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Firearms at IWA 2017

IWA lived up to expectations, yet again. Though most new releases were about updating or extending existing ranges, a couple came as real surprises.

Browning offers a trio of tactical/precision rifles all on the X-Bolt. The Varmint GRS, the MacMillan Range; and the Chassis Rifle. Standard X-Bolts with polymer stocks get a neat adjustable comb by Kalix Teknik of Sweden. The Varmint GRS has a fluted, 24” barrel and is available in .243, .308, and 6.5x55. The Range comes in MacMillan’s Game Scout glass-fibre/ composite stock in ATACS AU camo, with a FDE Cerakote finish on all metalwork. Barrels are fluted; have a semi-heavy profile and threaded M14x1 with a profiled muzzle brake and thread protector. Length is 24” for standard calibres (243 Win, 308 Win) and 26” for magnums (300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag). The Chassis, meanwhile, comes in .308 only, with a heavy, fluted, 24”/ 1:10” twist barrel, complete with a muzzle brake on an M18x1 thread. Feed is from a 5-round magazine only! The Chassis uses MDT’s HS3 model, with polymer side panels for improved grip and comfort. These, and the matching MDT aluminium multi-adjustable skeleton stock and Hogue pistol grip, are available in black or FDE. Picatinny accessory rails can be mounted on the fore-arm at 3 and 9 o’clock, and the receiver can be fitted with a standard or extended optics rail.

  • Browning/Winchester

    Browning/Winchester

    Browning offers a trio of tactical/precision rifles all on the X-Bolt. The Varmint GRS, the MacMillan Range; and the Chassis Rifle. Standard X-Bolts with polymer stocks get a neat adjustable comb by Kalix Teknik of Sweden. The Varmint GRS has a fluted, 24” barrel and is available in .243, .308, and 6.5x55. The Range comes in MacMillan’s Game Scout glass-fibre/ composite stock in ATACS AU camo, with a FDE Cerakote finish on all metalwork. Barrels are fluted; have a semi-heavy profile and threaded M14x1 with a profiled muzzle brake and thread protector. Length is 24” for standard calibres (243 Win, 308 Win) and 26” for magnums (300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag). The Chassis, meanwhile, comes in .308 only, with a heavy, fluted, 24”/ 1:10” twist barrel, complete with a muzzle brake on an M18x1 thread. Feed is from a 5-round magazine only! The Chassis uses MDT’s HS3 model, with polymer side panels for improved grip and comfort. These, and the matching MDT aluminium multi-adjustable skeleton stock and Hogue pistol grip, are available in black or FDE. Picatinny accessory rails can be mounted on the fore-arm at 3 and 9 o’clock, and the receiver can be fitted with a standard or extended optics rail.

  • Tikka/Sako

    Tikka/Sako

    Sako launched two new variants of their model 85: the Exige, a take-down version with a detachable butt-stock; the Black Wolf, with a stock similar to the GRS Sport/Varmint and an increased range of action sizes/calibres (including a medium action in L/H) for the Carbonlight lightweight hunting rifle. It shows a two-piece stock with a central aluminium receiver for consistent bedding. Take-down involves flipping open the grip cap and inserting a tool to loosen a stock bolt. It comes in a smart, fitted case that allows the rifle to be packed with the scope attached. Tikka’s T3x’s polymer stock gets orange, grey, green and brown inserts. The big news is the T3x TAC A1. The mid-contour barrel is cold hammer-forged, with a 5/8 x 24 muzzle thread. Chamberings offered include .308 Win, 6.5CM and .260 Rem. Feed is from a 10-round, detachable box mag, through a modular chassis featuring a full-length aluminium V-bed, and compatibility with AR-type furniture. The trigger is a 2-stage adjustable; other user interfaces include a fully-adjustable skeletonised stock (fixed or folding) and a QD mounting system to facilitate interchangeability. The action and hand-guard are topped by a full-length optics rails (non angled).

  • Savage

    Savage

    Savage’s main attraction is the Model 10 Ashbury Precision, which comes with an alloy chassis that features a wrap-around hand-guard with M-LOK rail, folding stock and an AR-type grip and butt. There’s a receiver-mounted Picatinny rail, and a 5-round detachable box magazine. The barrel is fluted, threaded, and 24” long, with a 1:10” twist in .308 and a 1:8” twist in 6.5CM. Next in line are two BA Stealth models, the 10, a short-action chambered in .308 or 6.5CM, and the 110, a long-action in .300WM or .338LM (1:9.3” twist). Blueprinted actions feed from a 10-shot (model 10) or 5-shot (model 110) DBM and are married to a monolithic alloy chassis with a Fab Defense GLR-16 butt-stock and an M-LOK hand-guard that covers the lower half of the barrel only. Barrels are fluted, and 24” long, except for the .308, which is 20”, and have a threaded muzzle, the 110 is fitted with a brake. The 110 also has a receiver-mounted Picatinny optics rail that extends forward over the barrel. Then there’s the Model 10 GRS, which shows essentially the same barrelled action as the BA 10 –though the barrel is now 20” and 4-shot as well as 10-shot magazines are available- but comes in a GRS Berserk stock and in a choice of .308, 6.5CM and the new 6CM.

  • Anschutz

    Anschutz

    Anschutz has now equipped its shortaction 1771 D centrefire with a GRS laminate stock. They have evidently specified their own design, as the underside of the butt has a longer flat section; the forend is a bit deeper too. Calibres include 222/223 Rem and .300 AAC Blackout (a new chambering for Anschutz). They also chamber the standard 1771 D for .204 Ruger; it seems likely that a GRS option will be coming. They’ve so chambered the 1771 D for the 4.6x30 (HK MP7) cartridge, why? Factory ammunition and reloading components are equally unobtainable and, with less case capacity than the .17 Hornady Hornet, the ballistics would almost certainly be inferior.

  • Bergara

    Bergara

    If you like Remington 700s, Bergara’s B14 isn’t just a substitute, it’s better, with a slicker action, crisp trigger, well-shaped stock, and a properly good barrel. They have now introduced three heavier-barrelled variants, plus an A5-style tactical composite stock (HMR) and an aluminium chassis (BMP), to cater to the varmint and T/P market. I’ve no doubt they’ll shoot well, but I’ve not taken to the overly-basic AR grip on the BMP or the colour/finish of the HMR. Also present on Bergara’s stand was one of their new heavy-barrelled actions, looking very nice in a GRS Berserk stock: a natural combination given that Bergara are the Spanish distributors for GRS.

  • Ruger

    Ruger

    The chassis-rifle naturally existed long before the Ruger Precision Rifle came on the scene. Yet it was their creation of a fullyfeatured, chassis-based, tactical-precision rifle as an integrated design that made it the mainstream concept that it is today. Regardless, the RPR has been a big hit for Ruger, who have tweaked the original design into what they call the Gen 2. The differences are distinctly minor, except for the addition of two new chamberings. The first is in 6CM (Creedmoor). Regardless of the 6.5CM’s actual merits the Creedmoor works as a brand, as it has Hornady behind it, after all! And is likely to be The Next Big Thing. The RPR is now chambered in 223 Rem/556 NATO in a 1-7” twist, 20” barrel. The 6CM is a 1-7.7 in a 24” barrel

  • Pirkan ASE / Lynx

    Pirkan ASE / Lynx

    The Presence 15 is a version of Pirkan Ase’s Lynx straight-pull system developed for the Finnish army. I was very much impressed by the care taken to ensure that every aspect was optimised for practical reliability in the harshest of environments. Compatibility with standard AR15 parts is also a key principle. So, although the chassis and action are pure Lynx, the furniture can be configured for user preference! It accepts all AICS-type .308 magazines, and barrels, made by Lothar Walther, are chambered for .308, .308 subsonic and 6.5x47 Lapua.

  • Ritter & Stark

    Ritter & Stark

    Ritter & Stark were showing two versions of a prototype: the MTR (Modular Tactical Rifle) and SLX. The SLX is a lighter version of the firm’s long-action MTR SX-1, designed for the .308/7.62, .260 Rem and 6.5 CM, and compatible with Magpul P-Mags. It is a switch-barrel design, with a bolt head that locks directly into the barrel and fitted with an integral Picatinny rail. Though one prototype had a conventional aluminium alloy receiver, the other’s was made from polymer. R&S say that it has performed perfectly in testing, with no zero shift or loss of precision.

  • Blaser / Mauser

    Blaser / Mauser

    Mauser have launched a standard-calibre version of its classic M98 rifle in classic calibres that include the 7x57 and 8x57JS. The first 150 rifles are presented as a deluxe Diplomat limited edition with Grade 7 walnut stocks, but with the introduction of Grade 1 (Pure) and Grade 3 (Expert) walnut-stocked versions of the M03 and M12 this year, it seems likely that the M98 will soon be offered in these formats too. Blaser were also all about good wood and thinking of the ladies. The wood was to be found on their R8 Success Individual, whose unique stock combines the highest grade walnut with leather inlays and the excellent ergonomics of the Professional Success thumbhole model. This neat trick is made possible, as it was on the previous Success Wood, through the use of an alloy frame concealed inside. For the ladies, meanwhile, there is the Intuition, an R8 with a conventional Grade 7 walnut stock shaped and proportioned better to suit the female frame.

  • CZ

    CZ

    CZ has re-launched their CZ500 Safari Classics series. Safari Classics II rifles are available in two versions: a high lustre with a lacquered stock and traditional blueing and a matte black with an oil-finish and nonreflective metalwork. Both have traditional 3-blade leaf sights and are available in .300 H&H Mag., .375 H&H Mag, .404 Jeffery, .416 Rigby, and .458 Lott and use floor plate magazines. As always a quality rifle at good money! By contrast, their re-launch of the Brno Express O/U double rifle was a bit of a disappointment. Not long ago, Brno’s classic European Kipplaufs (drop-barrel guns) were fine-looking things, but in modernising the styling and adding fibre-optic sights, they’ve made themselves look a bit naff. To be fair, the oil-finished woodwork looks OK, but the boxy receiver with its white, go-faster swirls seems to belong on a different grade of gun. I overheard someone say that it looked like a circus van parked between two saloon cars. It’s available in .30R Blaser, 8x57 JRS, and 9.3x74.

  • Chapuis Armes

    Chapuis Armes

    Chapuis Armes produce some excellent double rifles; however, more interesting was the ROLS. At first sight I thought it was a modified Blaser, but they have ingeniously skirted Blaser’s patents to produce an elegant manual-cocking, straight-pull, switch-barrel repeater with a detachable magazine system that is at once quick, secure and affordable. The ROLS is available in heavy and standard calibres, with 65/63/60mm barrel options. The rotary magazine is located above the trigger guard, which is hinged at the rear. A single press of a button flips it open and a second press ejects the magazine; or you can keep the button depressed and perform both operations in a single movement. Operating the button de-cocks the action, ensuring safe reloading; the magazine can also be top-loaded. Clever stuff!

  • Verney Carron

    Verney Carron

    The Speedline from Verney Carron is the first true hunting rifle to feature an ‘interrupted-cycle’ lever-release action in which the normal cycle of a semi-auto is interrupted, so that the action has to be manually released to chamber. VC’s design seems to have been created in anticipation of further restrictions on semi-automatic rifles for hunting in continental Europe. Chamberings include; 7x64, 7mm Rem Mag, .30-’06, and .300 Win Mag. It also has a muzzle brake, a detachable battue rib, fibre-optic open sights, a walnut stock with a choice of height-adjustable soft polymer cheekpieces, and a 3 or 5-round box mag. They even make an L/H version. Its unique combination of payload, speed and unexpected handiness is attractive.

  • Steel Action

    Steel Action

    New, is the Steel Action Hunting. This straight-pull rifle has a rotary-locking bolt; a flush-fitting, double-stack, steel box mag (4 or 5) depending on calibre and can also be topped up in situ. Add a nitro-carburised finish on metal parts, integral Picatinny rail, semi-heavy barrel with a M15x1 threaded and capped muzzle, bolt handle angled down to place it closer to the trigger; one-piece walnut stock with a straight comb and a walnut bolt knob. Rifles are offered in Short (HS) and Medium (HM) action configurations, chambered in most popular calibres. Barrels are 18” or 20” for short-action and 20”, 22” or 24” for long. Only the Short action in .308 is currently available, however. The action is solid and smooth, and the rifle is wellpresented and deserves to be a success.

  • Unique Alpine

    Unique Alpine

    UA also produce a conventional rifle called the JPR-1, in four variants: The Europa, Kodiak, Highland and Nordland. All show barrelled actions featuring the same high-strength, military-grade steel and NATO-standard corrosion protection found on the TPG series, plus controlled-round feed and ejection (ejection force is dependent on bolt speed). With a 3-lug bolt-head giving a 60° lift angle, adjustable match trigger, an AICS-compatible 3- or 5-round mag and a medium-heavy barrel with a threaded (M15x1 or M18x1 depending on calibre) and capped muzzle. Calibres available are .243 Win, 6.5CM, 6.5x47 Lapua, .308 Win and (unusually) .450 Bushmaster. All variants can be supplied with 20” or 24” barrels, but a 16.5” option is available for the Kodiak and Nordland, and a 26” for the Nordland and Highland. Weight is between 3.5 and 4.7 kg depending on configuration. Picatinny mounts are used, with the Europa and Kodiak having single-slot 2-piece bases and the Highland and Nordland a 15-slot rail.

  • Franchi

    Franchi

    The Horizon is Franchi’s first bolt-action centrefire. It is offered as a budget model and includes a 1 MOA guarantee, a 60° bolt-lift, and a stylish polymer stock with an aluminium bedding block, integral sling studs and a choice of three recoil pads to adjust LOP. Calibres are .243 Win, .308 Win, .270 Win, 30-’06 and .300 Win Mag. Barrels are sporter-weight and 21.25” long, and a hinged-floor-plate double-stack magazine holds 4 or 3 rounds depending on calibre. The safety is a 2-position unit, and the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and shows a generous ejection port.

  • Barrett Firearms

    Barrett’s Fieldcraft is a sleek bolt-action sporter. It’s available in short and long action lengths, with a fluted bolt, an SS barrel and receiver in a glass-bedded carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer stock. The trigger is an adjustable Timney and the magazine holds 4-rounds. All of this looks good, but unusually they have opted for a blind box magazine, rather than a detachable unit, which I can see turning a lot of people off. Available calibres include the normal fare and all with 24” barrels.

Contacts

Alan Rhone Ltd; www.alanrhone.com
Anschütz: www.anschuetz-sport.com; [UK: RUAG Ammotec UK]
Barrett Firearms: https://barrett.net [UK: Edgar Brothers]
Bergara Rifles: www.bergararifles.com [UK: RUAG Ammotec UK]
Blaser: www.blaser.de [UK: Blaser Sporting UK]
Blaser Sporting UK; www.blaser-sporting.com
Browning: http://browning.eu [UK: International Sports Brands]
Brugger & Thomet [UK: Viking Arms]
BS Planet/Kekki: www.bsplanet.com
Chapuis Armes: www.chapuis-armes.com; ROLS sub-site: http:// rols-chapuis-armes.com
CZ: www.czub.cz [UK: Edgar Brothers]
Edgar Brothers; shootingsports.edgarbrothers.com
EraTac: http://era-tac.de [UK: Parabellum consulting]
Franchi: www.franchi.com [UK: GMK]
GMK Ltd; www.gmk.co.uk
International Sports Brands. Tel: 01235 514 550
Krieghoff: www.krieghoff.de [UK: Alan Rhone]
Mauser; www.mauser.com [UK: Blaser Sporting UK]
Merkel; www.merkel-die-jagd.de [UK: Viking Arms]
Parabellum Consulting: https://parabellumconsulting.co.uk
Pirkan Ase/LynxRifles: http://lynxrifles.fi [UK: Alan Rhone]
Ritter & Stark: www.ritterstark.com
RUAG Ammotec UK: www.ruag.co.uk
Sako: www.sako.fi [UK: GMK]
Savage Arms: www.savagearms.com [UK: Edgar Brothers]
Sportsman Gun Centre: www.sportsmanguncentre.co.uk
Steel Action: www.steel-action.de
Steyr Mannlicher: http://www.steyr-mannlicher.com [UK: Sportsman Gun Centre]
Sturm Ruger & Co: www.ruger.com [UK: Viking Arms]
Tikka: www.tikka.fi [UK: GMK]
Unique Alpine: www.unique-alpine.com
Verney Carron: www.verney-carron.com [UK: Garlands]
Viking Arms Ltd; www.vikingarms.com
Voere: www.voere.com [UK: Global Rifle]

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