New Rifles

By Tom Kelly

There are a couple of new rifles available from two of the major firearms companies. It’s nice to see that major companies are still designing and producing rifles for the average person. These reasonably priced rifles also include some features normally only found on much higher priced guns. The first rifle is priced lower than many used guns. It is called the Stevens Model 334 Walnut.

The suggested retail for this feature rich rifle is $509. Suggested retail is usually slightly higher than real world prices, so this gun should be available for less than $500. In today’s economy, that’s a bargain. Here are some of the many features that this low price gets you. It has a free-floated barrel in a walnut stock. The finish is a black matte over carbon steel. The barrel is a 20” carbon steel barrel with an 11 degree target crown. It comes with a 3 round detachable box magazine. The rate of twist is 1 in 11 inches. The trigger is nonadjustable and crisp. The bolt lift is 60 degrees. It is available in .243, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308. The receiver is drilled and tapped for optics. This rifle is from the Stevens line from Savage it is made in Turkey. Savage barrels are traditionally very accurate. I expect no less from this offering.

New Model

The next new model is an enhancement of a very successful model from Ruger Firearms. It is called the Ruger American Generation II. It is still a reasonably priced rifle at a $729 suggested retail especially with this list of features. It comes with a 3 position tang safety, an oversized bolt handle, durable Cerakote finish, an adjustable stock for length of pull as well as comb height, and a removable 3 round box magazine. It also sports a very attractive 20” spiral flute barrel. This new model is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308, .243, 7 mm-08, .450 Bushmaster, .204 Ruger and .223. The .223 will accept an AR style magazine. This is a very practical rifle that is quite striking in appearance.

Price Ranges

I applaud both of these companies for introducing such fine products in these price ranges. It shows a commitment to their customer base. As both of these product lines mature, I am sure additional calibers will be offered. It’s my sincere hope that for all of us, there is still a bit of disposable income left after the heating bills, fuel prices and the high cost of groceries, and not to mention rent/mortgage payments. It would be tragic if we could not pursue our shooting sports because of this tragic economy. Last year at around this time, I wrote about networking with fellow hunters and fisherman to help defray the cost of living in these hard times by sharing our game harvests. In reality the strain is even greater this winter. I would ask you all to add one more thing to your networking. Please check on your elderly neighbors and family members. They are most affected by our out-of-control political environment. Please remember to take a kid with you when you are outdoors while you still can.

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