FNH Ballista Bolt Action Rifle

FNH Ballista Bolt Action Rifle

FNH Ballista

One of the finest looking rifles at SHOT SHOW 2012 I’ve seen so far has to be the FNH Ballista.  The Ballista is FNH’s submission to SOCOM’s PSR solicitation and lucky for us, they’ll be offering it on the civilian market as well.  There’s one common theme amongst all the new bolt action rifles I’ve seen at SHOT this year–modularity.  FNH’s new flag ship bolt action follows suit.

Using a few tools (stored on board) and losing a few bolts, an operator can change out the caliber of the new FNH Ballista in about 2-3 minutes and FNH claims that each barrel remains true to the receiver’s centerline.  The Ballista can be configured in 3 calibers:  338 Lapua Mag, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Winchester.  It has a fully adjustable trigger that can be set between 2 and 5 pounds.

FNH Ballista

FNH’s Ballista has a barrel length of 26 inches (with the .338 Lapua Magnum barrel installed), an overall length of 49 inches with the stock fully extended (47.75 collapsed), and the length when the stock is folded is only 37 inches.  It weighs 15.8 pounds with a fully loaded magazine.  The Ballista rifle system will retail around $8,000 and will come with all three caliber kits (I believe, inferring from the video below).  I got a chance to shoot the Ballista at the SHOT SHOW Media Day Range Event, and I have to say I completely loved the 5 or 6 rounds I got to send down range with it.  I tagged a 60″ steel plate at 900+ yards a couple of times, so needless to say I was happy.  Check the video below to see it.

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Sig Sauer P224

Sig Sauer P224

Sig P224 Banner

The concealed carry movement isn’t slowing down, and neither is SIG Sauer’s Exeter, NH plant–they’re pumping out a new concealed carry pistol for 2012, the SIG P224.  In a nutshell, Sig pretty much cut off an inch from the front and the grip of their P226; in fact, that’s exactly what they did to prototype the idea.  The result is a sub-compact pistol that’s in between the size of a P226 and a P290.

Sig P224 Stainless

Any SIG owner, or frequent shooter of SIG’s P226 or P229 will be instantly familiar with the operation and features of the SIG P224.  The P224 will accept newer P229 magazines which will allow owners to carry a full capacity magazine as a spare, which a lot of concealed carry practitioners like to do. Sig’s new sub-compact will also feature full size SIGLITE night sights and a Double-Action-Only trigger.  Other common features include an overall length of 6.7″, overall height of 4.5″, overall width of 1.3″, a 3.5″ barrel length, and it weighs 24.5 ounces.  The SIG SAUER P224 will be available in 9mm, .40, and .357 SIG.  Suggested retail of the P224 is between $1,100-$1,200 depending on the model.

SIG will be putting out 4 different versions of the P224:

  • The SIG Anti-Snag (SAS) model features a de-horned slide and frame, and the new
    ergonomically enhanced one-piece grip. SIGLITE Night Sights will be standard in the Nitron®
    coated slide. The short-reset trigger (SRT) will be available in the DA/SA version.
  • A Nickel model will sport a black hard coat anodize frame as a contrast to the nickel slide and
    controls. Custom Hogue® G-10 grips and SIGLITE Night Sights round out this package.
  • As part of the Extreme family of handguns, the P224 will feature the distinctive black and grey
    Hogue Piranha grips, SIGLITE Night Sights and the SRT (in the DA/SA version).
  • The P224 Equinox® features the same two-tone accented Nitron slide treatment as the rest of the
    popular Equinox series. A Tru-Glo® fiber optic front sight is paired with a SIGLITE Night Sight in
    the rear. Nickel controls and Hogue black diamondwood grips make the P224 Equinox as striking
    as it is reliable.

See the video below for a quick look at the P224 at SHOT SHOW, along with some footage of me shooting it at the Media Day Range.

 Sig P224 SAS

P224 Equinox

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New HK MR762A1 and HK45 Compact Tactical

New HK MR762A1 and HK45 Compact Tactical

HK45 Compact Tactical

Heckler & Koch has a few new products to offer us this year which they’re debuting at SHOT SHOW next week.  There’s nothing really ground breaking here, but nevertheless cool.  The two new German guns that will be available to us civilians are the MR762A1 and the HK45 Compact Tactical.

MR762A1 pics

If you were on the fence for buying the HK MR556A1 because you wanted it in a .308, well then the MR762A1 was what you were waiting for.  As the name suggests, its chambered in 7.62×51 (.308).  The MR762A1 is manufactured here in America but with German HK parts.  Basically, its a civilian version of HK’s HK417.  The MR762A1 shares a lot of features with its 5.56 predecessor such as HK’s buttstock, a gas piston system, and HK freefloating quad picatinny handguards.

One aspect of the MR762A1 that I found particularly interesting is that the barrel is “swagged” with a smaller internal diamter at the muzzle end than the chamber end–which according to HK has a positive effect on bullet accuracy and velocity.  There’s also a two-stage trigger set between 4.5 and 5.6 pounds.  The MR762A1 has a 16.5″ barrel with an overall rifle length of 36″ (39.5 with stock fully extended) and it weighs 9.94lbs empty.  Those wanting their 7.62 HK rifle over the 5.56 version will have to shell out $1,000 more–the HK MR762A1 has an MSRP price tag of $3,995.

HK45 compact tactical

HK’s other civilian offering is the HK 45 Compact Tactical.  The new HK45 Compact Tactical is a smaller version of the HK45 with a threaded barrel.  This new silencer friendly .45 has an 8 round while the V3 model will have a 10 round magazine–all HK45 magazines will work with the new HK45 Compact Tactical.  Other specs include a double-single action trigger set at approximately 4.5 lbs for the single action, and 11.45 lbs for the double; the HK45 Compact Tactical has a 4.5″ barrel and weighs 1.82 lbs empty and sports a picatinny rail for attaching a light or laser.  Price for the new HK45 Compact Tactical should be slightly above the 1k mark.

Now, lets tease you guys (and girls) with something that most of you will never shoot unless you enlist in Germany –check out the new HK G28 pictured below.  It’s HK’s new DMR (designated marksman rifle) for the German Army.  The G28 was based on the European HK MR308 civilian competition rifle (which is a variant of the MR762A1) but it has some notable enhancements.  The G28 has the new STANMAG 4694 NATO handguards which extend a bit further for attaching night vision devices in conjunction with a day scope.  It also has a chrome-lined cold-hammer forged barrel, a two-stage gas regulator, and a raised cheek piece.  The paint job is more than just for looks, it has a low IR observable finish, making it harder to see with NV goggles on.  No price, because you can’t buy it anyway, so just sit there and drool or join the German Army.

G28 Pics


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Remington Versa Max Tactical

Versa Max Tactical Pics

Remington is going to release their newest auto-loading semi-automatic shotgun, the Versamax, in a tactical flavor.  The Remington Versa Max uses a specially designed gas system with multiple ports which open and close depending on which type of shotshell load is in the chamber–this allows the shooter to load a variety of different ammunition; you can see how it functions here.  So having a tactical version will probably be a welcomed addition to those shooters who are not interested in the hunting variety of Versa Maxes currently available and are more geared towards the tactical side of shooting.

From the pic, it looks like all Remington really did was add on a magazine tube extension, a picatinny rail for mounting a flashlight similar to whats on the Remington 887, and the same tactical muzzle brake.   The barrel looks quite long for a tactical shotgun; it looks to be about 21″ with that muzzle brake. Personally, I would of like to see (and hope Remington adds on for a final release) is an 18″ barrel, or if they’re going to keep the longer length then add longer magazine tube, plus a picatinny rail up top for adding on small red dot sight, and some ghost ring sights.  A ported barrel would be a nice addition as well (Vang Comp anyone?).  No word on price but if I was forced to speculate, I would have to put the price around $1500-1600 (about 200 more than a versamax synthetic, which would put it in the high end range of the Benelli M3, M4 area.  If it can cycle any load I put through in it, the Versa Max tactical may just be worth it.

Versamax Tactical Review

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