS Stocks

Kelbly.com .338 Lapua Magnum

New Jumbo .338 LM-sized Action and New KTS “Tactical” Stock
At SHOT Show 2013, Kelbly’s showcased a pair of impressive .338 Lapua Magnum rifles. One of these guns featured the beefy new .338 LM repeater action, fitted into Kelbly’s new KTS stock (top rifle in photo above). The KTS stock shares the long wheelbase of Kelbly’s popular 1000-yard benchrest stock. The particular KTS in the above photo features a 2.5″ rounded forearm, adjustable cheekpiece, and butthook cut-away on the bottom of the buttstock. Kelbly’s website states: “The Kelbly KTS stock is designed for long-range competition and tactical shooting. The KTS stock is based off of our 1M stock. It is available in right- or left-handed models. The KTS is extremely adaptable — we can install an adjustable cheek piece, a 3-way butt pad, a butt hook, or a beaver tail front end (2.5″ wide). The standard configuration is just like the 1M stock, the previously listed options must be requested.”

Kelbly KTS

Personally, I found the wrist/grip shape on the KTS stock much more comfortable than the very fat, blocky grips found on some “tactical” stocks. If you are thinking about buying a McMillan or a Manners “tactical” stock, you should give this new Kelbly KTS consideration as well.

New 1-8x24mm FFP from March
What’s new from March this year? We didn’t see any new high-magnification scopes, but Kelbly’s rolled out an all-new March 1-8x24mm tactical scope. This First Focal Plane scope should be ideal for three-gun competition. The new March 1-8x24mm should also appeal to hunters who want a bright, compact scope with a true 1-power viewing option plus ranging capability.

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

Kelbly’s is now importing the beautifully-crafted GRS laminated stocks from Norway. Featuring an ergonomic grip, these GRS stocks come complete with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate. For decades, Kelbly’s has been a respected source for quality fiberglass stocks. Now, as the GRS importer, Kelbly’s will offer some of the nicest laminated wood stocks on the market. Although final pricing has yet to be set, Kelbly’s expects GRS stocks to cost $600.00 to $700.00. We think this is competitive price range when you consider that GRS stocks come standard with adjustable hardware and no final clear-coating is needed.

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
November 15th, 2012

Ultra-High Magnification 8-80x56mm March Riflescope

When it comes to long-range optics, some folks can’t have too much magnification (as Tim Allen used to say: “More Power!”). At 500 yards and beyond, when the air’s misty or the mirage is thick, you can’t always use extreme magnification. But, when the conditions are excellent, it’s nice to have 50X magnification (or more) on tap. You can always “crank it back down”. Higher magnification (when conditions are good), can help you see your bullet holes at long range, and that makes it easier to judge your hold-offs and keep your group centered. In addition, there’s no doubt that high magnification lets you aim more precisely, no matter what the distance. Even at 100 and 200 yards, short-range benchresters are using 40X, 50X, and even 60X power scopes. This allows you to position your cross-hairs with extreme precision — something you need when you’re trying to put multiple shots through the same hole.

Raising the Optics Bar
How much power is usable? A few years back, folks said you can’t use more than 45X or so at long range. Well, as modern optics have evolved, now guys are buying scopes with even more magni-fication — way more. There are practical limits of course — with a 56 to 60mm front objective, the exit pupil of a 60X or higher-power scope will be very tiny, making head orientation ultra-critical. Any many scopes get darker as you bump up the magnification.

Despite the exit pupil and brightness issues, shooters are demanding “more power” these days and the scope manufacturers are providing new products with ever-greater magnification levels. Right now, the most powerful conventional riflescope you can buy is the March X-Series 8-80x56mm scope. Featuring a 34mm main tube and 56mm objective lens, this offers a true 10-times zoom ratio and up to 80X magnification. This scope has minimal distortion thanks to high-quality ED lenses designed in-house by Deon Optical, which also machines the main tube from one solid piece of billet aluminum.

To demonstrate the capabilities of high-magnification March scopes, Aussie Stuart Elliot has created a cool through-the-lens video with the March 8-80x56mm scope set at 80-power (See 0:30 timeline). Along with being one of Australia’s top benchrest shooters, Stuart runs BRT Shooters Supply, dealer for March Scopes in Australia. In the video below you can see the March 8-80X focused on a target at 1000 yards (910m). For best resolution, watch this video in fullscreen, 720p mode.

Look through the Lens of 80-power March Scope at Target 1000 Yards Away

Through-the-Lens Views at 40X and 80X at 1100 Yards
To reveal the difference between 40X and 80X magnification, here are two through-the-lens still images taken with March scopes sighting to 1100 yards. The top photo is at 80X magnification, looking through the March 8-80x56mm. The lower photo is at 40X magnification viewed through a 5-50x56mm March X-Series scope. You can see there is a big difference in perceived target size! Click on the “Larger Image” button to see full-screen version at 80X.


larger photo

Here is another view through a March high-magnification scope, this time at 1000 yards. We’re not exactly sure of the power setting, but we think this is at least 40X. Note the good contrast, and the absence of color fringing or chromatic distortion. When you’re shooting at 1000 yards and beyond, having high-quality glass like this can provide a competitive advantage.

Video Find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Optics 15 Comments »
January 25th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Cool New Stuff from Kelbly’s

New March 3-24x42mm FFP Tactical Scope
Every year, a visit to the Kelbly’s booth is one of the highlights of our SHOT Show experience. This year, Jim Kelbly showed off an impressive new First-Focal-Plane 3-24x42mm March Tactical Scope. We were impressed with this new scope. It offers a wide range of magnification in a compact design. As first glance you think you’re looking at a 4-12X optic, not a scope with 24-power on tap. The scope is intelligently laid out — with mil clicks to match the mil reticle. Notably, the elevation turret delivers a full TEN mils per revolution. That is the same as Nightforce’s “high-speed” mil turret, and the ten mils of “up” should get you all the way to 1000 yards with most popular cartridges. If you’re a tactical shooter looking for a mil-mil scope you should check out the new 3-24X March. We think it is very competitive with anything out there, and it is a lot more compact than many scopes in the 20-24X power range.

March 3-24x42 Front Focal Plane Tactical Scope

YouTube Preview Image

Kelbly’s Also Builds Complete Rifles
Along with March scopes and Kelbly/Stolle Actions, the Kelbly booth had a stunning F-Class rifle on display, with a 10-60X March scope on top. This red and black beauty belongs to Jim’s son, Ian Kelbly. It features a polished Stolle Panda F-Class action, pillar bedded to a Precision Rifle & Tool laminated F-Class stock. This was the stock design Charles Ballard used to win back-to-back U.S. F-Class Championships. Jim noted that Kelbly’s continues to offer a full range of gunsmithing services, from barrel chambering to building complete rifles — with your choice of Kelbly stocks or third-party stocks.

Kelbly's F-Class Rifle

Kelbly's F-Class Rifle

Kelbly's F-Class Rifle

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product, Optics No Comments »