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ISSUE 27

BUYER’S GUIDE PUSH DAGGERS

PG. 44

GUN LIFESTYLE: GEAR • TECHNOLOGY • SPORT • OUTDOOR • HOME & PERSONAL DEFENSE

Arc’teryx, Asolo, B&T Industries, Desert Tech, Hazard 4, US Optics, TAG PG. 12

RECOILWEB.COM ISSUE 27

ANGLE SHOOTING OLD SCHOOL: MG42 PT: LONG-RANGE FITNESS ZEROED IN: TODD HODNETT CONFINED-SPACE COMBATIVES


THE RUGER AMERICAN PISTOL IS DESIGNED WITH THE TOUGHEST STANDARDS IN MIND. ™


Short Takeup Trigger with Positive Reset

Anything Else Would Be Un-American.

Designed with the latest U.S. Military standards in mind, the Ruger American Pistol is built to perform ™

in the harshest conditions. A true American innovation, this pistol was developed through a rigorous “Voice of the Customer” process – where numerous law enforcement and military trainers, firearms experts,

Recoil-Reducing Barrel Cam, Low Mass Slide, Low Center of Gravity and Low Bore Axis

distributors and retailers provided input, feedback and testing in the determination of the form, function and features of this firearm. The resultant new pistol is a revolutionary platform for Ruger, one that utilizes the combination of a recoil-reducing barrel cam (which is designed to better spread recoil energy over time) with a low mass slide, low center of gravity and a low bore axis to provide an unparalleled shooting experience. Performance Tested for Sustained +P Ammunition Use

Genuine Novak ® LoMount Carry Three-Dot Sights

Modular Wrap-Around Grip System for Adjusting Palm Swell and Trigger Reach

Safe, Easy Takedown with No Tools or Trigger Pull Required

Ambidextrous Slide Stop and Magazine Release Allow Actuation with Either Hand

BUILT TO PERFORM IN THE HARSHEST CONDITIONS.

RUGER.COM/AMERICANPISTOL

© 2015 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

040516


Visit www.etsgroup.us to see our complete line of GlockÂŽ and AR magazines. Use coupon code ETSRECOIL to receive 10% off your order at www.etsgroup.us


50 IS S U E 27

FEATURES 50

RIOT ON THE RADIO Desert Tech’s Own “Big Gun” Blurs the Line Between Precision Rifle and Portable Artillery

68

68

R BROS COMPETITOR TACTICAL Designed From Scratch, Dead-Nuts Accurate

74

TIKKA T3 Beretta USA Delivers A Custom Factory Rifle Tailor-Made For PRS Competition

98

WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE

74 108

Shooting Ranges Are Almost Always Flat. Real Life Isn’t.

108

AMERICAN. MADE. BLADE. The Vortex Razor HD AMG 6-24x50 is Made Out of Apple Pies and Wrapped in a Copy of Francis Scott Key’s Manuscript

116

CLOSET KUNG FU Combatives for Combined Spaces

126

LWRCI’s Army-Inspired, PistonDriven Precision Gun

134

98

GOING LONG 126

ATTACK OF THE CLONES A Survey of Custom Remington 700 Actions to Stimulate Your Precision Build Muscle

146

MODERN OUTFITTERS MR1

134

They’ve Tiptoed Into the Precision Rifle World, But Their Latest Entry Is Worthy of Serious Consideration 

154

POINT. CLICK. SHOOT. Ballistics In The Palm of Your Hand

154

146

116


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FIREARM SAFETY IS TOP PRIORITY

IS S U E 27

DEPARTMENTS 12

ON THE COVER

60

OLD SCHOOL The MG42

14

DOWNRANGE Editor’s Letter

84

ZEROED IN Todd Hodnett

20

INCOMING New Gear

166

PT Long-Range Fitness

26

VISIT Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum

36

TRANSPORT U.S. Specialty Vehicles Rhino GX

44

UNUSUAL SUSPECTS Push Daggers

174 218

RECOIL reminds you to be safe and always obey firearms safety rules: 1. Treat every gun as if it were loaded. 2. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. 3. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. 4. Be aware of your target’s foreground and background. All contents in RECOIL Magazine are professionally photographed in a closed studio or range. Do not attempt to re-create any photographs depicted in this magazine.

WANNA TRADE PATCHES?

PRODUCT DISCLAIMER

GOING HOT

Prices and details for items featured in RECOIL are set by the manufacturers and retailers, and are subject to change without notice.

RECOIL (USPS 013-320), November/ December 2016; Number 27, is published bimonthly by TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC, 261 Madison Avenue, 6th floor, New York, NY 10016. Copyright © 2016 by TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY and at additional mail offices. Subscriptions U.S. and U.S. Possessions: $49.97 per year (6 issues); Canadian, $55.97, Foreign, $61.97 (including surface mail postage). Payment in advance. U.S. funds only. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5): NONPOSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address changes to RECOIL, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of first issue. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission. This book is purchased with the understanding that the information presented herein is from many varied sources for which there can be no warranty or responsibility by the publisher as to accuracy or completeness.

Throughout this issue you will see certain images are labeled as being 1:1 Actual Size. This designation is for the print edition of this issue. Because of the various screen sizes on different tablets and computers, we cannot always provide actual life size images in digital versions. We apologize if this causes any confusion and thank you for your understanding.


ON THE COVER R

C V COVER PHOTO BY STRAIGHT 8

2

1 RIFLE

6 PANTS

MAKE:

MAKE:

Desert Tech

Arc’teryx

MODEL:

MODEL:

HTI 375 Cheytac

Assault pant

MSRP:

MSRP:

$7,695

$320

27

URL:

leaf.arcteryx.com

IS SU E

URL:

www.deserttech.com MAKE:

MODEL:

Desert Tech

Hazard 4

REC O ILW E B .C O M

12

2 OPTIC MOUNT

MSRP:

20MOA mount

Heavy Water Diver watch

MSRP:

MSRP:

$365

$900

URL:

URL:

www.deserttech.com

www.hazard4.com

3 OPTIC

U.S. Optics MODEL:

ER-25 MSRP:

$3,301 URL:

www.usoptics.com

4 BIPOD

MAKE:

B&T industries MODEL:

Atlas 5H bipod MSRP:

$450 URL:

www.accu-shot.com MAKE:

Beyond Clothing MODEL:

Helios Rig Softshell Jacket MSRP:

$150 URL:

www.beyondclothing.com

4

7

5

8

OFF THE COVER 8 SHIRT

MAKE:

Arc’teryx MODEL:

Assault Shirt MSRP:

$230 URL:

leaf.arcteryx.com

9 BELT

MAKE:

TAG MODEL:

Riggers Belt MSRP:

$42 URL:

5 JACKET

9

1

7 WATCH

MODEL:

MAKE:

3

www.tacticalassaultgear ar store.com

6

10 BOOTS

MAKE:

Asolo MODEL:

Fugitive boot MSRP:

$240 URL:

www.asolo-usa.com

10


+


You’ve probably noticed that this year, we’ve been bringing

Tech’s bullpup, switch-barrel, light-artillery piece. There’s

you issues that specialize in certain aspects of the firearms

insight from some of the best in the business — we’re the

lifestyle. While others might launch special editions with

first to profile Todd Hodnett who’s revolutionized the craft of

great fanfare and hullabaloo (while delivering not much), we

sniping, Ryan Cleckner gets us the skinny on making hits at

decided that our readers deserved better, whether it’s an

extreme angles, and Buck Doyle supplies a workout tailor-

in-depth look at AKs, or as in this issue, a closer examina-

made for precision shooting.

tion of long-range matters. Even if you’ve never shot much

Elsewhere, RECOILtv has gotten off to a flying start, and

beyond the 100-yard range at your local gun club, there’s

we’ll continue to add high-quality content at a rapid pace.

a metric ass-ton of information within these pages, which

If you haven’t yet had the chance to check it out, scoot on

should help you make informed decisions when it comes to

over to www.recoilweb.com and let us know what you think.

equipment, training, and techniques. 

If there’s something you’d like to see covered, let us know via

We’ve got the low-down on LWRCI’s submission for the

whatever social media platform you favor, and the staff will

Army’s compact semi-auto sniper rifle trials, two convention-

discuss it over a fine American bourbon at our next edito-

al bolt guns that can shoot the ’nads off of flies and Desert

rial meeting (apart from Web Editor David Reeder, who has a penchant for intravenous Mad Dog 20/20). That goes for print, too. We clawed our way to the top of the heap by giving you guys what you wanted, and this is your magazine as much as it’s ours. So speak up. In the words of my sainted northern English grandmother, “Shy bairns get nowt.”

IS SU E

27

IAIN HARRISON

REC O ILW E B .C O M

14


Editorial. Editor/ Iain Harrison Senior Editor/ Patrick Vuong Managing Editor/ Laura Peltakian Feature Editor/ Rob Curtis Contributing Editor/ Steven Kuo

Advertising. General Manager/ Mark Han Associate General Manager/ Danny Chang Network Manager/ John Schwartze Advertising Operations Manager/ Christy Tryon Advertising Operations Coordinator/ Monica Hernandez

Web Editor/ David Reeder Photography Studio Manager/ Jorge Nuñez Contributors/ Ryan Cleckner, David Corey, Buck Doyle, Kyla Doyle, Bannon Eldridge, Candice Horner, Kenda Lenseigne, Tom Marshall, David Merrill, Peter Palma, Q Concepts, Rutsen Eagle, Schultz Photography, George Singarella, Jamie Slaughter, Straight 8, Keith Wood Special Thanks/ Cowtown Range, Sam Houston

Art Direction & Design. Creative Director/ Alan Alpanian Group Art Director/ Ti Tong Art Director/ Gene Coo Assistant Art Director/ Kanoe Irvine

National Sales Offices. New York Office/ 212.915.4000 261 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Los Angeles Office/ 310.531.9900 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245 Irvine Office/ 949.705.3100 1821 E. Dyer Rd., Suite 150, Santa Ana, CA 92705 Detroit Office/ 248.594.5999 4327 Delemere Court, Royal Oak, MI 48073 Chicago Office/ 310.531.9896 Tampa Office/ 813.675.3479 To advertise on this magazine’s website, or any of TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s other enthusiast sites,

Manufacturing Operations. VP, Manufacturing Operations/ Greg Parnell

please contact us at recoil_advertising@enthusiastnetwork.com.

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TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC. Submissions. recoil@enthusiastnetwork.com

Chairman/ Peter Englehart Chief Executive Officer/ Scott P. Dickey Chief Financial Officer/ Bill Sutman

Subscriber Customer Services. Domestic/Canadian: 888.681.7064 Foreign: 386.246.0439 recoil@emailcustomerservice.com

President, Automotive/ Scott Bailey EVP/GM, Sports & Entertainment/ Norb Garrett Chief Marketing Officer/ Jonathan Anastas Chief Commercial Officer/ Eric Schwab Chief Creative Officer/ Alan Alpanian EVP, Operations/ Kevin Mullan VP, Editorial & Advertising Operations/ Amy Diamond

This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the understanding that the information presented is from various sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility by TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC., or the publisher as to legality, completeness and accuracy. Any submissions or contributions from readers shall be subject to and governed by TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s User Content Submission Terms and Conditions, which are posted at http://www.enthusiastnetwork.com/submissions/

SVP/GM, Performance Aftermarket/ Matt Boice VP, Financial Planning/ Mike Cummings SVP, Automotive Digital/ Geoff DeFrance SVP, Aftermarket Automotive Content/ David Freiburger SVP, In-Market Automotive Content/ Ed Loh SVP, Digital, Sports & Entertainment/ Greg Morrow

BACK ISSUES To order back issues, visit, TENbackissues.com.

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REPRINTS For high-quality custom reprints and eprints, please contact The YGS Group at 800-290-5460 or TENreprints@theygsgroup.com

SVP, Marketing/ Ryan Payne

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS Editorial contributions are welcomed, but editors recommend that contributors query first. Contribution must be accompanied by return postage and we assume no responsibility for loss or damage thereto. Manuscripts must be typewritten on white paper, and all photographs must be accompanied by captions. Photo model releases required on all persons in photos. Recoil reserves the right to use material at its discretion, and we reserve the right to edit material to meet our requirements. Upon publication, payment will be made at our current rate, and that said payment will cover author’s and contributor’s rights of the contribution. Contributor’s act of mailing contribution shall constitute an express warranty that the material is original and no infringement on the rights of others. Mail contributions to: Recoil Magazine, 1821 E. Dyer Rd., Suite #150, Santa Ana, CA 92705. ADVERTISING INFORMATION Please call Recoil Advertising Department, (949) 705-3100. Related publications: 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Four Wheeler, Jp, Truckin, Diesel Power, 8-Lug HD Truck, Dirt Sports & Off-Road, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, Mustang Monthly, Vette, Chevy High Performance, Lowrider, Classic Trucks, Super Street, European Car, Motor Trend, Truck Trend, Automobile, Sound & Vision, Stereophile and other specialty magazines. Printed in the USA Copyright © 2016 by TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Consumer Marketing, Enthusiast Media Subscription Company, INC. SVP, Circulation/ Tom Slater VP, Retention & Operations Fulfillment/ Donald T. Robinson III


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IS SU E

27

1

REC O ILW E B .C O M

20

Scraped knuckles, gouged aluminum, and rounded flats seem to be a thing of the past when looking at the new wrench trio from Fire 4 Effect. Made for pro armorers and commercial builders, the wrenches will appeal to hobby AR builders who appreciate nice things, too. The design is an adaptation of a wrench used by Army Marksmanship Unit gunsmiths. These Cerakoted beasts offer two-handed ergos that allow you to apply gads of rotational force without fear of slipping or pushing the work out of a fixture. With opposing forces on the wrench, you can really control the amount and bias of force you’re applying to a castle nut, barrel nut or muzzle device. The set works on standard AR fittings; if you have got an aftermarket barrel nut, you’re out of luck. The material and finish lead us to believe these tools will be used by cockroach armorers long after humans have left the planet.

2

The average shooter might scratch their head looking at this one. And, rightly so. The Quiver is made primarily for LEO and military sniper teams that need to have an alternate cartridge on hand for that special situation. Got a mag full of dangerous game rounds, but need to punch through a barrier to get to the perp? Pull one from the Quiver and load it ahead of the magazine. There may be some application for competitive shooters and hunters, but best to check with the match officials or game wardens first. It’s a beautifully made device that locks on using M-Lok or KeyMod. The guy who made them thought of everything — there are set-screws for retention and rubber bands are included for further safety. The KeyMod hardware is a tight fit in AI’s KeySlot system, but it works. MAKE:

Hoptic MODEL:

3

Traditional chamber flags are a slowdown when getting a rifle into action rapidly, but the Rapid Rack isn’t. Instead of retracting the bolt and snatching the chamber flag with your third hand, you just grab the Rapid Rack and haul it to the rear as if it were a charging handle. As the device reaches the end of the bolt carrier stroke, the ejector tosses the device and loads a round. It’s still not as fast as carrying in condition one, but if you have to use a flag, or if you just like the visual indicator of an empty chamber, this might be the fastest way to get your AR-15, AR-10, or compatible shotgun up and ready. MAKE:

4 MAKE:

Grey Ghost Gear MODEL:

UGF Battle Belt with Padded Inner

Hornady Manufacturing

SIZES:

MODEL:

XS-XL (29- to 43-inch waist)

Rapid Rack

COLORS:

MATERIAL:

Black, Coyote Brown, Ranger Green, Wolf Grey, MultiCam

Aluminum num

5

Rich leather. We love it. Broken in, soft, yet strong. It feels great and looks good. Unfortunately, it’s also pricey. So, it can be hard to justify the cost of a set of pouches for every magazine and belt-carried necessity we run, especially when we have a couple of different systems. That’s why we dig the Mean Gene Leather’s Burrito mag pouch. It’s got all the benefits of leather plus a single pouch can fit a variety of mags, lights, and other gear. The open top is flanked by stainless steel springs that positively retain the contents without snaps, straps or Velcro. The retention is on par with a a screw adjusted Kydex sheath, but it looks way better. The pouches are triplestitched for toughness and can be ordered to fit belts 1.5, 1.75, and 2.25 inches wide.

Sad to say big-ass battle belts are out. They ran their course like bell bottoms and MySpace. Now micro battle belts are holding up operator pants for a couple reasons. Smaller belts don’t get hung up on body armor, and the latest inner/outer belts systems let you doff your gear belt without dropping your pants. Grey Ghost’s UGF is the latest micro battle belt and it features a fully padded inner belt, smaller webbing that still provides full-sized PALS performance.

MSRP:

MSRP: RP:

MAKE:

$$175

$12

Mean Gene Leather

URL::

URL: RL:

MODEL:

w g yg www.greyghostgear.com g com

ww ww.hornady.com

Burrito Magazine Pouch

Quiver

MSRP:

Fire 4 Effect

SIZES:

$33

MODEL:

.223/5.56, .308, 300 Win, .338 Lapua

MAKE:

AR Armorer Wrench Set MSRP:

MSRP:

$3000

$40

URL:

URL:

www.fire-4-effect.com

www.hopticusa.com h i m

URL:

3

www meangeneleather.com www.me

2 1

5

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Folks Who Got A FREE 325S Knife: Sharp As Sin! â&#x20AC;&#x153;I keep it with me at all times. Its good to have a blade that I can get into action quickly. This knife is strong, the spring assist is very fast and positive and the blade came to me sharp as sin!â&#x20AC;? -- M. OBrien Bug-Out Bag Ready! â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought the deal was too good to be true - then I received the 325s. The heft of the knife, ease of the spring assist, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;fast and solidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and the overall quality of the knife VSRNHYROXPHV,Č&#x2021;PDVHOIGHIHQVHDFLRQDGRWKLVNQLIH and video training are invaluable.â&#x20AC;? -- Dave Meysembourg So Very Sexy! â&#x20AC;&#x153;Very easy to deploy. I will add it to my carry collection for self-defense. It is sexy.â&#x20AC;? -- C.W. Cruts DoD Contractor,

Competition Shooter Ft Rucker, AL Lives Up To The Hype! â&#x20AC;&#x153;My new every day carry knife, very sharp and very fast. The seatbelt cutter and window punch DUH SDUWLFXODUO\ XVHIXO WR PH DV D UHJKWHU(07Č&#x2039;

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Top Quality Knife! â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just received your â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; knife and I must say I was surSULVHGČ&#x2020; DEHUJDVWHGČ&#x2021;ZRXOGEHPRUHDFFXUDWH,KDYH never, for any price, seen any comparable product that was better produced for quality, strength, features, function or value... â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thank youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, your credibility clearly speaks for itself.â&#x20AC;? -- Steven Jablon Couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Be Happier! â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nice addition to my survival gear. I am amazed that I just paid for shipping! A lot of useful information on the DVD by guys that really know what they are talking about!â&#x20AC;?

-- Tommy Dixon

Never Giving This Up! â&#x20AC;&#x153;The spring assist is great, good balance, sharp. I carry it with me anywhere I go!â&#x20AC;?

students all over the world would lay down hundreds of dollars just to see a peek of this. But I will now send you this â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fast Bladeâ&#x20AC;? DVD package â&#x20AC;&#x201C; along with your 325s Survival Knife â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for FREE! The only thing I ask is that you pay for the shipping and handling. Just $9.95! Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing to worry about. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not joining a club or signing up for a membership. There will never be any sort of sneaky reoccurring charges, or anything like that. The $9.95 is a one-time fee that covers your shipping and handling only. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all it is. 7KHZD\,ÂżJXUHLWDQ\RQHZKRÂśVQRWZLOOLQJ to at least pay for the shipping and handling probably isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that interested in this anyway. But you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t risk a penny of that $9.95! Because if you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t 100% thrilled and convinced you stumbled onto the deal of a lifetime, MXVWHPDLOP\R FHDWVXSSRUW#ÂżJKWIDVWFRPDQG I will refund your money â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but you can still KEEP the DVD package and the 325s knife for free! It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get any better than that. So you see, WKLVUHDOO\LVD)5((RHU There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t another place anywhere you could get this kind of opportunity. Nowhere. Amazing expert instruction plus a knife â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all yours for free. So,KRZFDQ,DRUGWRGRWKLV" Frankly, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hoping that once you see how good this is, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll check out one of my many other self-defense products. Or at least spread the word about how fairly and generously youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been treated here. But, like I said, you have to act right now. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only contracted for a small number of ÂłV´NQLYHV RIWKHPWREHH[DFW DQG my partners will not allow me to â&#x20AC;&#x153;exposeâ&#x20AC;? TRS DQG)LJKW)DVWWRWKLVNLQGRIÂżQDQFLDOULVNfor longer than a month. So you must act now! You can use your credit card for the shipping and handling fee. You have a knife and a DVD package waiting for you here. But if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t order right away, or if you wait around too long, your knife and DVD package will be given away for free to someone else or later sold to the general public for upwards of $110. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out on this! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already informed P\ VWD  ZH DUH UXQQLQJ WKLV DPD]LQJ R HU LQ RECOIL â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re waiting for your order. For a safer life.. Bob Pierce

-- Ross Boger SFC Retired US Army

Senior Citizen Protector! â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am a senior citizen. I can carry it with and I feel very comfortable with it after watching the DVD!â&#x20AC;? -- Connie Kuipers

(Limit 1 knife per person. Available while supplies last.)

MyTacticalFolder.com

President, TRS/FightFast P.S. You must act fast. Get to:

MyTacticalFolder.com Just hurry, okay?


6

Typically, mag loaders are big, heavy, and expensive. They always seem like a wussy extravagance until it’s a 30-degree day at the range and you’re looking at a pile of loaded mags and a skinless thumb. Plate Designs brings the cost of loading plates down to cheapskate-approved levels with a broad line of options that fit popular rifle and pistol-caliber rifle mags. Stack a full load of rounds into the loading track and slide them all into the mag in a second by sliding the loading block. While Plate makes 30-round loaders for the AR, our favorite is the 15-round version that fits in a range bag. The loaders are made of high density polymer and should stand up to years of abuse. If you don’t see a loader for your firearm, Plate tells us more mag options are on the way. MAKE:

Plate Design MODEL:

ACEM Speed Loaders

7

If you think dispersion, neck tension, and hole deburring are medical terms, first, we suggest you stop listening to Doctor Drew’s Loveline radio show, and second, we’ll tell you they could be crucial concepts that take your long range shooting to the next level. We say, “could,” because we don’t want to ruin the mythbusting fun presented in the latest volume of shooting knowledge shared in Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting by Bryan Litz and his cohort of horn-rimmed shooting buddies. Get wise on things like the concept of dispersion, the effectiveness of certain hand-loading techniques, what makes a laser rangefinder work, and how carbon-fiber barrels stack up against conventional offerings. Reading a chapter a day, or as much as you can until your legs go numb, will definitely make you sound smarter during postmatch tailgate sessions — and it may even improve your long-range game. AUTHOR:

8

The Macaroni ... err, MICRORONI stabilizer, might look familiar. CAA’s original RONI was released a few years ago as a way to turn a pistol into a carbine of sorts. Adding space for a light and optic, while offering an accuracyenhancing fore-end grip and stock, was a way to impart the handling benefits of a SMG to the pistols of cash strapped LEO agencies and home defenders. The idea seemed solid, but the devices never saw widespread adoption. CAA seems to think the complexities of NFA ownership were a stumbling block to market domination. So, this updated version is available with an stabilizing wrist brace instead of a rifle stock, meaning your firearm never becomes a short-barrel rifle subject to the NFA. No $200 tax stamp, and you’ve got an Optimus Prime approved sub-caliber, micro carbine. MAKE:

CAA MODEL:

MIC-RONI-STAB Stabilizer

9

Yep. Another AR charging handle. We’ve got a cardboard walled boneyard full of promising charging handles. We’ve come to realize there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The basic C.H. gets the job done but suffers from crappy ergos, broken pins, and snapped arms. Some aftermarket offerings work well, and some are overbuilt tanks with silly huge levers that pose a trip hazard to nearby foot traffic. Geissele’s take on the C.H. improves ergos with a slight hook shape that grabs palmflesh like Velcro without snagging gear. It also has milled texture that improves hand traction when things get slick. The top has a fillet that helps redirect gasses forward, away from the shooters face, when running a can. It’s built tough and compares favorably to established names in aftermarket charging handles at a lower price. We can’t promise it’ll feel as good too you as it does to us us, but we can tell you it’s i ’ worthh checking h ki out.. MAKE:

Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics

COMPATIBILITY:

M4/M16/NATO, AK, CZ/S9, FN FiveseveN, AUG/F88/F90, Colt/Uzi 9mm, LWRC Six8, Ruger Mini14, SIG MPX, HK MP5

TITLE:

Glock 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 31, 32

Modern Advancements cements in Long Range Shooting, Vol. II

$ 6 $546 URL:

$50

MSRP:

NUMBER OF SACRED COWS SLAIN:

Several

usa.caagearup.com/en/ / /

URL:

Geissele Preciision MODEL:

MSRP:

Super Charginng Handl ddlle MSRP:

$40

www.plate-design.com p ate des g co

URL:

233

www.geissele i l .com

7

9

www.appliedb li dbballisticsllc.com lli i ll

6

8

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MSRP:

URL:

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$30 to $50

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VERSIONS:


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We find it odd that there’s a growing number of tools for the Glock pistol. We’ve never wanted more than a 3/32inch punch and a flashlight to find a pin that rolled off the workbench. We admit, disassembling Glock mags can be a PITA, though. After using a magazine disassembly tool like the one found in the GTX, we decided it could occupy the third space in our Glock armoring tool kit. Instead of levering the baseplate off using a punch and the edge of a table, while ovalling the baseplate access hole in the process, insert the stud on the end of the GTX tool’s head and lever the plate off in a second. Couldn’t be easier. The tool also includes a 3/32-inch punch, knife, file, needle-nose plier, flat-head screwdriver, and a bottle opener. Aside from the mag tool and the punch, we can’t see using any of the other implements on a Glock (that we like).

11

Blade-hand or knuckle-hook? We don’t know what the way you run your AR charging handle says about you and your life choices, but we know someone is always ready to tell you why your way is wrong. The latest to jump into the fray is Falcon 37 with its open-palm operated HABU charging handle. There’s no traditional latch handle — instead, a broad pad runs along the top of the reciever extension. Lay your cheek on it while shooting; palm the pad and pull back to run the bolt carrier. The idea is to speed up rifle operation by giving guys a broad surface to grab instead of a little latch handle. The pad has two positions on the handle, allowing you to place the pad more or less under your cheek. We’re pretty sure someone will still figure out a way to two-finger claw hook the HABU, though. That guy is out there, waiting to be judged. MAKE:

12

With the AR-15 being the Lego of firearms, it’s so easy to get caught up in the latestand-greatest accessory that helps your gun go bang. But what about an attachment that helps ensure it doesn’t? The AR-15 gunBlocker is one of those “so simple I wish I had invented it” devices that provides added peace of mind. It’s a magazine-sized internal lock that, with a push of a button, extends a stainless steel rod to lock up the bolt. (It can be unlocked with an included key.) Meanwhile, the red baseplate acts as visual confirmation that the rifle is inoperable. While it’s no substitute for proper education and a solid firearms safe, the gunBlocker does provide an extra layer of security against unauthorized use by kids, visitors, or thieves.

13

Featured on TV’s Shark Tank, Bottle Breacher transforms high-caliber brass into laser-engraved, powdercoated bottle openers. While these openers are great stocking stuffers or can be personalized as novelty gifts and promotional items, the company has a line that holds special meaning: Its Never Forgotten series honors the memories of such fallen heroes as SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Air Force pilot Troy Gilbert. Each model in this collection is available in .50-cal or 20mm and comes in a Signature Sliding Lid Wood Box with custom-designed artwork. Plus, 20 percent of the proceeds are donated to veterans’ charities. Founded by a former SEAL, Bottle Breacher employs many veterans and makes all of its products in the USA.

14

At first, we weren’t sure what exactly to make of this. It seemed like something perfect for Gersh Kuntzman’s tactical loadout since he’s so fond of firearms. Oh wait, he has one. No, really, check his Twitter feed on June 29, and you’ll see the selfie. So whether you want to rile someone you think is a little on the sensitive side, give a gun-grabber you know a visual metaphor for their rhetoric, or actually kit out your belt with some feminine hygiene products, Alameda Custom offers this little Kydex jewel in a variety of colors — and it actually comes with a sealed tampon. Oh, and Alameda Custom also makes legit holsters as well that are as exceptionally made as the big brands. MAKE:

Alameda Custom

MAKE:

MAKE:

MODEL:

gunBlocker LLC

Bottle Breacher

Tampon Holster

MODEL:

MODEL:

MSRP:

AR-15 gunBlocker

Never Forgotten series

$20

Falcon 37

MSRP:

MSRP:

URL:

Advance Dynamic

MODEL:

$40

$40 each

www.alamedacustomholsters.com

MODEL:

HABU

URL:

URL:

G X GTX

MSRP:

www.gunblocker.com unblocker.com

www.bottlebreacher.com

MSRP:

$120

MAKE: M

$55

URL:

URL:

www.falcon37.com

www.advance-dynamic.com d d i

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TEXAS RANGER HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM HONORING SOME OF THE LONE STAR STATE’S FINEST

STORY BY JOHN SCHWARTZE PHOTOS BY Q CONCEPTS

When it comes to the country’s best-

Wesley Hardin, along with present-day

rich history of the Rangers’ role in pro-

known law enforcement organiza-

criminals such as Ángel “The Rail-

tecting the community, it also offers

tions, few can hold a candle to the

road Killer” Reséndiz. It’s only fitting

outreach and educational programs.

Texas Rangers. Its fame can only be

that someone erected a shrine to the

In 1823, Stephen F. Austin asked

rivaled by the notoriety of some of the

officers who’ve served in its ranks.

for a group of 10 men to volunteer as

legendary outlaws its Rangers killed or

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and

Texas Rangers to help settlers repel

captured, such as Sam Bass and John

Museum in Waco not only provides a

Native American attacks in the early

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco, is the official state-sanctioned historical complex of the Texas Rangers. It’s recommended that guests plan two hours for their visit.


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1 days of the frontier. Today, after almost 200 years in existence (the oldest state law enforcement body in the country’s history), it continues its law enforcement activities as a statewide investigative agency. And, unbeknownst to many, women also serve

1. The Texas Rangers are the oldest state law enforcement agency in the United States. Founded in 1823, this exhibit explores their early roots at the TRHFM, Waco.

within the ranks. Founded in 1964, the state gave permission to Waco to construct the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, which opened its doors in 1968. Tours are self-guided unless you have 10 or more people, in which case guided tours can be requested. The museum is divided up into several galleries, starting with the history of the earliest known days of the organization and working its way up to present-day activity. Beginning with the Garrison Gallery, you’ll see a timeline of Ranger history and how their weapons advanced over the course of their evolvement. You’ll

2. The Winchester Lever Action Rifle exhibit highlights the evolution of the Winchester including its Model 1873 Rifle, often termed as “The Gun That Won The West” at the TRHFM, Waco.

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1 then find your way into the Morris Gallery, which follows the Rangers into the Prohibition Era and covers their encounter and shootout with Bonnie and Clyde. In the adjoining Brownfield Gallery you’ll see examples of criminal weapons and modern examples of

1. What’s in Stock? highlights the evolution of firearm technology utilized by the Texas Rangers from their frontier days to the present at the TRHFM, Waco.

cases worked by the Rangers. When you cross over into the Taub Gallery you’ll find a display of Ranger and Western art as well as Ranger family legacies. This will lead you to the Hall of Fame Lobby where photographs of current Rangers are on display. The adjacent theater shows a 45-minute documentary on the Rangers produced by The History Channel that repeats five times daily. The last leg of the tour brings you to the Pop Culture Gallery, where you’ll see everything from the likes of Chuck Norris’ portrayal of Walker, Texas Ranger to a mask worn by Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger during the 1950s. The museum’s educational

2. The Texas Ranger badge is an iconic symbol of the State of Texas. The TRHFM explores the authority behind the badge in “The Strength Behind the Symbol: Texas Ranger Badges and Authority” exhibit.

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Overwatch Precision

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1. Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum employees are often asked why Texas Rangers still need guns if they’re mostly doing investigative work today. The exhibit “The Changing Face of Crime” displays some of the illegal firearms confiscated in the Waco/ McLennan County area. This exhibit explains the need for law enforcement officers to still be trained in use of firearms, even if using such tools are a last resource.

programs exist both onsite and offsite,

and history buffs will have no short-

and the museum also contains a

age of eye candy and opportunities to

research center that does genealogy

see exhibits they won’t find anywhere

inquiries if you think a Ranger has

else. And if you were hoping to find

been in your family.

anything on Rangers baseball, sorry,

Young ones have plenty of opportunities to stay busy with programs

2. The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame is a state monument that commemorates 30 Texas Ranger inductees who died in the line of service or made a significant contribution to the field. One of these Hall of Famer members is Frank Hamer, best known for bringing down the notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde.

2

for Scouts as well as the Junior Texas Ranger program. Teachers even have

you’ll have to go to the Globe Life Park in Arlington for that.

TEXAS RANGER HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM

the opportunity to bring students for

ADDRESS:

classes on surveying, crime scene

100 Texas Ranger Trail Waco, TX 76706

investigation, and basic skills required to serve in the ranks of the Texas Rangers. Thinking of holding a banquet? The facility even offers rental of their 6,000-square-foot John Knox Texas Ranger Memorial Center for your next event. You won’t leave without learning something new, and a knowledge-

HOURS:

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday; last guest admitted at 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and during heavy snow and ice ADMISSION:

Adults: $7, children (6-12): $3 Children under 6 free Seniors (60+): $6 | Military (with ID): $6 TELEPHONE:

(254) 750-8631

able staff is on hand to answer any

URL:

questions about the exhibits. Firearms

www.texasranger.org


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RECOIL RODE THE RHINO GX HARD, PUT IT AWAY WET, AND WERE ADMITTEDLY SWOONING AFTERWARD

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STORY BY JOHN SCHWARTZE PHOTOS BY JORGE NUÃ&#x2018;EZ

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When given a chance to get behind the

the brand, it too went the way of the

the owners about getting a chance to

wheel of a recent entry into the exotic

LaserDisc.

drive this behemoth for ourselves. The

vehicle market, we’ll be honest — we

Here’s the rub — we walked away

company started out building limos,

had low expectations, because luxury

from our experience remembering why

and their Chinese clientele requested

SUVs are a strange breed. They ride

someone might buy a Cabot Black

a prototype of a larger SUV to fill the

the line between practicality and bling,

Diamond Deluxe 1911 over a much

void left by the Hummer — still in

but often sacrifice the former for lots

cheaper version. It’s cool, they can af-

huge demand over there. USSV cre-

of the latter — maybe too much.

ford it, and they want to belong to that

ated a version called the G Patton, and

Remember the Lamborghini

elite group who can say they have one.

it became an overseas sensation. Next

LM002? Seemed like a good idea at

We know you guys are out there too, so

stop, the American market.

the time, but we think the one belong-

perhaps you should look at the Rhino

ing to Uday Hussein that the U.S.

GX instead of that Unimog you might

you an idea, a new Escalade is about

military blew up probably had a bigger

be eyeballing. Your sh*t-eating grin

7,000 pounds and change, while the

audience than the 328 that were

might look like ours after driving it.

Rhino weighs in around 10,000, but

produced. How about the Hummer?

We came across the Rhino GX made

First impressions? It’s big. To give

it’s duty rated for a 14,000-pound

After years of mixed reviews, a strug-

by U.S. Specialty Vehicles (USSV)

load. A new Escalade is 80.5 inches

gling economy, and GM’s failure to sell

while at the 2015 SEMA Show, and

wide by 74.4 inches high, with a

since its California home base was

116-inch wheelbase. The Rhino GX is

close to the RECOIL HQ, we hit up

96 by 88 inches with a 140.8-inch wheelbase. It’s built on a Ford F-450 Super Duty chassis offered with either IS SUE

Ford’s 6.8L V-10 or 6.7L diesel V-8

27

37 REC O ILW E B .C O M

U.S. SPECIALTY VEHICLES 6.8 8L V-10

4WD 4W D FI FIVE VE E-S -SPE PEED PE ED AUTO AU T MA TO M TI TIC C

WWW.US WWW .USSPE SPECIA CIALTY Y VEHICLES.COM


POACHING RHINOS 1 BODY

MAKE:

U.S. Specialty Vehicles MODEL:

Dual-layer 20-gauge steel URL:

www.usspecialtyvehicles.com

2 TIRES

MAKE:

Mickey Thompson MODEL:

38x15.5R20 Baja MTZ Radial URL:

www.mickeythompsontires.com

3 WHEELS

MAKE:

20x10 custom COLOR:

10-lug cast aluminum URL:

www.usspecialtyvehicles.com

4 ROOF LIGHTS

MAKE:

Tuff LED Lights MODEL: 27

Square LED Work Light — 5-inch 40-Watt URL:

IS SU E

www.tuffledlights.com

5 MOTOR

MAKE:

REC O ILW E B .C O M

38

Ford MODEL:

6.8L V-10 URL:

www.usspecialtyvehicles.com and a five-speed automatic. All are

accents, telescopic side mirrors, a

four-wheel drive, and the gas version

Securilock Passive Anti-Theft system,

gets around 8 to 10 mpg, with diesel

and a litany of other high-tech doodads

being slightly better — all from a

round out the electronics, but a host of

40-gallon tank. We assume if you can

other options are available.

afford the Rhino GX, gas mileage isn’t a major concern of yours. The previous leaf-spring setup is

The body is virtually all proprietary dual-layer, 20-gauge steel. You’ll feel how thick it is when you tap it

ditched in favor of a three-mode,

with your knuckle and compare that

self-leveling hydraulic system and solid

sound (or lack thereof) to the panels

twin-coil monobeam Bilstein shocks in

on standard cars and trucks. B6 body

front. While hauling arse down the in-

armor can be outsourced, and we’re

terstate, it was a smoother and quieter

told would add another 1,800 pounds

ride than we expected with such meaty

without encroaching on interior space.

tires. The interior is hella spacious and

The hood, fender flares, and rear bum-

comfy with eight-way seats that are

per are fiberglass. Although this one is

Ford frames reshaped and upholstered

black, you can pick from a few other

in leather by USSV. You can even

matte colors, with gloss becoming

have a third row of seats as one of the

available soon.

options they offer. Front and rear cameras, Alpine electronics, exotic wood

As the pictures show, we were given the chance to open it up a bit on some


TACTICAL

$1349 MS SRP P

FNX-™45

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POACHING RHINOS steep inclines and do some donuts. It’d rained the day before, so the ground was nice and muddy. The rep from USSV told us to “have fun with it.” We weren’t sure he knew what he was telling us, as we fully intended to put the wood to it. That’s just what we did, to the point of getting it stuck in the mud. We removed the wheelcaps, put the front hubs into 4WD mode, and crawled out of it as easily as we got into it. The other company rep who accompanied us while we drove around like joyriding teenagers even decided to make a quick exit before we continued. We think we may have frightened her a bit. Any time we publish something that’s priced higher than someone’s means to buy it, we get grief from

IS SU E

27

some readers. But many of those who

REC O ILW E B .C O M

40

say that something’s “too expensive” do so only if they can’t afford it, rather than if said item’s cost exceeds its true value. We RECOIL guys don’t exactly have money falling out of our arses either, so we understand the need for gear that’s not exclusive to the Forbes 500 tax bracket. However .... Our initial expectation was that we’d be invited to drive the Rhino politely on some surface streets, very carefully photograph it in the mud to make it look tough, and then be quickly pointed the way back to our office. Well, we were wrong and slogged a $200,000 truck through the muck and some off-road trails without any performance issues or resistance from the staff. Any company who stands behind a vehicle this expensive with that much confidence, well … try requesting those same test conditions next time you’re kicking tires on a new 4x4. They’ll laugh you off the lot before they allow you to do what USSV cordially gave us the chance to do. There’s something to be said for that — it embodies the spirit of Americanmade vehicles.


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UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

dle that’s held in a fist — it’s also called a

tation, slashing techniques will be limited.

So how can someone with little or no

punch knife. Sometimes carried as a neck

Also, it’s not great for utility because the

edged-weapon training use a blade suc-

or boot knife, push daggers are drawn from

T-shaped handle makes detail work awkward

cessfully in a life-and-death scenario?

a belt, waistband, or thigh rig much like

as hell. And there’s that whole legality issue;

Consider getting your Wolverine on with a

a handgun. This intuitive movement lets

punch knives are restricted in some U.S.

push dagger.

knife newbies deliver deadly blows under

states and cities and straight-up prohibited

duress without the need for finesse. Plus,

in many nations. Do your research.

a push dagger is ambidextrous, so you can

of knife has had varying degrees of global

draw it with either hand when mounted

into harm’s way, a push dagger could give

popularity since the 1800s. It consists of

more centrally.

you that little extra punch needed to win.

MODEL:

Ghostrike Punch Knife OAL:

27

Still, if your profession requires you to go

katar dagger or the pata sword, this type

MAKE:

IS SU E

But there are disadvantages. In a confron-

a short blade attached to a T-shaped han-

years to develop and decades to master.

1 Gerber

REC O ILW E B .C O M

STORY AND PHOTOS BY PATRICK VUONG

Just like shooting, combative skills take

Possibly the bastard child of the Indian

44

PUSH DAGGERS

4.8 inches BLADE LENGTH:

2.5 inches

BLADE MATERIAL:

420HC stainless steel WEIGHT:

3.2 ounces MSRP:

$53

URL:

www.gerbergear.com MAKE:

2 Cold Steel

MAKE:

4 Benchmade Knife Co. MODEL:

175BK OAL:

5.5 inches BLADE LENGTH:

2.5 inches

BLADE MATERIAL:

440C stainless steel WEIGHT:

2.32 ounces MSRP:

$105

URL:

www.benchmade.com MAKE:

5 Browning Black Label MODEL:

MODEL:

Lady Luck

OAL:

5.75 inches

BLADE LENGTH:

2.5 inches

BLADE MATERIAL:

5Cr15Mov stainless steel

WEIGHT:

2.6 ounces

MSRP:

$30

URL:

www.browning.com

Safe Keeper III 5.13 inches 2.5 inches

AUS-8 stainless steel 3.5 ounces $60

www.coldsteel.com MAKE:

3 Schrade MODEL:

SCHF54 OAL:

5.5 inches BLADE LENGTH:

3.24 inches

BLADE MATERIAL:

8Cr13MoV stainless steel WEIGHT:

3.04 ounces MSRP:

$29

URL:

www.taylorbrandsllc.com

OAL:

BLADE LENGTH: BLADE MATERIAL: WEIGHT: MSRP: URL:

MAKE:

6 TOPS Knives MODEL:

Grim Ripper OAL:

6.5 inches BLADE LENGTH:

3.75 inches

BLADE MATERIAL:

1095 tool steel WEIGHT:

8.8 ounces MSRP:

$165

URL:

www.topsknives.com


FLIP THE PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS ON EACH KNIFE.


INTERROGATING THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS GERBER

IS SU E

27

GHOSTRIKE PUNCH KNIFE

REC O ILW E B .C O M

46

COLD STEEL

SAFE KEEPER III

SCHRADE

SCHF54

BENCHMADE

175BK

BROWNING BLACK LABEL

LADY LUCK

TOPS KNIVES

GRIM RIPPER

411: Designed as a neck knife, this little guy is a part of Gerber’s Ghostrike lineup of discreet-carry fixed blades. It comes with 550 paracord lashed to a glass-filled nylon sheath, which can also be worn on a 1.75-inch belt or tied to MOLLEcompatible gear. Made in the USA.

411: Cold Steel often gets a bad rap for its over-the-top marketing and unusual offerings (Germanic-style mace, anyone?). But fans know its blades are razor sharp, smartly designed, and ridiculously strong — the Safe Keeper III is no exception. It can be worn on a belt, attached to a pack, or tucked into a boot.

411: This dual-edge spearpoint blade comes with a nylon-fiber sheath with a sturdy metal clip, which can be attached to a belt or pocket and adjusted for vertical or horizontal carry. There are also grommet holes to tie paracord or a chain through for neck carry.

411: The 175BK is marketed strictly for combat, whether on the streets or a battlefield. It’s a no-frills, straightto-the-point (pun intended!) performer that comes with a plastic sheath, which has a reversible clip and holes to strap it to a pack or carry around the neck. Made in the USA.

411: Give her the finger. Designed by Russ Kommer, the Lady Luck is one of the few, if only, production punch knives with a hole in its tang. Why? So you can slide your middle finger (or index finger) through to achieve far more accurate stabs, incredible weapon retention, and stronger lateral support when slashing.

411: There’s a reason why the biggest model in our buyer’s guide is made with cops and troops in mind: It’s a heavy-duty stabber that can also cut or pry. Comes with a survival whistle and a Kydex sheath, which has holes (allowing it to be tied to gear) and a steel clip (that can be rotated into various positions). Made in the USA.

PROS: Despite the drop-point blade being made of 420HC — far from a premium stainless steel — it performed surprisingly well in our test cutting. Comfortable handle with rubberized overmold allows for an assured grip. Slim and compact

PROS: AUS-8 blade had no problems piercing our various test mediums. Though made in Taiwan, it features quality craftsmanship and is extremely durable. Beefy Kraton (polymer) handle offers excellent grip and ergonomics.

PROS: Penetration is the name of the game, thanks to a true spearpoint profile. The thermoplastic rubber handle feels secure and comfortable. Solid sheath with multiple mounting options A good budget option for those pinching their pennies

PROS: Wickedly sharp tip and has no problems slicing either, thanks in part to its chisel grind (only one side has bevels, the other side is flat). Excellent construction and durability Sturdy sheath with a tough metal clip

PROS: Finger loop: a little tweak in design that makes a big difference in performance. Sheath comes with clip and grommet holes for multiple carry options. Though small, G-10 scales increase comfort, grippyness, and durability.

PROS: Thick-ass 1095-toolsteel blade could make short work of a T-800 or two. Outstanding sheath can be adjusted for your preferred carry method. Superior engineering and construction

CONS: Perhaps too compact? During quick-draw tests, our medium-sized hands had problems finding clearance between the handle and the sheath — and we don’t even have sausage fingers. As a neck knife, its sheath has no belt clip.

CONS: Like the rest of the Secure-Ex sheath, the belt clip is made of plastic. It bends too easily; we can foresee it breaking under hard use or slipping off our belt, boot, or pack.

CONS: Only long-term testing will determine if the 8Cr13Mov blade and Chinese workmanship will hold up.

CONS: Nitpicking here: Though coated with rubber/vinyl, the handle is quite narrow and can create hot spots on your palm and between your fingers — it’s like the difference between squeezing a ruler and holding a baseball bat.

CONS: To keep costs down, she’s made from lowerend 5Cr15Mov steel in China. The knife rattles inside the sheath, which lacks tight retention.

CONS: At half a pound, it’s two to three times the weight of the others in this group. Asymmetrical handle with thumb jimping might be a turn-off for some, as it forces you to alter your grip.


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27 IS SU E REC O ILW E B .C O M

50

DESERT TECH’S OWN “BIG GUN” BLURS THE LINE BETWEEN PRECISION RIFLE AND PORTABLE ARTILLERY STORY BY TOM MARSHALL PHOTOS BY STRAIGHT 8 AND IAIN HARRISON


LIVING OUT A FANTASY

For some shooters, long range just

are intended to shoot far…very far.

doesn’t cut it. There are simply

They’re a relatively young company,

never enough foot-pounds or feet-per-

less than a decade old, but have

current lineup is its HTI — the

second to satisfy these people. It’s

excelled in their very narrow niche of

Hard Target Interdiction rifle. It is a

a uniquely American dilemma and

extended-range bullpup bolt guns.

scaled-up version of its original rifle

we, for one, admire those esoteric

Its product line is essentially three

(the SRS) intended to push massive

shooters and savvy engineers, push-

separate chassis systems available

bullets to mile-plus ranges. It’s the

ing the very ragged edge of handheld

in a total of 13 calibers. That’s not a

biggest firearm that I’ve ever tested

ballistics. But where do you turn when

whole lot and, from a business view-

and, even though I’ve eschewed

you want something that flies like a

point, there’s little margin for error.

bullpup guns for the most part, I was

fighter jet and hits like a freight train?

But Desert Tech is equal parts manu-

pleasantly surprised and impressed by

Two words: Desert Tech.

facturer and ballistic think tank. Its

the HTI’s suite of features.

The folks at DT are artisans of the bullpup rifle, particularly those who

The crown jewel in Desert Tech’s

products offer innovative features and

The HTI is available in four cali-

an über-long-range capability that few

bers: .375 CheyTac, .408 CheyTac,

other gun makers can claim to match.

.416 Barrett, and .50 BMG. In the

To be perfectly blunt, DT’s weapons

latter, the HTI is entirely capable of

impress the hell out of us.

being employed as an anti-materiel rifle without missing a beat, and we wouldn’t be surprised if someone somewhere has purchased a squad’s worth of them for that purpose.


RIOT ON THE RADIO…

reach out any further before running

Unfortunately due to time and ammo constraints, and a lack of enemy light armor in our A.O., we weren’t able

IS SUE

27

to evaluate this particular capability.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

52

What we offer you instead is a brief but poignant long-distance accuracy evaluation. We had a total of 40 rounds to put through this rifle — generously

The HTI’s barrels swap out with a minimum of effort. That enormously long barrel tenon makes for impressive repeatability — after swapping the 375 Cheytac barrel for the .50 BMG, there was no detectable shift in windage at 1,000 yards.

out of ammo. At the risk of sounding like a kiss-ass, I’m going to take a moment to say that our editor from the land of the Union Jack is an absolutely gifted spotter, and I would

STICKING ’EM UP, KNOCKING ’EM DOWN We took the HTI to Cowtown Range

have been hard-pressed to get any of those hits without his wind calls. Furthermore, said editor says he had

in Arizona. It was one of the few

previously made an 1,800-meter shot

ranges we could find within driving

with an HTI in this caliber at a media

distance that has steel set up all

demo day. After running the HTI

the way out to 1,600 meters — the

myself, and shooting alongside Iain, I

go, 40 rounds is barely a break-in

perfect place to let Desert Tech’s big

will vouch that both shooter and rifle

period. But, in the end, this turned

boy stretch his legs out. We started

are well capable of such a feat.

out to be more than enough to give

with the .375 CheyTac. The DT ammo

us a deep appreciation of this rifle’s

that came with our test gun consisted

.375 CheyTac ammo, and gotten a

potential. Once you purchase the HTI,

of a 352-grain open-tip boat tail

satisfying hit past the one-click line,

chassis conversion kits are available

slug that screams past the muzzle at

we swapped calibers and snuggled in

through DT (and authorized dealers)

3,080 fps. A convenient DOPE (data

behind the .50 ….

and all that’s required is a bolt, barrel,

on previous engagement) chart is

and magazine change to go from one

included on the side of the box and

caliber to another. It’s not specifi-

this loading is listed as zero-drop out

cally billed by Desert Tech as a “quick

to 500 yards. Also, for those who

change” system, but our experience

are concerned, the 352-grain OTM

you bench-rest ballisticians out there.

was that it was pretty damn quick. We

projectile has a G1 coefficient of 0.89

Desert Tech’s .50 BMG loading is a

were able to do it in just a couple min-

and a G7 coefficient of 0.408.

750-grain tipped super-match boat

provided by Desert Tech. (Yes, the folks there make their own long-range ammo, as well. We’ll get back to that in a moment.) As most of our T&E’s

utes — and that was while being hot,

In 20 rounds we were able to

Having exhausted our supply of

BIG GUN KICK THE HELL OUT OF YOU Here’s the technical data for all

tail that’s heading for the horizon at

tired, and not exactly in a rush under

achieve hits at 573, 707, and 1,100

2,700 fps. G1 coefficient is 1.050

the midday sun. Our test gun showed

meters. Unfortunately we were

and G7 is 0.581.

up in .375 CheyTac with a conversion

DOPE’ing our gun on the fly against

set for .50 BMG. We had 20 rounds in

aggressive terrain with fish-tailing

The .50 BMG, or Browning Machine

each caliber to make our case.

winds. As such, we were unable to

Gun, was originally designed for the

What’s that mean for the rest of us?


RIOT ON THE RADIO… machine guns (go figure!) of aircraft and armored vehicles. Despite its current employment in precision weapons, it was not built from the outset for that purpose. So, getting .50 BMG ammunition to turn out precision performance has been something of a process over the years. Desert Tech has worked its alchemy and assembled a cartridge they think can do it better. We think

IS SUE

27

they may have cracked the code.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

54

Any caliber shorter than .50 BMG uses a magazine that employs a spacer to shift the cases forward.

Three of us were on the platform that day. Yours truly, your editor-inchief, and our shooting partner and close personal friend whom we’ll refer to as KJ. KJ is a retired federal cor-

Bolts are swapped by swinging the buttpad to the side. The entire caliber change process can be achieved in a couple of minutes.

rections officer with an entire lifetime of shooting experience under his belt. However, this was his first opportunity to get behind a .50-cal, and we were happy to get his input about the experience. I personally shot all 20 rounds of CheyTac and was 10 rounds into our supply of .50 BMG when my shoulder finally said enough is enough. Iain settled in behind the gun and shot eight rounds of his own and, once we both had hits at distance, we plucked the last two rounds out of the box for KJ, who had gotten shorted out of the .375 because of said DOPE’ing process. As KJ settled in behind the HTI we coached him into position. I used the spotting scope to box him in on target, and Iain gave him the down-and-dirty on mils and holdovers. The very last thing Iain said to KJ before the shot was, “Make sure you get your head far back from that scope. This thing kicks and, if you’re too close, it’s a selfcorrecting mistake.”


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RIOT ON THE RADIO… I was on glass and gave KJ his final wind call. KJ touched off the shot and all we heard after the bang is, “Well … you’re right … that’s a self-correcting mistake.” I looked over just in time to see our poor comrade come off scope with his face, and half the buttstock, dripping blood. We immediately triaged the magnificent gouge just above his eyebrow. Our practice of keeping firstaid gear in our range bag quickly paid off. As soon as we staunched the bleeding and determined there was no concussive or ocular damage, the boss man went hot on the Nikon and snapped the awesome shots you see here. KJ was an excellent sport about

IS SUE

27

the whole thing, and we spent the

REC O ILW E B .C O M

56

KJ’s unwanted third eyebrow.

next five minutes laughing our col-

1,240 meters. He tied Iain and me

lective asses off and congratulating

for longest shot of the day. It was

him on a successful first-round hit at

KJ’s first (and, to date, only) shot


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RIOT ON THE RADIO… SETTING OFF, DOING NO GOOD Desert Tech’s website features a rifle builder. Configuring a gun exactly like our test sample, including spare caliber conversion, scope base, torque wrench (for barrel changes), color preferences, and bipod, the total came to $11,234 … sans scope. The glass on our gun was a US Optics ER-25, which will run you an additional $3,301. Also, for reference, the two boxes of .375 CheyTac are $99 each, plus $74.50 for each of the two boxes of .50 BMG match. That makes the total cost of this T&E just shy of $15,000 give or take the cost of food and gas. If you ask us, “Who the hell is buying these guns?” Our honest-to-God answer is, “We from a .50 BMG precision gun ever

IS SUE

27

so we promised him we’d publish

REC O ILW E B .C O M

58

One round left. Any takers?

don’t know.” Aside from organizational purchas-

before mounting the US Optics 5-25x

the exact distance for official record.

scope, and has a 29-inch barrel.

es (military and law enforcement cus-

We gave him two rounds but, after

Looking at this gun across a room

tomers) we’re not sure who has that

the first one, we called it cold and a

you’d expect the trigger to feel like a

kind of coin to drop on a rifle that will

single round of 750-grain .50 BMG

hand crank. But it consistently breaks

literally punch you in the face if you

is still rolling around in the HTI’s peli-

on a Lyman gauge between 2 and 2¼

don’t shoot it the way it wants to be

can case as this goes to press.

pounds. It’s a single-stage trigger that

shot. But if you’re out there, reading

breaks softly with zero stacking and

this story, there’s an opportunity for

dust KJ provided a piece of input that

just a touch of over-travel. Kudos to

you. But make sure you get proper

We nearly overlooked: the trigger! The

Desert Tech for getting that pussycat

eye relief. And bring Band-Aids. Just

trigger igg on the HTI iis absolutelyy ffantas--

i iinto that beastly rifle. ifl trigger

in case.

Once we cleaned up the blood and

SPEC S SP EC BOX

tic. The gun weighs over 20 pounds,

DESERT D SERT TECH

HTI

URL R

ww .des r t ch www.deserttech.com hc m

CALIBER

.375 CheyTac/.50 BMG BARREL LENGTH

29 inches

OVERALL LENGTH

45 inches

WEIGHT (UNLOADED)

20 pounds

MAGAZINE CAPACITY

5

ACCESSORIES

US Optics ER-25 MSRP S P

$ $11,236

$3,301 PRICE P C AS FEATURED E U E

$ $14,537


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NEW COLUMN!

IS SU E

27

Welcome to Old School, a column that profiles guns that have played an important role in firearms history.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

60

HITLER’S SAW

STORY BY JAMIE SLAUGHTER PHOTOS BY JAMIE SLAUGHTER AND RUTSEN EAGLE

The chilly gray waters of the English

date was June 6, 1944. The Allies

grew around his feet. He switched bar-

Channel slowly became visible in

were coming.

rels frequently to keep the gun running.

the weak light of the early morning.

Heinrich Severloh manned an MG42

Soldiers brought him more and more

The surf rolled over the sand, almost

in Wiederstandsnest 62 overlooking

ammunition as he pounded away at the

rhythmically, as the world prepared for

Omaha Beach. He began firing at the

infantry littering “Bloody Omaha.” By the

another day of war. This day would be

American infantry sometime before the

end of the action, he fired over 12,000

different. A vast armada approached

ramps dropped on their landing craft.

rounds of ammunition through his MG42

the coast; so numerous were its ves-

Belt after belt disappeared into his gun.

and inflicted over 2,000 casualties on

sels that the sea was darkened. The

The pile of spent cartridge cases quickly

the Americans storming the beach.


IS SUE

27

61 REC O ILW E B .C O M


THE MG42 air-cooled boat anchor M1919A6) were

early stages of production, its design

people still believe it. People believe

too bulky to be overly practical. The

contributed to its reliability problems

not because Severloh was a verifiable

MG34 was accurate, fired a very hard-

under harsh conditions. Something

Nazi superman, but because of the

hitting 7.92x57 round, and sustained

new was needed. That something new

weapon he used, the MG42. In truth,

a reasonably high rate of fire. The

was the roller-locking mechanism of

there were about 3,700 casualties

MG34, however, was complicated. It

the MG42.

on Omaha Beach from all sources.

took considerable hours and materials

Legendary weapons are like legendary

to construct, and it could be tem-

with German troops and almost im-

people; there’s usually a solid core of

peramental in harsh climates, such

mediately as quickly dreaded by the

truth surrounding the myths. Such is

as those encountered during Russian

Allied troops facing it. It required far

the case with the MG42. The MG42

winters and in the hot dusty environ-

less maintenance than the MG34. It

didn’t win World War II more than any

ments found in the southern USSR

could go for far longer periods without

other high-tech German Wunderwaffe.

and North Africa.

cleaning than the MG34. In combat

This story is absolute rubbish. But

The MG42 emerged from demands

this was a major advantage. Unlike

an excellent machinegun by almost

to improve upon the successful MG34.

the keyboard commandos who keep

any standard.

While the MG34 continued to be

meticulous count of how long they

manufactured almost until the very

can go without cleaning their direct

end of the war, the MG42 was simpler

impingement guns before they blow up

to produce than the MG34. It took

(and for no reason), in combat it’s not

less time and material to manufacture.

always convenient to stop and perform

What set the roller lock MG42 apart

weapons maintenance. From Kursk to

though was its reliability. Whereas

Kurland to Salerno, Cassino, and Nor-

the MG34 was a finely machined,

mandy, the MG42 repeatedly proved

hand-finished gun, especially in its

its reliability.

However, it was, and indeed remains,

The MG42’s predecessor, the MG34, was an excellent machinegun. It represented a sort of punctuated equilibrium in development. Suddenly,

IS SU E

27

a lightweight, air-cooled, easily man-

REC O ILW E B .C O M

62

The MG42 was immediately popular

portable GPMG was a reality. Early attempts such as the water-cooled MG08/15 (and the later, unfortunate

The MG34 was the epitome of an old-school medium machine gun, but its successor created the blueprint for every GPMG in the last three quarters of a century.


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27

THE MG42

REC O ILW E B .C O M

64 could effectively deny enemy infantry

under sustained combat, soldiers using

faster in the MG42. Considering the

Barrel change were also easier and

clear and easy maneuvering over large

the MG42 would run out of ammuni-

barrel was supposed to be changed

swathes of land, especially with good

tion far more quickly if the gunners

about every 150 to 200 rounds in

fields of fire.

sustained fire, it’s easy to see how this

When fired from a bipod, aimed fire

was an issue. Overuse of barrels with-

from the MG42 was downright devas-

out cooling results in barrel distortion,

tating. In urban environments or tight

grossly reducing the effective life of

terrain such as the Bocage in Nor-

an otherwise good barrel. It wasn’t un-

mandy, the high rate of fire meant that

usual to see German soldiers carrying

only good luck, tactics, or timing could

multiple spare barrels for the MG42.

get Allied infantrymen through narrow

These were to be utilized on the spot

lanes of fire frequently controlled by no

to keep the weapon up and running.

more than one MG42. After mid 1943

It was a good thing there were

weren’t especially mindful of round

Die-formed sheetmetal receiver, detachable trigger pack, disintegrating link feed, quickchange barrel, side-charging handle, and integral bipod. Yeah, the Negev and MG5 are so cutting edge ...

consumption. To Americans who have heard nothing but stories about the “Arsenal of Democracy” for the past 70 years and the almost unbelievable U.S. industrial output during World War II, consumption of small arms ammunition is almost an afterthought. But to the average German Landser, his officers all the way to the top, and

when Germany was almost always in

those in charge of German production

normally several spare barrels on hand

retreat, the MG42 proved a formidable

and logistics, it wasn’t.

for the MG42, especially if the barrel

defensive weapon.

was supposed to be changed every

The high rate of fire, however, also

Allied aircraft dominated the skies by 1944. Even though the strategic bomb-

three to four belts. With a rate of fire

meant the MG42 consumed vast

ing campaign didn’t disrupt production

of at least 1,200 rpm and some guns

amounts of ammunition, fully twice

to the extent Allied planners hoped, the

clocking as many as 1,500 rpm, the

or more than most allied infantry

constant and continual aerial interdic-

MG42 needed them. This high rate of

machineguns. This created problems

tion of German logistics from the mo-

fire was a mixed blessing. The MG42

for the soldiers manning the gun. First,

ment it left the factory to the moment

could lay down an impressive beat-

it meant more ammunition had to be

it made it to the battlefield meant that

ing zone in combat. On a tripod, it

carried by soldiers in combat. Second,

ammunition consumption was always


S

P

O

R

T

T H E P R OT E C T I O N Y O U N E E D W I T H T H E C O M F O RT A N D S T Y L E Y O U WA N T.

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27

THE MG42

REC O ILW E B .C O M

66

an issue. Massive losses of materiel due to German defeats at such places as North Africa, Stalingrad, Kursk, and

MG42 CALIBER:

7.92x57mm OAL:

the almost wholesale destruction of

48 inches

Army Group Center in the east in 1944

BARREL LENGTH:

21 inches

ammunition expenditure after a five-

The roller lock design was an

minute defensive scenario only using

engineering masterpiece. With further

your weapon in semi-auto; then you

wartime and post-war development,

might get the picture.

the roller-delayed mechanism devel-

The MG42 was such a superlative

oped. The roller-delayed mechanism

WEIGHT:

performer on so many levels that it

gave rise to the G3 and the MP5, both

25.52 pounds

was destined for greatness even after

of which earned their place in firearms

1,200 rpm

World War II. It lived on in such guns

history for performance and reliability

and, yes, its high rate of fire made it a

CAPACITY:

as the Yugoslavian M53. If you ever

as well.

terrible opponent to face on the battle-

50-round, non-disintegrating belt

get the chance to go through “Yugo

exacerbated this issue. Hitler’s SAW could thus cut both ways. Yes, it was supremely reliable,

RATE OF FIRE:

In summary, the MG42 deserves its

field. But the MG42’s consumption of

M53” parts kits, you’ll normally find

place amongst legendary weapons. Its

ammunition could also be a liability.

at least some original World War II pro-

revolutionary design, combat effec-

Even in the hands of an expert, the

duction parts. By far though, the MG3,

tiveness, and length of service in one

high rate of fire could result in the gun

the direct lineal descendant of the

guise or another gave it few equals.

becoming combat ineffective for lack

MG42, is proof of the effectiveness of

If you ever get the chance, we highly

of ammunition if the gunner didn’t

the roller-locking MG42 design. Side

recommend you take the opportunity

carefully manage his consumption. The

by side, the MG3 and MG are almost

to shoot one, and, if not, at least do

MG42 was also full-auto only. Most

indistinguishable at a short distance

some further reading. We would like to

people never consider this a problem.

(the MG3 is also chambered for 7.62

extend a special thanks to the Machine

If you ever have a chance, try shooting

NATO). And one more thing: rate of

Gun Nest of Frederick, Maryland, for

on a military-grade combat simulator.

fire. The MG3’s rate of fire is about

use of this MG42, and Terra Piccirilli

Given unlimited ammo, check your

two-thirds that of the MG42.

for help with the still photos.


STORY AND PHOTOS BY KEITH WOOD

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27

DESIGNED FROM SCRATCH, DEAD-NUTS ACCURATE

REC O ILW E B .C O M

68

My friend, and the legendary pistolsmith, Stan Chen said it pretty well: “These days, a ‘gunsmith’ is a guy with a torque wrench.” Due to a variety of factors, none the least being economic, skilled craftsmanship in the gun trade is rapidly going the way of the revolver. Talented gunmakers are still around, but when you encounter one you take notice. In a world full of pretenders, promising accuracy that they can’t produce, delivery times they’ll never meet, or attention to detail that’s seriously lacking, R Bros Rifles is the real deal.


splits the difference between traditional and oversized tactical knobs. R Bros uses button-rifled Broughton Barrels, and our rifle came with a 24inch barrel at a fairly heavy proprietary contour. The barrel was threaded at the muzzle and fitted with a four-port brake, easily removable if the shooter wants to trade it out for a suppressor. Travis does all of the barrel work at R Bros and cuts the chambers using reamers of his own design. He’s a little cagey about his fitting and chambering processes, but he has obviously found a method that works, this rifle barrel and cutting a chamber that will

IS SUE

shoot as good as this one takes quality

27

is obscenely accurate. Dialing-in a

The R in R Bros stands for Redell

equipment, skill, and patience — it’s

— brothers Travis and Jesse grew up

of a bolt counterbore in the barrel:

obvious that Travis has all three.

under a gunsmithing father and were

the Remington 700 was designed

raised working in the shop. When the

with a bolt nose that extends past the

strike a balance between accuracy

brothers showed up at a precision

locking lugs to surround the case head

potential and weight and, with a barrel

rifle match and won it using hunting

within the “three rings of steel” (bolt

contour this heavy, this setup could

rifles that Travis had built himself,

head, barrel shank, and action).

the business was effectively born.

When gunmakers began adapting

A tactical competition rifle has to

The Competitor Tactical from R Bros combines premium components and craftsmanship to form a package ideal for long-range precision matches.

easily end up handling like a hippopotamus. That weight is mitigated by the

R Bros builds a variety of rifles, and

the 700 and its clones to use Sako and

hunting guns are very much part of

AR-style extractors in efforts to en-

the lineup, but R Bros has become

hance reliability, the pivoting operation

best known for its competition

of those extractors required that the

models, likely due to the status of

counterbore’s diameter be extended

both Travis and Jesse as active com-

from 0.705 to 0.750 inch or more.

petitors in precision rifle matches. R

Travis feels, and I cannot disagree, that

Bros sent us one of their Competitor

this oversized counterbore compro-

erweight, but it balanced well and was

Tactical models, chambered in 6.5

mises the fundamental safety design

stable when shooting from unorthodox

Creedmoor to take for a spin.

of the action. The Rogue deletes the

positions — a key attribute of a serious

counterbore and places the locking

precision competition rifle. Seekins

R Bros’ own Rogue action, designed

lugs at the forward edge of the bolt

Precision bottom metal was used along

by Travis and built by the folks at

body. The result is a case head that’s

with AI detachable box magazines. I

Defiance Machine. You know a guy is

fully supported, stronger locking lugs,

hadn’t used this setup previously, but

a real-deal gunmaker when he goes

a longer barrel shank, and the ability to

the side-mounted push-button maga-

through the time and expense of de-

use a mini-16 extractor with no trade-

zine release was far faster and more

signing his own components, especial-

offs. The Rogue’s one-piece bolt has

comfortable to use than most of the

ly something as complex as an action.

a spiral fluted body and a handle that

paddle release designs on the market.

The Competitor Tactical is based on

use of Manners MCS-T2A with Elite Tac Shell, which, despite all of its features, weighs only 3.3 pounds. The stock has an adjustable cheekpiece, a vertical grip, and a beavertail-style fore end. The rifle was by no means a feath-

69 REC O ILW E B .C O M

The Rogue is notable in its absence


R BROS COMPETITOR TACTICAL

wind was essentially no value at the muzzle and center-mass hits came eas-

IS SUE

27

Three-shot 100-yard groups with

REC O ILW E B .C O M

70

PRIME ammo measured right at 0.25 MOA and the test target group, shot with Hornady 140-grain AMAX,

¼ MOA with factory ammo? All day long.

ily at 200, 300, 350, 400, and 450. My miss at 500 was a mystery until I remembered to adjust for parallax.

measured just 0.08 inch. That said,

The gun’s mass, along with the brake,

shooting a long-range precision rifle

allowed me to call my own shots nearly

at a 100- or 200-yard range and then

every time — a huge advantage during

writing about it is a little like driving a

the time constraints of a match. The

race car the speed limit passing judg-

range scopes on the market. Yes, it’s

hits kept coming though, at around

ment. We’re not interested in cranking-

big, heavy, and expensive, and, yes, it

700 yards, we noticed that our points

out puff pieces that read like ad copy

does exactly what it’s designed to do.

of impact were higher than the app

so, instead, we headed out for some

We mounted a Gen II to the Rogue’s

suggested; we had not chronographed

real testing.

included 20-MOA rail using Talley Tac-

the load and were likely getting higher

tical 34mm rings and starting putting

muzzle velocities than the speed listed

rounds downrange.

on the package.

The best that I can do at my own range is about 600 yards and that wouldn’t do this rifle justice. This rifle

We got a 100-yard zero and im-

The wind was starting to swirl a bit

was designed with PRS-style com-

mediately transitioned to the steel

downrange so I held low and 1 MIL

petition in mind so it’s important to

range with a case of PRIME 130-grain

right on the 840-yard target ad broke

shoot it on a true PRS course. CORE

OTM Match+ to burn. CORE’s setup

the shot. “Hit!” Since this was the fur-

Shooting in Baker, Florida, has hosted

allows for shots out to 900 yards, but

thest target, I shot a three-round group

numerous long-range matches and has

we had to set up a bit forward of that

before correcting for the windage and

some unreal ranges available. CORE’s

firing line so 840 was the max that we

center punching a round plate at the

setup allowed us to shoot the rifle over

could shoot. Our spotter was a security

same distance. That three-round group

rooftops, out of windows, over stacks

contractor who’d obviously done some

at 840 measured under 4 inches, with

of boulders, and just about every other

long-range work during his two decades

two of the shots nearly touching. This

position one could imagine.

in the Marine Corps. I got prone behind

rifle made it look easy.

The Vortex Razor HD Gen II

the gun and tried not to make myself

We transitioned to a different spot

4.5-27x56mm is the most popular

look stupid. I plugged some basic

on the range where my spotter devised

optic in the Precision Rifle Series and

DOPE into the app on my phone and

a more practical course of fire. Start-

is one of the most user-friendly, long-

started dialing my way downrange. The

ing on the ground, we would sprint


The Feast Begins at AguilaAmmo.com


R BROS COMPETITOR TACTICAL

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27

whiile I performed this exercise that we

rifle build. Few of these makers design their own parts, and fewer still demon-

en the tip of the bullet caught on the whe

strate the skill to create a rifle with the

standingg shootingg position, p and engage g g

f nt edge of the mag box. The Creedfron

accuracy, fit, and finish displayed by

or has a slightly longer max COAL moo

this gun from R Bros. Given the com-

n the .308 and the newer high-BC than

ponents that go into this rifle, we’re

bullets on the market really stretch the

actually shocked at the cost. Four

limits of cartridge length. Tapping the

grand isn’t in everyone’s budget, but

back of the mag to be sure that the car-

this rifle would be worth it at double

350, and 700 yards, which required 0.5-, 1.5-, and 4.5-MIL holdovers using the reticle.

R Bros’ own Rogue action eliminates the Remington 700-style bolt counterbore, resulting in a stronger and potentially safer chamber.

tridges are seated to the rear is a good

the price. We know writers say things

350-yard target and had to re-engage,

practice that would’ve prevented these

like that all the time, but, in this case,

but I smoked the 700 yarder. It was

magazine-induced hang-ups.

we actually do mean it.

During both runs I rushed on the

SPEC BOX

during each run through the course, the i d round in the magazine hung up third

using the dials. Targets were at 250,

REC O ILW E B .C O M

ing on barrels and calling it a precision

up p the boulders, find an improvised p targets g as rapidly p y as p possible without

72

Everybody and their uncle is screw-

experienced our only malfunction —

R BROS

COMPETITOR TACTICAL

CALIBER

6.5 Creedmoor BARREL LENGTH

24 inches

OVERALL LENGTH

45 inches

WEIGHT (UNLOADED)

11 pounds

MAGAZINE CAPACITY

5 rounds (Seekins DBM)

U L URL

www.rbrosrifles.com www rrbrosrifles r s i es ccom m

MSRP

$ $4,345

(available as a package including the Kahles K624i and Seekins Rings for $7,300)

ACCESSORIES

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56mm Talley 34mm Tactical Rings Harris Bipod

PRICE AS FEATURED

$ $8,087

$3,399 $211 $132


You’re pretzeling hard in the corner

there’s always been a “but” when it

of a deuce-and-a-half truck bed. The

comes to fielding a serious tactical

first few positions shooting across the

Tikka T3. “We love the T3, but the

roof and through the cab went fine,

CTR stock is kinda meh and after-

but now you’re trying to control the

market support sucks.”

dancing fore-end of a rifle that’s sliding along the 20-inch-tall bed edge you’re forced to use as a support.

BERETTA USA DELIVERS A CUSTOM FACTORY RIFLE TAILOR-MADE FOR PRS COMPETITION

IS SU E

27

STORY BY ROB CURTIS PHOTOS BY ROB CURTIS AND GUNNER CURTIS

REC O ILW E B .C O M

74

TIKKA AND MCREE The release of Tikka T3x this spring

Sweat stings your eyes while you try

brought up an opportunity for Beretta

to settle your scope reticle on what

USA, the American arm of Tikka’s and

looks like a fingernail-sized white

Sako’s parent company, to kill 400

square 800 yards away.

birds with one stone. The company

It doesn’t matter if this is the final

had remaining stock of about 400

stage of a Precision Rifle Series match

Tikka T3 CTR rifles that were now

or a work-related call out; when you’re

a generation old. Instead of blowing

fighting the clock, the heat, and an

them out or giving them away to starv-

awkward shooting position, the last

ing African children, the enterprising

thing you want to fight is your rifle.

minds in Accokeek decided to pair up

The Tikka T3 rifle has long been a sleeper favorite among the boltaction crowd, especially hunters. But,

with Scott McRee to set the T3 into one of the most capable, and modu-


GUARANTEES

lar, tactical stocks on the market.

.260 Remington or .308 Winchester.

The result is the limited-edition Tikka

We’ll be looking at the .260 version.

Sniper Rifle-1, or TSR-1.

It’s a smooth-running, 75-degree bolt

anteed to produce at least 1-MOA,

throw with an incredibly underrated

three-shot groups. It’s not the 1980s,

adjustable, single-stage, factory trig-

and we aren’t all that impressed with

ger that breaks like a kitten’s wrist.

a 1-MOA bolt gun these days, so we’ll

The soul of the TSR-1 is a Tikka T3 barreled action, chambered in either

Out of the box, Tikka rifles are guar-

point out that 1-MOA is the upper accuracy limit for these guns. Most are well into ½-MOA territory, but it’s comforting to know that a company holds its product to a meaningful accuracy measurement during its production testing instead of applying a, “bang, bang, it works” guarantee.


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27

TIKKA, ME, AND MCREE

REC O ILW E B .C O M

76

Speaking of guarantees, we like the fact that the TSR-1 is a factory gun, not a custom creation from a broken home. Anyone with a custom rifle will tell you it’s all negligees and honey-

The TSR-1, with its McRee Precision G-10 stock, gives new meaning to the term bolt-gun. All the chassis components are bolted together for incredible modularity and serviceability.

Beretta’s TSR-1 build, weighing 4.19

stripped of its threaded ligaments, its

pounds. Buying the TSR-1 is the only

modularity became even more evident. 

way to get a G-10 stock that accepts Tikka’s CTR/TRG mags. The G-10 is a flat-bottomed,

The folding end of the buttstock quickly became a pile of sniper gray Cerakote Lego parts. Putting them

magazine-fed, 6061-T6 aluminum

back together we found a 4mm Allen

stock with machining so precise that

wrench was all that stood between us

we mistook the M-LOK equipped

and the length-of-pull, cheek height,

er boned the tolerances. Or, they’ll

fore-end as a one-piece affair. We

and buttpad height. The buttpad sec-

tell you your gunsmith can’t read the

only figured out it wasn’t a single

tion can be installed upside down to

barreling dimensions posted on their

piece when we noticed the three

relocate the QD swivel socket from a

bolts holding the mid-gun 1913 rail

bottom-of-the-stock position to a top-

to the stock didn’t line up with the

side orientation that we feel balances

three bolts visible from the top (with

the gun better for sling carry.

moon sex until something goes wrong, then the finger pointing starts. Your action-maker will say your stock-mak-

website; “not ma fault.”  The TSR-1’s a quasi-custom gun offering a performance guarantee as well as a factory warranty should something go wrong down the road.

Add glass, a couple extra mags, rear bag, and bipod and the .260 TSR-1 is ready to squad up for a match.

the action removed). We weren’t sure if we were looking

One thing to know about the T3 action is that short and long versions

That peace of mind is something any-

at an M.C. Escher painting or a rifle

are the same size, with only the posi-

one who’s spent money customizing a

chassis, so we grabbed the included

tion of the bolt stop determining the

bolt gun would like to have.

Allen wrenches and began turning.

action length. This means the T3 is

We found three more bolts holding

naturally heavier than the Remington

the fore-end to what was now clearly

700 short action; so Beretta took

the separate centersection of the

every opportunity to lighten the TSR-1

the McRee’s Precision G-10 folding

chassis. Emboldened, we unscrewed

to stay competitive.

rifle stock. It’s a lightweight alumi-

more bolts. The buttstock appeared

num chassis configured specially for

somewhat modular already, but once

BREAK IT DOWN The TSR-1’s headline feature is

We spoke with Scott McRee about his creation, and he told us the G-10


asset protection

www.nemoarms.com || 208.461.1213 || u.s.a.


TIKKA, ME, AND MCREE

The back of the gun offers 12.5 to

landing. That mag release is a nice,

ment and has screws on the base to

big target, but it’s maybe a ¼-inch

accept the mid-mounted Pic rail if

further forward than we’d have liked.

you want to move it to the rear and

IS SUE

27

was designed to maximize strength,

REC O ILW E B .C O M

78

rigidity, and harmonic advantage while reducing weight. “There are lightening cuts all over,” said McRee. “Some you can see, and some you can’t.” We can attest to this; we found screw recesses cut wide and spaces between mating parts scalloped to shave tenths of an ounce here and there, adding up to a healthy weight savings. The buttstock is an example of its effort. The standard McRee G-10 stock cheek-piece covers both sides of

pable with four bolts in case of a hard

14.5 inches of length-of-pull adjust-

The TSR-1 takes standard Tikka T3

The mid-stock Pic rail works great as a tripod mounting point, while the leading edge is broad enough to function as a barrier stop.

bolt it up to the stock’s handhold

CTR double-stack box mags. These

for a monopod. Beretta includes

are the less expensive versions of

one of McRee’s Rear Stock Packs so

the Sako TRG magazine that have a

they don’t have to hear from sissies

plastic boot over the bottom to pre-

complaining about putting their dainty

vent anyone from using the cheaper

cheeks on that cold, 5052 aluminum

mags in the high-roller TRG platform.

cheek rest. One side of the pack has

We assume TRG mags will run in

The TSR-1 hinge assembly is a pinch/lift, camming setup that stays open without the need for a catch and snaps closed with a flick.

a felt-ish pad, the other a pocket for

the TSR-1, if you allow them to date

tools, spare rounds, or snacks.

below their station. The mags are all

“We tried making a cheek-piece out

supposed to be drop free, but the one

of Kydex a while back,” McRee told

mag supplied with our T&E rifle hung

us, “and it was perfectly serviceable,

in the rifle like a hungry tick.

but guys complained that it made

The action itself is a garden variety

the gun feel cheap so went with the

Tikka T3. That is, it’s broached, never

side cheek-piece to save a few ounc-

[aluminum slab] and the Rear Stock

drilled, and retains exceptional rigidity,

es. The result is lighter gun that’s still

Pack.” We think the stock pack works

thanks to the fully enclosed top. The

surprisingly shootable from the left

fine — it’s supplied with the TSR-1

T3 ejection port only opens from about

side. In fact, McRee tells us he shoots

and mitigates the discomfort of laying

45 to 90 degrees, unlike a Remington

his own G-10-based rifle from the

your face on a metal slab that’s barely

700 with its extended skylight design.

right side using only the left cheek-

a step below a frying pan if it’s left

The 0-MOA skeletonized Pic rail bolts

piece. He says the hard edge creates a

out for a while in the sun.

to the flat top, indexed securely with

the stock. The TSR-1 forgoes the left

cheek weld with a binary feel. We got

Moving forward, the stock takes AR

registration posts and what feels like

a taste of this while shooting from the

pistol grips, though some may need

glue (or thread lock overspray) to cre-

left side — we definitely knew when

a little trimming to fit. The TSR-1

ate a very stable platform for the optic

we were in the pocket.

includes a rubbery Ergo offering that

of your choice.

Speaking to the stock’s modularity,

we grew to like. McRee’s modular

It’s got a fast 70-degree bolt lever

you can replace the main member of

trigger guard magazine guide shrouds

throw, a basic polymer bolt knob,

the rear stock assembly with one that

Tikka’s excellent adjustable trigger.

and an external bolt stop that’s leaps

has screws on both sides and add a

This is a user-replaceable part that

ahead of the crap trigger-mounted stop

second cheek slab for about $100. 

includes the mag release, easily swap-

you get with a stock Remington 700. 


TIKKA, ME, AND MCREE The barrel is the same cold hammer

in 300 rounds of mixed ammo — we

forged, heavy contour goodness found

couldn’t close the bolt on one round

on the more expensive Sako bolt guns;

of Nosler trophy-grade ammo. Near as

and it’s tipped with 5/8x24-teeth-

we can tell, that round had a bump on

per-inch threads instead of the usual

the shoulder that gave a little too much

metric B.S. found on some factory

headspace for the bolt to close.

Tikka and Sako rifles. We ditched

We punched holes with and without

the thread protector and immediately

the SureFire Genesis, noticing no POI

screwed on a SureFire Genesis 762

shift we could attribute to the can.

suppressor, bringing the .260 down to

Without earpro, shooting the can in this

almost hearing safe levels.

sub-caliber setup produced sound lev-

The last McRee feature we’ll mention is the patented M-LEV cant indi-

els that were manageable at the breech but uncomfortable at the muzzle.

cator. When the M-LEV is calibrated, the system neutralizes any manufacturing errors and tolerance issues that

PRACTICAL EXAM Beretta USA built and priced the

may lay in the components between

TSR-1 at the $2,000 mark specifically

your optic’s erector tube and the bore

to qualify as a PRS production division

of your rifle.

gun. Rolling .260 Rem puts this in the same performance ballpark as all the

GROUP SESSION We collected six different .260 Rem

cool kids running 6.5mm Creedmoor. The .308 version gives us the option

loads: Federal Premium 140-grain

of running in either the production or

Sierra Gametip BTSP, Nosler Trophy

the tactical division that gives guys

Grade Accubond 130-grain AB, Nosler

with .308 work guns a reason to come

Ballistic Tip 120-grain BT, Fusion

out and play. 

120-grain, Nosler Custom 100-grain

PRS production division rules say

BT, and Prime Ammunition 130-grain

your gun and optic have to be under

HPBT Match. 

$2,000, each, and their combined

We had the best five-shot groups

MSRP cannot be above $3,000.

with the middleweight .260 bullets. We

So, that leaves a prospective PRS

pulled in a very respectable .38-MOA

production shooter with a TSR-1 about

accuracy rating with Nosler’s Ballistic

$1,000 to spend on an optic.

Tip 120-grain rounds, averaging 2,794

While our T&E came with the

fps with a 19.6 SD (at the muzzle,

capable Steiner M5xi 5-25x56 Military

measured with a Magnetospeed). But

scope, at $3,600, it’s too rich for the

we think the gun can do better, since

PRS production division. We’d jump

we printed a few 0.24-MOA groups

on something like a Vortex Viper PST

when factoring out the cursed flyer.

6x24-50 PST for $949 MSRP. It’s a

As we warmed the gun up from

second focal plane scope, but that’s

zero, a half-minute cold-bore spread

something we can get used to given

gave way to roughly 0.25-MOA groups

the price tag and the scope’s reach.

about 0.25-MOA below the bull once

The flat bottom fore-end termi-

the barrel woke up. When we abused

nates at the mid body Pic rail, where

the brand-new barrel with longer, faster

there’s a ½-inch ledge seemingly

strings, roughly 20 rounds over 50 sec-

made to load into barricade edges.

onds, the POI dropped nearly 1 MOA.

The fore-end also takes an old-school

We figure truing the action face and

stud-mounted bipod or any other rail-

the barrel shoulder will cure this issue.

mounted bipod using a section of Pic

We also experienced one failure to feed

rail on the M-LOK slots.


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TIKKA, ME, AND MCREE The gun shot well and handled like a custom in many ways, but our time with the TSR-1 wasn’t without a few issues. The thermal expansion and the sticky magazine were mildly concerning. We’ve heard the budget-minded CTR mags can push the edge of the envelope for dimensional tolerances, and the wear marks at the corners of our magazine indicate a slight bow in the mag sides is responsible for the stickiness. In all, the TSR-1 is a compelling, turnkey PRS setup that’s a considerable step off the ground floor of offthe-shelf bolt guns. The factory setup and two-year warranty equate to significant peace of mind versus setting up a similar build on your own. Outside of PRS competition, L.E. types will The .260 shot well and balanced 27

nicely on the move once we figured IS SU E

out how to get the sling mounted to the top of the buttstock instead of the bottom. Shooting from tire tops, car roofs, from inside vehicles, and

82

through all manner of flat, round, and

REC O ILW E B .C O M

diabolically awkward barricade setups were no sweat. Though, we found the aluminum handguard bottom a little slippery. A little grip tape would help. The McRee folding stock hinge is

SPEC BOX

one of the nicest we we’ve ve used. Pinch

The imperial threads on the T3 barrel begged for a can. We obliged with a 5/8-24 direct thread SureFire Genesis 762. Sound levels were manageable at the breech, and we found the can caused no noticeable POI at zeroing distance. We shot all groups with and without the can for reference.

to open, and a cam holds it in place

find the .308 version is a durable,

without the need for a latch. Flick it,

lightweight folder that shouldn’t put

and it snaps open. Not long ago, we’d

the city hall bean counters on alert.

have thought a folding stock was an

One more issue: With only 400 of

extravagance. But, there’s a real ad-

these rifles getting built, we wonder

vantage to a smaller gun, not only in

if there’ll be any left by the time you

terms of moving in tight spaces, but

read this article.

traveling with a folded bolt gun means

Like: 0.38 MOA groups, M-LOK, great

a smaller hard case that’ll fit across

trigger, 10-round mags, built in cant

the width of a sub-compact rental

indicator, ohhhh so much modularity.

car; not an insignificant consideration

No Like: Sticky magazine, POI shift

when getting your whole squad to a

as barrel heats up, internal trigger

d sta t PRS S match atc oon a budget.  budget distant

j adjustment screw.

T KKA TIKKA

TSR-1

URL

www.tikka.fi

ACCESSORIES

CALIBER

.260 Remington BARREL LENGTH

20 inches

OVERALL LENGTH

40.75 inches (30.5 inches, folded) WEIGHT (UNLOADED)

10 pounds (9.7 without Rear Stock pack) MAGAZINE CAPACITY

10

SureFire Genesis 762 $1,075 Steiner M5xi 5-25x56 Military $3,600 LaRue LT120 QD Scope Mount $264 KAC Precision Bipod $437 Armageddon Precision Rifle Sling QD $85 Armageddon Gear “The Brick” Grippy Rear Bag $40 ITW Tac Link $4 Tactical Tailor Shooter’s Mat $115 MSRP

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TODD HODNETT—

RECOIL PICKS THE BRAIN OF ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED LONG-RANGE SHOOTING EXPERTS IN THE INDUSTRY

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27

STORY BY CANDICE HORNER PHOTOS BY SCHULTZ PHOTOGRAPHY

REC O ILW E B .C O M

84

Todd Hodnett has carved his own well

range capabilities to the limits as he

nett relied on his experiences as a

defined path by not fitting into some-

took animals at ever further distanc-

pilot in order to fine-tune the way bal-

one else’s predetermined box. He’s a

es. Competitiveness always stirred

listic science was used and taught.

problem solver and pioneer in extreme

within him, no matter the application.

By partnering up with companies like

long-range shooting whose career has

Within a year of taking up competi-

Applied Ballistics and Horus Vision,

had a snowball effect in the wider

tive cowboy action shooting, he was

he’s had an active role in bringing

world, leading to improvements in

a national champion. Shortly after

products to market that aid in making

the way our armed forces train and

breaking into long-range competi-

long-range hits possible.

operate today. This Texas cowboy went

tions, he won major matches. Perse-

from ranching, to competitive shoot-

verance sets him apart from the rest.

contagious, while his experience is cap-

ing, to teaching some of the most elite

Taking opportunity by the horns, he

tivating. Even if you’re not interested in

military members in the world.

founded Accuracy 1st, which trains

long-range shooting, the story of how

both civilians and military.

he’s built his success might provide

Growing up in Texas, Hodnett spent much of his free time hunting, and before long he pushed his long

After establishing one of the best shooting schools in the world, Hod-

Hodnett’s positive personality is

some motivation that’ll help you push past your own perceived limits.


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27

THE LONG-RANGE COWBOY

REC O ILW E B .C O M

86

RECOIL: Did you grow up shooting?

Todd trains the next crop of Navy SEALS at his facility in Texas.

right spot. I ended up dropping the

my own for the sport. While I waited

rifle and getting into bow hunting for

about a month for my reloading stuff,

about seven years and really enjoyed

I started with a dry-fire schedule. But,

of growing up in West Texas. We grew

that. Because of that, I spent a lot of

once I got my reloading stuff, I kept

up right beside a prairie dog town, so

time in the field and got passionate

with that same dry-fire schedule for

I’ve been shooting scoped rifles since

about hunting again.

a year. I ended up winning regional

Todd Hodnett: I grew up shooting and hunting, and that was just part

I was 6 years old. Once I got into ranching and farming, I was on horseback all the time, so I knew where the deer lived. The problem became that my hunting season would be over in about 30 minutes because as soon as the sun would come up I’d be waiting in the

You know Todd’s doing something right when he discusses training Marines out in Utah, where several managed to hit a boulder at 4,889 meters away.

and national matches that next year. What was your first gun?

That led to starting my pistol shooting

TH: The first gun I ever started shoot-

school in the early 2000s.

ing was a single-shot .22 and then moved up from there. My first long-

What helped you surpass guys who

range gun was a .22-250.

had been competing for years? TH: Tenacity. Going from a rancher

Was cowboy action shooting a natural

to a national champion pistol shooter

progression for you?

in a year was a commitment. I would

TH: A buddy of mine who I traveled

dry fire three hours a day, every day.

with shooting archery competitions

I always gave 100 percent. I don’t con-

called me up and said, “Hey, I found

sider anybody “a natural.” Everybody

our sport.” I wasn’t interested in it

pays their dues; some people pay more

because I grew up ranching and farm-

dues faster and work harder. That

ing and didn’t want to dress up like a

person will get there more quickly.

cowboy to shoot guns. But while on a hunting trip with him, I checked out

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve

his cowboy action shooting guns. After

gotten?

playing with his guns for a few hours,

TH: Never be satisfied with status

I was hooked and bought some of

quo. Don’t be complacent; always


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THE LONG-RANGE COWBOY strive to do better than you’ve done in the past. Don’t let someone else set your limits for you. How did you end up training the military? TH: I was called out of the blue and was asked to teach Rangers some pistol techniques. I was happy to teach them. After the class, they asked me to shoot a sniper competition with them. They let me borrow a rifle, and ended up placing Sixth at the match. At the match it was announced the Sniper’s Challenge match, which was the biggest of the year, had a few openings left. Me and a guy I met that day partnered up, and he lent me his rifle. The ammo I ordered arrived two days before the

IS SU E

27

match, but it was enough time for me

REC O ILW E B .C O M

88

to zero it and play with it just barely. I was fortunate enough to win that match and several after. How did you end up in a position to improve the long-range shooting of top-tier units? TH: After winning several matches using the Horus reticle, Horus called me up to ask if I’d shoot for them. They asked if I’d also demo for the military. While demoing the system for a military group in 2004, they asked me if

Many elite military units have come through his class. On the desk sits a 7mm/300N Surgeon Rifle with a Nightforce optic.

there was anything I’d change about

answer, and we build everything back-

the way they shoot. I said “yes,” and

ward. This developed the new way we

from there I worked with them for a

do things with ballistic engines.

One of Todd’s principles is sticking to the fundamentals and not being over-reliant on technology.

month. We went up to my high-angle facility in Utah. It worked out well and

With long-range shooting, the term

led to training several elite units. At

DOPE is frequently used. Do DOPE

the time, I was still doing ranching

and ballistic engines go hand in hand?

and farming while balancing my time

TH: When I came on board and start-

to teach long-range shooting.

ing teaching the ballistic computer and the Horus reticle system, all the mili-

What helped you become a SME in

tary groups I was training were shoot-

long range so quickly?

ing every 100 meters to gather DOPE

TH: As far as long range, I’d been

(Data On Previous Engagement). That

shooting it forever, but I wasn’t

has all changed now. We’re really not

formally trained. I didn’t really have

gathering DOPE anymore; what we’re

a box to think in. I started looking at

doing is finding the actual algorithm

different ways to extend my ranges

the bullet’s flying on — we true.

with different reticle types I was

The beauty of truing is, even if your

using. I read sniper manuals and dif-

ballistic coefficient (B.C.) is off, your al-

ferent books. A lot of stuff didn’t work

gorithm tracks in the opposite direction.

at far distances. I started questioning

We’re looking for the time of flight to

things. That became the motto that

target. From that we equate backward

we live on, “Question everything.” By

to the muzzle velocity (M.V.) that gives

questioning everything we find out

us a perfect algorithm. I could care less

why the bullet did what it did. I tell

whether my M.V. is tracking perfectly

guys, “The bullet doesn’t get to vote;

with the chronograph; all I care about is

it doesn’t lie.” The bullet gives us the

that my hold is perfect for every target.


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THE LONG-RANGE COWBOY For long-range shooting, how important is an accurate B.C.? TH: B.C.’s are suggested by the manufacturer, and we know a lot of them are off. Truing is the only way that you’ll ever be able to gather a correct algorithm if your B.C. isn’t perfect. If we knew the perfect B.C. and the perfect muzzle velocity, there’s no need to true. But for the guys in the field, they don’t have chronographs. One of the primary reasons we teach the way we teach is because in the field, I can take three or four rounds of ammo and gather the new M.V. by shooting it on a rock at the distance of transonic and have a perfect algorithm. When truing, you true at transonic because you measure long to predict short in any mathematical equation for accu-

IS SU E

27

racy. I don’t have to shoot every 100

REC O ILW E B .C O M

90

meters. This is one way the military changed some of their training. What advancements have you brought to military?

EDC

Depends on environment: Appendix carry Glock 43 and Sayoc knife ZEV 19 with DeltaPoint Pro and Pro-Tech Automatic/ Switchblade folder knife

wind dots make it easy for guys to get

a miss on a bad wind call. You end

on target and get shots off quickly.

up doubting your wind call if you’re

The Tremor wind dots will probably

canted into or away from the wind.

have the same leap as truing did. The

Cant is one of the biggest problems

Tremor wind dots helped to clean up

people have but is the cheapest to fix.

the other Horus reticles that people felt were too busy.

Do you think some people have become dependent on technological

What do you think is the biggest prob-

advancements instead of sticking to

lem with long-range shooting?

the basics?

military that had exponential gains

TH: Some people think it’s unethi-

TH: As big of a scientific problem it

are: truing, speed shooting formulas

cal to take a shot past 300 me-

is to put a small projectile on target

we developed, and the tremor wind

ters. It may be unethical for some

a long ways off, we have ended up

dots in the Horus reticle. The Tremor

people, but you should never put that

being super antiquated by having data

limitation on somebody else. A good

books and writing down every shot.

example is my son, who recently hit

Which, to me is a waste of time. I

four out of five shots at a mile with

think, like with every sport, people

my 300 Norma. So, with somebody

end up buying the wrong equipment.

who has the skillset, the tools, and

You have to be careful where you’re

who practices, that’s something they

getting your information. All apps

feel confident in. I want more people

aren’t created equal. Very rarely do

to feel comfortable and build their

we find an app that is as accurate

confidence in taking those long-

as a Kestrel. The problem is some

range hunting shots. It’s a wonderful

new applications try to copy other

pastime to spend with family without

ballistic engines. A good engine will

it sucking a lot of money out of the

be accurate and easy to use. You

family funds.

shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist

TH: The points that we brought to the

1. Buy a good scope 2. Get a level on your scope 3. Fundamentals are priority: Proper gun setup for you Proper body alignment Be a consistent platform to allow your rifle to give you consistent results NPA (natural point of aim), find your target in your scope before you start to load your bipods Be consistent on your load. You can’t load heavy all the time. Dry fire and watch your reticle

movement. Play with your technique to minimize reticle jump. Shoot in high winds as much as you can. This is where you will learn. Never stop learning Be careful where you get your information. Question everything. The bullet always tells the truth

to be able to use it. It has to be quick What one piece of gear do you think

and it must be intuitive. A Kestrel

every long-range shooter needs?

with Applied Ballistics is probably the

TH: A bubble level. I don’t care if it’s

easiest to use and the most accurate

one of mine or someone else’s because

because we’re able to true it and use

if you’re canted at all, you’ll blame

custom drag models.


IS SU E

27

THE LONG-RANGE COWBOY

REC O ILW E B .C O M

92

What advice would you give a shooter who wants to improve their long-range abilities? TH: No matter what happens, at the end of the day when the batteries fail, we still have to be able to go

Todd takes a minute to explain his techniques on a LaRue Tactical PredatOBR with a Nightforce optic.

their value. But, if you have to make

How are your classes different than

a decision, a good quality optic is

others?

paramount. Good quality doesn’t have

TH: Over the past 14 years of teach-

to mean expensive. The Bushnell lines

ing my classes, I teach in a way

of optics are very affordable and really

that the new guy and the guy that’s

nice quality.

been there multiple times will still get something out of the class. We

back to square one. You can never get past the fundamentals. All advanced

What would you suggest for someone

developed a class so the new shooter

shooting is, is when you don’t screw

looking to buy his first long-range rifle?

gains fundamentals, while the experi-

up the fundamentals. Most of the

TH: There are two different applica-

enced shooter will be able to further

time when we have problems shoot-

tions: bolt gun and semi-auto.

understand the finer points of the

ing, it’s because we’re not taking

For a bolt gun, you have affordable

fundamentals.

care of the fundamentals. This isn’t a

and top of the line. For affordable, the

When I teach a class, it’s not to

Kentucky windage guessing game.

Tikka T3 Tactical. It’s one of the best

give you the answer for you to write

rifles you’ll lay your hands on. It’s a

down and memorize. My classes are

As far as guns and gear are con-

phenomenal little gun. It’s an entry-

taught for you to understand the rea-

cerned, which is more important?

level gun, but I’m not for sure it’s

sons why. Knowledge sets you free.

TH: Buy good optics. If you have to

not as accurate as some of the more

You can never make a bad decision

choose between spending money on

expensive rifles you could buy. For

if you have knowledge. I teach pure

a gun or an optic, spend the money

top of the line, a Surgeon Rifle. I own

knowledge of: ballistics, reticle use,

on the optic. The optic will allow you

several Surgeons, and love them —

BCs, density altitude, drop, muzzle

to enjoy your day on the range. It’s a

never had a problem with them. And,

velocities, and different ways to shoot

fabulous tool that will retain its value.

Surgeon is a great company.

a weapon system.

I’m not saying don’t buy a good rifle.

For the gas guns, or semi-auto, I

I continue to evolve my teaching. I

If you can, obviously a good qual-

wouldn’t buy a gas gun that isn’t a

develop ways to improve my shoot-

ity gun like a Surgeon or a LaRue is

LaRue. LaRue Tactical is by far the

ing, and then that’s made into a

money well spent and will also retain

best in the marketplace.

class. An example is I used to teach


THE LONG-RANGE COWBOY really heavy loads of bipods for recoil management, so you can get back on target and adjust. But, the reality is, one day I was teaching that and we were shooting off a vehicle, I would load the bipods, and they would slide. It made me unconfident in my longrange shots, because I was concerned I wouldn’t get the same performance with my DOPE that I got while loading my bipods. And, I was correct. So, instead I started teaching consistent loading of bipods. Now I teach giving the weapon system a consistent base to perform off of for every shot. Since you assist with improving optics the military uses, can you explain some of the features future optics will have? TH: You’re going to start seeing

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27

scopes that have data within them. I

REC O ILW E B .C O M

94

know Nightforce has one that’s going to be released soon. It’s something we’ve been asking the industry to produce for the last 10 years. You’ll have the capability of having weapons-mounted range finders to where you’ll put the crosshairs on the target, and all of a sudden you’ll have all the data and elevation holds. In the near future, you’ll be able to have wind

TODD HODNETT AGE: 52 HOMETOWN: Levelland, Texas FAMILY: Wife, Shannon, and sons Colby and Will FAVORITE FIREARM: LaRue .260 with NF 4x16 ATACR with T3 reticle OTHER FAVORITE FIREARM: Surgeon 300N with NF 5x25 ATACR with T3 reticle MOST NOTABLE EVENT: Hunting with my boys FAVORITE BOOK: Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos FAVORITE MOVIES: Top Gun; Oh Brother, Where Art Thou URL: accuracy1stdg.com

holds as well. But, the scopes will still have legacy reticles, similar to the Horus Tremor 3. The Tremor 3 that

once you get out past about 500

pig at 1,668 meters. Long range is

can plug-and-play with new technolo-

meters. Many systems don’t account

different for everybody. I’ve seen

gies will take over and be used by the

for wind and aerodynamic jump.

phenomenal shots, which were closer

military for the next 20 years.

There are so many aspects that are

distances, because the call was more

accounted for in the ballistic engines,

difficult.

Why has it taken so long to get to this

and some of the scopes don’t include

point in making scopes “smarter”?

solid algorithms.

TH: The ballistic engines have to

Some of the luckiest shots, I’ve ever had were with a pistol. I tell people that when there’s a bullet in

be really good that are included in

What are the best and longest shots

the scopes. The problem has been

you’ve made or witnessed?

that the capabilities weren’t being

TH: I was training Marines out in

You’ve been married for a long time,

reached for what we needed at further

Utah, and the longest shot that

how’d you meet your wife?

distances. A lot of companies invest

several of us made during the train-

TH: We’ve been married for 27 years.

R&D money and go down the roads

ing was a boulder, and it was 4,889

We met while skydiving. I was jump-

we ask. They knock out the advances

meters away.

ing that morning and trying to get all

in small steps, but any error in the mathematical algorithm shows itself

One of the most impressive shots I’ve seen was when my son shot a

the air, there’s hope.

my jumps in, and she was taking a class. Later that day, I was flying the


THE LONG-RANGE COWBOY airplane, and I got to throw her out of

have been the best part of my career.

material. As far as, here in the United

the plane. We were engaged a month

Some of my best friends are guys

States, I’m not ready to retire yet.

and a half later and married a few

I’ve been able to train over the past

It’s on the horizon, but not near. At

months after that.

decade. Being able to work and be

some point, I’ll have more instruc-

friends with such amazing men has

tors working with me to facilitate

been a great opportunity.

the needs of the military. We’ll have

What’s your best memory or highlight,

quality instructors who have all the

thus far? TH: I’ve been very fortunate through-

Do you have a plan for retirement and

same knowledge. We’ll never slack off

out my career. But, being able to

who will continue this legacy you’ve

on the quality of the instructors. We

hunt with my boys gives me the best

started?

don’t teach at a minimal level.

memories every year. We’re able to

TH: Right now we’re starting to look

take animals at extreme long ranges

at franchising. We’d have Accuracy

and spend time together.

1st in Australia, Canada, and Great

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27

As far as in competition shooting,

REC O ILW E B .C O M

96

Britain. Those locations would consist

it’s not the shots made. The friends

of guys who have been through our

that I’ve made in the shooting world

training multiple times and know the

Get more of RECOIL’s exclusive interview with Todd Hodnett at recoilweb.com.


SHOOTING RANGES ARE SHO REALMOST ALMOST ALWAYS AYS FLAT. REAL LI IFE ISN’T ISN T.

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27

STORY BY RYAN CLECKNER S ER PHOTOS PH BY CHRIS WHITE WHI HITE

REC O ILW E B .C O M

98

In the real world, it’s likely that your

path. To compensate for this increased

bullet drops and how much elevation

target may be above or below your

drop at further distances, we must in-

compensation is needed (see “A Funny

location. If the target is far enough

crease the angle of our barrel upward.

Thing Happened on the Way to the

away and the angle is steep enough

The good news is that a bullet’s

Target,” RECOIL Issue 22). However, for the purposes of this

(high or low), you might just completely

drop due to gravity, and the cor-

miss it if you don’t compensate for the

responding elevation compensation

article, let’s focus only on angle and

angle and adjust your normal elevation

across flat ground, are fairly consis-

assume that all other conditions are

settings on your scope or sights.

tent. Of course, different environmen-

exactly the same. Therefore, once

tal conditions and different bullets

you know exactly how much elevation

and/or velocities affect how much a

adjustment on your scope or sights is

The longer a bullet flies through the air, the further it falls from its original


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WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE

@

! TARGET

needed in order to hit a target at a certain distance across flat ground in certain environmental conditions, you can use that elevation adjustment again in the future when you want to shoot another target across level ground in front of you at the same distance and

IS SU E

27

in the same conditions. Easy, right?

REC O ILW E B .C O M

100

THE FURTHER OUT THE TARGET GETS FROM THE BASE OF YOUR CLIFF, THE MORE GRAVITY WILL AFFECT THE BULLET OFF OF ITS ORIGINAL PATH.

But, if the target is above or below

First, a thought exercise. Imagine

your position, the corresponding angle

laying on the edge of a 500-yard cliff

that you’re shooting (up or down) may

and shooting at a target (target #1)

well require a change to your typical

directly below you against the base of

“flat-ground” elevation adjustment for

the cliff on the ground. How far will

a target at that distance in those con-

the bullet deviate off of its original

ditions. When shooting at an angle,

path due to gravity? You’re right; it

the bullet won’t fall as far off of its

won’t deviate at all! It’ll fly straight

original path. Therefore, less eleva-

down to the target.

tion adjustment is needed in order to

This is the steepest angle we can

hit a target at an angle than a target

shoot, i.e. 90 degrees (any more than

directly in front of you. Remember it

90 degrees is really just less than 90

this way — if you ignore the angle,

degrees facing the other way). Now

your bullet will impact high. How high

imagine a target (target #2) that’s

depends on the degree of the angle

almost directly below you. Let’s say

and the target’s distance. This is true

it’s 25 yards away from the base of the

whether the target is above or below

cliff on the ground.

you — don’t believe me? Let’s do that math!

You can imagine that gravity will pull the bullet slightly off of its path — it won’t travel in a perfectly straight line like before. The further out the target gets from the base of your cliff, the more gravity will affect the bullet off of its original path. For example, a bullet will fall further off of its original path on its way to

!

25 YARDS

@

# 200 YARDS


WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE a target 200 yards away from our cliff’s base (target #3) than it would for target #2 only 25 yards away. From this we know that gravity pulls a bullet off of its original path most at a 0-degree angle (straight out) and least at a 90-degree angle (straight up or down). Now, we’re not saying that gravity doesn’t have an effect on bullets at certain angles — gravity is pulling on a bullet regardless of what angle you’re shooting. Rather, gravity pulls the bullet off of its original path different amounts depending on the angle of the original path. Interestingly, there’s an easy way to figure out gravity’s effect on the bullet’s path — simply focus on the horizontal distance the bullet must travel (rather than the total distance from your position to the target) and pretend that the

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27

target is that far away, directly in front

REC O ILW E B .C O M

102

of you. When we shoot at target #2, which is 25 yards away from the base of our cliff, the bullet is only traveling horizontally 25 yards. And when we shoot at target #3, which is 200 yards away from our cliff’s base, the bullet travels horizontally only 200 yards. Therefore, the bullets will deviate off of their paths the same as if we were shooting at targets directly in front of us 25 yards and 200 yards away. So, how do you figure out the horizontal distance a bullet will travel for an angled target? Trigonometry! (Your suspicion that snipers were kinda nerdy might just be true.) If we know the angle we’re shooting and the distance to the target, we can calculate the horizontal distance the bullet is travelling. We do this by visualizing a right triangle (one with a 90-degree corner) to represent the various measurements. In the diagram on page 104, you can

I like to refer to the actual distance

your target, the first step in finding the

see that our height above the target is

to the target as the “true distance”

angle distance is determining the angle

the vertical side of the triangle (X), the

and the shorter distance that we’re go-

of the target from your position. One

view from our position to the target is

ing to pretend the target is from us to

rule of trigonometry is that alternate

(Z), and the horizontal distance that

compensate our elevation adjustment

angles are equal. For our purposes,

the bullet covers is (Y). Note that (Y)

for the angle as the “angle distance.”

that means angle B in the diagram is

will always be shorter than (Z).

After you know the true distance to

the same as angle A.


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WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE There are a few ways to measure the angle to a target. Basic methods

B

include using a card (homemade or a

0 Degrees – Level

MilDot Master) with a weighted string (1) or a compass with an angle finder built-in. Chances are your smartphone

Z

also has the ability to measure angles. You can either look down the edge

X

of these devices to the target or rest them against the edge of your elevation turret as you look through your scope. You can also mount purposebuilt devices to your rifle/scope like

A

an Angle Cosine Indicator (2), saving a step in this process by giving you

TARGET

Y

the cosine of the angle instead of the angle itself.

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27

Modern laser rangefinders often

REC O ILW E B .C O M

104

have a feature that not only tells you

warning you now to learn to calculate

ing the cosine of angle B (which is the

the true distance to the target, but

the angle distance by hand before

same as A) by the true distance (Z) in

also the angle to the target and, even

relying on a fancy laser rangefinder.

order to find the angle distance (Y). To

Once we know the angle to the

the right is a table of angles and their

better, some can do all the math

cosines for your reference.

COSINES FOR ANGLES

for you and just give you the angle

target from our position (angle A and

distance. Similarly, the MilDot Master

equally, angle B), we can start with the

can be used to calculate the angle

trigonometry. There are three basic

diagram is 800 yards away (Z), and

distance (3). Just as I’d warn you to

trigonometric functions: sine, cosine,

the target is at a 30-degree angle

ANGLE

COSINE

learn to read a map and compass

and tangent. To figure out our angle

(A and B) from our position, then

0.999

before relying solely on a GPS, I’m

distance, we’ll use cosine. If I wanted

we multiply the true distance (800

10º

0.984

to distract you from this article and

yards) by the cosine of our 30-degree

start telling a different story, I’d go off

angle (0.866), resulting in an angle

15º

0.965

on a tangent (bad joke). The diagonal

distance of 693 yards (see photo 3).

20º

0.939

side of a right triangle (across from

Therefore, we’d use our elevation

25º

0.906

the 90 degree angle) is called the

adjustment for a 693-yard target even

hypotenuse (Z). If you know the length

though the target is actually 800 yards

30º

0.866

1

2

For example, if the target in the

of the hypotenuse and the angle of

away. There’s a good chance that if

35º

0.819

one of its corners, you can use the

you didn’t take the angle into account

40º

0.766

angle’s cosine to determine the length

for this example, and you used your

of the other side of that corner (Y). In

800-yard elevation data instead of

45º

0.707

our situation, we do this by multiply-

your 693-yard elevation data, you’d

50º

0.642

miss completely over the target.

55º

0.573

60º

0.5

ment only. Because the bullet is still

65º

0.422

traveling the true distance to the

70º

0.342

75º

0.258

variables (e.g. spin drift). Therefore, in

80º

0.173

our example, you’d make a wind call

85º

0.087

90º

0

3

It’s important to note that the angle distance is for your elevation adjust-

target, you must use the true distance when calculating for wind and other

for an 800-yard target, but you’d use the elevation for a 693-yard target.


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WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE Clearly, paying attention to the target’s angle is important. However,

B = 30°

at slight angles and closer distances

0 Degrees – Level

800 YARDS x 0.866 (COS 30°) 693 YARDS

you may choose to ignore the effect. For example, a 5-degree angle to a target with a true distance of 100

Z = 800 YARDS

yards will result in an angle distance of 99.9 yards, so just shoot the damn

X

thing and be done with it. Stretch the distance out over 500 yards, however, and you’d better be paying attention. As the saying goes, everything counts

A = 30°

in large amounts. The side-to-side angle of your rifle

TARGET

Y = 693 YARDS

also matters. If you’re not paying attention and your rifle isn’t perfectly and instead is leaning to one side (it’s

However, even a 1-degree cant/lean

canted), then you may completely

can make a 6-inch difference at

miss the target. This is because while

1,000 yards.

to compensate for the bullet’s drop

side (useful for a right-handed shooter

due to gravity. By allowing your rifle to

trying to shoot under something low),

lean to one side, the barrel will point

the bullet will impact left and low. It’ll

slightly toward the direction the rifle

impact left because the barrel is point-

is leaning. Also, the barrel won’t be

ing left into the scope’s line of sight,

pointed as high.

and it’ll impact low because the barrel

the tip of the barrel is at its highest point as it points up to the line of sight through the scope. As we rotate the rifle to its side (increasing the lean/cant), the tip of the barrel travels in an arc. When the rifle is laying flat on its left side, for example, the barrel is perfectly flat against the ground but pointing to the left. Remember, this is because the barrel is pointing toward the line of sight through the scope, which is now to the left of the barrel. This arc path means that our bullet will miss to whichever side the rifle is leaning,

@ 100 YARDS

IMPACT

(LEFT AND LOW OF RETICLE)

will be level with the ground.

If the rifle is perfectly level/vertical (lets call this 0 degrees of cant), then

8” TARGET

BOTTOM

with the rifle laying directly on its left

LEFT

27 IS SU E REC O ILW E B .C O M

target, your barrel is angled upward

TOP

Taken to an extreme, when shooting

your scope is looking directly at the

106

RIGHT

vertical (scope above barrel/receiver)

REMEMBER IT THIS WAY — IF YOU IGNORE THE ANGLE,

YOUR BULLET WILL IMPACT HIGH

For a .308 Win at 100 yards, this

have a change in angle, and the target

will easily make the bullet miss by up

is far enough away, you might just

to 4 inches in both directions. If you’re

miss if you don’t compensate for it.

shooting at an 8-inch target at 100 yards, a simple fix is to bracket the crosshairs to the top and right of the target. Rest the top of the crosshair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(which is now the left of the crosshair

Ryan Cleckner is a former sniper team

with the 90-degree left leaning rifle)

leader in the U.S. Army’s 1st Ranger Battalion

on the top edge of the target and rest

and sniper instructor. Cleckner, who is cur-

the left crosshair (which is now the

rently a firearms industry executive, attorney,

bottom) on the right edge of the target

and university lecturer, has a passion for

and shoot. This bracket method is a

teaching and explaining seemingly complex

quick fix to compensate for the change

topics in a way that anyone can understand.

in lean/cant of the rifle.

He has appeared as a sniper expert on

What does all this mean? Gathering

History Channel’s Top Shot program, has a

and also impact low because the bar-

data for your rifle at certain distances

series of popular online firearm instructional

rel isn’t pointed as high to counteract

is useful, but it’s only reliable when

videos, and is the author of the Long Range

the effect of gravity. How far to the

shooting at targets of the same angle

Shooting Handbook. Learn more about him at

side and low depends on the distance

(above and below your position and

RyanCleckner.com.

you’re shooting and your cartridge.

side-to-side lean of your rifle). If you


27 IS SU E REC O ILW E B .C O M

108

THE VORTEX RAZOR HD AMG 6-24X50 IS MADE OUT OF APPLE PIES AND WRAPPED IN A COPY OF FRANCIS SCOTT KEY’S MANUSCRIPT STORY BY PETER PALMA PHOTOS BY BANNON ELDRIDGE

Vortex has quickly earned a reputation for filling

Sure, you can buy some strudels in the freezer

gaps in the optics market with quality glass avail-

section of the grocery store, open the box, place

able at prices that will let you remain married.

the strudel in the toaster, push down the button,

Which may not be a good thing, depending on

and then squirt your delicious creamy white juice

your particular situation.

atop the warm, steaming, flaky crust of your pastry.

Now you can brag to your friends about what

But if we put you in the middle of the woods and

you paid for your high-quality optic without

tasked you with producing the same heavenly treat

sounding like the assh*le we all know you are.

before going back home, you would eventually die

This humble scribe proved in RECOIL Issue 19

cold, lonely, and hungry. The guys at Vortex Optics,

that even Vortex’s lowest priced, imported optic

however, would not only give us a better-tasting

can take beatings from even the most inept hu-

strudel for less money, but they would invent

mans and still remain functional. But if you think

an improved toaster and a freezer section with

Vortex is just a company that just puts its name

their strudels sandwiched between cold beer and

on foreign made products, you’d be more wrong

American-made 6-24x50 precision optics. OK, that

than Bill Cosby.

last bit is a stretch, but, as you can probably tell,

We took a trip to Vortex Optics’ Wisconsin fac-

we’re fans. Every single bolt, nut, cap, and O-ring

tory to check out one of the few optics made in the

on its new AMG scope is born and manufactured

U.S. of friggin’ A. Now, there are plenty of compa-

right here in America by a company so American

nies making all sorts of products that say “Made

that you may mistakenly think the rest of this

in the USA” status, and technically they are, but in

article is quoted directly from The Onion or The

the same way that you can make a toaster strudel.

Weekly World News.


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AMERICAN. MADE. BLADE.

Vortex’s founder, Daniel Hamilton, came from a modest background and served as a helicopter mechanic in the Vietnam War. After returning home he

IS SU E

27

used the G.I. Bill to go to college so

REC O ILW E B .C O M

110

that he could improve his standard of living way above the immense shittiness that was Vietnam. Dan opened up Eagle Optics in 1987, which specialized in binoculars and quickly

somewhat confusing industrial com-

fire whilst you were moonshining. May-

grew into a large distributor of glass-

plex not unlike the Willie Wonka Choc-

be we’re projecting there. It’s a hive of

olate Factory, complete with conveyor

excited and purposeful activity. A mul-

belts, hermetically sealed chambers,

titude of compartmentalized areas are

and a David Bowie-worthy labyrinth

full of specialized inventions created to

of rooms filled with strange, one-off

make employees more efficient and to

machines performing complicated

engineer out margins of error, all in an

and specialized operations. In lieu of

effort to increase the quality of their

orange midgets, there are veterans and

optics and save you money.

containing goodies. Dissatisfied with binoculars offered at the time, Dan started getting optics manufactured to his own specifications. In the meantime, Dan’s son, Sam, was off going through the process of becoming the most horrible, and horribly useful, thing a person can become, namely an engineer. These awful creatures are an unfortunate necessary evil when it comes to making complicated cool things. Dave, one of Dan’s other sons, was off to war being an awesome as f@ck JTAC and F-15 Strike Eagle pilot. This has none of the drawbacks of being an engineer but instead is great for coming up with cool names for stuff, like “Spitfire,” “Strike Eagle,” and “Tiger Shark.” In 2002 Dan, his sons, and staff created the Vortex brand of optics, and the rest is history. The family owned business is located in a sprawling and

THE 150-PLUS EMPLOYEES ARE DILIGENTLY TENDING TO MACHINES, PATIENTLY ANSWERING YOUR STUPIDASS QUESTIONS OVER THE PHONE, AND FIXING THE SCOPES YOU DROPPED OFF A CLIFF OR THAT CAUGHT FIRE WHILST YOU WERE MOONSHINING. MAYBE WE’RE PROJECTING THERE.

all ranges of shooters (pun intended)

This meandering narrative brings

from three-gun, to F class, to Precision

us to the AMG. Many are familiar with

Rifle Series (PRS). Like biting into a

the tried-and-true Razor HD Gen II,

chocolate chip cookie and not getting

which is used by nearly half of the top

a chocolate chip, it’s impossible to fart

100 PRS shooters. But what many

anywhere in the Vortex facility without

may not be familiar with is that these

having the effluvium that was once

Japanese-made optics arrive at Vortex

in your butt waft into the nose of a

and are subsequently disassembled,

veteran or serious shooter. Not that we

whereupon a number of critical parts

farted while visiting Vortex, because

are scrapped, then replaced with com-

we’re professionals.

ponents made in-house. They’re then

The 150-plus employees are dili-

reassembled and re-purged with nitro-

gently tending to machines, patiently

gen, using their super-secret-squirrel

answering your stupid-ass questions

method that we promised not to write

over the phone, and fixing the scopes

about. All that sounds problematic

you dropped off a cliff or that caught

and less than efficient, right? Well,


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IS SU E

27

AMERICAN. MADE. BLADE.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

112

the AMG is the food baby birthed from that pain in the ass. By far the most notable aspect of the AMG is the dramatic reduction in weight. At 28.8 ounces itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s much, much lighter than the venerable Razor HD Gen II, which at a hefty 49 ounces is heavy for a scope, but light for an anvil. All the standard features found on top-quality, long-range glass are present â&#x20AC;&#x201D; first focal plane, illuminated reticle, locking diopter adjustment, zero stops, 30mm tube, and exceptional glass clarity. The scope comes standard with locking turrets with adjustments in either MOA or Mils, for use by people who are from countries that have been to the moon, and those that have not, respectively. The zero stops are interesting (as far as zero stops can be), in that they can be set in one of two ways. The user can either use the tried-and-true method of adjusting the turret, then removing Allen screws on the side of the turret in order to spin it to zero without changing the internal adjustments. Or you can remove a cap atop the turret and make adjustments to a dial-style


AMERICAN. MADE. BLADE. adjustment that doesn’t have any

forgiving, especially in the common

tight and so consistently placed that

“clicks” so the zero can be adjusted

working ranges between 300 and 800

our ragtag group of shooters, ranging

infinitely.

yards. Even with parallax cranked way

from former sniper to “camera guy”

Once set, subsequent turret adjust-

out of adjustment, any apparent move-

decided to up the ante. After a few

ments are tactile and easy to turn, with

ment of the reticle across the target is

rounds, someone noticed that the

just the right amount of resistance to

slight, where in some other scopes that

manufacturer of the NRA steel ram

prevent accidentally spinning past your

mistake would be rather more dramatic.

silhouettes we were using had made

intended DOPE. We twisted the turrets

This wiggle room is appreciated for situ-

them anatomically correct.

as if we were trying to start a fire with

ations where the shooter may not have

a hand drill and there was no change in impact when returned to zero. The adjustments, even at their extreme limits, tracked like Jesse Owens in 1936 Nazi Germany. However, the Germans have

27

round robin was hastily established with

various ranges.

the sole intent of striking the ram’s joy

Both the MOA and Mil reticles are

prong, approximately 2 by 1 inches in

well thought out and useful, without

size, at 540 yards. Ultimately, our van driver performed a perfect circumcision

15.2 in.

compared the clarity and brightness of

WEIGHT:

like someone just etched a piece of

on his second shot — a true testa-

EYE RELIEF:

graph paper where a reticle should be.

ment to American quality. The AMG is

3.6 in.

There are many minute details in the

proof that America is good at producing things other than cheeseburgers,

28.8 oz. F.O.V.:

tics, and Schmidt & Bender, and found

20.4 feet at 100 yards

reticle that are as useful and welcome,

that the AMG was equal to or surpassed

TUBE:

as well as being too boring to rattle on

cookie-cutter neighborhoods, and reality

30mm

about. But what isn’t boring is using

shows about horrible people. The AMG

sive — Schmidt & Bender. So the AMG

$2,499

the thing. Our range tests mated the

can sit atop the most accurate rifles and

fits nicely into Vortex Optics’ philosophy

URL:

AMG on a variety of custom bolt guns

bang it out with its rivals, while doing

and ultimately ended with groups so

it cheaper and lighter.

all but the mighty — and mighty expenIS SU E

over our group of five shooters and a

must switch rapidly between targets at

being too busy or cluttered and looking

ings from Nightforce, Kahles, U.S. Op-

REC O ILW E B .C O M

LENGTH:

an accurate way of judging distance, or

not suffered a complete defeat. We the AMG’s glass with comparable offer-

114

VORTEX RAZOR HD AMG 6-24X50

An urgent desire euphorically washed

of quality optics at affordable prices. In fact, the only fly in the ointment we discovered was that the indicated parallax adjustment ranges seemed to differ from the markings on the dial. Once we messed with the adjustments and removed parallax, we discovered that though the parallax indications may be misleading, the parallax itself is very

PRICE:

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27 IS SU E REC O ILW E B .C O M

116

COMBATIVES FOR CONFINED SPACES STORY BY GEORGE SINGARELLA PHOTOS BY DAVID COREY

When training in any form of unarmed combat,

to this training — what happens when you’re

the physical areas in which we train are gener-

confronted with a threat in a constricted space?

ally laid out for maximum movement to benefit

You won’t have the space available to conduct

the practitioner. In other words, you have space

your techniques the way you’ve practiced them.

to move around. It’s an ideal setup to practice

There’ll be little room to move or the ability to

techniques and develop dynamic body move-

position your body to deliver a perfect tech-

ment. However, there’s an inherent drawback

nique, so what then?


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CLOSET KUNG FU ing course is truly old-school combat-

You must strike with everything you

ives. It has changed very little from

have and do it explosively. In confined

the way it was originally taught so

spaces this becomes difficult to ac-

many decades ago. It’s effective, easy

complish. We have another acronym

to comprehend, and ideally suited for

just for power development, but we’ll

confined-space fighting because, at

hit that next.

its roots, it was designed for up-close, in-your-face unarmed combat. There’s a saying I use when

Effectiveness — The techniques you use must be effective; we don’t have the time or need for superfluous or

teaching these courses, namely,

burdensome techniques. Furthermore,

“Technique is important; attitude is

you want to know that the techniques

critical.” That statement becomes

you’re training in have been effectively

even more important when we start

applied in real-life situations.

discussing confined-space combatives. Your technique may suffer due

SCOPE is the overarching principle for our combatives.

to lack of space and limited ability for power development, so the more violence-minded you are, the better your chances of surviving.

SWAMP Next, we have SWAMP. This acronym was coined by one of the early practitioners of the combative system

27

SCOPE IS SU E

Prior to discussing the techniques,

Bob Kasper. This is the acronym for

Like any good military program, we

the process of power development.

which encompasses the following:

REC O ILW E B .C O M

Simplicity — All of the techniques

COMBATIVES IS MILITARYFOCUSED, UNARMED, HAND-TOHAND GUTTER FIGHTING, CREATED BY W.E. FAIRBAIRN AND OTHERS FROM THE WWII ERA.

(GHCA), which was run by the late

you must understand some tenets. use acronyms. The first one is SCOPE,

118

of the Gung Ho Chuan Association

SWAMP stands for: Stay relaxed — Keep your body calm, don’t tense up, and continue

we utilize are simple to learn and easy

breathing. Visualizing your strikes can

to employ. Basic gross-motor function

help with this. Concentrate on being

movements are at the core of the

loose prior to executing your initial

strikes. It shouldn’t take you years to

strike.

Before we get to the meat and

master a skillset to defend yourself.

potatoes, let’s clarify something.

Control — You must be in control

Weapon first — The initial strike needs to be a surprise assault. Don’t

The term “combatives” gets thrown

of yourself, your emotions, and body,

telegraph your intent to strike by rear-

around far too often these days. Many

and you must take control of the situ-

ing your fist back to throw the bomb

systems of martial or fighting arts use

ation, quickly, and violently.

right hand. Instead, focus on moving the weapon (your striking hand or

the term to identify their system. To

Offense — The word defense is

me, and for my training, combatives

prohibited; its connotation implies

whatever you’re using) first, directly at

is military-focused, unarmed, hand-

that we’re defending ourselves, which

the intended target. Avoid manipulat-

to-hand gutter fighting, created by

means we aren’t aggressing. Your

ing your body in such a manner that

W.E. Fairbairn and others from the

mindset during a violent encounter

screams, “I am going to strike you!”

WWII era.

shouldn’t be to defend yourself; it

Accelerate — Speed is overwhelm-

should be to attack or counterattack

ing and creates power. Accelerate

let’s just say that it’s very basic in

your opponent. When an opportunity

through your target and move quickly.

its techniques and teaching, yet very

presents itself, you must be preemp-

The principle of staying relaxed will

advanced in its application. It was

tive in your attack. At minimum, you

help in acceleration. Relaxed muscles

designed to maim or kill. There aren’t

must assault your threat at the first

move more quickly than tense ones.

many pain compliance techniques

signs of aggression.

Once you strike, continue accelerating

While we needn’t go into its history,

or confusing, drawn-out movements.

Power — The use of power is criti-

into your adversary and punish him

What we teach in our unarmed train-

cal for your technique to be effective.

until his will to fight you is broken.


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CLOSET KUNG FU Move in the direction of the strike — This will allow you to strike with maxi-

WHEN YOU’RE IN A LIFEOR-DEATH STRUGGLE, VIOLENCE IS THE ANSWER. THIS ISN’T A SPORT, AND YOU DON’T GET A TROPHY. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO BE MORE VIOLENT THAN YOUR THREAT. PERIOD.

ing, fast, and powerful strikes, regard-

transition to a low line kick or knee,

less of your size.

and then go back high again.

STRIKE FORCE

space between you and the threat,

Create and crash gaps — Make

mum force. Don’t diminish your power by moving away from your intended target. Moving in the direction of your strike will ensure you’re using your full body weight and power. Plunge — Plunge all of your mass

Next, we have the principles for our striking attributes. These are: Get off-line — Avoid standing in

and then crash into him with overwhelming force and violence. Hard to soft/soft to hard — When

front of your threat, especially when

striking a hard surface (head) use a

into the target area. By doing this,

you aren’t able to attack preemptively.

soft weapon (open hand) and vice

you ensure that you’re giving it your

Get out of line from his attack. Think

versa; for a soft target area use a hard

all and not diminishing power. By per-

of a matador dodging a charging bull.

striking surface (elbow).

forming the above principle of moving

Work from the angle or the side. Keep

Incidental striking — At every

in the direction of the strike, you’ll

him off balance, and don’t let him get

opportunity, strike with something

ensure that you connect your strike

positional advantage on you.

somehow! Strikes don’t need to be

before your body mass is set. Your mass equates to additional power.

Change levels — When delivering

in the form of a prescribed striking

your strikes, move from striking high

technique. For example, immediately

to striking low on the threat. Keep

after delivering a strike, say a cupped

second nature when you deliver

your opponent chasing your striking,

hand blow, jam your non-striking hand

strikes. Tie these principles together

trying to protect himself. Hit him in

into his face. Always look to cause

and you’ll be able to deliver devastat-

the face with a cupped hand blow and

pain and discomfort.

With practice, SWAMP can become

IS SU E

27

Press the attack — Continue to

REC O ILW E B .C O M

120

attack with ferocity until the threat is mitigated. Don’t allow him time to recover. Be aggressive and violent until the threat is no longer a threat. Use what you have — Whatever it may be, use it. A pen, a comb, a beer can. If you have something on you, use it as a weapon.

VIOLENCE Lastly and most importantly, when you’re in a life-or-death struggle, violence is the answer. This isn’t a sport, and you don’t get a trophy. You must be willing to be more violent than your threat. Period. It isn’t violence for the sake of violence. You’re giving the act of violence against you its due! Now that you know where we’re coming from, let’s look at some typical confined-space combative scenarios. We’ll break confined-space combatives into two categories: extreme and intermediate. Extreme would be fighting from a confined space, such as inside your vehicle. For this article we focus on the intermediate, covering areas such as an elevator, stairwell, in-between vehicles, etc.


CLOSET KUNG FU CAUGHT IN THE ELEVATOR As I attempt to exit the elevator, the thug pushes me back into the box (E1). Obviously he isn’t going to ask me for a date! I get my hands into a guard position (E2). As he advances, I deliver a fierce face smash (E3, E4), sticking with my principles. I then go low and give him a good ol’ shin kick (E5). I jam my “off” hand immediately into his face. Using my environment, I drive his head into the frame of the elevator. I reposition myself and finish him with a devastating hammer-fist to the side of the head (E6) and a mobility kill by stomping the ankle (E7).

S1

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27

E1

REC O ILW E B .C O M

122

S2

S3

S4

S5

E5 E2

E6

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN As I’m making my way down the stairwell, the thug on the landing attacks me. He yokes me up and shoves

E3

me to the wall. I immediately deliver a chin jab from the low-line position while meat hooking (trapping) his hand (S1). This strike drives the head backward and thrusts the groin forward, perfect for the follow-up strike. I give him a short knee to his man parts (S2). As he lurches forward, I sling my arm around his head to do a face rip (S3). In doing so, the inside of my arm strikes to the brachial plexus area (incidental strike) of his neck. I violently rip his face around and shift my hand on his face. I then drop him straight to the deck (S4) while digging my fingers in his eyes (S5). I can end the encounter

E4

E7

with hammer fists, an arm bar, or a stomp, depending on the severity of the situation.


CLOSET KUNG FU CAN I HAVE A RIDE? Even though I’m in the open area of a parking garage, the environment can close around me rather quickly. Here I find myself getting ready to enter my vehicle when the thug decides to strike. As he attempts to grab me from behind (V1), I immediately deliver a whirling elbow (V2, V3). Not knowing if I have any effect on the threat, I maintain my aggressive

V1

behavior and immediately follow up with a series of cycling hammer fists (V4, 5, 6). I then deliver a low-line kick aimed at

V5

destroying the knee joint (V7) and end it by beating feet out of the area to look for local law enforcement officers.

So there you have it, a handful of proven techniques to employ when con-

IS SU E

27

fronted by an adversary in tight quar-

REC O ILW E B .C O M

124

V2

ters. If you stick with the principles and train hard with like-minded individuals,

V6

you’ll stand a better chance of surviving a violent attack. If you can legally do so, go armed. But remember, the weapon is not a panacea. The scenarios described here don’t afford you the luxury of being able to draw your weapon at the onset of the attack. You must have sound unarmed combative skills — skills that

V3

are brutally efficient and effective. Violent encounters on the street aren’t simple problems. They’re usually executed with speed, cunning, and ferocity. Criminals are predators, and they’ll prey on the weak and unaware. Don’t be a victim. Train hard and make sure your training is real, relevant, and proven. (Special thanks to our “meat puppet” Jim Waller.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

V4

George Singarella is founder and president of LANISTA International, a training and consulting company dedicated to helping people prepare for violent encounters. He’s a combat veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and has over 18 years experience in the high-threat environment security business. He has been operationally deployed and has conducted training in over 15 countries for defensive firearms, armed

V7

and unarmed combatives, and all protective security related skillsets. He has served as lead instructor for various government agencies and the Department of Defense training programs and has been the director of training for multiple government contracts and corporate entities. George can be reached at training@lanista-international.com or at www.LANISTA-International.com


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27 IS SU E REC O ILW E B .C O M

126

STORY BY TOM MARSHALL PHOTOS BY STRAIGHT 8

LWRCIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ARMY-INSPIRED, PISTON-DRIVEN PRECISION GUN


Way back in 2012, the U.S. Army put

Admittedly, this is not LWRCI’s

some product improvements over the

forth a “sources sought” notice for

first foray into the AR-10-style plat-

REPR to increase accuracy poten-

a Compact, Semi-Automatic Sniper

form. The previously released REPR

tial. These include a mono-forged

System — CSASS, to save on word

also touts 7.62 knockdown power

one-piece upper receiver, a hammer-

count. At the time, the M110 — a

and match-grade reach. The CSASS,

forged chamber that (according to

7.62 gas gun produced by Knight’s

having been designed specifically for

factory reps) allows the barrel to sit

Armament and based on its SR-25

a military contract, has some differ-

tighter against the upper receiver, and

— was doing all kinds of good work

ences. The most obvious is that the

no need for a rail base.

in bad places. But it was still a little

REPR has a side-charging receiver,

The barrel in the CSASS is the

long, heavy, and generally ungainly.

as opposed to the CSASS’s charg-

same as the one in the REPR — a

So the military broadcasted a request

ing handle, which is traditionally

hammer-forged tube treated with

for a rifle with the same (or better)

T-shaped and top mounted.

LWRCI’s NiCorr finish. This barrel produces good results in the

capabilities in a shorter, lighter pack-

Original REPRs were equipped

age. A number of companies submit-

with a four-position gas block. The

REPR, but is further optimized in

ted samples for the eventual CSASS

CSASS is equipped with a 20-

the CSASS by the aforementioned

competition. LWRCI was one of them.

position gas block. For us knuckle-

upgrades. The CSASS package is

This rifle is now available to civilian

draggers, that sounds like too many

touted by LWRCI to be 1 MOA out of

shooters, and we were lucky enough to

positions. But this allows precision

the box with match-grade ammo.

get our grubby mitts on one.

tuning for specific loads and (more

Now that we’ve dangled the carrot,

importantly) specific load/suppressor

here comes the stick: The MSRP is

combinations.

approximately $4,000. That’s more

Both rifles utilize LWRCI’s trade-

than three times the price of our first

mark short-stroke piston system. Both

car … and almost twice the price of

feed from SR-25/LR-25 pattern mag-

our second car … and only a couple

azines. But the CSASS incorporates

hundred less than our third. True story. If you choose to stop reading now, we won’t hold it against you. But try taking a peek at Going Hot to get your blood pressure down, and then come back.


IS SUE

27

GOING LONG

REC O ILW E B .C O M

128

Not many of us have that kind of cash on hand. Even fewer want to take out a mortgage on a long gun. However, when you look at rifles in this class — that is, semiauto precision rifles in 7.62 that are rated worthy of no-sh*t combat service — you won’t find anything for much less. Building these guns is resource intensive, and the handful of companies who produce them on any

(Above) The CSASS breaks down just like any other ARtype rifle, making disassembly easy for just about anyone. (Below) The SureFire brake was highly effective at softening the .308 and is suppressor ready.

takes a dedicated, knowledgeable

stocked up on some high-end hole

shooter (or die-hard connoisseur) to

punchers. While SIG still remains

truly quantify thousands of dollars’

relatively new to the optics game,

worth of value in a firearm. We find

the TANGO6 we strapped to the

this to be true regardless of the type

CSASS was great. Its locking turrets

of weapon — whether high-end tack

were easily adjustable, and the glass

drivers, machine guns, guns with

was bright and clear. It also has an

historical provenance, or even 1911s

adjustable illuminated reticle.

made from a crashed meteorite. (Yes, that’s a real thing. Look it up.)

The LWRC CSASS digested all of the following loads.

We know such people are out there,

kind of scale have to get their return-

and we’re pretty sure most of them

Hornady TAP FPD

on-investment somehow. This is

read RECOIL, but this article isn’t just

110-grain FTX

especially true for those brands that

for them. Whether you like to nerd out

Hornady American Gunner

have chosen piston-driven designs.

over the coolest military rifle competi-

155-grain BTHP

Conventional wisdom says piston

tions, you demand only the finest of

Black Hills 168-grain OTM

guns face several additional hurdles

fine-tuned lead projectors, or you’re

Black Hills 175-grain OTM

to honing accuracy, such as an in-

just a sucker for awesome photogra-

crease in reciprocating mass and the

phy, the LWRC1 CSASS is an impres-

inability to truly free float the barrel.

sive feat of human engineering that’s

range sessions, starting with a

also easy on the eyes. Now, let’s take a

100-meter zero and working all the

look at what it can do.

way out to successful hits at 707

What about your return-oninvestment? What are you getting for four G’s that you can’t get for two? That’s what we wanted to find out. But before we get into the nitty

We ran this rifle in two separate

meters. The rifle undoubtedly can

ROUNDS DOWNRANGE In order to put the CSASS through

push further, with range time being the only limiting factor. We experi-

gritty of this particular rifle, here’s

“group therapy,” we topped it with

enced no hard malfunctions during

a nugget of hard-earned wisdom: it

the new SIG 3-18x FFP scope and

the several-hundred-round wring


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out. Our only incident was a slightly sluggish bolt that failed to go all the way into battery two times. It was toward the end of our second range session, and the weapon was clearly under-lubricated. The CSASS has no forward assist on the receiver, but we were able to push the bolt carrier into battery by jamming a thumb into the ejection port. Admittedly, we didn’t capture hard groups on paper. All our shooting in

IS SUE

27

this eval was done on long-

REC O ILW E B .C O M

130

distance steel. Having said that, all our rounds were tightly clustered “center mass” on each steel gong. The company’s 1 MOA guarantee seemed to hold true for us. The spiral-fluted barrel is topped with a SureFire brake, which is really good at two things. One is reducing felt recoil. The CSASS absolutely does not buck the way we expected — or have experienced with other .308 platforms in the past. Rapid follow-up shots were a cinch. The other thing the SureFire brake is good at is kicking up a whirlwind of dust every time you pull the trigger from the prone. A couple of quick shots and you’ll find yourself in a cloud of dust bound to make you look awesome on Instagram. The first time we ran this rifle, it was on sandy gravel, and we were spitting out range grit for an hour afterward. But, in our minds, it’s a small price to pay for softened recoil,

LWRC is one of the few companies we’ve seen that makes a truly ambidextrous lower, without somehow missing one of the four critical control parts.

The first stage was distinct and

we became a little more aware of

smooth, followed by a crisp snapping

some of its drawbacks. With a loaded

break with just a little over travel. To

mag, TANGO6, and accompanying

us it was a couple ounces heavy for

GDI mount, our test gun tipped the

a great precision trigger, but keeping

scales past 15 pounds. That’s not

in mind that this was originally a

insignificant when you’re humping

military contract gun it makes total

on a patrol, on a trail, or in Trooper

sense and performed well.

Class competitions.

The CSASS was able to ring steel

Our other big issue with the

fast follow-up shots, and the ability

well past 500 regardless of whether

CSASS is that it got hot. Fast. This is

to plug our cans on right out of the

we were prone, kneeling, standing, or

not the kind of rifle you mag dump,

box. The two-stage factory trigger

braced off a barricade. In manhan-

and we didn’t. But even after a single

breaks between 4 and 4¾ pounds.

dling this rifle between positions,

magazine of quick (one shot every


IS SU E

27

GOING LONG

132 32 REC O ILW E B .C O M

two to three seconds), aimed fire,

PARTING SHOTS

quality and customer service, nor does it make the CSASS any less appeal-

will almost always boil down to what

ing in both looks and performance. If

your wallet and conscience can han-

you’re in the market for a fast shooting

And because LWRCI’s modular rail

dle. For most of us, this author includ-

long-range rifle that looks good, runs

system is proprietary, you can’t use

ed, a rifle at the CSASS’s price point

smoothly, and delivers rounds as far

any of the rail covers currently on the

is well out of reach. But that doesn’t

as your skill allows, this long gun may

market a et to insulate su ate your you hand. a d

det act from o LWRCI’s C s high g levels e e s of o detract

be the t e one o e for o you. you

It was quickly rectified with a handy bandanna, but the problem remains.

SPEC BOX

The user-adjustable, short-stroke piston system makes the CSASS highly reliable.

In the end, purchasing a weapon

the handguard was too hot to hold.

LWRCI WRC

CSASS

URL

www.LWRCI.com

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The first building block of a custom

of fitting for peak performance. As

bolt gun is the action. It represents

Russ Rosene of Stiller’s Precision Ac-

both the skeleton and the heart, hold-

tions told us, “The only thing ‘drop in’

ing all the pieces together and circu-

on a bolt action rifle is ammo — and

lating ammunition and empty cases

that’s only 95-percent true.”

through the precision platform.

It’s our intention to call out the fea-

With more than an estimated 6

tures that set eight popular 700-style

million in circulation, no other action

action clones apart from each other,

on the market comes close to the

while pointing out some of the pitfalls

popularity of the Remington 700.

you might encounter on your walk

Aftermarket support for the 700 is

through the thorny jungle of custom

massive — and that alone is a good

precision rifle building. If this is your

reason to build a custom bolt gun on

first build, we urge you to go over your

the platform.

complete build sheet with an accom-

For the builder on a budget who

plished 700 builder or gunsmith.

already owns a Remington 700 action, dropping a few hundred dollars on trueing and/or blueprinting might make sense. But, if pure performance is the goal,

1,000-yard headshots on command — a good action is machined true and

accuracy and reliability-enhancing

has a few jobs; loading a cartridge,

features that Remington’s engineers

igniting the primer, containing the

couldn’t have imagined when they

chamber pressure as the bullet does

released the first 700 model in 1962.

its thing, extracting the spent brass

Don’t let the name fool you, though.

A SURVEY OF CUSTOM REMINGTON 700 ACTIONS TO STIMULATE YOUR PRECISION BUILD MUSCLE

For high performance, practical precision shooting — roughly meaning

a custom 700-style clone will provide

The word clone implies a shared

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB CURTIS

BUSINESS TIME

and ejecting it. It also needs to provide an earth-

sameness with the stock Remington

quake-proof platform for an optic,

action, but these are next-generation,

resist movement in the stock under

premium-quality evolutions that

recoil, and enable the bolt to move

merely share the same dimensions as

as frictionlessly in the receiver as we

their forefather.

imagine Maria Sharapova’s sweaty thighs move against each other on a

GETTING STARTED Given its massive popularity, it’s

hot day at Wimbledon. As you might expect with $1,500 actions, each of

fair to call the 700 action the bolt-gun

the custom actions in our roundup

equivalent of the AR-15. There are

largely excel in these areas. Where

tons of parts available, the blueprints

they differ is in the way they do so.

are practically in the public domain,

We linked up with a handful of

and chances are good that within

respected military and competition

15 minutes of your current location,

shooters, and their insights inform

there’s a guy with a beard, a lathe,

a great deal of this article: Caylen

and a six-week backlog of Reming-

Wojcik from Magpul CORE and a prior

ton 700 barreling jobs sitting on his

service USMC scout sniper; Robby

workbench.

Johnson, from Q, LLC, a former U.S.

But while the AR-15 analogy is

Army Ranger and standout member

close, it’s not perfect. Despite wide-

of the Army Marksmanship Unit;

spread parts compatibility, it’s typical

Lindsay Bunch also of Q, LLC; and

to expect two parts made by two dif-

former Special Operations Command

ferent companies to require some level

sniper, Norm Houle, four-time National


High Power champ and 2015 Na-

and smart engineering. Generally, 700

tional Palma Team member; and Greg

actions can vent gas through bolt’s

manufacturers for a given cartridge are

Hamilton, a fearsome PRS competitor

firing pin channel, a lug raceway, and

one of the special ingredients in an ac-

and the guy who works on the PROOF

out the ejection port or magwell. You

tion recipe. Adding a few thousandths

Research shooting team’s guns.

might also notice small holes in the

can increase compatibility with more

sides of some receivers; these strategi-

cartridges; tightening things can

assembled a master list of features that

cally placed ports are meant to vent

increase performance while possibly

you should be aware of when shopping

gases in a relatively safe direction in

leading to reliability issues.

for a 700 clone. The importance of

the event of a pierced primer, and

each varied within the group, so you’ll

may even help in the event of a full-on

the bolt stop is part of the trigger.

have to consider how you plan to use

detonation.

If the bolt release lever gets dirty or

In talking with all of these guys, we

your gun and rank them accordingly.

The barrel interface in all the 700 1

Variations in bolt face sizes between

In the original Remington design,

frozen, it can stick in the unlocked po-

actions presented is 1 ⁄16-inch with

sition omitting the bolt stop. Further,

16, 18, or 20 threads per inch. 16

when the bolt hits at the limit of its

TPI is the standard Remington thread

travel, all that energy is going into the

The lugs lock into the receiver and

pattern; 20 TPI is the Savage thread

rear trigger pin — and can cause con-

provide the backstop for the cartridge

pitch. A 11 ⁄16-inch 20 TPI threaded

sistency issues with your trigger pull.

as the expanding gasses develop

action can use small shank Savage

All of our custom actions have forgone

the tens of thousands of pounds of

barrels. With a Savage small shank

the original design for some variation

pressure needed to push the bul-

and a barrel nut, you can install a

of an external bolt stop.

let out of the barrel. The back of the

pre-fit (aka pre-chambered) barrel

bolt lugs should mate well with the

with a Savage barrel nut wrench and

ated equal, though. The 700 action in

front of the action’s locking recesses.

a vise. You set the headspace by hand

the USMC M40A3 sniper has an exter-

Good bolt lock-up provides consistent

tightening the barrel on a go-gauge or

nal bolt stop using roll pins. The way

cartridge headspace and an airtight fit;

a spent cartridge and then lock it in

the slot is engineered, all the energy

important if you want to keep your skin

by torqueing the barrel nut. You might

comes back on the pins and they can

attached to your face. A poorly fitting

hear this mashup called a Ramage

be torn out of the action.

bolt is a path to a broken bolt, and all

setup. If you go with the Ramage 20

“There’s an incredible amount of

the pain that comes with it.

TPI, you can still do a traditional bar-

force on that bolt stop,” says Wojcik,

rel installation with a shoulder if the

“I ripped a bolt out of a gun while

barrel nut setup scares you.

teaching a Marine Corps sniper class

THE BASICS The 700 is a rotating bolt action.

Bolt-action guys think ammo factories are good for providing two things, ammo for their semi-autos and

With practice, a Ramage barrel can

Not all external bolt stops are cre-

in 2002. I hit the bridge of my nose

a stream of ready-to-fireform brass

be swapped in 20 minutes. If your

and saw stars.” A bolt stop design

for their Ackley cartridges. “Most

action has an interchangeable bolt

using some sort of broad surface

people in PRS aren’t shooting factory

head, you can even change calibers —

interface that focuses the violence of

ammunition,” Wojcik says, “But if you

bouncing, for example, between 6mm

the bolt stopping on the action wall,

do have a brain fart in your loading

Creedmoor for mid-range and 7mm

instead of the pin securing the stop,

process, you want to make sure the

SAUM for long-range competition.

should prevent knocking yourself out.

action is strong enough that you’re not

Bolt faces are generally measured

The two reigning standards for tac-

across the base of the root cartridge

tical magazines are the single-stack

it’s meant to hold. A .470 bolt face is

AICS pattern mag and the double-

leading to broken parts or an over-

sized for .308 Winchester and like-

stack AIAW pattern mag. Magazine

pressure event, bolt action shooters

sized cases; it’s known as a standard

compatibility is determined by the cut

are always concerned with safety. In

bolt face. Other popular bolt face

on the action bottom. An action cut

the event of a blow up, action makers

sizes are .223 (.384), short magnum

for AW mags will generally run AICS

want the bolt to stay in battery, versus

(.540), and Lapua (.585). Some mak-

mags as well, but an AICS action

shooting out the back of the action

ers will give you an exact measure-

will only run AICS-type mags. The

into the shooter’s face. Containing all

ment, but most call out the parent of

advantage to the double-stack AIAW

the parts of the gun in an overpressure

the cartridge family with which their

mags is that they’re about half the

event is a product of strong materials

action is compatible. 

height of an AICS mag of the same

going to eat a bolt.” Whether a result of uneven wear


ATTACK OF THE CLONES welded in place. None in our roundup

through the ejection port.

are brazed or soldered; both of those

fed from the magazine up the bolt face,

processes should be avoided. 

under the extractor claw, and carried

Trigger hangers let you swap trig-

The ejectors in these actions are

into the chamber. Traditional push feed

Handy for mid-match repairs. You

either an AR style spring plunger or a

has the round getting knocked forward

may need to make room in your stock

mechanical affair. The plunger is a reli-

from the mag and shoved into the cham-

for the wider hanger base, though.

able system, sending brass on its way

ber with the extractor snapping over the

gers using screws instead of punches.

based on spring pressure. In mechani-

case rim as it bottoms out. Both work,

for the guy installing it, mitigating

cal systems, the stationary ejector is on

and there is scant evidence that one has

the need to line up and hold the lug

the receiver wall and the cartridge base

an advantage over the other.

in place during barrel installation. An

hits it as the bolt is retracted, letting

integral lug also means fewer facets

you toss brass or just dribble it out.

the action, increasing rigidity. But it

to machine and worry about squaring

Nice, if you like to collect your empties,

limits you to a single rise, or requires

up. On the flip side, the holes drilled

rather than go search for them.

the use of graduated rise optic mounts

IS SU E

27

An integral recoil lug is a benefit

REC O ILW E B .C O M

136

Controlled feed means the rounds are

capacity and can be topped off

An integrated rail bridges the top of

from the likes of Spuhr and LaRue. All

into the action to hold a dowelled lug

The original Remington C-clamp

in place can weaken the action in one

extractor is absent in all our custom

the non-integrated rails feature stout

of the most critical areas, just beneath

actions. That might be a clue. Sliding

recoil/indexing pins (or a taper fit as

the chamber. A free, unpinned lug

extractors grab the cartridge rim with

seen on the Mausingfield) to keep

might be better than a dowelled lug for

a small sliding claw, M16 and mini16

them in place. Most of you shooting

strength, but clocking one during the

extractors operate as tensioned

standard cartridges will be looking for

barrel install is a PITA.

levers like the extractor in an AR, the

a 20 MOA rise on the action or in a

Mauser-style in the Mausingfield is a

mount. Take note, some actions can

happen often, but banging on one to

huge claw with enough surface area

take an extended rail for larger optics

free a bolt that’s latched on to a stuck

that it may be able to pry the earth

or more flexibility in placement.

round can break it off. Some bolt

from its orbit, and the giant M16

handles are integral, meaning the bolt

style extractor in the Tempest can be

eralities, so let’s get to the metal. We’ll

body and bolt handle base are carved

adjusted with a little bend, similar to

call out a few more key features as they

from one piece of steel. Most are

a 1911 extractor.

apply in the following product notes.

Bolt handles can snap off. It doesn’t

BAT MACHINE

IMPACT PRECISION

GA PRECISION

AMERICAN RIFLE COMPANY

KELBLY'S INCORPORATED

MODEL

VR

Impact 737R

Tempest

Mausingfield

MSRP

$1,585

$1,325

$1,380

$1,600

MAKE

We’ve tortured you enough with gen-

BIGHORN ARMS

DEFIANCE MACHINE

STILLER'S PRECISION FIREARMS

Atlas Tactical

TL3

Deviant Tactical

Spectre

$1,200

$1,325

$1,330

$1,300 2/90°

LUGS/THROW

2/90°

2/90°

3/60°

2/90°

2/90°

2/90°

2/90°

WEIGHT (POUNDS)

2.15

2.18

2.20

2.25

1.81

1.98

2.19

2.02

MAG COMPATIBILITY (TYPE)

AICS

AICS

AW & AICS

AICS

AICS & AW

AICS or AICS & AW

AICS or AW

AICS & AW 2-Pin

TRIGGER HANGER

2-Pin

Hanger

Hanger

2-Pin

Hanger

2-Pin

2-Pin

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

RECOIL LUG (INCH)

0.24

0.25

0.245

0.185

0.25

0.25

0.23

0.30

INTEGRATED RAIL

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

RAIL LENGTH (INCH)

4.93

5.33

6.13

4.93

6.13

5.32

5.33

4.93

RAIL MOA OPTIONS

0, 20

20

0, 20

20, 30, 45, more

20

0, 20, 30

0, 10, 20, 30

20

INTERCHANGEABLE BOLT HEAD

No

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

.223, .308, Magnum

.223, .308, Magnum

.223, .308, Magnum, Lapua

.223, .308

BOLT FACES

.223, .308, WSM

.223, .308, WSM

.308, WSM

.308, Magnum, Lapua

BOLT HANDLE

Welded

Integral

Integral

Integral

Welded

Integral

Integral

Integral

SUPPORTED BOLT STOP

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

EJECTOR

Plunger

Plunger

Plunger

Mechanical

Mechanical

Mechanical

Plunger

Plunger

EXTRACTOR

Sliding

Mini16

Springless M16

Mauser 98 type

Sliding

Sliding

Mini16

Mini16

CONTROLLED FEED

No

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Optional

No

ACTION LENGTHS

S, L

S

S

S, L

S, L

S ,L

S, M, L

S, L


ATTACK OF THE CLONES BAT MACHINE

IMPACT PRECISION

IS SU E

27

VR

REC O ILW E B .C O M

138

IMPACT 737R

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

2.15 Pounds

Plunger/Sliding

2.18 Pounds

Plunger/Mini16

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

AICS Pattern Only

No

AICS Pattern Only

No

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

2/90°

17-4 SS/4140 CM

2/90°

416R SS/4140 CM

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

2.5 inches

Salt Bath Nitride/Melonite

2.5 inches

Carbon Nitride

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

Yes

Firing pin vents to lug raceway

Yes

Vents from bolt port through right lug of receiver

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

MSRP

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

.223, .308, WSM

$1,585

.223, .308, WSM

MSRP

BARREL THREADS

URL

BARREL THREADS

$1,325

1 1/16”- 18 TPI

www.batmachine.com

1 1/16”- 16 TPI

URL

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

www.impactprecisionshooting.com

Welded

Integral

NOTES:

NOTES:

BAT applies its considerable benchrest knowhow to the practical scene with the integral rail VR. Tightest (in a good way) feel of the group. The sliding extractor is built into the recoil lug for strength. Firing pin is removable without tools thanks to a slick bayonet design — rotate the bolt shroud an eighth of a turn and it pops out. Slick bolt movement on axis; steep lever angle and small knob make it unlikely that you’ll bind the action with upward pressure. Wide recoil lug; might need some fitting on a few stocks, namely older AIs. BAT makes a narrower lugged version exclusively for Wolf Precision called the BTA. Check out the Wolf’s Interchangeable Chamber Barrel System for the VR and BTA. The screw-in screw in chamber means you can get your gun re re-barreled barreled in days instead of weeks weeks.

Impact Precision is Wade Stuteville’s company. He was one of the guys that made Surgeon Rifles a household name in precision shooting. The 737R is created and toleranced as a single part; nothing needs fitting, including a replacement barrel. Impact’s replacement barrels are fully pre-fit and screw on without a barrel nut. Bolt stop is completely reinforced and protected in a protruding shroud. The stop bears on the wall of the action, not the pin. Short lever and steep angle puts it closer to your fingertips. The bolt is fluted on top where it can move debris, flat on the bottom for smooth contact.


ATTACK OF THE CLONES GA PRECISION

AMERICAN RIFLE COMPANY

IS SU E

27

TEMPEST

REC O ILW E B .C O M

140

MAUSINGFIELD

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

2.2 Pounds

Plunger/Springless M16

2.25 Pounds

Mechanical/Mauser 98 type

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

AW and AICS

No

AICS Pattern Only

Yes

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

3/60°

2/90°

4340 CM/proprietary

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

4140 CM /4320 CM Bolt & 17-4 SS breech ring

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

2.8 inches

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

2.7 inches

Raw/Raw

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

Raw/Nitride

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

Yes

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

Yes

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

.308, WSM

Vent through firing pin channel to ejection port and magazine well

Generous venting and flanged bolt shroud

.308, Magnum, Lapua

MSRP

BARREL THREADS

MSRP

BARREL THREADS

$1,600

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

1 1/16”- 16 TPI

$1,380

1 1/16”- 20TPI

URL

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

URL

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

www.americanrifle.com

Integral

www.gaprecision.net

Integral

NOTES:

NOTES:

The only 60-degree throw, three-lugger in the group. Brings short lever throw with double-stack AW mags to the 700 platform. It has a hardened replaceable breech ring (a J. Jongmans design later picked up by Accuracy International). Can replace the ring instead of the entire action when the lug seats wear out. Three-lug makes for larger, more durable bolt body. Increased diameter bolt head has more area to grab rounds from the AW magazine. In terms of safety, GAP says its action is 40- to 50-percent stronger than the original 700 action. Like all trigger hanger actions, be prepared to remove a little material from the trigger well to accommodate the hanger body. Comes with three hree trigger hangers that let you set tthe correct sear engagement for your trigger.

Full featured doesn’t cover it. Remington action stuffed with Mauser and Springfield goodness. We’ve seen accomplished firearm engineers marvel at ARC’s ingenuity and execution. Savage small shank threads for a Ramage setup. Swap the bolt head for caliber changes. Beveled surface, swappable scope base is bombproof; many MOA options available. Mauser-style extractor is like having a grizzly paw working for you. Smooth operation stands out even among this crowd of outperformers. ARC says its toroidal lugs give a lap fit without lapping. Easy teardown with an Allen wrench. Cartridge has no contact with extractor (or ejector) while chambered, so nothing interferes with it sitting true to the bolt face. Bolt body and handle root made from a casting; bolt knob reverse threaded for unreal durability. Bummer — doesn’t d ’t like lik Magpul M l AC mags.


ARE YOU A

W W W . R E B E L A R M S . C O M Q U A L I T Y

F I R E A R M S

|

P R E M I U M

S T R O U D S B U R G C O M P O N E N T S

|

PA

A P P A R E L


ATTACK OF THE CLONES KELBLY’S INCORPORATED

IS SU E

27

ATLAS TACTICAL

REC O ILW E B .C O M

142

BIGHORN ARMS

TL3

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

1.81 Pounds

Mechanical/Sliding

1.98 Pounds

Mechanical/Sliding

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

AICS and AW

No

AICS or AICS+AW (.308 based only)

Yes

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

2/90°

416R SS/4140 CM

2/90°

416R SS/4130 CM

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

3 inches

Nitride, Nitride

2.8 inches

Raw/PVD Coated

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

No

Yes

Gas vents in receiver and bolt body

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

Vents to ejection port, all components contained

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

MSRP

.223, .308, Magnum

MSRP

.223, .308, Magnum

$1,325

BARREL THREADS

$1,200

BARREL THREADS

URL

1 1/16”- 18 TPI

URL

1 1/16”- 20 TPI

www.bighornarms.com

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

www.kelbly.com

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

Welded

Integral

NOTES:

NOTES:

Non-integral and not shy about it. Separate 0.25-inch recoil lug located with two pins for easy barreling. Extended rail for big scopes. Lightest action, longest rail, and largest ejection port in the group. Unique ejector delivers controlled ejection without controlled feed. Extreme duty bolt stop available as an upgrade. Standard 700 firing pin setup keeps things simple. Black nitride treatment brings surfaces to 84 Rockwell hardness and allows operation without lubrication.

Maybe the most advanced 700 action on the market. Floating, interchangeable bolt head, patent-pending fully enclosed mechanical ejector, tool-less bolt disassembly, Savage small shank available for a Ramage setup. Bolt stop pinhole is oval; stop bears on action instead of pin. Swap bolt head and barrel in a few minutes; compete with 6.5 Creedmoor and train with .223 Remington. Controlled feed limits the chance for double feeds. Action is machined after heat treating, then precision ground (not turned)) for f best strength and dimensional accuracy. Bolt handle and body are carved f 130 chromoly steel. Can C be ordered as AICS CS and AW magazine from one piece off 4130 compatible, or AICS CS only ffor a stiffer ff action..


ATTACK OF THE CLONES DEFIANCE MACHINE

IS SU E

27

DEVIANT TACTICAL

REC O ILW E B .C O M

144

STILLER’S PRECISION FIREARMS

SPECTRE

WEIGHT

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

WEIGHT

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

2.19 Pounds

Optional

2.02 Pounds

Plunger/Mini16

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY

CONTROLLED ROUND FEED

AICS or AW

416R SS/4340 CM steel

AICS and AW

No

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

NUMBER OF LUGS/BOLT THROW ANGLE

RECEIVER/BOLT STEEL

2/90°

Raw/Raw

2/90°

416R SS/4130 CM

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

EJECTION PORT LENGTH

FINISH RECEIVER/BOLT

2.8 inches

Multi-layered safety system includes a double-radius firing pin, back-bored area behind the barrel threads, and full seal at the rear of the action. Also, the integral cocking handle helps contain bolt if it’s blasted rearward.

2.7 inches

Black Oxide/Nitride

1 1/16”- 16 TPI

MSRP

1 1/16”- 16 TPI

$1,330

URL

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

BOLT HANDLE ATTACHMENT

www.viperactions.com

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

Yes BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

.223, .308, Magnum, Lapua, customs BARREL THREADS

Integral

URL

EJECTOR/EXTRACTOR TYPE

defiancemachine.com

Plunger/Mini16 NOTES:

Defiance might take this the wrong way, but it’s absolutely perfected the original design of the Remington 700 action. No frills, just upgraded performance in every aspect. Fully trued, integral action with a proven track record of unflinching reliability. Slick as snot mirror polish for unreal bolt travel feel. Easy cocking and unlocking thanks to the angle of the bolt/body cam interface. Shipped unfinished. Can be ordered from the factory in nearly any conceivable configuration. Defiance welcomes calls to discuss your builds since they have so many options available. (When we asked what bolt faces the Deviant Tactical comes in they said “all of them.”) Popular configurations stocked by dealers; custom jobs from the factory can take 10 months.

INTEGRAL RECOIL LUG

OVERPRESSURE SAFETY MEASURES

No

Vents to left raceway — shroud directs blast away

BOLT FACE SIZE OPTIONS

.223, .308

MSRP

BARREL THREADS

$1,300

Integral NOTES:

The Spectre is a tank. Maybe a beast. Somehow it imparts a bulletproof feeling while it’s among the lightest in the group. Perhaps it’s the octagonal shape. (The action is machined, not turned.) Will fit many chassis; some stocks might need inletting for the corners. Action comes with a 20 MOA integral rail; no other options. Black nitride finish is very durable. Partial fluting saves weight/ejects trash on top, slick on the bottom for smoothness. The long bolt handle did feel a little bindy with hurried bolt operation. Cut for operation with AICS and AW mags. Rem standard two-pin trigger connector for wide 700 trigger compatibility. Vents overpressure down left side raceway, shroud directs blast away from shooter. According to a survey by the Precision sionrifleblog.com, fleblog.com, Stiller is one of the top five pick picks of the top 100 PRS shooters.


THEYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;VE TIPTOED INTO THE PRECISION RIFLE WORLD, BUT THEIR LATEST ENTRY IS WORTHY OF SERIOUS CONSIDERATION

IS SU E

27

STORY BY IAIN HARRISON PHOTOS BY STRAIGHT 8 AND IAIN HARRISON

REC O ILW E B .C O M

146


Here at RECOIL, we try to bring you

hear about a scrappy little company

space in Dallas, which is spacious,

content that’s just a little out of the

that’s doing its own thing — and do-

well laid out, welcoming, and not

mainstream. For example, for this is-

ing it pretty well.

staffed by fat, grumpy old bastards

sue we could have given you a review

Modern Outfitters is in a growth

whose mission in life is to foist their

extolling the virtues of the Ruger

phase at the moment, having carved

opinions onto the customer, while

Precision Rifle — just like every other

out a name for itself in the Southeast

telling war stories of their time in the

gun publication and web outlet in

as a manufacturer of quality ARs.

2/47 space shuttle door gunner bat-

existence. Good as Ruger’s product is

Not content with simply building

talion. Sound familiar?

though (and it’s currently a victim of

guns, it adopted the Apple model of

The MR1 is its first venture into

its success, reportedly being back-

distribution and decided that a chain

the precision rifle realm, so we took

ordered by 30,000 units as of press

of gun stores was the future. They’ve

one of its preproduction test mules

time), we figured that you’d rather

recently opened their first retail

and put it through the wringer.

IS SUE 27

147 REC O ILW E B .C O M


MODERN OUTFITTERS MR1

OVERVIEW A custom Cerakote finish is usually something you’d commission from a third party source, or else roll up your

IS SUE

27

sleeves, strap on a respirator, and

REC O ILW E B .C O M

148

kludge through yourself. (See RECOIL

fitting a Remington 700 footprint,

Issue 19 for details on how to spray

offers several upgrades over the old

your own Cerakote job.) In this case,

Ilion stalwart. On lifting the extended,

cally, this makes for a more precise

it’s standard from the factory and

faceted bolt handle, the user will no-

lock up than if two flat surfaces were

the customer can specify their own

tice that there’s a lot more room be-

to meet and is favored in single shot

pattern. Need a scope to match? No

tween it and the scope body. Needing

benchrest guns, where competition

problem, just keep writing the checks.

only a 60-degree throw, rather than

success is measured by groups in the

It’s the first thing you notice when

the usual 90, manipulating the bolt is

sub, sub-minute range.

encountering the MR1, and it’s part

a little quicker and more positive than

of the Modern Outfitter’s philosophy

with a two-lug design.

of giving the client a turnkey package.

The steel bolt body has hexagonal

In a push-feed, magazine-fed rifle, problems can be encountered in stripping a round from the mag, as

Taking it to a logical conclusion,

flutes to both lighten it and provide

the coned surface allows the cartridge

they have their own range facility near

negative space for dirt, in order to

rim to duck below it as the bullet tip

San Antonio with steel targets out to

keep running in adverse conditions,

rides up the feed ramp. Sure enough,

1,000 yards, so the customer can

while the extractor deviates from the

we encountered a couple of failures to

order a rifle, show up at the range

usual R700 pattern, but will no doubt

feed with Hornady 120-grain A-MAX

for some one-on-one coaching, and

be familiar to anyone who’s used an

rounds when ripping the bolt quickly.

get behind a new boom stick that’s

AR. Retained by a simple pin, it’s

Given the accuracy this rifle exhibits,

already been sighted in. If, after train-

easy to service in the field, should the

we’d be willing to trade off a smidge of

ing or familiarization sessions, the

need arise — in fact, the entire bolt

it for increased reliability, whether by

client has an itch to send a porcine

can be stripped without the need for

opening up the magazine’s feed lips or

invader to its rightful place on the

a bench and armorer’s tool kit.

going with a conventional bolt face.

As a bonus, the ejector kicks brass

We mentioned the problem to Eric

which case the camo finish is right at

out at 20 degrees below the horizon-

Stubbs, Modern Outfitters’ head gun

home. The pattern on our test gun is

tal, so that nice Cerakote job on your

guru, and it would appear they’re

grill, well that can also be arranged, in

subdued, but attractive, in a post-

expensive scope will be free of yel-

already on the case. “We’ve made a

apocalyptic, COD-meets-west-

low marks, no matter how hard

couple of improvements to the ac-

Texas kinda way and works well

you yank on the bolt handle.

tion since the first prototypes went

in the various environments in which

In order to increase lubricity and de-

out. In order to make the bolt throw

we used it. It also shrugged off abra-

crease corrosion, the 4140 CrMo bolt

smoother, we’ve opened up the action

sions, despite being dragged through

body is TiN coated.

a couple of thousandths and added a

the brush on several occasions. The heart of the rifle is its titanium, three-lug bolt action, which, despite

The bolt features a slightly coned

Teflon-infused coating to the anod-

face, which mates to a similar profile

izing process. The feed issue was

at the barrel’s chamber end. Theoreti-

solved by opening up the magazine


BUILT FOR LIFE.


MODERN OUTFITTERS MR1 pocket to gain some real estate,

stock k mechanism. A rear monopod is

a total of 1.3 pounds was trimmed

which gave the additional benefit of

provi p ided for those who either don’t

in this instance, complementing the

allowing different types of mags to be b

wish to shoot off of bags, or need to

weight savings offered by the titanium

used,” he says. We’re always con-

add a little height to the bag they do

action. Lighter profile barrels are

scious of the problems involved wheen

use. Material is hogged out of areas

available, should you wish to cut an-

reviewing preproduction versions

that can afford to lose it, and while

other pound or two and each threads

of any firearm, but will nonetheless

the rresult is not exactly featherweight,

up to a precision ground recoil lug

continue to report our findings.

it’s well balanced.

made from O1 tool steel.

For those of us who shoot with our

The MR1’s 6AL-4V Grade 5

master hand thumb above the trigger

are the threads on both ends of the

finger, there’s a pocket machined into

barrel, so there are no excuses for

the stock to accept it, a thoughtful

inaccuracies that can be blamed on

touch. The pistol grip uses a regular

a machine. Two calibers are currently

AR-type interface, so if you don’t like

offered, so if you prefer to make use

the fat Ergo grip that arrives from the

of the decades of accumulated data

an unfinished 5.56 piston carbine,

factory, there are roughly eleventy-

and knowledge associated with the

while on the other, their proprietary

billion options out there to replace it.

7.62 NATO round, rather than the

bolt rifle is highly regarded and has

A fore-end bridge wraps over the bar-

ballistic advantages offered by the 6.5

been used to good effect in precision

rel and gives around 6 inches of rail

Creedmoor, then that’s your call. Both

rifle matches. The stock shown here

space to accommodate clip-on night

are optimized for heavy bullets with

vision optics.

a 1/10 twist rate in the .30-cal and a

titanium action sits in an aluminum chassis, sourced from Masterpiece Arms. Now, MPA has a somewhat schizophrenic reputation. On the one hand, they’re a purveyor of both clunky semi-auto MAC 10 clones and

IS SUE

27

falls into the latter product category.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

150

Chambers are cut by hand, as

The chassis employed on the MR1 is adjustable for both length of pull and comb height via thumbwheels and, once set, is solid and secure. It’s

AICS mags are pretty much the industry standard for precision rifles, and the Modern Outfitters rifle doesn’t deviate from the norm.

Leupold Mk6 is the lightest full-featured precision scope currently on the market and is a good choice for the MR1.

Our test gun came with an M24-

pletes the package, and ours was set

the same treatment as the rifle’s bolt,

at exactly 2 pounds from the factory.

and its distinctive hexagonal fluting is

constructed in two main pieces with a

effective in shedding ounces from the

joint just to the rear of the pistol grip,

overall weight. It’s so effective that

which may hint at a future folding

1/8 in the 6.5. A Jewell trigger com-

profile barrel, which had been given

ROUNDS DOWNRANGE As the MR1’s muzzle is threaded 5/8-24, it seemed appropriate to bolt up one of SIG’s direct-attach SRD762 titanium suppressors for a range outing. Adding the can didn’t noticeably affect the perceived weight of the rifle (it’s pretty chunky to begin with, despite the mass that’s been taken out


MODERN OUTFITTERS MR1 the fuss about long-range shooting was about. The ability to be quickly set up to give even a new shooter confidence to hit targets at distances that previously they’d have to drive to is where a chassis rifle, as opposed to one built on a conventional stock, excels. A tack-driving barrel, good ammo, a great trigger, and kick-ass glass do no harm, either. Dipping a toe into the precision rifle realm can be a daunting venture for both the new shooter and manufacturer alike, as once you add up the

IS SUE

27

Building a 5-inch, five-shot group at 700 yards in field conditions — the MR1 can hang.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

152

of the M24 barrel), and the welcome

add a cupholder, there’d be no reason

price tags of gear, the cost of entry

reduction in both noise and recoil was

to watch TV from anyplace else.

can be pretty steep. Shooters can

well worth the additional 17 ounces.

be intensely brand-loyal and reputa-

company’s newly built range on its

tions have been slowly built up over

groups was effortless, but intrinsic

expansive ranch, we dialed in DOPE

decades, so an upstart company like

accuracy shouldn’t be confused

for a succession of targets all the way

Modern Outfitters will have their work

with how the rifle performs in field

out to 1K, and had no problem center

cut out to break in.

conditions — benchrest rifles might

punching steel at all distances. One

shoot bug-hole clusters, but you’d

of RECOIL’s photographers, who had

a solid, competent rifle that has all

never consider humping one for a few

never previously shot a precision rifle,

the features that make achieving hits

kilometers before shooting it from an

was ushered in, and a few tweaks

at extended ranges a piece of cake,

urban hide. The ability to set up the

made to the stock and scope to ac-

and the ability to deliver a complete

gun’s ergonomics without the need for

commodate her frame.

package of rifle, glass, accessories,

As you’d expect, shooting sub-MOA

Fortunately, their initial offering is

After explaining wind holds and

and training will be attractive to a lot

ping into position behind the scope

how to use the Leupold’s Horus reti-

of people. Let’s face it, in this game,

like settling in to your favorite re-

cle, she racked the bolt and pressed

you’re going to pay with either money

cliner. cliner If the manufacturer would just

the trigger trigger, then wo w ndered what all wondered

or time time, but pay you will .....

foam pads and duct tape makes drop-

SPEC BOX

Shooting from a bench at the

MODERN O TFI TERS OUTFITTERS

MR1

U L URL

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CALIBER

6.5 Creedmoor (.308 available) BARREL LENGTH

ACCESSORIES

Leupold Horus Mark 6 3-18x44

18 inches

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27 IS SU E

BALLISTICS IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND

REC O ILW E B .C O M

154

STORY AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN KUO

People the world over drift aimlessly

as well as a couple of standalone devices.

be concerned with and how they can be

through parks and city streets, like packs

The black science of ballistics meets the

measured in the field.

of fireflies with the soft glow of smart-

world of point and click.

phones in hand, in search of mythical creatures to capture, battle, and evolve.

Range to target: This may be implicit in this discussion, but the distance between

EXTERNAL BALLISTICS

you and your intended target is the first key

Their obsession has been cleverly stoked

Once you break a shot and the bullet

via an augmented reality game that knits

leaves the barrel, its path — or trajectory

estimating distance without practice. You

together graphics, game play, GPS data,

— is out of your control. And bullets aren’t

might determine it by using a rangefinder,

and digital maps — all thanks to the

like laser beams; you can’t simply point at

by referencing against known distances, or

incredible technology now available in

the target and watch it go straight forth as

by estimating using a reticle. It’s also not as

smartphones. It’s said that the computing

far as the eye can see. They’re pushed out

simple as you might think when shooting at

power available in the ubiquitous iPhone

of your barrel once the powder ignites and

an angle (see “What’s Your Angle” on page

outclasses the computers used by NASA

fly through the air in an arcing path, like a

98 to understand why). The laser rangefind-

to put a man on the moon over four de-

baseball thrown to home base from the out-

ers in this guide also measure angle of incli-

cades ago by millions of times over.

field. What happens to your bullet once it’s

nation, though not all rangefinders do. Most

airborne is referred to as external ballistics.

apps allow you to use your smartphone to

Moving to less frivolous pursuits, that same handheld processing power is being

Generally speaking, the biggest consid-

variable, and people are notoriously poor at

estimate angle of inclination as well. One of

harnessed to increase hit probability for

erations as your projectile flies through

the apps overlays your position on a map,

professionals, hunters, and competitors. In

the air are gravity, friction, and wind.

allowing you to use visual references and

this article, we take a look at several bal-

From a practical perspective, let’s take

landmarks around you to help get a picture

listics apps that run on your smartphone,

a look at the variables you’ll typically

of distance to potential engagements.


POINT. CLICK. SHOOT. Environmental factors: Temperature, air pressure, altitude, and humidity all affect air density, and thus the amount of air resistance that a bullet experiences in flight. You can collect this data directly utilizing handheld weather meters, and you can also use data from nearby weather stations by accessing them over

APPS

For our testing purposes, we evaluated iOS versions of popular premium ballistics apps. All of them allow you to:

the Internet, putting you at the mercy of your access to a cell signal. Wind: This is one of the trickier factors since wind can change substantially

Set up profiles for your rifle and ammunition

along the path of the bullet. So while you can easily measure wind at your own location, you need to be able to assess and account for downrange wind.

Obtain firing solutions and generate range cards

Spin and Coriolis drift: These are more of a consideration at long ranges. Barrels are rifled to impart spin on bullets in order to stabilize them

Correct for wind and angle of inclination

IS SU E

27

in flight. But bullet rotation causes

REC O ILW E B .C O M

156

some sideways movement as it travels downrange, known as spin drift. Some key determinants include bullet length, environmental conditions, and how far along the trajectory the bullet has traveled. Additionally, while the bullet is in flight, the Earth continues to rotate

Compensate for differences between the environmental conditions when you zeroed your weapon and current conditions

and its movement in relation to the bullet can be noticeable at long ranges — this is called Coriolis drift.

Account for spin and Coriolis drift

Finally, information about your particular weapon and load are critical, in particular its muzzle velocity and the ballistic coefficient (BC) of the bullet, which is a representation of how well or how poorly it retains velocity as it

Download environmental data over the internet from nearby weather stations

flies through the air.

PREDICTIVE MODELS Given knowledge of these variables, a projectile’s trajectory can be

Mix and match units (e.g. MOA and mRAD)

predicted reasonably well by a ballistic

you’re in the running for a match win,

solver. Once you have a computed

this can make all the difference.

trajectory, you’ll know where the bullet

Finally, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics

should impact at a particular distance

emphasizes the old adage, “garbage in,

as compared to your zero, allowing you

garbage out.” If you don’t feed good data

to make the necessary adjustments

into your ballistic program, you won’t get

(e.g. holding over or dialing corrections

good results. For example, the muzzle

on your scope turrets).

velocity printed on the side of your ammo

Ballistics solvers use various types

box often varies quite a bit from reality.

of algorithms to model how a projectile

Take the time to understand and care-

behaves in flight. In particular, various

fully configure all the inputs in whichever

drag models predict the all-important

app or system you decide to use.

air resistance that we mentioned before.

Fundamentally, the options in this

They require good information about the

guide are pretty similar, so think about

particular bullet you’re using to drive

which fits your intended use and which

their calculations — the most commonly

user interface is most intuitive to you.

seen BC standards are referred to as G1

Take a look at which ballistic solver they

and G7. But even those don’t necessar-

utilize, plug in some of your own log

ily always exactly match your particular

data, and see how closely the calculat-

bullet; various apps allow you to input

ed firing solutions match up with your

empirical data to true up your observed

actual results (for instance, Applied

results with their calculations. Applied

Ballistics and JBM Ballistics both have

Ballistics has also developed custom

online tools where you can plug in your

drag models by testing a variety of spe-

variables to test drive their calculations,

cific bullets, and Desert Tech has also

though you can’t access AB’s custom

utilized Doppler radar data from empiri-

drag curves). There also may be spe-

cal testing to tweak its flight curves.

cific unique features that one has, such

Todd Hodnett of Accuracy 1st (see

as custom wind configuration, com-

“Zeroed In” on page 84) is known for

pensating for cant, logging features, or

his admonition that “the bullet doesn’t

map integration. And taking the time to

lie.” The wise marksman doesn’t solely

calibrate your solver to your particular

rely on calculations and collects em-

weapon will really serve you well. But in

pirical muzzle velocity and DOPE (data

our testing, even out of the box, all of

on previous engagements) for a given

these apps churned out firing solutions

weapon system and specific loads.

that were within a couple tenths of a

However, having a ballistics solver on

mil to our sample gun’s logged DOPE

tap, especially when you’ve confirmed

out to 1,500 yards (see sidebar). We

or trued it against your actual weapon

probably all have an index card taped

makes it easy to determine specific

to the side of our buttstocks, but for

firing solutions for your exact situation.

anything more complex any of these

When lives are on the line, you have a

ballistic programs offer so much more.

once-in-a-lifetime shot on a hunt, or

It’s hard to go wrong here.


POINT. CLICK. SHOOT. APPS

PEAK STUDIOS

BALLISTIC ADVANCED EDITION

THE

STRAIGHT DOPE To get a sense of how closely the calculated drops from all these fancy ballistic programs matched up with actual recorded dope, we compared previously recorded empirical data from a 6.5 PRS rifle with their firing solutions. Please note the following caveats: First, this was a sample size of one, so it’s hardly scientific. Second, there’s plenty of margin for error in the logged DOPE and measurements, not mention that the human factor is involved (note some common variances noted below that we saw in the 500- to 700-yard range). Additionally, since we were working with log data, the Bushnell standalone doesn’t have the ability to analyze “what-if” scenarios, only display real-time results, so we couldn’t include it in this analysis. Its pre-defined curves would have been at a disadvantage anyway; you could instead use it with the bundled Kestrel’s ballistic solver for more accurate results. For more details on the Ruger Precision Rifle shown on page 158, please see “Going Hot” on page 218.

27 IS SU E REC O ILW E B .C O M

158

iPhone 5S screenshots

SOLVER:

JBM Ballistics DRAG MODELS:

Compared to our empirical data from 300 to 1,500 yards, we found the following:

G1, G2, G5, G6, G7, G8 BULLET LIBRARY:

AB Analytics, Sig Kilo 2400, and Kestrel 5700 Elite: These are all running the Applied Ballistics solver (including AB’s custom drag curves) and generated the same solutions. Out to 1,000 yards, the firing solutions were mostly within 0.1 mil, with the 700-yard solution being off by 0.2 mil and the 400-yard spot on. Out to 1,500 yards, the calculation was off by about 0.2 mil. Bullet Flight and Shooter: These two apps are also running Applied Ballistics solvers (sans custom drag curves). Their calculations were identical to each other, but slightly different from the ones above. The solutions generated by these apps were dead nuts on out to 1,500 yards, with no deviation from observed drops except for 0.2- to 0.3-mil variances at 500 to 700 yards. Ballistic AE and BallisticsARC: These apps both run the JBM Ballistics solver, and had almost identical solutions. Within 1,000

yards, their predictions were spot on, except again for 0.2- to 0.3-mil deviations at 500 to 700 (sensing a pattern there …). Beyond that, they were off by about 0.1 to 0.2 mil. Strelok Pro: Strelok utilizes a proprietary solver. Its results diverged by roughly 0.1 mil out to 1,200 yards, with data points at 900 and 1,000 yards matching up. Beyond that the variances increased up to 0.3 mil at 1,500 yards. Trasol: Trasol also has a proprietary solver. Its solutions matched up through 400 yards, then diverged by 0.1 to 0.2 mils out to 1,000 yards. There was one 0.3 mil outlier at 700 yards. Past 1,000 yards, Trasol’s solutions were within 0.1 mil of our DOPE. Take this analysis with a grain of salt, and no matter what tools you use, log your own DOPE and true it with your chosen app. (Please note Todd Hodnett’s comments on the importance of truing in “Zeroed In” on page 84.)

Yes, plus cartridge library MOVING TARGET / CANT:

Yes / Yes

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

Lay phone flat / Point phone TRUING:

Muzzle velocity MSRP:

$20 URL:

www.ballisticapp.com

NOTES:

Ballistic AE is chock full of features. It can configure custom wind settings, with designated speed and direction at different zones along the flight path. It generates graphical charts of trajectory, wind drift, altitude, and angle, as well as a 3D image of trajectory. There’s a HUD feature to tweak inputs and see firing solutions. A range finder function graphically replicates what you see through your reticle in order to calculate the size of a target. You can even upload your own reticle image to use, though you need to know all of its subtensions. You can save firing solutions as favorites to quickly recall them, and define ballistic profiles that encapsulate info for both your rifle and ammo. We found it a bit fussy to manage multiple ammo with the same rifle, or to go back to modify existing profiles. Notably, Ballistic AE includes many logging features that are quite nice. You can log range notes, reloading data, record target data, calculate group size, and so on. You can either take a picture of your target or manipulate a graphic representation. There’s an iPad version that takes advantage of the additional screen real estate, but it’s a separate app for purchase at $20. The iCloud sync feature will synchronize settings across similar devices (i.e. iPhone to iPhone, or iPad to iPad, but not iPhone to iPad).


HUNTER 700

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Š2016 Magpul Industries Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Magpul holds a Trademark on all of its product names and logos. The following products are trademarks of Magpul Industries Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries: Magpul, M-LOK & Hunter 700.


POINT. CLICK. SHOOT. APPS

APPS

GEOBALLISTICS

APPS

KNIGHTS ARMAMENT

BALLISTICARC

KENNEDY DEVELOPMENT

BULLET FLIGHT

SHOOTER

iPhone 5S screenshots 27

JBM Ballistics

IS SU E

SOLVER:

G1, G2, G5, G6, G7, G8

REC O ILW E B .C O M

160

DRAG MODELS: BULLET LIBRARY:

Yes MOVING TARGET / CANT:

No / No

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

Lay phone flat / Point phone TRUING:

Muzzle velocity MSRP:

$15 URL:

www.geoballistics.com

iPhone 5S screenshots

SOLVER:

NOTES:

Applied Ballistics

BallisticsARC has a modern feel to its user interface. Its key differentiating features are its mapping functionality and its integration with the affordable WeatherFlow weather meter accessories. A wind meter that plugs into the headphone jack costs $45 (see opening photo on page 154). A Bluetooth weather meter goes for $85 and measures temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and density altitude. The mapping feature provides you with a bird’s-eye view of your location. You can set your shooting position and zoom in or out to define multiple targets, and it’ll return distance and firing solutions. If you’re not familiar with the area, it can be a little challenging to translate the overhead view to what you see in front of you. We can definitely appreciate applications for things like setting up blinds and feeders, preparing for a stage at a PRS match, mapping out potential threats and engagements, and so on. An upcoming app update will allow for caching map data before you go off the grid and lose signal. For the time being, we found scrolling around the desired area while you still have signal stores the map data in memory for as long as you keep the app open. Note that equipment profiles are saved with the rifle and load as a single record entry, so you have to replicate your rifle info if you use multiple loads with it. Also, you can’t generate corrections for movers or canting your rifle. It also doesn’t translate measurements into clicks on your turrets, unlike other offerings here.

DRAG MODELS:

G1, G7, G8 BULLET LIBRARY:

Yes, plus cartridge library MOVING TARGET / CANT:

No / No

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

iPhone 5S screenshots

SOLVER:

Lay phone flat / Manually enter

Applied Ballistics

TRUING:

G1, G7

Calculate BC from muzzle velocity and drop MSRP:

DRAG MODELS: BULLET LIBRARY:

Yes

$30

MOVING TARGET / CANT:

URL:

Yes / No

www.knightarmco.com

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

Lay phone flat (with timer) / Point phone TRUING:

Muzzle velocity MSRP:

$10 URL:

www.shooterapp.net

NOTES:

NOTES:

The elder statesman of the group, Bullet Flight’s been around since 2009. And it works well, but it feels like it was designed in 2009. The most important settings are close at hand, but we found the user interface not as intuitive as others. Some features are kind of buried — for instance, you can create a new profile for rifle and ammo settings, but to choose from the bullet library, you need to back out to the home screen, tap “Utils” then tap “Projectile Database.” However, once that’s done, you can configure settings and get firing solutions with minimal fuss. It provides a range card in chart format plus a HUD type of display with wheels to change range and wind. It also has a range estimator where you can type in what you see in your reticle. Other apps can automatically populate latitude and measure azimuth by pointing your phone; you need to manually enter these values into Bullet Flight. Bottom line, it ain’t pretty, but it just works.

We liked Shooter’s method of separately configuring firearm and ammo profiles, making it easy and intuitive to set up for multiple loads in the same weapon. Attributes that are relevant to a rifle (such as twist, sight height, Mil vs MOA, etc) are defined in the rifle’s profile, and those relevant to ammo (such as bullet diameter, weight, length, BC, etc.) are defined in the ammo’s profile. The app then generates a range card in table format, a graph, and a HUD type of presentation of the firing solution, where you can tweak distance, wind, and wind angle. It handles movers, but not cant. Hidden in the settings is a range estimator, where you can type in data on what you see through your reticle to calculate distance. Shooter is a universal app, working on both iPhone and iPad. The iPad version takes advantage of the expanded screen real estate to present the firing solutions and range card.


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POINT. CLICK. SHOOT. APPS

APPS

BORISOV

DESERT TECH

STRELOK PRO

COMPUTER SOFTWARE

APPLIED BALLISTICS

TRASOL

AB ANALYTICS

iPhone 5S screenshots

SOLVER: iPhone 5S screenshots

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27

SOLVER:

REC O ILW E B .C O M

162

Proprietary DRAG MODELS:

G1, G7, plus others BULLET LIBRARY:

Yes, plus cartridge library MOVING TARGET / CANT:

Yes / No

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

Aim with camera or lay phone flat TRUING:

Proprietary DRAG MODELS:

G1, G7 BULLET LIBRARY:

No

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

Lay phone flat / Point phone TRUING:

No MSRP:

Muzzle velocity, BC

MOVING TARGET / CANT:

$40

MSRP:

Yes / Yes

URL:

www.deserttech.com

$12

(PC screenshots)

SOLVER:

Applied Ballistics

URL:

NOTES:

DRAG MODELS:

www.borisov.mobi/strelokpro

DesertTech has made some waves by bringing another ballistic solver to the game, using Doppler radar data from empirical testing to tweak its flight curves and working with Sniper’s Hide to ensure they delivered the features that precision shooters desire. The user interface is simple, with all settings and configurations jam packed into three screens for you to squint at. Every variable that you would want to tweak is available, though there’s no bullet library, so you have to set up data for all your loads. The company says that bullet libraries will be forthcoming in future updates. Like most of the other apps, gun profiles that you can save and load include configurations for both rifle and ammo, so if you use multiple loads with the same rifle you need to re-enter the rifle’s data. Trasol displays a range card table as well as a trick HUD display, which shows the view through your phone’s camera while overlaying key data and a firing solution. It also picks up slope, azimuth, and cant based on where you’re aiming the camera. Additionally, Trasol allows you to set up three downrange wind zones and features adjustments for cold bore variations and zero shifts (e.g. from attaching a suppressor or if your zero is just slightly off between clicks). It, however, doesn’t have a truing function — Desert Tech is very confident in its solver and suggests making small changes to the drag coefficient or zero adjustment if an end user wants to tweak the calculations. The app works on both iPhone and iPad, though the iPad version is just a larger version of the same interface.

G1, G7, AB custom drag curves

NOTES:

Many folks might know of Strelok through the free version of this ballistic app. Developer Igor Borisov has packed Strelok Pro full of features, and is known for being very responsive. Strong like ox, it is … and just as attractive. While not the prettiest app in the bunch, everything is close at hand once you figure out what all the icons mean. You can configure profiles for rifles, ammo, and scopes. Strelok Pro presents the firing solution, a range card table, and a graphical representation of your reticle and target. This last bit is Strelok’s key differentiator. The app features a large library of scopes and reticles, along with subtension data allowing it to display exactly what you should see through your optic. You can plug in your desired distance, the target shape and size, and the app will overlay the calculated hold and target on your reticle — it’s a great feature for 3-gunners in particular. There are yet more features. You can also build out a target list to tabulate holds for multiple targets at different ranges. It has a point blank range and effective range calculator, an MOA/MRAD converter, and connects to Kestrels and WeatherFlow weather meters to gather atmospheric data. It doesn’t, however, compensate for cant. Whereas most other apps have you lay the phone flat (e.g. on top of the barrel or a rail) to measure angle of inclination, with Strelok you can also aim at your target with your phone’s camera. Strelok Pro is a universal app; on an iPad, it makes use of the added real estate by rearranging the user interface.

BULLET LIBRARY:

Yes MOVING TARGET / CANT:

Yes / No

ANGLE OF INCLINATION / AZIMUTH:

Manual entry / manual entry TRUING:

Muzzle velocity, drop scale factor MSRP:

$200 URL:

appliedballisticsllc.com NOTES:

For those who roll old-school, AB Analytics from the wizards at Applied Ballistics is a Windows-based application that encapsulates the latest in AB’s formulas and custom drag curves. It’s a self-contained executable, so their many military customers who aren’t allowed to modify their laptops don’t need to actually install an application on their computer. It can also run on a Mac after jumping through some hoops. Products running AB’s full ballistic package, like the Sig KILO2400ABS and Kestrel 5700 Elite, generated results that matched up exactly with AB Analytics. AB Analytics generates range cards and specific firing solutions. It also allows for up to 10 wind regions. Notably, it also presents a breakdown of the firing solution, separating gravity drop, coriolis drop, and aerodynamic jump for elevation, and wind drift, coriolis drift, and spin drift for windage. Long-range nerds could spend all day playing with variables to see how they affect the firing solution. The application also has other tools to analyze wind effect, vertical and horizontal uncertainty, hit probability, and shot simulations. Pull out your laptop and get your geek on.


POINT. CLICK. SHOOT. DEVICES

DEVICES

BUSHNELL

KESTREL 5700 ELITE WITH APPLIED BALLISTICS AND LINK WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY

ELITE 1 MILE ARC CONX (7X26MM)

RANGE:

BULLET LIBRARY:

1,000 yards for most objects; 1,760 yards for highly reflective objects

No (available via linked Kestrel)

SIZE:

5.3 x 4 x 2 inches WEIGHT:

13 ounces SOLVER:

IS SU E

27

8 pre-defined curves (Applied Ballistics via linked Kestrel)

REC O ILW E B .C O M

164

DRAG MODELS:

Pre-defined curves plus user-supplied data (integrates with AB solver via linked Kestrel)

MOVING TARGET / CANT:

iPhone 5S screenshots

SIZE:

5.1 x 1.9 x 1.1 inches

No (available via linked Kestrel) / No

4 ounces

TRUING:

SOLVER:

Enter up to 5 distances and drops (or link Kestrel) MSRP:

$820 ($1,490 with Kestrel Sportsman) URL:

www.bushnell.com

NOTES:

Bushnell’s line of laser rangefinders is known for providing good performance for a reasonable price. The CONX version ups the ante on the popular but chunky Elite 1 Mile ARC (which ranges and measure angle of inclination) by adding Bluetooth connectivity to pair with a smartphone app or Kestrel weather meter. The built-in ballistic program doesn’t offer a fullfledged ballistic solver; rather it has eight pre-defined curves against which you map your particular load and some custom curves that you build by entering drop data. During a range test out to 500 yards, the Bushnell’s firing solution put us on steel, but we wouldn’t feel as confident using pre-defined curves for more precise work at longer distances. It also doesn’t provide wind holds. However, if you have a Kestrel with Bluetooth, like the Sportsman model in this bundle, the Bushnell will use the Kestrel’s ballistic solver to generate precise calculations and display the holdover through the monocular. The distance is relayed to the Kestrel, where you can view other data. They make a nice pair, like Penn and Teller. Note that the Kestrel Sportsman model lacks some features of the Elite shown to the right, including custom drag models, calibration, range cards, multiple targets, and expanded configuration options. There’s not too much to the smartphone app — you can use it to configure the rangefinder and view distance, angle, and holdover. Street prices are closer to $700 for the rangefinder alone and $1,150 for the Kestrel bundle, which comes with the rangefinder and case, Kestrel Sportsman and case, a tripod-mountable rotating vane, and lanyards.

DEVICES

WEIGHT:

Applied Ballistics DRAG MODELS:

G1, G7, AB custom drag curves BULLET LIBRARY:

MOVING TARGET / CANT:

Yes / No TRUING:

Muzzle velocity, drop scale factor MSRP:

$709 URL:

www.nkhome.com

SIG SAUER

KILO2400ABS (7X25MM)

RANGE:

BULLET LIBRARY:

Up to 2,000 yards for a tree; 3,400 yards for highly reflective objects

Yes

SIZE:

4 x 3 x 1.3 inches WEIGHT:

8 ounces SOLVER:

Applied Ballistics DRAG MODELS:

G1, G7, AB custom drag curves

MOVING TARGET / CANT:

Yes / No TRUING:

Muzzle velocity, drop scale factor MSRP:

$1,499 URL:

www.sigoptics.com

Yes

NOTES:

NOTES:

SIG SAUER has been aggressively expanding operations, and the brand-new KILO2400ABS is a prime example. We got our grubby hands on a prototype unit, along with a beta version of its corresponding iPhone app. Starting with the already-excellent KILO2000 laser rangefinder, SIG’s new optics division added temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors, along with a digital compass and Bluetooth module. A new laser and other improvements boost its ranging performance over the KILO2000. To top it off, SIG built the Applied Ballistics solver into the unit, quickly generating firing solutions in the standalone device and showing it in the display. The only missing input is wind — you can manually enter your own wind calls, or utilize the provided WeatherFlow wind meter via your smartphone. Speaking of smartphones, Bluetooth allows you to connect to the KILO2400 using SIG’s app, which is intended more to configure settings than to act as a user interface for the rangefinder. Still, it provides a HUD display, and you can use it as a remote, if for instance you have the rangefinder mounted on a tripod. You can create and load four different rifle/ammo profiles onto the KILO (including AB’s custom drag models), but you’ll have to remember which is which since you can’t give them names that display on the unit. We were quite impressed with the compact KILO, though we couldn’t fully wring out the system as a bug in the app caused it to crash whenever we ranged something. Another complaint: The rangefinder has brightness settings; it starts in auto mode, but we inadvertently clicked on it and the first thing it did was cycle down to its lowest mode. Naturally, low mode is not at all visible during the day, and we thought we broke it. Now you know. The KILO2400ABS comes with a case, MOLLE gear bag, wind meter, tripod adapter, lanyard, and extra batteries.

Kestrel is a gold standard when it comes to weather meters, and with the addition of a ballistics solver and Bluetooth connectivity, they’re even better. This topof-the-line 5700 Elite model includes all of the weather meter functionality that you’d expect from Kestrel — wind speed, direction, crosswind, temperature, humidity, pressure, and altitude, as well as the ability to store and chart data. And it comes in a compact and light package that’s waterproof and drop tested. The ballistics package is based on Applied Ballistics’ solver, with its full functionality, bullet library, and custom drag models. While the screen is clear and easy to read, with a handy backlight, it’s also fairly small. So the user interface to access all the ballistics features is somewhat cramped. But once you get the hang of it, you can choose between 16 rifle and ammo profiles, view firing solutions and a range card, pull in environmental conditions, tweak settings, and create multiple target configurations. With the optional Bluetooth connectivity, you can utilize Kestrel’s smartphone app to more easily configure settings and set up custom drag models for your loads. It also provides a HUD display of your firing solution and a handy look at holds for multiple targets. Unfortunately, you can’t view your range card except on the Kestrel’s small screen — only four entries at a time. There’s a lot more that Kestrel could do with its app. Still, the only thing really missing from this system is a rangefinder, angle inclination, and GPS; products like Bushnell’s Elite ARC slot right in, and you can pull GPS data off your smartphone. In addition, other apps like Ballistic AE and Strelok Pro can connect to LiNKenabled Kestrels to pull atmospheric data. Get one if you can.


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STORY BY BUCK DOYLE PHOTOS BY KYLA DOYLE AND STRAIGHT 8

REC O ILW E B .C O M

166

The young sergeant did his best to hide a look of surprise when he realized the battle-worn gunnery sergeant in front of him wasn’t there to drop off some fresh-faced lance corporals for Marine Corps Scout Sniper School — no, I was there to check in … as a student. In my mid 30s, I was a generation older than all of my classmates, had

WARNING!

The exercises and content expressed in this column are for illustrative purposes only. Consult your physician before trying any physical activity or nutritional plan. RECOIL and its contributors are not responsible for any harm or injuries sustained while attempting these techniques.

insignia off of my uniform and made

learned that we’d have to develop a

it clear I was there to be treated as

completely different set of muscles

any other student. Over the next 11

and redefine mental and physical

weeks, as our numbers shrank from

stamina if we were going to succeed.

60 to 40 to about 20, my body was taxed, pushed, and challenged in ways that I had never experienced. Stalking slowly and silently for

IT’S EASY TO BE HARD, HARD TO BE SMART Back then, I wasn’t educated on

hours — on all fours, crouched, bent

how to prepare for, or recover from,

over, then frozen in the prone as we

the various types of abuse the job

waited for our shot — our necks,

required — there was no “pre-stalking

multiple combat deployments as a

backs, and shoulders screamed,

warm-up” routine or Stretching for

Recon Marine under my belt. Still, on

ached, and spasmed. If we came

Snipers handbook. The answer to most

the first day of class I pulled the rank

thinking we were in shape, we soon

things was: suck it up and drive on.

a good 10 years on all of my Sniper School instructors, and already had


Š 2016 Desert Tech, LLC. All rights reserved.


LONG-RANGE FITNESS My gym routine at the time favored power over precision, bulk over balance. We use the term precision to describe long-range shooting, to differentiate it from other types. Whether you’re a Marine Corps sniper, a hunter taking down elk at 800 yards, or long-range competitor, we need to be more precise in how we prepare our bodies for the unique challenges of long-range shooting.

THE SOLUTION: STAMINA, STRENGTH, STRETCH Stamina: The term stamina (being able to do something over an extended period of time) is usually associated with cardiovascular fitness. It’s true; cardiovascular fitness is important for all shooters — in my training courses I emphasize the importance of being able to manage breathing and perform the fundamentals of marksmanship with an elevated heart rate.

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27

Most people, however, don’t associate the

REC O ILW E B .C O M

168

concept with the type of muscular stamina required to hold a rifle up on target, or to stay in a prone or crouched position with head erect, eyes on glass. In addition to developing cardiovascular fitness, long-range shooters need to tailor their training to develop muscular endurance, particularly in their core (abs, chest, upper and lower back), as well as their shoulders and neck. During my three-day scoped carbine course, students are often surprised to find the most mentally and physically challenging segment of training isn’t the “run and gun” course of fire, where they are running from cover to cover, but the segment we spend lying in the prone. Why? Because most of them haven’t spent much time in that position — it feels awkward, uncomfortable, even painful to lay on their stomach, arms forward on their weapon, while holding up that big noggin — while being still enough to decipher the holds on their reticle and keep eyes on target. One of the ways shooters can gain muscular endurance is by “dry practicing” shooting positions at home or on the range. Spending a few minutes each day getting into the prone (or other shooting position) will go a long

Ironically, it was being on the receiving end of a bullet that changed my approach to fitness. EXOS (formerly Athletes Performance) Return to Duty and Comeback Initiative programs provide specialized, intensive rehabilitation to wounded personnel from the special operations community. Designed to maximize recovery and performance, the experts at EXOS provide personalized performance training, physical therapy, and nutrition plans for warriors who are working to rejoin their units and get back in the fight. I felt lucky to be alive after one bullet shattered my arm and another lodged in my leg during combat in Iraq in 2007. It left me with nerve damage, half of a tricep, skin grafts and scars from multiple surgeries, and an arm full of metal plates and rods put together with something the doc called “bone paste.” After a year of rehab at the military hospital, I was fortunate to spend three weeks at the EXOS/Athletes Performance facility in Gulf Breeze, Florida, where I not only got back into “fighting form,” I gained an education that has changed my approach to fitness and performance ever since.

Every day, I worked with my trainers, physical therapists, and nutritionist, alongside players from the NBA, the NFL, and top NCAA programs. For the first time in a year, I felt like an athlete instead of a patient, and I learned to train and treat my body for performance. It was here that I learned the benefits of yoga, stretching, and developed an intimate relationship with a foam roller. I learned that gains in flexibility, balance, and agility were just as important as, if not more than, gains from lifting bigger weights in the gym. The tools I came away with carried me through another combat deployment and four years as a contractor supporting combat units in Afghanistan — and they keep me “running and gunning” with my students as a tactical trainer to this day. A big thanks to EXOS/Athletes Performance, and to USSOCOM Care Coalition, which facilitated my participation in the program. For more information, or to support the ongoing efforts of the Return to Duty and Comeback Initiative programs, visit them online or on Facebook.

way toward getting your body accustomed to otherwise unfamiliar positions and building the muscle memory and endurance that’ll help you to “settle into” your gun.

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THE Strength: Another way to build muscular endurance is through strength

EXERCISES

LONG-RANGE FITNESS

Rather than constituting a full routine, the following exercises (in addition to “dry practice”

training. It’s true, bigger biceps won’t

rifle holds) are meant to supplement your regular cardio and strength training routine. While

put more power behind your bullet, so

I also use other exercises, these pack the most benefit for shooters of all fitness levels. With

why does strength matter to a long-range

these as a start, I highly encourage serious long-range shooters to incorporate yoga practice

shooter? Full-body strength training is

into their regular routine — check out the Foundation Training Fundamentals DVD

beneficial to any shooter as it helps bal-

(www.foundationtraining.com).

ance out uneven muscle development and protects joints from injury. In addition to a typical strength-

1. SUPERMAN

training regimen, however, long-range

This exercise really targets the muscle groups required for prolonged shooting positions

shooters need to include isometric exer-

(upper and lower back, neck, and shoulders, as well as glutes, hamstrings, and abs),

cises, where muscles contract in a static

especially those used when shooting in the prone.

position, such as doing planks or yoga. Often, shooters equate being still to be-

Lie face down on your

ing tight. While tightening up muscles,

stomach with your arms

your arms and legs off the

seconds, then lower arms

like a child in a game of freeze tag, will

extended and legs straight

floor toward the ceiling. Stop

and legs back to starting

keep you still for a short time, it’ll also

back. Keep your neck in

when you feel a flex in your

position. Repeat for 12 to

cause you to expend a huge amount of

a neutral position, looking

lower back. Resist the urge

15 reps, working up to three

energy, leaving your muscles shaky, sore,

straight down.

to hyperextend the neck —

sets of 15 reps. Remember,

keep your chin tucked!

if it hurts, stop.

IS SU E

27

and fatigued.

REC O ILW E B .C O M

170

Contract your glutes to lift

Hold for two to three

One of the benefits of isometric exercises, such as yoga, is learning to be still — holding a pose or position — while relaxing the other muscles in your body. Yoga not only improves strength and core stability, but flexibility, breathing, and mental focus — all attributes likely to benefit the long-range shooter. Stretch: As with any sport, it’s important to stretch both before and after

2. STRAIGHT-ARM PLANK

shooting or training exercises. Prior to

The isometric straight-arm plank offers less stability than a forearm plank, which means

shooting, stretching helps to reduce ten-

more work for muscles in the arms, core, chest, and shoulders. With arms straight in

sion and loosen joints, helping to main-

front of the shoulders, this one strengthens muscles required for a stable rifle hold.

tain a relaxed position, whether standing, sitting, or in the prone. A regular stretch-

Come to the top of a push-up position, elbows straight, back flat, neck relaxed. Place

ing routine also increases the overall flex-

your hands directly below your shoulders and parallel to the ground. Hold in this “up”

ibility needed to get into various, more

position posi po siti tion on for forr one one m minute inut in ute or until unt ntiil fatigued fattig igue u d.

awkward, shooting positions. Just like a baseball player swings a bat on one side, or a place kicker uses a particular foot to kick, shooters use muscles on one side of their body differently than the other. Constant use of muscles on one side tends to pull hips, the back, and other muscles out of alignment and become more prone to injury. After shooting, stretching helps counteract muscle imbalance and keeps injuries from taking you out of the fight.


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THE

LONG-RANGE FITNESS

EXERCISES 3. SEATED SPINE TWIST

across the outside of your opposite knee and your other hand on

This is one of the best all-around stretches you can do for your back and spine, and will also stretch muscles in your neck, chest,

the ground behind your hip about a foot away. Use that arm to

shoulders, sh hou oullders, gglutes, lu ute tes, s and and h hips. ips. Do th ip tthis is sstretch treetch tr ch b both oth before and aft after f er

prop yourself up in proper alignment. Gently press the opposite y

shoo sh ooti ting ing or tr trai aini ining ing exe xerc rcis ises es..

eel elbo bow w against the opposite knee to enhance your twist and stretch

Sitt on the gro roun und d with th you our le legs gs g ext xten ende ded d ou o t in fro ront nt of yo your y ur

IS SU E

27

b dy. body bo y. Cr Cros C osss on onee le leg g ov over er the oth ther er,, pl plac p acin ing i g yo your y ur opp ppos osit ite i e ar arm m

REC O ILW E B .C O M

172

your breaths, then yourr sside, hip, and upper back. Hold ffor or two w tto o three b reaaths,, the en rre i sid ide.. repe peat att on oppoosi site

4. THREE-WAY NECK STRETCH Long-range shooters are particularly susceptible to tightness and tension in their neck, though it’s often a part of the body we overlook when it comes to strength and stretching routines. It’s important to know how to safely stretch your neck — and do it regularly. Rotation: Gently stretch by

Posterior: Tuck the chin in

to the right side and lightly

Lateral: Take the head over

looking over your right shoul-

and tilt the head down toward

apply further pressure using

der, holding for 10 seconds,

the chest. Use another hand

the hand to increase the

then looking over the left for

to apply pressure on the head

stretch. Repeat on left side.

10. Repeat each side once.

if necessary.

*Warning: Never tilt your head back — it puts a 10-pound pressure on the upper spine, which can cause injury.

BOTTOM LINE As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to know that things don’t always have to be a “gut check” — that it’s “easy to be hard, hard to be smart.” By taking a smarter approach to long-range shooting, we can overcome some of the physical challenges inherent to the task. Are 400-pound dead lifts sexier than neck stretches and some awkward yoga poses? Sure. But the former isn’t going to improve your long shot nearly as much as the latter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Retired Master Sergeant Buck Doyle is the owner and founder of Follow Through Consulting, LLC, which provides tactical firearms instruction as well as consulting, advising, and speaking to military, law enforcement, and civilians. Buck served over 21 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including 17 years and multiple combat tours with special operations units (1st Force Recon, 1st Recon Battalion, and 1st Raider Battalion). Buck is one of nine U.S. service members highlighted in Mark Greenblatt’s book, Valor: Unsung Heroes of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, and is featured in the Outdoor Channel’s television series, Fight to Survive. Buck and his wife, Kyla, live, work, hike, and raise their two daughters in the beautiful Cache Valley area of Utah.


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Two colors for options. Black& Cadet Grey Max 325-meter beam distance Tactical tail switch plus side switch Four output levels plus Strobe mode


www.liongmah.com // 917-349-2188 //

liongmah


THE LORDS OF LONG RANGE. NXS™ 5.5-22 x 50/56

Since 1992, Nightforce riflescopes have set more long-range records than any other brand.

ATACR™ 5-25 x 56 F1

“A huge, bright, virtually perfect image, absolutely flat and distortion free…immune from recoil” is how a prominent editor described our ATACR™ series. Our NXS™ 5.5-22x riflescopes, proven in battle, were originally developed for the U.S. military’s extreme long range shooting and hard target interdiction.

ATACR™ 5-25 x 56

For professionals—and for those who want to shoot like one— your choice is not which brand. Simply which Nightforce.

336 Hazen Lane, Orofino, ID 83544 Q 208.476.9814 Q Learn more at NightforceOptics.com


NEMESIS

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MSRP

25 99

$

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STICKS ALMOST LIKE FLY PAPER

MINI 99 $ ® 61 SCABBARD MSRP

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Conceived for Men, but Women Love it Too!

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www.desantisholster.com

MULTIGUN MASTERS The Carbon Fiber barrel of choice for top competitors like Travis Gibson.

2016 Northwest Multi-Gun Championship Second Open Division 2016 3GUN4VETS Tac Ops Shootout 2nd Overall 2016 MGM Ironman Open Division Champion 2016 Kettle Falls Team Match with Wyatt Gibson 2nd Overall 2016 Stillwater Tactical Team Match with Wyatt Gibson 2nd Overall

Start your own winning streak at proofresearch.com

The match-grade Carbon Fiber barrel is a reality.


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STOEGER M3K • RACE-READY 3-GUN MODEL

Does not include Carbon Arms single shot-shell holder.

• Inertia Driven® ultra-reliability • Enlarged & beveled loading port

WWW.STOEGERINDUSTRIES.COM

• Extended tactical-style bolt handle • Over-sized bolt release & safety


TRODUCING THE

LAR-300 X-SERIES BLACKOUT Combining the versatility and power of the .300 Blackout cartridge with RRA performance-tuned engineering, the LAR-300 X-Series Blackout is built to excel.

LAR-300 BLACKOUT XBLK1751B with RRA Operator CAR Stock

MSRP: $1585*

O-XL EXTENDED LENGTH Float Rail Handguard

EXCLUSIVE: RRA Beast Muzzle Brake * Prices are subject to change. Optics and scope mount not included.

VISIT:

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PERFORMANCE TUNED.

BLINDING NEWS: ®

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TLR-2 HL® G

To help you identify before you target, each of our TLR HL® rail-mounted weapon lights has been upgraded to 800 lumens. The TLR-1 HL® now features an even wider and brighter beam pattern for increased visibility and clarity. The TLR-2 HL® adds a red targeting laser. The TLR-2 HL® G utilizes a green laser for greater KH`SPNO[]PZPIPSP[`0UJYLHZL`V\YJVUÄKLUJL^P[O[OLUL^\WNYHKLK;39/3SPNO[ZMYVT:[YLHTSPNO[

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Let’s face it … conventional media outlets are censoring the kind of information that freedom-loving Americans have enjoyed for years. That’s why we’ve stepped up to the plate and created a resource for everything firearms — RECOILtv. Just as RECOIL magazine gives you no-holds-barred insight on firearms, we’re bringing that same trusted expertise to video. From testing the latest guns, giving in-depth product reviews and expert tutorials, showing you top-notch vehicles, sharing user-generated content, and lots more, RECOILtv is the premier source for the content you want and deserve. As the climate of political correctness slowly censors online informational choices out of existence, RECOILtv will give you the scoop.

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IT’S LIKE 9-1-1 FOR GUNS In 60 seconds, Gun Medic blasts out anything that could hinder cycling, and leaves a trace of oil behind. It lets you keep shooting now, and do a thorough cleanup later. New from Hoppe’s, the first name in protection for over 110 years.

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ONE-STEP CLEANER & LUBRICANT • EVAPORATES IN 60 SECONDS • HEAT/COLD RESISTANT FROM -65˚F TO 500˚F • BIO-BASED FORMULA

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It has been 10 years since the legendary Taurus Judge® was born, and it’s still laying down the law. Capable of chambering both 45 Colt and 410 shotshell, this five-shot game changer is worth celebrating—and so are our fans. That’s why we’re giving you a chance to win a trip to Taurus headquarters in Miami, range time with champion shooter Jessie Duff and other amazing prizes. Enter at Taurus-Judge.com/tour and join the celebration. #WhatLegendsAreMadeOf

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440 Stainless Steel BLADE Zinc Black Epoxy Powder Coated Handle 9-1/4” Overall Length

PROVEN

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PERFORMANCE

3-5/8” Blade Length

OR

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PROMISES?

5.0 oz. Weight Extras : Hollow Ground Blade

Polymer magazines have their place, but OKAY SureFeed aluminum mags are the choice when you can’t take chances. Ask the U.S. Military – OKAY co-developed the USGI 30rd mag and has supplied our Armed Forces since 1973. Plus, we test every mag, so it feeds every round every time. Upgrade your AR-15 with OKAY.

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Model: 114B

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EVERY ROUND. EVERY TIME.

surefeedmagazines.com (860) 225-8707 | surefeed@okayind.com

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The Fully Adjustable Carbine Modular Buttstock Assembly • Fits .223 & .308 AR Platform • Features Picatinny Rail • Revolutionary Anti-Rattle Set Screw • Easy to Replace & Quick Install • New 3-Axis Adjustable Buttplate • Available in Black, FDE, and Pink • Strong Fiberglass-Filled Nylon • Adjusts to 15.75” Length-of-Pull


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comp at

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LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 1/16/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

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SAVE 73

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MODEL Jennifer Irene @jenniferireneofficial PHOTOGRA APHER Jorge Nuñez @jorgehnunez HAIR & MAKEUP Liza Macawili Ramos @liz i amakeu e p RIFLE Ruger @rugerrsofficial Ruger Precission Rifle (Gen 2, 6. 6 5 Creedmoor) Long Rifles Incc @longrifles_inc Match Gradee Drop in Replacement Barrel (24-inch chh) Cathedral Poort Muzzle Brake Direct Replaccement Bolt Knob (M Machined) Direct Replaccement Billet Aluminum Bolt Shroud (Machined) Midwest Induustriess @midw westindustries Ruger Precission Rifle Handguard (18--inch) ATLAS Bipods V8 Bipod (BTT10-LW17) Accu-Shot Preecision Monopods Precision Rail Monopod with Quick Knob (Standard Height)

IS SU E

27

Ergo Grip @errgogrip Ori nal Ergoo Grip (Aggressive Texture))

REC O ILW E B .C O M

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AXTS Weaponss Systeems @axts_weapoons Talon Ambi 45/90 Safety Selector (4 Lever, FDE) Parker Mountaain Machine @parkermountainmachine.pmm Magpul PRS Ambi QD Mountss (Lockinng Pairir, FDE) Magpul PRS QD Sling Mou o nt (Locking, FDE) RifleGear @riflflegear A2 Rifle Receeiver Extension A2 Rifle Butttstock Screw Magpul @maggpul PRS Precision-Adjustable Stock (AR1 R 5/M16) PMAG 20 LR//SR Gen M3 (7.62X51MM NATO) M-LOK QD Slling Mount OPTIC Steiner @steinnerteamamerica T5Xi 5-25X56 American Defeense MFG @americande d fensemfg Delta Scope Mount (Dark Earth) SLING Haley Strategic @haleystrategicofficial D3 Sling (Blaack)


THE NEW HOLDS UP TO

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ROUNDS!

DD MAGAZINE

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THE ONLY MAGAZINE BUILT TO THE SAME EXACTING STANDARDS AS OUR BEST-IN-CLASS RIFLES. + 32-ROUND CAPACITY in the same size magazine as industry-standard 30-round magazines

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+ CARBON-FIBER-REINFORCED lightweight polymer construction

+ TEXTURED GRIP for all situations

Visit DanielDefense.com for more information, and see the new DD MAGAZINE at your local Daniel Defense dealer.

+ ENHANCED ANTI-TILT FOLLOWER for reliable feeding

+ EASY TO DISASSEMBLE for cleaning

+ IMPACT-ABSORBING baseplate design for long-lasting durability

+ SNAG-FREE DESIGN + PATENT PENDING



Recoil december 2016