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The Superior Tactical Rifle

Defense • 24th Mar, 15 • 0 Comments


Tactical rifles have taken on imposing dimensions over the years. Back in the 1960s, we were issued Remington Model 700 Varmint Rifles in 308 Winchester (12 twist) that had quite the gap (an eight of an inch) between the forend and barrel. The walnut stocks were soaked in oil like other military rifles of the past, rather than lacquer or poly finished. Initially, we were issued 3x9 Redfield Widefield scopes with the range-finding feature, later to be replaced by 4x12 power scopes with improved internal attachment of the range decal that provided the estimated distance to the target. I was later issued a short, receiver-mounted 20x Unertl that provided very precise resolution.

I suppose the whole package weighed about ten pounds with the Unertl, and a half pound less with the Redfield. It was enough. Today's tactical rifles that sometimes approach 14 pounds, even when chambered for the mild 308 Winchester, fall into the category of excessively heavy. Kind of like taking a Lincoln Town Car to the convenience store to pick up a gallon of milk. Or maybe a 3/4-ton pickup. Leave the Honda Civic in the driveway; somebody might see you driving it.

The best field tactical rifle should be light enough to carry comfortably, and heavy enough to somewhat dampen heartbeat when on target. I needs to be reliably torso accurate out to at least 700 yards. The thought that impromptu torso shots can be taken at distances of 1000 yards or more is pure fantasy. Yet, there is story after story about shots taken way beyond 1000 yards, and stories about rock-shooter conquests on the desert. So-and-so got a prairie dog at 1300 yards; blah, blah, blah. Call shot? Or did he skip it into a mess of "dogs" at that distance and later discover one had been hit. I've had more of a few of these boasters tell about what they can do, only to hear all of the excuses in the book when they are asked to prove it at the range. We need to get past the crap and deal with the facts.

Sometime, in the future of our children or grandchildren, or their children, they may need to have some long-range shooting skills and appropriate equipment. Thankfully, development of good cartridges has been slow. It's pretty tough to beat the 300 Weatherby Magnum of 1944, and the 300 Winchester Magnum of 1963. How about the 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, and 30-06? All great cartridges, ready to serve in your defense and that of our nation. Look through your rifles. Pick one to be at your side in time of need, and then get it tuned so it shoots small and consistent groups. How well did Carlos Hathcock's Model 70 Target Rifle shoot, the 30-06 he used in combat sniping? Right around an inch. Work at it. Practice diligently. Work up a good load and stick with it. If you need some technical suggestions on how to improve the bedding, give us a call. 

An effective tactical rifle does not have to weigh more than seven or eight pounds. Moving around with something that weighs much over ten pounds can be a real detriment. Good luck on your project.


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