Wolfe Publishing Group

    Rifle January/February 2021

    On the Cover: A Howa XL Lite Chassis Rifle .223 Remington with a Nikko Stirling 30mm Diamond LR 4-16x 50mm scope. Photos by Chris Downs.

    Volume 53, Number 1 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Spotting Scope

    A Brace of Stocky's Stocks
    column by: Dave Scovill

    I hope this finds readers in good health in spite of the pandemic and wildfires at hand. As readers may be aware, I retired about four years ago, but the publisher asked if I might continue with this column, now going on nearly 30 years, until . . . whenever. Wife, Roberta, also retired, and we continue on as the rest of the world outside of our home north of Prescott, Arizona, passes us by. ...Read More >


    Lock, Stock & Barrel

    Remington Limited Editions
    column by: Lee J. Hoots

    Have you ever had an interest in designing your own rifle; ever thought about changing the look and feel of one already owned? Most riflemen have at least thought about it, and a lot of them have done it, sometimes winging it on their own with aftermarket parts and other times keeping gunsmiths and custom barrelmakers busy. When younger, I used to imagine the “perfect” Remington Model 700, a bolt rifle that has stood the tests of time and trends, in spite of changes in ownership. The M700 has been available in more variations than many other rifles, and one of the most successful variants has remained the original Model 700 BDL. ...Read More >


    Mostly Long Guns

    Marlin 1894CST .357 Magnum
    column by: Brian Pearce

    The .357 Magnum was first introduced in 1935, which was a joint development between Winchester and Smith & Wesson. The Smith & Wesson .357 “Registered” Magnum revolver, built on the N-Frame, was the company’s finest effort and its most expensive gun. It offered outstanding fit, finish, accuracy and overall quality, and was offered with many custom order options. The cartridge delivered high velocity, accuracy and enough performance that Doug Wesson managed to take antelope, deer, elk, grizzly and other big game at 200 yards and beyond. It has become one of the most popular sixgun cartridges and has been chambered in a large variety of handgun types. However, its popularity in rifles, especially lever actions, has become huge. While it is certainly an interesting sixgun cartridge, when chambered in lever-action rifles it is lightweight, fast-handling and offers terminal performance that is out of proportion to its humble size. ...Read More >


    Down Range

    Incredibly Long Shots
    column by: Mike Venturino

    Back in 1874, there were supposedly two incredibly long-range shots made by frontiersmen in fights against Native Americans. The best known one was by bison hunter Billy Dixon at a fledgling settlement in the Texas Panhandle named Adobe Walls. In June, several hundred Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne warriors attacked Adobe Walls. Twenty-eight people, about half of whom were bison hunters, fighting from behind walls repulsed the warriors. After Billy Dixon’s death early in the twentieth-century, his widow wrote his biography, said to be based on the stories he had related to her about his very interesting life. It was titled Life of Billy Dixon. ...Read More >


    Light Gunsmithing

    Making Simple Tange Sights Part II
    column by: Gil Sengel

    In the last issue of Rifle, this column covered simple tang sights used on inexpensive single-shot (non-bolt action) .22 rimfire rifles of the 1880-1950 period. These guns were often referred to as boy’s rifles. Their factory open sights were pretty crude, thus the availability of very cheap (and also crude) tang sights, which were entirely different than the target models of the time. ...Read More >


    A Rifleman's Optics

    Hawke Sport Optics Frontier 30 SF
    column by: Patrick Meitin

    After moving to the northwest and joining my father and his regular varmint-shooting partner, a Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force Pararescue (PJ) who provided sniper cover for pararescuemen while retrieving downed servicemen, I was regularly chastised for my “excessive” optics. I’d shrug and offer, “Can’t hit’em if you can’t see’em.” Of course, my optics choice reflects my shooting preferences – the challenge of surgically removing small varmints at ranges far beyond the abilities of the magnum rimfires those guys mostly enjoy shooting. ...Read More >


    Walnut Hill

    Black, White and Shades of Gray
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Between the black-powder era and the age of smokeless, there lies a fascinating but heretofore underreported period ruled by shades of gray. Contrary to what some would have us believe, black powder did not disappear from use overnight in 1898, nor did smokeless powder take over with the suddenness of a military coup. There was a long period of overlap, underlap, and what we might call combo-lap. ...Read More >


    Howa XL Lite Chassis Rifle

    Shooting a New .223 Remington
    feature by: Patrick Meitin

    Howa’s lightweight .223 Remington chassis rifle is ideal for serious varmint and predator hunting off the beaten track. Japanese manufactured Howa sporting rifles have developed a reputation for quality craftsmanship at reasonable prices. This should come as no surprise. Japanese automobiles have dominated the market for decades. Today, many of the best sporting optics have roots in “The Land of the Rising Sun.” Howa Machinery, Ltd., has been producing military and civilian firearms since 1940, including World War II Type 99 Arisaka rifles and parts for Type 38 rifles. In the early 1970s, Howa produced AR-18 and AR-180 5.56mm rifles on license from Armalite of Costa Mesa, California. (The Japanese government eventually forced Howa to cease production.) In 1979, Howa’s Model 1500 appeared, followed by the 1500 Mini Action introduced in 2015. Weatherby’s Vanguard is built by Howa on 1500 actions, and Sako L61 and L579 rifles were Howa creations. ...Read More >


    CZ's New 457 Rimfire Bolt Rifles

    Testing Cutting Edge .22 Long Rifles
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    CZ has earned a reputation of building rock-solid, reliable and accurate bolt-action rifles. With growing interest in super-accurate rifles chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge designed for hunting, long-range practice and competition, CZ recently introduced the CZ 457 series bolt-action rimfire rifles, which replaces the Models CZ 452 and CZ 455 rifles, but with notable improvements. In addition to having desirable features, it is available with many barrel lengths, stock configurations and is chambered in .17 HMR, .22 WMR and .22 Long Rifle, all of which is certain to make it appealing to traditional and modern shooters. For this review, a 457 Varmint and 457 Varmint Precision Trainer were selected, both chambered in .22 Long Rifle. But before discussing their performance and function, let’s take a closer look at some of the design features. ...Read More >


    Savage Model 110 Ultralite

    A New Rifle with a PROOF Barrel
    feature by: John Haviland

    Savage has gained a lot of mileage out of its Model 110 rifle since it was first chambered in .30-06 and .270 Winchester, and introduced in 1958. In the years since, Savage has expanded the line to include Hunter, Tactical, Target, Long Range, Trophy and Varmint versions among other models chambered in a wide variety of cartridges. Moreover, the rifles have evolved over the years with improvements in the barrels, triggers, receiver bedding and wood and synthetic stocks. ...Read More >


    The Joys (and Otherwise) of Aperture Sights

    Still Useful After All These Years
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    At the tender age of 15, cherishing my first high-powered rifle and determined to be prepared for any eventuality that might arise when hunting deer, I found myself at the gun counter in Pilon Marine trying to explain to the salesman that I wanted to order a Williams 5D receiver sight for my spiffy Marlin 336. ...Read More >


    Mystery Rifles

    Shoot Your Way Into the Unkown
    feature by: John Barsness

    Years ago, Gary Larson, author of the comic strip The Far Side, published a panel showing two bears in the woods, standing over a rifle lying on the ground. One bear says to the other, “Thunderstick? You actually said, Thunderstick? That, my friend, is a Winchester .30-06.” Rifle loonies normally define any rifle by the same characteristics, the maker and the chambering, though not necessarily in that order. Usually the answers are obvious, such as a Winchester .30-06. Occasionally, however, they are not. The more “advanced” among us can often identify the parts used in what we term a “custom rifle,” but still have no idea who made it. ...Read More >

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