|A Great Day of Shooting|
Page Two of Three
Lever-gun fans will be interested in the Model 94's new hammer-block safety -- mounted on the tang, where safeties belong! Besides being faster and more convenient than a crossbolt safety, a tang-mounted safety is truly ambidextrous, something that left-handed shooters (who are often drawn to lever-action rifles anyhow) can really appreciate. The hammer can still fall when the safety is engaged, but it can't strike the firing pin.
I shot one of these new 94s chambered for 44 Rem Mag, using Winchester's 210 grain Silvertip load. Shooting it felt "plumb wimpy," with almost no felt recoil. Since I was shooting at a hole-filled target at 100 yards with open sights of unknown zero, again I have no idea where I was hitting with the gun.
I also met up with some nice folks from XS Sights (formerly Ashley Outdoors), and learned that they have some great new products out. Among their top sellers is a ghost-ring peep sight for Marlin's Model 1895 45-70 lever-action rifles, along with a scout-type mount that's easily installed at home. I expect to be trying out these interesting products before long, so I will be able to let you know just how well they work.
The XS 24/7 Express shallow-V rear sight together with their Big Dot front sight makes a very nice pistol setup, and I ran a few magazines through a Springfield 1911 using them. Very fast acquisition was the rule, and these sights should work equally well on shotguns, too.
Browning has introduced a pair of new Browning pistols as well. The Pro 9 (9mm Luger) and Pro 40 (40 S&W) feature polymer frames with accessory rails, and backstrap inserts to help absorb recoil. I didn't have the time to shoot these guns, but I did run a magazine through a new Hi-Power in 40 S&W, and found it a good shooter with a very comfortable grip design.
New Remington firearms include the bolt-action Model 673 Guide Rifle. Based on the now-extinct Model 600, this rifle sports what I consider to be a rather unattractive vent rib and very tall open sights, ostensibly "for quick sight acquisition." Scope mounting is also an option since the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and the rifle is chambered for the good old 350 Rem Mag cartridge. Stock is of laminated Monte-Carlo style with cut checkering and swivel studs. Barrel length is 22 inches.
I shot one of these rifles with a Swarovski illuminated-reticle scope, and I was more impressed with the scope than with the rifle. This scope had a circle reticle similar to the Kahles Turkey Reticle, but in color. I especially liked the small green dot in the center, it really made aiming a breeze.
Remington is using some new recoil pads on some of their new guns, and they are great! Made by Sims Vibration Laboratory (who also make Limb Savers for bowhunters), they are absolutely the best recoil pad I have ever used in my life. Remington calls it the R3, and it will be available on certain models for 2003. In my opinion, it should be standard equipment on any long gun that kicks -- it's that good.