Even more fun today at the renowned PASA Park facility in Illinois. Today’s highlights included some excellent rimfires and ARs.
Ruger 77 .17 Hornet
Most anticipated cartridge. Ever since Hornady announced this round late last year, I've been dying to try it. And I wasn't disappointed. Laser-flat, no recoil, just a real joy to shoot. My opportunity came in a preproduction Ruger Model 77 Target, which feeds the round from a 6-shot rotary mag. This sample had a brown laminate, but production guns will feature a green laminate. The rifle has a heavy 24-inch barrel and recoil with the .17 Hornet is nonexistent.Beretta ARX 160
Most surprising intro. Okay, so Beretta has a semiauto centerfire floating around, a 5.56 individual carbine we may or may not ever see as a civilian-model rifle. However, at some point we will get to see the ARX 160, a .22 Long Rifle semiauto whose ejection can be changed to accommodate lefties or righties.Ruger 10/22 Takedown
Most likely to succeed. Ruger is going to sell a bajillion of the takedown version of its ubiquitous 10/22â€”to collectors, hunters, hikers/campers, preppers, plinkers. And for under $500 (including a backpack-style case) with a weight of less than 5 pounds, why the hell not?Ruger 10/22 Takedown apart
When Ruger's engineers set out to develop the takedown, which disassembles by pulling a lever in the fore-end and giving the fore-end/barrel assembly a twist, the sales guys insisted that the gun return to zero. Engineers initially said, well, no, that can't be done. And then they figured it out. You can assemble and reassemble and the gun's zero will essentially be right where you left it.Ruger 10/22 Takedown receiver
A look at the receiver interface. The design of the Takedown will permit aftermarket barrels but not triggers, bolt releases and other fire-control parts.Ruger 10/22 Takedown barrel
A closeup of the fore-end/barrel assembly and the takedown lever. Ruger's Mark Gurney says return to zero will improve by cycling the action a few times after the gun is reassembled.Rock River LAR-15 PRK Ehide
Most impressive AR. New from Rock River is the LAR-15 Hunter PRK Ehide, a .223 with low-profile gas block, half quad free-float mid-length handguard, Hogue rubber grip, Operator CAR adjustable stock. Interesting details in next photo, but I really enjoyed shooting this one. Great balance, good recoil control thanks to the Tactical Brake, and I'm a big fan of the two-stage trigger. Suggested retail $1,480.Rock River LAR-15 PRK Ehide closeup
Take a close look at the finish and then read a portion of the model designation again: PRK Ehide. As in, "porky hide." This camo pattern is an actual representation of a wild boar hide, and the pattern is computer-programmed into the anodizing process. Cool!Rock River LAR-47 series
Best Russian adaptation. "We're a gun company, not a magazine company," they told us, referring to the fact that the 7.62x39 and the AK-style magazine don't gel with the AR platform. So rather than endlessly fussing with making AK mags work, Rock River redesigned an AR platform that happily accepts AK mags. So you get AR controls (sans bolt hold-back) in a 7.62x39 platform and AK mags. And it's a sweet shooter. Two rifles in the series, $1,200-$1,475.Rock River Lef-T
Most thoughtful design. There have been few, very few, AR options for our left-handed friends. Rock River rides to their rescue with the LAR-15LH Lef-T. They didn't just move the ejection port and slap on some ambi controls; they actually employed a left-hand rifling twist so the rifle will torque correctly for a left-handed shooter. Impressive, and just $1,050 suggested retail.