Seven years ago this rifle was the new kid on the block. In a world teeming with Remington 700 rifles, clones, and customs, the FNH USA SPR (Special Police Rifle) was different. There were some purpose built rifles out there like the AI’s and the Sakos of the world, but they were too far out of most department or police officer budgets to be anywhere near the picture — mostly really cool rifles that officers could look at in magazines but never get a hold of. Thankfully that has changed to a great extent.
Just like the 700, FNH USA SPR started its life as a hunting rifle and was developed into a purpose-built precision rifle. Built on a Winchester Model 70 Pre-1964 action that was a controlled feed design, the SPR was the choice of many at the time and was in contrast to the push feeds so popular then. Although the first generation was
mounted in an H-S Precision stock, sub-sequent generations came mounted in McMillan stocks, which was pretty new at the time especially for a rifle that could be purchased and used “out-of-the-box.”
For many police administrators at the time, anything “custom” was evil and perceived as some sort of liability risk — unfortunately a mindset that exists to this day. It made it difficult for many police marksmen, as the best rifles often required a bit of work, and for every riflesmith that really knows what they are doing there are a couple hundred that do not. The introduction of a semi-custom factory rifle provided departments with factory support and a warranty. It could even be ordered with a proven base, rings, sling and bipod system. Essentially a small department could take the rifle, add their scope, and have everything they needed to equip a police marksman to shoot sub 1-MOA out of the box, and many did far better.
The product line has grown a bit since the first time it crossed my path. The SPR A1 rifle is the introductory rifle, equipped with a 24-inch non-fluted barrel, detachable box magazine (DBM) and a McMillan stock. The model tested is the SPR A1a and is essentially the same, other than the 20-inch fluted barrel. The A3G is the model as specified by the FBI. Having had the pleasure to speak at length with the gentleman at the FBI that conducted the testing, passing this test was no easy task. The particular rifle is built to insure a “sub-0.50-MOA” accuracy standard. The trigger is the original Model 70 “two-lever” design, the chamber is matched to tighter specifications and its hand-bedded action is mounted in an adjustable McMillan A3 stock with a hinged floorplate. Last but not least in the line is the FNH USA A5 M SPR, available in both .308 and .300 WSM, as well as in different barrel lengths. The .308 is a DBM while the .300 WSM has a hinged floorplate, both mounted in the A5 stock. All of these rifles are rugged and reliable, and very accurate.