Wolfe Publishing Group

    Rifle September/October 2019

    On the Cover: A Montana American Legends stainless and walnut .270 Winchester with a Swarovski PVI-2 3-12x 50mm scope. Photos by Matthew West.

    Volume 51, Number 5 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Spotting Scope

    The Belt
    column by: Dave Scovill

    One of the most topical subjects in the last few years has been what shooters refer to as the “belt,” or “useless belt,” on what have been historically known as “magnum” cartridges – .300 Winchester Magnum, Weatherby magnums, etc. – since about 1905. The belt is that raised area at the forward edge of the extractor groove at the rear of the case that measures .529 to .530 inch in diameter. The case body at the front edge of the belt averages around .513 inch. Belt width averages around .080 inch. ...Read More >


    Lock, Stock & Barrel

    A Novel Mark V
    column by: Lee J. Hoots

    In the pages of Gun Digest in 1965, cartridge connoisseur Ken Waters referred to the recently introduced Weatherby Mark V Varmintmaster rifle and its .224 Varmintmaster/.224 Weatherby Magnum cartridge in his annual “Test Fire” report as “Probably the star attraction…” Then he quickly pointed out that the “cartridge is more novel than the rifle, since it is the first small capacity American case to wear a belt.” The rifle was modeled after other Mark Vs but featured six locking lugs at the end of a shorter, fluted bolt, and it was eventually chambered for the .22-250 as well. The Varmintmaster went out of production by 1995. ...Read More >


    Mostly Long Guns

    Ruger American Rimfire Target .22 LR
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Ruger introduced the Model 77/22 bolt-action rifle chambered in .22 Long Rifle in 1983. It featured a unique action that housed a 10-shot box magazine (and accepted Model 10/22 magazines), a three-position wing safety, a classic-style walnut stock and blue finish. Stainless steel variations appeared later. ...Read More >


    Down Range

    Quick-Detachable Scope Mounts
    column by: Mike Venturino

    The idea of quick-detachable scope mounts did not appeal to me in my early years of shooting rifles. I think most riflemen felt the same. The concept of taking a scope off and then putting it back on seemed a recipe for an unzeroed rifle. Every avid rifle shooter of my acquaintance adhered to the “screw mounts and scope rings down tight” school of thought. ...Read More >


    Light Gunsmithing

    Gunsmith Reference Material
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Many gun owners think everyone operating under the title gunsmith knows all there is to know about any firearm. That’s far from the truth. Oh, it may have had some validity in the flintlock era since there are only so many ways to create a shower of sparks and divert it into a pile of black powder located in a little box on the side of the lockplate. ...Read More >


    A Rifleman's Optics

    Leica Rangemaster CRF and Magnus Scope
    column by: John Haviland

    Leica’s new Rangemaster CRF 2800.COM rangefinder fits in a shirt pocket with room to spare, and it weighs a slim 6.5 ounces so you barely know it’s there. In hand, a push of a button on the Rangemaster engages Leica’s Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) program that calculates range and bullet drop based on environmental conditions and shot angle. ...Read More >


    Custom Corner

    Remington Custom Shop Scout Rifle
    column by: Stan Trzoniec

    Over the years, I’ve had several rifles made in the Remington Custom Shop in New York (now located in Sturgis, South Dakota). The shop does quality work, is accommodating to requests and budget, and all the men there are true artists when it comes to custom rifles. Not long ago, I had a traditional wood-stocked rifle made in .17 Remington Fireball, and it is perfect in every respect. ...Read More >


    Walnut Hill

    Set Triggers
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Set triggers are fascinating things. They are also frustrating and, occasionally, infuriating. To some riflemen, they are things of mechanical beauty; to others, a never-ending mystery; to still others, a plague upon the land that should never have been invented. No one who has ever been exposed to a set trigger is neutral. You love ’em or you hate ’em. ...Read More >


    Steel and Walnut

    Montana American Legends Rifle
    feature by: John Haviland

    In the not too distant past, rifles were made only with the heft of steel and walnut. Montana Rifle Company’s American Legends Rifle has revived that tradition with its Model 1999 action in a Turkish walnut stock. The Legends is available in short- or standard-length, left- or right-hand actions made of blued chrome-moly or stainless steel. The stock features a long and full forearm, slender grip and raised comb. ...Read More >


    .500 Nitro Express (3-Inch)

    Shooting a New Merkel Double Rifle
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    Few inventions during the nineteenth century are still considered perfect for their intended purpose. However, due to their effectiveness, big-bore double rifles are timeless and are often chosen by savvy professional hunters and sportsman who pursue large and dangerous game to include elephant, buffalo, etc. Their very lives could be at stake should their choice of firearm and caliber fail. ...Read More >



    Peabody, Martini and the Turkish Contract
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    It’s at least a century too late to restore Henry O. Peabody to the stature to which he is entitled as an American rifle designer, but every generation or so some writer has tried: Ned Roberts in the 1920s, Phil Sharpe in the ’30s, James Grant in the ’50s, Frank de Haas in the ’60s, and now here. ...Read More >


    Thieme-Schegelmilch 9.3x74R

    A Double Rifle for the Rest of Us
    feature by: John Barsness

    Many American hunters dream of owning a double rifle suitable for hunting dangerous game in Africa. This is usually due to reading classic African hunting literature from the first half of the twentieth century, when smokeless powder made powerful doubles far more practical and effective than the really big-bore, black-powder rifles they replaced ...Read More >


    Brownells' BRN16A1

    Updating a Classic
    feature by: Mike Venturino Photos by Yvonne Venturino

    About the time I became a dedicated reader of the American firearms’ press in the 1960s, the U.S. Army was in the midst of transitioning from the M14 to the M16. In gun magazines, at least, it was not a sedate change: from wood and steel .30-caliber (7.62mm) rifles to steel, aluminum and synthetic .22-caliber (5.56mm) rifles. ...Read More >

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