SHOT Show 2014 is well in progress. We are wandering about checking out the latest and greatest in the precision rifle industry.
American Snipers was on hand with a full table of awesome swag. Not only do they produce some cool challenge coins, patches and logo gear, but all proceeds from this non-profit go directly to supporting professional Snipers in the field.
Accuracy International had several new rifles on display to include an updated AX308. The new AX308 comes equipped with the right folding, fully adjustable buttstock from the AI PSR rifle. Also borrowed from the PSR is the quick change barrel system. Now the end-user can swap barrels from .308 to .260, 6.5CM, etc. without he need for a barrel vise or action wrench.
Earlier in the year Accuracy International (AI) announced the end of production for the AE MkIII. The AE has held a place as AI’s most affordable rifle system while still offering the accuracy and reliability of the AW. This year AI unveiled the AT. The AT carries over the outline of the AE MkIII, but with some much needed advancements. The most noticeable improvement is the new receiver shape. The AT receiver looks very much like the AX in profile. Gone is the round shape of the old AE. The bolt and shroud is the same as that found on the AX including the six lug bold head. This is an upgrade from the three lug bolt on the AE series. The AT accepts the AW ten round magazine and also uses the same quick change barrel system as the AX. The action is now bonded to the chassis as with the other AI rifles. The barrel can now be changed without removing the skins or pulling the action from the chassis. The starting price for the AT fixed stock will be $3550. The folding version should be just $400 more. Units will be heading to distributors in February.
Desert Tech unveiled a couple of new products this year. The most excitement surrounded the MDR or Micro Dynamic Rifle. This semi-auto bull pup is a departure from Desert Tech’s previous bolt action designs. The models on display were rapid prototypes, but they design was very interesting. The controls are familiar to anyone used to the AR system. The bullpup ergonomics make swinging a full 16″ rifle as easy as a 10.5″ AR15. The MDR features a quick change barrel system that covers a range of calibers in the “short action” envelope. Planned calibers will be 5.56 and 7.62 NATO, .300 Blk and 7.62x39mm. Desert Tech expects to start producing the rifle in 2015. While the models on display were more along the lines of CQB rifles, precision versions are a possibility and in keeping with Desert Tech’s core product line, the SRS.
SilencerCo had their new Harvester suppressor on display. This new can actually has a brake machined into the muzzle end of the suppressor. SilencerCo explained that the brake further assists in recoil reduction with only a slight increase in noise over a plain end cap.
Kinetic Research Group had their new X-Ray Chassis on display. The X-Ray is a lower cost alternative to the popular Whiskey-3 Chassis (W3C). The X-Ray uses the same aluminum backbone and V-Bedding system as the W3C. The grip section is also the same as the W3C. The buttstock and forearm are lightweight polymer. This gives the X-Ray a significant weight savings over the W3C. The forend offers numerous mounting points for rails and other accessories. The polymer buttstock is still fully adjustable, but utilizes spacers for the length of pull as opposed to the W3C’s cam lever adjustment. The X-Ray offers a great lightweight, lower cost option for shooters who like the ergonomics of the original Whiskey-3 Chassis.
The KRG Whiskey-3 also saw several upgrades. The aluminum forend has been lightened up and the buttstock has been redesigned. The buttstock now offers more room for the support hand. The length of pull adjustment now uses one cam lever as opposed to the previously chassis two levers. The adjustable cheek piece is now reversible with two different profiles to mats individual face shapes. The W3C is still available in folding and fixed versions for Remingon, Sako and Tikka rifles.