First Look: Savage Arms MSR-15 Valkyrie

By: SI Staff

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Savage Arms announced the launch of its new MSR-15 Valkyrie rifle, tailor-made to allow consumers to take advantage of the new .224 Valkyrie round developed by Federal Premium. The new rifle is designed to ensure that users get the full benefits of the new cartridge, thanks to several special features.

Savage Arms’ MSR-15 Valkyrie rifle is based on the company’s earlier MSR-15 Recon platform and is ready-made for competition use and is constructed on the same compact MSR-15 upper and lower used in the company’s popular MSR lineup. One special feature of the receivers used on the new Valkyrie rifle is the inclusion of a special Elite Series Cerakote finish, giving the rifle a durable, rugged finish that can stand up to any harsh environment.

The Cerakote-finished receivers are paired up with an 18-inch barrel featuring a 1:7-inch twist rate, which is optimized for the new .224-caliber projectile. The barrel is machined with the company’s innovative 5R rifling system known to provide enhanced accuracy. This is the same rifling used on the company’s MSR-15 Recon reviewed earlier in 2017 by Shooting Illustrated. Other features of the barrel include a 1/2×28 TPI threaded muzzle complete with a muzzle brake for added recoil reduction.

Allowing users to fine-tune the performance of their rifle is a priority for the company, so the Savage Arms MSR-15 Valkyrie uses a mid-length gas system combined with an adjustable gas block that enables owners to adjust the gas flow for optimum performance for a range of cartridges. The barrel and gas system are surrounded by a Cerakote-finished M-Lok-compatible handguard based on the same slim fore-end design used on the company’s MSR-15 Recon. The handguard provides a continuous Picatinny top rail that ensures flexibility in mounting optics and other accessories.

Other furniture features on the new Valkyrie rifle include a Hogue pistol grip and a MagpulUBR Gen 2 adjustable stock. The gun is equipped with a two-stage improved mil-spec trigger. Spec-wise, the rifle measures 35.5 inches with the stock fully collapsed and weighs in at 7.88 pounds. Due to the larger size of the 6.8 SPC-based .224 Valkyrie case body, magazine capacity tops off at 25 rounds.

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Remington Model 870 Now With Detachable Magazine

By: American Rifleman Staff rem_870_dm

 

The best-selling pump-action shotgun of all time—the Remington Model 870—is now offered with a detachable magazine. In service since 1950, more than 11 million 870s have been sold.

The newest iteration, the 870 DM, features three and six-round magazines, allowing for instant alternate loads. As withall 870s, its receiver is milled from a solid block of steel.

Six SKUs are available:

870 DM (81350)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Black synthetic stock with Super Cell recoil pad
  • Tactical “corn cob” fore-end
  • 18.5″ fixed cylinder bore barrel
  • MSRP: $529

870 DM Magpul (81352)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Magpul SGA stock with Super Cell recoil pad
  • Magpul MOE M-LOK fore-end
  • 18.5″ Rem Choke barrel with extended ported tactical choke
  • XS steel front sight, XS tactical rail/ghost ring rear sight
  • MSRP: $799

870 DM Tactical/Predator (81354)

  • 3 and 6-round detachable magazines
  • Overmolded ShurShot thumbhole stock with Super Cell recoil pad
  • Tactical “corn cob” fore-end
  • 18.5″ Rem Choke barrel with two Trulock extended chokes (Boar Blaster and Turkey/Predator)
  • XS steel front sight, XS tactical rail/ghost ring rear sight
  • Kryptek Highlander Camo
  • MSRP: $799

870 DM Tac-14 (81348)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Shockwave grip and Magpul fore-end
  • 14″ cylinder bore barrel
  • Bead sight
  • MSRP: $559

870 DM Hardwood (81351)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Hardwood stock and fore-end
  • 18.5″ cylinder bore barrel
  • Bead sight
  • MSRP: $529

870 DM Tactical (81360)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Pistol grip buttstock and tactical “corn cob” fore-end
  • 18.5″ barrel with extended ported tactical choke
  • XS steel front sight, XS tactical tail/ghost ring rear sight
  • MSRP: $799

First Look At The New Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide

By: SI Staff

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Kimber began rolling out its new-for-2018 products late in 2017, and one of the company’s new introductions is the new Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol, available in both .45 ACP and 10 mm.

The new Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol is constructed with a frame, slide and barrel all machined from stainless steel. In keeping with the classic long-slide 1911 design, the barrel length on the pistol measures 6 inches long and uses a left-hand twist measuring 1:16 inches. Like all Kimber pistols, the barrel and slide are hand-fitted to the frame in order to ensure accuracy and precision. The slide and frame both feature a satin-silver finish, and the ramped barrel is topped off with a match-grade barrel bushing also machined from stainless steel.

The pistol measures 5.25 inches high, 9.7 inches long, and the slide is 1.28 inches wide. The gun uses a standard-length guide rod and features a recoil spring that measures 18.5 pounds. With an empty magazine, the Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol weighs in at 42 ounces. In .45 ACP, magazine capacity is a standard seven rounds, while the 10 mm model provides users with an extra cartridge at an overall capacity of eight rounds.

The pistol comes equipped with a number of noticeable features. The frame features a round heel and 24 LPI checkering on the front strap and back strap of the gun. The slide is equipped with angled serrations at the rear, while the front of the slide remains bare. The gun also comes with a bobbed hammer, as well as a standard right-hand thumb safety and magazine release. The trigger comes with a factory setting that measures between 4-5 pounds.

The Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol is equipped with target sights designed for quick target acquisition. The rear sight features a serrated face to reduce glare and is fully adjustable. The front sight features a red fiber-optic wire that encourages users to quickly pick up and focus on the sight. Finally, the gun ships with Rosewood grips engraved with the Kimber logo.

The Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol retails at an MSRP of $1,055 for the 10 mm model, while the .45 ACP model retails at a suggested price of $1,075.

Review: Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact 1911

By: Jay Grazio

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The Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact 1911, shown above, launched in late 2017 as a new batch of 1911 pistols inspired by the success of Springfield’s Range Officer 1911 lineup.

There’s an old joke about the appellation “Yankee.” To a citizen of the world, a “Yankee” is an American; to your average American, a “Yankee” is someone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon line. To someone above the Mason-Dixon line, a “Yankee” is someone who lives in New England. And to someone who lives in New England, a “Yankee” is someone who still uses an outhouse. It’s very much like that with 1911s. To purists, a true 1911 should be Government-Model length (5-inch barrel) and chambered in .45 ACP (possibly, albeit begrudgingly, .38 Super).

Springfield Armory’s Range Officer series, introduced in 2010, is available in a dizzying array of configurations. The Range Officer itself combines upgraded features borne of the competitive-shooting world, while the Elite line brings fighting touches to the Range Officer family. The Range Office Elite Compact, new this year, goes a step farther and blends competition and combat touches in a package well-suited for concealed carry. Ambidextrous controls, purchase-enhancing stocks and instinctive sights make for a fighting pistol that is easy to control and conceal.

The Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact features a design that combines a shortened grip with a mid-length slide (it’s a 4-inch barrel, placing it between the Commander and Officer’s Model sizes). As the part most-difficult to conceal, the shorter grip means less printing, while still offering a full, three-finger grip—similar to a Glock G19 for size. Your pinkie isn’t going to hang out in space under the grip, nor is it scrambling for the edge of the magazine, which comes in handy under less-than-ideal shooting conditions. The 4-inch barrel and commensurate longer slide translate into greater sight radius, while the red fiber-optic front sight is easy to acquire quickly.

While the 9 mm model might be an affront to the purists, it’s more controllable and offers greater capacity than the .45 ACP model. It’s also worth noting, as our resident 1911 guru reminded me, that the original Commander was launched in the 1950s in 9 mm as a possible candidate for U.S. military use. Don’t worry, though—if you’re a true 1911 purist, there’s also a Range Officer Elite Compact model chambered in .45 ACP.

(l.) Ambidextrous controls, textured G10 scales and other purpose-built features help define the Elite Compact as a fine concealed-carry option. (ctr.) Crisp and clean, the Gen 2 trigger proved heavier than expected, but shot quite well. (r.) Extending the beavertail to prevent hammer bite is one of many thoughtful touches.


One of the first things I noticed when I picked up the Springfield Range Officer Elite Compact was how natural it felt in my hand. That’s always been a huge selling point of the 1911: you pick it up, and as almost of its own volition the pistol is pointing right where you want it. The G10 scales on the Elite ensure it stays firmly in hand, even under rapid-fire situations. I did have to re-acquaint myself with the thumb safety; certainly no fault of the Elite of course, but something to be cognizant of should you pick one up after an extended absence from shooting 1911-style pistols.

I found that the shorter grip and grip safety required a precise grasp of the pistol—always a good thing, of course—to activate the safety mechanisms. When you’re used to a pistol with no external safeties, having two mechanical variants in play means you need even more attention than usual. It’s also a great reason to, as Sheriff Jim Wilson recommends, stick with one operating system for your defensive handgun needs. An imprecise grip that doesn’t engage the grip safety is annoying on the range; used in a defensive situation it could be a costly mistake, indeed. Again, this is by no means whatsoever a knock on the Elite Compact, just a reminder to practice diligently, especially when working with a less-familiar system.

(l. & ctr.) Two white dots adorn the “tactical rack” equipped rear sight, while a red fiber-optic pipe sits up front. Both feature glare-reducing serrations. (r.) Adding a tapered barrel eliminates the need for a traditional barrel bushing.

Once adjusted to the operating system, though, there was little to report in the way of problems. The Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact digested 115-grain FMJ, 124-grain defensive ammo and 147-grain subsonic 9 mm with equal aplomb. The only problem noted in all testing was a failure to lock back on an empty magazine a handful of times—the Elite Compact fed, fired and ejected everything tested. Accuracy was exceptional, as noted in the results, when controlled-fire testing was conducted, and the red fiber-optic front sight provided an immediate sight picture excellent for rapid-fire testing.

I’ve always been a big fan of the 1911, but have crossed over to the dark side (polymer, striker-fired guns) for my daily carry. With its light weight, excellent ergonomics and proven reliability, the Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact is the kind of 1911-style pistol that could bring me back into the fold. For fans of the 1911, certainly, this is one solid option for a daily concealed-carry pistol.

Kimber Announces New Precision Rifles

By: American Rifleman Staff

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Included in its list of new products for 2018, Kimber announced the new Advanced Tactical SOC II and Advanced Tactical SRC II precision rifles with a .5 MOA accuracy standard.

Both rifles incorporate Kimber’s 8400 action, which includes a full-length Mauser claw extractor for absolute dependability of controlled round feeding and extraction. They also have a three-position wing safety that is positive, quiet and fast and a match grade trigger carefully tuned to break clean at 2.5 lbs. The SOC II (above) has a 22″ barrel and chamberings in either 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Win., while the SRC II (below) has a 16″ barrel with a .308 set-up. The muzzles are 5/8-24 threaded to accept a standard muzzle break device or sound suppressor.

The rifles’ barreled actions are mounted in a McRees Precision G10 Standard aluminum lightweight chassis system and feature a side-folding stock that is adjustable for both comb height, butt height and length of pull, M-LEV embedded cant indicator, 1913 MIL-STD forward 20 MOA night vision mount, bi-pod mount and MLOK side-mounts, and accepts Accuracy International 5 and 10-round detachable box magazines. The Advanced Tactical SOC II is available with a Sniper Gray or Flat Dark Earth chassis system, and the Advanced Tactical SRC II is available with a Flat Dark Earth chassis system.

Both ship with a nylon stock pack and drag bag suitable for both storage and deployment.
MSRP: $2,449

Kimber Announces New Micro Lineup and Red-Dot-Sight 1911

By: American Rifleman Staff

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Like most firearm manufacturers, Kimber is getting a jump on announcing its new pistol lineup for 2018, which includes a family of red-dot-integrated 1911s, and an expansion of its Micro 9 and Micro 380 pistols.

For starters, the five available variants of the Kimber Aegis Elite 1911-style pistol come chambered in either 9 mm or .45 ACP, in both Custom (5″) and Pro (4″) sizes. Ready out-of-the-box, it comes complete with a milled and installed Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot 6-MOA sight, which can be co-witnessed with the standard white 3-dot sights. A satin silver round heel frame; Kimber’s new AEX serrations on the black slide; a match-grade barrel, 24-LPI front strap serrations; green, black and gray G10 grips; and a premium aluminum trigger round out the features. 

Non-red-dot-mounted models are available in Custom, Pro and Ultra (3″) sizes, where green and red fiber optic sights replace the mounted red dot sight.

MSRPs on the Aegis Elite range from $1,021 to $1,415, depending on model.

The Kimber Micro and Micro 9 (.380/9 mm) new product lineup include eight new variants of the desirable small-scale 1911s, with all-metal construction and all made in the U.S.

You can see the eight new Micro models at KimberAmerica.com, but here’s a preview of two of the Micro 9s and a Micro 380. The Micro 9 Desert Night (DN) (below left) features a black slide, desert tan frame, TRUGLO TFX Pro Day/Night Sights and a Kimber-branded Hogue wraparound grip. MSRP: $755

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The Micro 9 Two-Tone (DN) (above right), features a black slide and small parts, stainless frame, TRUGLO TFX Pro Day/Night Sights and a Kimber-branded Hogue wraparound grip. MSRP: $755

The Micro Eclipse chambered in .380 ACP features a gray slide with brush polished flats, gray frame, black small parts, gray and black Cyclone G10 grips, and 3-dot tritium night sights. (MSRP: $679)

First Look: Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 686

By: SI Staff

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At the end of 2017, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center announced the addition of new Model 686 revolvers to its collection, offering wheelgun aficionados with options that are made specifically for competition.

“The new Performance Center Model 686 and 686 Plus feature Performance Center enhancements that provide an excellent foundation for shooters looking to customize and gain a competitive edge in the shooting sports, or for those who are new to the sport and looking for an excellent competition-ready value,” said Tony Miele, general manager of the Smith & Wesson Performance Center.

The new Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 686 revolvers are built on a stainless-steel frame and also use barrels and cylinders machined from stainless steel and finished in a matte silver. Several noticeable features jump out on the new revolvers, including a featureless, unfluted cylinder, a vented ribbed barrel and a specially designed teardrop hammer that features a chrome finish.

The company offers two 686 models in its Performance Center revolver lineup. The first Model 686 features a six-round cylinder and a 4-inch barrel, while the second model, the Model 686 Plus, incorporates a seven-round cylinder and a 5-inch barrel. Both revolvers are chambered in .357 Mag. The Model 686 Plus also features a milled-out cylinder designed to accept moon clips.

“When we began designing these revolvers, we wanted to develop an out-of-the-box solution for those seeking a revolver for competition shooting,” Miele said. “these new revolvers have attractive features for both new and seasoned competitive shooters.”

Some of the attractive features included on the new guns include the company’s Performance Center speed release, which allows for a quick forward push on the release to eject the cylinder from the frame. The guns also use a highly visible orange front sight that’s interchangeable with other options on the market. Of course, each gun features a specially tuned action from Performance Center gunsmiths.

The suggested retail price on the two new Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 686 and 686 Plus revolvers is $966.

First Look: Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 Pistol

By: SI Staff

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Springfield Armory announced the addition of a pistol model to its Saint AR-15 lineup, expanding the company’s AR offerings to include an option geared toward the popular market for rifle-caliber pistol designs. The new Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 pistol joins the two other models in the company’s AR collection, the original rifle reviewed by Shooting Illustratedand a rifle equipped with a free-float handguard.

“The new SAINT pistol delivers high precision and proven AR-15 capability in handgun form,” Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese said. “We’re always looking for new ways to give our customers more shooting options, and more firearm for the money. The SAINT AR-15 Pistol does both, and then some.”

The core of the Springfield Saint AR-15 pistol is made up of the upper and lower receivers, built from forged 7075 T6 aluminum and completed with a black hard-coat anodized finish. The receivers are equipped with the company’s trademarked Accu-Tite tension setup, which allows owners to eliminate any movement or rattling between the upper and lower receivers.

The Saint AR-15 pistol is equipped with a 7.5-inch barrel machined from 416R stainless steel and finished with a Melonite treatment to provide resistance against corrosion and wear. The barrel features a 1:7-inch rate of twist and is chambered for 5.56 NATO, allowing shooters to use both 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem. ammunition.

One of the unique features found on the muzzle end of the barrel is the company’s special blast diverter, which fits snugly into the mouth of the handguard. The blast diverter works to direct propellant gases, debris, concussion and noise ahead of the muzzle, diverting it away from shooters or bystanders along the firing line.

At the rear of the Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 pistol, users will find an SB Tactical SBX-K stabilizing brace. The brace is a BATFE-approved arm brace that allows owners to stabilize their pistol using a third point of contact by equipping the hook-and-loop nylon strap.

Inside of the receiver, observers will notice a few other elements that make the Saint AR-15 pistol stand out. The rifle is equipped with an M16-style bolt-carrier group, which is made from Carpenter 158 steel and Melonite-treated. The rifle ships from the factory with a single-stage GI trigger that features a nickel-boron coating. At the bottom of the lower receiver, users will find a trigger guard made from Bravo Company Manufacturing.

Other features of the Springfield Armory Saint AR-15 pistol include a free-float M-Lok handguard equipped with a forward hand stop and locking tabs, a heavy tungsten buffer system, low-profile pinned gas block, standard AR-15 charging handle and a Bravo Company Mod 3 pistol grip.

The Saint AR-15 pistol weighs in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces without a magazine and measures 26.5 inches in overall length. The pistol ships with a single 30-round Magpul Gen 3 PMag. The suggested retail price on the pistol is $989.

FN Issues Mandatory Safety Recall of All FN M249S Rifles

By: American Rifleman Staff

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FN America has announced a mandatory safety recall of FN M249S rifles. The press release issued reads as follows:

FN America, LLC, announces today the mandatory recall of certain FN M249S semi-automatic, belt-fed rifles in both standard and PARA configurations. A recently identified design issue within the hammer group of the rifle may adversely affect the rifle’s reliability. Under certain circumstances, a reset failure within the hammer group may cause the M249S to cease to function, causing an unsafe firing event. To correct this condition and restore consistent, proper and safe operation of the firearm, it is necessary to replace the hammer group.

FN is instructing customers to discontinue use of these rifles immediately and return affected products to FN directly for installation of a new hammer group, at no cost.

October 2017 FN M249S SAFETY RECALL 
Product Name: 
FN M249S

Model Name(s): 
FN M249S standard,
FN M249S PARA

Product Numbers: 
56460, 56501, 56509,
56502, 56435 (Limited Edition)

Color(s): 
Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE)

Not all FN M249S serial numbers are affected by this recall. Therefore, FN M249S owners are asked to please visit the FN M249S Safety Recall webpage and input their serial number. If the firearm is affected, further instruction on returning the FN M249S for service will be provided.

Note: Please do not ship any affected product to FN until a FedEx label has been generated and sent. If the firearm is not affected, a message stating such will be displayed. In the interim, FN asks that customers not operate their FN M249S standard or PARA until the hammer group has been replaced.

FN is deeply committed to providing customers with the safest, most reliable firearms possible. As such, it is imperative that all recalled product is received back as soon as possible. Patience and cooperation is appreciated as we receive, inspect and service these firearms. We will make every effort to return the product back to customers within 30 days of receipt.

For questions about the recall or assistance in returning a firearm, contact the FN M249S Recall Support team at 1-800-635-1321, extension 145, or by email at M249Srecall@fnamerica.com. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.