Three new line extensions further expand the extensive Blaser R8 lineup. One is a truly elegant version called the Classic Sporter, and it epitomizes the meaning of the term. Cradled in Turkish walnut, the lines of this stock are nigh on perfect, accented by a Prince of Wales grip, which is more open than most, and a Rigby-style, egg-shaped cheekpiece. The straight comb line is parallel with the bore, as it should be for scope use. Completing the stock furniture are inlaid sling swivels, a steel grip cap, 22 lpi checkering, and a rosewood forend tip. I think this Classic Sporter by Blaser is the best interpretation of an American classic stock that I’ve seen come out of Germany.
The other line extensions are also defined solely by their stocks, both of which are highly stylized thumbholes that Blaser has dubbed Professional Success. The Monza sports black leather grip inlays with red stitching on a black stock. The Stutzen is on the same basic TH stock, but with a full-length, Mannlicher-style forend with muzzle cap. The extended forend is available as an accessory to allow switching any of the other three Professional Success rifles over to the Stutzen style—very clever.
For more information, visit blaser-usa.com.
Browning Composite Stalker/Eclipse Hunter
The new Browning AB3 features a bolt lock override button that allows shooters to unload the firearm while leaving the top-tang safety in the on-safe position. The steel receiver has a matte blue finish and is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. A free-floating, hand-chambered barrel with target crown is featured. The AB3 also has a removable box magazine. The composite stock is matte black and features textured grip areas. An Inflex recoil pad reduces felt recoil. Sling swivel studs are included. The AB3 Composite Stalker model is chambered in .30-06 Springfield, .270 Win, .300 Win Mag, and 7mm Rem Mag.
For more information, visit browning.com.
CZ Model 550 Series
A new supposed varminter and two new long-range rifles have been added to CZ’s Model 550 line for 2014. I say “supposed” because the 550 Varmint Tacticool is chambered in only one caliber, .308 Win., which, last time I heard, isn’t considered a varmint caliber. Oh well, this new variant is distinguished by its Boyds’ laminated stock, but it sports an all-green finish, which of course hides the fact that it’s a laminate. The catalog states: “It’s the perfect match for range work or pulling watch on a prairie dog town.” I don’t know about you, but a .308 ain’t my idea of a P-rat rifle!
The other two additions to the 550 line—the Badlands and the Sonoran—are both long-range hunting rifles. The Badlands, for example, is available in only one caliber, .338 Lapua. This bad boy sports a braked 25-inch barrel and sits in a Kevlar stock with an aluminum bedding chassis. The magnum CZ 550 action has a dropped box that will hold four of the outsized cartridges. Empty weight is 9.2 pounds.
- Ammunition .308 Winchester
- Magazine Capacity 4
- Magazine Type Detachable
- Weight 10.760 lbs
- Overall Length 46.700 in
- Barrel Length 25.600 in
- Stock Tactical
- Trigger Adjustable
- Sights Integrated 19mm Dovetails
The Sonoran is distinguished by its OD-colored Manners carbon-fiber stock, which is done in the prone/target style with vertical grip and a fluted barrel. Calibers offered are .270 Win., .30-06, 7mm Rem. Mag and .300 Win. Mag. The entire barreled action is ferritic nitrocarburized. With a Rockwell C-scale rating of 72, that makes it virtually impervious to wear and corrosion.
- Ammunition .270 Winchester
- Magazine Capacity 5
- Magazine Type Fixed
- Weight 7.600 lbs
- Overall Length 44.800 in
- Barrel Length 24.000 in
- Stock Manners Tactical
- Trigger Adjustable
- Sights Integrated 19mm Dovetails
For more information, visit cz-usa.com.
Dakota Arms is a prestigious rifle maker has added two new models to its line of semi-custom rifles. One is the Model 76 Professional Hunter, which is based on its Model 70-type action. Distinguishing this model is a pillar bedded synthetic stock; a Cerakote matte black metal finish; and a 23-inch Douglas premium stainless barrel with barrel band front sight and swivel stud. A fixed rear sight blade of machined steel sits atop a quarter rib.
Model 76 Professional Hunter Key Features:
• Trusted Model 76 action, right or left hand
• Rugged, custom, pillar bedded fiberglass stock with cheek piece
• 23-inch Douglas premium stainless barrel
• Quarter rib with one fixed blade and banded/hooded front sight with fiber optic bead and window hood
• Barrel band
• Available in .375 H&H, .404 Jeffery, .416 Remington, .416 Rigby, 458 Lott, 450 Dakota, 450 Rigby
• Cerakote matte Black
• 14-inch length of pull (lop) standard
• 1-inch black decelerator pad
The other new Dakota is the Model 97 Varminter, and it’s based on the company’s hybrid version of its Model 76. It’s also a controlled-round feed Model 70-type action, but it’s based on a tubular receiver with a separate recoil lug, making it less expensive to produce. The Model 97 Varminter comes standard with a Claro Walnut stock with a blind magazine, and is available in a wide assortment of short-action calibers.
- American Claro walnut XX sporter style stock
- 13 5/8″ length of pull
- Black recoil pad
- 24″ match grade select stainless steel barrel (standard)
- Stainless receiver
- Talley scope bases included
- 11-degree recessed target crown
- Vapor hone matte bead blast finish
- Available as a single-shot only
- Pillar bedded for maximum accuracy
- Right- or left-handed models available
- One piece bolt and handle
For more information, visit dakotaarms.com.
H-S Precision PLR
The PLR (Professional Long Range) rifle is based on H-S’s Pro-Series 2000 action, which along with every other component (barrels and stocks) are designed and manufactured in the company’s modern factory in Rapid City, South Dakota. (Click here for more on the PLR from Tactical-Life.com…)
The stock is specifically designed for long-range prone shooting, with a vertical grip, elevated comb, ambidextrous palm swell, dual front swivel studs, and a wide forend. The 10x fluted, cut-rifled barrel is of light varmint contour tapering to 0.75 inches at the muzzle and is available in any standard or magnum long-action caliber.
For more information, visit hsprecision.com.
New finishes and package rifles are what’s new from Legacy Sports, the company that’s been importing these Japanese-made rifles for a couple of decades now. The new finishes consist of three camo patterns—Highlander, Typhon and Raid—and together comprise the new Kryptek series of Howa centerfire rifles. All three patterns are identical and differ only in color. The pattern is said to create a three-dimensional effect that conceals in a variety of backgrounds. It certainly looks high-tech!
The Kryptek pattern can be had on Howa’s standard Hogue overmolded stock, or on what they’re calling a “Full Dip Package” where the entire rifle, along with a pre-mounted Nikko-Sterling 4-16×44 scope, are done in Kryptek.
Another package deal for 2014 is the pairing of two Howa models—one with the standard Hogue stock, the other with a walnut handle—with a pre-mounted Zeiss Terra 3-9×42 scope.
1. Zeiss Terra 3X 1″, 3-9×42 Scope on Package Models
2. DNZ One-Piece Scope Base with Integral Rings
3. 22″ Standard or 24″ Magnum Barrels
4. Sling Swivel Studs Included
5. Forged, One-Piece Bolt with Two Locking Lugs
7. Two Stage Match Trigger
8. Hogue Overmolded Stock in Black or OD Green
9. Hogue Recoil Pad
10. Three-Position Safety
For more information, visit legacysports.com.
Only one new model from Kimber this year, the Adirondack, which pushes the weight envelope to yet another level. Last year it was the Mountain Ascent, which weighed around 5.5 pounds in standard-length, non-magnum calibers. The Adirondack weighs in at 4.8 pounds in the two calibers it’s offered, 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. A spiral-fluted bolt, a hollowed-out bolt knob and an 18-inch barrel threaded for an optional muzzle brake contribute to this newest Kimber’s wispy weight. Its carbon-reinforced fiberglass stock is finished in the Gore Optifade Forest pattern, which claims to blend in with most environments.
For more information, visit kimberamerica.com.
A limited-edition version of the iconic Model 336 lever-action rifle is the only new offering in the Marlin lineup. The Limited Edition 336’s distinguishing features are its B-grade walnut stock with fleur-de-lis checkering, the roll-engraved scroll on the right side of the receiver, and a 24-carat Marlin horse-and-rider emblem on the left. A gold-plated trigger and a “Limited Edition” stamping on the barrel complete the unique features of this gun.
- Caliber: 30/30 Win.
- Capacity: 6-shot tubular magazine
- Action: Lever action; side ejection; solid top receiver; deeply blued metal surfaces; hammer block safety.
- Stock: Walnut finished cut-checkered hardwood with pistol grip; tough Mar-Shield finish; swivel studs; hard rubber butt plate; blued steel fore-end cap.
- Barrel: 20″ with Micro-Groove rifling (12 grooves).
- Twist Rate: 1:10″ r.h.
- Sights: Adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear; ramp front sight with brass bead and Wide-Scan hood. Solid top receiver tapped for scope mount; offset hammer spur (right or left hand) for scope use
- Overall Length: 38.25″
- Weight: 7 lbs.
For more information, visit marlinfirearms.com.
Introduced in mid-2013, the new Mauser M12 bolt-action, centerfire rifle is based on a six-lug action that locks up with the barrel, a feature shared by most European-made rifles, most of which offer barrel/caliber interchangeability. Other features are a detachable magazine, a three-position safety that locks the firing pin and a factory-set, 2-pound trigger.
With the M12 Extreme, which is the synthetic stocked version, the Mauser folks have succeeded in bringing the gun’s MSRP down to $1,499, which makes it one of the least expensive European-made rifles.
- Steel construction featuring the distinctive wide Mauser loading breach for easy loading from above
- Extremely smooth bolt movement
- Short 60° bolt lift and anti-slip bolt handle ball for fast repeating
- Direct locking in the barrel via 6 large locking lugs for optimum shooting performance and double ejector for a strong ejection of the cartridge
- 3-position safety SRS* for highest safety demands, which directly acts on the firing pin
- Excellent direct trigger with approx. 2 lb** trigger pull for accurate shooting
- Classic, straight stock shape with “Prince of Wales” pistol grip, fine, split checkering and exquisite scalloping on the stock around the receiver
- Detachable magazine staggers the cartridges for maximum capacity; Mauser crest adorns the steel floor plate
For more information, visit mauser-m12.com.
Mossberg MVP Series
Line extensions to the MVP Patrol and MVP Flex series comprise the new offerings from this North Haven-based gun manufacturer. Both are based on Mossberg’s 4×4 bolt action, and both can be had in either .223 Rem. or .308 Win. The Patrol series employs a conventional, classic-style synthetic stock, while the Flex series comes with an M4-style, six-position TLS buttstock and pistol grip. Though the latter has the looks of a modern sporting rifle, it’s still a bolt-action rifle.
The new additions consist of the .300 Blackout chambering being added to the MVP series, a 16.5-inch, medium-bull-barrel variant that’s offered with a tan-colored stock, or a black combo version in .223 Rem. with a pre-mounted 3-9×32 illuminated reticle scope. Both come standard with a fiber-optic front sight, a fully adjustable rear sight, a threaded A2 flash suppressor and a spiral-fluted bolt.
In the Flex series, a fluted 18.5-inch, medium bull barrel in .308 Win. has been added, with the same option as the MVP—a tan-colored stock (rifle only), or a black stock combo model with a 3-9×32 infrared scope.
For more information, visit mossberg.com.
Remington managed a few line extensions this year in the form of the new Model 700 Long Range and 700 VTR (Varmint Tactical Rifle). The latter is new only in that it now comes standard with a Picatinny rail and a Harris Bipod with no increase in price. The VTR sports a 22-inch barrel and is offered in .223 Rem., .22-250, .260 Rem. and .308 Win. As for the Long Range, it’s essentially the Model 700 Varmint in long-action calibers with a 26-inch barrel. Calibers offered are .25-06, 7mm-08 Rem. Mag., .30-06, .300 Win. Mag. and .300 Ultra Mag.
For this year’s Model 700 Limited Edition rifle, Remington has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its own .223 Rem. cartridge. This one-production-run rifle comes standard with a stainless, fluted barrel, a deluxe CDL stock and a roll engraved commemorative floorplate. Not forgetting its value-priced Model 783, a Mossy Oak Break Up version is now available, along with a Compact version with a shorter length of pull in calibers .243 and .308 Win.
For more information, visit remington.com.
There’s plenty of new line extensions and calibers from Ruger, arguably the most diverse of American gun manufacturers. For the iconic No. 1 single-shot there are five variants, each being offered in only one caliber—the Model 1-A in .280 Rem.; the 1-S in 9.3×62; the 1-H in .450/400 NE; the 1-RSI in .257 Roberts, and the 1-V in .220 Swift. Except for the RSI, which has a full-length forestock, the other four all have the Farquharson-style forend. Unfortunately, they have dropped my favorite model, the 1-B standard rifle, but I’m hoping it will be added next year when the entire No.1 line will have been revamped.
In the American Rifle series there’s a new matte stainless All-Weather version being offered in seven calibers ranging from .223 Rem. to .30-06.
The American Rimfire was a mid-year introduction, so it debuted in the 2014 catalog. Most Ruger enthusiasts are already familiar with this value-priced, modular rimfire that offers several unique features. Another interesting feature is that two interchangeable buttstocks of different comb heights come with each gun—one for iron sight use, one for scope use. Two versions are offered, one with a standard pull length of 13.75 inches and a 22-inch barrel, and a youth/compact model with a 12.5-inch length of pull and an 18-inch barrel. Each buttstock can be converted to the other with an accessory module.
Other features include the use of 10/22 and 10/22 Magnum rotary magazines, integral action bedding blocks, a tang safety and Ruger’s Marksman adjustable trigger.
For more information, visit ruger.com.
Sauer 101 Classic XT
One of the few really new rifles for 2014 is the Sauer 101 Classic XT, a six-lug action (two rows of three on 120-degree centers) that locks up directly with the barrel and cycles with a 60-degree bolt rotation. As German/Austrian rifles go, this one is relatively conventional in its design, and quite unlike its sibling, the Sauer 202, the receiver of which requires extensive machining.
The Sauer 101 Classic XT’s salient features are a bolt-lock button that allows cycling the action with the safety engaged; a firing pin lock that’s built into the bolt shroud; an all-polymer detachable magazine; a barrel that is heat fitted instead of threaded to the receiver; an ultra-wide trigger with a 2-pound pull; and a Soft Touch coating over the entire polymer stock. With the exception of the schnabel forend tip, which is actually becoming increasingly popular here in the States, the stock is pure American straight-comb classic. In fact, the point of the comb is lower than the heel of the butt, which helps reduce cheek slap and perceived recoil. The Sauer 101 model is also offered in a wood stocked version, and iron sights are optional with either model.
- Machined steel receiver
- Precisely rifled barrel
- Matte black surface finish
- 6-lug bolt locks directly into the barrel
- 60° bolt rotation
- DURA SAFE firing pin safety
- EVER REST action bedding
- Crisp 2 lb trigger pull
- 14.4 inch length of pull
- Ambidextrous stock with symmetrical palm swell
- Removable double-stack magazine
- 5 + 1 shot Standard calibers / 4 + 1 Magnum calibers
- Accepts Remington 700 long action scope base mounts
- Adjustable open sights optional
For more information, visit sauer-101.com.
One new addition from Savage this year is the Model 11 Trophy Hunter XP in Muddy Girl Camo being offered as a package gun. It consists of a short-action rifle (chambered in .223. .243, 7mm-08 Rem. and .308), a 20-inch barrel and a shorter length of pull. The result is an overall length of 39.5 inches and a weight of 7 pounds complete with a pre-mounted Nikon 3-9×40 scope. With Muddy Girl Camo being pink and black, it’s a good thing deer see in monochrome!
A new addition to the ever-growing line of left-handed rifles is Savage’s Model 16/116 FLCSS in the Big Game series. It consists of a synthetic stock and an all-stainless barreled action with detachable magazine. Calibers available are .223 Rem., .22-250, .243, 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 in the short action, and .270 and .30-06 in long.
For more information, visit savagearms.com.
Shaw Precision Guns – Mark VII VS
This division of E. R. Shaw, America’s largest gun barrel manufacturer, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with the introduction of its Mark VII VS (Varmint Special) centerfire rifle. The VS model is based on a right-handed, single-shot action with a minimal ejection port, both of which make for a much stiffer receiver. Two barrel contours are offered, one of which is a straight-taper, heavy varmint weight; the other is a full bull barrel measuring 1.25-inches in diameter for its entire length. Any barrel length can be ordered, and in more chamberings than are offered by any other manufacturer, production or custom.
Under a licensing agreement with Savage, the highly acclaimed AccuTrigger, which is user-adjustable down to 2 pounds, is standard on the VS. Two pepper-laminated, target-style wood stocks are offered. One comes with a ventilated forearm and a 10-inch rail for adjustable bipod placement, and a cheekpiece and buttplate that are fully adjustable for comb height and pull length, respectively. The plainer version offers a two-position cheekpiece.
For more information, visit ershawbarrels.com.
Weatherby Vanguard Series 2
Four variants in the Vanguard Series 2 line are about all that’s new from Weatherby this year, and they consist solely of different camo patterns. Two of the patterns they’ve chosen are not in any way traditional in that they don’t mirror forest, brush or marsh scenes; rather, they’re of the high tech, three-dimensional type. Called Kryptek and Typhon, both are proprietary patterns. The third pattern is Blaze, and it’s not very conventional, either, because it’s flame-like and predominantly red in color.
These three Vanguard 2 variants sport 24-inch, sporter-weight barrels, and are offered in .223 Rem., .243, .270, .308 and .30-06.
- Match quality two-stage trigger, new stock design and guaranteed SUB-MOA accuracy
- Mauser-style action, dual opposed lug design
- SUB-MOA Accuracy Guarantee ensures .99″ or less 3-shot group at 100 yards when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.
- Match Quality Two-Stage Trigger is “creep free” for consistent let-off. Each trigger is hand-honed, factory-tuned and inspected for a clean, crisp break, improving shooter accuracy. Fully adjustable down to 2.5 lbs. Trigger housing is constructed of lightweight alloy.
- Cold Hammer Forged 24″ Barrel maximizes velocity and produces SUB-MOA Guaranteed Accuracy when used with specified premium (non-Weatherby calibers) or Weatherby factory ammunition. 20″ and 22″ barrels available on some models.
- Monte Carlo Griptonite Stock with Inserts provides lightweight and durable performance year after year. Combines modern synthetic materials with the legendary Weatherby raised comb Monte Carlo design. Special pistol grip and forend inserts provide a firm, non-slip grip. Also features a right side palm swell to aid in control and shooter comfort
- Matte Bead Blasted Blued or Stainless Finish provides a beautiful, yet durable look.
- 3-Position Safety
For more information, visit weatherby.com.
A new item in the Winchester Model 70 lineup for this year is the addition of the .264 Win. Mag. chambering to the Extreme Weather SS model. Long absent from the Model 70 line, the .264 (and the entire 6.5mm bore size) is making somewhat of a resurgence, thanks to young shooters discovering just how efficient cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284 and the .260 Rem. can be when loaded with super efficient, ultra low drag (ULD) bullets. And after all, the .264 was (and still is) king of the 6.5 cartridge.
In the Model 1892 lever gun line, two additions make the news, the Short Rifle and the Large Loop Carbine. The former features a traditional, crescent steel buttplate and a classic forearm with blued steel cap. The latter is distinguished by its strap-style steel buttplate and barrel band forearm. Both guns are offered in .357 Mag., .44 Rem. Mag. and .45 Colt.
For more information, visit winchesterguns.com.
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