With the price of centerfire cartridges so high lately, and availability even more difficult, what shooter wouldn'™t welcome a super-charged rimfire caliber? Winchester Ammunition and Savage Arms (recently acquired by ATK, by the way) teamed up to produce a rifle that can chamber the brand new 17 Win Super Mag.
This speedster is a .27-caliber cartridge necked down for a 20- and 25-grain .17 caliber bullet. The 20-grain flies at 3,000 fps while 25-grain charges down the range at 2,800 fps. I was most interested in accuracy down range, so while I was out West, I took the Savage B-Mag out to pop varmints. A fresh wind blew from left to right. With a cattle fence post as a rest, I lined up on a prairie dog at 300 yards through a Bushnell Legend HD scope. I put the target at the top of the lower reticle post and slightly to the left of center, clicked off the safety and put my finger on the Accu-Trigger blade. I could see exactly where the bullet hit because of the light recoil and lack of muzzle jump from the 17. It gave the p-dog a scare by hitting just left, and probably shaved off a few whiskers. I adjusted to the right and send another 20-grain bullet down range. Impact was just to the right. In another shot or two, never was I more than a couple of inches from the p-dog, and then the bullet hit him solid. A whoop went up from a friend behind the glass. 'œYou got him!' The B-Mag and 17 Win Super Mag surprised me with its accuracy and energy.
Check out this in-depth review on Shooting Times
WINCHESTER SXP FIELD MODEL
Winchester'™s Super X line continues to be successful and variations keep coming. This year they introduced the Super X Pump shotgun bargain in the 3-inch Field Model. Like the autoloader, this is a fast gun. Winchester claims it'™ll deliver three shots in a half second. That'™s plenty fast for anyone in the field. You might think you'™d get a synthetic stock at this price, but the SXP has a hardwood stock and forearm in satin finish with traditional checkering. 26- and 28-inch barrels.
REMINGTON MODEL 783
Remington bills their Model 783 bolt-action centerfire as 'œall new.' But tradition is strong at Big Green, and that can be a good thing. This rifle, for example, has a carbon steel button-rifled barrel that comes in 22-inches for regular actions and 24 inches for magnums. That'™s just like the original Model 700 in 1962. But just about everything else truly is new in this affordable deer slayer. The 783 has a new trigger system called CrossFire. It'™s user-adjustable from 5 to 2 1/2 pounds. There is a steel detachable magazine with a steel latch. Standard calibers have a four-round capacity while magnums hold three. And, like the VersaMax, the 783 has a SuperCell recoil pad.
BROWNING A-Bolt 3
Speaking of saving money, Browning'™s AB3 is built on the idea that hunters are looking for more features for less money. This gun is the next generation A-Bolt, yet it has more features then AB2 and costs a good $300 less! The AB3 has a great addition: a bolt unlock button that lets you unload the firearm while leaving the safety on. New in 2013 is the composite stock, which really keeps the price down. The barrel is free-floated with a target crown. Offered in four calibers.
STOEGER UPLANDER LONGFOWLER
The Stoeger Uplander double shotguns are meant to look and feel like more expensive British bird guns. This year they expanded the line with one heck of a classic: the Longfowler. It has all the features of the rest of the line, but has a 30-inch barrel for really reaching out to the edge of the decoys. Total length is 46 inches. Available in 12- and 20-gauge. A-grade stock. Still, the old-timey-looking gun has screw-in chokes. That'™s a nice touch of modernity.
MOSSBERG RECOIL REDUCTION SYSTEM
This isn'™t a new gun, per se. But it is an interesting addition to the popular Mossberg line of 500s and other models. Mossberg and bow-maker Mathews partnered to develop a new Recoil Reduction System featured on seven new Mossberg pump-action shotguns. Stock design incorporates Mathews Harmonic Damper Technology, used on Mathews compound bows, and a new recoil pad to reduce felt recoil by 20 percent, says Mossberg. Available on various 12-gauge waterfowl, deer and turkey guns (deer-turkey combo shown).