September 22, 2010
By Dan Johnson
The latest offerings for rifle hunters from the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando, Florida.
By Dan Johnson
Browning's innovative X-Bolt bolt action rifle that was introduced in 2008 will be expanded in 2009 with new models being offered. This ultra-modern bolt action features Browning's Feather Trigger design, X-Lock scope mounting system, Inflex Technology recoil pad, bolt unlock button and a detachable rotary magazine. The X-Bolt Micro Hunter is trimmed down in size with 20" or 22" barrels in popular short action and WSM calibers. Length of pull is 13 5/16" and weight is only 5 lbs.15 oz. to 6 lbs. 7 oz. depending on caliber.
A new X-Bolt Varmint Stalker will also be added that features medium heavy barrel in 24" or 26" lengths depending on caliber. Calibers include 223 Rem., 22-250 Rem., 243 Win. and 308. Win. The composite stock has textured gripping surfaces, a palm swell and Dura-Touch Armor Coating for a sure grip. RMEF (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) edition models will also be offered in the Browning X-Bolt in White Gold and Special Hunter models. The X-Bolt RMEF White Gold model features a stainless steel receiver and barrel in matte finish. The checkered stock is select gloss finish walnut with raised cheekpiece, rosewood grip and forearm caps and RMEF logo inset. The RMEF X-Bolt Special Hunter features a low-luster blued finish barrel in 23" length. The checkered stock is satin finish walnut with raised cheekpiece, rosewood grip cap and RMEF logo insert.
Browning will offer two new models in its popular A-Bolt line of bolt action rifles known for its accuracy and trim, classic lines. The new A-Bolt Target Model features a heavy bull contour barrel with matte blued finish in 28" length and target crown.
The satin finish gray laminate wood stock has a target style with wide fore-end and adjustable comb. A special, single-set trigger provides ultra-light trigger pull. The A-Bolt Target Stainless has all the same features offered on the A-Bolt Target model other than a stainless steel receiver and barrel. Both versions will be available in 223 Rem., 308 Win. and 300 WSM calibers. Average weight is 13 lbs. — 13 lbs. 4 oz.
Kimber is now offering a new version of the light weight Model 84M Classic with a stainless steel barreled action. The Model 84M Classic Stainless is chambered in .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. Weighing just over 5.5 pounds, the Model 84M Classic Stainless has standard Kimber features like a match grade barrel, chamber and trigger, 3-position wing safety, pillar and glass bedding, and a stock that is finished and checkered by hand.
Model 84M Classic Stainless
The heart of the rifle is the Model 84M action — sized to minimal dimensions for cartridges like the .308 Win. Like all Kimber rifles, it features a full-length Mauser claw extractor for true controlled round feeding and extraction. The Model 84M Classic Stainless has near perfect balance, and the 22-inch light sporter barrel ensures maximum velocity. The elegant A-grade claro walnut stock features a straight comb that transfers recoil to the shoulder, not up and into the cheek bone. The stock shape and 1-inch Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad dramatically minimizes recoil. The Model 84M Classic Stainless, like all Kimber pistols and rifles, is made in America.
The Model 1895SBL (Stainless Black Laminated) is the latest big bore lever gun from Marlin and incorporates some of the best features developed in recent years by custom gunsmiths. It retains the handy 18 1/2 barrel of the Model 1895GS Guide Gun but the tube is full-length increasing magazine capacity to five rounds versus four in the 1895GS. It is a nicely finished stainless model with attractive black/gray laminated pistol grip stock complete with diamond cut checkering.
Model 1895XLR .338 Marlin Express (top), Model 1895SBL .45-70(bottom).
It also has an improved recoil pad, a soft 3/4-inch Pachmayr Decelerator to take some of the bite out of the .45-70 cartridge for which the rifle is chambered. The first thing you will likely notice though is the oversize lever loop. The rifle is outfitted with the excellent scout-type XS Systems Lever Rail for forward scope mounting and XS Ghost Ring sights. While some shooters still shy away from forward mounted optics, most who try them agree it is a very fast sighting system with the right scope. The Marlin Model 1895SBL may well be the best mass produced brush gun yet available for close encounters with dangerous North American game.
Though it lacks the frontal mass of the .45-70, Marlin's new .338 Marlin Express, designed by Hornady, is still potent big game medicine for a lever gun. The initial platform for this new cartridge will be the marlin Model 1895XLR. It also is a stainless rifle with black/gray laminated pistol grip stock. Barrel length will be 24-inches and a blue steel/walnut version with 22-inch barrel will also be available. In the 24-inch tube the .338 marlin Express launches a 200 gr. Hornady Flex Tip bullet comfortably over 2500 fps, making this a serious lever gun for most North American game.
Remington's triangular barrel contour made its debut in varmint/target weight on the Model 700 VTR and in 2009 will be introduce in a magnum weight version for big-game on the Model 700 XHR (Xtreme Hunting Rifle). The patent-pending triangular formation of the barrel allows for reduction in weight while maintaining the rigidity of a traditional round barrel. The weight that remains is in all the right places. Plus, its surface area facilitates rapid cooling for more accurate followup shots.
Model 700 XHR
The RealtreeR AP HD camo synthetic stock is equipped with patented Hogue overmolding accents at the grip and fore-end areas for comfort and a firm hold in adverse conditions, plus Remington's patented SuperCell recoil
pad to tame the kick of magnum calibers. The barrel and action are finished in durable satin black oxide accented by a polished blue jeweled bolt. Like all new Model 700s, the XHR features Remington's newest evolution of the X-Mark trigger system.
The X-mark trigger has been improved for 2009 and is now user-adjustable with readily available tools and without having to remove the barreled action from the stock. The X-Mark Pro Adjustable trigger comes from the factory with an average pull weight of 3 1/2 lbs. with 2 lbs. range of adjustment. The Model 700 XHR will be available in a range of popular calibers from .243 up to the .300 Remington Ultra Mag.
The triangular barrel profile will also be found on Remington's new Model 700 Target Tactical. This model will have the 26-inch VTR profile barrel with quarter-inch counter bore and 5-R hammer forged rifling based on M-24 rifling. The stock is the Bell & Carlson Medalist Varmint/tactical with adjustable comb and length of pull. A tactical style bolt knob aids operation and the rifle, of course, comes with the new X-Mark Pro Adjustable trigger.
Savage Arms announced a new left-load, right-eject dual-port receiver to expand its lineup of long-range precision rifles. Custom rifle makers catering to varmint and target shooters have traditionally offered such single-shot actions because they allow the shooter to get off several shots quite quickly before conditions change. Savage is the first large manufacturer to offer this high-end custom feature in a production rifle.
Model 12 Long Range Precision Varminter
The new single-shot, dual-port receiver will be available on the Model 12 Long Range Precision Varminter, which was also the first production rifle to offer a right-bolt, left-port format. The LRPV dual-port will be available in 223 Rem., 204 Ruger, 22-250 and 6 Norma BR. The new receiver is also a feature of an all-new model for Savage, the Model 12 Benchrest.
The 12 Benchrest is designed for 1,000-yard benchrest competition and features the new dual-port receiver, a 29" extra-heavy barrel, target AccuTrigger and a laminate stock with a wide, flat benchrest forend. It will be available in 6.5 x 284 Norma, 6 Norma BR and 308 Win. With the new Palma and Benchrest rifles, Savage now has models for four distinct disciplines of ultra-long-range competition, where the only option for a factory rifle is a Savage.
Traditions Performance Firearms adds the new Vortek to their line of break open muzzleloaders. The Vortek is a newly designed break open action, alloy frame with a "drop-out" trigger assembly designed for easy cleaning. The ergonomics of the over-molded buttstock and forearm provide extra grip and greater balance. With safety in mind, Traditions has skeletonized the action release, allowing the use of standard trigger locks for storage or travel. The Accelerator breech plug has found its way into the long list of features that accompany one of the most innovative muzzleloaders ever engineered by Traditions.
The Accelerator Breech Plug releases with three quick revolutions using no tools. Simply twist the Accelerator Breech Plug and loosen until it is removed from the barrel for easy cleaning. The Vortek is a high performance muzzleloader that comes with a 28", 1:28 twist barrel and Williams metal sights. The weather-resistant finish on the frame and barrel help increase the durability and protect the finish during those extreme days in the field. The 209 ignition and 150 grain magnum loads proves reliable and consistent groups out to 200 yards. The PAS (Projectile Alignment System) guarantees reliable bullet seating for increased accuracy and no bullet starter is needed. The Vortek is available in a standard or ambidextrous thumbhole stock in an overmolded black or Mossy Oak Treestand soft stock finish for a better grip in inclement weather.
Another new muzzleloader from Traditions is the Buck Stalker, a lightweight rifle designed for fast handling while still hunting. The Buck Stalker is a high performance break action muzzleloader which includes a standard lightweight, rust resistant LT-1 alloy frame. A shortened 1:28 twist, 24" barrel allows for quick handling once the hunter spots his trophy buck. The 209 ignition and 150 grain magnum loads proves reliable and consistent. Hunters will also appreciate the features of a TRUGLO fiber optic sight. The PAS (Projectile Alignment System) guarantees reliable bullet seating for increased accuracy and no bullet starter is needed. Traditions Firearms makes getting ready for your hunt easy with scoped combos and Redi-Paks which include: loading, shooting & cleaning accessories.
Winchester Repeating Arms will expand the Model 70 bolt action rifle line-up that was re-introduced in 2008 and manufactured in the USA. New models for 2009 will include the Coyote Light that will give varmint hunters a rifle that has been carefully trimmed of any unnecessary bulk but is no lightweight when it comes to performance. The matte-blued receiver and medium-heavy fluted stainless barrel mount into a skeletonized aluminum bedding block that is set in a lightweight carbon fiber/fiberglass composite Bell and Carlson stock. Flow-through vents on the fore-end reduce weight and help cool the barrel. A Pachmayr Decelerator pad helps soak up recoil. Like all Model 70's the new Coyote Light features Controlled Round Feeding and the M.O.A. Trigger System. Available in 22-250 Rem., 243 Win., and 308 Win. with 22" barrels, average weight is 7 1/2 lbs. 270 WSM, 300 WSM and 325 WSM calibers have 24" barrels.
Winchester Model 70 Coyote Light
The new Model 70 Ultimate Shadow features a composite stock with integrated, rubberized, oval-dot gripping surfaces on the pistol grip and fore-end for a sure grip. The Ultimate Shadow is also lightweight and is easy to carry in the field. It will feature a blued free-floating barrel, M.O.A. Trigger System that is standard on all new Model 70's and Controlled Round Feed action. The Ultimate Shadow is offered in 22", 24" or 26 " barrels in popular standard calibers and three WSM calibers. Average weight 6 1/2 to 7 lbs. depending on barrel length.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt's Grand African Safari and his contributions to the Smithsonian Institution, Winchester Repeating Arms will of
fer the Model 1895 Safari Centennial Lever Action Rifles in 2009. The Model 1895 Safari Centennial Rifles with be offered in Custom Grade and High Grade versions in .405 Winchester caliber.
The Custom Grade Model has Grade III/IV walnut with deep engraving of many African big game animals on a blued receiver plus extensive gold-toned embellishments. It will be offered in a limited number of 1,000 two-gun sets with the High Grade version. Each set will bear special matching serial numbers and is supplied with a complete collector's package that includes a copy of President Roosevelt's famous book African Game Trails. A deluxe double gun case will also be included.
Custom Grade Model 1895 Safari Centennial Rifle
The Model 1895 High Grade Centennial model will feature fancy Grade II/II walnut stock that is finely checkered, complementing the exquisite gold enhanced, engraved African big game animal embellishments on a silver nitride receiver. Barrel length is 24" and average weight is 8 lbs for both models.
The Winchester Super X Semi-Auto Rifle has been updated for 2009 to include a new hinged floorplate with detachable box magazine feature. Available in popular standard and magnum calibers the updated Super X Rifle has refined ergonomic styling with select grade walnut stock and forearm. Its fast, reliable gas-operation and 45 percent less felt recoil provides accuracy that rivals many factory bolt-action rifles. Average weight is 7 1/2 lbs.