Savage B Series Hardwood
There are a lot of great rimfires on the market today, but to me many are lacking panache—cheap synthetic stocks, poor balance and so forth. Savage’s new B Series Hardwood is a departure from those. Available in .17 HMR, .22 LR and .22 Mag., they sport walnut-stained hardwood stocks, and when you pick one up, it feels like a real rifle. The stocks are checkered and also feature some modern styling cues, and with the excellent Savage AccuTrigger and Savage’s legendary accurate barrels—a sporter, in this case—they’re sure to be shooters. I’ve got one in-bound for review, so stay tuned.
>> $439 (.22 LR), $459 (.17 HMR, .22 Mag.); SavageArms.com
Hornady .224 Valkyrie Match
The hot caliber du jour is the .224 Valkyrie, a hot rod tailor-made to handle long, heavy-for-caliber bullets. Case in point: Hornady’s new 88-grain .224 bullet designed just for the Val. An ELD Match bullet, it boasts ballistic coefficients of .545 (G1)/.274 (G7). The bullet features the company’s Heat Shield tip that prevents deformation due to friction, and the loaded Match ammo is built from specially selected cases and matched powder. Muzzle velocity is 2,675 fps, and the bullet is still traveling 1,920 fps at 500 yards—with a drop of 47.4 inches based on a 200-yard zero.
Shooting rimfire is fun. Shooting a suppressed rimfire is more fun. Plus it’s a great option for small game hunting
and varmint shooting where legal, because it spares your hearing but also makes you less obtrusive. The new Halcyon from AAC handles not only .22 Long Rifle but also .22 Mag. and .17 HMR. And it’s configurable in short (shown, 3.4 inches long, 4.5-ounce weight) and long (5.8 inches, 6.1 ounces), with the transformation taking only seconds and requiring no tools. The body is 17-4PH T6 stainless with a Cerakote finish, and the titanium baffles are indexed for easy reassembly after cleaning. The rear end-cap threads are interchangeable.
>> $449, advanced-armament.com
Burris RT-6 Close Quarter Kit
Burris is again shipping its popular RT-6, a competition and “fun tactical” optic 1-6X with a true 1X low end and built-in throw lever. But why stop there? If you’re really into either competition or “fun tactical,” you might as well go whole hog. The Close Quarter kit gives you not only the RT-6 but also a P.E.P.R. mount integrated with a FastFire 3 red dot sight. The latter allows you to roll the rifle and access the red dot for fast, close shots or unusual shooting positions, while the scope, with its Ballistic AR reticle, lets you engage targets accurately to 600 yards. And by going with the kit, you save money over buying each component separately.
>> $659, BurrisOptics.com
Speer Grand Slam
The first bullet I ever handloaded that claimed a game animal was a 160-grain 7mm Grand Slam load I worked up for my wife’s .280 Rem. She took a nice black bear with it in Montana, and it worked perfectly. So I was glad to see the Grand Slam come in for some renewed attention with the introduction of three new offerings in .243 (100 grains), .257 (120) and 6.5 (140). Grand Slams feature a tapered jacket and long nose, with internal jacket flutes for consistent expansion. The result is a tough bullet that expands like a champ and retains most of its weight.
>> $30 (.243, 6.5), $34 (.257), 50 count; speer-bullets.com