New Year, New Guns – Ruger Edition

Welcome to 2018! America is a weird, weird place today. Gun rights are simultaneously being chipped away at at the State level and expanded Federally, “cisgender” is a word now, everybody has PTSD, feelings matter, our political process has become nothing more than a meme war on social media,  and everybody… everybody is getting “triggered”.

Fortunately for you and me, we still have the 2nd Amendment (for now), and can get triggered the good ol’ fashioned way: behind a gun! And the last few months of 2017 and start of 2018 have been marked by a few pretty cool new guns to look forward to. Let’s take a look at some of the coolest/most interesting new blasters for the new year from a company that’s been EN FUEGO this year: Ruger. Honestly, they’ve been on such a hot streak, that I’m just going to hit you with a quick snapshot of a few new releases – in no particular order.


Security 9

security9

(photo: Recoil Web)

The Ruger Security 9 takes its concept and namesake as an affordable defensive handgun from the Ruger Security Six of days gone by. The Security 9 is a hammer fired, box fed autoloading pistol that represents the essentials of a defensive handgun – pretty much everything you might need and absolutely nothing you don’t. It’s pretty barebones, but I think it will represent a good value for those looking for a more affordable 9mm option.

The PC Carbine

pccarbineNow this… this gun I’m actually really excited for. Pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) have been all the rage the past year or so, and Ruger has finally jumped into the market with one of the coolest options in the game. It’s fed by either Ruger or Glock magazines, and comes with magazine wells for both. It’s also a takedown design which makes it incredibly handy. The stock can be adjusted for LOP by adding/removing spacers and the barrel is threaded 1/2×28 for your variety of muzzle devices or suppressors hosts. Add to that a set of ghost ring sights, 10/22 trigger components, and a more traditional, rifle-like form, and you’ve got a seriously cool little blaster. The PC Carbine is on my list for 2018. Why? I have no idea. It’s just… so cool.

Ruger has also released a number of other cool designs that are more like product line extensions for the new year. The GP-100 get’s a 7-shot cylinder in a few different models, the American Rifle gets a ranch variant in 7.62×39 (also on my short list), and they introduce the “Ruger Precision Rimfire”, which is a little bolt action .22lr in a chassis similar to their precision rifle with an American rimfire action. The coolest part? It has an adjustable bolt throw that can be set to mimic the throw of a full sized centerfire bolt gun – very cool for precision rifle training.


I’ve always liked Ruger guns. They’re American, usually affordable, have a rock solid reputation for rugged reliability (if not being a little brutish), and lately they’ve had a pretty cool line up of new products. I think they’re doing it right in this down market – introducing innovate new products that the shooting market actually wants. Hell, I didn’t even know I wanted a few of these until I saw them. They’re at least being much better with product releases than a different company *cough, crossed cannons, cough*. But that’s for another day.

What’s on your list for this year?

Until Victory.

-TZ

In Defense of the 700 Ultimate Sheep Rifle

Well folks, we’re back. I know it’s been awhile since the last post, but Summer 2017 has been busy and full of guns, gear, training, and some other pretty dope stuff. I’ve got a lot of new material in the works, including some YouTube reviews and AARs.

But enough on us, let’s get down to the good stuff: guns.

USR

Lately I’ve seen Big Green getting a lot of flak over their newly announced Model 700 “Ultimate Sheep Rifle”. In fact, just today I was listening to a podcast that was giving the USR the business – despite none of them having any trigger time behind it or any serious mountain hunting experience. They cited it’s use of a stock, and essentially criticized it for not being a chassis gun. They pointed out that the 6.5 CM is an unusual choice for a hunting cartridge, and even wondered if the gun was “custom” because it was made by Remington, and compared what they thought was the Remington Custom Shop to S&W’s Performance Center. And the biggest complaint of them all: the $5,895 MSRP. So let’s break it down.

First of all, yes, Remington does have a custom shop. Based in Sturgis, SD, the Remington Custom Shop does exactly what you would think it does: build custom guns. Although the USR is one of a few models that are available as pre-selected builds, Remington Custom also lets you have it any way you want. Prices can vary widely, as any custom project can from another. The shop itself is relatively new, having been established in Sturgis in 2015, but is run by a crew of experienced gunsmiths that know how to produce quality products. Hand checkering, hand layed custom stocks, jeweled bolts, and action truing mills would be pretty common sights at RCS.

Now let’s itemize the components. (All are MSRP and rounded to nearest dollar)

  • Action: Remington 700 Titanium Short Action (approx. $1,450)
  • Stock: Manners EH-8 ($632 + Cerakote)
  • Barrel: Proof Research Carbon Wrapped w/ Muzzle Brake (approx. $900)
  • Bolt: Badger Mini Knob w/ Badger M16 Extractor ($70)
  • Trigger: Timney 510 ($146)

Total: $3,198

proof.jpg

Now, there area a few other various parts and accessories that should be accounted for, but are hard to track down solid numbers on. This would include the bipod rail, dual ejectors, and a hand full of aluminum parts to reduce weight. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the bedding job, Cerakoting by Scalpel Arms, and presumed action truing of a titanium action. And that’s not even mentioning that the 6.5 CM barrel from Proof doesn’t appear to be commercially available yet.

So, if we calculate by the components alone being approximately $3,300 before any sort of gun smithing to actually get the gun running, the advertised MSRP of $5,895 doesn’t begin to seem nearly as unreasonable. I would venture to guess that people shelling out anywhere near this kind of money are probably used to the idea of a high-end, expensive custom rifle that commands a price tag similar to or even higher than the near 6K of the Remington.

Is it all worth it? Well… that’s for you to decided. But a custom rifle is a custom rifle, and if it floats your boat and you don’t need a second mortgage for it, then give it hell.


But with all that being said, if you measure the gun from a performance standard, you might run into more of a quandary. Accuracy and lightweight in bolt guns are easy to do, and you can certainly find cheaper rifles that might fit the performance build of the 700 USR. Certainly there are other rifles that are lightweight and accuracy, but they won’t be custom. And if you’re budget commands that, then a cheaper option is probably the way to go. Hell, the Ruger American is lightweight and accurate, but it feels cheap as hell. Because it’s not custom.

So as far as criticisms go, does the USR deserve all this negative attention? Well… probably not if you evaluate it as a custom rifle. But if you simply look at it from a performance based perspective, then yeah… it’s not worth nearly $6,000.00.

Until Victory.

-TZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week in Guns: April 24th, 2017 – BATFE Brace Reversal, Colt Cobra, New Springfield, and Kommiefornia?

What in the hell is happening this week? It seems like the floodgates have suddenly opened and manufacturers are finally hitting their stride. New guns are getting announced, SHOT SHOW 2017 guns are finally shipping, and the gun community is spinning from new legal announcements that may have wide sweeping effects on the gun community as a whole.


First up, it’s the news that’s shaken up the gun world the most in the past few days. If you’ve missed it, you’ve either been under a rock or have zero social network. In a clarification letter to SB Tactical, the BATFE has seemingly reversed its previous decision about shouldering a pistol “brace”. Although I won’t cover the whole history of it here, needless to say it’s a 180 degree turn from their previous stance on the matter that shouldering and firing a pistol with a brace would constitute a reconstruction of a pistol into an SBR, and therefore violate the NFA. The letter would suggest that there isn’t a “proper” way to fire a handgun, and therefore the manner of firing does not in-and-of itself constitute the “making” of an SBR. So good news to all you AR pistol guys out there! Time for an AR pistol truck gun for me…

pdwbrace.jpg

More info on the SB Tactical letter can be found here, in a post from the NRA-ILA. Obviously… this is a minor victory in a bigger war, and we need to capitalize on our forward progress. This decision shows how ridiculous the NFA really is, and support needs to be garnered to repeal the NFA. Join the NRA today. It’s the best shot we’ve got.


Next this week, Colt has officially confirmed that their 2017 Cobra is shipping to distributers and dealers now! Although I have yet to see any listed as “in stock” online, I’m definitely going to throw a pre-order in with my local dealer ASAP. Colt’s Facebook page even featured a picture of a bunch of Cobra frames being worked on in the factory, and it seems like they were just trying to build up inventory before shipping. I hope the Cobra sells well for Colt, as it appears to be in high demand and a great carry option for any revolver guy.

archer

As far as new guns goes, the Cobra is probably at the very top of my list. But that doesn’t mean I’m not at least intrigued by Springfield Armory’s announcement this week of a new handgun product. According to their hype video, it’s their “best kept secret”, so one could assume it’s not the XDM 10mm that they’ve been promising. You can check out the whole sneak preview here, but this is probably the most important image:

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.07.27 PM

My guess? A single stack 9. It’s not recoiling like anything other, and I don’t think SA is off the deep end enough to put out a single stack .380. It seems pretty thin, which tips me off to “single-stack” and appears to have a tip up loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide, a-la XDM. Revolutionary? Probably not, but it could be pretty cool for Springfield guys and gals.


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And wrapping things up, an NRA affiliate in California has filed a lawsuit against the state citing that CA’s “Assault Weapons Control Act” is unconstitutional (it is). How this will play out in such a far left swinging state is hard to say, but I hope they give ’em hell. A victory in California would set a wide spread precedent for the rest of the country, and a victory for one of us is a victory for all of us.

Until Victory.

TZ