In any business venture—in any undertaking really—there is an unavoidable facet of trial and error and events like the SHOT show and the IWA are great excuses for gun manufacturers to throw out some different things and see what sort of results bounce back. Belgium’s gun goliath Herstal (which owns FN and what’s left of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company) for example took at stab at manufacturing pre-64 style Winchester Model 70s—Mauser-inspired controlled round feeding and all—back in 2008 out of their Columbia, South Carolina facility.
The move paid off, and for us famously nostalgic Americans itching to shoot the same precision arm once favored by Carlos Hatchcock, we can breath easy that someone is still making faithful reissues of this classic design in our time.
And, in the same vein, we’ve been hearing Chinese whispers that FN will be turning out a “small batch” of their FN Special Police Rifle, because even before tackling the Winchester Model 70, FN was no stranger to the subtleties of The Family Winchester: their latest bolt action sniper rifle, the SPR, drew heavily from the fabled design.
Shouldered by FBI agents since 2004, the rifle features a thick, chrome-lined barrel and incorporates a Mauser-esque bolt akin to the original. It is chambered in .308 Win—and will be available in limited quantities stateside to those citizen’s who are mindful of the law.
The sniper rifle boasts an adjustable check rest, scope mounts and a balanced combination of weight (ranging anywhere from 4 to 7 kilos depending on the variant) and solid, anchor design (just look at how formidable the stock and fore-end are). Its rumored to shoot somewhere around .5 MOA.
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