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November 2007 No.

234
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11

0 74808 01240 4
Printed in USA
$4.99 U.S./$5.99 Canada
November-December 2007
Volume 39, Number 6
ISSN 0162-3593
Sportiting Firear
Fi earms Jour
urnal
al Issue No. 234

8 Leica Ultravid
8x32 BR
18 Remington Models
721, 722 and 700
Spotting Scope - Extractors
Dave Scovill Light Gunsmithing -
Gil Sengel
12 Gun Writer Page 36. . .
Myths & Clichés
Down Range -
26 6.5x55 Swedish
Mauser
Mike Venturino Classic Cartridges -
John Haviland
44 The Best Shooting
Game Ever
16 The Balance BPCR
of Power
Optics -
28 Shooters Clean
Up Unsightly
Mike Venturino

Ron Spomer Litter


Straight Talk -
54 Top 10 Favorite
Hunting Rifles
Ron Spomer Barsness Picks
His Top 10
32 Inflation and
Handloading
John Barsness

Mostly Long Guns -


Brian Pearce

36 Magnum
Research
High-Tech
Rimfires Page 44. . .
Upscale
Rimfires
Stan Trzoniec
62 Long-Range Elk
Fact or Fiction
John Haviland
Page 84. . .
72 Observations
of Bullet
Performance
Straight Talk
from the Field
Brian Pearce

84 Barnes
TSX
Tipped

Scovill Unveils New


“Mystery” Bullet
Dave Scovill

4 www.riflemagazine.com Background Photo: © 2007 Royal Tine Images Rifle 234


On the cover . . . Page 54
The Magnum Research MLR-1722
Barracuda is outfitted with a
Weaver 6x scope. Rifle photo by Page 84
Stan Trzoniec. Kudu photo by
Gert Johannes Jacobus Vrey.
Page 36

94 Pachmayr
Decelerator
Issue No. 234 November-December 2007
Slip-On
Recoil Pad
Product Tests - Sportiting Firear
Fi earms Jour
urnal
al
Staff
Publisher – Mark Harris

00
100 Jim Brockman’s
Special Leverguns 04
104 What’s New
in the
Associate Publisher – Don Polacek
Editor in Chief – Dave Scovill
Managing Editor – Roberta Montgomery
and Lon Paul’s Marketplace Art Director – Gerald Hudson
CZ .458 Lott Inside Production Director – Becky Pinkley
Custom Corner - Product
Contributing Editors
Stan Trzoniec & News -
Phil Shoemaker Clair Rees Associate Editor – Al Miller
John Barsness Ron Spomer

120
20 Left-Handed
.270
Brian Pearce
Clair Rees
Stan Trzoniec
Mike Venturino
Gil Sengel Ken Waters
Winchester Advertising
Queries &
Comments - Stefanie Ramsey: stefanie@riflemag.com
Staff Tom Bowman: bowmant@mauryboyd.com

Advertising Information: 1-800-899-7810

126
26 A Place
They’ve Circulation
Never Been Circulation Manager – Michele Morgan
circ@riflemagazine.com
Rifles & Subscription Information: 1-800-899-7810
Woodsmoke - www.riflemagazine.com
John Barsness
Rifle® (ISSN 0162-3583) is published bimonthly by
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6 www.riflemagazine.com Background Photo: © 2007 Royal Tine Images Rifle 234


Enter the See the
See the OFFICIAL
OFFICIAL ENTRY
ENTRY FORM
FORM in
in this
this issue.
issue.

Kimber
Classic
Giveaway!

SUBSCRIBE or RENEW to
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.300 WSM with a Leupold® Scope!
Considered by many as the finest production rifle ever manufactured this Model 8400 Classic
features a select-grade claro walnut stock, hand finished and checkered with a Pachmayr®
Decelerator recoil pad. A match-grade trigger and chamber are mated to a 24-inch, free-floating
barrel. The action is both pillar and glass bedded for outstanding accuracy and comes complete
with scope mounts. A Leupold® VX®-III 3.5-10x40mm riflescope featuring the Index Matched Lens
System® and 1⁄4-MOA adjustments complete with matching rings tops off this elegant firearm.
The entire giveaway package is a $180000 VALUE!
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CLASSIC CARTRIDGES 6.5X55
John
Haviland
SWEDISH MAUSER
uring the 1890s, while American hunters
D were still enthralled with single-shot and lever-
action rifles firing cartridges loaded with black
powder and blunt lead bullets, Europeans were fast
embracing bolt-action rifles chambered in small-
bore cartridges loaded with smokeless powder and
sleek bullets. One such European cartridge was the
6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser, which was adopted as
Sweden’s and Norway’s military cartridge in 1894, a
year before the American .30-30 WCF was intro-
duced. Even now the 6.5x55mm looks as advanced
as any of today’s cartridges.
The 6.5 Swede remains popular in Scandinavian
countries for hunting and target shooting. However,
it has faced an uphill battle in America. The 6.5’s
acceptance here grew with an invasion during the

The 6.5x55 is a capable elk cartridge loaded with


140-grain bullets.

According to the 1989 edition of Cartridges of the


World, “. . . no American company has ever pro-
duced ammunition in this caliber.” However, today
Federal, Hornady, Remington and Winchester all

The 6.5x55 shoots plenty flat enough at long range


to hunt pronghorns.

1950s of surplus Swedish Model 94 and 96 rifles and


lesser numbers of Norwegian 1894 and 1912 Krag-
Jørgensens. Remington chambered the 6.5 Swede
in its limited edition Model 700 Classic in 1994, and
Winchester made a brief run of Model 70 Classic
Featherweights for a few years. The only major
firms that now offer 6.5x55 rifles in America are
Ruger in its bolt-action Model 77R MKII, CZ-USA in
its 550 FS and 550 American and Sako/Tikka in the True to her Norwegian heritage, Mikayla Midtlyng
T3 Varmint and Super Varmint. shoots a 6.5x55.
26 www.riflemagazine.com Rifle 234
6.5x55 Swedish Mauser Factory Loads
yards
bullet muzzle 100 200 300 400
(grains)

108 Lapua Scenar


velocity (fps): 3,015 2,824 2,642 2,467 2,299
energy (ft-lbs): 2,150 1,937 1,674 1,460 1,268
trajectory (inches): +1.43 0 -6.42 -18.55
140 Remington Core-Lokt PSP
velocity (fps): 2,550 2,353 2,164 1,984 1,814
energy (ft-lbs): 2,021 1,720 1,456 1,224 1,023
trajectory (inches): +2.4 0 -9.8 -27.0
156 Norma Vulcan
velocity (fps): 2,644 2,395 2,159 1,937 1,730
energy (ft-lbs): 2,422 1,987 1,616 1,301 1,037
trajectory (inches): +2.20 0 -9.70 -28.90

load 6.5x55 cartridges with 140-


grain bullets with a muzzle veloc-
ity of about 2,550 fps. Hunters
must look to European compa-

6.5x55 Swedish Mauser


Select Handloads
bullet powder charge velocity
(grains) (grains) (fps)

85 Sierra hollowpoint IMR-4320 44.5 3,204


100 Nosler Partition VV-N550 45.5 3,027
125 Nosler Partition VV-N560 50.0 2,918
140 Swift A-Frame RL-22 46.0 2,656
Be Alert – Publisher cannot accept responsibility for errors in published load data.

nies for factory loads or hand-


loading for a wider selection of
bullet weights.
Handloading makes the 6.5 very
flexible. Sierra 85-grain bullets
work well for off-season practice
on small game. Bullets from 140
to 160 grains take care of the
game on the upper end like elk
and moose. For long-range target
shooting, bullets like the Berger The 6.5x55 cartridge.
140-grain VLD and Hornady 140-
grain A-MAX are as long and
of long-range target competitors.
pointy as a newly sharpened No.
The Nosler 125-grain Partition
2 pencil and retain their velocity
makes a great all-around big
well. To stabilize these long bul-
game load. That bullet from my
lets, though, requires a one-in-8-
6.5 rifle in the hands of 10 young
inch twist. According to the
hunters has taken pronghorns,
Hornady reloading book, the
elk, whitetails and mule deer.
6.5x55 shoots a 140-grain bullet
only 100 fps slower than the 6.5- What more could you ask from
284, which is the current darling such an ageless cartridge? R

November-December 2007 www.riflemagazine.com 27


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äÇ

Magnum
Stan Trzoniec
ext to upland bird hunt- High-
N ing, small game hunting
ranks high on my list of
favorite pastimes. As a
youngster, I longed for that summer
vacation when we packed up the
Chevrolet and drove to my uncle’s
farm in upstate New York. There,
along with my friend from the
neighboring farm, woodchucks and
other vermin fell under the sights
of my trusty Winchester single shot.
Carefully stalking freshly cut alfalfa, we chased
marmots over hill and dale. Jimmy and I had the
run of 300+ acres with no one around to bother us.
Living on crab apples and cookies, those lingering
days came to an end far too quickly. I’m thankful
for all those memories.
They were carefree days all right, but while I still
hunt chucks with centerfire wildcat cartridges, I
also make time for mini-forays with a good auto-
matic rimfire rifle. With acreage shrinking con-
stantly, the need to not only stalk close, but also
shoot near seems paramount, especially in the ur-
banized sections of the country. Besides, the chal-
lenge often puts me back into the good old days,
when I was a lot more patient.
Upscale
Modern times are often accompanied by the need
to try new venues of not only techniques but guns
as well. I don’t think I would log it under the catch
Rimfires
phrase “fad” but rather under education, as chang-
ing equipment often leads down the path of more
interesting, if not more enjoyable, experiences.
Such is the case of my recent affair with autoload-
ing .22 rimfire rifles. I say “recent” only because
during my life autoloaders never seemed like they
were the right equipment in the field. At the risk of
being snobbish, if it was not a bolt action, it simply

36 www.riflemagazine.com Rifle 234


Research
--Tech Rimfires
Magnum Research options
based on the MLR-1722
include the walnut stocked
Classic, the Barracuda and
the Hogue “OverMolded”
synthetic version.

November-December 2007 www.riflemagazine.com 37


The receiver is finished in French gray and offers an interesting con- The rear of the scope base blends
trast to the wood-stocked version of the MLR-1722 rifle. in nicely with the receiver.

did not make the grade. Most allowing you to put together a The French grayed MLR-1722
times I had looked down at re- custom gun that would include a receiver is unique because of the
peating arms as not fully func- new stock and barrel. For ease of scalloped Weaver-styled scope
tional, dependent on ammunition use, Magnum Research uses the mount – standard fare on every
of faultless quality or guns that traditional rotary magazine; the Magnum Research rifle, not an
insecure hunters depended on to ignition system is from Ruger. add-on – machined directly from
compensate for their own lack of However, that is where the simi- the same billet as the receiver.
skill at one-shot opportunities. larity ends. This integral base has seven mul-
tiple cuts and a forward exten-
One company that is headlong To drop the action out of the
sion over the end of the receiver
into semiautomatic rimfire rifles stock, loosen the screw located
of about one inch, which should
is Magnum Research. Recently it forward of the magazine well, pose no problems to mount most
unveiled a line of rifles called and the complete action – re- any reasonable scope, in any
“MagnumLite,” which includes a ceiver, trigger group and barrel – position without regard to over-
variety of stock designs wrapped drops into your hand. From here, sized eye, objective lenses (up to
around a proprietary action that you can take note of the sim-
the company manufactures here plicity of the assembly from the
in the U.S. Chambered for the With the action separated from
neatly finished receiver to the
likes of the .22 Long Rifle, .22 the stock, the cutout for the
barrel attachment. magazine and the V-block that
Winchester Magnum and the
attaches the barrel to the re-
newer .17 Mach-2, they are cer-
ceiver are visible.
tainly made for those who prefer The oversized bolt knob is stan-
less weight on the shoulder com- dard on all rifles. The only differ-
bined with good accuracy at ence is they can be hollowed out
moderate rimfire distances. or solid, depending on which car-
tridge the gun is chambered for.
The action is patterned after the
popular Ruger 10/22 action, and
there is a reason for this. Aside
from complete rifles made by
Magnum Research, you can pur-
chase additional parts that inter-
change with Ruger products,

Magnum
Research
38 www.riflemagazine.com Rifle 234
A stainless
steel cap protects
the muzzle of the barrel and
seals the carbon fiber covering.
The match-grade trigger broke at 31⁄2 pounds. The
saftey is forward of the trigger.
50mm) or perhaps a bulky turret
knob. Stylized in appearance, ditionally, this bolt is precision prevents the firing of more than
and to save weight, there are machined from 4140 steel, though one shot with a single pull on
holes machined into the base of hardened and machined with a the trigger. On the samples, this
the mount to add a rakish ap- minimum headspace for smoother match trigger averaged between
pearance. operation and accuracy. On the 3 1⁄4 and 3 1⁄2 pounds of pull with
The receiver is polished smooth bolt face, a single extractor pulls just a hint of slack before the
and without any marks of dishing the spent case from the breech, sear broke.
of the details. An oversized bolt and a mechanical ejector pushes Operational controls are tradi-
knob allows charging of the rifle it out of the receiver. tional and feature the usual
in the field even with bulky hand cross-button safety located to the
gear. Interestingly enough, to Magnum Research front of the trigger on the upper-
compensate for the power of the recently unveiled a most part of the guard bow. Com-
.22 Long Rifle and the .17 Mach-2, plete with a red warning ring,
on the former, the bolt handle is line of rifles called pushing it to the left disengages
hollowed out and made from alu- MagnumLite. the safety making the rifle ready
minum, while the latter is solid to shoot. Next to this is the bolt
and machined from steel. Inside, This action is blowback in oper- lock. With the bolt back, pushing
you will find a specially designed ation, and cartridges are fed to in on the lower part of this lock
Magnum Research bolt that has the breech by a Ruger rotary 10- secures the bolt in the rearmost
been modified and properly ma- round magazine, allowing one position. To move the bolt for-
chined to allow the proper bolt round to be fired with each pull ward, pull back on the bolt then
speed when matched to any of of the trigger. Included in the press in on the upper part of this
the three cartridge choices. Ad- package is a disconnector that lever. Pushing on the lever at

The distinctive checkering pattern wraps around The cheekpiece features a custom shadow line.
the pistol grip.

November-December 2007 www.riflemagazine.com 39


Magnum
Research
midposition only adds to shooter
frustration and was designed to
keep the bolt from being released
and self-loading the gun, as might
be the case if the rifle is dropped
on a hard surface.
To release the magazine, push
the catch in on its forward end
while pulling down on the front
of the magazine by way of the
relief cut. Some will offer that
it’s just as easy to let the maga- The Barracuda model features a radical stock design that is as much at
zine fall out, but in all the guns
home in the field as it is on the bench.
I’ve handled (including the Ruger
10/22), some assist is needed wool rimfire shooters to heated zero. The barrels are made from
to “pry” the magazine from the debates. a patented process that combines
receiver. unidirectional graphite carbon
The barrel is a combination of
fiber that finishes off ultra-
steel barrel wrapped with carbon
straight and is actually six times
The action is patterned fiber to reduce weight and to dis-
stiffer than steel. This minimizes
sipate heat. According to Mag-
after the popular num Research, the lightweight
barrel harmonics, resulting in
Ruger 10/22 action. better accuracy in the field.
barrel reduces fatigue in the
field, which is going to be an The barrel checks in at 13.03
The barrel on the .22 LR ver- asset for walking varmint shoot- ounces in the common rimfire
sion is 17 inches long and has a ers like myself. The point of im- chambering, which can be up to
diameter of 0.915 inch from its pact remains constant as the 75 percent lighter than a steel
V-block attachment point on the graphic carbon gets rid of poten- barrel of the same dimensions.
receiver to the tip of the stainless tial heat problems up to 43 per- Now, if you have a Ruger 10/22
steel cap at the muzzle. While cent faster than conventional and you want to add a new barrel
this may not be a big deal to all-steel barrels when tested in a chambered for the .17 Mach-2,
some, the material this barrel is 20-minute, 500-round trial period you are looking at a weight of
made from will stir dyed-in-the- with absolutely no change in around 13.90 ounces (smaller

The rollover cheekpiece, large pistol-grip base and To offer more clearance for shooting, as well as
hollowed out buttstock make for an interesting changing magazines, the forearm has a step forward
stock. of the magazine well.

40 www.riflemagazine.com Rifle 234


The Hogue stock is utilitarian in The Hogue stock features a live
appearance and is perfect for use rubber buttpad and sling swivels.
as a pickup truck gun. Note the
outward flare of the pistol grip
“provides the required increase
and the stippled checkering.
in mass necessary for safe, reli-
able operation.”
bore, a little more weight) with a
barrel twist of one in 16 inches. If These graphite barrels can be
you decide to purchase this bar- purchased through your dealer
rel for your .22 Ruger, the pack- and with a simple installation
age also includes a bolt kit that, can upgrade your rifle to a new
according to Magnum Research, standard of operation in the field.
Installation is easy and once you
Specifications remove the stock, just back out
the two screws located on the
Rifle model: Magnum Research V-block forward of the receiver.
MLR-1722 Remove this locking block, pull
Action: semiautomatic, rimfire rifle the old barrel out of the receiver
Stock: hand-select walnut, laminated or and put the new barrel in its
synthetic available place. This is a press fit opera-
Cartridges tested: .17 Mach-2, tion; there are no threads or re-
.22 Long Rifle quirements relative to torque to
Cartridges available: .17 Mach-2, .22 contend with. To complete this
Long Rifle, .22 WMR
operation, place the barrel into
Barrel length: 17 inches
the receiver until it stops, install
Overall length: 351⁄2 inches
the locking block, tighten the
Sights: none furnished, receiver is made
screws and you are in business.
for Weaver type scope ring/base
combinations Additionally, Magnum Research
Weight: 41⁄2 pounds has made it easy to upgrade your
(wood stocked version) present rifle with the addition of
Finish: satin finish on wood stocks barrels ($269), bolt kits (49.00), a
Options: some custom options/parts match bolt ($99) or a complete
available from the in-house machined and finished receiver
custom shop for your Ruger 10/22 for around
Price: complete rifles, $629 with Hogue $249. You also have a choice of a
Synthetic; $729 with Barracuda
wide array of precision Clark
stock; $799 with Classic walnut
stock
products, including trigger kits,
tuned extractors, a bolt release

November-December 2007 www.riflemagazine.com 41


Magnum
Research
or a complete custom upgrade,
all available from Magnum Re-
search on receipt of your gun at
its custom shop.
Since all the metalwork is com-
pleted, maybe that Ruger stock
is looking a bit haggled and you
want a new stock on your “cus-
tom” rifle. Magnum Research can
help here with a choice of wood
or synthetic stock options. I have
one rifle with a classic-styled
walnut stock that has “custom”
written all over it! The wood is
very select, hand checkered in a Above, best group of the day with the Classic rifle and .22 Long Rifle
pleasing point pattern with spe- was with Winchester Wildcat ammunition at just over .5 inch at 50
cial treatment given on the left yards. Right, Remington’s 17-grain AccuTip boat-tail printed close to
side as it winds around the cheek- .25 inch at 50 yards.
piece. This cheekpiece is nicely
done with a custom shadow line. Camo (green/brown), Nutmeg which rises above the comb in
The stock is finished with a (brown) and Pepper (black/gray) somewhat of a California style.
durable satin finish to bring out laminate. While it looks like it The buttstock is cut out to save
the color and figure. The only would be awkward to hold and weight, and there is a rakish pis-
thing I would add would be a set shoot, this stock is very comfort- tol-grip base, which positions the
of sling swivels for field carry. To able on both counts. The thumb- hand for shooting as well as
purchase this stock, complete hole is easily accessible under acting as a memory spot on the
with a rubber buttpad and ready changing shooting conditions stock for consistent placement of
to install, will run around $229. and is flared to serve as a thumb the hand. The forearm juts out-
Next up is a wild version called rest for the shooting hand. There ward to the muzzle and is a great
the “Barracuda” with a thumb- is a substantial rollover cheek- place for your hand to pull the
hole stock available in Forest piece for right-hand shooters, rifle back and into your shoulder.

Right, Trzoniec found the Classic .22 Long Rifle


version of this semiautomatic pleasing to shoot
with accuracy befitting a custom rifle.

Test Results
average average
load velocity group
(fps) (inches)

Classic .22 Rifle


Federal standard velocity 1,110 .750
Remington standard velocity 1,095 1.000
Winchester Wildcat 1,106 .625
Barracuda .17 Mach-2
Hornady V-MAX 2,007 .563
Remington AccuTip boat-tail 2,037 .313
Notes: Velocity recorded 10 feet from the muzzle with a Shooting
Chrony chronograph. Accuracy tested off a benchrest, and the results
are the average of five-shot groups at 50 yards.

42 www.riflemagazine.com Rifle 234


Additionally, by having a wide
profile (up to 2 inches in width)
and combined with a drop design
that affords an extra measure of
clearance to the trigger, it can be
an impromptu rest in the field.
Although it does come with a
rubber buttpad, it lacks the sling
swivels some prefer in the field.
Price on this stock is $219.
Magnum Research also offers a
classic synthetic stock by Hogue.
This is one of the newer “Over-
Molded” stocks and includes a
stippled checkering pattern that
covers the most important areas
of the stock. This one does have
sling swivel studs, a black, soft
pad and can be yours for only
$85.
I took one rifle in .22 Long Rifle
and one in the .17 Mach-2 to
the range. On the Classic ver-
sion of the MLR-1722, I mounted
a Leupold 2.5-8x 36mm scope. On

Graphite barrels can


be purchased through
your dealer.
the Barracuda rifle, a Weaver 6x
scope is perfect for casual shoot-
ing with any subcaliber gun.
While my supply of .17 Mach-2
ammunition is not as extensive
as it should be, I did manage to
run through samples from Hor-
nady and Remington. The results
were more than pleasing, and
when it came to .22 Long Rifle, I
gave the rifle a good run for its
money during and after formal
testing. Recoil was nonexistent,
and the barrel never heated up
during the range or “fun” ses-
sions later on.
For walking small game hunters,
these rifles are about as perfect
as you can get. Except for the
lack of sling swivels, on a scale
of 10, they all rate a perfect
9+! For more information, con-
tact Magnum Research, 7110 Uni-
versity Avenue NE, Minneapolis
MN 55432; or on the web at:
www.magnumresearch.com. R

November-December 2007 www.riflemagazine.com 43