Wolfe Publishing Group

    Rifle March/April 2021

    On the Cover: A trio of Winchester .44 saddle ring carbines (top to bottom): a Uberti replica Model 1866, a Winchester 1873 (1899) and a Winchester Model 1892 (1912). Rifle photos by Yvonne Venturino.

    Volume 53, Number 2 | ISSN: 315

    Article Bites


    Down Range

    My Best Shot
    column by: Mike Venturino

    Before sunrise on one morning in October 2016, along with my friend nicknamed “Shrapnel,” I was sitting on top of a ridge in southern Montana waiting for a film crew to arrive. Little did I expect that we would still be there when the sun set. ...Read More >


    Spotting Scope

    General Chuck Yeager Dies at Age 97
    column by: Dave Scovill

    This is written on December 9, 2020. My wife, Roberta, and I just yesterday sent a note of condolence to Randy and Coni Brooks, former owners of Barnes Bullets, in remembrance of their good friend Chuck Yeager, who died on December 7, 2020. I am deeply in debt to the General as I remember reading, in the Glide High School library just prior to graduation in 1962, about his challenge to break the sound barrier in the Bell XS-1 on October 14, 1947. It simply wasn’t possible that a kid with mediocre grades graduating near the middle of a class of 33 students would be sitting next to the General at dinner in a restaurant in Reno, Nevada, a little more than a half-century later. ...Read More >


    Lock, Stock & Barrel

    Read the Fine Print
    column by: Lee J. Hoots

    Most reader queries received here at the office are of technical interest, such as which powder might provide the best accuracy and velocity with a specific cartridge/bullet/gun. Given enough detail, our staff writers can easily clear up any apprehension a reader might have by offering suggestions that should lead them toward an end goal. Other questions aren’t so easy to answer due largely to the fact that any response would be based on speculation and a large helping of personal preference. While personal experience must come into play to validate answers of a technical bent, more general questions should be and are answered with kid gloves. ...Read More >


    Mostly Long Guns

    U.S. Sporting Bolt-Action Stock Designs
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Stock designs found on early modern cartridge rifles, such as the Winchester Model 1873, were patterned similarly to the beautifully-crafted flintlock and percussion-era rifles that had considerable drop at the comb, although actual drop was less. These arms were designed specifically to be fired offhand, with the right arm (or shooting arm) relaxed and the elbow pointed slightly downward, though some shooters will raise the elbow up to at least 90 degrees. The head was held erect, which naturally aligned the eye with the iron sights that were usually mounted low on the receiver and/or barrel. ...Read More >


    Light Gunsmithing

    Optic-to-Base Attaching Screws
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Some time ago, this column looked at the screws used to attach scope rings to scope tubes and scope bases to rifle receivers. It was slanted toward sporting rifles since they are the type of most interest to those who do their own gun work. Little was said about fasteners that join scope rings to their bases because all are at least adequate for the job. Once tightened, they stay in place for years with no tendency to break or work loose, as do the smaller screws. ...Read More >


    A Rifleman's Optics

    Trijicon's Huron 2.5-10x 40mm
    column by: Patrick Meitin

    Trijicon optics top some of my favorite precision long-range varmint rifles. Trijicon scopes have proven highly functional in the field, where it counts most, and are always built Mil-Spec tough. Yet, there is also no way around the fact the company’s top-end wares can prove a bit spendy for average blue-collar shooters. They’re worth every penny, but only if you can afford the initial investment. The new Huron series provides quality and dependability at a price average shooters can actually afford. ...Read More >


    Custom Corner

    New Ultra LIght Arms Model 20
    column by: Stan Trzoniec

    Granville, West Virginia, is the home of the New Ultra Light Arms Company. Rifle builder Melvin Forbes had an idea years ago to build not only the best rifle for the money, but to make it as light as possible while still keeping its accuracy. The end result was his popular Model 20, 24, 28, 32 and 40 bolt-action rifles that check in at only 4.5 pounds with a 22-inch Douglas Premium barrel in a No. 1 contour. To complete the rifle, he used a stock composed of Kevlar and reinforced graphite finished off with a coat of tough DuPont Imron paint in your choice of a wide variety of standard and camouflage patterns. ...Read More >


    Walnut Hill

    The Myth of the Perfect Deer Rifle
    column by: Terry Wieland

    There are many myths in the rifle world. The “perfect” deer rifle is one of them. There are too many types of deer, in different terrain and hunted different ways, to define one rifle as perfect – all of which doesn’t stop us from trying. ...Read More >


    Combination Guns

    An Anomaly in the Age of Specialization
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    Sometime around 1750 – the dates are vague – guns came to a fork in the road. Those with rifled barrels went one way, those with smoothbores went another, and from then on we had rifles and shotguns. This separation, followed by ever-increasing specialization in both types, did not stop either shooters or gunmakers from trying to regain those early days when we had either the best of both worlds or, depending on your point of view, the worst. ...Read More >


    Winchester's .44 WCFs

    Testing Handloads and Factory Fodder
    feature by: Mike Venturino

    By 1873, Winchester’s officials realized they needed a more powerful repeater than their Model 1866, with its puny .44 Henry Rimfire round holding a mere 28 grains of black powder. Their designers came up with a stronger levergun for a more powerful centerfire .44 with 40-grain powder capacity. It also happened to be Winchester’s first firearm made with a ferrous metal receiver (first iron but later steel). ...Read More >


    6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge

    Winning the Popularity Contest?
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    Historically, 6.5 millimeter (.264 inch) cartridges have been popular throughout Europe and other parts of the world, but not so much in the U.S. – at least until around 2008, when their popularity began to spread. Previously, there have been a few cartridges that have gained some acceptance, but overall their popularity was limited. For example, in 1958 the .264 Winchester Magnum (based on the belted H&H case) was introduced and quickly became popular, but that would only last a few years. It developed a reputation of having short barrel life, its two-diameter bullet was confusing to some and there were other technical aspects that added to its waning popularity. Nonetheless, it offered a flat trajectory with high ballistic coefficient (BC) bullets and long-range performance, and it still has a small but loyal following. ...Read More >


    Browning's X-Bolt Max LR .28 Nosler

    A New Big-Game Thumper
    feature by: Patrick Meitin

    Browning, to my mind, is synonymous with quality. While many early Browning rifle models were a bit flashy for my tastes – like California-style Weatherbys, all gloss and shine – they were typically straight shooters that functioned flawlessly. In times past, many Browning rifles were manufactured in Belgium, while today’s models are generally manufactured in Kochi, Japan, by Miroku. The Japanese Brownings are as good as they have ever been. ...Read More >


    1903A3 Springfield

    American Rifle Manufacturing, Past and Future
    feature by: John Barsness

    The U.S. military adopted the semi-automatic M1 “Garand” as its standard infantry rifle in 1936, and production started in 1937 at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts. While the 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle remained in service, production ceased. ...Read More >

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