By Richard Mann
Retailers are anticipating an interesting and challenging year ahead in 2017. But they won’t lack for new firearms, as well as old favorites with a bevy of updated and sure-to-be popular features, to keep their customers coming back to the counter.
The tale of the tape with regard to rifles in 2017 has more to do with a single cartridge. The 6.5 Creedmoor seems to have taken the rifle world by storm, and more and more rifles are now available for that cartridge. However, that’s not the only news. Although new MSR rifles do not dominate this year, a major manufacturer has entered that playing field. You should find plenty new to like in the rifle world for 2017, with new rimfire offerings and new youth offerings, as well as plenty of threaded muzzles.
The Barrett Lightweight rifle is a bolt-action designed to be carried far on long days in the field and perform like a Barrett at critical moments. The stock is crafted from carbon fiber to provide an ultralight yet stiff platform. The actions are scaled for their specific caliber, and precision barrels are contoured for their application. There’s nothing one-size-fits-all about this rifle. SRP: $1,799. (barrett.net)
The B14 Series BMP (Bergara Match Precision) Chassis Rifle is new from the ground up. The main chassis is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum and incorporates QD-swivel attachments and Magpul M-LOK slots. The incredibly smooth B14 action and barrel incorporate a barrel nut that allows shooters to replace or change barrels, and the magazine well is contoured so it can be used as a support brace. With a near-vertical AR-style grip, the BMP is very comfortable and allows for ambidextrous use. It’s available in .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor, with threaded #5 contour barrels. This rifle has a sub-MOA guarantee and weighs 9.5 pounds. SRP: $1,699. (bergarausa.com)
John M. Browning designed the original Browning Automatic Rifle, which was commissioned by the U.S. Army, in three months, and variants of the classic design served with distinction from World War I until the Vietnam War. For 2017, Browning will commemorate 100 years of the BAR by offering a special semi-auto sporting version—the BAR Safari 100th Anniversary model. It will feature a steel receiver with special engravings of military and hunting scenes highlighted in gold finish. The stock is Grade V Turkish walnut in oil finish, and production is limited to 100 rifles in .30/06 with a 22-inch barrel. SRP: $2,699.99.
A new BAR MK 3 DBM semi-auto featuring a matte-black finish, an 18-inch barrel, a black composite stock and forearm, a 10-round detachable box magazine, integrated Picatinny scope mounts, a front sling swivel stud, and two QD-sling-swivel cups is also available for 2017. Available in .308 Win. SRP: $1,469.99.
Browning’s new X-Bolt Medallion Safari Grade bolt-action rifle features a deep-polished blued and fluted heavy sporter barrel, with gold-accented engraving and receiver engraving in a polished blued finish. The stock is a gloss-finished, checkered, grade IV/V walnut, with a rosewood forend and pistol grip caps. It’s available in short-action calibers, including the 6.5 Creedmoor, and other chamberings up to .375 H&H. SRP: $1,869 to $1,899.99.
Also new in the X-Bolt lineup is the Hell’s Canyon Long Range model, which features a Cerakote burnt-bronze finish on all exposed metal surfaces. The heavy sporter contour barrel is fluted. The composite stock has textured gripping surfaces and a palm swell, and is finished in A-TACS AU Camo, with Dura-Touch Armor Coating. Available in seven popular calibers. SRP: $1,229.99 to $1,299.99.
Browning’s AB3 bolt-action rifle will now be offered in a Micro Stalker del that features a black composite stock with a 13-inch length of pull for smaller-stature shooters. The new AB3 Micro Stalker has features found on Browning’s latest value-priced bolt-action design, including a 60-degree bolt lift, a detachable magazine, an Inflex recoil pad, a bolt-lock override button, and a free-floating barrel. SRP: $599.99. (browning.com)
The new Minimalist SD Carbine from Bushmaster has an AAC Square Drop Handguard that’s compatible with Key Mod accessories, a lightweight FNC 1:8 twist barrel, and a mil-spec Mission First Tactical Minimalist stock and pistol grip. An ALG Defense trigger and an AAC 51 T flash hider/silencer mount are standard. It is available in 5.56 NATO or 300 Blackout. SRP: $1,169.
The ACR Designated Marksman has a midweight FNC 1:8 twist barrel, allows for tool-less barrel change, and comes with a high-reliability piston system. It also has a PRS-style buttstock, a Geissele two-stage trigger, and an AAC 51 T flash hider/silencer mount. Extra barrels in 18.5, 16, 14.5, or 10.5 inches are available for $585 (per barrel). SRP: $2,569. (bushmaster.com)
The MkW ANVIL XBE, an all-new mid-sized AR-rifle platform from CMMG, is chambered in .458 SOCOM. The most defining feature of the new MkW ANVIL is that the rifle utilizes CMMG’s unique Powerbolt design, which allows the rifle to use a modified AR10-sized bolt for increased durability. The rifle is also built on an AR10-sized frame, with the upper receiver shortened by ¾ inch to minimize weight and increase ergonomics. It comes with a 1:14 twist 16-inch barrel, a billet upper and lower receiver, and a single-stage mil-spec trigger, and weighs 7.5 pounds. SRP: $1,849.95. The MkW ANVIL XBE2 is similar to the XBE, but it comes with a Geissele SSA two-stage trigger, a Magpul MOE pistol grip, and a CTR carbine stock, with a six-position receiver extension. SRP: $2,149.95. (cmmginc.com)
The ever-evolving needs of military forces led to the further development of the Bren platform. Whereas the 805 was built to a specific set of predetermined requirements, the Bren 2 took years of input and data from use in the worldwide war on terror and put it all together in a smaller, lighter package. A shorter gas system allows for barrel lengths down to 8 inches, with settings for normal use, suppressed use, and adverse conditions. The aluminum receiver is shorter and thinner, shaving weight from the rifle. The Bren 2 is currently available only for military/LE special order.
CZ’s first stainless rimfire, the 455 American Stainless Synthetic, is meant to be a hardy, long-lived rifle that can be passed down through the generations. With the same swappable barrel system as all of CZ’s 455 rifles, both barrel and action are finished in a matte bead blast. Barrel length is 20.5 inches, and the bolt and bolt handle are finished in black nitride. Available in .22 LR, .17 HMR, and .22 Magnum. SRP: $434 to $451.
Famous for its use in rimfire competition, the 455 Training Rifle Rustic shares all the same popular features of its 452 predecessor—a 24.8-inch barrel, a tangent rear sight, and a beechwood stock with a Schnabel forend. The biggest difference is the ability to swap the barrel and/or stock—a trait of all CZ 455s. An ideal rifle for introducing youth to the shooting sports, the Training Rifle is shipped with a 5-round magazine, but single-shot adapters and 10-round magazines are available. In .22 LR only. SRP: $399.
Built to be an ideal first gun for young shooters, the .22LR Scout has a 12-inch length of pull. With its simple leaf rear and blade front sights, learning the basics of sight picture has never been easier. The 11mm dovetails on the receiver make adding a scope a breeze. The muzzle is threaded 1/2×28, allowing for suppressor-hearing-safe shooting without the need for muffs or plugs. Shipped with a single-shot adapter to teach ammo conservation, any of the 455’s magazines will fit. SRP: $339.
The suppressor-ready CZ 527 is handy and equally happy shooting steel or taking down hogs. Chambered in 300 Blackout or 7.62×39, it’s got enough knockdown power for most medium game at shorter ranges. Using flush-bottom metal, it ships with extended 5-round magazines, but it can work with factory flush mags as well. SRP: $748.
Built on the incredibly precise 557 short-action, the new Varmint model adds a stout 25.6-inch barrel in a heavy profile that tapers to a 0.863-inch muzzle. Anchored in a newly designed walnut stock, it has a healthy palm swell, laser-cut stippling, and a flat forend. With ergonomics as the guiding principle, the result is an incredibly comfortable rifle to get behind, whether you’re punching paper, ringing steel, or knocking off prairie dogs. New for 2017 is the addition of .243 Win. to the available chamberings. SRP: $865. (cz-usa.com)
The FN M249S is a semi-auto version of the M249 SAW light machine gun, which was originally developed by FN Herstal as the FN MINIMI and adopted by the U.S. military in 1988. The rifle features the signature 18.5-inch FN cold-hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel, and operates from a closed-bolt position. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the rifle will accept a magazine or a linked ammunition belt and offers a 4- to 6.5-pound trigger. The rifle weighs 16 pounds, is 40.7 inches long, and has an 18.5-inch barrel. SRP: $8,799 to $9,499.
The FN 15 DMR II has been reengineered for enhanced performance and features the all-new FN proprietary rail system with M-LOK, which provides extreme rigidity and less deflection, ensuring that all mounted accessories remain affixed without shift. Like its predecessor, the rifle offers an 18-inch match-grade cold-hammer-forged barrel with a 1:7 twist, a Surefire Pro Comp muzzle device, and an upgraded mil-spec lower with a Timney trigger and Magpul MOE grip and buttstock. SRP: $1,999.
The FN 15 Tactical Carbine chambered for the popular 300 AAC Blackout is duty-ready straight out of the box. Equipped with the new FN proprietary rail system, the carbine provides exceptional strength and durability, and offers a stronger, more rigid platform for accessories and optics. In addition, the FN 15 Tactical Carbine 300 BLK II, like its rifle and carbine siblings, features a 16-inch alloy-steel cold-hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrel, a carbine-length gas system, a low-profile gas block, a Surefire ProComp muzzle brake, and Magpul MOE furniture. SRP: $1,599. (fnamerica.com)
The Kuiu Vias and Verde rifles from Howa are built on the legendary 1500 action and are available in the most popular chamberings, with a 20-inch lightweight, 22-inch standard, or 24-inch magnum contour barrel. All metalwork is finished in a gunmetal-gray Cerakote finish, and the barreled action is pillar-bedded in a Hogue Overmold stock. Other features include a two-stage HACT trigger, a three-position safety, and sling swivel studs. SRP: $782 to $811.
The Lithgow Arms LA101 Crossover rimfire rifle comes in .22 LR, .17 HRM, and .22 Magnum, and features a Cerakote titanium-colored finish, a cold-forged barrel, a threaded barrel, and an adjustable length of pull. SRP: $1,079. (legacysports.com)
For 2017, Marlin has announced the return of one of its most popular rifles, the 1894 Cowboy. Available in .357, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt, these 100 percent American-made rifles feature a straight grip American black walnut stock, a receiver and bolt machined from solid steel, a polished 20-inch octagonal barrel, and Marble sights. SRP: $1,041. The standard 1894 with a round barrel is also available for $789.
To further celebrate the reintroduction of the 1894, Marlin is offering a limited-edition version in .45 Colt with B-grade American black walnut stock, highly polished metalwork, and an engraved gold-inlaid receiver. SRP: $1,349. Another lever-action that has been missing from the Marlin line for some time is the 444. Chambered for the .444 Marlin and built on the 1895 action, this rifle has an American black walnut pistol grip stock, 22-inch round barrel, and Marble sights. SRP: $789. (marlinfirearms.com)
Mossberg has added two new MMRs to its line. The Tactical Optics Ready MMR is offered with or without a Vortex StrikeFire II red/green-dot sight. This is an optics-ready AR15 that is shipped without open sights. It has a six-position stock, a forward-assist M-Lok handguard, a 1:8 twist barrel, and the new Mossberg JM Pro drop-in 4-pound trigger. SRP: $1,253 to $1,399. The other new MMR from Mossberg is the MMR PRO. This rifle is similar to the optics-ready MMR but comes with an 18-inch, 1:8 twist 416 stainless barrel with a Silencerco ASR muzzle brake. SRP: $1,393.
Mossberg has several additions to the Patriot line. First is the Patriot Predator, which comes in a synthetic, flat dark earth stock with a 22-inch barrel and threaded muzzle. It is available in .223, .243, .308, and 6.5 Creedmoor. SRP: $441. Two additional Patriots are available in .223: the Patriot Synthetic and Super Bantam. Both retail for $396. For those who love the value and performance of the Mossberg Patriot, but would like a higher-end, dressed-up version, Mossberg is offering a Patriot Revere with high-grade walnut stock, rosewood grip, and forend caps, and an upgraded blue finish. (mossberg.com)
Four new bolt-action rifles of note are available from Remington for 2017. The new 700 Magpul is a perfect cross between a hunting platform and a tactical platform, as its adjustability in the comb and length of pull allow for a perfect fit. In addition, the 22-inch heavy barrel is threaded for the addition of a silencer or other muzzle device. Another welcome feature is the detachable magazine. It’s available in .308 Win. and .260 Rem. SRP: $1,175. Continuing a 12-year-long run of CDL SF Limited rifles chambered in classic cartridges, this year you will see the rifle in .300 Weatherby Magnum. SRP: $1,225.
Remington’s 700 AWR (American Wilderness Rifle) is a big-game rifle built for durability and accuracy. From the stainless-steel-barreled action and a durable Cerakote coating to the 5R rifling and a durable and rigid stock, this rifle is one that can weather the elements. It replaces the XCRII line of 700s and is available in .270, .30/06, 7mm Magnum, and .300 Magnum. SRP: $1,150. An addition to Remington’s popular and affordable 783 line is a new rifle with a walnut stock. It will be available in .308, .270, .30/06, and 7mm Magnum. SRP: $499. (remington.com)
The new 10-22 Takedown Lite from Ruger features a cold-hammer-forged barrel tensioned in an aluminum-alloy barrel sleeve. It has a threaded muzzle and is fitted with a thread cap. Easy takedown enables quick separation of the barrel from the action for ease of transportation and storage. It also has the Ruger Modular Stock System with a low comb and standard length of pull, but it ships with an additional high-comb standard length-of-pull stock module. SRP: $659. (ruger.com)
Savage has big news for 2017 with the introduction of several MSR rifles. The new MSR 15 Patrol and MSR 15 Recon redefine the category, with the kind of tack-driving accuracy and seamless performance you’d expect from a Savage. Both have button-rifled 16-inch barrels with 5R rifling, a long-lasting Melonite QPQ finish, and Savage’s trademark zero-tolerance headspace control. These rifles also feature the proven .223 Wylde target chambering and a standard gas system. SRP: $849, MSR 15 Patrol; $999, MSR 15 Recon.
But Savage did not stop with the AR15 platform. The new MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range address some longstanding shortcomings of MSRs designed for larger cartridges. Both feature a compact AR10 design that feels and handles more like an AR15, and both utilize custom-forged uppers and lowers for a look unlike anything afield or on the range. Available chamberings include the .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor. The Hunter has a 16- to 18-inch barrel, and the Long Range has a 20- or 22-inch barrel. SRP: $1,399, MSR 10 Hunter; $2,199, MSR 10 Long Range.
Savage line extensions include a purple version of the popular, youth-oriented Rascal rifle. SRP: $191. Also, stealing the modern and attractive looks of the Savage A17, Savage has added a .22 LR to the A series. SRP: $281. The B Series of rimfires is also getting a boost with the introduction of the B17, B22, and B22 Magnum bolt-action rimfire rifles. They feature a new ergonomically designed stock with a higher comb, a top-tang safety, and target-style and vertical pistol grips. All in all, the B Series includes a dozen new models in configurations that include heavy and suppressor-ready barrels. All B Series rifles feature a 10-round rotary magazine and the AccuTrigger. SRP: $281 to $413. (savagearms.com)
The 1886 Lever action Sporting comes in .45/70 with a 26-inch barrel, a color-case receiver, an octagonal match barrel, a walnut stock, and fully adjustable sights. SRP: $1,879. The other is the 1886 Lever Action Hunter Lite. It is also available in .45/70, but with a 22-inch, round, match-grade barrel and half-length magazine. SRP: $1,829. (uberti.com)
The heart of the Vanguard Adaptive Composite (VAC) is the renowned Vanguard action. It is affixed to a composite target stock that features the Speedlock system, a quick-and-easy locking system for adjusting both length of pull and comb height. The full and lowered forend offers an improved grip for shooting while standing, as well as a stud to which a bipod or a sling can be attached. Available with a threaded 20-inch #3 contour barrel, the VAC is chambered for the .223 Rem., 6.5 Creedmoor, or the .308 Win. SRP: $1,269. (weatherby.com)
Winchester Repeating Arms
The legendary Model 1866 lever-action is now available in a Grade I Short Rifle. The receiver, crescent buttplate, and forearm cap are brass with a bright finish. Stock and forearm are Grade I American black walnut. A folding ladder rear sight and Marble Arms gold bead front sight are standard. Available in
.44—40 Win. and .38 Special. SRP: $1,299.99.
The XPR Hunter Mountain Country Range bolt-action features a polymer stock in Mossy Oak Mountain Country Range camo. Other features include an MOA trigger system, Perma-Cote matte-blued metal surfaces, a detachable box magazine, a steel recoil lug, a two-position thumb safety, and an Inflex Technology Recoil Pad. Available in all popular cartridges, from .243 to .338 Win. Mag. SRP: $599.99.
Two new XPR Hunter Compact models are also being offered. The XPR Hunter Compact features a 13-inch length of pull. It will be offered for all popular short-action cartridges from .243 Win to .325 WSM. SRP: $549.99. The XPR Hunter Compact Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo version has a suggested retail of $599.99.