New Bolt-Action Precision Rifles for 2017

By: Shooting Illustrated Staff

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One of the noticeable trends over the last couple of years has been the exploding interest in precision rifles, particularly those chambered in the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, proven ideal for long-range precision shooting.

Market offerings have typically been somewhat limited in this respect, with many options usually based on the same action. However, in 2017, gun manufacturers stepped up their product offerings and provided the precision-rifle market with a huge array of new guns. These precision rifles are designed to provide shooters with the best possible trigger, action and barrel needed to place shots on-target accurately from great distances.

Take a look at some of the more unique new bolt-action precision rifles for 2017:

American Built Arms Howa Precision Rifle
Built off the reliable and accurate Howa 1500 action and featuring A*B Arms’ MOD*X GEN III Modular Rifle System chassis, this turnbolt could be a valid option for anyone looking to get into the long-range game without needing a second mortgage. It is also available in .308 Win.

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Overall Length: 40.75 inches
Weight 7: pounds, 6 ounces
MSRP: $1,200
(443) 310-8777 abarms.com



Bergara B14 HMR
The new Hunting and Match Rifle from Bergara is designed as a do-it-all platform that features the B14 action bedded inside a full-length integrated mini-chassis for accuracy.

Caliber: .308 Win.
Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Overall Length: 39.5 inches
Weight: 9 pounds, 2 ounces
MSRP: $1,150
(877) 892-7544 bergarausa.com



Browning X-Bolt Target McMillan A3-5
Browning’s acclaimed X-Bolt action is now available in a stock perfect for long-range shooters. The first chambering in the McMillan A3-5 stock is the hot new 6 mm Creedmoor, which offers superior performance at extreme ranges.

Caliber: 6 mm Creedmoor
Magazine Capacity: 4 rounds
Barrel Length: 28 inches
Overall Length: 46 inches
Weight: 10 pounds, 3 ounces
MSRP: $2,800
(800) 333-3288 browning.com



Howa HCR
The Howa HCR features a Howa 1500 heavy-barreled action mated to a precision-engineered aluminum chassis. The rifle is available in six different calibers and black or MultiCam finishes.

Caliber: .308 Win.
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Overall Length: 41 to 45.25 inches
Weight: 9 pounds
MSRP: $1,239
(800) 553-4229 legacysports.com



IWI US Dan Tactical Precision Rifle
This combat-proven precision turnbolt is built on a one-piece, aluminum-alloy chassis. Designed with IWI’s commitment to ergonomics, it promises superior accuracy at extreme ranges and is already in use with the SAS in Syria.

Caliber: .338 Lapua Mag.
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 28 inches
Overall Length: 47.6 inches
Weight: 15 pounds, 5 ounces
MSRP: $8,999
(717) 695-2081 iwi.us



Remington 700 Magpul

It’s a match of titans as rifle giant Remington meets the king of furniture, Magpul. The Model 700, one of the foremost bolt-action rifles on the market, gets the Magpul Makeover with a customizable stock.

Caliber: .308 Win.
Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Overall Length: 41.5 inches
Weight: 8 pounds, 12 ounces
MSRP: $1,175
(800) 243-9700 remington.com



Ruger American Rifle Ranch
Featuring a lightweight synthetic stock designed for quick, easy handling, Ruger’s latest addition of its Ranch line of American Rifles is chambered in .450 Bushmaster, making it one versatile and hard-hiting boltgun.

Caliber: .450 Bushmaster
Magazine Capacity: 3 rounds
Barrel Length: 16.12 inches
Overall Length: 36 inches
Weight: 5 pounds, 8 ounces
MSRP: $599
(336) 949-5200 ruger.com



Savage Model 10 Ashbury Precision
Savage Arms partnered with Ashbury Precision Ordnance and Drake Associates to develop a lineup of tack-driving “chassis-style” rifles. The modular, upgradable and reconfigurable chassis features a double-locking, folding shoulder stock, along with an octagonal aluminum handguard.

Caliber: .308 Win.
Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel Length: 24 inches
Overall Length: 46.73 inches
Weight: 10 pounds, 5 ounces
MSRP: $1,799
(413) 568-7001 savagearms.com



Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis
This machined, 6061-aluminum chassis houses Weatherby’s proven Vanguard action and comes with a sub-MOA guarantee from the factory (when shooting premium ammunition). The minimalist fore-end allows attachment of rail sections for adding accessories.

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Overall Length: 39.25 to 40.25 inches
Weight: 8 pounds, 8 ounces
MSRP: $1,519
(800) 227-2016 weatherby.com



Winchester XPC
Built off of Winchester’s rigid XPR receiver, this chassis gun features a button-rifled, freefloat barrel with a target crown and threads for mounting a suppressor or muzzle device. The alloy chassis is finished with Cerakote to enhance durability. The XPC is also available in .308 Win. and .243 Win.

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 24 inches
Overall Length: 44 inches
Weight: 10 pounds, 5 ounces
MSRP: $1,598
(800) 333-3288 winchesterguns.com

SIG Sauer Adds to 9 mm Elite Performance Ammunition Line

By: American Rifleman Staff

sigfmj

SIG Sauer is expanding its line of 9 mm full metal jacket (FMJ) Elite Performance Ammunition to include 124-gr. and 147-gr. bullet weights. The addition of these rounds means that both the V-Crown jacketed hollow point (JHP) personal -defense ammunition and the SIG FMJ target loads are offered in all three weights.

The affordable SIG FMJ ball ammunition is designed to approximate the performance of the corresponding JHP loads, making a seamless transition from target ammo to carry ammo. The copper-coated lead bullets in the SIG FMJ ammunition were engineered for precision, uniformity and consistent accuracy.

“SIG FMJ ammunition is designed specifically for practice and competition shooting, and given the sheer popularity of the 9 mm caliber, expanding the FMJ line to mirror the V-Crown offerings was an important next step,” said Dan Powers, president of the SIG Sauer Ammunition Division.  “These premium target rounds feed as smoothly as our V-Crown JHP rounds and perform and feel almost identical to the V-Crown loads when shooting, making them ideal practice rounds.”

Manufactured to meet or exceed SAAMI specifications, the SIG FMJ center-fire pistol cartridges feature solid brass cases and durable copper jacketed bullets that stay with the lead at impact. Dependable primers and clean-burning powders are used for reduced barrel fouling and more reliable functioning.

All SIG Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition is manufactured by SIG Sauer at its new ammunition manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Ark., to the same exacting standards as the company’s premium pistols and rifles. For more information, visit sigsauer.com/ammunition.

Smith & Wesson Joins with Magpul to Expand M&P15 Series Rifles

By: American Rifleman Staff

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Smith & Wesson has announced that through a collaboration with Magpul Industries, it is adding three firearms to its popular M&P15 series of rifles. The new M&P15 MOE SL rifles integrate Magpul’s MOE SL accessories that shooters were adding to their rifles in a ready-to-shoot package, as well as a new Stealth Gray option.

The rifles have also been enhanced to feature the latest Magpul slim line accessories such as the MOE SL Carbine Mil-Spec stock, MOE grip, and MOE SL mid-length handguard in three different color options, Black, Stealth Gray, and Flat Dark Earth.

“Magpul and Smith & Wesson have been collaborating for almost 10 years,” said Drake Clark, Magpul senior director of sales and business development. “When it came time to refresh the M&P15 line, we were excited to assist with the development.  … we know these will be popular with M&P fans.”  

The M&P15 MOE SL rifles feature a mid-length gas operating system, resulting in lower recoil and the ability to make quick, accurate follow-up shots. The rifles also feature a Smith & Wesson/Magpul co-branded lower receiver, Smith & Wesson patented flash suppressor, folding Magpul MBUS® rear sight, and a lightweight 5R rifled 4041-steel contoured barrel with a 1:8” twist rate. MSRP: $1,239

M&P15 MOE SL Mid Magpul Spec Series Configurations:

M&P15 MOE SL Mid Magpul Spec Series – Black                              SKU:11512
M&P15 MOE SL Mid Magpul Spec Series – Stealth Gray                   SKU: 11553
M&P15 MOE SL Mid Magpul Spec Series – Flat Dark Earth              SKU: 11513

Crimson Trace Launches Glock Laserguard Pro Models

By: SI Staff

ctglock

Crimson Trace announced the addition of green and red Laserguard Pro models to fit full-size, compact and subcompact Glock pistols, allowing owners to incorporate both laser sighting and illumination capabilities to their handgun.

The Crimson Trace Laserguard Pro, introduced in 2015, provides users with a red or a green laser that’s adjustable for windage and elevation. The Pro also includes a 150-lumen LED white light for target illumination and identification in low-light conditions.

The new models of the Crimson Trace Laserguard Pro are designed to attach to the trigger guards of Glock pistols. To accommodate the different trigger-guard dimensions, the company launched several different models. The LL-807 Laserguard model is designed to fit the following Gen3 and Gen4 Glock models: G17, G19, G22, G23, G31, G32, G34, G35, G37 and G38.

Other models of Glock pistols feature longer trigger guards and must use the LL-810 Laserguard Pro model. These pistols include the Gen3 G26, G27, G29, G30, G33, G36 and the Gen4 G26, G27, G29, G30 and G33.

Crimson Trace also has Laserguard Pro models to fit Gen3 G26, G27, G29, G30, G33 and G36 pistols. For the company’s Gen4 lineup, options are available for the G26, G27, G29, G30 and G33.

With every Laserguard Pro model, the company includes installation screws and a battery for operation. The unit is covered under Crimson Trace’s Free Batteries for Life program. The suggested retail price on the Crimson Trace Laserguard Pro starts at $279.

Ruger LCP II Pistol

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by Dick Jones

The new Ruger LCP II is an excellent .380 ACP pistol that’s easily concealed, has some great features and is a solid shooter.

When I was a young man working behind a gun counter, the choices of truly small pistols were severely limited, and none were more than marginally effective. The smallest were the .22 short and .25 ACP semi-autos that offered less muzzle energy than many air rifles currently available. When one was purchased and the buyer was walking out the door, there was always a remark about the value of chocolate grips, or perhaps filing off the front sight in the event someone made the owner eat it or ingest it into some other orifice. There were Remington-pattern two-shot derringers available, but they were single action, heavy and antiquated. High Standard made a little double-action over/under .22 Magnum, and it was the best tiny gun to be found but offered only two shots and was still pretty heavy because it was all steel.

To get a small semi-auto in a more powerful caliber, one had to go to guns the size of the Walther PPK that Mr. Bond made famous, and a PPK is not a tiny gun by the standards of today. The PPK and other guns of a similar size were available in .32 and .380 ACP, and ammunition was full metal jacket only. I think James Bond was the only guy who saw the PPK as an effective stopper. There’s a new reality with modern defensive .380 ammunition; it’s now more effective than the standard round-nosed lead 158-grain load that 90 percent of law enforcement officers carried just a few years ago, and because of this, I consider a .380 a viable concealed carry gun when you simply can’t hide a bigger gun.

Ruger-LCP-II-7

In the process of writing The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry Handguns, I reviewed the three most popular .380 sub-compact semi-auto concealed carry pistols. The guns I chose for the test were the Ruger LCP, the S&W Bodyguard and the Glock 42. While all were similar as sub-compact .380s, the three guns revealed a noticeable difference in approach to the same issue. The LCP was certainly the smallest and lightest, but with tiny sights and a challenging trigger. The Bodyguard was a bit larger, still with a long stroke trigger, but was a full featured semi-auto with a slide that locked back on the last round and sights that were more usable at a slight cost in concealability. The Glock was simply a sized-down version of the standard Glock product with all the features of any other Glock, smaller, but hardly a miniscule pistol. As a result, the Glock was easy to shoot, the Ruger was easy to hide and I chose the Bodyguard because it had slide lock and second strike capability.

Ruger-LCP-II-12

A Great Gun…But
As I say almost every time I review a gun, we’re currently blessed with some mighty good choices in firearms, and it’s really hard to improve on what we have. Having said this, the LCP II is a big improvement over an already excellent concealed carry pistol. First impression is that it’s a bit bigger, but it’s just barely bigger than the original. When you operate it, you notice the big improvement, the trigger. The trigger on the older version was a long, double-action-type pull. The gun was already small, and guys with average-sized hands had trouble getting a full stroke before the index finger buried itself into their thumb. In spite of the long compression, the LCP didn’t have second-strike capability, meaning a second pull of the trigger wouldn’t fire the striker in the event of a dud round.

Another shortcoming of the earlier design was the lack of slide lock on the last round. There’s no doubt this omission was to allow lighter weight and simplicity, but it’s a nice feature to have, and most of us who shoot autoloaders have grown accustomed to the slide locking back. Still, the LCP was a very good gun, and at just over 9 ounces with a thin profile and shape, it was an easy gun to hide almost anywhere. Ruger sold tons of them, and it took a lot of LCPs to make a ton.

Ruger-LCP-II-4

Striker-Fired Trigger in a Hammer Gun
The new gun corrects every shortcoming of the original. First is the trigger. It’s an excellent striker-fired-style trigger. The LCP II isn’t a striker-fired gun. It still has a hammer, but the trigger pull duplicates the bladed, two-stage trigger of a good striker-fired service gun. My test gun’s trigger broke at a reasonable 6 pounds. Light triggers aren’t a good idea on defensive guns in the hands of shooters who aren’t highly trained, and 6 pounds is reasonable. The first stage is light; the second stage is well defined, and while there is backlash, it isn’t excessive.

Ruger-LCP-II-9.jpg

The next improvement is slide lock on the last round. The original LCP had a manual slide lock, and though it was a bit difficult for anyone with sausage fingers, it was functional. The LCP II locks the slide back on the last round, decreasing the time required for a reload by what would seem eons if it was required during a deadly force event. Fortunately, reloads for civilians in defensive situations are almost non-existent, but it’s still a great feature.

Ruger-LCP-II-5

The third major improvement was in the sights. On the original model, the sights looked like they might have been an afterthought. They were tiny, but in good light, they worked well enough to produce silver dollar sized groups at 7 yards. The sights on the LCP II are substantially larger, though still smaller than the almost-full-sized sights on a Glock 42. These three improvements cover every area of concern I’ve heard about the original LCP and at a cost of about 1 ounce of weight and $90.00. The MSRP of $349.00 is very competitive in the sub-compact pistol market. Still, Ruger is betting the $259.00 price, and slightly lighter weight, merits keeping the original LCP in the catalog.

Ruger-LCP-II-1-1

Range Impressions
Shooting the LCP II was much easier than the original and also easier than my previous favorite, the S&W Bodyguard. The two-stage trigger is easy to manage, and the sights are large enough to see. The grip is small, but a small gun can’t have a large grip. I fired it with both the flat magazine plate and the one with the finger hook. With the finger hook, it’s a two-finger arrangement. Without it, I could only get about half my ring finger on the grip. Grip texture is lightly stippled. One thing I noticed from the outset was the slide seemed easier to operate. On the original LCP, there was a separate stage at the beginning of the slide’s stroke. On the LCP II test gun, the slide stroke was smooth all the way back. This is not a big issue for most, but of real importance for those with low hand strength, like some women and older shooters.

There is recoil. Even a .22 that weighs 10 ounces will generate recoil, and a firm grip is required to keep it properly placed in the hand when shooting fast. Still, it’s capable of shooting ragged-hole groups at 7 yards, and that’s all you can ask of a gun this small. The Ruger-LCP-II-target-288x300sights were easy to see, but I think a three-dot system might make it a bit better in low light. I teach shooting to a lot of novice shooters and lining up three dots is an easy way to teach sight alignment to a former non-shooter. The LCP II is a gun that’ll be attractive to those new to the concept of daily, concealed carry. There were zero malfunctions with the three rounds tested.

The magazine release is easy enough to get to, especially for a small gun, and the LCP II doesn’t just release the magazine, it launches it. I particularly liked the fact that I can drop a magazine without it snagging on the heel of my hand, a common problem with many smaller pistols. The gun comes with only one magazine, and I’d have liked to have another to see just how fast I could accomplish a mag change with it. I suspect it would be about as fast as any compact pistol and faster than some.

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The Fix Is In
In closing, the LCP II is everything one can ask for from a super tiny, reasonably powerful, decently accurate, easy-to-hide defensive pistol. Were I to revisit that test of the Glock 42 and S&W Bodyguard against the new LCP, the result would be different. The LCP II would be the clear winner because it has the best features of the other guns combined with substantially less size and weight. It’s certainly a good choice and maybe the best choice in the sub-compact pistol market.

Specifications:

Ruger LCP II
Type: Semi-auto, internal hammer-fired
Caliber: .380 ACP
Barrel: 2.75 in., alloy steel
Overall Length: 5.17 in.
Weight: 10.6 oz.
Grips: Integral with polymer frame
Sights: Integral on slide, rear notch and post front
Finish: Blued
Capacity: 6+1
MSRP: $349
Manufacturer: Ruger

Performance Data:

Winchester 95-gr. FMJ   
Best Group: 1.72 in.
Worst Group: 2.34 in.
Avg. Group: 2.01 in.

Winchester 85-gr. Train & Defend
Best Group: 1.02 in.
Worst Group: 1.94 in.
Avg. Group: 1.65 in.

Winchester 85-grain Kinetic HE
Best Group: 1.44 in.
Worst Group: 1.99 in.
Avg. Group: 1.88 in.

Accuracy data was the result of five, five-shot groups fired deliberately at a distance of 7 yards from a standing position.

 

Originally published by Gun Digest, April 13, 2017