To an extent, it’s surprising that the bolt action rifle has not evolved at the same pace as the AR. When the AR-15 was introduced, it had the capacity for modularity, but it took several years for that benefit to manifest itself in the marketplace. Bolt action rifles have been around for much longer and have a much longer combat linage, but modularity never seemed to be all that desirable to those who were pulling triggers. It took the modularity of the AR to reach frantic proportions before the same considerations were applied to the bolt action.
Accurate-Mag has changed all that with its new AM40A6 rifle. By what the company developed for Colt working on the M2012 rifle, it applied those lessons and its precision machining experience to create a precision sniper rifle set forth by the U.S. Marine Corps modular rifle stock solicitation. Accurate-Mag’s new chassis is essentially a three-piece, modular unit. There is the center chassis, which is what the barreled action is attached to, and there is the handguard and the buttstock. With the exception of cartridge interchangeability, the AM40A6 rifle has all the potential modularity of the AR platform. With additional handguards and buttstocks from Accurate-Mag, added versatility will follow. (Cartridge interchangeability is also possible with a pre-fitted action.)
Continue Reading: Accurate-Mag AM40A6 7.62mm Bolt-Action Rifle | Gun Review
The AM40A6 should attract the attention of military and special response units looking for a precision bolt action rifle that can be easily modified to suit particular situations. The ability to swap handguards to meet certain missions, without shifting the rifle’s zero, is a big deal. Not only that, with the versatile and adjustable buttstock that comes standard on this rifle, armorers will not be strapped with undue requirements to make one rifle work with shooters and soldiers of different sizes.
The center chassis section of the stock, if you want to call it that, on the AM40A6 rifle is forged and machined aluminum, and houses the trigger group and magazine well while also providing a solid—no movement allowed—foundation for the barreled action to rest in. The triggerguard is integral to the chassis, and the magazine release is a large paddle positioned just forward of the triggerguard. The chassis comes standard with an Ergo palm-swell AR-15 grip and works with Accurate-Mag’s five- and 10-round magazines. The handguard is also machined aluminum. It attaches to the center chassis with two heavy-duty screws. Remove them and the forend can be separated from the center chassis and slid off the barrel. These two screws thread into a dovetailed block, integral to the center chassis, and the front action screw passes through this block, threading into the front of the barreled action.
“Anyone who knows anything about precision bolt action rifles knows about GA Precision, which was founded by George Gardner to build competition rifles for local high-power and long-range shooters.”
The handguard has been skeletonized and also has key cuts for the attachment of accessories or rail sections, which can be held in place via Chicago-type hex-head screws. Integral to the topside or deck of the handguard is an 11.5-inch section of Picatinny rail, which has 28 slots. This rail aligns perfectly with the railed scope base on the receiver, allowing for the attachment of a night-vision device. This tubular-style handguard allows the barrel to be free-floated over its entire length. You can attach your night-vision device and even the Harris bipod, which comes with the rifle, to this handguard, and it will have no bearing on the barrel, point of impact or accuracy.
The buttstock of this three-piece chassis system is attached to the center chassis by two screws just behind the action’s tang. The part that attaches to the center chassis is aluminum, but the rear section is polymer. The front section is also jointed and hinged. There’s a push button on the right side of the forward section that releases the lock, allowing the rear section to fold 180 degrees along the left side of the rifle. A catch on the center chassis holds the rear section in its folded position. With the stock folded, the rifle can be carried in a case that is less than 40 inches long. The total weight of this modular stock system is just a shade less than 6 pounds.
On the folding section of the buttstock there’s also a rubber cheekpiece, which is adjustable for height to allow the shooter to properly position their eye behind the scope without loosing contact with the stock. This is critical to precision shooting, especially when it must be done from the multitude of positions encountered in the field by designated marksmen and snipers. Not so much so with weekend ninjas when shooting from the bench. Thought went into this cheekpiece design because the bolt can be removed from the action regardless of how the cheekpiece is positioned. Many so-called tactical bolt guns require the cheekpiece to be moved or even removed before a bolt can be pulled.
There are also multiple quick-release sling attachment points, and the vertical positioning of the buttpad can be adjusted and locked in place with a thumbscrew. The pad, which is a 1-inch KICK-EEZ recoil pad, holds multiple spacers, and these allow the shooter to adjust the length of pull to fit them.
But, it’s not all about the chassis system. Precision accuracy requires the precise fitting of a multitude of parts—parts that have been meticulously machined. In addition to a great chassis, you need an impeccable barreled action, and for that Accurate Mag went to GA Precision. Anyone who knows anything about precision bolt action rifles knows about GA Precision, which was founded by George Gardner to build competition rifles for local high-power and long-range shooters. Over the past 10 years, the company has grown in leaps and bounds and now build lots of rifles for law enforcement tactical teams, including the FBI.
GA Precision trues the Remington 700 action to perfection and then fits the bolt so that it glides more than moves inside the action. A 24-inch, stainless steel barrel that has six-groove, 1-in-12-inch-twist rifling is then fitted to the action, and the end of the barrel is given 5/8-24 threading to allow for the attachment of a flash suppressor, muzzle brake or suppressor. The thread protector so closely matches the barrel contour that you cannot visually determine it is even there.
Continue Reading: Accurate-Mag AM40A6 7.62mm Bolt-Action Rifle | Gun Review
I tested three different factory loads in the AM40A6, firing five 5-shot groups with each load at 100 yards. Yes, I used match-grade ammunition, but I did not allow the rifle to cool at all between groups. Hey, in a combat environment, that is not an option. Every load shot well out of this rifle, with the largest five-shot group measuring 0.81 inches. I can say without hesitation that the AM40A6 rifle is the most accurate rifle I have ever fired. While I might have fired a smaller group with another rifle, I have never fired another rifle capable of shooting every five-shot group, from every load, into sub-MOA clusters.
“The AM40A6 might be as accurate as it comes with rifles of this type, and if it’s not, it won’t matter because it’s still going to shoot better than you can.”
How and why did Accurate Mag, a company built on the foundation of manufacturing exquisite bottom metal and magazines for bolt action rifles, get into making complete rifles that shoot so well? Well, you have to understand the story behind Accurate Mag to comprehend the transition. Accurate Mag was started in 2005, but its history goes back another 60 years. It is a three-generation family business located in Monroe, Connecticut. Vincent “Vin” Battaglia runs Accurate-Mag, but he, his father and his sons are engineers and lifelong tool and die makers, and their company, BML Tool, is considered a leader in the tool and die field. After seven years of turning out rifle components and working behind the scenes with other rifle-makers, these master metal-working mad men decided they knew how to do a complete rifle the right way. Based on my experiences, they were right.
Those military and police organizations trusted to deliver precisely placed projectiles from small arms at distances that would make the average shooter squint their eyes and consider calling for indirect fire—those men need a rifle capable of putting every bullet in the same place every time. They also need a rifle that will fit them no matter how long their neck or arms are. And, just as importantly, that rifle must offer the modularity and versatility to allow it to be perfectly configured to suit the tactical considerations for the mission at hand. In the past, the AR was about the only rifle capable of doing all those things. But the AR falls short in the accuracy department. Yes, some ARs are amazingly accurate, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that can shoot toe-to-toe with the Accurate-Mag AM40A6 bolt action.
If you are a military or law enforcement special operative, or just an average Joe who is looking for a highly adaptable, long-range, bolt action precision rifle, you should take note. The AM40A6 might be as accurate as it comes with rifles of this type, and if it’s not, it won’t matter because it’s still going to shoot better than you can. All that precision and the fact that it is designed to work with some of the best five- and 10-round magazines—Accurate-Mag’s own—you can buy help make this rifle is a winner. Your checkbook might be screaming, but the enemy won’t; they’ll never know what hit them. For more information, call 203-880-9485 or visit accurate-mag.com.
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