Saturday, January 28, 2017

Gun Show Today

This weekend, there's a Military Expo and Gun Show going on just to the south of us in Vero Beach.  We've gone to that gunshow before but haven't been on one of these weekends when they do the Military Expo.

We didn't see as much of the Expo side of this as we might have, but there was a lot of military surplus for sale, dating back to the "usual" turn of the 20th century-vintage rifles like '03 Springfields and '98 Mausers.  Between the outdoors surplus sales and the indoor gun show, I saw more M1 carbines and M1 Garands than I've seen in one place before (I obviously haven't been to the CMP).  This included a Garand chambered in .308 and rebuilt on a garish laminated stock.

On the unexpected side I saw and got to play with ("coon finger" to use Tam's evocative phrase) a Ruger Precision Rifle, which I've been wanting to see for at least 18 months.  In fact, there were two of them there, one in .308 and one in 6.5 Creedmoor.  It really is an impressive rifle.  The one I played with was the 6.5 Creedmoor and was brand new, being offered by a dealer.  I didn't mess up the adjustments, at least not much, but was interested in the hardware and general fit and finish.  Excellent, as expected, with a great feel.  The quick release hardware was like those used on bikes, which I haven't seen on a gun before.  To be honest, I was a little surprised at its weight, although they do list it as a 10.7 lb rifle.  Guess that didn't work its way into my subconscious.  It was comfortably (25%) under MSRP, which was nice to see, but no, I didn't give it a new home.

I'd like to see comparisons between the RPR and the Savage BA Stealth, which appears to be designed as head-to-head competition with it. 

Those who follow Michael Bane's shows and especially his podcast know that he believes that PCCs (as he calls Pistol Caliber Carbines) are the next big thing.  We only saw one there (as three rifles at two sellers), and they were Hi-Point 9mm carbines.  Neither one of us has ever handled one of those before and Mrs. Graybeard surprised us both by really liking the feel of it.  Now Hi-Point, bless their hearts, doesn't exactly have the most sterling reputation, but we determined to go track down actual user feedback.  Our almost-neighbors up the road have very well known PCC, and they need to be considered as well.  On that subject, Bane writes:
The venerable Kel-Tec SUB-2000, available in 9mm or .40 S&W with magazines for multiple platforms and a low-ball price of $500, remains the first choice for a first pistol caliber carbine — if you can find one! GunBroker is your best bet.
Things I probably almost definitely would have bought if I found one: A decent 1911 for under $500; mostly to use as a model when I finally get to machine one.  A Savage Mark II in 22LR, especially if it was that model or on a good wood stock without the thumb hole stock.  A Ruger American Predator Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor.  None were found.  6mm Creedmoor?  When it was introduced, the RPR was available in .308, 6.5 Creedmoor and .243.  This year, they've dropped the .243 in favor of the slightly smaller 6mm.  If I look at this article, 6.5 and 6 are virtually identical, with a "perfect shoot" just 1% better with the 6.0.  The article says the 6mm Creedmoor does that with much less recoil, but at the cost of slightly less barrel life.  I could see going with 6 in a long distance rifle as long as I'm not trying to humanely hunt at those distances.

Feedback from those of you who actually shoot these combinations, or anything I've speculated on is always, always welcome.

 The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR)


  1. You might find these two videos on hi-points interesting

    1. I actually watched those last night.

      I feel like I owe Hi-Point an apology. I think I must have gotten some residue from Glock or S&W or somebody fanboys bad mouthing them. "Hi-Points don't look like my GlockenShield so they must suck".

    2. A couple of shooters out here in Arizona (they're a couple, and they're shooters) ran a 9mm carbine for an entire 3-gun season without cleaning it. It just ran.

  2. RE: The Ruger Precision Rifle - it's done more for encouraging long distance accuracy than a lot of other things; a sub-MOA rifle out of the box makes it easy to be good at distance, and the distance guys lurves them some 6.5 Creedmore. Some of us, though, are waiting for the long action version (.338 Lapua, .300 Win Mag), assuming Ruger is smart enough to build one.

    As for PCCs, if/when NFA is gutted (very long overdue) and both suppressors and SBRs become 4473 items instead of Title II, PCCs will explode. Thompson made his namesake with a 10" barrel, supposedly, because not only was that a very handy length, Mr. Browning's cartridge obtained optimum performance in 10 inch barrels. Picture a collapsible stock AR-15 with an 8 inch barrel and a 6 inch suppressor in 10MM (or 9MM, or 45ACP, for that matter) and a 20-25 round magazine, and you're getting pretty close to the perfect "house carbine" as a higher precision/lower recoil replacement for the ubiquitous 12 gauge pump. All it might need is adding a Law Tactical folding stock adapter to shorten it for storage.

    1. While I'm 100% behind repealing or gutting the NFA, I think it's more likely I'll be shoveling snow here. There is just no massive political movement to do that.

      I mean, look at this year. The HPA is just chiseling one little corner off or one little piece; making a suppressor a 4473 item, instead of blister packed at the check out aisle like they should be, and not only is the opposition screaming bloody murder and the usual "blood in the streets" crap, our side is saying, "oh, we might not get it this year; it might take years to do this".

      With a government as addicted to spending as crack ho is addicted, are they going to give up that tax revenue? When the BATFE is doing everything they can to tighten the screws on home built firearms, are they going to loosen up?

      Tearing down the NFA just ain't happening, barring something I can't foresee.

  3. Military surplus arms. I remember going when a local gunshop had a barrel of .45-70 trap door Springfield actions for twenty five dollars. And I clearly remember another shop that had Krag rifles.
    Yes, that was a long time ago.
    Machining a 1911. I do have a thrill of anticipation of reading your posts about that.