How to buy firearms: precision rifles
By Lindsey J. Bertomen
The precision law enforcement rifle, designed to deliver reliable and accurate direct fire when necessary, is only one component of a system that includes the rifle, scopes, cartridge, platform, team, infrastructure, training, and policy. Here, we’ll address the rifle aspect of this system. The rifle should not be used independently of the system, regardless of how simple this might sound.
Although the average law enforcement engagement is far of short of 100 yards, the precision shooter must have equipment and training enabling engagements of beyond 400 yards. Ideally, the precision rifle should be capable of launching a 150+ grain bulletin in excess of 2000 fps measured at 100 yards.
Questions to ask:
2. Does your bullet supplier carry the appropriate cartridges?
3. What is the geography of our response area? If` there is an airport or large body of water (one square mile or more), the agency needs two rifles: one in a .30 (or so) caliber, one in .455 to .50 BMG.
4. Is a rifle the best tool for the job? Many agencies seek a precision rifle when they really should be looking at a carbine.
5. What is the policy on rifle and carbine deployment?
Most precision rifles are bolt action with magazine capacities from two to five rounds. This is an obvious choice, but it is not the only choice. Select the appropriate caliber first, then the action. Although some purists would disagree, the type of action — rolling block, break action, falling block, semi-auto — generally will not affect the accuracy of the rifle, unless other factors are present.
A free floated barrel has a theoretical limit to its length. If you were wondering if there is an advantage to having a longer barrel, it depends. Manufacturers will know the ideal length for the combination.
Regardless, a precision rifle stock should be noticeably heavier than the sporting counterpart. Weight is good as it dampens both recoil and vibrations.
Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.
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