Magnum Research Inc. Desert Eagle Mark XIX .50 Action Express

Magnum Research Inc. Desert Eagle Mark XIX .50 Action Express
The Desert Eagle’s been a firearms icon for more than 25 years and has more acting credits than most Hollywood celebrities, yet despite its price tag, people continues to purchase them. I don’t feel this is because the Desert Eagle gives you the versatility to fire three calibers from the same frame. It’s because you can own a piece of movie history and being able to fire the most powerful semi-automatic cartridge in the world doesn’t hurt either. But it does offer you the versatility to fire the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .50 Action Express with a change of a few parts. If you purchase the .357 Magnum, upgrading to .44 or .50AE just requires a bolt and caliber specific barrels and magazines. However you feel about the Desert Eagle, it’s here to stay and will remain a legend, Icon and highly desirable.

Mossberg 510 Mini Turkey THUGS

Mossberg 510 Mini Turkey THUGS
Kids shouldn’t be focusing on how heavy and long the shotgun their hunting with is, they should be building memories of a lifetime. Mossberg has put that issue to rest with their 510 Mini Turkey THUGS and 510 All-Purpose pump shotguns. Designed from the ground up as a youth model shotgun, it grows with your son or daughter and allows them to focus on the hunt. Available in 20 gauge and the light recoiling .410 gauge, they will beg you to go shooting. Click on the picture to go strait to the Mossberg 510 page.

The 2014 SHOT Show will unveil new products.

The start of the 2014 SHOT Show and Conference on January 14th will signal the unveiling of the newest outdoor products for the coming year. Everything from firearms to hunting gear will be highlighted and released to the public in this grand event. For me this means new firearms and products to test and review. I look forward to sharing a small sampling of these items with you on my Blog and through the magazines and websites I write for. SHOT reports that this is the largest trade show of its kind in the world and the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, the SHOT Show features more than 1,600 exhibitors filling booth space covering 630,000 net square feet. The show, which is a trade-only event, attracts more than 62,000 industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries. The Monday before the show starts I will attend “Media Day at the Range.” The firearms industry event allows me and over 1000 members of the shooting press to examine and shoot the latest and greatest products the firearms industry has to offer. Until then look for posts on gear and gadgets I am using in my work and thanks for stopping by and reading my Blog.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mossberg’s 4x4 in 22-250 Remington “The Varmints never hear it coming!”

This is all the Varmint shooter needs
Many summers ago as a young boy, social networking simply meant getting in the family car, driving across country and ending up at the family picnic that was held each summer. But what made it all worthwhile was watching my two uncle’s debate for what seemed like hours on the speed of the bullets fired from their 22-250 Remington and 220 Swift rifles. Knowing what I know now, I’m thinking it would have ended everyone’s misery sooner if they had just ran them through a ballistic chronograph. But then again, I wouldn’t have these fond childhood memories to speak of and it was those events and others like them that incited my lifelong love of firearms.

The butt stock is designed to be comfortable for lots of cheek time
Today those arguments are a moot point since we can just fire ten rounds thru a chronograph and lay to rest those nagging questions about cartridge velocities once and for all. In this writer’s humble opinion it already been resolved by the numerous sportsmen who use the 22-250 Remington in the field every day. You have only to go to your local gun shop or sporting goods store and examine the shelves to see what caliber dominates the varmint arena. Sure there are new varmint calibers flooding the market every year, but the 22-250 Remington still holds its own. That’s simply because of the many choices of manufactured ammo and its re-loading flexibility with the many types of bullets and powders on the market.

The forend is checkered for grip and holes aid in cooling
The 22-250 Remington has an interesting past that dates back to 1915 and its parent cartridge the 250-3000 Savage. Unfortunately, there has also developed a blur in history about the date of origin of the first 22-250 cartridge. Harvey Donaldson, Grosvenor Wotkyns, J.E. Gebby, J.B. Smith and John Sweany all worked on versions of the 22-250. J.B. Gebby and J.B. Smith are commonly credited with present configuration in 1937. What made it confusing was the different versions of the 22-250 that existed then, Gebby’s version was named the .22 Varminter and he held a copyright on that name. The Wotkyns cartridge was the forerunner to the 220 Swift and Winchester used the 6mm Lee Navy case rather than the 250 Savage for their version. So we may never know who is wholly responsible for the 22-250 Remington cartridge, but it’s made it this far and has a huge following.

The 4X4 is cocked when the firing pin is not exposed
Firearms manufacturers know the 22-250 Remington cartridge sells rifles. In fact it’s so popular that all American, English and European firearms manufacturers have at least one model chambered in the 22-250 Remington in their inventory. Of course the cartridge is nothing without a delivery system to send it on its way and Mossberg’s 4x4 does this job quite well. Now I have always been a fan of beautiful wood and gun metal, so it was only natural that the laminate stock and marinecoat configuration of the Mossberg 4x4 caught my eye. Polymer and stainless have their place, especially in rough and wet environments, but these two esthetic features combined with the Hawke Optics matt black Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32x56 SR Pro makes for a work of art you can hunt with. But not to worry, if you are a fan of the conventional walnut or black synthetic stocks and matt blue finish, Mossberg hasn’t forgot you.

The bolt handle is recessed and the safety is close to the thumb
My sample 4x4 starts with a 24” brushed nickel fluted barrel which free floats in the laminate stock. This barrel has a 1:14 inch twist rate for stabilizing bullets from 50 grains and up and Mossberg also offers you the choice of a 1:10 and 1:9.5 twist. The purpose of the fluting is to lighten the barrel’s weight slightly and to aid in cooling during extended firing sessions. The crown is recessed to give your rifle the most protection possible in the field, so if dropped on the muzzle it will help protect your accuracy. The stocks forend has five vent holes strategically placed on both sides to aid in barrel cooling as well as checkering for a positive grip with or without gloves. The stock is ergonomically cut to feel good in your hands and the rear of the stock has a cheek rest built in to raise your head for use with optics. It is completed with a well fitted recoil pad and two black sling studs.

With the Hawke high scope mounts, ejection is not an issue
The 4x4’s action is right handed and controls are simple and easy to reach with the shooting hand. We start with Mossberg’s LBA (Lighting Bolt Action) trigger system which allows the shooter to adjust the trigger pull from 2 to 7 pounds. This is a great feature for long distance shooting and allows you to focus on the target not the trigger pull. The trigger is factory set to two pounds and is crisp and short and greatly enhances the shooter’s experience in the field or range. The trigger guard is generous enough for a gloved hand to operate the trigger. At the rear of the bolt on the right side is the safety lever, a small red dot is exposed when the lever is forward indicating FIRE and to the rear it is covered indicating SAFE.  The left side is where the bolt release lever is located and is protected from accidental release by a shield that extends off the rear of the bolt.

The five round magazine is flush and easy to access with the finger release
To release the bolt, drop the magazine and clear the rifle of any live ammunition and while retracting the bolt press the bolt release lever and remove the bolt, and to replace it just reverse the operation. Also, on the rear of the bolt is a cocking indicator, when the round flat end of the striker is flush with the end of the bolt it’s cocked and when it is recessed it’s un-cocked. The top of the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept weaver style mounts and rings and does not come with any factory sights. At the bottom of the rifle in front of the detachable 5 round magazine is the magazine release lever, simply pull forward and the magazine will drop free. With one round in the chamber the total capacity is 5+1 rounds where allowed by law.

Optics like this Hawke Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32x56 SR Pro is great for distance
With a varmint rifle capable of shooting a 55 grain bullet almost 4000 feet per second out to ranges of 200 yards and beyond, great optics are not necessary there mandatory. I learned early about the value of a high quality scope, and when varmint shooting this is where great glass proves its worth. I worked with Hawke Optics to find the perfect long distance scope that would allow me to wring out the full potential of the 22-250 cartridge.  I chose their new Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32x56 SR Pro for many reasons, but my top five were, magnification, illuminated reticle, 4” side wheel for parallax adjustment, adjustable sniper style turrets and the Ballistic Recital Calculator software.

The whole package is impressive and esthetics are great
There are so many great features built into Hawkes Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32x56 SR Pro I could do an article on it. Mounting it on the Mossberg 4x4 for varmint hunting, magnification was my first concern to address. 8x to 32x Magnification gives you all the power you will ever need at whatever range you feel comfortable engaging your target. And with their clear 30mm body and high quality optical system with Fully Multi-Coated glass, you get a sharp, bright and high resolution viewing in all light conditions. The lens configurations offers optimum performance in low light conditions and gives excellent range finding properties. The illuminated reticle offers five red and five green settings that provide you with dawn or dusk illumination to help place that bullet on target without searching for your cross hairs.

The five round magazine is made from a light and tough polymer
The Sidewinder features a large side focusing wheel designed to parallax from 10 yards to infinity and is very easy to adjust in the field. The easy to read large turrets allow for fast windage and elevation adjustments on the range or in the field. After you zero the scope to your favorite load you can set the turrets to zero by simply loosening the hex screw and pulling up on the turrets, turning to zero and push down and re-tighten the hex screw with the provided Allen wrench. An added feature Hawke provides free to their customers is the BRC or Ballistic Reticle Calculator. Simple download to your laptop, tablet or smartphone and enter your variables and apply them to your targets in the field. The BRC accommodates 18 different Hawke reticles, the Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32x56 SR Pro reticles being one of them. The scope retails for $549.99 and you can purchase optional accessories such as flip up covers and honey comb sunshades from their website.

The crown is recessed deep to protect the rifling 
Shooting the Mossberg 4x4 was very pleasant as the 22-250 Remington is not a hard recoiling cartridge. The rifles combined weight with the Hawke Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32x56 SR Pro and five rounds of ammunition comes in at 10.5 lbs. Since most varmint hunting is done from a stationary position the weight absorbs the recoil for better long distance shots. While shooting at the range I often found someone was watching me shoot my groups. The first thing they usually said was how beautiful a setup it was and jumped at the chance to shoot it when I offered. I never experienced a single ammunition related stoppage or rifle malfunction during the testing and I fired over 100 rounds thru the Mossberg 4x4 without cleaning it. Hawke’s optics also performed as expected and made hitting steel varmint targets out to 200 yards a breeze.

ACCURACY RESULTS | FACTORY LOADS | 22-250 REMINGTON                                                   

American Eagle            50 Gr. JHP                                 3756                18     1.25”
Barnes VOR-TX           50 Gr. FB                                   3845                20      1.10”
DoubleTap                    55 Gr. Nosler BT                       3874                32      2.11”
Hornady                        55 Gr. V-MAX                           3143                 32     1.13”

Notes: Accuracy results are from three – three shot groups at 100 yds. from a Caldwell Matrix rest. Velocities figures are from 10 shots fired through a CED M2 chronograph placed 15 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: JHP: Jacketed Hollow Point, BT: Ballistic Tip, FB: Flat Base

Overall I was very pleased with fit and finish. Mossberg spiral cut the bolt, also known as bolt flutes, this feature offers a very nice esthetic touch to the rifle. As time rolled on the bolt became more fluid and smoothed out nicely, something I can imagine will get better with age and use. As I said earlier I appreciate a great trigger pull and at two pounds it makes each shot better than the last. This is a rifle that you can not only be proud to own, but with proper care will serve your shooting and hunting needs for many years. And you need not worry about the humble 22-250 Remington going the way of the dodo. It very true what they say about, “you get what you pay for,” and the Mossberg 4x4 is a well-built rifle in whatever caliber or configuration you choose. Pairing it with any of Hawkes great scopes will make your range or field experience what it should be, a memorable one. 

The bolt is easy to remove and clean and the spiral cut dissipates heat

RCBS 22-250 Remington X-Dies: More time shooting, less time re-loading.
This information if for all you re-loaders who spend more time trimming brass than shooting or hunting. If you shoot a lot of rifles cartridges and hate trimming them because it slows down the re-loading process, this may be of interest to you, read on. This following information is taken from the RCBS website and helps describe how the X-Dies work: Trim a bottleneck case once—and never trim again with the X Die Full Length Die Set, which includes an X Die Sizer and Standard Seater Die. The sizer features a specially designed mandrel with an expander ball and decapping pin attached. The patented design eliminates the need for repeated trimming after an initial trim of .020 inch off the maximum length to standardize the case.
The X Die doesn’t shorten the length of the case: The mandrel reduces the growth caused by the case mouth contacting the mandrel during sizing. Because of an extremely close tolerance between the mandrel and die neck wall, the neck wall of the case does not thicken as the case length is pushed back. Cases repeatedly sized in the X-Die will initially grow a few thousandths of an inch, and then stabilize below the maximum case length with no discernible loss of accuracy or case life. Note: Reloaders who already own a regular set of dies for the chosen caliber need only order the X Die Full Length Sizer. I hope this information helped make your range or hunting time more enjoyable.

TYPE: Bolt Action
CALIBER: 22-250 Remington (Tested) Six Long-Action Calibers from .25-06 Rem. to .338 Win. Mag.; Four Short-Action Calibers from .22-250 Rem. to .308 Win.; and Three Short Magnum Calibers: .270 WSM, 7mm WSM and .300 WSM.
CAPACITY: Five round magazine
BARREL: 24” fluted
TWIST: 1:14
WEIGHT: 7.5 lbs.
FINISH: Marinecote
SIGHTS: None provided, accepts Weaver style base and rings
TRIGGER: LBA Lightning Bolt Action Adjustable Trigger
SAFETY: Manuel
STOCK: Laminate classic style
PRICE: $693.00
MANUFACTURER: O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. 7 Grasso Ave. North Haven, CT 06473 Telephone: (203) 230-5300 (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. E.S.T.) Fax: (203) 230-5420 For Service Inquiries: 800-363-3555


O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.                

Alliant Powder                                    

American Eagle                                   

Barnes Bullets                                     

DoubleTap Ammunition                     

Federal Premium                                 

IMR Powder                                        

Hawke Optics