Manufacturers continue to provide innovative, eye-catching products in 2018, and the evidence is clear on the floor of the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. Tens of thousands of show-goers had a chance to examine and discuss their favorite new firearms with industry representatives and each other. During our time on the show floor, Shooting Illustrated staff had a chance to see a few innovative, interesting rifle platforms that stood out from the glut of AR-15s currently flooding the market.
1. Bergara Premier HMR Pro Rifle ($1,715)
Built on the company's popular B-14 stock, the Bergara Premier HMR Pro rifle steps things up a notch from the company's popular B-14 system. For starters, this rifle is built on what the company calls its "Bergara Premier" action, machined from stainless steel and paired with Bergara's tack-driving barrel.
One of the stand-out elements of the Bergara Premier is that the entire gun is made at the company's facility in Georgia, and the Bergara custom shop had a huge hand in developing these highly accurate precision platforms. As such, each gun is tested before it leaves the factory to ensure that it produces sub-MOA performance.
The CZ-455 rimfire rifle from CZ-USA is a favorite among rimfire shooters, particularly for its inherent accuracy with popular rimfire rounds. The company continues to innovative with this platform, and one of the latest introductions is the integrally suppressed model seen at the 2018 Annual Meetings.
From the outside, the gun looks like a standard synthetic-stocked .22 rimfire rifle. However, the barrel features a segment with threaded baffle inserts, providing sound suppression without added length or bulk. The endcap on the CZ-455 unscrews with an included tool, and each baffle threads out to facilitate cleaning.
3. LWRCI REPR Mk II Elite ($3,999.99)
After the launch of the company's all-new Mk II REPR, LWRCI stepped up the bar yet again when rolling out the Elite model of the new gun. Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, this rifle is equipped with a Proof Research barrel in lieu of the company's all-steel precision-rifle barrel found on earlier models.
The Proof Research-produced barrel features a stainless-steel, rifled core that's wrapped in carbon fiber for strength while reducing a significant amount of weight off the overall gun. The overall barrel length is 22 inches, and the platform weights 10.5 pounds, a significant weight-savings over other precision-rifle platforms on the market.
4. Savage Arms FV-SR Rascal Rimfire ($219)
Savage Arms' Rascal rimfire rifle lineup has been a favorite for youth and first-time shooters for years, and the company just rolled out its latest version: the FV-SR. This unique platform moves beyond the original Rascal rifles with a number of "tactical" upgrades.
Each Rascal FV-SR rifle model comes with a threaded barrel, fit with a 1/2-28 TPI thread pitch that's compatible with most suppressors and mounts on the market. The heavy-barreled action is set inside of a synthetic stock, and the action is loaded with a tactical-style bolt handle. Each rifle ships with Savage's adjustable AccuTrigger.
5. Thompson/Center T/CR22 Rifle ($399)
Thompson/Center Arms, too, announced the launch of an-all new rimfire platform, and the semi-automatic T/CR22 rifle is, at first glance, similar to one of the most popular rimfire-rifle designs on the market today: the Ruger 10/22.
This similarity is by design, since the T/CR22 is built to accept a wide range of aftermarket components made originally for the 10/22, such as stocks, barrels and magazines. However, the factory magazine for the T/CR22 features last-round bolt hold-open. This will not work with magazines designed for the 10/22. Other features included a stainless-steel bolt, button-rifled barrel and M-Lok-compatible stock.