Sneak Peek: Rifles
Every few years, one segment of the firearms market seems to virtually explode in the number and diversity of product offerings. This year, it's rifles. No particular category dominates. ARs--both centerfire and rimfire models--are well represented, but it doesn't stop there. The wealth of rifles includes everything from game-stopping big doubles and long-range precision tack-driving bolt guns to fast-handling levers--and seemingly everything in between.
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<strong>Anschutz</strong> Anschutz's reputation as a producer of precision small-bore rifles is legendary. According to Anschutz, that reputation is borne out by the fact that in the last 40 years, more than 85 percent of Olympic small-bore rifle medals and 95 percent of World Class Biathlon medals have been won by shooters who use them. This year, Anschutz adds a totally new .223 Rem. rifle to the line with the introduction of the Model 1770 Hunting Repeater. The Model 1770 incorporates a newly designed action featuring a 60-degree bolt lift and six locking lugs, with pressure vents to direct gas away from the shooter in the event of a cartridge failure. The new action incorporates the existing Model 5094D Match Trigger. An adjustable single stage is factory-set at 2.5 pounds, but is gunsmith-adjustable from 2 to 4.5 pounds. The barrel is a 22-inch cold-hammer-forged tube with a recessed target crown. Additional features include a detachable three-shot in-line magazine and an 11mm-wide grooved scope-mounting rail. In addition, the receiver is drilled and tapped, for those who prefer that mounting option. The Meister Grade rifle is available in two stock configurations. Both feature select-grade oil-finished walnut stocks with hand-cut checkered grip and forend panels, rubber butt pad and detachable sling swivel studs. The Classic Model has a straight comb, round forearm and 22 lpi cut checkering. The Luxux Model features a sculpted cheekpiece with a Monte Carlo rollover comb, Schnabel forearm and skip-line checkering. Empty weight is 6.5 pounds. SRP: $2,499. (800-821-3021; merkel-usa.com)
<strong>DPMS</strong> This year sees a number of new rifles for hunters and competition shooters. Shooters with an existing 5.56mm AR-15 rifle will now be able to obtain an upper assembly chambered for the .30 Rem. that will mate perfectly with the standard AR-15 lower assembly. The basic A4-style unit features a fluted barrel, round handguard, Picatinny receiver rail and accepts proprietary four-round magazines that fit the standard lower receiver. The Panther Hunter Series gets an upgrade with the new Yote Edition. Designed for varmint/predator hunting, it features a 20-inch crowned, fluted target barrel, chambered for .223 Rem., a round handguard, Picatinny receiver rail, fixed skeletonized stock, ERGO pistol grip, Magpul winter trigger guard and a tactical charging handle for scope use, and is finished in Mossy Oak's Brush camo pattern. For those living in locales where the AR platform is not legal, DPMS introduces a single-shot AR in .308 Win. It features a solid magazine well, right- and left-hand ejection/loading ports, machined bolt handle on the right side of the bolt carrier, round forend and a receiver Picatinny rail. SRP: $1,049. On the competition front, the new Panther .308 DCM is built for the newest class at the National Matches. A .308 version of the Panther DCM, it features a 20-inch stainless-steel heavy barrel, standard-length four-rail free-float tube with included rail covers, National Match front and rear sights and an A-2 buttstock. (800-578-3767; dpmsinc.com)
<strong>FNH USA</strong> The big news from FNH in 2010 is the introduction of the civilian version of the 7.62×51 NATO SCAR 17S, along with upgrades to the SCAR 16S and the FNAR. Developed for the U.S. Military, the SCAR carbine features fully ambidextrous operating controls; hard-chrome-lined mil-spec bore; receiver-integrated mil-std 1913 optical rail, plus three accessory rails for sights, lights or lasers; and a side-folding polymer stock that is fully adjustable for comb height while offering six length-of-pull settings. Originally introduced in 5.56mm NATO (as the SCAR 16S), that existing model will now be available in a black matte finish. New this year is the SCAR 17S in 7.62×51 NATO (.308 Win.). A slightly heavier version than the 16S, it offers all the same operating features. Fans of the FNAR will now find it available with a 16-inch fluted barrel with a hard-chrome-lined bore and target crown, with all the features of the standard FNAR. (703-288-3500; fnhusa.com)
<strong>Hi-Point Firearms</strong> The popular, and economically priced, Hi-Point pistol-caliber carbines (distributed by MKS Supply Inc.) receive an upgrade this year with the addition of a new stock design and combo sight packages. The new all-weather black molded-polymer stock features a skeletonized design to reduce weight and an improved gripping surface on the forearm. The upper receiver and lower stock forearm feature Picatinny rails for optics, light or laser attachment. The blowback action carbines are chambered for 9mm (16.5-inch barrel) and .40 S&W (17-inch barrel). Both utilize the same-caliber 10-round single-stack magazines used by the Hi-Point handgun series, and the bolt locks back on an empty magazine. Metalwork is finished in a high-durability black powder coating, and the Hi-Point carbines are covered by a lifetime warranty on parts and labor. (877-425-4867;
<strong>Merkel USA</strong> This year Merkel introduces its innovative interchangeable-barrel bolt-action KR1 hunting rifle in two new models designed to appeal to the American market. The new American Model features an ambidextrous classic stock with a straight comb, full forearm and Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad. The engraved receiver is matte black with a clean barrel. A quick-detachable scope mount and rings are included. Empty weight is 6.25 pounds. SRP: $1,995. The KRI Custom features a select-grade walnut oil-finished stock with 24 lpi checkering and a 1-inch Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad. Metalwork is finished in a deep blue, with a gold-plated trigger and engraved silvered receiver. A quick-detachable scope mount and rings are included. SRP: $2,995. KR1 rifles are available in 13 standard and magnum calibers, and offer barrel and caliber interchangeability (22-inch barrels for standard calibers, 24-inch for magnums). Additional features include a short 60-degree bolt throw with six locking lugs, free-floating barrel with a pillar-bedded action, target-grade trigger, three-position safety, detachable scope-mount system with a positive return to zero and quick take-down for transport or storage. (800-821-3021; merkel-usa.com)
<strong>Remington Arms</strong> The new Model 700 XCR II is an upgraded version of the 700 XCR. The major change is that all exposed metal surfaces now receive the TriNyte treatment. The stock is in OD green with black Hogue Overmold. Available in all XCR calibers. SRP: $930 to $1,005. A special Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation model will be offered in .300 Ultra Mag. with a 26-inch barrel. SRP: $1,065. The Model 700 CDL Stainless Fluted Limited will see its fifth line offering with the addition of a 24-inch barrel model in .280 Remington. SRP: $1,132. The Model 700 VTR will be offered in an A-Tacs camo finish and features a 22-inch triangular barrel with an integral top vented muzzle brake, X-Mark Pro trigger and hinged floor-plate magazine box. Chambered in .223 Rem. and .308 Win. SRP: $872. The Remington R-15 will be offered in .450 Bushmaster with an 18-inch barrel, single-stage trigger and full-coverage Mossy Oak New Break-Up camo finish. It will also feature a four-round magazine capacity. SRP: $1,567. Rimfire fans will want to check out the new .22LR Model 597 VTR. The auto-loading rifle kit has been developed to accept modular repeating rifle accessories. All feature a 16-inch barrel, A-2 pistol grip, upper Picatinny rail and 10- or 30-round magazines, and can be had with either an A-2 stock or a collapsible stock, quad rail forend or round forend in either A-Tracs camo or black. SRP: $445 to $590. (800-243-9700; remington.com)
<strong>Stag Arms</strong> The new Model 8 and the Model 8L (a specially designed left-handed model) feature
an adjustable short-stroke gas piston that is easily serviced
and vents gases away from the shooter and rifle action. The one-piece nickel-teflon-coated bolt carrier incorporates an integral carrier key to prevent it from coming loose or being damaged. In addition, pads on the bolt carrier prevent carrier tilt and greatly reduce wear on the lower receiver and buffer tube. Both models ship with a 5.56mm NATO chambered 16-inch chrome-lined barrel with a 1-in-9 twist. A flip-up front sight and Midwest Industries low-profile flip-up rear provide BUIS capability, and an adjustable buttstock is standard. (860-229-9994;
<strong><a href="/photos/gallery/guns/rifles/2009/12/sneak-peek-handguns/">>> See HANDGUNS here</a></strong> <strong><a href="/photos/gallery/guns/shotguns/2009/12/sneak-peak-shotguns/">>> See SHOTGUNS here</a></strong> <strong>Weatherby</strong> New sporter models in the Vanguard line and Tactical bolt-actions highlight Weatherby's rifle offerings for 2010. Shooters who prefer the loading and unloading convenience of a detachable box magazine will find it offered in the new Vanguard Synthetic DBM (SRP: $589) and the Vanguard Sporter DBM ($799). Both models replace the traditional steel-bottom blind magazine plate with a three-round detachable magazine made from space-age plastics, with witness holes for easy round counting. The Vanguard Synthetic DBM features an injection-molded Monte Carlo stock, with a low-density recoil pad. The stock and metalwork are finished in black matte. The Vanguard Sporter DBM features a walnut Monte Carlo stock with a rosewood forend and is finished in a low-luster urethane finish. Metalwork is finished in a low-luster matte blue. The new Vanguard Synthetic HB-ST (SRP: $629) offers an injection-molded synthetic stock with the Silent-Tek finish and a low-density recoil pad. It features a 22-inch barrel with a No. 3 contour (.740-inch at the muzzle), a recessed target crown, matte black metalwork and an empty weight of 8 pounds. It will be available in right-hand actions in .223 Rem. and .308 Win. The new Vanguard Youth model (SRP: $529) is designed to be a rifle that can grow with the shooter. Starting with a 12.5-inch length of pull, an included removable spacer system allows the stock length to be increased to a 13 5/8-inch length of pull as the shooter matures. The Youth model features an injection-molded synthetic Monte Carlo stock with a low-density recoil pad. The 20-inch No. 1 contour barrel keeps the empty weight at just 6.5 pounds. It will be offered in a right-hand action in .223 Rem., .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. On the tactical side, Weatherby will offer SUB-MOA rifles in the Vanguard and Mark V actions. The new Mark V SUB-MOA TRR features a Weatherby Mark V action mated with a 26-inch Kreiger custom-cut barrel of 410 stainless steel with a No. 3 contour (.750 muzzle diameter). The rifle is available in a "ready to go" package that includes a Leupold Mark 4 4.5x14x50mm Long Range/Tactical M1 scope with an illuminated Tactical Milling Reticule and bullet-drop-compensation dials. Talley Mil-Spec Picatinny rings and scope bases, a Harris bipod and a Weatherby Magnum rifle case complete the package. SRP: $6,292. The Vanguard SUB-MOA TR starts as a hand-selected and test-fired Vanguard action with a 22-inch No. 3 contour barrel (.740 muzzle diameter) and a fully adjustable trigger that is factory-set at 3 pounds. A factory test target is included, using the same Oehler system as the Mark V. The barreled action is mated with a hand-laminated black synthetic stock of the same materials as the Mark V, and a hand-fitted aluminum bedding plate is installed to stiffen the receiver area. The stock
features a flat-bottom beavertail forearm and Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad, with dual sling swivel
studs to allow the use of bipod and sling. Available in .223 Rem. and .308 Win. (right-hand actions only). A five-round
magazine capacity is standard
for both calibers. Empty rifle weight is 8.75 pounds.
SRP: $999. (805-227-2600; weatherby.com)
The countdown to the 2010 SHOT Show is on. Here’s a look at this year’s new battery of rifles primed for introduction.