Regardless of your age or level of shooting experience, everyone loves a .22. The Browning T-Bolt Speed .22 LR is a fun and attractive .22 that features a Burnt Bronze Cerakote finish on the barrel and receiver, a camouflage stock and the iconic gold trigger. The T-Bolt isn't new, Eric says it was in production from 1965 to 1974 and was quite popular and is now back. The T-Bolt itself gets its name from the "T" shape that is formed by the unusual locking lug that sits perpendicular to the body. The cool thing about the T-Bolt is the easy opening and cock-on-close action that has been designed and executed so well, Eric says. The Double-Helix magazine design is clever, he notes. It holds 10 rounds, has a torsion drive spring and an interlocking gear. Plus, it has a plastic transparent case for easy visual confirmation of how many rounds are in the magazine at any given time, and an extra magazine can be stored in the buttstock.
Another great .22 caliber option is the Savage B22 Magnum G. Eric says this rifle is aimed at target shooters, those that like to be able to make small groups on paper and don't mind shooting bullseye targets. It looks like the classic bolt gun, complete with a nice wood stock, but also has modern features and styling. The Magnum G has a higher comb, Eric explains, that is intended for mounting a scope so you won't have to struggle with iron sights. Shooters of any age can appreciate this rifle, and those with aging eyes can really get a lot of enjoyment out of it. While it may be a budget friendly rifle, Eric stresses that price point doesn't mean compromise. Savage is a great brand with a great reputation.
If you are a Guns & Ammo magazine reader, you already know that the Browning X-Bolt Long Range Hunter was awarded the title of 2019 Guns & Ammo rifle of the year. It's a great all around rifle that can do a lot more than the name suggests, Eric says. The Guns & Ammo team evaluated the X-Bolt Long Range Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor, but it's also available in several other cartridge offerings like 6.5 PRC, 308 Win, 270 Win, 30-06 Spfld, 7mm Rem Mag, and 300 Win Mag. These capable calibers can really extend and redefine your effective range and the definition of long range hunting altogether. This rifle is really great for western hunters, Eric says. Out west you don't have a great density of trees in the wilderness, you've got a lot more opportunities for shots at greater distances and when you are glassing for game like antelope, mule deer and more they don't always let you get super close. If you don't have the stalking skill set to close the distance or even the opportunity to do so without spooking the game you are pursuing, these various cartridges can offer that longer range capability.
The X-Bolt Long Range Hunter has a matte-blue finish and a classic walnut stock with an adjustable comb. Eric talks about stocks and the difference between wood versus synthetic options noting that when it comes to overall weight and forgiveness as it relates to wear and tear, synthetic stocks definitely have some advantages. However, he loves wood stocks and wonders about the availability and affordability of wood stocks moving forward. Walnut trees are harvested at such a rate that the planting and maturing of new trees simply can't keep up. Over time, wood stocks could become expensive and prohibitive and that nostalgic, classic gun stock may begin to become more rare. As for the adjustable stock feature, Eric says he is a believer. People are starting to realize that not all shooters are the same, people are different and so trying to get the pupil of the eye exactly centered behind the scope isn't going to be a one size fits all kind of fit. The only way to actually achieve that is to adjust the comb to your own individual bone structure on your face and that will help position your head properly and lead to increased accuracy.
The Hornady 6mm ARC was first developed for the military and was then adopted by the military before it came out commercially. This makes only the 2nd time that the military has adopted a cartridge before it was already a commercial success.
The 6mm ARC is founded on a 6.5 Grendel case that has been necked down from 6.5mm to 6mm and the shoulder has been pulled back .030-inch. The cartridge is friendly to the low drag, pointed bullets that are great for long distance shooting in the action of an AR-15. Although it was developed for semi automatic AR-15 magazines and actions, Eric says that there are a lot of companies exploring the idea of putting it in a bolt gun. This is where the trickle down effective from tactical to practical begins and it's exciting for hunters and shooters.
Eric has ordered a custom gun and is looking forward to seeing what this cartridge is truly capable of. When you remove the cycling action out of a rifle and its associated vibrations and influences, the bolt action is really where you are going to see the accuracy potential out of this 6mm ARC, he says.
Listen in as Eric Poole joins The Revolution this week to talk all things firearms. Be sure to subscribe to Guns & Ammo magazine and also watch "Guns & Ammo" on Sportsman Channel, Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET.