The XKaliber from King’s Arsenal is more than an odd collection of big gun parts welded together. I recently got the chance to test-fire this well-thought-out and designed bolt-action .50 BMG. Starting with the new McMillan action, the gun leaves the blocks ahead of any competition. The McMillan action is popular for serious benchrest shooters and is renowned for its reliability. It’s created from 4340 chrome-moly steel and then is treated for exceptional hardness. This is also the action linked to one of the longest recorded sniper shots in history; Rob Furlong of the Canadian Army is credited with a confirmed hit at 2,647 yards—over 1.5 miles away.
The bolt is the brainchild of Jordan King and is much a piece of art as it is a functional component. Fluted and operating as smooth as glass, the bolt is the perfect mate for the McMillan action. With a solid lockup, the bolt is truly “one” with the action.
The barrel comes from the folks at Lilja. It’s 28 inches long and features a 1-in-15-inch twist rate, which is a perfect match for the Hornady 750-grain A-MAX round. The muzzle brake is also from McMillan. It is a good fit and adds sufficient control without adding too much weight. The rifle’s trigger comes from Shilen, and it’s tuned in-house for a very crisp 2.3-pound pull. Not for the faint of heart, the trigger has no slop or play.
Holding all of this together is a Cadex Strike Gen IV chassis. The lightweight, skeletonized chassis does a fine job of mixing strength with weight management. It is a highly modular chassis that can be adjusted by the shooter at many points. All of the adjustments can be done without the need for tools, which is very important in the field. Make adjustment,s then simply lock them in place. There’s no wiggle or movement at all.
The rifle is a compact 45 inches with the buttstock folded and a manageable 56 inches with the stock unfolded. Coming in at 25 pounds unloaded and without a scope, the Xkaliber is heavy, but it’s relatively light for its category and chambering. In comparison, the Barrett M82A1 weighs in at over 32 pounds. Yes, that weight matters. The XKaliber .50 BMG is one of the lightest bolt gun on the market. Check out the video to see the rifle in action, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a full report in an upcoming issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS. To subscribe, visit Tactical-Life.com/subscribe.
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by Tactical-Life / Jul 14, 2014