Range Report - Fun Day of Shooting Newly Introduced Firearms

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During September a couple of us here at Dance’s Sporting Goods had the great opportunity to head west for a few days; where we were able to attend a new product shoot hosted at Elm Fork Shooting Sports in Dallas, Texas. Elm Fork is a 467 acre facility comprised of rifle, pistol, shotgun and archery ranges. For us ol’ Virgina boys it was impressive to say the least and we were grinning like possums when we pulled into the parking lot because there before us was a sprawling series of ranges and tents with manufacturers and their guns waiting for us. An entire afternoon passed by all too quickly as we tried out gun after gun. With limited trigger time behind any one piece; it would be hard to provide any depth in this article. Instead we’ll hit on some of those guns that stood out from the experience.

The Ruger American Rifle Ranch edition in .450 Bushmaster was an enjoyable rifle. This Thumper ain’t Bambi’s friend by any means. Easy to spot due to its short overall length and distinctive muzzle break; it should wreak havoc in the forest where shots are 200yds or less. Accuracy from the already hot barrel was more than acceptable. Another Ruger that was on point was the Precision rifle in 5.56. Simply a solid platform that delivers consistent hit after hit on the x-ring.

A big chunk of the rifles present were chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, as more manufacturers are getting behind this round. This made all of that hard work behind the trigger, not so hard on this aging shoulder. Tikka offered up their T3X in this chambering. With its slick action and crisp trigger, the Tikka T3X was a pleasure to shoot and accuracy does not disappoint. Another 6.5 that caught our attention was the Savage 16 Lightweight Hunter. Coming in at just under five and a half pounds bare bones, this flyweight with its short barrel and Accu-trigger is on point. It shot well and won’t wear you down humping it through the woods to and fro.

The Barrett MRAD, while not your everyday hunting rifle; deserves a mention on shear awesomeness. The MRAD allows the end user to change calibers by switching out the barrel and bolt head making it possible to go from 6.5 Creedmoor to a .338 Lapua Magnum. With a laundry list of other features; this is truly a long range rifle system for the shooter who demands the best. And yeah, it definitely shoots!

If you’re a fan of the M1 Carbine then Inland Manufacturing deserves a look. We had the opportunity to shoot a couple of examples and they were a great reminder of how fun the 30 Carbine is to shoot. Legacy Sports is importing the Lithgow Arms Crossover LA102 from Australia. This is a really neat looking gun and those of you familiar with Enfield will recognize the name. If we are lucky, we’ll be reporting on this rifle in more detail in the near future.

Least you think we only shot rifles; the A400 from Beretta, the Remington V3 and Versamax were each good performers during some informal clay shooting. In the realm of handguns the new Gen 5 Glocks were all that we expected and easy to shoot. Ruger offered up their new 10mm 1911 and SP101 Match Champion; with both guns performing great and a pleasure to knock down some steel with. The Beretta APX, with its radical looking slide was present and its shootability caught us by surprise. My sidekick really enjoyed the Sig 320 X5, consistently making me look bad. Springfield Armory’s booth offered up the 1911 Range Officer Elite and the XDE; and each held their own.

To sum it up; there is a ton of new and exciting stuff out there. For rifle guys; you definitely need to check out the 6.5 Creedmoor. This mild recoiling round gained favor in the long range scene and has quickly made a name for itself in the hunting market. Stop on in your local gun shop and check ‘em out along with any of the latest handguns and shotguns. Thanks to our hosts at Elm Fork down in Texas. We already have a hankering for next year’s trip!

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