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GUNS Magazine Digital May 2011 - Page 14
• d A V E A N d E R S O N • The beginning of the 21st century was a boon for shooters. y favorite rifle acquisitions of the past decade are M probably a mid-1950s Winchester 70 Featherweight .30-06 and a late ’40s Savage 99R .250-3000 in near-new condition. I like guns from the post-WWII through early ’60s era, mostly because I grew up then and those were the guns I wanted but couldn’t afford. The first decade of the 21st century hasn’t been so bad though. Here are a few items not available in 2000, which I’m glad made their appearance. There has been considerable development in what are sometimes called “monometal” bullets. Barnes X and XLC bullets always shot well in my rifles, though some shooters had concerns about accuracy and copper fouling. The TSX bullet seems to have resolved both concerns. The TTSX adds a very sharp plastic tip enhancing ballistic coefficient. Both have excellent Savage gave shooters a quality trigger pull on a reasonably priced rifle, and other manufacturers have followed suit. Maybe 7- or 8-pound factory triggers have gone the way of impressed checkering. If so, hooray! a niCe era reputations for accuracy. I’ve shot around 40 or 50 big-game animals with TSX/TTSX bullets in the last five years or so, ranging in size from pronghorn antelope to zebra and wildebeest, all with outstanding results. The Hornady GMX bullet gives excellent accuracy every time I’ve tried it, though I haven’t fired it as of yet at anything but paper. It’s been a great decade for optics, both in terms of sheer performance and in value delivered for your money. The reintroduced Redfield scopes are an incredible value. I suspect Leupold is following the economic model used by Henry Ford with the Model T: price it below your full production cost and count on volume to eventually reduce fixed costs per scope sold. In my view, the Redfield is the most scope for the least money ever offered. At a somewhat higher price point the Leupold VX-3, Minox and Zeiss Conquest scopes likewise deliver terrific performance for their cost. New The sunsetting of the Assault Weapons Bill in 2004 released a pent-up demand for so-called “black rifles.” Shooters who previously had only casual interest in such rifles soon discovered they are accurate, reliable, tough as nails and a lot of fun to shoot. They are today’s modern sporting rifle. 14 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MAY 2011