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The G.A. Precision rifle is based on a Remington 700-style action in 6.5 Creedmoor caliber and has all of the features wanted in a tactical-grade precision rifle, including a SureFire compensator/suppressor adapter and Manners composite stock.

When I went through a sniper course in the mid-1980s, it was instructed by a team of FBI agents who taught me how to move into position undetected and take what they called “the long shot.” During that course, we never shot a round farther than 100 yards, and that seemed pretty far to me. The truth is, 100 yards is not a long shot at all and these days it is not uncommon to hear of members of the military making shots in excess of ½-mile. Of course the optics and guns are better now than they were then and more riflemen, whether they are in the tactical or sporting arenas, are demanding guns that will “reach out” to greater distances precisely. For the military sniper, the longer the distance, the less likely they will be detected by the enemy — and killed by counter-sniper activity.

A new generation of long distance rifles is cropping up that are designed to perform from 500 to 1,000 yards. Optics companies are acting on this trend, offering new scopes that give the shooter clarity of vision at these extended ranges while staying light and compact. Ammunition companies are not sitting back either, developing cartridges that will shoot flat at these long distances and giving riflemen ammo that will meet the challenges presented by these new guns and glass. One of these new cartridges is the 6.5 Creedmore round, developed by the Hornady Ammunition Company. This light but fast round is designed for 500 meters plus and is catching the attention of precision riflemen nationwide.

ga-precision-65-creedmoor-bThe Templar bolt features one-piece solid construction with an M16-style extractor milled and fit into place to enhance extraction and ejection. Upon opening the bolt primary extraction is increased by 35%, which makes for a very smooth bolt cycle.

Cartridge Details
The first production cartridge ever developed from the ground up to be a true match cartridge is now being loaded with Hornady components, with the potential to become the true modern rifleman’s cartridge. Developed to give competitive shooters a factory-loaded cartridge that will allow them to compete and win at the highest levels of shooting, the 6.5 Creedmoor is making its way into the tactical and hunting worlds. Chambered by several manufacturers of rifles, the 6.5 Creedmoor is making its debut as a hunting or tactical round in Hornady’s new “Superformance” line of ammunition. Loaded with both 120- and 140-grain GMX bullets, the 6.5 Creedmoor brings a level of precision to long distance rifle shooting that is currently unmatched. In addition, its light recoil makes it very easy to shoot for extended periods and is perfect for any North American game, up to and including elk. Of course, it could also be an excellent choice for law enforcement or military operations requiring both short and long distance shots.

Gunsite instructor Giles Stock sat down with me and explained the new cartridge and its capabilities. It was easy to see that Giles was quite enthusiastic about the new cartridge and wanted me to see its performance capabilities for myself. “The guys who are making the best platform for the 6.5 Creedmore are from G.A. Precision. You really need to meet them and see what they have to offer.” Giles then introduced me to Tim “Moon” Roberts, one of the master rifle-builders at G.A. Precision, who showed me several of the rifles he has built and discussed what would be the best platform for the 6.5 Creedmore round if it were to be used in a tactical application.

G.A. Precision has been in business since 1999, striving to create top-of-the-line rifles that are not only precise but also affordable without sacrificing quality. G.A. Precision uses only top-notch, field-tested, quality parts and accessories in their guns. Founded by George Gardner as a means of building competition rifles for local high-power and long-range shooters, during the past ten years they have grown to the point they have moved to three different locations and added 13 employees. G.A. Precision currently builds rifles for over 300 law enforcement agencies, including: FBI HRT, ATF SRT, Chicago P.D. SWAT, Illinois State Police HRT, Cook County (Chicago) HBT, Coral Springs PD, Kansas City P.D. TAC and many others. They also specialize in building competition rifles for the growing field of tactical long-range competitions across the country.

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The Templar bolt features one-piece solid construction with an M16-style extractor milled and fit into place to enhance extraction and ejection. Upon opening the bolt primary extraction is increased by 35%, which makes for a very smooth bolt cycle.

Gun Details
“Moon” built my test rifle himself using a receiver from G.A. Precision called the short action “Templar,” which accepts Accuracy International AW double-stack magazines. These magazines have plenty of interior space, an asset that reloaders will appreciate. The Templar bolt is one-piece solid construction with an M16-style extractor milled and fit into place to enhance extraction and ejection. Primary extraction is increased by 35% — which means that upon opening the bolt, the case is pulled out of the chamber 35% more upon opening, making for a very smooth bolt cycle. This modification is in both the receiver and bolt. The receiver body is hardened 416 stainless steel and is radiused so it still fits a Model 700-style stock. The recoil lug is precision-ground and double pinned, while the bolt stop has been changed to the G.A.P. Style side release. The bolt/handle is now one piece, machined from a solid piece of 4320 CM and heat-treated. The knob itself is the only part that is threaded. The handle is slanted to the rear and not straight for ease of operation and is nicely checkered for a solid grip while cycling the action.

The stock used for the test gun is a Manners Composite model # T5A with thumbhole, which was given a desert camouflage design by Todd Jackson at Manners. The stock features a KMW cheekpiece insert so the shooter can set their cheekweld as desired. The T5A version is designed as a right hand grip with a small thumb rest on the left side of the stock. Although the T5A version is a right hand stock, it was designed so a left hand grip could also be obtained. A lot of time went into the design of the grip on this stock, as it moves the shooting hand down and forward so the trigger finger is in a more natural position and not having to over-reach for the trigger face. The area behind the trigger looks odd but it is designed to make the hand return to the same spot each time the stock is gripped. It works well with all sizes of hands and comes with a fixed 1-inch Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad, however, it can also be ordered with the optional butt spacer system with a half-inch Decelerator pad. The standard weight for the T5A is four pounds.

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The barrel used was a Bartlein, 26-inch stainless steel unit with a #14 contour, a 1-in-8.5-inch twist and full fluting. It was coated in black CeraKote, as were all of the exposed metal parts used. The bore diameter is .256 with a groove depth of .264. The stock is pillar bedded with aluminum and set with marine-tex epoxy. The barrel is floating approximately 0.19 of an inch and has a 1.5-inch barrel pad. The forward end of the stock has a dual Picatinny rail attached for optional accessories. The triggerguard/magazine housing is the model M5 from Badger Ordnance. A heavy-duty guard that allows quick loading/unloading via a 10-round, double stack magazine utilizes a time-proven paddle-style magazine release. The guard includes grade 5 torx screws and pre-made bedding pillars to guarantee exact fit and perfect function. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum and hard coat anodized black, the guard with an empty 5-round magazine weighs 10.2 ounces.

While no precision rifleman can always count on being able to use a bipod, having one on such a rifle is essential. G.A. supplied this rifle with an Atlas precision bipod Model BT10, which has 15 degrees of pre-loaded pan and cant with four leg positions and an elevation radius of 5 to 9 inches. Standard two-screw clamp-on style is standard and the unit is made from T6061 Aluminum. Hard anodized black stainless steel springs and fasteners are also used. Non-orientated leg positioning allows either hand to move legs into any of the four leg positions: stowed back, 90 degrees straight down, 45 degrees forward and stowed forward. All leg positions are solid, allowing the shooter to load the bipod at the 45- and 90-degree positions, and the durable rubber feet are suitable for many surfaces.
G.A. uses Badger Ordnance scope rings, which are machined from steel bar stock as serialized matched pairs. This assures both rings are identical and eliminates the damaging effects of mismatched, mass-produced rings.

Maximized rings are designed to fit Picatinny optical rails and are finished with mil-spec black oxide. All the hardware on their rings is designed to exact specifications, including the torx screws that hold the scope securely in the rings.

The threaded SureFire suppressor adapter was added to the barrel and also functions as a high-performance muzzle brake when the suppressor is removed. The patented design greatly diffuses side blast, fights against up/right muzzle movement to help stay on target and eliminates felt concussion back at shooter. Made with heat-treated stainless steel construction, the SureFire adapter provides rock-solid suppressor attachment in seconds without tools.

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The Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x50mm scope offers high resolution and maximum light gathering capability with parallax adjustment and ¼” clicks for windage and elevation.

Optics
A precision rifle without a scope is like an airplane without wings. For the precision bolt gun to be its best, it needs a quality optic to search, identify and zero in on targets. It is not unusual to spend just as much, if not more, on the optic as the rifle. In the case of this gun, I used a Leupold Mark IV 4.5-14x50mm ER/T scope. Like all things Leupold, the scope is solidly built with everything one would want in a tactical-grade optic. The Mark IV 4.5-14 has a number of worthwhile features, including the Leupold Index Matched Lens System, which delivers superior resolution from edge to edge of the optic’s visual field, even at 14 power, along with peak image brightness and optimal contrast. In addition, a side-focus parallax adjustment is standard for fast, easy parallax focusing from 50 yards to infinity. M1 windage and elevation adjustment dials with audible, tactile ¼-MOA clicks make adjustment easier under any lighting conditions. The reticle is magnified along with the image, so the shooter can estimate range at any magnification. Available in a durable, subdued matte black finish, the Mark IV 4.5-14 is absolutely waterproof.

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The stock features a fully adjustable KMW cheekpiece insert so that shooters can set their cheekweld as desired.

Shooting Impressions
It goes without saying that as I took this gun from the shipping container I was greatly impressed by what I saw. It has all the makings of a top-notch precision rifle with the “sexy” good looks that many rifle shooters desire. Giles Stock told me from the outset that the 6.5 Creedmore was a long distance gun and that a 100-yard accuracy test would not do it justice. My gun club has a maximum distance of 200 yards, so I had to find an alternate location and I knew just the place.

I headed to the hills of Southern Ohio to the Tactical Defense Institute, where I knew that founder John Benner could give me at least 400 meters of range space. I also enlisted the help of John Motil, a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant who now acts as TDI’s Operations Manager and one of their precision rifle instructors. John removed the rifle from the case and sat it on the ground, bipod down, to examine it. He then dry-fired the 2.25-pound trigger to get a feel for what the G.A. rifle could do. The trigger action is one of the primary features of any G.A. Precision rifle and they pride themselves on offering one of the best trigger actions found on any rifle. He also noted the smooth action of the bolt. To me, the bolt was so smooth that it felt like it was moving on a cushion of air. We grabbed a few sand bags, ammo supplied by Hornady, a shooter’s mat and a spotter’s scope and headed to the TDI rifle range.

I let John take the lead on the test as, quite frankly, he knows more about precision rifle work than I do. He zeroed the rifle at 100 yards with both the 120- and 140-grain loads and we were not surprised to see that it shot sub-MOA with several rounds touching one another. At 200 yards it started to get a little more interesting, with the groups actually “coming apart” a bit. Remembering what Giles told me, we continued to move back and the groups started to tighten up at 300 and 400 yards, with the 400-yard group being just slightly over an inch in diameter. The gun functioned flawlessly with extracted cases being thrown well clear of the action.

We were able to push the range back to 400 meters and started shooting at a miniature steel pepper popper. This traditionally shaped mini-popper measures 14 inches tall, 2 inches wide at the base and shaft with a 4-inch center circle. John was able to hit the mini-popper on his first try and then I took to the rifle. While I missed my first round a bit to the right, I hit the next four rounds with all striking the steel just above the base, staying inside a 2-inch circle. Measuring the strike points from center to center, my four-round group measured 2 inches — and I don’t consider myself a precision rifleman! With a rifle this well built it’s not hard to shine a bit. If you are looking for the best in precision rifles, there is no need to look further than the folks at G.A. Precision.

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The G.A. Precision rifle is based on a Remington 700-style action in 6.5 Creedmoor caliber…