Day 2 continued at a hurried pace. We really appreciate the folks who stopped us in the aisles to express their appreciation for what we do. We also want to thank the folks at Rainier Arms who invited us to their “after party” – there’s a reason this article didn’t come out Wednesday night! It’s full speed ahead on day 3 where we will be hosting our “patch giveaway” at the Defiance Machine booth.
Here are some highlights from the vendors we visited. Expect to see videos in a couple of weeks:
Defiance Machine – They continue to innovate as illustrated by an optional feature available in the Deviant action. Just aft of the barrel threads, they have incorporated a forcing cone to eliminate any cantilevering of the barrel. The Rebel action is now available with an optional integrated barrel lug. They continue to fully support left hand shooters.
Nosler Bullets – They continue to expand their Reduced Drag Factor (RDF) line of bullets specifically aimed at the sport of long range precision rifle. They were designed from the ground up to achieve exceptionally high BCs. Their .22 Nosler cartridge is particularly interesting with the increased velocities achievable with many of the 70ish grain high BC bullets. The .22 Nosler could make a great training round and give up nothing for those club matches going out to 600 yards.
CZ-USA – A lot of folks in our sport are looking for rimfire training rifles. The CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer is available with a Manners stock as well as other configurations. A .22 repeater with similar ergonomics and the heft of a match rifle could be just the ticket. There are options for left hand shooters – for details be sure to watch the video when released.
GA Precision – They continue to refine their Tempest actions and they are now available with low friction DLC coatings. Customers can also expect significantly reduced wait times of 8-12 weeks when ordering a custom rifle.
Manners Composite Stocks – They have refined their manufacturing processes to create noticeably more rigid stocks. While their stocks have been popular in PRS style matches for some time, the more rigid design will be appreciated. Manners has a new MCS MPA stock that incorporates the barricade stop from MasterPiece Arms – we will run those in 2017. We also took at the new MCS PRS1 and PRS2 stocks, the Hunting MCS EH6A and the “2 Mile Stock” MCS TRL.
Lapua – Their new 6.5 Creedmore brass with a small primer pocket will be a welcome addition to the sport. Reloaders can expect significantly longer case life compared to cases with a large primer pocket. Based on what we’ve seen with case life on their 6.5×47 we are excited.
Schmidt and Bender – They are really starting to pay attention to our sport and you can expect more of their products to show up on prize tables. Number one ranked PRS shooter Matt Brousseau took us through their current lineup and marketing director Kyle Brown provided specifics as to how they will be “laser focused” on our sport. They have also reduced prices and wait times considerably. There are no guarantees, but if they hear from enough left hand shooters there is a glimmer of hope that they might relocate the illumination knob. As many left hand shooters know, the current location on their PM II scopes render them pretty much unusable for left handed shooters unless they remove the knob.
Bergara – They took us through their lineup of rifles – entry level as well as experienced PRS style shooters have a number of options to consider. As we reported earlier, handling, shooting and cycling the bolt on the $1150 MSRP Hunting and Match Rifle would lead one to believe the price tag was a mistake (maybe the first digit should have been a 2). We felt the same when we got behind the $1,699 MSRP Bergara Match Precision Rifle. Left hand versions will be available but no date has been set.
Sig Sauer – They continue to be increasingly relevant to our sport with their new 2400 and 2200 range finders. We know a lot of shooters (ourselves included) that have placed advanced orders for the Kilo 2400 ABS. The 2200 replaces the 2000 which will be discontinued. Their Tango 6 scopes have a particularly useful feature in the form of the LevelPlex cant indicator. For those contemplating the PRS gas gun series, they might want to take a look at their 3-18×44 offering.
Steiner Optics – PRS style shooters should take a look at their Tactical and Military series rifles scopes. We took a look at the T5Xi in 3-15×50 and 5-25×56. We also took a look at the M5Xi offerings in 3-15×50 and 5-25×56.
David Tubb (Superior Shooting Systems) – The increasing popularity of PRS style shooting is evident in the newest offering from David Tubb. We took a look at his new Dynamic Target Rifle. This is not a dressed up Tubb 2000 rifle – instead we were looking at a rifle that has been completely re-engineered and targeted to our sport. Barrels are interchangeable, but there is a unique mounting system that would allow you to use any barrel manufacturer of your choice. If you like barrel brand X you can mount barrel brand X. He also demonstrated a very innovative bipod system. We also plan to evaluate his two stage trigger on our current rifles and will report back.
Burris Optics – Their Signature HD 20-60×85 spotting scope really caught our attention (sorry – don’t see anything on their web site to link to). It incorporates a red dot site that can speed up target acquisition. Just point the red dot at your target and the spotter will be on target – convenient and quick. The spotter also has interchangeable eye pieces allowing the user to change the reticle. For example, one could match the reticle of their spotter to a rifle scope.
Strategic Armory Corps – We took a look at the lineup of Surgeon rifles, McMillan Firearms and discussed their training programs. A number of their rifle packages include a training program. It is their intent to sell a complete “solution” in every sense of the word. Even if you don’t own one of their rifles, you can still take advantage of their training.