Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Remington Butches Up; Wilson Gets His Bolt On

As my cherubs and seraphim mentioned last week, Remington seems to be taking a more military posture with their nameplate on the ACR, previously the Masada. To that they've added the the Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR), their next-gen answer to the venerable M24 sniper system. Here's the Remington blurb: 
Designed for operators, by operators. The new Remington® Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR™) combines lethal accuracy at 1500 meters with a user adjustable folding stock, free-float handguard, and the potential to change barrel lengths and calibers within minutes at the user level from .338 Lapua Magnum to .338 Norma Magnum to .300 Winchester Magnum to 7.62mm NATO. This patent-pending system addresses long range and medium range performance needs of the modern battlefield in one package loaded with features designed to meet multiple emerging US armed forces requirements. The system features lightweight, efficient design and optimal material selection for corrosion resistance and strength. The MSR is mission-adaptable and can change the bolt face, barrel, and magazine to enable a smaller profile or different caliber. This system truly never has to leave the battlefield.
The Firearms Blog has a more comprehensive report. I also got a note last week from Bill Wilson that he's offering a Wilson Combat version of the FNH Patrol Rifle. You guys know how highly I think of the FNH bolt experience with several of them — essentially pre-'64 Winchester actions updated to the 21st Century — has been just excellent. The FNH Special Police Rifle .308 in the FBI configuration I shot several years ago up in Virginia was probably the best out-of-the-box rifle I've ever shot.

At $2000, the Wilson version is pretty affordable when you look at precision rifle prices these days. I would imagine it's everything one expects from a firearm with the Wilson nameplate on it!

I'm also getting one of the single stage drop-in AR triggers from Wilson for my old J&T Distributing CAR15 clone we built on the very first season of SHOOTING GALLERY, back in the Bad Old Days of the Clinton AWB. After much agonizing I decided I just didn't have the extra bucks for the FNH FS2000 bullpup, as much as I had come to like the little gun (plus, the Ruger SR556 will be a keeper for sure). I still wanted an AR platform gun to fill the "car gun" role — no tricky stuff...durable...small...something I could abuse, bounce around and not feel bad about it. In my small collection of ARs, the J&T gun fit the bill perfectly, except that the trigger has been too dinked by a friend of mine to be reliable. I figured that'd give me a chance to give the Wilson drop-in a try.

It cracks me up that Bill got so many request after his recent television appearances that Wilson Combat now catalogs "Bill's Carry Gun." Hey, it was a very nice pistol, and it shot like a dream!

In industry news, as I predicted after the NRA Show, sales on guns have peaked and are slowing. Smart Money quotes Barron's that the superheated gun market may be headed back to some level of normal: 
When the Democrats swept into Washington in November, gun fanciers scrambled for 15-round pistols and tactical rifles equipped with grenade launchers, flash suppressors and bayonets -- in fear the new administration would reinstate a ban on the sale of such weapons. Gun makers Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC: 5.22*, -0.20, -3.69%) and Sturm, Ruger (RGR: 11.68*, +0.12, +1.03%) have shown great sales gains the past couple of quarters. Their stocks have shot up as much as fourfold. But now the gun industry's leading indicator -- the Federal Bureau of Investigation's monthly count of the instant background checks it runs for gun dealers -- is settling back toward pre-election levels. While November background checks were 42% above the year-earlier level, last month's were up just 15%.
Can't believe I mssed out on the "grenade launchers" and "bayonets." Freaking idiots...

I also said the cooling of the market was dependent on Knee-Pad Barry and his crew of stooges and thugs not making another move against us, which will inevitably trigger another gun run. I'd say in a month or so make sure you have what you need...magazines, spare parts, maybe another upper for your AR.

There are a few bright spots on ammo. There seems to be a lot of 5.56/.223 around right now, at reasonable prices, $300-$400 per K. Nine mil is coming into the pipeline, too, but the prices are still badly inflated. It seems to me that .22LR is lagging a bit behind, with mostly target variants available. I've been shooting a lot of the Aguila blue box low-end target stuff (they have several more expensive target variations) I got a good deal on from Midway USA a few weeks ago, and I've been very happy with it.

Primers...fuggetaboutit, at least for the time being. I found Federal Small Pistol Magnum, but only 3K. Strongly suggest you sign up for Midway USA's email alerts, then buy the primers when the email comes in. I got an alert on large pistol primers, which I haven't seen in a coon's age, last week, but I was away from my computer. By the time I signed in 3 hours after the alert arrived, they were all gone.


Bill Rushmore said...

No wonder I can't find any "tactical rifles equipped with grenade launchers". Those dang hoarders! Leave some for the rest of us!

Flash Powder Hal said...

I've had pistol primers on Midway's Email-Alerts for 6 months.
I've moved on it within' minutes of their notice and they're are ALWAYS "Out of Stock" each time!

Waste of time IMHO. I'm waiting on Cabelas, simple Backorder.

Anonymous said...

I still think ammo shortages are dragging down gun sales.

Why spend a grand on a gun when you can't get ammo.

I don't expect the it to maintain current cazy levels but as long a Obama is in office sales will be up.

Anonymous said...

Massada, ACR, blah blah blah

when the hell are these people going to finally ship some of these rifles, I have heard they are coming for 3 years

Anonymous said...

"Massada, ACR, blah blah blah

when the hell are these people going to finally ship some of these rifles, I have heard they are coming for 3 years"

When they are ready. Don't want to wait? Buy something else.

Jason said...

I haven't had a bolt gun since I sold my GA Precision Rock Rifle. I think I NEED one of those MSRs with a full compliment of barrels, bolts and mags...

Mike W. said...

Defensive ammo is still damn hard to find too at anything approaching reasonable prices.