Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers covering the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas have filed a third day of reports on new rifle introductions made at the show, and this edition includes coverage of major makers Rock River Arms, Legacy Sports International, Weatherby and Marlin.
Rock River Arms
New this year is the Operator III MSR in 5.56mm. Building upon the existing Operator series, the Operator III adds some premium features to the platform. Designed exclusively for this new model is the new RRA Operator Brake, which not only reduces recoil but ports the muzzle blast outward and away from the shooter. The Operator III is equipped with the RRA Operator CAR Stock with a Hogue rubber pistol grip, and features a 16-inch chrome-moly HBAR barrel with a 1:9 twist. The free-floated barrel is fitted with the RRA TRO-Mid Free Float Mid-length handguard, which is vented to quickly dissipate heat.
The forged upper receiver is an A4 design and carries a MIL-SPEC rail for optics or iron-sight mounting. The forged RRA LAR-15 lower receiver has a custom “RRA Operator Series” laser engraving on the mag well.
The trigger is RRA’s two-stage model, and the trigger guard is the oversize winter model for easy operation with gloves. The safety is the RRA Star safety. Empty weight is 8 pounds, and RRA claims MOA accuracy. The Operator III ships with two RRA Poly Mags, case, owner’s manual and RRA warranty. SRP: $1,065.
Legacy Sports International
New camo stock finishes for the Howa rifle line, a new rifle/scope combo, and an interesting M1 Carbine model highlight Legacy Sport’s new rifle offerings this year. The new Howa/Kryptek camo rifle features the venerable Howa bolt-action rifle with the HACT two-stage trigger, three-position safety, and a Hogue overmolded stock. Three Kryptek camo patterns will be available: Typhon, Highlander and Raid. The new models will be available in Howa’s short action, long action, and magnum calibers. A No. 2 contour hunting barrel or a No. 6 contour heavy barrel are available as options. Scope packages featuring the Nikko Stirling Gameking scope are also available as full camo dip packages that include matching camo rings and one-piece scope bases. All stock dip rifle/scope combos are available with blued or stainless barrels.
The new Howa/Zeiss Combo package features the Howa bolt-action rifle with HACT two-stage trigger, three-position safety, and Hogue overmolded stock (the Hunter walnut stock is also available as an option), mated with a Zeiss Terra 3-9×42 scope. It features a one-inch tube, anti-reflection coating, the No. 20 Z-Plex second-focal-plane reticle, ¼-MOA adjustments, hunting turrets and DNX one-piece base.
The new Citadel M1 carbine could emerge as one of the true “fun guns” for 2014. Chambered for 9mm, it uses a blowback action and Beretta M92 steel magazines. Two magazines are supplied with each carbine, in either 10- or 17-round capacity. The front and rear sights are steel, as are the trigger and barrel band spring. The barrel length is 18 inches, and overall length is 35 inches. Empty weight is 5.5 pounds.
For 2014, Weatherby adds “Range Certified” (RC) accuracy assurance to its Mark V rifle line with the new Ultra Lightweight RC model. All RC rifles are guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA (a three-shot group of .99-inch or less at 100 yards) with specified Weatherby factory ammunition or other premium ammunition.
The Mark V Ultra Lightweight series features a CNC-machined 6061 T-6 aluminum bedding plate to provide a stable platform for the barreled action. The trigger is factory-tuned and fully adjustable. Barrels are blackened and fluted stainless steel and are available in lengths of 22, 24, 26 and 28 inches—depending upon caliber—and features a recessed target crown. Stocks are hand-laminated composite material with a raised Monte Carlo cheekpiece and Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad comes standard. The finish is matte gel coat with spiderweb accents. The rifle’s empty weight is 5.75 to 6.75 pounds—depending upon caliber and barrel length.
The Mark V Ultra Lightweight will be available in .240 Wby. Mag., .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-06 Sprg., .257 Wby. Mag., 7mm Rem. Mag., 7mm Wby. Mag., .300 Win. Mag. and .300 Wby. Mag. Those rifles chambered for the .300 Wby. Mag. come standard with an Accubrake installed to significantly reduce felt recoil. SRP: $2,400 to $2,600. All production models are right-hand actions, but left-hand actions will be available via special order through the Weatherby Custom Shop.
This year Weatherby expands its popular WBY-X line with new rifle models for hunters and shooters who want to make a statement about who they are and what they carry afield. The new WBY-X models feature edgy, unconventional camouflage patterns such as Kryptek’s Highlander and Typhon as well as Proveil’s Reaper Black and Boneyard Camo’s Legends Blaze.
The WBY-X rifles are built on the popular Vanguard Series 2 platform, which is guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA (three shots into .99-inch at 100 yards) with Weatherby factory or other premium-grade ammunition. The line offers a lightweight composite Monte Carlo stock, match-quality two-stage trigger and three-position safety.
They will be offered in the Vanguard Series 2 caliber line and will be produced as the following models: Series 2 Kryptek (with Kryptek Highlander pattern and a 24-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel), Series 2 Typhon (with Kryptek Typhon pattern and 24-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel), Series 2 Typhon TR (Threat Response) that features a 22-inch No. 3 contour barrel with a .740 muzzle diameter and a recessed target crown, and Series 2 Blaze, featuring Boneyard Camo’s Legends Blaze pattern and a 24-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel. SRP: $749.
In the process of revamping production facilities, Marlin has added new barrel and receiver production equipment. For 2014 that means that some previously suspended product offerings will be making a reappearance. According to Marlin, production efforts will now heavily focus on the 39A and 1894 product lines. Among the planned reintroductions are the Model 1895 CB in .45-70 Gov’t (SRP: $839.74), the Model 444 Marlin (SRP: $668.91), the Model 338 MX in .338 Marlin Express (SRP: $682.51), and the Model 338 MXLR in .338 Marlin Express (SRP: $900).
In addition, a Marlin 336C Limited Edition is planned, and it is projected to be the first of a multi-year series. It features the Marlin horse-and-rider logo engraved on the left side of the receiver in 24-carat gold, with scrollwork on the right side. The trigger is gold-plated, and the stock is Grade B walnut. As a finishing touch, the words “Limited Edition” are stamped onto the barrel.
Traditional or something new from Weatherby’s WBY-X line? Share your first impressions in the comment section.
Editor’s Note: Our staff articles are supplemented with reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. To view a 2014 digital version of SHOT Daily, click here: