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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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

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.

Gun Review: CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine in 9mm

By: Ian Jacobs

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As CZ puts it, their Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine is a “whole new animal.”  With an enormous variety of semi-automatic AR-15 style firearms in rifle and pistol calibers on the market, the Scorpion surely stands out.  I decided to get a better idea of what its sting felt like.

History

CZ, or Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod, originated in Czechoslovakia in 1936.  The newer CZ-USA arm of the company was formed in 1997, acquiring the renowned Dan Wesson firearms in early 2005.  The CZ-USA headquarters are currently located in Kansas City, KS, while the parent company remains in what is now the Czech Republic.

A primitive variation of the scorpion was the vz. 61 Skorpion, which was designed and manufactured in the early 1960s.  This machine pistol was chambered in .32 ACP, among other small cartridges.  A semi-automatic civilian model was later created, but discontinued in 2010.

CZ introduced the first in a newer line of Scorpion models as a submachine gun in 2009.  Following its success and adoption by security and military forces worldwide, CZ released a semi-automatic pistol version in 2015, built off of the same platform.  The pistol is now in its second iteration, with the latest offer including a longer forend with room for most suppressors. Subsequent to the pistol, CZ released the semi-automatic carbine version of the Scorpion in mid-2016.  It is available with either a compensating muzzle brake or faux suppressor specially built by SilencerCo.

Features

Like many submachine gun and pistol variations, the Scorpion Carbine is blowback-operated and chambered in 9mm Luger.  The carbine has a sufficient number of US-made parts to make it 922(r) compliant.

At the rear, the Scorpion has a folding, adjustable stock.  It also has a 16.2 inch hammer-forged barrel topped by a ½ x 28 threaded muzzle (plus muzzle brake or faux suppressor).  The forend has several M-LOK attachment points and there are two sling attachment points on each side, plus a ¾ inch sling slot on the left.  At the top resides a generous Picatinny rail, along with low-profile aluminum adjustable sights, with the rear sight having four different apertures.

The Scorpion offers ambidextrous controls, including the swappable, non-reciprocating side-charging handle.  Even the trigger reach can be adjusted.  Research indicates that the trigger pull is around nine pounds, but one of many after-market accessories can reduce this to somewhere in the range of six pounds.

The Scorpion I purchased came with a single 10-round double stack magazine, but additional magazines are available that hold 20 or even 30 rounds, where permitted by law.  Replacement magazines are incredibly affordable, with each being $20 or less on CZ’s webstore.

The frame and magazines are both made of polymer, the former being certainly noticeable when handling the carbine.  The faux suppressor model weighs in at seven pounds, while the muzzle brake version comes in at 6.38 pounds.

Range testing and initial thoughts

The MSRP for the Scorpion ranges from $999 to $1,040 for the muzzle brake and the faux suppressor models, respectively.

Since purchasing the Scorpion with the muzzle brake, I have fired over 200 rounds with a variety of target ammunition and have not experienced a single malfunction.  This ammunition included Federal, Winchester White Box, Winchester Forged (steel cased) and also at least 50 reloaded cartridges.

The side-charging handle was a big draw, and it has not disappointed.  This can be slapped MP5-style to close the bolt, or there is a separate bolt release.  The handle itself is a bit on the small side, likely to keep the profile slim. If desired, there are aftermarket replacements available which allow for a size increase.Overall, the Scorpion was easy to shoot with very little recoil, and it was also very comfortable to handle, not to mention fun.  The controls are certainly different than the AR platform, but they are very easy to adapt to.

The ambidextrous safety switch has occasionally pinched my right hand when shooting.  However, I mostly view the switch as advantageous, as it is sometimes easier to reach with my index finger than the one on the left side is with my thumb.  Fortunately, CZ has an inexpensive part referred to as a “safety delete”, which will replace the switch with a flat circular piece of plastic.

With the aluminum sights, I was able to shoot some tight groups at 25 and 50 yards, and even made a few shots out to 100 yards.  The four rear aperture options were much appreciated when changing distances.

Disassembly of the Scorpion is quite simple.  All one has to do is remove a single pin and pull out the trigger pack.  The bolt/slide assembly comes out fairly easily from there.

The only other slightly unfavorable experience I have had with the Scorpion has been upon insertion and removal of the magazines, but this problem has not been persistent.  Occasionally, when inserting the magazine, it would not fully catch.  It would either have to be inserted again, or the release pulled outward slightly for it to seat properly.  Upon attempted release, the magazine sometimes did not drop freely and I would need to remove it manually.

A call was placed to CZ-USA to inquire about a potential easy fix or to perhaps identify if there was an oversight in manipulation.  The Customer Service department proved superior, as the call was answered within moments.  The initial representative was unable to resolve the inquiry, but the call was immediately transferred to a warranty gunsmith, who indicated it was a novel complaint.  The gunsmith suggested mailing the item back for further investigation, but as the glitch isn’t too bothersome, I opted not to.

Conclusion

I currently own both an AR platform carbine as well as the Scorpion. After purchase of the latter, I assumed I would eventually decide to sell one. Thus far, however, this has not been the case.  Each has a unique feel and it is enjoyable to have the ability to practice with 9mm ammunition, switching to .223 or 5.56 for some extra punch and distance.  I currently plan to continue use of the Scorpion primarily at the range, but can easily see this reliable firearm being used for home defense.  It doesn’t hurt that it is incredibly fun for plinking as well.

LWRCI IC DI Rifle Now in 300 BLK

By: American Rifleman Staff

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American Rifleman’s 2017 Golden Bullseye winner for “Rifle of the Year”—the LWRCI IC DI—is now available in 300 BLK. The IC DI 300 BLK design was born out of the US Military M4 PIP program that called for longer barrel life, full ambidexterity, better reliability and user configurable floating rail system.

“Based on the continued popularity of the 300 BLK platform it is a natural line extension for LWRCI and our IC DI line”, said David Ridley, senior vice president sales and marketing. “The LWRCI-DI 300 excels on all counts, offering our customers an accurate advanced DI rifle at a price that will surprise you. It is truly a ‘Step-Up’ from the basic direct impingement rifles on the market now in 300 BLK” 

The IC DI 300 BLK model features many of the same performance attributes found in its popular gas-piston luxury AR lineup. Custom rifle features include a  Monoforge upper, modular one-piece free float rail, LWRCI cold hammer-forged cold hammer forged heavy barrel, fully ambidextrous lower controls (mag release, bolt catch/release and selector switch), angled ergonomic fore grip, Mil-spec 6-position buffer tube and LWRCI proprietary advanced DI Bolt Carrier group with keyless gas key.  As with all LWRCI rifles, the IC DI 300 BLK is available in a California-compliant model.

For more, visit LWRCI.com

First Look: FN America FN 15 Tactical Carbine II CA

By:SI Staff

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FN America announced it would be launching two new California-compliant rifles in the company’s FN 15 rifle lineup, conforming to new California state laws regarding the configuration of semi-automatic rifles. The new FN 15 Tactical Carbine II CA is the first of the new models.

“Many of California’s pro-gun residents have had very limited options in terms of what they could purchase because of the state-imposed regulations on firearms,” said John Keppeler, vice president of sales and marketing for FN America, LLC. “FN saw California’s market as an opportunity to expand the FN 15 line. This addition will finally offer a quality-built FN rifle to gun buyers who have limited compliant options. We hope to earn a few new FN fans along the way and further expand our compliant series to other heavily restricted states.”

The new FN 15 Tactical Carbine II is outfitted with a Hera CQR stock, which eliminates the standard pistol grip found on traditional AR-15 rifles. The stock also eliminates the commonly seen thumbhole stock used in place of a pistol grip, thereby complying with California law. The rifle also features a 10-round Magpul PMag, which is also compliant with 2017 California legislation.

Otherwise, the rifle features many of the same components found on standard AR-style firearms. The gun features a 16-inch cold-hammer-forged, free-float barrel, which includes a chrome-lined interior to protect against corrosion. The barrel is also equipped with a SureFire ProComp 556 muzzle brake.

The receiver is constructed from aluminum and features a hard-anodized finish. The A3 flattop rail matches up with the FN Rail System to provide a continuous mounting surface for optics and other accessories. The company’s rail uses M-Lok attachment points that allow for accessory mounts. Other features of the gun include a quick-detach sling attachment on the featureless stock, as well as an FN combat trigger.

The suggested retail price on the new FN 15 Tactical Carbine II CA is $1,799. The company’s other California-compliant rifle, the FN 15 DMR II CA, will retail at a suggested price of $2,099.

First Look at SIG Sauer MCX Virtus

By: SI Staff

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SIG Sauer launched a new and improved model of its popular MCX platform, called the MCX Virtus, after consulting with numerous special operations groups around the globe to improve the qualities of the firearm.

“SIG has supplied firearms to meet the unique demands of specialized units for decades,” said Ron Cohen, president and CEO of SIG Sauer. “Similar to the P320 pistol, the MCX Virtus was created to be the ultimate modular platform, a design that will change the demands of the modern rifle for years to come.”

The company named the redesigned rifle the Virtus to highlight the values of courage, bravery and exellence, all qualities embodied by the professional operators for which this rifle was built. The upgraded components of the new Virtus are designed to provide users with greater accuracy, longer service life and wider versatility and modularity. The new rifle is designed to give users 20,000 rounds of operation without requiring a single part replacement.

Some of the upgrades to the platform include a heavier-profile barrel that works to improve accuracy potential. The gun also comes with the company’s new Matchlite Duo Trigger, which provides users with a two-stage arrangement that still ensures a clean trigger pull. SIG Sauer also improved the design of the bolt lug in order to provide smoother cycling, thereby lengthening the service life of the bolt.

Increased modularity was also an aim of the upgrades, and SIG Sauer delivered with eight different M-Lok handguards that are available in both suppressor-ready and standard arrangements. The company also provides cold-hammer-forged barrels that come in lengths of 9 inches, 11.5 inches and 16 inches. The barrels are easily interchangeable and can be swapped out by the end user.

The SIG Sauer MCX Virtus platform still uses the company’s short-stroke piston system, along with the internal recoil arrangement that removes the need for a buffer tube. The platform can be had in Patrol (rifle-length), Pistol and SBR models. Color options are available in either gray or flat dark earth, and available caliber options are 5.56 NATO and .300 BLK. The suggested retail price on the new MCX Virtus starts at $2,233.

First Look: Daniel Defense DDV5V1 M-Lok Rifle

By: SI Staff

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Daniel Defense announced the addition of M-Lok attachment rails for its DD5V1 and DD5V2 rifles. Now, consumers will be able to receive rifles with handguards designed to work with either KeyMod or M-Lok accessory attachment, depending on their personal preference.

The attachment systems are part of the 15-inch free-float MFR XS rail, which is designed to provide users with a lighter-weight rail system that ensures rapid cooling, better ergonomics and more modularity than other handguards on the market today. The M-Lock attachment points are found at seven different positions around the outside of the handguard, providing users with an incredible range of leeway for accessory placement.

The rifle features a unique four-bolt connection system that incorporates a specially designed barrel extension that secures the free-float barrel and M-Lok handguard to the upper receiver without the use of a barrel nut.

The handguard surrounds a 16-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel that features an integral Daniel Defense flash suppressor, along with a mid-length gas system that is designed to ensure reliable performance under rugged conditions, as well as reduce felt recoil and minimize wear on the internals of the rifle. The barrel also features a threaded muzzle that features a 5/8×24 TPI thread pitch.

The Daniel Defense DD5V1 rifle comes equipped with a two-stage Geissele SSA trigger, which features a 2.5-pound take-up and a 2-pound break. The gun also features an ambidextrous safety selector, magazine catch and bolt release, as well as a modular charging handle.

The rifle is built with a lower receiver that features an oversized trigger guard that provides use with gloved hands, as well as a flared magazine well that facilitates smoother mag changes. The bolt and carrier are built with an oversize cam pin, as well as an improved extractor design and dual ejectors. The overall weight of the gun is 8.3 pounds.

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First look at the Barrett REC7 DI Pistol

By: SI Staff

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The latest model out from Barrett is an addition to the company’s popular REC7 DI lineup, which now features a REC7 DI AR-15 in a pistol format for a limited time.

The new REC7 DI pistol features a 10.25-inch barrel and comes in at an overall length of 24.75 inches. The total weight of the new gun is 5.45 pounds and ships with a 20-round Magpul PMag. The gun is finished in a black Cerakote coating and features a Magpul MOE pistol grip, along with a Magpul enlarged trigger guard. The fore-end of the gun is Barrett’s own enhanced BRS handguard design and features KeyMod attachment points.

The AR pistol is constructed with a match-grade barrel made with stainless steel and uses the company’s own high-efficiency muzzle device to reduce recoil. The gun also features an oversized charging handle for easy racking of the pistol, along with a specially designed gas block that features a nut-retention device for extra durability. The gun features a continuous flattop rail that reaches to the end of the fore-end, giving users a lengthened sight radius for irons or plenty of room for optics mounting.

The REC7 DI pistol is equipped with the Gearhead Works Tailhook MOD 1 pistol brace, which is billed as the most compact pistol brace on the market today. The brace measures less than 1 inch thick and provides users with a shelf that works to counter the forward weight of an AR pistol, allowing the shooter’s wrist to relax and focus on controlling the trigger. The brace is made from solid aluminum and clamps to pistol buffer tubes ranging from 1.17-1.2 inches in diameter.

The Barrett REC7 DI pistol is available in 5.56 NATO and .300 BLK and available only for a limited time. The suggested retail price on the gun is $1,899.